I am officially a week removed from the Speak Up 2013 conference. The conference truly was a life-changing experience for me. I wanted to record the victory here, mostly to remind myself of this....because as my friend Patricia has reminded me, the sweeter the victory, the harder that the enemy tries to steal it or turn it sour.
Here is a photo of the girls I carpooled and roomed with.
Cathy, Me, Lori and Amanda.
I knew Cathy and Lori; met Amanda for the first time.
The conference started on a Thursday afternoon. Cathy and Lori both had appointments to give a recorded speech for critique. We thought we were getting there an hour early. Turns out we did not account for a time-zone change that occurred somewhere in the middle of our 6-hour drive.
Luckily we arrived with about 15 seconds to spare.
(you could say this was a stressful way to kick off the conference)
By the end of Thursday night, I had given my first speech. It was a 3-minute speech that I had worked for no less than 3 weeks on. I had it all written out.
I was last in my group to go.
I read about 3 lines of my speech before I ditched the whole thing.
I just told a story about my first official speaking experience.
Everyone in the group laughed.
And I didn't throw up.
I would call that a success.
Friday was spent attending classes, and I gave my second speech.
Again, I read 2 to 3 lines of my speech that I worked hard to write. It was a mini-devotional with a personal illustration. After about 20 seconds, I stepped back, and again...ditched the speech and told my story.
And again, I did not throw up.
I was given ideas from the critique group and facilitator on ways to develop my mini-talk into a more in depth presentation for future use.
Friday night at the dinner table, Amanda asked everyone at the table the question:
So how is God speaking to you at this conference and what is he saying?
Great question, right? Except I did not know how to answer it. And that bothered me.
I loved the conference so far. Was inspired with new ideas. And I learned that I can actually give speeches. But how was God speaking to me? What was he saying?
The next morning I woke a good 2 hours before I wanted to. I went downstairs with my conference notes and my own journal. With coffee in hand, I decided to go through my notes from each class and write them all out in one place.
The more I wrote, the more I realized that God was speaking to me. And he had some things to say, too....
The notes I took were not quotes from any of the speakers. Just my response to things that were said in each class. I wrote them out here....my apologies if they don't make sense to you....but God has really whispered into my heart through them. Here they are:
In response to a conversation with Amanda:
No ONE story can change the world. But your story can change someONE's world.
After Cindy Bultema's "Red Hot Faith" presentation:
Chose this weekend to let it go and let it flow. Throw away any agenda you have for this weekend and let me work on the plans I have for you.
After an interviewing class with Lorilee Craker, an author and journalist:
I want to better share people's stories.
Every story has the power and potential to change someone's world.
Changing the World, one story at a time.
There is only one story that has the power to change the entire world. That is the EPIC story of Jesus Christ. His power over sin. His power over the grave. No other story can change the world. But your story is important. Your story wasn't intended to change the world. But it can change someone's world.
In the margin of my notes from Ginger Shaw's Class:
People have been hurt by the church. Be willing to engage in the world,with the flow of the changing culture. Because that chat over coffee might be the only 'church' the person you are with is willing to be a part of. Be my church in the grocery store.
During Carol Kent's class on "Making your Speeches Come Alive":
You can connect with audiences.
You can connect them with the stories.
You can share the soul of the story.
In the Logos Presentation I wrote:
Logos software is the FBI of the bible. Cool.
After giving my second and last speech, I wrote:
Your story can change someONE's world. I will always provide that someone. you share the stories. That is how I am working through you. To be in my will is to share your stories and the stories of others because this is how I am creating change in the world~one story at a time. Be confident in that. Be confident in me.
After copying all of these notes in one place, I knew how to answer the question: "How is God speaking to me through the conference and what is he saying?"
I've always been good at writing newspaper stories about other people. And I have always enjoyed doing it. But a part of me thought that this type of writing didn't have as much significance as those who were writing and publishing books. But now I feel differently. I WANT to write and share (even if it means through ~gulp~ speaking) about others and their stories. I even wonder if ghost writing or collaborative writing may be in my future. I am excited about that.
I am still overwhelmed with the ideas and things to do to keep moving forward. But I am choosing today to do the next right thing. And tomorrow....the next.
So that's my story. What's yours?
P.S. I tried to copy photos from facebook over to the blog. Besides the couple that are here, I couldn't get them to format properly. Uhg. Are we friends on facebook? If so, you can check out my photos there.
What? We aren't friends on facebook? Why not? Friend me. I won't bite.
Another P.S. This is my first time participating in a Blog Hop.
Hop on over to any other blogs in this Blog Hop and find out how God was speaking through the conference to other attendees.