A #Speakup2017 Journey


When the Lord calls you specifically to speak, what do you do?
In the Fall of 2014, Our Lord woke me in the middle of the night with visions of speaking to groups of people. Men or women could not tell.
God seemingly prepared me for this role before I ever met him. I was in marketing. Public speaking was one of my favorite parts of the job 😉
In 2015, God rolled out the red carpet for me to attend the Carol Kent’s Speak Up Conference. Arriving, I was high on the mountain top basking in a covering of His unconditional love I had never known before. With the grace, support, love and wisdom shared during training, I returned home higher on the mountain. I could taste the clouds.


It was my first-ever Christian conference. The first-ever time I knew I was prayed for before someone met me. The first-time God put me amongst mature Christians to equip me as His representative even though He knew I had not read the Bible cover-to-cover yet. I was on the cusp of falling in love with My Savior, My Redeemer.
He uses the least likely people.
Upon return home from Speak Up 2015, my soul longed for more Jesus.
I left knowing I needed to start a blog.
I left with wisdom on how to improve my speaking for Christian audiences.
My feet dragged in taking next steps. To be honest, I didn’t even know what a blog was. I certainly was not in the business of reading them. With several years of speaking experience, I wrestled between stubborn pride and destructive doubt.
Pray and seek, and you shall find (Matthew 7:7).
Like Bruce so adequately described in this year’s keynote, my heart was wide open for humbling:
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you (James 4:10).
In 2016, Our Lord motivated and pushed me forward. My blog began, and I enrolled in the Associates in Ministry class, a year-long group to read the Bible and learn more about our spiritual gifts.
Evangelism, Teaching, Preaching.
He uses the least likely people.
Fast forward to 2017. Thank you, Jesus, that I could attend this year’s conference … returning to a familiar place with my writing and speaking under way and a love for Jesus burning in my soul.
Wow, what a different perspective! Humbled off the mountain, lived in the valley last Fall and standing on the solid ground of seeking God in the ordinary moments of everyday life.
Regardless of where we are in relation to Jesus, the enemy plots our fall. Sourness seeped in my heart Thursday night of Speak Up 2017.
The first official night of the conference, and I was physically and emotionally tired. Each time I go away for training, I underestimate how the preparations drain me. Family cooking, packing, planning, making sure everyone has what they need as I leave. My husband is a police officer and would be working this weekend. Our boys needed to be gone Friday through Sunday.
I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.

When abiding with Jesus, we must be so intentional.

Friday morning, I prayed with my dear friend and roommate Cindy Saab. Thank you, Jesus, for allowing us the opportunity to room together.


We prayed for others (Ephesians 6:18).

Wanting with a whole heart to be ready to receive the coming days, I prayed in the shower. I intentionally sought out staff members to thank for their service … and set my eyes above.
You find what your heart needs when you look above.

Live what we teach.

Love like Jesus, remember to extend grace to ourselves.

What did I leave 2017 Speak Up Conference with?

Awe of Jesus and His loving orchestration of His sheep.

Awe of Jesus, because of Him, we ALL live a powerful story.

Awe how God has used and continues to use The Kent family’s lives.

Thankful for the heart-driven ambassadors of Christ who gave up their lives to teach us for a weekend.


Thankful for relationships with Sisters who are willing to be Him and receive Him.



With three specific take-aways from Speak Up, Our Lord will help me create results (Phillipians 4:13).

Isn’t life such a peaceful joy when it’s lived for Jesus?



Thank you for being here and sharing my journey to speak for Our Lord. This blog is part of a Speak Up Blog Hop. If you want to read others speaking journeys,

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For my faithful readers, we have another guest next week. Stay tuned for details on her story in case you know others who need to hear it. May God bless you day today.

In the meantime, I would love to see you on social media:





4 thoughts on “A #Speakup2017 Journey

  1. Dear Julie,
    First, you are one of the kindest, most gentle, encouragers I know. I enjoyed reading your Speak Up highlights. God used you to shine His light and love to all at the Prince Center! I’m thankful God allowed our paths to cross in 2015, and again this year. And, of course, I’m thrilled we are on the same Team, Julie! xoxo
    Sweet blessings,
    Cindy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for being here, Cindy. And thank you for the blessing of your words this morning. Yes! I am so ever thankful how God speaks through you with our need to be family, brothers and sister in Christ. I am embracing that! A feeling of strength and support rises up in me, and yes so thrilled we are on the same team, dear Cindy. Blessings, Julie


  2. I love connecting with you when we sat down that was one of my favorite moments at the conference the fact that we follow each other on Twitter and found each other by chance. I think that was a God connection for sure. I look forward to getting to know you and I loved your recap it described the experienced of the conference perfectly.


    • Thank you for being here, Amanda. I agree there is nothing by chance, so our meeting was ALL God! I look forward to getting to know you more, too. Glad you enjoyed this recap. Speak Up Conference is like none other 🙂


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