Thursday, March 1, 2012

Speaking This Weekend

I spent last weekend enjoying cold but lovely weather at the Pine Valley Bible Conference Center (PVBCC) for Lake Murray's annual women's retreat. Our speaker was a longtime friend of mine, Jan Friesen, a former missionary to North Africa. Jan and I became acquainted at another women's retreat almost fifteen years ago when we were both rather trapped in the "babies' cabin" nursing our little ones, chatting merrily all the while. So to hear and see Jan speak this past weekend truly blessed me and prepared me for what this weekend and next shall hold.

My friend Teri, who works at PVBCC, asked me to lead two workshops for their annual Spring Women's Conference for which the theme is "Legacy." So this Saturday morning and next Saturday morning, I shall be leading a workshop in Journaling: A Legacy of Love and in the late afternoons I shall be leading another in Blogging: Letters to the Savior. (I did not choose the titles, promise.)

I'm putting the finishing touches on both workshops today, a day I am actually at home ALONE. I know. It rarely happens, especially for homeschooling moms. We're used to being surrounded, perhaps even inundated, by our kids 24/7, so an empty, peaceful house is truly a gift from above. Seriously.

In the Journaling workshop, I'm going to cover the different types of journals and tips on being consistent in journaling at least weekly. I'm especially focusing on Gratitude Journaling a la Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, and her Joy Dare 2012 Gratitude Project as well. I'm going to briefly include blogging and 365 photo blogging, but most of that will be included in the blogging workshop. It's nice that the journaling workshop is at 11:00 AM so that those interested in blogging can attend that workshop at 4:00 PM.

This Monday I was fortunate to attend Point Loma Nazarene University's annual Writers Symposium by the Sea, as I usually do. Past years have included interviews with Eugene Peterson, Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Donald Miller, Christopher Buckley, Kathleen Norris, Frederica Mathewes-Green, and many other illustrious names in Christian writing. You can Google videos of past Writers Symposium interviews and watch them on You Tube or through UCSD TV.

So Monday's guest was Christian author and blogger Rachel Held Evans. Because of my following of Elizabeth Esther's wonderful (and delightfully snarky) blog, I became aware of Rachel and her book Evolving in Monkeytown as well as her wonderful (and also delightfully snarky) blog. I think at one point in the last year, we exchanged comments on each others' blogs. Anywhooo, Rachel was ushered in and out of PLNU's Department of Literature, Journalism, and Modern Languages (hereafter called "the Lit Department" as we dubbed it as students eons ago) while I conscientiously worked on my online poetry workshop class on my laptop in the department foyer.

On one of Rachel's less-hurried stops in the Lit Department, I introduced myself and mentioned Elizabeth Esther, and we had a lovely chat about blogging, theology, observing the Church year, and The Book of Common Prayer 2011. (The *one* time I don't have my copy with me, of course--drat!) Then Rachel was off again (I don't know how that woman survived the day--she was rushed hither and thither in a virtual whirlwind rivaling the storm outdoors), and I returned to commenting on haiku poems via my laptop while my daughter Elizabeth (currently planning to return to PLNU and the Lit Department) visited another department, sat in on a class, stopped by Records, and pow-wowed with Financial Aid.

In the mid-afternoon, we braved the horrendous storm (poor Rachel--this was not the ideal introduction to "sunny San Diego" she was expecting!!) to attend Rachel's presentation in the Women's Studies Department mostly on her new book My Year of Biblical Womanhood: Or, Why I Lived in a Tent During My Period (I may be slightly off with the subtitle; I can't find it listed anywhere) which is coming out in September. Wanting to explore the fad of "Biblical Womanhood" in conservative evangelical circles, Rachel spent a year literally living out all the commandments concerning women in the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments. The results are humorous at times; life-changing at others, and always, always, thought-provoking. 'Cause that's what Rachel does.

But Rachel's blog is extremely popular, and she gave many excellent tips that I plan to work into my workshop. I looked at a couple of other bloggers, namely Robert Lee Brewer, the editor of Poets Market (a division of Writers Market), and, of course, Ann Voskamp, my favorite blogger. Because I don't know if I'll be working with blogging newbies or veterans (or, most likely, a combination of both), I'll have several approaches in my workshop so I can switch it up to fit the workshop attendees.

So today I hope to finalize my talks and prepare my Power Point or slide show of various blogs out there as well as time the workshops so I won't go over or be too far under. It looks like the schedule has 90 minutes per workshop. I can definitely use all my time with blogging, so I'm bringing a few journal writing prompts along with paper for some in-workshop free-writing.

So if you're reading this post, I would greatly appreciate your prayers as I embark on this new adventure of leading workshops. I know it isn't too different from teaching a class (which, as a former college instructor, I'm well-accustomed to doing), but I really want these workshop to inspire women to write their legacies, either privately in a journal or publicly in a blog. May God receive the glory for all that happens this weekend!

From The Book of Common Prayer 2011:

DIRECT us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and bless us with your continual help; So that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your Holy Name, and finally by your mercy obtain everlasting life; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Writing for His glory,

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