I feel like I fell off the planet, but I didn’t.

And although I’ve been quiet, I have NOT forgotten about you!

It’s just that it’s She Speaks week… the biggest, busiest, spirit-filled week of the year for us at Proverbs 31 Ministries! {And we love it!}

It’s a really special time when all of our staff and speakers come in town for training and development for two days, and then we all lead, serve, and teach at our She Speaks Conference in Concord, NC.

We’ve been been here since Wednesday morning and tonight I’m up in my hotel room praying over and finalizing my devotion message for our opening morning session.  God has gathered 650 women from over 45 different states and 5 countries to seek Him together in their writing, blogging, speaking and church women’s ministries.

I’d treasure you prayers for a new message God is weaving into the fabric of my heart. A new message is the hardest to give. But I know He’s got me covered. I just want to get out of the way so Jesus can speak His words through me – and so that each woman can hear from Him just what they need leading into this important day that they’ve been praying and preparing for – for months.

I’ll check back in next week and share a little announcement about a big contest coming up!

Happy weekend friends!
~Renee

http://reneeswope.com/2012/07/3426/

Give-aways, Scholarships and Other P31 News

We’re celebrating the first day of April with give-aways and exciting news today at P31!

Our She Speaks 2011 Conference is already 2/3 full, which is a record breaker for us! If you are coming, be sure to sign up before our early bird registration ends April 15th or we sell out. Which ever comes first.

We fill up every year, but it’s only April 1st and we just launched registration a few weeks ago so we are blown away by how fast the conference is filling up. It’s gets us so excited to see God move like this. And the sooner we fill up, the better for us since we have a small staff. It allows us to shift our efforts from registration to implementation of God’s plans and seeking Him in prayer for the specific women He’s bringing. We can start focusing on notebooks, and book appointments, roomates, speaker group assignments, writer peer groups, and all the details once we know where each woman wants to be when she is there.

Oh how I hope you will be one of them! We are anticipating an amazing weekend of worship, encouragement and equipping for you and the other 599 attendees and guests from across the country (and some from across the world) who will join us for our favorite event of the year.

Today, we’re also celebrating the announcement of 2 more She Speaks Scholarships from Cecil Murphy. These two are being gifted through our

She Seeks ministryto 20-somethings and our

She Reads life changing fiction ministry.

Be sure to visit them as well as the other two we announced earlier this week:

Ann Voskamp, our Saturday night keynote speaker

Amy Carroll, our Next Step Speaker Services Coordinator.

Oh, and there is more….

Micca Campbell is giving away a year’s worth of our P31Woman magazine and

Karen Ehman is giving away an Encouragement Cafe gift pak and she’s featuring our sweet mama Lu (Luann Prater) and her Cafe friends on her blog today.

Hope you enjoy these links and enter to win them all. Also, I would love for you to join me on Facebook, too. I am in a season of what I call micro-blogging where I share each day from my heart but in a shorter format. In this busier than ever season of life with a toddler and two teens while also preparing for my book launch and a new website, I’m loving still staying connected with many of you on Facbook. It’s exciting but quite “full” time for me and my family, so if you are a blogger and wondering where I am…you can find me there more often. But I’ll be back here on my blog next week too! See you then.

Two More She Speaks Scholarships

Two more women I deeply love and learn from have been given the opportunity to offer two more
She Speaks scholarships.

Please click here and here to find out more.

Praying to see many of you at She Speaks 2011!!

A Winner & More About How You Can & Why You Should Attend She Speaks

“So I totally have a knot in my stomach as I write this, because even signing up for the possibility to win a scholarship to this conference scares the living daylights out of me. I want to attend this conference to learn more about how to be the woman and leader God wants me to be. I am also going through a spiritual desert, and need to drink His Living Water to get His strength back.

I am a 28 year old woman who is the Woman’s Ministry Leader of my church. I’m leading women who are my mom’s age–one of them IS my mom! I know that age isn’t everything, and that God equips those He calls, and I know I have a strong calling to be in this position, but yet…it’s still intimidating. I’ve been on the team for 4 years–maybe 5, and have been the leader now for 2 1/2 years, but the whole leadership thing is intense, and I don’t think I’m doing a very good job at it. I know I could be doing so much more to serve HIM, and thus the women in my church body. The chance to learn more, so I can best lead my Sisters in Christ, is one I can’t pass up.

In the last week, one of my dear friends and fellow Women’s Ministry Team members spoke with me about her calling in changing the focus of our team to one not of service to women of our body, but one where our body of women serves! As I’m really feeling parched right now, and unsure where to go next with our ministry, I know this is God calling us through her. When I first became the leader of our group, it was established and already going strong. I’ve been okay at keeping status quo, but to change into a new, God-led direction is something I don’t feel completely equipped for. I’m decent at planning social events, but when it comes to leading these women in service for Christ, I am scared. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship–and a chance to help revitalize our Women’s Ministry!”

Congratulations Christie!! – you are the winner of our 2011 Women’s Ministry Leadership Track scholarship!

It’s so hard to only have one winner to announce today. I wish so much that I could announce more of your names. Many of you brought tears to our eyes and all of you brought joy to our hearts as we read your entries. We are so HONORED that you entered and we’re praying that if God is calling you to come in 2011, you will keep seeking Him to provide.

We know this is so hard for the other 90+ women who entered to win. So, we want you to please consider raising funds on your own by visiting our She Speaks site and clicking on the “Scholarship Info” tab for how to do this, including a sample letter.

We have read stories this week from women on Facebook and blogs who have already raised their support. Some in less than three days!!!!!

Finally, sign up to follow the She Speaks conference blog, and you will be informed of the remaining 9 Cecil Murphy scholarships that will be given away. I know, you may be tired of trying, but someone has to win the remaining scholarships!

And please, if God makes a way for you to attend the conference, my WM team and I want to meet you and put a face to your story.

Last week I focused on telling you about our Women’s Ministry track, so today I wanted to share a little more about our additional She Speaks’ tracks. All three are a great reason why you should consider attending this year. (And we’re halfway sold out so don’t wait too long!)

For Speakers:

Whether you are ready to take the main stage and start speaking at conferences and retreats or whether you want to learn how to more effectively teach a ladies’ Bible Study — this track is for you. After attending this conference you will be equipped to:

  • Know how to develop a great message from start to finish.
  • Understand what keeps an audience engaged and how to make your message memorable.
  • Deliver your message in such a way that not only inspires your audience but motivates them to make life changes.
  • Increase your number of booked speaking engagements by using proven marketing strategies.

For Writers:

You have had a passion for writing and have even had people encourage you to write a book, but have never known how to get started on the pathway to publication. You will also be able to make appointments to pitch your book proposal to some of the top Christian publishers– Zondervan, Harvest House, Revell, Discovery House, and several others.

Or maybe you are a blogger and want to learn how to more effectively connect with your readers, increase the impact of your blog, and hear from someone who successfully got a book contract by maximizing her blog platform.

  • Whatever the case may be, if you are a writer in the making, after attending this conference you will:
  • Discover your unique writing voice and the mechanics of effective writing.
  • Understand what publishers are looking for and how to write proposals that get their attention.
  • Better understand how to build your writing portfolio by getting published in magazines.
  • Know how to write a book that will impact your reader from start to finish.

Have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be speaking in Danville, CA and praying for God to make a way for all of you to be there! (at She Speaks that is…although I’d love for you to be in CA, too)!!

The Heart Behind the Scholarships – Introducing Cecil Murphey

Your stories, your entries and your nominations for others to win the WM Leadership Scholarship to She Speaks have been like finding rare treasure to me and my selection team!! I have four friends who are also leaders that will be serving on the Women’s Ministry Leadership track at She Speaks in July who are helping me. We are still reading and praying over your entries, and I have to tell you– this is REALLY hard.

We have fallen in love with you, your stories, your passion for ministering to women and your response to God’s calling on your lives.

I’ve wanted to call the P31 office and beg our conference director to let you all come for free!! But I know that isn’t possible. So, I’m trusting God to lead us to the winner He’s already chosen.

I plan to announce the winner this Friday morning so be sure to sign up in the sidebar for email updates so you don’t miss it.

In the meantime, I want to tell you more about Cecil Murphey, the heart behind the scholarships. He is an extremely gifted writer who has written over 100 books! This is quite impressive. But even more impressive is the way he encourages others with his time, his talents, and through his generosity. Cecil Murphey gives back and… he gives God all the glory.

Mr. Murphey was a special guest at She Speaks last year where he met with and encouraged women who carried their dreams of being published in their hands. He took time to look through their proposals and to offer his expert advice. He selflessly gave of himself to encourage these women and the experience had a profound impact on their lives.

Twila Belk (the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal) is Cecil’s ministry co-hort and assistant who I had the wonderful privilege of meeting last year, too! She will be joining us this year for the third time. When we told her how excited we were to have her with us again, Twila said, “I see God at work at She Speaks and I want to be where God is working.” Nothing could encourage us more! These two are something special and it is such a blessing to witness their generous spirits and genuine hearts for others.

Oh, and just in case you weren’t on my blog last week and haven’t heard about She Speaks, you can learn more about this life-changing conference at www.SheSpeaksConference.com.

Thank you Cecil Murphey for giving us the blessing of giving and receiving. May we follow your example of having a heart like Jesus. You inspire us all!

I’d love to shower Cecil with our appreciation today.
Please leave a short note for him, and I’ll be sure to share them. Just click on the word “comments” below this post and type in the white box. Thanks!!

She Speaks – Women’s Ministry Leadership Scholarship

Our 2011 She Speaks conference registration is underway! Each year the conference fills up and we’re already a third full. But there is still room for you, so keep reading!

As Director of the Women’s Ministry Leadership track at She Speaks, I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to give away one of several Cecil Murphey Scholarship that he so generously donated to our ministry. If you haven’t heard of Cecil Murphey’s amazing newsletters, you’ll want toclick here to subscribe for free!

Karen True from WomensMinistry.net is co-leading the Women’s Ministry Leadership track with me this year and we’ve got several great guest speakers, too. Maybe you are hopping over from Karen’s WMnet email announcing this give-away, and I’m so glad you did! If you want to know more about our annual She Speaks Conference for Leaders, Speakers and Writers click here. If you want to know how to enter to win, keep reading.

The purpose of this scholarship is to bless and encourage a women’s ministry leader who needs renewed vision, great training, meaningful connections and intentional networking with other women’s ministry leaders from across the country. The purpose of Women’s Ministry Leaders Track is to provide all of this so that hearts are refreshed, callings are confirmed and women grow in their passion and ability to lead women closer to the heart of God and!

Are you a woman who leads a women’s ministry, as a volunteer or paid staff? Or, do you lead a women’s Bible study and want to grow in leadership development.

Perhaps you know a women’s ministry leader you’d like to nominate for this scholarship. Well, here’s a little more about our She Speaks Womens Ministry track:

For Women’s Ministry Leaders
You know first hand the unique opportunities and challenges that present themselves when you lead a ministry in your church for women. You give and serve all year long — now is your chance to get filled back up with encouragement and training. You’ll have the opportunity to attend a Pre-Conference Intensive as well as the women’s ministry leadership track where you’ll learn how to:

  • Build a multi-generational ministry
  • Plan events with excellence
  • Handle conflict in ministry
  • Become an EXTRAordinary leader
  • Determine the best curriculum for your groups
  • Develop a dynamic ministry for moms
  • Discover God’s dream for your ministry team
  • Do the Little Things that Make a Big Difference in Leadership…..and more

Click here to find out more.

And now, here are the rules for my She Speaks Leadership Scholarship Contest:

1. If you have a blog or facebook page, write a post on your blog or a note on your FB wall that tells others a little about the She Speaks Conference and why you would like to win this scholarship.

2. Be sure to include a link to my facebook page using @reneeswope (if post on FB) or to this scholarship opportunity post if you post on your blog.

3. If you did the above, be sure to also leave a comment under this post telling me you did.

4. If you do not have a blog or facebook page, leave a comment under this post describing why you would like to win this scholarship. Have your post up by Sunday, March 20th, 2011.

5. I’d love for you to visit Cecil Murphey’s blog and thank him for this wonderfully generous opportunity. He’s got a heart like Jesus and so much wisdom to share!

VERY IMPORTANT: The winner of this contest will be awarded a scholarship for the cost of one person’s registration for the 2011 She Speaks main conference.

The value of this scholarship is $595 which includes your conference materials, conference registration, 2 nights at the conference hotel and meals associated with the conference. Please note it does not include any travel expenses. Also, you will be assigned a room mate or you have the option to pay the extra charge for a private room. This scholarship is non-transferable and can not be traded for cash.

Oh, I hope to see many of you at She Speaks this year, whether you attend as a women’s ministry leader, speaker or writer!! It will be so fun to see your face and hug your neck. And I’ll get to introduce to you to my baby/book “A Confident Heart.” She’s being released at She

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I also have some wonderful friends within P31 giving away some more scholarships this week!

  • Writers, visit my friend Glynnis..
  • Speakers, visit my friend Karen.
  • Event Planners, visit my friend LeAnn.
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Last week’s give-aways winners will be announced tonight here and here, and I’ll share them on my facebook wall, too so be sure to keep a look out for them in case it’s you!

Seeking Significance ( and our 4 winners!)

Never envy a significant place of service. Instead, make the place you serve significant. ~Rick Warren

Woke up this morning trying to remember where I had put something, last year. So I went searching for notes and files I need to meet a She Speaks Conference deadline today. Ended up cleaning out a whole kitchen sized trash can full of paperwork and notebooks I’ve collected for years. Even had my She Speaks 2007 notebook with blank outlines I’ll never look at taking up room on my way-too-crowded shelve. Oh it feels good to know where things are now.

I’m dying to get back on here and share with you the winners and what God’s been laying on my heart for today’s post. But I can’t yet. One of the balancing life and ministry boundaries God set for me is that I can’t blog until I’ve met my family and work commitments. Although blogging is part of my ministry, it’s more pleasure than work.

God knew just how much I want to be here and what I’ve already started in my post. And that is why I think He gave me this quote from Rick Warren today, to share with you. I can’t wait to share why it’s so significant to me…and to us.

What place of service will you make significant today?

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Last Week’s Winners!

Brandie Colbert – you will receive the Encouraging Words Gift Pack from Monday’s post which includes A copy of Letters from Leanne, $5 Starbucks gift card, a pack of pretty cards, a notepad to give away and 20 verses to personalize and send to a friend. We have your email from your comment so my assistant Leah will be in touch to get your mailing address.

Linda F. – you won the Godly Girls Eraser Gift Set #1 from Tuesday’s post, which includes a $10 Gift card to Walmart to buy some Maybelline Eraser Treatment Makeup and a copy of Self-talk, Soul-talk by Jennifer Rothschild . We have your email from your comment so Leah will be in touch this week.

Erin – you won the Godly Girls Eraser Gift Set #2 from Tuesday’s post , which includes a $10 Gift card to Walmart to buy some Maybelline Eraser Treatment Makeup and Me, Myself and Lies Bible Study by Jennifer Rothschild. We have your email from your comment so Leah will be in touch this week.

Teri Lynn – you won the “(R3) Refresh, Renew & Recharge Gift Pak”which includes2 tickets to my R3 women’s event in Williamston, NC Feb 19th (can’t wait to meet you!) and my Rest Assured message on CD. Don’t have your email so please email Leah by 1pm on Tuesday at leah.proverbs31@gmail.com or we’ll need to choose another winner. Thanks!

More winners....Jill Beran, who you met through my devotion last week, is sharing more of her story on her blog today, and she’s giving away another copy of her book Letters from Leanne, too. Click here to find out more and enter to win.

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Summer Vacation

I hope you are having or had a great summer! I can’t believe it’s almost over. The past two weeks, post She Speaks and book completion, have gone by so quickly. Although I had planned to blog, I needed/wanted to just hang out with my family and catch up on life at home and not think a whole lot. My gang gave up so much of me while I wrote my book, so now I am making up for all the fun we put on hold. Check out facebook to see our most recent adventure that included a lost and found Saint Bernard!

JJ is taking the next week off from work and we’re having a “summer stay-cation.” Our boys start school August 30th. So, I’ll be back in early September with some new posting plans. In the mean time if you want to stay in touch, let’s connect through Facebook. Just click on my profile in the sidebar and you will find my page.