Thursday, June 24, 2010



Today, I learned a lot about turbulence. The kind that happens on an airplane. I learned what it is, and what it is not. I used to believe that every little bump and jump during flight was turbulence. Prior to this trip to China, I found flying to be extraordinarily stressful. So, anytime someone would ask me about my flight, I would always answer, “It was horrible, a lot of turbulence!” Turns out I did not have a clue. That is until today.

Actually, as it turns out, turbulence is where the plane is jolted and knocked around (sometimes violently) by airwaves moving at different speeds. It is random and unpredictable. Objects float temporarily during especially large drops. The flight attendants slam their serving carts shut and hurriedly dash for their seats. And even though it was my “fasting” day, I snatched a bag of peanuts from the cart as the attendant whisked by. She screamed something at me in Chinese to express her displeasure at my disregard for the “food service discontinuance” announcement. I did not care. I had no intention of going down starving! While we were still bouncing like a rubber ball, I calmly opened them. There were exactly 8 peanuts in the bag. Seriously! I decided to die hungry. About that time the pilot came over the loud speaker and in a frenzied Chinese voice made an announcement. I assumed he said “BRACE FOR IMPACT”. I did so. Then he made the announcement in English. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize for the light turbulence we have encountered. We hope the rest of your journey with us will be enjoyable. Have a nice day, and thank you for flying Air China!”

Light turbulence? Really? So much about life is perspective isn’t it? Sometimes the things in life that we think are such a big deal are really no big deal at all. We just don’t usually figure that out until we face a bigger deal. Visiting Lily’s orphanage made me realize that the things that I fret and sometimes agonize over pale next to a world of children with no parents. This really bothers me. More so now that I have seen it up close. I kind of hope it bothers you too. Is there something you’ve been losing sleep over? Maybe it’s just a tiny thing and the devil wants you to focus on it so much that you never have time for weightier concerns. Issues important to God. He tells us what those are by the way. For you it may not be orphan relief, but for goodness sake pick something and get busy fixing it.

Ok enough preaching. I am home! I miss Susan and Lily, but am so happy to see Em and Teddy and Daniel. I am putting a picture up with this post and tomorrow I will put all the sermonizing aside and tell you about our trip to Lily’s orphanage. Great stuff! More pictures too.

Thank you for your support, your prayers and all your great comments. Susan and I love reading them!



Mike-n-Kerri said...

Chip, I can sympathize with your turbulence experience. I was flying solo to England to meet Kerri one time and started thinking about if they would ever find where our plane went down over the Atlantic!

You've got a beautiful baby girl. Kerri pointed out that it was nice of you to keep your children in sequence: Girl, Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl.

Tanya Birchfield said...

I so enjoy reading your blog. You are quite gifted with your writing style. You can say more in one sentence than I can say in an entire paragraph. By the way, I am in total agreement to your "sermonizing." We all need to hear it!

Angie Stewart said...

Chip, I have laughed so hard and cried at the same time! (Didn't know I could)
We love getting the updates and will continue to pray for all of you!

You are a great writer! I see where Blair gets it!
We love you guys!
Angie Stewart

amerysouth said...

So happy you are home safely and just in time for Daniel's birthday! We want to help, so we will give you a day to recover and then I'll call to see what we can do.

marcia calender said...

You are a piece of work. We all know now that you will always have another profession to fall back on and that is journalism.You should be a stand-up comic because you have certainly provided us with comic releif at this stressful time when we have been praying for you and worrying about you. Lily is so incredible to look at, a perfect fit into your beautiful family. We are so glad that you are safely home and we continue to lift up Susie and Lily.

Between You and Me said...

I'm sure you don't remember me...but we are friends of Terri and Eddie Sullivan....we lived there for a couple of years while serving at Christ Community.

Anyway, I've spoken with Susan several times in the past through email about adoption...

we have had our sweet Lydia Grace home from China for 2 1/2 years!

We're praying for your adjustment and for continued safety for Susan and Lily.

She is absolutely beautiful...and if you're interested in more preaching...I'll shout AMEN at your sermons.... :)