Each year at the end of July several hundred women descend upon Charlotte, North Carolina, to attend the She Speaks conference hosted by Proverbss 31 Ministries. This event is jam-packed full of learning sessions and good times both. With special sessions geared towards writers, speakers, and ministry leaders, the conference is designed both to renew and educate women to be effective in their specific calling. For more information about She Speaks 2011, check out the conference website. Registration is happening now, and seats always sell out!
Why do I want to go to She Speaks? Well ....
I'm a planner. An organizer. A detail-oriented person. Few things make me happier than figuring out how make things flow smoothly so that other people can learn.
I wasn't thinking about any of that, though, a few years ago when I went to my very first women's conference with a few friends. As I put the van into 'park,' this voice in my head said, "You should do this." I thought that perhaps I was going crazy - who was I to plan a women's conference? I'd never even been to one! Many of the things that the speaker, Renee Swope, said to us that day completely changed my life, and I have come to know God in a much more personal way than ever before.
But that voice wouldn't leave me alone, and finally I mentioned the idea to my friends. By the end of the day we had several ideas, and by the end of the week, we had complete funding for the entire event. By the time of our conference, we had a committee of over twenty people - in a church where nobody ever volunteered - and 100 women in attendance. God did amazing things that day.
And it continued. I was made the Chairperson of the Evangelism Committee at our church, and things somehow just kept happening. We had a consignment sale to help local mothers and tripled our committee's budget for the entire year, as well as helping many moms. Two members of FFH - yes, them! - came and led worship at our church. Four times in one day!
I don't say this because I did any of this. I didn't. Not a single bit. It was completely God. I just happened to have a front row seat that year to see Him at work, and it was wonderful.
How do I know this? I'm a teacher by profession. You know, I teach short people the alphabet and counting on their fingers and facts about Columbus. I never thought that I could teach anybody in a church anything. Never even dreamed it.
But all during that amazing year, I loved how my skills as a teacher and my faith could mesh and become one. They could serve one purpose, and my crazy colored-marker fetish could serve Jesus, not just first-graders.
Now I lead a Bible study that began during that year. We just finished Made to Crave and are considering It's No Secret as our next book. I would love to learn how to be a better leader for ur group. There's so much that I don't know, and there's so much wisdom at She Speaks - I would LOVE to go there and soak it up! But ... I have two young children and am a stay-at-home mom. I love my "job," and the benefits are great - who wouldn't want a zillion sticky kisses and "I wuv you, Mommys" each and every day? - but the tradeable cash is sadly lacking. The funds to attend She Speaks just aren't in our budget. For that reason, a scholarship would make it possible for me to attend.
If not this year, maybe sometime ... but until, I'm going to keep my scented markers ready. Who knows what God is planning next?
Does She Speaks sound like something you'd like to attend, too? Renee Swope is giving away a scholarship here - check it out!