Today’s Spotlight is on Rachel Olsen.
I love all my P31 sister’s, but Rachel holds a special place in my heart. She and I connected right away as teammates and friends. Probably because we have many similarities such as… we are both allergic to mornings. We both love chocolate and we both are addicted to the cheese dip at the Hotel in Concord where we hold our annual She Speaks conference. In addition to her great writing and speaking skills, Rachel is just plain smart. I like smart friends. (They tend to make me look smarter, too.) Rachel is the senior editor of Encouragement for Today daily devotions, a facet of our ministry and written by our writer and speaker teams. It’s a hard job, but no one is better qualified or does the job with excellence like Rachel. Be sure and visit Rachel’s site AND sign up for our daily devotions, Encouragement for Today, if you haven’t already. You’ll be blessed!
1.) How did you know for certain you were called to write/speak?
The trajectory of my life was leading in this direction, although this wasn’t something I planned on. I’d earned a journalism degree, and then a master’s in communication. I’d begun freelance writing for parenting magazines. I’d also begun teaching public speaking after the local university asked me to join their faculty part-time. And I’d begun teaching Sunday school classes for women in my church.
I thought that would be the entire scope of my life. But one day, while doing my quiet time as my kids splashed in the shallow end of the pool, I came across Jeremiah 15:19: ““Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.'”
The words leap from the page. It was as if God whispered, “Remember this verse; remember this moment.” I had no idea why until three years later when I attended my first She Speaks conference.
2.) How did you become a part of a National ministry like Proverbs 31?
I heard P31 on the radio one summer day and checked out the website. I saw the She Speaks conference advertised and immediately felt I should go. Only the conference began the very next day – 4 hours away – and it was sold out.
I called my husband at work. We talked about it; we prayed and then he told me to call the P31 office and ask if I could possibly come. Turns out they’d just had a last-minute cancellation. (Ps. Now there’s a waiting list.) So in less than 24 hours I was sitting in the opening session wondering if I was crazy for doing this.
I was placed into Lysa TerKeurst’s evaluation group. Unbeknownst to me, I had to give two speeches there! Also unbeknownst to me, this particular group of women had attended the conference the year before and were on track to be a part of the newly forming P31 speaker team. There’s more to the story, but that’s essentially how I got here: clueless, but by the grace of God.
3.) What’s one thing you would suggest to our friends that would help them get started.
Pray. Lay your plans and desires at the foot of the cross and let God choose and direct your path. As I wrote in It’s No Secret, “When I stop trying to create a life for myself, I find the life He creates for me. When I cease trying to make a name for myself – competing, grasping, pushing my way to the top—His name emerges through the actions of my life.” There’s a fine art and balance to “getting started” and letting God make the way for you.
4.) Tell us something about yourself that we don’t know? (a favorite hobby, experience, a quirk)
I like to play drums – years ago I played in my church’s Sunday night service. And I’m a huge Whale Wars fan.
Thanks for sharing, Rach!