Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Influence Network Link-Up


Last year, through a series of rabbit holes I followed in the blogging world, I discovered The Influence Conference, a faith-based bloggers conference. I signed up, drove to Indiana, met a bunch of new and wonderful women and learned so much. I loved being in sessions, taking notes and applying tips I learned later. I loved watching relationships blossom as new friends were made in as short as three days. I loved getting a few days free from all other responsibilities to totally focus on one thing that would make me better at what I do. What I loved the most about the conference though was the overwhelming sense of being welcome, being wanted, being an important part of community, having others want to spur you on and help you fulfill your purpose -- all because of our common thread: sweet Jesus. It was a testimony, a living and breathing one, of Christ's love fleshed out.


I'm heading back to Indiana again this fall for the conference. I am excited to see the girls I met last year (you want to meet them too? Well sure! Natalie, Arielle, Amanda and Danielle) and to meet face-to-face with the ladies I have come to know online in the past year. The lovely thing about being an online community as well as a "real life" one is that we don't have to wait to get to know each other! The Influence Network has been up and running for a month or so and the community can be found right there, in the forums and the online classes. It's fantastic! I have taken one class so far and loved it! It felt as personal as having a one-on-one talk with the speaker, even though there were more than twenty people attending the class. It also had the community feel of a small group sharing hearts and caring about each other, thanks to the discussion column. You find new and "old" friends in the classes, you discover people with similar passions and opposite giftings, you make connections and build bridges with ladies who can help you or you can help.

Photographer: Jessica Scholl of Jessi[capture]

For first-time readers, I am Chelsea Mills. 20yr old girl, brand new home-owner of a darling little fixer-upper in town but currently living at home in our 100yr old family farmhouse in Wisconsin -- one of my favorite places on this green earth. I am homeschooling my 13yr old brother and 15yr old sister while my parents work. I'm also doing design work for my Dad's two companies, blogging in between, retweeting dozens of ministries and organizations that advocate for vulnerable children, posting pics of my new puppy, Barely, on Instagram, pinning as many lovely bits of inspiration as I can on Pinterest, sharing photography of my life on Facebook and selling paintings and prints from right here. Like most introverts I love piles of books to get lost in, a plane ticket to somewhere lovely and new, a camera to get behind and capture my world with, and hours spent in the living room tucked between my family on the couch. Sharing this life of mine with the Lord has led to the development of His own heart in mine resulting in my passion for vulnerable children. I recently went to India to visit orphans and the people I met there and fell quite in love with are seared on my heart for good. If you have time to hear stories and see pictures I would be happy to share! While gifts are not my greatest love language I really delight in giving what I have to people I love (from family to strangers), be it my time and energy or talents and finances. I love fellowshipping and being in community, having people at the farm in the summertime and having customers-turned-friends of my mom's around our table for a meal. I love neighbors, and according to Jesus you are my neighbor! So please say hello, because I want to know you.
See you in September!

20 comments:

  1. I'm sad I didn't actually meet you at the conference, considering we were both there! I was so nervous the whole time -- up until the worship service night where so much changed for me -- so I'm really looking forward to this year's conference to feel more comfortable and "at home" which I think I will. I'm amazed that you teach homeschool at such a young age. You seem so driven. It's very inspirational. Heading over to your India post now! God bless you girl!

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    1. Kerrie, we should meet up for sure at the conference. I expect this year everyone who has been before will feel much more at-home! Thank you. Teaching my siblings has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Perfect preparation for motherhood, and very humbling.

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  2. I am so excited to meet you and get to know you more! You are lovely. :)

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  3. SO SO SO excited to see you again in september! :)

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    1. I cannot wait to see you again, Jennifer!!

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  4. You are beautiful inside and out and so super sweet! Can't wait to see you again this fall!!!

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    1. Natalie, I love you! Excited to reunite at the conference!

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  5. Hi Chelsea! It sounds like your life is busy with so many worthwhile, fun things! I'm not sure if I'm going to the conference yet, but if I do I'd love to meet you in person. But for now, nice to "meet" you through the link-up!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and for saying "hello", Ashley! My life is full. Somedays "my cup runneth over" and others I am just overwhelmed. I'm always learning. :)

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  6. i'm excited to see you this fall! you are a crazy driven 20-year-old. i wish i'd had half your drive at that age! (i'm 22 so it feels silly to be saying "at that age." but it is what it is. :] )

    i think in a way all love languages are really gifts. quality time is the gift of time. words of affirmation is the gift of words. gifts are the gift of things. touch is the gift of, well, touch. ha! acts of service is the gift of action and service. so i think you giving your time and energy and resources definitely lines up with whatever your love languages are!

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    1. Hey Annie! It'll be good to see you again this year. Sometimes I forget how young I am. I have been self-motivated and driven all my life but that leaves me feeling behind the curve a lot of times. Thanks for reminding me that I still have a whole life ahead of me. :) As for the love languages... so true!

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  7. I love our common thread in Jesus. It brings us together in a way that this world can't.

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  8. Thank you for your sweet comments on my blog. I'm excited to get to know you more, pour through your blog, and see you at the conference! I'm amazed by your homeschooling - what patience, sacrifice and love that must take. So good to meet you!

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    1. It does indeed take patience and sacrifice. It has shown me just how little of that I have on my own, apart from Christ, and my desperate need for Him to live through me every single day. Lovely to meet you, too!!

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  9. Thank you for popping by my blog. I am so thankful for this sisterhood that I have found through the Influence Network. I am in awe of your girlfriend, at 20, to have done and be doing the things you are doing is amazing. The love of our Savior shines through you. I haven't decided about September yet but if I make it, I'd love to meet you.

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    1. My pleasure, Kerry. I would love to meet you too!
      Well, thank you. It is very encouraging to hear you say that. <3

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  10. Goodness girl! You are inspiring! I'm looking forward to meeting you in September!

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    1. Amanda.. thank you! So encouraging! See you in a few months. :)

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