Friday, July 29, 2011

The Epicenter of Destiny – Thoughts from She Speaks 2011

Proverbs 13:12 (NASB) reads, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” It’s true I’d wanted to attend the She Speaks Conference – this meeting of like minds in the areas of writing, speaking, and women’s ministry – since 2004. I’m not sure my heart was sick each year I was unable to go, but knowing God’s timing is perfect did soothe the apparent sting of disappointment.

Eventually…

As I walked into the grand atrium lobby, the sun’s afternoon rays perforated the windowed ceiling. The gaze of eleven floors of hotel room doors and windows witnessed my arrival. On this day, desire had finally come, and I was positioned to experience the life and synergy this gathering of 650 women would inevitably produce.

I arrived 24 hours before the official start of the conference. With each passing hour, the atmosphere swelled with momentum as one eager woman after another stepped off a plane, out of a shuttle van, a bus, or a car, and clicked her heels onto the marble floor of the hotel lobby. Anticipation and great expectation filled the air as intoxicants, and I… well I deeply inhaled.

My brain contorted as my mind struggled to comprehend how each woman taking her turn through the revolving door entered with a similar gift and maybe even a similar story as the woman before or after her. Yet, despite our commonalities, God has a unique plan for advancing His messages of love, hope and freedom to a different audience, in a different way, through each willing and obedient vessel that passed before me – a plan that can only be accomplished by the power of His spirit alone.

Wow…

I was very comfortable in this place.

So, this is what it feels like to be at the epicenter of destiny – the place where a willing, obedient vessel commits her God-given gift(s) to be used to fulfill His plan for her life (the complete details she’s yet unsure of), for the purpose of freedom, by the power of His Spirit.

The epicenter of destiny is less of an event and more of a mindset, a place of true identity, and the actions and lifestyle that flow from that place.

Are you willing and obedient?

What is/are your gift(s)?

Do you trust God’s great power and His planning perfection?

Have you tasted freedom? Do you want to lead others to it?

Have you been to the epicenter of destiny?

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,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Happy 2nd Anniversary to Me!

It’s that time again.  My sweet little corner of the blogosphere turns a whopping 2 years old today!!

Hanging out here has been a treat.  Sometimes, I feel like I’m still trying to find my voice and my timing around these parts.  I often feel guilty because many other bloggers I follow seem to have this thing down to a science.  They know how often they will post, on what days they will post and what they will post about week after week.  Comparison traps are so easy to fall into, and I tell you I step right in from time to time.

So far, I haven’t synchronized with a certain rhythm yet.  I’ve always been one who writes when I have something to say.  Believe me, it’s not an easy task to try to force words out when they simply don’t want to come.  I’m sure someone reading this can relate.  However, when they flow naturally it is as if they skip and sing their way onto the pages, or in this case, the blog post text box.

All in all, in two years I have seen progress.  In 2009, when I started, I posted once every other month.  In 2010 I almost, ALMOST hit my once a week goal.  There are some “behind the scenes” things happening in 2011, and I’m shifting course a bit, but I’m still here, and I have no plans to go anywhere.  As a matter of fact, you’ve heard me mention that I’m setting up a new shop, so I must be planning on sitting a spell.

So, what has been my greatest challenge in the world of blogging?  That’s easy.  My greatest challenge has been writing my words in a place where other people can read them.  I’ve spent the majority of my life in an affair with my pen and paper and writing in journals just for me and Jesus.  I certainly wasn’t used to writing for others to read, critique, like, or dislike.  That was a great challenge for me to overcome.  As a matter of fact as I sit here typing, I must say that blogging for 2 years is suddenly transforming into an entirely different level of accomplishment.

What lesson have I learned?  The most important lesson I’ve learned is to stay the course.  I can’t lie.  There’s a Monica somewhere inside of me who would have stopped doing this long time ago.  She would have become frustrated or just plain succumb to the evil that is laziness.  She would have convinced herself that it wouldn’t matter, that no one would miss her words anyway.  She would rationalize that there are so many others, far more capable than herself, whose writing will hopefully reach the hearts of those the Lord has actually assigned to her.  Then she would have given herself permission to sneak quietly back into her secret, solitary corner of the world and rest in her comfortable place of anonymity.

But, I’ve learned to stay the course.  I started this blog for a reason, and I know I’m far from finished.  This is just the foundation, and in actuality, it is truly one of my favorite places to be.  Truth be told, this is the first moment all day long that my back hasn’t been knotted with tension.  It’s because I’m doing what I love, and I’ve somehow, by the grace of God, managed to stay the course.  Eventually, maybe I’ll find a rhythm of my own, or maybe I’ve already found it and I just need to embrace it.  I’ll let you know which one was true by my next blog anniversary.  I hope you’ll still be here with me to celebrate.

Completely ME,