I went to a conference. This is what I learned.

In my very first post, ever, I told you I would be authentic. That I’d share the good and the bad. Then I told you I would be the first one to go topless so you wouldn’t feel alone. It took me a while, but I did {vulnerable is not fun, but necessary}. I tried to remind you that you matter, even when you have believed the lies and feel invisible.

Through those posts, those words, I shared parts of me. Parts of my story in hopes that it might encourage you.

But really, I am the one blessed. You encourage me.

The kind notes and thoughtful gifts in my mailbox have brought me to tears. Your emails are overwhelming. Truly. You have no idea how you’ve touched my heart.

But somewhere along the way, I forgot. I got caught up with what other bloggers were doing, trying to be like them, taking more time reading about blogging than actually writing.

So when I went to my first blogging conference last weekend, I went in with a desire to learn how to grow this little space on the interwebs. I wanted to know how to get more readers, to get more connected, to find formulas.

I had a plan. I was going to figure out how to make my plan work.

I chose all but one of the Strategy sessions. And as much as I appreciated all the speakers, I realized that maybe I should have gone over to the Life sessions.


Because I had lost focus… yes, again. My heart needed to be reminded why I began this journey.

Before I made the switch to The Unconventional Doctor’s Wife blog this summer, I wrote in my journal why I was doing this crazy thing called blogging.

At some point during the weekend, I finally remembered.



To create, encourage, share & use it for good.

It doesn’t matter about stats or “likes” or followers.

It matters about the person on the other side of this screen. The one reading these words right now.

It matters because you have showed up and now I must do my part and show up too.

The last session of the conference I attended, was Barrett Ward from The Mocha Club and FashionABLE talking on Finding your clear purpose – unless your purpose in life is to boring. Ha – love that! It was the only Life track session I attended.

Of course I went into it thinking he had a magical formula to help figure out what my purpose is… ummm… nope.

He said the most strategic thing we can do is to pick up our bible. Walk side by side with the guy upstairs.

Because when you do that, He will take you where He wants you to go. {And isn’t the best place anyway?} Then, you will be living your purpose.

During that session, a piece of paper slipped out of my notebook. I forgot that when packing my bags for the conference at 2am Thursday morning {yes, I make very poor choices}, I had stuck a little poem I wrote into my notebook. It was just the reminder I needed.


My Surrender

Here I stand, all alone, waving my white flag,

barely able to hold it up, but finally feeling glad.

I wave it not out of defeat but a yielding kind of way,

knowing that from here on out, I’m not alone each day.

I’m following my Leader, because I know, that He knows best;

before, when trying to plan life myself, I only thought of my interest.

I would said, “Yes, I believe.” But did I really trust?

And then He said, “living for ME and not for self, is going to be a must,

if you want to be a part of my great big plan…

serve me, do for me, and not for the praises of man.”

So here I am, flag in hand, and choosing to remember,

that every morning when I wake, I must stand & wave my surrender.


This whole blog thing isn’t about me… it’s about what He can do through me, through this blog. And I know amazing things will happen… as long as I can just remember to raise my flag and follow.

I seriously doubt that I’ll ever become a famous blogger… and as Haley reminded us… “cause let’s be honest, all you’d really be anyway is… a famous blogger.”

And I am totally OK with that.  

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18 Responses to I went to a conference. This is what I learned.

  1. Anne says:

    Amber, I just found your blog today and I think it saved my day. Here I sit, feeling broken and defeated while I stay at home with our 18 month old son. My husband is a 4th year resident and I have been having a super hard time lately. I just feel abused by the whole training process by now. I am so over it. I never imagined it would be this hard! But, like a ray of light I found this and it helped me realize that I need to trust in God’s plan and not think of how hard this is on us. He has a reason for this. Thank you so much! I am proof that you’re helping others with this blog :)

    • Amber says:

      Anne- I am right there with you! You said it perfectly “just feel abused by the whole training process.” I am over too, but sadly it’s not quite over yet :( Hang in there friend! You are not going through this for no reason… it’s just hard to understand when you’re right in the midst of the mess. Thank you for your kind words and I’m so glad you found me :)

  2. Amazing things don’t always mean big things. I love the way that God works, and sometimes it is in very small but important ways, like a note falling out of a book. Have faith. Listen. Do. Sending you hugs and prayers:-)
    From A Doctor’s Wife recently posted..Getting Ready for Medical Monday’sMy Profile

  3. Darcy Wiley says:

    This morning we were singing the old song “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” and it always gets me when we sing the verse “I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom. But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.” Our blogging community is only as good as our focus. We’re fulfilled not when we’re lifting ourselves up but when we’re side by side pondering the same issues in light of our shared Savior. So glad to get some extended time with you at dinner one evening during the conference. I love all that you shared about how the blogging world cheered you when you needed it most.

  4. Allison says:

    Amber, thanks so much for sharing this. I’m new to blogging and am starting to notice how certain bloggers’ digital webs are cast wide, fingers in everything. I am so scared off by the whole conference concept, thinking it’s not for me, thinking I’d become too obsessed with trying to fit some mold, how it might affect what I have in my heart to write. I’m going to go put a note in my Bible so it can fall out as a reminder at the perfect time.

  5. Amber says:

    I love you, I love being re-connected with you, I love what you are doing in this space.

    • Amber says:

      Amber! It was SO AWESOME getting to see you again. and see you during this mama chapter in life! Can’t wait to see you again, but in the meantime, I’ll be stalking your blog :)

  6. barbie f. says:

    ahhhhhhhh! love this, love the poem. love the imagery, and your words. thanks for sharing. KEEP reminding all of us that we need to surrender. you have a gift lady. and super cool hair too. :)

    barbie f.

  7. LOVED meeting you!!!!! Wow, it was great huh?
    kk @ the mom diggity recently posted..in the midstMy Profile

  8. julie says:

    i love this so much. isn’t it so true that what we go in expecting was blown out of the water by what God has? you have your story to tell to the people that God wants you to minister to. and you are doing just that. and that’s enough. you are enough.

    {and i don’t think i bought enough of your bracelets by the way. love!}

  9. Such truths! It’s all about your followers and the influence you have with them–be that 10 or 10,000. I was also at Barrett’s session. While he did not tell me my purpose, after answering the questions he outlined, my passion and purpose became “screaming off the page” obvious. I loved that session!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Rebecca Rejoices recently posted..The Barry Manilow Dance IncidentMy Profile

    • Amber says:

      You’re so right, Rebecca! After I wrote my answers to those list of questions/statements he gave us, it was much more clear where my heart is… which was very different than what i thought I was passionate about!

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