Road Journal – Day Four

Posts in the Road Journal series

  1. Road Journal – Day One
  2. Road Journal – Day Two
  3. Road Journal – Day Three
  4. Road Journal – Day Four
  5. Road Journal – Day Five
  6. Road Journal – Day Six
  7. Road Journal – Day Seven
  8. Road Journal – Day Eight

Monday, June 25th

8:33am
Phoenix, Arizona

Again with the early morning rising and running and whatnot!  I gotta be honest and tell you that the whole, “I don’t recognize this new guy,” routine is getting a little stale.  The truth is I feel like my true self for the first time.  I look at old pictures and see a familiar stranger wearing a fat suit.

I don’t know that guy anymore.  He’s literally dead to me, as if he was burned alive.  I stare at old pictures trying to figure out what he was thinking, as if it wasn’t my own life.  Erica gives me a hard time about this, reminding me that this old self was the one who wooed and won such a woman as herself.

Nice thoughts for a birthday morning.

I wrote a killer letter to my wife last night, and none of you ever get to read it.  Neener neener.

As you may have already discerned, this entry is pre-coffee.

Sorry.

9:53am
Phoenix, Arizona

Caffeine good.  Sweet, sweet nectar of life.

We have an easy day today.  We’re off to a mall for some free time.  I think we’re going to go see Evan Almighty.  I hope it doesn’t suck.  I am really ready for some pleasant brain distraction.

We have one concert in the afternoon, at the last Teen Challenge in the area.  Apparently they like us.  Then, in the evening, we have a swim party at the home of the pastor and his wife.  I hope it’s still hot enough to justify getting in the pool.  Oh wait…

It’s nice to have a relaxed day, for my wife’s birthday.

1:55pm
Hwy 101 east, Somewhere Outside Phoenix

We did indeed catch Evan Almighty, and I enjoyed it.  I have been successfully pleasantly distracted.  I thought the ending was a little over the top, which kind of bummed me out, as I thought they had walked the tightrope between comedy and cheese quite well until then.

As you may or may not know, environmental awareness is a central theme in the film.  This will, no doubt, sour many conservative Evangelicals.  Evangelicals don’t like to admit that there’s even a possibility they’ve gotten a political issue wrong, and then it seems like they like to conveniently forget about it as soon as possible (civil rights, anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?)

I miss the kids.  It’s funny, because just preceding this trip we spent a few days as a family at a time-share on the beach in the OC.  The church was given the time-share, and every year one of the staff members gets to use it.  This was our year, just in time, it turns out.

It was our first “kid” vacation.  In the past, vacation meant finding somewhere to stash them for a few days so we could get away.  Vacationing with young children seems quite a bit like work, but without the benefit of the routine on which they and we rely.  I thought I had gotten my fill of them, but I am apparently incorrect.

They’re with Erica’s folks, and they seem to be doing well.  We went to NYC earlier this year for a week, again by the generosity of friends with a mid-town condo.  Every time we would call home, Ella would sound dejected.

Bummer.

Thus far, her little voice is chipper and bright, recounting the details of their day (pizza and coke – gotta love Grandma and Grampa.)  She hands the phone to Zion (who’s almost 18 months and still not talking, despite the fact that he understands every word that comes out of my mouth) and then proceeds to narrate his interior monologue.  I guess I wouldn’t talk either if I had a four-year-old talking whirlwind all too happy to speak for me.

Ok, we’re almost here, and I have no idea where “here” is.  It looks hot.
Really hot.

If I melt before my next entry, I love you all.

12:14am
Phoenix, Arizona

Yes, I know that technically it’s the next day.  Shuddap.

Today, on her birthday, God spoke to my wife.  He told her to engage in a spontaneous act of extravagant and random generosity, and tomorrow it’s gonna bless the socks off of someone that we barely know.  In order to accomplish the first part of her spontaneous act of generosity, we had to take the van and charge out into the Arizona night. They all assumed that we were just going to have birthday sex somewhere, and much to my chagrin, they were wrong.  Tomorrow morning, we’ll take the van out again to complete our little project.  We knew that they knew that something was up, and the sponsors encouraged us to share the unfolding story with them, so we did.

The Scripture says that when you do something kind for someone, you’re supposed to keep it a secret.  You’re not supposed to parade your acts of kindness on the interwebs for everyone to think you’re some sort of altruistic Super Christian.  Since circumstances have prevented this from happening, and since I firmly believe that we’re merely passing along a blessing that’s been already poured out on us, I’m going to spill the beans and share the story with you all tomorrow after it’s done.  It’s just too good.  If we’re blowing it, God will tell us, and next time we’ll get it right.

The story is so nuts, that all along the way I’ve told Erica that it she couldn’t force it, that it was either His will or not, and if it didn’t work out, then it wasn’t meant to be.  I figure if, in this case, it’s His will for this story not to reach you, that He’ll send the Angel of Hard Drive Death with a celestial magnet between now and when we return.

Until tomorrow, then.

I can’t wait.

P.S.  The phrase, “Bless the socks off of…” I owe to Rach, who often comments on this blog.  It’s one of my favorite turns of phrase, and I’ve used it for years now.  Thanks, girlie.

Previous in series: Road Journal – Day Three

Next in series: Road Journal – Day Five

5 thoughts on “Road Journal – Day Four

  1. Ash

    I love you and hate you all at the same time. Your sense of the dramatic is wonderful and I’m way too impatient for cliff-hanger endings. Bastard.

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