The wave

Hi!! Mommy wanted me to leave you a quick note and give you the wave. That is what I do to say hi to people. But I don't really wave. I just hold up my hand.

Mommy's been traveling some this week telling lots of women about Jesus because she loves Him so much. She doesn't like to be away because she misses me and my big brothers. And she really, really misses Daddy. I see her hugging him all the time. It makes me smile so big!! When they hug me at the same time, I push their faces together because I like to see them smooch. Mommy says it's because I'm a girl. My brother's think it's kinda gross.

So what are you doing this weekend? I'm just hanging out here at home playing with our dog Daisy and practicing my walking/running. I can really get around these days. I'm everywhere!

Mommy is in Illinois speaking tonight and tomorrow. She told Daddy's she's praying each woman will hear God speak to her heart about how special she is to Him. I don't know what that means but I think she wants them to know His love in a way they never have before. One day mommy wants me to go with her and share how God adopted me into His family and my family. I think that would be fun. Maybe I'd get to meet you.

I better go. I've got a busy weekend planned. It's kinda fun being the only princess when mommy is gone. But I'm glad this is the last time she is speaking until She Speaks. I have to admit, when she comes home I don't always give her the wave. Sometimes I just give her the look. You know, the one that says, "Hey, where have you been?"

But when she gets home Sunday, I'm going to give her a big smile and we're going to celebrate! Maybe we'll go eat somewhere fun if Daddy reads my post and gets the hint mommy told me drop. Well, I hope you have a fun weekend! Bye.

When God Makes a Way
This morning, God made a way for Cindy Huax at "From Seeds to Sunflowers." to attend She Speaks by winning our scholarship. I am so excited for Cindy!!

But, I'm also sad there could only be one winner after getting to know so many of you through your entries. We had 300 pages of blog comments and our whole team was so moved by your stories! We kept emailing each other talking about how hard it would be to choose only one.

If God has called you to the conference at this time, He will make a way! Jesus called Himself the Way! He specializes in making a way when there isn't one. So, do not let "not winning" convince you that you're not supposed to be there. Don't even entertain the thought- there's just no way.

Two and a half years ago God led our family to start the process of adopting a daughter from Ethiopia with no resources, no room for another child in our house, no idea of what adoption agency to use, no connections to people in Ethiopia and no clue how to get started. But as we walked in faith, He made a way!! And look at the reward we have now because we didn't give up when it got hard, really hard!

Jesus has been the way, the Truth and the Life for our family each step we took. I pray today you will press into Him and ask Him to give you just enough light for the step you are on, and you'll keep walking.

I also want you to know the P31 team has committed to praying specifically for each of you - that God will provide unexpected checks, generous friends, birthday gifts, creative fund-raising ideas, etc. If you are willing to put forth the effort and get creative, you can even create your own scholarship!

Proverbs 31 has already put together an amazing letter you can send to your family, friends, church, small group, etc. As a result, tax-deductible donations are made to Proverbs 31 Ministries and designated as scholarship money for the individual. Each year 20 – 30 women attend She Speaks because they set up their own scholarship. There are people who feel called to financially help someone else answer the call to speak or write.

For a copy of the letter, click here. Should you decide to raise support, you will need to register for the conference to ensure your spot AND send your your mailing address to This is imperative to making sure your funds are allocated to you.

Also, be sure to visit Marybeth Whalen's blog on Tuesday where she is interviewing someone who found a creative way to get to a conference she couldn't afford!And be sure to let me know what next step you are taking. I'd love to pray for you!

Another SHE SPEAKS scholarship give-away!!
Proverbs 31 Ministries announced today that we're giving away another SHE SPEAKS scholarship from Cecil Murphy ! We thought it'd be fun to introduce you to our team who will be leading the conference, so we're hosting a carnival of P31 blogs. That's where we'll be sharing a personal story about being called to speak or an experience at She Speaks. From your comments we'll draw a random winner! I decided to answer some of the most common questions I get about speaking:

What came first, your speaking ministry or your role in the Proverbs 31 Ministry? My role with Proverbs 31 Ministries came first. I joined the staff in 1995 as editor of our P31 newsletter (before it was a full color magazine) and served in that role until1999. For the next two years, I volunteered in various capacities at the ministry but mostly I spent my kids' nap times digging deep into God’s Word and letting Him dig deep into my heart. I would write down pages of Scriptures and journal about everything God was teaching me. I didn't know it, but it was a season of preparation. God was doing a new and very deep work in my heart.

How did your speaking ministry begin? My speaking ministry started at my home church. During my “digging deep” season, the Lord laid it on my heart to write a small topical Bible study for a supper seminar my pastor’s wife had taught. The leaders had been praying for a gift to give the attendees but I didn't know it, so they asked me to write the Bible study. At at the end of the last fall supper seminar 1000 copies were given away. I was overwhelmed but loved seeing how God was using all He had been teaching me to encourage other women. In the spring I was asked to share my testimony at a supper seminar and then teach a 4 week series based on the study I’d written.

How did your speaking ministry grow? The next year, I wrote another study and taught two more series. Then in 2001 Proverbs 31 Ministries hosted our first annual She Speaks Conference and my church sent me to it. At the end of the conference, I sensed there was more. God was moving in powerful ways in my heart to confirm a calling I had sensed for 10 years but run from due to many fears I'd had. Lysa shared that P31 wanted to build a speaker team of ambassadors for the ministry. All I'd been through and all God had taught me had led me to this place. I’d been serving at P31 for years and had such a passion for the ministry. From that point on, God grew me, my messages and my speaking ministry through opportunities at my church’s events, Bible studies, local dinner events and MOPs groups. Then God brought invitations from churches in other cities and eventually in other states. Each year God enlarged that circle and now I have the honor of getting to meet God's girls and speak His truth into their hearts from coast to coast.

When it became obvious God was calling you into a speaking ministry, how did you choose the topics you would speak on? Every one of my topics is birthed and developed in my heart through life experiences and lessons God is teaching me personally. My messages reflect my greatest desires, struggles and passions such as reading God’s Word and allowing it to transform my heart and the way I live in my everyday life and relationships; hearing, recognizing and listening to God’s voice and not the enemy’s accusations; living a purpose-filled and balanced life as a wife, mom and child of God.

Are there resources you recommend for someone who feels called to speak?

The Reason We Speak, Gen Ed Marybeth Whalen

Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley

To Enter the She Speaks Scholarship Contest

1. If you'd like to win, or try to win this for someone else, please leave a comment below sharing why you'd like to win by clicking on the word "comments." Simply type in the white box. If you don't have a blog, click anonymous. But be sure to include your name and email so we can contact you if you win.

2. We'd like to give this scholarship to someone who has not attended She Speaks before since two of the others went to graduates.

3. Our other scholarships have been for writers, so this one is for a woman who feels called to speak. Be sure to let us know what this scholarship would mean to you to fulfill that calling.

4. Visit as many blogs as you can (linked below) and leave a comment (it can be the same comment) to increase your chances! We'll compile the comments left on our blogs through Friday at midnight and send them to our home office where a random drawing will be done. The winner will be announced on Monday on the P31 homepage.

So, leave a comment and click away. You have until midnight on Friday. I can't wait to read your comments!

Wend B














Wendy P









She Seeks

She Reads


E-Women Tickets & Coffee Winners
I have good news and sad news. The good news is that I have finally had a chance to choose the winners through random integer. The sad news is that I can't go to the Ewomen conference this weekend. JJ (my husband) found out he has to travel Sunday afternoon through Tuesday night and I leave Tuesday morning through Wednesday for an event. So Saturday is our only day together and we really need it.

I am sad I won't get to meet any of you and hug your sweet necks. But the good news is that this change of plans means I have 2 extra tickets to give away because my two tickets are now available - YAY!! So 2 of you are going to win 2 tickets...who will it be???

Drum roll please.....

Dave & Chrissy is the winner of the coffee from "Coffee for the Christ" . She'll be receiving a pound of "Ultimate Blend" coffee from Colleen's site at Where to Buy Fair Trade Coffee.

Lori at and Monica Gwin are the two winners of 2 tickets each to the E-Women conference in Greenville, SC .

Congratulations to all of you. I wish I had something to give to each of you that entered!

Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Weekend & a Monday Give-Away!
I'm so excited! I had an extraordinary weekend, I am going to my first Extraordinary Women conference in 5 days, and I've got some fun stuff to give-away!

I got to spend time this past weekend with some of the sweetest, Jesus-loving, extraordinary women in New York! But finding them wasn't easy. Extraordinary things never are. You see, the church where I was speaking had graciously rented a car for Leah and me to drive from the airport to our hotel and the event. Although we are grown women who should be able to handle that kind of thing, let's just say we're not as grown up as we look!

We usually get picked up so I think we forgot to get directions or a map. Leah brought her personal GPS system but it had PMS and quit working, on our way to the event. We had no clue where we were going and we couldn't get in touch with my event leader, Liz, because she was running around trying to finalize everything at the church.

We were supposed to arrive an hour beforehand to set up resources, train volunteers, eat dinner and do a sound check. Not so much. We got there 10mins before the event started!

As I got out of the car, taking deep breaths while walking in the rain towards the front doors, I was saying some serious, "Jesus, help me" prayers. And amazingly, He did just that. His peace washed over me in an extraordinary way - like only He could. My Friday night message felt more like I was talking with friends over coffee than like I was standing on a stage talking to women I'd never met.

I love how God in His extraordinary ways can completely fill in our gaps and overcome our obstacles, giving us just what we need when we let go and surrender ourselves to Him.

This weekend I was in a vulnerable place, feeling hard pressed on ever side. On top of my stuff, Leah's parents had both gotten really sick so she was trying to make plans to get to TX after we got home from NY. We were both burdened for each other and a bit frazzled. Friday night, Liz and her husband,
Pastor Chris, shared with us they had experienced intense spiritual warfare leading up to the weekend. I knew then that our struggles were spiritual attack. I smiled and thought, "God must be up to something good."

Saturday morning we got to see His extraordinary grace at work!!! As I was finishing my message, the Holy Spirit nudged me to invite women to respond to the message of God's love and grace by praying to receive all that He offered through Jesus Christ. Afterwards, I asked them to raise their hand slightly and make eye contact with me if they had prayed to receive Christ. I opened my eyes and was overwhelmed! I almost started bawling as I looked out at the 150 women there, and saw one after another raised her hand. Tears blurred my vision, keeping me from being able to count, but there had to have been at least 15, maybe 20, women who accepted Jesus!!!!

This morning God reminded me of His extraordinary love lavished on me and them. His extraordinary provision and love from friends like you who were praying for me and the women I spoke to. Thank you for your prayers and word of encouragement. I don't always get to reply but I read each one. They mean more than you know! And, I want to publicly say "thank you" Jesus for giving Your extraordinary love and grace to such such a ordinary girl like me.

This weekend I also met Colleen, who gave me a pound of coffee and green tea from her roasting company called "Coffee for the Christ" I'm giving the pound of "Ultimate Blend" coffee to one of you! (Be sure to check out Colleen's site at Where to Buy Fair Trade Coffee.)

Also, I have
2 tickets to give away for the E-Women conference in Greenville, SC where my friend Lysa will be speaking this weekend, along with Karen Kingsbury, Julie Clinton, Angela Thomas, Sheri Rose Shepherd and Chonda Pierce. (Thanks to my friend Mary Snyder and Extraordinary Women!!)

I'm really excited that I get to go and I would love to meet you there (and introduce you to some P31 friends who are going, too)!

So, leave a comment telling me if you'd like to win the tickets to the
E-Women conference in Greenville, SC or the coffee. And if you announce this give-away and link to my blog from your blog or facebook page, leave a comment telling me and I'll enter you two times!

PS. I've got a very exciting give-away worth over $500 on Wednesday!!

Sometimes I Have to Boss My Heart Around
I caught my heart heading to the pit of discouragement for Spring break last week. It was supposed to go to the beach with the rest of me and my family, but she had snuck some other plans into her itinerary.

I was feeling overwhelmed, discouraged and pulled in a million directions. I'd gotten my hopes up about getting lots of writing done at the beach and just being renewed. Although I did get to spend some sweet time with Jesus and write a little, all kinds of things were going on back at home and in my head to interrupt my grand intentions and usher in disappointment. It was the kind of stuff that can get a hold of your heels and drag you into a pit.

I knew I didn't have to go there. It was not part of God's plans, nor mine. I had a choice but my heart had already packed her bags and was on her way.

So, I had to get bossy with her! In the midst of processing that one of my dearest friends might have ovarian cancer and that it's not possible for me to meet my May 1st book deadline, I had to tell my soul praise the Lord!! Not just a surface-like "say your bedtime prayers" talk to my soul. No, this was a deep down preach it to my inmost being GOD-IS-GOOD no matter what sermon!

I had to boss my discouraged heart with God's truth and pull her away from the pit by reminding her to "forget not all His benefits."

Then I walked her down memory lane... reminding her that He is the One who...

forgives all (my) sins and heals all (my) diseases,

redeems (my) life from the pit

and crowns (me) with love and compassion,

who satisfies my desires with good things

so that my youth is renewed like the eagle's.

(I'm not sure how the young eagle thing plays out in everyday life but it's a promise so I praised Him for it.)

The bottom line was that my soul needed me to remind it of all God's benefits. No matter what the answer would be to Micca's diagnosis, no matter how much writing I didn't get done, or how much our broken air conditioner was going to cost, or how much we owed on taxes, or how delayed my book release may be...

When my heart started remembering all HIS benefits, she backed away from the pit and found another dwelling place - smack dab in the center of living and trusting God's sovereignty over all things.

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits;

And, on Friday afternoon we found out Micca's cysts were cancer free!!! The doctors said they were very surprised. The scans of her cyst looked cancerous and her symptoms had all pointed towards cancer, plus her cysts (ended up being 2 and one was the size of a small grapefruit) had tentacles and were taking over in there. We fully believe God granted Micca healing and we cannot stop praising and thanking HIM!! Thank you for praying and caring about her with me!!

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. (Psalm 103)

A Writer's Dream Come True
I wanted to share exciting news, First, I just read this on my friend Glynnis' blog:

Have you ever had a dream? A dream that you tucked deep in your heart, and were afraid to even speak it?

Every year women come to the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks Conference with just such dreams. It may be a dream to write, or speak. It may be a dream to lead a women's Bible study, or start a ministry to unwed mothers.

Every year we meet women who are wondering if they have what it takes to write. They might think the dream is foolish ... because who would read what they have to say? But the dream beats so hard in their chest they just had to come to the conference. However, they tenderly protect that dream, even as they put themselves out there for all the world to see.

Is that you? Do you have a dream to write but haven't taken the first step? Or have you been writing for awhile but know God is prompting you to take the next step in your writing journey?

Glynnis Whitwer, who directs the writer's track at She Speaks and serves as Sr. Editor of the P31 Magazine, is announcing a contest to help someone take that next step of obedience in their dream to write. Thanks to the generosity of author extraordinaire, Cecil Murphy, she will be giving away one scholarship to attend the She Speaks 2010 Conference, held July 30-August 1 in Concord, North Carolina.

To enter the contest all you have to do is write an article that would be appropriate for publication in the P31 Woman Magazine. Glynnis and her panel of judges will pick one article as the winner. In addition to winning the scholarship, we'll also publish that article in the magazine. Kind of like icing on the best cake you have ever eaten! We may also select some honorable mentions, and will publish those if we do.

Here are the rules for this She Speaks Writing Scholarship Contest:

1. You must not have attended She Speaks in past years.

2. Write a 500-1000 word article that would be appropriate for publication in the P31 Woman Magazine. See the guidelines on the link to the magazine, and see archived feature articles for a sample of our style.

3. Only enter one (1) article per person.

4. You can either attach the article in a Word document or include it in the email. Include a creative title and your name.

5. Email the article to Glynnis at editor@proverbs31 on or before Thursday April 15, 2010 at midnight.

6. If you have a blog, please help us promote the She Speaks Conference by writing about this contest and linking to the She Speaks Conference at . If you want to post the She Speaks button, that would be great but it is not a requirement.

7. The winner of this contest will be awarded a scholarship for the cost of one person's registration for the 2010 She Speaks conference. The value of this scholarship is $575 which includes your conference materials, conference registration, 2 nights at the conference hotel and meals associated with the conference. Please note it does not include any travel expenses. Also, you will be assigned a roommate or you have the option to pay the extra charge for a private room. This scholarship is transferable, but only for someone who has not attended the conference. It cannot be traded for cash.

Your article will be evaluated by the P31 Woman editing team, and we will announce the winner on April 21st.

This is the first year we have scholarships to offer, and we are thanking God and Cecil Murphy for this opportunity. If you haven't heard of Cecil Murphy's amazing newsletters for writers, you'll want to click here to subscribe for free! While you are there, spend some time reading about Cec. He's coming to the conference and will be speaking to all the writers, and meeting one-on-one for some informal coaching. Please pray about what to submit. And, if you aren't a writer, please send a note to someone you know who is. Also, if you have any questions you can leave them here or over at Glynnis' blog.

Easter Blessings and a Spring Break
Although I imagined Aster's first Easter photos with her standing in green grass surrounded by tulips and daffodils, the best picture we captured was our little angel laying on the floor at church. Is that some scrumptious sweetness or what? I could just eat her up!

I love that she is so comfortable at church. And I pray God's house will always make her heart and spirit feel like she's at home!

By the time we gathered for a family photo she/we were ready for nap! It had been an amazing morning. Our family got to help during our church's first ever baptism services with so many people professing faith in Jesus and being baptized for the first time! Resurrection promise and hope. I couldn't stop crying.

This week is Spring Break and God's been challenging me to unplug from Facebook, Twitter and blogging. I know it will be hard, cause I'll miss you. But I'm looking forward to really connecting with Him in deep, rich, sweet, abiding, remembering, renewing ways I've not been able to do for a while.

Later this week our family will be together at the beach. It'll be Aster's first time to dig her little toes in the sand. And we're going back to where we were when we posted this last August after we got the call saying Aster's Ethiopian paperwork had been approved and she was OURS. We imagined then what it would be like to have her with us and now we do!

Today I'm thanking Jesus for His many Easter blessings, for each of you and for a much needed Spring break. It couldn't have come at a better time. My body is tired, my mind feels like mush but my heart is very ready - ready with the rest of me to be filled up by Him again.

I'm praying for you to find refreshment in whatever way you need it, and for God's presence and peace to fill you up as well! See you next week.

UPDATE: Please pray for my dear friend and P31 sister, Micca Campbell. Her Drs found a large cyst on her left ovary. We're praying it's only a cyst, not cancer (or it is contained and not spread at all). Please join us!! Thank you sweet friends. I love and appreciate you so much!