Lorilee Craker was our featured speaker at the 4th annual Mums & Mimosas Event which benefits the Good Samaritan Center in San Antonio, Texas. Simply put–she was amazing! She had an amazing connection with the attendees and everyone loved having the opportunity to hear her message. We were all so fortunate to be able to spend time with her and get to know her on a personal level as well.
Francie Calgaard, Chairman, Mums & Mimosas
“Lorilee Craker spoke at Kentwood Community Church’s REAL Sisters event for women. She shared about friendship, including personal stories and experiences from her own life and fresh thoughts about finding and keeping friends. Women who attended appreciated her openness, humor, new ideas, and discussion questions related to her talk. Lorilee was the perfect speaker to help kick off our new event, weaving our group’s specific goals into her talk.”
Shari Brouwer, Event Coordinator
“Raspberry Cordial and Redemption: The Orphan in Us All”
In my book, “Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me,” I try to reclaim and broaden the scope of the word “orphan,” a maligned word if there ever was one. The definition I use in my book is this one: “bereft, left behind, and left.” By that definition, we’ve all walked in the orphan’s shoes. We’ve all grieved deeply, and have been dumped, fired, snubbed etc. Thank Heaven for the possibility of redemption, and the God who reclaims our brokenness for his renovation in our lives. This message weaves the stories of Anne’s Raspberry Cordial Fiasco (well known to all fans of Anne with an “e”), and my own story of being wildly misunderstood. The bottom line here is redemption, and an unseen hand making all things new.
Perfect for: Mother’s Day Teas, gatherings of women, especially those whose lives have been touched by adoption.
(Like a good glass of red, “Raspberry Cordial” pairs well with this next message for retreats.)
“Orphans No More: Finding the Father Who Never Fails”
The “twin talk” to “Raspberry Cordial and Redemption,” “Orphans No More” also stands alone. Also related to my book, I talk about the desire in us all to have a father who reaches for us, claims us, and keeps us. That’s the yearning at the bottom of our souls, but so often we are disappointed, if not heartbroken by our earthly fathers. Here I unzip my heart, and reveal the story of finding my birth father, a man who was supposed to love me but did not. But with our Adopting Father, there is ever and always redemption, reclamation, and healing. No matter how messy our beginnings, there is no trouble too deep that God can’t reach into it through adoption.
Perfect for: If there were such a thing as Father’s Day teas, this would be perfect for one of those! However, this could also work for Mother’s Day events, and would be ideal for groups of women who are adopted or are adoptive mamas. Together, the two talks form the backbone of a fun-loving, but substantive retreat.
My Secondhand Journey to Heaven
In January 2012, my dear friend Marv Besteman died, literally days after he was finished with his part of writing “My Journey to Heaven,” the CBA bestseller which details his twenty minute, eyewitness account of Heaven in a 2006 near-death experience. One of the great honors of my life is having co-written his book with him. Before Marv died, I promised him I would do whatever it took to keep his story alive. I love to talk about my friendship with the funny, deeply Christian man who saw angels, the Book of Life, babies, and so much more during his time in Heaven. This is really a story of encouragement, though. I share how God encouraged Marv to tell his story of Heaven, and how we can encourage each other (literally, to give “fresh courage”) in our lives here on earth.
How to be Fabulous though Frugal
My 2011 book, “Money Secrets of the Amish,” taught me so much about value, thriftiness, and what the Amish call a “frugal abundance.” Before I wrote this book, I was dumber than a box of rocks on the topic! Thanks to the Amish, I’m now a whole lot savvier, and I’m sporting the cutest mint green shoes you’ve possibly ever seen! This talk gives listeners a fresh new Amish frame for looking at money and shopping. Interactive and full of laughs and fun ideas for UWMDW (Use it up, wear it out, make do and do without), how to be green and thrifty at the same time (finding a second and third use for things, such as the crowd favorite tin foil ball turned into dryer sheet idea), secondhand shopping and garage sales, and bartering and swap meets. A surprise spiritual takeaway is self-control, and how God meets us where we are at and helps us spend our resources with wisdom, mindfulness, and joy.
“Thanks for Making Me a Fighter”: How Motherhood Makes Us Bold and Strong
Motherhood is transforming in many ways, not the least of which is how it can make even the most docile, compliant women into fighters, for themselves, their children and others who need strength and advocating. Growing up Mennonite, I received some mixed messages about being a “fighter,” which did not look, to my parents and others, like a good Christian peacemaker girl thing to do at all. But our faith teaches us to be bold, to be strong, because the Lord our God is with us. And motherhood is often the catalyst for learning to fight for ourselves and others. Featuring stories of a “Mennonite Nice” girl, Christina Aguilera’s lyrics, and empowering Scripture, this talk is perfect for Mother’s Day events and any event where moms are gathered.
Friendships: Finding Them, Keeping Them, and Letting Go When Necessary
I’ve been amazed at how much this talk hits a nerve with women of all ages, but especially women in the MOPS stage. Moms are often lonely and isolated, and it can be hard to make friends at all, much less those that will nurture us, lift us up and fill our sails. This talk starts with the bares bones of how to make friends, including the crucial concept of not making stuff up about potential friends, and then delves into The Drift that can come so easily in mom relationships. Funny, sad, and REAL, this talk helps listeners clarify what they may be doing to prevent authentic friendship and helps them forge bonds that will survive drifts and disagreements. As for the “Letting Go” in the title, usually there’s not enough time in a 45-60-minute talk to address this, making it the perfect 2nd talk for women’s retreats.
Ten Ways to Be a Red-Hot Mama (or Papa)
Ideal for Valentine’s Day moms’ groups or couples’ banquets, this talk brings lots of laughs to a topic with surprisingly serious ramifications. It’s hard to regain passion after the kids arrive (and then monopolize every spare minute afterwards). The sizzle that once was gets buried under endless duties, exhaustion, and–let’s be real–Frumpy Mommy and Daddy Syndrome. This talk helps listeners get their groove on again and get back the Red Hots that once made them a great partner or couple!
New Dates: 2018:
May: Anne and Me Tea, May 11, Alive Ministries
October 12 and 13: Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference
Book Release Party: “Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me”: Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI
Local Author Invasion: Parable Christian Store, Grandville, Michigan
Thornapple Covenant Church, Grand Rapids, MI
Breathe Author Night, featuring Lorilee Craker, Steven James, Susie Finkbeiner, and Zach Bartels: Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI
Breathe Conference (presenting “Writing Pitch Copy to Dazzle Editors and Agents”), Grand Rapids, MI
Local Author Night, Schuler Books and Music, Grand Rapids, MI
Lake Center Bible Church, Portage, Michigan
National Adoption Month bookstore event, Wheaton, Illinois
Woven By Love Adoptive Moms Retreat, Gull Lake, MI
Kentwood Community Church
Brookside Christian Reformed Church
Hillsdale United Brethren Church, Hillsdale, Michigan
Bookseller for a Day, Independent Bookstore Day, Schuler Books and Music
Genessee County Library (“Money Secrets of the Amish”)
“You Are Beautiful” release party, Baker Book House