What I Learned at The Relevant Conference

All the speakers and creators of Relevant together!

Yesterday I shared some of the fun moments of The Relevant ConferenceMy roomies and I laughed till we cried and cried till we laughed.  And I feel like my cup was filled up and I’m ready to overflow once again. 

The two ladies (outside of my roommates) who impacted me most at Relevant were Sally Clarkson and Ann Voskamp.  Today I’ll talk about Sally – and later this week Ann – I am still pondering so much of what I learned from her – I’m just not sure I can put it into words yet.

Sweet, soothing, Sally!  The first morning I was there she invited me to her room to talk one on one for an hour.  When I arrived to her hotel room there was soft music playing, with candles lit, little chocolates on the table and rich reading books around.  She invited me to sit on her couch and we cut to the chase and went deep immediately.  When we came up for air – a few of my friends joined me in her room for another hour of talking and sharing ideas and ideals together.  Later that week, I would attend her tea party, sit on a panel beside her to speak (what an honor) and take notes as she spoke in the banquet room.

Here are some “Sally quotes” I jotted down in my notebook:

“There’s always a cost for conformity.”  She used Israel and their desire for a king as an example.

“You can’t listen to the voice of the world and live a radical life.” Amen!

“Give God access to your brain…be in the word!”

“Like building a home, once the foundation (of your children’s lives) are bad, they are bad forever – build foundations now.”

“God has granted you a portion/cup to be a steward over – drink your cup!”

There are consequences for not having faith – you will not get to see God do miracles!”

The fear of man brings a snare.”

God is mindful we are just dust – we can’t expect too much from dust.”

“I’ve learned to not panic.” lol!   

And my favorite:

“God’s will is not something hidden that needs to be found; it is something revealed that waits to be done.”

 Do any of these quotes speak to you?  Which one?  Consider passing them on to friends in the form of a tweet or Facebook status :)! Maybe it will encourage one of your sisters in Christ today!

Walk with the King!



  1. i cannot wait to hear more about your time at your conference.
    i am waiting for Ann’s book to come in the mail. i have been wanting to read it for months, but haven’t got around to it. i will the minute it arrives. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing:) “Like building a home, once the foundation (of your children’s lives) are bad, they are bad forever – build foundations now.”

    As a mother to 7 little girls, my heart and prayer is to shine like Christ would want me to shine. Some days are harder then others to do this. When I have bad days I need to remember this. We are shaping are children now and they hear and see everything we do.

    Thanks for the great reminder,

    I agree with you what a great thing to remember “God’s will is not something hidden that needs to be found; it is something revealed that waits to be done.”


  3. I talked about the conference in my blog…sad that I cannot go (from the UK!), but so happy for you all, that you were so greatly blessed, and are now blessing ME by sharing what you learned! My friend hoped I was going to suggest doing a UK conference, but I don’t think there are as many British, Christian bloggers that could make a conference work! Plus, we realised that many of the blogs we follow are…in the USA lol And, I doubt you guys could make it over here! So, we are blessed and thankful that you are sharing with us! I loved the quotes about faith and miracles, and the one about God’s will. I hear soooo many ladies saying “I am praying to know God’s will”, when the scriptures show us VERY clearly what God’s will IS about the subject, and we just need to obey. Some people are praying for a get out clause, really! ….keep the sharing coming! 🙂

  4. I love the “there’s always a cost for conformity” quote! As Christians it is so easy for us to conform and “give a little” towards the ways of the world–and it is especially easy to do on our blogs! It’s great to get encouragement from other Christian sisters that we are not alone! 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for sharing…the photos are beautiful…
    What an amazing blessing for you all…God is so good!
    To have that sweet fellowship with sisters in Christ is priceless!

    May God continue using all of you, for His purposes!

  6. I loved all of the quotes and planning on using them…I had a little problem with the foundation foreverone. Our God is a redeemer of even bad foundations….

  7. I love give God access to your brain…be in the Word. I always ask my friends who say that they just pray and pray and pray if they are in the Word. Many say well….a little or on Sunday, I tell them that by praying and not reading the Word it’s like calling God on the phone and talking , talking talking and talking and hanging up the phone without letting Him say anything back.

  8. Oh how my mama heart needed to hear from Sally this weekend! Loved our tea time on Friday. She blessed my heart.

    This is the one that got me ”
    * If you are really going to have a ministry you have to be humbled – (motherhood)”

    So living that right now. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart! I need to expect and welcome that humbling. That feeling of I don’t have it all together. Wow, that really hit me!

    🙂 Courtney in all the crazy, we said hello, and I sure do love my Sbux card and dream big heart, but I so wish I could have sat with you for a few minutes! I can’t tell you how your sweet positive spirit always encourages me! Loved your seminar with Amy and Ann!

    blessings sweet girl!

  9. Courtney, I am so encouraged for you and all the lovely women who have made Jesus Lord! I have an issue, however, with the Sally quote “Like building a home, once the foundation (of your children’s lives) are bad, they are bad forever – build foundations now.”

    I was not raised in a biblical, godly home per se – neither was my husband and many adults I know – even young adults I know – and by God’s grace we have been made new and transformed into new creations! God can ALWAYS heal, ALWAYS transform! I think that is a very dangerous statement, actually. I can sense the desire and wisdom in it, that we should be very careful how we raise our children and teach them the Lord and pray for their hearts to follow Him unabashedly, but they make their own decisions ultimately. We pray, we pour, and we love; things happen out of our control – but all under God’s watchful, Sovereign eye, but saying the foundations laid are bad forever is just not responsible. That one may need to be rethought in light of Scripture – the Word – JESUS~! I am really not trying to come down hard on you or Sally, I just think that statement may lay fear and condemnation on some…


  10. I struggle with this quote; “Like building a home, once the foundation (of your children’s lives) are bad, they are bad forever – build foundations now.”

    As the mother of a foster daughter, I know that a bad foundation is a very, very difficult thing to change. Teaching forgiveness, empathy, grace, joy, contentment, etc. become harder when a child is older. However, we are a people who believe in redemption, or else all would be lost. Where would each of us be without Christ’s gracious redemption??

    All that to say, a child with a bad foundation is not hopeless and a bad foundation does not have to cripple that child’s soul forever.

  11. Sounds like you had such a rich and encouraging; obviously came away sharpened! I have to agree with the concern with the foundation quote – “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…” 2 Cor 5: I praise God that though my upbringing impacted me, it does not define me nor is it unchangeable! Having been brought up in a non-Christian home, I have hope in Christ and His power to make all things new. For HE is my foundation now and, though my kids will be brought up in a Christian home (my desire is to train them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord) but when I fail, I have hope that Christ can also change my mistakes/sin in their lives when/if He draws them to Himself in glorious salvation! I rejoice daily that it is not I who saves them, but Christ alone! Phew…

  12. I’m sure it was great! I stalked the tweets with some other gals who didn’t attend this yr- lol. I have been considering buying an early-bird ticket for next year…we’ll see 😉 And the “Sally” quotes were awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  13. It sounds like you had a great time & many blessings with Sally Clarkson! I love that last quote as well. It’s been on one of our area church’s marquees for a while & has made me think.

  14. This one is speaking LOUD to me “God’s will is not something hidden that needs to be found; it is something revealed that waits to be done”.

    God has revealed to me a ministry to start, and I think about it night and day but have yet to reveal it to anyone else. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Just a little clarification on the quote that people are questioning. In the context of our workshop, “Balancing home life with blogging,” the quote was about choosing to build the foundation of your family, your children, first, now. Choices have consequences and if one does not choose to build at the point her children are small, she cannot go back again to start the foundation building right from the first. One has this moment, this time, when they are young to build a good strong foundation in the lives and hearts of a child. A blogger cannot give all of her attention to her blog and say, “Oh, my children will be ok, my blog work is so important.”

    A foundation that is poorly built , or even neglected as the structure goes up, will have consequences that will have to be dealt with later. A bad foundation can be torn apart, worked on, damage controlled, restored and rebuilt as much as possible as much as possible, but it is best to take the time in the beginning to give it proper attention. One cannot go back and begin the building again

    God is a redeeming God, but building a foundation strong and right and well to begin with is God’s call for us as moms, who have the opportunity to get it right. In other words, blogs do not take precedence over soul building. Always, there is grace, and God can restore, but sometimes the restoration of a child’s beginnings takes longer and is much more difficult to redeem, and will require much rework, if the foundation was not laid well at the start.

    1. Thank you Sally for stopping by and giving further explanation to your quote – which I apologize for not putting into a better context! You explained it beautifully! Thank you!!!
      Lots of Love,

  16. “Like building a home, once the foundation (of your children’s lives) are bad, they are bad forever – build foundations now.”

    Sometimes I forget that my childrens’ foundations are being built and if I’m not being intentional about building that foundation it’s going to end up bad. Thanks for this reminder!

  17. I love “give God access to your brain. . .be in the word!” It makes me laugh but is so true.

    Love that she referenced this verse:
    Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
    Proverbs 29:24-26

    I can imagine that the fear of man could be a major issue for bloggers.

  18. I love them all but definately like the last one as well. I didnt have a problem with the quote everyone was comenting on and could clearly see what she was saying:) That has to be the most convicting one for me too! For those of us nonbloggers we have other things that steal away foundational time with our kids and I dont ever want to look back and regret that time no matter how they turn out. God can redeem lives and change hearts but it doesnt change the past and I never want my kids to have to struggle in life because their mom neglected them for far less important endeavors. Girl we need to have a GMG get together soon because I need to hear more!!!! Love you!!!

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