Monday, April 21, 2008

24-hours together!

"Hey Jade, can't you wait to spend 24 hours a day with me for almost three months?!"
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Yay! We can't wait to get to Europe!
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Only three more weeks to go from today until we're leaving for the mother-land!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why We are Going to Europe

To answer the questions: "Why are you going?" "What are you doing this summer?" "Where are you going?" and "Is this a Mission Trip?"...

Sitting in one of our pastor's offices, over a year ago, Jade and I discovered the encouragement we needed to take a big trip. We had both come to the end of ourselves, and our marriage was at a low point. We needed to change something, and we needed to find a common ground. Travelling, being outdoors, and building relationships with people along our path is the desire of both of our hearts. So we put our energy into strategically planning how we could financially and logistically pull it off. (Sold our house, sold our truck, decided when Jade would finish his time at Hormel, etc, etc)

When mulling over where we could go and what we could do, country after country and organization after organization came to mind. Should we go on an offical "mission trip?" Africa needs helpers right now...How about South America? I'd really like to be fluent in Spanish...OR we could just stay stateside and travel around the country in our car, seeing everyone we love and discovering all of the National Parks by foot...and on and on went the discussion (for at least 7 months).Through a series of events, and mainly just really asking ourselves "where does your heart REALLY want to go?" we settled on Europe.

In college, Erin studied the life of Francis Schaffer, and watched as a few of her friends went to Europe for the summer, staying at hostels and sharing life with fellow travellers from all around the world. Schaffer was an American who began an International Study Center for young people (called L'Abri: french for 'the shelter') who were searching for life's answers. Jade's mother had a foreign exchange student from Italy and his family came from Switzerland. Not only was this trip the one that set our bones on fire with just made the most sense. Our desire is to be free from the pressure of programs, so that we can be free to discover the adventure God alone has planned for us...for this summer, and for our next step thereafter...

So here we are, and here is our "tentative" itinerary:
May 13 fly into Geneva, Switzerland
May 13-16 Paris, France and Belgium
May 16-June 23 Studying at Dutch L'Abri (
June 23-27 Ellwengen, Germany with Erin's relatives
June 27-July 4 Hostel Hopping around Switzerland
July 4-7 Neuchatel, Switzerland with Jade's relatives
July 7-31 Italia Adventure! (plans yet to unfold)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This preparing for Europe thing is a challenge. I am being confronted every day by the desire to plan every detail of our trip...and then challenged, yet again, by my warring desire to "be spontaneous!" and to "live in the moment!"

I think I wrestle with these two opposing standards every day, even every hour...ok, maybe even every 10 minutes, of my life. I want to be carefree and to just slow things down and "let go." But my tendency to plan and my desire to know what the future holds are almost overpowering some days!

This blog is a tribute to "just letting go." Because whether it's the most comfortable, or predictable, or practical decision (jetting off to Europe with no plans of any sort upon our return...if we return), we are doing it. In one month and three days we are "leavin' on a jet plane/don't know when we'll be back again..."

The plan is July 31st...but that's my point exactly; we're choosing not to depend on our plans. Here's to living in the moment!