we interrupt this laundry marathon…


for highlights of the weekend. Two dozen fabulous roses, a basket of chocolate and a 2-liter of Coke were waiting in my hotel room Friday evening from the lovely ladies of Tonia’s church. Wow.

Mike and Tonia treated us to a scrummy dinner at Lucky’s Steak House, then we went to the church to check out the set-up for the Ladies Luncheon. Wow–lots and lots of hard work went into this production. For some reason, back in the hotel room, I started second-guessing everything I was going to say. Scrawled notes, panicked, prayed. It wasn’t pretty.

Saturday morning, we left the hotel and went to the Dollar Tree to get hula-hoops for my talk and Strawberry Shortcake puzzles for the girls. Big knot in my stomach. Something just felt wrong. Met Tonia’s daughters and daughter-in-law. Amber, Hayley, and Christine–you guys are awesome. A little after noon, I sat at the ticket table with Tonia, posters of my books beside me, books in front of me. Here comes the nightmare part.

Some of this was probably in my head, but most of it was not (as Gabe and Tonia can attest to). Lady after lady came in, presented their tickets, made some comment about hating nametags (my idea), glanced at my book posters and either made a disgusted face or a not-so-pleasant comment “I hope she’s not talking about that!” Uh, I’m sitting right here. (Not every woman did this, but there were an awful lot.) There were 100+ women signed up, and I counted about three under the age of 60. Only a couple people even picked up a book, and no one bought one. I can’t even describe how badly I wanted to puke. It just kept getting worse. These women are going to hate me. I’m going to get chocolate-covered marshmallows launched at me. No one is going to laugh at a single thing I say. NO ONE is going to get on a bouncy ball or a hula hoop. I seriously, really, truly thought about high-tailing it out of there.

I ate my lunch with trembling fingers, excused myself to brush my teeth and pee, prayed my guts out and begged God for a miracle.

And He delivered. I have no idea how it happened. None. Over half of what I said was off the top of my head, not in my notes. They laughed. They nodded. They played my games. They wanted my prizes. They volunteered. They laughed. They listened. They laughed. They hula-hooped and bouncy-balled. And when it was all over, they clapped and cheered and lined up to buy my books. They were wonderful. I love all of them. I still can’t believe it.

I know you’re thinking ,”It was all in her head. She imagined that stuff. This wasn’t a miracle at all.” You are wrong. Dead, dead wrong. Selling our house was a smaller miracle than what I witnessed on Saturday. Heck, the 5 loaves and fishes was a smaller miracle than what I witnessed Saturday.

EDIT: After re-reading the above paragraphs, I sound mean. And a bit unfair. I’m actually thinking a lot of it was in my imagination after all. There is no discounting God’s miracle, but I’m sure many of the women were just walking in the door unsure of what to expect at this type of luncheon. They were not walking in the door with bad attitudes and feelings of contempt for some Ohio girl they’d never met. Well, except for the U of M fans. I didn’t mean to paint a bad picture of these ladies. We just had to get to know each other a little, and we were fast friends.

Kristin asked what I said while I was up there–I’ll try to remember and blog about it later on.

Is it okay if I finish this up tomorrow? I’m so tired. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for praying. I caught up on all your blogs when I got home today. Krista and Kristen, I’m rooting for you to have your little boys on the same day–tomorrow.

Thanks again, Jamie, for a fabulous day! Love and hugs!

20 thoughts on “we interrupt this laundry marathon…

  1. hthane

    for the record .. you did an AMAZING job! I’ve never laughed so much in my life .. and I had so much fun! It was great meeting you and Gabe!! I hope to MAYBE, POSSIBLY, just SOMEDAY in the future … see you at another lunchin?! 😉

  2. KmHunsberger

    You do look gorgeous in that picture, and unlike the pictures I post…you do actually look JUST like that in real life

    Thanks for being excited for me. I can’t wait to meet you when I am NOT pregnant

  3. Hoffmom

    Wow, I have to hand it to you….you have alot of nerve!  I hope you do share some of what you talked about.  If you can’t get to all of it, will you PLEASE, please, please share precisely what the hula hoops and bouncy balls are supposed to be good for?  The hula hoops I can kind of figure, but the bouncy balls??  I need to know!!  🙂  As promised, I tried to get your book at Barnes and Noble over the weekend, but I couldn’t find it (hope that doesn’t depress you)….is it usually in the Christian inspirational section?  Or would it be in a newer release area?  I probably didn’t look in the right place.  

  4. stephaniedawnbasham

    What a miracle! I’m so proud of you for not “high-tailing it out of there”….like I would have done. You’re much braver than I am. 🙂

    ^^And you DO look gorgeous in that picture. I was thinking the same thing.

  5. kellyleelizabeth

    And YOU are gorgeous… Just so you know (since I’ve noticed there was a debate going), that picture is exactly how you look in “real life.” I personally think you are hotter in person than in pics, but that one captures your true hotness to a tee. Or is it just “t”??? Either way, mmmmmmmmm.

  6. amthane8403

    i had no idea you were that nervous!  i could tell there was something not right or else you were really snobbish; j/k!  you were very quiet at lunch but you seemed to really loosen up once you started speaking!  you had a lot of really good things to say, and i really hope my female church family got the same message that i got!  it is def something that i know i need to work on!  thanks for your time! 

  7. ladymiss3739

    Isn’t it crazy how you can be so convinced of something at times?  What a great example of how God used that time for His glory despite your worry!  I have to know how the hula-hoop and ball fit into a talk about sex…

    And, you look beautiful in that picture Marla! 

  8. KmHunsberger

    I thought of you quite often on Saturday as I prepared for my big day…you flitted in and out of my thoughts and prayers. I am greatly uplifted to hear that it was such a faith building experience…for you and THEM! AWESOME!

    Thanks for your well-wishes. I am not feeling it today persay…but I will keep my hopes for tomorrow maybe…or today, who knows I hope KK had hers LAST NIGHT!

  9. Abs7

    That is so amazing! I can’t imagine how you felt before you went up to speak, but ask God and He will deliver!

    I’m a little curious about the hola hoops and bouncy balls…

  10. YoYoYoder

    What a crazy and amazing story! I’m so glad they loved you and played your games! (Can you really get hula hoops for a dollar?!?!?!?) God is faithful! Amen!

  11. tonialynn59

    I’m not really sure what to say but they really loved you.  People are just still talking and our pastors wife thinks next year we will double the numbers because so many loved it and you!  You were awesome!  I had no idea that you really felt that badly before.  I mean I was a bit concerned about the books not selling but I just knew some would sell after.  They loved you!  I think you’re grand and I’m glad it turned out like it did!

  12. gsowell

    What an amazing miracle. I can’t imagine ladies’ hearts being cold toward you, but I do believe you. If you said it was bad, it was bad! And God is so good! He worked through you. So awesome. He’s our Jehovah-Jireh. He’s your Word. I can’t stop grinning at this testimony. Amen and amen and amen!

  13. jbnygaard

    I’m glad to know you got home safely. I was praying for you and your sanity! 😉 Four hours in a van (in one day…without another adult) with your own children can drive anyone crazy! Check out my blog, I commented you something. I should’ve just messaged you, but I didn’t.

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