If you didn’t see it yet, you can read Part 1 of this story.
Wednesday 7:30pm Pacific Time.
Los Angeles to Chicago.
Flight 3 of 4.
Abigail thankfully fell asleep right away and snoozed the entire four hours. Mid-flight, Tammy came to me, saying that Asher’s legs were itching and that he was having a hard time sleeping. I realized that Asher was half crying, half screaming. I switched spots with Tammy with the plan to help Asher sleep.
One exhausted, itchy three-year-old. One tired, stressed out mama. This was not a good concoction. Asher would not stop cry-screaming no matter what I did or said, and the more he cry-screamed in the dark, quiet airplane, the angrier and more stressed out I became. At one point, I literally wanted to shake him. I held myself back but hissed forcefully into his ear, “Stop crying and go to sleep!” Not my finest mommy moment.
Even with that, Asher pressed into me and drifted off as I rocked him. I am often thankful that God is not like me. He does not get tired or stressed.
Lord, forgive me and make me like You. Sometimes I am so far off.
When my kids cry-scream externally, God is not anxious about what judgmental thoughts other passengers or bystanders might bear toward my children or me. He gives grace to my kids, holds them closely, and speaks to them gently. He has compassion on them, and He is good.
Dear friends, when you or I cry-scream internally because we feel weary or because life is beyond our control, God does not flip out or react harshly. He gives grace to us, holds us closely, and speaks to us gently. He has compassion on us, and He is good.
May we press into God and rest in Him, receiving His grace so we can give grace to others.
Our family finally arrived in Chicago (with Chaya falling asleep standing up, but Asher and Abigail wide awake and excited to run around!) and spent four short hours in actual beds at a nearby hotel.
Ironically, it took us 20 hours to fly from Sioux Falls to Chicago, when we could have driven there in nine.
Thursday 10:30am Central Time.
Chicago to Shanghai.
Flight 4 of 4.
The kids did amazing well on the 14-hour flight. They enjoyed the toys and snacks sent along by their Nana and two of their aunts. Chaya beamed with excitement about being able to walk around on the big plane. Little things were tough but manageable, like not having any kid meals because of our last-minute rebooking. The only things Abigail ate were two buns.
Friday 3:00pm Shanghai Time.
Friday 2:00am Central Time.
Tired and a bit bedraggled, we stepped foot in Shanghai. We made it to our temporary apartment roughly 48 hours after we started our trek.
Overall, all three of the kids traveled incredibly well. Josh and I were so proud of their adaptability and willingness to step up to help out. Tammy was a lifesaver, with the kids and with luggage. And Josh’s leadership made everything go as smoothly as possible within our given context. I’m just glad I didn’t have to rebook our flights!
Apart from the obvious mechanical problem, I don’t know why we were diverted from China for an extra day. For now, we’ll just chalk it up to a good lesson in flexibility, for the kids and the grownups alike.
And, Asher and I had fun together on the van ride through Shanghai. I love you, Asher! I’m so glad to be your mom. Thank you for giving me grace even when I am ungracious.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” – Isaiah 40:28-29