Clay and I decided many years ago that a part of the heritage we would give to our children would be a visit to the places where I ministered as a single women as well as the place we were in ministry together in Vienna, where Clay was on the pastoral staff of the International Chapel of Vienna. We decided that 15 was a good time to take a child, alone. For one thing, we could never afford to take our whole family. But at 15, our children have become young adults and are on the cusp of moving into their own adult lives. Having 2-3 weeks to build on the relationship we have, without distractions, to talk about goals and purpose in life and to share in memories, gives our children a foundation of our love in a new way and gives us a chance to undergird those ideals we have built over the years. Of course it takes lots and lots of planning and saving to make it happen.I thought I would share a few memories from our trip. I am starting in the middle because these are the only pictures I have access to today.
Coming to Austria calls to a part of me that is a part of my deepest soul. I cut my teeth on spirituality in this country for 6 years. I learned to trust God, walk with Him, celebrate life, appreciate culture and beauty, share in the pristine life of flowers, white-washed walls, the splendor of the Austrian alps. I wanted Joy, (and all the other children before her) to understand this part of my life.
Hiking in Sound of Music Country near Salzburg
"picnic"-ing along the way every day with semmels, whole grain rolls, ham, cheese, applesaftgespritz and of course Manner schnitte--cookies!
Meeting up with Joel and Sarah half-way through the trip in Austria.
The beauty was breath-taking and oh so familiar.
Evidently there were Whole Heart Friends hundreds of years ago in the old castles at the top of a mountain where we hiked!
(We had banked a time-share we had bought when the kids were very young at a very low price and got a week for free in the Austrian Alps.)
Of course, we had an afternoon Melange each afternoon with the traditional glass of water to rinse down such pungent coffee. Oh how I miss Austrian coffee.