Sometimes We’ve Just Got to Go It ALONE!
I had never traveled anywhere alone and stayed alone for several days. I’m a girlfriends’ girlfriend. I love traveling with a pack. I love having one of my birth or God sisters with me at times like this. I mean how much fun to prepare and plan, board the plane with breathless anticipation. To set down in a lovely foreign land (well from NJ to NC…it was new territory to me!) wide-eyed and bushy tailed ready to experience together a living, learning adventure. Then to return each night to our cozy little hotel room, giddy with fun and fellowship to share.
Well, my first She Speaks Conference wasn’t exactly like this, since I was…ALONE!
As it happened, I had been trying to get to the She Speaks Conference for a couple of years with a couple of interested gal pals. In fact, for my 50th birthday, my beloved friends, knowing the desire of my heart was to attend this conference, collected money to help send me on my way. I was just waiting till one of my friends could come along. But it had been two years and I was itching to go!
So, with great trepidation and nerves akimbo, I registered myself for She Speaks.
Yes, terror mixed with the excitement of actually doing this very big thing…ALONE!
I felt certain I was to go. And so off I went. The flight (I have some fear of flying) was smooth sailing. The shuttle was awaiting and quickly filled up with a spirited bunch of women, most of whom were exhausted from the pressures of leaving family behind and pulling it all together on the home front. We were mostly new to the conference. All of us were just silly with eagerness, chatting, exchanging stories, hopes, and plans, and getting to know one another in our moving bubble.
And then we arrived! It was actually one night before the Pre-Conference began; a great opportunity to relax and catch my breath before the opening of She Speaks.
I had already made a fast friend…
And so we agreed to grab a quick bite and go for a pool walk. Yes, we donned our bathing suits, jumped in the pool, and began walking laps as we shared like old friends do…though we had just met each other. For me, my new buddy was a sign that I was going to be just fine and this conference was going to be a girlfriend getaway and so much more, even though I was there…ALONE!
The next morning, I checked in to the Pre-Conference Session.
I was outfitted with my new conference tote and an awesome book by Renee Swope, A Confident Heart . I felt the book was a gift from God, since there was one of several book choices included in each bag, and this seemed perfectly chosen for me.
The journey of learning, connecting, worshipping, sharing, laughing, crying continued for three days. I was in the right place at the right time, meeting all kinds of amazing women I wouldn’t have met had I been traveling with others. The worship was rich. The keynotes were moving and left lasting impact.
I remember Lysa TerKeurst’s (keynote was Let God Chisel).Karen Ehman put on a hysterical skit on comparison (so relatable for comparison queens like me).Renee Swope’s testimony was powerful and moving. Oh and it was there that I first encountered Ann Voskamp, author of the life-changing One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are . I met the engaging and delightful Amy Carroll and signed up for some continuing ed, so to speak, through the equipping Next Step Speakers Services . I’ve since enjoyed Message Development coaching through Next Step from Karen Ehman and a recent eye-opening Group Service conference call, Writing a Bang-Up Book Proposal, also with Karen.
There were excellent workshops on marketing, writing, speaking, publishing, platform, and more. I was part of a Speakers Coaching Group (very intimidating, but I’m glad I did it!). And I even met with a couple of publishers to share my book proposal.
From beginning to end, I was so delighted to be at She Speaks. The friends I met, words spoken, lessons learned, challenges met…well it was all beyond what I could’ve asked or imagined.
If you want to sharpen your writing skills and hone your speaking message, enjoy lots of good girlfriend time (even if you’re alone!), be refreshed, equipped, and inspired, I’d say She Speaks is for you. Find out more here http://shespeaksconference.com/shespeaks/ .
And if you decide to go, please let me know. I’m doing my best to make my way there again this summer…this time with Circles of Faith Co-Founder, Managing Editor, and Friend Kimberly Amici. Hope to see you there!
Note: She Speaks is A Speakers and Writers Conference From Proverbs 31 Ministries
Date: July 25-27, 2013
Registration: Open now and filling up fast!
We’ve had a few posts here on Circles Of Faith from the awesome women of Proverbs 31 Ministries, including Karen Ehman, Tracie Miles, Lynn Cowell, and just in the past few days, Amy Carroll. So I figured it was time to share just one of the fabulous opportunities Proverbs 31 provides. It’s their informative, instructional, applicable, inspiring annual She Speaks, Speakers and Writers Conference.