That’s how long its been since I arrived home from Israel.
I had intentions of sharing this sooner, I really did.. just days after arriving home actually! but as you can probably tell, that’s not the way this story goes.
I think it would be easy for me to blame it on work life or being knee deep in wedding season. Both relevant. But more than the busy, I think the reason for my delay was solely that I was still in the midst of processing it all. every sight, encounter, and history lesson learned. I didn’t want to rob you from the depth of the experience by only sharing highlights + pretty views, although there sure were enough of those to go around!
The honest truth: this trip changed me in more ways than I can count. I learned & experienced SO much in those short 9 days of touring that I couldn’t imagine summing up the vastness of it all into something as tiny as a blog post. But I am going to try! (even if it’s just bits and pieces!) So here is my best shot at putting this unforgettable experience into words..
“Would you reveal your glory to us?” I began making my daily prayer.
I didn’t want to miss it, ya know? I wasn’t asking for the obvious glory displayed in his creation, that beauty flooded the STREETS. You could see it in the people, stretching over the sea and found in every sunset. You couldn’t Run from that stuff! I guess what I was really asking to grasp was the characteristics of his nature.
I think the Lord delights in these types of requests, because he loves revealing himself to his children. How wild is it that he is a father who knows our every want/need/desire, yet deeply delights in us coming to him and communicating whats on our hearts because he longs for a personal relationship? gives me chills.
Each day he met me right where I was at and overwhelmed me with his character & his goodness. “new mercies every morning” started to bring an entirely new measure of meaning as I woke each day to find him opening my eyes to his ways and revealing more of himself. Teaching me more about who he is as a father, healer, savior & friend…
walking where Jesus walked
You know when you read a book and your mind starts to paint a picture to help you visualize the story? you’ve got all the characters down and it’s perfect in your head, then you go to the theaters to watch that book-turned-movie only to leave feeling disappointed because they had it all wrong? well, this was sort of the opposite of that.
“Today we took a boat across the Sea of Galilee and I couldn’t help but think how the disciples must have felt in the midst of Jesus walking on this very water calming the storm. It is absolutely surreal being here and getting to walk where my savior walked” <– I think this journal entry pretty much sums it up!
Everything I had ever read or heard starting bringing new depth and meaning that only furthered my adoration for the life of Jesus. Walking through the Holy Land brought a new understanding of the culture and lifestyle of my savior…eye opening to say the least! I will never read the Bible the same.
a reminder of his sovereignty
“The Lord is not being slow in his promise, no, he is being patient waiting for you.”
As some of you know, the last few years I have been battling chronic lyme disease and one concern going on this trip was if my body was going to be able handle it.
1. flying takes a lot out of me and can throw off my body for days.
2. I knew that the days would be loooong. we would leave our hotel to start our day of touring around 7 am and arrive back just before dinner, averaging around 5 miles of walking per day. I know that doesn’t seem crazy, but for a girl who’s day-to-day requires a lot of Rest due to adrenal fatigue (we’re talking daily naps here) I just wasn’t sure how I would do.
The overwhelming theme here: The Lord meets our every need! He faithfully carried me through each day, provided naps on the bus when needed, and a clear mind to absorb the knowledge from our guides. Sure, I was exhausted by the end of the day, but he was sovereign in supporting me through the journey.
Its crazy to think that I almost passed up this opportunity. I didn’t even really entertain the thought of going on this trip when I was first invited, but praise be to God that he can orchestrate all things together without any help of our own. I feel so grateful to have received this opportunity at such a young age because it reshaped the way I think, speak, and live life. I love that he is a God who spoils us with his presence and longs for us to experience him. I’m *already* dreaming of heading back…who is coming with me this time?? 😉
<browse through the beauty >
Eric Smith: never spotted without his trusty “bus leader” stick or a smile <3
Israel exceeding alllllll my succulent dreams…like what.
Obviously scheming how to take this guy home with me..
My cutie pie parents
This is Hannah (my twin) from Nazareth. She *taught* me a whole lot, conveniently by volunteering myself to show the group how it was done..which really only taught us “what not to do.” still love her though.
Ok…my parents really are theee cutest.
Kelly bringing the word
The location where the famous sermon on the mount was believed to have taken place
The sea of galilee
I loved watching all the baptisms take place in the Jordan, but what was even more special, was getting to see my grandma & grandpa do it together! what a beautiful moment.
You know, just 1/2,000 photos taken on my phone..
How incredible is this?? the weight and detail of these things blew me away
I told dad “no squints” for this one. if you’ve ever wondered where my eyes disappear to in all my pictures..I think I have this guy to thank!
Worship with a view. by far one of the most special moments.
Our pastor mike minter preaching on the Mount of olives
Garden of Gathsemane
Prayer by the wailing wall
Masada or the grand canyon?
& we can’t forget the iphone views!
Southern steps of the old temple mount
Sign from the Garden Tomb
The view from the Hotel Dan in Jerusalem! stealing hearts.
one of my favorite shots from our boat ride across the sea of galilee
Our spa day at the dead sea 🙂 (mud facials included!)
I even found a mint door! my brand color
How unique are these trees!?
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