Dining alfresco with a grape arbor heavy with bunches of green
grapes forming the ceiling overhead.
Sweet, sweet people smiling as I freely and happily practiced
my Italian phrases trying to get the accent and the rolled "r's" just right.
I'm sure I sounded like a fool. A very happy fool!
I have spent the last few days pinching myself as a reminder
that I was actually awake and experiencing all this and not in some weird sleep
experience in a week long dream.
Yes. This farm girl and her farm girl friend, Debbie, went
Bellagio, Italy to be exact.-a place I’d never even heard of
until March. And now a place I will never forget. During this trip of a
lifetime, I made amazing friends and even learned that I enjoy making art. (After
several days, I can now say that without giggling in disbelief!)
You may know that my One
Little Word for 2015 is JOY. Even in the midst of some very difficult times
this year, God has graciously given me lots of joy to go along with the sadness.
Here is a bit of the backstory……..
Last winter, I signed up for Jeanne Oliver’s The Becoming of You series (which you should totally sign up for) and one morning while I
was eating breakfast in Florida, I began watching the videos. I loved every one
of them, but when I got to Laura from A Kiss on the Chic, I wanted to jump up and down.
Laura shared a bit about her Creative Retreats and described the Faith and Art Retreat she was planning for Summer 2015 in Bellagio.
It sounded dreamy, but I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, and
I had never traveled internationally except for a couple of trips to Mexico.
However,God put a HUGE and immediate desire in my heart to
attend this event.
I told Brad about it when he returned from his run, and without
missing a beat, he said, “DO IT!” I sent the link to my friend, Debbie, and she
was as excited as I was when her husband also gave the thumbs up.
We signed up before we could talk ourselves out of it, with
no real idea of how blessed we were going to be. Thus began several weeks of
preparation for traveling abroad-booking international flights, checking cell
phone plans, insurance, getting euros, new suitcases and planning what to wear.
We also had quite a list of art supplies we were supposed to bring with us.
Gesso and mat medium, anyone?
I had no clue what I was asking for when I went to Michael’s
to get my things. And who knew there were so many different types of paint
brushes. See, I am NOT an artist!
This trip was way out of my comfort zone and out of my box,
but I LOVE to do new things, and I was up for an adventure with one of my best
And I had a feeling God was in the midst of the whole thing. A win from EVERY angle!
So, Debbie and I packed our bags, grabbed our new cameras
and passports and headed for Italy with our eyes and hearts open wide.