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!