Thursday, March 26, 2009

He Heals; She Speaks

My mom has thought for a long time that I should be a writer. I thought, "Well, I love to read. I love to journal. I'd like to make some money. Maybe..." I went to a homeschool conference where Marybeth Whalen did a session called So You Want to be a Writer. That may not have been the exact title, but it's close. She said two things that day that stuck with me. One of those things was that her book For the Write Reason was being sold by a particular vendor. The other was that whatever it was that we really didn't want to talk about, that might be the very story God was calling us to write.

I bought the book. I've read it from cover to cover many times. One of the authors in the book was also a speaker, and she talked about speaking too. I realized that I much prefer speaking to writing. Speaking and teaching are talents that God has given me, and I tremendously enjoy. That's a really spiritual sounding way to say that I'm a drama queen.

Marybeth's other statement, the one about sharing our story. The one that's hidden and painful. I just looked at God and said, "Unh-Unh. No way. No how. It's done. You've healed me. That skeleton belongs in the closet, and it's staying there."

I followed Marybeth's blog off and on for a couple of years. Through her blog I was introduced to Proverbs 31 Ministries. It was also through her blog that I heard about She Speaks.

My attendance in 2008 at She Speaks was nothing short of a God thing. First of all, I mentioned it to my husband very casually. He said, "Why don't you go?" I said, "Well, because I'm not sure that God really is calling me to write or speak. I'd hate to go and spend mumble-mumble dollars if that isn't even what God wants me to do." See, my husband is known for being frugal. (That's a nice way of saying: He's so tight when he opens his wallet, it squeals.) We're a single income family. I told him I wasn't even sure if I'd follow through on writing or speaking. I knew he'd never want me to go. Plus he'd have the kids for the whole weekend. He said, "I think you should go." I was in shock!

I hooked up to the internet, and found that the conference was full. I was disappointed, but not terribly so. Obviously, being this was not God's will for me. Then I got the email that said there were more spots. Did I still want to go? I signed up for the speakers track, but also chose some writers track sessions. God confirmed His call for me to speak. But that was not what the weekend was all about for me.

As I prepared my material for the speakers track, God asked me to pull my skeleton out of the closet. I was not happy. I considered staying home. I went and shared 3 minutes of my testimony. Truly, when I opened my mouth to sing the first two lines of Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places (singing is NOT my gift) it was an act of faith. God pulled the voice from my lungs. I could not have made the first sound by myself. When I was done, I shook so hard I thought my notecards were going to fly out of my hand.

Presenting a five minute teaching was not nearly as painful or difficult. At the end of our presentations, Luann Prater, our Proverbs 31 leader shared part of her story. Our stories were so very similar. I couldn't believe that God had chosen that group leader for me. Turns out that not only are our stories similar, but Luann dresses up and does "the woman at the well." Drama is my thing. Becoming a Bible character is my favorite way to tell a Bible story.

I went downstairs feeling like I'd been kissed by God. After Renee Swope spoke about living in the shadow of the cross. I was broken. Broken by God. I wrote down those things from my past that still had hold of me. With tears pouring down my face, I joined so many others who were laying down their own hurts. Luann met me halfway, hugged me and whispered that she was so proud of me. She was the arms of Jesus that night.

My call to speak was confirmed, but the most important thing was that Jesus healed wounds that I'd long ago buried.

In the past year, I've shared my story a little at the time and I've found that there are many women who bear similar scars. They don't see themselves the way Jesus sees them. I've spoken a couple of times for church services. I shared the story of the sinful woman who annointed Jesus' feet and my story with our small group at the fall beach retreat. I've started this blog. I also wrote, am directing, and performing in our church's Easter program.

I have dreams of sharing Jesus with women wherever and whenever He allows. I also dream of sharing Him with women and girls in prison/juvenile detention facilities. When I return to She Speaks, I will focus on: where I go from here and strengthening my speaking skills. I look forward, also, to being a blessing to someone else.

If you have any desire to write, speak, lead women's ministry or improve your blogging I highly recommend the She Speaks Conference. I was honored to have been in the company of so many of God's women, all striving to serve Him more.
Lysa Terkeurst is sponsoring a scholarship at her blog. To enter, check this out.

Green stuff

Why is it that one of my children doesn't eat green stuff? Except skittles, m&m's, etc.... Nothing that can be grown in dirt. NO VEGETABLES!!! Except french fries, and I'm pretty sure they don't have any nutritional value.

Yet, that child is one of the two who were drinking water out of my mom and dad's ditch. Water that has green stuff floating in and on it. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!

Some things just make no sense!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Happy Birthday to my middle child today! Happy Old and Stupid Day to me! When Nate and I were talking this morning, we couldn't exactly agree on the definition of "tacos". It was a long, drawn out talk and I'll spare you the details. I tried to convince him that I was right, and then he tried to convince me. Finally, he said, "Never mind. You're just to old to understand." What? It might be a long next eight years...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Women are hurting

"Women are hurting!" I gotta' be honest--I wasn't impressed with her opening salvo. She sounded a bit whiny, passionate, but whiny. I was feeling a bit, um, tired of being at the conference and grumpy. And frankly, she was way more energetic than I was comfortable with. So I sat there with my detached self thinking, "I'm not hurting."

Don't you know, that is not a thought you should think!?! It wasn't long before God uncovered some long scarred over wounds in my heart. For several years He debrided my wounds. He'd scrape a layer and then when I was ready and somewhat recovered from that scraping God would go after the next layer. I hope He's healed all the layers, but if there's any yuck left, I trust Him with it. I willingly submit to his scalpel, because I know that's the only way to be transformed.

I've been thinking lately about that statement: Women are hurting. Yes, they are. They are hurting because they are hard on themselves. They are hurting because their husband's, parents, friends and sister's in Christ are hard on them. They are hurting because they weigh themselves on the world's scales. We see value where the world tells us value is. Our worth is wrapped up in the pounds, wrinkles, clothes, standard of living, career, family.

Jesus loves you! Jesus loves me! Jesus loves women! He is broken hearted when we hurt. When Jesus came upon the widow of Nain whose only son had died, Jesus brought him back to life. When Peter's mother in law was sick, Jesus healed her. When the untouchable woman with the issue of blood touched his cloak, Jesus healed her. When Martha and Mary cried over Lazarus' death, Jesus wept! What hurts you, hurts Jesus!

I think this is it! My passion! I want to see women grow. I want to see women mature in Christ! I want to help women rely on Jesus! I want to show women how Jesus sees them!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Discipline--or lack thereof

"Maybe God's just not calling to you to that." These were my sweet husband's words when talking about going to She Speaks last year. He told me that it sure looked like God was calling me. My question was how could God call me to speak or write when I wasn't keeping house like I should.

So today I pulled out Edith Herr's Introduction to Christian Writing and sat in the middle of my not so clean house and read about writing and pondered the state of my home.

For a brief moment at the very beginning of 2009 I had a somewhat organized schedule. I included time for teaching and planning school, time for homemaking(minimal time :] ), time to exercise (even more minimal), and time for ministry. For that blip of time my life ran smoothly. I've decided that I'm going to get back to it. But first, I need to know how did I get out of the routine I was working so hard at?

Was I just tired of it? Was it the challenge of having a routine in a home with constantly changing schedules? Did I just get lazy? Do I really in my heart of hearts think it's better to be flexible and not boxed in? It certainly does make it easier to make others happy if I'm not tied to a schedule. I like being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I don't care for keeping a schedule. I want to be free. But really what am I free for? To live in a house that isn't kept as well as I'd like? To feel guilty?