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Speak Up in 2017 – Abundantly More

 Shawna and Carol had the privilege of being part of the Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids Michigan. Here are a few of our highlights:
Divine appointments, if you aren’t looking for them, you will pass them by.
This year when we received the email from Kathy Bruins regarding what I needed in prayer, we replied we are praying for divine meetings and appointments this year at Speakup. We went with expectation and an open heart to listen for the gentle nudges. This was our 5th year at Speakup and it get’s better each year.
Many might think the divine appointments a writer would pray for would be with the publishing house to get a book published, but that was not our focus. It was to be sensitive to where God wanted to work and what relationships that would bloom from these encounters. And He did not let us down.
Our first night we met Marge, a sweet lady from Florida in our small group. Over the weekend this relationship bloomed. We hugged each other bye, and we received a text from her this morning thanking us for encouraging her to write her legacy. And I believe she will. We were placed at just the right table.
We literally bumped into our new friends from Indiana who were attending their very first Speak Up. We were able to share and enjoy our time together all weekend.
These relationships build on each other, and each time you come back to Speak Up, it feels like you are coming home again. I encourage anyone who wants to learn from the best in the business and make friends for life to join us next year in Michigan for Speak Up 2018 June 28-30. Make sure you  “like” ?? to get all the information for the next event!
Inspiring Main Sessions: 
Donald Piper, author of 90 Minutes in Heaven, told his astonishing story and said, “It’s okay here (on earth) but I’d rather be in heaven.” He was inspiring and funny! (
Cyndi Bultema, dynamic speaker and the director of Gems International challenged us to be on the same team. So, don’t compare, criticize or envy other speakers and writers. (
Bruce Martin gave a hilarious and powerful message of what happened when he “failed” at Speak Up in 2016. He said, “Failure will teach us things that success never can.” (
Carol Kent closed out the weekend with a powerful message on being resilient leaders. It was encouraging to know that when we embrace God’s love we will have the courage for the long haul.  (
Carol Ensminger, yes, yours truly, taught a session on Evernote. Her presentation was informative and had amazing tips and tricks! She gave us all an idea of what Evernote can do for our ministries and lives. If you missed her session and would like to know more, feel free to email her at to be part of an upcoming online webinar.
Besides the great main sessions, we had numerous informative breakout sessions and productive one-on-one appointments. We are super excited about our “next”! Make sure you sign up for our blog updates where we will be sharing a little more about the things we learned, the take-a-ways we love and keep you updated on the next step God has for us and Faith & Food.
May your day be extremely blessed and highly favored,
Shawna & Carol

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