Sometimes, there are no words.
But I desperately want you, my precious reader family and friends to know how immeasurably grateful I AM for ALL of your prayers, encouragement, texts, cards, Facebook messages, offerings and gifts.
I revisited you and your well wishes throughout the unforgettably emotional weekend.
For your kindness, and His grace I am #eternallythankful
MANY of you helped with editing, others prayed for traveling grace, while a few designed, printed and cheered us along the crafting process of one pagers, proposals and business cards.
For your willing hearts and individual fingerprints along the way, thank you. A million times plus one more, thank you.
You shared ideas. We dreamed together. You spoke truth. YOU allowed God to use you to bless others and THAT my dear, precious friends is seriously what doing life together looks like.
She Speaks saturated my soul with breathtaking, gut wrenching stories from women all over the map.
It was such a humbling experience to hear so many testimonies of raw hurt and betrayal, made whole through His redeeming grace.
In addition, the Proverbs 31 Ministries conference was out-of-this-world organized.
The best of the best and nothing less.
I cannot lie.
I cried and UGLY CRIED more than a couple of times.
My hands were clam-y from the relentless note taking.
AND I have never been so emotionally depleted and physically exhausted IN ALL MY LIFE!
It was worth every. single. second.
I’m certain it will take days, possibly weeks, maybe a year or more for my feeble heart and mind to process the entire intake.
So for today, I will share 3 things I am exhaling from my time at She Speaks:
—> UNRUSH ME
Lysa TerKeurst opened with a profound message…UNRUSH ME. It was a timely message to so many, but a divine appointment for me.
The week before the conference, on the way to the beach, I had written out all of my current obligations.
The list was excessive and stressful to look at. It exhauseted me to write it out and the thoughts of living it made me want to cry.
The list had me quoting the movie Frozen, “all good things, all good things” …but the problem was simply, too many good things.
Lysa’s message and new book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands, encourages us to say no to some things in order to be able to say yes to the best things.
That will look different for each of us. As for me, I re-evaluated my list yesterday with my Momma’s help.
I had set my life “to the rhythm of rush,” leaving no room for His best yes for me.
No more. I realize now that I can not pour into the hearts and lives of others from an empty, exhausted soul.
I am in the process of stepping back and sorting through my best yeses for this season.
You can too!
–>FEED MY SHEEP
This point alone was worth the conference.
We live on a farm. We have sheep.
I’ve marveled time and time again at how the sheep follow the quiet cowboy
(if you’re new here, that’s what I call my better half, because he’s worn slim-fit wranglers every single day for three+ decades and seriously loves horses almost as much as he loves me– like it’s a tie..I digress…)
Our sheep (and other critters) love him and follow him and trust him to lead them to the best.
They know he knows the way to the best pastures. They trust him to take care of them.
Our pastures are different but the call is the same.
Take care of, minister to, LOVE the ones God has entrusted to YOU.
Do for one what you would like to do for a thousand!
This truth pierced my soul.
So often I get caught up in the crowd.
DO MORE. FOR MORE.
Truth: we CANNOT be ALL of the THINGS to ALL of the people.
He has entrusted to me a unique family, certain friends and a very specific realm of influence.
I am to shepherd well, those He has entrusted to me.
I am to tend to those He has already given, already assigned to me.
To those whom much is given much is required, right?
The same goes for you.
Our sheep are different.
I will never look some of your sheep in the eye, nor will you mine.
We are to shepherd well those He has entrusted to us.
and all the people said, “AMEN.”
My new favorite word is intentional.
I have found that when I am not intentional, I am messy.
Sloppy, lazy. I miss things. I am late. I lose things.
Intentional= to do something on PURPOSE.
I want to live ON PURPOSE.
Parent with intention. Teach with intention.
LOVE INTENTIONALLY those He has entrusted to me.
I don’t want to miss the opportunities He has for me.
May we look for and share intentional acts of love.
There is more. So very much more I want to share, and I will.
But for now, know this: I went to She Speaks expecting good things.
The truth of the matter is, I went expecting good things and came back with even GREATER things.
I guess you could say, I went to find out if our story was a print worthy story. The answer I was given, “yes.”
I was particularly encouraged by Zondervan’s representative, “I love your title…and you definitely have a story. Keep doing what you’re doing, speaking and writing for Him.”
I will heed her words of wisdom.
In addition to my meeting with Zondervan, two other publishing houses have our one pager to read and one other took my complete book proposal.
I passed out lots of business cards and made LOTS and LOTS of new friends.
It truly was a glimpse of glory.
I wait and pray for His perfect timing.
To continue my quest in writing thel manuscript: one sentence, one story, one chapter at a time. Choosing each day to :
Because I truly believe, the best is yet to come.
Love y’all…thanks for stopping by
Karen Cleveland says
Blessed to be one of the new friends!
Now… Unrush and rest!
Amen sister and right back at ya’!
Kathleen Esperdy says
What a divine appointment the father made for you! He “intentionally” brought you to those who will touch you further and influence your purpose. As I pray for you during your journey, God reveals how the expression of your words will reveal His heart for us during our times of need. He is always there, He will never leave us or forsake us… You are a blessing to so many!
and YOU are a blessing to so many Kathleen, You, my prayer warrior friend, are cherished!
This makes my heart HAPPY!!
I love you pal. Don’t stop believing! God is intentionally using you in mighty ways!
Thanks Tamela! You are loved!
You are one of the amazing women I met at She Speaks. I have already told several people of your fantastic, “Oh you and I are gonna be friends.” I am finally home and hoping to be able unpack all I learned as well. Thank you for being YOU at She Speaks. Thank you for listening to my story and for giving me the highest compliments about the place God has brought me to–“Y’all can’t fake the joy of the Lord all over you.” Your blog is amazing and I will enjoy following it.
Jenn the pleasure was all mine! You, and your story shook my soul! Thank you for your kindness and for following here on the blog. I look forward to hearing more and seeing all that God continues to do in and through you my friend!
Loved reading this.. I was there too.. and it was so life giving to me. I like you have a really hard time putting it all into words. there is so much in my heart, deep in my soul.. that I am still digesting. It was life changing.. this was my first shespeaks AND I FOR SURE will be there next year.. u are right.. they did it all with excellence..every detail was thought of. I met so many great women as well.. I’m so happy to have found you and you have found me… sisters… real sisters that have only one goal.. to do what Lysa shared.. to go into the world and make His Name known.. xo love to you today!
I did not get to meet you at the conference, but want to say I love the ways it impacted you! Keep writing from your heart!
Thank you Kim for reading and taking time to comment…Have a blessed day :O)
courtney defeo says
my face is beaming thinking of you. still dreaming of a book tour stop at a really cute feed store. your best is yet to come. no doubt. your literally light up the hallways and people’s faces wherever you go. it’s a gift. my heart included.
stop it. you are too kind…I CANNOT WAIT TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK! Have your fancy contact me for a date!
Jodie Dye says
Oh my gosh I absolutely love you! You and Holly were the best roommates ever. I love all the points that you took away from this conference. They are a fresh reminder of all that God did and continues to do. I am so glad I read this through Courtney’s link up. I must have missed this post.
Wonderful post! You really communicate so well how life-changing this conference was. I don’t think I’ve EVER taken so many notes in such a short time as I did at She Speaks! My notebook is a treasure of information an deep thoughts.
Can’t wait for next year!
Yes friend, it was wonderful and unbelievable and exhausting all at the same time! Thank you for your kind words..look me up next year!
Juli Bryant says
Thank you for sharing. Yes, it will take a while to process all we learn. . .and we must be INTENTIONAL to do it. Thanks for the reminder.
It all affected me in the same ways… I’ll be back next year! Loved your post! xo
thanks my friend who lives by the sea…I LOVE your pictures each day! They refresh my soul….
I love this line ..”.Take care of, minister to, LOVE the ones God has entrusted to YOU.” Thank you for the reminder!
Darcy Cottone says
Love your site Karmen. I could relate to so much especially coming home and finding my best yesses of the season. May God bless your endeavors in His perfect timing!
I loved Lysa’s message-I know it was so timely for all of us!
And your thoughts on being intentional, that is right where I’ve been a lot lately-wanting to live life on purpose. I’m so glad God spoke to you. Just reading what everyone else has been encouraged with propels me to dig in and be more intentional as well.
Mandy V says
YES: “Our pastures are different but the call is the same. Take care of, minister to, LOVE the ones God has entrusted to YOU”
Love that challenge. I do not have kids, but I do have a husband, a dog, a community, a job, a family. Those are my sheep and I must care and love them. Thank you for this reminder for this season!