Apr 24

SLL Week 3, Day 3 ~ Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference

Breaking News****Just announced TODAY! The She Speaks 2013 special guest keynote speaker is Michael Hyatt, NY Times Best Selling Author, Top Rated Blogger, and Social Media Expert. Only 150 spaces left!  We are SO EXCITED and honored to have him at She Speaks! Visit Michael Hyatt’s site today and subscribe to his blog and you can get an awesome FREE ebook about your personal life plan. Then plan to see him in person at this year’s She Speaks Conference!


Wondering if She Speaks is for you? Read on as Stephanie describes her She Speaks experiences. (And she will be back for her 3rd She Speaks this year!)

There I sat, on a plane destined for Charlotte. It was my first year to attend the Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speak Conference. What in the world was I thinking? Why I am I going? What if everyone thinks I am too young…or too Texas twangy…or too fat…or too whatever! What if I am not good enough! What if I walk into my publisher appointment and vomit on the table, rendering the publishing agent unable to complete her daily tasks, a room unfit for further use, my cute outfit ruined, and my shoes sloshing with the product of my uneasy stomach! What if that actually happens?!?!

Talk about stress and a panic attack! I wish I had the Stressed-Less Living book then! But one thing kept me moving forward. I wanted to meet my friend and Bible Study Partner, Melissa Taylor, for the very first time. I couldn’t wait to hug her and I knew that even if my anxious stomach projected vomit on her…well she would just laugh it off and go change clothes. She is that kind of friend. Here is a picture of us the first time we met face to face. And I will tell you in that very moment my anxiety didn’t disappear, but I knew everything would be okay. (If you cannot view the pictures in this blog post, click here to go directly to the blog.)

Stephanie Clayton, 1st time meeting!

I spent the next few days attending sessions and workshops, meeting other ministry minded women who had hopes and dreams just like me, basking in times of worship, listening to the amazing speakers, and bathing in the glory that is the prayer room (the prayer room is one of She Speaks best kept secrets…if you go…I guarantee it will be one of your very favorite parts).

I got to meet two publishers while I was there (this is optional), and although my book proposal was far from ready…I really enjoyed meeting with them and learning about what they want and expect from a prospective author. And I didn’t even throw up on them!

If you are interested in writing, speaking, or women’s ministry in any way I want to encourage you to consider attending the She Speaks Conference. It will take place July 25-27th in Concord, North Carolina. Please click here to read all the wonderful information provided on the She Speaks Website.

The biggest reason I hear that people hesitate to go is the price. Yes, it is expensive, but not when you consider what you get. The opportunity to hear and be motivated and challenged by top-notch speakers such as Lysa Terkeurst and Renee Swope, amazing praise and worship time, tailored workshops from industry and ministry professionals, your hotel stay, food, and networking opportunities unmatched by any conference I have ever been to before. Plus, many of your Online Bible Study sisters will be there – and girls, let me tell you, meeting these women face to face has blessed me beyond measure. Here is a picture of some of the Online Bible Studies Team at She Speaks last year.

OBS Team at She Speaks 2012

If you are interested, spend some time in prayer about going, and if God says yes – then I can’t wait to meet you there! That first year, I could not pay the way myself, so I sent out support letters and over half of my expenses were paid by others who believed in what God was doing in my life. God made a way where there seemed to be no way. And He met me there in ways I couldn’t have ever asked or imagined.

I would love to spend some time answering your questions about She Speaks in the comment section. First look at the website because you likely will find the answer there, but if not, please ask! I may not get to every question but I will do my best. Also, I would love to hear about your experience at She Speaks if you have been before, and if you haven’t, but want to go, how is God speaking to your heart and calling you to attend either this year or on down the road?

Remember every time you comment you will be entered to win this weeks giveaway! A beautiful OBS necklace donated by “The Rusted Chain”.

And don’t forget! Tomorrow is the Blog Hop!!!! The topics for this week are:

1.  Rest. In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. ~Isaiah 30:15b (NIV)

Haven’t taken the “verse mapping” plunge? Dig into this verse for three days and share with us how your heart responds to His message to you?

2.  Hope From Upstream. Being a parent isn’t always easy and as Tracie shared, it’s even more challenging to follow God’s plan for our kids when you feel like you’re going against the flow. If you are a parent, share some godly advice from upstream on how you help your kids follow God’s will. {Ok, I hope we have LOTS of these since I only have a 3 month old cutie pie, so I’m excited to hear from you!!}

3.  Healthy Tomorrow. Chapter 3. What are some healthy choices you need to make for your life as you deal with stress? OR Share with us the healthy choices you already make!

4.  #Blessed. Add to your #Blessed post, or start one today!

Stress can cause us to overlook the many blessings God has poured out into our lives. Make a list of five things God has blessed you with. Once you have listed five, try for five more…then five more…then five more. You can add to this list whenever you have something new to add. I.E. I am thankful for the dirty laundry because my family is well clothed. OR I am thankful for the beautiful weather we had today. OR Thank You Lord for my family.

***To access the Week 3, Day 2 post, click here.

***To access the Week 3 Overview and Day 1 post, click here.



  1. Oh dear! I’m stressed over being behind in my Stressed-Less Bible study! My type A-ness makes me want to quit rather than be behind! Praying that I’ll rest in Him and that He’ll give me some quiet moments to spend on this study.

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Lorie,
      DON’T BE STRESSED. Many people are behind and get overwhelmed. I encourage you to keep going and not give up. God has so much in store for us and you are here to learn to give your burdens to God. I pray for strength for you to continue and a hunger for His Word. We are so glad you are here, sister.

      • I get stressed over that too Lorie, I am in 3 OBS’s right now and I feel like I am not giving them the time and attention I need to give them, but I hated to miss out on the ones I chose, so now I am stressed over having to do 3 at the same time. It seems my life has gotten busier all of a sudden now that I am doing them, satan is working over time! :(

  2. Elaina Willard says:

    I would love to go to she speaks…when are they having one on our coast (California)??? Though I would love to see “your neck of the woods” and get to meet all of you it is not plausible at this time.

    Today I took much needed time and spent several hours in the word. I am caught up, and feeling a little of Jesus’s peace. There is such turmoil in the circumstances of my life, that when God has been tugging at me, I have not been listening very well. I was feeilng as if this stress is “normal”, and see that it is not so, just a worldly look. I am so glad that I got caught up! SO far this book has touched so many places EXACTLY in my life, that it seems as if Tracie has been inside of my shoes. Now, if I can just continue to listen to God’s calling, and with every stressor, give it to Him.

    May His peace be with all of us, and our stresses on His shoulders.


  3. I have seen a big difference in my stress levels since we started this study. Yesterday I had a very difficult lab exam involving a cadaver. I have a hard time working inside the cadaver and was praying (together with my friends) that Jesus would take over for me, give me peace. He absolutely did. I was able to go through the exam without a panic attack. I am also much more at peace this semester during this finals week than I was last semester. I have been able to talk to God about my schedule and my difficulties. He has helped me to accept my limits and not push myself so far that I would make myself more sick. Feeling grateful.

  4. Thanks you for sharing your experience at “She Speaks”. I have been reading about it lately and this just helped to confirm that one year I will be there!

  5. Penny Price says:

    Today has been horrible. Lost my temper over a couple of things at work. I will be glad when I can just turn around and say nothing

    • Kristy Aiken (OBS Group Leader) says:

      Hi Penny,
      Praying for you today, sweet sister. I am praying for you to release your anger and frustration to God. I am praying that God will enable you to be more patient and for likeness in Christ. I am praying for peace and strength in Him to come over you. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a much better day at work.

  6. You know what, I have been involved in women ministries for over 15 years and never have I seen such a wonderful idea in a conference! I am going to pray About going next year when we go to the States on furlough.

  7. I had read about this conference on the Proverbs 31 website before and God was nudging me to consider it. I will be seriously praying about it. I wonder if there are any accessible hotel rooms where the conference is being held? The reason is if God tells me I should go I would need a wheelchair accessible room.

  8. I liked reading chapter 3. This study continues to speak to me and show me where I’m stressed the most. In my quiet and rest times, I feel like my biggest stressor is being away from home too much for work. I’ve prayed that God will open doors of opportunity if I’m not where I need to be. But nothing seems to be opening. I feel like I’m stuck in a rut spinning my wheels, while life is flying by. I’m going to continue to persevere until God gives me some answers.

    • Toni I hear you…feel like I have been there. Keep praying about it girl. Where you are is no suprise to God…He sees you and has you where He wants you for now. And if that means you are away from home a bit you can trust that He will take care of things while you have to be away. And keep asking for what you want and for Him to mold your wants to His will and desires. He will answer in time. He is always faithful.

  9. Martha F. says:

    Looking forward to blog hop….I don’t write one (maybe one day) but I love to jump in & read! Y’all are some great writers with such wonderful viewpoints….I always learn something new. God bless this study for the way it touches lives for Christ.
    Learning to be less-stressed,

  10. I think she speak sounds great. I would love to be good at doing bible studies for women and speaking to them.Stephanie where did you send your letters or who did you send them to to get help to go. If I can not make it this year maybe next year.

    • Miranda, I prayed about who to send them to. I ended up sending them to people who had shown support for my blogging (as I originally went looking for help with my writing), local church members and leaders, family and friends…etc. Most of my support came from people I had known through church. And another great thing is to start saving now for next year! A little money back every month and before you know it, you will have it!

  11. I have to shout about my prayer being answered. I have been praying for a huge financial burden that I have had and my prayer was answered yesterday. I felt like shouting to the world. I still have other financial struggles but feel so less stressed about things.
    I am enjoying this study so much. Thank you for all the hard work that you have put into this study. I feel like I am spending more time in prayer and study.
    My family life is still stressful but I am letting God take control. I am learning to give God control and be in prayer and praise continuously. My husband is self employed and our finances and marriage has suffered severely because of things that have happened out of my control but he could have controlled. I do forgive him and pray that we can move forward and our marriage can grow stronger along with his business. I pray that we can seek God as family and raise our 4 wonderful kids to live for God.
    Thank you again for your wonderful study.

    • Wahoo! To Him be the Glory!! Thanks for sharing! It’s so encouraging to see God at work!

  12. I need to work on enforcing our faith at home more. I have 2 young daughters so the part about life when snack before dinner was the biggest problem made me laugh. I know I am in for a lot the next few years; and I need to do more to get equipped. The stress of life needs to take a backseat; The Lord will take it all!

    • Nicole….. i encourage u to look at ur daughters growing up (and into those teenage yrs) as an awesome time! I too have a young child but I love teenagers . I am a HS art teacher and i love my teenage students so much. I just love those years! I cant wait till my son is a teenager! Think of the awesome relationship u will have with ur girls at that point! In prayer just ask God for His perspective on those years and I bet u will grow more excited for it then feeling as though ” your in for a lot” :) be encouraged….. He has awsome things in store for u and ur girls! :)

  13. I’m praying about with the Lord would have me to do for His ministry. I’ve never blogged and am praying about whether this is a direction He would have me pursue. I feel a bit intimidated! Will contiune to pray about this venture and others like She Speaks.

    • Oh girl, I will be praying with you. Please don’t let blogging intimidate you. The OBS Blog Hop is in my opinion one of the safest and awesomest places to try your hand at blogging! Don’t feel like your blog has to look like anyone elses, make it what you think it should be – what the Lord calls you too…and if He calls you to it He will bless you and others through it for sure!

  14. Stephanie M says:

    Sadly, I haven’t read Chapter 3 yet, and that means I probably won’t get to do the blog hop this week. I’m hoping to get it read tomorrow night. I just haven’t been home all week! I am determined to keep going. I hate to be behind. :-(

  15. Ashley Couturier says:

    I’m so excited for our blog hop tomorrow…I’ve not been commenting this week as much as in the past two weeks but its not because I am not participating, its actually quite the opposite…God has been so present in my life this week. After the last few weeks of chaos in my family and friendships everything is finally starting to calm down. Psalm 9:9-10 really really hit strong. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. What a promise this holds. He has made such HUGE promises…promises that are just hard for our little human minds to even comprehend being possible. I LOVE THIS STUDY!!! <3 Thank you Melissa, Thank you Tracie, Thank you Proverbs 31 and Thank you all the lovely ladies that comment here and speak what my heart is also saying <3

  16. Brenda E says:

    I have enjoyed this OBS so much, realizing other people get stressed about little things too. While raising my handicap daughter, we would go to the hospital for treatments or tests and I would look around for people worse off than us. Strangers would walk up to us and say things like “Bless you” but I never felt like we were the worst case scenario, because someone out there has a story that is worse than yours. I continue to manage my stress by looking at life from different perspectives, imagine walking for a few minutes in someone else’s shoes. When my daughters are complaining about something, I encourage them to look at life from the other persons perspective. God is standing ready just waiting for us to call on him for help. He will work out the details if we give them to Him.

  17. Just wanted to say ditto to Stephanie’s comments about She Speaks. It is an awesome experience and I am so glad that I was able to attend and soak in all that God had for me. I learned so much. And I have made friendships that will last a life time. I was streched to go out of my comfort zone and God has been with me every step of the way. I hope to attend again if I can raise the funds.

  18. I really enjoyed the reading. I think parenting is my biggest stressor because I thinki have to e a perfect parent. As much ministry I want to do outside my home God always seems to direct me back inside my home. My focus must be on my children. I did not grow up in a Christian home and it was hard at times. My parents loved us but my parenting skills are not quite perfect to the gentleness I long to have. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who helps me but when he is deployed or in the field I struggle. So thankful for my son because he will ask for Gods hands to reach down and calm me to see things in a different perspective. I think my brain gets overwhelmed with all the screams “mom”! I am sure one day I will miss this. :) trying hard to let go and embrace each one. My daughters love language (middle child) is time. Right now she is longing for my time. The other day she wanted it so much and not knowing how to receive it she would ask me questions that were easily solved by thinking about it. She grew frustrated and started throwing and hitting the wall. Later after I calmed I went to her understanding she just needed my attention. I made her understand that talking to mommy, taking my and or just telling me she wanted me to sit with her spend time together to just tell me. She looked at me funny, like, I can do that? Lol….oh I am earning through each child. I love their diversity but sometimes it’s exhausting. :-)

  19. kim in ma says:

    I am so encouraged by everyone’s words. I have been slacking this week…Seems my stressed life has kept me too busy this week. I haven’t yet read my chapter, so I will do that tonight after work. But I have been putting up the Bible verses around the house every week & they are so encouraging!!! I must admit, though, that I do feel less stressed since starting this study. It also came at a time where our church had a couples weekend, so my marriage has become a little less stressed as well. But apparently, still a little too busy! Will get to my chapter reading tonight & hopefully get on some of these blogs! Wish I knew how to start one & keep it going! Christ’s love to you all!

  20. I have never heard of She Speaks before. I am new in my close walk with God and I am not sure what benefit there is for those of us who do not have a book already written or a plan for speaking in place. Interesting, though.

  21. Thank you for sharing your experience of attending She speaks. I know I would be feeling the exact same emotions you described :), with the exception that I would be in a car since I live in NC. I am praying for the courage to attend one year. For the last two years, my wonderful husband has encouraged me to go…but I always say the same thing. “Maybe next year!” Praying for God’s guidance!

    Thank you all for this wonderful study! I am truly enjoying it and can see God working in so many women’s lives! It is a huge encouragement!

  22. so glad to have found Proverbs 31 ministries !! I can honestly say that the OBS have changed my life – I am praying, learning, and reading God’s Word. I love being surrounded by support and encouragement from so many wonderful ladies!

  23. Stephanie M says:

    I have not been to a She Speaks, but I definitely could see myself going in the future (just not in this season). Right now I feel like I’m on the “edge” of something. I’m not sure exactly where God is leading me, but I am taking the steps He tells me, even though they aren’t always comfortable. I will know when the time is right to attend. :-)

  24. I’ve just returned from vacation and I was so excited to see that this was one of the “catch-up” posts! I am going to be at She Speaks this July for my first time and I almost can’t wait for the 12 more weeks to get here! Reading that Michael Hyatt is the Keynote speaker is just icing on that cake. Thank you for answering the questions folks had – and for your dedication to us ladies! I so look forward to meeting some of you this summer!

  25. I’m so excited to hear that Michael Hyatt is the keynote speaker! I have followed him for several years and have the utmost admiration and respect for him.
    This will be my second She Speaks – third if you count the She Speaks Intensive this past January. That conference was incredible! I’m sure She Speaks in July will be just as awesome!

    Can’t wait to see everyone!

  26. amy black says:

    I have so enjoyed you this week.. I was planning to go the the she speaks.. but when I found out how much .. the hubby said no… so , ill just keep dreaming til next year and if its a yes.. GOD will answer… I so want to write,,,and speak and share.. and help and , well ,you get the idea but.. anyway.. just really wanted to tell you I look up to you , and Melissa, all yall are such an inspiration to women like me.. and my leader.. Cheryl may.. group 13.. wow. she is an angel… talk about divine intervention… God certainly knew I needed her.. and my sisters through these last 2 studies omg… what a blessed gal I am… love and hugs … from my heart to yours…

  27. I am getting totally stressed out right now because i am behind in the study. It’s only the 3rd week and i’m already behind! I love to read but reading is very hard for me. I have ADHD and it affects my ability to focus and concentrate for any length of time. I can read the same paragraph 4 times and still not be able to tell you what i read. Also because of ADHD i probably average between 3 and 5 hours of sleep a night with no time for naps during the day except that is when i try to read. It drives me crazy and makes it so hard to keep up and then i just want to give up and oh my goodness i am very STRESSED!! I’m trying to keep up, please pray for me that i will be able to stay awake when i read. I’ve even tried reading out loud to my cat and he does actually look at me like he is listening but i still fall asleep. Please pray, thanks. :)

  28. Much stress thrown my way this week as my gramma has had a stroke and family is struggling.

  29. Laurel O'Connell says:

    Hi there! I have signed up to go to She Speaks this July for the first time as well. So glad others have been scared out of their wits as well. I’m a physical therapist with no writing background (or aspirations either, strangely enough) but felt a strong pull to sign up. We shall see what on earth God decides to make of this! Anyway, what is this online Bible study sister stuff? Would love to be a part… Is this part of She Speaks?