Although I often write about what’s going on in my life and the various activities in which I’m involved, I try not to do too much self-promotion in my column. Today I’m doing a little of both, however. I hope you won’t mind.

I’m going to be speaking at an event at the State Theatre in Minneapolis on January 18 and 19, called Fire of Hope. It’s being promoted as a “Girlfriends’ Getaway for God,” although men are welcome to attend, too. The program I’ll be doing is entitled “Finding the Treasure in Our Gifts from God,” which was the subject of my presentation in Uganda this past September, as well as at several other places closer to home.

I’m excited to be taking part in Fire of Hope for a number of reasons. One is that it’s giving me the opportunity to speak in a large venue, and about a subject that’s very close to my heart and that allows me to share my faith and my beliefs. Helping people discover and cherish the gifts, skills and talents they have that they’re not even aware of has been my mission and my passion for several years now, and whether I’m doing it through my writing, my coaching, or by speaking to audiences large and small, it gives me a great sense of joy, satisfaction, gratitude and fulfillment. Especially when people tell me what a difference I’ve made in their lives, or that they’re seeing things now in themselves that they never have before.

Another reason I’m excited about Fire of Hope is the opportunity to meet, hear, and work with the other speakers and participants in the event. Among them are Deena Burnett Bailey, the widow of Tom Burnett – who was one of the heroes aboard Flight 93 on 9/11 – and Jennifer Naimo Morales, the actress who originated the role of Frankie Valli’s wife in the Broadway production of “Jersey Boys.”

But what I find the most exciting of all – or perhaps I should say the most amazing of all – is how this is fulfilling a dream of mine in ways I never could have imagined just a few short years ago. In fact, I didn’t even have the dream much longer ago than that.

My dream was to become a professional speaker, and to travel around the country and the world, sharing messages of hope and inspiration with others. Never mind that at the time I didn’t even have a message of hope and inspiration. I just knew, in ways I can’t entirely explain, that it was something I wanted to do and something I realized I was meant to do. I then embarked on a long, tedious, and often frustrating journey of searching for a sense of meaning and purpose in my own life – something that would be of benefit to others. It resulted in my discovering a gift of my own that had to do with uncovering the gifts in other people.

I still shake my head in wonder that this journey has taken me to the continent of Africa, and is now going to take me to different cities around the United States, since the Minneapolis Fire of Hope event is the first of seven that are going to take place at different locations over the course of the coming year. Ironically, I have friends and family in six of the seven cities, and as I ponder this I imagine God smiling and telling me that this, too, is a gift from Him.

If you’re interested in attending Fire of Hope in Minneapolis, or in finding out more about the event, the other speakers, or the other cities it will be in, please visit If you do attend the event in Minneapolis or any of the other locations, please send me an email to let me know you’ll be there. I’d love to say hello to you in person, and to share whatever sparks of hope and inspiration it may bring to us both.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on January 3, 2013.
©Betty Liedtke, 2013

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