Thursday, January 31, 2008




Looking Back, “She Speaks” Conference Reminds:
Never Enough of God in My Life

Bringing in a new year has caused me to pause and reflect on the year of 2007. Many exciting events have taken place in 2007 that have changed my life. Not the least of these changing events was the adoption of my son on August 17th, 2007. The other life changing event was my attendance of the Proverbs 31 “She Speaks” conference.

Anytime a child is brought into a family it is inevitable that life will change. This is especially true when a child is adopted at the age of 34 months, (2 years and 10 months, for those of you who, like me, are a little math challenged.) by a woman who was very comfortable with her very quiet, orderly, organized, neat, and often very selfish lifestyle.

Needless to say, my home is no longer quiet. Nor, is it orderly, organized, and neat. More often than not one would be likely to find my home in a state of cluttered, messy, chaos. However, I am happy to admit, the adoption of this miracle child has forced me to become less selfish and more dependent upon the Lord. I wish that I could say that giving up some of my selfish desires has come easily. However, the truth of the matter is that I am a fighter, and tend to give up my selfish desires only when I am forced to do so, and then only while kicking and screaming.

Another of the changes that this wonderful addition to my life has brought about is a renewed desire to grow closer to my precious Savior; Jesus Christ. This desire was cultivated not only by my son’s adoption, and the realization that I want to give my very best to my efforts to raise him in a home where God is placed first above all else; but also by the faith and witness of one very special woman, Lysa TerKeurst.

For those of you who may not know Lysa, she is the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, co-host of the ministries national radio program and she is the award winning author of several books, including her latest release, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, as well as What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, Leading Women to the Heart of God, and many other wonderful titles. She is the featured writer for the monthly magazine, P31 Woman and has had her work published in other publications such as Focus on the Family magazine and Crown Financial Ministries’ Money Matters.

My first encounter with Lysa was through reading some of her online devotions, posted at http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/. The second encounter I experienced with Lysa was at a women’s retreat in Sullivan Indiana during the early summer of last year. Lysa was to be the keynote speaker and I was so excited about attending the conference. At the time of this conference I was knee deep in the roller-coaster ride of emotions surrounding my son. He was living in my home in a foster care capacity, and it was uncertain when if we would ever receive the blessing of adopting him. I had high hopes that I would gain a fresh perspective on life in general and a renewed desire to grow closer to my Savior at this conference. Lysa did not disappoint me, nor were my expectations of a life-changing experience left wanting.

Lysa’s Biblical insights were life changing, she was inspiring, fresh funny and clearly on fire for the Lord; and she mixed every topic that she shared with personal stories that were real and moved my heart. Also at this event, she gave a challenge to all women who were either women’s ministry leaders, writers, speakers, or who hoped to one day be a part of leading women to God through one of these avenues; to attend “She Speaks,” an annual conference hosted by Proverbs 31 ministries. When she extended the offer to join her at “She Speaks,” in June I knew that I had to attend. I felt that the “Women’s Ministry Track” of the conference would help me in my newly appointed role as Co-Leader of women’s ministry at my home church. But, what really intrigued me was the prospect of learning how to hone my writing skills, and to develop what I consider to be my calling in life, by attending classes from the “Writers Track” of the conference.

So, in June of 2007 I packed my bags and headed off to Charlotte, North Carolina to attend “She Speaks.”

I was genuinely impressed by the quality and depth of each presentation that I attended. I was gaining skills, thoughts, and ideas that were sure to help me develop a sound women’s ministry at church, and I was gaining some very beneficial information about the pursuit of a writing career. However, what I was most surprised by was how every presentation and every class I attended, every contact that I made with other women who were also seeking to serve Jesus, I was being challenged to develop and grow my spiritual walk with Jesus.

Before this conference I felt that I had a good relationship with Jesus; during and after the conference I realized that a ‘good’ relationship with Jesus was nowhere near enough! On Saturday evening, after all of the presentations I was wiped out, both physically and emotionally. I knew that God was touching my life in a very profound way. I was exhausted and I wanted to sleep. I realized that I would not be able to sleep until I had a talk with my Lord. So, I fell on my face, on the cold marble tile of my hotel room’s bathroom floor. I began to pray and call out to God. I wanted Him to transform me. I asked Him to renew me and sculpt my broken vessel into what He desires me to be. I realized that what I had really been seeking my entire life was not just to be a ‘so-called’ good Christian and to look good in my service to Him. No! What I desired; what I must have is a very intimate and personal relationship with my Abba Father. What mattered most in life was for me to take Jesus captive as my very breath of life.

As I look back on the events of last year, I can’t help but look forward to this new-year. I know that Jesus and I are on a journey together. I know that He is growing me, and that I am falling more in love with Him each day. I also realize that despite my desire for spiritual growth and my resolve to change, I am still just a fallen sinner and I will continue to struggle to grow my relationship with Christ. There have been many times since that conference in June of last year that I have found myself sharing Lysa TerKeurst’s feelings recorded in her blog posting from Tuesday, January 1st entitled: “The Song of My Rag Tag Soul.” In that blog posting Lysa said: “I have been obedient but only to a certain point. I have been good but I am not holy. I have faith but still struggle with the desire to be put in a position to really have to practice it.” (For the entire article by Lysa go to: http://lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com/2008/01/song-of-my-rag-tag-soul.html)

I can so relate to what Lysa said. Maybe you can too. I know that my desire to grow a greater relationship with my savior is strong, but I find myself saying; “Lord, no matter how much I grow in you it will never be enough for me! I want to give you everything, yet I struggle with my human frailties. My greatest prayer is to serve you with great abandon. To allow you to be so real in my life that I love nothing more than taking delight in our bond. I desire to say yes to your every request, and to make you known throughout the world! I desire to have nothing delight me more than singing your praise through the way I live my life.” So, although I have never been one to make new-year’s resolutions, this year I am making some. Here they are.

· I resolve to continue to listen for God to speak to me and,
· I resolve to do my very best to follow His direction.
· I resolve to continue to strive to lay down my selfish desires and cherish every gift God sends my way, as they have been many.
· I resolve to extend grace, grace, grace, to those, also imperfect, souls with whom I find myself doing life with.
· And most of all; I resolve to not beat myself up when I am less than perfect and find that at the end of 2008 I must make these same resolutions all over again. Because, let’s be honest folks; there is not ever going to be a day when I will be perfect at maintaining these resolutions, at least this side of glory.

PS – If you are on a spiritual journey of your own and wish to grow closer to the Lord in 2008, I encourage you to make plans now to attend “She Speaks” this year. I have already related to you how wonderful I think Lysa is, but what you may not be aware of is that this wonderful woman is offering a FULL SCHOLARSHIP to attend “She Speaks” this year. (That’s a $525.00 value folks!!)

So, if you have stayed with me and read this entire article, and would like to attend “She Speaks,” but like me, funds are tight; surf on over to Lysa’s blog at: http://www.lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com/ and read her post dated: Tuesday January 29th, 2008 entitled, “Win A Scholarship to She Speaks 2008.” You will also need to check out the Proverbs 31 website, for more information on the conference. Here is a link to that page: http://www.shespeaksconference.com/ I hope to see you at “She Speaks!” I know that if you are able to attend you will not leave disappointed!

1 comment:

Miss Sandy said...

Thank you for sharing how this conference was a life changing event for you and your resoultions to grow closer to the Lord, it is a truly inspiring post.

I must also add that your blog design is beautiful. I love the banner and it is very soothing and welcoming here in your little corner of blog land!

Blessings on being able to attend!