You never know who you will meet on an airplane…

As the busiest traveling season of the year is upon us, I thought I would share a little story that happened to me just about a month ago.

At the airport. People coming and going, hurried, rushed and stressed. I cannot help but feel a tinge of anxiety every time I get ready to walk through the security line or board the tiny plane.

It is no wonder most people walk around with their ear plugs in or open their laptops to catch up on Facebook or twitter. We want to feel connected in a place of total strangers. Especially when traveling alone.

This last time I was with my daughter. I was anxious to get on the plane smoothly and not have her fussing and bugging everyone around us. I had my stroller set up- diaper bag backpack on, Lillian strapped into her car seat, snug in her travel stroller, and my boarding pass in my pocket. I had my plan. All I wanted to do was get on the plane, get a good spot, and worry about my daughter.

That is when I noticed her. Traveling alone, like me, but with a baby a bit older. She was a young mom braving the airport. She had no stroller, so she had her baby on her hip. A large diaper bag barely hung off her shoulder, and a giant blanket was dragging behind her as the baby barely hung onto a corner of it. I knew what that might feel like and instantly wanted to talk to her. I was nervous about it though…what if she wanted to be left alone or thought I was some weirdo.

I started some small talk, asking her how old her baby was, commenting on her babies’ beautiful red hair… then let her know she could sit by me if she wanted. Wait, what did I  just tell her!? I remember instantly feeling like a fool… now would she sit by me out of obligation, would we have to talk the whole time, what if she didn’t sit by me, would I feel rejected? Oh well, I put it out there. She didn’t say anything in response.

So we boarded the plane. Sure enough, she sits next to me. I will never forget the faces of the business man and women behind us as we took up the seats in front of them. Sheer terror. Almost comical. They are just babies, people! So there we sat. Lillian in her car seat, myself in the middle, and Mom and baby next to us almost squished into the aisle.

The babies started squealing with delight, and making those shrill screams that are cute only to the parents holding them. Oh, oh what had I done?! We should have split up and made this easier on everyone.

However, the babies calmed down and loved looking at each other. Our conversation was not at all contrived or forced. Rather, I was intrigued by this loving young mother and her baby. We talked about life, our kids, and despite our age gap had much in common. My heart ached for her as she told me she was new to a big city, with no friends, and with a young baby. I know how hard that is because not too long ago I was there too. Yes, she has some family here, but sometimes you need friends that are in your place in life, too.

I felt like a freak asking for her phone number, but I felt like I needed to. I felt some strange connection to her. See, I have a passion for working with young moms, and knew I could help her connect with others out there just like her. I wanted so bad to invite her to Bible Study but was scared out of my mind to. So I did. And she was happy I did!

Fast forward to her joining me at a Younglives Bible Study, a full day of cookie making and baby play dates, and a dinner she invited me too and we have become friends. Her mother in law almost cried telling me how happy she was her daughter made a new friend, someone she could take the baby out with and just have fun. Her boyfriend and I have met several times, and I have loved getting to know her sweet family.

God showed up on that airplane that day. He wanted us to meet, and he made a divine appointment for us that we didn’t even realize.

I love being reminded that even in this busy and disconnected age we live in, God still has us cross paths with people we are meant to befriend. People that need our friendship and love at that moment, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, or status. People that we need for healing, help, and love. This has happened to me too often to disregard as fate or chance. I have met some of my best friends in the most unlikely of places, and I know it is God behind the scene pulling the strings.

See, I had been praying for a friend just like her. And God, with his great love and perfect timing, introduced me to her in the wildest of places- the airplane.

Weekend Wrap Up

I love this time of year. It gets busy with time with friends and family. Everyone is taking their finals and completing semesters, getting time off work, and throwing holiday parties. 
It drives me nuts that I forgot to take pictures at our holiday parties! I swear any time I actually get ready and leave our house I forget to get a family picture. Oh well…
A snapshot of this week and some highlights. 
Butterscotch, chocolate chip, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cookies. Mmm…

Gingerbread House Party! Met up with old friends and decorated these beauties. It was a blast, and my sweet friend baked and assembled these. Amazing, right? 

Our first gift came in the mail! So exciting, thanks Momma! 

Tired babies after a play date. I just love this picture. 

Love this site, and got a few moments to read some truth. 

Our finished gingerbread house. It was difficult to make this while holding Lilly as she wanted to grab EVERYTHING. Mission accomplished! 

Holiday party at our dear friends house. Food was fab, drinks were amazing. I ate way too much and had a blast. 
Have a great Sunday! 

Letters to Lillian: collection of tidbits of wisdom from Momma

Dear Lillian, 
Leave it to parents to capture all those embarrassing pictures that one day make first dates, well, awkward. I just cannot help but take pictures of you non stop. I am so happy to live in an age where I can take tons of photos, because if not, I would be spending way too much money on film. 
I have to be honest with you: you are the most adorable, sweet, charismatic little person I have ever known! Your silliness is just downright contagious. I am happy that you like when I do weird dances and sing songs that make most people want to bang their head against the wall. 
Your Dad and I do some really ridiculous things to make you laugh. We screech and squeal and tickle you and make funny faces, all in the hopes that you will show us one of those toothless-squinty-eyed-grins that melt our heart. 
Here are a collection of photos I have taken recently that make me smile and remind me of your fun loving, goofy, and joyful heart. I hope one day I can show these to the man you love and we can all laugh about it together! 

You adore your baths. Splashing, kicking, exploring, and trying to stand up are your faves. I hope you will always love water like you do now… running around in the sprinklers when you are young and dancing in the rain when you are old. Unafraid to let your hair get wet or your makeup undone, laughing, spinning, and soaking the fun in. 

Your morning face. Is there anything more cute?! Always remember, you are beautiful in the mornings. Be yourself, and embrace that funny bed head. 

This is your first attempt to feed yourself rice. You had a blast! You love food. I pray you will always enjoy food as a gracious gift and blessing from God. Remember, it is meant to be enjoyed and goes well with friends and family. Don’t be consumed with worry over food. Everything in moderation is good for the heart and mind! 

I love this smile. Keep smiling. Smile when life gets hard, and smile at those who appear to be mean or sad. A smile can change someone’s day, or maybe even their life. Your smile stops hurried people in the grocery store to stop and laugh, and you bring delight to many a lonely persons face. The joy beaming from your heart is meant to be shared with this hard world. Your tender soul and laugh can change the world one person at a time. 

Me and you kiddo, making your first gingerbread house! Even as an adult, make crafts and have fun with the holidays. Your little hands can make beautiful and lasting works of art. Making something with your hands is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable things to do- especially if it is for others! 

Here you are going on a walk in the COLD! You are so bundled up- but you were a trooper. You love to be outdoors, you love to see trees and touch grass and hike! Remember as you get older- go out in the snow. Go on adventures outdoors, explore, and have fun in the beauty of God’s nature. It might be annoying to prep and plan, and sometimes the weather might be uncomfortable, but remember the memories and excitement you can have exploring the world! 

Be yourself. Authentic, real, genuine. There is no other person in the whole world like you. You are unique and beautiful and have the ability to make a real difference in this world. You have purpose beyond your wildest imagination. Don’t cover your flaws or worry about your imperfections. They tell your story. Your story is like a beautiful symphony being constructed by each day of your life- one note at a time- that one day will be beautiful music and will fit together in a way you would have never known. Love the challenges you will face and the people you are blessed with in your life. And above all else, be grounded and rooted in the love of Jesus. He sees you as a precious and beloved child, perfectly constructed to reflect the beauty and splendor of God, with a unique heart that will bring light to a hurting world. 
You are so loved:). Every little thing about you- the quirky and cool and fun Lillian you are! 
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope. 
Maya Angelou

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 
Marianne Williamson

Your Mom