Last night was a very stressful night for me. As you may know, both of my kids attend college in Washington DC. Since they didn’t have classes from today through Sunday, they planned to drive home yesterday afternoon.
Here was my facebook status yesterday morning:
Chuck Balsamo 6:01am Dear God, please blow your freeze powers over this rain n turn it into snow. We want snow-we want snow-we want snow! =)” As you can imagine, the thread received 45 comments and 21 likes.
It was all fun until I remembered that my kids were planning to travel home. Here was my facebook status last night:
Chuck Balsamo 10:15pm Prayed 4 snow forgetting that my kids had 2 get home from DC tonight. Now they r stranded @ a hotel off I-64. Windshield wipers broke. :,(
Emily Wanted Me To Step Up And Lead
At 12:00 noon, Emily asked me to call the kids and tell them not to travel in the snow. I honestly tried to do that, but my kids were far too determined for anyone to talk them out of it. Emily gave me that look, like she was saying, “Step Up!”
Well, I felt like they would be ok if they traveled cautiously, so I gave them the greatest safety speech of my life, prayed for their safety, and awaited their safe arrival.
But I Whimped Out
Thank God they are safe and nothing tragic happened to them. I wish I could say that the trip was perfect, but it was not. They ran into bad weather almost immediately after they left from DC, drove 20MPH on I-64, got stuck in a few major traffic jams… and found themselves many hours later in the middle of nowhere when the windshield wiper broke on the drivers side of the car.
I spent the next few hours on the phone with them, trying to find a hotel with vacancies, while they continued at 20MPH down the snow covered interstate with a broken windshield wiper and less then a quarter of a tank of gas.
And Suffered The Consequences
The atmosphere in our family became very stressful, very fast. I’m embarrassed to say this, but we would never do good at The Amazing Race reality TV series. Emily had that, “I told you so” look on her face. She had a deep motherly concern for the kids and an understandable degree of disappointment in me.
I could not figure out exactly where the kids were located, was trying to find them on google maps based on the landmarks they described (interstate signs were snow covered and it was dark and snowing)… the dogs started to bark in our house for no reason at all!
My daughter Heaven was the navigator-she was way beyond stressed. Coree was doing everything he could to keep Heaven’s VW Bug on the road, while I raced against time to find them a room. Then Emily said, “I told you to tell them NOT to drive in this storm.” I snapped and yelled at Emily while I stomped out of the family room with my laptop and still on the phone with Heaven, while the dogs were barking like a dog pound!
Then I Saved The Day-Just In Time
I heard Coree tell Heaven, “I am not driving like this anymore. We are pulling into the next Sheetz Convenience store and we’re going to sleep on the floor!” Finally, I found it! The one vacant hotel in a 50 mile radius, 13 miles away from their location. Forty-five minutes later, they were safe and sound.
And I Was Left Alone With An Offended Wife
Then, I was left alone in the presence of an offended wife. Amazingly, the dogs even stopped barking! If looks could kill, we would have seriously injured each other. Neither of us made a sound for the next 30 minutes, then we made a few random comments about the American Idol contestants we were watching… and we warmed up a little more every few minutes. Thankfully we went to bed as friends (just barely).
Today is a new day! Let’s do it again! lol, not. This morning I woke up feeling bad for two things. First, I wish that I had “Stepped Up” and told my kids not to travel in the snow. Second, wish I would have stayed calm and humble under last nights pressure. I never want to hurt Emily’s feelings. I always want to be her greatest source of happiness, besides God of course.
It’s amazing to me how God can bring so much good in what seems to be a bad situation. I talked to Heaven this morning and they seem to be having FUN with the detour! If everyone could have just kept their calm and looked for the fun in this situation, things would have gone so much better. Oh well, it’s water (or snow) under the bridge, and there is still next time…
Not Who I Want To Be, But Not Who I Used To Be
Why am I telling you this story? Because I want you to know that I am a regular guy with regular family issues… just like every other family in the world. Ministers who try to act like they are always perfect only discourage the rest of the world from recognizing their own progress.
Life is very complicated sometimes. Unfortunately, I don’t always react to situations with a tranquil smile and a heartfelt prayer. There are some things about myself I still need to change. Sometimes, it takes a high pressured situation to shine a light on this reality. But hey, I’ve come a very long way from the person I used to be. God is still working on me and He will continue to work on me until the day I die.
Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Anybody else want to confess their sins? Haha. Just kidding, I don’t want to get anything started!
Just like every morning, I prayed for you very passionately. I sincerely hope you feel the difference all day long.
Have a great day everyone!
With much love…
Dream Big, Live Bold, and Make the Difference!