Monday, September 30, 2013

Belfast Burgers

Who has Best Burger in Belfast? 

Our first contestant is the Hawaiian Burger from's Bud's on Holywood Rd. in East Belfast




Known for the high standards of quality wholesome ingredients I have now had this bad boy twice.

Stay turned for more Burger updates and other foodie favorites from Belfast!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sabbath Sundays



Happy Sunday Funday, all!

Earlier in the week I had the privilege of visiting Colchester, England. I had a two day meeting and one of those days was a Quarterly Prayer Day.

The IJM UK staff met at a church and listened to man named Fred talk about getting closer to God


The past 3 weeks or so I had been questioning a lot of things; about myself and my beliefs. Everyone around me seems to put so much thought into their reasons for doing things; like joining IJM. Everyone else seems to have better practices when it comes to being a Christian. Why am I so different than most happy-go-lucky, sweet voiced godly girls? Do I rely too heavily on letting God speak to me through my dreams thus by ignoring the subtle whispers He sends me in my waking life? 

Was I blindly following imaginary breadcrumbs from one location or dream to the next..or was I just running away



The first hour of our group session with Fred we covered four basic topics. To my astonishment they were each specific struggles I had been concerning myself with that week and even more so that very morning.

Child-like Faith
Mary VS Martha
The Church as a Body 
God's use of Dreams

I sat in quiet awe as we moved from one pressing conversation to the next, as each added another ton of disbelief and shock to my weighing mind. Everything inside of me felt as if it were going mad with questions and excitement desperately clawed at my vocal cords to cry out in confirmation... still, I sat quietly as my unspoken questions were answered. 

I am open to going where God calls, when He calls without thinking too much about the consequences or what it's going to cost to get there. I go...with child-like faith not waiting for the logic or convenience of good-timing. I am but a vessel with hope as my sails and faith as the wind the moves me. 

I am different for a reason. I don't come from a spot-free background and even my daily life's soul is dusty in certain corners. But I have the characteristics that will be needed for the work I am to do. I am on the right path. 

We took some time to break apart and have some stillness to offer a silent moment from our busy daily tasks and buzzing phones so we could listen for God. So I made my way out to the cemetery.



As I walked between weathered headstones, whose moss ran from the top of the stone down and over the moistened patchwork grounds, I avoided bulbs of mushrooms roasting in the open sunlight. There were rose bushes and mini flower gardens specifically planted atop graves of passed on loved ones. 

I zig-zagged my way through the labyrinth of names and dates from long ago and found myself in the back of the graveyard, secluded and hidden under the long curtain-like drapes of a birch tree which is where I took my seat and prayed.

"Lord, why am I here? Am I running away? Am I here because this is something I want or is it truly Your will? I don't belong here. I'm not qualified and I don't really fit in. Who am I Lord, that you would have me here? And what next? Where do I go and what do I do 10 months from now?" 

And then a breeze blew and along with it came a sweet inner peace and soundless voice saying-

"Don't worry about it Laci, I will work it out. I've taken care of you this far. You are still young, my child." 

At this I covered my mouth and began to weep into the wind.

 Several moments had passed and I began to settle back into my surrounding and started to wonder what my options would even be 10 months from now when I suddenly felt that God was chuckling at me and saying-

"Stop worrying about it."

I laughed myself and gathered my belongings and went back inside to socialize with my team. But what an incredible and unexpected treat that day turned out to be. Praise be to the Lord, King of Kings.



Friday, September 27, 2013

October is Coming


Ah Fall...

The leaves being painted by Mother Nature, the warm air cooling by foreshadowing of winter winds on their way... 

Most people think of October as the time when the autumn season comes in, makes itself cozy and invites you to join in a cup of cider

But... for a special group of us, it means so much more.

IT'S HOWL-O-SCREAM SEASON!

A time of the year when the theatrically twisted come out to play from under the shadows of  their horror filled 
9-5er to be resurrected once more. 





I will miss you all terribly this year because it is my first year away since joining this freak family in 2008.

Have fun fiends and make sure you feed the fear!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Farmer's Market

For the farmer's market enthusiast
I present to you-

The Belfast Market!



Make sure to keep an eye out to see what I bought
and more importantly... what I did with it.

To Be Continued....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

House Tour: Pt 1

Hello All!


I know it's my birthday and I should probably be writing something deep from the crevice of humanity upon reaching a new state of cumulative wisdom... 

But I've been in Ireland for a little over a week now and I haven't even begun to show you where I've been living!

I'll save the intelligent brain tickling substance for when I have a bit more to offer you. 


So this will be a tour of my new home, in parts!



I would love to introduce you to one of my favorite areas of pampering in my new home-

My incredibly interesting bathroom!
(SPOILER ALERT- complete with twin toilets!)




Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sabbath Sundays

Happy Sunday Funday All!
 
 
Today I accompanied my flat mate, Jenni, to her church-
Kirkpatrick Memorial Presbyterian Church
 
It was a beautiful church (as I'm learning most churches here are).It was traditional in the look, the pews-where the bench width so small you feel as though you might slide right off it,and the smell of time well spent within the walls lingering about.
 
Yet it was modern enough to have a projector screen, live band, and up-to-date presentation videos of different projects.
 
 
Today's message was set upon the biblical foundation of
1 Peter 2:4-15
 
The discussion centered on how the statistics of church goers within both the UK and Northern Ireland have and continue to drop dramatically. And that no amount revising music choices, sermon topics, or venue upgrades will make a difference because the people who come through the doors to begin with are "churchy people".
 
This led into the fact that we must live our lives in such a manner that the nonbeliever will see us as different, in a good way. We ought to get to know our neighbors or offer a hand of help to strangers. If we come to know others- right where they are, in the midst of their lives- then they will eventually want to know more about us. Only then will new people be coming through the church doors. When we give them a reason. One that they can see with their own eyes that Christ followers are full of hope for a reason, then maybe they can shift their focus on what cannot be physically seen but fully felt within their hearts.
 

Lesson Summary- Be good to one another regardless of who the "another" is- as it may come to be the way through which they come to know the faith of the Holy Spirit, the hope of Jesus and the love of the Father.
 
 
 
Be good to one another
and God Bless you all. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pranking Grandma is Always Good for a Laugh

Ever wondered what would happen if someone THOUGHT they were going to fly off of a ride?
 
What about a grandma being tricked into believing that
her granddaughter was not harnessed in properly
while on a giant slingshot?
 
 
 
This was the case for my mother.
 
And it is hilarious.
 
 
 

Feel Alive Through Travel- DC Edition

I compiled a short video of my DC experience- outside of orientation, of course.
From the plane ride leaving Orlando, to the skies, apartment, food trucks and National Museum of Natural History! There's even a little of the Smithsonian Castle and Capital building.
The best part? It's set to some pretty dance worthy music! So turn up those speakers and enjoy!


Friday, September 20, 2013

What do you see?

 

 
This is my passion.
 
This is what I was put on this planet to fight.

 
Over 27 million people are enslaved in the world today. That's more than has ever existed in any other period in time.



 
 
I currently intern for an organization dedicated to protecting the poor from violence by rescuing victims, bringing the criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts.
 
 
 
 
THIS is what we fight.
 
And this is what I will spend the rest of my life fighting.
 
It's women.
It's men.
It's children.
It doesn't care where you come from.
Your race.
Your sex.
Your religion.
Your income.
Your age.
 
 
 
No one is immune therefore everyone should care.
 
"First they came for the communist,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me."
-Martin-Niemöller
 
Speak up!

 
 
END IT
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quick Update



HEY KIDS!
Long time no write! Let's get down to business-
TRAVEL TIP!
Buy what ever it is that you need to charge your electronics before you get to your final destination in a different country!
Smart me was planning on buying a converter or adapter what-have-you at the airport upon landing in Belfast but forgot. Isn't that just like a girl? Gets so excited about what's going on around that she plum forgets everything on her 
"DO NOT FORGET" list.
Regardless- I am in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom,
Long title since Belfast
 is in an odd way both Ireland and United Kingdom.
(SPOILER ALERT: Blog explaining why to come!)
I have been taking videos and some pictures during my absence and now that everything has power again expect to see some really nifty things and topics soon!
STAY TUNED!
P.S. I'm also on Bloglovin now if that's more your style and convenience. Peace and Blessings <3  


Thursday, September 12, 2013

How To Get a One Way Fare on the Metro


A Hey city slicker! Or if you're reading this post you may be more like me which is not so street savy when it comes to making your way through the big bad city.

Which ever the case, you're in a city and you need to get around,but like most travelers your funds may not equip you to have the luxury of taking a smelly cab and being stuck in city traffic.
You're heartbroken, I know.

"I'll just take the metro."




And then you see this beast.


And all of a sudden that smelly expensive cab sounds like an amazing idea! 

Do not lose hope! Here's what you do to hold your own against the suited individuals around you!

Disclaimer: if at any point you make a mistake there's a handy dandy cancel button that allows you to start fresh! 



ONE-WAY FARE

I know this machine looks intimidating but it can easily be broken down into a couple steps:

STEP 1: SELECT PURCHASE

A.)  In the top left hand corner you will see  "Fare Periods". You are looking for the day of the week as well as the time of day that you will be using the metro.



Think of this as if you're booking a hotel during peak season or off season. Different times and days have different prices! Same with the metro! 

So find your day and time in that top left hand corner to determine if you are traveling during peak or off peak.  

Mine was a Thursday after 7pm so it was "off peak".

Then there's a big scary look chart directly below you days/times and this chart has all of the metro stop locations! They make it easy since all the locations are alphabetical- find your stop and follow the line to the right and you will see both peak and off peak prices. 

Again mine was off peak so my price was $1.85. 

*This chart will also have colored dots to indicate which "line" you'll be traveling on. For instance the blue line into Farragut Square is the train you'd be keeping an eye out for.*

B.)  Now find the large "1" in a yellow circle on the dark blue part of the machine that says SELECT PURCHASE.


Good job, you! This is where you inform the machine what kind of fair you are looking for. A multiple use pass vs a one way fare.

For my one way fare, my button was "B" but it's always good to read the options thoroughly to make sure they haven't changed. 

Here's where I got confused!

C.) The price started at $15 on the screen. When based on my day and time it was only to cost me $1.85. Don't panic!  Use the white buttons below the machine!


The button on the left is going to represent the dollar value ($) and the button on the right represents the change portion.

WARNING: most machines will require an additional $1 for a paper card ( one way ) so if you see this message on your machine you will have to add $1 to your fare.



So for example: my screen showed a value of $15. I pressed the (-) button on the left / the dollar ($) side until the price read $3.00. Then pressed the (-) button on the right / change side until the screen showed $2.85. 

  Fare for the day and time 
+$1.00 paper charge

  $1.85
+$1.00
  $2.85

To confirm your amount to be paid- press the "C" button.

STEP 2: INSERT PAYMENT

You can pay your fare by cash, credit or debit. 

You will now be working in the light blue area of the machine.

To pay with a card look at the screen and the prompter should ask you which form you will be using, credit or debit. 
For my machine, to pay with credit you pressed the "B" button or for debit you pressed the "C" button. And then used the follow area on the right side of the machine to make your transaction.

A.) Insert your card in the bottom
B.) enter your pin on the keypad 
C.) take your receipt 

To pay with cash use the area on the left side of the machine.

A.) insert your bills
B.) insert your change (optional but be warned- these machines will only give change up to $10)

STEP 3: TAKE FARECARD 

The dark blue portion of the bottom of this machine only has one are to it. 


Your farecard will be distributed from this area- take it and Go have yourself an adventure! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stand Tall

The events of 9/11 still ring strong  in the memories of not only Americans but the global community as a whole today. 


Even with the current situation of uncertainty of what our actions as a nation will be towards to Syria- today is dedicated towards keeping in mind the lives lost and stolen due to nothing more then hatred


To bring this to a personal note (not that I, by the grace of God, had any ties to either one of these tragic events in history) I am going to take time to talk about a tiny portion of my learning's over the last two days. 

As many of you know I am in Washington, DC this week. Appropriate for a time such as this. 


My morning commute passes several memorials dedicated to tragedies of our great nation and the reminder that the cost of our freedom comes at a heavy price.


Yet we still have our freedom.

I am a mere intern, but I am one for a great organization. 


The International Justice Mission is an organization whose primary focus is "to protect the poor from violence by rescuing victims, bringing the criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts."

This is their mission



Over the next several months you'll read more about their movements, efforts and triumphs but for now, while memories of the past violations hang thick in the air it is pertinent that you not loose sight of what history has taught us 
about who we are as a nation.



We are one nation, under God. 
We are called to be a people of grateful hearts
who are humbled and lead by example. To be the ones who show up 
not to be served but to serve others. In these times of 
great remembrance and reverence we are a people who have gained 
credibility by insisting on an uncompromising commitment to excellence in all that we do. 

But we as a whole forget these facts from time to time and do not act accordingly nor show the characteristics of a people who have fought for everything they have. We do not always give God His due credit and praise. We are rarely humble nor do families and leaders always offer the best examples to follow. Credibility is questioned. And public school systems are not always commitments to excellence.

 It's time to stand tall again America. 

Time to fall back on the foundation that men and women went selflessly into battle for. That other nations literally kill for and that we are given, as citizens, freely. 

Stand tall as one nation under God and as a nation whose individuals strive daily for excellence in all that they do. Only then will we bring back true honor to ourselves as the lives left behind to carry on







Monday, September 9, 2013

Good morning Bloggers


It is my first day at my new internship. I spent the night in a lovely apartment (bunk beds!) and made two new friends there. 

DC is gorgeous! A lot of hustle and bustle but 
the people seem wonderful!


My host cooked a delicious dinner for myself and the other intern staying with us!

And then she left us a nice little 
breakfast spread this morning!


It's quite the blessing to have someone look out for you when you are a complete stranger, but she is none the less.

My roomie and I were up before the sun (not my preferred time of day by any means) and out to catch the bus just as the dew was starting to lift from the grass. 

The bus stop was full of men in suits and women ready to take on the business world. As two newbies- we didn't have a card to swipe (the card holds the money for the bus ride) so I went to pay cash.The driver stopped me because I was about to put a $20 in expecting change.

"You don't get no change, Miss." 

He chuckled to himself and motioned us onto the bus anyway. 


And this leaves us at the beginning of...

DAY 1
Bring it on DC!

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