Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kingdom Relationships

In the summer of 2007, I attended She Speaks conference in Charlotte with high hopes that I would leave with, at the very least, a favorable word from a publisher on a book I was writing.

Several tears later, I came to the conclusion that, not only was my book proposal not ready, but neither was I.

But I did leave the conference with a unexpected, rare treasure.

As part of the writers’ track, I was enrolled in a writer’s critique group. At the table, each of us passed out copies of five different writing pieces to the group and began reading. All was silent for about 15 minutes. Then we took turns offering encouragement and suggestions to the authors of each piece.

One of the girls had read my testimony and asked the others if she could read it aloud. By the time she finished, there were more than a few misty eyes. That alone gave me encouragement. If hearts are touched, then I’ve accomplished His purpose.

The girl that read my testimony to the group touched my heart. She had a sparkle that was intriguing. We talked at length that evening and kept touching base the rest of the weekend between our breakout sessions. Before leaving on Sunday afternoon, we traded email addresses and promised to stay in touch. Which is something I’m not very good at. Staying in touch, I mean.

Then, something that I really didn’t expect to happen … did.

I visited her blog and we occasionally emailed. Once I joined the blogging world, we kept up with each other via our blogs and became fast friends. I learned more about her family: two sweet boys and that teckie husband of hers, The Finkster. I wept with her at the loss of Romeo, her pup. I laughed when the entire family tried to break their habit of using the word “poop” in conversation. I read “The Shack” along with her and we traded thoughts and insights about that incredible book. I watched her organize her house, and followed her weight loss journey with admiration. She has such a sweet, fun spirit and draws you in with her warmth and contagious joy.

Never thought it possible to know someone so well by following their blog.

When I registered for She Speaks 2009, I asked her if she planned to go. Before we knew it, we were planning to room together and stay up all night talking … as though we’d been lifelong friends.

Now - after the fact - it feels as though we have been.

The conference was incredible. I gleaned much from the knowledgeable speakers. But the extra-special treat that God had planned for me was to spend quality time with my Sister, Stephanie. Knowledge fades. Kingdom relationships are eternal.

Stephanie and me


  1. Like I'm not balling right now girl...

    I'll never forget that first critque group at She Speaks 2007 (as it was my first EVER) - wow was my stomach all tied up in knots!

    When I read your piece, "The Prodigal Daughter," I knew you were the "real deal" - willing to use it all for Him and it was SO refreshing to read someome being SO real about her life and love for the Lord!

    Loved your post title, "Kingdom Relationships" cause that's how long we get to be friends/sisters...all the way into The Kingdom!

    And, I loved every moment of being roomies..from our late night couch talks to early morning talks while we do our hair and eat those yummy made to order omelets!

    Love you sister! ;-)

  2. Thanks for visiting me at my blog...always a thrill to hear from a "She Speaks" sister! Can you explain how you added your She Speaks graduate info to your sideboard? I really like that and would love to add that to my blog as well (if it's ok with you that I take your neat idea!) Joyce

  3. Don't you just love the wonderful women that are part of the blogging world? I know the conference was will have to share with ne sometime.