Dear Prayer Partners,
Two weeks ago, I turned 40. It’s a big milestone birthday, unfortunately everyone I could celebrate with here in Ireland seemed to be quarantined for COVID-19 close contact or isolating to ensure safety for travel. It’s a strange thing to celebrate a big birthday in a new town and country, thousands of miles and time zones away from those I would have normally been celebrating with.
As I sat looking out at the sunset over the Wicklow mountains the night I turned 40, I felt a little lonely. I sat with that feeling for a moment (my therapist would be so proud) and I eventually gave myself some grace while remembering that I am blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Now the comfort of the presence of the Holy Spirit did not negate the feelings of loneliness but I did find it easier to hold that loneliness in the presence of the Holy Spirit. As I sit here writing this, I want to give thanks for all the ways I was celebrated, albeit a few days later thanks to COVID-19. I usually celebrate for a few weeks anyway 😊
- As I began setting up for our home group last week, a dear friend of mine, Rhoda arrived with her husband. Now they usually attend separately so one of them can stay home with their three small children, so it was a little strange that they were there together. It turns out that they were there to help throw a surprise belated birthday party for me along with the rest of our homegroup and some other church members! I was legitimately surprised and so blessed by these new friendships.
- On the topic of surprises, I received a package from my small group at Gateway Friends in Southern California. It was full of thoughtful and random things, just like my small group. I am blessed by their friendship and intentional interaction through the time zones.
- My dad gifted me with a spa trip away in the Wicklow Mountains where I ate delicious food, got a massage, sat in a field with the three cutest alpacas, took long walks, and read an entire book. It was glorious!
- Several new and old friends took time to send me a card, buy me cake, and cook me dinner.
I am so blessed with all of my friendships, new and old. I am blessed by your friendship and support of my work in Ireland. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
|What Am I Reading, Listening, and Watching?|
The Way We Were on RTE: The public television station RTE has done a great documentary series about the history of Ireland focusing on different topics like how they lived, played, and dressed. It’s helpful and interesting to look back at my new country’s past through this type of lens.
The Simpler Life: Last summer, 24 volunteers agreed to live a simpler life on a farm outside of Devon for research. They were tested on different areas including health, mental wellness and stress. The researchers are determining if a simpler life patterned after the Amish lifestyle improves those measurements of well-being. It’s fascinating plus it’s Amish and I am fascinated by the Amish.
Wild by Kristin Hannah. Hannah is one of my favorite authors and if you’ve been reading these updates for any length of time, you’ll recognize her. This book is about a disgraced psychologist that comes back to her hometown to care for a recently discovered feral child.
Educated by Tara Westover: WARNING: this book is a tough hang but very well written. Tara was raised as far off the grid as possible. The first time she entered a classroom was when she entered university at 17 years old. Since her family rarely recorded anything and were of course not recorded with the government, it was fascinating to read about how herself and her family members remembered their lives, memory is a strange and varied thing
I’ve had a steady playlist of Dermot Kennedy, Chris Stapleton, Harry Styles and The Popcast Podcast; that’s all!
|Pray with Me|
- I am one step closer to getting my PPS number. I’ve become registered with a local medical practice and have sent a letter into the department handling my PPS registration. I’ve also been able to get a booster shot finally. Thank you for continuing to pray for patience during this process.
- My EFM team and I were blessed to welcome Dan Cammack, EFM Field Director and Rich Miller at the end of February. It was nice to show them around and welcome them into my home.
- My friend from our Ecumenical Prayer group invited me to join her weekly ladies Bible study and I am loving it!
- I feel like COVID-19 is closing in on me. Please pray against that, and if I do get it, that it would be mild and easily recovered from.
- We at Greystones Nazarene Community Church have a busy Easter season coming up. Please pray for myself, Luke, and Tim as we guide our congregation during this special time.
- Please keep praying for my ability to be present here in Ireland. I am missing home, my family, and silly things like Target lately. Pray for times like the ones described above where I can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit with me.