Oh yeah it was! My friend, Mary Jane, and my daughter, Mary, joined me bright and early on a Saturday morning when they could have chose to sleep in. I'm grateful for their company, laughter, and great conversation on the way to Lowville and on the way home. We drove in the rain, through snow, and back into rain both on the way there and on the return trip home. We laughed as we said, "Of course it's snowing in October. Gotta love New York." I'm all about having fun so a little precipitation wasn't going to keep us from enjoying ourselves.
We arrived in Lowville to see a walking banana, trick or treaters, and fall festivities all over town. In addition to my visit to the library to share the possibility of surviving tragedy and enjoying life in spite of the ugliness of life's stressors. I chuckled to think the Lowville Public Library invited a Christian author and speaker the same day as the town's Halloween festival.
I went with full knowledge there may be many or a few. One thing I always know is this, God had the people He wanted there to hear my message. I revamped my "Library Presentation" to include more about Heidi's case since I traveled so far from home. I knew my sister-in-law, Pam, was coming but didn't expect too many others would have the background information. I was blessed when Brenda walked through the door and said, "Hi Lisa, I saw you were here on Facebook this morning so I had to come." I could of cried.
Who is Brenda you ask? In addition to being new to the Lowville area, Brenda and her husband were on a couples bowling league "a long, long, time ago" (lol) with my husband and I. We had much laughter. As if this connection isn't enough, they both assisted in the search for my sister, Heidi M Allen. God just amazes me at times. I haven't talked with or thought about Brenda and Bruce in years yet as I signed her book, I remembered all the laughter we had each week during the league and the blessing they were after Heidi's disappearance. Thank you so much guys!
The librarians took shifts coming down so one was manning the desk upstairs and one was listening. At the end, Dawn brought in bags of popcorn for everyone with a "popping" great analogy to end our time together. I loved it! We laughed. We cried. We hopefully, all learned the importance of God in our life and that He never leaves us...we leave Him.
I read When the Waves Subside: There is Hope aloud. For the first time I didn't need to pause as I read the conclusion of the story, still teary and a little choked up but was able to read all the way through without stopping. This has become one of my favorite parts of my presentations, to read aloud.
There are some who believe read alouds are only for children but I disagree. There is power in our words and there are some amazing children's books with powerful messages. Sometimes a book can deliver a message to others who need to hear it without us preaching, rebuking, or blah, blah, blahing at them. Almost each time I read this story, someone comes up after to thank me followed by, "My ____ needs this book. They need to know there is hope after the loss of their son/daughter." This brings tears to my eyes and I lift a special prayer with each signing of the book, knowing the reader lived the loss of a child.
I enjoyed my time at the library and traveling with my friend and daughter. I have a confession though. Can I share it with you? Late Saturday evening as Ed and I talked about our day I became a little teary. This part of the conversation is normal as I'm a little somber and reflective after spending time talking about my sister, my journey, and the role God continues to play in it.
As I let tears drip to my cheeks I asked Ed, "Are you sure this is something God wants me to do or is it the "I, Lisa" wanting this?" He shook his head and just looked at me for a minute before speaking. I'm sure he was thinking, You are always like this after you speak, what's different this time? The difference, I usually at least break even. Some think I'm making a ton of money thanks to my writing and speaking. This is not the truth.
At the end of our discussion, a night's sleep, and prayer -- we decided if it was time for me to start charging for speaking engagements. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to make a million (but if God blessed me with it, I'll say thank you - I am human), BUT, I can't keep breaking even or more often than that...losing money. I contemplated not sharing this as it's truly between Ed, God, and myself but then yesterday God brought such tears, humility, joy, thankfulness, and confirmation to my heart. No one but Ed and I knew of our conversation on Saturday night.
So why am I sharing this too honest and probably too private information? I am telling you so I can also show you what an amazing God we serve and how much He loves us. Yesterday a woman blessed me with a check for $100 to cover our expenses for Saturday's book signing. I cried and cry each time I think about it.
I told her, "I can't accept this, it isn't right."
Her response brought goose bumps to my arms and hope to my heart - "Lisa, I can't go where you go or do what you do BUT I can help you take your message of hope and healing to others. I do what is comfortable, you are out there putting it on the line. Thank you, let me do this for you."
Her words are still a blessing today yet her gift replenished the money from my paycheck that was invested in traveling to share the message God gave me. So this is the reason I share a side of my mission many don't realize. I gift and donate books, give time, heart, and try to have a tangible item when I do bigger speaking engagements. I tell those inviting me to speak, "whatever you have set aside for your speaker" and thus far God is faithful and always provides.
Yesterday's blessing is just another reminder of how much God loves, provides for, and cares for this broken Lisa trying to reflect the Light He provides daily to her. I lift thanks to God for touching the heart of this beautiful and silent partner in my mission ~ she restored hope, provided encouragement, and reminded me this is God's journey for me. May she be blessed ten fold in return for her generosity, faithfulness to the Holy Spirit's tugging on her heart, and uplifting the motivational speaker who spent time doubting God's call on her life. YOU my friend, made a difference far greater than you might know. I hope you read this today.
"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:
My prayer, whether there are five, fifteen, or fifty -
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323