I have lost count of the number of times I was on an airplane this summer. It was a lot, but I didn’t really mind. A change of scenery is always refreshing. New places, new faces – I love it. The airport is one of the best places for people watching, too, and I even kind of enjoy/dread seeing who will be seated next to me on the flight. I’ve had some memorable seat-mates to be sure, the most recent of which was the older lady in the aisle seat on a flight from Dallas to Austin.
|I considered stealing those eyelashes for the upcoming wedding.|
“Are you from Austin? I’m a pet sitter there.” she asked/told me immediately upon buckling in. No “Hello,” just a firm question and statement.
(I never know quite how to answer this question. Where exactly am I from? The window seat girl was off the hook by saying she lived in Marble Falls and quickly putting in her ear buds.)
“No ma’am, I don’t live in Austin.”
“Well, do you have pets?” she asked. Again, focused and firm. No niceties.
|Hanging out in the waiting room while Daddy gets his staples out.|
“No, I don’t have any pets.” I said, feeling bad for not mentioning Kayla’s Betta fish, Buckaroo.
“Oh! What a sad and lonely life you must be living!” she exclaimed in all earnestness.
A bit shocked by her sweeping conclusion regarding my life, I couldn’t speak for a moment, but then my summer flashed before my eyes. Things just passed, and things still to come whirled through my mind, and all I could say was…
“Definitely not lonely.”
“Well, you just don’t know what you’re missing,” was her sharp reply before promptly securing her eye mask and falling asleep before we were even in the air. And though it is a very short flight from Dallas to Austin, she never said another word to me.
|My sister and niece preparing to host a bridal brunch and tea party.|
And the phrase that had been on repeat in my brain for the last couple of weeks started again: Holy Ground.
No, I don’t have any pets, but I have a lot of humans. Like, A LOT. And no, they are not really mine, but we belong to each other in community in a way. Many of those humans had recently allowed me to be an intimate part of their lives, and to me it felt not sad and lonely, but like I was on holy ground.
Not the literal burning bush, take off your shoes, God is speaking audibly kind of holy ground, but a privileged position from which He allowed me to participate in some of the things He is up to in the lives of human beings. Things involving great fear, deep pain, and long term suffering, and also times of gladness and celebration. Places of strife, raw emotions, of surrender and weariness, and also places of great faith and much joy.
Holy, sacred ground. That’s the way I was seeing it.
|The bride gave us all Kendra Scott necklaces ~ floral robes, too!|
A last-minute, nine-day trip to Tulsa allowed me to care for two little boys (one adopted and one about to be), their dad who had recently spent about 35 days in the hospital due to complications from Crohn’s Disease sporting a scar down the middle of his belly, which has now been opened up about seven times, and their mom who is working full time and trying to maintain hope and strength in the midst of it all.
I got to change diapers, read books, play outside, buckle carseat straps, do the naptime routine, drive to doctor visits, and cook a couple of things. I got to see and feel the tensions of marriage and parenting in the midst of great trial. I got to have fun conversations and hard ones. I had to be bold and walk on egg shells. I got to have deep fellowship with two friends who are steadfast believers and watch them walk a path of long term stress and suffering with great faith.
It was holy ground.
|Mr. and Mrs.!|
|My siblings minus the bride.|
|The California brother and family! (Coop’s surrogate parents from last year!)
Got to hang with the little guys at the pool and give Mom, Dad
and soon to be little sister a break!
The reason I was flying from Dallas to Austin (really Tulsa to Dallas to Austin) was because I needed to meet up with the rest of my family for my littlest sister’s wedding. Robert performed the ceremony, my other sister and I were bridesmaids, my brother was a groomsman, and my boys were ushers. There were rehearsals, and bridal brunches. There was immediate and extended family. There was drama. There were prayers and fights and teary poolside conversations. There was laughter and reminiscing. There was a beautiful bride starting a brand new life.
|After party – Comfy clothes and french fries!|
|Second Service the Sunday we returned.|
|First we did brunch after the first service, and then we did a taco bar for lunch after the second.
Long shopping list and a half day trip to Costco. Also, cracking about 200 eggs!
It’s like the Lord always buys me the best tickets to the show. The ones where you can see for sure that those folks are really human. The ones where you see all the tiny flaws and tools for presentation and have your own heart strengthened by their performance.
So, I guess my life is sometimes sad as I watch loved ones walk through trial and loss. But it’s definitely not lonely. It’s filled with privilege and perspective and people truly in Christ.
Maybe my pet-sitting seat-mate doesn’t realize what she’s missing.
I, for one, am thankful for a summer of walking on holy (and human) ground.