“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. ”   Colossians 3:23

Good morning!  I’m back from my weekend at  ‘She Speaks!’, the Proverbs 31 conference for writers, speakers, women in ministry leadersip, and up and coming Christian teens.  Wow!  What a weekend!

I arrvied trying to look my best  – wanting to make the most of the one chance to make a good first impression – and approached the registration tables.  I was still mentally preparing to enter the conference itself where everyone would be and where I’d catch my first glimpses of all the Proverbs 31 women.   Well, time for mental prep was over because there, right before my eyes, was Renee Swope herself along with several others I recognized from publications and the Proverbs 31 website (their names escaped me at the time) all there to assist incoming guests!    And they weren’t there being all ‘fancy’.  Members of the Proverbs 31 ministry team were dressed alike in simple, yet stylish Proverbs 31 t-shirts so that they could easily be identified in case anyone needed their assistance in any way, at any time.  (This was just the beginning of my seeing how humble and personable they all are.)

A General Session had already begun, and I entered the main conference room just in time for a prayer and then an introduction for Lysa TerKeurst.  It was my first time to hear her speak.  She was friendly,  approachable, and ‘real’, and so full of love for the Lord.  Those qualities proved to be true for each woman of the ministry team.

Four hundred women and teens were there from all over the US.  Many were from my state of North Carolina – and a few were even neighbors of mine, living just minutes away from me!  We came eager for instruction as Christian women seeking to be writers, speakers, or to lead in ministry.  Some came searching for enlightenment.  Others arrived with their hopes and dreams bound in the forms of book proposals anxious to meet with editors and publishers from big-name publishing companies.  I was there for whatever reason God wanted me to be there and had signed up for the Speakers Track and the opportunity to be evaluated as a speaker. 

We received instruction and evaluations; writers had meetings with publishers; ministry leaders were themselves motivated and led; and teen girls were taught that “Modest is Hottest”.  (Don’t cha love it!)  All those things were accomplished.  But to my surprise, that was all secondary for what the Proverbs 31 Ministry team had planned for us.  Their #1 purpose in meeting with us was to humble us before Jesus and remind us that it’s all about HIM.  None of them were there to impress.   They were there to inspire.  And each speaker began with the message that we’re not to become writers, speakers and leaders for our own sake, but for the glory of the Lord.  We heard that over and over again.   I loved that. 

The Saturday night general session was the most inspirationally moving experience I’ve ever had.  Lysa TerKeurst shared her testimony in a way that I don’t think she ever had before.  If ever a sister in Christ humbled herself before the Lord, it was Lysa that night.  And because of that, it wasn’t about her story, it was about her love for the Lord and why she has that love.  I’ve never seen God’s love radiate so purely through another human being.  As emtional as I am, I wasn’t even crying.  I was suspended in the moment.  Then she asked all of us to write down whatever might be holding us back from the Lord or our service to Him and then lay those things down at the foot of a cross that stood to the side of the stage.  Beautiful music played as women came forward, making offerings from their hearts for Christ.  Many knelt to pray at the foot of the cross.  Others were surrendering in ways they never had before and others were hugging them praying for them and comforting them.  I’ve never felt so much love being offered up to the Lord and shared among others.  What an incredible experience that was. 

My mind is still processing all I saw, heard, learned, witnessed, and experienced.  This was an instructional weekend for me, but it was also much, much more.  It was a very spiritual, enlightening, motivating, and most of all HUMBLING time, and I still haven’t stopped praying and thanking God for allowing me to be a part of something so wonderful.

Charlene Kidd was the Speaker Team member who led our speaker group and did my evaluation.  Thank you, Charlene!  It was great meeting you!   Sonya, from Hickory, NC was my roommate.  Sonya, it was so nice meeting you!  Let’s stay in touch!  And God’s blessings to you as you seek to serve Him in so many amazing ways.  Rachel, my friend from P 31, it was teriffic seeing you again!  And finally, to those of you in my speaker group – Kristin, Marianne, Julie, Pam, Lisa, Kim, Carla, Crystal, and Tammy- BIG HUGS to each of you, and may God richly bless you and your families, staying near to you always and giving you peace as you journy with Him.  Charlene, those prayer thoughts are for you, too! 🙂   Let’s stay in touch, girls! 

My commitment to the Proverbs 31 Ministry is even stronger than before.  I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to:   listen to Lysa and Renee Swope on their radio devotions, subscribe for FREE to their online devotions, get a subscription to the P31 Woman magazine (just $15!), consider members of their speaking team for your events, and check out the books many of them have written.  You can do all of this at their website  www.Proverbs31.org  You can even shop for stuff at this site!   

And by the way, my speaker evaluation went well, so if its’ the Lord’s will, I might be coming to a church group near you some day! 

May God’s presence be with you in awesome ways.  Blessings to all,

Renee 

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