Shalom, blogworld.

שָׁלוֹם (Shalom), blogworld.

That was too predictable, wasn’t it?


I just wanted to say hello.

My mind is still a bit muddled from the jet lag but the tiny fact that I can’t seem to make out a single coherent thought has never stopped me from talking heretofore so I shall proceed.

And besides, y’all are forgiving and this should help:

Just another thing I love about Atlanta: Octane cappuccinos.  By the way, what is the best cappuccino you’ve ever had?  That is a random but profound question for a Friday, don’t you think?  It just makes my entire week when the barista makes the little intricate designs with the foam.

Have I mentioned that I keep waking up at 4:00 in the morning hungry for hummus?

Yesterday I spent hours on end making this very basic video slideshow from my pictures from Israel.  My new hobby as of late is photography (and yes–it has taken the place of cooking for now).  Israel is quite a location for the photo enthusiast, let me tell you.  Please understand several things before you watch the slideshow:

  • 1) I am not Rich Kalonick, though he did walk me through several things via text message yesterday.  For the first time I think I fully respect the work he does when he creates the slideshows for the LPL events.  It takes more time and work than you might imagine. So thanks, Rich!
  • 2) The slideshow is quite long, running about twelve minutes. By no means should you watch the whole thing if you are bored to tears. You have complete control and you can’t say I didn’t warn you!  😉
  • 3) This slideshow reflects about 5% of the people and places on our trip to Israel. I literally whittled down 2,000 photos to about 200. Sadly, there was just no way to include them all here.  But on the bright side, if I had included all 2,000 the video would have been about six hours.

Having made this disclaimer, I do so much hope you enjoy it!

Israel Trip from Melissa Fitzpatrick on Vimeo.
Music added: “Beautiful” by Shawn McDonald & “I Stand Amazed” by Chris Tomlin.

Our trip was truly incredible.  I have some more substantial thoughts that I would like to share but I will get back to you with those ponderings when I am not in such a fog–hopefully sometime next week.

Have a wonderful weekend, Siestas! We sure love you!




465 Responses to “Shalom, blogworld.”

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  1. 1
    Kristin says:


  2. 2
    Monica ^i^ says:

    Absolutely LOVE IT! It brought tears to my eyes. You did a fantastic job. What an exciting, fun, heart felt trip!

    Have a Blessed Day!

    Monica ^i^

  3. 3
    Living4Him says:

    WOW! Thanks so much, Melissa, for taking the time to share with us. Sure made me want to pack my bags and head over.

  4. 4
    Nitsa says:

    This was great, Melissa. I watched with my heart beating fast and with a lump in my throat. Some pictures just brought me to my knees: the olive trees where, perhaps, Jesus spent his last night on earth under one of them; the empty tomb; the Wailing wall. Oh how I wish I could have been there with you. Thank you for doing this for us. You did a fantastic job.
    Camas, WA

  5. 5
    AnnaRuth says:

    Oh Melissa…thank you for posting those wonderful pictures! I was able to visit the Holy Land with Kay Arthur and the Precept team last summer, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of it. Your pictures brought me back there as if it was yesterday! I’m so glad that you guys were able to make this trip, and I know you were blessed by it!!

    Sleep off the jet lag, and PRAISE GOD for cappuccino!!!

  6. 6

    And enjoy I did! Thank you, Melissa for taking the time to put that together. Beautiful!
    I was so blessed, too, by the background songs. I’d be off to itunes but can’t quite place the artists. Can anyone help me out? Thanks!!

    • 6.1
      Melissa says:

      The music added is “Beautiful” by Shawn McDonald & “I Stand Amazed” by Chris Tomlin! Hope you have a great weekend!

  7. 7
    Janice says:

    Thanks Melissa! Love it!

  8. 8
    Margie by the Sea says:

    Thank you!

  9. 9
    Cindy says:

    wow. amazing. i wish i knew what some of those places were….i’d love to visit there some day.

    • 9.1
      Melissa says:

      Cindy–I wish I could have done captions but didn’t have time. Just some of the places were Masada, Qumran caves, the Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, Nazareth, the Garden Tomb, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, The Mt. of Olives, Golgotha, Bethlehem, Mt. Carmel, Tiberius, Tel Aviv, Caesarea on the Sea . . . and the list goes on.

  10. 10
    Crissy says:

    With tears rolling down my face and my hands lifted to the Father thank you thank you thank you! To see where he lived and died for me just priceless and I was able to show my five year old baby girl the God that made her and died for her where He live! I love you Lord thank you for sending you Son for me!!!!!!!!!!!

    Crissy, Nashville

    P.S We watched the whole thing couldn’t stop watching and praising His name!

  11. 11
    Dawn says:

    Melissa – thank you!

    I have never been to Israel, and those images brought tears to my eyes thinking of the significance of all those places and also of all the Jews who don’t yet realize what they missed. Wow – thank you! I think the next trip should be for siestas 🙂

  12. 12
    Valerie Rumfelt says:

    Tears streamed down my face the whole time. Thank you so much!

  13. 13
    April says:

    Several minutes into the slide show I had to run and get a Kleenex! Seriously, I didn’t expect that sort of reaction. Just beautiful, both the music and the pics. Thanks so much Melissa for your time in putting this together. Have a great weekend as well.

  14. 14
    Amy Warfield says:

    Best cappuccino: a random little cafe in Florence, Italy–right outside the Academia where Michealangelo’s “David” is..not gonna lie–I may have had two cappuccinos!! 🙂

    Beautiful pictures Melissa. Wow, it is something to see the actual sights where the footsteps of our Savior walked. Amazing. The Lord clothed in flesh walking and breathing among us. So thankful He still is alive and active among us today! Blessings on your friday! So glad you all had a great trip. Looking forward to hearing more.

  15. 15
    lavonda says:

    I have no words.
    I wept through all of it…

  16. 16
    Shelly says:

    I loved the slideshow. Thanks so much for sharing.

  17. 17

    Wow. Speechless at the beauty. Melissa, wonder if you would be a for hire teacher/tour guide next summer for a group of high school students and teachers from Tennessee. I know it’s a weird place to approach you for this- but if you are at all intrigued, I’d love to talk to you about it. You can e-mail me or visit my blog and e-mail me from there.

  18. 18
    Kathryn Carpenter says:


  19. 19
    Candace says:

    I loved seeing all of your pictures!! Thank you for sharing!! Amazing!! Thanks for the song titles, too…I had not heard that first one before and love it!! 🙂

  20. 20
    Lauren Kelly says:

    WOW, Melissa!! Amazing pictures! I felt like I was there. So powerful!!

  21. 21

    I can’t even begin to comment…:)

  22. 22
    beckyjomama says:

    WOW – some AMAZINGLY beautiful pictures there. Sitting here with tears in my eyes.

    Thank you!

  23. 23
    Katie says:

    I loved the video, Melissa! Thanks for putting it together for those of us who wished we were there! I can’t imagine how you must have felt in some of those locations. And on a lighter note, you and your mom looked gorgeous in all of those pictures!!!

  24. 24
    doo-dah says:

    You did a GREAT JOB putting this slideshow together Melissa. Thanks so much for sharing, it brought me to tears as well.

  25. 25
    Groovewoman says:

    That was ABSOLUTELY Beautiful! I can only imagine what that trip was like & all of the things you ladies got to experience. I hope to make it to Israel one day.
    Thank you so much for sharing your pictures with us Melissa. I loved it!

    (aka: Groovewoman)

  26. 26
    Michelle says:

    Simply amazing. Thank you for sharing these pictures.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Fran says:

    Ok, I’m fighting back tears and just grinning from ear to ear and have 101 questions about all the sites! It’s truly beautiful Melissa. Without sounding corny….i kept thinking…”there really is such a place.” I hope to go one day in my lifetime. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you are rested and the brain is de-fogging. 🙂

    So much love from TN,

    • 28.1
      moosemama says:

      Oh my word, Fran!!! I thought the same thing…”there really is such a place”. You read about it in your Bible…and then RIGHT THERE on your computer are pictures of the places you’ve read about!!!

      Melana 🙂

  29. 29

    Thosed pictures left me speechless
    Beautiful just Beatiful, you did an amazing job on putting that slide show together.
    Have a Great weekend
    Thanks for putting that together for us seista’s
    we appreciate you so much.

  30. 30

    Best cappuccino was also the first I ever had. Sometime in 1996 I was in Minnesota for the first time ever, having flown there to meet the man I would eventually marry. We went out for Sunday brunch at a restaurant called Ciatti’s. Had my first cup of cappuccino. Have had many since then, but this one sticks in my memory because of whom I was with – my soon-to-be husband!

    Great job on the slide show! I was fine until the pictures of the Wailing Wall. Then I needed the Kleenex!

  31. 31
    LynnNGa says:

    WOW….thanks so much for sharing…I have never been there…and I truly would love to go there and walk where He walked…have a lump in my throat….thanks!!

  32. 32
    JoAnn in Houston says:

    I’m so bummed I can’t view the slideshow. I don’t have Web-Page. Please consider putting just a few pics on the blog (like you did the cappuccino pic). I would be so grateful. Nice to hear from you. Rest up and have a great weekend too.

  33. 33
    Barb says:

    Thank you so much Melissa for taking the time to share! It’s a beautiful snapshot of your trip. The tears started flowing for me too – so awesome!! Thank you for sharing some of the names of the sites – most powerful was the sign about the Wall and seeing the pictures…thank you again!!! Can’t wait to hear/see more when you have time!!

    Thank you Jesus for loving us so much!!!!

    lovingly, Barb

  34. 34
    Andrea S. says:

    Oh Melissa,
    How could we possibly not watch the whole thing through? You did a beautiful job and it looks like you must have had so very MANY breath-taking moments on this trip!

    In Him,

  35. 35
    Michele says:

    Shalom, Melissa!!
    AWESOME pics!!

    The pic of Beth eating that big round bread @ 11:35 – she needed a Starbucks in the other hand – haha! 😀

    And can I just say – for as hot as y’all said it was, y’all looked fabulous!

    Thanks for sharing, so happy your trip was blessed!

  36. 36
    Patt says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to show the pictures. They are awesome! As I was watching, my 6 yr. old daughter came in the room. I explained to her those were pictures of where Jesus lived when He was alive on Earth (including the tomb). “Wow” she said. After thinking about it for a minute, she asked “Is Bethlehem still there?” Praise God she’s listening and remembering!!
    Glad you all had a great trip and made it home safely!

  37. 37

    That video was incredible and I had tears falling down my cheeks the whole time for some crazy reason! The combination of hymns and photos gets me every time! Thanks so much for putting this together and sharing you guys!

  38. 38
    judy wine says:

    thank you so much for sharing you photos!!!

  39. 39
    Beth says:

    favorite coffee:: there’s this little place in Rome, GA called The Nest (…it’s a non-profit that is part of Connect Rome City Church ( The manager, Quincee, makes this incredible coffee that simple. It’s regular brew with a shot of caramel and a shot of white chocolate flavoring. It is incredible. I love my cappuccinos and such, but when it comes right down to it, that’s my favorite. 🙂

    • 39.1
      Cathy O'Connor says:

      Did ya’ll get to go to Shepherd’s Field?
      Have you ever used the hand cream Ahava from the Dead Sea?

  40. 40
    Jessica says:

    YAY, pictures!!!!!!! I can not WAIT to hear everything about the trip! I’ve never been to Israel, it looks beautiful. Tell us about all the smells, tastes, and sights as soon as the jet lag gets gone!!


  41. 41
    Noreen says:

    I am weeping; I am speechless. Thank you for taking me to Israel.

    Much love to you and your family.

  42. 42

    Breathtaking… I had no idea that the Holy Land is this green – and sparkling blue.
    What a life-changing experience! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
    Melissa, the video is awesome! Just 9 more, and you’ll have covered it all. 😉


    A Sis in Christ

  43. 43
    sweet anonymous says:

    Hello and welcome back to our Darling Siesta Mama,

    It sure did bless my heart to hear from you, you are so too quite loved and missed..I’m so glad you had a great trip! God is so good! On this 4th day of June I am preparing my heart and mind for a repeat MRI that will take place this coming Monday to check the status of a life threatening condition that was diagnosed on Mother’s Day. It has been my prayer that the Dr’s would say all gone and I can testify to his great healing & glory! But if it’s not He will still have my heart..My walk with Him has never been sweeter.. Love, Sweet Anonymous

    • 43.1
      Mary Ellen Hale says:

      Hi, sweet siesta ~ I am praying God’s deeply-felt presence in your heart. I love you!

  44. 44
    Gina Webster says:

    was amazing!

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together – I did so very, very much enjoy it! It was worth the time!
    Love you all, Gina

  45. 45
    Kelly S. says:

    THANK YOU so much Melissa! Honestly, I really appreciate your time and trouble. I loved not only the scenery, but the pictures of the signs and people…and the food! The music was perfect, I just loved it and am praying to go one day with my girls 🙂
    WOW, you could give Rich a run for his money!! LOL

  46. 46
    Sandy says:

    This was absolutely wonderful!!! Love it, and the photography was beautiful…

  47. 47
    Joyce Watson says:

    Actually, I am speechless and humbled. The pictures really speak to our hearts and reminds us of who Jesus really is, how he was so full of compassion, mercy and love.

    ( I see you found the coffee shop and good bread to eat. )

    The little girl sitting on the step outside the building looked so sweet. And everyone praying at the wailing wall, just really touched my heart. There all kinds of walls in this world, but there is a wall of protection around those who truely love God like all of you do. God bless you.
    Thank you for sharing in Christ!

  48. 48
    Tanya says:

    Loved this so much. Absolutely wonderful. Not your average snapshots, these beautiful photos were full of life and love!

  49. 49
    Stephanie says:

    Thanks for sharing. Your images are so different from what is shown on TV/in the media. It is humbling to see the “real” Israel. It is so beautiful! Thank you!

  50. 50
    Redeemed says:

    I wish you were giving a running commentary of what each photo was, what it meant to you and what y’all were thinking as you were there!The sign that said “Nazareth” just stopped me dead in my tracks.

    Amazing. Goose bumps galore.

    And that cappuccino….looks like liquid angels.

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