Liz and I felt that if we were going to Ireland, two groups of people needed to be in agreement. I wrote yesterday about what that process looked like with our daughters. Today I wanted to share about a second group that was involved in this process with us.
Through the rest of February Liz and I talked and prayed and began to sense more and more that Ireland was in our future….and sooner rather than later. At the same time we knew that there were two group of people we needed to have in agreement with whatever decision we reached.
Okay…quick recap…It was February 2011. Ireland was not happening. It seemed like everything was against us buying a house, and now we were dealing with a high-risk pregnancy. I contacted a few people and asked them to pray that we would have a clear understanding of what God was trying to say in the midst of this. Because something was clearly going on.
Leaving Ireland was hard, but before heading back to the States, we had a week's vacation left. Because of cheaper than expected flights, we had enough in the budget to stay a few days in London and a few days in Paris. We both figured, we'd never have the whole family together in Europe again. And although we were wrong on that point, it was a good way to wrap up the trip. Because once we got back to Ithaca, life was about to kick into high gear.
In a recent post I mentioned a road trip we took around Ireland. Our first destination was Croagh Patrick. The story is that St. Patrick completed forty days of fasting and penance here during a Lenten period. 12 Noon :: I was not familiar at all with Croagh Patrick, so I didn’t understand why Liz was as stressed as she was about our relatively late departure from Ballybay. It was only a 3.5 hour drive.
Earlier this week I wrote about my family’s immediate response to my “I think we are supposed to move to Ireland,” moment. The kids were angry and Liz was crying. The kids I understood. There is no way we wanted to talk with them about it at that point. But they picked up that something was going on quickly. And all three of them would have been in high school or middle school, so moving to another country was not anywhere on their agendas.
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that while we were in Ireland, Liz’s dad had problems with his eyes. After a several days of trying to get care up in Co. Monaghan, one of the doctors referred him to the Mater Hospital in Dublin. So, over the next week Liz and I drove down the M1 into Dublin to take her dad to the Mater.
When we first talked about Ireland, the purpose was so that Liz could go over with her dad and her family. About 6 months before the trip, we decided that this would also serve as a sabbatical for me. As I prayed about the focus (sabbatical wise) of our 6 weeks in Ireland, it came down to one simple question: What am I supposed to do with the next 20 years of my life?