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MY Dream with Steve

I think I’ve kept you fairly well updated on the progress of this little project since my husband planned dream adventures with each of our kids.  Maybe I failed to mention that I have a dream in the mix as well and the name of the dream is:   Europe.  I have been both a student and teacher of church history for the past few years and I am dying to see the birthplace of the early church with my very own eyes.  No one loves travel like my husband and so he was all in with this idea.  Now, Whitney and Corey’s (and Casey too!) dream was to go on a cruise with Steve and so we thought:  why not let these dreams work together?


That was in April.  I remember the very night we sat down, added and re-added our bank accounts (and some gifts that generous friends had given in support of Steve’s project) to see if we could actually make this thing happen and then – with shaky hearts – made the call to Norwegian to book our dream Mediterranean cruise.  Honestly, I still have trouble talking about because it seems so opulent and extravagant – but I am amazed at all the ways that God has stepped in and stamped His ‘yes’ on this adventure.

We leave next Wednesday.

I wish I had the words to tell you all the feelings that are racing through my heart about this trip.  Some of those feelings are the rush of excitement and joy you would expect – some are a little more anxious and angsty (I really love that word, even though it always gets the squiggly red line).  There’s a part of this that is such a fulfillment of everything I’ve dreamed and a part that is so achingly bittersweet that I can’t even frame adequate phrases around it all.

These warring emotions each hold a sacred space inside my heart.  They are both appropriate and appropriately dissonant.  Just as Steve is learning to live in the tension of physical limitations and spiritual freedom, I am learning to live in the tension between the now and then, the joy and sorrow, the here and the hereafter.  It’s poignant and beautiful and difficult and while I think the enemy of my soul would want to use this tension to separate me from my awareness of the goodness of Jesus, so far it is doing exactly the opposite.  This deep significance that lingers over every trip, every sweet conversation, every perfect photograph, every dream-come-true-15-years-ahead-of-schedule is digging to the depths of my questions and producing this one, increasingly brilliant theology (which I know I’ve shared before, but I’m not budging from it yet):  Life is hard, God is beautiful.  I know this.  I treasure it.  Because the pain of life as it washes up against the foundation of a well-constructed house actually serves to highlight the perfection of the Builder of the house.

God is good and what He does is always and only beautiful.

I am going to Italy with the man that I love.

You better believe I’ll tell you all about it.

September 29, 2011 - 9:03 am

Jamie - I cannot wait to hear about it!

These words are stunning- “Life is hard, God is beautiful. I know this. I treasure it. Because the pain of life as it washes up against the foundation of a well-constructed house, only serves as the backdrop to highlight the perfection of the Builder of the house.”

Like a sunrise set against the backdrop of darkness, you and Steve are brilliantly shining inside of this season. It really is breathtaking to see- the glory of God so evidently displayed in your lives.

September 29, 2011 - 9:07 am

Teri - You can add my “yes” to God’s “YES!” I’m so, so glad for you!

September 29, 2011 - 9:11 am

Joyce - I am so happy for you. Cruises are a true vacation you deserve.

September 29, 2011 - 9:22 am

Randy - Sounds wonderful. I am so happy for you guys. And is it ok if I sin a bit and am slightly jealous?

September 29, 2011 - 11:03 am

gail - I am so happy for you and Steve and your children that get to go on this great adventure He has planned for all of you !
Make some memories and take lots of pictures.. Excited for you !!

September 29, 2011 - 11:39 am

Hailey - Wonderful, Bo! I can’t wait to see pictures :).

September 29, 2011 - 12:32 pm

molly - love it, love it, love it!! will wait to hear!

September 29, 2011 - 12:48 pm

Heather Sutter - What a beautiful trip this will be! Can’t wait to hear about it! You articulated so many things so well in this blog post – as usual =) … Thank you. Happy travels!

September 29, 2011 - 1:51 pm

pam - happy sigh……………………………..

September 29, 2011 - 2:29 pm

The Other Tori - Woo hoo! Way to dream big! You’re gonna have a blast. Can’t wait to hear about it. 🙂

September 29, 2011 - 3:21 pm

Kim Carson - Bo, you will love this trip. I did this cruise several years ago and it is incredible. There is nothing like being in the presence of history.Things you’ve read and learned about in school right in front of you……you get to appreciate the enormity of it all…time, history, the world. It takes you out of your small world and truly gives you a global perspective. It is such a learning experience that you can totally justify the price as an educational expense! 🙂

September 29, 2011 - 5:47 pm

Jane Williams - perfect reply… can i ditto?

September 29, 2011 - 6:56 pm

Arlene - There are not words to express my happiness for you and Steve. Enjoy your dream trip! Safe travels! Love you both.

September 29, 2011 - 8:34 pm

Doug - I love the way you and Steve adore each other – it is such an inspiration to the rest of us! I thank God for you two and the wonderful impact you have on those around you. Can’t wait to hear your tales of Europe.

September 30, 2011 - 12:27 am

Lisa Alexander - Wow! I am so happy for you and Steve. I pray you will bask in God’s goodness and have the best time of your lives (so far)! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

September 30, 2011 - 7:52 am

Cindi - The trip sounds amazing. You are such a beautiful writer, Bo. I can’t wait to read all about it. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. You are such an inspiration.

October 2, 2011 - 6:55 am

Donna - Our family is so excited for all of you. Have so much fun, and take lots of pictures.

October 2, 2011 - 1:52 pm

Vickie Hughes - I’m so so so excited for you and will be praying for you each day!

October 3, 2011 - 8:50 am

Ali Roberts Pennell - Dear Bo,

I am SO excited about this trip! I couldn’t help but get choked up as read about a dream coming true for you and family in tough times. I can’t wait to hear about it!! Have SO much fun and more! You won’t even believe the beauty that Italy has to offer!

So much love,

October 3, 2011 - 8:37 pm

Nicole Stranz - I went to Italy when I was in 8th grade and what incredible and overwhelming thought kept poking at my heart for the 18 days I was there but “I have to come back here with my husband!!!” Lol, I don’t know why my heart always longed and ached for my husband even at such a young age, but being in Italy screams of love. I hope and pray you have an incredibly full, fun and fulfilling trip with your hubby!!!