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You know back when I was younger, like elementary age younger, and even younger than that I've always been a "talker".
Like the girl who never had a problem speaking whether it was out of turn or not. I can remember every report card stating that I "socialized too much" which was the teachers polite way of saying, "your girl doesn't ever stop talking."

I wasn't just a talker amongst my friends, I was also the girl who did announcements over the school intercom during my elementary years and was the designated speaker for the dedication of the school (news cameras and everything were there)
I was confident and loved getting up to do things like that. I was the one who looked forward to sharing my book reports in front of the class or first to raise my hand if ever there was a speaking opportunity.
If you've followed my blog or if you know me in person then you would know that my life took had a turn of events when I was about 11 years old. I talked about that here on Why I Give.
Those same life changing occurrences also changed the course of me and my "speaking out"
I was no longer confident. More like insecure and feared rejection more than anything since I had no idea what to expect from life any more. I was ashamed of my families situation and kept very quiet about my personal life which in return left me quieter all together. 
Though I lost all ability to speak in front of people, I still remained very social and always have been. Heck, all growing up no one even knew I was dealing with such hard stuff because I put on a happy face to match my bubbly "faux" disposition and never let anyone in on how scared and insecure I really was.
Like I said I am still very outgoing, not shy in the slightest and could talk your ear off about anything really, finding a great deal, flea market shopping, pastries, Arrested Development episodes, my babies, my husband, my faith. But getting up to speak in front of a group of people about any of those things is a completely different story.
I am very transparent on my blog, I write how I talk and talk about what I am feeling. (most of the time) No matter if my heart was over joyed or I was recovering from a hard day, I most likely will share it. That being said there are some really personal things I haven't shared on this little space of mine, and only touched on how this past year was the hardest years ever of my life. 

I have seen God do a mighty work on reframing the way I think and has slowly started to build me back up in being fully and confidently rooted in Him. 
In the last couple months I have been asked to "speak" at different events. An opportunity at church to speak in front of a hundred plus women, a networking meeting to share about Sole Hope and then most recently I was asked to be a guest speaker at the Penelope Lane Boutique Mini Blog Conference

None of these opportunities were exactly what I thought the Lord had in mind when I felt the stirring in my heart about speaking a few months ago. Actually, nothing like what I had in mind. I do know that God has a plan for me and I'm seeking to follow through with what he is laying out for me, even if I feel I don't deserve it or am inadequately fit to do so.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

So though I'm a wee bit nervous to speak I know this is a stepping stone on the path God is leading me on. Though butterflies are fluttering throughout me, I'm every bit as excited to skip to each stone that surprisingly springs up on this path laid out before me.

So with all that being said, I'm honored and ever so humbled in the fact that I will be a speaker at this Mini Blog Conference. The whole day event is going to be so fun! Check out the website for the conference here more info on the event and to see what topic the other speakers and I will be speaking on. 
A day of shopping in Seal Beach with the opportunity to attend workshops of your choice??! Super rad right?
I hope you'll join me and the rest of these fab speakers at the end of September, it will be such a fun filled day, and even if you don't attend mine or any of the other classes a hug and moral support while we grab some coffee and shop the boutique will be just as nice. 
A total side note: This event takes place on my birthday weekend. Not any birthday but the BIG THREE OH! Say whaaaa??!! So I'll bring the Cannoli's you bring the candles and let's celebrate here at the event together!!

Also, please be praying for me as I prepare for my workshop. Though I know my topic and the main idea of what I'm speaking on, I really have a lot to prep for and would truly covet your prayers!

Oh and don't forget to enter the Awesome August Group Giveaway
(can you believe it's already September...)
Thanks and Happy Friday All!


Summer said...

How fun; I want to go! I'm so proud of you! What is your topic?

katie_shannon said...

I can't tell you how much I love this! I am kind of a talker. I'm the talk your head off type after I get to know you then I will tell you my whole life story and then some. I also had some things happen as a child that left be just broken. I'm sure you will do wonderful speaking! You are a beautifully blessed woman!

the hollie rogue said...

OH so excited for you, friend! I know you'll do a great job and give Him all the glory :) hugs

The Ward Family said...

Thats so exciting Natalie! My friend April from Power of Moms is speaking there also! Wish I could go. Its my daughters birthday weekend also and we are taking her to Disneyland. I've missed every one of these boutiques. Will be praying for you!

Sarah Hull said...

I adore you! Thank you for saying yes and for being a speaker on your BIRTHDAY weekend! WHAT!!! You are so awesome! Everyone who attends your class will be so blessed!!! XOXO!!!

Tif said...

NO..I can not believe it's already SEPTEMBER! Christmas is just around the corner!!

I'm your newest and VERY HAPPY follower!

Ramblings of a Southern Belle

Heather @ Glitter and Gloss said...

Praying for you, and SO excited for you!! I love you and know you will do great!

SO bummed that I live so far, or else I'd be there in a heartbeat, cheering you on!!!!

Sarai McDowell said...

Oh my gosh so I know this is totally random and not even what your post was about but that picture of you with your hands by your face made me realize that your rings look like my great grandmother's wedding rings! Which her wedding band(ish)ring is what I use for my wedding ring!

ok...sorry..just had to point that out! :)