How To Really Prepare For A (Christian) Conference

Posted by on October 20, 2012 in Allume, Community, Faith, Prayer | 65 comments

To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. Proverbs 16:1

This time next week, I’ll be frantically preparing for Allume. Leaving behind four little people and a husband is no easy thing, and undoubtedly, no matter how many times I check and re-check my lists, I will probably forget something, and remember it about halfway to Pennsylvania.

That’s what always happens, isn’t it? Well, maybe it’s just me…

I’ve been thinking a lot about what this trip means for me this year. After my experience last year, I know better about what to bring, and what not to bother with, I know about saving room for swag, and organizing the business cards I will receive. I know about making sure to stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes. I know better than to plan on catching up on missed sleep.

I know it’s ok to eat cupcakes at midnight with girlfriends, even though I never do that sort of craziness here at home.

Lessons learned

Last year, when I set off for the (then) Relevant Conference, there was a whole lot I didn’t know–like why God was even sending me in the first place. I remember praying the whole plane ride there asking God to help me to receive whatever the message was He wanted me to take away. I remember thanking Him profusely for the ways He kept opening door after door, and ushering me into that new season.

And now between scheduling a haircut, planning activities for the kids in my absence, making sure everyone here will have clean clothes, and scanning the closet for my own suitable conference attire, I keep hearing this one nagging thought regarding prepping for the conference, and it’s this:

Prepare your heart.

I’ll be a veteran this year at Allume, and though they’ll be many “firsts” for me to experience, I have learned one thing–God doesn’t really care about what we’re wearing on the outside at the conference. God’s got bigger plans than whether of not those knee-high brown boots will work with that skirt, or if that turquios bobble necklace is too trendy.

You’re going to meet people you’ve never met at Allume. You’re going to have dinner conversations with people that will break down the dam in your heart and your going to find a community of women who love and encourage you. Your going to be a shoulder for your new friend to lean on, and you might even find you need a shoulder too.

Prepare your heart.

Someone is going to say something to you that changes the entire course of your blogging, or even more, your life.

God’s going to show up and remind you that He’s in control, and that you can stockpile all the brilliant advice you want in that social media session but ultimately, it’s going to come down to one thing–Jesus.

Prepare your heart.

Last year, I met some amazing friends. I felt comfortable in my dresses, I took some good notes, and a few great photo’s. I came home full, refreshed, invigorated–and God turned me inside out.

Yes, get your hair done, get a manicure, try on twenty-five outfits–fine, yes, I get it. But seriously–prepare your heart.

This is no ordinary conference. God is no ordinary God.

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground;

for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

Are you going to Allume? How are you preparing for the conference? Let’s chat about it below in the comments, shall we? Oh, and if you are going, please let me know so I can look for you!

 

 

  • Julie Anne

    Thank you for the beautiful inspiration! I am new to Allume, and coming to “watch and listen” for God’s leading. I greatly appreciate the encouragement to prepare my heart above all else. Makes me much less nervous – thank you!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      I hope I get to meet you there, Julie. So thankful this encouraged you!! That’s all God!

  • http://www.mercyfoundme.com/ Jacque Watkins

    BEAUTIFUL!! I’m preparing… and I’ll see you there, my friend!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Looking forward to seeing you again, Jaque! What a year it has been, eh? So much has happened since last conference ;)

  • christie elkins.

    “Someone is going to say something to you that changes the entire course of your blogging, or even more, your life.” Chills, friend. Chills. I am an Allume newbie, and so beyond excited to finally meet you in person!! One. More. Week. :)

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Squeee!! Can’t wait, Christie!

  • http://youaremygirls.com/ Jennifer Camp

    Such good wisdom! So excited to meet you face to face soon! :)

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Yes, Jennifer! Looking forward to catching up with you there!!

  • http://memyselfandmercy.blogspot.com/ Mary Bonner

    Spot on girlfriend! Beautiful and wise words…so looking forward to meeting you in person!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Indeed! We will make sure to meet up! I am just thrilled!

  • http://twitter.com/ChristinWrites Christin

    You are so right…because although this appears to be something we are attending for US, it really isn’t about us at all!

    We need to tap into what God wants for us there–how does he want to use YOU (me?). We get one shot to make a different in the life of someone face to face who needs our encouragement or listening ear.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      It isn’t about us at all. That’s it. That’s the truth right there! Looking forward to seeing you again, my friend!!

  • http://ourgoodfamily.org/ Aurie Good

    Sweet friend – you have captured what’s been bugging me! I want to hear His voice, but kept getting distracted by my to-do list. Praying that He will open all our ears and that we will hear His voice and then follow His call.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Aurie- I am confident that you will hear His voice, and know that He is with you, directing your steps. Looking forward to that hug!!

  • http://crystalstine.blogspot.com/ Crystal

    I’ve actually planned time in my schedule next weekend to skip a session so I can go do whatever it is God wants me to do. Nap, pray, grab coffee one-on-one with a new friend….just not be “busy” the whole time :)

    • http://hissongtomeshalom.blogspot.com/ Mandy

      What a great idea, Crystal! I’m going to keep that in mind. Thanks:)

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      I am probably going to do this as well. At one point last year I slipped away by myself to Chilis for a solo lunch, just me and my journal, and it was a really great hour to unpack some of what was happening. Can’t wait to meet you!

  • http://www.inspiredtoaction.com/ Kat @ Inspired To Action

    Well said Kris!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Thanks, Kat! See you SOON!

  • http://twitter.com/makeroomfor Tracey

    This is my third year and I know to go “expecting”, and it’s never what I think it’s going to be. Always better. Just like Him.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Always better–Amen! God is so good~

  • http://twitter.com/kalynbr00ke KalynBrooke

    This is my first time going and I am really nervous, but I can’t wait to see what God has planned.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      It will be a great time, Kalyn. Enjoy it my friend, and please say hi if you see me!

  • http://www.permissiontoperuse.com/ Amy Bennett

    Thank you for this! I really hope God does show up in between all my angst about my teal bubble necklace. I’m shallow and weak but I hope He is willing to break though and let me hear the REAL stuff. Thanks for the reminder that the most important thing to prepare is my heart!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Amy- I am certain He’ll show up. Praying you hear Him and that your heart would be pliable to His shaping. It’s going to be awesome.

  • http://www.ShineSisterShine.blogspot.com/ Nellie

    Thank you for this post. I am a new blogger and bombard myself with thoughts of “why am I even going”. I have laid down my expectations and I am amazed already at the path that God has led me down in the past couple of weeks. I will definitely enter this journey with the words “Prepare My Heart”. Thanks again your post is helping me to focus on keeping a peaceful heart.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      So thankful, Nellie!

  • Katie

    YES! This morning the Lord really spoke to me in my prayer time, that I should be preparing my heart better for what he has to say to me. Thank you for the confirmation! Can’t wait!!!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      I love it when that happens!!

  • Jessica

    Blessings to you for this…really…I needed to be reminded. Can’t wait to encounter Jesus alongside you next week.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Yes, and amen. I am so eager to hear what He has to say.

  • Elizabeth

    So I am grieving that I am not attending. Grieving what I will miss.

    So take good notes, and take me along, and send me tweets and maybe skype me in your p.j.’s.

    I am celebrating my best friend’s birthday. Her 60th. And yes she is a wee bit older but we are long friends, deep friends, accountability partners….so I couldn’t not be with her.

    But my heart is torn.
    So carry me along and I will share in your joy and pray for your time and wait for your return, friends.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Elizabeth- what a good friend you are. I think that is such a special reason to stay back. Your time with your friend will be a blessed occasion, and I will take notes and happily share what I know. In many ways. this entire year of blogging has been the long version of lessons learned since Relevant last year…. Hugs to you, my friend.

  • http://twitter.com/MelanieGillgris Melanie Gillgrist

    Great words, and perfect timing for me. My son is about to head to afternoon kindergarten and was deciding what to do with my couple of hours- shop for new pjs or prepare my heart. And this affirmed what was stirring in my soul.
    I’ll still look for the pjs, but today God is calling me to him.
    Looking forward to my first conference next week!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      A heart full of Jesus and some new Pj’s too, both can happen, one will make all the difference in the world! ;)

  • Aprille

    not going to Allume but another international ladies conference first week of Nov. Very timely. Thanks!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Be blessed, Aprille.

  • http://twitter.com/AleyshaProctor Aleysha Proctor

    Hello Kris, your post is beautiful. I will be at Allume, it will be my first Allume conference, and I’m excited about it. I’ve gone to other blogging conferences and well as Christian retreats, and I’m thinking that this conference will be a combination of the two.
    It’s wonderful to connect with other bloggers, writers and authors for Christ!
    I’ll see you soon,
    Aleysha

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      See you there, new friend! I pray you enjoy yourself! I think you will… ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/victoria.mininger Victoria Gomez Mininger

    Thank you for your post Kris. As a first time Allume attendee I have to say I am nervous and excited. This conference literally came to my attention last week and I immediately felt like I was supposed to attend, even though it was sold out. I was not sure all the reasons why but felt that God wanted to use this conference in a powerful way. I shared the information with my husband and he immediately had the same “Yes and Amen” in his spirit that I did. The Lord has brought it all together, tickets and a room, and I look forward to this next weekend together. This post has helped to put my heart to rest as I prepare to come – so thank you once again for sharing.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      What a story, Victoria! No doubt God has a message you need to hear there, or perhaps one you need to share…. Praising Him with you!

  • Cherry Warrick

    Visiting from Work in Progress Wednesday – yes, the most important part is prepare the heart. So thankful for our God who cares most about the heart.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Yes! Amen!

  • http://annieathome.com Annie | annieathome.com

    Yes & Amen! Loved this! Can’t wait to see you, Kris.

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      It’s obnoxious how excited am to see you and share my room with you. Really, it’s quite embarassing. Can. Not. Wait. XXOO

  • http://hissongtomeshalom.blogspot.com/ Mandy

    This is wonderful Kris. I’m a newbie, and your words here really resonate with me. Thank you!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      So glad, Mandy! That’s such a blessing to hear!

  • http://www.dianadenis.com/ Diana Denis

    You’re singing my song here Kris. It took some time to respond because i was having a moment with Him. :-)
    I had my eye on Allume in the Spring but didn’t know anyone til much later so I delayed in signing up. This Summer, when I decided to buy a ticket, I was locked out. Then, the same day I boohoo’d about it on Twitter I got a ticket. I KNOW that He has something planned for ME. My heart is prepared…now all I need is to buy pj’s (in case that FMFParty turns into a pajama party). So blessed, a little overwhelmed emotionally, and thrilled about hearing your audible “voice”. I guess it’s true, I am highly favored. #selah

  • http://www.GodCenteredMom.com Heather MacFadyen

    oh yes! hearing the same message…prepare my heart. I don’t even think I’ll get a haircut “in” before next week, but it will be okay b/c I’m “over the moon” excited to see what He has for me. I know the women present care more about my heart than my hair. you are a treasure.

  • http://educatinglaytons.com/ steflayton

    YES! Not attending this year but the previous two years I went with a prayer “GOD – show yourself to me” I wanted Him there and kept praying that before, on the plane, during the conference … and HE DID NOT DISAPPOINT!

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Will miss seeing you! And yes, God never dissapoints us!! He’s so good!!

  • http://www.servingjoyfully.com/ Crystal

    Love this!! (And judging from the number of comments, it has resonated with a lot of people!) Thanks for sharing.

  • TereasaM

    Thank you sooooo much. Thank you. Really.

  • http://www.funkiplanet.com/ Debi Stangeland

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been feeling the same way. Yes, there are practical things to get done but it’s the heart prep that is most important. I’m excited to attend this year and yes, I did get a haircut and have a nail appt. for Friday but I’m working hard at prepping my heart and mind too. I look forward to meeting you next week!

  • Kelley_WithEagerHands

    Love this post! And yes, I totally agree! For me it is sooo strange…I am a very extroverted person, but the conference last year totally took me out of my comfort zone…I loved it, but it, yeah, it rocked my world a little…I’m actually a little nervous about going this year…but I KNOW God wants me there…I honestly have no clue why! lol! My little, still scraping to get off the ground blog…I don’t get it, but I know I prayed and prayed and prayed some more about going both years, and there was a point both years I didn’t think I would be able to go…and then God came through with more than flying colors, walked with me, and made it clear that his will would not be shaken. :D Can’t wait to see you there!!!

  • http://twitter.com/tereneal Teresa

    Thank you so much for this post. I will be at Allume. It will be my first time. I am nervous. I do not know anyone in real life that is going, so I have had all of the fears of being an 401st wheel or not having a dinner table to sit at, looking goofy, oversharing when I share (unfortunately I can kill small talk by going too deep like a pro), looking too fat (my current issue to let go of) I think I should stop there. I am very new at blogging, so I have no following to ‘meet up with’. But, I have read heart felt posts from so many attending, have had my heart and life blessed, and have been turn towards Jesus by the words of so many attending. Does it sound like I am nervous? But your words to not focus on the nervous and focus on Jesus. Thank you

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Teresa,

      I’m so glad you stopped by to comment. Please, by all means, come and meet up with us here: http://fiveminutefridayallume.eventbrite.com
      we will all be meeting up in the (in)courage lounge to write and party together. The group of women attending this meet up will be the warmest bunch you’ll ever meet!

      PS: if you do attend that meet up, please say “hi” I’d love to meet you!

      • http://twitter.com/tereneal Teresa

        Thank you.

  • Sarah Caldwell

    I LOVE this post! I’m hoping to meet you at the conference–your blog is so lovely! :) (And your instagram photos :) Being a performer, I’m used to being extroverted and outgoing…but a blogging conference is such new territory for me! :) I appreciate your pointers,and hope to meet you next week! :)

  • Alexandra Kuykendall

    Hi Kris,

    Your MOPS connection caught my eye. I’d love to meet you this weekend. Don’t know if you can find me in the crowd. I’ll be wearing the cute knee-high boots ;).

    • http://alwaysalleluia.com/ Kris Camealy

      Ha! I think there will be lots of pairs of knee high boots walking around–I will be at the #fmfparty meet up thursday night and the Hello Mornings meet up Friday mornings (early) any chance you will be at one of those? FI not, please do stop me if you see me! I’d love to meet you! ;)

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  • MomLaurM

    I am looking for those words from him to change my course…because I do not want to pursue this if he does not have it for me.

  • KristenCelebrateEveryDayWithMe

    Thanks for the encouraging words! I am so excited about going for my first Allume.

  • http://www.tammyhelfrich.com/ Tammy Helfrich

    What a great post. I agree that if we are open, God speaks to us in amazing ways at conferences and when we are surrounded by others with open hearts. Have a great time. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

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  • http://profiles.google.com/kddenfeld Kathi Denfeld

    It really did feel like it was all about community, didn’t it? So glad to have met you. I’m looking forward to watching all the relationships grow in the months ahead.