She Speaks, She Writes, She Dreams Part 2

Recently I wrote a post about the She Speaks conference that will be held July 22-24, 2011 in Concord, North Carolina. For those who missed my first post about this conference, here’s the run down. If you are in leadership in women’s ministry or feel called to be in leadership, this conference is for you. If you are a speaker or feel called to be a speaker, this conference is for you. If you are a writer, or feel called to write, this conference is also for you. The conference is put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries and is designed to help women find their unique gifts and talents and hone those skills to be more effective at leadership, speaking, writing, or all three. If you think this conference might be for you, check out the webpage at  She Speaks Conference. If you’d like to take advantage of a scholarship opportunity, you can check that out at Renee Swope’s Blog.

There have been a handful of scholarship opportunities for this conference. I tried for one, but another person was chosen. I was a bit disappointed, but I also know that God has a plan for me as well as the person selected. I pray that God will bless that woman and do great and mighty things for her at the conference. I also know that God can open other opportunities for me to attend either this year or down the road.

As I read about this conference, my heart ached for the chance to go. For many years I only dreamed of writing. As authors visited the elementary school where I worked, I was in awe of their talents and skills. I saw kids eating books up because they met the authors. I too wanted to write. I always envisioned myself writing for children and even looked into a correspondence course for writing children’s literature. The doors never opened in that regard.

However, God still had a plan for my dream to write. A few years ago I got a phone call from my Sunday School teacher. Although she teaches an adult class, she asked me if I would be willing to read the story of baby Moses out of a children’s book. I said, “Sure.”

She said, “Great! Do you have a book?”

I wasn’t sure if my daughters had a picture book about Moses so I told her I’d have to search through their shelves and see what I could come up with. I found Noah’s Ark, Baby Jesus, The Easter Story, and several others, but no Baby Moses. I called her back and said that I couldn’t find a book, but could I write the story. She was open to the idea. From there I wrote  Jocabed’s Sacrifice, which I have yet to read without tears.

The response to this story was overwhelmingly positive and since then, I’ve been invited to write several others. You can read some of them under My Writing. I also joined FaithWriters and began writing other stories. Through that process, God has confirmed to me that he has gifted me with the ability to write. Last spring my story Editing Rights was selected through a FaithWriter’s challenge for an Editor’s Choice and will eventually be published in a FaithWriters anthology. I was amazed that God took the ashes of my life, turned them into a short story, and will use that story to impact others for Christ.

In 2009, I competed in a weight loss competition sponsored by a local Christian radio station and In-Shape gym. Part of the requirement for that competition was that I post my thoughts about losing weight on a blog. I was totally new to blogging, but jumped in with both feet. Several months later a friend from church suggested I post my writing on my blog.  It has evolved over time and the Holy Spirit has led me to write devotionals and thoughts about God and his word. There are several women at church who follow my blog and tell me that it ministers to them. That is most humbling.

Eventually I was asked to substitute teach for our adult Sunday School class.  Although I was uncertain about my speaking abilities, I felt that God was opening a door for ministry there and telling me to walk through it. I have continued to fill-in on several occasions and God has been faithful to help me in this, but I feel that I have much to learn. About a year ago, I attended a women’s retreat sponsored by our church. When I was there, I felt God telling me that he has a plan for me, and I had an image of me speaking at women’s events. I kept this hidden in my heart for several months and to this point, have only shared this with my husband and my mom. It seems like such an outlandish idea that I really can’t seem to wrap my head around it.

I am hungry to write more and be used of God.  I am willing to step out and speak as God leads, but I have so much to learn. I feel that the She Speaks conference can teach me a lot. Things are tight financially as we live off my salary alone. My husband has chronic health issues and is unable to work. Without God providing a way, I will not be able to attend this conference. I am hoping that this new scholarship opportunity will provide that way. If not, I will continue to trust God for his plan and direction. I know that in all things he works together for good for those who love  him (Romans 8:28).

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