Saturday, October 4, 2014

Awakening Sun Dedication: To Devon Curtis

“You’ve got some explaining to do, young lady!”

That was my friend Devon’s text to me when she received Awakening Sun in the mail. I had thought about telling her that I had dedicated my book to her, but no, that would have spoiled the surprise. And Devon is not the easiest person to surprise.

*Cough* As in the LAST time I tried throwing her a surprise birthday party. My surprise was so much of a success that she almost didn’t come. (You will be pleased to know that this year, some friends and I succeeded in surprising her for her birthday.)

There’s actually a three-way dedication in my book, but Devon starts it off. She’s been my friend going on forever. Not just my friend. My “I-will-get-you-out-of-your-comfort-zone” friend. And I love her for it.

A few years ago, Devon convinced me to go to Nicaragua on a mission trip with her. So some of the mission trip episodes mentioned in Awakening Sun MAY or MAY NOT be a case of truth tinted with fiction. (I’ll give you a hint: This may involve glitter.)

In Nicaragua, you eat a lot of rice and beans. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m all for rice but have never been a big bean fan.

The first morning in Nicaragua, Devon scooped a healthy portion of black beans onto my plate.

So I tried them. They were okay… mixed with rice.

Later, she slipped goat cheese onto my plate when I wasn’t looking. I smelled it. And I didn’t try it. I just took her word for it that it was gross.

We’ve dropped 65-feet in a giant swing together, courtesy of the Wilds (Me: Screaming / Devon: Laughing). She introduced me to Downton Abbey. She’s taught me what little I know about nail polish (thanks to the fact I didn’t have a sister and was born a low-maintenance tomboy). “Did you use a top coat, Kristen?” She will ask me, and I will guiltily admit I did not.

So Devon, thank you for challenging me to try new things. Thanks to you, I discovered my love for mission trips. And thanks to you, there are now four shades of Essie nail polish on my bathroom counter.

I would be remiss not to mention the rest of those friends in my dedication, starting with Devon’s parents Tim and Rosario who have truly become like a second family to me.

And then there are the dozens of people I’ve been blessed to meet on mission trips – from Nicaragua to Montana to New York. You know who you are. You have permission to write your name on the dedication page.

Thank you all for enriching my life. In some small way, I hope Awakening Sun will enrich yours.

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