Want or Need to Win?
Lessons from the Ten-Cent Maid
Many years ago in school, there was a contest for the homecoming court. Everyone was to sell votes for a dime. This was one of the school’s biggest fundraisers, so it wasn’t actually like selling votes in the context we’d think of today. Anyway, everyone was expected to do their part and sell votes.
I worked hard at it. Very hard. And as sales mounted, I finally began believing I might just have a shot at making the homecoming court. Well, the contest ended and the votes were counted, and I lost. By ten cents. One vote short.
In no way can I say I wasn’t disappointed—I had worked very hard—but I can’t say I was devastated, either. I remember thinking there was a reason I’d lost by a dime and just because I didn’t know the reason didn’t mean it wasn’t important. Not winning didn’t mean my efforts had been lacking, though I did wonder if losing by a little bit was going to be the way things went in my life. Being second—second-rate, second best, just second—with the best being reserved for others.
I’m not sure where that idea came from to wonder, but I vividly recall doing it. Yet even then I thought it was an odd thing to think. Why had it been planted in my mind? I had no idea, but it was there, and I did note it.
Later that school year, I figured I’d needed to note it so I would remember it. The ten-cent maid loss became significant because the girl who won by that dime suffered serious challenges that removed her from school. And it dawned on me that perhaps I’d lost by a dime and she’d won because she’d needed to win more. She wouldn’t have another chance at something like homecoming court, or a second chance at other school-related wins. That day, my attitude changed. I was glad she had won, and I was happy I’d been the ten-cent maid.
Looking back, I have seen that “falling just short” pattern repeat in my life several times. But after the first experience, and the recognition that wants and needs are different and warrant respect, I never again wondered if I was second-rate or second best. Instead, I saw second as a position placement privilege. I understood that sometimes other people’s needs are greater. We all want wins. But only some need wins. The implications were a lot for me to absorb frankly, but the important part stuck with me.
Oh, I’ve won my fair share and then some of honors and awards and accolades, and I truly am grateful for each and every one. But there was and remains something special about the lessons learned at being the ten-cent maid.
In a sense, that’s a similar experience to Elle Bostwick’s in The Marked Star. Elle is a singer, a superstar, and everyone thinks she’s got it all. From the outside, she does. Talent, looks, fame, and fortune. But Elle’s done her stint at the ten-cent table, too. Only hers was in a far more substantial way, and she played her part for a lifetime.
Elle wasn’t given her parents’ name. She was, from the beginning, their secret daughter. It wasn’t that she wasn’t loved; she most certainly was. But the very things others coveted in Elle’s life were the things that made claiming her identity dangerous. Her family wanted to protect her, and her parents did, but at a great cost to Elle.
Like the rest of us, Elle was shaped by her experiences, and while some might have been bitter and given into anger, she sought understanding—and, because she did, she found her heart’s desire. Found it and recognized it and claimed it. And that’s something she couldn’t have done without the lessons she had learned while seated at the ten-cent table.
Sometimes when we feel stuck or as if we’re falling behind and no matter how hard we try we just keep falling short, we need to remember the blessings and joys we learn to recognize by our time at our own ten-cent table.
About The Marked Star
PEOPLE ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM
Superstar Elle Bostwick is kidnapped in London. But who has kidnapped her? NINA, a group of powerful and ruthless opportunists who will do anything to anyone to gain access to something Elle has that they want? Or the CIA, who is equally determined to prevent NINA access to what it wants? And why a singer? Why Elle? And why does she not know what they’re after?
Days later, Elle mysteriously turns up at a Shadow Watcher’s wedding reception, and the Shadow Watchers, Nick Sloan specifically, is ordered to keep her safe—indefinitely. But the top secret entity issuing the orders doesn’t say why or who is pursuing Elle. All information is being atypically withheld. That has never before happened. Why now?
OLD WOUNDS RUN DEEP
Nick and Elle have a history. He left her without even saying good-bye, determined to never need or want anyone—not after surviving his horror show of a family. Nick learned the hard way to never dare to love anyone. He didn’t know Elle had been walking wounded, too.
Now she’s burst back into his life–with baggage that could get them and the other Shadow Watchers killed. Who is on their side? Who is their real enemy? And what does that enemy really want? Most importantly, will they find out before they end up dead.
CAN LOVE HEAL THEM—IS IT ENOUGH?
Nick willingly risks his life for her, but does he dare to risk his heart? Does Elle? Both have little reason to trust. Little reason to dare, except for the hope of love they find in each other. But neither is certain… Is love enough to heal deep wounds? To spare the lives and hearts of Nick and The Marked Star?
If you’d like to read more on Elle, I’ve posted the first three chapters of her book, and of the first one in the series. You can find them at:
Read the first three chapters of THE MARKED STAR (Shadow Watchers, Book 2): http://issuu.com/vickihinze/docs/the_marked_star_preview?e=19463538/33154761
Read the first three chapters of THE MARKED BRIDE (Shadow Watchers, Book 1): http://issuu.com/vickihinze/docs/the_marked_bride_preview
Sometimes we want to win. Sometimes we need to win. And sometimes we need a stint at the ten-cent maid table to gain some wisdom or knowledge or insight that will serve us now and for the rest of our lives. I think the point is to trust that we get what we need when we need it.
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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest releases are: The Marked Star and In Case of Emergency: What You Need to Know When I Can’t Tell You (nonfiction). She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. KNOW IT FIRST! Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!