Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Nice Day

Today our senior high youth group had a service project and a Christmas party. We had to be to church by 8am and I was NOT happy about that this morning. I was whining and complaining the whole time I was getting ready. It turned out to be a great day, though. During the school year, I don't work with the teens on Wednesday night youth group. I work with the Awana Sparkies. (which you all know I love) Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy being with the teens. I go to Sunday School with them and activities, but the activities are the times where I really get to connect with the kids and get to know them better. They are an encouragement to me. Today we went to help out with an inner city program that reaches out to a very difficult area. I believe that this city is rated one of the worst in the country. The kids were adorable and the gospel was shared. It was so interesting to listen to and see the way that they ran the program. I was blessed by going and hope that we will be able to continue helping this ministry out in the future. Cheney left feeling that the ministry was a very worthwhile thing and I really appreciate my sons being able to participate in something like that. All in all, it was a great day, even if I did have to get up early on a Saturday morning.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thank You Lord

Last Wednesday, we were all getting ready to go to Awana. It was a big night for Ashleigh and Bethany. The T&T club was going to a nursing home. We had never done a trip like that with the clubbers before. Bethany, and her two friends, Rachael and Kelly, headed out to get there early as the T&Ters were leaving early. I got my things together and the rest of us prepared to leave. As I was heading out the door to begin loading up my Jeep, I got a call from Bethany. She had been in an accident. They were all okay, although she thought both cars were totaled, but the other man was trapped in his car. That's all I knew. I told her I would be right there and Alan and I decided that we would head over to the accident to be with the girls and Cheney would drive himself, his brother and a friend to church. As we were leaving, I handed Cheney my story for Sparks and explained really quickly what he would need to do to run my club.

We headed out and soon came upon the accident scene. There were firetrucks, ambulances, and police cars. Bethany's car was facing the opposite direction and parked on the other side of the road from the car that hit her. After being directed across the street by a fireman (and being told repeatedly by my husband that I needed to "calm down") we found that the girls were all sitting inside one of the ambulances. The older man was still stuck in his car. Much to my pleasant surprise, the ambulance door opened and I saw our friend who happens to be a state trooper sitting with the girls taking their statements. What an extra blessing for some girls who were pretty shaken up to see a friendly face.

We decided that we would take the girls to the hospital to make sure they were okay. Bethany was holding her arm funny and we thought it could be broken. The other girls were stiff and sore and Rachael might have hit her head. The emergency room was a mixture of concern, relief, more relief and a fuller realization of what the girls had been through.

The girls had been stopped in traffic waiting to go through a circle (it's this weird thing that they have in NJ). Without any warning to them, a car slammed into the back of them. We don't have the police report, yet, but the girls do not feel like the man was braking and we know the speed limit there is 50 mph. Somehow Bethany's car did not hit a car in front of her, but flew into the other lane of traffic and at one point was nearly on its side. Bethany tried to control the car with all her might and was able to make some quick decisions as far as hitting a telephone pole v. running over a mailbox and stop sign. There was one point where they were sure their lives were over. They were once again in the other lane of traffic and a car was coming right for Bethany's side of the car. Somehow the car managed to stop before hitting them.

All in all, we had some really sore girls (no broken arm) that we had to send back to PBU to complete their week of finals. However, I will take that any day over what could have happened. God was so gracious to us and kept our girls with us. God blessed me to be able to get the call from Bethany herself so I would know she was okay. He had our state trooper friend on duty and on the scene. God kept other people from being hit and gave Bethany the presence of mind to think things through in a very stressful situation.

It was also a blessing to see all of my kids jump in to help each other out. Cheney taught my story, ran game time at Awana for my club and did it beautifully. Ashleigh and Kevin came home with Cheney and Davin which let Cheney not be in charge anymore and be able to relax a bit. Two other friends of Bethany's waited until we got home from the hospital and took her back to school. We were able to finish the night by praying together and thanking God for the incredible mercy He showed to us on that night.

Thank you, Father. We never know what a day will bring. Thank you for your protection that you granted to all who were on the road that night.