It's hard to believe that it's been a week already since I returned from the "She Speaks" conference sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries in Charlotte, NC. It was truly a "mountaintop experience" and now I'm back, trying to live out what I learned in the valley.
I HIGHLY recommend this conference to anyone who loves to journal, write, speak, or has a book rumbling around in their cranium that wants to get out. I have been blogging/writing for five years and I wish I had attended this conference years ago!
There was so much to enjoy...the keynote speakers (who doesn't love Liz Curtis Higgs) were wonderful and the breakout sessions were so on target for the challenges and obstacles writers and speakers face. There was also so much inspiration (breakout session by Jennifer Dukes Lee) on hope for the small time blogger in getting a book published...truly inspiring.
My favorite time of all had to be the Spirit moving as 800 women, who loved the Lord, and were sold out on spreading the Good News, joined their voices together in praise and worship. I imagined that this was how heaven will sound with all the angels singing in harmony.
I do have to share one funny story....I apologize if this is too much information for some of you:
For this 56 year old gal, it's been two, almost three, years since I have had a period. I have officially declared myself through menopause (can I get an Amen?). I've weathered the hot flashes, the mood swings, the going six months without a period and being on the verge of celebrating only for "my friend" to return :(.
Even my doctor confirmed that after 2-3 years it was safe to say I'd crossed the finish line. That was until I went to She Speaks. I don't know if it was the keynote sessions where all 800 women were joined together in one estrogen-infused room? Or maybe it was the two pregnant women I sat between in a writers' break out session?
No matter which way you slice it, the Monday morning after the conference "my friend" was back for what I hope will be one last hurrah! You've got to be kidding I told myself. I am guessing my body absorbed all those hormones through osmosis and had to say one last time, "I am woman, hear me roar!"
I think it's just a fluke and my body will get back in sync with the gray hairs, bat wings, chin hairs, and multiple wrinkles that tell my age.
But you know what amazed me at the conference was just how beautiful all the women were! And, it wasn't because they were young, slender, toned, and had flawless skin and uncolored hair.
No, it was because they glowed with a beauty that could ONLY come from loving the Lord and being loved by Him.
There were women there of all ages, shapes, colors, and sizes and they were ALL beautiful!! I mean it...these women glowed!!
I admit I used to be all hung up on outer beauty. I even battled bulimia for awhile in my teens in order to be the mirror image of the models I saw in magazines. As I've aged, however, I have come to a place of peace with my aging body and I am convinced that a woman who embraces 1 Peter 3: 3-4 is truly a woman of beauty in God's eyes....and after all, whose eyes are we after?
ps. This post also inspired by a recent post by Sarah Mae at (in)courage.me.