July 3, 2017

Good morning and Happy Independence Day (tomorrow)!! I hope you have some fun holiday activities going on with family and friends. It has to include food and fireworks (in that order) and then the rest is up to you. Life is precious so make sure to create those amazing memories that live on. I am also thankful to be born in America. And even though my country doesn’t always behave like I want it to (kind of like my children) I am still proud to be an American. People always say when you travel outside of the US you come to appreciate it more. I do think there is some truth in that. God Bless America this 4th of July!!

Some of you may have heard me talk a little bit yesterday about our trip to Oklahoma last Friday. We took the bike and rode up to watch my granddaughter, Mya, in a play she was involved in. As I mentioned on Facebook, she was the cutest Zebra ever in the presentation of The Lion King. It was fun and we had a good, quick visit with my daughter and her family (we even helped a little at the shop – CakedUp). So after the play was over we jumped on the bike to head back home. We needed to be back to help paint at the church on Saturday but as soon as we left their house a little after 9:00PM I noticed the very evident signs of lightning. When you’re on a bike it’s pretty hard to miss. And being the perceptive person I am I said something like uhhh I didn’t realize the storm was this close. Jennifer said well we can always turn around and spend the night. That was an option, but we/me decided to push on. I had checked the weather earlier thinking we would be OK but now I wasn’t so confident. We had not brought rain gear and riding in the rain is not something that really excites me. In fact, I try to avoid it if at all possible. So we had this lightning show going on and it continued as we rode. About thirty minutes later we were in Sherman and we stopped just to check the weather map. Sure enough there was this huge thunderstorm bank that looked like we wouldn’t be able to miss. I wanted to go south into Dallas and then across. Jennifer wanted to cut across to Gainesville and then down to Fort Worth. So I went her way but my last words were “if we get soaked it’s on you.” Ha. As we rode directly towards the storm I was convinced it was going to hit any moment and we would indeed be soaked. I was constantly wondering if we could find a place to pull over (not likely on highway 82) or if we would just have to suffer on at a slow pace. Along the middle of the continuing lightning show, I mentioned yesterday how we also saw some fireworks. I actually didn’t see them but they were so close I thought someone was shooting at us plus Jennifer was yelling something. I didn’t wreck but I considered taking evasive action. On we went. We got to Gainesville and turned south running along the edge of the storm system. Sometime before we got to Denton it seemed we were going to be OK. We got home and we had not had a single drop of rain hit us. A few minutes later I looked at the weather map and I could see the front that had literally just gone through the whole route we had taken home. If we had left 30 minutes later we would have been right in the middle of it.

I firmly believe God had watched over us. There is no way we should have been able to ride through all that and never get wet. And trust me, as we rode I was doing a lot of serious praying. I even said, God if we get wet I know there is a purpose in that. Maybe to teach me some lesson but I prayed that lesson would not be so severe that we might be injured. I prayed not that God would deliver us from the storm but that He would protect us through the storm. I know Jennifer was praying too but she was also enjoying the amazing lightning show that we enjoyed for almost the entire ride home. I didn’t enjoy it as much as she did but it was indeed an awesome sight. I was reminded that even in the middle of the storm we can find God’s beautiful handiwork.

I believe God allows things in our lives for a reason. In this case God did keep us from the storm and I am convinced it was divine intervention. But God doesn’t always keep us out of the storm. Many times we have to go through the storm. We often don’t know why and it’s never fun but it’s always a chance for us to grow. We either grow closer to God or we grow apart. We either learn to trust His grace or we blame Him for our misfortune. Storms come and go but God’s love for us endures forever!!

I want to take this opportunity to wish my daughter, Lauran, and her husband, Allen Fuller, a very happy 10th Wedding Anniversary. This Friday, July 7th marks the day they were married. We thank God for them and their two children and the one on the way!