I need to blog about the conference before it slips my mind altogether. If you’re just joining us (us?), She Speaks is an annual conference for women (there were 560 this year) who have a desire to speak, write, or be leaders in women’s ministry. It’s put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries.
3:11 pm (6.20.08)
I’m sitting in the hotel waiting for the conference to start. Feeling a little lonely and alone. But not discouraged. I think I’ll go check out the prayer room.
I had promised Gabe I wouldn’t withdraw and be shy and not meet anyone or talk the whole weekend. Soooo, I couldn’t let him down. It seemed like everyone was with someone except for me. I heard someone mention a prayer room, so I went to find it. It was dark and peaceful with chairs and pillows and candles and instrumental music. I prayed, “Lord, help me to open up and introduce myself to people and be brave. I’m not feeling brave. But I love you and I trust you.”
There’s a woman in here crying (or maybe just has a cold?). I’m going to ask her if she wants to sit with me.
Her name was Joanie from New Jersey, and she was sent to me straight from God. I fell in love with her immediately. So sweet, honest, real, heart-on-her-sleeve, hungry for God, ears and heart open to whatever He has in store for her next, mom to 2 girls. The whole weekend whenever I’d go to a meal or a new session, I’d have my eyes peeled for Joanie and make a beeline for her if/when I saw her. We had such a wonderful time.
Right after the first session started, someone asked me if I was using the empty chair beside me. I said no, and a different woman came and got it. A BooMama woman! (the one who did the super-cool give-away for me on her blog) As soon as she sat down, I turned around, walked back to her chair, got in her face, showed her my nametag, and gave her a big ol’ hug. She came up and sat by me for a bit, and we got to chat. I was thrilled. I love that girl, and she’s fabulous in person!
I met some neat gals in my speaker evaluation group too. There were some amazing speakers–like real speakers who had points to what they were saying and had stuff memorized. Wowzers. Like I mentioned before, it was awfully humbling. I’m a good talker and I’m good at putting people at ease and making them laugh, but hoo boy! I need to work on putting together a good talk with real meat to my message. And not run out of time every single time I speak. Anyway.
My favorite sessions? The blogging ones with girls whose blogs I’ve been following for quite awhile, Bringing Passion to Your Platform (Marybeth Whalen), Embracing Your Little and Your Lot (Karen Ehman). There were a couple that didn’t do much for me, but I think I’ll be able to choose more wisely if I get to go again next year.
I sold a few books while I was there (always fun) and gave away a copy of Blushing to a bunch of people. I felt God speaking to my heart. I met some really neat women. I got to eat lunch with an old college pal. I thought a lot about what God has planned for my future. I realized just how many people would love to be doing what I’m already doing (very humbling).
I know there’s more, but I need to get back to my day. If any of you want to go next year (I think it’s July 31-Aug. 2), I think we could make it work.
Have a wild Wednesday!!