Airplanes, Turbulance, and a Mantra of Reassurance

One thing I get nervous about, is flying in turbulence.

I know exactly when it started. We were heading into the Seattle airport. Beginning our last 30 minutes of descent. And that’s when the turbulence started.

Up and down we bobbed, like a fishing float crossing jet ski waves.

We were strapped in the last row of the airplane. And it wasn’t long before the odor of the 2 back bathrooms was wafting up the aisle. Getting stronger as time slowly marched forward.

Now two sensory items were combining to make me feel nauseous and sick.

My daughter, a tween at the time and was having the time of her life. “Mom, this is just like a roller coaster. I hope it never stops.”

Meanwhile, I was clutching the arm rests, trying not to panic, and appear calm. No need to frighten her.

My daughter got her wish. The air induced roller coaster stopped only when all the wheels were on the ground.

Let’s just say, I didn’t kiss the ground when we landed, but I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling, even as we were collecting our luggage.

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra
Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra
How I developed my flying mantra.

 

About a month later, I found myself on a plane again.

I had forgotten about our last plane ride. But my body had not.

Our plane took off and almost instantly, as the plane was straining and shaking and we climbed into the sky, I got a full blown panic attack.

Presto!

I was shaking inside, sweating through all my clothes, and feeling like I was going to spin into about a billion little pieces of tissue and cells.

I couldn’t think. I couldn’t focus. I could barely breathe.

I kept telling myself to calm down. But I couldn’t.

At the time I didn’t make the connection that I was reacting to our last flight.

I sat there paralyzed. Afraid to move. Even though it was an almost turbulence free flight.

Eventually I realized I was repeating Psalm 23 to myself.

“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes . . ..”

It did not stop the panic attack, but it reassured me and helped focus me.

Over and over I repeated it, until we coasted up and stopped at the gate.

And even though we were in the air for about a 90-minute flight, my panic attack did not abate until I had been on the ground for a while.

When I got to the hotel, I called my husband and told him there was no way I was getting back on the plane. I was coming home by bus. Even if it took me two days of non-stop driving.

Calmly he talked to me. Listened. Told me to wait a few days to buy a bus ticket. Who knew, maybe I would change my mind. I reassured him I would not.

The night before I was to fly, he told me that I had to face my fears. Get back on the plane, or I would avoid flying.

I so wanted to buy a bus ticket, but I got back on the plane.

Going home was better. Well, a little better.

And each flight has gotten better.

But one thing is still the same. The moment I get nervous on a plane, or when turbulence starts rocking the plane, I automatically start reciting Psalm 23.

It’s been over a decade and a half since that bad bumpy plane ride over the Cascade mountain range, and yet Psalm 23 is my flying mantra. Never anything else. No variety here. Same is good when it is working.

And believe me, it has helped me through some not so fun turbulence.

But I am also getting more used to turbulence. Now I can read in mild turbulence, if my book is interesting enough, and if I lift my feet of the floor so I don’t feel it so much.

But anytime I need calming. Soothing. Reassurance that I am not alone on that plane, I start reciting the 23rd Psalm. And always it comforts me.

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraConfronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraConfronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

What’s your mantra?

 

For me, Psalm 23 and flying go together like ocean and beach. Flip flops and shorts. Chocolate and raisins.

What is one of your fears? And how do you calm and reassure yourself?

What do you tell yourself? Remind yourself? Say to quiet the voices or static noise in your head.

Sometimes we need a mantra not just for our fears, but to answer the critics and accusers.

The voices reminding you of your failures. Criticizing your looks.  Comparing you to others to shame you.

At these times you need to remember your mantra, which may be different and depend on the circumstances. A mantra that will remind yourself of the truth and whose you are.

Because we all need reassurance. We all need calming.

And if you don’t have a mantra. Or multiple mantras. Get yourself some.

For awhile I was reminding myself that I was beloved. That there is no condemnation with Jesus. That my worth was not dependent on what I did or did not do.

Sometimes something as simple as reminding myself to breathe and rest a minute can change the present.

Or when my son is talking, and I am busy and trying to listen and do something else, reminding myself to stop and listen, can change the outcome of our conversation.

A mantra can calm you. Reassure you. Encourage you. Recharge you. Remind you. Excite you. And more.

What do you need to remind yourself of today when turbulence rocks your attitude, soul, or day?

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


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Join the Discussion: What is one of your personal mantras?

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraMay link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Confronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantraConfronting our fears can be easier with a mantra. Because we all need to be reminded of the truth and whose we are. #Confronting your fears #personal mantra

Another Chance?

Do you remember hearing stories of the dead brought back to life?

It sounded good to me.

Who doesn’t want another chance at life?

To see people, they love again?

Then I got a different perspective.

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine having another Chance?

 

When my step father got colon cancer and was dying, I drove across the country to be with him. Helping care for him and encourage him during his final days.

He was walking when I arrived. Super skinny but getting around.

Day by day he got weaker. His body shutting down.

He progressed to a cane. Then a wheelchair.

After about 2 months, he knew it was getting close and called the whole family in to gather around his hospital bed in the living room. He blessed us, asked for forgiveness for past wrongs, and told us good bye.

A day or two later he went into a coma.

Hospice told us that he would not come out of the coma. Slowly his body would shut down and he would die in a week or so.

We were pretty somber. We knew this day would come, but now it was here.

We tip-toed and spoke softly at first. Then we carried on at a normal sound level because hospice said it would comfort him to hear us.

After a few hours he woke up.

It was like a resurrection.

We were all so happy. Telling him hi. Asking if he needed anything.

But it became apparent he was not happy.

It felt strange. He had been so positive, kind, and full of love this whole time he had been slowly wasting away, but tonight he was in a downright bad mood.

I didn’t know what to think. I thought he would be happy to see us again.

My step dad asked a friend, who happened to be visiting, to wheel him into the next room. They talked for a while. My step father also answered some email.

He was calmer when he came back to bed.

In a quiet voice he told me what had happened.

“When I last closed my eyes,” he said, “I was prepared to die. I fully expected the next time I opened my eyes I would be before Jesus. And then I open my eyes and here I am. Still on earth. In my old body.”

I was quiet. This wasn’t what I had expected him to say.

“I didn’t really want to see this world again,” he continued. “It has no more appeal for me.”

I had noticed how as he got closer to death this world had weighed heavier on him. He saw sin more clearly and it bothered him. Old TV shows he had watched in the past, he now wanted turned off because he didn’t like the message they were portraying about life and people.

We had been in the store one day and the suggestive magazine covers had upset him. “Women don’t have to look like that to get approval,” he had said. “They are already loved.”

For him, the world had lost his glamor. It’s appeal. He saw it groaning for its creator’s return more fully than the rest of us.

He went to sleep again. This time he never woke up.

I imagine the great joy he experienced when he saw his Lord’s face.

 Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"

Perspectives change

 

When I was a teen, I hoped the end of the world would not arrive before I grew up and got married. I didn’t want to miss out on any of the good things in life or on things that others had already gotten to experience.

In my naivety, I wasn’t even sure heaven had anything over this beautiful world.

The years passed. I saw death. Trials hit me. Trials hit friends. Friends lost babies. Friends died. I heard about the news and sadness going on all over the world. Saw poverty. Read about heartbreak. Experienced heartbreak.

Over the years my prayer to stay in this world and enjoy all it has to offer has changed into “thy kingdom come.”

This world is such a mixture of good and bad. Sad and happy. Beautiful and ugly. Sin and goodness.

If I had died in my younger days, I would have had my hand raised and waving to be sent back to earth. Now I am not so sure. I see my step father’s perspective a little clearer.

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"Imagine being resurrected?

 

Experiences of life color our perspective.

It had been a hard week. One of crying with a friend over her tragic loss.

The pastor was talking about Peter bringing Tabitha, a woman who had a heart for helping the poor, back to life.  “The verse mentions that her friends were over joyed when she was resurrected.”

“Imagine if you had been there, you would have been rejoicing too. Happy to see your friends again. Knowing the work, she had started, would be continued.”

“Can you imagine what Tabitha felt?” she pastor asked.

I thought about how my step dad felt when he awoke again.

“Disappointed,” I muttered. “Upset.”

“What?” my husband whispered. “What did you say?”

“Never mind,” I say.

But I wonder. Was she happy to be back? To Keep working? To return to this world and all her old problems?

Or was she secretly a little angry and wishing her friends had let her stay where she was? A much better place than here.

And what about all the people who came back to life after Jesus died? It talks about the tombs opening and saints returning.

Were they full of mixed emotions?

Some delighted and kissing the ground?

A few shaking their head and asking, “Why, oh why, did I have to return back here?”

I imagine one woman returning to her family and getting hugged by her little ones and kissed by her husband. She touches all their faces and smiles.

Shares a few laughs with her loved ones.

She looks around the house and with a sinking heart realizes nothing has been done since her absence a few weeks ago. Time to get to work, she sighs.

And then the littlest one pipes up. “Mom. What’s for dinner?”

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What would your thoughts be on returning to life?  

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?"
Imagine being resurrected. Maybe you are happy. And then you look around and remember your old life and problems and you wonder, "Why oh why did this happen to me?" #faith #choices

What’s the Plot Line of Your Journey?

 

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.What does your current journey look like?

Do you sometimes look around and think you would rather be on someone else’s’ journey? A journey with fewer twists and turns?

Or wish your journey liked a little more like Instagram? More beach days and less mess days.

We may wish for a perfect life of calm and no major swings in either direction, but our journey through this life is messy, full of lessons, conflicts, ups and downs.

There is no one in the Bible with a Pinterest life. I have never read a memoir where the main character had an Instagram life. No one I currently know has a perfectly smooth life.

I doubt you or I will be the first ones.

 

The plot line of life. Everyone has one in this journey of life. 

 

Everyone has trials, conflict, and troubles. Bible characters. Major and minor characters in novels. People in magazines, movies, and television shows.

It’s called the plot. And what makes the plot interesting and keeps us watching or reading is the plot line, which consists of conflict, partial resolution, more conflict, some resolution, a new conflict, and then another new and bigger conflict. Up and down the story goes. Pulling us in. Getting us concerned for the characters. Wanting to know the outcome for the characters. And finally, at the end of the plot, there is big resolution and we can sigh and smile and be happy for everyone involved. And on that happy note the book ends.

That plot line with conflict and resolution that we find in movies and books, well, that is our life. Our Journey.

Up and down we go on the plot line. Conflict and resolution taking turns.

Some conflict we bring upon our self through our choices and actions, some conflict is caused by others. Some conflict just arrives from nowhere, and some comes from natural disasters, disease, and chance.

Up and down on the plot line of life we go. Just like the characters in a novel.

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.

Life is a journey. Things to remember about your journey and your plot line:

 

1. We have some control over our journey. We get to choose our actions and reactions. While we can’t control other characters or the future, we get to be in charge of ourselves.

2. We know some things about this plot line. We have an enemy. We have a lover, comforter, and Savior. We have a helper living inside us. We know we will never be forsaken for any reason. We know the glorious ending and who wins this cosmic battle. We know our marching orders: love God and others.

3. Our journey is supposed to change us, improve us, develop us into better characters. Just like characters in a book are supposed to change because of the conflict they face, so we too need to change.

In literature class you may have done a character analysis paper. Where you pick one character from the story and explain how the character changed and grew, how they developed or what they learned. In other words, how the plot caused them self-awareness or necessitated change in them.

Some characters change for the good, like Anne in Ann of Green Gables. Some characters change for the worse, like Fagin In Oliver Twist. Those that don’t change, are stagnant and flat characters.

4. Our journey will have peaks and valleys. We get through the valleys as best as we can. Not perfectly, or prettily, or knowing exactly what we are doing, but we get through and learn how to better handle the next valley. We look back and see God’s hand and his walking beside us in the valleys. And as time goes by, we begin to understand how better to approach the valleys and know that they too will end sometime in the future, but none of us get perfect at traversing them.

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.5. Don’t judge another person’s journey. You never see all the peaks and valleys their life contains or the plot line that developed character growth.

6. A perpetually happy ending is a myth. We think some day we will arrive. Be mature. Know it all. Be able to relax and watch others battle, but that is a myth. We will only arrive to a perpetually happy ending on the other side of eternity.

7. God will finish the journey with you. He promises he won’t give up on you until you make it past the finish line.

8. While we are the main characters in our stories, our story is not ultimately all about us. Not all about our glory. Because if we are Christians, the story ultimately comes to be about him, to point others to him, to glorify him. That is why we surrender our will to his will. Our way to his way. Our dreams to his dreams for us.

9. We are never alone on our journey. God is working behind the scenes, providing the courage and strength, the will to change and keep going.

What does your plot line look like?

Your character analysis?

We are on a journey of love, growth, faith, hope, and endurance.

Enjoy your journey.

We look forward to that day when there will be no more conflict and resolution. Where our plot line is steady. Because one day we will be living in a perfect world.

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What does your current plot line look like?

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.All pictures, except flower pictures taken at:

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.At the Volcanoes National Park It was pretty weird to see acres and acres that turned into miles of recent stark black lava. No plants. Just dried and hardened lava that once flowed and bubbled. I imagined it was what some planet looked like. Maybe Mars. It was so desolate. But keep driving to a little older flow and you start to see greenery. It doesn’t take long, before bushes, trees, and plants are growing here and there on this hard rock. Gaining a foothold. Growing despite the lava base. And over time, the landscape is transformed into a lush tropical landscape. And your wouldn’t know that it was lava instead of dirt, unless you bent down and tried to dig the black base that is nourishing the plants. We may currently see only the barren black hard lava in our life. But God can plant seeds that one day turn into a tropical paradise. And when he looks at us, he doesn’t see our barren parts, but the tropical paradise we can become.

We may wish for a perfect life, but our journey through life is messy, full of lessons, plot twists, conflicts, and ups and downs. Here are 10 things to remember on your journey.