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Posts Tagged ‘story’

Josh with Mimi and Papa

The phone rang at 11 p.m.

I always hate late-night calls.  Especially when the voice on the other end says, “Mrs. Douglass? This is Officer Brown.”

Oh no.

“I have your son here on I-95.  He wants to talk to you.”

It was nothing serious. Sigh of relief.  Josh’s truck had quit running as he and his friend Dustin were on their way to visit Josh’s grandparents.  They had been sitting on the side of the highway—at mile marker 237– for two hours before Officer Brown came to their rescue.

I called AAA and headed out for the hour drive to meet the tow-truck.  Usually you wait a long time, but this time the tow truck was fast and about to leave when I arrived.  I sent him back to Orlando to deliver Josh’s green Ranger to our mechanic.

And Josh and friend and I headed home.  They begged me to take them on to Mimi and Papa’s, but I said no.

Five miles farther north and I could turn around and head home.  We were making good time going south on I-95 till mile marker 232.  Then a tire on a semi right in front of us peeled off and slammed under my car.  I lost power immediately and coasted to the side of the road.

So I sheepishly called AAA again.  “Guess what?  I need another tow truck.”

“Sorry, Mrs. Douglass.  You are in the middle of nowhere and the only truck just headed to Orlando towing your other vehicle.  It will be two hours before we get a truck to you.”

He was right on.  For two hours we waited—from 12:30-2:30.  The night was hot and sticky.  With no power we couldn’t run the ac.  We were parked next to a swamp, and the mosquitos were merciless.  And I had failed to bring food or drinks—the boys had had nothing since 8 p.m.

Josh was miserable.  Even distraught.

I just kept laughing, which made him angry.  I kept thanking God, and he was incredulous.

“Why not laugh?” I said.  “Complaining will not change our circumstances, but laughing and thanking change my attitude.  And it will make a great story.”

Finally the tow truck arrived.  “Sorry lady.  Our insurance doesn’t allow me to carry 3 passengers.  Can someone stay here?”

Hmm, would that be one or two 16-year-old boys, or one mom?  On the side of the road, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere?  No.

So he drove us to the next exit and left us at a closed service station.  Again I laughed, and said, “Thank You, Lord.”

I called a friend who drove the hour to pick us up.  A quick stop at a rest area with vending machines and restrooms, and we headed home.

At 5 a.m. we all went to bed.

And to this day we talk about the night we spent on I-95.  Josh  began to understand that laughing and saying “Thank You, Lord” made a bad situation not so bad.

And it has been a great story!

What about you?  When have laughter and gratitude made bad not so bad?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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In the midst of Philippines staff women

My incredible “job” is to love and encourage our staff around the world.

I have just returned from just such a time—with our staff in the Philippines.  My sweet husband and I got to do this one together.  He spoke five times in two days, plus meetings and a video.  I spoke two times, and shared during two of Steve’s messages.  Plus meetings and a video.

The staff conference theme was Believe Again.  Steve’s messages included Believing in God’s Transforming Grace, in God’s Great Power to Accomplish His Purposes, and in God’s Wonderful Plan for Our Lives.  I talked about Choosing God’s Better Story and A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving.

These joyful men and women were responsive to all we shared, but even more were delightful to be with.  Lots of laughter and love all around.

Interview with Judy and Steve

The tourism motto for the nation is “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”  One evening we celebrated that with national costumes and dances. 

Finalists in the national costume parade

Noemi, Judy, Mayette

Steve speaking

Surrounded by Campus staff

This boy had a liver transplant.

Best of all was just talking with the staff who have given their lives to take the love of Christ to their countrymen and to the world.  They blessed me tremendously.  I hope I was a blessing to them.

What about you?  Who brings joy into your life?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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Donald Miller, in his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life, made a profound statement: Choose a better story.

 
Most of us drift into our stories:

 
The ones our parents have chosen for us.

 
The ones our friends are pursuing.

 
The ones our culture demands.

 
The ones that flow out of the college major we ended up with, or the person we married, or the job we could get.

 
Too often, those are lesser stories.

 
We should listen to my 4-year-old grandboy, Aidan: That’s not a good story, Jeedoo. It’s too small.

 
My life since I met Christ at age 15 has been to choose daily whether I will go God’s way or demand my own way. To live the story God is writing for me or to insist on my own story line.

 
Here are some things I have learned about God’s story for me:

 
1. As long as I am still here, God has more story for me. Every day, every chapter matters in His plan for me and for His Kingdom story.

 
2. God’s story for me rarely lives out the same as my ideas. Whatever drama and conflict and great endings I have dreamed of, God’s story for me will include more drama and intense conflict, as well as resolutions and surprise endings, than I could never imagine.

 
3. God’s story for me is always better than anything I could write. He’s a much better storyteller, He knows me intimately and He knows the future.

 
So I tell myself, often: Don’t settle for a small story. Choose God’s better story—every day.

 
C 2011 Judy Douglass

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