Tuesday, August 2, 2016

An Announcement and Some Encouragement


Hi, friends! The month of July was crazy with travel, family activities, and She Speaks, but now I’m happy to be back with YOU. Thanks for hanging in there with me while I took a little blogging break.

I’m coming back with the best of news. Next Step is adding a coach!

My friend Melanie Chitwood is joining me to help those of you working on writing projects. You can click here to find out about her background and click here to read about her editing services.

Here’s what my friend Wendy Pope has to say about Melanie:

“Melanie has such a sweet spirit and a special gift of exposing the strengths and weaknesses in your writing. She is a wordsmith who will tenderly help you craft your message with excellence. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to work with her!”  ~Wendy Pope, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker and Writer

If you are interested in Melanie’s writing services, she’ll begin doing FREE consultation calls next week. Simply fill out the Request Information form by clicking here to schedule a conversation with her.

Melanie was always the friend I gravitated to at She Speaks when I first joined the P31 team, so I was delighted to have her back there with me this year. Here we are goofing off in the photo set.


Out of the tenderness of her heart, she typed out a post for you as soon as she got home. She’ll be posting writing tips each month, but for August she shares some great advice about getting past being overwhelmed after a conference.

Take it away, Melanie!

What to Do After You Return Home

Many of you stopping by Next Step this week will have just attended the amazing Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference, a P31 conference held once per year for aspiring Christian speakers, writer and leaders).

When you come home from this conference (or any kind of retreat or conference), sometimes your feelings and thoughts will be all over the place.

You’ve been filled up with such good teaching, ideas, and plans!  At the same time now you’re back home where the messy house and the piles of laundry are making you anxious.  And responsibilities of kids, hubby, and work are pulling at you.  Maybe some of these feelings ring true to you.  You’re….

  • Exhausted
  • Excited
  • Eager
  • Overwhelmed
  • Confused

We understand!  We both have been attendees and have been ministering at a variety of events for years – and we still get some of these feelings!

We’d like to make some post-conference Next Step suggestions for you. 

Take a deep breath and exhale. 

Literally do that right now.

Realize you don’t have to figure it all out today, right now.  You don’t have to map out your whole ministry plan today.  You don’t have to figure out how your ministry is going to come together, all while balancing your other responsibilities. You’re going to get there, one step at a time.

You’re not going to miss out on opportunities.

You’ll start to hear about the direction other women are headed in ministry.  You’ll hear about others’ blog posts and websites and speaking opportunities and book contracts.  You might start thinking, I’ve get to get on it or I’m going to miss out. 

No, you won’t.  You won’t miss out on God’s assignment because we know you have a heart longing to obey God.  Otherwise you wouldn’t be worrying about all this!

You are not going to miss out on God’s assignments for YOU.  Open doors will come at the right time for you and the ministry God has called you to.  Ecclesiastes 3: 1 promises us, “There is a right time for everything.”  Trust Him with the timing as you seek Him. 

Seek Jesus. 

That’s the bottom line. 

And that’s your NEXT STEP.   As you seek Jesus, ask Him to show you just the next step.  And then obey.  Whatever that is.  And then ask Him for the next step, and the next.  You don’t want to run ahead of God in your own efforts, and the converse is also true: you don’t want to lag behind out of disobedience.

God knows your heart.  He’s got you.  He’s the best partner you could ever have.

We’ll continue to blog about taking one step at a time in the ministry God has called you to.  We look forward to your feedback, questions, and comments on our blog.


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  1. Welcome, Melanie. So excited to have you joining Next Step! Looking forward to reading more helpful and encouraging articles like the one above!!

  2. Shantell Brightman says:

    Welcome, Melanie! Thank you for your willingness to share your heart and encouragement with all of us. I’m excited for what God is doing through this ministry and looking forward to reading more!

  3. Good morning!

    What a great idea! Adding a writing Coach!

    Thank you, Melanie, for sharing your heart, thoughts and encouragement!

    God bless you both for all you do!


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