Thursday, July 21, 2011

Operation “She Speaks” is On

Hey ladies! I won’t keep you long today, but I just wanted to stop in to say “hi”. I am just a bundle of excitement right about now. Almost 3 hours ago I arrived for the conference I’ve wanted to attend for seven years now. I know you all have probably wearied over the past few years as I “bent your ears” about wanting to attend this conference. You all remember my many attempts to win scholarships. Apparently, it just wasn’t my time. This year, God said “yes”, and I am very happy to be here.

For much of the afternoon, I’ve been relaxing, trying to shake off the staleness of a rental car and a long, hot busy interstate drive. I’ve, also, been hanging out chit chatting with my roommate for the conference. She is a beautiful young woman who hails from Brazil and now lives in Canada. She is nervous about her accent and her mastery of the English language, but I’ve already told her she’s doing just fine. Her accent is a delight to listen to, and she speaks English better than many of us who were born and raised in the states! Seriously… I’ll see if I can get her to smile for the camera later. 🙂

North Carolina brings back all sorts of memories. To be honest, most of them are not so great. I lived here for just under 6 months, many moons ago, during one of the most challenging seasons of my life. That’s totally another story for another day, though.

Today, it’s all about the craft of writing and how the Lord wants me to use the gift He’s given me. I’ve already learned so much just preparing for this conference, so I can only imagine what’s in store in the days ahead. I’m excited to find out, though, and I’ll try my best to keep you posted. My day gets going late tomorrow, but once it starts it will be non-stop. If I can steal a few moments, I will try to stop by and say “hi” tomorrow, too!

If you’re joining me from Facebook or Twitter, happy almost Friday. If you’re catching up with me via email, Happy Friday (you won’t see this until then)!

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,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I Stole Away

I stole away.

I have mountains of work to do, and I technically can’t really afford to steal away, but I did it anyway.  I’m proud of it, too.

For this entire day, I’ve been simultaneously trying to chip away at the assignments for my day job that are in fierce competition for my attention and secretly pining after this space right here.  I’ve been waiting for my official “quitting time” (even though I truly need to work far beyond that hour) to steal away so I could share with you.

I have so much I want to say.  There’s a lot going on.  It seems with each passing day, my plate gets more and more filled.  By day, I work a nine to five, as most of us do, and I’m so thankful for it!  I come home, go to the gym, and later begin my nine to five by night – working toward my personal goal of becoming a published author.

I will be attending the She Speaks conference next month, focusing on the Writer’s track.  When I registered for the conference I signed up for a publishers meeting.  What the heck was I thinking?  I have no idea!  This publishers meeting is my own “15 minutes of fame” – 15 minutes in a one on one meeting with a representative from an actual company that actually publishes books like the ones I actually hope to have on a shelf in your neighborhood Borders, Lifeway, or Barnes and Noble one day.  Yes! Your neighborhood and my neighborhood, too….  Oh and your sister’s neighborhood, your niece’s neighborhood, your mom’s, grandma’s and aunt’s neighborhood, as well.  Oh yeah, and your best girlfriend’s neighborhood, too.  I wouldn’t want to leave her out.

But I digress…

The truth is following a dream or a passion is a lot of work.  If we’re honest, the words dream and passion could very well be deceiving, when you really stop to think about it.  They both ignite a sweet sense of euphoria in our thoughts, but in real life euphoric is far from what I’m feeling today.  No, today I’m faced with mounting responsibilities, a beautiful ever-changing life, and a day job that is a MEGA blessing (especially in this economy) but sometimes just seems to get in the way.

Needless to say, in this season of expansion I’m learning a few things.  I’m learning balance.  I’ve discovered that I must learn how to manage my time OR ELSE.  “Destiny demands diligence.” I once read those words in a book by Dr. Myles Munroe, and they have been with me for years now.  I am learning that diligent hard work and balance are key to following a dream.  Last but certainly not least, I’m learning that nothing is impossible with God, and that I can truly do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Fact is that’s pretty much the only way I’m going to get all that lies before me done.

There’s more to come.  I’m so glad I stole away. 🙂