This post was written by Amy Allen and originally appeared on the Amy Allen Photography blog.
It all started when I fell in love with Southern Weddings Magazine! Being raised in the south has been such a true blessing! When I saw the first magazine, I fell in love! Then came my love for Lara Casey, the editor and chief of Southern Weddings! I was instantly drawn to her gift of teaching others, her love for Jesus, her love for marriage….deep meaningful marriage, and her love of the south! When I heard that Making Things Happen Conference was in Chapel Hill this year I had to buy a ticket before it got sold out AGAIN! This whole experience has been a game changer and I am so blessed to have come across this wonderful lady!
Last Monday and Tuesday I made my way to The Carolina Inn for the MTH conference! I walked in not knowing anybody but a few friends I knew from the industry and a bible study Lara has once a month. Other than them, I was completely alone. In those two days I walked away with more than 10 new friends and amazing accountability partners.
Monday tore at my heart strings. It was a day of tears, emotion, and getting deep down into my core of what I really wanted and feared. I didn’t realize how many distractions were in my everyday life and how afraid of so many things I truly was terrified of. I had the pleasure of being in Lara’s small group and she tore open my shell to things I didn’t even know were in my heart. My deepest fears and distractions were keeping me from fully living my life and my dreams! I learned to be a better wife, business owner, friend, and treat myself better than I have ever treated myself! I learned that I need rules, boundaries for my business if I really, truly want to grow!
“You are the average of the top 5 people you hang out with”. This hit me hard and is so true! Who am I surrounding myself with, negative nancy’s or positive influences who make me want to be a better person?!
I learned to be content with what I have, which is so much! I am so thankful and blessed with such a successful business and marriage. Sometimes we can take for granted the little things, but need to remember how fortunate we really are!
I am implementing office hours, and taking more time off of social media when at home and with my family! I have wasted so much time and energy on social media that it literally makes me sick! NO MORE! I will be present when my husband is home and when I am with friends and family! I will not run myself into the ground with work, and trying to keep up with the Jones’s. I will be taking days off….like actual FULL days. I dont think I have done that since starting my business and find it is crucial if I want to keep enjoying what I do without getting burnt out. I will live for my God, my family, serving others, and not worrying about everything going on around me! My poor husband has been getting the leftovers and he deserves me without ANY distractions. When you’re 80 what will matter the most??? The number of likes you have on FB, the number of hours you put into editing, the kind of car you drove or how big your house was, or spending time with your family, friends, and what you have done for others?! Dont get me wrong if I am blessed enough to have those luxuries, super!!!! But I will not run myself ragged trying to pursue those worldly things!
Day two was making a plan and goals to stick with! Thank you so much to all the speakers for pouring their hearts and souls into this conference and into us. I truly learned more in two days than I have in 2 years! Thank you to all that encouraged me and pushed me to the next level in my personal life and business life! I will forever be grateful and so blessed to have met such wonderful people!!! God has truly blessed me with more than I deserve!
Photos by the wonderful Emily March and Elizabeth Glessner!
Thank you Lara Casey for being the person you are and reaching for the stars! You have forever changed my outlook on life, money, and friendships!
Holding back the tears…..saying no to the past and yes to being happy and content!
My new friends and accountability partners!
I have always followed Nancy Ray, her work is stunning! But knowing her story and who she really is, is so much more important! Hearing her and Will talk about finances was so reassuring! Rob and I preach paying off debt and staying out of debt, we are so close. It is so nice to hear that it can actually be done and the easiest ways to get there is to not listen to this world. Thank you Nancy and Will for showing me you can be completely debt free and I want to work for me and not someone else!
One of the main things I spoke up about was wanting to start a family and adopt at some point. I have been scared to even begin to think about babies and growing our family due to fear of balance in my business and family, and can I really do both! YES I can! 🙂 This sweet girl pulled me aside and has such a passion for adoption as well. It is so great that someone I have never even met has such a passion and yearning for the same things I do. A new beginning and a new friend was found this day!
These 3 ladies were my go to’s at the conference. The first night was dinner at Spanky’s getting to know each other. PS if you haven’t tried Insomnia cookies in Chapel Hill you must go like ASAP!!!
The second night was dinner at 411 in Chapel Hill. We opened up even more, had some great conversations and even laughed some….okay ALOT! I hope to see these ladies again! True friendship is hard to find, so once you find it never let it go!
If you or someone you know is interested in the Making Things Happen conference check out makingthingshappenintensive.com