Get comfy, it’s over 500 words but worth the read!
I’m participating in Cindy Bultema’s BlogHop about a recent conference I attended called SheSpeaks. Because I cannot get the term “Sock Hop” out of my head, I feel like I should be wearing a poodle skirt. I promise you, I’m not. 🙂
I was so lucky to be able to attend this year’s SheSpeaks…held in North Carolina (I’m from Michigan). I was hoping to get inspired, confirm my calling to write a book to help others, and meet some incredible people. Check, check and check! An unanticipated “check” was to start a blog.
Writing a blog was never something I thought I would do, but after attending SheSpeaks16, it was decided for me. On the first plane ride home, I wrote one! And then my second flight, before the plane was even off the ground, I had written another. I tell you…during those flights, I just wanted to read one of the books I’d purchased at the Conference. But I couldn’t! I tried, and then these words and stories just kept coming to mind and I heard God undeniably saying, “write it down now.” (Not in a mean tone with thunder and lightning noises, mind you. That would have been downright scary while I was in an airplane. But just a gentle, yet firm, “do this now.”)
What I now do when writing my blog is to take Shauna Niequist’s advice to “regularly practice silence to hear God.” In order to get my best words out, I need to be still, quiet, and listen. By committing to writing one blog a week, the new adventure is attainable and still allows me to be present with my family. I was glad to also hear Shauna’s quote, “Writers and Speakers are hands reaching out saying you’re not alone.” Yes! That is what my writing is about. I want those who are going through grief (death, divorce, job loss, medical diagnosis) to know they are not alone and there is hope. I want them to know I’ve been in some bad & sad situations myself, and I’m more than ok, and I’m here to help encourage them.
Chrystal Evans Hurst gave me inspiration about blogging: I love that she didn’t think she had time to write a book but she had enough blog posts to put together a large portion of the book. Blogging is, in a way, like writing small chapters or samples of your book.
What I loved about SheSpeaks is how warm and welcoming everyone was. From my roommate that I’d never met before (but within hours felt like I’d known her for years!), to the approachable session leaders, to anyone I sat down next to! I didn’t feel competition, but rather, a sisterhood. Hundreds of women cheering me on, and me cheering on them. I heard dozens of other stories, whether it be during a meal or between sessions. It made me realize that we all have a story, we all want to help someone else, or many someone else’s. What was evident as well, is that the women I met at SheSpeaks16, give all the glory to God for their story and their purpose. It was truly an inspiring and affirming conference.
From Lysa’s TerKeurst: “Don’t let today’s reaction be tomorrow’s regret.” This is such a life lesson. We all need to take a deep breath and pray before reacting emotionally.
And personally, I really related to Lysa’s quote, “Because of the pain, your life was saved.” I’ve been through a lot of pain, but my faith in God has never been stronger. And her session, “Your Very Best Idea Ever”, included the quote to remember as writers and speakers, “Striving for credit will discredit you.” This is one I need to remember daily.
Alicia Bruxvoort’s session “Chasing Your Dream While Chasing the Kids, Too.” If you weren’t in her session, you MUST turn to p.65 in the SheSpeaks guide and read her acronym phrases for DREAM. It is truly amazing! If you didn’t attend SheSpeaks16 and want to know, please contact me! It is genius!
Emily Wierenga’s session “7 Essentials to Writing An Inspirational Memoir,” brought out this fantastic quote: “God allows pain because it is the secret to our purpose.” Whoa! That is powerful!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! I’ve broken the Blogging rule about not going over 500 or so words. Oops. Hey, this is my 3rd blog post. And there’s so many more great take-aways I left out. If you, or someone you know, wants any information about SheSpeaks, please do not hesitate to ask me. If you are feeling led to attend next year ….you won’t regret it!
Please comment and tell me which one of the quotes I referenced above is your favorite, and why?
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