Okay, I am way behind on sharing a bit about the She Speaks conference, a big Proverbs 31 event I spoke at almost 2 weeks ago, but it was so special I just have to reminisce and share my (delayed) highlight reel! I have loved working with Lysa TerKeurst, and the Proverbs 31 ministry for several years and have always heard so much about the She Speaks event, but had never been. So I was excited when Glynnis, the gal we work with to do P31 devos, called and invited me to speak at this year’s conference! For those of you that aren’t as familiar with it, She Speaks is a very unique annual conference for writers and speakers who feel called to develop their skills, network, and join with other believers traveling the same road to finding a way to share their message or book. It was all I expected and MORE!
Highlights from She Speaks
- I ran into Crystal Paine, otherwise known as the Money Saving Mom, walking through the halls on Thursday night – Crystal was there as an attendee with girl friends instead of speaking. She has been another MomLife Today blogger, and I have loved spending a little time with her here and there. She is so adorable – and has a huuuuge following!
- My workshop — “Not Just My Opinion: Instant Credibility Through Simple Research” — was well attended, with around 100 women. It was the first time I have ever been invited to share on the topic of why to incorporate research into your writing and speaking, and how. Very fun! It ended with a Q & A that lasted well past the end time for the workshop.
- My talk to the writers’ track was packed with at least a dozen women sitting on the floor along the walls because all the chairs were full – probably about 400 people. I enjoyed sharing my own personal story about how I started writing, to illustrate that when God wants to accomplish something … He will do amazing things to make it happen! Loved using a drawing that my 14-year-old daughter did to illustrate what I was sharing.
- There were about 800 attendees and around 90 SheSpeaks staffers and volunteers to make everything run smoothly – and it really did. They had a PACKED schedule of workshops and speakers: I loved hearing from Lysa TerKeurst, Christine Caine and Renee Swope. In particular, Christine Caine’s talk powerfully impacted me and it felt like she was speaking directly to me. Some very important points about constantly remembering that any ministry God has given you is about His glory, not YOURS, and not to be impatient when things don’t happen on your timetable.Referring to David tending sheep before being plucked out and anointed as the next king by Samuel, as an example of how we might FEEL overlooked and underutilized, right now, but …. “If He has assigned you, he will find you.”
- Another really cool thing is that there were about 15 publisher guests who were taking appointments and talking with the writers! One woman who had attended my research workshop was particularly sharp and really seemed to ‘get’ how to make her proposed book research-based… and the next day she told me she had offers from TWO of the publishers there to publisher her book! I was so thrilled for her!
- And finally, lots and lots of women came by the table to tell me how the For Women Only and For Men Only books positively impacted their own marriages – words like, “saved my marriage” and “this helped me talk to my friend about her marriage” and “we give your books away by the dozen to young folks getting married.” Wow. Such an encouragement! I was so honored to hear those stories.
- The most amazing thing about She Speaks though, was something bigger than all of that: it was the ever-present sense that this was a special place for nurturing those who feel God has an important message for them to share. This wasn’t a group of ‘oh I blog and tweet every now and then’ women. These women feel CALLED, strongly, to this area of ministry of writing and/or speaking, and it was very, very special for me to be a part of encouraging them in their journey. I very rarely have a chance to talk about my own story of how God supernaturally propelled me into writing my first book, but I knew it would encourage these women to see how God moves to make things happen, and what great things happen when you watch what He is doing and go join Him. Such a great chance to remind MYSELF of that, too.
I’ve been so busy on my next book deadline I haven’t had a chance to post this, but it was such a special experience I didn’t want to NOT give a recap. So here were my highlights!
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