Wednesday, August 5, 2009

She Stays Focused

Stacey, Lisa, Denise, and Debbie--are they not adorable???
Me and Lynn--she was our fearless leader and Proverbs 31 team member

Christy, me, and Lynn--precious girls

Marci, Amy, Lisa, and Sharon--they were just darlin' sweet gals
Here's our group! One of the gals, Suzie, had already left for Virginia Beach to go home. I had the privilege of having breakfast with her and her friends on Sunday morning. They were so kind to let me sit with them--I had just finished a run and was still in wet stinky running clothes and a hat!! Bless their hearts!

When I registered for She Speaks, I thought that I would step out on a limb! Give something new a try! Last year, I focused on Women's Ministries. Most of the sessions I attended related to that. This year, I had a different goal in mind. I wanted to focus on speaking while facilitating Bible Studies at my church. Just making sure that I stay on track and don't deviate too much from the topic! When you enjoy chatting as much as I do, it's easy to move to another topic without realizing it! For example, if we were studying Mary and Martha, this could lead into discussion about Martha's cooking for Jesus and the disciples. In turn, we could ponder what would she prepare for the meal. That could lead to recipes, and the next thing you know, we'd be swappin' banana pudding ideas with each other!! See how easy it is to get off track??
Well, I gave it a try! These darlin' girls in the pics above and myself were in a room where we shared our testimony on Friday and a teaching talk on Saturday. Friday's talk was limited to 3 minutes, and Saturday's talk to 5 minutes. People, talking and being timed and staying focused was exactly what I needed!! Whew!! It's very difficult to share how you came to Christ in 3 minutes or less! You have to think of this as one photograph on a page...not lots of extra pictures that you really want to share. Focus and main idea was what we had to strive for.
These ladies were just so precious! Their smiles and nods of encouragement while speaking made it a little easier!!! We became extremely vulnerable as we let down the walls and shared our stories. No longer were we complete strangers, but sisters in Christ. We each had to critique one another with a wonderful checklist. I treasure the comments that they wrote. The one comment that made me smile--even though it was something that I needed to work on--was my earrings!! Several of the girls mentioned that my earrings were a distraction!! Y'all, I found these humongous, funky earrings last week while I was in Tennessee. We're talking long and dangly, people!! I decided to wear them on Friday, never thinking at all about them being a distraction while speaking!!
It made me think about what are distractions in my life that keep me from Christ? What shiny, pretty things keep me from meeting with Him each day? My to-do list? Phone calls or errands that simply must get done? Laundry? No--definitely not laundry!! That can always wait and just become a mountain!! Sometimes it's church related! But that quiet time with you and the Lord is something that He desires each day. We have to put away our distractions--whether they are pretty and shiny or dull and boring. As Paul said in Hebrews 12:1-3, "1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up."

Each time I now wear those earrings, they will be a great reminder of distractions that keep me from the Lord--sin that easily trips us up. They will also remind me of the great cloud of witnesses--those wonderful ladies in my speaking group who were loving and honest. Oh, how I appreciate that!
I'll post again on Friday about She Speaks and share more pictures (imagine!) and what God has laid upon my heart. I have a prayer request for y'all today if you don't mind!! I just waved good-bye to Hubby and Children #1 and #2 as they took off to go white water rafting on the Chatooga River with the youth from our church! A few knots in me--you Mama's know what I'm talking about! If you you would lift them up during the day, I would so very much appreciate it! I have loads to do which is why I am not going! We have a big Women's Ministry event on Friday at church, and I am focusing on that today! Bless you!! Y'all are just precious yourselves! Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Sweet Blessings!!

12 comments:

Danielle said...

Susan, I will be praying! I know how that is. Just yesterday Bethany went to a Horse Riding Day Camp... it's only right up the road and around the corner from me, but I had a hard time leaving! She's 9 and I want to hold on with everything I have.lol God is truly teaching me to let go and trust Him where she is concerned. And after learning what they did yesterday, Barrel racing (if you can call it that with a bunch of beginners) I'm glad I wasn't there. I just want to see pics now.lol

Can't wait to hear more of your experience at SS.

3 Blessings said...

I am so glad you were blessed by this trip. Keep living for HIM. The earrings are a reminder to us all. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings,
Amy

Wendy said...

Of course I'll pray for your family! :)

And those earring and comments, gave me a good chuckle Friday night. I love the lesson God gave you from it all. They are a whole new kinda beautiful now, huh?

Can't wait to hear how your event goes Friday. Keep us posted.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Your post is perfect as always. The Holy Spirit uses you to put the writing on the wall for me. I was going to check on you, but I cleared your phone # out of the caller ID and ADD me forgot to write it down. Love to hear from you soon. I have a couple of questions for you. Jackie

Susie from Bienvenue said...

YOu blessed lil thing you! Maybe next year I can go too. About those pictures...I will get back to you real soon. Im on my way out of the door. I will be out of the house for a few days and when I get back I will try and sit down and put it to words...Ok~

Laura said...

I can't wait to hear more, Susan! I really missed it this year. I did the speaker track a couple of years ago and found it so rewarding. I think the small group format makes it pretty special.

Looks like a wonderful time.

:)laura

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

It's been so fun to read these now that I have a sweet heart and real life face to put with them. Come to my blog and link up so that everyone can see them. It's down a bunch of posts. You must be using a certain version of IE. People have said that they can't get on or link which is a bummer that blogger and IE aren't playing nice. Firefox works just fine. So odd....thanks for trying and so funny to see my feet on there. :)

Marci @ All Things Wonderful said...

What a lovely post. You are such a blessing! I love it when you post.{Thank you for your sweet comments about my Dad. :)}

Leebird said...

So...are you saying those earrings are a "mental monument?" A visual reminder of a spiritual truth? Yay!

I am missing you, my friend. I could use a "bless your heart" today!

Praying for your guys to have a marvelous (but very safe) time!

Denise said...

Susan~

What an awesome post and a wonderful reminder. I am often very distracted by "pretty" things that fight for my attention. I enjoyed getting to know you and am already looking forward to next year. Can't wait to hear about your event on Friday. Have a blessed day!

Denise

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well where in the world are the distracting earrings? That's what I want to see. I'll weigh in on the matter. Honestly, earrings? You think a wolf-bite would keep them focused.

Bless 'em, Lord.

peace~elaine

Rejoicing said...

I love how you took this post that I thought was going to be all about our group (b/c it was such an awesome experience) & led it right into an awesome message that we can ALL learn from! Let me tell you, I have some dangling earrings that I need to re-evaluate as well, TV is #1! My shiny TV needs to be cut off :-)