Monday, August 1, 2011

The Prayer Room, Part 1 – More Thoughts from She Speaks

Imagine the variety of experiences that may be available to you over the course of roughly 67 hours, in an environment of 650 women representing 40+ states and (I think) 4 countries. A superabundance of experiences can spring forth out of such fertile ground. This was the ground I walked on at the She Speaks Conference last weekend.

Take note – especially any writers, speakers, and/or women’s ministry leaders out there – as I continue to express the richness of this experience. It was a wealth weightier than normal networking and padded the scale more on the side of encouragement than of competition.

One of my notable experiences was my time in the She Speaks Conference Prayer Room. The Prayer Room was a place of calm in the midst of the clamor, set aside for a purpose I believe is pretty self-explanatory (given the name). It was a serene place of comfortable seating, dim lighting, soothing instrumental worship music, and oh yeah, lots of tissue boxes. After all this was a women’s event. 🙂

There were no “hours of operation” for the prayer room, at least none that I was ever aware of. If the conference was in session, the prayer room was open. Women would drop in between or even during sessions, whenever they felt the need to steal away for a sweet hour (or maybe just a few minutes) of prayer.

The most unique aspects of the prayer room, aside from the atmosphere, were the names of God on display on tables at the back of the room. Get this! Prior to the conference the Proverbs 31 Ministries team took the time to pair the name of each one of the 650 attendees to one of 19 names of God. A sampling of the names of God included names like: El – meaning: The Strong One, Jehovah Nissi – meaning: The Lord is My Banner, Immanuel – meaning: God with us, and El Shaddai – meaning: the all sufficient one; the God of the mountains; God almighty

The team prayed over all 650 women in the days leading up to the conference. Now is that a beautiful thing or what?! Indeed it is.

Join me tomorrow as I share more of my experience in the prayer room and the funny now (yet not so funny then) story of how and where I found my name.

In the meantime, is there a request you’d like me to take into my personal prayer room for you? I’d be delighted to call on the One who is the strong One, who is our banner, who is the all sufficient One – God almighty – on your behalf. Feel free to leave your prayer requests in the comments, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Completely ME,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Prayer Request for Writing the Vision

I simply could not let another day pass without writing a special post to say a special hello to my soon to be new friends who are diligently preparing for the She Speaks conference that will soon be upon us.  I must say thank  you to Kimberly Jones Simpkins from Mining for Diamonds for jump starting the She Speaks blogroll on the conference attendees Facebook page.  I know that I’ve already had many visitors from the blog roll, and I look forward to visiting your blogs, as well.  Thanks to Kimberly’s brilliant idea we will all get to do some meeting, greeting and reading even before the actual event.  Pretty cool, huh?  I think so.

For those of you who have no idea what She Speaks is all about, click here to see what all the online fuss is about.

Last week, I listened in on the first of two conference calls held for the sole purpose of preparing conference attendees who are writers, wannabe writers, and all writers in between for our Publishers Appointments that will take place during the conference.  That’s right, my friends.  I will have my 15 minutes of fame – an opportunity to sit down in front of people who work for real life publishing companies and pick their brains, ask them questions and propose a book idea.

I was overwhelmed by the wealth of information and encouragement we received from Glynnis Whitwer (Author, Speaker, and Director of the Writer Team for Proverbs 31 Ministries).  To be honest, I believe I’m still overwhelmed.  Even as I type these words one week later, my knees seem to knock together (though I am seated) with excitement accompanied by that old familiar spirit of fear.  I tell you, old man fear just has to be the “who invited that guy” guest to every God party in our lives, doesn’t he?  I always have to call on my bouncer friend, 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind” – and out on his keister he goes.

As I consider the opportunity that lies before me, I am reminded of two things:

1.  There are two verses of scripture I’ve written atop the pages of so many ideas – whether for books, blog posts, or ministry organizations.  They are:

Habakkuk 2:2,3 NKJV – Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make [it] plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.
For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”

2.  The first topic of our conference call, last week, was prayer.  Glynnis gave us specific areas in which to pray leading up to the conference and wisely encouraged us to ask others to pray for us as we prepare for this event.

So, will you pray for me?  As I spend the next few weeks preparing for what I know will be a great moment in time, and at the same time toiling over the fact that I feel like I know ABSOLUTELY NADA about how to prepare, picking myself to pieces as a writer, and narrowly missing the many comparison traps that are set for me, knowing that you’re praying for me is sure to give me the strength and courage to plow forward.  No matter the outcome, I’m absolutely thrilled about the journey, the opportunity, and my traveling companions – YOU!

Bye for now!

Completely me,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Wisdom, Virtue, Rubies….

You will never believe how often I think about these three words.  Right behind them, or right alongside them, I think about you.

Wisdom, virtue and rubies.  Those words were given to me somewhere around August 2008.  I was writing my very first bible study lesson for a group of women who’d, for some strange reason, agreed to walk with me for 9 months in a small group bible study.  🙂  Back then that group was called The Future Wives Club, and “Wisdom, Virtue and Rubies” was the title of our very first bible study lesson.  Part of my vision was (and still is) to teach unmarried women the importance of preparing their hearts, minds, and spirits for marriage.

Looking back, I realize the lessons I prepared over those 9 months spoke more to the character of a woman than to preparation for marriage.  I guess character is a pretty critical component in that area, wouldn’t you agree?

Those 9 months were the most exciting I’ve ever experienced!  I was unemployed and had fewer material possessions than I’d ever had before, yet my heart would dance from month to  month as I allowed the Spirit of the Lord to stretch me to bring forth a new lesson for the ladies who had joined me.  I LOVED IT!

Somewhere around the 4th or 5th month, I found myself squirming like a two year old in timeout trying to determine the direction for the upcoming lesson.  I mean we’re talking a two year old little BOY, my friends, and I’m sure we’ve all seen how challenging it is for a toddler little boy to sit still.  Anyhoo, at the end of my squirming came a lesson based on one little ol’ word – SURRENDER!  LOL….  As it turns out, I was trying so hard to maintain a consistent pattern (cute words for CONTROL) to the lessons that I had inched away from allowing the Lord to lead me to the lesson in a fresh, new way each month. I needed to surrender.

That was just one of the many lessons I learned during those beautiful months.  Girlfriend, I could tell you some stories!  LOL…  Lord knows, I fumbled a great deal those 9 months.  I still reflect on some of my mistakes, even now.  However, I’ve been told fumbles are part of the raw materials necessary to build a great leader.  I pray that’s true in my case, as well. 🙂

The vision has evolved quite a bit since I launched the bible study 2 years ago.  Our first meeting was held in a small, eclectic neighborhood coffee shop on a Saturday morning, exactly 2 years ago today (September 20, 2008).  Happy anniversary to me! (This trip down memory lane is beginning to make a whole lot more sense to you now, isn’t it?! lol…)  Writing those lessons, sharing with those women…. well, it was my sweet spot, sisters.  It was that place where my heart beat wildly with joy!  I had great anticipation, because I had NO IDEA what to expect from one month to the next!  I LOVED running with all swiftness to carry the special messages from the heart of the Father to the hearts of His daughters.  It was more than my pleasure.  It was an honor!

Two years later, my heart longs to do it all over again.  Although I love this blog, and I’m so thankful to each of you who join me here, I knew it would never completely satisfy satiate my appetite for sharing with God’s daughters.  I pray this corner of blog land becomes our place where the Lord keeps us connected, even as He watches between us while we are absent one from another. The ultimate desire of my heart, however, is to meet you, to shake your hands, hug your necks, cry with you, laugh with you, pray with you, study with you, and grow with you.  I hope that many more women will meet us here after I have met them out there, in the REAL WORLD!!

So, this is my anniversary prayer:

Lord, thank you for this beautiful day, one we’ve never seen before.  We’re delighted to see what you have in store for us today.

Two years ago today, You blessed me to be a messenger for You.  I’m still humbled that You would do anything so meaningful with one who’s failed you as often as I have in the past and am sure to do so in the future.  In spite of my multitude of flaws and fumbles, it was the sweetest time of my life.  I saw your glory.  I thank you for the wilderness that followed.  I thought I wouldn’t make it, but You knew I would.  Now, here I am – on the other side and ready to go again!  Take me to the next level of Your glory.  I know there’s more you would have me to say.  I know there are more of your daughters you would have me to encourage and more of them You will send to encourage me.  I thank you for them, in advance.

Lord, today, on my anniversary, I say “Yes” again.  Two years ago, I didn’t know what would flow from my “yes”.  Today, I know very well the consequences of “yes”.  And I still say YES!

Now I pray for your daughters.  You called us to seek wisdom, to treasure virtue and to understand value.  This calling is often more challenging than we expected, but we can do all things through You.   There are some who are uncertain about who they are and why they’re here.  I know that feeling.  I’ve been there.  I pray that clarity from You begins TODAY.  Let her know she’s not a mistake.  She was created on purpose, for a purpose – to bring You glory!  Whisper that to her, wherever she is.  Let her know, You are a God who is immune to mistakes.  And we are all so thankful for that!

Lord, we will remain committed to be led by Your word and by Your Spirit to become women of your original design.

Wise, Virtuous, Valuable,