Surprise Visit

I’m not proud to admit it, but I nearly ran several people over this past Sunday morning trying to get to my seat at church. I walked in like a normal person, glancing around for Don. When I spotted him across the way, my nonchalant persona morphed into that of a slightly crazed woman. Sitting next to him, to my complete surprise, was our daughter Kelli and her boyfriend Jake.

It took me only a fraction of a second to blurt out “Kelli??!” before I started zigging and zagging my way towards her while thinking, “What in the world…she didn’t tell me was coming home!”
When I finally reached them, I swooped in from behind and hugged them both at once, squealing and exclaiming things I can’t even remember now :) In the blink of an eye, our day had taken an entirely new turn. We would now be going out to lunch and getting to spend the afternoon with our daughter and her special guy.

As hard as it was for me to do, I had to tear myself away and run on to join the choir. I was already excited because Dave and Sara, old friends of ours who are now missionaries in the North Africa/Middle East region, were going to be speaking in our services. And now — this surprise from Kelli. On my way to choir, I ran into Teri R., another long-time friend of mine as well as Dave and Sara’s. All I could do was speak in breathless fragments while gesturing wildly. Somehow she understood every word :)

After a wonderful service and final hugs from Dave and Sara, our family headed home. As we got out of our cars and walked towards the back door, new thoughts interrupted my personal joy-fest. What kind of shape did I leave the house in? What kind of messes had been left lying around? I usually know when company’s coming and make sure the house is relatively clean and picked up. This time I didn’t have a chance to be prepared.

Actually, this little surprise visit found us in pretty good shape. Things were fairly clean, if you didn’t count the dust. I had almost skipped making the bed since I was running behind, but thank goodness, I had done it anyway. Yes, the trash was overflowing, but this was family so I didn’t feel too embarrassed by that. All in all, not too bad.

The thing that bothered me most? Kelli immediately looked on top of the fridge for the usual container of homemade cookies, but a few stale Oreos greeted her instead. Darn! I started apologizing and then remembered some chocolate chip cookies in the freezer. We pulled those out, popped them in the microwave for a few seconds, and the day was saved. Whew! (Boy, do I love my microwave!). My stash of peanut M&Ms came in handy later in the afternoon, too :) After all, how can people play games without M&Ms? :) Yes, we had a great day.

I can think of another surprise visit I hope finds me in pretty good shape. Scripture tells us that Jesus is coming back to earth again “‘…at an hour [we] do not expect him'” (Luke 12:40) “to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28b). We may not know the exact time He is coming, but we do know He’s coming. We have a chance to be prepared.

Have we asked God for forgiveness for our sins and asked Jesus to be our Savior and Lord? If not, that’s our first step in being ready. If we’ve already done that, are we living prepared lives, or do we have messes that need to be cleaned up? I want Jesus to find me ready — find me watching and waiting for Him, living in a way that’s pleasing to Him. I want Him to find me “confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28b).

How about you? Are you ready? Are you waiting? What a day that will be!

“‘Behold, I am coming soon!'” Revelation 22:12a


  1. I want to be ready!

  2. Hey Cheryl. I wondered what was going on Sunday. I saw you with Don and Kelli and you did look very surprised! I thought maybe you had lost your mind. Ha Ha (just kidding). I’m glad you had a nice visit. Sunday was definitely a blessed day for you!!!

  3. Lisa, like I said, I was a slightly crazed woman that morning :)

  4. My first time here. What a beautiful post!

  5. Ready, my friend!

    Oh, so ready!!

    Your daughter and her man are precious! You look like you’re about to bust a gut over their being there…I know the feeling! :o)


  6. Well, thank goodness He won’t be looking at the dust in my house; but my heart? I’m working on it…everyday and in most ways. I am ready to meet my Savior, whenever he chooses. But in the meantime, the surprise visits of those we love is a good reminder of the fellowship and joy we will share with the saints in heaven.

    I, too, am a peanut m&m lover! Life is just so much better because of them.


  7. Loved this post and love your blog! Tried to find you on Facebook but there were PAGES of Cheryl Barkers:-) Now that you’re on FB, you’ll have to do Twitter too.

    Vicki (TWV2)

  8. So good to hear from everyone! Love hearing from my friends — and a couple of brand new ones, too! Fun stuff!

  9. Your daughter is so beautiful – just like you! I’m so happy you got that surprise visit!

  10. Thanks, Renae!!

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