Monday, January 21, 2008

How I got involved with She Speaks...and a little about my past

Tonight I am going to see the new movie that's out called 27 Dresses...I'm going with some of my P31 pals, Lysa, Renee, Marybeth, and LeAnn, so we can laugh and laugh and laugh. We heard it's a great movie so every once in awile we go for a girls night out so tonight's one of those nights. It is so amazing to be connected to these P31 women. Speaking of that leads me to tell you about She Speaks. If you will go to Lysa's blog this morning, she will tell you all about it...but first I want to tell you my story of how I got connected with Proverbs 31. It's a cool one and I hope it encourages you.

God tapped me on my shoulder about 10 years ago to take my knowledge of the fashion and beauty industry to women of the church. I was so uncertain because I thought it wouldn't fly in the Christian community cause we talk about inner beauty and we know that is the most important beauty of all. So I prayed. And planned. And prayed some more. For 7 years. One day a friend in my prayer group invited me to speak to the women in her church at a conference. She really believed in what I was working on (in my own home, during my prayer time) and thought the women in her church might like to hear it. So I went. And God showed up. There was a few women in that audience who was there from another church and got so excited that they invited me to speak at their church. So I did. And when I spoke at their church, there was another group there from another church who invited me to speak at their church. A few weeks later, I was having lunch with my very good friend, Renee Harris, in Greensboro. She had just heard Lysa speak at a conference at her church. She said, "Shari, I think you are supposed to call Lysa and tell her about what you speak about." And I said, "Oh sure, Renee, and what would I say to this well known speaker who has no idea on earth who I am?" She said she didn't know except she really felt God was prompting her to tell me to do it. So I did. I returned home, called the Proverbs 31 office and got Lysa's voicemail. This is what I said (no kidding)..."Hi Lysa, you don't know me, but my friend thinks God wants me to call you." She called me back! I told her what I did, she got very excited about it and told me she had to talk to some people and would call me back. She did. She said she felt her speaking team could use some image advice (that's a whole other story...ask Renee Swope!) So she invited me to the She Speaks Conference to train the speakers how to dress for their speaking engagments and also invited me to give a breakout session to the attendess. And that's how it all began. Seriously. I was obedient to God and heard His prompting. I prayed. I planned. I accepted an invitation to speak. And another. And another. I made a phone call my friend thought I should make because of God's prompting her. Lysa called back. She prayed. She felt God prompted her to invite me to speak. I showed up. And so did God. The rest is history. I joined the Proverbs 31 team in 2005 and have been speaking to women's groups at churches since then. I also now have an event on Modesty for girls called The Modest is Hottest Fashion Show. God is good. I am not. But He can use women just like you and me when we are obedient. You see, it didn't happen overnight. I was in the secular side of my industry for over 20 years. I went thru a couple of bad marriages. I found out I was married to someone involved with some illegal stuff and didn't know it. I was in the middle of a divorce and got pregnant to an ex boyfriend. I was a single mom. I've had lots of money and then had none (single, alone, pregnant). You see, I've had quite a life. I didn't know Christ personally until I was almost 30 years old. Look what God can do with someone who turns it all over to Him. Cause that's what I did. And everyday is a new beginning. But you know what? All I am doing is living out my passion...and God is blessing it.

I pray you will consider coming to She Speaks this year. It is life-changing. Do whatever you can to be there. I promise you, it will change your life. And, thanks so much for reading my you much, Shari


Celly B said...

Wow, Shari! What a wonderful story of how you became involved in Proverbs 31. My sister went to She Speaks last year, and I would love to attend also. Because of circumstances we are in right now, it may not happen this summer, but I hope that one day I could attend.

Shari said...

Hi Celly, I know if God wants you there, you will be. You know better than anyone about God providing what we need...hence your Pet Rock story on your blog. Continue to pray and see what God provides for you...can't wait to meet you there, God willing! Readers of my blog, read Celly's story on her site
especially if you are a pet lover and want to see another Jesus-in-action story! love, Shari

Alyce said...

Hey Shari!
You are quite a lady! I am glad that you have surrendered your life to God..isnt it wonderful?!!
You do an awesome job!
As far as She Speaks..isn't that mainly for writers? Or am I totally wrong??

Its been so nice getting to know you..

Shari said...

Hi Alyce, Oh my goodness, NO! Yes, it is for writers, but it is for speakers, too! It is a complete training for anyone interested in pursuing their God-calling in speaking or writing. Hey girl, I baked brownies this weekend the way you recommended...with candy bars! I put snickers in family loved them! I also made a double batch each of snicker doodles and peanut butter cookies! Whoever said we're on diets at this house is crazy! Thanks for the tips! love ya, Shari And you MUST come to She is earth-moving! love, Shari

Amy Wyatt said...

Wow Shari,
What a story! Very encouraging and a great reminder that if God is in it, it will happen no matter what we do or say. I also attended She Speaks last year and hope to come this year again. The tips you gave us at your session were great. I was one of your "models" called up from the audience and I've used the info you gave alot since then. Hope to see you again this summer.

Miss Sandy said...

Thank you for your recent visit to my blog and for your sweet comments. Wow! What a testimony and great witness to God's amazing grace. I think you offer a much needed service to the Christian community. Not only do our hearts represent Christ but so do our bodies, how we care for them and how we dress them. I don't know a woman alive that doesn't want to feel good from the inside out. I would love to attend She Speaks in June. Hubby and I are praying about it and trying to see if we can connect schedule and budget to do so. Have a great day!
Miss Sandy

Alyce said...

Hey Shari..
I'll check the She Speaks schedule..although I am not a writer or a speaker..Maybe I can pass it on to our Women's Ministry at church.
Glad your brownies turned out well..sounds like you were on a baking spree!!

Charlene Kidd said...

I am so glad to have be on the coolest team with you. You have definitely impacted my life and it is all good.
Thanks for being obedient.

Cin said...

Hi Shari, I just found your blog the other day and I have been reading it faithfully since then. Thank you for you story of obedience. God is so good and isn't it wonderful he continues to bless us, and gently nudges us closer to him after we have done things "way". Praise God that he finds uses for each of us, if we are just willing to show up.
What a true breathe of fresh air you are.

I'll be back. Love your blog btw.

Sisters in Christ,

Lisa said...

Your story is very inspiring and refreshing. My history is similar...went through a divorce, now a single mother. Although I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm a better person because of it! It's amazing how God can transform us!
God gave me writing to cope through some tough times. I'm still not sure about my call, but the SheSpeaks conference has me intrigued. I'll be praying about it!

Org Junkie said...

Wow that was so inspiring, thank YOU for sharing it!! So glad I popped on by!

Laura (orgjunkie)

Renee Swope said...

I got chills all over reading your blog. I know your story but to hear you tell it on your blog just gave me goosebumps! You know that is a holy thing when that happens? I just love that God brought you to us for so many reasons. I will always remember the day we spent together having lunch, shopping and you telling me your story for the first time and feeling like you could never share it on stage but knew God would one day want you to. Wow - it's been amazing to watch. I love you to pieces woman. Thanks for helping me get my outsides to match my insides!!

Pajama Mama said...

Wow. Shari, thank you for sharing your amazing and inspiring story! Incredible what God did!

Alyssa Avant said...

Wow what a story. Very cool! You and I both got started in 2005. Very neat! I am trying right now to raise funds to got to She Speaks in June. :) Hope to get there.