The Real Susan Ely
The best compliment I’ve ever received after a speaking engagement was this: “You don’t sugarcoat things. You are real.”
After a lifetime of feeling “not enough,” and trying to fit in, I finally decided to just be me.
Here’s the real me:
The real me loves to worship but is prone to whining.
The real me writes a daily gratitude list to combat my negativity.
The real me knows that my identity is found in Christ alone, but struggles to make peace with my sagging jawline.
The real me is an introvert who needs massive amounts of alone time in order to have quality time with others.
The real me is writing a book but doubts my ability to finish it.
And here’s the really cool, mind-blowing thing: Jesus delights in me. He really does. Psalm 18:19 says, “He rescued me because He delighted in me.” I’ve had to be rescued over and over.
I’ve been broken and He repaired me. I’ve experienced loss and and He answered my prayers for restoration. I’ve had my dreams shattered and watched him rebuild. The real me desperately needs a Redeemer.
The grandchild of Italian immigrants and NC tobacco sharecroppers, I describe myself as being half polenta and red wine and half grits and sweet tea; cooking and sharing stories around the dining table is my idea of relaxation.
As a young, stay at home mother with three children under the age of three, I got plenty of practice with the cooking part. Relaxing around the dining table with friends came later. Hang in there, Moms; it gets easier.
Career-wise, I was a late bloomer.
In the 80’s, that love of food and connection led me to start “The Dainty Morsel,” a home-based bakery specializing in European-style desserts. Just so you know, it’s very dangerous to have 50 pound boxes of chocolate chips in your pantry.
After a ministry-based move to Augusta, GA in 1998, I realized my dream of running a gourmet-to-go shop, and when I say run, I mean it literally. I ran my butt off, but it was worth it, because it was there that I found my calling. As editor of the company newsletter, The Last Bite, I fell in love with writing. When the newsletter was featured in an August 2001 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, I was off and running.
In 2005 I kicked off my chef clogs for good to pursue my love of writing, freelancing for local lifestyle magazines, where I focused mainly on food and hospitality. I blogged about the spiritual meaning of hospitality at www.thesharedtable.com, wrote devotionals for my local prayer group, submitted book proposals, and learned about rejection.
As a speaker for Stonecroft International, I travel the Southeast encouraging women to “Leave the Safety and Security of Their Shells.” Over the past 13 years, I’ve presented this message to thousands of women and seen many come to Christ. Now my greatest joy is to train other women to be speakers.
I love speaking at women’s retreats, where I get to share my love of etymology and humor to make my talks insightful and memorable.
My husband Roger and I have been involved in planting churches in CA, FL and GA. Together we lead worship, write and perform contemporary Christian music and have released an album called, “Watch Expectantly,” available for purchase here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/RogerSusanEly. We make our home in Raleigh, NC, within spitting distance of our two daughters and five of our seven grandchildren.