What I learned at Relevant…

My sister and I had the honor of traveling to Harrisburg, PA this past weekend to the Relevant 10 conference.

I was looking forward to spending time with my sister, meeting new bloggers and reconnecting with others, and learning new ways to make my blog even better for my readers.

Relevant 10 did not disappoint! It provided me with the opportunity to do all of the above and more!

I knew it was a Christian blog conference, and I was looking forward to learning how to make my blog an even greater witness for the Lord.  And I did.

But the one thing that I didn’t expect from this blog conference was the message that if my blog is keeping me from keeping first things first in my home, then I needed to stop blogging.

Sometimes it was mentioned subtly, and sometimes the message was in my face.  It made me uncomfortable and convicted.

Because to be honest, many times over the past year and a half, I have put my blog before my family.  I didn’t have time for my kids because I HAD to get a project finished.  I laid in bed at night with my computer in my lap instead of cuddling with my husband and spending time with him.  And I will even confess that I have chosen to spend time writing a post… and hours later …complained that I didn’t have time for my quiet time with God.


It was painful to realize that my priorities have been all out of whack!  Relevant 10 reminded me that my priorities should go in this order:




BLOG and other ministries

I am so thankful for feeling uncomfortable and convicted at the conference, because it is in those uncomfortable places that God can change us and mold us to who He wants us to be.

I do not feel God calling me to quit blogging, but I do feel  I can only blog if I keep my priorities straight.

I love my blog, and I feel like it is a gift from God.  But I know that He wants me to honor Him in my home more than my blog.

I want my husband and children to always know and feel that they are my first priorities.

I am so very grateful to everyone who helped put together the Relevant 10 Conference.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors! (see list HERE)

Thank you to the conference leaders, Sarah, Dawn, and Jessica.

Thank you to the wonderful speakers…(see list HERE)

Thank you to all the precious bloggers who came from all over the United States to share their stories.

And Thank You most of all to Jesus…from whom all blessings flow.

I wish I could have taken all of my readers there with me!  It was such a blessing to make my “online” friends my “real life” friends.

Here are a few more pictures from the conference with some links to other great bloggers.  Click on their names to visit their blogs.  Tell them I sent ya!  :)

The first day, we ate lunch we these beauties…

Me, Cyndi, Melissa, Beth, and Tracy

I complained that my hair looked “big” in all the pictures and that somebody needed to Photoshop it to make it look smaller.

Look what Beth  posted on her blog…

That little rascal!  I think I will stick with my BIG hair, what do you think?

Here is a picture of the conference room full of amazing bloggers…

We connected with these two fabulous girls the first night!  Darlene and Flamingo (well, I actually called her by her name).  Love them!

I was so excited about meeting one of my sponsors, Dee from Red Letter Words.

Red Letter Words

She is the most delightful person!  I could talk to her for hours.  :)

I cannot put into words what a thrill it is to meet your online friends in person.  It makes me love having her as a sponsor even more!  She is real and genuine and extremely talented.

Thank you, Dee, for being such a blessing!

Me and My Sis being serious

Me and My Sis being not so serious

Cyndi chit-chatting with Mandy

One of my favorite chicks from Relevant, Darlene from The Only Thing Worth Walking Toward.

She also has a brand new online design blog called, Fieldstone Hill.

I expect big things from this girl!!!

Her enthusiasm for life is infectious!  I can’t wait to hang with her again someday!  :)

I was so happy to connect with one of my online friends, Wendy from Relatively Unique.

She is a sweet, sweet spirit, and it was a joy to get to know her in real life (IRL).

I got to connect with Kimba,  from A Soft Place to Land, again at Relevant.  I had the pleasure of meeting her at Blissdom and have enjoyed getting to know her in blogland this past year.

You don’t have to be around Kimba for long to start envying her gorgeous hair.

It is thick, and luscious, and va-va-voomish…

I have serious “hair envy” when I am around her.

You can see more of her hair in this picture I snapped of her talking to Serena from Grace is for Sinners and Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

When I took my picture with Kimba, I was feeling a little bit insecure.  My hair can be so thin and stringy.

So I asked her if I could borrow a little of her hair for the picture and she kindly obliged.

Thanks, Kimba!

And lastly, I was so blessed to meet and get to know Laura from 10 Million Miles.

She is beautiful inside and out.  I was so inspired by her heart for Jesus.  Thank you, Laura, for sharing your heart with me!

I am so thankful for all of the many blessings I received at RELEVANT 10!


  1. Wow! Very powerful stuff! I just want you to know that your blog was one of the very firsts that I discovered, even before I became a blogger myself and I have always appreciated your transparency in sharing your heart and your faith. I have been taking some bolder steps to be vulnerable about my own journey(s) and not just treat this blogging thing as a place to get great ideas about decorating (even though that IS fun!) but to really do life together with folks in a very unique way. I decided early on that I would only blog when my kiddos were napping/sleeping and my hubby was occupied with football, or basketball, or baseball, you get the idea! I often feel left out of the decorating loop because honestly I just don’t have the time right now to make wreaths and centerpieces, but my kiddos will only remember that mommy chased them around the house today and not what kind of project she completed! Anyway, sorry this is a crazy book-long comment but I just wanted to say, thanks for being so very Real!

  2. This must have been so amazing! And I know what you mean about priorities…I have an art blog and a prayer blog and finally lifted them up last week in prayer and decided to post less because I don’t have prayer time…so, I sure feel inspired by your words…and I kept thinking when I made the decision, “Lord, thy will be done.” What a wonderful group of awesome ladies!!!!

  3. I’ve been seeing so much about the relevant conference-and a friend just forwarded me the blogger’s prayer today. It’s so wonderful and timely–I just did a post this weekend on my blog perspective, so with that said, I’m going to bed now to snuggle with my hubby!

  4. Wow! That sounds like an awesome time!! I’m so glad you got to go!

    I have to ask, because it caught my eye, there’s a pic of your sis talking to a gal named Mandy.

    Mandy’s bag is drool-worthy. And I bet she made it herself! Does Mandy have a blog that I could lurk to see if she posted a bag tutorial?

  5. Thanks for the reminder of where our priorities should be! I am doing a Bible study called Feminie Appeal and it reminds us in Chapter 1 of Titus 2. Our place is in our homes to take care of our families and NOTHING should step in the way of that! I commend you on being able to step away from your A-MAZING blog to take care of yours!

  6. Thanks for honesty and the reminder. Your so right. I have had that feeling too. With FB, Etsy, and Blogging. It all becomes so consuming. I learned today at Bible study how a mom feels when she looses a child from site…terrified! Then how God must feel when he looses one of His children. It hit home with me.

  7. Good for you! Sounds like it was a great place for reflecting and remembering to keep the main thing the main thing. Amazing how blogging can inspire us. . . or make us forget what we’re really about. Reminders are a GOOD THING!

  8. Would you believe me when I say, “I’ve been waiting on your take on the conference!” I read your sister’s and a couple more girls and I thought what will Traci say about this life changing event. All I can say is “wish I could have been there”. I’m making plans for the next one! Sounds like an exciting encounter with the ONE who rearranges our lives to fit into HIS plan. Love your heart from seeing your smile and reading your words!
    IN HIM,

  9. Swwwweeeetttt!
    How neat to be able to attend something like this. Learning made fun and meaningful.
    Hope to attend something like this in the future…just not sure how far in the future.
    For now I will learn from your blog!
    God bless and may you have a gentle day,

  10. What great pics!
    so glad you enjoyed your time at Relevant and were able to get to spend some time with your sis as well.

    I hear ya about feeling convicted . I don’t have a big following like you do, but sometimes I do put doing a project first before my family. I have since stepped back from doing that and put the blog on the back burner.
    I gotta tell ya, I LOVE that ruffly sweater you are wearing….and you look great whether you have big hair or not. You are lovely and you have a beautiful heart.

  11. This weekend was a true gift from God. I keep reading over my notes and soaking it all in! I knew my priorities needs some balance, but to hear it that first night directly hit my heart. Won’t it be fun next year to see how we all have changed and what wonderful things God has worked in our lives!

  12. I love you!!!!

    did I mention that I love you???

    ; )

    What a beautiful post. I miss all of you guys (strike that), Y’ALL, already. I am so thankful that we have blogging to keep in touch with each other.

    I just loved Relevant. And I have loved being closer to my family since my return. The Lord is SO good, isn’t he??

    I posted some pics of you on this post: http://worthwalkingtoward.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-thanks-for-coming.html
    and, I happen to think your hair looks rather amazing! (I did have to edit everyone’s red-eye. thanks to my ghetto-fabulous camera).

    you, my dear, have enthusiasm for life. I can witness: You love BIG!!

    see you in blogland, sweet friend!


  13. He did amazing things, didn’t HE? You are your sister are PRECIOUS and hysterical at the same time.

    And not to get all off topic and unspiritual here, but I can’t stop laughing about you and your hair with Kimba at the end of the post. YOU HAVE GREAT HAIR? Thin? I would have never guessed it.

    So, so sad I missed that lunch because I really wanted to connect with you guys more, but ….next year. :) (You can be insecure about your hair and I will just hope no one looks at those arms of mine that need some toning. We can only do so much, right.? lol) xoxo

  14. Am I retarded? I tried to enter my email address in your sidebar to subscribe and it said your feed does not have email subscription enabled~or something like that.

  15. WOW! What an inspiring conference. Thank you for sharing with me about keeping my priorities straight. So often I feel dry and shriveled up. Hmmmmm….wonder why? I’m putting everything else first, and God last!

  16. Hey, I took that last picture! ; )

    Have I told you how glad I am we got to meet? Can’t wait to meet up again sometime! You and Cyndi need to have that conference y’all had talked about!!!

    Oh, and I’m as retarded as Tracey, I guess (HA!) I couldn’t get my email subscription thing to work either. It said it wasn’t enabled or something.

  17. Hi Traci! Well, I still don’t know why you looked so familiar to me at the conference, but you did! Maybe you look like some movie star that I’ve seen in a lot of movies. Yeah, that must be it. You ARE very pretty. :)

    We didn’t get much time to visit, but I just wanted to pop by and say hello. Very cute blog! Simply beautiful. I’ll take a look around.

    It was so nice to meet you at the Relevant Conference. Maybe we’ll be able to meet up again someday. I just might go next year if they decide to do it again. (I’ll bet it was a TON of work to put it together! It was amazing!)

    Your new friend,

  18. Okay first of all, I clearly remember someone saying in my ear, “I hate my big hair. Will you please photoshop it out?” So, I did. And see? You ended up realizing that your hair looks fab just the way it is ;) :) :)! It was wonderful to meet you and spend some time with you although it was brief! And I was blessed by the speakers I saw broadcast on Mom TV from the conference. (I was also secretly glad I wasn’t there for the whole thing because I know I’d be crying from conviction. Sooo guilty of putting the blog first at times.) Thanks for sharing your heart with us Traci!

  19. Hey Traci–I clicked over here just to visit, and I ended up re-reading this post. I’m so glad you got to go to Relevant, and I love the lesson you took away from it. Like you, I feel like my blog is a gift from God. . . but I know how God wants my priorities to line up. I’m guilty of sometimes wanting to arrange things my OWN way. Oh, Lord, please forgive me–and give me strength and courage to do things your way!

  20. Hi Tracey:

    Glad y’all had a great time. I live in Harrisburg and would have taken the time to come up to you to say hi then leave if I had known you were in town.

    Anyways, your post got me very curious. Since you have deicded to reduce your time on blogging, what will happen to the sponsers? I mean, I wonder if they see your blog as a business when you have changed it to a hobby, will that affect others as well? I do know that Kimba has cut back on blogging as well and was wondering about her sponsers as well.

    I am not trying to be starky or anything of that sort but am truly curious.

    Take care!

    1. Hi Kelly!
      So sorry I didn’t get to meet you while in Harrisburg!

      You had a great question about sponsors. It is one that I have had to think about since I am teaching full time until Christmas.

      I dropped my advertising rates through Christmas since I knew that I could not post quite as often.

      In January, I should be able to post more frequently because I will not be working anymore. Plus, I will be able to work on my blog projects during the day while my family is at school and work. At that time, my rates will go back up.

      I do intend to continue to blog, but I will schedule it at times that doesn’t conflict with my God and family times.

      I cannot speak completely for Kimba, but she shared at Relevant that she is letting her private ads expire since she isn’t blogging as much anymore. She can still leave up her other ads, because they do not care how many times she posts a week.

      I hope that answers your question a little bit.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      1. Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I greatly appreciate it very much.

        I agree with what you are planning to do, I just think it’s only fair for everyone involved.

        Have fun teaching, I can never do what you do. I am a teacher’s helper every now and then for my youngest pre K– boy, those kids can wear me out in no time flat! :)

        Again, thanks!

  21. I always envy you US girls getting to attend these wonderful conferences – and this one in particular seems, so…meaningful!

    Really appreciate your thoughts – and on a more shallow level – love how all you gals dress! :-)

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