What is preparation panic?  It’s the over analyzing of the miniscule details because you don’t have any control over the other stuff.

It’s making sure I have the CUTEST outfit EVER to wear to an event.

It’s stressing over my business cards before attending a conference.

It’s the writing and rewriting of your bio sheet before you go to writers’ event.

It’s the overwhelming urge to spend HOURS researching every single teeny tiny detail and then angst over it because you may have it wrong.

It’s the checking and rechecking your outfits with friends to make sure you’re packing just the RIGHT stuff.

It’s absolute panic and I was the queen of it! (and still struggle with it)

I’m just a few weeks away from a wonderful event — She Speaks Conference (for writers, speakers and womens ministry leaders).  It’s an incredible event that is filled with worship, workshops, & women!  Three of my very favorite things.

I was there last year and I went prepared.

I had the JUST RIGHT outfits for my two talks (neither of which I wore).

I rush ordered business cards for a new ministry I’d just helped launch because it was ESSENTIAL that I have them. (I don’t think I even handed one out).

I had blog posts scheduled to appear the whole time I was at the event. (Don’t think I told a soul my website address.)

I had managed all the preparations — all the outward stuff was ready, but my heart was heavy. I was questioning my calling to write and speak.  The book hadn’t sold and I was getting very few requests to speak.  I was in a dry season, but very few people knew it.  But I was prepared and off I went.

Oh how I was blessed!  The workshops challenged and encouraged me.  The women I met embraced me and the speakers inspired me.  All of it together made me  remember that I’m called by God not by man, and God will accomplish what He chooses to accomplish.  My job is to submit my will and show up!  I don’t have to have the perfect website, blog, or book proposal.  I don’t have to have the MOST AMAZING MARKETING plan EVER.

I am to do what God calls me to do.  That’s all.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

In this realization, I found freedom.  Freedom from preparation panic.  So if you’re like me and you’re getting ready to go to She Speaks (or anywhere or even if you’re staying home) and you’re in preparation panic take a DEEP BREATH IN and breath out.  Now, answer this question — Why?

Why do you write, speak, lead, teach, sing, dance, paint, do mime stuff (really why?) ?

Why are you going to She Speaks?

Have you answered those?  Okay, now ask God what’s next.  I can assure you that He is okay with you even if your bio sheet doesn’t get finished or your business cards don’t come in.  I know that He will still love you if you don’t finish your book proposal. He will love you even if you make a mess of your three minute testimony.

Rest in the assurance that if He’s called you to it, He will equip you for it.   Knowing this is the only thing that keeps me from rampant preparation panic.

And I would love to meet you at She Speaks — I’m the slightly frazzled, but usually optimisitic dreamer.  Look for me!