She Speaks…She gets pulled over!


Oh, what a terrible feeling to see those lights appear in your rear view mirror.  I had departed my house bright and early this July morning to attend the She Speaks conference in Charlotte, NC.  As I was making my way through South Carolina, I passed a black, unmarked Dodge Charger parked backwards up the hill next to the highway.  It didn’t have the push bars on the front.  So, it really didn’t look like a police car; however, I couldn’t imagine anyone else parking at a 45 degree incline like that.  I’ve never seen unmarked police cars in Georgia.  Or, at least I don’t think I have.  It certainly grabbed my attention as I passed this one.  Within a minute, I saw him behind me.

I won’t lie to you, I immediately started praying.  I really didn’t have the budget for a ticket.  Then it occurred to me that I couldn’t have been speeding.  I was using cruise control.  Maybe he wasn’t actually pulling me over.  Maybe he was after the big transport truck in front of me who I had watched for miles struggle to maintain the narrow lane.  I merged to the right hoping he wouldn’t follow.  He did.  Man!  This was not the way I had imagined this day starting.

I had been looking forward to this conference for months.  I was thankful just to have gotten a spot to attend as there was a 750 person wait list!  I was going to learn from some of the best women speakers, writers, and leaders and hopefully gain new insights for promoting the Children’s Park of Georgia.  During the drive up, I had been listening to the recommended pre-conference reading: Platform by Michael Hyatt.  I was hyped and ready to be there already.

Plans interrupted. When I had driven past the officer and done a double take of his parking arrangement, my left tires touched the emergency lane. Apparently, this was suspicious behavior. In hindsight, I am glad they are so diligent to protect the drivers on the road. They are certainly on their game.

“May I please see your license ma’am.”  “Yes sir.”  I said, quickly obeying.

For the next five minutes I was thoroughly interrogated.   After he was certain that I was not under the influence of anything but my coffee, he let me go with a warning.  Thank you, Lord!

An hour or so later, it was pure relief to finally arrive at my destination. She Speaks did not disappoint. The main events and break-out sessions were excellent and inspiring.  I will add future posts to this blog with some of the practical take-a-ways I learned.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that out of the handful of people I talked with during the busy three day schedule, three of them told me they felt their own callings after experiencing the loss of a child. It has been ten years since God put the vision for this park on my heart. It has been a very long journey full of ups and downs. Yet, He has kept it going with just the right encouragement at the right time.  I can’t wait to share the stories with you.

I have learned being called doesn’t mean that things always go perfectly.  Sometimes, doors will just swing open and you can practically hear angels sing and other times are filled with long periods of waiting, disruptions and upsets.

It really sunk in with me that there are so many people who feel their own callings (for all sorts of reasons) but may have trouble getting started or sticking with it.  I don’t claim to have all the answers but I am familiar with this journey.  Rather than just continuing to work away behind the scenes with our board and volunteers to complete this park, maybe I should share “field notes” so that others may be encouraged to persevere in their own dreams. There will always be disruptions to plans but maybe that is God’s plan. Maybe the disruptions are for our own training or for the benefit of others.

When I first started working on the park in 2005, Mr. Buford from Tyler, TX gave me a book by John Claypool called Tracks of a Fellow Struggler. It remains one of my favorite books for its honest account of enduring hardship, loss, and survival.  It is in honor of that book that I am naming this blog Butterfly Tracks.  Its purpose will be to record the progress of the park and observations along the journey for any who may be informed or encouraged by them.

Have you had an experience of waiting or disruption to plans that you would like to share?  Please add it in the comments below for the benefit of future readers.

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to receive updates directly in your email.  I am hoping for 1-2 updates per week.


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