We are in our last week of this amazing adventure that began April 16th! Actually it began a few years back when Randy began to share that he hoped one day to just come to Italy and spend a few months living and just soak up as much Italian life as possible!
Last July while sitting on the beach in Newport, CA, we began to seriously plan that dream. We had just had a most wonderful evening at the Rose Bowl with some of our favorite people watching fireworks and of course sharing great food while laughing and making a great July 4th memory! So as we sat, watching waves roll in and listening to children running and laughing as the water splashed around them, it was then that we knew that it was time! Each season of our lives has allowed us different experiences that we can now look back and see Gods Hand of growth, faithfulness and yes, sometimes chastisements through different happenings.
If you read my posts regularly, you probably see a pattern in what I write! It tends to circle around God! It is so hard to express how I feel about Him but I will try! God is, God was and God always will be! He is our Creator, our Sustainer and Our hope! Because of Him, we live and breathe! So when I think about all that He has not only allowed, but provided for us, it is with great thankfulness that we know He put this dream (or desire) in our hearts for a reason! Do we know all the reasons yet, that He has lead us to every location we have stayed? No, and we might not ever this side of Heaven!
As we are in an apartment across the street by the Tiber River, it might be for the simple reason that we met the gracious host and her husband to just share a thankful heart of her going out of her way to bring us the key clear across town! Maybe it was for me to see precious ladies sitting on a half brick wall outside a little grocery with their little roll carts full of groceries, probably sharing neighborhood gossip or what had been going on in their lives this week! As I walked by them it was such a beautiful reminder of how even the simplest life can be full of laughter and great moments! I want to remember that as we return to a place and life that can easily become very hurried and not quite so simple! Maybe the events, some that we would not have wanted, were for the testing of our faith or dependence on Him! There have been days when I think both of us would have packed up and headed back home, but we didnt have a home to go to! It was in those difficult days of missing family and friends or difficult circumstances that our time with the Lord got a little more attention. All i know is that both Randy and I have learned more of what God wants to be to us!
In our times of everything going wonderful, and exactly as planned, it showed us that it is in those times, that we need to draw closer to the Great God who has given graciously to us so so many wonderful gifts, of special days that included worshipping with other believers here in Rome and Florence, hearing beautiful church bells, eyes that looked upon the most beautiful blue green clear water, ancient partial walls that protected towns from invading troops, artistically painted frescos in churches hundreds of years old! From the meeting of a young women serving us breakfast on Randys birthday and telling me that we were different from most folks who she served, to listening to gorgeous music by the 3 Italian Tenors; both of these rank just as high in my memories!
No, we dont know the reasons we have been allowed this experience! But we do know that we will be forever grateful for His Hand of protection and provision that we have experienced here in Italy! God is not bound to borders nor race! May God be praised for His goodness, no matter the location, no matter the memory!
As the Tiber River flows so smoothly by, may we be….”Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace
Over all victorious in its bright increase
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way”