Don't you love pleasant surprises?!
Sunday morning we were on the receiving end of a great surprise. I was standing in Frank's office getting ready for our team meeting when in walked Joy (our middle daughter), then John (our amazing son-in-law) which is totally normal. Then came the surprise - John's mom (Linda) and John's dad (also John). It was such a shock to see them standing there that it really took my brain a minute to compute.
John's parents live in Poughkeepsie, NY (hope I got close to the proper spelling on that) and as you know, that is a really long way from Winter Haven, FL. So they don't ever just "drop by" to enjoy church with us. Much squealing ensued (on my part); thankfully Frank stayed poised and greeted them warmly but with a measure of decorum. That way we know they won't be concerned about the future grandchildren being around the "other" grandparents (that would be us.)
Actually, John and Linda Schreck - yes, that really is their last name and she is a children's pastor- are an answer to many years of prayer. Young mom's, you shouldn't feel foolish at all for praying now over the future spouse of your children. Pray for their extended families too. When Joy and John decided to get married, we were delighted to discover that his family were also Christians who had endeavored to rear a Godly young man. So, their wedding truly was a celebration of two families coming together.
To quote the immortal philosopher - Sally Field, "We like each other. We really, really like each other!"
So after church, the Schrecks called other friends from NY who have moved here to be near grandchildren (not a bad idea, Linda) and we all invaded a local restaurant. The hostess wisely seated us away from the main dining area because we were already so loud in the lobby.
Isn't it annoying when a group of people think they are the only ones in the restaurant and they laugh loudly, talk across one another loudly, even seem to order loudly?! Goodness!! Well, yesterday, we were that group of people. Not that any of the other guests asked to be moved elsewhere. But I did notice that as the tables around us cleared out, the hostess was a bit slow to reseat them. Guess we were a little louder than we thought! Smile.
The really neat thing was that while Linda and John's surprise visit (their flight back to NY from Ft. Lauderdale had been canceled so they rented a car and scooted up to Winter Haven) was a delight to us, it really was a divine appointment of sorts.
Linda's friend moved down here several months ago and in the midst of all the drama involved in relocating one's life, she also began to experience some severe health problems. So yesterday Linda and I were able to step off to the side at one point and pray together with her dear friend. And Linda was able to lavish her with generous hugs and reassuring smiles throughout the meal.
Before parting ways, I looked at the friend and said, "Wow, how special are you?! The Lord knew you really needed an extra boost right now so He allowed Kennedy Airport to close up just long enough for John and Linda to swing by with some "NY family love" for you. I'd say you must be one of His favorites!" She smiled and nodded with big tears in her eyes.
Truth is, we're all His favorites. I'm not sure how He manages that but I'm certainly glad He does. It's just our part to watch for the special moments He sends our way that say, "I love you. I hear your whispered prayers. I'm with you." Pleasant surprises - what a gift!