My daughter is getting married soon and will be living in New York. I knew the day would come when we would need to transport most of her things from Dallas to her new home, but I wasn’t sure exactly how we would do it. Our thrill-seeking, adventurous spirit kicked in, and my daughter and I decided to rent a Penske truck and make this journey into a four-day, mother/daughter road trip (#modaroadtrip2k15).
We plotted out our course through Memphis, Knoxville, Virginia and into the Big Apple, driving through 12 states in 4 days. We had friends and family to stay with along the way, which completely enriched the experience. We also did a little antique shopping here and there and met some quite unique people! My daughter and I agree that it was a road trip to remember.
A few life lessons evolved for me personally along the way, and I’d like to briefly share them with you.
- Face your Fears – We planned and prayed and even had a multitude of friends praying for our truck-travels, but I must admit several nights before we left I was stricken with fear. What if the truck breaks down (even though Penske has 24/7 roadside assistance), what if we run into bad weather, what if we have an accident, and how in the world am I going to drive a Penske truck into NYC? Even the best-laid plans leave room for fears to pop in your head! I finally realized that there are simply times when we must step forward and not let fear hold us back. Every decision in life comes with risks. The question is, are you going to let your fears rule you or are you going to step forward knowing that you never travel alone – almighty God will never leave us. Oddly, this year my theme verse is from 2 Timothy 1:7, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
- Joyfully Serve Others –Often we learn the greatest lessons when we are the recipients of someone else’s kind hospitality. We had the privilege of staying with the Bentley’s in Tennessee. Chuck Bentley is the CEO of Crown Financial Ministries (www.crown.org). Chuck and his wife Ann had just returned from several weeks in Asia, and yet welcomed us into their home despite their jet lag. We had a wonderful time visiting about life and ministry and travel. When it came time for us to leave, Chuck noticed that our windshield on the truck was a mess (an abundant collection of dead bugs), and without saying a word he grabbed his windex bottle and a towel and began cleaning. Here is the president of an international organization cleaning my windshield! It was a modern day washing our feet. Ann joined in and started cleaning the inside windows, then she packed us a goody bag and filled up our cooler full of waters. Their joyful servant spirit inspired me to never miss an opportunity to show Christ’s love in a tangible way.
- Make Marvelous Memories – Grace and I had hours of time together to laugh, talk, listen and discuss. We experienced gifts from strangers, the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, and the exhaustion of loading and unloading – all built a glorious mosaic of memories. Perhaps one of my fondest memories was sitting with my aunt Margy in Virginia on September 7, the day of my mom’s (Margy’s sister) birthday. Mom passed away over 20 years ago. Since we were there on mom’s birthday, Margy made one of my mom’s favorite breakfast casseroles. I asked her to share some stories about growing up with my mom. We laughed with joy and teared-up with tender emotion. Now that was a memorable morning.
So if I can leave you with a few truck-adventure truths, I would say live deliberately. Don’t let fear hold you back, always look for ways you can help other people, and take time to create sweet memories with your loved ones along the way.