Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday @ She Speaks

What an amazing weekend it was for me! (This is a picture of my writers on-line support group)

I had a fabulous time meeting other bloggie friends, hanging out with my special friend, Kelly, and soaking up all that God had for me.

The final session on Sunday was a general session called, "What have they got that I don't Got?" This was given by Micca Campbell.

She is a fabulous speaker and I enjoyed it very much. The main point I walked away with was this, Courage is not the absence of fear, it's pushing through your fear. I hope to post this point in my bathroom, too!

After this last session we broke up and the writers/speakers/leaders separated into our groups for a lasting connections time. It was a time to exchange blog addresses, and say, "good bye". (This is a picture of me and Robin)

One little treat was that Glynnis Whitwer decided to have us create on-line writing support groups! How fun! I was placed with 7 other ladies (Robin is one of them!) and I am very excited about this opportunity.

The other opportunity that I had was to sign up for conference calls. They will begin the end of July and go into the fall. I am so excited about these as they will allow for Q & A sessions at the end of the calls. :)

I think that every woman who is called to write/speak/or lead should attend at least once! Praise God for His goodness.

Friday, June 27, 2008

She Speaks Part 3

I've saved the best for last!

Renee Swope spoke at the last Saturday session called, "Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt". (Renee and I are pictured above)

She focused on the doubt filled, fear driven, Gideon. God, overlooking his fears and doubts, saw him as a mighty warrior and took him on a journey which required total faith and ended in victory for Gideon and God.

She taught that in the shadow of doubts we have fear, but in the shadow of the cross we find God's Truths.

After the teaching, she had everyone take out a piece of paper and write down any doubts or fears that they had. I wrote a few on the paper. Then I walked to the front of the room and laid the paper at the foot of the cross.

Approaching the cross, I knelt down and closed my eyes to pray, SUDDENLY---

I had a vision of my past life as a child in grade school. In the vision, we went outside for P.E. and the team captains had to choose whom they wanted on their teams. Not only did they overlook me, but not being very athletic, they fought over who had to take me on their team.

I just sat there weeping. I couldn't believe the pain. I had not thought about this event for many, many years. God knew I needed a healing.

To help me deal with my fears of submitting my articles for publication, God lovingly reminded me of my painful past. You see, I was rejected by man, but HANDPICKED BY GOD!!! Praise God for this weekend! God did not overlook me.
Armed with the confidence that He has called me into this ministry, I can rest assured that He will publish my work when and where He wants to.

What a freeing time for me! I opened my eyes and looked around, God is so amazing. He loves us so much that He is willing to show us where we are bound, and then He sets us FREE! I left that paper there, at the foot of the cross. I left and just praised God for releasing me from the pain and fear associated with my past.

As I left, I picked up a paper with a promise (they were pre-written and prayed over) it said, "Called", and the scripture was Isaiah 43:10 "You are my witness," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He."

If you have been called by God but there is something holding you back, pray and ask Him to show you why you are bound and pray that He will set you free.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

She Speaks Part 2

Can you believe that we are still in Saturday's sessions! This was a convention that was packed FULL of information.

Session #4 on Saturday was called "How to Write a Book" by Lysa TerKeurst. This was very informative!! She is so much fun to watch! She used a pineapple and actually cut it up in the class to help us remember her pineapple Principle. She then gave us a lot of "P" points to remember which were great. For example, she said that we have to partner up with others, God has not intended us to go it alone. She had so much to say but ended it with Pursue Excellence. This is great advise and I will be reviewing these notes in the weeks to come!

Then it was off to Session #5 this was called "Book Proposals that Get Noticed" by LaRae Weikert. She works for Harvest House Publishers. She had so much helpful information to share with us that I am going to hold on to it until God gives me a book to write! Thankfully we have the notes to refer back to at any time!

Session #6 was called "The Ultimate Blogging Q & A" this was put on by our own top bloggers, boomama, bigmama, and rocksinmydryer. This session was practical info on things like, how do you change your blog name, etc.

On a readers note, I will be changing my blog name to "truth 4 the journey" very soon. I'll either learn how to redirect you all to my new URL or I'll have a post up telling you how to get to my new blog location..... But that isn't going to happen this week. I'm working on it!

Session #7 was called "Writers Coffee House" and it was great! My favorite part was when Suzie Eller (T. Suzanne Eller) talked to us. She is a published author and speaker and just a down to earth pleasant woman and mother and wife! Her love of God was contagious!

Ok, I've saved the best for last, be sure to check back tomorrow to hear about the vision that God gave me!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Saturday @ She Speaks Part 1

Saturday @ She Speaks was so full and exciting! It all started at 8:15am (this was after breakfast!) and it didn't end until 10pm that evening.

The first thing we did was to have a general session taught by Karen Ehman on Embracing your Little and your Lot. Here are a few of the important things that I learned at this session:

1) Comparison Kills Contentment. (I think I should post that truth on my bathroom mirror!)

2) The grass in NOT greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water, fertilize and pull the weeds! I loved this one! :)

3) Lastly it's God's job to grow your ministry and your job to learn how to obey God and be content where He has you.

The second session that I attented was called, "The Pathway to Publication", by Susanne Scheppmann. I was so glad that I attended this session. The main point to remember from this one is that I need to keep writing and keep submitting. There were also a lot of practical things I took away.

The third session was called "Magazine Writing 101, Honing your Writing Skills". That was a critical class for me with many practical tips and tools to help me become a better writer. I learned the difference between being an active writer and a passive writer. And lots of other important things. I will need to review my notes some more to really glean everything that I can from this session.

I hope this is giving you a picture of what this conference is like. If you are a writer I highly recomend She Speaks!! More to come later!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Friday at She Speaks

Lysa TerKeurst and Me!

Wow, Friday at She Speaks, where to begin!

I'll start with the first general session. It was given by Lysa TerKeurst and I was really blessed. I don't want to give it away if you ever hear her speak, so I'll just tell you what I came away with.

First of all, She gave a stellar description of her first writers conference, and how she had the wrong expectations. I think we could all relate. Then she said by the end that she felt like she was rejected by man, but handpicked by God. That is exactly how I felt this weekend, as a matter of fact, my whole adult life! So this was exactly what I needed to hear.

She then went on to point out that David, in the Bible, was also overlooked by man but handpicked by God. It was a sweet time and I will NOT forget those words as I receive the occasional rejection letter from a publisher or magazine! I will not give up and I will be sure to keep writing and submitting because God has called me to do this.

The next session I went to was called, "Blogging: What Works and What Doesn't." This was put on by 3 top bloggers, Boomama, Rocks in my dryer, and Bigmama. They were very cute and helpful and I will probably be redirecting you all to a new blog name at some point in the near future because of their advice. No worries for now, though. :)

The last session of the night was a writers critique group. This was invaluable because I brought an article and shared it with 2 other writers who read it and then gave me feedback. Praise God for the honesty and help of these 2 ladies, I now know I can make this article the way it needs to be. The other cool thing was that Glynnis Whitwer, who headed this up, decided to create online critique groups for the writers who were interested! So, more to come on this, but I am in a group now. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm Home!

Hello All!

I want to thank you for your prayers while I was away at the She Speaks Conference. It was a life changing experience!

(Kelly and Sonya.)

My good friend Kelly and I drove down to North Carolina late Thursday evening. The main issue we had was a warning sign in her car that indicated low tire pressure. We stopped at the very next exit, and were blessed by a full service station that was still open and working on vehicles at 7pm! They plugged the hole in the tire and we were off again. We arrived at the Embassy Suites hotel around 11pm. The room was lovely and we called it a night.

Friday was really great as we had breakfast with our special friend and encourager Bonita from Streams of Living Water. We talked and talked until almost noon. Then it was a quick lunch and down to the Bloggers reception.

Then the sessions started and we weren't up to our rooms until 10pm! Saturday was also packed from 8:15 until 10pm. You certainly don't sleep much at these events.

Sunday we were up and checked out by 9 and then the service started at 9:30 and ran until noon. After a quick lunch we were on our way home.

I didn't remember my camera so I am waiting for a few friends to e-mail me pictures then I'll post them.

I will blog about some more events over the next few days. Can you believe this is the first time I've gotten onto the Internet since last Thursday!!

Well, this is getting long and I've got a pile of laundry as tall as me to tackle! I'll talk to you all soon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sweet Nothings

I am very excited that in less than a week I am leaving to go to the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina. What a great opportunity this will be for me to learn and grow in the area of writing for God.

Back in April God lovingly called me to start this blog and begin writing for Him. He directed my path to go to She Speaks and beyond all of this I am not certain where this road will lead. Will He call me to write a book, a devotional, articles for magazines? These are all mysteries to me right now. But I believe that He will begin to clarify my calling when I attend the conference.

The fact that I'm even going to the conference is a miracle. When I looked into it they said it was full, so I put my name on the waiting list, and by sheer miracle I got in! There are 500 women attending and probably a large number on the waiting list. I love when God clears the path like this because you can follow Him with ease.

Up until about a week ago I have been confident in this new calling and I've been happy to write blog posts and potential articles for magazines. Until the enemy started whispering in my ear. He said things like, "why are you doing this?", "you are a nobody so who would want to publish your articles/book ideas?", "you can't afford to go to the conference, what if it's for nothing". I like to call these things sweet nothings, because that is exactly what they are, nothing but LIES!

I've seen on several other She Speaks attendees blogs that they, too have had these sweet nothings whispered into their ears. Thanks be to God for His Word. We are told to test everything against the Word of God. So, when I did this I found out that they were all lies. Let's take a look at what the Bible has to say:

Psalm 138:8(MKJVa) Jehovah will perfect His work in me; Your mercy, O Jehovah, endures forever;

Jeremiah 29:11(MSG) I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Deuteronomy 31:6(MSG) Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give them a second thought because GOD, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you."

Now these aren't sweet nothings, these are the promises of God concerning you and me!

Please pray for me this week, and the other 499 ladies and staff of She Speaks. Pray that we will only listen to His promises and that we will have peace about the conference. Pray for our safety and the safety of our families as we travel. Prayer is so important, thank you for sowing into my life in this way.

This will be the last post from me until Monday (after the conference)as I have multiple details to take care of before I leave on Thursday. I know God is at work and I'm looking forward to coming home and blogging all about His goodness.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I am having so much fun writing this blog. It is amazing how therapeutic writing can be. You are able to really sort through the emotions and lessons that God is trying to show you in your life. But it's also addictive, surfing the net to read other christian blogs and then there's the comments on my blog. This is all very time consuming.

Since I'm new at this my husband and I are still in the discovery stages of setting the proper boundaries for me on computing. I do feel a little like a blogger junkie! Because I desire to spend so much of my "spare" time checking to see if anyone has left me a comment, and to check to see if my bloggie friends have posted something new I can read and be blessed by. My husband told me that I've become a feedback junkie. When he said that we both laughed, but it struck a cord with me.

I took it to the Lord in prayer and He showed me that I have become addicted to seeing feedback on my blog. It feels good, it's uplifting and encouraging. The problem is that I need to make sure I'm not writing for the feedback, but out of obedience to God. I need to learn to be content with the fact that I'm doing what God has called me to do and I've done it to the best of my ability.

I am glad that God has again lovingly shown me an area that needs improvement in my life. And I want to warn you fellow bloggers not to become a feedback junkie! I was able to release this and what a freeing feeling. I no longer feel compelled to "check on my blog" but within my boundaries I can blog and be encouraged by feedback, as long as I'm no relying on it to confirm that I am following God's lead.

This can be taken to other areas of our lives, as well. Why are you serving in your church, in your community? If you've become a feedback junkie in the area of service, give it to God and stay focused on being a servant and nothing more.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

This is a you tube video I viewed on another She Speaks blog. It is so powerful that I had to share it with you. Just click on This Link and it will take you to the video that will bless you!!

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


How many times in our lives are we faced with something disappointing? I think if I had a dollar for each disappointing moment in my life I'd be a rich lady! I realize that we all face disappointments in our lives. Sometimes they are huge and other times they are over small things, but they are always there.

How do I handle disappointment? Until recently, I did not handle this emotion very well. I would get upset, angry and even pout! This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but it's true. Having 6 children who have learned to imitate me in this area made me realize the need to change.

How do you change a 41 year old habit? You transform yourself through God's Word. I have been devouring God's word lately. In reading through it, I have come to realize that He is truly in control of EVERY DETAIL of my life. So, if I have expectations that something will work out a certain way and it gets changed, I need to be confident enough in God's purpose for my life to just accept it.

I want to give you a snippet into my life one recent Saturday to show you how I was better able to handle disappointment.

I woke up early to go to the annual used curriculum/book sale in our area. We all look forward to this event each year. As I left the house, I noted how messy things were in the den, toys were everywhere. Since I left my husband at home with the younger 3 I just assumed he would have them clean up their mess. I got home to find the house in the same condition that it was in earlier, and my kids were all in their P.J.'s at 11:30am!! My son had a baseball game at 1:00pm so this was problematic.

Ok ladies, here's where I had a choice to make. I could allow myself to get upset with my spouse, or I could trust God and let it roll off of my back. I am so grateful that He allowed me to let it go. We were able to get it cleaned up together and still see the last part of my son's baseball game. The important thing here is that I didn't hurt my relationship with my husband. In giving it some thought, I realized that I had not verbalized to him my expectation that the toys would be cleaned up before I came home, he had done nothing wrong. In the past I would have gotten upset and hurt our relationship, God is good.

I have had several opportunities for disappointment to throw me for a loop this week, but through the Holy Spirit's prompting I have been able to change my reaction and let it go. Here's the verse that has helped me in this:

Philippians 4:11-13 And I am not saying this because I feel neglected, for I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.

Now I am looking to God to help me change my children's reaction to disappointment. I believe that in time, by setting the right example they will also begin to change. As women we seem to struggle with our emotions, God's word is what we need to keep us emotionally healthy.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sabbath Update

Hello all,

How was your weekend? Did you rest on Sunday?

I have to tell you that this was very difficult for me. On Thursday I left to go to our annual homeschool convention. I stayed in a hotel from Thursday through Saturday. This is a very busy time for me and I am going non-stop during this conference. First I must shop, shop, shop at all of the booths selling curriculum until I've purchased everything we will need for the upcoming school year. Next, there's visiting with all of the precious Mom's that I've known over the years (it's like a family reunion). And of course there are the sessions, I find that they are always helpful, all in all this is a draining but necessary couple of days.

I woke up on Saturday not feeling the best, I was probably just exhausted. So, I came home in the afternoon and just went to bed. I wasn't planning on being so very tired but that's just the way I felt. I stayed in bed until dinner and I went right back to bed afterwards. This brought me to Sunday.

I've heard it said that a picture is worth 1,000 words so I wanted to show you a picture of my 6 year olds room. This is what it looked like on Sunday morning. Ok Ladies, this was a real moral dilemma at first, should we clean it because life is happier when it's clean, or should I let it go. After discussing it with my husband, we decided to let it go (until tomorrow). Now, I hope you're homes weren't this out of control, but I tell you, I'm enjoying the rest today. I even took another nap! Today we rest, but tomorrow we clean!

The scripture that helped me not have guilt about the mess was this one:

Exodus 34:21 Do your work in six days and rest on the seventh day, even during the seasons for plowing and harvesting.

I have come to realize that during the time to plow and harvest it must have been very tempting to go ahead and work on the Sabbath because they weren't finished with their work, but they weren't allowed to! The punishment for working on the Sabbath was DEATH! God takes this very seriously and so should we, whether in times of plowing or harvest, no excuses just rest. I have come to realize that we should plan on getting as much of our work done in six days as possible, but, if we aren't finished we still need to lay it down for 1 day and honor God with rest.

If you tried to rest on Sunday, leave a comment to tell us how it went!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Time with the kids

I have mentioned before that I love to bake, being in the kitchen is just fun for me. I remember when my kids started asking me if they could bake with Mom. This was unexpected and I wasn't sure if I would like to "share" my kitchen with other people! My precious mother had been cooking with them for some time and she encouraged me to let them help. I decided to try it out and I've loved it ever since!

My 2nd born had an idea for a new twist on pancakes and we made her raspberry chocolate chip pancakes, mmmm, mmm, good! Of course, sampling the chocolate chips was the best part for the kdis!

If you haven't tried cooking with your kids lately, give it a whirl. It's not very often you get contentment like this afterward.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Box of Joy

I have been posting on some heavy topics this week so I wanted to end on a lite note. I would like to share a story from my past with you.

There was one day, a few years back, when I was really struggling. I had been upset by circumstances and I was in a really bad mood. My oldest daughter who was 5 at the time, gave me a little gift wrapped box.

I wasn't sure what this was all about since it wasn't my birthday and I surely didn't deserve a gift that day. So, I opened it and found that it was EMPTY! I asked her what was supposed to be in it and she said, "I filled it with joy, Mommy!" To that I began to laugh and cry all at the same time. What a precious gift this was to me. I kept that box for several years and I would open it once in a while just to remember the wonderful day that my daughter gave me a box filled with joy.

I hope you all have a joyful weekend! Don't forget to rest on Sunday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

This Little Light of Mine

We have all heard the words to this song: This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.... The part I am going to focus on today is: Don't let Satan blow it out.

I had the strangest experience on Sunday. We had set out to go to church and after getting there I remembered that I had forgotten a meal that I was supposed to bring for a friend who had had surgery. I ended up leaving my family there and then driving home and back during the service (we live 30 min. away so it was an hour drive). I have to say that I enjoyed my hour drive, because I was able to spend a solid hour with the Lord, one-on-one time. With six children this doesn't happen too often.

The day progressed and we went to the pool for the afternoon as a family. Sounds perfect, doesn't it. What I didn't know was that the enemy was planning an attack on our family that very evening. After we got home from the pool I began making dinner, and my husband started replacing the front door lock (the other one was in need of repair). I noticed that tension was building between 2 of my children and I had to correct them several times, this caused my tension level to rise.

All of a sudden a terrible wind blew up. A storm was approaching. We have chickens so I immediately sent 3 of my children outside to throw them into their hutch for safety. The rest of the kids and I went onto our deck to close the umbrella's and bring in the wet towels. It was a violent wind that seemed to come from nowhere.

While I was securing the umbrella's my daughter accidentally knocked over a glass vase and it smashed into a million pieces! Meanwhile inside, another child knocked over my favorite glass tea lamp and it smashed into a million pieces. At the same time, my dog threw up all over the carpet!!! Now, I have had my buttons pushed before, but never quite with this magnitude. If you had been there you would have felt the tension and seen the problems! I blew it. I yelled at everyone and then just sobbed. I cried and cried some more. How could I have lost my cool over such unimportant things? I felt so ashamed. So angry at myself. I thought God had been changing me, where was the changed woman now?

I was ready to give up this blog last night. I was so ashamed at my behavior that I said I couldn't write anymore. How could I tell people I was changing when I had regressed to this point in one night? Thankfully God gave me a loving husband. He encouraged me and told me that I had changed. He said that I had been such a joy to be around lately, and God had done amazing things in my life. He also said that I blew it last night, but so what. He told me that God had forgiven me, the kids had forgiven me and I needed to just get over it. The real problem was forgiving myself. That's where the Word of God came in.

Romans 8:1(KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

This is a powerful verse. If God isn't condemning me, I shouldn't either. I'd asked God and my family to forgive me so now I had to let myself off the hook. This wasn't easy for me to do, but with God's help I was able to let go.

I went over to my very special friend's blog on Monday. Her post titled "Part of that World" talked about not letting Satan blow out our lights. That is exactly what he tried to do on Sunday night. He blew hard and it almost worked, but God is bigger and stronger and God gave us the victory!

Monday, June 2, 2008


Exodus 20:9-11 (KJV)
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

We have all heard this verse before, it's one of the ten commandments. This one was even set up during creation(see Gen. 2:3). Knowing this we should all be enjoying our Sabbath's each week as God has directed us to do. He is actually telling us to rest, so what is the problem? I have struggled with breaking this commandment my whole adult life. How is it so difficult for me to just rest on Sunday. Well, I believe that the root of my problem is lack of planning during the week. Don't get me wrong I have an extremely busy schedule but I don't value this enough to plan ahead for rest. Until now....

I am going to make a change in my life. One thing I have recently learned is that work was created before the fall of mankind. I had always considered work to be part of the punishment for sin. But this is a false belief. God put Adam in charge of the garden of Eden and he was to tend to it. Now, after sin the ground began to grow weeds and he would have to eat bread by the sweat of his brow. Armed with this new realization that we need to work (it's part of God's perfect will for our lives) I am going to take care of everything considered work on the six days leading up to Sunday.

We could spend hours debating what work is, so let's not go there. Instead I want to challenge you to pray and ask God to show you what work is in your life and then commit this week to getting it all done in six day. I will write a post on Sunday (or Monday) to let you know how it goes. God even instructed them that during the harvest they were to rest on the Sabbath, so no excuses! Just do it! I hope you will leave me a comment and tell me if you are up for this challenge, then come back on Monday and we will share how we did. :)

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