Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How many flights does it take for your smile to disappear?

It is like asking how many licks to the center of a tootsie pop! My long-awaited departure date was Saturday, October 31st. I departed from Chicago O'Hare at about 6:10pm (Indiana time). My super duper wonderful friend Laura took me to the airport (and gave me some white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies for the journey!).
This is me at the airport in Chicago getting excited about my flight!!!!
This was my gate for the first leg of the journey, heading to L.A. At this point I am still feeling pretty good, even though I did not sleep well the night before. I had been going over my packing list about a million times in my head to make sure I didn't forget anything important, which probably was not as important as I thought, but more on that later.
I think I look a bit more tired here. This is me in L.A. My flight from Chicago was pretty uneventful. I had a window seat, so I could watch us fly into the sunset (literally) for most of the flight. And, an added bonus was that there was no one in either of the 2 seats next to me. Yes, folks, that's right, I had a row of seats to myself! Phenomenal! However, I was expecting to get dinner on this flight, but that did not happen, so I was pretty darn hungry by this point. The cookies Laura gave me didn't make it much past here. I forced myself to stay awake, so I would be able to crash on the next flight.
After about 2 hours in L.A., I boarded the plane heading for Auckland, New Zealand. And, 13 hours later, here I am!
I'm still smiling, but I think this is the smile that says, "Praise the Lord I can stretch out and not sit on an airplane for a few hours!!!!"
I only had to wait about 2 more hours for my final plane to depart to Brisbane. In the meantime, I sat next to a huge window and looked at this view.
I am pretty sure that New Zealand is quite beautiful, and I would have loved to have been able to see more than just the view from the airport terminal.
My plane left Auckland right on schedule, and I arrived in Brisbane a few minutes earlier than expected. I then blasted through customs without even a hiccup, grabbed both my suitcases from the baggage claim, and then headed on out to meet a woman named Peta who was supposed to be waiting with a sign that had my name on it.
Unfortunately, there was most definitely not anyone with a sign that had my name on it when I exited into the waiting area. I had a slight moment of panic, but I didn't let myself get worked up since I was a little earlier than anticipated. I doubt it was even 10 minutes that I waited before I found Peta. She was splendid! We loaded up my baggage and took off for the city. We grabbed coffee and went on a drive/walk around Brisbane, headed to the church where I am doing my training, grabbed lunch at a cafe (which I can't tell you the name of because Peta swore me to secrecy since it is her favorite place to get away!), dropped my stuff off where I am staying, and went back to her place to watch a movie. It was a crazy long day, but it was lovely!
These are some trees growing in downtown Brisbane. The roots grow up, not something you see in the States!
And, I really just took this for my mom. Neither I nor Peta knew what kind of flower this was, but it was gorgeous. It is in the middle of a huge garden/park in the middle of Brisbane where anyone can go walking any time. 
So, there you have my journey to Brisbane! I will be sure to update again in the next couple days to let you know about what I am up to and how training is going, but I will tell you that I am super pumped about what God is going to do!!!
"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


  1. Glad to see you are alive, safe and well!

    Looking forward to reading more in the coming months!

  2. I am sitting here reading this and feeling how much I have "just lived my life". Of course, when I was younger, there weren't the opportunities that are out there today...or at least we weren't aware of them. I am so amazed at what God is doing in your life and how he is using you. I know that what you are doing isn't something I would want to do at this point of my life, but I feel a powerful pull to help you in this however I can. I have been and will continue to pray for you and the girls that you will come in contact with. If there is ever any other way I can help you or them, please let me know. I know you will be very busy, but am looking forward to any updates. May God continue to bless you....Judy King

  3. I am glad you are enjoying your journey so far!!

    Looking forward to hearing about your adventures!

  4. Yay! So glad that you are there! Now tell the truth, did you play boggle with yourself on any of your long flights? Can't wait to hear how your training goes!!

    I am really enjoying Serve God Save the Planet, by the way. I was talking to Jim about it and he said 'Honey, I love you, but we are not moving into a house the size of our garage!' I think I have convinced him to read it after I am done, though! Small steps. :-)