Oh the Places You’ll Go… Due to Delays and Missed Flights

So, if you have not heard… I am heading back to Brussels for another 3 months!

Sorry to not inform you earlier, this summer has been WONDERFUL, but insane!

By heading back to Brussels, I mean to say, I am there now. Or I will be shortly. I am writing this in  Zurich, Switzerland (but it will probably be posted from Brussels when we arrive tonight).

Trying to get to Brussels have been a test on my patience and trust. We started out with being delayed out of OKC, so right off the bat we had to reschedule ALL of our remaining flights. So I went from going to OKC – Chicago – Brussels, to having to to OKC – Chicago – Zurich – Brussels.

So we are delayed from the top, then again by an additional 30 minutes before we boarded, so we get into Chicago with 20 minutes to go to an entire new terminal (by train thing), get out of security, go back through TSA security, find our gate and board. I was thinking, “We can do this!” But then we hit the TSA line.. and it was long. We waited there for 10 minutes before I had given up all hope of making the flight. So as Jennifer (my Brussels Buddy for the next 3 months) and I are discussing going to get a Deep Dish Pizza, since we are in Chicago, we hear this precious angel saying “Anyone for Zurich?” So obviously I shout “US”, probably a little too loud. This precious heaven-sent TSA Angel whisked us through TSA, and the lines then onto our plane, absolute last second. Prayers of thanksgiving were happening for sure!

Then the plane we RAN for, literally, sat at the gate FOR AN HOUR! Literally. There was so much traffic that we could not get out of Chicago for an hour. We finally took off and Swiss Air took good care of us. We landed too late to catch our connection in Zurich (UGH!) but they rebooked up hassle free and we just have to hang for the next few HOURS until it is time for the flight home! At this point…. I just want to be in a bed!

Then, we finally get a gate for our plane in Zurich and decide to head to that terminal/concourse and we have to go through Passport Control. No biggie right.

WRONG

The super nice lady starts asking me all these questions about why I am coming and what we are doing and why did I go to Belgium 3 months earlier this year and when I am coming back now. So I am being all informative and vague and she informs me that apparently I have been in the EuroZone too much the way the Calendar and stuff works and I am not allowed to enter until a later date… which happens to be tomorrow. What?!?! Come again??!?! What is about to happen. Well, she calls one of the other security guys in and the talk (in Swedish – Thanks bros) and come to the conclusion that since I am a mere 7 hours early, they will grant me access anyway. PTL – I am still not sure, because by my calendar I should be good, but ya know… whatever.

The whole travel process was a mess, and I am just thankful that God was able to make it happen, because honestly, I am pretty sure that we would not have made it today if He was not awesome!

Quick Summary of the Things I Learned Today!

  1. Some people are just forgetful and needy, (me – as I forgot the material for our English Classes we are teaching this week) and others are AMAZING (My new roomie – literally have known her for a week – who drove the forgotten packets to the airport – 40 min drive one way – so I could have them for the trip!) Love the servants and amazing people in your life!
  2. Swiss Air is my favorite! The food was good, the movie selection was great, the staff was stellar and when we missed our connection in Zurich because the flight was late, they rebooked us and it was ready for us when we got off the plane, AND they gave us a voucher for lunch! Thanks for the Love Swiss Air!
  3. When you pray for patience and trust, the Lord grows those in you. He doesn’t just give them, He forces growth in them. [This isn’t “new”, but still reinforced today.] God is FAITHFUL!
  4. People who at first appear “too cool” are just as klutzy and normal as the rest of us. Case in point: On the flight from Chicago to Zurich I was by this Euro looking guy who come off “too cool” and was obviously irritated that I made the flight and he lost the opportunity to have an empty seat next to him. Well, after dinner, bro spilt his a cup of wine all over his shirt, pants and seat [Note: He was not drunk… just a klutz). I said, I’ll get some napkins, and jumped up and went to the back for napkins. When I came back, he was all like “I don’t even know what happened” [please include Euro Accent – Swedish I believe if you are being particular], and I responded, “No worries, I am surprised I haven’t spilt my drink on me. It’s usually me spilling stuff.” He gives me a strange look and goes “Really?” and I was like “Yeah, I am kinda a klutz” and laughed at myself. He looked at me for a second, the chuckled, said thanks and we went back to watching our separate movies. He was much less “cool” the second half of the flight, or just actually cool.
  5. Added As I’m Posting this… Coming back to Brussels felt like coming home. I know this makes some of you real sad to hear, but once we landed, there was a sweet familiarity and comfort of being here and back where I know things, especially after Zurich and Swedish and Swiss Francs!

So, from my Euro Home… I’m out! It’s time for me to go to bed! Much love and I’ll keep you posted of my adventures in Belgium!

Mo3RSVP 

(Répondez s’il vous plaît – Respond, if you please!)

What is your craziest travel story?

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Patience in the Waiting…

Sorry for my absence. My time is limited as it is, and writing this blog has inspired me to continue writing on my book. I would like to say that I will be more regular… but I’d hate to lie to you all.

For those of you who do not know, I help facilitate a GriefShare group at the office where I am completing my internship for counseling. Honestly, this group has taught me so much about loss, pain and perseverance. I have become a better person and a better Christian through helping facilitate 2 cycles of this group so far. There are many excellent speakers and writers that contribute to the material. There was one quote a couple weeks ago that really stuck out to me.

You see, waiting is not only about what you will receive at the end of the wait. Waiting is about what you will become as you wait. In calling us to wait, God is rescuing us from our bondage to our own plan, our own wisdom, our own power, our own control. In calling us to wait, God is freeing us from the claustrophobic confines of our own little kingdoms of one and drawing us into a greater allegiance to his Kingdom of glory and grace. – Dr Paul Tripp

I am not a patient person. I wish I was… but I am not. I take a long time to make a decision usually, but once I do, it’s game time. I am ready to dive all in on projects or task. Sometimes this is not how it works. This is not life. Things take time. I am in the process of planning and preparing to go to Brussels Belgium to work with some friends and a church over there for 3 months. I have been wanting to do this for over a year, and there has been so much waiting in this process. I do not wait well. I start to doubt. I get scared, or discouraged. Waiting seems to be a theme in my life, and I simply don’t like it.

However, I have been much happier to deal with waiting as I have learned to not waste my waiting, but rather to wait well. Dr. Paul Tripp’s quote above reminds me about how important waiting can be, especially for my soul. See, on top of being very impatient, I am also a planner, so I always have a plan. It can change, and I literally have a dozen back up plans at any one time. But wait… see… waiting causes planning to be put on pause. You can’t plan when you do not know what is coming next. This quote above from Dr. Tripp is so true. We lock ourselves into a our plans and don’t leave room for what God had planned.  I get so wrapped up in my own little kingdom, where I am the queen and I run this, and forget all about the True Kingdom ran by my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. I have seen my own plans, wisdom, power and control fail, but I still continue to put my trust in these things, rather than my Lord who has never failed me. I need constant reminds from scripture of Truth (Don’t we all?). The Psalms are full of encouragement to wait on the Lord.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! – Psalms 27:14

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. – Psalms 130:5-6

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices – Psalms 37:7

Wait for the Lord. Psalms 40 tells us the result of waiting on the Lord.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. – Psalm 40:1

Sounds so simple… but oh the struggle. Waiting is so hard! Waiting for healing. Waiting for answers. Waiting for love. Waiting for directions. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

We must be on guard to not simply waste our waiting with grumbling and complaining, or waste it by looking forward always and missing what is around us. One expression that I always remember in times of waiting is “Bloom where you’re planted” and “Wherever you are, be all there”.

If we say we trust God, and we trust his plans for our lives, we can trust that we are not where we are by mistake. God did not let this slip through his fingers; He did not drop the ball. God is still as in control today in your waiting (or suffering) as He was when things were going exactly as you planned.

Pray truth over yourself. Encourage yourself with scripture. When you do not know how to wait any longer, just ask the Lord to make scripture like these true in your life.

But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. – Micah 7:7

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:58