Saturday, March 15, 2008

Front Row Seats

It was one of those "full circle" moments. Five years ago, I was at my first Steven Curtis Chapman concert, and he was singing "When Love Takes You In". By now, I've heard that song at least a thousand times, but back then, I was hearing it for the first time...and hearing God's voice whisper to me in a way I never had. As I looked at that little face on the screen, I literally felt His presence next to me. It gives me goosebumps, just thinking about it. I know it was God speaking to me...not in a big, booming voice, but in a gentle whisper to my soul...because I woke up the next day, changed from the inside out...knowing a purpose for my life in a way that I had never known. I have come to know that purpose as my passion.

Between then and now, I have become somewhat of an SCC groupie...I've traveled to cities within a couple hundred miles...I even flew to Florida once...well, I was going to the "Women of Faith" National Conference, and he just happened to be there, closing out the event! But this was the first time I was able to take Caroline, to hold her in my arms and realize all over again that God works in wonderful ways to accomplish His will. She was just a dream five years ago, and when I think back on how He has worked His plan in our lives to make her presence in our family a reality, it blows my mind...but even more, it warms me to the depth of my soul. I am blessed to know God in this way. I understand so much more what it means to love.

SCC took requests online and sang "Whatever" for Mindy!

So that's the sappy part of the's the dish on our night in the front row. The kids were beside themselves with excitement. Translation...they nearly drove us nuts in the car! Grandma Dotty drove up with us to help volunteer with Jon, but Mickey insisted on helping out again until it was time to get in our seats. Jon was a little concerned that the concert would be too loud for Caroline in the front row...needless concern. Actually, it didn't seem as loud in the front as it has in the back. Caroline wasn't the least bit intimidated. Mindy claimed the seat closest to the drums because she's the percussionist of the family, and we lowly non-percussionists could not appreciate the proximity of her seat to the drum set. Yep, teenager. Abby and Mickey sat on either side of me, and Caroline stood right in the middle of the front row, soaking up every minute! She was pretty animated in the beginning, but as the night wore on, she cuddled up on my lap. She got pretty heavy for 24 pounds, by the end of the evening! She clapped and danced...I had to laugh when SCC said a prayer and she finished by yelling out, "AMEN!" And, of course, being indoctrinated into the world of Disney princesses by her older sisters, she is in love with "Cinderella" and, in turn, loves SCC's song by the same name. She was enraptured during the song and kept yelling, "Cinnawinya ADIN!" (translation: Cinderella AGAIN) over and over. Hilarious!

Caroline took this picture!

SCC is touring this time with his two sons in the band. They are both great performers! Caleb plays guitar and sings, and he actually led worship to start off the concert. Mindy bought his CD and loves it! Will Franklin plays the drums, and that is an understatement. This kid can rock! Again, Mindy was in heaven. All the kids had a blast, though! They all love SCC's music. How cool is that? SCC made the comment that he had always hoped his music would remain "cool" enough for his boys to want to play with him and that he was happy that dream came true. Well, it's pretty cool for your kids to love listening to the same music as their mom and want to come to the concert!

Caleb Chapman leading worship...

Will Franklin on the drums...

A humble and talented group of performers...

The front row seats came with "Meet and Greet" passes, so after the concert we were able to meet SCC. I've met him a couple of times before, but this time I was actually able to complete sentences. There were probably 20-25 other people in the room, though, so it was a little awkward in that I couldn't really say all the things I wanted to say. Caroline was, as usual, a hoot! He greeted her first and told her that he saw her in the front row. When he asked her if she enjoyed the show, she shouted, "YES!" He chatted with the kids for a few minutes, signed all the kids' tickets and my CD and took a couple of photos with us. We got to talk to SCC's road manager, David Trask, again (met him last weekend at a previous concert), and he and Caroline took up a brief conversation. He gave her a big hug, which I missed getting on camera, so I told her to give him another hug. Well, she ran over to SCC and grabbed his leg, so he picked her up and gave her a big squeeze! Mr. Trask commented on how cute she was and that she was a little "fireball"...oh, yeah...and you don't even know the half of it!

I can't even believe he's huggin' my kid!

It was a great night and a great privilege to be able to have that experience! None of us wanted it to be over...when would we get another chance to be in the front row? As the kids dozed off in the car on the way home, I was mulling the night over in my head and God reminded me that I already have a front row seat. Every day, I get the privilege of being a mom to four fantastic, dynamic, ready-to-grab-the-world-by-the-tail kids. And that's not all. I kind of got this vision of the path that God leads us down. You can imagine all the ways that life can be like a ride in an amusement park, but the one that is most vivid to me is that of a roller coaster. I want to be bold and brave and get on that breakneck ride for God, doing whatever He calls me to do, and I want a front row seat.


Kristi said...

Wow!!! It's hard to write through the tears as I read the "full circle" part. I so understand!
And then SCC hugs Caroline AND you got it on camera... Wowzers!
Love you guys!

Allison said...

GREAT post! The SCC concert that we attended (and worked at) was amazing. He said that adoption was like God lifting the curtain for just a minute so you can see what His love really means. I TOTALLY agree.

C.C. said...

I'm sooo enjoying living vicariously though you:-) We had backstage passes and Stephen couldn't wait in the line!! Arrrg!!!

I LOVE seeing Caroline having a moment with Steven...beautiful!!

Glenna said...

Those pictures and the post were great! Thanks! I'm so glad that you all had that wonderful experience at the SCC concert! I love you!