Monday, August 3, 2009

She Speaks pre-conference

Once again, my time at the She Speaks conference was sheer delight ... followed by sheer exhaustion. Remember I said for 2 days afterwards I generally sit in the corner and drool, unable to do anything but watch movies? Well that time has commenced, so I'll just hit the highlights of some of what I did while there.

Tuesday-Thursday it was just the P31 team. Believe it or not, this is the only time of the year we are all together physically in one place! That's why we love coming to She Speaks so much. They don't pay us to come, but they don't have to. I'd walk across burning coals to spend time with these gals. (metaphorically speaking, of course - I'm a wimp about pain.)

Thursday night we had dinner with our special guests: the publishers, agents and bloggy experts we'd invited to serve with us at the conference. I had the total pleasure of dining with Stephanie of DaySpring, Holley of Heart to Heart with Holley, Emily of Chatting at the Sky, and The Nester of Nesting Place. Yes, Nester has a first name, but I won't print it for fear of spelling it wrong - or spelling it right and enabling you to find her tax records online.

Each of these gals were easy-going, fun, funny, interesting, intelligent and comfortable to hang with. I love meeting new friends and already look forward to seeing them again.

Speaking of new friends, remember I told you I was rooming with a complete stranger from outside our speaker team this year? LOVED HER. That was a great decision - a God decision in fact.

The first night Ariel and I met, which was after my dinner with the swanky blog chicks, we were up until 1:30 AM talking our girly selves to death. Well, that was pretty much every night actually. The last night we went from talking in the suite, to talking while sitting in our beds, to talking while laying down on our pillows, to still talking after we'd turned out the lights. We clicked in a way that wasn't just a relief but a treat.

Can't wait to buy Ariel's book this week. It's called Eye of the God and it's about the Hope diamond ... I love me some big bling, y'all. Her book is one of 3 picks for the launch of P31's She Reads this fall.

Soooo glad Rob Eager is a good presenter, because I spent all of Friday morning in his pre-conference sessions. Great information ... nearly overwhelming to take in all at once, but really good. He says I need to understand what I uniquely "bring to the table" as a speaker and writer. I'm not sure I do. I think its hard to see your own uniqueness. I'd be curious to hear what you all think - how would you describe my strengths or value as a Christian communicator?

At lunch on Friday I sat with some terrific women's ministry leaders. There I met a gal from South Africa. She told me that in her country no one is deemed worthy to be seen as an "expert." So they always read books from people outside the country, bring in speakers from outside the country. It reminded me of Jesus' comment that no one can be an expert in their own hometown. This woman was definitely worthy of listening to. She was such a total gem and I would love to travel there to do ministry with her someday.

After lunch and one more session, I changed clothes into my official P31 shirt and gathered with the team for our entrance to the opening session of the conference. This year we sauntered and danced our way on stage to a funky remix of "We Are Family." Don't worry, Cheri Keaggy had opened us up with worship first.

Lysa nearly made me cry right there on stage y'all (in the pic above) while talking about her love for this team. She Speaks may be the only place one can go from dancing to a funky beat to crying inside of 2 minutes. That's me to the right of the table number 31 (how appropriate).

I'll stop here since I've already given you lots of links to check out, asked you to help me discern why my readers read me, and plus, I have to get back to drooling. I'll post more about the conference later this week.


  1. Your comment, Friend, touched my heart. It was great seeing you as well. I miss you all already. So thankful that I can stay up to date with you through cyber space. :-)

  2. I had such a great time meeting you, Rachel! Thanks for being so hospitable and warm. I'm sure that's why people love you! Including me!!

  3. You are too funny about the drooling! So, what flicks are you watching??

    It was great seeing you again!! So glad we were able to eat dinner together on Friday!It was a treat! I met your roomie at the book table, and I too have her book! Can't wait to read it.

    Thank you for all that y'all do at P31 to share the Good News! God was so gracious and loving as He ministered to us through you all this weekend.

  4. Rachel,
    I hope your drooling stops soon! I had to return to real life very daughter had a physical at 10:30 a.m. and son to the dentist at 2:30 p.m.! Wish there was more time to ease back in!
    Can't wait to see you all again,

  5. Rachel - Hope you are feeling rested by now :-) It was really nice meeting you at the conference. You are such a blessing!

    In Him,
    Amy T

  6. Thanks Rachel for mentioning my presence at She Speaks. I feel like I offered a mustard seed and God grew a forest. It was all Him and I was blessed to be able to connect with so many souls.

  7. I missed seeing you at SS too this year! I'm reading Marybeth & Curt's financial book right now, but still hoping that God will allow me to attend next summer. :)

    Sounds like you all had a blast and that God really showed up. How neat that you roomed with someone outside of the P31 staff. That's really awesome.

    I love reading your blog because you teach me something when I come here. Like about Advent...that was a whole new thing for me this year. I loved all the door pictures you had and the scripture and how you explain things to us. I don't leave here empty.

    Plus, your my sister-in-Christ and I love ya! :)

  8. Rachel!

    First, it was so good to see you this weekend. You will forever have a special place in my heart!

    Second, you are so approachable and real. Listening/Reading you is like have a girlfriend who just gets "it" and gets you.

    It was a lovely weekend and I am glad to hear you were blessed along the way. I was.

    Pop on over read some of my highlights if you get a chance.


  9. I think I found you by way of Susan and so glad I did. I am anxious to hear more about your thoughts on women's friendships. That has been a tough one for me some times. I am reading so much about She Speaks and really wishing I had been there. I am not a speaker or writer so I thought it probably was not for me. Still unsure, and looking forward to hearing and looking into it more. Your words that I have read so far have been a blessing. Jackie

  10. Rachel,
    It was great meeting you in person at She Speaks! I'm so glad we both go to be there and I look forward to staying in touch!

  11. Great recap! I really wanted to meet you and didn't have the chance! I'm not even an organizer, I drooled when I got home too.

    I think I've decided if the Lord allows me to go next year that I will come on Thurs nite & stay on Sunday night. Thurs nite to have a moment of "chill," and Sunday night to process and wind down so that my family can get me on a full brain!

    Awesome stuff. God is good.

  12. Hi, Rachel,
    First chance I've gotten to visit your blog since She Speaks. I had a family vacation at the Jersey shore, then a writers conference. I only went to that because I was awarded a scholarship, otherwise, I would have waited, since I was filled to the brim after SS. But God is good, and both were so worthwhile.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share my two cents about your value as a speaker/writer. I echo what has been said here, but want to add one thing that spoke volumes to me. In our small group last year, you chose not to stop the speaker even if her time was up, saying that the sharing of testimonies brings down strongholds of the enemy. Your act of grace was felt by everyone in the group. I think I can speak for all in the group when I say how much that was appreciated. And the truth in your statement is one that I have taken to heart and willingly share my testimony -to His glory- whenever possible.

    Thank you! And thank you for stopping by my blog every so often and offering an encouraging word. It means the world to me.

    Hope to see you again soon.


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