If you came to my book signing for Rooster’s Balloon in Memphis last week this is what you may have heard me say:
Hi guys! Thank you so much for coming!
(Blah, blah, blah. Awkward pauses. Shaky voice. Awkward words. Blah, blah, blah. More awkward pauses. Shakier voice.)
…and again, thank you for coming!
Speaking in front of people is not my gift. Like not even close. So for those of you that were there, my sincerest apologies.
Let’s have a do over, shall we?
Hi guys! Thank you so much for coming! I can’t believe so many of you gave up your Sunday afternoon to be here. Your kindness is overwhelming.
Mr. and Mrs. Wiggins, thank you so much for opening your home and offering to host this book signing. Your kindness and generosity and hospitality have been supremely evident in the 20 years I’ve known you. It is who you are. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you and all that you have done. Your family is so precious to me and I am a better person because of your love and support over the years. Thank you.
This book is so special to me. You all have no idea how this book has changed my life. When I tell people about this story, many have said, “Oh that’s such a nice thing you’re doing” or “What a sweet gift,” to which I always feel uneasy. You see, this book is not, nor will it ever be, my gift to the Harrisons. This book was a gift to me. God used this story to teach me to trust Him. As much as I wrote this story with their daughter in mind, I also wrote it with me in mind. When hard things happen and I don’t understand, my mind reverts back to the mind of a child. When we’re children, we don’t pretend to understand things and act like we have all the answers. Children ask questions and aren’t afraid to show their feelings. I relate so much to Rooster because she got to say things to God I wanted to say. She asked Him questions that I wanted to ask. This story is so much more than words and pictures.
I wish I had time to tell you all the stories people have told me regarding this book. I could tell you of multiple people that have seen God differently because of this book. I could tell you of a little boy who put his faith in Christ after reading this book. I could tell you of this book arriving on the doorstep of a family who just hours later would have to say goodbye to a family member. God is using this book for His glory. Nothing I write could ever be as good as the story God is writing for His kids. In His kindness, He is letting me have a peek into the magnitude of what He is capable of.
Everyone has been so encouraging and supportive and I am beside myself with gratitude. It has been one of the great privileges of my life to share this story of Rooster with you. I still can’t believe God let me write it. I am forever changed. So as much as I wish I could say Rooster’s Balloon is my gift to the world, it’s not. It has and always will be, God’s gift to me. Thank you, Jonathan and Alicia, for letting me share it. Thank you for being so generous with your story. Because of you, people in similar situations will be comforted. You are two of the bravest people I know and I am honored to call you my friends.
And as many of you know, a donation will be made from the proceeds of this book to Make A Wish Midsouth in honor of Evie Harrison.
Thank you again for coming and supporting this precious book.
(Awkward smile. End scene.)
That’s how it went down in my mind. I’m so sorry it was nothing close to that in real life. And seriously, if you came last weekend, I loved seeing you and I hopefully got to chat with you for a bit. Thanks again for a great day!
P.S. I read this post back to myself aloud and still had a shaky voice and teared up. How do public speakers do it?!?