Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Leaving On a Jet Plane.

It's that time of year again! Time for me to hop on a plane, endure a LONG flight, and be blessed beyond what I can imagine. Seriously, it's that great.

SheSpeaks is a Christian women's Writing and Speaking conference, and the team at Proverbs 31 Ministries really goes all out on our behalf. Meals are amazing, the setting is gorgeous, and content is motivating, bible-based, and ever-so-practical. There are loads of books for sale, even more lovely women who have the same burning passion to share God's compelling truth with others, and an enormous amount of great conversation.

Last year I met handfuls of women I loved, and thankfully, I have kept in touch with many of them! It's been incredibly fruitful to be connected with these Christian Writers and Speakers. They bless me through their persistence, their failings, their advice, and their friendship. You know who you are ladies :)

This year, I decided to take the Writer's Track and meet with a couple publishers. I have been working half-heartedly on several book ideas, and I figured having a set appointment with a professional would gently force me to get going on them. It worked, that's for sure! So Friday evening and Saturday evening I get to meet with two different leading women in the publishing industry. I feel well prepared, but I also know this is simply dipping my toes into this world. I cannot wait to glean from them, hear their opinion of my ideas, and make even more progress with my writing and sharing.

In most settings like this, it's rare for someone to walk away with a book deal solidified. Instead, many walk away with contacts in the industry and a plan for refining, pitching your idea again later, and the only real promise you may get is for LOTS of work ahead. But honestly, I am up for that! I am here to learn, not to land a book deal. I am flying across the country to fellowship and grow, not for the sake of my own name or career, but for God's glory, for His plan. And while all these things will hopefully culminate to my book coming to life someday, what I really want is to be used by God so that others know Him better. This is the phrase I am going to repeat to myself over and over when I get nervous, when I over-analyze my outfits, and as I do my makeup. All the surface stuff, all the "results" from my time, are in God's worthy, capable hands, and I can most definitely trust Him to do something wonderful, no matter what it looks like to me.

If you don't follow me on Instagram yet, I want to give you a heads up: I started a more formal account that will pertain to just my writing, blogging, and speaking. There will be weekly encouragement, and at least monthly giveaways! Right now, I am giving away the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst. Go find me @joellenlarmstrong and enter right away. The drawing is tomorrow - yay!

I hope this week is life-giving for you, no matter where your responsibilities take you. I can't wait to share more with you this year, and be sure to come back next week for an update on my time at SheSpeaks. Here are just a couple pics from last year - such good memories!

Flying solo! Also, PDX carpet rules.

I was SO nervous. My only coping mechanisms were deep breaths, prayers, and selfies.

It was awesome to sit up front and listen to Lysa share tips to getting your best idea for a book out of your soul and onto paper.

They had such a lovely set-up for getting photos taken!

All the ladies from the Suite 314 Speaking Group.

And last, but not least, both ladies names Sarah May were in one of my first sessions... sitting one row apart. God is so funny like that. They are both wonderful! 

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