Friday, February 1, 2008

She Speaks

I sat with the phone in my hand, mentally going down the list of moms that I knew. I wanted, make that needed to...get out and talk to someone who didn't have my last name. Someone who could sympathize with my life, who would laugh when I described how I found my youngest covered in make-up and smile in understanding when I admitted that I told my oldest my name wasn't "Mommy" anymore and I wasn't telling her my new name.

Let's see...I could, her husband works odd hours and he's probably gone. How about...right, she's still nursing and I overheard her Sunday talking about how hard her baby is to get down at night. There's always...nope, she goes to bed so early. I finally laid the phone down in frustration without having dialed a single number. Well, there's always bubble baths behind a locked bathroom door.

This whole stay at home mom thing is much harder than I ever expected. We go from respected professional with a full schedule of meetings and get-togethers to frumpy housewife in a stained sweatshirt who only talks to people shorter than 3-feet tall for hours on end. At first, these short people are all cute and easy, then the first one starts walking and another one comes along. They get involved in classes and activities and your play group falls apart because no one has the same schedule. Before you realize what happened, you're staring at the phone trying to think of even one friend you can call.

Thankfully, before I descended into a deep pit of isolation, I found an outlet. One that is available whenever I am and where there are other moms who have their own funny kid stories and aren't afraid to tell about their embarrassing moments. The best part is that it's as close as my computer. A mom friend of mine mentioned that she had a blog, which had I had never thought of outside the realm of technical geekiness. So I found her blog and started reading, then I went through her blog roll, and then I went through their blog rolls, and I was hooked. Wow! Some of these women were fabulous writers and I enjoyed reading their blogs and I began to feel I wasn't so alone.

After a few weeks of reading as many blogs as I could in stolen moments, I started my own blog. At first, my goal was to use my blog to keep in touch with my extended family in Texas. Soon though, I wanted it to be more. I wanted my blog to be a source of encouragement to other moms the way so many other moms had ministered to me through their blogs. So I broadened my topics, continued reading other blogs, left comments on other blogs and participated in blogging events to broaden my audience, and wrote more to work on my voice. I had been a technical writer and an English teacher, but this kind of writing was a different beast. It was a fabulous chance to do some creative writing on subjects that I knew and loved. I started talking more to other mom bloggers and found new friends. I have even noticed that it built my confidence level so that I'm a little more willing to pick up the phone and actually dial now.

At one point, my friend posted a link to a writing contest. Out of curiosity, I read the rules for the contest, they were calling for true stories about a day in the life of a mom, and thought, "Hey, I could totally do that!" I entered a story and surprisingly, my story was accepted. Suddenly a whole new realm of possibilities opened up. Some of my favorite bloggers were also speakers and writers of articles, devotions, and books. I read more and more about how publishers are looking at blogs as platforms when considering a writing proposal. My blog is enough for right now, but the possibilities are endless and could lead to fulfilling the other God-breathed desires of my heart.

Last year, I found out about an intriguing conference called She Speaks put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries. They have it set up so you can focus on speaking, women's ministry, and...writing. I was so excited, but by that time the conference was already sold out. So I waited and worked and now it's time for the conference again. I'm so glad I waited, because they've added a special bonus this year that specifically addresses blogging and some of my favorite bloggers will be presenting (I told you that blogging could lead to some wonderful things!). These bloggers are doing something even bigger in a couple of weeks, though. They are going to Uganda with Compassion International to live blog about the work that the ministry is doing in the lives of the children there. Mom blogs are powerful tools and it would be an amazing treat to attend this conference and learn more about using this growing platform.

My one obstacle to this conference is that it's fairly expensive. I happen to live near the conference location, but even without the cost of a hotel, it's still a nice chunk of change for a stay at home mom who's trying to get back to our debt-free status. Thankfully, Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 is sponsoring a writing contest to win a ticket to the conference. Now if I can only win.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I love your story of how desperation propelled you into action which lead to encouragment and resulted in you being a blessing to others! Best wishes on being able to attend!