Updates on Speaking Engagements

The Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your feet from being snared.
–Proverbs 3:26

I have much to learn about becoming an outstanding speaker.

What I have, and have always had, is enthusiasm. And it comes from God.

With my vision and hearing problems, I am always skittish inside about getting to the front of the room without tipping a chair over,  or climbing steps–and missing one– or even picking up the mic. Will  there be problems? But once I start, I remember one thing: God has given me this platform to shine for Him.

I have a story and He has opened the door to share it, however imperfectly.

On June 25, I spoke at a senior center, a program started by a vibrant medical training hospital. The theme was “Awakening Your Senses,” and I took that literally, intertwining the sounds, touch and aromas of life overseas with the sounds, aromas and touch necessary for me in my progressively blind and hard-of-hearing environments. I compared how each was important to adapt to these new cultures I’ve been “visiting” for various lengths of time.

Though I had only six or seven participants and it would seem I didn’t have much reach or perhaps couldn’t even draw a crowd, I felt something click right off and heard God’s silent whisper to my heart, “Just share. Let me make the connection.”

He did.

One woman was legally blind in one eye. One had RP like me. Two others had been affected by macular degeneration. Another had been waiting for my talk since March.

When I discovered these insights at the end of my talk, I felt the “rightness” of my choice of topics. My confidence had come as it always did. There was no doubt that God had hand-picked this audience for me to encourage. Maybe, for the first time, I was in the center of God’s will.

Being in the center of God’s will was exciting!  By obeying, I had stepped into a partnership with God. 

It hit me that I continued to educate others as a teacher might, only the subject matter was rooted in my experiences. And it was through sharing my vulnerabilities (fear and prejudices associated with losing my vision and hearing) that got them to speak openly about theirs.

I was reminded of a verse in the Bible about not being competent in and because of myself but knowing that my competence comes from Christ.

I sold 4 books that day out in a crowd of 6.

That was a result of my obedience.

A few days later, I had a book signing at the library in my hometown with another author.

The summer rain came and kept most of the crowd at bay. Though it was well advertised, few attended. However, those that came touched my heart.

A former kid in a neighborhood where I’d grown up.

A new friend from the Lions Club.

A couple  of my sister’s classmates–even more dear to me since her passing.

A classmate of my own, whose voice actually caught when she was talking to me about the testimony found in my book. “I’m praying for you, Amy. You are touching many with your book. Maybe God will heal you and give you an even bigger testimony.”

"I'm praying for healing so you can give an even bigger testimony."
She said, “I’m praying for healing so you can give an even bigger testimony.”

Another great outcome of the library signing is that I learned a little bit more of how to promote my book from the other author, Nancy Kay with her latest book, Wine and Spirits

Nancy Kay.

On July 6, I spoke to a larger group at another senior center about retaining eye health and how to get the most out of your hearing as well as how others should speak to someone with hearing loss. I thought it was really practical.

The men, in between rounds of whatever card game they were playing, looked up. The women were sipping cups of coffee and watching with intent expressions. It reminded me of the sharp contrast in the way the male and female students responded to their English classes in the Emirates!

Since I’ve started teaching senior groups, I’ve relaxed a bit and worry less about the manner the men take in what I say. Even though I’m educating, it’s not a classroom situation; it’s their social time. I’m honored to speak and whatever they absorb through the talk, I’m happy. I’ve adapted.

That talk was special for another  reason, too. I received a speaking fee! PAID! I now have a brand new manager who negotiates for me! What. A. Blessing. She is so much faster at setting up “gigs” for me than I can do for myself.

I am overflowing with gratitude about all the help I receive. 

I feel like God is providing me with a team of people to help me move forward in my career as an educator, inspirational writer and speaker.

I’m so awed by His provision!

What goals are you setting for yourself in your personal lives? Are you in or out of your comfort zone? How are are you being stretched?  

You have just read “Updates on Speaking Engagements” July 7, 2015. If you’d like to know more about my faith walk and my journey in coping with vision and hearing loss, check out Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith.

Updates on Speaking Engagements
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21 thoughts on “Updates on Speaking Engagements

  • July 7, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Love it, Amy! I’m glad you’re touching lives by following God. While I sometimes can get discouraged by the numbers, too, I just tell myself that these are the ones He’s chosen for me to reach, and i can be content with that. WE DO NOT KNOW OUR FULL EFFECTS and won’t this side of Heaven. So, carry on, friend. in HIS confidence—the best way to fly!

  • July 7, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you, Beckie!
    How is your writing going?
    Catching up on things this week!
    Take care!

  • July 8, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Hi Amy. You’re not alone in your initial feelings. I am a public speaker too – though I teach classes and seminars, not inspirational speaking. I have no vision or hearing problems but whenever I enter a new conference, I’m nervous about whether everything will work out – the chairs, the steps, and the mic. just like you. I’m thrilled you push through those feelings. Keep doing what you’re doing. You ARE making a difference.

  • July 8, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Hi Debbie,
    How reassuring your words are! We do have the same concerns and we do push through to meet our goals.
    I just love that your pointed that out to me! 🙂 So happy we connected! Thank you!

  • July 8, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I like the very down to earth, personal way in which you write. As a preacher, I can relate to the unexpected ways in which you touch an audience that you never imagined.

  • July 8, 2015 at 8:58 am

    as long as we’re following God – and trusting Him for ALL the results 😀

  • July 8, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Your enthusiasm and contact with your creator are indeed inspiring. How wonderful to understand that you are a vehicle acting for the good of others. The feeling you got with that endevour must be more precious than the sale of your books.

  • July 8, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Thank you, Ken. So good to hear you like my style of writing.
    Yes, I bet you have many stories to share of the lives you’ve impacted. And so many you do not even know of. 🙂 Thank you for taking time to read and comment.

  • July 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Thank you, Debbie. Are you related to Charles Swindoll? Oh, maybe that’s a different spelling! I see now. Do a lot of people ask you that question? If so, does it drive you crazy?!
    Have a great day!

  • July 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Andi,
    The trusting him for ALL the results is the difficult part, isn’t it?
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

  • July 8, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Hi Francene,
    I can’t believe I have actually reached a point where I both talk and enjoy talking about vision and vision loss. For the majority of my life, I swept it aside and pretended it wasn’t there except when it cropped up and caused me to get bumped, bruised or otherwise battered! 😉 I really do like educating others. It’s really a combination of that and networking to connect, encourage and learn from my audience.
    Take care!!

  • July 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Public speaking is hard art first, but as long as you know what you are going to say, and can adlib if needs be, you’ll be fine!

  • July 8, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    As always, so inspirational and wonderful that you can be such a blessing to others!

  • July 9, 2015 at 1:34 am

    Amazing!! Your using your life to help others, that is truly amazing! Hope you’re having fun at it! I dream of having a book signing one day!!

  • July 9, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    great work. i work on shot goals and set myself 30/60/90 days plan

  • July 10, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Hi again, Jason!
    Thanks. Speaking engagements are a new offshoot from my book and I am so glad I’ve found outlets to speak. Thinking about doing them is much more frightening than actually going and speaking. 🙂

  • July 10, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Thank you, K Lee!
    I think my audience is just as a big a blessing to me. And so are your posts! Keep them coming!

  • July 10, 2015 at 2:00 am

    Hi Ashely,
    I am having fun sharing my thoughts and experiences with others, and hopefully impacting them positively. 🙂
    When you have a book out, come back and let me know!!

  • July 10, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Hi Amar,
    I think short goals are a GREAT way to go! I like that. In fact, I might adopt that myself.
    Thank you for sharing that.

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