Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cara Box

It was an honor this month to be a part of the Cara Box exchange. I had the privilege of getting to know two wonderful ladies. Andrea, Shannon, and I were teamed up and I have enjoyed getting know each of them.  

I sent a box to Andrea and Shannon sent a box to me. Here is what I found when I opened up my Cara Box this month . . .

Our theme was "childhood". I shared with Shannon that I loved colors as a child. She was so creative. I was amazed to find pastels and a sketchbook. I never shared that I use to use pastels.

There were lemon candies to take me back to my childhood memory of visiting my Great Grandfather's farm. He always had fresh lemons cut for iced tea.

She included a wonderful mug in a blue color to remind me of the water. Also something that I love. I have always found peace in being near the water. The fun thing about the mug is she didn't even know that I am a hot tea drinker . . . and I just love a nice mug. :)

Last but not least was the beautiful card she included in my package.

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of this months Cara Box exchange and to have been connected with two amazing women. I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Back to Reality

This past Saturday I had to say good bye to Europe and my fiance. I arrived at Tallinn airport that afternoon to find out something was wrong with my ticket, had to go through security four times, and I just didn't want to leave. My trip home was not off to a very good start.

My next stop was Finland to catch my next flight . . . there was even a sweet little sparrow waiting at the gate on the chair across from mine. What a special gift to make me smile. Once I boarded that plane I was off to London. I was already warned that this airport was not going to be fun at all. So, here I am in London for the first time ever with a 20 hour layover. After a little effort I was able to change currency yet again and find the shuttle to my hotel. God knew I was going to need some rest.

I was sitting in my room exhausted and feeling lonely. In a few minutes I was hearing a noise outside . . . I opened my curtains to find a huge firework display. Yet another smile from God. He was letting me know He was right beside me on this journey. The next day was not without its mishaps. It was challenging, but I was very grateful to see my sister pull up at the airport. I was back in the United States and I made it in one piece.

I feel so blessed to have been able to have this journey and experience some of the wonderful things the world has to offer. I have learned to appreciate some of the luxuries that we take for granite. It was a whole month without a car, cell phone, blow dryer, etc. while I was away. I realized I didn't miss those things like I thought I would. It was a simpler way of life. This experience has given me a new appreciation for the things I have been blessed with.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Count Down

It is finally here . . . whether I am ready or not. This is my final week in Europe.

We have been to Riga, Latvia to see their beautiful city and breathtaking churches. The best thing that we could have done was take a guided tour and he was wonderful. It was fascinating to me that he spoke 7 languages.
One of my favorite spots in this country was the "Lover's Bridge". The locals go there on their wedding day with a lock. The lock is engraved with their names or initials and the date. They place the lock on the bridge and then throw the key into the water. I just love that! (Our tour guide said that if anyone wants a divorce they would have to dive into the water, find the correct key, and remove the lock from the bridge.)
Otepaa, Estonia was a charming town to visit. They do a lot of cross country skiing there. No matter where we have gone it seems there is so much history. The people here have have been very friendly and eager to share what they know about their country. Here is a church from Otepaa that was built in the 13th century.
I have spent most of the last month here in Tartu, Estonia. It is a beautiful and sweet town. I have been able to walk just about anywhere I need to go. (That is very strange for me.) Here is a picture of the Kissing Fountain in the town square.
I will have one more stop before I start my journey back to the US. I will be visiting Tallinn, Estonia this Friday before my flight on Saturday.
I am not sure I will know what to do with myself when I have to go back to the "real" world. I have been without a car, cell phone, hair dryer, flat iron, etc. I thought it would be more of a challenge that it really has been. I found out I really love being able to walk most everywhere I need to go and I haven't missed my cell phone ringing. The way of life here has been pretty laid back.
What a blessing it has been to have this experience. I am glad I am able to share some of it with you.
How would you do without your cell phone or car for a month?
 How about your hair dryer, curling iron, or straightener?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Europe for the month

So, here I am . . .

This is my third week in Europe. I have been enjoying all the new sights, smells, and tastes the little towns have to offer. I have met new people and made new friends. I have also taken a ton of pictures. To think that none of this would have been possible if I wouldn't have lost my job in August. The job the Lord provided at just the right time after my now ex-husband came home from Afghanistan and put me out of our home with no explination. The job I was relying on to carry me though.

It never ceases to amaze me the plans that He has for us. If we only allow Him to take the lead. He does tell us that His ways are greater than our ways. (Isaiah 55:8) That He has a plan for us, a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) That He is the God of immeasurably more. (Ephesians 3:20)

I have been blessed to have found two groups of ladies doing online Bible studies while I am here. They have been an (in)couragement to me and given me the courage to try to blog again.  I am grateful for this time without the hussle and bussle of my life in the US. Time to think and reflect, time to connect with other women from around the world, and time to spend with my fiance. Oh yes, that is a another huge blessing. A surpise I didn't see coming. No matter what our circumstances may be or appear to be our God has everything under control.