The Pursuit Conference… Where do I begin? For the past three years, I’ve had so many friends attend and all I ever heard were good things. But anyone who knows me knows I usually don’t spend my money on conferences or workshops. They always look SO fun but when you look at the cost, you realize it isn’t as simple as signing up. It was April 2015 and my friend Megan, who makes many appearances on my blog, had just signed up and was trying to get me to go. But I didn’t want to fork over the money. We were texting back and forth and after I told her I thought it was a little expensive, she said something to me that I’ll never forget. She said, “If you are always holding onto your money, what good does it do? Where does it take you?” MIC DROP. It was in that moment that I realized life was full of so much more than a good-looking bank account. I was missing out on things because I was always worried I’d need the money for a repair or rent or a new computer.
So I nervously signed up for my first conference ever. Since we signed up in April 2015, a whole year went by before the conference finally came. I had been so busy the week before the conference that I had a hard time getting excited about it and I honestly was a little uncomfortable driving onto that college campus Monday afternoon. I hadn’t been involved in the online Facebook group much, I didn’t know the schedule, and I wasn’t even sure of who the speakers were. Call me crazy but life has been a little hectic lately. What I did know was that there were going to be over one hundred women there and I only knew a select few. That scared me and normally I’m pretty good at pushing anxiety away but this time, I couldn’t. To be honest, I feared not fitting in. But in the back of my head, I kept telling myself that it’s not always about me and maybe my purpose was more in loving the people there than feeling loved myself.
By Thursday morning when we were leaving, Winshape felt like home and I could easily have talked to any one of the women on that campus. I definitely felt loved. Everyone was so welcoming and the speakers rocked my world! Hearing Mary Marantz’s talk blew me away and left me in tears sitting on the pew in that auditorium. In Mary’s talk, she shared about dirt and how when an acorn is planted, it must go down into the dirt before it rises up and creates a tree full of branches, shade, and other acorns. From ONE acorn, a tree grows and creates thousands of new acorns and the cycle repeats and the trees multiply. We all come from some sort of dirt but God makes beautiful things out of that dirt. He has entrusted us to love those around us and create a scene just like that of the oak tree.
So with that, here are a few photos! I brought my film camera along and shot all of these on the Pentax 645N with both Portra 400 and Fuji 400H! Sadly I didn’t have my camera with me much so I didn’t get to capture all the beautiful friends I made but you’ll just have to trust that they exist! 🙂