Thank you REMARKABLE WOMEN of EnVision You!

If you have been hanging out in my world of late, you have felt the flurry of excitement as I introduced my new book, EnVision YOU: UnStuck and Confident, to my world. Two months ago I began inviting women into the launch team to help this little butterfly take wing. But as is usually the case, so much was happening long before the blitz of the Launch.

I want you to meet some of the people- mostly women - who have been part of this process with me over the past year. I know i have mentioned some of these in the acknowledgments for the book, but I want to say …

Ever had a friend you wished you knew better...!

I first met Nancy five years ago at the very first TRIBEWRITER conference, which my community knows that has been a big part of my writing journey. However, at that first conference, Nancy and I probably didn't say more than five words to one another even though from the first time we made eye contact, I felt like we had made a connection. We went the whole weekend without really getting acquainted.

t just happened that as the conference was ending, we passed each other and I took a chance to speak to her.

Let Me Tell You About My New Book

If you have been following my blog, or my facebook pages, or talked to me personally over the last few weeks, you already know that I am in the process of launching my newest book,
EnVision YOU: UnStuck and Confident .

If by some chance you are just hearing for the first time, you might have some questions. Here are a few I’ve been getting from potential readers.

Hey It's LAUNCH DAY

For me this is a Significant day - not an ordinary day in any sense of the word! I’ve shared some of this in my last blog post called Five Years Later . But it seems important to include some of it here again because it is such a key part of my journey. Heads up - this is a long one. But I am an author now.

It is the Last day of TRIBE FIVE (a conference for writers and creatives put on my Jeff Goins and his team). It is the last day of the last conference. He's up to something else- we just don't know what - yet.

 On the last day of the first conference, I heard Jeff say,

“You are a writer when you say you are a writer.”

So I said I was a writer.

Five Years Later - Almost to the Day!

For the past five years, one of those highlights in my life has been to connect with a group of creative, soul-searching writers and artists who gather in Franklin, Tennessee for the TRIBEWRITER Conference hosted by founder and creator of the Tribewriter community, Jeff Goins.

I value learning new skills by listening to those who have already done what I want to do as they share what has worked for them or tips of the trade. But more than that, I love having the opportunity to rub shoulders with the men and women who are using their voice, their stories, and their talents to make their difference. 

This is my 5th TRIBE Conference. It will also be the last TRIBE Conference that Jeff Goins will be hosting. I will have attended all of them.  Each year brought with it new challenges and insights both as a writer and as a person.

Each year there are those who say to me, “Don’t quit. Keep showing up.”

  But mostly they say “Own who you are and do it with all your heart.”

 The importance of this year’s TRIBE Conference in relation to my writing journey is significant. You will understand more at the end of this post.

In a Cabin called Hope

On Friday, August 16th, I spent the day in the DEEP WOODS. It is a spiritual retreat center located in the woods behind my church. In the fall of 2012, our friends and family helped us to build the 3rd cabin that is available for personal, spiritual retreats.

The cabin is called HOPE.

The reason I was there on August 16th was the 13th anniversary of my daughter, Leisha’s home-going.

EnVision YOU: UnStuck and Confident

What does it even look like to live and work confidently to make a difference in our world?  What does it feel like to step into our uniqueness, our beauty that forms the foundation for our confidence?

I imagine it feels something like a butterfly must feel as she spreads her wings for the first time and finds freedom to soar higher than ever before.

Can you put yourself in the wings of a butterfly? Imagine what that moment must be like?

What does it feel like to take bold next steps with that kind of confidence?

That thought came to me …

My Face in Stone

I sat staring at the picture. I felt as if the image on my phone had just slapped me across the face. It took us twelve and a half years to place a stone at our daughter’s grave. But it was finally set on the Monday between her 28th birthday on the 28th of April and Mother’s Day 2019.

I had gone to the cemetery as soon as I heard it was done. I was struck by how important it was to be there. All these years of not being able to decide what words needed to be engraved in stone to sum up a life that was too short. But here it was.

I knelt down to take a picture to show the rest of the family. The sun was bright that day. I couldn’t really see the image clearly so I just made sure that I got the whole shape of the stone in my camera. I took pictures of the front, the back and some other angles to show our girls and our parents.

When I climbed in my car, I scrolled through the images. Then I saw it.

Honoring My Grief

Something changed March 31st.

I didn’t think much of it at first until it was April 5 and I was still ‘down’ (exhausted, weak, unable to think clearly or make a decision) I’ve had those symptoms happen before. I struggle with them periodically, but I felt like I was doing better.

And then I wasn’t.

And I haven’t been all month.

I’ve done the things I have to do. I take an extra dose of the meds I need to manage ‘stress’ (that’s what you do when you have Addison’s disease, because my body doesn’t do that anymore.) I muster up enough energy to speak or teach or coach or write-

and then I sleep. A lot.

Being the question-asker that I am, I have tried to determine why I am ‘down’ and why for so long. I attributed it to some new meds I’m taking, or the weather change or … I have a rather long list of things I could mention here.

But then my husband says,

So what made him cry?

Ren and I are part of an apprenticeship class studying Nehemiah. An assignment we have each week is to identify one thing that stands out to us from the study of the scripture.  

What I noticed immediately was Nehemiah asks some men who had just arrived from Judah how things were going in Jerusalem for the Jews who had returned there from captivity. The news wasn't good.  The walls of Jerusalem had been torn down and the gates destroyed by fire.  The people are in great trouble and disgrace. It's in shambles. 

Then verse 4 says

When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted,
and prayed to the God of heaven.
From <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah+1&version=NLT>

 

That thought caused me to ponder.  Why was his grief so strong? what made him cry?