ETA: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Thank you for entering!
I will never forget my first time at She Speaks. I learned a valuable lesson there. Perhaps it will be good for those of you who are considering going to hear what I learned.
I knew that I had to present a short speech but, in the weeks leading up to the conference, I struggled to come up with something to share. Nothing seemed to fit. I wondered and pondered and prayed. I got all the way to Saturday afternoon and still had nothing. I worried that I was going to stand in front of my group, open my mouth and nothing was going to come out. I brooded, I blanched, I begged God to let me disappear.
When nothing else worked, I went to my room where it was quiet and prayed for God to give me something-- anything-- to share. A memory filled my mind of the time my 2 year old son got hit by a car in a McDonald's parking lot (he was ok, don't worry). This memory had all the elements I was looking for-- drama, humor, and a great parallel to our spiritual lives. I ran through how to tell the story a few times and then went down to my group to share it. It was-- I discovered-- not as hard or as heavy as I had made it.
I left She Speaks having learned a valuable truth about speaking. I didn't have to go into every event polished and perfect. Sometimes it was better to go into the event void and vulnerable. In my desperation, God showed up. He supplied a great story that I had totally forgotten about. I still share that story when I speak to this day.
You never know what you will learn at She Speaks. You might go there wondering why you're even there. You might feel foolish, like an impostor. (I did!) You might be there to speak or to write or to become equipped to better lead the women you come in contact with within your sphere of influence. Those might be your initial reasons for coming... but you will find so much more once you get there. In the faces of the other women, in the quiet of the prayer room, in the praises of your fellow sisters, at the foot of the cross, you will find Him in a way you've never seen Him before. You might come wondering, but you will leave knowing: This is why I came. As someone said last year, "He speaks at She Speaks." What He has to say is not to be missed.
Want to come to She Speaks? You can visit the conference site at www.shespeaksconference.com.
Proverbs 31 is having a scholarship contest starting today on all of the P31 speakers' blogs. For your chance to win, leave a comment here, and you can visit the other speakers' blogs (listed in my sidebar) for more chances.
Here are a few contest rules for you to keep in mind:
You have until midnight on Friday, April 23rd to post comments. This particular contest is geared towards speakers who have never attended She Speaks who would not otherwise be able to attend. If you can afford the conference, please do not enter. Your comment should briefly tell us what winning would mean to you in answering God's call to speak. A winner will be randomly chosen from all comments and announced on Monday, April 26th.
Best wishes and be sure to look on Monday over at www.proverbs31.org to find out who the winner is!
And if you are looking for some inspiration in the area of speaking and writing, don't forget about my books For The Write Reason and The Reason We Speak (links are in the sidebar)-- these are great resources written by experienced, wise contributors.