Sunday, March 14, 2010

Joy in the Journey

"It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the End of our journey, He is also at every stopping place." Elisabeth Elliot

I am going on a long journey with lots of stopping places, and may not be able to post for awhile. The next few weeks I will be feverishly trying to get everything done that needs to be done when one is gone for a month's time. I also have a HUGE project at church that takes place shortly after I get back, so I am trying to accomplish as much as possible on that before I leave.

Now, this journey is a JOYOUS one ~ praise God. It is one of His lavish gifts for which I am extremely grateful. I will join my daughters for their Spring Breaks in Europe. Since they are not scheduled at the same time, nor are they concurrent; the four-week time span comes into play.

My daughters are graduating from college, and moving on into a more mature place in their of commitment and responsibility (read: jobs, with limited vacation time.)

So, this is a perfect opportunity to spend quality, unfettered time with them while visiting exotic locations. How wonderful is that?-

Sara Beth chose Turkey for her destination.  We will spend time in Istanbul.  I am very excited because I get to go back to one of my FAVORITE places I have ever been ~ Ephesus. OH.MY.WORD. To be able to see where Paul lived and preached ~ to walk the same streets!!! Incredible. And, by the way, those streets upon which I will tread once again, are MOSAIC. Yep, mosaic! The accoustics in the amphitheater in which he preached are phenomenal. You can whisper, and still hear. We will also visit Capedoccia. Capedoccia from what I've read is very interesting.

I will then spend some down-time on my own in Italy ~ visting Ariccia (Sara Beth's town, and visiting my friend, Anne in Assisi.  Assisi has been on my Bucket List because of Francis.

Then, Meg has chosen Greece for her destination. We will be staying in Santorini for a few days and then some friends have graciously and generously offered us their home on the island of Naxos ~ about two hours ferry ride from Santorini. Wonder of wonders ~ EASTER in Greece is HUGE....bigger than Christmas, and Orthodox Greek Easter falls while we are there. So, I am very excited to see what that experience is like.

Now, here is an interesting side note. I have loved traveling all my life. However, a few years ago....I felt like I was putting it too high on my "Priority List," and it was interfering with my Top Priority ~ my relationship with God, because it was taking up too much time ~ planning and thoughts. So, instead of 'me' being my travel agent....I made God my Travel Agent. (Duh ~ He's my Travel Agent anyway, but I wasn't letting Him plan my itinerary ~ forcing my plans on Him, instead of the other way around. Not the way to go.
So, He has taken away my desire to travel. Which is sort of weird and sad, but 1,000% OK.

Though I am THRILLED to be able to travel with my girls...being gone for a month is a bit daunting to me. I am a HOMEBODY.

Like everything, I just want this trip to glorify my Father in heaven. With so many spiritual elements involved, I think He will show us some great and mighty things. I am praying so.

So, although I hope to post on my trip....can't promise between available Internet access and such.

So, hang in there with me.  I'll be back.  God and I are traveling.

Monday, March 1, 2010

True Victory!

As I watched the Winter Olympics, and witnessed the palpable, exuberant, overflowing JOY of those who DID their personal best ~ it was a reminder that we, too, are in the Olympics.

Our performance may not be televised, but we certainly have an audience of ONE.

As followers of Christ, our "sport" is to run the race He has set before us with endurance and excellence.

Each of us have our very own unique race that God has designed, but the "game plan" is the same:

* "Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your might." And love your neighbor as yourself."

* Be humble

* Be obedient

* Be surrendered

Athletes must be humble, odedient and surrendered to their Coach, in order to be the best that they can be.  In order to be a champion.  In order to be victorious.

As a Christian, God is our coach. And He guarantees the victory.

"But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15:57

Are we listening to our Coach?

Are we being the athlete God called us to be?

Are we being victorious?

Oh, to have that joy of winning the "gold"....but for an audience of  "ONE."

"But He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold."  Job 23:10

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