Sunday, July 20, 2014

Coming home

How we really felt about flying
 I didn't pack to come back to the USA until 10:30 the night before.  All day I fielded questions about when our flight was, how long it would take, and would we see the cousins right away or the next day.  Ian would ask again why Jeff wan't coming and the older boys asked where we would stay and what car we would drive.  I responded, "I am not sure", or "we will see" as Jeff tried to fill in my distracted answers.  The truth is, I didn't want to come back.  We had finally settled a little more.  We had found our favorite spots to hike to.  We all had beds and enough chairs around the kitchen table to eat dinner together.   We knew our neighbors and looked forward to tea times.  The thought of 18 hours in planes, airports, and security with three boys and no Jeff was down right terrifying.  I felt like a child zipping the blue suitcases and mumbling, "I really don't want to do this, isn't there any other way?"

We woke the boys at 5am and drove through the wet countryside.  Walking into the Edinburgh airport under a large banner that said, you are home now.  Goodbyes, security, the long wait to board.  Luke and Levi are now pros at flying and Ian did amazingly well this time.  Seven and a half hours playing games, play dough, and Lego's on a small food tray.  We watched Mr. Peabody and thumb wrestled.  We ate two meals and Ian went to the bathroom six times.  The poor man in the aisle seat got a proper leg stretching each time he had to let us out.  We landed in Newark, and oohed and ahhed over the American food options.  Customs, more security stop points, another long wait, and onto the smallest plane I have ever flown on.  My parents were at the luggage claim smiling and hugging and asking how it all went.  Ian never cried the whole long day, 5 am Scotland time until 6 pm American time.  And within the first hug it felt right, home is where your heart is, and my heart was with my family again.

We tumbled back into their days and they made room for us.   The cousins all tried to squeeze onto one couch or a small section of counter top just to be together.  My mom made a sign and taped it to the car's dash to remind me to drive on the right side of the road.   They all reassured me again and again that we were not too loud, tired, or cranky for them to handle.  And my dad reminded me that this all would work out according to Gods plans.  Jenny had our favorite foods ready and waiting.  And Phu cooked his famous beef stew.  I am not sure I could have gone through this last week without them.

Because this past week was filled with Visa appointments, paperwork, pictures, applications, and the final trip to the post office to mail them off.  It has been filled with stressful moments and not enough sleep.  My parents helped me with the boys and calmed my fears of doing it all wrong.  Jeff and I squeezed in talks after dinner and late into his nights.  Moments filled with His grace do not always feel graceful.  I have had a week of clunky, messy, falling apart grace.  But this part is done, packaged up and mailed away.  And now we get to wait, pray, and enjoy a little bit of time to say hello to the family and friends we just said good bye to.

There is a place near our home in Wormit that we can walk to.  We go past four or five houses, cross the street, and follow the gravel path under a stone tunnel that the train passes over.  We then walk past the hill top playground and down some steps to the bay.  Just before we left we traveled further down river's edge while the tide was low.  There are small cliffs that jut out that you can easily climb.  At the middle of one there is a spot big enough for three boys to lay down on a large tuft of grass and look out over the river.  The tide comes back in little waves and they rush over the smooth rocks and piles of kelp.  We spent an hour once just watching the tide lap in.  It is a place of being still and knowing.

 "Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10  My mom and dad have quoted that scripture to me growing up more than any other.  Their child with an anxious heart and wild dreams.  It is easy to be still and know He is God on blanket of grass overlooking His creation.  It is painfully hard to do it with life spilled out in paperwork and cranky boys.  But His commands and promises are not conditional.  They are not dependent on our surroundings or frustrations.  So we are waking up  each morning praying for our hearts to be still and to know He is God.  He is God in the post office line and at the computer.  Together as a family and when we are separated by an ocean.  And our hearts and minds can be still because of this.  We get to pick up Jeff from the airport on Thursday, a happy reunion.  If all goes well, the visas for the boys will be in and we will head back to Scotland the first week of August.  Thank you for all the prayers as this transition time stretches a little longer.  We know that in the seasons of stretching we are being humbled and equipped for what is next.  And from the little bit we got to experience so far in Scotland, we are really excited to see what is in store.