Hundreds of miles in just 3 easy steps: pray, trust, go.

Have you ever felt a nudge to step out of your comfort zone – to fully trust that the small quiet voice whispering “go!” is God? That’s exactly the prompting that compelled me to join the excitement at the Speak Up conference in Grand Rapids at the end of July. Undeniably, I’ve grown immeasurably as a result of both the writer’s and speaker’s tracks in the past, so returning was an easy decision, but… this year I felt God’s calling to step up and lead a breakout session as well as mentor new writers. Me? I asked. Would the tremendously experienced leaders who I have the utmost respect for find value in the contributions of a new comer? How would God develop the seed of an idea I had into a breakout session worthy of Speak Up? Though I initially had more questions than answers, I soon learned that despite the miles between home and the conference, my journey to Speak Up 2015 was a 3 step journey… pray, trust, and go! The result? What an amazing few days! Speak Up will definitely make the highlight reel for 2015! My 3 personal highlights of this year’s Speak Up Conference: Authentic and Genuine Leadership:  From heartfelt prayer over attendees, the venue, and event binders before anyone arrived, every aspect of Speak Up was prayed for and God led. Arriving the day before the conference began, I was blessed to see some of the behind the scenes preparations. The contagious enthusiasm, love for God, and desire to equip others to follow His call was very evident at the root of Speak Up....

Why you should join me at Speak Up (blog hop & giveaway)

Have you ever heard the quote “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called?” That quote pushed me to sign up for my first Speak Up conference in 2013. Overwhelmed by the nudge to write and speak, I had no idea where to start. Although one amazing door had already opened for me – my memoir A Search for Purple Cows was nearing its release date, I knew that I had much to learn! I hungered for the ability to speak confidently in front of audiences and desperately wanted to be prepared for the press tour and other activities surrounding my book launch. The impact of the Speak Up conferences I’ve attended have been nothing short of transforming! I gained the poise and confidence and have truly been equipped as a speaker. At my first conference I nervously participated in the peer review groups for speakers. My hands shook as I clenched my notes hoping no one would notice. That experience coupled with the feedback went a long way to develop me. Last year I added a pre-conference video taped session to take my speaking to the next level. Wow did that have an impact! Earlier this year when I took the stage to deliver a keynote address to a packed room, I did so confidently without notes because of the skills I acquired at Speak Up! This conference has equipped me to deliver engaging, inspirational, and impacting messages. It’s amazing how much attending this conference has changed me! But Speak Up hasn’t just helped my speaking; it’s helped develop me as a writer as well. One on ones with...