If you missed Part I, click here to read it first.
Sunday morning proved to be uber stressful. I had decided that the 10am service would fit best with the kids’ schedule. At the same time I was dressing the kids for church and getting them a morning snack, I was trying to put together travel tickets for my stranded family. We had to buy them standby tickets on another airline to get them to another airport in order to fly home.
I was having technical difficulties with the website that handles these transactions. It was well past 9am. I hadn’t showered. After several attempts to make it work and to contact someone who might know how, I finally gave up and went to shower.
I turned on the water, and after it got hot enough, I pulled up on the shower pull when all of a sudden water began shooting out of the side of the showerhead instead of down. The bathroom floor, bedroom floor, and parts of the bed were all wet.
I had to stop and laugh for a minute. It seems that every time that we are preparing to go to church, things like this will happen to try to discourage us from going. Here I was on my own, late, and in the middle of a travel crisis, trying to get two little kids and myself ready for church.
I said something aloud like “This isn’t going to stop me.” I plugged my kids’ water nozzle into the showerhead and used that to bathe instead. It wasn’t as easy as taking a regular shower but it was a good substitute.
I didn’t want to miss this service because I knew that afterwards there would be people available to pray for the sick. I was ready to go up there to be prayed for.
We miraculously headed out the door at 9:45am and made it on time for the church service. The presence of God was strong during worship.
The battle wasn’t over, though. Kids four and over stay with parents during the worship part of the service so my daughter was with me. In the middle of a very special, intimate moment of worship, she tells me she has to go potty. No problem. We made a quick trip to the bathroom and returned before the song was over.
She was sitting next to the wall and a few minutes after we returned, she went to slide down from her seat to the floor, hitting her arm and elbow on the trim, cutting her arm. At first I thought she was okay, however, I looked down at my beige capri pants and saw two blood stains there from when I had held her after she hurt herself and was crying. I took her out to the foyer and asked for a first aid kit.
They had Band-Aids but nothing to clean the wound. I found a couple of antiseptic wipes from my purse and cringed at the thought of cleaning her cut with it. I cleaned it as fast as I could and covered it with a Band-Aid.
Following a sermon on Acts 9, they invited people to come to the front for healing prayer. I had already written a list on a pew card of everything for which I needed prayer. I took the list up to the women who were to pray for me.
As I looked at the list, I realized that everything on the list were a direct result of childbirth. Most of the physical problems I was having happened following my C-section with my last child, born three years ago. My body is very different than it was before the first child.
Two beautiful women of God took great time and detail to pray over every part of my body that had been in pain or not working right.
I left around noon with the kids and headed back to the same McDonald’s we had been to the day before. (I normally don’t feed my kids fast food all the time; however, this weekend was different).
I encountered the same woman I had spoken with on the phone the day before. I asked her if I could order a happy meal instead of ten nuggets. Our family would never get close to finishing ten nuggets. She was happy to make the change.
I ordered the same meal I had tried to order the day before. This time I asked for Gogurt instead of the apples. When she finished taking my order, she said, “Thank you and God bless you.”
I thought that was interesting.
As we sat down to eat, I began to pull the food out of the bags. She had given us six nuggets instead of four. She gave us two regular fries instead of kid fries, and she gave us three toys instead of two. Each of the kids would have a little race car to play with.
I was very touched by her generosity and could tell that she really did her job with a heart for people. If every McDonald’s worker were like her, every McDonald’s would be packed to the gills all day long.
After they finished their chicken, I got out the two Gogurt tubes for my kids. Gogurt should come with a label that says “not suitable for children under the age of 7”. Two slimy trays, two slimy mouths, and about fifty napkins later, the yogurt was consumed.
I took the kids home and prepared them for their nap.
The standby vigil that day began around 3:30 in the afternoon. This time they would have to make it on two flights to get home. I stayed in close contact with my husband who informed me that they would know at 4:20 if they would make it on the domestic flight down there.
4:20 came and went.
4:30 came and went.
4:45 and still no word.
The flight was leaving at 5pm so when I hadn’t heard anything by that time, I assumed that they were on the plane and hadn’t had time to call me before leaving.
I had been posting on facebook asking friends and family to pray for favor for them to make it home. The next flight they were scheduled on looked much better. In fact, there were two flights that night.
I thought I could relax after they made it on their first flight. However, upon making contact with him, I discovered that they were five minutes from the cutoff time for check-in with at least 30 people in line ahead of them.
I suggested he find an agent quickly and we hung up.
I checked my computer about ten minutes later and saw they had successfully checked in on time. They were the first ones on the list so they got on the flight in first class with no problem.
My weary travelers finally made it back to the house mid-morning on Monday.
I’m not sure why, but all the energy I had over the weekend to handle taking care of two kids by myself just left when my husband returned. I felt completely drained all day. I really struggled. He was exhausted from his trip and slept most of the day.
I was supposed to be on call again for work the next day. Instead of being on call at the airport, I decided to roll the dice and be on call at home.
Everything seemed to look good for me to be off at least during the morning hours. However, around 9pm, that all changed. An international flight from that evening would have to be rescheduled for the morning.
Rio de Janeiro. They would need Portuguese speakers. The writing was on the wall.
I knew it was a matter of time before I got the call so I went ahead and prepared my suitcase and uniform for an early morning.
Oh but that pesky scratchy throat. It had continued to bother me all weekend. I was feeling drained and could not lay down without coughing.
I had a fleeting thought to call in sick but dismissed it quickly. I would suck it up and go on this trip. 24 hours in Rio de Janeiro awaited me and I don’t like to call in sick.
I posted it on facebook. I knew that I would get at least some likes and I knew that this would seem way more exciting for other people than it actually was for me. I had absolutely no desire to do this trip. I appreciate my job very much, but not when I don’t feel well.
I knew my husband was tired and most likely didn’t like the idea of me leaving early in the morning for a three-day trip, however he didn’t complain.
I went to bed and tried to sleep. It’s always hard for me to sleep when I know I’m getting up the next morning for a long flight. I had no idea why the flight had not operated the night before. I was not looking forward to a plane full of unhappy passengers who had probably slept very little themselves if at all.
Then there was that pesky sore throat. It woke me up at 4am.
At that point, I had to start reconsidering going into work. I knew my body was fighting sickness. My energy was drained. I was coughing. And my throat kept hurting.
I had exactly 30 minutes to make up my mind. I kept resolving to go to work and trying to go back to sleep. Indecision kept sleep at bay.
I have a hard time calling in sick for work. I feel bad about affecting the operation and about affecting the life of the next person on the list who I know is going to get whatever trip I am getting off.
I kept praying about it but was honestly unsure of His will. I finally decided to go ahead and make the call. It was 4:20am. I had until 4:30am to call without getting in a lot of trouble. I prayed that I would get someone nice on the phone. I did.
While I was up, I looked at facebook and saw that I had gotten lots of likes on my status update about going to Rio. I commented on it, informing everyone that I had had to call in sick for the trip.
Fifteen minutes after hanging up and getting back in bed, my phone rang two more times with automated messages from work informing me of a trip on my schedule. It was the same trip. I got out of bed and called them back. It was a mistake. They knew I was supposed to be off the trip.
The next decision I agonized about was whether to send the kids to the sitter the next day so I could get better. I try to send them only on days I am working so we save money.
Further indecision kept me awake the rest of the night until morning. By the time the kids woke up, I had decided I would call the sitter about bringing them over. My body was run down and fighting illness.
I spent the day resting as best as I could. I took an hour-long nap in the afternoon. After waking up, I felt completely refreshed. It wasn’t just doing less; it was also spending a day in a quiet, calm, kid-free house.
When I checked facebook again, I had gotten more likes on my status about the trip. Despite the fact that I had let everyone know that I wasn’t going on the trip, people continued “liking” my status all day! I finally commented on my status and said, “You can stop liking the post. I didn’t go to Rio lol.”
By the end of the day, I was so glad I had called in sick. I even slept better that night. For some reason, it seems that we sleep better when we feel rested to begin with.
Another flight attendant picked up my last reserve day this week so I truly would not have to work at all the rest of the week.
As I look back over the events of the past five days, I see that there was much challenge; however, the hand of God was also present, giving me light for every step and grace that was more than enough.