just some good family time (and spreading of love to others)!
We planned this trip over a month ago. The four of us would drive to Pittsburgh for the Hillsong United Zion concert. We all packed Friday night and headed out early Saturday morning for the seven-hour journey. I offered to Jordan the front seat so that she could stretch out her legs. (We took the VW Jetta for the amazing fuel mileage! I’m talking 600+ miles on one tank! How can you leave that at home?) I got in the back seat with Jake, and due to my second cup of coffee and the giddiness that ensued, I had him wishing within minutes that I had offered instead to ride in the trunk.
One child thoroughly irritated… One down, one to go!
I quickly moved on to Jordan and must have been rather successful, because I do remember her saying, “Don’t touch me!”
Please do not worry! As awful as this may sound, know that I was having a delightful time! All my Jonas family peeps would totally get this! I was reliving Grandpa’s antics all the way! The truly sad thing is that my family had no opportunity to escape my crazy attitude. On we went.
By the way, I am so thankful to be back home where the trees are still showing off their vibrant colors! There was not a leafy tree in sight up north! Not even a stray leaf blowing along the highway. How long ago did they drop, I wonder?
We get into the hotel with plenty of time to spare before heading out to dinner and the concert. Mind you, we are all new to the city, and even though we had a recommended sandwich spot for dinner downtown, my family is in the mood for salads. Enters Siri. She knows great Italian spots. Or does she? The first place she led us to was not the same business listed among the local restaurants. The next one was very formal and pricey. The last one was a joint founded in 1955 and smelled like everyone and the furnishings had been there that long as well. We looked at the menu before being seated, and when the opportunity was ripe, we ran for it!
Panera. Panera was our dinner choice. Soups and salad… always a good meal!
This is where it gets interesting! We drove to the Consul Energy Arena and discovered several parking lots with a $10 fee and workers waving flags to entice us to enter. We passed them by and came upon the $15 parking lots. We chose one directly across the street from the line of concert-goers outside the arena. Jon spoke briefly to the parking attendants, then parked. While we unloaded, Jon said, “Watch this. I’m going to give that worker a copy of your book.” As we approached the guy, I see a young girl in the parking lot slamming a tennis ball up against a large brick wall and catching the rebound. She did this non-stop and it reminded me of times I did the same with a tennis racket and ball when I was her age. Jon asked the guy if he was married, and he said just the opposite. He was getting divorced. To that Jon replied, “You don’t need to get divorced. I want you to read this book that my wife wrote on marriage.” The guy was very appreciative and introduced us to his little girl, Gala. She didn’t seem to mind being out at night helping her dad to get the parking lot full. She was staying occupied with her tennis ball. Jon asked if they had plans to go to the Hillsong concert, and they expressed a desire to do so. With that we handed over two tickets, extras that our friends could not use as originally planned. Gala’s eyes opened wide and she smiled beautifully! That made us so happy! God answered my prayer to give us a divine appointment for those tickets to get into the right hands!
We joined the crowds in waiting for the doors to open and shot some glances across the street to the parking attendant. He was reading the book! Isn’t God good? I am praying for that man and his marriage! I am asking God for another miracle of restoration!
I’ll wrap up this weekend adventure recap with a little insight into
my husband’s quirky sense of humor! There was a group of young adults sharing the same row of seats as we, and each time they saw one of their friends in the arena, they would all file out, stand on the stairs, and take turns hugging and greeting their long-lost bud. After a couple of repeats, Jon decides to get into the action! He too stood up, got in line, made his way to the front, and hugged the unsuspecting stranger. People in the stands behind us were laughing in disbelief. “Does he even know that guy?” I overheard someone ask. Jon came back to his seat beaming! One of the friends, said, “Jon is great!”
Just spreading some love, you know?
How was the concert, you ask? It was Hillsong! It was incredible! We worshiped God with everything we had!
Our last stop to spread some love was at Cornerstone Church in Murraysville, PA. Our former worship and youth pastor, Alan Hannah, is the worship pastor there, and it was a great experience to be in worship under his leadership again! Just like the crew in the arena, we lined up to give him hugs after the service and spent a few moments reconnecting. Great things happening there for the Kingdom of God!
We’re home now and gearing up for an even bigger trip! We’ll be in a place where the leaf doesn’t wither! Well, that’s not quite true, but it’s very tropical, and the palm trees are always green! I’ll just keep you guessing for now!