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Pleasant (and unpleasant) Surprises

Today has been really interesting.  Felt sick and mostly stayed home.  Ok, I felt lazy too!  🙂  But, my stomach has been a “blender” today, so I didn’t feel like venturing out too far.  However, I needed to do some venturing and forced myself to do so starting around 1ish.  About that same time, my 2-year-old daughter decided to find out whether or not my cell phone can float in the bathtub.  It can’t.

Later in the day, my van would threaten to leave me stranded—I’m still trying to figure out what my 2-year-old did to the van!  Surprisingly enough though,  I drove about 100 miles in said van after the unpleasant surprise of nearly stalling out.  I spent time with my father and saw the parents of an old friend.  Enjoyable, but put me behind schedule for a Small Group I lead on Monday nights.  With no phone, I was unable to let people know I would get to the meeting a little late.   Well it wasn’t really “people” I wanted to notify; they are teenagers.  They used to be “people.”  They will one day be “people” again. But I digress…

No worries though, the students who were able to make it tonight waited patiently for me to arrive.  And when I say “waited patiently,” I mean they rearranged our meeting space!  They also created a new game using notecards, pool balls, and bolts. There I go digressing again.

But now the “real fun” begins—the pleasant surprises.  Since we were limited on time, we wound up just hanging out and having an informal discussion about what it means to “follow Jesus.”  This discussion was loosely based on the book we are studying, Not a Fan.  Mostly it was just a chance for them to talk about the challenges of living out their faith in the day-to-day reality of teenage life.  And, long story short, they are passionate about being more than fans of Christ—they passionately long to follow Him.

The other pleasant surprise happened when I left the meeting to go home.  About a mile from my office I realized I had left some things behind. I needed to return and grab them, so I started driving back.  I decided to make my return trip through a neighborhood I don’t frequently drive through—a student lives there who has just lost his father to cancer.  My intention was to merely do a “drive by” (shooting up prayers for him as I drove by the house), but he was actually out in his driveway playing basketball.  Alone.  It was a great opportunity to visit and pray with him rather than just for him.  And I absolutely believe God orchestrated the opportunity to meet with him on “his turf.”  It was a moment that perhaps surprised me, but not God.  🙂

I hope you’ve also had a few pleasant surprises today!

19 responses »

  1. You are blessed.
    “drive by” (shooting up…),” then “his turf.” Clever, especially while fighting off the virus and recovering from the cell phone incident.
    They used to be “people.” They will one day be “people” again. So funny!
    Get better. I’m glad these teens have a caring role model in their lives.

    • Thanks! As I get older it’s harder to really relate, but it’s moments like the ones I mentioned here that tell me God still has work for me to accomplish in the lives of teenagers. You’re right…I’m blessed 🙂

      • Teenagers are a special breed, proud but still seeking. Seeking love, acceptance, answers, those they can respect, those who try to understand. By the end of the first year in college, they are lost for a few years, thinking they know it all, taking in all the “liberal” views of their professors. I know, I was there at one time many years ago. I say you are blessed because you have been given an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of many. Huge responsibility, one that you are up to.

  2. Yes, it does sound like God orchestrated that ‘drive by’. Good for you in listening to Him and pray for the student.

  3. Nothing happens by accident, and when we’re focused on God, life is full of pleasant surprises.
    Great article! Call me! hahaha … (that was mean, huh?)

    • You are right Charles…it’s amazing to “step back” and realize where God was at work, when things seemed “coincidental” at first glance. After fanning, blow-drying, bag of rice, & even some prayers, my phone is working now! I’ll be calling you next time I’m through College Station! 🙂

  4. Encouraging post. Have a teenager who’s almost an adult. Starting to see the hope and see she’s starting to turn back into a person again. Also, glad to know God has things figured out and in control, because I so don’t.

    • LOL….I’m happy you’ve almost got your “person” back! I’m right there with you…I definitely don’t have it “figured out”…other than learning to rely more and more on Him! 🙂

  5. big LOL @ “drive by” (shooting up prayers for him as I drove by the house),..omg, that is pretty funny. Somehow I can picture you doing this as you come to a slow and suspicious driving speed with your window down, maybe while wearing a smoke lens sunglasses, too!

    But all kidding aside, I am amazed that you are able to accomplish so much good in your “sickly” stage. What are you like when you are feeling 100%. Good for you for making a differnce in people’s lives

  6. I really like your definition of “drive-by.” What a great way to make the concept memorable when you’re trying to promote the idea to others.

  7. “big LOL @ “drive by” (shooting up prayers for him as I drove by the house),..omg, that is pretty funny.” – Chris

    I caught that also lol.

    But all jokes aside, I am sure the student was graciously surprised by your visit & needed that little extra prayer ❤

  8. So many unexpected blessings! I’ll pray my “unusual prayer” for you: “Lord, thank You for the joy with which You showered my day. Please gladden the hearts of those whom You have blessed differently.” Peace be with you! — Kelly

  9. love this! thank you for the reminder to look for the little pleasant details in a day.

  10. purpleowltree1234

    Teenagers are AWESOME!!! 🙂 It’s great to find someone who is investing in their lives and giving them time and care and food for thought. 🙂 On behalf of someone who used to be a teenager, thank you!
    Love from Rach.

  11. purpleowltree1234

    Oh, PS, we’ve had many episodes of our young daughter doing her magic too! I empathise! 🙂 …Not having our bank cards at the drive-through register (they were under her dad’s driver’s seat, thanks to darling daughter), sinking mobile (cell) phone also, destructo girl getting into DVDs and old videos, things breaking… Fun stories for years later, not so much at the time…


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