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Road Trip & Second Chances

Yesterday morning the kids and I set out on a mini road trip. Our destination: Richmond, Va to visit my JMU roommate and her family. On our return trip we visited my dear friend who just delivered her third child. We drove under a cloudless sky with nothing but the open road ahead. My first born, masquerading as our DJ played his favorites songs which includes an eclectic mix of: Elvis, Chris Tomlin, The Monkeys, TobyMac, The Beetles and believe it or not The Charlie Daniels Band. It was while we were dancing and jamming to “He Reigns” by Kirk Franklin that a verse came to mind.

“Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders

fall down before Him and

lay their crowns before Him saying:

‘You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things…’

-Revelation 4:9-12

The song ended and I shared with the kids the awesomeness of that verse. Think about it…your praise here on earth can cause a chain reaction in heaven. Our praises cause those at God’s throne to bow down before him and lay their crowns at his feet. We should live a life of continual much so that those at God’s throne never stand up! The visit with my former roommate was wonderful. We laughed and cried, we ate, we stayed up late and laughed some more. She taught me the value eating whole foods and milling my own flour. While I taught here to quilt and to save money by making laundry detergent. Yes, she has her own grain mill and made literally “from scratch” pancakes. I saw her mill the wheat into flour! It was alot of work, but delicious. A sudden storm and flickering lights caused us to adjourn to our rooms for the night (flashlight in hand). When I left this afternoon, I thought about how we met. We both had horrible roommates and God brought us together at a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting. Prior to meeting my friend, my grades were slipping and I was placed on academic probation. Yikes! She and I became roommates the following semester and my grades steadily improved. God had given me a second chance! (The college even gave me a scholarship for the improved grades...woo hoo). On the way to Charlotesville to visit my friend and her newest family member, my oldest and I had a heart-to-heart. We discussed how to handle disappointment. I shared that we may not be able to control the events in our life, but we can control our attitude and our response. A valuable lesson for us all. He then asked “Momma, how come God answers your prayers but not mine sometimes.” Shew that’s a deep one I thought! I explained that sometimes God’s answer to prayer is ‘No.’ When that happens we have to be okay with his answer, even if it is not what we wanted to hear. I then went on to explain that sometimes God will choose to not listen to our prayers if we have unconfessed sin hidden in our hearts. A few moments later, I look in the rear view mirror to see my 9-year-old’s eyes closed, lips moving in prayer, asking for forgiveness. He too was given a second chance!

I visit my friend and her family in the hospital. So thankful for her friendship to me. A friendship that was an answer to prayer. I am so thankful for God’s perfect timing and for placing her in my life. What a joy to see their sweet bundle of sugar-and-spice-and everything-nice. I kiss the new baby girl on the top of her head and say goodbye to my friend.

As I left the hospital, I received a phone call…my dad has had a heart attack. Everyone in the family has known, but me. Dad didn’t want me to know, because he knew I’d cancel my trip. Dad is up and doing good. He has had a stent inserted and should be going home soon. Although this is good news, I can’t help my cry, this is my Daddy! I cry from Charlottesville to home. Then whispers of my previous conversation come to mind…”We can’t control what happens to us…but we can control our attitude and our response.” Praise God! My dad has been given a second chance!

I wipe away the tears and ask the DJ to play me my favorite songs. We need some praising going on in this car. We need to some crowns laid at Christ’s feet. We’ve been given a second chance! ~April “May you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”- Romans 12:1

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