Graduating with my masters in Pastoral Counseling is a miracle. I have no idea how I managed to complete the program in 2 years amidst all that my life entailed. The only explanation is the grace of God.
“What are you going to do now?” was often posed upon hearing I had earned my masters. My standard answer was “I have no idea and when it is time, God will make it clear.” I truly believed that with all my heart and soul that the masters program had a divine plan but had no indication what that might be. My role was to be patient and wait.
Early spring 2012 I became restless; there was an underlying drive and urge to get away and shut down - to be still. I pondered staying local since Florida is an amazing get away but I was challenged to go somewhere I always dreamed of going. Second to Africa, my dream was to always go to Ireland. So a few web searches, vacation approved and I was booking a two-week trip to Ireland.
Journal in hand on the plane I wrote two things down:
1. Need to know what to do with Rwanda regarding scholarships for widows of Blessed Mango Tree - Worldhelp or create 501c
2. Listen for what is next.
Traveling the country on my own via Bus Eireann and staying at bed and breakfasts was wonderful. Starting in Dublin I felt no peace as it is just another big city, but my next stop was Galway and it was lovely. Galway was where the first seeds were planted. Looking for locally made crosses for my nieces and nephews I found some wonderful local artisans. Discovering an amazing place for tea and scones was a highlight. I enjoyed time chatting with the Shoppe keeper and was drawn to how she had started her own business.
A few stops later I was in Dingle Town and the dream seeds were watered and began growing. Wonderful local Shoppes abounded. I felt right at home at Kathleen McAuliffe’s Shoppe; I bought quite a few handmade treasures. Although I spent my first half of Gap Inc in stores, I have said to many “I will never go into retail.” Much like I said I would never get my masters. (You can see where this is ultimately going.)
Back in Dublin my last day, I was drawn to Avoca which is famous for their wool products but they also have an eclectic collection of items. The bag below caught my eye. It really isn’t a “me” bag but it called to me and said, “This is for to store your dreams”. Now many of you are concerned as I heard a bag speak to me but really it did. I discovered the designer only makes a few so it was a unique piece, which sealed the deal. So… loaded up with all my hand made Irish treasures, I boarded the plane home with my dream bag. Now the adventure was just beginning.