Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pre Holy Land Thoughts

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Last night, I went with my friend to get my hair cut (finally).  So thankful that she came with me because my hair actually turned out pretty close to what I wanted.  Yay!  Today while you read this, I will have just taken the train into Shanghai to stay the night with some friends so I can catch my 10am flight on Sunday to Israel!  Back in the fall, my parents' church (and the church we attended in Richland) started recruiting for a trip to Israel to tour the Holy Land.  My mom wanted to go, but my dad wasn't able to, so they paid for me to go with my mom.  It's a double blessing because not only do I get to see the places Jesus walked and taught, but I get to see my mom.  So fun.

I'm almost ready to go, bags almost packed, but one thing I wish I had done more of was read and watch movies or documentaries about the places I will visit.  I know I'll learn a lot, but I just feel not as well prepared as I could've been, you know?  Anyways, here are some of my "Pre Holy Land" thoughts... 

1. I hope I am able to take it all in.  We travel a lot, but I feel like this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime event.  I get nervous thinking about that because I keep thinking, "what if I can't take it all in?"  I have no idea what that really means, but I'm anxious to experience it all. 

2. Warm weather.  I'm excited for 70F weather.  It got cold again this week.  Brrr...

3. Food.  Besides seeing the amazing sights we will see, I'm so excited for the food.  I love Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food so I'm pretty sure I'm going to eat until I get sick every night.  Haha.  Yay!

4. I'm not crazy about tour groups.  There's always one or two crazies who annoy everyone else.  I have a hard time ignoring those people.  But - I'm hopeful I can just stick by my mom's side and her friends from church and not have to get carried up in any drama.  We have over 40 people in our tour group, I'm pretty sure there's going to be some drama. 

5. And lastly, I keep thinking "how do I prepare my heart for this?"  Again, not sure how to answer that one, but lets just say that I keep praying and asking God to make me a learner of Israel.  To be aware of what's going on around me and to really experience the culture.  I want to walk away not just knowing more about the Biblical and historical sites, but more about the local culture and people who live there.  These are just places, holy places but still just places; it's the people who lived there (like Abraham, King David, Jesus & the Apostle Paul) and the people who live there now (both Israeli Jews and Palestinians) who God loves deeply.  I hope that I can see past the stones and replicas and into God's heart for that place.  

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