The Biggest Disappointment of the Conference Last Year

Wednesday morning I will leave for the Allume Conference – formerly named The Relevant Conference. I wrote the post below last year after the conference ended and it still speaks to right where I’m at now.  So here’s the repost…

Me with Ann right before we spoke on a panel about “Upside Down Blogging”.

There was one HUGE lesson God revealed to me during the Relevant Conference…

I’m a huge disappoinment and it’s time I embrace disappointing others – to the glory of God!

Let me explain.

The closing speaker for the Relevant Conference was my #1 favorite blog writer – Ann Voskamp of A Holy Experience {and author of the New York Times Best Seller for over 50 weeks in a row - One Thousand Gifts}. Her writing takes me to the throne of God each time I read it. I simply can’t get enough of her writing.

Previous to her closing session, I had shared the platform with Ann in a session titled “Upside Down Blogging“. I spoke about Genesis 11 and the tower of Babel. The men building the tower of Babel wanted to “make a name for themselves” and in God’s eyes this was wicked and brought judgement. As bloggers, this temptation to “make a name for ourselves” exists and we have to be so careful of this trap.

I also talked about Paul and Silas – when the jail doors fell open they stayed in the jail and the jailers family was saved! Opportunities have arisen this year for me – doors have flown open – but thus far I have stayed put believing that it is God’s will for me to stay right where I am at. But I’m not always so sure this is completely noble.

To be honest, I’m scared to death to put myself out there much more than I have on my blog…I fear that expectations may be too high – it raises the bar in every area of my life. From my marriage, to my parenting, to my homemaking – I feel pressure to not disappoint. And this fear of disappointing has caused me to stagnate.

Those closest to me in my real life – know I’m just Courtney…wierd, passionate, talkative Courtney…I have hurts, pains, problems, and fears just like everyone else…I say immature things. I say sinful things. I am SO flawed – the cross says I am flawed! Hallelujah for the cross!

Trust me, I’m a big disappointment in real life.

And so as I sat with pen in hand, ready to receive the message Ann had to share at the closing session of the Relevant Conference – this fearful, weary, wrestling mommy blogger found hope and tears stung as she spoke these words…

“You have been appointed to disappoint so you will point to the one who doesn’t disappoint.”

Did you catch that? It’s my calling!

This is my calling – to be a disappointment to the glory of God!

I am free! Free to be a big disappointment! Because it’s NOT about me – let me point you to who it’s ALL about – Jesus!

Here’s more from my notes that I wrote down that night:

There are no rock stars in blogging. God is our rock and we are all stars shining for him.

Jesus does not need our help to be famous.

Fame is the ugly world of over exaggeration.

Jesus rejected, retreated, and resisted fame. When he healed, he told them go and tell no one! He reteated from being crowned King. Jesus knew he would be used more with a crown of thorns than with a crown enthroned.

Be willing not to be esteemed but to be sacrificed.

Our method of ministry must be as counter cultural as our message is.

There’s a dark underbelly to blogging. Satan would want nothing more than to destroy us.

All the Christian bloggers united are thunder -we are signaling God is about to rain – rain on the wilderness of parched and dry souls. Since Jesus is the rain, we must be thankful people are reading at any blog.

And so I conclude, I am but thunder…I pray that when you come here, God rains on your soul. And when I post something unsettling, don’t answer your email (oh the guilt I carry for not answering your emails :( I just feel terrible I’ve disappointed so many in this way) or you meet me accidently in the supermarket (multiple times I’ve met strangers who are readers in stores) and my kids are standing on their heads lol!…I will remember I am but dust…you can’t expect too much out of dust (as Sally Clarkson says).

And I am learning to make peace with my new identity.

“I’ve been appointed to be a disappointment so I can point others to the one who will never disappoint.”

It’s my honor to be a disappointment to the glory of God!

_______________________________________________________

It’s exactly one year  since I wrote the above and my, how my heart needed to revisit these words.  Sometimes I meet women who say they’ve read my blog at the park, store, or church and I think…man, I bet she was so disappointed in the ‘real life’ me.  I mean I’m pretty underwhelming peeps.  Honestly, in real life, I talk faster than I think…I really am not a very profound person lol!   If anything I seem to put my foot in my mouth regularly. And I’ve come to a point in my life where when someone says they read my blog…instead of being thrilled (that used to be SO exciting to hear) I’m gripped with fear because I don’t want to disappoint.  I’ve become hypersensitive to my family’s flaws and I’ve had to remind myself to chill…it’s okay to be human…flawed…

Reading Ann’s words lifts the burden that I pridefully carry and reminds me this is all not about me! I have to keep pointing to the one who will never disappoint.  That’s my life long mission. 

So if you are one of the ones who has been disappointed, what’s more important is that you know and love the one who will never disappoint you – JESUS.  He loves you so!

Walk with the King,

 

 

 

Comments

  1. oh friend. Heard that same message. Thought those same thoughts. I’ve been with you in person and man is it fun!!! :) Can’t wait to see you Thursday! Thanks for the awesome reminder.

  2. Ahh, this is so refreshing and just what I needed to read tonight. Thank you Courtney, and I’m glad to know I’m not the only disappointment;)

  3. Yes and amen.

  4. This is so beautiful and so true and I so remember her words from last year after re-reading them. The problem is, I have forgotten them these months.

    The Allume conference is so packed with goodness, it could easily give you enough to keep you fed (and busy) for an entire year.

  5. Hey Courtney…just wanted to say this blog got my attention. I haven’t even started in earnest blogging because I have had just too much happening and can’t put pen to paper…perhaps I fear being a disappointment to myself and others…very encouraging word and will apply it..
    Thanks and hope one day to meet you girls at the conference one day all the way from Australia.

  6. I can understand (in a small, tiny way) that feeling of “Oh no, I’m going to disappoint” when someone expresses something positive or high expectations. Thank you for sharing. I read that post before, but it’s a nice reminder (as I prepare to head off to my very first blogging conference later this week!

  7. Thank you for this much-needed post! I am at the very beginning of this blogging adventure, and really appreciate this perspective. What a beautiful call to reflect only Him and His faithfulness.

  8. So nice to be reminded that if someone disappoints me or I disappoint someone that we all need to run to Jesus the one who never ever disappoints! Thanks so much for the reminder and for being vulnerable.

  9. Thank you for reposting. I needed to hear this at this season/stage in blogging. The notes taken at the session verbalized many of the things I’ve wrestled with this past year…thank you Courtney and Ann. Love and hugs.

  10. Oh Courtney, what a beautiful concept it is to realize that even when we disappoint He uses it for His glory over and over again. I have listened to Ann’s message from last year several times and it IS so timeless and inspiring! Looking forward to seeing you again this week at Allume. I just love your heart for Him and for others…thank you for that!

  11. Steffanie says:

    Courtney this is just what I needed this morning! The Lord knew I needed this encouragement and new perspective on my flaws. Just last night I felt like I was a huge disappointment to my boss, the parents of my students, and my students! I am in my second year of teaching at a private school and the adjustment has been really tough for me, but I make it tougher by always saying or emailing the wrong things!! I am so thankful that God still loves me in spite of my flaws and mistakes I seem to make over and over again. I hope and pray that my disappointments will point others to Christ and that they will see a change in me! Thank you Courtney!

  12. I didn’t even notice I struggled with this. Ahh, revelation. You’re not a dissappointment as much as you are an encouragement. I love watching you’re growth and I’ve only been subscribed for about a year. You’re transparency helps me to grow. Knowing that you aren’t perfect reminds me that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. It reminds me that where I am is where God wants me. I’ll be praying for you because I’ve struggled to be the best Christian around my unsaved friends so they can see a better side to Christ, but I’m bound to mess up and I can’t be hard on myself. God will redeem my mistakes and maybe even speak more strongly to others because of them. I’ve got to relax and keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. God bless you and your family! And thank you.

  13. What a great reminder Courtney!!

    I learned a lot from Ann last year, but I learned from you too…you are a gift to me and I am so grateful.

    Hugs~
    Mary
    http://www.marybonner.net

  14. Amanda Cross says:

    Courtney, I just love you sister in Christ…flaws and all. I’ve never met you in person, but God has used Good Morning Girls to radically change my life. I have been a believer in Jesus for 21 years, but it wasn’t until last earlier this year that I have been in God’s Word every single day. A lot of this has been due to studying with Good Morning Girls. I have studied Ephesians, Proverbs, and now Colossians. I also try to read at least a chapter a day in my Bible reading. Getting God’s Word inside of me has been the most healing thing that I could have ever done. I have experienced panic attacks and anxiety for a good portion of my life. I have spent years trying to look for the answer to these problems. I have prayed to the Lord asking Him why He would even allow me to experience these things. Since being in God’s Word everyday, I haven’t been thinking like I used to. My mind is being renewed. My heart is filled with truth. I don’t stay up at night wondering and worrying. I am still a work in progress, but I am brand new. It pains me that I have spent so much of my life not reading God’s Word. I often felt good about myself for reading one verse a day, but then I would go weeks at a time without being in His Word. My soul was hungry. I was settling for snacks when I should’ve been feasting. I am so thankful to the Lord for using your blog to get me into His Word.

  15. Courtney, you are such an inspiration! Your heart is humble and that’s a good thing! If you were not, you couldn’t be a beacon to lead others to Christ…and that’s what your true purpose is. By acknowledging your weaknesses, we can identify with you, because we are also imperfect creatures.

    It must truly be difficult to share so much of yourself and know that others are watching and judging…I have the same fears (on a smaller scale since I don’t have so many readers :-) but just keep on doing what you do Courtney…God is using you to reach so many and I’m sure He’s doing a happy dance when He sees how much effort you put into it.

    God bless and thank you for all that you do!

  16. Courtney, this is such a good message you should schedule it now for this time next year. It is a good wake up call!

  17. Auntie Em says:

    What a great reminder for us “recovering perfectionists!” Thanks so much, friend!

  18. Oh my goodness! This is SO what I needed to hear. When I read Ann’s book last year, it inspired me to finally write the book that has been in my heart for years but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone ( the readers, the people who I wrote about, etc) so I have left it in my notebook and computer instead of sharing it BUT in the past 3 weeks, it has been yelling to get out so I have been working on getting it finalized. The disappointments of my life MAY help someone see that Jesus is always there and He will never let them down…He hasn’t ever failed me!
    I would soooo love to be at the Allume Conference with y’all but couldn’t work it into my schedule. Maybe next year! Have fun & be blessed!

  19. Thank you so much for this blog and your studies. As a pastors wife I understand your blog today more than you will understand. Kudos and blessings to your “unperfect” family.

  20. ~*~Jennifer~*~ says:

    “It’s my honor to be a disappointment to the glory of God!”

    I’m posting that on my FRIDGE!!! LOL What a joy to read today – if people have expectations… that’s their deal. :)

    Thank You! Just the encouragement I needed today – thank you for being a channel for the Holy Spirit to speak to me this morning.

  21. Courtney,
    Thank you so much for sharing consistently what God has laid on your heart! And thank you for being “real”. You are such a blessing!

  22. Carissa Huffman says:

    Courtney–

    The fact that you can be go gut-honest is part of what makes your blog such a blessing to me. I am BEYOND flawed–I am not a good housekeeper at all, I get snippy with my good hubby and son too much, I fail to do things I know I should do. Thankfully, I am a work in progress–imperfect progress, but, hopefully, still heading in the right direction!

    Thank you for pointing me, again and again, to the One who gives us such hope–without Him we can do nothing good.

    MANY blessings!

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  23. Ahhhh…this was so refreshing and encouraging. Thank you for sharing your heart, being transparent. And hey, we love you for who you are in Christ! Don’t worry about what others, just what Jesus will think. His opinion is the only one that matters. I love how you said that we are not to make a name for ourselves on our blogs. It just reminded me that we are serving the Lord with our blogs, it’s a ministry in itself. We need to glorify the Lord in our blogs as well. It’s not about how many people follow us, or can them to our blog, or entice them. Even if it’s for that one person that needs to hear about Jesus, and if that’s who it’s for then its all worth it. I think sometimes we can get carried away and forget who we are serving in our blogs. So this is a great reminder. Have a blessed time at Allume, I’ll be praying for you sisters. God bless.
    By His Grace,
    Adrienne R

  24. I hear you sister. It can be difficult to keep the popularity bug at bay. I really don’t care if people like what I have to say, well let me clarify….I do care. It’s God’s word so I do care if they take it to heart, but sometimes I feel like other people think that I get too heavy. It’s God’s words not mine…so I just plod on because I would rather walk the path that he sets before me than walk my own for popularity’s sake! Keep on sayin’ what you say! It’s okay to be imperfect!

  25. You have blessed my soul this morning Courtney – thank you for being a vessel and making sure we all understand that it’s not about you, it’s not about me…. it’s about the ONE who NEVER disappoints!!! I love you my sister!! One day, I do hope to meet you and squeeze your precious neck!!! :o)

  26. Rosemarie says:

    Courtney you are truly an inspiration for me and so many other women today. I wanted to leave you with this: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7 Did you see it? NO FLAW!! You are PRECIOUS to all of us and soooooo very much to our LORD. God bless!!

  27. Melissa Keaster says:

    What a wonderful post, and so relatable. Thank you for sharing your heart in your old post, and encouraging this mommy this morning. God bless you with His presence today!

  28. Don’t you understand that your “real” helps to topple the pedestals that littler bloggers like me put you and others on without even being aware of it? It’s not so much because of what you have accomplished, but because of the hope and encouragement that we find. If I met you, and you were having a not perfect hair day, or your kids were acting crazy, or you were flustered because they were out of the one thing that you went to the store for — it would just make me realize even more that we truly are in this altogether, and that you and I are sisters, simply because of the shared faith in our Redeemer.

    So — not only is it your calling to fail, to flounder and to disappoint sometimes … it isn’t always disappointing, but refreshing, and encouraging.
    :)

    Have a wonderful time!

  29. Thank you for sharing this!
    I seem to be able to express my heart better with written word than verbally. As I’ve been preparing for my first time at Allume, the fear that I will not be what others have imagined me to be sneaks in. That when I speak it won’t match the way my soul writes.
    These words are freeing. Thank you!

  30. Oh, Courtney! I so needed to read this post today! Please pray for me that I, too, will get to the point that I am free to be a big disappointment to the glory of God. I mean…I am a big disappointment…I think to just about anyone who knows me, but I’m not to the point that I am free to be okay with that. I, too, am SO flawed! I am gripped with fear on every front, am afraid to move forward in any area and, in being so, have become stagnant in almost every area of life, am hypersensitive to the flaws of my family (and point them out on a daily basis), and, overall, am just a general mess all the way around. I so want to be a disappointment to the glory of God! Pray for me that I will be able to lay aside my pride and just be *me*…flaws and all. Thank you so much for sharing this post today. It really, REALLY means a lot and was quite timely! And, by the way, I love Ann and her writing, too! She’s such a blessing! Thanks, again! <3

  31. Courtney….you are a breath of fresh air! I have fellow Christian girlfriends to talk to but I don’t feel like they get me. It might sound weird but I feel like you get me! We are a lot alike….your joy, excitement, love for people, life, and you hit it on the head when you said in this post that you talk faster than you speak. That is TOTALLY me! You are just SUCH an inspiration and daily I look forward to reading your daily emails and watching your videos. The Lord works through you and the other girls and bless my heart so much! Keep walking with the King!

    Hugs from one sister to another…
    Jillian

  32. Thank you, Courtney, for having the faith & courage to be so open & transparent. What a blessing it is to hear from other Christian women who are answering God’s call for us to step up and share with such an honest heart and humble spirit. I was blessed and encouraged by your words. Thank you.

  33. This is what my heart needed to hear today. This is totally an area I’m struggling through. I’m terrified at the thought of disappointing others, but I’m learning that it’s not about not disappointing others, because its not about me. This post was a huge encouragement. Thank you for sharing!

  34. I read this last year and was challenged by it then! Feeling the same thing now and so excited to be going to Allume this year! Keep being you- it is exactly what God wants to use.

  35. Pam Woods says:

    I just love what you said today, Courtney. We just started a ladies communion/sharing/prayer group in our church and I was feeling so out of my depth, so concerned about disappointing someone and did I measure up in starting this group. I have to keep reminding myself ALL THE TIME that it’s not about me, but it’s about God, all things are for His Glory and expanding His Kingdom. I’m so glad for your examples in your post – that was very helpful for me. I’m grateful for your openness, your honesty and your willingness to share exactly where you are. I feel like God is moving me very FAST and I’m not sure if I can keep up!!! I have all these fears from my people-pleasing/perfectionistic/controlling ways and know that God is removing the layers but still feel sometimes that I just don’t measure up. And maybe that’s OK… and a good place to be – ’cause really, I’ll never measure up. So… I’m glad to know that my goal is to disappoint and not measure up! Very greateful!

  36. Courtney you are truly a blessing. I have followed your blog for a few years now and your blog is what got me started with the good morning girls studies. I have done 4 or 5 of those. I have recommended your blog and the GMG studies to many. They have helped me so much in my walk. Keep doing what you are doing. Your honesty and transparency in your posts and videos is what makes it so….wonderful! I have learned so much and I see Jesus in you. Thank you for posting this. I needed to read this today. Have a great time at the conference and God bless you and your family.

  37. Beautiful!

  38. Interesting post and something to think about. Of course I have been aware that Satan will use anything to destroy me, and I have been cautious about not allowing my blog to be more important than the message and the man who gave the message. I think we always have to take stock, and see if we are still in line with God’s purpose for our blog, and be ready to give it up, if not. Blogging for me is all about “selling” my hero. Hopefully that’s what I’ve been doing, not so subtly, I suppose! Thank you for being honest and vulnerable. I have not been able to put myself really out there and I think that’s what my blog lacks, a more personal touch. :^)

  39. I just love the message from you and Ann. We will never be enough. We will always have flaws, but when we are weak, He is strong. We’re just broken vessels wanting to be used by Him. Thanks for sharing this again. Have a blessed time at the conference. I pray that many will minister TO YOU!

  40. Courtney. I don’t know if you will read this or not. But, I read this post yesterday. And I have read it twice today. I don’t know why. But I do have something to tell you from me. Personally me. I read a lot of blogs every day. I have them in a folder in my favorites and every day, I go down the list. I read all these amazing blogs from amazing people and as I’m reading, I know that I pick these people to read because they aren’t perfect. They are just like me.
    So to sum it up for you… I read your blog because you aren’t perfect. If you were perfect, I wouldn’t get anything out of reading your blog.
    I hope this helps. I know that I’m a confusing person. I’m trying to learn to simplify myself. It’s hard to do sometimes. But, God bless you and your family and thank you for all that you do! Thank you for ‘being normal’! :)

  41. Can’t wait to meet you at Allume just normal you:) We are all human and blundering along, glad I’m not the only one who thinks her calling is to ‘fall short.’

  42. “Honestly, in real life, I talk faster than I think…I really am not a very profound person lol! If anything I seem to put my foot in my mouth regularly.”

    Me too!! Here I’ve wanted to be a writer almost my whole life and in face-to-face conversation, I’m really not that great!

    I loved Ann’s book when I read it earlier this year. It became the catalyst for change in my spiritual life (along with my next non-fiction read of 2012, Not a Fan). Thanks for sharing this message again so we can all be blessed by Ann’s words and how they’ve impacted you. :)

I love hearing what is on your heart.

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