(Started this post before pandemic times. Decided to still post it. Even in its tardiness and incompleteness.)
it took me over a week to get back on track and over the jet lag. As i need to be making decisions on house remodel things and checking off many other things on my to do list , i cant let this trip come and go without documenting some of it on this here blog.
this trip had been on our radar for about 5 years. we knew some very special and wise couples would be leading this trip AND many of our close friends would be going. its so nice to have a trip on the books for years ahead. it was a treat to dream about it and look forward to it.
i had a few prayers before i left for this trip. that i could get all kids taken care of while we were gone. that took hours upon hours to plan, and lots of friends and lots of family all pitching in. i had our sitter rachel take over the first two nights, my mom handled the next three nights, and then isaac's parents tag-teamed it with sitter rachel again. and then my mom and mother-in-love shared the last night. my sister, isaac's sister, all helped too. Doesn’t that sound simple!!?? Ha. i am just so grateful for family who valued this trip for us and took great care of our busy 4 children. and then my friends, oh my friends, they helped with after school pick ups and activities. my friends and family are flexible and ready to help and actually made it fun for my kids while we were gone. asking people for help is humbling. i am trying to take that feeling of humility and focus it on being grateful.
(oh and then the dog. polly was cared for by nonnie, rachel, and a dog sitter alaina, naturally;)
i prayed that God would revitalize my faith. make it fresher and stronger. that He would show me that He and the places He chose to send His son, and His plan are real.
i prayed that isaac and i would have a common experience that we could connect over and would grow together.
and lastly, that we would get at least two days of sunshine.
God provided these things for me in big ways. Even the sunshine, we got sunshine almost every day.
we flew into tel aviv/ netanya for the night. long flight over from NY, with lots of orthodox jews on board. Our first taste of Old Testament tradition.
I couldn’t sleep past 3am, which meant I got to see a beautiful sunrise.
i am magnetized to shore lines, so we went straight to the edge of the Mediterranean Sea as soon as it was daylight . while isaac and i were walking, a man came up and spoke to us in french, saying 'its good to be in love'. he mistook us for french, amy said it must have been my new raincoat, ha.
After breakfast we hopped on our trusty bus with driver Muneir (from Nazareth) and our guide Olga. They were a highlight to the trip. We went to caesarea where peter preached the gospel to Cornelius. God’s plan was no longer just for the Jews, but for gentiles like me. (Acts 10)
Peter dreamed of unclean animals. Acts 10:15, ‘what God has cleansed, you must not call common’. This verse and story really touched my heart, hearing it in the town where it took place. Because of Jesus, there is a new way. Verse 28 Peter says, ‘but God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.’
Paul was imprisoned here for over 2 years near end of his life.
Ancient ruins (and old school potties;) Roman harbor built by Herod the Great.
Then we saw the Roman aqueducts constructed to bring water from the Carmel mountain range to the Roman capital of cesarea. So beautiful.
Mt. Carmel was an amazing view. We were able to see the route the shunamite woman would have taken to see elisha when her son had died. This is an event (2 Kings 4) that some friends and I studied carefully a few years ago while doing powerful study called, The Five Aspects of Woman. Amazing to learn the stories and study the stories my whole life and then to see the actual setting.
I had My first falafel. Haha. Yummy.
Mount arabel was probably one of the most memorable spots for me. The landscape was stunning with lush green grass. The sun was shining on us and it was peaceful. It looked untouched by commercialization. Raw land that Jesus would have been near his whole life.
It’s located near the Sea of Galilee and in the vicinity of ancient Magdalena, the home of Mary Magdalene.
Here, We saw a first century synagogue. A place that was just uncovered in 2009. So
Humble looking. I love that humble feeling about many of the places and churches where we know Jesus walked and talked. Where his friends and family lived.
And that was a big first day! Here I am, happy to be at the Ramot, our hotel.
A gorgeous view staying in a hotel on the edge of the sea of Galilee
Update: we had a global pandemic rock our world. I never got to the other days of this trip. I had no idea that my life was about to become very different. I thought my kids would be in school and I’d have time to blog about each day of the trip. But, nope. I became a teacher of 4 elementary aged children. THAT was interesting.
I’m feeling ready to document again. Journal. Blog. Maybe because I have a terribly slippery memory and I don’t want to forget this stuff. Even the hard.