I inhaled camaraderie, and exhaled competition.
Walking into a room of 800 women who write, speak, and teach, I had a choice. These are unquestionably my people. But insecurity, lies, and fear are sneaky fellows who travel together, sidelining talents, treasures and time. I could sink into insecurity, or rise up through encouragement.
Yet not even ten minutes had passed at She Speaks 2017, when it crystalized. This is a place for cheering one another on, for fanning dream-flames, for passing out gifts of grit. The Proverbs 31 Ministry made it so easy.
When Suzie Eller stops you in the hall to tell you A. she loves your tangerine skirt and B. you are beautiful and C. you're going to do great in your publisher appointment - you know this place is real. She had this grace about her, this kindness, this goal to gift others with courage. She used her position and her influence and her accomplishments to bless all of us aspiring writers and speakers. We were inhaling bravery around every bend.
Having soaked in all the workshops, seminars and information, I flew home with a heart full of hope and joy. I hugged my children, shared all the ups and downs with my husband, and crashed.
But one week later, my fingers feels sludgy and my brain is teetering on the edge of discouragement. I am grasping for that Suzie Eller-courage. Having several chapters of my book on motherhood done, I am wading into saturated territory. There are books on motherhood. There are books on spiritual motherhood. There are books on messy moms, single moms, burnt-out moms. But I still need to write this book.
It may not climb the charts on all the lists, but it will bless those who hold mothering and dreams in the same heart. My writing will speak to those who feel like motherhood often looks like an ill-fitting dress and each time you adjust it, you expose what you were trying to cover up. We will hold hands through the tender stream of motherhood that God has placed us in. And each time the stream rises, God's grace will rise higher.
This book keeps coming out in between laundry, soccer games, and snuggle-fests. Only God does that kind of work in the middle of crazy.
This is my trust fall. Clearly there's a market for motherhood books. But when you know you have a message, you just keep walking forward in obedience. The writer's secret is remembering no one has ever written your book. You are the only one with your voice, your experiences, your ideas. You are the only you. And turns out, it's not about you anyway. God is the Hero of every story and He made you for His glory and His joy.
May you know your voice and more importantly, know the One who gave it to you.