Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Ireland Chronicles: Entry Three


I bought a new sweater before I went to Ireland. I wanted something comfortable for the plane ride and warm enough for the weather when I arrived. See, I had been told that Ireland was comfortably cold even in the summer. It was described to me as "hoodie weather." So, that is what I went with. I expected it to be cold. I obviously wasn't expecting it to be nearly 70 degrees when I arrived in Dublin! I walked around the rest of the day, everyone else in shorts and tank-tops, and me in a brand new sweater. Someone told me later that that was freak weather for this time of year. It hasn't been that hot since!

But, that experience pretty well sums up expectations. You have expectations naturally. You prepare based on them. Your expectations are always either proven right or wrong. You should always learn from your own expectations. In my case, I've learned to look out the window before expecting it to be cold and rainy outside.

"What are you expecting?"

I think with every new stage of life I encounter, there is a new well-meaning question that is difficult and awkward to answer. What did I expect in coming to minister in Ireland for a summer? When asked, I always warred within myself to answer it. That side of me that hopes for the best wanted to expect an aesthetic of Ireland I had encountered in the media, and the ability to travel to see amazing sights.

Here is what my hopeful side expected and got in return:

  • I expected beautiful views, and I see them every day. 
  • I expected to hear someone say "Top of the Mornin' to ya!" And I did!
  • I expected to hear Gaelic being spoken. It's actually called Irish and I have rarely heard anyone speak it. But they do teach it in the schools and it's on all the signs right below the English words.
  • I expected to hear Irish folk music. Still haven't heard any. 

My realistic side already knew what an internship entailed, and I have traveled quite a bit. So, I expected hard work, little free time, and certain limitations. Here is what my realistic/negative side expected and got in return:

  • I expected Customs to be long and difficult. In actuality, it took me under a minute to go through. (I'm sure that was just a fluke)
  • I expected hard work and I found it. 

In my experience, young people returning from mission work seem to talk a lot about having their expectations shattered. So, having expectations to begin with is a double-edged sword. You form expectations based on what you know or imagine, only to have them, possible embarrassingly, shattered. Having expectations is natural and fine. But, you should be aware of them, and learn from those that fall short or rise above. For example, I think to some extent you always find something if you're looking for it. I expected to work hard and hard work is what I've found here. 

But some expectations, when they are shattered, can be a surprisingly good thing. They are what make the adventure worth journeying through. I hope God keeps opening my eyes to HIS expectations for me in Ireland this Summer. Remember, our expectations for life may not always be what God has in store. And that can be a wonderful thing!

Lastly, here are my unexpected surprises: 

  • I didn't expect the temptation to stay and travel Europe to be so strong. 
  • I didn't expect to wish to spend more one on one time with the children. 
  • I didn't expect to think cows and sheep were so interesting. 
  • I didn't expect my arms to hurt so much after so many shows in a row. 
  • I didn't expect to love doing it so much either. 

Please Keep Praying!
Starting tomorrow we head off for another FULL week of tour! Please continue praying for the kids we meet and the teachers and parents we come in contact with. Pray for the team too! God has kept us all in good health and we want to continue striving together for HIS work here in Ireland. Thank you! 


  1. It looks like you're having a lot of fun! Concerning customs, it often depends on the airport and the country. When I did customs in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada going into Canada like you it took under a minute, but when I did it in Toronto, Ontario, Canada coming back into the US and it took a good twenty minutes or more and they were really strict about you having cellphones out so the time passed really slowly. Best wishes!

    1. Yeah, I think customs coming back into the States will be tougher than coming into Ireland. Thanks for keeping up with all these posts! It's always encouraging when I see you've left a comment! Thanks!

  2. What a wonderful and exciting missionary trip! We are loving your posts. They are well written and very exciting. May the Lord bless you and those you minister to with his grace. D. Bivins, Bethany Place.

    1. Thanks so much! And thank you for your continued prayers!


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