Monday, April 13, 2009

Made it Through in One Piece!

Tonight was the night I spoke to the group of college students; I've been preparing this talk for weeks...felt a little sick in the stomach about it too. I am SO not a front and center person and I totally don't dig public speaking. I basically showed up to speak to a room of 30-35 students I didn't know at all. They didn't know me, either. I was just this new face in the crowd and I was incredibly nervous. You have no idea. The last time I felt this scared, I was being rolled into an operating room to get a total hysterectomy. That's just about how scared I felt. I had absolutely no idea what the whole evening would look like and for me that's often the most challenging part: not being able to anticipate what's going to happen. That element of 'not knowing' just does me in. As I drove the nearly 30 minutes (the 'scenic route') to my old college town (I was speaking to a group of Christian athletes at my alma mater), I kept singing that old song taken from one of the Psalms: "When I am afraid I will trust in You, I will trust in You, I will trust in You. When I am afraid I will trust in You, in God whose word I praise..."

It was a good night. I made plans to do an ice-breaker which got everyone warmed up and a bit more relaxed with me, and me with them. It was a great ice-breaker and everyone loved it. So did I.

I took my notes, but ended up not using them, as it just wasn't the format to use them, and I think I was slightly more comfortable not being so dependent on them. I was actually surprised when I got a couple of laughs at the beginning of my talk. I think that helped to relax me a lot. I also tossed in a couple of interesting stories which really seemed to drive home some of my points, and the students seemed to really relate. I talked a lot about having Christ's lordship in every areas of our lives --- not just the big areas, but also the small nooks and crannies of our lives which reflect our Christian witness just as much. I talked about loving our neighbors in ways that cost us something, and ended up telling the story of how we recently loaned our second car to someone we knew who needed to use it. She ended up getting into a car accident with it, and our car was totaled so we had to junk it out. Sometimes it turns out great, and sometimes it turns out not so great, but my challenge to them was to still love their neigbor in ways that cost them something because it will always reap eternal rewards.

I also talked to them about cultivating a heart of gratitude and embracing self restraint. Lastly, I spoke of living their lives as if eternity matters. I told them there's never a time where you feel like you will live forever more than in your youth. I also said that this culture doesn't teach its young about death, dying and the truth of mortality. I encouraged them to formulate an eternal perspective that affects all of their decisions, thoughts and actions. Before I knew it, it was time to wrap up. I hated that my husband couldn't be there for the whole talk, but I was sooo thankful to see him there toward the end. Of course, I had my head covered...I felt a little vulnerable to be quite honest. There were lots of young men there (emphasis on the men); I am much more comfortable speaking with women. But this is a Christian group of young women and men; that just couldn't be helped. After the talk, a few of the students came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed the talk. One young man asked how he can best implement Christ's lordship in all of those small areas. His question touched me a lot, and I could sense his desire to please the Lord. One girl asked for my address, and still another spoke to me about her desire to adopt (she knows that we have adopted children). All in all, it was a lovely evening, and I was so glad it was over I could have skipped down the street. You have no idea how much of a huge hurdle this was for me to get over!

Now that that is done, I can throw myself back into the book. I am making really good headway, and am still sending proposals and queries out to various Christian publishers. I have another one to get out this week, as a matter of fact. Thanks to all of you who have worked with me and have helped me to tell your stories in ways that will encourage other women who may be new to covering or who may have an interest in it. Aside from working on the book, I hope to soon be throwing myself into gardening and painting our kitchen. Last year we bought ceramic tile on sale at Home Depot. This year, the plan is to get it installed, but I do want to paint before that's done. I'll try to post some 'before' pics of the kitchen and maybe some shots as I'm working on it, then 'after' pics.

To my faithful readers, thank so much for your patience while I prepped for the speaking engagement and worked on the book a bit more. I felt I really wanted to focus more on those things, so I put my blogging on the back burner. I have so missed catching up with each of you; I hope to do some blogging "rounds" soon, and will try to catch up with each of you on your blogs. I'm eager to find out what's new with all of you.

Until then, grace to you, beloved. Thank you so much for your prayers!



Sanil Atarah Rivka said...

So glad it went well! I hope that your book gets picked up, I'll keep you in my prayers.

Muhala Akamau said...

Thank you, dear one!

PlainCatholic said...

Thank you for having the courage to speak to our young people about simplicity, restraint and an attitude of gratitude! To be able to speak eloquently is truly a gift of God.

Rosheeda said...

I'm so glad it all went well M! Glad to see you back among the bloggers.

love you

Muhala Akamau said...

Hmmm....not sure how eloquent I was (!), but I think I got the message across (I pray!). Now. If I could ONLY live out the things I encouraged those students to do! May God help me as I try to live out this glorious Gospel.

I owe you a visit to your second blog. Gotta keep up with you, chile!!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that your talk went well. I struggle with sharing and being in front of people, so I know that would have been difficult for me too. Bless you for sharing God with the young men and women.

Muhala Akamau said...

Thank you, dear one!