This year's She Speaks was wonderful. I had fun, heard from God, and was challenged and stretched. What could be better than that? A public thank you goes out to my husband for holding down the fort while I was gone for FIVE. WHOLE. DAYS.
Our tradition is to all go out to lunch together after the conference is packed away and the attendees have left. We look forward to the time to visit and wrap up the weekend before going our separate ways. I look forward to this time as much as I look forward to the conference. This year we were driving to eat when I got a call from my husband that he had just run into a guard rail when his car wheels slid on wet pavement. The car is torn up but thankfully, no one was hurt, except for seat belt burns on my daughter's neck. I really saw God's hand on my family even as I sadly told my friends I was skipping lunch to go be with my shaken up family. I hate I didn't get to say goodbye, but I hold the memories in my heart and anxiously await next year's She Speaks where, Lord willing, we will all be together again. I thought I would share some of the memories I hold in my heart:
Mackenzie Ehman signing while Cheri Keaggy sang on Sunday morning. I loved watching her sign the words.
Me and my daughter on Sunday morning. I am so blessed to have her there with me, sharing in this ministry we both love and catching a vision for God's purpose for her future.
Best friends together again-- Hope just returned from Africa in time for the conference to begin. I love that these two girls share this time together every year and God made sure this year was no exception by getting Hope back in the nick of time!
Me and my friend Melissa Milbourn. She was in my very first critique group. God grew an amazing friendship out of that connection and I was SO glad she was able to be there this year!
The SheReads fiction book club for women was launched at She Speaks this year. I am going to be heading up this brand new division of the ministry and will be posting more about it when we officially launch on September 1st. This is Mary DeMuth giving away the very last copy of Daisy Chain, one of our first picks, to Micca Campbell. We gave away 400 books this weekend. Many thanks to those of you who indicated an interest in this new venture. We are so excited to recommend great Christian fiction to women and I can't wait to tell you more about it!
The three stooges. I mean, Mary, me and Ariel Allison Lawhon (my partner in all the SheReads craziness and one of my very best friends). Her book eye of the god is one of our picks for the fall as well.
Me and Ariel--Ariel stayed with me after the conference ended. We talk every day via chat so it was wonderful to get to talk face to face. It was hard to say goodbye as she boarded a plane for TX on Monday morning bright and early.
Micca Campbell, me, and Rachel Olsen-- my goodness I love these girls!
My baklava baking buddy, Zoe Elmore. I love this woman to pieces. We are all Greek today, right Zoe?
My dear friend Tammy Garlock. Some of you may remember her story of losing her son Brian in a car accident a little over a year ago. Her story is courageous and inspirational. I am blessed to know her and can't wait to see what God is going to do through her life.
This is Vern. Vern brings pretty jewelry to She Speaks every year that makes me so happy when I look at it, I can't tell you. I bought two necklaces from her this year that I can't wait to wear! Love me some Vern!!