“Your shekels are in,” she said, this short-blonde-haired bank teller who shares my name.

My heart jumped.

Shiny green and yellow paper currency sparkles now in the sunlight on my kitchen table. Silver threads and imprints refract light.

We are heading to Israel. My husband and I are joining a group from our church and community, and my anticipation has been growing by the week.

And yet…

And yet, trip-planning happens in between, and around, normal daily life.

My fourteen year old Daniel and I drove from drum lessons to doctor’s appointments and errands this week. He’s taller than me now. Long dark hair falls across his forehead and dark eyelashes brush his cheek as he talks or closes his eyes in quiet. He and I laugh and joke, and I realize how much I’ll miss him when we’re gone to Israel.

Arriving home, he races away to talk with friends over an online microphone connection, and I grin and pop upstairs to make supper.

Days pass quickly, it seems. For  you too?

Remnants of a taco supper sprawl across the counter now, and I pause to put away the spinach and shredded cheese.

My thoughts turn back to the Middle East and our upcoming trip.

I have been scouring maps of Israel-Palestine, circling Biblical cities and historic sites, color-coding them by the days’ itineraries. My eyes and hand trace cities and regions with over five thousand years of history and civilizations.

What do I wear? I muse, picturing rainy sixty-five degree days in Tel Aviv, mixed with arid seventy-three degree days in Jerusalem.

  • Wow, a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee?
  • Floating in the Dead Sea?
  • Hiking through Hezekiah’s tunnel in possible calf-deep water?
  • The Pool of Siloam, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and old and new parts of the diverse city of Jerusalem!

I’m so excited to see these places in real life and to walk where Jesus walked.

My mouth waters in anticipation of delicious Middle Eastern foods and drinks, and I wriggle shoulders and try to hold in a squeal.

We leave soon, and my pile of items to be packed grows taller by the day.

  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Smooth-rolling pens and maps with marked in cities and lines drawn across them.
  • My Bible

My Enneagram Three self has typed out journal day headers with the dates and each days’ outings labeled and listed for maximum efficiency.

“Five pages a day, right?” I muse and wonder, counting them off again and deliberating in silence.

Sunshine bounces off kitchen table, and the dishwasher hums.

And in between excited shrieks and endless lists, normal life happens too.

  • Math lessons with my eight grader
  • Science and history classwork, followed by his Spanish homework at the table
  • Laundry
  • Dishes

My husband and I make work phone calls, and bring the cars into the shop for repairs and oil changes, and life marches on.

It hits me then.

The same Jesus whose steps I’m eager to follow through First Century ancient history is here with us now too. He walks beside me in the grocery aisles in Midwestern United States, just as much as he walked in ancient Capernaum and Galilee.

And my shoulders rise in deep breath and then sink away, slowly, lower, in peace.

See you soon, my friend. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

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Jennifer speaks often at MOPS/MomsNext groups, at conferences, churches, retreats, camps, home school co-ops and more. She loves getting to know people and making new friends.

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