Timing is everything.
Months ago, I saw a post about SheSpeaks, a conference for women designed to provide "the tools and the confidence to answer God’s call on your life." Three tracks–for speakers, women’s ministry leaders and writers–were iced with sessions specifically for bloggers. The cherries on that icing? Bloggers whom I’d been reading for years, Shannon (Rocks in My Dryer), Sophie (BooMama) and Melanie (Big Mama), were leading these sessions. I was compelled to register. Compelled.
Having blogged for over two years, only recently have I felt the gentle nudge to "do something more" with my writing. Honestly? I’m scared to admit that out loud. What does it mean exactly? I’m not sure. Learning about SheSpeaks collided with my internal stirrings, and I couldn’t NOT go…perfect timing.
I do know "words" mean something to me; they’re powerful. They can build up and tear down, heal and wound. They can alter a child’s life–for their good or to their detriment. A kind word can chart the course for my day; from a friend or from a stranger, spoken or written, sometimes words have been a touch of the Divine–even when (maybe especially when) the person behind them had no idea of their significance or balming.
Scripture teaches God spoke the world into existence–there is no more convincing argument for the power of words!
Far more than a conference of idle words, SheSpeaks touched the lives of over 560 women this past weekend, who will in turn touch the lives of others, who will in turn touch the lives of others. Thousands will be affected. Whoa…! That’s a thought that didn’t occur to me until just now. Thousands will be affected as a result of the conference, as women honed their skill in the spoken and written word and gained insight and wisdom in leadership. (Bloggers identified on this post.)
Let’s see if I can narrow down weekend highlights to a list of ten:
 Off to a good start–l-r, lunch with Dawn (My Home Sweet Home), me, Valerie (Valerie at Home) and Lisa (Simply His). HUGE thanks to Dawn who shared her photographs with me (since my beloved is in the hospital); George Clooney united me and Dawn a while back, and I’m thankful the conference gave me opportunity to meet Lisa (my favorite biker chick-friend) and Valerie .
 The entire Proverbs 31 Team. Lysa TerKeurst and LeAnne Rice amassed an amazing group of women to serve conference attendees. Easily identifiable by their "beaded necklace badges", their countenances exuded grace and friendliness. Their hospitality assured a warm welcome for everyone.
Lindsay Kane. Oh, sweet mercy, this girl doesn’t just sing–she can flat SANG! As soon as she opened her mouth, I was a fan, and when she saw me walking by later, her "I LOVE THAT JACKET!!" gave me reason to mosey over. Unbeknownst to me, I looked like a HOBO but no one was kind enough to tell me. Pictures don’t lie. Lindsay does–but give her a listen anyway ;).
Oh, and we shared a moment when I gave her a business card (oh, my! that’s worth mentioning–and laughing AT, too–blogging callin’ cards?? Commence to ROFL and I will join you!); the back of mine says "It’s all good…eventually" a reference to Romans 8:28. One of her favorite verses, when she checked into her room, her key said, "Rm 828" and she was flippin’ out…she flipped some more when she saw my card.
 Shoes. What is it about me and feet? What is it about women and shoes?! The deepest, heady thinkers can be rendered shallow in the presence of a cute pair of shoes. Meet Big Mama, BooMama And Rocks–from the ankle below:
Don’t believe for a second this is the last time I’ll mention feet relative to SheSpeaks ;).
 Diverse, comprehensive sessions. This conference is one-stop shopping for those who aspire to write and speak professionally. Conferees chose from about 30 sessions, among them: The Pathway to Publication, Magazine Writing 101, Working at Home: The Possibilities and the Practicalities, and The Power of a Story. Peer reviews, speaker evaluations, appointments with publishers for book proposals, submitting query letters (in person) for magazine publication–this conference is not just about telling you what to do, it equips, encourages and provides real opportunities.
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See? Me and the feet…I saw these shoes on Laura Boggess and she didn’t bat an eyelash when I asked to photograph them. See? Bloggers GET bloggers, even if there’s a touch of insanity!
To be continued….
My baby’s birthday and technical difficulties are keeping me from finishing this; I’ll complete my "Top Ten" tomorrow (which will be no easy task!).