Monday, July 23, 2012

An unexpected gift......Philadelphia (Part 1)

Does Jesus care about our heart's burdens and matter how small or trivial?
I say, YES!!

At the beginning of June, I was delighted that my grandmother would be celebrating her 96th birthday.
She is my mother's mother, and she lives all by herself in an apartment in a lovely town right outside of Philadelphia.
She is a delight to us all.
But how I have missed spending time with her.
The last time I got to visit her, my oldest daughter was just a year old....14 years ago.
But when her birthday came around this year, she got sick......really sick.
She called the paramedics for herself, and off they whisked her to the local hospital.
She was diagnosed with a nasty bladder infection that had traveled into her bloodstream.
We were all so concerned for her.
I asked for prayer for her on facebook, and mentioned how much I miss her and that I sure wish I could go see her.
I think I said something like:  "I sure wish I could walk into her room with flowers to wish her a happy birthday."
So a long-time friend, who I haven't spoken with in years, sent me a message asking if she bought a ticket for me to go, could I just up and go?
Say that again??
Well.....ummmm......let me think about that?
Right NOW?
Next week?
I told her I would have to seriously think about it.
I also began praying about this.
It really wasn't an easy decision.
Lots of details to figure out......lodging.....child care....transportation once I got there.
I talked with my husband and several other people, and they all agreed (separately) that I should take this opportunity.
I felt that if I didn't go now, I would never have another chance, and that I would so regret that decision.
But with my responsibilities at our church's VBS, I felt committed to staying home until that was over.
That meant not leaving until July.
We finally decided on the dates when my husband would have his regular days off without having to use any vacation time.  He even thought if he put in early enough, that he could get a Saturday off as well.
So we choose the dates of Saturday, July 7 through Wednesday, July 11.
And I booked my flight.
Within days, my husband finds out that he cannot get that Saturday off after all, so I immediately began asking friends/family if they could help out.
Very quickly, I had all my children farmed out for Friday night and all day groups of 2.
My dearest, long-time friend then agreed to come get me at 6 am on Saturday morning to drive me to the airport since my husband has to be to work at 5 am.
I offered to buy her breakfast and the deal was sealed!!
As the weeks to my trip started ticking grandmother had a set-back.
She had gotten well enough to move to a nursing rehabilitation facility, but started to run fever again.
She was put back in the hospital with fever, breathing problems, and an intestinal virus.
Her daughters and the nursing staff decided that it might not be a good idea for her to ever go back to her apartment.
So I was worried that her apartment would be closed up and I would have to get a hotel (which we really couldn't afford with a car rental.)
VBS came and went, as did the 4th of July, and her apartment was still available for me to use.

My husband reserved a car for me online, my MIL handed me some spending money in an envelope, and all I had to do was figure out how to pack 5 days worth of girl stuff into two limited carry-on bags.
Does Jesus care?
Oh, YES!

Do you fly often?
Have you any idea the hoops you have to jump through these days to get through security at an airport?
I was so nervous that I had missed a detail and that I would have to leave something behind or check a bag at $25 a pop that I was almost shaking!!
But the Friday evening before my flight, my husband and I got all our children dropped off to their respective sleepover spots and we got to enjoy a date night by ourselves!!
The next morning, my sweet friend was at our home by 6 am, and we were off to breakfast together!!
She dropped me off at the airport an hour and half before my flight, and a nice lady helped me get checked in on one of those computer things within 30 seconds!
When I got to security, this is what I saw:

Remarkably, that line went much faster than I thought it would.
The security guys were very nice and everyone was so polite and I got through
with no hassles.
A nice lady suggested that I skip the "train" to my gate and gave me a shortcut:

I arrived at my gate with 20 minutes to spare, so I filled up my empty water bottle with a Crystal Light "Pure" packet and I was praising the Lord!!

Philadelphia, here I come!!

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