I’d like to pause to share about the She Speaks Conference sponsored by Proverbs 31 Ministries. Ideal for women writers, speakers, and ministry leaders, this conference was integral in starting my Accidentally Green journey.While I had always hoped to write a book, my friend told me about She Speaks in 2009. I had just been downsized after working as a newspaper editor and columnist for ten years; I knew the conference would be a perfect motivation to write my first book. At the conference, writers can meet with publishing representatives, and the thought of that helped me focus on researching and writing Accidentally Green every day.
Just as I was starting to put the finishing touches on my sample chapters and proposal, my husband was downsized from his job. I was four months pregnant with our second child. I had no idea how long his unemployment would last, but knew I immediately had to reduce all unnecessary spending. As devastating as it was, I canceled my reservation to She Speaks – including my appointment with a publisher. As I talked to the kind lady on the phone from Proverbs 31 Ministries, she encouraged me that I would come to She Speaks someday – and she knew that it would be in the Lord’s perfect timing.
I continued to work on my book, Accidentally Green, throughout my pregnancy. When my daughter was born, I took time off because of the sleepy fog my mommy brain was experiencing. Just as I was ready to start writing again, my husband finally found a new job. While employment was good news for our family, the bad news was that we needed to relocate. And that meant selling our house.
As my husband started his new job, I was left to raise our two young children, get our house ready to show and sell, and once it sold, I needed to pack everything to move. Writing was the last thing on my mind. And the registration for She Speaks 2010 came and went as I labored to raise my children and get our family moved. It was, by far, one of the most difficult seasons of my life. Accidentally Green was a distant memory.
Finally we settled into life in our new apartment. Without much housework to do, I had the luxury of time to work on my book. In October 2010, I sent my proposal and sample chapters to Writer’s Edge Service – a service I first heard about during a preparatory She Speaks conference call in 2009. In three weeks I received an acceptance letter, telling me that my manuscript was “SO well done; one of the cleanest, best, most interesting I’ve seen this year.” Hoping that a publisher would contact me about my manuscript (what wishful thinking!), I finished writing and editing my first book, Accidentally Green, in December. On January 1, this blog was up and running as a way to get my message out until my book gets published.
I would love to attend She Speaks 2011 to learn about ways to polish my manuscript and proposal, improve this blog, and jump-start my public speaking ministry. And, I know I’m finally ready and prepared to meet with potential publishers. As much as I would like to register right away, my husband is waiting to hear if his new workplace is closing due to budget cuts. The prospect of another job loss is enough to curb my spending and She Speaks dreams yet again – even though I think the weekend would help me so much. A scholarship offered on Lysa TerKeurst’s blog would make my She Speaks hopes and delayed plans a reality.
So much has happened in my life since I originally registered for the conference two years ago. I wrote and edited a book that has received favorable professional feedback. I discovered I was pregnant, had a baby, and relocated. I started a blog, am cultivating a growing following, and am continually encouraged by the positive feedback from readers. I’ve gotten requests for speaking engagements.
But as much as my life has changed, my heart and reason behind doing all of this has stayed the same: I long to inspire others to make healthy decisions that honor God and happen to help the environment. And I desire to do this as long as the Lord continues to lead me in this direction. It’s my sincere prayer that His perfect timing for me to finally attend She Speaks will be this summer.
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