Tag Archive: living in now

Jerusalem Snow

Ten inches of snow fell in Jerusalem overnight. I wakened about 4 am andView from our room looked out our hotel window to see snow resting on tree branches and stacked on our balcony railings. Jerusalem looked like a winter wonderland. Roads were closed all over the city and priority is getting the road to the airport open.

Our thirty-one congenial travelers are enjoying learning to know each other. Meal buffets at the Dan Jerusalem are amazing. Choices are varied and extensive and we are learning a bit about kosher laws i.e. no dairy along with meat. Heard of a traveler who smuggled in a small packet of creamer for her coffee, only to have a Rabbi call her out on it in the dining room.

Salad bar

Salad bar

About 10 am we gathered in the piano bar. “Sparky,” one of our travelers, played “The Old Rugged Cross” and the mood was mellow.

Sparky at the piano

Sparky at the piano

Our pastor, Rene Schlaepfer, led us in a devotional time together. At 11:20 the sun came out in all its glory, so at 12:30 we boarded our bus for a city tour. Schools were out and children and adults were playing outside. As the bus was hit by some hard snowballs, we realized there were rocks in those snowballs, older revelers hoping to break a window.

We sloshed through melting snow, around Gethsemane and its olive trees, and into the Church of Gethsemane. All the restaurants Kenny wanted to take us to were closed, so we hiked up the hill to a small food stand and enjoyed the man’s offer of hot coffee, tea, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Church of Gethsemane

Entering the Old City via The Lions Gate, we walked to the site of Pilate’s judgment seat and on to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, believed by the Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Coptic Christians, Arminians, and two other groups to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. We wandered through the souks and down the Via Dolorosa, where retired police officer Robert struck up a conversation with some of the Israeli soldiers. By the time we returned to the hotel we were soaked, head to toe. Don used his engineering skills to rig up an umbrella to hold one of his tennies right under the air vent so the shoe would dry overnight.???????? (It worked!)

Dinner ahead tonite, Dead Sea tomorrow.

Do it Now!

Don“… but the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13

“Is there a chance for a relationship between us down the road?” The tall, handsome widower placed a hand on my shoulder. His vibrant blue eyes searched mine as he spoke. I was momentarily taken aback.

My first marriage ended with the early death of my husband. Delighted as I was to share Jerry’s life, my inner drive often found me focused on work more than on quality time with him.

After Jerry was diagnosed with a terminal illness, I made some changes. I worried less about having a clean house. I delegated more work and sat on the couch, holding his hand rather than responding to work-related emails at night. I wanted my man to know how much I respected and loved him.

After Jerry passed away in my arms, God spoke to me through Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans for good and not for evil, to give you hope and a future.” As I struggled to redefine myself as a newly single woman, I mentally kept that promise before me.

Two years later, I met Don. Eventually, we developed that relationship he had asked about. Four years after Jerry’s passing, Don and I married. God was giving me a second chance, a ‘do-over’. Would I live out the lessons I learned through Jerry’s illness and death, or wait for another loss to reset my priorities?

Each morning is a new opportunity to choose to love. Knowing how hard Don works, will I take the dogs for their morning walk so he can sleep in, or will I roll over and wait for him to get up? Will I sit on the couch responding to Facebook in the evening, or put down my laptop and cuddle with my hubby while we watch football, or Downton Abbey, together?

Will I take a moment to relax into the goose bumps I feel when Don sneaks up behind me and plants sweet kisses on my neck, letting him know his touch is welcome? Or will I pull away from my man’s caress to finish whatever important chore I’m in the midst of doing?

Will I consistently look for ways to affirm my husband, letting him know how much I appreciate all he does for me and for others? And will I speak the truth in love when I suggest an idea or even a change?

No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?” (Lee Iacocca)

God has gifted us with this precious time together. I want to live in such a way that, as much as possible, I will have no regrets. I will look into Don’s cerulean blue eyes often and long.

What will you choose to do to affirm and express love to your partner? What would you regret not doing if he or she were suddenly gone? If possible, do it now!