If you’ve been around Ask Anna for awhile then you may have read about my trips to the Haven Conference in Atlanta, in the past. I attended the conference the first, and second, years but I haven’t gone the last 2 years because our lives were so busy with adoption and home remodel projects, in fact the last Haven I attended was the weekend after we moved into our current house, it was NUTS!
Both years I attended were great, I learned a lot, made good connections, which has helped my blog grow as much as it has, but I’ve been so out of the conference scene that I wasn’t really planning on going this year either. However that all changed in April, when I received an email from one of the Haven team members, asking me if I wanted to speak. She said I was their “number one choice” to teach an organizing class, and when I read that I totally laughed. I immediately I thought, “why me, there are SO many other organizing bloggers that are far better than me, why not them?”
It’s funny how when you ask a question like that it can start you on a journey of self discovery. Turns out I’m the only one that thought I would never speak in front of a crowd about the contents of my blog, because when I told my friends and family, I expected them to laugh–like I did–but instead they all said, “yeah, of course they would ask you!”
I started Ask Anna because I wanted to help people clean, organize and decorate their homes, but somewhere along the line it has just become a job for me and I forget that maybe what I write about is actually valuable, and that someone might actually be interested in what I have to say.
So, I said “yes” to the Haven team and this week it became official when the schedule posted on the Haven site, no backing out now… 🙂
I have started outlining what I want to talk about but I almost had a panic attack when I found out I had to talk for an hour AND A HALF! And then of course there’s battling fear–what if no one shows up to my class (they’ll all be in Andy’s class because he’s amazing), what if it turns out I suck at public speaking, what if another one of the amazing organizing bloggers shows up to my class (YIKES!), what if???
There are so many “what if’s” that I could literally talk myself out of this whole thing but I’m choosing to say “NO” to fear and move forward. Because what if saying “yes” leads to something greater?
What if God has something big planned for me? What if it turns out I’m actually good at this speaking thing (that’s what I keep telling myself when I’m freaking out imagining myself standing in front of a bunch of people, all staring at me!), what if this whole thing isn’t even about me speaking, but about me meeting someone at the conference? There are so many good “what if’s” that I’m choosing to focus on those, instead of the “what if’s” based in fear.
Last Sunday, at church, our pastor talked about how God’s love is greater than fear and that when we choose not to fear, God can use us in radical, powerful ways. I would much rather be used in powerful ways then to not do something because I’m afraid of it. So I am speaking at Haven, facing fear head on, and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do, or how He is going to use me.
If you’re going to be at Haven this year, make sure you look for me and say, “hi!”. 🙂