Less than 2 hours later, the plane slowed and began its descent, and the story out the window was much different. Green trees spread for miles, an occasional building scattered throughout. And as the plane lowered, the small life of Mississippi turned large.
I walked off the plane into the gangway, immediately hit by indescribably hot air that seemed to fill my lungs with fluid. And what did I do? I breathed more deeply, of course, and sighed.
My senses took it all in....
I tasted the wetness in the air (and longed to taste the sweetness of the tea)...
I smelled the pleasant aroma of nature and grass and country life...
I saw the trees and life made by God's hand, not man, along with the smiles and friendly faces of Mississippi, the "Hospitality State."
I heard the laughter and "y'all" and glorious Southern accents...
And I touched my family... squeezing each of them tight and realizing that, at long last, I am home.
For this is what it feels like to be home... and I am so grateful.
I'm continuing the count, from 1 to 1,000, of the God gifts in my life. Here are a few from the past few days:
487... The unexpected grace of a professor
488... Emailed prayers... words spoken on hearts but made visible for my eyes
489... God's provision
491... A safe trip home
492... Aunt, Uncle, Mom, and Sister greeting me at the airport
493... Silly stories filling the ride home
497... A dance party in the pool
500... Coming up with potential band names as awesome as "Cardiac Jack and the Arrests"(which is a real band. no kidding... we came up with "Hip Lee Ann and the Replacements," "Spider Emily and the Veins," and "Stiff Miranda and the Joints.")
501... Fireworks and children's delighted squeals
504... Discovery of baby bird
505... Nursing sweet little bird back to life
506... Wide yellow mouth, waiting for nourishment
507... Crape myrtles covered in morning dew
508... Whimsical garden spot
509... Lantana covered in butterflies
510... Mornings under my tree by the pool
514... Ebony, the king of the farm
515... The blessings of this nation
Happy 4th of July, friends!
(And I apologize for this being late in the day... in fact, I should probably be saying "happy 5th of July" instead. The internet hasn't been working for some reason.)