Friday

An Unusual Post

Dear Friends,
Usually when I write, I write with you in mind, but today I am sharing something with myself in mind. . .

A few weeks ago a friend shared information on a writer/speaker conference called “She Speaks.”  Held in Concord, N.C. each year, it is three days jam packed with instruction for women who want to be  better communicators for Christ.  When I went to the website, this is what I read: 

“If you are like me, we share a passion to step out with the messages God has placed on our hearts. Do you ever feel this way? Do you long to connect women and bring them closer to the Heart of God?
If you answered yes to these questions, then I invite you to join us at our next annual She Speaks Conference where you will receive the tools and the confidence to answer God’s call on your life. You will learn how to make the most of your messages, the nuts and bolts of speaking, writing, leading and influencing, and have the opportunity to meet with some of today’s top Christian publishers.”

True to their heart of ministry, the She Speaks committee is offering two scholarships.  To qualify, I need to tell them, through my blog, why I want to attend the conference.  And so, faithful readers and friends, you are forced to eavesdrop while I talk to them.  Thank you for bearing with me!

“You will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’”  

As long as I can remember, I have written.  I wrote poetry as a teenager, served as Editor in Chief of my high school newspaper, and worked for a local newspaper in college.  When my precious daughters were born and the Lord led my husband and me to homeschool them, I made the choice to set aside “my” life and pour myself into theirs. 

Scripture says, “Except a kernel of wheat fall to the ground and die, it cannot bear fruit.”  When I chose to obey God and homeschool my children, I believed I was doing a noble and sacrificial thing.  Little did I know how God would bless and enrich me as I obeyed Him.

We began in first grade with nouns and verbs and moved through the years to more complicated literary lessons.  When they were in middle school, the writing became more structured, and we learned together about good sentence construction, punctuation, and grammar.  In high school we studied great authors, read widely, and learned what makes a writer timeless.  As they did their assignments, I would do them too, because I loved everything connected to writing. 

It was through one of those writing assignments (that I myself had assigned), that I wrote a piece about a mentally handicapped man  I knew named David.  The assignment instructed  us to submit our piece somewhere for publication.  When the girls submitted theirs to the local library literary magazine, I submitted mine to a local Christian magazine.  Imagine my delight when not only were THEIR pieces selected for publication, but mine was too.  Me, homeschooling mom, at home with her children.

At the same time, I was serving our local homeschool support group.  I began to write a column of encouragement for our newsletter. One thing led to another, and I found myself serving as our president.  When I stood up to read announcements that first night, my voice shook so much that I sounded like I was going to burst into tears.  Maybe I was.  But every month brought increasing confidence in public speaking, and before long I began to enjoy it.  The confidence I gained there was what caused me to say "Yes!” when asked to teach an adult Sunday school class at my church.  I knew I could speak in front of a group without hyperventilating, and I had a good understanding of scripture because, you guessed it, I had learned so much as I homeschooled my children!

Our love for learning was contagious, and it impacted my husband as well.  When my eldest daughter began high school, David felt God’s call to return to college and complete the degree he had never finished twenty years earlier.  I helped him type his assignments and tutored him in the proper format for research papers.  I often quipped that I was homeschooling a middle-schooler, a high-schooler, and a college student! Four and a half years later, he walked in Liberty University’s graduation ceremony.

On May 21, seventeen years from the time I said “yes" to God,  I will graduate my youngest daughter from our homeschool.  My eldest daughter will have graduated from college two weeks before.  I am well on my way to becoming the least educated of all my family, though I’ve homeschooled them all (smile).  I want to attend the She Speaks conference because, for the first time in 17 years, I would like to be the student, and not the teacher.  Maybe it’s my turn now?


For information on She Speaks Conference and the scholarship link, please visit:
http://shespeaksconference.com/
http://lysaterkeurst.com/2011/03/she-speaks-scholarship-contest-2011/?utm_source=feedburner

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