“ciao” to Italy; “hello” to the next great adventure…

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand. (Irish Blessing)

Another goodbye dinner for Andrew and Alicia
Another goodbye dinner for Andrew and Alicia

Today our son, Andrew, and our daughter-in-love, Alicia, are on a transatlantic flight from Italy. For Andrew – whose birthday is today – the passage marks the end of a a six-year adventure living first in Tuscany, then in Veneto. For both of them it means saying “Ciao” to the first home of their two-year-old marriage.

Today’s journey is bittersweet, because it also signals the beginning of the next leg of their adventure, a two-year commitment to Tashkent in Uzbekistan. They are truly citizens of the world, committed to loving God’s good creation and serving God’s beautiful children.

So the Irish Blessing, above, is for Andrew and Alicia. But it is also a challenge to all of us to be more intentionally grateful for the gift of life, and the opportunity to enjoy the journey as we move along.

Ponce the tyrannical Tuscan farm-cat at the airport
Ponce the tyrannical Tuscan farm-cat at the airport

In leaving Italy, Andrew and Alicia have gifted the rest of us with a phenomenal resource. They blogged their “100-Day Countdown,” highlighting some of the country’s best sites and sights, foods, resources, destinations, and more. You can find this at PashbyMaul Adventures, the cutting-edge travel blog they will continue to contribute to during their time in the USA and their sojourn to Uzbekistan. Seriously, friends, you don’t want to miss this.

Safe travels, dear children, and we look forward to enjoying a few weeks together this summer.

I’ve quoted the following blessing before, and I’ll do it again; it never grows old:

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. – Numbers 6:24-26

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