SpeakUp Conference Recap

Monday July 18 2016 10:31 pm | Comments (0) Tags: , , , ,

Hello friend,

I’m excited to tell you about the SpeakUp Conference I attended in Grand Rapids, MI from July 7-9, 2016. It is difficult to decide what to share because I got so much out of my time invested.  Carol Kent and the staff of SpeakUp did a fabulous job in every way.

Here are a few of my favorite take-aways from the weekend.

S – Sweet Worship led by Kim and Brian Tabor. Their love for Jesus showed through as they escorted us into beautiful worship each day.

P – Professional atmosphere in each devotional, keynote, and breakout session. Every session I attended was taught by highly qualified teachers and speakers including founder, Carol Kent, her sisters Bonnie Emmorey and Jennie Afman Dimkoff , Cindy Bultema, Anne Denmark and Suzanne Kuen (Suzy Q)

E – Equipping sessions for my future as a speaker. There were takeaways to implement right away.

A – Atmosphere of hope for the nearly two-hundred attendees seeking God’s vision for their writing and speaking life.

K – Key elements for a fabulous speaking career shared in every session I attended. Energetic and motivational speaker, Becky Harling challenged us to know our message is to be shared “For Such a Time as This.” Powerful!

U – Unlimited opportunities to meet agents, editors, life coaches, prayer warriors and mentors. I also made some wonderful new friends to encourage along the way.

P – Prayer covering over every participant and every need. The prayer corner was always available for any need presented. I enjoyed a session with HopeLifter, Kathe Wunnenberg who helps spread hope when life hurts.

This conference was truly a blessing at a time when I needed it most. When I arrived I was filled with questions about my future. “Lord, What is next for me? Show me how you can use my gifts and talents through the classes I attend and the people I meet.”

That question was answered in many ways as the weekend unfolded. The Lord confirm the desires of my heart and confirmed that I am a messenger of HOPE.

God is truly good.

As I continue to pray for wisdom and revelation, I know God is doing a work in my life to point me to the place where I can be used to bless others. He is doing the same for you, friend!

Life Coach Anne Denmark

Life Coach Anne Denmark

Kathy Wunnenberg

Kathe Wunnenberg is  a HOPE lifter!

My Wonderful Speaker Critique Group

My Wonderful Speaker Critique Group

I learned so much from Cindy Bultema!

I learned so much from Cindy Bultema!

Wow. SuzyQ was so helpful!

Wow. SuzyQ was so helpful!

I hope to gather a contingent of friends for next year’s conference. I’m already signed up for the July 15-17, 2017 weekend.

We all have a story. Maybe you are feeling that nudge to use writing or speaking to share yours. Please pray about joining me at this conference next year.

Bless you as you write and speak for His glory.

With HOPE,


Speaker and Author and Messenger of HOPE

Journal the Journey

Hello Friend,

I’m very excited to share that the first book in my new Journal Series – Journal the Journey of HOPE is about to hit the press. I spent the summer working on this creative journal~coloring book.

I chose the theme HOPE as the first book in this series because I believe we can all use a little HOPE these days.

Throughout this 160 page journal, you’ll find a few stories about how I’ve maintained a HOPE-filled attitude. I will also share some of my journal writing techniques. Quotes and favorite Scriptures that have pointed me to HOPE are found throughout the journal pages. For relaxation and fun, I’ve added a few coloring pages too.

This journal will leave the hands of Dochas Publications and hit Amazon at the end of November.

BUT I have good news for you. If you pre-order from me, you can get the journal for $10.00 vs the $14.95 price at Amazon. (Tax and $5.00 shipping and handling will be added.)

Hopejournal Front Cover

I’m excited for this whole series of journals. In January we will release Journal the Journey of LOVE and in March Journal the Journey of FAITH.

Hopejournal Back Cover

Also, if you order from Amazon, we would appreciate it if you would use the Amazon Smile account that gives a donation to Gabriel’s Foundation of HOPE.

This journal will make a great Christmas or Birthday gift for the journaler in your life. It will also be a great tool for learning to keep a journal.

Come back to my website for more details as we get closer to the release date.

Bless you in your journey.


Writing Retreat 2010

Wednesday May 12 2010 10:23 pm | Comments (0) Tags: ,

Day 1 of my 2010 writing retreat to Montana was successful. I submitted an article and wrote a couple blogs. I worked on a few pages of my manuscript. I’m excited to spend the next ten days focusing on my writing – Hope in Hard Times – Building a Strong Foundation of Hope.

Most of my writing today was done in the car traveling to Missoula.

I’ll journal through this season of writing. I want to finish this manuscript so I can move forward and get it published. I have a book contract to custom publish it with WinePress. I’ve made major changes to the original manuscript so it has taken me a little while to get it the way I want.

My prayer for this book is that it will touch lives of people with story to help build their foundation of hope. We learn from other’s stories and I’m sharing many that helped make my foundation solid.

I recently wrote about my dad’s battle with cancer three different times in his young life. But he never lost hope in Jesus. I want that kind of faith.

We’ll see you tomorrow as I share more about this writing journey.

FaithWriters – I Joined Today

Friday April 30 2010 9:02 pm | Comments (1) Tags: ,

Today I joined FaithWriters at the recommendation of Karen Kingsbury. I hope it will be a great place to place my writing and learn from other Christian writers.

The Home for Christian writers!!

Why I Write

Sunday March 15 2009 11:35 pm | Comments (1) Tags: ,

Last month during an author’s training session I was struck by a comment Jean Ann Duckworth made when describing her One Person. This is the person you are writing to when you consider your audience. She said something like “Every day that I don’t write is one more night she lays in bed and cries because she needs to hear what I have to say so she doesn’t feel alone.”

This thought has been resonating in my head all month. There are so many hurting people who may need to hear our story. A few weeks ago at my home group we went around the room and shared what is going on in each of our lives.   There is so much grieving and pain in this world that it can be overwhelming sometimes. But I have a secret – there IS hope!

So I write. I write in order to give hope to mom’s who have babies born with severe birth defects to tell them that there is hope in tomorrow.

I write in order to help people understand that even though these kids look different, they are really more like you than you think.

I write to share with moms of sons so we can learn from each other’s stories.  I love to write about my two boys.

I write in order to share the things I’ve learned along the twenty-two year journey I’ve traveled as a mom.

I write to encourage others.

I write every day in my journal to document the happenings of my life because I cherish the 74 year old journal my mom wrote in when she was a teen.   I learned so much about her from what she wrote.  Now that she’s dancing in heaven I hear her voice in the written words. I miss her.

I write with the hope that the people who read my work will be blessed.

I can’t get that One Woman out of my mind.  Who is she?  Will I ever meet her face to face?  I sure hope so.

She needs to know she is not alone in feeling forgiven for the stupid decisions she made in college.

She needs to know that the rocky times in her marriage will get better.

She needs to know that grace for the moment comes when we ask for it.

I write so I can help young teen women stay off the ugly detour I took in my youth.

Mostly, I write to point to the HOPE of Jesus.

Really, He’s the only answer. 🙂 So I write…