|A nearly empty Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport very early this morning|
We've arrived at the JFK airport. One leg down. One to go on our journey to Moscow.
This morning when we arrived at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport, we sailed through check-in and security. Then we went on the hunt for coffee and breakfast. As you can see in the picture above, 4:45 is too early for Caribou Coffee, even at a major airport. Another early-morning traveler saw the look of longing on our faces and told us that StarBucks was open on the other end of the long "mall" of shops and restaurants that stretches between concourses. I watched our carry-ons while Mr. Beaver and Lissie got us each a bracing cup of "Joe."
We headed out to our gate and discovered our first travel challenge. Following my surgery in late June my blood pressure skyrocketed to a level that now has me taking daily medications. We took this development seriously because my dad's mother died of a stroke at age 46. Before the numbers began to fall to a safe range I was placed on five prescriptions.
Last night I carefully sorted my medications to make sure I would be taking all that was critical. This morning at a drinking fountain near our gate. I searched and searched the toiletries bag in which I'd placed the meds. Getting rather frantic, I realized I had only one of the five prescriptions with me.
Then my hero went into action. Without a word of irritation or complaint, Mr. Beaver began googling pharmacy locations near JFK. Once he'd located one, he called a close friend who is a physician. It was still only about 6:15 in the central time zone, but our friend patiently listened to our dilemna. Our flight left at 7 am, but by the time we landed here on Long Island, our friend had called in the crucial prescriptions. Mr. Beaver settled Lissie and me in a comfortable spot and left the airport grounds in a taxi to travel to the pharmacy and back.
I have to admit I feel terrible about all the trouble I've caused. I've also been tempted to feel frustrated with the situation. However, when I texted a friend about my goof, she wisely pointed out what a blessing it was that I discovered the missing meds while still in America. She was praising God while I was pouting.
My friend's response reminded me of a critical learning for Mr. Beaver and me between our first and second Russian adoptions. We found the two trips to rural Russia necessary for our first adoption hard. We allowed ourselves to get more and more miserable over the inconveniences of the travel. We complained to each other a lot.
During the 14 months it took to pass through the adoption process that eventually made Tatiana, Natasha and Amy our daughters, we both read The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs. Burroughs shares wisdom that we both found to be life changing! Although the book has many worthwhile points, we were most impacted by the author's insistence that Christians must look for what he calls God's mercies (we'd probably use the word blessings) in every situation.
Sure enough, when we made subsequent required trips to the same region in Russia, the journeys were marked again by hurdles, bumps, twists and turns. But now we were focused on God's goodness to us rather than our circumstances. To our amazement, instead of getting worn and wearied by the challenges we faced, joy was our traveling companion.
Since I started this post, my hero has returned from his drug store hunt with the medicines I need to keep my blood pressure in the safe zone. This unusual start to the trip has brought with it the important reminder that we need to be on the hunt at every stage of this trip. God is with us, and the blessings of his Fatherly care will be evident at each stage if we're just on the look out.