Editor’s Note: The formatting of this post via my phone has given me greater trouble than usual. While it’s often unpredictable, this time has been more aggravating. I’ve had to pull out my laptop and redo the whole thing. I’d hoped to be able to leave the laptop home during this trip, but that may be impossible, argh.
I haven’t said too much about my upcoming study tour of the Holy Lands, but we leave in a few days, so I think it’s fair to give a bit more information here.
We’ll be seeing roughly eight sites a day – basically trying to cover as many Bible events and locations as possible – primarily in Israel, but we will also be visiting Jordan (Petra!), and making a brief stay in Istanbul, Turkey at the end of our journey.
I plan to blog as much of this experience as I can, keeping in mind that it would be humanly impossible to write even an eighth of what happens in a day, and not being so vain as to think anyone really wants to know my every thought. Generally I try to keep my posts pretty short – going more for a chance to remember how blessed I am, rather than trying to chronicle my life. Basic gratitude is not very time consuming, and the effects are long-lasting. For the next several weeks, though, the nature of this blog will shift, and some posts may be longer, though I hope my gratitude will still show. There will be more pictures, for sure. The reason for this is because in many ways this is how I’ll journal the experiences we have.
I’m honestly a bit nervous to do this. I’m not so naive as to think I am completely free from cultural bias or ignorance regarding the history of this region, and I hope that I can see with open eyes and heart what God wants me to see and learn from this journey. I hope that I can honestly blog what I learn, without trampling on the sensitivities of others. At the same time I know that part of what makes the world as fascinating as it is, is the fact that we don’t all see things the same way and we won’t all agree about everything. I hope (and believe) it is possible to hold differing world views and still be kind and respectful, but I don’t know that my ability to express myself in writing will always measure up to what I hope. So please, have patience with me and extend the same amount of grace to me that you would hope others would extend to you.
I’m excited for this journey and I hope you will enjoy peeking in and following along as I go. Mr. Hot Stuff is coming too, and knowing my nature as an outgoing introvert, I have a feeling my Inner Brat may make an appearance. About her – please remember that she is mainly a petty child blowing off steam through sarcasm and satire. She gets snarky, and sometimes gives voice to my conflicting ideals. She has potential to offend. I know I sound like I have some crazy multiple personality disorder here, but I don’t. This is my way of working through tension and my own double-standards. None of us is the open-minded saint we wish to be, even if we think we are. Please take anything from the Inner Brat with a grain of salt.
Mr. Hot Stuff is an energetic extrovert and this is his dream trip. I already know it will be exhausting (haha). Regardless of our differing travel styles and energy levels, this will be AWESOME! I’m super-excited! You are welcome to follow us along the journey. If it’s not in your interest zone, come back in August. I don’t know if the trip will cause a lasting change here on the blog, but I hope some good things stick to my heart.