10 Things I’m Packing For She Speaks


So… I’m packing for my trip to Charlotte, and like any girl, I am trying to think through what to wear! If I should go for the cute shoes I never get to wear or the comfortable ones. I am thinking through supplies for my breakouts and business cards and all the right accessories.


And… I then I start thinking back to my first and only experience with She Speaks. This is what I would’ve packed the first time.


10 Things I’m Packing For #SheSpeaks14

1. Perspective

This time I am packing perspective. Last time I went, I thought my potential book was riding on this one conference. I am grateful to realize now – that only the Lord know what’s up and why each of our hineys are planted in those chairs. We show up, listen, do our part and keep it in perspective. Essentially – trust!


2. Gratitude

Behind the scenes are HOURS of preparation, volunteers, speakers in prayer, teams on execution and planning and more. All for one goal – to see God move in the lives of 800+ writers and speakers. I’m taking gratitude and hoping I get the chance to thank anyone from the person pouring my coffee to those on the P31 She Speaks planning team.


3. Open Heart

You know when you hear a great speaker and you think, “my sister should totally hear this or my friend should be here.” What if God has me here this weekend to teach me one big thing? Or encourage my heart specifically? I am there to teach two breakouts, but I know him well…if my heart is open, He will fill it up.


4. Confidence

When you are surrounded by 800 women, you better pack your confidence. From the minute you get in the van and some girl tosses out her elevator speech in perfect pitch and speed … you could just crumble under your new old navy ensemble. Keep that chin up! Bring your confidence. You have YOU – your unique gifts – just as you were made. If you had it altogether you wouldn’t be coming to learn. Chin up! Just be YOU. Share your heart. I found asking others about themselves and then if/when asked – I just simply told the truth. Easier that way. No motive or pitch rehearsed – here’s why I am here.


5. Courage

You might see a speaker, author, publisher, blogger that you have admired from afar …and you might have a chance to ask them something. You GUYS! Go for it. You paid a lot of money to get there. Take the chance. Be courageous and gracious about it – but just be you and remember, we’ve all been there. I’d love to meet you and hear about your dreams.


6. Filter

I’d bringing my filter. When you hear 192 great ideas, your head can explode. Try to make a list of “try asap” or “think about for later”. I am bringing a binder with tabs with college-ruled paper – one for contacts, notes, my breakout power points and a to-do section. Just because I typically like to write A LOT of notes. And if I don’t write a little bit about the person I met – I’ll forget (thank you mommy amnesia). I also got a zip-up pouch for my nerdy binder to hold  business cards (yours and mine). So bring me one. Pack your filter and remember just because it’s a great idea, doesn’t mean it’s for you, for this time.


7. Peace

He’s got this people. Breathe in and out. Whether your outfit rocks, your proposal is amazing, your house is ready for you to leave, or whether you have a binder or not. God has GOT THIS. Pack your peace of mind.


8. Excitement

I am packing such excitement!!! This is like a Girl’s Night x 100! Just think a room full of 800 people passionate about the same things. It is AWESOME. Pack your excitement. You will not be disappointed.


9. Encouragement

Be ready to encourage those around you. My first trip, I sat down next to Megan. We hit it off and she played the role of cheerleader for me. You see,  I almost had a heart attack going into my publisher appointments. Guess what guys? That same Megan (who wasn’t pitching a book that first year)  is going this year and meeting with publishers. I get to cheer her on. Pack your pom-poms.


10. Open Minds

I get humbled to the core every time I get around crazy smart women. You think you know – and then you see how God is using many women. It’s ok – just be open to what he is doing around you. Celebrate don’t condemn. Pack open minds to see how he might be leading you, changing you, refining you.


See you there! Say HI on Twitter or Instagram #SheSpeaks14


MARK YOUR CALENDARS for Friday, August 22

Official #SheSpeaks Link Up RIGHT HERE.

On what you learned.

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  1. Courtney – this list is awesome and exactly what this first-timer needed to read! Thank you and hope to meet you at the conference!!!!

  2. This is fantastical and additional inspiration for me for next year! Okay, it’s tiny bit of envy I won’t be there this year BUT I know I’ll get there in HIS timing! Can’t wait to hear al about your experience this year!!!!!!

  3. Oh my goodness gracious. Yes! Thank you SO much for those life-offering words today! As I sit here tweaking the living daylights out of my first ever book proposal, it is clear to me I need to pack all ten of those things this year. And I will also pack my pom-pons for you too!! I can’t WAIT to watch you “do your thing.” And don’t worry, I’ll be too focused on taking notes and soaking up all your wisdom to notice your shoes – but if I know you AT ALL I’m pretty sure they’re gonna be cute. 😉

  4. This was just what I needed to read, Courtney! On the trip here, I keep feeling so insecure about myself, and not really knowing anyone {and being SO shy that it’s hard for me to meet new people and make friends}, that I figured I would be the girl that was just “left out”, and always wishing she was part of the crowd. Here’s to a weekend full of opporutnities, and I’m ready to embrace them!

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