Jack be nimble, Jack be quick…

So, this is the nursery rhyme that went through my memory as I was trying to quickly leave my window seat on the plane where there was not enough room for my oversized back pack carry on and my shrinking, but by no means small legs. And then again as we hustled through the Minneapolis airport, choosing to climb the stairs instead of using the escalators….

We have had a fun and uneventful first leg of our journey. Soon we will board and head to Harpendon England, to be greeted at the train by Janneke Ruth.

Arlene sent a text saying she is praying for us and to hug her girl tight. Hug her we will and delight in the stories she has to share of her experiences since September. We will hardly be there long enough to adjust to the time change but we hope to live fully each day and rest deeply each night. We will come home changed by yet another experience and invitation to live life fully.

I hope to have good internet connection in order to continue with my commitment to blog every day in 2011. But if I can not post, I will write and post when I am able.

Hoping you find adventure whether traveling or living life right at home….

Opportunity…

I am a believer in stories. Your story shapes you as my story shapes me. I have been shaped by the stories of my parents and they by their parents. Stories carry such influence and I find that in each story, there is mystery, comedy, history, biography, tragedy and much more….

Sometimes I find myself wondering what themes of my story may be directly out of the story themes of my Dad and Mom. I can’t help but think about how they both immigrated from The Netherlands to Sussex,New Jersey and Hamilton, Canada in their pre-teen years. I can’t quite imagine the long boat ride with their family and many others to an unknown land. I can’t quite imagine the feelings my Opa and Oma or my Pake and Beppe must have had as they sold their belongings and set out to establish themselves in a land of opportunity.

I think of all the preparation, prayer and anticipation of the trip across the Ocean. And I do believe that because of my parent’s early experiences and family ties to Europe, I am very fortunate to have traveled to Europe before. I remember going while I was a student at Calvin for my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary. We went to learn more of their story. It was a wonderful trip and the experiences have shaped who I am today.

And so, for some, travel to Europe is but a dream and for others it is something dreamed of but not yet possible. I am heading to London for not even a week to see my niece Janneke. Janneke will be leaving her post in London and traveling to Ghana very soon.  Tonight it is amazing to me that I have the opportunity and freedom to pack up and travel over seas on an overnight flight and return home not even a week later. I am very thankful tonight for opportunity and for the unfolding of my story, which includes a recognition that the world is a big place and there are opportunities to explore the world in many creative ways. Sara Groves has a song that includes the words Free to fly free to go free to come back home…these words very much reflect a theme in our family story. And for the opportunity, the experiences, the memories and the wonder and awe of a different land, I am very thankful! Writing tomorrow night from London…..bon voyage!