scavenger hunts and irish soda bread

march 23, 2023
fayetteville, arkansas

If you’ve known me the last 5 years or so, you know I’m a relentless dreamer. There’s nearly never a time when I’m not thinking about possibilities or dreaming of exploring new places and collecting experiences.

I’ve got the spirit of a wanderer.

If you’ve been hanging around this little internet journal for a while, you may have read my entry about the time I ventured to work for a mouse in Orlando, Florida, and how I absolutely hit rock bottom while there. You can read a little more of that story here.

The Lord’s been buffing and refining this aspect of my heart quite a bit over the course of five years. In my earlier 20s, my wanderlust had some undertones of escapism. Praise God that He brought me to a place where I had to confront the pain of my past while in Orlando (shoutout to the BEST therapist and incredibly supportive friends and God’s perfect knowledge of healing deep soul wounds). Disney became the fork in the road where the Lord showed me a new way of approaching life.

In doing so, he provided me two extra years in the city I went to college in. While there, I had dreams of going other places, but I had this sense that I was to plant roots where I was, even if it wasn’t for long.

And so I did.

Tallahassee, Florida will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was the first city I lived in on my own, and over the course of six years, the Lord brought incredible people and experiences into my life that had immeasurable impact on my life. It’s also the place deep roots formed in my relationship with Jesus. There’s just nobody else who I’d rather walk through life with than Him. Walking with Him is by far the grandest adventure I’ll ever embark on.

At present, I’m writing this in a cafe in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Next week will mark my six-month anniversary of living here in Northwest Arkansas. I’ll share more on that soon, as that’s a story that deserves an entire entry on its own.

About three months ago, I went home to central Florida for the holidays. While there, my truly wonderful grandmother passed away. We mourned the loss of her and celebrated the incredible life she lived. My cousins put together posterboards filled with photos of her over the years. As I browsed the boards in the corner of the funeral parlor with bleary eyes, I couldn’t help but feel so inspired and connected to my roots.

These particular photos really struck me.

My grandmother was born and raised in the Irish countryside. She was the daughter of a farmer and the oldest of five children. When she was eighteen years old, she packed up one small suitcase (pictured below) and left everything she’d ever known to come the United States, where she planted roots in Chicago, Illinois.

I could brag about my grandmother for days. She was truly one of the kindest, most patient, strongest women I’ve ever known. She could tell stories like nobody’s business. She baked a MEAN Irish soda bread and taught me from a young age to always cut a cross in the top of the loaf to let the fairies out while it bakes. 😉 She was five feet tall on a good day and had natural red hair even into her nineties. She was a gentle badass, and I’ll stand by that.

Reflecting on her life, I realized my sense of adventure literally runs in my DNA. I felt a connection to my roots while with my family (who also happen to be all over the place, from Alaska to Costa Rica–it truly runs in our blood) and as cheesy as it sounds, it was like a part of who I am was solidified.

Circling back to Arkansas. This week, a friend prayed over me and told me that the Lord had given her this picture of a maze, and that He was so excited to walk me through the different twists and turns and pivots that He’s designed for me to walk through. She said it was like a scavenger hunt–like how each location, there’s a clue for the next location as well as some little goodies at each stop.

My eyes welled up with tears. Tears because I felt so seen by my Father, and it was like He was saying to me “you’re my adventurous kid. Wait till you see what I have in store for you.” Tears because it was yet another reminder of how beautifully he proves Himself to be the most fun, loving, attentive Father our hearts will ever know. Tears because I began reflecting on all the little treasures He’s given me in each place He’s brought me. All the beautiful friendships and sweet experiences. All the opportunities to grow in deeper trust of His ways. Each place He’s led me feels like discovering a little puzzle piece of God’s heart and a little bit more of my identity as an adopted daughter of His.

To anybody reading this, I pray that you’d know the deep, fun, patient, love-filled friendship of Jesus. Life is truly joyful walking along the trails He’s already blazed for us to walk in. He has such a beautiful and unique purpose for each one of us. He’s created each one of our hearts and minds with SUCH intricacy to reflect a little piece of His character!

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

Happy adventuring, friends.


As always, feel SO free to reach out to me if any of this resonates with you, or if you have questions, or disagree with anything I say. I love having deep, meaningful conversations. 🙂

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