Friday, February 1, 2008

She Speaks, God Speaks and She Encourages (UPDATED VERSION)

Oh boy, do I have an exciting opportunity to tell you about! About two years ago I attended a conference in Rochester called "Hearts at Home." I had no idea what to expect, but a group of friends traveled together to exeperience this weekend away from home. While we there, I heard Lysa TerKeurst speak as a keynote speaker and in the breakout sessions. While Lysa was speaking, I heard the Lord speaking to my heart, "Heather, you could be doing this."

I love to teach the Word of God, having training and experience, but the leap to a speaking career sounded scary. I went up to the front after the conference and asked Lysa how she got started doing what she does, i.e. speaking and writing. She invited me to attend her conference in the summer for speakers and writers called "She Speaks". At the time, I blew it off thinking I didn't want to spend the money for that and besides, I wasn't sure what my husband might think about this dream of mine.

A few months later, my husband and I were praying about my personal vision for ministry and seeking God for direction. This dream of speaking and writing came up again and I remembered the conference Lysa had suggested. It still seemed far fetched, but I began to ask God if He would provide a way for me to attend.

As I got on the plane last June, after God proved faithful in providing for me (of course!), I had no idea what I was stepping into. I met wonderful women of God whose lives were dedicated to loving Jesus and making Him known and heard messages that touched my soul. I thought I would get practical nuts and bolts training (which I did), but I didn't know I would meet God there and be touched in such an amazing way.

My book proposal fell flat (that's another story for another day), but God's presence spoke louder than any success I may have had that weekend. My spirit was refreshed and my vision clarified.

If you are interested in growing in your ministry skills and being refocused, pray about attending She Speaks. I'm not exaggerating to say that it is more wonderful than you can imagine.

AND, this year, there will be special training regarding blogging. Guess who the speakers will be? Rocks in my Dryer, BooMama and Big Mama - now if that doesn't entice you, I don't know what will!

If any of this is appealing to you, then listen up: Lysa is offering a FREE scholarship to the conference this summer. Please go check it out - it will be worth your while!

Edited to add: I've sent all my bloggy friends over to Lysa's site to enter the contest and I've been blessed to see how my little nudge has gotten these ladies excited about growing a speaking (or writing) ministry. But at the same time, I have been wondering what I'm doing in ministry - my speaking and writing hasn't exactly exploded over the past year. This blog is fun, but I'm always wishing for more exposure (not just out of prideful reasons, though I will admit to struggling with that, but because I want to reach people and how can I do that if they don't come by here. Do you struggle with that?) In my moment of insecurity, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, "Maybe you are supposed to be encouraging others in their gifts. Maybe THAT'S your ministry." Hmmm, I never thought of that before.

This whole year I've been wishing for a cheerleader, for someone to see my gifts and help me find my way in this speaking and writing ministry. I've hungered for a mentor because I feel a little lost on my own. And here God is asking me to be that person for others, because I know how important it is. It's not that I have great wisdom to impart or experiences to draw from (ok, maybe a little), but that I know how encouragement spurs on women in ministry. So, Lord, I'm willing and eager to be a cheerleader for every woman who comes my way - to inspire them and motivate them to use their gifts to Your glory!


Jenny said...

I have been super encouraged to read all the people who have went and really enjoyed it! I'm stuck between pulling for others to win and myself! How funny is that?

Amy L Brooke said...

Thanks for the comments!

Great blurb about She Speaks. Lysa and her team are sure going to be busy reading again this weekend and then trying to decide . . . . Wow.

I sure do hope to meet you there!

The book would be about hope since that is what I am so focused on. I'm still working it all out. But it seems right now that I can't turn aroudn without stumbling on something to remind me of it.

Luanne said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I so appreciate every one I get.

I can hardly wait for June.

It's interesting when you read all the posts to see God acting in each life and all such different ways.

Best of luck following God's leading.


Denise said...

How awesome.

Tiffany Stuart said...

Thanks for letting us know. I entered and posted about it.

Have a great night!

Missy said...

Great post Heather. I agree with Jenny, I wish everyone could win! Blessings.

Angie said...

I am so looking forward to this. My sister, Aimee is going to "talk her honey" into sending her (since she's the Women's leader at their church) and I would so love to meet all the great ladies that I visit blogwise daily!
Have a blessed day and good luck!

SharonB said...

Heather I was just looking at this after doing a search for ministry training. When I realized it was Lysa I thought "oh cool". But I don't think my budget will allow me to go. I'm still checking out some other leadership training...but maybe I'll have to check out the free opportunity...

Miss Sandy said...

Wishing you good luck on the scholarship. This is a very exciting opportunity.

Celly B said...

What a great testimony of how we women can encourage and impact others!

Lynn said...


You are a breath of God upon my heart. I just began a speaking career and need some training. I am off to visit this web site.

Thank you and God bless you Heather. Are you attending this year?

Patty said...

Amen!! What a great GodStop! I am so touched by reading your post today. I love how God provides for us and the way God speaks to us at conferences and any place for that matter but I love the way He showed Himself to you about your calling. Can I tell you that this does encourage me. For two years God laid on my heart to write a book and I have done everything I can not to! I have given Him every excuse why He could find a better person to do this. He has been speaking to me about that as you can imagine. LOL!! So, thank you so much for your post, encouragement!! I am so happy that you came by and shared your GodStop. Have a blessed weekend!!

Denise said...

I think you are a great cheerleader, encourager, motivater, you name it, you are great!!! Go Heather!!

Chris @ Come to the Table said...

Thank you for your encouraging comment on my post at the Internet Cafe today.

Thank you for sharing your heart so openly and honestly.

Susan said...

"Life is short and we never have enough time for gladdening the hearts of those who travel the way
with us. Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind." Henri Frederic Amiel

I'm just so blessed the Lord allowed our paths to cross!

Thanks Heather...

Elisa @ Extravagant Grace said...

Heather, what a beautiful story of how God is working in your life. I'm so glad you took the time to share!

I so hope we both get to go, as I would love to wrap my arms around your neck and give you a hug there!


Lelia Chealey said...

Thank you for your encouraging comment. You are awesome and your blog is uplifting & most important is you speak about a God who is awesome, uplifting, incredible and faithful...He has so much more to His resume.
Keep seeking Him Heather & being obedient as you seek. Your obedience to Him does lift us up and encourage us. Jesus is really seen in your writings on your blog. Thanks for sharing such honesty Heather. (especially the feelings of pride~thank we all have dealt with that before.)
Love ya,

Lelia Chealey said...

This is the advice that Heather~
Beth Moore gave her daughter Amanda this week about ministry: Go to the LPM blog to read more (not sure what the address is, but I have it on my blog under Beth Moore on the sidebar above Blogs that Bless above your blog site.)
I felt so blessed when I read this. I just thought this was some pretty important advice from a woman who is an incredible writer/speaker and wanted to share it with you...

"One thing is for certain: if we’re looking for a position with automatic and instant affirmation, we might not want to go into ministry. God always blesses but He often applies the Law of Sowing and Reaping and sometimes it takes a mighty long time for that plant to show."
~Beth Moore

Love ya,

Heart of Wisdom said...

Thanks for posting this. I am very interested in coming. I am praying about it now. UP for a Pj party?

Sita Henderson said...

Heather, I am so amazed. I made one comment on The LPM blog, and presto, I am introduced to this blogosphere of quality Christian women. My heart certainly resonated with your blog title as my professor for Spiritual Formation told me that I was a 'natural mystic'. I love solitude and being drawn into the heart of God. Some of my favourite writings have been from the monk, St. Francis of Assisi. I look forward to reading more of your posts slowly as your writing deserves 'chewing'. May God bless you as you continue to enter the Holy of Holies and be filled with His glory.

eph2810 said...

I tell you one thing, Heather. I know that (although not often time to stop by) your blog and your writing has encouraged me - HUGE!!!!
Yes, I would love to be used on a greater scheme (like a little devotions book - of so), but you know - God has allowed me to meet so many beautiful women from around the world.
And now I hope and pray that maybe one or two souls will seek Him because of what I am sharing on my blog :)...

Blessings to your and yours.

Anonymous said...

Heather, God has been telling me the exact same thing. In fact, I bought a book about the ministry of encouragement on Saturday. Wow!! It's funny reading exactly what my prayers have been spilling out for the last couple of weeks.

For the record, I'm signing up to be an official Mommy Monk cheerleader!!

OK, I finally posted that meme you tagged me with last week. I was so busy my mind wasn't really working at full speed last week (umm.. it never is but I do like to pretend!!). So, I've got my six random things posted. As I said, "The good, the bad, and the "spiders"!!

Have a wonderful day friend!!

Carol said...

I love what you added on the end of this. I have thought that myself at times. Last year, I went with my friend Amy to the Glorieta Christian Writer's Conference, I wondered if maybe I was just there to encourage her. Encouraging others is a very important job. And everybody loves an encourager! Thanks for a great post!

Kathy S said...

Heather, this sounds wonderful. I will look into it myself. I have had a desire to speak for a really long time. I have had a few opportunities in my church. Sometimes my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth, and other times it has I felt dynamic...Hmm, wonder who I was leaning on in the dry times??? I would love to have some encouragement and pointers to move on.
Thanks for sharing your heart. I had thought of asking you to come to our church for something in the future when I saw "dynamic speaker" on your blog. I am many times in the planning department of Women's events. I actually have a dream of having a womens confrence here in our town for the area. Partly for encouragement and building and partly for outreach. I keep praying and leaning my ear into the Lord for His leading on this...
Who knows, maybe we will cross paths soon.
I am going to check this out.
Love, Kathy

Carol said...

I enjoyed this post so much I wrote about it today and linked to you. Come by and check it out.

Angi said...

Sometimes it hard to find our "niche" in the world. But, you're seeking, you're praying, you're staying faithful - God will show you. Be patient and stay the course!

Cheri said...

I question myself many times as to whether it is my voice I am hearing, or if it is God's. If I am doing what He wants me to do or
if it's just what I'm hoping for!
Thank you, I know I'm not alone.