June 18, 2008

The Journey of 552 Miles...

After months of waiting, it’s finally here! Tomorrow my friend, Deb, and I journey to Charlotte, North Carolina for our first writers’ conference. Hosted by Proverbs 31 Ministries, She Speaks is geared toward Christian women who want to pursue God’s call in their lives to speak, write and lead.

This is the first big stepping stone in my journey as a writer. I’m excited to see what God has planned, but as each day passes I get more nervous. Did I make the right decision to go? Are my writing samples good enough? Will anyone even like what I’ve written? Did I chose the right workshops? Do I know how to network? Will I miss publishing opportunities?

All big questions, to be sure. But do you know what I’m most anxious about? The clothes. The dress for the conference is “business casual.” I work at home, so to me business casual is a matching pair of PJs. So I’ve got some catching up to do—fast!

Luckily the lovely women at Proverbs 31 are looking out for those of us who don’t get out much. One of them wrote a blog that detailed the dress code complete with outfit suggestions and links to catalogs. As I perused the site I quickly realized there is a ginormous difference between my idea of business casual and a Southern woman’s idea of business casual. This wash ‘n wear gal was out of her league with these stylish ladies! They recommended clothes I didn’t know existed—like trouser jeans. Have I been living under a rock?!

Not only was I sweating the writing and networking side of the conference, now I was worried about being Sporty Spice in a sea of Poshes. An emergency shopping trip was definitely in order. (Thanks, Mom for being my fashion EMT.) Now I can proudly say I’ve got my fashion training wheels with my very own pair of trouser jeans (who knew!) and a cute skirt. I won’t win any fashion awards, but at least I’ll blend in.

Whew! Crisis averted. Until I realized what I forgot.

The shoes.

Evidently fashionable women take their shoes VERY seriously. The blogosphere was filled with chat about what shoes to wear at the conference. I got the feeling my home office flip flops weren’t exactly what they had in mind! So, last night I was off on another emergency shopping trip—this time with my 13-year-old daughter. Some help she turned out to be (note: sarcasm). Here are some of the shoes she adored:

You gotta’ love her sense of style…and humor. (I sometimes wonder if she was switched at birth because she’s VERY stylish and shoes are VERY important to her!) Eventually we agreed on a (moderately) stylish and much more comfortable choice. Now, except for some last minute primping and preparing I’m ready to go!

This time tomorrow I’ll begin not only a journey of 552 miles to Charlotte, but my first step toward professional writing. Please pray we travel safely. And pray that God blesses this experience and uses it to take me to the next step. And the next. And the next...no matter what shoes I’m wearing.

And when I leave the conference on Sunday, I pray they don’t remember my hairstyle or outfit, but instead the heart of an ordinary girl whose writing reveals just a glimpse of our awesome God.

"I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths."
Proverbs 4:11


danregan said...

Kelli, I hate to break it to you, but you've been had by a 13 year-old. You may have gone shoe-shopping for your trip, but I distinctly remember our daughter running excitedly into my office to show me HER new shoes last night. So, here's the deal: the next time you need some "help" picking out a Porsche 911 Turbo, I'm available! (Have a great conference - I'm proud of you!)

Peggy said...

Dear Kelli,
I know that you will do just fine with all the "Southern Belles". Remember, that you can always train them to your way of dressing and shoe styles.
Fun aside, they will love you as much as we do and ofcourse Our Heavenly Father does.
Have a safe journey, and come back to us with more of your great thoughts and stories and lessons.
Blessings and Love, Peggy

Christine said...

Wishing you a safe trip and an inspiring experience. One of these days I have to go shopping with Codi. She and I are of like mind!!!
I hope your elbow is feeling better and I look forward to hearing about what the Southern Belles are sporting. In my experience, Christian southern belles are usually even more embellished!!! God Bless them!
I hope you feel the warm presence of God on your trip.
Love, Christine

Joy in The Truth said...

Kelli: I am sure you will look great! And maybe those southern gals can pick up a tip or two from us northerners! Wait until you meet Zoe Elmore...now there is a southern belle who really knows how to dress!

Kelli, may I suggest the book "The Write Reason" by Marybeth Whalen. (they will have it there) I think you'd love it! My sister gave it to me.

Safe 552 miles!
Sharon :)

Alyssa said...

Aww girl! this post was too funny. I am a Southern gal but you got me wondering if my attire is "worthy". Hey it's just hrs away from conference time I'm 8 months preggo and own 2 pair of pants that actually fit so guess what I"ll be adorning? You betcha those pants! You'll be fine! See you there.

Robin said...

Hey :),

Lisa B. and I are just trying to get word out for an impromptu Blogger's lunch on Friday. Please...join us if you can!

Blogger's Lunch 11:30 am
Chili's Grill & Bar
1365 Concord Pkwy N
Concord, NC
Exit 58 off I85
Phone: (704) 721-3859

(I didn't see an email, so I'm posting this in comments :) If you can come, please let one of us know! :)).

Robin @

and Lisa @

Michelle said...

I found your blog through TMV2. This will be my first She Speaks conference also. I can relate to all your questions, including shoes. :) I hope to see you there. Blessings!

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, you're probably already on your way. Hope you enjoy the conference and come away filled to the brim. By the way, I would have the same wardrobe problems as you!!

Lisa B @ simply His said...

And Kelli,

Find me at the conference. I need to know what time you are leaving the hotel on Sunday :)

So looking forward to meeting you!

Fellow Harley Fan :)

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, just wanted to let you know that today I added a link to your blog on my blog! You write with wonderful spiritual insight -- just the kind of blog that I am happy to feature on my inspirational/devotional blog.

Since you don't use your last name on your blog, I used your "KelliGirl" name. Just let me know if you'd like it listed with your first and last names & I can change it.


Marybeth said...

Hey-- thanks so much for letting me know the book was good for you! I am so excited to hear you liked it and that my workshop was helpful too-- Can't wait to read your post about the trip... Let me know when it's up!

Becoming Me said...

Very cute shoes. I hope you had a wonderful time at the conference.

Jo-Lynne said...

Doesn't EVERYONE take their shoes seriously? ;-) Naw, just joshing. It was nice to meet you!