Wednesday, April 21, 2010

She Speaks (for Him)

The morning before I attended my first She Speaks conference, I hadn’t heard of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I got up that morning, tended to my two preschoolers, and then plugged a clock radio in at my bathroom counter. Tuning in the local Christian station, I heard the P31 radio spot.

I don’t recall who was speaking or what they said, but I made mental note of the web address and checked it out that afternoon while my kids napped. Opening the home page, I saw She Speaks advertized. As I read about the conference, my heart skipped wildly and I had the strongest sense that I should go.

I wasn't looking for something like this, yet this wasn’t out of left field for me either. I had earned a masters’ degree in communication from a Christian university. I was teaching public speaking at my local university. And I was writing a monthly column for a local parenting magazine.

Plus, there was that day at the neighborhood pool a couple of years back. I was attempting some semblance of a quiet time while my husband and kids swam. Sitting on the lounge chair under the shade of the arbor with my Bible and journal, I came across a verse in the Old Testament. The words promised Jeremiah would be a prophet, and they spoke straight to my heart. It was as if God whispered, "Remember this." I had no idea why.

There was only one problem with the text I read on the She Speaks banner at the P31 homepage that day – the conference began tomorrow, and it was completely sold out. “Oh well,” I tried saying as my excitement evaporated. But it wouldn’t leave my mind. So I called my husband just to tell him about it. He prayed on the phone with me, and then said, “Call them and see if you can come.”

“But it starts tomorrow.”
“Call them.”
“But it costs several hundred dollars!”
“Just call and see if it’s possible, Rachel.”
“But you’d have to keep the kids all weekend…”
“That's fine. Just call them.”

So I dialed the number. A cheerful voice answered. Admitting this inquiry would sound crazy or presumptuous or both, I told her of my discovery of P31 and She Speaks that day, and my conversation with my husband that afternoon. (I sort of blamed it on him.) She put me on hold. For about 3 minutes I sweated the possibilities of her answer. Then she returned and said, “We had a pregnant woman registered, who went into labor this morning. She just cancelled. So if you can get here tomorrow, come.” (They now have a waiting list for such situations.) I remained calmly professional while on the phone with her, then called Rick and squealed the news.

I drove the four hours to Charlotte the next morning, having no idea what I was getting into. For some reason, they put me in the advanced mentoring group lead by Lysa TerKeurst (hadn’t a clue who she was). There I found out I’d be required to give a speech the next day in front of Lysa and the advanced gals– a speech all the other women had been preparing for months.

I attended every session, overwhelmed by both the amount of information, and my sense of who-am-I-to-do-this. But with each session, I also sensed growing confirmation this was God-ordained. I remembered that verse I’d read and journaled by the pool three years prior:

"Therefore this is what the LORD says: 'If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.'"  ~Jeremiah 15:19

I went back to my hotel room between most sessions, cried, prayed, questioned God, praised Him, cried some more, and then applied fresh makeup before rushing back down the elevator to the next session. Friday night, I called my husband for prayer, then stayed up until 2:00 AM writing my speech.

I love when it is so clear I'm on an adventure with God. This was also the year the ministry decided to form a speaker team. Out of sheer conviction that God was ordaining this, not me seeking it, I applied to the team.

I’m so very thankful that my ministry work came to me in such an unplanned, unlikely, unexpected way. It's comforting on the occasional days when I still ask God and self: who-am-I-to-do-this?

***************

Listen up! We're offering one scholarshp to the She Speaks conference! Have you followed that link to see what it's about? You have until midnight on Thursday, April 22nd to post a comment here telling me what it would mean to you to be awarded this scholarship to attend the 2010 She Speaks speaker track. What are you passionate about communicating??

This scholarship is not just a give away. It is for women who have never attended She Speaks before, and would not otherwise be able to attend. If you can afford the $575 conference, please do not enter to win the scholarship - go register! A winner will be randomly chosen from all comments left here and on all the P31 blogs listed below - so go comment there as well to increase your chances. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 23rd at the P31 home page. I hope you win!

Lysa
Wendy B
Shari
Micca
Whitney
Amy
Melanie
Lynn
Karen
Suzie
Zoe
Sharon
Charlene
Tracie
Wendy P
Luann
Susanne
Renee
Melissa
Van
Marybeth
Glynnis
LeAnn
She Seeks
She Reads
Rad Revolution
Thankful that God welcomes each of us into His work.

87 comments:

  1. I felt called to teach women since a very powerful experience in 1998- a true Holy Spirit encounter. Since then, I've had many opportunities, small and large, to teach my sisters and even have had a few small speaking engagements. I want nothing more than to know how to do a better job, so that I can do a better job of getting out of the way and letting God do His thing in me! I feel that She Speaks would do that for me!

    Heatherly Sylvia
    pinkdaisyjane at hotmail dot com

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  2. My devotional calendar for today says "You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him." ~ Teresa of Avila. "If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." 1 John 5:14

    So far, this deeply embedded dream in me to speak/write has been a prayer answered by 'wait on Me!' But, God is stirring in me to believe with great FAITH that this scripture in 1 John will be fulfilled. So, with great faith, I am asking to be considered for this scholarship so that maybe, just maybe, this will be the beginning of God's answer to my prayers changing from 'wait' to "Child of Mine...Go For It!!" Thank you so much for this chance to be my beginning...

    Kim Wideman
    jrmh.29.11@gmail.com

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  3. I've never attended a She Speaks Conference and would love to be able to. We haven't had an income for the past 6 months and so the scholarship would be an amazing blessing. It’s the body of Christ working together that completes us and makes us whole. I know God's calling me to speak and since "iron sharpens iron" I'd love to have my iron sharpenend at a "She Speaks Conference".

    Julie Gorman
    julie.gorman@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  4. She Speaks! I'd LOVE to attend this Conference (and win a scholarship) because, by God's calling, I've been asked to 'step up my game' and go from writer, editor, blogger - to speaker.

    Here's my story. I have been a Christian-genre writer, editor, and publicist for many years. I worked for my wonderful church (Lake Pointe Church, Rockwall, Texas) for six years as editor-in-chief, lead writer, for their magazine. It shared all the good stuff going on within and through our congregation. It was such a blessing to prepare each time! But God called me out - out into the wonderful world of freelance, where my ministry focus could expand to His entire Church, not just the one I attend/worked for. So, I quit my day job. I have been freelancing "on the side" for 12 years and have edited many books written by Christian authors (some listed on my new blog at writervoice1.wordpress.com). Then, one week later, my mentor (and a client) Thelma Wells, A Woman of God Ministries, asked me to do the unthinkable: she asked me to join her and others on TV and on a Webcast University that she is preparing (she's a busy, busy lady for God!). I can't say no - nor do I want to - but I have no speaking training. Teaching Bible study for 7 years has given me lots of confidence, but I've never taped a presentation nor stood in front of a crowd larger than 50. I want to take this next step - to speak - and allow God to use me as He has prepared. And, ladies, I do believe He is preparing me for Kingdom work!
    I know graduates of She Speaks!, namely author Mary DeMuth, and would love the chance to enhance my profile to include SPEAKING for Him! It would be a wonderful adventure and the fulfillment of a tugging that I've not been able to ignore.
    Thank you for making this contest available. I'm sure whomever wins will be the RIGHT choice! Blessings to you today in all you do for His kingdom!
    Amy Van Vleck, Rockwall, Texas
    write-way@hotmail.com
    amy-v@hotmail.com

    FYI - being newly "self-employed" and my husband tentatively unemployed, there's no way I could afford to attend without assistance. Thanks again for the chance to WIN!

    ReplyDelete
  5. God has provided a few opportunities over the years allowing me to teach and speak. I always get a thrill from speaking because God provides such peace and guides my words. However, just thinking about the prospect of being on the "front lines" and opening myself up to the criticism and the scrutiny that one bares serving in this capacity, almost paralyzes me with fear. And though I know God equips anyone He desires to use, I still feel insecure about my abilities.

    The She Speaks Conference has always interested me but time and money kept the door closed on this opportunity. This year was no different because I was scheduled to participate in the International Hearts at Home Conference in Europe. The conference had to be cancelled due to the volcanic ash. This in turn, opened up the time needed to attend the She Speaks Conference. And now this contest has presented me with the chance to overcome the financial burden. So I feel as if God is telling me to "get out of the boat."

    So here I am, following God's orders, trying to keep my eyes on Him and not the fear that is threatening to overwhelm me. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

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  6. I'm passionate about communicating to women that they are loved, cherished, and worth God's attention. I've noticed I write a lot about fighting for freedom, choosing to believe Truth over lies, and learning to accept the lavish love and favor that God so freely rains upon us. I'm not satisfied until someone "gets it". Gets that she is worthy, free, acceptable. I know that when she gets this, she is unchained to glorify God and bring others to His feet.

    Someday I will attend She Speaks. I feel God is preparing me for vocational ministry, and I really believe your conference would be invaluable in training me up. Since my husband is in vocational ministry and I am a stay-at-home mom, your scholarship would be the only way for me attend. I would appreciate any consideration. Thanks!

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  7. I'm not sure what the specifics are, but I know God is.
    I'm not sure where the destination is, but I know He is.
    All that I'm sure of is that He is moving in me, working in me, preparing me, and beginning to open doors that are beckoning me to enter. It's due to those recognitions that I am stepping out, beyond my fears and entering this giveaway.

    Lord, if it is in Your will for me to attend She Speaks, I pray for the door to be opened and for the courage to leap through with abundant faith. I pray for each woman entering, that You will clearly manifest Your way and Your will for their lives.

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  8. God led me to the Proverbs31 site today! I am thrilled to be considered for a scholarship to SheSpeaks, as our finances on my husband's retirement income are adequate for daily living, but certainly not overflowing. I know God has given me a passion for ministering to women by encouraging them in their personal walks with God. Whether it's through a platform of leading Bible studies and small groups or stepping out into a broader speaking role remains to be seen, but I know God is preparing me for something more. I can't wait to see what is in store!

    Rachel Binney
    hoek73@yahoo.com

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  9. I got nervous (and excited) just reading your story! And then the part about the speech almost made me go delete all my comments on the other blogs that I've left to enter this contest! :) Seriously.

    Now for generic contest entry spill that I'm posting on several blogs! haha....

    I was very excited to have the opportunity to enter the contest for the writing scholarship...so excited, in fact, that I dreamed up the wrong deadline date and missed submitting my entry. (sigh.) Perhaps, this is my second chance! Or, perhaps, my entering has nothing to do with the contest and everything to do with saying the words again. (Kind of like cleaning your coffee pot...sometimes you just need to do it.) So, with that said....I feel that I am called to speak (even though I get butterflies just saying it), as well as to write, encouraging other women as I encourage myself. Attending this conference would (hopefully) help to clarify what my next season holds, allow me to connect with some amazing women (most of whom I have just recently found in blog land!), and encourage me to take the next step....whatever that might be!

    XOXO :)

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  10. God moves in mysterious ways. I thought my season of "public speaking" had passed. I instead have been focusing on writing, while raising my three lovely daughters. I was completely comfortable with this shift. Several years ago a friend encouraged me to attend a She Speaks conference but the cost was prohibitive. So I put it all in a "past season" category and left it at that. This morning when I read that another scholarship would be offered I felt compelled to read about the details. All while reading I was thinking "this will be so nice for someone else." Then a small voice said "do it." Uh-oh was my first thought, it seems God might want to take me out of my comfort zone. Since then God has led me to scriptures of confirmation that I am to enter this contest. For what purposes I do not know, but I do know that when God speaks and you follow amazing things always happen. Thank you for offering this wonderful opportunity and encouragement to so many women, who like me have a God story to share.
    Blessings,
    Amy Peterson -average Mom with an AWESOME God!
    sweetiepetey@cox.net

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  11. My roommate went to She Speaks last year. We were not roommates when she signed up for the conference, but by the time it rolled around I was super jealous I wasn’t going too. She was a little timid at first, but it totally changed her and gave her a boldness I hadn’t seen in her before. So, this whole year, I’ve been wondering how I could find a way to go myself.
    I don’t have the money…like a lot of people these days. I do have a heart for women. I’m developing a love for writing that I don’t understand. I have always been a bit of a performer so I’m comfortable speaking/talking with people, but I have no training in either. I’m not sure where God is directing me, but I know I need some honing in both these areas to get there.
    Lots of potential…needing some direction.
    ~Laura
    laurarmullen.wordpress.com

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  12. I am 23 years old. I was lost in the darkness… the scripture of my life is Psalms 119. When I was in great need he saved me. I am called, I am determined, I want to learn I WANT TO GROW in the power that has been given. I am a chosen lady who wants to preach the good news to those who are lost, broken and need Jesus… I do street ministry, work on reserves, jails and feed the homeless. I am on fire for the Lord. I have been a young Christian in my walk but let me tell you. I HAVE THE CALL.. this experience would HELP me to grow in my understanding and usefulness to Gods people.

    Thank you and I pray if this is his will, I will be chosen.

    Your sister in Canada,

    Mallory Kristjanson

    Saved by Grace and called to serve!
    http://www.msk1986.blogspot.com/

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  13. I have been involved for many years in my local church teaching Sunday School and Girls Club. I have to say that Girls Club ministry is very special to me. About two years ago I began to feel a need for teaching on a deeper level to teenagers and new converts about really connecting with God and developing a personal relationship with Him. I am passionate about teaching Girls Club and working with teenage girls especially because I remember well my teenage years. I remember the life I led and the way I acted, the things I did, and most of all the mistakes that I made. I also remember that, even though I had Christian friends, I never felt compelled to change my ways. I never saw Christians that made me want a relationship with Jesus. I have a passion to see teenagers (and that includes my own three kids, who are not quite at their teenage years yet, but it's not too young to begin) develop a personal relationship with God. I want to see them realize the potential and plan that He has in their lives. I wish that I had realized and developed my own personal relationship with God much earlier. I began working with some outreach ministry two years ago as well. My husband felt a call to begin driving our church van and he started picking up kids around the area of our church. I enjoyed getting to know the kids and working with them, they were special to me. The first "big" project was an Angel Tree in my local church. It was during this time that I first went out into people's homes and met them. It really increased my desire to see mom's and dad's begin to come to church and get saved. God really changed my heart and how I felt about others, and how I felt about myself and what He had blessed me with, when I went into other people's homes and saw how they lived and the situations and problems they dealt with on a daily basis. It is a humbling experience to see living conditions, trials, and problems that people and children are faced with on a day to day basis. I feel that new convert teaching is important, because so many times people get saved, but don't know what to do next. Or, they would like to get saved, but have not been raised in church or even hardly attended church and they just need help in understanding God and His Word. I feel a special desire and need to teach new converts and teenagers about developing their relationship with God. In developing "daily walk" habits of reading their Bible, praying, studying, and living their Christian life. I would like to teach Bible studies. I don't know where to start. You would think a person that is involved in teaching in Sunday School, teaching Girls Club, and in working with young people would know where to start, but I don't. I have been praying, reading, studying, writing, journaling... doing all the things I feel necessary to move forward, but my feet seem stuck. The women of Proverbs 31 are an amazing and inspiring group, and I feel that attending the She Speaks conference would answer questions I have about moving forward and following this calling I feel in my life.

    Rebekah Lilly
    rebekahlilly@suddenlink.net

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  14. I have heard of “She Speaks” conference only from Proverbs 31 ministries.
    I looked up the information on the web and became very interested very quickly.

    When I was a young woman (teenage years) I had a woman minister speak into my life and tell me that I was someday going to tell the world my story, being young and naïve and I had a “Whatever “ attitude and went about my business.
    Here it is 15 years later and I remember that day like it was yesterday, because through all the pain and suffering in my life I have recently (2 years) have finally decided to do it God’s way. God has put a book in my heart to write entitled “I’m Nobody’s Secret” It is the story of my life and how God has stamped those very words on my heart and through lots of prayer and counseling I am realizing how valuable my life is to Him.

    I have looked at different resources to help me in accomplishing this God dream and because of limited money on my part I know that anywhere I go will only be by His command. Thank you for the opportunity to share. Maria Olvera - Lomeli

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  15. Yay! Another contest! I'm going to be like the friend in Luke 11:5-13; y'all are going to get so sick of my entering all the She Speaks scholarship contests that you'll eventually award me one! I'm really believing that I need to keep asking for this opportunity because I know I need to be there this year and this is the only way I can manage it (I even live right in Concord, but have never been able to attend).

    I'm an accidental speaker. I never set out to speak publicly, although I'm not afraid to be in front of a crowd. I started writing a few years ago (also kind of by accident), and then people started asking me to speak on those same topics. Knees quaking and voice shaking, I have spoken a few times. I have a few more speaking engagements lined up, but I need so much help and direction to move from being an adequate speaker to being an excellent speaker.

    Thank you, thank you!

    Bethany LeBedz at gmail dot com

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  16. I have had a part time ladies' ministry for about 7 years. However, about 21 months ago, right when it SEEMED the Lord was leading me into a more full-time speaking ministry it virtually became non-existent. Not through any wrong doing of my own, but through some pretty tough circumstances that instead, had me sitting at His feet and simply being still as He worked on transforming me in ways I could never have imagined (which He is continuing to do). Not to say that every day was spent "being still" because I had many days of doubt, questions and wrestling matches. The reality is, God WAS leading me into more of a full-time capacity, except it was God's plan to first take me through the fire ... "But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold!" [exclamation point mine] Job 23:10.

    God already knows which precious lady will be the recipient of the She Speaks scholarship. I'm simply excited for the opportunity to throw my name into the hat and will be thrilled for whomever is selected.

    Shelly Brown
    www.shellybrown.com
    shelly@shellybrown.com

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  17. Writing is something that I have been doing for a long time, and I've managed to keep it to myself in my journal... until recently.

    Speaking is something that I very recetly felt called to do as I wrote and led the fall womens' retreat for my church in '09. This was the 1st time I had ever done anything like that and it was WAY out of my comfort zone!

    Since then, I have been feeling the call to vocational ministry, and I believe that She Speaks is my next step!
    http://shellysc.blogspot.com/2010/03/shelly-says-he-speaks-will-she-speak.html

    Will you consider me for the scholarship?

    My husband is without full-time work (since December '08), and I know we can't afford it on our own.

    http://shellysc.blogspot.com/

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  18. I have been praying about attending "She Speaks" for the past two years and now I feel a passion for the Lord like never before in my life. I have always had a gift of public speaking and now actually teach it at a college level but my new passion is to share my story of stuggle and searching for Christ's love while in college. I know this conference would give me so much valuable experience to help keep other young women from making the same mistakes I did in college! I long to share the love of the Lord through speaking! My husband has been laid off for over a year and while the Lord has provided me with 3 jobs...there just isn't quite enough left for the conference. I would be so greatful for a scholarship! Thank for you the oppurtunity! Blessings, Michelle

    Michelle Ulland
    michelleulland@gmail.com

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  19. I am a "new" Christian and just came onboard with the Lord in the fall of 2009. I have a wonderful infertility story that was totally left in God's hands and he worked miracles in my life... but I still struggled with coming to Him. I love to share my story and hear everyone's story. I have been told that I am so funny and yet so sincere in my testimony that it makes other "long-time" Christians feel that same "newness" all over again. I LOVE THAT! I recently listened to Lysa TerKeurst messages through some Hearts At Home CDs my friend loaned me. I just love her and her style and her funny stories... "WHITE SHOES" I do feel called to be in front of people, sharing, being funny and bringing out the laughter in their hearts and helping them to feel "new" with God again. Let me know if you want to hear more of my story.

    Amy Dunham
    amy_dunham@comcast.net

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  20. For years, God has nudged me to attend She Speaks. For many reasons, I have been unable to go. As my speaking opportunities have grown and my ministry increased, I know that this year, I need to be there.

    I have been speaking for 6 years and am grateful to do something I feel so passionately about. It is a blessing to be able to encourage women to live their lives intentionally. Over the years, I have worked to expand this ministry but am now at the point where I need additional help. The sectionals offered at She Speaks teach the very things I need to learn to do. In addition to this, I have begun to write and am interested in learning more about publishing so that I can find new ways to encourage and empower women. Every part of this conference speaks exactly to where I am right now in my work for the Kingdom!

    This scholarship means so much to me and to our family. Finding a way to afford the conference has been difficult for us. I know, however, that God will not be contained by the constraints of our economy. He is so much bigger than that! I trust Him fully to help me find a way to attend She Speaks this summer and am so grateful for yet another opportunity for a scholarship.

    Thank you so much!

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  21. I have wanted to attend a She Speaks conf. for two years, but haven't been able to do so. I have felt a calling to speak to women and ten girls for nearly two years. I have been a youth leader and got to teach many that way. I am now in a new phase of life and feel an even stronger calling to reach out to women and teen girls and just have not been able to figure out how. Getting this would be an answer to prayer of how I am to start and continue in God's will.
    Thank you,
    Tara DeMaris
    lasting_memories_tara@yahoo.com

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  22. How can they hear the message if we do not speak? My heart burns to share His word with other women. I want to help generate thirst and hunger...I want my words to have value because they are spoken about and for Him. I want the women of my generation and those after me to become the new Deborahs, Lydias, Tabithas and Priscillas. My gifting and my passion is to teach. If one spark can be ignited, then the flame can be fanned, and a fire will begin. I want to fan the flames.

    www.tamera-thechamberednautilus.blogspot.com
    myredcord@gmail.com

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  23. Rachel, I must have the talent, my husband says I never quit talking!! Now on to my story!

    When I first got the desire to speak publically, I read the book “The Reason We Speak” by Marybeth Walen. I have read it cover to cover and it is an excellent book! The entire time I was reading it I knew God was preparing me for a much larger journey in my life. Larger than anything I had done. God spoke to me to become a speaker and minister to women to serve the needs of the brokenhearted and to help others find the intimate relationship with God that I have found. Since that time I have a God-Given purpose in my life and a clear goal at which to aim.

    I have never attended “She Speaks” nor have I ever had the funds to attend. My husband has been without a steady income since last May, so this will not be the year with a scholarship.

    If I win, it would be life-changing and I know the knowledge I would gain would give me the wisdom and the faithful instruction to pursue this heart felt endeavor I so desire. If I don’t I’ll keep on blogging at “My Faithful Living” and will continue to minister the word of God. I want to be a spiritual leader but I am also a spiritual learner. He is in charge! I can only be a tool to accomplish His purpose for us here on earth.

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  24. She Speaks - such powerful words! I hope that is the goal for every woman - it is mine! God has put on my heart the desire to SPEAK. I no longer want to hold in those quiet thoughts nestled safely inside my heart! I have a strong desire to share my love for God and my experiences with other woman! I long to grow and walk this path that He has chosen for me! I do not have the resources to attend the She Speaks conference on my own. Winning this scholarship would mean so much to me! I know that my life's purpose is to spread God's good news but I need this sweet fellowship, motivation, time for growth and revealing and affirmation of God's plan for me, that this conference brings! I am so thankful for this opportunity! Prayers and blessings to all!

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  25. I have been a single mom for almost 3 years. The night I discoverd my husband's extra marital activities was a turning point for me wherein I finally saw Jesus as my only true security. I had always looked to my dad (who had passed away 6 months prior) or my husband. The relationship I have now with Christ is exceedingly and abundantly beyond anything I could have possibly imagined I could ever have. God has very recently called me to become a Personal Guidance Minister for Scope Ministries and I begin training for this in May. I am so excited about sharing my experiences and the love of Christ with other single mothers that I cannot right now keep up with my fingers as I type! I think that I am much more comfortable with speaking than I am with writing and I have never been to a "She Speaks" conference! This would be an amazing experience for me, especially right now during the dawning of my calling! Thanks for providing the possibility of being blessed with a scholarship to this event! I don't think I will be able to attend without such a blessing this year, but maybe someday soon!

    Melanie Broadway
    melanie.71@hotmail.com

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  26. Hi Rachel,
    I loved reading how you sensed you were "supposed" to be at She Speaks, but wasn't sure why. That's exactly how I feel! I read about Proverbs31 Ministries last year and my heart was drawn to the ministry in a way I can't describe.

    I realize I'm part of the large group of women hoping for a scholarship to "She Speaks" and I've entered every scholarship opportunity to do so and I know that unless the Lord provides financially for me to go, it's just not in our financial cards this year.

    Not only do I sense that I'm supposed to be there, but also that I "need" to be there, as well. I can't explain it. But I'm truly looking forward to how the Lord will use my time at "She Speaks" to change me, to develop me, and to give me the opportunity to do one of my favorite things...spend time with like-minded women who long to make a difference for the glory of God.

    I'm also truly inspired by Cec Murphey's generosity! Almost every time I see the opportunity for scholarships to "She Speaks" and to other conferences, they come attached with Cec's name as the benefactor. So thank you, Cec and thank you Proverbs 31 women for offering yet another opportunity for a chance to go to this wonderful conference.

    Thanks again for this opportunity!

    Eternally His,
    Stephanie Shott
    Phil 3:7-14
    dshott1@msn.com

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  27. I would love to be able to attend She Speaks, but financially it has been a difficlut season. I pray God will bless the woman who is supposed to win this scholarship, but that He will enable all of us to continue to tell our stories.

    I believe that we all have a story to tell. Our stories are all different, but I believe that God is truly the author of them all. My greatest desire is to use my story to show His glory in my life.
    I want to enable others to see the Hope that they can have as they trust Jesus on the journey. I love teaching and would like to broaden my Ministry by speaking as well.

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  28. I love speaking to women! I believe that God uses me to do just that, I have spoken several times to the women here at our church. I have spoken at our annual retreat along with two other ladies every year for the past 5 years. I love to encourage women in their walk with God. I also believe that I am to write, but I don't even have a clue as to how to go about it. I would LOVE the opportunity to come to this conference and learn what a blessing it would be and an honor. Thank you so much for considering me. God Bless, Debbie Myhre

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  29. Rachel
    It's so funny to read the stories of how you each came to be Proverbs 31 gals. I'm not much different than any of you.
    I feel the call but don't know exactly what to do with it.
    I'm a bit intimidated but I know that God has not put this in my heart to tease me.
    I just want to seize the opportunities He's set before me.
    My passion is women/teens and I want to minister to them.
    She Speaks has long been on my dream list to attend. Every year I watch as it comes and goes. It's not something I can just sign up to do (financially).
    My family has pushed me to step out and trust God with this ministry choice...but fear and lack of REAL knowledge has kept me a hostage.
    Winning would seriously flip me out. But I would know that God has His hand all over it!
    He is.....the Great I Am!

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  30. Rachel,
    What an awesome story. I love when God just paves the way for things to happen and for Him to be glorified in it. I would love to attend the conference and learn some amazing tools and gain some knowledge from such great speakers and writers and women's leaders like yourself. I can not afford to attend on our own funds - but know that if it is God's will for me to attend He will provide a way. Would love the chance for this scholarship.
    Thanks,

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  31. I am feeling the tug of God on my heart to go into a speaking ministry. I am like Moses was when God told him to go speak to the people and Moses didn't feel he was worthy or able to do so. God is not letting me use that excuse. I feel convicted to do to this.

    I believe my life experiences could reach many hurting women.

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  32. What would it mean to me to attend the She Speaks Conference? The sustaining of new life stirring. The continuation of a mysterious story God has been weaving in dark places. God used a brilliant study on the creative process to clarify my gifts and callings. Doubt has since crept in, telling me that the dreams he stirred in me were just lofty dandelion fluff. “He’s not THAT good. My gifts aren’t THAT valuable.”

    If anyone believes in us to the death, it is our mothers. Today mine was fighting tenaciously for me while I dusted her with my doubts and unbelief like the heavy pollen raining down outside my window. Mom mused, “I held you on my lap in church when you were three, and I sensed that God had a special call on your life. My mother’s heart ached as I thought of the suffering it might involve and how it would take you far away.” I listened half-heartedly, pulling up the She Reads blog as I got ready to hang up the phone. Two powerful words arose from the screen. She Speaks. Tears ran at the sound of “my name”. Jesus made me to speak, to read, to write! Mystery still surrounds my story, but I need to tend it with my words, so that when it is full, I will be equipped to share it!

    Noel
    noelrfagan@aol.com

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  33. Isn't it strange where God leads us when we aren't expecting it? To me, it's a true testament to the fact that He leads us where we should go. God bless you, and God bless P31. I feel as though I am being led to speak and would love to attend the conference. As an Army Wife, the cost is simply not in my budget. So...I would love to win!

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  34. I am resigning my teaching job to enter into the field of Women's Ministry at our church. Bascially, I am designing the program from the ground up and need help a lot of help. Without a teaching salary I will need financial assistant (my husband and I have had three girls in college at the same time - our twins are graduating this year so money has been tight). I am desiring to train other women to be leaders as well as lead them myself through workshops that equip them, events that encourage them, and skills that will help them be better evangelists. Blessings on all that you do for the Proverbs 31 Ministry.
    Sara Quick saraquick123@yahoo.com

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  35. What a responsibility! What I first embraced as a passion to speak and write for my loving God, I now hold so very dear to my heart and I want to walk both faithfully and carefully down this path that God has made for me. I know God has called me to speak and write for Him and I taking each little baby step that I can with Him and embracing with this journey every open and closed door—trusting that God knows best and is leading the way.
    I have researched ways to sharpen and better equip myself and I have not found anything like “She Speaks.” I have been praying about attending the last couple of years and honestly, the funds are tight and I have not been able to fork the bill on top of the airfare. If I am chosen for this scholarship, I will know that God desires to use the women at the conference to inspire and equip me to serve for His kingdom. To God be the glory, amen.
    Julie Lane

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  36. What a responsibility! What I first embraced as a passion to speak and write for my loving God, I now hold so very dear to my heart and I want to walk both faithfully and carefully down this path that God has made for me. I know God has called me to speak and write for Him and I taking each little baby step that I can with Him and embracing with this journey every open and closed door—trusting that God knows best and is leading the way.
    I have researched ways to sharpen and better equip myself and I have not found anything like “She Speaks.” I have been praying about attending the last couple of years and honestly, the funds are tight and I have not been able to fork the bill on top of the airfare. If I am chosen for this scholarship, I will know that God desires to use the women at the conference to inspire and equip me to serve for His kingdom. To God be the glory, amen.
    Julie Lane

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  37. I love reading the stories of how God moved in order to get each of you ladies to attend She Speaks. I'm hoping this scholarship contest may be part of my testimony one day! Thanks for the opportunity!

    Melissa Reynolds
    reynolds212@hotmail.com

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  38. have been a “closet writer,” so to speak, for the past twenty years. It was this past June, after facing unemployment for the first time since I was 15-years-old, that I attended my first ACW Conference. Though I still consider myself a beginning writer, I am making quick progress and currently write for five monthly online publications.(for free, of course) I also will have my first write-for-hire book published later this year for Atlantic Publishing. So, I am pleased with my progress with writing so far.

    But it is time to go deeper. Think bigger. Take more chances. To get out of the boat and test the waters and see if Jesus will help me walk on them.

    My goal is to share the true stories that can change lives. I long to be able to do this through face to face contact as well as through the written word. I consider this a weakness of mine, and would appreciate the opportunity to attend She Speaks so that I may strengthen my ministry. Though I have taught junior high girls classes at church for years, I am in no way polished or professional enough to do so in large groups without my voice quivering or fidgeting at the podium.

    The testimonials that come from this conference prove that God is very much a part of the process, inspiring those who participate to go further than they ever dreamed possible.

    Thank you for your consideration.

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  39. I saw the information for this conference for the first time last year, I was pregnant at the time and my husband was home, knowing he would be deploying soon and I would have 2 children to find care for rather than one I really wished I could go then but there was no way we could afford it and nothing happened to make it possible. At the time I thought “maybe next year” but knowing I would have two children and a deployed husband I kind of pushed it from my mind and forgot about it until I started seeing blog posts about it this year. I didn’t really let myself get excited about it because I now have two children and a husband in Afghanistan so not only can we not afford it I would have to arrange for childcare (and it would be the first time I left my baby). Then I saw this contest. WOW, I actually teared up at the idea that it might be possible. If I’m supposed to go to this conference I KNOW God will provide the way, the money, the childcare etc. Perhaps this is how He will provide the money I don’t know. But I do know that if I win He will also provide arrangements for the children.
    What does it mean? What is my passion? Well, I’ve always LOVED both writing and speaking (so it would be hard to choose which track but I’ll do it). And I think I’m good at both honestly, I don’t even know what I prefer. I have done speaking/training in my job (secular) before and LOVE being in front of a room full of people. At this stage of my life though it would be easier to do something that I can do mostly from home as I have small children and no desire to leave them on a regular basis-that said I would still LOVE to speak on occasion. I currently need motivation and direction to get going in this area. I need practical tools to make my writing/speaking organized and meaningful. I love sharing information, I get all fuzzy inside when people ask me a question about anything that I have an answer for (seriously I get excited about diapers lol). I currently don’t have the confidence to write/speak about my faith, I’m afraid of being wrong and then telling everyone else something wrong. I know this is something I can and should get past I just need help! Thank you for this opportunity!
    sobyn at hotmail dot com

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  40. I have been praying for an opportunity to attend a She Speaks conference! I would cherish the blessing of beinga ble to attend. It would be a timely affirmation for me!!
    I've been writing for almost exactly a year now on my blog www.afewminuteswithmichelle.com and speaking a bit here and there. I truly feel God's calling to uplift and minister to women.
    It has been a very difficult year for me and my family and I feel like the Lord has much to share through my adversity. I would be so grateful for the gift of a scholarship to attend.
    Blessings! Michelle

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  41. For as long as I can remember I have felt called to speak for the Lord. The Lord has taught me so much this His love letter in His word and I just can't keep it in. I love speaking to woman and seeing the Holy Spirit move in their hearts. I have been blessed to teach womens conferences all over south asia and in some places in America and find it a true joy. Attending She speaks would be such a dream to recieve training in this calling and I cannot attend without either a scholarship or God's people giving. What an awesome ministry!
    Jenn Hand
    reachingsouthasia@yahoo.com

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  42. Not too long ago, I was sitting quietly with God, praying. I asked him for discernment and guidance as I entered a new phase of life, becoming a mom who works outside the home. I was also praying about the desire to write and speak that He placed inside of me, wondering what He wanted me to do with that. He led me to Habakkuk 2:2-3 And the LORD answered me, and said, “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (NKJV) Although I have felt a calling to write for a number of years, in the past year, God’s given me a couple of opportunities to “dip my toe” into the speaking world both by leading women through Bible Study and by speaking to them at women’s ministry events. Out of obedience, I did what I was asked to do. As hard as it is to believe that God wants to use me as a vessel to encourage and exhort others (those are my spiritual gifts, along with service), I’ve finally started to embrace it. I’m working to develop the discipline that writing requires, starting a blog, and using every opportunity I have to speak God’s truth into the lives of women, my children, and my husband. God is so good! If he wants me at She Speaks, He’ll find a way to make it happen! Though it tarry, I continue to wait for it! My God never disappoints!!!

    Gerri
    fieno@bellsouth.net
    704-293-8055

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  43. I am very excited to see another opportunity has been presented to give one blessed lady the chance to attend She Speaks. I was a little let down when I realized I missed the last opportunity to participate for a chance to win a scholarship to the conference. I am grateful for this opportunity.

    I know I have been called to be a mouthpiece for the kingdom of God. Speaking before an audience, big or small, is not an easy thing to do for most people. As for me, I belong to that group of “most people” I just mentioned. I truly believe She Speaks will arm me with the skills necessary to perfect my speaking ability so that I may go forth with my calling with confidence.

    I keep telling myself I am going to attend She Speaks, maybe this year it will become a reality for me.

    Thank you.

    Misty A Brown
    mistybrown01@yahoo.com

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  44. I'm so excited there is another opportunity for a scholarship! I've been wanting to attend a She Speaks conference for the last two years. Winning the She Speaks scholarship would be an amazing blessing to me and would allow me to finally get the direction I need to get to the next level in my speaking goals, as well as be a clear indicator to me that this is where God wants me at this point in my life. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

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  45. I have only just learned of the She Speaks Conference and could not think of anything more perfectly suited for me. I accepted Christ in October and what he has done for me, and through me are quite simply too many to mention.

    I would love to be a part of this conference but there is one little snag... In accepting Christ, I have owned up to all of my past transgressions and one of those has led to my being sentenced to jail. I will be turning myself in on June 10th in California (I live in Michigan) and I am to serve a 6 month term in the Santa Barbara County Jail. BUT... I was told that I am eligible to apply for electronic monitoring that can be served in Michigan and then I can be granted permission to come to your conference.

    I am a 41yr old suburban mom, housewife, and making amazing strides with Christ by my side. I am also getting baptized at my church on May 12th and could not be happier at the changes.

    I have several degrees and as a ten year breast cancer survivor... have been a motivational speaker for breast cancer and know I can answer His calling for me to speak to a group of women to show what is possible when Christ is in the picture.

    For more of my story....please visit my blog with just one entry (with more to come).
    www.watercolorministries.blogspot.com

    I would be very honored to win and participate in this conference and if not chosen to win this year.... I will definitely be there next year. Look for me. =)


    Gidge

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  46. I have only just learned of the She Speaks Conference and could not think of anything more perfectly suited for me. I accepted Christ in October and what he has done for me, and through me are quite simply too many to mention.

    I would love to be a part of this conference but there is one little snag... In accepting Christ, I have owned up to all of my past transgressions and one of those has led to my being sentenced to jail. I will be turning myself in on June 10th in California (I live in Michigan) and I am to serve a 6 month term in the Santa Barbara County Jail. BUT... I was told that I am eligible to apply for electronic monitoring that can be served in Michigan and then I can be granted permission to come to your conference.

    I am a 41yr old suburban mom, housewife, and making amazing strides with Christ by my side. I am also getting baptized at my church on May 12th and could not be happier at the changes.

    I have several degrees and as a ten year breast cancer survivor... have been a motivational speaker for breast cancer and know I can answer His calling for me to speak to a group of women to show what is possible when Christ is in the picture.

    For more of my story....please visit my blog with just one entry (with more to come).
    www.watercolorministries.blogspot.com

    I would be very honored to win and participate in this conference and if not chosen to win this year.... I will definitely be there next year. Look for me. =)


    Gidge

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  47. As I type this comment, I'm full of pain and sadness. It appears the Lord is testing me or training me in the areas of loss and long suffering. Testing or training.... Right now I don't know that one is any better than the other.

    I know what the words of Galatians 6:9 read, and I also know, without a doubt, that I'm so close to fainting.

    I'm the last person who would ever voluntarily want to speak, but I felt the call to speak to women many years ago. My story, my path toward speaking has been much like Renee Swope's, as described in her post. I wrote my first Bible study and led a small group of women through it back in 2008/2009. Looking back, I've never been happier than I was during the time I did this.

    Just days ago I sat with a friend who was preparing to bury her father. She was a member of that small group in 08. She told me I have no idea how much she talks about and references our nine months together. Listening to her speak of how God used me (a flawed leader and wannabe speaker) and the lessons I penned out of the depths of my own life to impact her life even during this time of loss and pain somehow refueled my desire to speak, teach, and lead women. Somehow...in the midst of my own pain the ministry of my heart took on a face. It became real.

    I've entered a previous scholarship contest for this conference. When I didn't make the winners circle I chalked it up as another loss and God moving me away from my quest for validation. I've wanted to attend the conference for at least the past 6 or 7 years. At the end of the day, I believe I'm just thirsty to be around other women who share my passion for pouring into the lives of our sisters. I saw the announcement for the scholarship for writers, and although writing is a large part of my calling, today out of the abundance of my heart my mouth wants to speak.

    I realize the winner will be randomly chosen, but I know God already knows the outcome. Maybe it truly isn't for me to attend this year, but I won't stop until the conference doors open and I do or do not walk through. Then and only then will I know God's perfect will. In the meantime, I'll continue striving to speak.

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  48. I can honestly say that I've been in the Refiner's fire for the last few months. But God does nothing without purpose. I would love to learn more about sharing what God is teaching me and feel called to attend this conference. I signed up for the conference's blog to find out when registration began, but haven't been able to register, so this scholarship would make that possible. If it's His will, I KNOW I'll be there!
    Christy Perry
    christyperry@embarqmail.com

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  49. When I was a child, I liked to write stories and copy poems. I never really struggled with putting words on paper -- or talking in front of groups for that matter.

    In high school, counselors, knowing our family situation, wanted me to apply for a scholarship for perspective teachers. "No thank you -- I will never be a teacher." My English teacher was surprised that I chose science over "writing" as a career. "I'm not really a writer, too much grammar!"

    Well, I spent 7 years teaching high school science and loving it. That learned skilled translated easily into teaching Sunday School and Bible Study once I accepted Christ. My natural bent for study makes working in the WORD pure pleasure and I love teaching It as much as I love chocolate! Still, I found it hard to believe I was an effective and compelling teacher of God's Word despite encouragement by others.


    For 10 years I have commented regularly on a message board for homeschoolers and have published articles on our state association magazine. I was chosen from a national pool to write curriculum reviews and had to enter the blogging world quickly to participate. I love blogging - have filled a notebook of ideas to write about! I never considered this "writing" despite the positive comments others emailed my way.

    I sense a pattern here!

    Stirrings in my heart to teach and speak and write have been ruthlessly pushed under the surface, only to bob up again and again and again.

    Finally, last summer I accepted an invitation by a former pastor to speak at a woman's tea at his church. I struggled mightily with the out-line and it wouldn't come. In prayer someone spoke the words from Ezekiel over me about eating God's word and then "throwing it up" to the dry bones under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

    The night of the tea, I dropped my poor notes in the second paragraph and completed my talk without once consulting them. The words seemed to bubble up and flow out without true conscious effort and I felt HIS power.

    I understand what Eric Liddel meant by "[feeling] HIS pleasure".

    So, I give up God! I do not know the plans you have for me. But I now know the desires that only YOU could have placed in my heart because I would never in two lifetimes have dreamed them up myself. I have run from them for 30 years! YOU have been preparing me for this for a very long time.

    I realize that there is a discipline to executing any dream or vocation or calling. These things have to wrestled with and I'm ready to do the work.

    She Speaks has been on my mind since I first read about it last year; but there is no way other than HIS provision to get there given our current budget.

    So now tonight, I decided at the last minute to read quickly through blog posts before heading to bed - actually I needed to occupy myself while the last cloths dry. Is it a coincidence -- or a God stop? Is God "in the lots" this time, in this drawing for me? Only time will tell.

    www.dallen17@nc.rr.com

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  50. For 9 1/2 years I have walked the road of breast cancer treatment. I have had the disease five times during this time, but my story is not about cancer. It is about God's amazing grace, love, provision, strength, comfort, peace,and joy in the midst of the battle. I love sharing all He is and all He has done for my family during this journey. I believe God wants me to speak and write about my story to encourage others with the hope He offers in every situation. I passionately desire to attend She Speaks with my 15-year-old daughter, but we cannot afford it. If it is God's desire for us to attend, He will make a way. He always does. I thank God for Proverbs 31 Ministries and the opportunity to apply for this scholarship!

    SJ Johnson
    sheri511@cox.net

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  51. I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart to attend She Speaks while attending a Ladies Retreat where Lysa spoke. I am trying to follow His leading, but because I left my job to finish school to enter ministry as I knew God was calling me to, there are no funds available in our budget. I have started to try and raise the money for a scholarship and the Lord has provided the money for my plane ticket (which i booked). I know that I know that I know God will provide a way for me to be there, I wonder if this scholarship give-a-way is it. We'll have to wait and see. My prayer is that, and I know it will happen, who ever God has in mind to win this will! Praise God for providing for us all in His way in His time!!

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  52. Winning the She Speaks Conference Scholarship would mean the Lord is bringing me one step closer to the desire of my heart - to Speak about what He has done for me and what He can do for all who call upon His name.
    I know the conference would equip me with the skills needed to go forth in His great creation.
    Thank you for this opportunity.
    Colleen M. Geyer
    VaGeyers@aol.com

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  53. Rachel,
    I have longed to attend the She Speaks Conference for the past 2 years but have not been able to due to lack of funding and/or ability to take time off from my job. However, I feel this is the year the Lord has said “yes” and that He will provide for me to attend. I am a pastor’s wife and would like to hone my speaking skills. I also lead the women’s ministry here (and teach Sunday School, lead worship with the Praise Team, teach VBS crafts, etc.) and I am sure any encouragement you can give me would be a help to our ministry here. Thank you.

    Michele Zampogna
    ml.zampogna@gmail.com

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  54. My heart for speaking to women started at the age of 19 when I began teaching a 7th and 8th grade girls Sunday school class. Over the next 10 years God allowed me to share my heart, and desire for women to find their complete satisfaction and fulfillment in Christ alone, and challenge them to get into the word DAILY!! My ministry took a very interesting turn in 2005 when I got married and revisited an issue in my life that I had known about since I was 13. I found out as a teen that I could never have children (details a little long so just leaving it at that). Since that day I had always planned on adopting my children and my AMAZING husband was very much on board. After our first year of marriage feeling of inadequacy krept in and I began to struggle with "why" God worked through His word and my sweet husband and in 2008 we adopted out PRECIOUS daughter Celeste, and in 2009 another daughter Olivia. We are a multi-racial family or daughters being african american and us being about as white as they come. The struggles of infertility, the joys and heartache of adoption and the hilarious, and thought provoking moments that being a multi-racial family brings I HAVE GOT TO SHARE! Speaking scares me because I don't want it to be about me but the message God has given me (which HE is still revealing to me). THAT my dear P31 LADIES is why I would be THRILLED and delighted to attend "She Speaks" My husband is an associate pastor at a local church (input financial hardship here) and talked starting an adoption ministry (at some point in the future) where we share with anyone who will listen what God has done and how he has changed OUR lives through adoption and to encourage others to support adoption in general any way they can. I feel attending She Speaks will begin the path to me refining what God would have me say and how to say it.
    WOW - can you tell I"m excited! Going for the longest comment known to man or woman ;-) Praise God for what He is doing through P31!
    Emily R
    eroten@godspotters.com
    www.spoiledroten.blogspot.com

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  55. I feel called to teach on marriages. Mine is in shambles, but God is faithful to keep His promises. I feel so desperate to reach people before their world comes crashing down as mine did 6 months ago. I also feel desperate to help those whose world is over (as they know it) to find God and stand for their marriage, for the covenant they made.

    Amy

    ashepherd@lowndes.k12.ms.us

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  56. His Word is as a fire shut up in my bones and I am compelled to speak for Him! I know I need to be equipped for this call and words cannot express how excited I am about this conference. I know He will provide for me to go in whatever way he chooses. I look forward to meeting you there.

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  57. Hi,
    Over the past few months the Lord has put on my heart to speak to teen girls my age. (i am 13) When i had heard of She Speaks i had been praying that God would make his way clear and show me the next step. as soon as i said that my mom walked in and said "i sent you a link go read it" it was the link to She speaks. as soon as a read the information i wanted to attend. I have started writing but i dont feel like writing can show the emotion you want, since its just words on paper. there is no way i can attend with out gods intervention i would have to get two tickets one for me one for an adult to attend with me. that would be almost $900. thank you for this opportunity!
    Audrey Beers
    A17thstar@aol.com

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  58. Oh my goodness y’all. I really need to win a scholarship to She Speaks…I really need to be there and desperately need the scholarship. I am a pastors wife, womens ministry leader, bible study leader, etc…the list goes on and on…mom of three teens and a high school teacher. I have required training this summer for school one in Orlando and One in Louisville…so expenses for another week are impossible. I’m soooo praying I win…I need to be there.

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  59. Throughout the years, I've struggled with determining God's calling on my life. I have been very active in my local church, but always "doing" rather than just "being". I want to operate in the calling that God has for me, whether it is speaking, writing, or just helping. However, I have been asked to write Bible studies as well as speak to my local congregation on many occasions. Yet, I still feel like a 'jack of all trades and master of none'.

    The She Speaks Conference caught my attention about three years ago and although I have tried to shake the compelling urge to go, the desire remains in my heart. I am waiting patiently on God, but yet looking for some direction and inspiration. If I am able to attend, I feel like it will be God's divine way of letting me know that I am in the right direction to fulfill his calling on my life.

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  60. Rachel,
    God's timing is, indeed, perfect. Thanks for your testimony. I believe this is the time for the manifestation of my calling. I sincerely hope that She Speaks! is in the Master's plan.

    In 1992, the Lord called me to minister to Christian women who are struggling with their faith - women who are not established in the Word. He spoke quietly to me about sharing the hope that I have in Him. I have used these past 18 years to prepare for this calling, to develop my skills, to learn more and more about the heart of a woman - from God's perspective. And now the time has come. I have launched Jubilant Light Ministries - www.jubilantlight.com - and have recently begun a daily devotional blog, Morning Glory, which teaches little nuggets of gold from God's Word. I would love to attend She Speaks! Without a scholarship, I will be unable to do so. Thank you for providing this opportunity.

    Now, off to another blog...

    Bless you!
    Nan Jones

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  61. I'm just a small town Pastor's wife who loves to share with humor and transparency things learned through life in the trenches, the fish bowl, and the home...oh wait, a pastor's home is the trenches and the fish bowl. My bad. : ) I sing, I write, I speak…all on a small scale thus far but I am eager to leap out of the nest and fly. A chance to attend a conference of the awesome caliber of She Speaks would bless me beyond my imagination...and I have a pretty big imagination.
    Mari
    http://www.marilavell.com/

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  62. I am new to Proverbs 31 Ministries and even newer to the She Speaks Conference. Since discovering P31 I have continued to come back day after day and I was ecstatic when I learned about She Speaks!

    I am a young woman who is whole-heartedly seeking God's will for my time on this earth. I work as a dietitian and absolutely love encouraging and inspiring people to make wise choices that will allow them to lead more fulfulling, productive lives. Since coming into my field I have been praying that God would reveal how he wants to use my training to glorify His name. God has slowly but strongly laid on my heart that he desires for me to use my passions to speak to fellow believers and inspire them to approach their relationship with food and their bodies much differently than what our culture promotes.

    Receiving this scholarship would mean so much in helping fulfill this calling because it would give me the training to take what God has taught me and package it into compassionate, God-centered messages that inspire His people!

    Erica Hanson
    ericahanson@uwalumni.com

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  63. Thank you so much for this additional giveaway!

    I have felt so strongly that I need to be at She Speaks this year - the only reason I haven't registered yet is money!

    I am passionate both about speaking and writing - I've been teaching Bible studies in my local church for several years now, creating them from my Bible training at Cedarville University and from my own study of the Scriptures. It has been EXCITING to see how God has been transforming lives through women getting into the Word on a deeper level!

    After teaching for a while, God opened opportunities for me to speak at several womens' retreats through our church. About the same time, I began blogging and have been stunned to see how God has grown and used this little "ministry" from my living room.

    At this point in my life, God is opening doors for me to continue teaching, writing, and speaking - and I would love to glean from the wisdom and training at the Proverbs 31 conference!

    Thank you again for the opportunity!

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  64. My heart is begging, "Please, God! Please, God!!" But I trust Him totally with the outcome. I will continue waiting on Him, delighting in Him, and trusting Him to fulfill the dream that He planted in my heart over 20 years ago. My longing is to influence women toward Jesus through speaking and writing. Thank you for this opportunity! God has great plans for each of us!
    Heather Senter
    h.senter@mgcswarriors.org
    Warner Robins, Ga

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  65. I felt useless for the kingdom, so I began to pray daily that God would show me where, when, and how He wanted to use me. He asked me to speak at an all day retreat for young women. I was scared silly, but three days in the belly of a whale wasn’t very appealing either so I said yes. Then he sent me to give a talk on live television. I read the whole book of Jonah . . . and said yes again. When I received my third invitation to speak, I went to the She Speaks website. The conference sounds like a perfect fit, but our check book said no. I’m laying it in God’s hands. If He wants to use Cec to get me there, then God is good. If He sends someone else, then . . . God is still good.

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  66. I so know what you mean about being glad to have that confirmation from God at the outset so when the doubts and difficulties come you can proceed in confidence. Thanks for sharing your story Rachel.


    Attending She Speaks has been in my heart since my youngest (now 4) was a baby. As a ministry family on the other side of the country, actually getting there has always been out of reach. Even moreso this year as we have no regular source of income (aside from God’s gracious and unexpected provision).

    I've been hearing whispers about speaking and want to confirm if it's His voice. I've always been a reluctant speaker (it's not the delivery that I have trouble with, but the responsibility). I don't know whether this is to be my year for She Speaks or not, but I do know that if it is, it would take a miracle of this sort to make it possible.

    I sometimes feel like Gideon putting out my fleece, “If I get a scholarship, I’ll take it as confirmation that I’m meant to go.” God has done this in the past when I followed His call to writing. Now the question is whether it’s time to be more intentional about speaking the messages He’s given me.

    I’m so glad to know we have a sovereign God who paves the way down these paths that often seem like a dream that He intends to turn into reality. Maybe this year…

    Thank you for this opportunity. Blessings on all who enter and seek His plan for their ministry.

    Mary Hampton

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  67. It is so refreshing to see God using all of His women to work together and spread His truth!
    God is leading me on an incredible journey. It is this journey, seeking out a writing/speaking conference that I found this scholarship give-away! Is it a "God coincidence" that it was the first place I looked? God only knows! :) If I do win, this will be a God given answer to prayers and leading me into my dreams!

    Kathryn Prus
    Kathrynprus@gmail.com

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  68. As a young, teenage girl I stumbled across God's timeless wisdom for women as wives and mothers found in Proverbs 31:10-31. That "awakening" became the desire of my heart from my youth onward...although I would bump and tumble to a fantastic fall to my face before the Lord before I would realize it.

    The summer of 1998 I found myself pregnant, but unwed. Pride shattered and prostrate before the Lord, my Redeemer cleansed me, forgave me, clothed me, and began restoring me (Psalm 51). He granted me a willing spirit to sustain me and garbed me in everlasting joy (Psalm 30).

    God's blessings for obedience began to overflow. A month and 18 days later I married my best friend, soul mate, and the daddy of my first son, "Gift from God." The Lord reassured me that he could STILL use me and I prayed as King David did, "Lord, let me teach transgressors your ways." He initially confirmed His word with an instant ministry to a young mom with a story just like mine.

    In 2003 the Lord placed the call on my heart to write for Him. He has confirmed His call in more ways and encounters than I can count or name. He has shown me who I am and who I am not. Not one step or season I have lived in has returned void. Rather, God has grown and groomed me for greater things He has set for me ever since He called me. Like Abraham who believed God's promise, the Lord has asked me, "Do I believe Him that the Almighty WILL accomplish this?"

    I remember my Lord, the Promise-keeper. Not ONE of His good promises has ever failed. He knows what I need before I ask. Before a word is even on my tongue, He is there. He KNOWS me completely. Hearkening back, I can trace His hand in my life, connecting the dots He has set for me. My Lord has never left me. His presence, promises, and protection are mine. He is FAITHFUL.

    I answer, "Yes, Lord. I BELIEVE you." I ask and pray. I wait. I study His word. I connect with the Lord as His Holy Spirit guides, convicts, and teaches me. He shows me my "next step". I cling to the word He spoke to my heart, "The one who calls you IS FAITHFUL, and HE WILL DO IT." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

    Just today I asked the Lord to clarify my "next step" for ministry. As if the "green light" from my amazing husband and dual support of my Little Mama and mother-in-love ("My Naomi"), discovering this scholarship opportunity tonight was nothing short of God's impeccable timing. A gift trip to my first She Speaks conference would be yet another confirmation from my Lord that I am keeping in step with His Spirit. While I make plans in my heart, the Lord directs my steps. Praise Him!

    Shannon Lee Cochran
    mscochran@austin.rr.com

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  69. It is amazing how God works in each of our lives! I was reading Lysa’s blog and noticed the She Speaks scholarship offer. I was not familiar with the conference, but as I read the through the site I found myself excited and filled with anticipation. Our God has awesome plans for each of us and my journey has been amazing!
    I felt called to ministry when I was 14; I am now 41. The journey has led me to seminary, a Masters in Christian counseling, and now I am in a season of motherhood to two beautiful children under the age of five.
    Over the last year, I have on several occasions felt the Lord directing my steps toward a speaking ministry. Recently, I was approached by our local Baptist Association about doing a mini-conference on mentoring to our area churches. I am also the lay director of Women’s Ministry at my church. I love pouring out into the woman of my church and long to use the gifts God has given me to lead others to healing and wholeness in Christ.
    I am not certain how this ministry will look at this point, just waiting on God to make the path straight and clear. I am excited about the possible opportunity to attend this conference and sharpen my speaking skills and connect with others who have the same calling. Hoping to see everyone at She Speaks, but trusting my Jesus for the right timing.
    His,
    Cherie Orange
    creeor@gmail.com

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  70. Many Thanks to everyone who is making a scholarship even possible! Learning that God has called me to speak has been a gradual process. I was not raised in the faith. Rather I've been in some of the darkest places. Places only a loving Father like our Lord would dare go and find me. He has time and again made a way where there was not one.

    The first time I spoke publically was to a very small group and the feed back was great, however, I found myself so ill-equipped. I long to be instructed. I just need some Titus women to show me the way.

    The thought of being around women that can help me direct the gifting God has given me is so very exciting. Further more the thought of being equipped to rattle the gates of hell and see others set free by the power of the testimony He has made me free by,....well that just lites my fire. If that don't well, my wood may just be wet! =]

    Thank you so much a for a chance!
    Serving Him
    Jenna Berthoud

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  71. Rachel,
    Two things I loved about your blog entry...one that you call life with God an adventure--how cool! Second, your comment about praying with your husband--what a statement about your marriage and each other!

    How cool that your opportunity presented itself in the manner it did for you. When God is in the plans...He works miracles.


    Since I have survived aggressive breas cancer treatment, I think life is a miracle. Winning the scholorship would just be an awesome opportunity for me to learn the skills to help reach others.

    Psalm 71:5
    O Lord, you alone are my hope.I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

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  72. I am a teenager and have a passion for sharing God with others, especially those of my generation. I want to make a difference and feel God is calling me to speak and write about all He has taught me and how He has changed my life. Through my mom's cancer journey, I have gotten to know Him better and have learned to trust Him more. As believers we should have the skills to be the best in presenting our message to others. It would mean so much to me to learn how to better communicate. I don't believe God wants me to wait until I'm an adult to minister to others. I am praying for His provision for me to attend this conference if it is what He wants for me this year. Thank you for the opportunity to apply:-)

    LJ
    kajohnsonaz@hotmail.com

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  73. I am a teenager and have a passion for sharing God with others, especially those of my generation. I want to make a difference and feel God is calling me to speak and write about all He has taught me and how He has changed my life. Through my mom's cancer journey, I have gotten to know Him better and have learned to trust Him more. As believers we should have the skills to be the best in presenting our message to others. It would mean so much to me to learn how to better communicate. I don't believe God wants me to wait until I'm an adult to minister to others. I am praying for His provision for me to attend this conference if it is what He wants for me this year. Thank you for the opportunity to apply:-)

    LJ
    kajohnsonaz@hotmail.com

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  74. To be able to attend the She Speaks conference means that perhaps my husband would stop giving me books for special occasions, including Christmas and birthday, which are only one day apart, telling me how to become a better speaker, or a communicator whose message sticks, and how to make it through the dip! Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and love that he wants to see me succeed in this calling God has given me. He is truly my greatest cheerleader, coach, and resource! However, I am a woman and love to be around other women, so for me it would be a whole lot more fun to come and hang out with women who have the same passion and calling and learn together...rather than try to get through the first chapter of the last three books he's bought me!

    Seriously, God has called me to speak and in this season He is asking more of me in this calling. More discipline, more time, more learning! She Speaks would be a great way for me to develop even more as a speaker and to learn all those "things" from those who are much more ahead of me. Obviously, the scholarship is needed, otherwise my sweet husband would've sent me rather than buying the books:) Thanks for the opportunity to come and learn!

    Anita McGinnis
    www.trophyofgraceministry.blogspot.com

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  75. Just this week, I spoke to my women’s Rejoice Bible Study on creating faith moments with our children. Though I’ve shared this message three times in the last three years with different groups at my church, I’m never quite “comfortable” speaking to my peers. My hands sweat, my heart races, and my voice cracks! But, God still blesses, and many moms thank me afterwards for some fresh ideas to carry out in their own homes. I would love to attend the She Speaks conference to better equip me to share the messages God gives me. I give Him all the credit for any creativity that I possess, and therefore would love to share His ideas with others through possible speaking opportunities.
    Julie Lavender
    lavenders@bulloch.net

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  76. Julie LavenderApril 23, 2010

    With great excitement, I read about the She Speaks conference scholarship opportunity. I hadn’t quite made up my mind to blog my entry – quite possibly because I tremble at the thought of speaking to adults - , but was praying about the chance to do so. When the time came for my children and I to begin our homeschooling day, I opened our kids’ Bible to the lesson for today, and realized I would be reading to them from Proverbs 31. I chuckled to myself, then made plans to enter the scholarship give-away. Thanks for your ministry.
    Julie Lavender
    lavenders@bulloch.net

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  77. A little over a year ago, I attended a writing intensive led by Cec Murphey. In a short amount of time, I realized I was being instructed by a very gifted writer (and speaker), one who cared passionately for those desiring to impart God’s words to others. I pray that the one chosen to receive this generous scholarship will glorify God, bless other women incredibly, and put a smile on Cec Murphey’s face! I would be delighted to attend the She Speaks conference to learn how to do just that!
    Julie Lavender
    lavenders@bulloch.net

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  78. My passion is Speaking. Imparting wisdom, knowledge and power to those in the audience as the Holy Spirit directs my path. Speaking to women; encouraging them; letting them know that there is someone out there that gets what they are going through, that cares and is there for them is the call on my life. I am a survivor of this world we live in. I have survived sexual abuse, domestic violence, self-loathing, hatred and the desire to end it all until I found God. Truly found Him. Let him in my life and embraced the love that He so freely gives me. I am at a point in my life where I yearn with all my heart to take all that I have learned and impart it into others. I want to laugh with them; cry with them; and grow with them as they embark on a deeper, closer relationship with Him. Being able to attend She Speaks! will get me one step closer to the dream.

    kdchristian44@gmail.com

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  79. She Speaks

    Wow, it is amazing to see how God is working in and through the hearts of so many women He is calling to speak.

    God saved my life from the hands of a very violent and abusive marriage. I was saved and called into His leadership army within the same year. He spoke to my heart saying “all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28. Even though I knew this truth, I still felt as though I was in the “March of The Unqualified and the Unworthy”. Over the years He has reminded me that Moses and countless others formed His leadership army then and the call is no different now. For as He calls thus He equips…God spoke to my heart and said you are unconditionally loved, emotionally healed, and made whole. Remember my daughter there is not an affliction beyond My conviction. Your responsibility is to be 4 real to be healed.

    I began serving with a local domestic violence shelter teaching cooking classes and sharing my testimony. I served within this organization for eight years. God expanded my territory and I served on a local governance board that supports domestic violence initiatives. At my former home church I served in the health care ministry where I was asked to speak/share my testimony at several events. God expanded my territory again and I worked and shared my testimony to survivors of violence in Celebrate Recovery.

    In 2008 God called me to write devotion about my life experiences on this journey with Him. He spoke to my heart sweetly, that the devotions would become topics/platforms for my speaking ministry. In 2009, God created two open-door opportunities for me to speak. One was at a local college where five women who are walking with Christ shared their personal testimonies of surviving violence and God’s calling on their lives. The other opportunity came from a dear friend who was led a women’s ministry at her church. With God’s leading she purchased my ticket and paid me a nominal fee. I spoke at her women’s conference and the topic was Unconditionally Loved, Emotionally Healed, and Made Whole.

    It has been a year since I last spoke. I have continued to write and develop the speaking platforms for which God is directing me. I am follower of your ministry and have prayed for three years to attend your conference. Finances have prevented me. I realize that God will complete His plan in His timing. This opportunity for Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference is God’s open-door opportunity to expand my territory once again. To allow me to be in the company of women that are called to speak, write, and teach His word and increase His Kingdom for His glory.

    Joan Taylor
    Jtaylor349@aol.com

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  80. My God has great plans for me and my family, it has been a desert walk for about 10 years but He has been so faithful taking me step by step in the direction He desires for my life. It was just impressed upon my heart in the last weeks about public speaking and been confirmed by God through someone else. I truly desire to share more of Him and less of me. Thank you for this awesome opportunity.

    Barbara Martin

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  81. Words matter because people matter more. God called me to the ministry of writing long ago. But as I’ve grown in Him, He’s helped me to view my words as a vehicle to connect people with the One who loves them more than they can imagine. And I believe He intends to use both my written and my spoken words to accomplish His purposes.

    As He’s grown my writing, He’s expanded my speaking opportunities. That’s why I began to pray about attending She Speaks. My husband, like many others, has faced the heartbreak of job loss this year. As important as the conference is, family obligations come first. A scholarship would allow me to attend.

    I know the One who calls me to speak and to write is faithful. I’ll trust Him to meet the needs of all who enter. Thanks for offering She Speaks along with the scholarship opportunities. And because both words and people matter, I’m grateful.

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  82. I believe that God is my Father and that He has always been with me, protecting me and guiding me through the deepest, darkest and most despairing circumstances in my life. Sadly to say, it has been during these most vulnerable times in my life that I fell away from God. But being God, He was always there and found a way to bring me back into His grace. I do not know where God is leading me or what His plan is for my life, however, I do believe that God has been actively encouraging me to dig deeper into His Word for His purpose in my life. I do not know if I have the abilities, knowledge, skills, characteristics or work experiences to be selected for the "She Speaks Scholarship." But I do know that God is my Father and that I love Him with all of my heart. Perhaps some of my life stories, actions and outcomes, might help someone else to find their way back to God. It would be the greatest honor of my life to be selected to attend the "She Speaks" conference and training and allowed to study and grow among such a dynamic group of Godly women.
    God bless each of us.
    Take care,
    Marilyn Fielding
    mefielding@aol.com

    "All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6 NAS)

    "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off." (Matthew 18:12-13 NIV)

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  83. have an ache to bring hope (real hope) to hurting hearts. Trully, I have a lot to learn and am not wise but along the way I have begun to learn how good and faithful God is,and how dearly He loves us. I ache to share that in any way possible. I also have had a love for public speaking since I was young. The dream of sharing God's faithfulness and love has been on my heart for a long time. I just haven't known what to do with it, other than sharing with people in my life. I've never been to the conference and probably won't be able to attend without a scholarship. It would be a treat to be considered for this scholarship. Thanks for your time.
    sarah_gillaspie@yahoo.com

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  84. Will She Speaks be my next step on my adventure with God? All things ARE possible. If not this year I may just have my own retreat weekend reading these blog links. God will make a way.

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  85. Rachel, I am expecting the unexplainable AND the unexpected!!!
    I'm stepping out on faith by leaving a comment, but I want to do what God tells me to do. I have wanted to attend SheSpeaks for several years now, but have talked myself out of the opportunity every single year. This year, God provided a major healing of a brain tumor for my son (7yr journey) and I told the Lord when this whole ordeal started that I would shout from the rooftops at everything He allowed and did. I have done that within our "comfort zone" circle, but after he completely HEALED my son 2 months ago, I have felt the Holy Spirit telling me I should share Jordan's journey with woman across the country. He did NOT heal Jordan just for me and my family, but also for others. He provided a modern miracle for my son and demonstrated that He is still in the healing business, but most of all that we should trust Him with our lives, our decisions, our thoughts, our husband and our families. Throughout this ordeal, I have learned to TRUST HIM, just as he says in Proverbs 3:5,6 - - Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and will direct your paths.

    Thank you,
    Jai@wifeof1momof4
    wifeof1momof4@gmail.com

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  86. I have never attended a She Speaks conference but would love to go! I hold with an open hand any "calling" God may fulfill for me to have more opportunities to speak.

    Teaching and challenging women to deeper, more significant living is really enjoyable for me, and I feel His pleasure when He can use me in that role. I also know it is a big and humbling responsibility, so I do not take it lightly.

    Rachel Schaus
    rschaus@pobox.com

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  87. First this may sound silly but I love your home page. It captivates me and it almost has the capability to imagine my inheritances.

    It is awesome to go through and see all to the Ladies on Proverbs 31 uniqueness. I see you ladies and imagine that all of you were in my or our shoes at one time. It must have been wonderful to watch as the Lord had you take steps, to get closer to His plans for you. Jeremiah 29:11.

    That is all that I want. To be in His plans and will for my life. I want to have the opportunity to share, encourage, love on, and to hold my sisters in Christ accountable. The road that God allows us to go on sometimes is not comfortable and far from easy but with His promises and instructions we have a treasure map, that will Lead us right to the answers and eventually our Kingdom, where our King awaits us.

    This is so awesome that I am even taking the time to sit hear and capture my hearts desires and thoughts. I am a women on the run and (running a race that has been set before me), and I needed to get my thoughts out. Thank you for this opportunity.

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