Sisters in Grace
Tina Terrell and Christie Stephens
“ Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5.
This past week, Greg had a death in his family. His uncle Jim had passed away after a lengthy illness. Greg was close to him, and so we made an unplanned road trip. Greg, the kids, and I packed up and left at noon on Monday on a trip to Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The longest road trip we had ever taken with the kids was to San Antonio; however, this one was longer!
The kids were armed with their electronics, pillows, blankets, snacks, etc. They played, slept and occasionally fought. Greg drove most of the way, but I drove the last final hours. This was an unexpected trip, so Greg had packed some drinks and sandwich stuff to eat to save money.
As we drove, we took turns picking the radio stations. Greg enjoys country music. Jessie likes current pop hits, and Jake likes more of Hip hop style. I enjoy all kinds of music, but my station of choice was the 90’s music of my youth. We all tolerated each other’s choices and even sang along to them. By the time we got there, I could sing One Direction’s latest hit, Go “Down Town” with Lady Antebellum, and bust out some of Juicy J’s rap on Katie Perry’s “Dark Horse”. Jake and Jessie even belted out a Nirvana and Pearl Jam song on occasion for their mom. Although we griped about the music on occasion, we all had a good time. It was quite funny! After our back sides were numb, we finally arrived in Poplar Bluff, went to our hotel and crashed for the night.
As I laid there trying to go to sleep, I remembered all the road trips I took growing up. You see, our family vacation most years was driving to California to visit the Trout family there. Tina and I didn’t have the luxury of getting to change the radio station though, but never fear! Our station wagon was equipped with a ‘state of the art’ cassette player, and our dad was ready. He had a brand new Ronnie Millsap tape of his greatest hits! For thousands of miles – on the way to and from the Modesto area of California, the Trout family listened to Ronny Millsap. To this day, Tina and I can ‘name that tune’ and sing all the words to a Ronny Millsap song in just two notes!
The next day, we attended the service for Uncle Jim, and marveled at the celebration of a great Christian man who had done so much for his community. The kids got to see relatives they did not remember meeting, and Greg visited his family. It was long overdue! Although we went for a sad circumstance, we enjoyed visiting with family and getting to see the community Greg’s family enjoyed for many years. (Missouri is quite beautiful, and the Dogwoods were breathtaking!)
We didn’t make that trip for enjoyment. We went to attend a funeral. We didn’t have tons of money or time to spend on fast food, fancy dinners, or sightseeing. We did, however, enjoy the simple things that we often take for granted. We visited with each other and distant family. Our phones were put away most of the time, and we enjoyed each other. We listened to the same songs, sang together, told jokes – even corny ones, and explained to Jessie on more than one occasion that we were in Arkansas NOT Alaska! “You know what I mean,” she would say each time. (We had a lesson on the geography of the United States when we got back.)
We were content with each other and what we had. We actually didn’t even gripe about eating sandwiches and chips for dinner. We spent time together with the ones we love and remembered one who God had called home. The trip made me look at priorities. What am I putting ahead of God and my family? Am I spending enough time with my family or the TV, Computer, or digital device? As the days pass, I am going to be doing some soul searching and finding the answers. I want to be sure I am putting God and family first. How are you answering these questions for your life?
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First United Methodist Church of Diboll has much to offer!
Sunday School – We have a class for every age and every way! From the very young to the young at heart, we have something for you. We offer couples classes, women’s, men’s, and children’s Sunday school along with Youth each week. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. each Sunday morning. Join us for coffee fellowship at 9:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall.
Children and Youth Ministry- U.M.Y.F., United Methodist Youth Fellowship, is a time of connection and fellowship for young adults grades 6-12. Youth meet Wednesdays at 6:30 and Sunday evenings at 3:30. The Young United Methodist Youth, Y.U.M.Y.’s, meet weekly at 3:30-5:30 on Sundays. YUMY’s provides worship for children grades PK4-5th grade.
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors!