Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Lessons Learned.

{so many lovely cookbooks}

So the time has come for me to return home- yay!

I.ve learned a lot in the past 9 months that will stick with me, such as-

- More about farming, tractors, and all other farm equipment than I ever thought I would -
- All of the words to the theme songs of every cbbc show as well as all of the characters names - 
and perhaps on a more serious note
- how to prepare and cook a chicken -
{don.t worry- I cooked it after the photo was taken}
All of that as well as an assortment of other highly valuable life lessons that I get the sense, I will continue to learn and profit from for a long while yet. 

Now, for the questions I know a lot of you will want answers to- 

- How do I feel about coming home? -
Absolutely thrilled!
Don.t get me wrong, I love Ireland and have loved living here. Everything I have done, the experiences I have had- they.re invaluable. 
However, my heart craves family, friends, & all things familiar- I am quite ready to be home for however long God keeps me there. 

- What's next?
Honestly- not a clue.
There.s something slightly thrilling about that- the possibilities are endless!
Yes, that can be slightly overwhelming when considered in the wee hours of the night, but I.m trusting God has things well in hand for me.
{'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures }
I have a few thoughts as to the direction but no definite presently.

So for now, I.ll be on holiday- catching up with family and friends- while I start to investigate the various options presenting themselves. 


Thursday, 31 May 2012

The World Spins Madly On.

[summer must be near]
     The speed at which time passes blows my mind. I can.t quite grasp that tomorrow is June and I have been here for 5 months- five challenging months.
     One of the things I have learned about myself in those five months is that I fail at blogging. I love how those of us who venture out from our seemingly safe harbors to explore a new corner of creation all promise to blog and keep the rest of the world updated as to what this new corner is like- and then forget after the first entry or two. [guilty].
      So what have I been up to?
      Well, aside from this crash course on parenting that is nannying, I have recently begun venturing into a few new creative realms.
       About two months ago the overwhelming amount of down time I had in the evenings inspired me to take up the art of quilting. I set out to hand-sew an entire quilt made out of scarves which I purchased on the cheap. After a whole lot of cutting, stitching, failed attempts, re-inspiration, and even more stitching, I am proud to say that my quilt top is verging on completion! [I.ll post pictures when it.s done] Honestly- it.s not my favorite thing, but it has led to the discovery of something new that I really enjoy doing. I am already looking at fabric to purchase for my next, more polished attempt [exciting!]
[Massive chunk of soap!]
       I have also officially set about the operation of making soap! A few weeks back, we were brainstorming as to new products we could put in the gift shop here and I suggested making soap. So this week our 11 pound block of shea butter soap arrived along with various scented oils and the experiment began. It.s super easy and super fun! So far I have made a batch of lemon verbena that smell amazing and have grated lemon skin in it to add a bit of color. I.ve also made sample bars of a rose soap- with crushed rose petals, a lavender & amber soap with crushed lavender in it, and [my personal favorite] fig leaf with crushed fig leaves- everyone cannot stop smelling the fig leaf haha. Hopefully our customers love them as much as we do!
     So there.s a little peek into what I.ve been up to lately.

Sunday, 29 April 2012


As I sit here on this rainy sunday with outdoor temperatures in the 30.s and indoor temps not too far off, here are a few things I.m very thankful for...

[steaming, hot mugs of tea that warm me to the core]

[wool blankets, wool socks, wool sweaters, wool everything]

[hot water bottles to warm my bed and cuddle with]

[somewhat dependable hot baths]

hope things are much warmer or at least, just as cozy, where you are today! 

Saturday, 28 April 2012


For those of you who haven.t heard, I will be remaining in Ireland until the end of August. 
[Although they are doing their best to get me to remain longer]. 

During my time here I.ve found myself missing my life in America. When I was offered the opportunity to stay on, my first thought was -but... I don.t have a life here-. 
What my thoughts meant by that was something in reference to the lack of a social life that I have had here and the odd feeling that the life I was living prior to Ireland was kind of on hold...
It.s like when you go on vacation and in a sense push pause on the everyday for the extent of your trip and then you eventualy return to reality and push play. It.s a break from life as you live it. 
I.ve also had so many people referring to this as my gap year- oh, so you.re taking a year off-
A year off from what? Well real life of course... According to them, I have put my real life on hold and am existing in a pseudo life limbo. 

I was watching a film one night and I heard this quote:
[This is your life. Right now. It doesn't wait for you]
It has taken me a long time to get my mind around the idea that I do live here, for now. 
This is my life, right now, and it would be a total waste if I didn.t embrace it and seek to live it the best I know how. 

I am so thankful for my time here so far because of all the Lord has shown me that are now shaping me and how I live. 
[I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go].
Isaiah 48:17

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Oh and by the way...

I GOT MY VISA! such a relief!
Well that was a total God thing... 
Last week, after trying two other offices, I finally got a hold of the office I thought I needed to see to get my visa. Made an appointment, drove an hour, waited 15 minutes, listened to a crazy woman tell me about the knife fight she was just in, then went in. Then the lady, who made it very evident she wasn.t pleased with me and what I wanted, curtly informed me I was in the wrong place and I needed to speak to an office in Enniscorthy. I left, annoyed she couldn.t have told me that over the phone, frustrated by the distance driven and time wasted, and discouraged by her negative reaction to my plea.  
 So I called the office in Enniscorthy about 10 times over the course of 4 days. I finally got a hold of the man I needed yesterday, a cheery ol chap who politely informed me that no, I didn't need to talk to him, I needed to talk to the office in Gorey. Not wasting any time, I immediately called up Gorey and was relieved when I was told I could have an appointment for this morning. 
Last night I went for a walk [the weather has been so perfect!] and spent a lot of it praying about this appointment. I was feeling very positive but I really wanted others to know and be praying as well, however the internet here was down for the past 3 days and I wasn't able to reach out to anyone to let them know what was happening. 
I got in bed, turned out the light and was still praying about it when a verse came into my mind and I couldn't remember the exact wording, that usually doesn't bother me but I just really had this strong urge to look up the verse. So I rolled over, turned on the light and grabbed my Bible, and it literally plunked open to Hebrews 13 and my eyes landed on this verse 
[For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”]

It was definitely a Spirit led thing that gave me a lot of peace and I also saw a verse that referenced how the Lord will equip us with all we need to carry out His will and it made me think how if it's God's will that I stay in Ireland, He will equip me with a visa. 
So today we went to the new office and to my great relief, the Lady was super nice! 
Everything was going so well...She looked over my paper work, and started to fill out the form and then stopped and said she would have to check something. She came back and told me that I was at the wrong station but she.d call the one she thought I should go to... My heart stopped for a moment -I knew the office she would call and the lady she would talk to and how that lady was not my biggest fan. So she called and I prayed- hard, and the woman she wanted to get ahold of didn't pick up [few!]- I began to try and piece together the next step and then, total God moment- she goes, ya know you're here, let me just do it and I'll let them know.
so I.m officially cleared to stay in Ireland. 
The more I think back on this morning the more I can see how God worked it out. The lady didn't ask me any questions about what I was doing, barely looked at my passport and letter from Huntington, didn't even ask for other documentation I was told would be needed. She just did it! 
I found out today, after the internet finally kicked back in that last night- when I most craved prayer but was unable to ask, people were praying for me and this situation at my home churches prayer meeting.
God is good.  

Friday, 9 March 2012



365 days ago I boarded a plane with 11 friends and left America for the first time, bound for Ireland, not knowing how much that week would shape me.
God used so many different things from that trip to grow and change me. So many lessons taught and desires shaped in the past year from that one week. 
From those lessons and trials, God taught me about perseverance and patient hope. 
.[we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us].
With those lessons, came ones about trusting in the Lord's plan for my future.
.[In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps].
Even though it hurt, I learned my happiness was ultimately in the Lord and His plans form and not in that which I thought would make me happy.
.[I will never forget this time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”].
And after having learned all of this, I have found this one thing to be true.
.[Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart].
Very little time passed in that year that I was  not thinking about Ireland and my desire to return there. 
Now, 365 days later, I find myself again in Ireland. It's quite different than I had envisioned, but I believe it is what the Lord envisioned when I prayed to return and I trust that He is again at work in the midst of this and teaching me new lessons. 
.[The LORD will fulfil his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures for ever].

Thursday, 1 March 2012

To the Sea

.[I have always loved the beach. The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combine to create a sense of peace, calm, and home].
I have not been so happy to see a beach in a very long team.
Yesterday the entire house decided to take Wednesday off, so I wandered down to Ireland's oldest city, Waterford. While I had been looking forward to this adventure, by the time I got there I was in a bit of a funk and didn.t really know what to do with myself. So I went back to the bus station and found a bus to the coast and hopped on.
This took me to the very sleepy coastal town of Tramore.  
I wound my way down the quiet streets, catching glimpses of the sea through the buildings as the road twisted and turned its way down the rugged cliff on which the town is set. As the small stretch of beach finally appeared, suddenly, everything was right in the world. I rushed out onto the beach and breathed deep as I took in scents and sounds I didn.t realize I had been missing until that moment. As I kicked off my boots and let the waves lap my bare feet and embraced the feeling of the sand, this feeling of normalcy descended upon me.  Nothing has felt that normal in the last two months.