Happy Easter season! I hope it was blessed and I wish all of you and your families a continual conversion of heart.

Its been almost 3 months since my last update. Let me say, it’s been humbling. Where do I begin?

I’m not going to Italy this year, but I’m still learning Italian, though I did spend a little bit of money (more on all that below).

1) No Go

I’m not going to Italy on a pilgrimage this year. When I last wrote, the trip was in doubt because of a lack of travelers. Long story short, when it was confirmed, I had a conflict with work, so I couldn’t go after all. Therefore, I lost my $300 deposit.

2) Don’t Make Haste

The bigger lesson was not to force and/or rush things. I had booked the trip back in December because there was a sale, and I just assumed there’d be no issue with work. When I realized I couldn’t go, I was so eager to get to Italy that I went on an all-out search for another pilgrimage. My mindset was, “I’m going to Italy come hell or high water!” I found several other pilgrimages, but ultimately I felt God calling me to slow down. Italy wasn’t going anywhere!

3) Acceptance

After a few weeks I’d accepted that it was OK if I didn’t know whether I’d be going to Italy this year. I definitely attribute some of this acceptance to my time in Adoration. I’m in awe of the fact that a few months ago, I was panicking over the idea of my pilgrimage being cancelled. Today, it’s all good.

4) There’s More

Part of the acceptance also came from recognizing there are other plans in store. Around this time, my grandma showed interest in traveling to England (where her mother was born) and then onto Italy (where my grandpa’s family is from). I was so excited about the prospect of traveling with my family, especially my grandparents, to these beautiful places. I thought to myself, “This is why God didn’t want me to go on the pilgrimages.” Planning began — and very quickly, plans changed! My Grandma ultimately decided it was too complicated to go.

5) No Go Part 2

At this point, I figured Italy really wasn’t going to happen and that was OK. My urgency to get there was not from God. I’ve struggled with wanting to “keep up with others” when it comes to travel. I truly love traveling and getting out of my normal routine from time to time. I don’t use social media so it’s not like I’m posting about everywhere I go, so I know I’m not doing it for “likes”. But I do have an insecure desire to feel like I’m not missing out or that others have seen much more of the world than I have. Honestly, I’m laughing as I’m writing this because it sounds so silly!

6) All Things in Time

Fast forward to Easter weekend. My younger cousin tells me she’s studying abroad in Rome in spring 2019! So now my aunt, my sister and I are planning to go. Truth be told, I’m really happy that God let me marinate in a “waiting place” where I had accepted that I may not get to do what I wanted: go to Italy this year. I definitely tried to figure out why He was allowing it to be so difficult for me to go on a pilgrimage (it’s to grow closer to Him after all), but I’ve noticed the more I grow towards Him, the less I feel attached to the things of this world.

7) I Can Be Stubborn

I already knew this, but in this process I was reminded that I can be stubborn and sometimes “cut my nose to spite my face.” Sometime in February, my commitment to studying Italian started waning. I’d gone through a lot of free materials and wanted to keep going, but wanted to keep up with my goal of learning Italian for free. I wanted to be able to brag about it and also let other people know that money doesn that’s have to be an obstacle to learn a lanaguge.

8) Giving In

I hemmed and hawed. I signed up for a library card in another town that had a much bigger Italian selection and checked out some Pimsleur audio CDs. They have up through the advanced level so I’m excited to work towards that! But then I read about a website called Udemy that has online courses for purchase. They were having a huge sale (94% off) so each course was $11.99. I really battled  over whether I wanted to break my “learn Italian for free” streak. I had become too attached to that notion that I was passing up an opportunity to learn more in an affordable way. Now, if I couldn’t afford it and was struggling to pay bills, then absolutely I would’ve stuck to my “free Italian” pledge. But this wasn’t the case. I’m glad I bought the courses earlier this week!

And so the learning continues. I’m focusing on these courses:

  • Pimsleur audio CDs (Beginner & Intermediate)
  • Udemy Beginner Italian course
  • Udemy Intermediate Italian course

Until next time —� alla prossima!

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