ELEVATING THE INNATE:
A CONVERSATION WITH BECCA KETTERLINGIf time has taught us anything in the history of women, it’s that we are better when banded together than we are apart. Together we bear enormous powers. Together anything is possible. The truth of the matter is that as humans, we innately let our egos and criticism – or suspected opinions of those around us – create a breeding ground for a deficit in our confidence. The only sure fire way to help alleviate this toxic dialogue is by elevating each other with genuine intent, and Becca Ketterling is doing just that.
As a self-proclaimed “introvert” and soft spoken by nature, it wasn’t until years into motherhood and marriage that she found the strength in her own voice. “God was speaking to be me to leap, and my motto was and always is ‘do it afraid’,” explains Ketterling on her journey. It’s been quite literally an odyssey for River Valley, the church that she and her husband Rob Ketterling first launched back in 1995. The way she speaks about the process, both of the growth in it as well as her own spirit, is revelatory. There’s an honest humility netted into the very core of its mission and when speaking with Ketterling, it’s evident that regardless of its exponential growth, that has not wavered.
I began women’s groups with the sole purpose of empowering women and helping them find value in themselves.
“When this first started we had two small children, I left my steady job in accounting, and was stretched in every way,” says Ketterling. As time went on, she began to see her vulnerability as an asset and noticed other women finding comfort her in her honesty. “I began women’s groups with the sole purpose of empowering women and helping them find value in themselves,” just as she was doing herself.
With River Valley’s growth continuing at a rampant rate, the women’s groups followed suit. When Becca went full time with the church, leaving the comfort of her steady previous job, her children were on the onset of adolescence, and Becca found she was learning as much about the balance of motherhood and career as many of her female peers that she was meeting with weekly.
“There’s so much that comes from giving them trust and saying ‘yes’. It’s about constantly striking a balance between strict and lenient,” notes Ketterling, “and letting them find their own way while providing encouragement.” This mirrored the church’s happenings, as the effort into youth ministry began to sprout. “We found that these kids were beginning to encourage their parents to services, instead of vice versa.”
By 2009, Becca Ketterling was noticing the fruits of her labor as she continued to invest in the sisterhood of the congregation(s). The transparency that occurred in the weekly groups was well received and left women thirsty for more–the multidimensional facets of their innate characters were being discovered within themselves and those around them. “What a force we can be,” reminds Ketterling. It was with this belief and the encouragement of the surrounding women that Sparkle was born. Deriving from Matthew 5:16, which denotes to “shine your light,” Sparkle is a convocation built on courage, faith and everything under the umbrella of empowerment. Every year boasts a theme; this year’s is “Anchor for my Soul”. What began with 300 attendees its first year has quickly amassed to well over 2,000. The conference garners accredited and inspiring speakers, events, self-care provoking gifts, and above all, the tools to move forward.
“From this conference we have branched into more sisterhood groups, which can begin immediately after the conference so women know they have continued support. Having something to go to following the magnitude of this energy is so crucial,” explains Ketterling.
One may think that the higher stander to which Becca Ketterling is held would be burdensome, but she sees it as a true privilege. It’s clear that Ketterling takes her role seriously, but never herself so seriously that she can’t relate.
“As someone that is soft spoken at her core, I want others to also be encouraged to find their light.” With her steadfast belief that we all can blaze a trail and better together, Ketterling is forever happy to help strike the match.
To learn more about Becca and The Sparkle Conference visit their website at http://www.sparkleconference.org/
Born and raised with Midwestern roots, Sarah has a proud and strong appreciation for hard work, bear hugs, denim shirts, handwritten thank you cards, folk music and large gatherings to break some bread. You can find her in the studio for her business linyage, teaching yoga, on the trails with her husband and pups, or perusing the farmers market.