A Good Surprise

I don’t love surprises. I actually don’t like them at all. I get this from my mother. No surprise there.

Gratuitous Mommy and me shot because she’s beautiful

My poor husband tried to surprise me once when we were dating and once again as newlyweds and then he learned. I still can’t explain why I wanted to be “surprised” with the gender of our first baby, but really there’s not much variance there, so I could handle either of the two possibilities.

The surprise I’m talking about here, though, is one I’m actually really enjoying.

I’m almost 40, as you know, and it’s been a delightful surprise, but probably shouldn’t be, how much my friends are really good at supporting me lately. Like cheering me on type of support. Like unabashedly telling me I’m good at stuff. And not even just trying to make me feel good when they say I should try or apply for certain things because of course I’ll get it. And when good stuff happens to and for me, they aren’t surprised because they knew it would.

For example, a few months ago, I submitted an article to (in)courage, an online community of women offering blogs, book clubs and other ways to connect run by DaySpring, which is the Christian subsidiary of Hallmark. Beforehand I did some research and didn’t read any of the voices there that sounded like me. They were good, professional, touching and sweet, but not me. I still wrote my story, planning to share it here when they sent me the nice rejection letter. Nothing to lose, right?

I sent it to a few friends to look at, they offered helpful suggestions but told me it was good and it’d be accepted. I didn’t believe them, but thanked them and sent it in anyway.

Wouldn’t you know (you did know, of course!), (in)courage accepted it! fullsizeoutput_1c4

My article is going to run Sept 9! What a great birthday present! (Nope, that’s not my birthday, but pretty close!)

Included in the happy and surprising acceptance letter, the site editors requested the links to my public social media accounts. I don’t have any public social media accounts. I should probably set some up.

So, between now and Sept 9, you’ll see me get a little more proactive with self-promotion. I don’t know anyone who loves to promote themselves, but it’s necessary these days for getting published and I can’t avoid it anymore. I’m going to stomach it by not thinking of it as “self-promotion” as much as amplifying the opinion my friends have of me. When I say “Hey, read this thing I wrote!” I’m really just saying, “My awesome friends think this article is really good, maybe you will too!” That’s better, right?

If you are good at being surprised, I’d love to hear about your favorite surprise. If you’re not, I’ll see you at the annual meeting which we all know about because we don’t like being (what’s that? I’ve run this into the ground? Ok, gotcha!)


8 thoughts on “A Good Surprise

  1. Anna, I’m so glad you decided to submit your post to (in)courage. I’m glad we now have a voice like yours on the site. And I was so moved and encouraged by your post. It put words to some hard things I’ve struggled with this year, and it’s truly my favorite (in) post of this quarter. I’ve been waiting for it to go live since you first submitted it! Thank you for sharing your heart and your words with us! (I’m an incourage writer but also work behind the scenes on staff.)


    1. Mary, you have no idea how special and potent this comment was. I may or may not have it as my background. 🙂 I’ll always be so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the (in)courage family and hope I can do it again!
      Thank you thank you!


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