Your Story is Worth Sharing: Get Your FREE Pass to the 2014 {in}Real Life Conference

If you frequent this blog much, you probably know already how strongly I feel about sharing stories of mommyhood, womanhood and, well, basically, HUMANHOOD. Each person’s story is a powerful tool. So powerful, in fact, that I believe they can change the world. Not only are they heartwarming, encouraging and inspirational, but they evoke a sense of camaraderie, of community. They help us know that no matter what hardships or joy we experience, we are not alone. Someone, whether next door or across the globe has gone through something similar. But most importantly, our stories are visible proof that God is working through every situation in our lives.

I know how hard it is to be real like that. I mean, be really REAL. There is very little else that exposes your vulnerability like telling your story. And when we are real, raw and open like that, it is easy to be self-conscious and worry about being judged or even receiving backlash. Especially for those of us who have spent most of our lives worrying about what others think of us. I was just talking with someone last week who was hesitant about sharing her story on M2M and she put it so perfectly when she said, “It forces me to be vulnerable in a way that I try to avoid at all costs.”
For me writing is therapy. An outlet for the swirls and torrents of thoughts, feelings and emotions trapped in my brain. I can tell when days or weeks have gone by without writing because I get this panicky irritability and sense of chaos inside until I can get it all out of my head and onto paper or the computer screen. As the jumbles of words and emotions spew out of me through my pen or keypad, I am able to sort through and compartmentalize them, one by one. Gradually, a sense of peace, contentment and a plan for the future begins to emerge and I can feel like I am sane again.
It’s been like this all my life. I started a journal in 5th grade and now, decades (and VOLUMES of journals) later, I haven’t stopped. When I was in high school, I romantically imagined that some day when I am long gone, my granddaughter or great granddaughter would inherit them and read them like novels. That is, until I reread them myself for researching books and writing projects a couple years back. And I was AGHAST at what I put on paper during my young adult years. I don’t want ANYONE to read those, I thought. In those journals are the raw, emotional rantings of a rebellious young woman trying on the language and behaviors of an adult. And it is UGLY. But in its ugliness is also truth and real life. My life. And the lives of many other young women who have experienced similar things. I never realized that until I opened myself up to tell my own story, as raw and vulnerable as it is. And instead of being attacked with criticism and judgment (okay, there were a few of those), I have been met with so much grace, understanding and the open arms and tears of camaraderie. Telling my story has helped other women be able to sort through their pasts, make peace with their demons and eventually come to a place where they can share their stories as well. And when they tell their stories, they positively impact and encourage even more women to find healing and share their stories and on and on it goes!

That is why I do what I do. That is why I started Made to Mother. I am so passionate about hearing and telling real women’s REAL stories. Your story is worth sharing! In fact, we need it! They help us feel like we are not alone and they help us move past our painful pasts to heal and grow. Which is why I am so excited to invite you to be a part of the 2014 {in}Real Life conference, hosted April 25 and 26 by {in}courage that has also take on the theme of “Tell Your Story.”

(in)RL was born out of two years spent listening to women craving local, real life community. Derived from the social media acronym “IRL” or “in real    life,” (in)RL is an invitation to share what {in}courage has learned about community and encourage women with stories and suggestions for connecting deeper in real life.

It’s unique because instead of asking you to pay for plane tickets and hotel rooms to travel to a hugely expensive conference, they bring all the content to you. FOR FREE. There’s a webcast to tune into and a day of real life meet-ups with other local (in)courage readers.

In 2012, over 1,700 women participated and in 2013, there were over 6,000 women from more than 20 countries!

(in)RL is the combination of outstanding online content that encourages, moves and inspires women as they watch in the comfort of their own homes and local meet-ups where small becomes the new big and women connect, in person, beyond the comment box. Think of it as a girl’s weekend away that doesn’t require packing or plane tickets, where women can kick off any expectation of perfect, set aside their fears, their shyness, their worry that they’re not good enough, and find some of Jesus’ words of rest woven into every video shared here.

The (in)RL webcast kicks off on Friday, April 25 and (in)RL meetups follow on Saturday, April 26. They’ll provide video content on the importance of sharing our stories.

Ready to sign up? Register here. Then find your city location and join a Meetup! Or start one yourself.

Your story is worth sharing! Get ready to tell it and hear many others’. Step through the blog posts and into real lives – on April 25-26 and beyond. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of connecting (in)courage in real life!


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6 thoughts on “Your Story is Worth Sharing: Get Your FREE Pass to the 2014 {in}Real Life Conference

  1. Oh wow, I did not know about this. How cool! I will have to look into it and how fun to connect IRL with other bloggers! Thanks for being so transparent and sharing a bit of your story. You never know who will read your story and recognize themselves in it and suddenly they don’t feel so alone! As you said, we all need each other. Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

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