Sunday, May 31, 2015

Year 33 - Week 27

You know how sometimes your mind is consumed with a million thoughts and some intense conversation with the Lord is happening because of those thoughts? That's right now.
So if this post is discombobulated, now you know why.

Finishing up the time in Israel was amazing and then led on to Tennessee to rest and recover with some of my favorite girls (sister and nieces).

Week of May 4

Day 1 - We ventured into the wilderness. I find the desert/wilderness incredibly beautiful. Its barrenness resonates with seasons of my soul. What beautiful things the Lord does in desert times. 
The group had a lunch overlooking this wilderness and I couldn't get over the starkness of its beauty. 
This is David, one of our guides. Such a blessing to spend time with he and the other guides and pick their brains and hear their stories. 

This particular day, I got to Facetime with this beauty. I could weep remembering what sweetness it was to see her face, to hear her voice, and listen to her laugh. 
So grateful for the wonder of technology to make it possible. AND we were nearly on the same time zone, which made chatting that much easier! :) 
Thanks, Roo, for taking the time. Let's do it again soon! 

Day 2 - I got to do something in Jerusalem I've always wanted to do - walk along the Rampart's Wall! These walls date are not from the Roman era (remember, the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and all). 
BUT it created such a powerful image of what it must have been like to walk along the city walls and see out. What must it have felt like to see your enemies approaching? It was a gripping and amazing experience! 

Day 3 - Stateside once again. 
These are dear friends. They were sweet enough to endure my jet-lagged delirium and take me to another airport for time in Nashville. I have very vague memories of that afternoon, but so grateful I didn't have to drive myself. You are welcome, city of Dallas! :) 

Day 4 - This sweet lady. Y'all, the Lord has been so sweet as I've transitioned to this new life/job/ministry and I've met some incredible people. 
Nearly a year ago, I met this sweet lady in person, in Israel. 
She and I had chatted on the phone many times and she was just as sweet in person. 
Judy lives near Hannah in Nashville, so we have met up before and were able to do so again. 
Just look at how darling she is? 
I always walk away from our times together nearly in tears marveling at the sweetness of God in putting two of His girls in the same place to learn from one another. 
I just wish we lived closer to meet up like this more often. 
Miss Judy - you will never know what a treasure you are to me! Thank you for wanting to share life and being so real! I love you dearly! 

Following lunch with Judy, I went to pick up this sweet girl from school. 
One of the things I couldn't wait for in being an aunt was moments like these.
Pick up the girls and go have tia time. 
We went to Chickfila and had ice cream and played on the playplace. 
I. Love. It. And how cute is this sweet thang and those darlin' dimples? 
Moments I cherish. 

Day 5 - Strawberry picking. This brought back childhood memories for Hannah and I. We used to "help" mom in the garden by picking strawberries. Though, more ended up in our mouths than in the basket. 
So in order for CB to have the true experience, I had her eating them in the patch too. 
And y'all, I have forgotten the incredible delight of eating berries out of the field. A little outside flavor mixed the sweetest of strawberries - AMAZING! 

Day 6 - Church with these beauties. 
I could eat them up. Just. Love. Them. 

And this little peanut with those massive eyes and her smile - Melt. My. Heart. 

 Day 7 - My sister, being the incredibly self-less person she is, took the day off of work, for us to have a sister day. 
Girls went to school and we went walking. 
Every time I am with Hannah, I LOVE hearing how the Lord is being glorified in her life. 
She is passionate about the Gospel and seeing others know Jesus. 
She and Ben open their home all the time to those seeking and just love them and speak the Gospel truth. 
Their home is a haven to many and I can't get enough of hearing about it. 
So proud to call her a sister and friend. 

We finished out time with some Chicago-style pizza (yum) and chocolates (What? Hannah ate chocolate? And liked it?).

Incredible memories I cherish. 
Thank you, Lord, for your abundant blessings. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Year 33 - Week 26

Back at it to get caught up! It is fun to look back at these past few weeks - whew!

Week of April 27

Day 1 - Caesarea: this is one of my favorite places (I might say this more than once!). This is the hippodrome, where horse and chariots would race. Standing here always reminds me of what it might have been like when this was used. And then thinking about those who were Gospel speakers being in this place. Overwhelmed. 

The theater at Caesarea - again, a favorite. 

Day 2 - Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Is this for real? Again a favorite. Sitting on the middle of the Sea of Galilee and worshiping Jesus - nothing like it. 
About to burst into tears thinking about it. 

The hotel we stayed at hosted two patio dinners for us. At the patio dinners, there is a hummus bar. Y'all. Can't. Even. Explain. The. Deliciousness. 

Day 3 - Mt. Arbel. One of the most amazing overlooks of the Galilee. So puts into perspective how small the region is and you can see so many of the place where Jesus spent so much time. 

This day continued on to Nazareth Village, a place that recreates what Nazareth would have been like at the time of Jesus. LOVE cultural understanding things. 

If you want to see grown adults go nuts, provide baby animals. This little fella was more photographed than many other sights. I thought some of them were going to pack him up in their bag. He sure is cute though. 

In the recreated synagogue at Nazareth Village. Very very interesting. 

Day 4 - I stayed back at the hotel this day. LONG story, but there were some situations to be available for.
I went running along the Sea of Galilee. Again, so surreal. I'm sitting here shaking my head at that. So cool! 

The sunset that night over the Sea of Galilee. Stunning. 

Day 5 - On to Jerusalem! This is dear Tatiana, who handles so many details for us it is overwhelming. Her memory astounds me. 
We had lots of details to cover this day, so were all over the place to get things done. And it was Shabbat (Sabbath). We might have had some adventures attempting to get some fresh flowers. 

The view of Jerusalem from the hotel. Beautiful! 

Day 6 - Jerusalem. We started the day at the City of David and walked through Hezekiah's Tunnel, which still has water running through it. This was a first for me and it was AMAZING! 
Also, I was grateful to be short as some places the ceiling came down to about 4.5 feet high. 
Amazing to think people chiseled this out. 

Southern Temple Steps. 
I'm reminded of the Psalms of ascent every time I come here and think about the thousands of Jews who would come to the Temple for the feasts. 
Also makes me reflect about Jesus coming to this same place as the fulfillment of so many promises. 

Day 7 - Western Wall. 
Overwhelms my heart with compassion and an ache for those seeking so earnestly for the Promised one, following the rituals and waiting. It creates an ache for the veil to be lifted from their eyes and for freedom to take its place. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Year 33 - Week 25

Still  catching up. Love seeing what has happened over the past few weeks.

Week of April 20

Day 1 - Chickfila Office Run! Sure am thankful for this sweet friend! 

Day 2 - True friends know your aversion to paying for bags. So they have extras in their car for you to use for the random target run. Thanks, Kristin! Without your help, I would have walked out with armloads of things and looked like a shoplifter. 

Day 3 - View after working out. This is Kristin's pool. I am going to be spending a LOT of time here this summer. 

Day 4 - If:Table Night! This is one of my highlights of the month.
The Lord brings those who need to come.
This particular night there were INSANE storms in DFW. We grilled in the rain and then awaited people to arrive. 
The rain deterred many, but Kamella persevered and made it through the green sky, pelting rain, and crazy traffic. 

This is after the escapade of trying to kill an obnoxious bug flying around. HILARIOUS!!! There were tears of laughter! This was all happening in the midst of amazing, heart-felt conversation. The Lord has a sense of humor. 

So so grateful! This is a new ministry deal for me that is bringing such LIFE to my soul. 
LOVE these women and how the Lord keeps bringing new ones to invite. 

Day 5 - Remember how I needed a second passport? It's because I was going to Israel for work! 
Yes, it's crazy to believe that is part of my job, but it's true. 
So this particular Saturday morning found the three of us from the office heading towards Tel Aviv. 
I passed out on the international flight like never before. That's what happens when you push insanely hard to get everything done - your body will sleep on an 11 hour flight. Also a neck pillow and eye mask helps and a sleeping aid. 

Day 6 - We made it!!!!!!! 
It was a beautiful, sunny day when we arrived into Tel Aviv.
I so love this country and its people. 

Day 7 - First lunch in Israel. Salad with sliced salmon on top with loads of vegetables. 
Food in Israel is amazing! 

More Israel adventures next time! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Year 33 - Week 24

So I feel as though I am typing this every week, but alas, I am far behind. The next few posts will explain why, but oh I have the photos! :)

Week of April 13 (this is for my own remembrance).

Day 1 - I went to Target and saw these shirts and they made me think of Roo. Pretty sure if she doesn't own at least one of them, she should. Miss that girl. 

Day 2 - Team building right there. Prepping document holders for all of our summer tours. #iloveus

Day 3 - Seriously one of the most beautiful Dallas springs of all time!
Kristin and I went walking around her hood and it is amazingly gorgeous!

Day 4 - When you are reminded how convenient living in the States is. 
Passport was caught up waiting for a visa, but that makes you eligible for applying for a second one. 
Picked up my new one today. Why? Stayed tuned for next week's post on international travels. 
Time from parking the car to returning to the car after picking it up? 9 minutes. Yes, that's right, NINE minutes. AMAZING!!!!! 

Day 5 - Sister weekend!!!!!!!!!! 
We went to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Hannah is clearly the Pres and I am handling all of the people who want to hang out with her! :) 
It was amazing and I left feeling super patriotic. 

We left this cute baby with crazy Uncle Luke and Aunt Abby. How cute are they? 
Love these people! 

Day 6 - Finishing up girl's weekend with an amazing walk in our monogrammed workout shirts. Yes, we are Southern gals! So grateful for a sister who is a dear friend. I love this lady! 

Day 7 - The car seat was now empty. Sad times. 
Love having a little one in the back and her momma in the front. 
Grateful for sweet moments together!