Best day EVER

February 12, 2014 | 47 comments

When I went to bed last night, this day didn’t sound very promising.

I had discovered a major issue with our ticket vendor just before I was going to shut my laptop and go to sleep, which is not what one wants to happen 36 hours before one is about to start selling tickets. I didn’t see how we’d have time to get this fixed without pushing back the ticket sale date and I knew I’d be exhausted today.

I was right about being exhausted — I doubt I even got five hours of sleep. But I did get the ticket stuff fixed, and now you will be able to buy your tickets to the Edel Gathering right on the event webpage. The sale time is the same as before, 10:00 AM Eastern today (Wednesday).

If there are any technical issues, we’ll do status updates on the event Facebook page. (Or, to be accurate, Hallie will do status updates on the event Facebook page and I will go bury myself under the covers and pretend that none of this ever happened.)

So there I was, having this wonderful day filled with the excitement of staring at lines of code on my computer screen, when a box arrived. If I had known it was a UPS delivery I probably would have left it on the doorstep since it was below freezing and I have decided to pretend that the outside world doesn’t exist until we get more reasonable weather, but I didn’t hear the telltale rumbling of the truck after the courtesy knock, so I opened the door.

“Do you need help with that?” the UPS guy called from his truck. “It is heavy!”

I assured him that I had it and dragged the box back in the house. It was big, about the size of one of our Amazon boxes that contains a family pack of jumbo paper towels, and definitely very heavy. I walked around the box, regarding it with suspicion, trying to figure out what it could be.

(At this point you might be wondering why I didn’t just open it. You see, I find opening boxes to be an utterly overwhelming task. In this house, an open box left unattended will be cleared of its items in a matter of minutes, the contents appearing only months later among a jumble of mismatched socks and headless Barbies under someone’s bed. So I must take the utmost care not to open a box if I don’t know exactly where the stuff it contains will go…which poses a problem for packages whose contents are a mystery. I have a bad habit of leaving them unopened for days, occasionally staring at them forlornly when I pass by.)

(I think I just revealed too much either about how crazy I am or how crazy this house is. Anyway…)

It was from a company with a generic-sounding name and I wasn’t expecting anything, so I decided to do the leave-box-on-floor-and-stare thing. But as soon as I walked away, I changed my mind. Something told me to open this one. My best guess is that Joe ordered a cool appliance that he forgot to tell me about.

As I ripped open the lid, I was actually thinking, Maybe it’s a new vacuum!

So try to imagine what I experienced when I lifted the packing paper to see this:

Something Other than God

I had no idea this was coming now. I didn’t think I’d see hardcover copies until April.

When I picked up one of the books and held it in my hand, the only way to describe the moment was that it was too surreal to even feel surreal.

I wrote the first line of this book in July of 2008. I thought it was finished in 2009, then again in 2011. Both times I had to rewrite it, and only then did the real editing begin. There were many occasions when I almost gave up, and I cannot even count the number of moments I felt absolutely certain I would never see this manuscript in print.

Imagining the moment of finally tearing open a box full of books — this book — is what got me through a lot of tough days. I pictured myself taking a copy and hiding away in my room, staring at it, reading some passages and trying to remember where I was when I typed them, then staring at it some more. I thought I would say all these prayers and have all this time to meditate on the experience.Β Instead, I had to run back to dashing out lines of code, then later chase down my two-year-old who had gotten into the box and was running around with three copies, insisting that they were presents for her imaginary dog.

It was so funny — and, perhaps, more fitting — that when the moment finally came, it was immersed in the craziness of life’s next adventure.

You can pre-order your copy here (save the receipt for cool stuff coming up!). Ebook pre-orders are coming soon.

Gosh this is fun.

P.S. Thanks for the amazing response on Instagram. You guys are the best.



  1. Andy Meadows

    Woohooooooo!!!!! Congrats!! Can’t wait to read it!

  2. Agnes

    That’s sooooooooo exciting Jennifer!!!! I cannot wait to read it!!! OMG SO EXCITED!!! April cannot come soon enough!

  3. Anne

    Yeah!!! So happy for you. Great moment!!!

  4. Bonnie

    AHHHHHH!!! I am SO thrilled for you! Congrats, Congrats, Congrats!

    I can’t wait for my copy to come to my door.

  5. Jen

    So great! So happy for you! Can’t wait to read it! Exclamation points for all!

  6. Rita @open window

    Wow! So beautiful and so exciting! And somehow I bet you have a place to put everything in that box. But if not, I am sure more than a few of us would be happy to take a copy off your hands. πŸ™‚ congratulations!

  7. Anne McD

    That’s. So. AWESOME!!!! πŸ˜€

  8. Kelly M.

    Totally better than a box of paper towels. Looking forward to reading it! And fingers crossed for today’s sales!

  9. Camilla

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it!

  10. Jane Hartman

    Awesome! Can’t wait!

  11. Marcy K.

    I am SOOOOOOO happy for you! I can’t wait to read it. The cover is fantastic.

  12. TheresaEH

    Congratulations eh!!! I have mine pre ordered and am looking forward to reading it.

  13. Jenny


  14. Betsy M

    Congratulations Jennifer!

  15. Lynne

    What a cool and wonderful life moment. Congratulations to you on finally, finally being able to hold the finished product in your hands.

    I want an autographed copy of the one with jelly smudges that you find next to the headless Barbies. In fact, I’d like a full jelly handprint on the inside back cover, something like the one on Wilson the volleyball. It could be your signature thing.

  16. Lynne

    p.s. noting that “best day ever” trumps the births of your children πŸ™‚

  17. Joan

    Congratulations, that is so exciting! I can’t wait to read your book!! πŸ™‚

  18. Stephanie Sullivan

    I am so excited for you, Jen! Congrats & see you at the Edel Gathering!

  19. Erin

    Congratulations! What a huge accomplishment. In a lot of ways, writing a book sounds harder than giving birth, so you’re obviously a magnificent woman. Can’t wait to get my copy!

  20. Rosemary

    So, so excited for you! I get chills just trying to imagine that moment. πŸ™‚

  21. Little Wife

    Ahhh! Yay! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!! So exciting!

  22. Ann-Marie

    So excited for you! And for me, because I just bought my ticket for the conference!

  23. Gina

    HURRAY! Did I already ask you for a review copy? If not, please may I have a review copy??

  24. christine

    How exciting!!! Congratulations!

  25. Kathleen

    Looking forward to reading it!! Congrats!

  26. Kris

    Congratulations!! Just pre-ordered and I can’t wait to read it!

  27. Melissa

    So cool! I look forward to reading it, but more importantly, what a great example of God’s perfect timing…a beautiful gift just when you needed it. Glad you got the code sorted!

  28. Colleen

    Such an exciting thing to happen. Congratulations! I cannot wait to read it!

  29. heather

    I’m really looking forward to reading your book! I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read here on your blog! What a wonderful feeling it must be to see this moment finally come and all your hard work come in that beautiful book you’ve been dreaming of. Congrats!

  30. Calah Alexander

    Whoop! I can’t wait to order my copy! Dude, I also find opening boxes a completely overwhelming and just don’t open them for days, even when they are for me and contain things I want. But those things mean more things, and sometimes things are just too much.

  31. Bridget

    Wow, how awesome for you. Congrats!

  32. Grace

    I read your blog, and I feel like you would really like this to post! You have to listen and like/share this video!! This girl is a 21 year old New York Fashion student, and she isn’t even a singer but felt God’s love so much she just decided to get up in front of us (her new church group) and sing. The song is a cover of Spoken by Mercy Me. Its Live so she had a few mess ups but it honestly is one of the most amazing powerful songs/voices I have ever seen or heard!!! Please Listen and share with everyone!! It’s s awesome to see young women on fire with God, especially in the fashion industry and new york, so inspiring!! Her heart is definitely Spoken for.

  33. Ann

    I have a giddy smile on your behalf, you go girl! πŸ™‚ can’t wait to read your work!

  34. Heidi

    Side note: I love that you do that with boxes, because I do something similar here and I thought it was just a personal problem πŸ™‚

  35. Amanda

    That is just awesome! Congratulations!! I cannot wait to read this book!!!!!

  36. Jeni

    Yey πŸ™‚ I’m so happy for you!

  37. Monica

    That is totally awesome! Congratulations!

    Also, I think we must be related somehow, because I have the EXACT SAME approach to boxes. My MIL sends boxes for various holidays, and I’m actually even averse to opening those ones because, though I have a good idea what will be in them, I also have an excellent idea that their contents will be what I’m picking up and telling the kids to pick up for the next 75 YEARS. However, they make excellent bribery: Well, we can open the box once the school work is done/rooms are cleaned/chores are complete/piano is practiced.

    But unknown boxes are viewed with suspicion, and most boxes are opened after bedtime (when I finally decide to open them), even when I know what is in them.

  38. eileen

    I began reading your blog when it was ‘Et tu Jen’! I have a 31-year old niece who is an avowed Atheist and have been waiting to send her your story! I have pre-ordered your book and cannot wait to read it first! May God continue to Bless your work and life.

  39. Elizabeth K.

    This looks amazing, and I love the box story. I can’t wait to read it. And–holy cow those are some amazing names in the reviews! I would so be trying to leverage this into meeting Dean Koontz, because I love his books so much. Which is probably why it’s good it’s you, and not me, doing this! Kudos to you on this accomplishment!!!

  40. Ruth

    Jen, I recently found your blog and love it! I enjoy the way you write and share about your life and I cannot wait to read your book.

  41. priest's wife (@byzcathwife)

    I am looking forward to reading your book…and I wish I could make the conference- next time- West coast? It is 70 degrees here! πŸ˜‰

  42. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    We thought Shaun the Sheep suffered that same fate πŸ˜‰

    The book though! I am SO over the moon happy for you! I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on one!

  43. Joanne

    Got mine preordered!

  44. Trisha Niermeyer Potter

    Congratulations! That is so exciting that you’ve actually got a hard copy of the book you’ve been working so hard to finish and edit and market… Hopefully you will at some point soon get a few uninterrupted moments to revel in the moment of having your published book finally in hand and getting to share it with others, but first it sounds like you need to catch up on some sleep before everything and everyone seems a bit surreal. πŸ™‚

  45. Michelle

    I can’t imagine I’m just reading this ! Always look forward to read from you, i mean always.

    Wish you the best program ever at the conference. I can’t wait to read your book too.

  46. elizabethe

    tearing up… sniff.

  47. Karen Edmisten

    That’s a very fun moment, and it’s always a surprise and delight. Congrats, Jen!

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