Last week, I spoke for 125ish students at The Ohio State University. I am very ashamed to admit it was one of the first times in a long time that I felt completely prepared. I gave the message prep and delivery-practice adequate time. It showed! I was pretty nervous for about 8 hours until talk time, but once I got up in front of everybody my fears melted away and it ended up being a complete riot though the subject matter was difficult: hope and healing from sexual abuse and other scars.
I loved it.
I had a few convo’s with students one of which said: “you are like, soooooo cool! Anyone who can quote ‘Good Will Hunting,’ call Jesus a ‘bad-ass’ and share THAT vulnerably about your past is awesome! We HAVE to be friends!” =)
How sweet is that?
It was a nice end to a FULL school year of travel: I’ve spoken at Grand Valley State, Youngstown State, U of M, University of Pittsburgh, done consulting/training in multiple contexts and traveled to about 6 states for various conferences. Later this month, we’ll take one more trip for the year to Cedar Campus for a week of student training.
Exhausting, but I have loved it.
I am however, looking forward to a long summer of being home. I do what I love to do. I can’t believe I get paid to do it, however, even what you love can just plain old exhaust you.
There is one more trip I’m hoping/begging/pleading/desiring/dying to take…
If I won, I’d get an all expenses paid trip to the Kakamega Community in Kenya to be a part of the campaign in bringing the community access to clean water. I would then raise awareness by blogging and writing about the transformation taking place for six months following the trip.
What I love about this whole initiative is that they are seeking to use social media and innovation to address real and practical problems that the poor are facing in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, they want to offer FREE, green-friendly ways of making water accessible, decreasing infant mortality, reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS & offering universal education.
Not just that but… they also want women central to these conversations.
Not just that but… they want a woman who is a strong communicator on paper, on screen, in front of a camera with online publication, a wide audience and accolades who is passionate about women’s issues, gender equality, caring for the poor and has a basic understanding of international development.This is me.
This is TOTALLY me, right?! Not to toot my own horn but…
- I have been on two international trips dealing with these issues (Kenya & Jamaica).
- I have lead two trips amongst the Urban poor, teaching and training students how to address these issues. (I was also trained myself).
- I speak widely to folks of different race and ethnic backgrounds.
- I have read extensively about race and ethnic issues.
- I read extensively on leadership and leadership principles.
- I have trained on crossing cultures for several years.
- I have crossed cultures my entire life.
- My audience is wide as outside being in a regional role and having had a position of national leadership in InterVarsity. I have a large blog following and 2,300 facebook friends.
- I’ve been speaking since I was 19. I am 34.
- I was recognized by the American Association of University Women for my gifts in reaching women and was given the prestigious ‘Career Development,’ scholarship to complete my Graduate work and advance women’s rights.
- I am a strong communicator in writing and speaking.
- I am budding photographer.
- Just because Ryan Seacrest didn’t think I was good enough for his stupid little show, “The Golden Globes,” doesn’t mean one can’t learn to be in front of the camera. And I remain convinced my video was good despite all of the pandemonium ~ notice how wonderfully I handle it! =)
- I’ve also been to Kenya! In the summer of 1997 I spent 8 weeks doing advocacy work by digging wells and building needed facilities. It was challenging but one of the most powerful experiences of my life.
Now, personally I think I am just the absolute perfect candidate. I mean, seriously, don’t you agree? =)
The trip is Mid-May and while I toiled over the idea of applying —of course I DID— I know that part of who I am is doing what I love and what I am passionate about of which this trip combines all: communication, advocacy, womens issues & caring for the poor and marginalized of society.
I really want to win!
(I would SO love it)!
They are picking 2 women bloggers out of potentially hundreds of thousands of applicants, so my chances are relatively slim but I wanted to be sure to throw my name in the hat for such an incredible opportunity!
Do what you love. Take some risks. Get out of your comfort zone. Give freely of yourself.
Even if they don’t pick me, I’m still doing what I love.
I’m still winning,