It was such an honor to be asked to go to NYC with Inspire Investing to be a part of the Closing Bell Ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange last Tuesday.
Inspire Investing is an organization dedicated to providing low-cost, high impact biblically responsible investments that support Christian ministry. I wasn’t aware of them before they reached out to invite me to their event and was honored that they would ask me to come. They also were kind enough to say Jesse could come with me and to pay for part of our travel expenses.
(Note: They didn’t ask me to write a blog post or mention them online nor did they request that I do any sort of promotion for them, but Jesse and I had such a great trip that I couldn’t help but share about it in a blog post!)
The entire day felt surreal and crazy — even in how it began! You see, because of how the travel day worked out, I ended up only having 10 minutes to get dressed and do my hair and makeup, instead of the hour I was planning on.
No biggie, except for the fact that I was supposed to be meeting a number of people and be on live TV in front of something like 100 million viewers. I just had to laugh while I was putting on my makeup without a mirror in the backseat of the 3-minute Uber ride at how God is constantly giving me opportunities to trust Him — even with little things like hair & makeup!
When we got to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), we had to go through tight security (you can only get into the building if your name is on their list of invited guests). I didn’t know what to expect when we got in nor how many people would be attending this event. I was guessing it was going to be really small — maybe just 20-30 people.
Imagine my surprise when we got inside and found out that there were 130 people there with Inspire Investing! Most of them were financial advisors or in the financial industry and pretty much all of them had flown in for the event from all different parts of the country.
I realized that this was definitely not like a typical blogger or influencer event and I was pretty out of my league. People kept introducing themselves and saying things like, “Hi, I’m so-and-so from such-and-such financial investing firm. Are you a financial advisor?”
I just had to laugh… because I think I was the only mom blogger there. There were a few other bloggers, but they were all personal finance/financial bloggers — not people who write about deals and ways that moms can save money on groceries! 😉
We gathered in this really ornate room and got to hear from the founder of Inspire Investing, as well as get an overview of the history of the NYSE and the importance of it as part of our nation’s economy, as well as how it impacts the global economy.
Inspire Investing had asked if I could be on the podium as part of the Closing Bell Ceremony (when the trading floor closes for the day). I was very honored to be asked to be a part of this and it was such a surreal experience. (This is the second time Inspire Investing was given the opportunity to do the Closing Bell Ceremony. You can rread more from the CEO on his thoughts and experiences at the first Closing Bell Ceremony here.)
About 15 minutes before the Closing Bell Ceremony, they ushered us downstairs to the trading floor and we got to walk through it while all of the trading was still going on. It sort of felt like you were in a movie — only the chaos and people pacing the floor on phones and iPads and the paper littered everywhere was the actual thing, not some scene from a movie!
We took pictures, signed the book, and then went up to the podium. They told us that over 100 million people view the Closing Ceremony every day and that as soon as we walked out onto the podium we would be on live TV somewhere.
The actual Closing Bell Ceremony felt like it was over so quickly. And it basically just consisted of clapping and smiling and clapping and smiling and clapping and smiling for the cameras. 😉 You can watch the one-minute clip here, if you are interested.
(Note: While it seemed like it was just clapping and smiling, the Closing Bell Ceremony is a pretty significant event every day when it comes to our nation’s economy and the stock market.)
After the Closing Bell Ceremony, those of us who had been invited to be on the podium got to sign the wall on the stairwell behind the podium. They said we could write something with our name, if we wanted to. I couldn’t think of a more fitting phrase to include with my name than “Soli Deo Gloria” — as that is truly my heartbeat!
I loved that Jesse got to join me for this experience (a huge thank you to his parents who flew to our house from Kansas to watch our kids!) and we had so much fun together! My only disappointment of the day was that we didn’t get a picture together on the trading floor.
We were in separate groups and security escorted his group out before I got down to the floor from the podium. At least I got this hilarious photo of him looking all dapper at the pre-ceremony reception!
It was an amazing day and one we will remember and cherish for a very long time! Thank you to Inspire Investing for giving us this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!