I Want The King for My Friend

I’ve been working my way through a book that has done something incredible in my life.

It has dried up my words.

And, honestly? I’m okay with that.

Reading Keep It Shut, by Karen Ehman, has been life-altering. My brain, and by extension, the mouth that’s connected to it, have experienced some blissful radio silence. I’m not even going to try to guess the number of people around me, who also consider this new frequency blissful.

I’m a gap-filler, you see. If there is a lull in conversation, I’m your girl. When the small talk at a party dwindles, I jump right in. In the midst of an awkward situation and not sure what to say next? Count on me!

Usually, these aren’t necessarily bad things.

But sometimes, they aren’t really good things, either.

The abundance of words that accumulates within me doesn’t actually mean that I need to voice every single one of them.

Amen? (Not you, Nana. We all know you’re saying “AMEN!”)

Not much is added to a filling-the-gap moment that is true, noble, right, pure, or lovely. Certainly not much is admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. So, what exactly am I adding to conversations?

That is the ultimate question I’ve been asking myself, lately.

For the first time in probably ever, I see that many of my words aren’t attaching anything of benefit to the discussion. And, that’s not to discount the meaningful chats I have with people I care about. Nor does it mean that I need to throw out the fun back-and-forths I might have with friends and acquaintances.

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It is, however, a fantastic reason to do a lot more pausing before piping up. It’s also a great reason to do a little more listening with those two ears of mine and a lot less talking with that one mouth.

The more listening I do, the more I see what I haven’t seen as my lips were moving. The hurting neighbor. The angry relative. The hesitant friend. There are hearts that I am hearing, that I’ve never even known were trying to talk.

Allow my inner 80’s teen to re-emerge, please? DUDE!

There is no small beauty in a heart that is finally heard.

Don’t we all know this to be true? What relief, what joy, what profound satisfaction in our souls when some beautiful ear finally bends to hear?

Maybe the most amazing thing of all is that as I speak with more grace, which means more listening before speaking, my friendships will deepen. Friends that I long to connect with – deeply hear from and be heard by – will appear.

How do I know?

“Whoever loves pure thoughts and kind words will have even the king as a friend.”

Even The King.

I don’t know about you, but, I want The King for my friend.

Yes indeedy.

SheSpeaks and I Listen

Last week, I had the immense pleasure of taking part in a conference put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries called, She Speaks“.

It was The Awesome Sauce.

I have much to process.

I know many of you have attended blogging or writing or speaking conferences.  Some of you may even have attended She Speaks.  But this conference exceeded every expectation that I had built up in my head. I find myself overwhelmed, even now,  with the attention given to each individual woman that was there, to the amount of time the speakers and presenters clearly put into crafting messages that were valuable and encouraging, and to the amount of sweet fellowship and care that would go on throughout.

Many affirmations were spoken over the direction that I would like my writing to go. Prayers were offered.  Selfless advice was given when requested. Love was poured out. Questions were answered.  More prayers were prayed.  Songs were sung.  Hugs were handed out like candy.  And new friends, sweet friendships grounded in the Truth of Christ, were made.

My heart is full to overflowing with all that took place over the 4 days that I was in North Carolina at this conference.  I took a few pictures to share with y’all.  And I am sure that there will be many posts to come that prove that as they spoke, I was listening.

But most of all?

God was there.

And He, most definitely, was speaking.

And I am learning to always listen when He speaks.

And then say, “Yes!”.

Yes to being a wise woman.

Yes to being a Writer with a speaker’s heart.  (I’m still unpacking that one, friends!)

Yes to taking part in an amazing Online Bible Study with more 22,000 women from over 120 countries!

Yes to walking alongside those who need to know they are not alone.

And Yes to heeding the call to keep writing for His glory.

Yes indeedy!

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The decor` may have been gorgeous, but the worshiping that went on… OH! And the prayer room with each person’s name placed beside a name of God… Oh. My. Stars!

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A lovely roommate (far left), some shoes, wide smiles and inspiring devotionals and keynote… I have MUCH to ponder.

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Hugging necks and putting voices to the devotionals (and books) that I read from these ladies over at P31 Ministries was a joyful experience!

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I was STARSTRUCK to meet some of the beautiful and willing hearts that take part in P31’s Online Bible Study. Melissa Taylor (on the far right) is the fearless leader and has such a genuine desire to see ladies digging in the Word! Star. Struck.

I do believe that She Speaks was a gift of epic proportions. Thank you so much to the team at Proverbs 31 Ministries for all that they did to make this conference so phenomenal.

I only wish some of you, who wanted to, could have come along for the journey.  

Maybe next year?