Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed . ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Deborah Dunn: Smart about Life

Her heart is in helping others. So she took her counseling career to a higher level: writing, speaking, and creating a conference ministry just for women whose time and budget won't allow them to attend women's events that would feed and nourish their spirits.

A wife, mother, and grandmother, Deborah Dunn, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice near Raleigh, N. C. She is the author of four books, the most recent being Stupid About Men: 10 Rules for Getting Romance Right (Simon and Schuster/Howard Books), and the creator of Southern Christian Women.

"My goal is to unite women of all ages, races, and denominations through regional conferences, retreats, and an online community," she says.

Her conference model ideally teams SCW speakers with local talent and testimonies to support church outreach and ministry.

"I love to speak to women everywhere about the absolutely crucial importance of making wise life decisions, especially about romance," she says.

Southern Christian Women ™ is a traveling team of seasoned authors and speakers from below the Mason/Dixon Line whose purpose is to celebrate the joys and struggles of being a woman of faith regardless of age, cultural background, geographical origin, or religious affiliation.

"The day is designed to inspire, encourage, and enlighten women from all walks of life as they come together to hear wonderful praise and worship, speaking, fellowship, and testimony," she says.

Worried about the toll of the current economic crisis on women and their families, Dunn says that about two years ago she prayed that God would give her a fresh vision for reaching out and helping women in small towns, especially those areas of the south with more challenges than others. 

A veteran speaker herself, Dunn had just released Stupid about Men, her second book, as the recession hit. Like most Christian authors these days, she struggled with getting her message in front of her intended audience. Frustrated that most women’s conferences were too expensive and required too much time for most busy women, she conceived of a way to design events that would eliminate those challenges. The idea of a team of funny and inspirational southern female speakers traveling to churches and calling themselves Southern Christian Women popped “seemingly out of nowhere” and within a few weeks she had booked her first conference.

“I knew then that it was a God thing!” Dunn says.

But as word got out, event coordinators from different parts of the country began emailing her about the feasibility of bringing the conference to their areas. Surprised, Dunn quickly reassessed her original goals. She began to realize that the stories of Southern women appealed to people everywhere.

“Women everywhere have had to face a lot of hardship, but especially those in the South. We seldom get credit for how strong, savvy, smart, and self-supporting we can really be, especially during economic downturn," she says.

"Southern or not, ordinary women are doing extraordinary things under difficult circumstances, often on a daily basis. The truth is that without women, the church would simply fall apart.

"This conference is about celebrating those strengths, while admitting our weaknesses with grace and humor. We are sisters in the Lord; it is our job to support each other, laugh at ourselves, and praise God for it all, regardless of where we were born. After all, being Southern is just a state of mind.”

Visit Deborah's website.

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