Back to Israel

Israel, wow you have gone and done it again and given me another trip of a lifetime.

The first time John Luke went to Israel was our spring break in 2016. We went with our school with some of our closest friends and it made for some off the greatest times and memories of my life. I was afraid any trip back would pale in comparison to that one, but this was not the case AT ALL.

This place holds a special place in my heart. I truly do love it there and love the people. The last time we were there the whole Bible just came to life. Shlomo, our tour guide used the phrase, “It’s like reading the Bible in 3D.” I remember sitting on the southern steps in Jerusalem when my “aha!” moment happened and so much just started making sense. On this recent trip, as well as learning about Israel in biblical times, I also feel like I learned so much about current Israel. Learning about the prophecies that are being fulfilled, and hearing more about the heart of the Jewish people.  It was so surreal sitting in church in Louisiana on Christmas Eve, listening to our pastor preach on Jerusalem, when I had just been walking those very streets.

Israel has been in the news lately, and since we’ve been back I’ve been asked if we felt safe there or not, and the answer is YES. On the last night of Hanukkah, some of us went out to dinner, and I truly felt so at home walking around that little outdoor mall. All these families were out and everyone was singing and dancing and full of joy, and it just felt like we were walking amongst friends. Everyone we encountered was so kind.

It truly was a privilege to get to walk where Jesus walked. We serve a God who loves us enough that He sent down His only son, who took on flesh and lived on this earth. Fully God and fully human. It’s hard to even wrap my mind around. I’m just left feeling so thankful for His love and thankful for His faithfulness to us.  I think everyone should try and make there way over to the Holy Land if at all possible. It will change your life. But if you never get the opportunity to go, this was the biggest thing I took away two years ago: You can be just as close to God in your own home, as you can in Israel. When you become a believer His Spirit comes to live IN you!

It truly is difficult for me to even begin to describe this trip to you, because I still feel at such a loss for words just thinking about it! So many thoughts and emotions were swirling through my head while we were there and still are. To sum it all up, I am so thankful for he opportunity to go back to Israel and get to experience it all over again with family. It was such a blessing to be in the Holy land.

Day 1:


Sea of Galilee

*where Jesus walked on water, Matthew 14

Mt. of Beatitudes 

Jesus preached the sermon on the Mt., Matthew 5


Jesus lived for a while and taught in the synagogue and healed Peter’s mother-in-law, Luke 4

Day 2:

Caesarea Maritime

Major city built by King Herod

Mt. Carmel

Elijah called down fire, 1 Kings 18

Mt. Precipice

where the angry mob took Jesus to throw him off the cliff, Luke 4

Jordan River

where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, Matthew 3

Day 3:

Drive from Tiberius to Jerusalem


if you ever find yourself in Bethlehem, go visit The Three Arches for your souvenirs! They are Christians in Bethlehem so it’d be so great to support them. Not to mention they probably have the most beautiful carved olive wood.

where Jesus was born, Luke 2

Day 4:

Mt. of Olives

Garden of Gethsemane

where Jesus went to pray before He was crucified, Matthew 26

Inner city of Jerusalem

Via Dolorosa

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the traditional view the Catholic Church holds of where Jesus walked with the cross and was crucified

Pools of Bethesda

where Jesus healed the lame man, John 5

Day 5:

En Gedi

Qumran, read here

Masada, read here

The Dead Sea

Day 6:

Palace of David

read about David’s life in 1 & 2 Samuel….some of my favorites books of the Bible!!

Garden Tomb

you can shop the links below


here’s the boots you guys are always asking about haha, here

my watch

my quarter-button shirt (Actually JL’s haha. I think it’s this one! Same brand, I think the color just looks different online maybe??)

my swimsuit

my flannel


16 comments so far.

16 responses to “Back to Israel”

  1. Karmyn says:

    Love love love your posts ❤️

  2. Lydia Carroll says:

    Looks so awesome! And a lot of fun! Also where is your watch from ? The green one!

  3. Ashli Reid says:

    I loved seeing where you went and hope to one day walk where Jesus walked so long ago! It’s amazing to understand the Bible in “real person” time and read the pages while walking alongside our father of truth and love. Did you see anything new on this second trip that you didn’t in the first?

    • marykate says:

      I so hope you get to one day! We did get to see some new places, and there are still places we still didn’t even get to see…goodness there is just so much to see and do there! This trip we got to go to Mt. Precipice, some underground exploring of new excavations, the upper room, and the Church of St. Peter, just to name a few off the top of my head!

  4. Lindsay says:

    Hey! I just want you to know how much I love your blog! Very inspirational and Godly! Have you ever considered vloging on YouTube! Would love to see videos!

    • marykate says:

      thank you so much, I really appreciate that! I have thought of doing some videos as well, but probably not super soon…I’m going to have to finish school so I’ll have a little more time on my hands haha 🙂

  5. Damaris says:

    Seems like such a neat trip! Definitely on my bucket list!! I just love your pictures and descriptions and they definitely seem to make the places come to life! I remember when my dad went to Israel earlier this year he was just bubbling with stories and experiences of his adventures in the Bible Land! So neat! ✨

  6. Allanah says:

    Wow it is so neat you have gone twice! It looks beautiful; I want to visit so bad! Love all your pictures!! <3

  7. Caroline Ritchie says:

    Hey Mary-Kate,

    My friend and I are college students who have been talking about visiting Israel to live out the Bible and expand our understanding. Both of us have grown immensely in the past year with our relationship with God and we feel like as we are getting older, we are able to understand more what it means to follow Christ. It would be an honor to be baptized where He was in honor of this new-found and growing faith we have gained. However, neither of us has any idea how to plan and prepare. Do you have any tips? Also, with costs and such, could you please give an estimate about how much a trip like this would be?

    Thank you so much for your help in this manner!

  8. Allison James says:

    My husband and I just booked a trip for May, seeing your post gets me even more excited about it!

  9. JJ says:

    Looks incredible!! I’ve been wanting to visit Israel ever since your Spring Break post about your first trip 🙂 With the new year just starting, I decided to write a blog post about resolutions but also a TRAVEL BUCKET LIST which includes Israel! Hopefully I’ll get to visit in the near future 🙂

  10. Erica says:

    Hey Mary Kate! We’re os your orange watch from?

  11. Fanny says:

    And wonderful pictures ! Which camera are you using ? And how do you edit your photos ?

  12. Esther says:

    Just got back from Israel and this brings back so many good memories! Israel is such a special and beautiful land to visit. ?
    Thanks for posting! I loved all your pictures

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