We Are Going To Israel

image courtesy of David Rodrigo, Unspalsh.com, @david_R

There are so many things to say, and I realize that I am probably more excited about all of them than you are. But I was told to write this post so here are five reasons I am so excited.  And two reasons I’m not. Here are my Pros & Cons

The Pros

1. This one has been on my bucket list for a long time!

I guess that I’m not alone in that.  This tiny geographical area is so packed with history & stories. Especially as a follower of Jesus and lover of the Biblical text, I somehow feel like this land holds part of my story too.

2. Surprises are the best!

Did I say that Mister Brown surprised me with this trip? (he is already taken ladies, so don't even think about it) Since before we were married, Israel has always come up as a mutual answer to the question “if you could go anywhere you wanted, where would you travel.”

So you will have to ask him about the backstory.

3. My Babies!

They are finally independent enough for us to go on a trip like this. Anyone with little kids knows how intense it can be just keeping small humans alive. So the day they both walked out the door for school drop-off on their own two feet felt like a miracle!

While I have loved the flexibility I have had to work from home and devote a lot of my time to caring for our kids, I am also celebrating their growing skills and delight in doing things for themselves.

(3.5)  Let's be real, the sweet skills of a 6 and 2.5-year-old are many, but not entirely adequate for the independence they think they should have.  So we are also completely spoiled to have my parents live nearby. Our kids dearly love Nana & Papa and are probably not going to miss us at all.

4. So Many Images!

Maybe this is more of a confession, that I have always struggled to remember something I cannot visualize. I took geography in college because it was required, but ended up loving the class because every single picture the professor showed had a personal story behind it.  The internet can be such a gift in giving access to images of a distant place.  But it is just entirely different when you have a personal context for the image.

I have been able to take several online photography courses over the last year and am looking forward to being able to practice some of my new skills on this trip.

Which leads me to my last reason.

5. So Much to Learn!

I just love learning and am a total Bible nerd.  Since I am in the middle of teaching a Bible Study, I am looking forward to being able to share this experience with all of my Bible Study ladies.  We also have several teaching series that are in development stages so my mind is already full of expectation that all we learn and experience will enrich our upcoming series.

I am an information lover, so if you have been on a trip like this, send your tips my way.


The Cons

1. My Babies!

I am going to miss them!

Is it a typical mom thing that my kids make it on both the pro and the con list? Our October is shaping up to be a full month for me.  I get to attend a women’s leadership event, take this trip to Israel, and speak at a women's retreat. All while leading a weekly Bible study. While I am excited about these new opportunities, it is a big change in schedule for this stay-at-home mom, and I’m going to miss my babies!

I know some of you are already pros at balancing life with young kids and full schedules, so send me all your wisdom!

2. All the $$$!

It feels like such an extravagant gift to be surprised with this trip.  But hitting “buy now” on those airline tickets was almost painful. I know it is worth the investment!

If you would like to donate specifically to this trip, you can give to help with general expenses or contribute to video/photo production costs.

3. Long Travel Days!

We travel enough that I think I am generally ok with being herded into a tiny space and keeping my elbows to myself for a few hours.  But this whole international travel thing is no joke. So I am not looking forward to 24 hours of airplanes/airports.

So for those of you who are pros at this, send me your best international travel tips!


  1. Emily Durr on September 26, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    So excited for you! It will be worth it. And yes, the kids usually make it into both the pros and cons of everything, but they will be fine and you will benefit from the time you share as a couple on this adventure.

  2. Natasha (once Rothchild now Cookman) on September 27, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Andrea!!!! I am SOOOO excited for you to get to experience this!! Tips: drink plenty of water on the plane, the trips to the bathroom are WAY better than landing dehydrated. TAKE ALL THE PHOTOS but keep track of where you are and what you’re snapping because believe it or not you will forget. In Jerusalem there is a church called Sainte Anne’s. Go see it, and then sing in it. Congrats and have fun!!!

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