Well folks! Here we go.
I have been in Ireland now for 4 full days now and the craziness is just now sinking in. I have been hard at work in the cafe which is where I'll be helping out most. I'm still learning but the staff here have been so affirming in how they've been teaching me. Never negative nor condemning as I am told to sweep the same spot until it is perfectly clean or told to put on my hair net for the millionth time!
Hopefully some of this stuff is creating in me a habit so by next week I will be completely capable and solid in the jobs I have been trained in. Mini-victories for myself have ranged from navigating foreign airports and transit systems to making myself my first cappuccino.
The days are full but go by so very quickly. I haven't had much time to go out and see the city because a full days work mixed with jet lag has me wanting to put my feet up at the end of the day and then crash! (only to be awaken by the drunk lads shouting outside at 3 a.m. but that is a story for a different time)
In this ministry everyone I work with is just so real about how life is. No sugar coating or trying to over simplify how things go here. For example, I was told when I first arrived that I would be a little shell shocked by the use of cursing here, which remains true. I still am a little taken back when I hear a young person dropping the 'f-bomb' without even flinching to worry about who is around. It's simply their culture. But the ministry itself is completely upfront about the realities of what go on and how things work. But it is done in such a loving way I already feel incredibly welcomed here.
Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to adjust; not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. Pray that God gives me the boldness to step out of my comfort zone and strive for building relationships with these kids.
You hear all of these drastic stories of people spending hours on end perfecting this self imposed picture. You hold the camera at the right angle so you don't have 30 chins. You make sure you're in the right sunlight so your nose's shadow doesn't catch half your face. And you do the fake smile so crows feet can never form.
As I sit down and go to write this, I am fighting back tears of joy. I am completely overwhelmed with this elated joy of the fact that I have the opportunity to go to the place of rolling green hills for the sake of Jesus.
Although I am plenty sure that there is much more that I will learn to embrace as I grow older (and farther into my 20s) but in the two years of my 20s I have learned the fine art of embracing various aspects of my life and you should too!
Saturday's are usually my typical posting day. I sit down Saturday morning with my computer and coffee and I write. I just write. The words usually flow freely from my fingers onto a digital paper. But what happens when I don't. I have to say that personally giving myself grace through the challenge is the most difficult part of this. Telling myself as a constant reminder that I will fail and I will mess up is something that I have needed to do almost on the daily.
Now what about challenges 4-5?