Dear friend, I am sitting here thinking about you and this space and how much I want to just chat again. It’s been a long time without any writing here, and I miss it. They – I don’t know who these people are, mythical guru types – say that you’re never supposed to put a blogging explanation up when you stop writing for a while, but I have to keep reminding myself that this is my space. I get to make my own rules.

What a year. We aren’t at the end, but the events in the world, the bloodshed, the disrespect, the abuse, it seems like we’ve opened a Pandora’s box that will not be shut as venom pours out. In my own life, I faced one of the most challenging personal situations I’ve dealt with in a long time. The middle of this year felt lost in this battle against fear and against myself. I started a graduate program at our local seminary, and I finished my first class last week. It was the second half of the Old Testament – Prophets and writings. I left every class overwhelmed with what I did not know about the Jewish context for these books, overwhelmed and grateful. When I read the headlines of our often unstable world, it helped to read the stories of unstable times that are thousands of years old. We are not the only ones who face immoral leaders and deal with abuse of power. It’s been here, it’s been here for a long time.

We spent five weeks in Europe to reconnect with our family there, and we returned to Geneva, the birthplace of this blog over seven years ago. It’s the first time we went back as a family, and it felt significant. Taking the boys on the bus routes they went on as babies in a stroller. Retracing my steps through the hospital where they were born. Standing in front of the apartment where I met my husband. Overwhelming emotions, many thoughts, and I’ll be slowly writing about those here because I hope to blog once a week from now for a little while, at least until my next class starts in seminary.

When I first started this blog, I was a housewife in Geneva, Switzerland. I think something in my soul was knocking, telling me it was time to start writing again. So I started writing about what we were eating, it was going to be a food blog. Nothing too personal. Then I got pregnant unexpectedly. Had my first sonMy father-in-law died. And the words that were mostly about food turned toward other things, perhaps the things that have been there all along, and I’ve spent the last five years pulling back the bandaid on those things. Slowlyunevenlytotally inconsistently. And you’ve been here with me, listening, talking back, sharing your life. Thank you.

I started this for me, a means to process my own life, but over time it became about you, too, and wondering what these words and stories could be in your life. I hope that this has been a place of rest for you. I hope you encounter beauty here, I hope you sense an invitation to think deeply and breathe in grace and hope and move forward with your life with hope as your fuel, wherever you are, whatever you do, whoever you are. You and your life, your stories, your history and your dreams are welcome here.

 

As a thank you for being part of the life of this space, I’m hosting a giveaway. I’ll send one blog subscriber the book Soulkeeping by John Ortberg in the mail wherever you are in the world. This book was a life-changing read for me, and I hope it will minister to you.

How to enter the giveaway:
1. Subscribe to this blog (if you are already subscribed, you don’t need to do anything except number 2).
2. Leave a comment, tell me that you’ve subscribed and answer this question: what would you like to read on this blog? I would love to know your answer. If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll need to click over to the blog post to leave a comment.
3. The giveaway is open until Friday, November 17, 2017.

This post is day 23. New to the series? Start here. Thanks to all of you who have shared these posts and commented, I so appreciate it. Do say hello if you’ve been reading or are new. It would be lovely to meet you. If you want hundreds of other great 31 Days topics, you can find them here.

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Well, after months of planning, we are finally here. Feet on Australian soil. It feels good. The almost 24-hour-trip over here did not feel so good, especially not the three-hour delay in Dubai. At midnight. Thank you Qantas.

But we are here, the sun is shining, and so far everyone speaks English. YES. It’s the little things I’ve missed.

I had grand plans of posting wise thoughts today, but the reality is that I am exhausted, both of my boys are asleep for the night – in Jesus name amen – which means the smartest thing for me to do right now is to go to sleep.

I’ll leave you with this lovely looking giveaway from the sweet people at Dayspring. It is open to anyone who lives overseas, but please note that you will have to pay for shipping and any taxes on the cost of the products. So please do keep that in mind.

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DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!