I returned to Ireland after a lovely Christmas & New Year only to find it a frozen tundra! It was spectacular! Breath taking! I have only ever seen a land more beautiful once time back when Dayton, Ohio turned into complete ice in the 1990's. I felt like I was in Narnia. There was snow, & snowmen, & joy on people's faces. Ireland frozen, time stood still, & we had a little more time to welcome in this new decade. Happy New Year!
Yes the NFL comes to London once a year for a game now! You have to enter into a raffle & if your name is chosen then you can buy tickets. Well back in February my name was chosen!!! Three of my colleagues wanted tickets as well, so we bought four tickets. As life would have it, two people had to back out so another colleague & one of my friends decided to come along. The game was between Tampa Bay & the Patriots. It was held at Wembley Stadium which holds 80,000. There was even a big tailgate party leading up to the game. It was filled with basic NFL facts. They sold chilli cheese dogs! There was a tent though that had the Lombardi Trophy on display!!! Did you know that thing is made by Tiffany's... It all makes sense now why I am drawn to football. The game really wasn't a game at all as Tampa Bay really didn't show up. The stands weren't very loud unless a big play went down & people remained seated unless they were cheering which as stated before was not that much. Those things were the reminder that we were watching the NFL, but were not in the States. But it was big fun none-the-less! I hope my name gets drawn this yr too! What a brilliant treat it was... the NFL in London!
Andrew & I collecting the tickets
Chilli Cheese Dog goodness with Jon.
biggest piece of Tiffany's I will ever come close to.
Summer is over! I always get sad at the beginning of Autumn. I think I
get sad because I don't have the adrenaline rush of back to school
supplies, clothes, & seeing friends. It means back to a routine.
It's hard to start a routine again when summer has offered super fun
adventures; planned & unplanned. Summer equals time to explore.
Autumn feels like it robs me of that joy. I am going to start planning
times of exploring in this time of routine. On the other hand routine
is good for the soul. September is a mixed bag of emotions for me.
Today I am schedule youth group for the next year. I thinking &
dreaming about what God might have for us this school year. I have
missed meeting with my girls.
I think once I eat some Pumpkin Pie I will fall back in love with Autumn! Can you please send me a Pumpkin Spice Latte?
I'm waiting for the street car in Linz, Austria. I'm here for the weekend to celebarte the marriage of Katrin & Mario. They are getting married tomorrow afternoon. Katrin was one of the first teens in the youth group that I started here. She is the first to marry from that group of teens. I can't wait as I know the day will be filled with laughter!! I'll post photos afterwards :)
I'm standing in the 80 degree sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, & loving it!! I love the carress of the sun on my skin. I love how it makes me feel alive.
I'm taking the streetcar into town to meet Bianca for a coffee. Bianca was also one of the first teens. She is now studying to be a midwife.
I'm staying with Erika, one of the Austrians who took over the youth group when I left.
It's been almost a year since I have seen everyone. It's going to be a good weekend! I can feel it already!
my first thought when sitting down to write this blog was to proclaim that i am having a really good nail week, but i thought that might sound shallow... instead let's talk about grace.
one of my favorite authors said " Sometimes grace works like water wings when you feel you are sinking" i love that visual. i love swimming. i love floating in the water. sometime i forgot that could float without a floaty. i forget that i could float without trying. i am good at trying. i am a self sufficient woman & possibly too independent for my own good. i forget that i could put on the gift of water wings. water wings that are always waiting for me. sitting on the edge of the pool waiting to embrace my arms & make my swim that much more enjoyable.
she also said " I wish grace & healing were more abracadabra kinds of things; also that delicate silver bells would ring to announce grace's arrival. But no, it's clog & slog & scootch, on the floor, in silence, in the dark" grace & mercy go hand in hand. grace mercifully teaches my heart & loves it into beauty & light. i'll take grace anyway it comes because although "she" is humble enough to not announce her arrival, her arrival is always more beautiful & comforting than the most delicate silver bells swaying in a window at christmas.
later in her book "Grace Eventually" she says, "Joy is the best makeup. Joy, and good lighting...a little lipstick is a close runner up"
i am home safe & sound. i got home late saturday evening from interlaken, switzerland. i was leading the teens attending the conference with the parents. these teens live all over the world & have some amazing stories! i loved sitting around sharing airport security stories...a part of my life that a lot of people don't understand (all the traveling that i do). we spent the week looking at ephesians, hiking, chatting late into the night, & playing catch phrase. one stage during the wk i said "i am a tired extrovert who doesn't want to miss a moment with the teens." i was touched by every single one of the teens there! i can't wait to hear about the stories that God writes with their lives! photos to come...
i did lose a mole on my leg during my stay in switzerland. there was a doctor there for us during the wk. i had a mole that kept getting all funky so i had him take a look at it. he got really excited & exclaimed "it's not cancerous, but i will gladly remove it for you! i was praying last night the God would allow me to use the equipment i brought." i couldn't turn the man down although i despise pain & shots. his wife held my hand as he injected me with a numbing shot. she continued to hold my hand while i smelled my flesh burning off. it's healing just fine!
i love my girls! megan, tegan, jojo, elyssa, & meadhbh are the bomb! the OM ship Logos Hope was in town recently. me & the ladies (including helen & mary) headed into town for a yummy noodle meal at wagamamas & an evening on the ship. while walking to the ship, i did a little bit for my girls to set the mood for the evening;
tegan made this little video & posted it for the world to see. embarrassing, slightly! part of the job, yep :)
As promised here is the story of the Georgian lady in the airport bathroom. It was 3 am Georgian time (12 am Irish time, 7 PM East Coast time) & I had just taken the craziest middle of the night cab ride of my life. I had checked in my bag & bought a few pressies for the fam. I ducked into the toilet quick before heading to security. I heard another lady in the bathroom when I went in & she was still in her stall when I went to wash my hands. I was standing at the mirror when out from around the corner this old ladies sticks her face up my mine & stares. She had not flushed her toilet & had just jumped around the corner at me. I screamed really loud. She starred. I began to shake. She starred. I grabbed my bag off the counter. She reached for my arm & tried to get me to look into her toilet stall. She was saying something in Georgian. I maneuvered around her outreached arm & bolted out of the bathroom. Was the lady trying to stuff me into a toilet stall? Or was she asking me to flush her toilet although it clearly stated in Georgian & English how to flush the toilet? I don't know the answers cause I bolted. I am positive that following my gut & bolting out of the toilet at 3 am was the right move.
But it was a clear reminder that I need more prayer for protection. After being wallet-less in Barcelona, my traveling alone confidence was greatly shaken. I travel all the time! I love traveling! I love reading a magazine on the plane & drinking coffee around the world! I love the amazing experiences that come with traveling, but 99% of the time the actual traveling is done alone. While I was in Barcelona & my church family here in Dublin was praying for me, my friend Anthea was convinced that I needed more prayers for protection. I & all that are use to my travels have taken for granted the safety that the Lord has always granted or the bad stuff He has held back unknown to me. As I left for Georgia, I was covered by prayer as I asked my friends here to pray for me. I got text through out the wk reminding me that they were praying for my protection. Please pray for my protection as well as I travel.
I am traveling to Interlaken, Switzerland June 15-27 to speak to Missionary Teens from around the world. These teens are attending this conference with their families as there are sessions for the adults as well. This is a time for these missionary families to get rested & refreshed.