“Hey Mom….” he says. “I’m going to extend my stay here in Sweden…and…I’m flying you over! I’ve thought about it and if I give up a few trips, I could fly you over and…”
I think all the blood rushed to my head right about then and I didn’t hear much else that he was saying…my brain was fixed on – “I’m going to Sweden!!!” And this 51-year old mom who once-upon-a-time considered herself a girl with an adventurous spirit, well, I was so happy and….and …nervous as all get out! It’s been 26 years since I’ve traveled anywhere outside of the states, and I’ve never been to Europe, so leaving Shelby, NC to travel abroad alone, well, it was definitely pushing me out of my comfort zone. But I am so excited I can’t stand it! I’ve never been too good at staying in comfort zones anyway.
I’ll leave in a few days and spend 10 days in Stockholm. I fly into New York on Monday night and then fly out to a direct flight to Stockholm from there. On the way back I get to hit Iceland. Anyway, I’m just so happy and excited and more thankful than words can say. So, am guessing that in the coming weeks, posts will have a whole new look to them for sure. The farmlands of Shelby, NC sure differ quite a bit from the geography of Stockholm with its fourteen islands and connection to the Baltic Sea. Austin has said it’s just beautiful and the pictures I’ve seen have been breathtaking for sure! We’ll even get to go down to Copenhagen.
I am thankful beyond words. For my kids. For the gift of relationship with them. Spending time with the son I haven’t seen for almost a year is a draw far beyond any trips or plans. Having 10 days to enter into his world and see with my own eyes what I’ve heard about for the past 10 months will be amazing, no doubt. I’m thankful for time. Time to just be and not have a major list of to-dos. And I’m thankful the list of to-dos will be here when I get back. Having a mission is a good, good thing, but sometimes in order to be inspired, to be effective, to be me, a little space and time does a person good. I’m also so thankful for my husband, kids, family, and friends that I’m leaving behind that are laughing out loud (literally!) and happy with me as I set out on this little adventure. They are vicariously going with me and that feels really good.
What also feels really good is knowing how big and how small the world is. I remember when I was in college at the University of Guadalajara for a semester abroad looking at the moon from my bedroom window and thinking that the same moon that I was seeing could be seen in North Carolina and Maryland. Love that. Or New York. Or Stockholm. Iceland even. And bigger than that, that God is omnipresent. EVERY-where. NO MATTER – where. Good to know. So, so deeply good to know. Can I understand it? Nope, not a bit, not any more than I can comprehend how in the world that the plane will be able to lift up and fly off the runway. I can’t comprehend a million things. But faith isn’t about understanding all the ins and outs. It’s about trusting , believing, loving, and seeing glimpses and knowing in my being (not necessarily in my head) that GOD IS. Period. And in trusting and believing, I can take steps. Sometimes little steps. Sometimes big leaps. Like, for me… going to Sweden 🙂
Oh, and I can’t wait to get off the plane and say, “Hey Aus!”
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.”