Friday, February 1, 2008

She Speaks


I learned about the She Speaks Conference through reading other people’s blog posts. I am new to the blog world - just started reading and blogging a month ago. I have been greatly refreshed and encouraged by the transparency (and vulnerability) of the women I have met. I wonder if the perceived anonymity of the web gives us more freedom to be honest. At any rate, we need more of that in our relationships and I’m loving this new way to connect with others.

When I first read about the conference offered by Proverbs 31 Ministries, I closed the webpage and determined not to think about it. I find the Proverbs 31 woman very intimidating. She is good at everything and it makes me tired just to think of being around women like that. But then I was reminded that she laughs and she is not idle… so I do have some things in common with her. I’ve been moved by the musings of the women who blog about the conference and note they are women who are real. They freely express their joys and fears, their blunders and victories, the mundane, the insane, the silly and the serious. Thus my genuine interest in this conference has been growing by leaps and bounds.

I definitely want to be a better speaker. Hey, at this point in time, I just want to speak. Are you really a singer if you don’t sing? A runner if you don’t run? A dancer if you don’t dance? I’m a speaker but I’m not speaking. That has to change. I long for the company of people. I long to fully express the gifts that God has given me.

Here’s the update on why I’m a speaker but not speaking. We moved to the boondocks 7 years ago. New town, new church, new hairdresser, new dentist, new everything. A big challenge, in that not even the grocery store is close. I found myself in totally unfamiliar territory, in every way. I had been a speaker when we lived in a city. There, I had contacts and memberships in many organizations that kept networking alive and well in my life. I spoke for businesses, retreats, a great variety of settings. I love being a Christian in marketplace ministry. When we moved here, I made the decision to start a business that would keep me at home while our children were still growing up. I have adjusted to country living and the peace it offers. Now, our “baby” graduates from high school in May. I have been soul-searching about what I want to be when I grow up. How do I “start over”? What am I called, a “Returning Woman”? I have a business that I work from home, but it leaves me unfulfilled in many ways, primarily because I’m not around people. Email can only take you so far in communication.

I have always had a burning desire to move people and touch their lives in a meaningful way through the spoken and written word and music. I have always wanted to write a book. I know there are songs within me that have never been sung and messages that have never been expressed. Some women grieve over an empty nest, and I’m sure I will experience my share of that sweet sorrow. But I have determined I want to expand my “tent stakes” (build a bigger nest) and love on more people.

The only thing I’m clear on is that God is going to accomplish this in a way that I have not figured out yet. I am waiting, learning, reaching, pondering and hoping. I have my ears attuned and my eyes wide open for what’s next. The conference information says it will help women build a dream. (At least that’s what I read.) I want to build a dream. It could be that this conference is the next step. Winning the scholarship to attend would be an amazing affirmation of the future that beckons & draws me each day. I’m listening, Father.

2 comments:

Miss Sandy said...

If you have the desire, He will open the door! Blessings on being able to attend.

hlstewart said...

Good luck! I wish I had been at home Friday night. Thanks for the heads up.