Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Pretend Writer

Since last summer, I've longed to attend She Speaks, a conference sponsored by Proverbs 31 ministries. 

It's being held July 31st-August 2nd in the Charlotte, NC area.

She Speaks is an event for Christian women who feel called to influence the culture around them through speaking, writing, or leading. It's life-changing, welcoming, inspiring, and nothing short of wonderful. This year they even have a track for bloggers.  

You don't even know how badly I want to go. 

This post is my attempt to get there. For free. Because this She is strapped.

Several days ago I read this post at Chatting at the Sky. Immediately I was filled with nervousness and hope. Why? Because Emily, who will be speaking there, announced that...

She Speaks is giving away a scholarship! It covers the conference costs for one lucky lady. So here's my shot. 

And you can have a shot too! Go to Lysa's blog (Lysa TerKeurst is the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries) to get the scholarship scoop. It's easy. Just post about it and include the appropriate links. But hurry! The deadline is March 27th. 


The Scooper's "Story":

Here's the part where I tell you that I feel called to be a writer or a speaker. I don't. Actually, I don't know. The whole thing scares me. 

All I know is that I'm a pretend writer who would love to someday be a real writer. I'm passionate about words. And I want to use my words in ways that are meaningful and honest and encouraging. 

This is why I want to go to She Speaks, an event with real writers who mentor pretend writers in the art of real writing! 

And while I have been known to do some speaking, in general microphones make me want to vomit into my purse. Believe it or not, I used to speak for a living. Out loud. In front of people. And sometimes with a microphone (gulp.)

I taught college students, a rather intimidating audience if you ask me. And my job called for speaking at lots of venues beyond the classroom. Big, scary, vomit-inducing venues. I perspire just thinking about it.

And while I loved my job, the balancing act of career and home took its toll on me. So, I left career behind and made the decision to be at home with my children all the time. It's been two years now and I haven't regretted my decision for a second. 

But I miss the writing. And even the speaking a little bit. And the camaraderie I felt with others who did what I did. 

I miss saying things besides:

Do you hear me? 

Don't make me come in there! 

Make sure you flush!

Hence, my blogging and my journaling. I guess I still have a lot to say (even if it's sometimes about pretend decorating and chocolate tortes.) But I'd rather pen it than speak it. In fact, now that I don't have to speak and write about history and teaching and retention, I can speak and write about other stuff. 

The stuff that keeps me up at night. The stuff I grapple with. 

The stuff of being a modern-day wife and mom, a sister and a friend, a perfectionist and a slacker, a Believer and a skeptic.

A girl who wonders when she'll finally be a grown-up.

A girl who struggles with contentment.

A girl who often trades pleasure for joy...even though she knows better.

A girl who's trudged through shattered dreams...

And been awestruck by the Father's goodness to bring forth beauty from ashes.

And out of all of this, a well-spring of thoughts and words.

These days I can't seem to stop thinking and grappling and writing. 

I even mustered up the nerve to submit an article to a fancy magazine as part of an essay contest. I didn't win but I loved the process.

So I keep writing.

A friend in real life just told me, 

I read your blog because it makes me feel normal

Her simple compliment was the missing affirmation I needed. 

Because on any given day, I am feeling just one foot on this side of crazy. And it makes feel better to know I'm not alone.

So maybe I'm called to write. Or maybe just compelled. Or maybe both. 

And while I desperately want to go to She Speaks, thus far my family is not on board with the idea of fasting for a month so that I can attend this conference. (They are so hungry and self-absorbed like that.)

I thought I would watch this year's She Speaks come and go. And I may. And if so, I'll be glad for the one who is meant to go. And I'll eat chocolate torte while the rest of the She's are turning into better speakers, writers, and leaders.

But maybe I'll be blessed and get to go after all. 


Have I told you I want to go to She Speaks? Have I told you that you should go too?

And may the best blessed She win! 


  1. I might just have to tap on Lysa's window in the carpool line and beg her to let my friend be the one to go!!!

  2. Oh Scooper...you ARE a REAL writer even if you don't get published. And no, that is not sour grapes speaking. A writer is simply someone who writes. And you are a GREAT writer! I truly hope you get to go. The Father has a way of granting our heart's desires...I pray he grants yours! :)

  3. Marian, I have been telling you for a long time to write a book. Amazingly, me secret passion has always been to be a public Christian woman's speaker. Should we go together? Debbi

  4. Echoing Mrs. Querido . . . I pray that He does also!

    Love you forever,

  5. You are too fun...seriously, at vomit induced venues? hee hee

  6. Beautiful post...I could relate to so much of it. Thank you for putting your feelings into words to share with us. :)

  7. It's been a gloomy week here too. Tripp's out of town. Joshua got shot at in the neighborhood yesterday by an air soft gun. It was before the kids were out of school. Can you believe that? We still don't know who did it but suspect a neighborhood boy (much older). Two of them were home yesterday. One sick and one just home because of the weather. He's out of school. Thinking about filing a police report today. After having a weekend away last weekend you'd think I'd be all "super momish" this week but no. More like "mean mom".

  8. Being real is a very powerful thing...keep sharing your heart. He will bring the rest.

  9. Oh how I would love it if you could come! Good luck!

  10. Marian,

    AND it is in Charlotte! :) You could got to TJ's! :)

    I am home safely and happily from Uganda and can't wait to share some Ugandan coffee with you! Next week?


    Sarah B.

  11. I don't know you....but I am praying for you to go and I want to go with you!

  12. I so identify with missing "adult" conversation after coming home to be with the kids!

    Praying for your dream and wishing you luck in the contest!

  13. Hey Scooper. One time after I spoke one of the audience members came up to me and said, "You're every bit as good as any real speaker I've heard." "Thanks" I responded and I checked to make sure I wasn't made of cardboard.

    Anyone who passionately puts words to paper (or screen) is a writer in my book.

    Listen, if you happen to win (or get to She Speaks otherwise) be sure to come introduce yourself to me. Because I too have a redicious love for all things French/Parisian. Oh, and love me some chocolate too. So I'm just sure I'd love to meet you.

    ~ Rachel Olsen


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