Exactly one year ago today, Juli and I packed up the last of our belongings and crammed them into our blue van. We did a property walk-through with our landlord and handed him the keys to what had been our Irish home for the previous 4 years. (Our first year in Ireland we lived in an apartment). After saying goodbye to 91 Belmont Park, we drove ourselves and our bags over to the Clayton Hotel, where we would lodge for the next three evenings before bidding Ireland farewell and crossing back over the Atlantic, not knowing precisely where in the States we were to call home.
The five years we spent in Ireland, were up to that point, the best 5 years of my life. Having only finished year one since then, I wouldn't want to try to compare life back in the States this time around to our lives on the Emerald Isle. I'm firmly of the conviction that life has generally far less to do with your circumstances, and far more to do with how you handle those circumstances. I miss Ireland and I miss all of my friends and my spiritual family there, but I am thankful for those God has placed in our lives in Burleson, TX as well. I feel like we really found our niche in ministry and life in Dublin, but I believe that we are discovering how to best use our gifts in our new home too. Plus, we're blessed to be far closer to family here in the US.
There are a number of images burned into my memory and so many interesting stories for me to tell about our time in Ireland. I'm presently writing those down and I hope to publish a book full of them before too long. In the meantime, I plan to read back through this blog and share those posts from way back when along the way. If you haven't previously joined me on this journey, why don't you come along now. If you've already read some of the posts, have a look again. I may be biased, but I doubt you'll be disappointed. - Shay