WHAT IS THE “BEHIND THE SCENES” LINK UP?
Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.
“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it. Read more here!
I wasn’t sure which photo to choose this week. I knew I wanted to write about Declare, but how do you start to talk about a weekend that turned me upside down? I flipped through my photos on my phone and tried to fine “the one.” (My roommate & friend September can verify that I packed light – and there was no way I was taking my “real” camera!)
I could have shown you photos of the beautiful views at the hotel. Or the amazing decorations, simple moments of beauty and light that made the space feel so warm and welcoming. I could have chosen photos of incredible speakers like Kat Lee, Mary DeMuth, Lara Williams, Jeff Goins and Shaun Groves. Or maybe the photo of ALL THE DESSERT would have shown you how sweet to the soul this conference was for me.
But these women? These amazing women of God who walk beside me in the day-to-day heart job of encouragement? They were my bench this weekend. My online community turned real life friendships:
Anna, my daughter’s future mother-in-law (yes. there will be an arranged marriage. Sam & Madi…save the date) and someone I’m so honored to call “friend.” She makes me feel like I’m doing okay as a mama, makes me laugh when I need it, so kindly let me charge my ever-dying phone behind her sponsor table, and is that one person I knew would keep me from feeling homesick.
And Jacque? She has a heart of pure gold, the ability to ask you a simple question then look deep into your spirit to see the “real” answer. Always a kind word, always a thoughtful gesture, inspirational, caring and funny, she is as authentic as they come. Her voice online? It’s the same in real life. She simply inspires.
Behind the scenes of this goofy photo are women I’m blessed to be myself with – and when you sneak even further past the edges, you’d find an entire community of like-hearted bloggers who were so welcoming this past weekend. You would find an annointed conference team with a vision that was simply focused on glorifying God in every detail. You would see a team of speakers who went above and beyond what I’ve come to expect at conferences – they were excellent speakers, teachers, preachers, brothers & sisters in Christ who could weave a story that had you laughing one moment, crying the next, and tweeting the heck out of a quote. But more importantly?
They wanted to be there. They wanted to spend time with the women attending, and they supported their friends by attending the other sessions and pouring into one another’s lives. They weren’t segregated to their own special table, secluded in a secret room, or protected by body guards. They worshiped with us, learned with us.
And if you could see even further – behind the scenes where only God knows how it’s all going to come together, you would see a woman inspired to use her words in big new ways. A writer who thinks she might just know her voice in this space, and a heart filled to overflowing by unexpected confirmation that this path? It’s the right one.