A few days ago, Josh and I secured a couple of fabulous babysitters (‘cause our kids take 2), got all gussied up and went to a fancy fundraiser banquet for a local crisis pregnancy center.

I had registered us to attend months back, but I didn’t remember receiving any confirmation. So a few days before the banquet, I sent a quick e-mail to the organization’s executive director, who I had met briefly several years ago, just to check and make sure we were on the list and would have a seat.

She, being terribly important and busy, responded right away (don’t you just love important people who respond right away?) and offered to seat us at one of her tables.

Excellent, I thought. I have no idea what that means, but, heck, look how fast she responded! To me!

It was big deal, with somewhere around 1200 people in attendance, and we fully expected to be seated somewhere near the back and/or by the bathrooms where the normal folks like us congregate.  But when we received our table assignment upon arrival, we were not at the back. We were not in the middle.  We were at the front. Dead center. At the head table.

Where important people sit.

(We obviously did not belong.)

This photo is unrelated, except that we are pictured and it was back that one time when I had bangs that I actually felt were successful. Enjoy.

Besides that Josh and I are pictured, this photo is entirely unrelated to this story. Enjoy.

We were sitting with, among others, that same quick-to-respond executive director (who I loved more than ever by now) and the keynote speaker for the evening: a woman of national fame, deep faith, and mother of five, including son “Timmy,” who can be credited with creating a new noun in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: “tebowing.”

We tried to act cool and chat like we were actually cool and it was completely normal for us to chat with nationally-renowned important folks, but who are we kidding? We belonged in the back, and here we were at the front.

If only for one evening, we’d hit the big time.


Like the typical hormonal woman that I am, I had to cry a little about it later.

But it was a good cry.

Why was God so kind to us? What was the point of that? The other people in that room probably loved God just as much or more than we do, likely donated gobs more money, and definitely deserved his favor more than we did.

So why us? Why give such a bizarre and unexpected gift to a couple of nobodys like the Halls?

I just don’t get our God sometimes.


For years I thought of God as this cranky fella that was 1.) waiting for me to screw up so he could punish me or 2.) waiting to test my love for him with some awful Job-like circumstance, which I would, ultimately fail.

No one ever accused me of being overly optimistic, folks.

I don’t know where I got this ridiculous notion (ahem, Satan), but it explains why I never got too close to God. You just can’t trust someone that you think is out to get you. If I kept my distance, maybe he would keep his. It was safer that way.

Or so I thought.

One thing was for sure. It was boring that way.


But in case you are now where I was then, hear this: I was absolutely, completely, entirely wrong about God.

God is a sweet, gentle daddy. God is giver. God is kind to a fault. God is generous beyond our wildest expectations. God out-gives, out-does and out-lasts our love for him.

God is on our side.

It’s true. It’s true. (Repeat this ten times so I don’t have to up my word count, would ya?) It’s true.

So whether it’s dinner with Ms. Tebow or a bag of frozen blueberries, God has a way of surprising us with gifts only he could give.

And you know how I feel about gifts.


Speaking of! One of you Lovelies who commented or joined my subscriber list over the last week is due a fabulous gift! Thanks to all who participated…and also no thanks to you I had to give in and let Pandora accidentally play me some Christmas music this week.

It’s okay. I’ve already confessed it to Josh.

So the absolutely randomly selected winner of the Seeking Christmas giveaway is….Jamie M!

And for those who didn’t win, cry a little and then check out Renee’s website and pick up your own copy. It’ll be Christmas come early at your house.

Now go. Get to it.