Sunday, May 29, 2016


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For a decade of my 30 years, I was privileged to travel all over the world for missions and on dance trips. And I loved every moment! I love to fly. Airports are fun (except for maybe LAX when one has to spend the night in baggage claim). Packing a bag and heading off somewhere new is my absolute favorite. How thankful I am for all of the memories and experiences!

Let's go down memory lane a little bit, shall we?

My first missions trip, when I was a freshman in high school. No digital pictures from this was back in the olden days of disposable cameras.

Montreal, Canada
Multiple high school mission trips to this beautiful city--street ministry, mime performances, working at a soup kitchen, cookouts for kids, riding the Metro.

An amazing experience with State of Grace dance company--teaching a workshop and dancing on a military base (plus lots of sight-seeing, of course). Also traveled to Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida with this company.

A young adult mission trip--our main purpose was to teach English classes at a remote village school and build connections/relationships for the Kingdom.

Australia & New Zealand
A semester abroad in Sidney, Australia during my junior year of college and then a week in New Zealand on the way home. My blog from this trip.

New York City
Multiple trips to this beautiful city--one time to visit my dear friend Amy (met in Australia) and another with Bryce to attend her wedding.

El Salvador
Bryce and I helped to chaperone a youth mission trip a year after we were married--drama, worship, VBS.

Visiting my sister and her husband soon after they had their first baby boy.

During my mid-20s, our season of life changed. I wasn't dancing with a company anymore. Bryce and I got married and I worked a job with limited vacation days. A couple years later we had a baby and then another and fostered / hosted for Safe Families 20+ times in between there. Travel opportunities became more infrequent. (And now with 5 children? Pretty much impossible!) At first, it was really hard for me to let go of that "passion." It felt like my life wasn't quite as exciting or fun or meaningful anymore.

But Jesus encouraged my heart and reminded me that my time here on earth is limited. What a very short time I have to give my all for Him (in light of eternity!). This time is for impacting the Kingdom, living sacrificially, and leaving a spiritual legacy. Perhaps His plan will involve travel, perhaps it won't. Whatever the case, I must bloom where He plants me and joyfully do all He calls me to do (even if that means never leaving the Midwest, serving Him by being a mom).

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the Author and Perfecter of our faith . . .
Hebrews 12:1-2

Jesus reminded me: there will be a time to travel and enjoy life to the fullest--in the days of the new heaven and new earth! Those will be the days of endless delight and worship, enjoying creation renewed and made whole, surrounded by all who love and serve the Lord Jesus. Can you imagine it?! We will have eternity to explore the new creation, cultures and cities...what an experience it will be to travel the world then!

Maybe God will bring more opportunities to travel for the Kingdom (or for fun!).
But maybe He won't.
And that's okay with me.
Now I just have something amazing to look forward to on the New Earth.
(I can't wait!)

1 comment:

  1. Jana, I love your perspective -- to anticipate travel in the new heaven and new earth! Also, it's beautiful the ways that you are allowing God to use your adventurous heart in your family life. I love keeping up with your newest adventures and explorations of the world through your posts and writings. :)