Thankful Heart: Greece

In the airport. Preparing to leave for Greece. Honestly I have been preparing for this for weeks. Counting down the hours, the minutes. And now that the time is near, I wonder how it is already here. How I am already leaving.

But now. Today, today fear is crippling me. Please, don’t get me wrong. I am still excited. But the fear. The fear grew. Unabated. Free. And this afternoon, when I realized I would have enough time to leave the Athens airport and get a peak at the Acropilis, fear reared its ugly head. I debated not leaving the airport. Because fear. Because if I take a taxi alone, bad things could happen. (Yes, I seriously have not even taken a taxi in Chicago alone!) Because what if 100 (or even 10) things happen and I miss my flight to Crete. But my husband and a dear friend reminded me – even if I miss my flight, I can book a new one and to pray. That I am not being foolish. That I am choosing to trust. That I am choosing adventure. And it will be amazing.

But still. Fear reigned. And as Greg drove me to the airport, fear continued to grow. It tried to overtake my excitement. To steal it from me. Tearing away my adventure. My courage.

And now. Here I sit. Through security. In the international airport I have rarely visited. And even rarer by myself. And I am deliberately, intentionally choosing to trust.

Because I will not fear. I need not fear. With the next step I take, I will choose to embrace adventure. Trust. Courage.

Because this is an amazing experience. This is a wonderful gift. And I will not squander it on fear. So instead, I will remember. I will spend time in thankfulness. Because what better way to combat fear than by remembering God’s provision.

Thankful

I am thankful for my husband. The man who insisted I go to Greece for a family reunion. One that I was going to skip because I have littles and it would be too difficult to go. The man who is not only willing to work for our family, but who is willing to watch and care for our family. So that I can go. The man who urged me to go. To experience all of this. If you can’t tell, he’s pretty amazing. And you can read more about him, here.

I am thankful for my friend, Katie. She is my travel companion on these long flights. I am so grateful to be flying with her. I have rarely flown, and have never flown internationally. I am thankful to have her company. To not do this trip completely alone.


I am thankful for the ability to so easily fly. To another country! What!?! Honestly, it astounds me the things we can do. And the ease we can do it with.

I am so thankful to be here. To actually be here. To see this place. The place my grandmother grew up. A place that has been such a part of me, though I have never been here before. I was raised to be proud of my heritage. Though born in America, Greece was our “home.” The place we identified with.

It reminds me of another place that I yearn for. That is a part of me, though I have never been there. A place that calls me. Calls me home. I yearn for Heaven the way my flesh has desired to be in Greece. Jesus is my identifier, now. I no longer find who I am in my nationality, in my earthly heritage. Instead I find it in my Heavenly Father. Who He is. And who He is calling me to be.

What are you thankful for today? I would love to hear what you are thankful for today, in the comments below.Β 

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22 thoughts on “Thankful Heart: Greece

  1. I love this!! I’ve been thinking about you all morning πŸ™‚ I hope Athens is wonderfully adventurous. Can’t wait to hear your stories! Praying for you!

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  2. I cannot wait too hear about your trip…reading your words today, I could physically feel what that type of fear creeping up must have felt like. I would have been SO in that exact same spot. I have endless admiration for your choice to push it back and stay in a place of gratitude. Seriously. Enjoy your trip! It sounds magical! πŸ™‚

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  3. I went to my Grandma Hazel’s ancestors hometown in Nesbyn, Norway and waved at my Grandma Florence’s hometown in Norway as we rode the train. It was an adventure and a deep connection seeing our family names in the cemetery. I took lots of pics, made books and shared them with relatives. It was a meaningful experience. Enjoy and treasure every moment. Be safe but experience it all!

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    • Thank you, Cheryl! πŸ’› It has been incredible to see some of the homes my Yia-Yia (grandma) grew up in. (And the rest in a few days.) honestly, these experiences have been incredible. I watched traditional Greek dancing today and was near tears. The connection and reminders to my early childhood days/years being watched by my Yia-Yia were so strong.

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  4. I’m so excited for you and I hope you have an amazing adventure! I’m thankful that my kiddos are away at their grandparents for the week — I’m just staying at home and enjoying quiet nights with my man when he’s home from work. I plan to do a few things I haven’t yet done here in Nashville yet as a way of celebrating one year of living here on July 8th. More than any of that, I’m thankful for that far away Home that we so long for even though it’s a mystery!

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  5. Fear is the thief of joy (comparison too! lol). It can make us believe in something that hasn’t happened yet and probably will not happen. It’s a testament to God that you can overcome any fear through putting your trust in Him! I hope you had a wonderful time with your family πŸ™‚

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  6. Whew! Definitely teared up reading this. Ashley I’m SO excited for you and this trip!! So proud that you said NO to fear! I’ll be praying for you!!

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