“Amen”. It was music to my ears- like hearing the timer go off when you are craving the cookies baking in the oven. On Saturday as I finished my talk in San Antonio, I prayed with the ladies and ended with “Amen” and sat myself down. It was over and I was one relieved happy girl. The setting was about as comfortable and cozy as it can get. There was a great big porch that wrapped around a ranch pavilion nestled in South Texas trees. Since the weather was typical Texas, they kept all the barn doors pushed wide open and we were able to enjoy the country setting all the more. The room was filled with huge square picnic tables topped with cow skins, glowing red glasses with candles and poinsettias. The enormous fire place made it all the more relaxing and with hostesses like Debbie and Twanya, it just couldn’t get any better. The only glitch I felt like we had was as we were singing the last worship song before I was to go up, I realized there was no microphone stand and no one had wired me either. Major amateur that I am, that sort of made the butterflies that were already in full "flutter" start doing kamikaze dives. I talk with my hands as much as I do my mouth! It wound up that I did hold the microphone and actually switched hands a time or two. (Those things get heavy.) There was a stage that I hadn’t really anticipated but I actually was glad for that once I got up there. With the distance and the lights, I couldn’t really see everyone. It made me feel a little anonymous, kind of like I was still practicing in my room or something (except add high heels and eyeliner). I could see silhouettes and hear their responses but that was about it.
To my delight, my dear friend, TJ, had agreed to go down with me to keep me company which turned out to a bigger blessing than I could have ever imagined. As she nobly attempted to take a “back seat”, so to speak, and help me, she wound up with ministry opportunities of her own and one particular lady wishing for “just 2 more days with her”. Not a few more minutes or a cup of coffee but 2 more days!! (Get in line, little lady.) She handled questions like, “Do you travel with her on all her speaking engagements?” If I had been standing there I would have said, “Yeah, on all TWO of them. Last time, she drove me from the church parking lot to Joe T’s downtown.” She only compounded the fun of the 24+ hours and sweetly anticipated many of my needs- something she does well for many.
As we left the country, we stopped at Starbucks (2nd stop) and I think I sucked down, to TJ’s amazement, a Caramel Frappucino in less than 3 minutes. I enjoyed my brain freeze and the “shakes” that quickly followed. We had every intention of getting more comfortable for the ride home and shopping, but we found ourselves walking the stores in San Marcos in high heels. (For those of you who don't know us, you can’t find 2 people who value casual and comfortable more-except maybe our Minnesota friend.) We kept calling ourselves ‘one of ‘those’ ”. You know who I am talking about. You see women that actually do this because they want to. This may explain why we only went to about 5 stores. As we stopped to eat dinner at Chuy’s (2nd night in a row), we went out of our comfort zone and ordered a different entrée. We were so proud of ourselves. Starbucks (3rd stop) took us home from Waco and happily into our own beds.
So after a pretty neat weekend of being affirmed, encouraged and pampered (by the church that invited me, TJ, Chuy’s and Starbucks), I woke up with 25 minutes to get ready for church, get kids bathed and ready (baths were imperative and I am loosey gooesy on baths), toast bagels, and make PB &J’s for the ride home. As I flew up the stairs by two’s, I am welcomed by, excuse me, but throw up on Julia’s floor. (Jeff had warned me last night that he had been a “Yes” Daddy all day and that they had plenty of sweets.) So there they were………….. completely unrecognizable on the floor by her bed. Miraculously, we made it to church on time only to be the number one distraction rushing Julia out the back when she would give me that panicked look. The last time it happened, Jeff ran her out, but not quickly enough. Yes, the “t-up” word or the “v” word all over the back of the sanctuary. Needless to say, we all loaded up and came home.
Little did I know, reality was only a good night’s sleep away.
Debbie-- the one who got me into this! Loved it, friend!
TJ- the one who helped me through it. (TJ--I decided it just wouldn't be right if I didn't include the picture. By the way, GREAT outfit.)