Continued thoughts from SheSpeaks, a comprehensive speaking/writing/leadership conference designed to equip women to pursue their God-given calling. Please click here to read part one.
 Lysa TerKeurst. She would never, ever, EVAH want to be put on a pedestal, but there’s no way to speak about the conference without acknowledging her! I remember Lysa’s early days with P31 Homemaker, when she was publishing their newsletter from her garage! In 15 years, this international ministry has reached millions through Lysa’s books, a guest appearance on Oprah, and eight years of conferences…not to mention the hundreds (thousands?) of speaking engagements during that time, both for Lysa and other members of the P31 team.
Words flow from Lysa’s lips with grace, humility, emotion and encouragement; she’s a gifted speaker who never misses opportunity to magnify the name of Christ. Above all, she was faithful to remind us that it’s all about loving Him and loving others.
 Awkward "Hey-I-know-THAT-blogger" moments melt into The Natural. Because so many bloggers registered for SheSpeaks this year, they added a reception just for us. Close your eyes and imagine walking into a full room full of people you "know" but don’t know! What is the "best" and most "proper" way to introduce yourself to someone to whom you’ve been reading and commenting to for months? years, even?? Mix together a small room, sweet tea and sugary snacks? Pretty soon you’re meshing.
And, Lord help me, I started taking pictures of women’s feet! Does that sound
bizarre and socially unacceptable "best" and "proper" to you???
 Speaking of feet, let’s go there again. Saturday night, we skipped dinner and the final session, not just to play hooky, but because several of my friends were "allergic" to seafood. We ended up at the mall. Dinner was less than delightful, but it wasn’t about the food, it was about the friendship. Two of my companions were Tina (Antique Mommy) and DeeDee (It Coulda Been Worse) and meeting them was a treat. Though I’ve seen them around the b-sphere, apparently I was in the minority for not having already bloglined them…probably because I don’t have enough blogs in my reader.
After dinner, we wandered into a few stores. Is this really a surprise?
Left to right: DeeDee (It Coulda Been Worse), Missy (It’s Almost Naptime), Dawn (My Home Sweet Home), Tina (Antique Mommy) and moi; the price of those shoes totaled well over $1,000. Insane, I tell ya. More insane? These:
 Hanging out. All the SheSpeaks sessions were helpful, inspiring and motivating, b u t, spending time with the Girlie~Qs outside of a formal setting? Delicious!
I spent time with bloggers with whom I’ve never crossed paths–Missy (It’s Almost Naptime), mom to FOUR, ages four and younger, and Annie (Taking a Step. Towards My Dream)–both precious and OH-SO-YOUNG but with wisdom beyond their
years; Dawn and I must have like minds, ’cause in addition to sharing a certain affection for Clooney, we signed up for identical sessions; Lisa B. and Valerie were a welcome friendly face when I needed
that very thing; and hanging out with Shannon, Sophie and Melanie and talkin’ "off the record" was not just fun, it was encouraging.
And my #1 MOST FAVORITE HIGHLIGHT–
 They weren’t axe-wielding serial killers!
Sarah (Genesis Moments) and Jo-Lynne (Musings of a Housewife) crawled out on a very thin branch and invited
me–A TOTAL STRANGER–to join them for the weekend. They knew I regretted my initial decision to stay with friends almost an hour from the conference venue (with the price of gas and travel time, it didn’t seem like the "good idea" it had three months ago).
Obviously, we thought we’d get along–Jo-Lynne was my competition for "Most Talkative" and actually came away the winner–but it was beyond "getting along"…friendship was born :). Sarah and I simultaneously broke into "ta-da" moments every time someone brought out a camera… Their company was delightful and any blogger would understand how n i c e it was to talk "all things blog" without eyes glazing over :). And LAUGH! OH, MY, we laughed and got along amazingly well–they travel "like me", casually. Everything does NOT have to be perfect and I needed that.
Oh, my word, my intention was NOT to write the LONGEST SHESPEAKS RECAP OF THEM ALL, but I might win that crown :/. I guess this is one of the times I need to write for myself, so I can REMEMBER, ya know?
Plus, it’s never too early to begin
campaigning for NEXT YEAR’S "Most Talkative" planning for NEXT YEAR’S SheSpeaks conference: July 31-August 2, 2009 🙂