Let’s go already!

There comes a point when the trip you’ve been planning for so long needs to begin. I am there! I’ve been actively planning this trip for a year and a half. But I first started dreaming about putting together a grant proposal to trace my roots in Europe years ago. So it’s time! I’ve been packing, repacking, fretting, organizing my documents, losing sleep and praying that all will go well. There’s nothing more I can do. It’s time to get this show on the road!

I look at the story of Abram and Sarai and I am a little bit jealous. God tells them to pack their bags and leave their home country for an unknown destination to be determined by a Stranger/Deity who made nebulous, grandiose promises. And all the Scripture says in Genesis 12:4 is, “So Abram left as the Lord had told him.” He and Sarai didn’t have to paint some rooms in their house to maximize the sale price. There were no trips to the bank to transfer funds to a travel account. We don’t read of them sitting on a suitcase to snap it shut with all their worldly possessions therein. There’s no estate sale, no cooler filled with sandwiches or endearing words of farewell to their community. From the scriptural account it sounds like they heard God’s invitation to leave, turned toward each other with a shrug and loaded up the camels. Perhaps we overthink our travels?

But this is a big trip! This trip is worthy of some angst. I will be traveling to six countries in 30 days. There are lots of connections to various cities. There are vouchers for museums, bus rides, and church tours. There’s an itinerary I’ve assembled that lists 18 different hotels. So losing some sleep in the middle the night is not too surprising.

What gives me peace is knowing that this trip is of God! A fantastic grant – writing committee at the church worked with me to put together a dream of an experience for both the church and for me.What I have witnessed since then is that God has greatly enhanced even our most out of bounds ideas. There are parts to the trip that have been added that I never would’ve thought to ask for. I will be preaching at a church in England that is located a matter of miles from the Air Force Base where I lived as a small child. Imagine my excitement as I’ve pondered what message to bring to my brothers and sisters in Christ in England, the land of my roots! I get to share the first half of the trip with my husband and youngest child, the second half of the trip with three of my sisters. We will worship in a church that Garrett’s great grandfather pastored and where his grandfather grew up in the parsonage.

The last three days of the trip I will spend in a reflective retreat on my own on the isle of Iona. There is a worshiping Christian community that has been there for decades. This has been on my bucket list for over a decade. God is the guide and the inspiration behind this trip. What have I to fear?!

So bring it on! Double check for passports and the credit card. Get my phone and charger and, if needed, the rest of the stuff can be purchased along the way. I am thankful to have had this time to plan. I’ve been able to share the story of this trip with many people who have seen God’s guiding hand in this roots journey. I know that they are praying for safe passage and meaningful experiences for us. Just 48 more hours and we will be in the air leaving Detroit for Munich. I welcome your prayers. I invite your companionship for this trip of my life time!

By preachinglife

My father was a military chaplain so I moved around quite a bit growing up. I have always gone to church! Even when we traveled we went somewhere to church. I met and married my husband, Garrett, at Chicago Theological Seminary where I earned a Masters of Divinity degree. He and I were ordained together at the First Church of Lombard, United Church of Christ in Lombard, Illinois on June 14, 1987. My first act as an ordained minister at the end of a tremendously hot ordination ceremony was to baptize my daughter, Lisa Marian! We added two sons and a daughter to the mix: James, Joseph and Maria. We have girls on either end and two boys one year apart in the middle. They range in age from 33 to almost 22. I love them!

I have been in the parish ministry for 35 years, serving at three different churches. I have joyfully served the people at the First Congregational Church of Rockford, United Church of Christ in Rockford, Michigan for 24 years.

We live on family land about 3 miles from the church. In random free moments I enjoy cooking good meals, reading, writing, gardening, traveling and spending time with my family. I am blessed!

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