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:
They’re a pair of Jimmy Choos and the "discount" price was almost $400; they didn’t come close to being my favorite pair, either in style or comfort. These were much closer:
 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 🙂
It looks as if it was a fabulous time with some truly remarkable women… So glad that you were able to attend AND make some real-life friends. Next year, barring a stop from God, I’ll be there (even if we wind up eating beans for the next 12 months.)
I’m such a dummy I hadn’t noticed the top post was a sticky! This weekend was such a blast and we didn’t even duke it out over Clooney or anything.
Go check out my jewelry giveaway! I was up waaay to late last night posting about the conference and then realizing I needed to get that one up, too.
Feet? Anyway, sorry for my absence. Thigs have been alittle busy.
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet you in person. It sounds like you all had a blast. Had I known there would be an opportunity to put Jimmy Choos on my feet, I would have made sure to be wherever you wonderful ladies were at all times because I do love me some shoes! Ahh well, maybe next time:-).
Thank you for putting up the Mr. Linky to make it easier to check out all the recaps.
Hey now. I’m not giving up my crown that easily. 😉 It was a GREAT weekend, and having you room with us really was a treat. 🙂
Ohhh – that all sounds just delicious. (I think I would die if I spent that much on a pair of shoes!)
Great recap. It was such fun hanging out at the mall with you. Let’s do it again next year, shall we??
Wow. This sounds like such a wonderful time.
Where have I been that I didn’t even hear about it until you blogged it.
Oh well, maybe another year:)!
Hey, girl! Thanks for making my tootsies famous! Seriously, your preoccupation with feet is admirable. Love the shoes you all were shopping for…can you actually walk in those?????
awwwh – I didn’t read this post when I commented on the other one. You are the best. I love all the details and all our Ta-Da moments.
I raise my coffee cup to you: Here’s to more memories somewhere someday! When you start craving Philly cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, you know where to come. Jo-Lynne and I will be waiting at the mall for ya (in the shoe department, of course)!
I contemplated going for a brief time last spring but just couldn’t swing it with my work schedule. Looks like you all had a fabulous time and I’ve enjoyed seeing all the photos. Love all the shots of shoes!
Thank you so much for your own entertaining posts and for setting up Mr. Linky for others to share, too. Although I wasn’t able to attend She Speaks this year, it is wonderful to be able to experience it vicariously through you all. I am already praying about attending next year.