Visiting the Holy Land was a life-changing experience that I will never forget. The trip was filled with breathtaking sights, fascinating history, and profound spiritual significance. As I walked through the streets of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth, I felt as though I was stepping back in time, witnessing the birthplace of some of the world's most significant religions. The lessons I learned during my journey have stayed with me, transforming the way I view the world and my place in it. In this post, I want to share some of these lessons with you and hopefully inspire you to embark on your journey of personal growth and discovery.
The path up the side of the mountain to enter Masada.
The willingness to fight for your values, even at the cost of your life, is a powerful testament to the strength of one's convictions. Nowhere is this more evident than in the incredible story of the siege at Masada in Israel, where, in the face of an overwhelming Roman army, a small group of Jewish rebels held out for months atop the mountain fortress of Masada. Rather than surrender and be taken as slaves, they chose to take their own lives. While the decision to die rather than surrender may seem extreme, it demonstrates the power of conviction and the importance of standing up for what you believe in. The story of Masada serves as a powerful reminder that sometimes the greatest courage lies not in victory, but in the willingness to fight for what is right, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Exploring inside the 2000 year old fortress.
The fortress of Masada in Israel is an incredible tribute to the importance of protecting what we hold dear. Located atop a steep, isolated rock plateau, the fortress was built by Herod the Great in the 1st century BCE as a palace complex. Here, he would entertain visiting dignitaries and show off both his masterful stronghold as well as it’s surprising comforts such as a Roman bath house. However, it was later used by Jewish rebels as a stronghold during the First Jewish-Roman War. The Romans laid siege to Masada for several months, but the rebels were able to hold them off thanks to the fortress's strategic location and robust defenses. If there is something that you want to protect, whether it's a physical object, an idea, or a relationship, it's crucial to build protections around it and not leave it to chance. Masada is a reminder that with determination and careful planning, we can defend what matters most to us.
The Milk Grotto in Bethlehem, a cave-turned-church where the Holy Family hid from Herod before escaping to Egypt.
History has taught us that merely seeking to destroy your competition will not lead to lasting success. King Herod of Judea, who ruled around the time of Jesus, is an example of this. He was known for ruthlessly eliminating anyone he perceived as a threat, including family members. It was he who issued the edict to kill all sons under the age of 2 when he felt threatened that one would grow up and dethrone him. However, his reign was marked by instability and eventually led to the Roman occupation of Judea. It's not enough to simply eliminate your competition. It's important to focus on improving yourself and your business, rather than solely on defeating others. If you only work to destroy, you end up being destroyed in the process. These actions will only lead to the destruction of your own reputation and success. However, when you strive to be the best in your field, to develop excellence in every area of your life, good things will inevitably follow.
David's Waterfall in the Ein Gedi Oasis.
The Ein Gedi is an oasis located a few miles away from the Dead Sea. It is a fascinating juxtaposition of the harsh desert and lush tropical foliage, all in one place. It is also the location where David hid from King Saul. The story of David and Saul in Ein Gedi highlights the value of showing mercy and respect, even to those who have wronged you. King Saul was upset when David became extremely popular after killing Goliath and chased him with a force of 3,000 men in to the desert. David hid in the Ein Gedi oasis. At one point, Saul entered a cave where David was hiding, and proceeded to "relieve himself" there. David had the opportunity to kill Saul, but he chose not to, despite the encouragement of his own men. Instead, he showed Saul mercy and respect, recognizing him as an anointed king and leaving his fate in God's hands. He simply cut a piece of Saul's cloak, which he presented to the king, reminding him that he could have taken his life. This act of mercy and respect not only spared Saul's life, but it also earned David the respect and admiration of the people of Israel. It ultimately paved the way for David to become king himself, as his actions demonstrated his wisdom, strength, and compassion. It is important to treat others with kindness and respect, even when it may not be easy or popular to do so.
Hiking in the Ein Gedi Oasis.
Ein Gedi is a breathtaking oasis located in the middle of the Judean Desert, one of the driest and harshest environments in the world. It's a prime example of how even the most barren and inhospitable places on earth can conceal pockets of life and beauty. The lush vegetation, waterfalls, and streams of Ein Gedi are a stark contrast to the surrounding rocky terrain, and the wildlife that thrives there is a testament to the resilience of nature. This reminds us that, no matter how challenging or hopeless our circumstances may seem, there is always a chance for growth, renewal, and unexpected blessings. Just like the oasis of Ein Gedi, sometimes the most valuable and life-sustaining treasures are found in the most unlikely places.
Looking out over the Dead Sea in southern Israel.
Even in the midst of what appears to be barren and desolate, one can always find unexpected beauty and value. The Dead Sea is a unique natural wonder located in the harsh and seemingly uninhabitable desert between Israel and Jordan. It is the lowest point on earth and is known for its high salt and mineral content. The sea contains 10 times the salt concentration of regular seawater, which makes it almost impossible for most forms of marine life to survive. However, despite its harsh environment, the Dead Sea is home to a wealth of minerals and other elements that have numerous benefits for the human body. For centuries, people have traveled from all over the world to bathe in its mineral-rich waters and cover themselves in its black mud. The high concentration of minerals in the water and mud are believed to have therapeutic effects on various skin and joint conditions, as well as promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
Indulging in a mud facial.
In life, we often focus on the things that are pleasant and beautiful, but we forget that there is value in the less attractive things as well. The mud of the Dead Sea is a prime example of this. While it may not be the prettiest sight, its properties are truly remarkable. The mud is full of minerals and nutrients that are known to nourish the skin, rejuvenate it, and even heal certain skin conditions. Sometimes, we have to look beyond the surface to find the hidden gems that can truly make a difference in our lives. By embracing the uncomfortable, we can find hidden treasures that bring out our best selves, and the Dead Sea mud is a perfect reminder that sometimes the things we try to avoid can ultimately help us thrive.
It's a floating family!
The Dead Sea's unique environment is a testament to the idea that your worth can seem to change depending on your environment. The rocks in the Dead Sea are light and easy to lift when they are submerged in the water, but once lifted out of the water, they become surprisingly heavy and cumbersome. It really is a strange experience to feel the weight reverse so dramatically when you lift these big salt rocks out of the water. This is a reminder that sometimes, we may feel undervalued or weighed down by the circumstances we find ourselves in. But like the salt rocks in the Dead Sea, when we find ourselves in the right environment, our weight, or value, can change dramatically. It's important to keep this in mind when we feel like we're not reaching our full potential, and to continue to seek out the environments and opportunities that allow us to shine.
Get ready for more life-changing lessons! We’ve only just scratched the surface of the many incredible experiences and invaluable insights gained from exploring the ancient lands of Israel and Palestine. So, don't go anywhere, because in the coming weeks, we’ll dive even deeper into the rich culture, fascinating history, and profound wisdom that we encountered on our journey. Stay tuned and get ready to be inspired!
Plus, check out the lessons I learned in Egypt here!
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Who needs a time machine when you can explore the captivating land of Egypt? It's like stepping into a whole new world that's bursting with valuable insights for both life and business. Trust me, this place will leave you spellbound!
I’m a wife, mama to 4, baker, creator, fitness enthusiast, & 7-figure e-commerce entrepreneur, dedicated to helping you succeed in your own product-based business.
I believe that every business, and every person for that matter, has a light within them, a spark, that they need to share with the world.
Something that is already there, waiting to be drawn out into the open.
And that the more we share our light, the more the world glows and becomes more beautiful than we could ever imagine.
My goal is to help entrepreneurs find their spark and let it shine.