I had the best Monday I have had in a long time. My Mondays are usually pretty good, because that is Dan's day "off". This past Monday, however, was special. Full of God-things.
A couple of months ago, I read online that my favorite author, Robin Jones Gunn, was going to be speaking at Southwestern Baptist College in Bolivia, Missouri at the end of April. Robin Jones Gunn is a Christian author. I first fell in love with her books almost 19 years ago, when my mom bought me the Christy Miller Series for my 12th birthday. I loved these books, grew up reading them, shared them with my friends and couldn't wait to get my hands on the newest book to come out. Throughout the years, Robin has also written novels for women that are just as fun and endearing. Not only are Robin's books entertaining, but they all have a central theme of God's love and grace for us.
So of course, when I heard she was going to be a mere 2 hours away, I jumped at the chance to see her in person. I told Dan my plans and he kind-of laughed. I don't think he thought I would seriously drive 2 hours, one way, to see a writer. I really didn't mention it again until a few days before the event. This time he said, "You can see her the next time she is nearby". Dan has Catechism class on Monday nights, so we would have to pay a babysitter for a couple of hours. Plus, pay gas money.... this was not going to be a free thing. I explained to him that she lives in Hawaii, so I don't this would be happening again anytime soon. I think Dan finally realized how important this was to me, so he agreed. We got a babysitter at the last minute, and after spending a beautiful day with my girls, I was on the road.
I can't remember the last time I drove by myself for that length of time. It was nice. No distractions. No whining. I could listen to whatever I wanted to. I could drive with the windows down. I got to see a part of Missouri I haven't seen before. A prettier part of Missouri. It was an easy drive and I arrived to Bolivia a half hour before Robin was scheduled to speak.
It was right around dinner time, so I was hoping to grab a quick bite before finding the campus. I was craving some good ol' Taco Bell and sure enough, as I pulled into town, there was Taco Bell on my right and the college campus on my left. Thanks, God! I had my yummy dinner and headed to the college. I found the right building easily, and headed inside. Maybe 20 yards in, there she was, standing in the hallway, signing books. I couldn't believe it! I quickly looked at the books that were on sale, purchased the newest that came out the day before and got in line to speak to Robin! After only about 5 minutes, Robin left, saying she needed prepare. I was bummed, but I was pretty sure there would be a signing after.
I headed into the auditorium and found a seat. Then scooted over one more because there was a taller person in front of me and wanted to be able to see! :) There weren't a ton of people there, and I think some students may have been obligated to be there for a class. But I could see others carrying their favorite Gunn books.
Robin message was beautiful. She spoke a lot about how she got started in her writing. Her dreams that she thought were meant for someone else, but God brought to life in a different way. She spoke about being a victim of grace. It was personal, heart-felt, funny, simple yet moving. I found myself wiping away tears as she ended with a prayer.
When she was finished, we staying the auditorium for a few minutes so Robin could give herself a minute and get ready for the book signing. During that time, they gave away one of her books. They called seat 103, row E. MY SEAT! I almost sat in seat 102, but moved over so I could see! A hidden blessing of being short!
After getting my book, one that I actually didn't own, I got in line for the signing. A short wait later, it was my turn. Robin gave me a hug and I showed her the first book of the Christy Miller's series that read 19 years ago. She was tickled to see such an old copy. She called it "vintage"! I told her all about how my mom gave me these books, my friends, how I grew up reading her books. I told her about my miscarriage last summer, and how her then latest book arrived at my doorstep the same time. What a blessing that book was to me during that time! Finally, she agreed to take a video saying hi to Rachel and Greta. She did that a few years ago, when Rachel met her in Fort Wayne. I left feeling like I had known her my whole life. She was warm, kind, funny and I really felt like she cared.
Can you tell which one of us lives in Hawaii?
My drove home great. I felt happy, content, BLESSED. I thanked God for such a great day. I had the windows down again and the radio blaring as I watched the sunset. A momma needs little getaways like this every once in a while. I came home and had a big ol' piece of angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream.