As the big 6-0 birthday was approaching Dw and I were talking about life. It flies by!! In my head I feel like I am maybe 35 but then I look in the mirror and sometimes I actually have jumped and wondered aloud, “Whoooa! When did that happen?”
So as Dw and I were talking how our lives are speeding by I mentioned how I long to have an adventure and do something crazy!! Yes, I know, I know, like raising 14 treasures isn’t adventure or crazy enough, but you know what I mean. A good rest wouldn’t hurt either. Which all got my hubby thinking and he dreamed up a plan.
A few months back we bought a second car for our family. We got a beautiful deal on the minivan as it that was worth more than we paid for it. It wasn’t a fancy car by any means, but the deal was such that we couldn’t pass it up…which got my precious husband’s wheels turning…
If we sold the car for more than we paid for it, we could buy something smaller and cheaper and with the “increase” he could send me on a trip to meet Emma, who is way, way, way overdue for a true rest…Whitey then told me to decide where I wanted to go and talk to Emma (who he had already been talking to as well).
So these were my requirements:
Somewhere not freezing. haha Of course it had to be easy for Emma to reach and it would be fun if it was somewhere we’d never been to before.
We listed the car on Craigslist and literally within minutes had a line forming to come see it! Dw and I were really laughing. Our astoundingly faithful God was clearly working this out and His stamp of approval was, no doubt, all over it! The next day the first person who came to see it bought it! They live “debt free” (like us) and had cash to pay us for it, which they brought the very next morning. They’d actually been looking for one for a long time!
We prayed hard for the perfect place to refresh while having an adventure and ended up meeting in Europe and flying together to Italy!! Truthfully I never thought of going to Italy until we were looking for warm place to go. And what a beautiful time it proved to be! Rome was amazing! I’m an architecture-lover and I kept gasping at every turn. Knowing that the Apostle Paul and the disciple Peter walked the roads of Ancient Rome left us in awe that we were really passing areas they might have passed as well. We also saw the prison where historians think each of them may have been imprisoned for their faith. It was really powerful.
Emma and I thought Rome was amazing – until we took the train to Florence, Italy!! Florence truly was magnificent! Florence is charming, quiet, quaint, breathtakingly beautiful – all the things that are exactly “what the doctor ordered” for our souls. We were giddy!!
Truthfully though my very most favorite memory of the entire trip was walking day after day, arm-in-arm with my girl. Everywhere we went. Literally. Oh how I’ve missed her the last (almost) seven years! We have kindred hearts and being with her is so easy. She’s truly a joy. We walked arm-in-arm strolling the streets, sipping hot cappuccinos, eating yummy gelato, searching (successfully) for delicious gluten free pizza, laughing together, shopping a tad in the little shops, solving problems and sharing hearts.
I can never thank the Lord enough for a husband who sold the car so we could do it (and is still looking for an affordable one!). Each time we would Face Time Dw was weepy that Emma and I were having such an incredibly refreshing time. When I would tell him of the things we were doing he would just cheer us on. Josh joyfully celebrated all the refreshment for Emma and I as well. In fact as we were parting ways our flights were literally across the hall from each other. However Emma’s flight, which was to leave an hour before mine, didn’t go. I couldn’t text her because she had no wifi on the plane, but I texted Josh to tell him her flight was still waiting. In the midst of Josh and I texting he mentioned that he wanted Emma to be able to sleep on the flight back to him and he had actually checked to see how much it would be to upgrade her so she (and Wee One) could stretch out and sleep. Of course the cost was impossible, but that he had checked made my eyes well with tears. Josh loves her so well and they are such beautiful partners.
And yes, Emma is expecting Wee One and is due in February! We found out they were expecting in July. Prayers are greatly appreciated and, yes, they will be delivering the baby in Uganda.
How I praise the Lord for the incredible joyous time we had the privilege of sharing in Italy. It will always go down as one of my most cherished times ever in my life. The Lord has been so good to us.
PS. Lastly, most special thanks to all who have been praying for our Autumn. As it turns out they were unable to find any medical reason as to why she was losing her peripheral vision. It had greatly improved after staying with us for the eight weeks. At this point our neurologist has set up a schedule for her to have regular Humphrey Visual Field tests in Colorado where they live. She will also return to our doc in the near future as he will continue to monitor it all. Thank you again.