Leibster Award

Hello everyone! It’s been two weeks since my last blog post, and as promised, I’m back today with another post. Life has been pretty crazy these past two weeks – visiting people, spending time with family and friends, and moving halfway across the US to Chicago to finish up our trip. We head home next week, and I must admit that I’m quite ready to go home to my own bed and go to my own church and not have to go and visit people every day. 😀 Not that I don’t like visiting people, but it will be nice to have a break. Except as soon as I get home I need to start the delightful task of searching for a job. Oh, and I want to start learning how to drive. So this summer is going to be busy! Anyways, enough with my rambling – let’s get onto the blog post! 😀

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This week I was nominated for the Leibster Award by Grace from Proclaiming His Excellencies! Grace is a wonderful young lady, and I’ve had the privilege to get to know her through her the YWW as well as through her blog. Her family are going to be heading to East Africa as missionaries next week, and I’m excited to follow her journey and see what God does through them. So thanks for nominating me for the Leibster Award, Grace!! 🙂

Here are the rules:

• Acknowledge the blog that nominated you for the award

• Answer the questions they gave you

• Give 11 fun facts about yourself

• Give them 11 questions to answer

• Nominate 11 other bloggers for the award

Okey-doke, so here are Grace’s questions…

  • Favorite State/country you’ve visited? – Man, I’ve visited so many amazing places, I’m not sure I can pick a favourite! But seeing as I’ve just been there, I must say Oregon. Not only does it hold a place in my heart because my family lives there, but it is just an absolutely gorgeous state! Forests and mountains and desert and rivers – seriously it is absolutely stunning. Oh and the beaches…! My heart can’t take the beauty. 😀
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I mean just LOOK at that!! ❤

 

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I took this just last week, and my heart was full to bursting with the beauty.
  • Favorite Bible verse? – I struggle with this question because I simply can’t pick one favourite Bible verse. However, I’ll highlight 2 Corinthians 4: 7-11, 16-18, as these verses have been especially close to my heart in these past few weeks.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh…. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

 

  • If you could visit any fictional place, what would it be? – I would probably have to go for Narnia, simply because of Lewis’s amazing world building through out the series.
  • What was the last movie you watched, and on a scale of 1-10 rate it. – I believe it was The Princess and the Frog by Disney. And I didn’t really enjoy it. It was surprisingly dark for a kids movie, full of black magic and voodoo type stuff! I’d probably only give it a 3, simply because I didn’t appreciate the undercurrent of evil and darkness that ran through the movie.
  • Favourite childhood band? – When I think of the music I listened to as a kid, my mind automatically goes to Colin Buchanan, an Australian singer whose music was a staple in my house growing up. I can still sing word for word many of his songs, we listened to them so much!
  •  What genre do you love to read? – Any long time reader of my blog will immediately know my answer to this question. 😀 Historical fiction has always held a very special place in my heart, and I devour it as fast as I can get my hands on it.
  • Favourite way to eat potatoes? – Probably roasted. My mum makes the best roasted potatoes – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and delightfully seasoned all over. Yum! 😀
  • A favourite attribute of God? – God’s grace is one of his attributes that I’ve been reminded about again and again over the course of my life. He’s so good and loves to give grace to us when we stumble. I find it so comforting to know that I have a God who looks at me with love and gives me grace no matter how many times I fail him.
  • Dream car? – I can’t say that I’m exactly the type to dream about my future cars. 😀 In fact, I’m currently just dreaming about learning to drive. So at this point any car that I can call my own is pretty much my dream car. 😀 But I guess a blue car would be nice in terms of ‘dream car’.
  • Favourite artist? – By artist I’m assuming you mean painter. And my favourite painter has to be Mary Cassatt. I wrote a multi-genre research paper about her last year, and in the process totally fell in love with her style of painting and the story of her life. Do me a favour and go look up some of her work – I promise it will be time well spent!
  • A favourite TV show? –  Well, my family doesn’t have a TV, so we are kind of limited in the TV shows that we watch. The one that we watch the most though is called Counting On, about the Duggar family. We’ve enjoyed watching the Duggars for years, as they are pretty similar to us – Christians, home schoolers, and a large family, though their version of large is pretty different to ours! 😀 The show is good fun to watch, and our whole family enjoys seeing what they get up to.

Thanks for the questions, Grace, they were fun! 🙂 Now for 11 fun facts about myself…

  1. My favourite beverage is water. Seriously. I drink water pretty much as constantly as I can. And more when I’m sick. 😀
  2. When I was a kid, my dream job was to own a horse farm.
  3. As of next week, I will have been on 22 transatlantic flights during the course of my life.
  4. I can do this weird thing where I turn my toes underneath my feet and then walk on the knuckles of my toes. I didn’t think it was weird until I found out that pretty much nobody can do that. Maybe I’m double jointed in my toes or something? 😀
  5. I have never been farther west than the Pacific coast of Oregon, or farther east than Italy.
  6. I am the only left-handed member of my immediate family.
  7. I’m an ENFP.
  8. I can touch type at a pretty tolerable speed, thanks to a typing program that I endured during several years of homeschooling. Can’t say that I enjoyed the program at the time, but I enjoy being able to type well now! 😀
  9. Despite having a deep love for writing, I never can seem to keep up with a journal. It’s one of my ‘I-wish-I-could-do-this’ type of dreams to keep up with a journal consistently. Buuuut, I need to actually start trying one of these days. 😀
  10. I am a night owl at heart – give me a good book and I will happily stay up to the wee hours of the morning every day of the week.
  11. I put up a new ‘About the Writer’ page just last week! You can check it out here.

Now to nominate 11 other bloggers…

Bethany from The Treasure Within

Ruqs from Many Things Bookish

Maggie from Dreaming of Guatemala

Grace from Tizzie’s Tidbits of Truth

Charis from Charis Rae

Meghan from The Auburn Writer

Bethany from Behind the Pen

Julia from The Barefoot Gal

Sarah from Defy Augury

Abby from When Words Fly

Sarah from The Introverted Extrovert

And here are your questions!

  1. Who/what inspires you the most?
  2. What is the best book you have read this year?
  3. What’s been your favourite moment of your week?
  4. Who/what made you laugh today?
  5. If you could be hired tomorrow, what job would it be for and why?
  6. What’s your favourite mode of transportation?
  7. Would you rather be an only child or have 10 siblings?
  8. Where would you prefer to holiday – an apartment in a city full of history, or a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere?
  9. What is your favourite thing to blog about?
  10. If you could meet one person from history, who would it be and why?
  11. Favourite ice cream flavour?

Well, that wraps up this edition of the Leibster Award for The Way of Delight… Thank you again Grace, I had fun answering all your questions! And I hope all my readers enjoyed getting to know me a bit more… 😉 I’ll be back in a fortnight, and then I hope to take weekly blogging back up again after that. See y’all then! 🙂

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Heading home soon… Can’t wait! (this was my baby sister on the way to Chicago <3)

 

 

 

 

Behind the Pen Photo Challenge – Week 4

Hello! Welcome back to the fourth and final week of the Behind the Pen Photo Challenge! I hope that you’ve enjoyed April’s posts on this subject – I’ve certainly enjoyed compiling them for you all! 🙂 I’m short on time, so I’ll keep this intro short this week, and cut straight to the pictures (which seem to be mostly screenshots this week, sorry about that. :D).

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*My Workspace  A Favourite Writing Prompt*

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The original prompt was to take a picture of my workspace – but I already did that when I showed you my desk. So I’ve taken the liberties of replacing it with my favourite writing prompt. I found this one on Pinterest and really like it. I already have a poem idea percolating in my head! We’ll see what I come up with… 😀

 

*My Favourite Writing Website/Book*

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Guys. If I could point to one single thing that has helped me the most in my writing journey, this would be it. The Young Writer’s Workshop. It is seriously the best resource for young writers I have ever come across. I have met so many amazing people in this community and learnt so much from the content provided. This is definitely my favourite writing resource, and if you are a young writer I’d most definitely encourage you to check this program out for yourself! You can find out more here!

 

*Favourite Blog/Website*

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I’ve been following this blog for several years now. Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) is an author who shares her writing journey on her blog, Noveltea. I’ve loved learning more about the craft of writing from Lydia, as well as getting to see behind the scenes into the life of a writer. You should definitely check her blog out! 🙂

 

*A Quote From An Old Project*

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This is a screenshot of the (very inspiring :D) opening words to one of the first proper stories I ever wrote, at the tender age of 10. It covered four pages (originally hand written) and I was extremely proud of it. 😀 Now looking back, the plot and punctuation left something to be desired, but it’s very cute reading my little 10 year old efforts, as well as cool to see how far I’ve come on my writing journey!

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Thus the Behind the Pen Photo challenge is officially brought to a close! Let me know what you’ve thought about it in the comments down below – I’d love to hear from you! 🙂 Next week I’ll be back with something more normal to share – book reviews or a poem most likely. After a month of sharing photos, I’ve got a lot of book reviews to share! 😀

Currently Reading Book Tag

Well hello there! Welcome back! 🙂 How was your week ? Mine has been pretty busy, what with celebrating Thanksgiving and lots of school work (what else is new :D). But it’s been good, and I’m starting to get really excited for Christmas! I suppose I should warn you all that I am slightly crazy when comes to Christmas. 😀 It’s my absolute favourite holiday, and I love to milk it for all it is worth. So bring it on – Thanksgiving is over, it’s time for Christmas!! 😀

So this week I was tagged by the lovely Ruqs over at Many Things Bookish to do the ‘Currently Reading Book’ tag. Thank you, Ruqs! 🙂 So without further ado, let’s get on to the questions:

  • How many books do you usually read at once? – It really depends. I normally have at least one school-related book and one pleasure-related book going at one time. But I often have more than that, so that’s just the bare minimum really. Right now I have probably about 4-5 books that I’m reading.
  • If you are reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch books? – Well ideally I read the books that I need to read for school first, leaving the pleasure books for when I’ve finished everything else. But that’s more of an ideal than anything else. 😀 I’ll normally switch between books either when I need to due to school deadlines, or when I’ve gotten tired of one and fancy a taste of the other. But to be honest, I read so fast that often I’ll have finished the book before I have a chance to put it down and read something else.
  • Do you ever switch bookmarks while you are partway through a book? – Is it terrible that I don’t really use bookmarks? I tend to either read so fast that I’ll finish the book in one sitting 😀 or I’ll just try to remember what chapter I’m on. Or, in a pinch I’ll grab a pencil or a piece of paper and stick it in so I don’t lose my place. But I would say 80% of the time I don’t use bookmarks.
  • Where do you keep the book(s) you are currently reading? – On my desk. I have a lined up stack of books I’m currently reading, are on my TBR, or I’ve just finished sitting in the corner. When I’m feeling organised, I put my school-related books in their related desk drawers. But I’ve got more books sitting on my desk than inside my desk. 😀
  • What time of day do you spend the most time reading? – Haha, I think the question would be better of as ‘what time of day don’t you spend reading?’ 😀 It varies hugely, depending on my schedule and what work I have to do. Ideally I’d do my school-related reading during the day, and my pleasure reading at night, but again, I’m afraid that’s just an ideal… I’ll grab any spare moment I can to squeeze in reading!
  • How long do you typically read in one sitting? – Again, it really varies. I can spend anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours straight reading. Last night I read for 90 minutes straight. It was lovely. 😀 But yeah, it really just depends on where and when I can find the time.
  • Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket on or off? – Hmmm… Thinking about it, I don’t actually read that many hardbacks. But when I do, I think I just leave them on – unless they’re hampering my reading (aka. falling off). Then I take them off.
  • What position do you mainly use to read? – I’ve probably used pretty much every position you can think of. 😀 Lying face down/face up on my bed, curled up on the couch, perched in my desk chair, sitting on the trampoline, while walking, while vacuuming, up in a tree, hiding in a closet, upside down, in a car – you get the picture. 😀 But though my reading positions vary widely, I’d have to say the first three mentioned above are the ones I use the most.
  • Do you take the book you are currently reading with you everywhere? – If I know I’ll be in a position to read, then yes. So if I know I’m going to be in the car for 40 minutes, or babysitting for an evening, then yes I’ll definitely bring it. But if I’m driving 5 minutes to church, or popping out to the store, then I wouldn’t. It’s just not worth it to bring a book when you know you won’t be able to read it. 😀
  • How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you’re currently reading? – I’m afraid I must confess that I do not use Goodreads. :/ I know of it, but as of yet, I have not jumped into using it. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it though, so perhaps I’ll make the plunge one day! 😀

And I’m going to tag Bethany from The Treasure Within, Bethany from Behind the Pen, and Lydia from Noveltea.

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers to the questions! 🙂

See you back here next Saturday! 😉

 

Liebster Award x2!

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This week I have another blog award post for you! I was nominated for the Liebster Award  by both Cora from  Cora’s Bits and Pieces and Anna from Northern Hearts Alaska . Thanks,  Cora and Anna!

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award on your blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  • List 11 random fact about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers who you think are deserving of this award (with less than 200 followers).
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

Okey-doke, here are the answers to the questions!

Cora’s Questions:

  1. Do you have a pet? – Yes, I do! I have two rabbits named Sandy and Sleepy that are very old, but still very cute. 😀
  2. Favourite topic to blog about? – It’s probably a tie between sharing my favourite books, and sharing my favourite pieces of writing. And since that is what my blog is about, it’s a good thing I like doing that! 😀
  3. What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Well if I’m in an unhealthy mood, I love a good cinnamon roll… Mmm! But if I’m trying to be healthy, I really like having fruit smoothies!
  4. What is your favorite school subject and why? – It’s a dead-on tie between History and English. I’ve loved history for as long as I can remember – something about all the stories hidden in the past just waiting to be discovered thrills me! But then I absolutely love putting those stories down into writing – i.e. English. Writing gives me a huge amount of joy, and learning how to write better is something that I’m trying to work at. So I guess I’ll just just leave it at that – History and English, my two favourite subjects. ❤
  5. What’s your favorite colour? – Blue, all the way! I love pretty much every shade and variation of that frabjous colour. 😀
  6. Favorite song? – Ok, now that’s hard!! Just one song?? I like so many different types of music! But I guess if I narrow it down to my favourite Christian song (since that is the genre I listen to most) and even further down to ones we sing at my Church, that leaves me with… still a very large pool of songs. 😀 I guess I’ll just go with one of my favourites. Which would be ‘This is Amazing Grace’ by Phil Wickham. I really love that song a lot! The message is so true and so encouraging!
  7. Do you like sports? If so which ones? – By  like, do you mean to play or to watch? I guess I’ll do both. I’m not really a hugely sporty girl, but to play, I enjoy swimming and martial arts. To watch, I love gymnastics and figure skating.
  8. What’s the strangest place you’ve ever been? – Strangest? Ummm… Strange situationally or strange geographically? I’ve been to lots of random places, but I’m not sure if they count as strange. But would the engine room of a ship count as strange? That was pretty interesting but in a randomly strange way. 😀
  9. Favorite fruit? – Oooh, again, that’s a hard one! I will have to say peaches. Because seriously, can any fruit be better than a warm-from-the-sun, juicy, sweet peach?? Mmmm…
  10. Do you like to be hot or cold better? – I would say hot. Because that means it’s more likely to be summer, and I love summer!! But not super-duper hot, and not humid. I like around 25 degrees Celcius (which is pretty hot for England) ( that would be 77 Fahrenheit for my American readers) with low humidity.
  11. Why did you start your blog? – Well, I wanted a place where I could share my writing with others, but also something that would keep me writing on a consistent basis. And a blog fit the bill!

Anna’s Questions:

  1. What is your favorite season? – SUMMER!!! I love the warmth and the sunshine and the freedom of cool dresses and bare feet. Plus the fact that everything is alive and that there is no school stress, just relaxing to be done!  I love pretty much everything about summer! ❤
  2. Coffee or tea? – Well I don’t drink either. But I love the smell of coffee, and I sometimes drink herbal teas. But that gets me to an even position again. Soooo… both..? 😛
  3. If you could go one place in the world where would it be? – This might seem kind of mundane, but I would absolutely love to travel around the East coast and down to the South of the US. There is so much history down there, and I would love to see all the places I’ve read about in my history textbooks. Especially all the places involved in the Civil War!
  4. What’s your best article/story you’ve ever written? –  I think a story that won honorable mention in a contest was probably one of my best. I might post it on here one day! 😉
  5. Dream vacation spot? – A beach in a warm place. Preferably with turquoise waters, pearly sands and shimmering sunshine.
  6. Why do you write? – Because I love it. Writing gives me joy and satisfaction, it poses a challenge and it draws me to it. It’s something that has become more and more a part of myself as the years have gone on. 
  7. Do you read mostly in the Old Testament or New Testament? – I try to read a good mixture of both! I’m aiming to read the Bible through at least once this year. I’ve been in the NT for the past couple months, but I’ve just recently come back into the OT for a nice dosage of some prophets – Isaiah to be precise!
  8. The Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit? (books or movies) – I know that probably most my readers are going to recoil in horror at my answer, but… neither. Because I haven’t read or watched either yet! It’s on my list of ‘things I will do someday in the future’. And I will do it… one day in the future. 😀
  9. ‘If you could make a cake in whatever flavor you wanted, what would it be? – Something peanut-buttery. My family is conflicted over the subject of peanut butter – some like it, some love it, and some vehemently hate it. So even though I love it, I’ve never made a peanut-butter-something cake because there are too many people to shout the idea down. But I have loads of recipes on Pinterest that I would love to try! That’s another thing on my ‘things I will do someday in the future’ list. 😀
  10. What’s your least favorite holiday, and why? – Probably Halloween. It saddens me to see people celebrating darkness and evil. (For you Americans – in England the dark side of it is a lot more pronounced here than over there.)
  11. Who is your hero? – Jesus. He is the one person who I would love to completely and utterly copy every action and thought from. And that’s what I’m trying to do, though I fail more often than not. It’s a good thing he is overflowing with grace and love for fallen people like us!

11 Facts About Me:

  1. I’ve read 122 books so far this year.
  2. I have never been to school in my life. (#homeschooled :D)
  3. I play guitar and bass guitar.
  4. One of my best friends lives over 4000 miles away from me.
  5. I’ve lived in 6 different houses in my 16 years.
  6. I witnessed the birth of my youngest sibling.
  7. I do not own a phone.
  8. I have two passports – one English, and one American!
  9. Chocolate chip cookie dough is one of the best things ever. 😛
  10. My current WIP story/book that I’ve been writing is just over 25,000 words long.
  11. I am going to Holland for two weeks tomorrow! (posts will be scheduled, but no comments will be moderated until I return.)

And now for the people to nominate… I’m going to nominate:

Anyone!

Due to lack of time to find people that haven’t done it yet, I’m opening this award to anyone who reads this post and wants to do it – either in the comments or on your blog! Have fun! 🙂

Here are your questions:

  1. What are your top 3 favourite books?
  2. How do you like your eggs – fried, scrambled, or other?
  3. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  4. Would you rather live for the rest of your life without pillows or without blankets?
  5. If you could meet any author from any time – past or present, who would it be and why?
  6. What is your favourite joke?
  7. Introvert or Extrovert?
  8. What is your favourite thing to write (e.g. – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc)
  9. What is your dream job?
  10. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future? Why?
  11. What is your favourite holiday, and why?

Okey-doke, that’s it for this week. Thanks for sticking with me through this very long post! 🙂

5 Things God Taught Me on my Short Term Mission Trip

This past week I had the pleasure of guest posting on Heather’s Ambitions. I wrote about some of the lessons that God taught me while I was in Ireland. Click here to view it on her blog.

Today I’m going to be reposting it here on my blog. I hope you enjoy it!

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Recently I had the opportunity to go to Ireland for a two-week mission trip. I worked with an organization called OM Ireland (OM = Operation Mobilization), and I participated in their Impact Ireland short-term mission. The first week the teams were given training, and the second week we split up and went to six different towns all over Ireland. During that next week, my team worked with a local church doing a variety of outreaches – kids clubs, street evangelism, visiting nursing homes, and doing community outreach events. It was a challenging time for me, as I was stretched and pulled out of my comfort zone in many different ways. However, I came out of the two weeks feeling very encouraged by all that I had experienced, and blessed by all the things that God taught me. Here are a few of the main lessons that I learned during that time.

  1. God’s love really does transform lives – I was so blessed to meet many different people during my time in Ireland. As I got to know my team members and local believers, I was constantly being confronted with the reality of God’s transforming love. I met people who had been Christians for many years, and came from normal, average places in life, but were willing to come to Ireland to share the love that Christ had so freely lavished on them. I met people who were local townsfolk, who have incredibly rough and broken pasts. But they are on fire to share the transformation that had come about in their lives through Christ’s love. Each person had their own story of how God had changed them, and it was amazing to see!
  2. God has the power to unite random, ordinary people – My team was composed of people from 8 different countries, aged from young teenagers to middle-aged adults. Coming from all sorts of backgrounds in life, both socially and spiritually, we were a random bunch of just ordinary people. Because of Christ’s transforming power in our lives, we were all united in the same Saviour, with the uniting passion to share the Gospel. That is what is so amazing about being a Christian! You automatically have a giant family of brothers and sisters who, though very different in many ways, are all united with the same bond – Christ. I saw the power of that bond very clearly during my time in Ireland serving with the team.
  3. God uses random, ordinary people to make an impact – When the Gospel transforms people, it then unites them, and then it empowers them to make an impact in other people’s lives. God loves variety, and when a variety of united people serve him, he uses it to his glory! Because of how diverse my team was, we were able to reach out in many different ways. Some people were amazing at children’s work, others were better at engaging people on the streets. Still others found their niche in serving practically by cleaning and cooking. But God used everyone’s unique talents to reach a wide spectrum of people with his love.
  4. God strengthens those who serve him – I’m surprised at the amount of energy I had considering the intensity and busyness of the two-week outreach. During the first week we had at least 3 training sessions a day, covering a huge amount of information that we would need during the next week of outreach. The second week was crazy busy with full schedules of kids’ work and evangelism. Every night was a late night (or very early morning, depending on how you look at it!), and there were last minute changed plans and working around holes in those plans. Under normal circumstances, I probably would’ve crashed and burned at some point due to the lack of sleep and hectic nature of our schedule. But, I didn’t! God kept giving more and more strength, energy, and grace. When I felt like I couldn’t go on, I found I could. It wasn’t in my own strength that I was working; it was in Christ’s. He sees when we strive to serve him, and he gives us the strength that we need to continue. He truly is good!
  5. God cares about the little things – Sometimes you just have to laugh at how impeccable God’s timing is. I can think of many occasions during the two weeks when he brought just the right person along at just the right time when we desperately needed help. I remember the many divinely appointed conversations we had with people while we were out on the streets. I could tell many stories about all the times God showed he cared about details. He sent just the right kids along to the kids clubs, he provided new face painting brushes just when we needed them, he brought specific people we’d prayed for along to a Gospel presentation – all very little, and sometimes seemingly insignificant details. But not in his eyes! He sees everything, and fits every little detail into his perfect plan. I was reminded so many times of how much he really cares about the details.

I came away from Ireland with a myriad of different emotions swirling in me. Sadness at having to say goodbye to the team that I had so closely bonded and served with. Excitement at seeing how God used us and how he is continuing to work in Ireland. Wonder at seeing how God has the amazing power to lavish love on sinners and totally transform us. And probably most of all, gratitude: for the opportunities I was given to serve and be stretched, and for all the lessons that I learned.

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My team and I praying together on our last evening together.