This morning, I looked over to my dresser and saw my book perched on its easel and smiled. I keep it there as a reminder.
Yeah, that really happened, I thought. Saturday really happened.
The food. The fun. The location. Perfect, but pale in comparison to the people that lit up the atrium with their smiles, laughter, and kind words at Panera Bread – Gardendale, AL. I was floored at how the space looked brighter because they were in it. The natural lighting of the area couldn’t compete with the warmth in my heart. I was glad. Genuinely and emphatically glad. To see everyone and to finally be in that moment in time. My book signing had finally come true after years of envisioning it, moving the date, and preparing for it. It was here and I was walking in it.
Walking was the hardest part, by the way. My Jessica Simpson’s weren’t the problem (Thanks for the comfortable shoe, ma’am.). Keeping my feet on the ground was the challenge. I wanted to jump up and down like a child on a freshly made bed. Instead, I chose the more civilized route and signed copies of my dream and happily transferred my gratitude through a medium of hugs. Everyone that was there truly poured into me. I couldn’t have asked for more. For those that couldn’t make it, they were gracious enough to send their well wishes (and their online purchase confirmation… lol). Some even sent their contribution for an attendant to purchase their copy. What an honor… Wow.
I placed a flower jar and cute mail-inspired post-it notes next to it so attendants could water my soul with their words of encouragement. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have read every one of them and will keep them forever. Every time I open the jar, I can feel your sincerity. *smile*
I asked God for a beautiful day. No rain, no drama. And trust me, there was plenty of opportunity for the latter. For personal and spiritual reasons, I am constructing a list of every roadblock I experienced before the big day. I won’t share the details of it, but so far, I’m approaching the number 20. Twenty reasons to quit, but twenty times God arose within me and around me. I couldn’t create a better testimony if I tried.
So my afterglow is still beaming almost a week later and I pray that my dream inspires you to live out yours. After all, we were all meant to shine.
SPECIAL THANKS FOR MAKING IT HAPPEN:
- Mommy & Pop – for being awesome teammates as I pursue my purpose.
- Ashlee Binford – for being my sister and walking with me (and smashing that outfit).
- Desiree Danielle – for styling my curly fro (and letting me doze off in the chair).
- Marquita Anthony & Jazz Rhodes – for capturing moments and jumping in the mix.
- Tyler Garner and the crew at Panera Bread, Gardendale, AL – for saying yes and more.
- Darlene and Angelya at Dan’s Printing, Adamsville, AL – for sweetly and professionally meeting my printing needs
- Brian and Brittany at the UPS Store, Gardendale, AL – for being the behind-the-scenes rock stars to small business owners
- Wanda at Bath & Body Works, Summit Blvd, AL – for coordinating and wrapping the giveaways.
Peace & Thanks for listening!