Friday, November 26, 2010

Coming In Second

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 ...

AB–SO–LUTELY !!

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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