A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes other will be refreshed.
1 Thessalonians 5:19
Do not quench the Spirit.
Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.
This week, my first in Sicily, I've been thinking about the spirit of peace a lot. I prayed continuously about Sicily, asking God to take control and to provide. Yet, in the run-up to leaving, my stomach was in knots. I sat in the hotel in London the night before I flew out and wanted to curl up like an armadillo and stay hidden. But I remembered that the day before, at Tim's church, a woman prayed over me, looked me in the eyes, and said "God's going to take care of the details in this next year." Her words instantly calmed me--they washed over me like cool water. And on the journey in Sicily, when the nerves would bubble back up, God would send me something or someone (a pretty view from the plane, a smile of a cute Italian child, the first view of a Sicilian ruin on the bus, a nice woman on the train who knew the housekeeper at Anna Tasca Lanza, etc) that would refresh my spirit and ease my worries. And then, delight of delights, when I arrived at the school, there were a myriad of things that were full of beauty and renewal (the gardens, the fantastic food, the roaming roosters, the gorgeous views, and the friendly guests). But particularly the kind and graceful spirit of the young female gardner from Scotland whom I met upon arrival. I thought about how the prayers that surrounded this trip (mine and others') had been so fruitful. The power of prayer is unbelievable. Even in my very minor trial (living in beautiful Sicily at a cooking school for a year--what a hard life!!) God had enough compassion to send me comfort and refreshment.