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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gross

I Love Jesus, but I have Jet Lag

My husband and I took a long vacation recently to Europe to celebrate our 50th birthdays, and I came to realize that jet lag is real.

Now, I am not complaining, not by any means. We had an amazing trip and saw amazing things. It really was a trip of a lifetime! The Eiffel Tower sparkled like a giant diamond, the sweetness of the tiramisu in Venice and the cannoli in Sicily was unforgettable, the whitewashed walls and pops of color in Mykonos stood out against the blue sky and water, the aroma of margherita pizza in Naples lingered in the air, the ruins of Pompeii stood as reminders of the people who once walked the streets there, the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome towered above us, and the sound of the choir singing in Westminster Abbey was joyous.

We made some fun memories, and the pictures we took will help remind us of the fun we experienced on our vacation.

I am a planner, and I made a lot of plans in preparation for the trip; however, I did come to realize there were many things I should have prepared for but didn’t. One thing I didn’t prepare for, but I don’t think I could have prepared myself for was the jet lag. At one point, we were 8 hours ahead of the time here in South Dakota. We had three weeks on our vacation, so we were able to really acclimate to the time in Europe. It was the coming home time change that I found difficult.

We arrived back in Minneapolis at about 6:15 p.m. on a Tuesday, and after spending some time with friends before starting our drive back to South Dakota, it was after 8 p.m. On any regular day, the 5 hour drive home would have been doable, but this wasn’t any regular day. To us, it didn’t feel like 8 p.m. It felt like 2 a.m. as we were used to London time at that point. My husband is a fantastic driver, and he knows his limits. That’s why we had to pull over and rest for a while on our way home. We made it back to South Dakota safely, but it was rough.

It was around 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning when we pulled into our driveway in South Dakota. Even a week or more after I had been home, I was still tired! I was sleeping pretty well, and I was functioning fine during the day, but I was dragging.

We also did a LOT of walking on our trip, many more steps than I am used to. The day with the most steps was July 12, and I had 24,111 steps, which is 10.8 miles according to my step tracker. So, I think I was physically tired and mentally tired.

I love that in the Bible, there are verses that talk about God giving us rest. I just need to accept that rest and lean into it. Sometimes I try to rely on my own strength and just power through. One example on the trip was when I tripped! LOL! We were looking at the romantic Trevi Fountain in Rome, and there were crowds of people enjoying the fountain, and as we walked away, I turned my ankle on the uneven cobblestones. I walked it off and told my husband that I would just “power through” and “tough it out.” I did, but my ankle hurt for most of the rest of the trip. Maybe if I had rested a bit and let my ankle heal, I could have suffered a bit less.

Isaiah 40 has some great verses that talk about God giving rest to the weary: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31.

Thus, I am going to pray for God’s strength to overcome my weariness. Summer is ending, and school will start soon, so I will need all of God’s strength!

Here are a few pictures from our trip!

Thanks for reading, friends.



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