Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm Home!

Alaska is beautiful but it's good to be back in Kansas. It's good to be back in civilization, for that matter.
Even though we left the ship on Monday morning, I can still feel the rocking and it's still making me queasy.
I've got a lot of work to do over the next few days, so I don't know when I'll have time to blog on my trip. I'm not sure how I'll do it, either. I've thought about doing a series of posts that reflect upon the different aspects of the trip, but I don't know if I'll have time.
I will summarize it though by saying the trip was mind-blowing. The experiences we had, the wildlife we were close to and the scenery we observed were all amazing. Just after leaving Glacier Bay, I went down to an enclosed deck (it was too cold to sit on the upper deck) to nap on a deck chair. After waking up from a great nap, I was listening to the new Steve Fee worship CD and watching a group of people running all around me trying to get a good look at the whales off the portside. I was still too groggy to move and I'd seen a bunch of whales just the other day. But something about the beauty of the glacier I'd just seen, the excitement I was observing in these whale watchers and the worship music I was hearing on my ipod all came together to overwhelm me with emotion. I was overcome with the creativity, power and love of God and a couple of tears escaped my eyes. It was a moment I'll never forget.

The picture you're seeing looks like some sort of fake background in a photo studio, but trust me, it's real. We're standing on top of Mount Aleayska (the native name for Alaska that means "Great Land"), which is just outside of Anchrage. That scene behind us might be one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen, although it kind of blurs together with all the other amazing things we saw.

Now I've got to get to studying, after checking my email (which scares me). It's going to be a long day because our sleep is all screwed up. We had an overnight journey home from Anchorage. The first leg was a five hour flight to Minneapolis. A two year old boy across the aisle from us screamed the ENTIRE flight. I'm not exaggerating. He'd quit for just awhile and then start back up again. When we landed and had to wait a half hour to get off the plane and while he was screaming during that whole waiting time, I just about lost it, I had been pretty patient most of the five hours before that.
My wife however, revealed what an incredible person she is by singing him to sleep several different times (only to have him wake up and start all over again). She sang so much she went hoarse. For my part, I tried to pray some grace into the situation, but I was proud of myself for simply not complaining. But as often as I've seen my wife give herself to others in selfless service, I don't know if I've ever been as blown away by her character as I was on that plane ride.

Now if I could just get my office to stop rocking, it would be a lot easier to work.

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