It has been a wonderful weekend. I was able to fly to Colorado to see my parents and brother and sister out there. I was able to attend my sister in law's baby shower and see her growing bump. I also was able to take Anna along for the trip. It was indeed special because this was the first time anyone in my family was able to meet Anna.
She loved being at Grandma's house. (More to come on that - and pictures to follow!)
This morning I headed home. It was early. She was tired. Both of those facts combined equal disaster. I had decided to fly the frugal way and not check in any bags. So, we both headed down into the airport with our luggage in tow. Her mini suitcase filled with dresses and gifts acquired at the visit. I was rolling my luggage along behind me too - a pink bag packed to the limit. (Literally!) I hoped and prayed that they would not do a bag check; for fear that if they opened my bag I would not get all the contents back into the bag and have it zipped up for the trip.
Now, I am not a frequent flyer; but having done college in Wisconsin and been married for almost 21 year - all of which I have lived miles from Colorado - I have far surpassed a novice flyer. Of all the flight check in's I have ever made - this was the worst! Anna cried from the time we walked into the airport to the time we boarded the plane. ( For those of you who have an obsession with facts and numbers that was over two hours!) Have you ever listened to a toddler whine and cry for 120+ minutes? It is torture. Like death - the slow and painful way.
I was frazzled beyond my normal breaking point. I had various people offer me help - so I know it looked bad. At one point a nice man smiled at Anna and waved at her. She proceeded to yell at him and tell him to stop looking at her. I was mortified. I also was shackled with a close to 40 pound rolling suitcase, a purse that is big enough to pack everything I would need for an overnight trip (it also looked like it was heading on that overnight trip!), a Care Bear suitcase that was no longer being pulled and pushed by the crying child. I was wearing a jacket and sweating like I was participating in some summer Olympic competition. I also remembered that I had not put on deodorant that morning in my rush to get everything around! (I am so sure you wanted to know that small fact.)
Everything that could go wrong - DID. The ticket counter could not print my ticket -sooooo, we had to go to another line. Anna bumped her head on more signs than I can count. (Seems the signs telling you what to do with your guide dog, your traveling liquids and your unattended luggage are the same height that Anna is currently holding). There also seemed to be some sort of magnetic pull from the signs to her head because she seemed to find every. single. one. She fell - more times than I can number. I am assuming the new shoes she was wearing was to blame for half the falls. Both knees were skinned with rug burns from the airport carpet.
She decided that everyone dressed in a security uniform was like unto the Antichrist himself - and treated them in such a manner as would be expected. (This made for an interesting time in the security checkpoint.) She refused to go through the metal detectors. I went through first and called her to come to me. This method finally worked.
I kept thinking about what people were thinking. They were thinking what I would have been thinking had it not been me. "Hope they aren't on my plane!" I was thinking - that I would give anything to be able to just wiggle my nose and be at home. Once through security we got shoes on and bags in order - ( she put on her own shoes - on the wrong feet - and pretty much demanded that they stay that way.) I wished for a soundproof room that I would be able to go to and share some devotional thoughts. There was not a room like that to be found. You also feel a bit like you are in the war zones in Germany during the second world war. Police and security at every corner. Devotional thoughts would have to wait.
Our gate was the last gate at the airport. I am pretty sure we walked past every gate at Denver International Airport in order to reach our gate. Our walk there LONG! Our flight would be on a small plane that needed boarding on the outside of the building. Outside where the motors of the planes are louder than one can scream. (I know this for a fact.) Anna stood at the door and refused to come out. My bag rolled over her foot as I made the exit from the building. She screamed. It was then that I told God I did not think I could handle much more. Hagar came to mind. That was weird.
It was a horrible two hours. HORRIBLE.
I was relieved that once we got settled into the plane things seemed to calm down a bit. The flight was relatively uneventful and the trip back into Wisconsin was smooth. God is good. He also knows our breaking point - and I am almost sure I was at mine. :)
When I arrived at home I was greeted by a sidewalk chalked driveway telling me welcome home. Home to the rest of the clan. Home to a clean house. A house with all the laundry done and dinner cooking on the stove. Home to a bedroom that had been prepared just for me. I was home. The luggage was no longer hanging from my shoulders and the toddler was happy too. Home to where I was loved and cared for; and the hurried atmosphere of an airport terminal far behind me. Home felt very very good!
We ate dinner together. The kids here told me of the happenings while I was gone. I told them of my adventures in the west. Dishes were completed and then we joined together as a family and read God's Word, sang and prayed together. Home felt wonderful; and as I sat there and listened to the kids sing "Be Thou My Vision", home felt very much like what HOME is going to feel like.
Someday, the luggage that I have carried with me through life will be placed aside. The signs will welcome me home. Loved ones will be there waiting, eager to see me. We will sit together and worship Him - only He will be there and I will be HOME. Nothing else will matter. The struggles of the trip there, the hardships, the heartaches -- they will all be gone -- because I will be HOME.
Looking forward to HOME. Enjoying the fact that our home can be a reflection of what that HOME will be like. This week, I am going to make it a priority to make my home as much like the HOME I am looking forward to entering.
Loving being home - but so glad I made the trip. ( Pictures and stories to follow...) Thanks for stopping by - I am so glad you did.
PS: I think Anna is glad to be home. We have already had time to be able to share in some one on one devotional time together - her and me. :)