Coming In Second

by - November 26, 2010

It's Black Friday, and I slept in.

Whenever there's a giveaway, I find myself saying, "I never win anything," and I don't hold out high hopes. But when I stop to think about it, I have won a few times.

Once, in sixth grade, I won a poster contest sponsored by the American Heart Association. I drew a picture of a frog in a pond of dead ducks with a caption that said, "Don't smoke. You'll croak." My parents and I attended a very nice dinner and my poster was unveiled and used that year in a very low-key, local-shmocal ad campaign.

That night, I won again. A man's tennis shirt was one of the door prizes. It just so happened that my dad was an avid tennis player, and he feigned surprise when he opened it as a Christmas gift that year. (Apparently I was frugal and thrifty even as a kid!)

At the last annual homeschool meeting I attended, I won a canvas bag as a door prize that I have enjoyed thoroughly. It boasts Spring-colorful stripes, leather straps and a buckle.

Well, two Saturdays past, while I was minding my own business at the ice skating rink waiting for Reagan to get off the ice at the very last second, I checked my email messages to pass the time.

I had a message from Lisa-Jo (the gypsymama), whose blog I read, but have never been in direct contact with. I opened the message and read:

Well, guess what? One of the winners of the Deeper Still conference tickets can’t go. So her ticket is back up for grabs and you were next in line. Whaddaya say? Wanna go attend the event with Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore.

What could I say? Except ...


It's a 5½ hour drive to Birmingham. I've never, EVER gone anywhere alone. I have never driven in event traffic. I left home at twenty and married a man who has taken good care of me ever since. I'm like a little girl who's never done anything on her own. And I'm terrified.

But I'm going.

All alone. To face 12,000 women who will come in safe, comfortable groups. My hubby's on board (although he can't believe I'm doin' it), mom is thrilled, and my best friend even tried to tag along.

I'm not sure what's gotten into me. I just think that this fell into my lap for a reason. I should seize the moment, throw caution to the wind, and just do it!

I got a few more emails last Friday – you know, to build up the excitement I guess, and  get this – while I was having Mom's car worked on so it will be road-ready. **YAY!** There were a few more details telling us whom from (in)courage we (the ten winners) can expect to meet. They are also planning a little meet and greet for the deer-in-the-headlights looking ten of us, so we won't feel quite so alone among an arena full of steel magnolias.

So I'm looking forward to meeting ten new friends, bloggers I admire the likes of Lisa-Jo, Holly Gerth, Kristen Welch, Ann Voskamp, Robin Dance, and a few others from DaySpring. (Did I just name drop?)

For me, coming in second worked out just fine this time. I'm gonna be so proud of myself for doing this terrifying, wonderful thing. It's not a bucket list item (not that I have one), but I imagine I'll learn a lot about myself on this little big adventure. I've already discovered that excited-scared is an emotion second only to laughter-tears. And I'm quite sure it will be just as soul satisfying.

Don't worry. I'll be back to tell you all about it. If, that is, I don't have a heart attack from the excitement before then.

Thanks (in)courage! Thanks also to the winner who declined! It's the best thing I've ever not won ... so far.

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  1. How wonderful! Both that you won and you're not letting fear stop you from going. What a grand thing to do for your children to see. Life is only a great adventure when we put our backs to the wind, our face to the Son and go forward. He'll direct your steps as He's doing right now; you'll meet wonderful new people, hear amazing stories and come home renewed, refreshed, energized.
    God speed on your journey, Dawn!

  2. Yay for you Dawn! I'm so excited for you ...and God waiting to show you... how special ...that way you know the surprise is a special "just because I love you!" from Him. Have a good time!

  3. Looking forward to the new writing from the experience :)

  4. Hey Dawn!! I CANNOT wait to meet you!! I'm like, the complete opposite of you in just about everything but how cool is it that God is going to bring us all together through a website ((in)courage)?!? I think it's so stinkin' awesome!!! And I love how you name-dropped! I can't wait to meet them all either! EEEEEEE!!! :)

    Have a safe journey and I'll see you in a week!!

    P.s. Ive never won anything either and I was next in line too! So thankful for whoever couldn't come!! ;)

  5. YAY!! So excited to meet you, Dawn! :) Less than a week away...

  6. You ARE Brave!! And I'm so so glad that you're coming! We'll plan to all meet up at the DaySpring booth once the convention center opens. You shouldn't be able to miss it - and then DaySpring has reserved seating for everyone so we'll all be able to sit together as well. I've never been to anything this big before either, so we are so in this together!

    See you Friday,


  7. So glad you had the opportunity to go... have you gone yet? I've seen Beth a bagillion times and have loved it. I've also done most of her studies, along with Priscilla Shirer's. I've never left any encounter with these women and not been blessed!

    Kudos to you for traveling alone to take hold of your faith and some awesome teaching! I pray you were blessed beyond measure.

    Thanks for visiting the blog and for encouraging my heart. I'm beginning to wind down from my very long day. Had we not moved to our new ministry assignment this past June, I would have been faced with a similar drive to that of you and your husband.

    God saw before we did, where I would need to be. Hindsight always births wisdom, does it not?


  8. Hi, Dawn!

    I look forward to meeting you! I, too, was shocked when I got the e-mail saying someone had declined.

    I know this weekend is going to be unforgettable!


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