Thursday, March 10, 2011
She Speaks if He wills
Last summer I went shopping and bought some special outfits that I really don't need for my farmwife-stay-at-home-Mom-to-6-kids kind of life. Then I packed these clothes in my new airline-worthy luggage (the well-worn family duffel bags just did not cut it) in anticipation of flying away for the weekend to do something radically different than my farmwife-stay-at-home-Mom-to-6-kids kind of life. I had been anticipating it for months, not just for the break from my summer at home with said children, but for the fact that I knew I was going to a place where I would get to mingle with women like me. While I love my life and have a multitude of friends with whom I have much in common, and while I am daily validated by my husband and these friends, there is a side of me that I really don't have in common with anyone close to me in my life. I've made claims on this blog to be a nut, to have dreams and visions, to want to serve the Lord in new and exciting ways, to have burning thoughts and desires in me that seen to stand in contrast to my farmwife-stay-at-home-Mom-to-6-kids kind of life, and to want to be challenged. And it's all true. So you can imagine how excited I was when, in July of last year, I found a wonderful conference that finally fed these, ahem, attributes of my personality.
I packed my new clothes in my new luggage and went to She Speaks!
She Speaks is a truly amazing three-day conference hosted by one of my very favorite ministries, Proverbs 31 Ministries. In their very own words, "She Speaks is not just another conference … it is a true experience with God and a revival in your calling!" In my very own words, She Speaks is a place where I discovered that I am not that nutty after all! At She Speaks, I found there are countless hundreds upon hundreds of women who so desire to serve the Lord that they are sacrificing sleep, easy lives, and who knows what else, just to speak, write, and lead other women. Of course, the conference was pristinely planned, from the moment I stood at the registration table to the moment I walked away with a tear in my eye. They had chosen a location that for most of us gals was the luxuriously welcoming respite we needed. The equipping sessions were powerful. And the three days of fellowship was incredible. But the very best part of this conference, in my opinion, was the opportunity for hundreds of women with passions and desires and dreams and callings, to be fed by other women living the very same dreams and callings.
I got to stand among them and it was truly amazing.
God is very gracious to give His children once in a lifetime opportunities upon which to build memories, be encouraged, and trust in His good and perfect gifts, and last year I counted myself truly blessed to have been gifted by Him. She Speaks felt like my once in a lifetime opportunity, and has since been a tremendous source of inspiration and strength for me in my life.
So now we have come to the time of year when registration for She Speaks 2011 has begun. And I really want to go. My life is just as busy and my kids are just as demanding, but my heart is yet again yearning to attend. I want to be further equipped, validated, encouraged, and directed by God. I want to dip my toe deeper into my big nutty dreams, and see if I find the Lord's will there.
However, as a farmwife-stay-at-home-Mom-to-6-kids, I take the expense and time of such an endeavor very seriously. Truth be told, this year, things are, shall we say, stretched a tad thin. Money is tighter. The children are just as busy as ever, so with finances as the greatest determining factor, I decided a few weeks back that I could not--should not--pursue attending She Speaks 2011.
As with many areas of life, I must choose to surrender my own desires...stop forging ahead with my ideas of what I think is good...allow God to work...and even surrender my desire to be equipped to serve Him, to Him. I must work in cooperation with the Lord. So, I made the statement recently that if the Lord willed for me to attend She Speaks 2011, I would praise Him and happily go, and if he did not will it, then I would praise Him and happily stay home.
But a scholarship would go a long way.
It was in the middle of this peaceful and surrendered place that I read this post on Lysa TerKeurst's blog. It was in the middle of this peaceful and surrendered place that my heart leapt out of its quiet spot in the middle of my chest, and started to wonder "what if??" It was in the middle of this peaceful and surrendered place that the farmwife-stay-at-home-mom-to-6-kids decided to enter herself in the She Speaks Scholarship Contest 2011, and is now leaving the rest to God.
Over this coming weekend, the awesome gals at Proverbs 31 Ministries will embrace the task of reading many wonderful blog posts, from many wonderful woman, in order to discern whom the Lord is asking them to give the two conference scholarships. I am covering those P31 women in prayer, and have asked the Lord that He would lead them to bless the bloggers who are supposed to be blessed with the scholarship. And now my name is in the hat! I admit it, I'd love to win. But more than that, I pray that God will be God, and in His way will bless whom He chooses to bless. Please choose me if--and only if I--you truly believe I am meant to win.
Thanks for reading my blog. To God be the glory!