Thursday, July 31, 2014

She Speaks 2014

     Earlier in the week, I returned from the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina hosted by Proverbs 31 ministries. It was quite a weekend. It began, as I have found most modern worship events to begin, with music and flashing lights. Since flashing lights and my migraines are not the very best of friends, I started my experience worshiping with head down and eyes closed. But the speakers... oh my. It was well worth the risk. God is doing some seriously powerful things in the lives of many of these ladies.

     Throughout the weekend, He also reaffirmed His specific, clear words to me using almost each and every speaker I heard. I had never heard of many of these names before, due in part to the fact that I am relatively oblivious to anything that does not directly enhance my study of the Word, my homeschooling efforts, or my to-date vain attempts to discern one species of sparrow from the next. In this case, I must say that some of these names did actually penetrate the dense curtain of my preoccupation for a change. God spoke directly through them and confirmed what He has already told me, and so their names are now etched on my heart as sisters that I will someday embrace as we rejoice in our Father's house. Perhaps I will even have those sparrows down pat by then.

     I began the weekend mostly overwhelmed by the sheer mass of lipsticked and high-heeled humanity. I shuffled around in my peasant skirt clutching my standard-issue P31 bag (which, by the way, thankfully saved me from walking about clutching a sheaf of file folders) and tried to look as if I had some idea of what everyone was talking about when they said, "platform" or "hashtag."  After the opening music, I settled in, for Lisa TerKeurst's opening message was on making room for God to set up divine appointments in our schedules. If you have read this meandering blog for any time at all, you will know that God has been, rather loudly and extremely patiently, giving me the same message--and that I have finally begun to hear him.

     Then there was Shaunti Feldhahn speaking on the dire importance of truth and fact checking because it is the Truth that will set people free. Amen! And Christine Caine, a lady I had never heard of from Austrailia, saved me after a day of classes that mainly reminded me of how little I really know about anything but the writing part of the writing industry by reminding us all that if God has called us, He will find us and we do not have to "help" Him at all via self promotion or what-have-you. Which is a relief to me, by the way, since I still at this point did not know what a platform was nor how I was to go about having one. Or standing on one. Or whatever it is that one does with one.

     Suffice to say that I was renewed and encouraged in surprising ways. In a spiritual manner, I was floored to see that the prayers myself and a couple of friends have been sending up for revival are being answered at least in the hearts of some, and that God is working in huge ways in many places that I am not often privileged to see. What an honor that He even allowed me a glimpse! I was also equipped by one Suzie Eller whose class on freelancing made me think, "This I can actually do! Hurrah!" She gave such incredible information and was very helpful. I had an unexpectedly pleasant meeting with a publisher in which we nearly forgot to talk about my book idea (which is not really ready for much exposure at any rate) but instead just enjoyed a little woman-to-woman chat.

     All in all, it was a very exciting and encouraging weekend. God showed up in big ways and honestly gave me the same message He has been giving me for years: Teach my children diligently and keep writing for His glory (trying all the time to put down my pride, of course). I left feeling more than ever the urgency and thrill of my call in Christ, and encouraged that there may be some things I can do a little differently just to keep the old quill sharp. So in that, there may be some changes here in the future. I may--or I may not--revamp this little online journal of mine. I certainly will be working hard on getting the new school year under way for the next week or two. And maybe, just maybe, I will start sending out some feelers and see what kind of feedback I get. If the time is right, if I am faithful to work, and my heart is not too full of ambition, who knows what God will do?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 
Proverbs 3:5-7