Max posing in front of the Delta sign
Whew, we made it! It was a long day on Tuesday. We stayed with friends of ours in Billings on Monday night so we would be ready to leave more refreshed on Tuesday for our trip to visit family on the east coast. Maggie slept restlessly, Max was so excited to be visiting friends he had a hard time settling down and I was so nervous about the trip that I don't know how refreshed we really were. Anyhow, we left from Billings at 11 on Tuesday. Bye the way, have I mentioned I hate, Hate, HATE flying? Well, the take off and flight from Billings to Minneapolis was really very smooth and pleasant. The service was friendly and they even brought Max and Maggie wings and Maggie a first flight certificate. Things were going great... until we got to the landing... As we began our decent Maggie started screaming from ear pressure and the turbulence began. By the time we were on the ground Maggie and I were both crying and I wasn't sure I could get on another plane. Max of course enjoyed the entire flight, especially the 'tricks' at the end. As we were leaving my happy, gregarious, sweet boy wanted to thank the captain for the flight, which the flight attendant let him do. The captain was super friendly and took Max into the cockpit to push some buttons and show him around! Needless to say Max was impressed. I thanked the captain for the nice landing in the bad weather and told him Max thought it was cool even though I was crying. He smiled and said it was "eventful"!
Well, I got my jello-ey legs moving up the ramp in search of a bathroom and food. I called my Mom (who HATES flying even worse than I do) and told her about the landing and asked her to have my family pray. We ate and had a few hours to relax. Our next flight was late and I was feeling better and ready to get this trip over with by the time we boarded our next flight from Minneapolis to Cincinnati. When we boarded Max jumped into the door and greeted the flight attendant with "Hi, my name is Max, M-A-X!" He then proceeded to babble something cheerful about flying. His enthusiasm tickled her, and everyone else around. Several rows down the plane people were still greeting him by name! I even heard one lady say, "Well he's changed my whole attitude"! We settled in to the very last row. Maggie fussed until we began taxiing and then fell right to sleep and slept the entire flight. Max chattered happily with Chris and the flight attendant he had originally greeted. The entire flight went really well, including landing. Maggie woke up and cried from the pressure in her ears for last little bit but calmed down as soon as we landed. When we landed the flight attendant did her regular departure speech over the intercom. At the end, still on the intercom, she congratulated Max for being such a great passenger and thanked him for flying. The whole plane clapped and cheered! He was so tickled! Once again the pilots let Max come check out the cockpit and visited with him. Also on the flight was a man who looked an awful lot like Santa and was even dressed all in red and green. When we landed the stewardess handed Max a photo from 'Santa' of himself. He had signed it and said "Max I enjoyed flying with you to Cincinnati, your friend Santa Claus"! Isn't that fun? We had a short time to get to our connecting flight to D.C. and boarded with out delay. The flight was uneventful and unremarkable, just the way I like it. We were tired and, except for Maggie's occasional fussing, quiet. The lights of the capital as we landed were spectacular and we were glad to be there.
On the first and second flight I spent time in Jesus presence as you only do when you are in great need! I must say I hate being afraid and vulnerable, but I'm also happy to say I found great comfort there. I was still a bit shaken from the first flight when we took off the second time, but Jesus soon communicated his provision to me as only he can and I relaxed, it was wonderful. Later, as I reflected on the day, I realized that the second, wonderful flight was not only an answer to my prayer, it was more. It was an actual blessing and gift, more than I had asked for. Our Father loves to do that when we let him. When we come to him with our needs, instead of other people or things, he shows up, he meets the need, he even does extra and surprises us. Isn't that generous and kind of him?! Now if only I can remember that and apply it to the rest of my life!
We haven't been here long but we're already enjoying ourselves. I'll post more pictures as I have them, and I will have them! On Friday we'll go explore D.C. Should be fun!