Back in January, I received a message from someone who knew me through my conference work at Paideia Northwest, asking if I would speak at a weekend retreat in March. I remember actually busting up into giggles: no, really – I did that! When my husband, who was sipping coffee nearby, asked what was so funny, I said, “I think somebody must have me confused with someone else. Because I just got a message asking if I would speak at an upcoming retreat.” My husband didn’t see the level of humor I did, and admitted, “I think you would do a great job at that. What makes you think it wasn’t intended for you?”
I am pretty sure I gave him a blank stare. Giggles stifled, I sent a quick response basically just clarifying who I am, and checking to see if the request was actually for me. I admitted that it has been almost ten years since I have spoken officially at anything… you know, outside of being the emcee of a medium-sized conference every November in recent years. I figured the sender would appreciate being given an “out” once they realized their mistake in reaching out to me.
I was surprised to shortly receive a response which clarified that they knew exactly who I was, and I was exactly the person they wanted speaking at their upcoming event. And she knew that I was not a seasoned speaker… and apparently that didn’t matter to her, and wasn’t necessarily what she was looking for.
She told me the topic and theme for the retreat weekend, and I began to pray and read some books and decided to step across the threshold of the door God was opening.
Tomorrow evening, I will be giving my first of two sessions. I will give the second one on Saturday morning. I don’t have stagefright about being in front of people: honestly, I think that whole idea of being an emcee in front of three hundred people every November has sucked those nerves right outta me. But I have a deep desire to simply be a conduit of God’s grace to this group of women… and I am confident that while I have nothing to offer, the Lord can use me. Even me. Even my words.
So I am praying for the women that will be sitting near, maybe even note-taking, while I deliver a little treatise on a large topic.
I ended up having so much to say about the subject that I wrote it all down, and decided to share all of it in a blog series here. I will use some of the things for my talks, of course, but with only a total of ninety minutes of presenting, I won’t be able to cover as much ground there as I can in a blog series. There are no time limits when it comes to blogging!
This is the pile of books that I started with, and I will share links to each one. They are not all created equal, and just because I revisited them or even quote from them doesn’t mean that I would encourage you to go out and buy them or gift them or apply them unapologetically. Sometimes mediocre books have wonderful things to chew on, but there are also things to be spit out. Have wisdom. And I would love to engage further about these books or the series that will begin to go live tomorrow… so if anybody wants to discuss these things, just contact me and I will get back to you: I won’t even laugh out loud, thinking you contacted me by mistake.
To whet your appetite, here is what’s coming:
The Truth of Who We Are
- as Christians
- as women
- as wives
- as mothers
and how the light of the Gospel shines here