Saturday, June 28, 2014

Losing Stuff

We are on a vacation/seeing family/wedding in Dallas trip.

It's a bit on the epic side (for us) because my older brother and his family is here for a few weeks from Thailand. Yes, you read that right: Thai-land. Like as in on the other side of the world, opposite time zones and all that jazz. 

They flew back for my younger brother's marriage which will be happening in Austin on Saturday. We are so excited that Travis found the perfect match in Kailee, she is going to be a precious addition to our family. Our only regret is that he didn't find her sooner. :)

So after being in Chicago a couple of weeks, we are leaving for just a few more. 

It was going to be around 50 hours of driving with the kids, so we, having some amount of discernment, decided to bite the bullet and fly here. The McCall clan (my family) is converging in Dallas on a  friend's ranch before the wedding and then we will all head up to Little Rock to spend a few weeks with Evan and Emily before they go spend a few more weeks with her family in Tulsa. 

Yes, you read that correctly, we flew with three small children. It definitely beats infinite hours in the car, but after my story, I'm starting to have my doubts. 

Let's just say that the Lord is teaching me about patience and anger and being content in Him. 

I'm a firm believer that there are no accidents and that all things are under God's sovereign hand. I believe He brought yesterday's events about and I can trust Him … in all things. 

The cheapest direct flight from Chicago to dallas left at 5:55 am. We decided that it would be easiest to wake up the kids and bring them. It would put us in Dallas around 9, we would be good to go. This meant we needed to be at the airport by 5 and so we needed to leave the house at 4. Everything would be fine. 

Everything was not fine. 

We got to the airport around 5 and the lines for the ticket counters were totally backed up. Ben said, "I don't think we're gonna make it." I started to feel panic rise up in my chest. Hindsight, I should not have panicked. We all were going to live, we would all make it to Dallas eventually. Oh well, I'm not an experienced flyer, I don't know these things. 

The kids were still pretty groggy and I was carrying Aria and pushing Simeon in the stroller. We had Levi in charge of one of the carry on bags. In fact, we made it to where all of our bags could be carried on. We were flying home on Delta and didn't want to have to pay for the 30 dollar baggage fees. As we were looking at the line I told Ben we should just go check in at the kiosks, we could just take our bags with us. 

So He checked us in and we ran to the elevator and down to security. Thankfully they have a child/stroller line that we got in so we didn't have to wait as long. We got up to the checker and she said, "Where is your boarding pass for the infant? He's not on here." Ben had forgotten to put that on the check in kiosk. He looked at me and said, "can you run him back up there and see if they will let you get a pass for him?" We had no choice. I took Simeon and my pass and dashed upstairs to get a boarding pass (somehow). There was a lady at the counter and I immediately realized that I didn't have Simeon's birth certificate or my drivers license. 

When stuff like this happens I immediately blame Ben. This is part of my natural sin tendencies. I think, "Why didn't he give me my drivers license back? Why didn't he make sure I had Simeon's stupid birth certificate? What am I going to do? Why did I marry this idiot?" Upon later contemplation I was just as guilty of the stupidity in my just dashing off without anything. I will gladly and openly admit this. I have a good, wonderful husband who is about ten times more responsible than I am and I am thankful I married him. (most of the time:))

Thankfully there was this magical lady standing at the ticket kiosk and after uttering a word I won't repeat here under my breath I told her, "Hi, um, I have a baby and we checked in here because we are in a hurry and about to miss our flight and um, I don't have his birth certificate but here's my boarding pass, can you put him on it?" I'm not good at lying people, I cannot do it. So this angel from heaven just looked at me and asked for his name and his date of birth and MADE A NEW BOARDING PASS. No questions asked, just the sweetest, most wonderful angelic woman. 

In relief I made it back to the elevator, trying to be polite but still in a hurry. I mean, I should have been in mad-dash mode, but I just didn't think it was right to mow over people. I made it back to the security lady and she ushered me up to join Ben in line to get checked out. 

We started putting our mirads of bags and things onto the conveyer belt. The kids shoes, our shoes, taking out electronics. Later they counted and we had ten items that went through their little scanner. I had Simeon in my arms so they had to swab my hands. They also had these cute little chairs for the kids to sit in, but we didn't have time for that so I was yelling at my kids that no, we were not going to sit in the animal chairs, we are going to RUN to our gate. Aria was screaming that she wanted to sit in the chair. There was an older couple in front of us just sort of standing there, so I was trying not to bump into them, but we had to hurry. It was craziness. I might have looked at my watch and it was 5:50. Ben kept saying, we're not gonna make it. (Ben, you're not helping anything by saying that.)

We start heading the wrong way after we FINALLY made it through security. Levi started asking, "Where's the orange bag?""I'm like, "What orange bag? We don't have an orange bag …" Wait, we are missing a bag. The one with the orange trim. The one we were borrowing from our friends. The one that had all of my clothes in it. And my Bible. And my essential oils. And Aria's flower girl dress and the boy's bow ties and suspenders. Or course, I didn't realize all this at the time, it was just one of our bags and Ben needed to go get it while I herded the kids in the right direction. 

The kids and I made it to the gate on time. The lady asked if I wanted to board without my husband. No, I needed to wait. And I waited. And waited. Eventually I heard on the loud speaker that there was a grey Nautica bag with orange trim that needed to be found. That was our bag. Oh dear… 

Ben eventually came back and said they couldn't find the bag. It had been taken off the conveyer belt but then mysteriously disappeared. Maybe it was stolen? Hopefully just mistaken for someone else's bag. 

We then flew standby to Oklahoma City and onto Dallas. 

Here's the other thing I lost: my phone. 

I'm an idiot. 

I was in a deep conversation, talking about childbirth with the lady next to me. I was nursing Simeon which made it hard to bend over and put my phone in the diaper bag, so I put it in the setback pocket in front of me.

And then I left it there.

It wasn't until we got on our next plane and I thought, "What am I going to do to entertain Aria while she sits next to me with Simeon in my arms?" then I remembered my phone. It was on its way to Houston.

Lord, help me to be patient. Help me not to give in to anger or self-pity. Help me not to complain. I keep asking myself, "am I being sifted? Am I being pruned?" What's the lesson in all of this?

It definitely feels like a sort of stripping away. I am super sad that the suitcase had my Bible and journal in it. The clothes can be replaced. In the end, it's all just a bunch of stuff.

Lord, I've been praying that You would loose me of my stuff, my things. Thank You for only taking a suitcase's worth. Thank You that I still have my children and my husband. Thank You that we still have money in the bank. Thank You that You are the ultimate provider. Thank You for a little sister who is willing to let me borrow her clothes. Thank You that clothes don't matter.

God, I pray that You would be the one desire in my life.

These scriptures have been coming to mind these past few days, so I will leave you with them.

 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:12-13

Better a little with the fear of the Lord
    than great wealth with turmoil.
17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
    than a fattened calf with hatred.
Proverbs chapter 15:16-17

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