I arrived home from Amsterdam late Friday night after staying awake for 24 hours. My son made Fried Chicken Sunday evening. Made me smile. It was a nice cap on the end of that adventure. And yet days have passed and I am still processing the trip and readjusting to life.
My personal theme adopted for this trip was “Expect the Unexpected.” Also in preparation for the trip I prayed fervently for focus in my own life. I had felt a gentle tugging that God is leading my in a particular direction, but like so often, I was not sure what that direction was. Shortly before we left, I felt totally drawn to study in art therapy. Although I have so much to learn, this path fits my gifts perfectly, my desire to lift others, to promote healing, and also to express myself creatively. The theme of the trip, expecting the unexpected, seemed to permeate because now, unexpectedly, I don’t want to do anything new, much less delve into the life of art therapy. I just want to hibernate. Spending a full week with a group, a fabulous group I might add, totally drained my introverted self of energy. So while I re-energize, I continue to pray for focus on this venture.
Amsterdam was beautiful. I was in awe of the brick work, both on the street and buildings. My first day I missed so much because I was staring at the ground everywhere we walked. The whole city is bricked, streets and sidewalks. Stunning.
Street in Haarlem with the bricks torn up:
Same street 2 days later, almost complete. They know their brick laying:
Last Monday, my friend, Wendy, and I had the opportunity to meet with Toos (pronounced Tose) at the Scharlaken Koord (Scarlet Cord).
This organization reaches out to the women caught in the lives of prostitution, mostly in Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District. Toos was such an inspiration. The resources she has developed are amazing. She is hoping to have them translated to be used internationally over the next couple years. Please lift this venture up in prayer. We sat and talked for a couple hours. Well, actually I sat back and listened as Wendy and Toos shared so much. This meeting was one of the highlights of this trip. After our chat, Toos took us on a tour of the Red Light District sharing how the organization ministered to the women, struggles and dangers involved. Troost and Independence Ave. combined have nothing on this place.
Other highlights to our trip include visiting the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Corrie ten Boom Museum and Grote Kerk (Great Church) in Haarlem, and the Kasteel de Haar near Utrecht. We also found a fabulous art store, Van Beek’s, thanks to my friend, Sheri’s, input. Perhaps I’ll share about these adventures in the near future. Right now I’m back to hibernation.