Sunday, January 10, 2010

Streets of Prague

I walked the streets of Prague with two of my sons, a precious daughter-in-love and a treasured family friend this past Christmas. What a joy it was taking Daniel and Jonathan back to places they saw when much younger (we were in training here in Prague for about 4 weeks in 2001.) And it was exciting to watch Katherine and Eric experience the awe of this beautiful city for the first time.

They came and left…it went by so quickly…but was, oh, so very wonderful!

Yesterday I walked the streets of Old Town alone and noticed “IT.”
Today I rode Tram #16 alone (well, with many other people…but you know what I mean.)
As I rode across the bridge over the Vltava river I looked to my right and saw the steeples of St. Peter and Paul Church. I looked back to my left and could barely make out the silhouette of Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral because of the misting snow and noticed “IT” again.

What is this “IT?”
I noticed that I was not depressed in the least.
Since the boys left home for college (“Why they want to leave me?”…my rendition of a line from MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING) I can not remember being with them and parting (leaving them or them leaving me) and not being just a bit depressed.
But “IT” was different today.

Okay, when I rode past the church of St. Ludmila at Namesti Miru tears did come to my eyes. I couldn’t help it when I saw the steps where just a few days ago Daniel and I stood together for a great picture (see below!) But, still, they were tears of joy and not of depression or sadness. I had a little thanksgiving service right there in my tram seat.

So what is the difference? Why is “IT” different now?
I know it isn’t because I do not miss the guys or love them less.
I’d like to think that it is because I’m a little more mature these days (not older… MATURE!)
But the truth is: The LORD has done a great work in my heart. He taught me to TRUST and He has given me HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
I love the boys as MEN (I’ve enjoyed every stage of their lives.) I look forward to watching Jonathan and Katherine start a family (in the future…no rush guys) and be a part of their traditions.
I was truly excited about sending Daniel back to college. Only one and a half more years and he will be a man out in the world looking for a job.
Christopher and Katie didn’t get to join us this year…However, I know that God has plans for them that are worth the wait also.
And these plans will not take place if they are with me all the time. We all have to live life!
So much ahead. Such great expectations as we wait to see GOD ALIVE and WELL in the Stockwell family.

So, when Tram #16 pulled up near my apartment and I dismounted I did so with my head held high, a slight smile on my face (Okay, it was a half smile) and JOY in my heart.

I walk the streets of Prague daily with PEACE and HOPE.

“We wait for the LORD; He is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in Him, because we trust in His holy name. May Your faithful love rest on us, LORD, for we put our hope in You.” Psalm 33:20-22