God's Faithfulness, Stories I Share

The Stories I Share: Plane Tickets

My youngest spent a college semester traveling through six countries.

Colossi of Memnon, Egypt
Nafplio, Greece

After arriving in Athens, the study abroad group disbanded for an eight-day spring break. Students either flew home or were joined by family—too expensive for us.

After exploring numerous options, it became clear that my husband must join our son. How did we afford such a trip? I sold used, unwanted college textbooks on Amazon. In one day, I raised much of the $800+ airfare.

This “cheap” flight had an Amsterdam layover and arrived hours after my son. For some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to book it. Perhaps, I hoped for price drop? And then, I forgot.

I remembered the Thursday of the historic landing of a US Airways plane in the Hudson River—fourteen years ago today. Travelers briefly became wary of New York City departures. My coveted, nonstop flight from New York City plummeted to $600. I snatched it.

My son emailed “How will I find Dad?”

“He will be waiting at your airport exit gate.”

“Wonderful.”

Athens arrival

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (ESV)

God's Faithfulness, Stories I Share, Winter

The Stories I Share: Our Goldilocks Trucker

Four years ago, after a Christmassy North Carolina weekend, we started home in the rain. Within miles, it turned to snow, and as the snow thickened, I urged my husband to turn back. He refused. A work crisis demanded he be present Monday morning.

My anxiety increased each time we passed sideways cars in the median. Truckers either slung blinding snow across our windshield or struggled up hills causing surrounding cars to respond haphazardly.

However, one trucker forged a reliable path. After observing his steadiness, my husband decided to follow his tracks. We passed when the trucker passed. We didn’t when he didn’t. When I asked if we were going to take an exit, my husband said, “It depends on what the trucker does.”   

Our Goldilocks trucker. Not too slow. Not too fast.

We lost view of the truck due to merging traffic near Richmond, Virginia. “Maybe the driver noticed a green Subaru following him and will hang back,” I suggested. My husband didn’t think so. I won.

Eventually, we exited and left our guide of over 100 miles. The next morning, I called Armellini and expressed our gratitude for the driver of truck 5716.

Have you received unexpected guidance?

God's Faithfulness, Holidays

Holiday Stories: The Endings

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God for it is written ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’

Romans 12:19 (ESV)

My holidays with extended family were filled with stories of past events. (See here.) However, they were also filled with the beginnings and middles of future stories. How would those stories end?

One advantage of being old—I need at least one—is that I have lived to see many endings. I have seen and continue to see the faithfulness of God as he writes the rest of the story.

A sample of endings: Those who were slandered were vindicated. Those who were greedy became impoverished. Those who seemed shallow shared wisdom. Those who were outcasts were given innumerable friends. Those who served the Lord left this earth with honor. Alleged victims were revealed as liars. Enemies were reconciled. Reformed thieves gained trust.

Along the way, I learned that vengeance truly does belong to the Lord. Only he can deal fairly with the hearts of men.

Have you ever wished for a little—or perhaps a lot—of vengeance after a holiday gathering?

God's Faithfulness, Stories I Share

The Stories I Share: Last Photo

One evening, I received a call from a special cousin. “The cancer is in my spinal fluid,” she said. “I’ve been given four to eight weeks.”

“Would you like me to come?”

“I would love to see your face one more time.”

There were blessings each day of my journey. However, I especially wanted one—a last photo with Cheryl. When and how should I ask? I didn’t want tears or forced, false cheerfulness.

My last evening, we stopped at Buc-ees for beef jerky. The Texas icon is not quickly described. All that is important is that the mascot is Buc-ee the Beaver, and Cheryl and I thoroughly enjoyed romping through the massive convenience store examining—and sometimes playing with—the merchandise.

Before we left, I asked Cheryl’s husband to snap a photo of me with Buc-ee’s statue. (Such photos are a family tradition.) Cheryl quickly and unexpectedly hopped out of the car and joined me.

November 19, 2014

I had my photo. A moment of silliness, not sadness. A fitting memory of a woman who loved playing jokes and making people laugh.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15

God's Faithfulness, Stories I Share

The Stories I Share: The Car on Blocks

“To begin, the car next door needs to go. It will deter a buyer,” our realtor explained.

“We bought the house,” said my husband.

“No one else will. This is a buyer’s market.”

The car in question was on blocks and sat outside our master bedroom window. Our neighbor—being the good sister that she was—had allowed her brother to tow it to her yard when his wife said the relic had to be removed. The wife had given up on her husband restoring it.

What to do? We liked our neighbor and didn’t want to offend her. The car wasn’t against any city code. Not only did it not bother us, I also had fond memories of my middle son standing at the window and gazing at the car.

So, we did nothing and trusted that God would allow our house to sell with the eyesore. A couple of weeks later, two men towed the car away. Our neighbor said they had knocked on her door and offered to clean her yard in exchange for the car.

An unexpected quick sale for 1991

Have you had a difficult situation disappear?