Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hello all! It's Sunday afternoon and I'm home with my family enjoying this beautiful Carolina afternoon. After church we had lunch out and oh my goodness I had the best taco salad EVER! If you've never eaten at Tiajuana Flats, try's yummy!

I have had a heck of a last 2 weeks. Besides being on 6 different airplanes, I've stayed in 3 host homes, spoken at 7 different speaking events and met some amazing, amazing people! My family knows that April and May are extremely busy for me and they are so very supportive, but oh how I miss them when I'm gone! It is fun to be back for a few days, catch up on laundry (because my son can't seem to wear the same pair of shorts more than once, which he just walked up, read this and said, "that's a good thing, Mom"....and so, with more laundry, I figured I better get caught up on my blog before I read my gazillion e-mails! I'm so glad you're here!

I know I typically blog about fashion, but I must tell you about last week.

Monmouth, Illinois was such a treat! I was at Maple City Baptist Church and I have to tell you that I was most impressed with their women's leadership team in charge of this event AND their pastor. Pastor Mike prayed the most amazing prayer before the first of our two events for the weekend and it is the first prayer that has brought me to tears. Real tears. This guy is amazing and with his heart for God and the people of that church and their city, he is gonna knock down barriers that most people are so afraid of. Most events I speak at I never even get to meet the pastor and he was there the entire time....and he had just returned from 2 mission trips! He was tired, exhausted, and probably spiritually spent, but you would have never known it. Jen and Carla (aka Cheryl!) led their team of women in such a beautiful way. My events are often used as outreach events due to the theme being around fashion and modesty, but the people of Maple City Baptist took it to a whole new level. Every one who attended the event who was from their home church was there in event t-shirts (cause they were on the volunteer team) and EVERYONE else was there because of their amazing outreach efforts. Women drove from 3 hours away to the event....they did radio interviews, window displays in their town, letters out to neighboring schools and towns and the hearts of these women and men blew my mind. I was actually sad to leave them. Hi Maple City Baptist! Funny, funny thing, too....the night of the fashion show rehearsal we had to go to the basement due to a tornado warning! The next morning I woke up at my beautiful host home, Jan's house to the sound of cows mooing outside my window and then dressed in my clothes for the event only to find it snowing outside and of course I brought no coat or socks!

Next I went to St. Pete/Tampa, Florida. I got to visit with my dear, dear friend Mary Brandes who has become more like family to me. She was my host home (I didn't even ask her, I just let her know I was coming!) and I did 2 speaking engagments at Northside Christian School in St. Pete. The highlight (well, actually there were 2!) was that I taped a new documentary/ video broadcast for my teen events on modesty and purity. I asked the middle and high school girls to write on an index card one question they have always wanted to ask a guy....and not sign their name to it. Then I got the MS and HS boys together seperately and asked them the questions in a group format. At the end of the day, I pulled together 5 senior boys into Mary's office and interviewed them. These guys were the star athletes, very very handsome, and true believers. Their answers were mind blowing. I believe this new video/documentary will change girls in a VERY powerful way. It is being edited now and will be ready for use by Fall. I cannot tell you how amazing it was. Wow!

The second highlight was speaking at WTBN Tampa Bay's Christian Radio Station's Pastors Wives Appreciation Tea! It was so fun to encourage women who are always in the spotlight and to give them some new ideas on how to dress with confidence. We laughed and laughed so hard I thought they were going to kick us out of the St. Pete Yacht Club! Can you imagine asking Pastor's Wives to "keep it down!" ? They really didn't but we thought they might...we were sooooo loud! I think the bra part was about the funniest ever!

And then home for 36 hours before heading to Apex Baptist Church near Raleigh, NC. They truly had the best decorated Modest is Hottest Stage I've ever!!!!!! It was awesome! Their tech guy Adam was a genius and so on top of things. Dawn Ward (who's coming to She Speaks!) took over training the models on thursday night for rehearsal so I could get an extra day at home with my family (BLESS you, Dawn!) and did a superb job! The models were amazing and had the sweetest hearts. Their women's event on Saturday was set up at round tables and lunch was served in the same room. I believe lives were changed that day. And some came to know Christ in a whole new exciting to be doing this for God.....I'm humbled.

All in all, I am a very blessed woman. I love that God has invited me to use my passions to talk about what He has done in my life and that women get to walk out with a new confidence and renewed relationship with Jesus.

On a slightly different note, my new Style Guide called "If Clothes Could Talk" a Christian Woman's handbook to revealing your inner beauty on the READY!!! I actually took the first printing with me to Florida and Apex. Women were so excited to be able to take home a resource to learn from. It is 88 pages long and includes a multitude of information! We are ready to go to a second printing (we had 200 printed to begin with!) because so many women purchased a copy this past week!!!!!!! Thank you to all of you for your amazing support! The Style Guide is available for $15 or as an e-book form for $12 at this link.

I know this was long...thank you for reading it. I will announce the winner of the E-book tomorrow (from the comments last week) after I read them...I may have a friend pick the winner! Thank you for being faithful readers! Love you! Shari


April said...

wow!!! now i am even more excited about hosting an event and seeing lives changed in our area!! I meet on monday with our pastor!! pray, pray, pray!! the new book sounds awesome too, i LOVE to read!!

Wrinkled Shirt Ministries said...

So glad your events were amazing. I missed reading your words this week but knew you would be out flying even more than me.

Holly said...

Hi Shari!
What an awesome weekend we had with you in Apex! Thank you, thank you, thank you! God used you in a mighty way with the women of our church and we feel so blessed to have had you and Patty with us. I was so touched by your testimony and God really used it to speak to me in many ways. Thank you for being so transparent with us and being such a real example of God's grace. I enjoyed meeting you and spending time with you and hope that our paths cross again.
Love & blessings! Holly

Alyce said...

Wow Shari, you've been busy, but obviously very blessed along the way! I am so glad you mentioned "host homes" because I have wanted to get info on any of you P31 speakers coming out to our church, but we are back woods..haha and the closest (nicest) hotel would be 20-30minutes away. I wondered if you guys had a policy about where to stay or would you be able to stay w/ a "host family". I am only 5 minutes from our church..better than a pricey hotel and far away.
Anyway. I am so glad you are home and safe and had a terrific time doing your thing:-)
Take care,

Anonymous said...

We at Maple City Baptist in Monmouth, IL loved having you here! In fact we all are looking at colors & clothes in a whole new way. Planning for your event bonded many women in ways we couldn't have imagined which was an unforeseen blessing! We're even talking @ having a road trip for a "bra-fitting" party at our nearest Dillards. Thanks again!
Sherri(Cheryl's best friend)

Selita said...

Hi Shari, Im a newcomer to your site. I'm so glad for the info on accessories. I don't usually wear a lot of jewelery, because I work from home. No one sees except the children I have in my daycare. I don't dress casual clothing. My 12 year old daughter is always trying to get to shop for myself, but the clothes they have out today either make you look like a sleaze, too old or too young. I'm 48, and shopping just wears me out. I recently went shopping while vacationing in Florida. It was fun, since our family has not been able to take a vacation in 8 years. Money is tight and buy only what is necessary, which is geared toward the kids and school. I actually received a compliment just recently. I wore a BabyPhat warmup suit, that looks ghetto to me, but I got compliments on how I looked. Everyone thought I had been working out. My workout is chasing kids around all day in my daycare. But to get back to our vacation trip, I bought some really nice sunglasses and sundress at a reasonable price. I don't wear much jewelery, because of sensitive skin. I will try the big bracelets and stone jewelry. Thanks, Selita Vieira