Jeremiah 29:12 “Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.”
This excerpt comes from a letter written by Jeremiah to the exiled peoples of Israel. It is a letter of hope and promise. It is fitting then that this is the scripture for today. Today is our first day of our vacation. A time for us to visit our friends in Sweden and then to cap off our trip with a last stop in Germany to see our friends whom we first met to start our travels.
Sweden is, in a word, amazing. We would scarcely realize we were not in Wisconsin again with all of the trees and rolling hills, farms and peacefulness all around. Save for the fact that our friends live in a house which is on a small island in the Baltic Sea, we feel entirely at home. After a long day of travels we were fortunate that the kids all slept in until 8ish. We were also fortunate that both Hanne and Christian were both up for doing exactly nothing for the day. We did make a short trip in to Karlskrona for some ice cream and mini-golf for the kids but it was otherwise a day of utter relaxation. This was just what mom and dad had ordered. While we weren’t exiled by any means we certainly felt the strains of our service over the last ten months and knowing that we were done and now just relaxing felt very rewarding. God had heard our prayers for peace and had more than answered.
It was even more reassuring as we had so long wanted to visit Hanne and her family in Sweden. We had made plans ten years or so ago to come here but those plans sadly fell through. Now, many years later here we were. Enjoying a cool breeze off the ocean and catching up with friends I hadn’t seen in over a decade.
More happily our children all played together perfectly. Having never met prior it was like they had grown up together their whole lives. They played putt putt, tag, and everything else they could imagine all day long. I absolutely love the exuberance and openness our kids have for meeting new people. It is infectious and inspiring. Meanwhile, moms and dads got to sit back and enjoy some beverages, a late afternoon lunch and a truly chill day.