15 March 2012
Full of Dreams
Ever had a dream that you've had to let go of ...
Fifteen years ago I took a college trip to Western Europe. That initial trip was a catalyst of sorts for me. Like part of me opened up that I didn't know was waiting to blossom. The travel, the culture, the vistas, the people, the history ... so quietly powerful it felt private, like a secret. In a strange sort of way, it was like falling in love.
In that time since, I feel as though I've traveled Europe many times over. Amazing what books, good movies, and an over-active imagination can do. I plotted and dreamed of many pretend returns. But there came a season where I had to stop taking the travel magazines and watching that darn Rick Steves on his magical PBS adventures. It was too hard. I was flat out jealous and covetous of the opportunities of everyone else. Nevermind that I had three healthy babies at home, a kind husband, and a cozy roof over our head. Wanderlust can be a brazen intruder. Covetousness wreaks havoc on contentment.
So I released the dream.
Before my grandmother died, she called me over to the sofa beside her. Having lost her voice to Lou Gehrig's Disease, she sat with her little typy-machine, Lillian. In her hands, with the familiar knuckles and veins that look so much like my own, she had an envelope. Without words, from her hands to mine, it was passed. Inside, from my frugal and simple-living grandparents, was a check. A completely unexpected chunk of change that left me with my mouth agape. "What do you want to see me do with this?" I asked. She looked at me with her ever-determined eyes and typed one word on her machine: "Invest."
But in what? So many ways to interpret that word.
It's now been almost three years since she went home to the Lord. And the gift has been sitting, waiting for the right opportunity. I didn't want to just buy stuff. I wanted it to go towards something that we could say to the children "This was from Great Mother and Great Father." And I wanted it to have purpose in each of our lives. So I waited. Waited for the purpose.
And then one day last summer I was musing over Peter. His love for history and ancient cultures continues to grow and I couldn't help but wonder how God would have us fan the flames of interest that He had placed in our boy. Then it hit me. Family. Invest the gift in the family. Travel. Experience. Bond. Tie ourselves together through a shared journey. Open up God's world to the children and have them wonder what is His intended purpose for them in it.
Since that day, God has given confirmation time and time again. I am so excited I will randomly break out into tears at the very thought of our impending trip. It's like that long-ago blossoming is occurring again. There is springtime in my soul right now and I am so, so overcome with gratitude.
In two months we will take a three-week trip to Europe. And I am full of dreams once more.