The Influence Conference was started several years ago by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan. These two young women are God-inspired encouragers. They are avid bloggers/instagrammers. I took our son, William's girlfriend, Carolyn, to the conference. She is 24, living in New York, working with a creative agency, no children (yet!). Neither of us having a blog or beautiful, interesting products to sell, we considered ourselves the outliers. I was worried Carolyn would feel she had wasted her time, but her refreshing response was, "I am always excited to see different perspectives.”


Towards the end of the evening session on night 2 of the conference, Megan, Carolyn, and I found ourselves at a table with another young woman when I turned to her and introduced myself. Carolyn reached her hand over to greet our table mate who suddenly burst into tears. The session closed. Megan went up to her room to sleep (without her 2 and 5 year-olds to worry about!), while Carolyn and I found a quiet corner to minister to our new friend. The tears were all about a young mom who felt she had wasted her time and money getting a PhD. I mentioned that with a 2-year-old and a new baby, she was “in the weeds” but she had her whole life before her and there would be plenty of time to do all sorts of things – including using her hard earned education.  Carolyn, who is wise beyond her years, simply let Christ’s love shine right through her. We were an unusual trio but then God has some crazy ideas sometimes. I felt sure this connection, understanding and encouragement between women was happening all over that hotel.

So I want to recommend The Influence Network – check it out  They are doing so much to encourage women through classes which are podcasts, community groups, blog connections – even a book club (they send out tons of books for free J).  All of their efforts build God’s kingdom, woman to woman. It is very inspiring.