Galway Girl

This is post #6 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts:

#1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,

#2, Ireland: Dreams Come True,

#3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland,

#4, Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, and the fairy village, and

#5, The Gorgeous Cliffs of Moher.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“Your feet will bring you where your heart is.”–Irish Proverb

beach in Galway, Ireland
beach in Galway, Ireland

One of my favorite romantic “chic flics” is PS: I Love You, starring Gerard Butler and Hilary Swank. Shortly after Gerry (Gerald) first meets Holly (Hillary), he plays his guitar in a bar and sings to her the fun Irish song Galway Girl.

Gerry & Holly in PS: I Love You
Gerry & Holly in PS: I Love You

I love the song and I couldn’t wait to go to Galway on my and Leah’s first trip to Ireland. I just had a feeling it would be a fun place, and it was! Galway was Leah’s and my favorite city in Ireland!

Leah, being a violinist, loved all the street musicians. We are definitely a “Galway Girl”!

One young man played the guitar in the town center and he was amazing. We stood and listened for awhile. He reminded me of the musical prodigy in the movie August Rush.

Galway guitarist
Galway guitarist

Unfortunately, when Leah came home and tried to transfer her pics and videos to her computer, she lost all her street musician videos! She was so frustrated with herself (thank goodness, she didn’t lose her photos! She took over 600!). I told her we’ll just have to go back so she can video them again. We both want to return to gorgeous Ireland!

We stayed at the lovely Abbeyville B & B in Freeport Barna, Co. Galway, owned by Bernadette, who is an artist. I deliberately chose this B & B, as our daughter Leah is an amazing, self-taught artist. All the B & B’s we stayed at in Ireland were very clean and neat, which I loved and was so thankful for!

wall art
wall art

 

art from B & B owner in Galway
art from B & B owner in Galway

 

Abbeyville B & B, Galway
Abbeyville B & B, Galway

 

Abbeyville bathroom
Abbeyville bathroom

When Leah was three years old, she would lay on her tummy and color and draw with crayons. When she was older, my husband Ray bought her a graphic art tablet. I homeschooled her throughout the twelve years of her education, and Leah honed her craft and now is enrolled in a digital art, online college program to achieve her Bachelor’s degree.

Leah enjoyed talking with the owner Bernadette about her art, some of which she has displayed locally. I believe this was a Divine appointment from God, as Bernadette encouraged Leah to pursue her art interest and to display and sell it online! Leah does have her own online store here.

Driveway at Abbeyville
Driveway at Abbeyville

One unique technique that Bernadette enjoys painting with is melted bee’s wax. She showed us some of her projects, and they were beautiful, textured with vibrant colors. 

I was so proud of Leah doing her classwork even as we were vacationing in Ireland! While she worked on her homework, I sat outside at a glass patio table. I admired the gorgeous blooming flowers and the lush, green plant life and trees everywhere, journaled, and created my first video in Ireland. I’ll upload it later and add the link here! It felt surreal to be in Ireland!

Beautiful fresh flowers
Beautiful fresh flowers

 

Journaling outside
Journaling outside

All the B & B’s provided coffee pots/tea makers in the room. Leah made us tea, with our cookies. One way we saved money in Ireland was to buy groceries sometimes, instead of eating out at restaurants.

At the grocery store, Leah bought a sandwich, sour cream and onion potato chips, and a chocolate mint bar, and I got a salad, salt and vinegar potato chips, and a Galaxy chocolate bar, which was delicious Irish chocolate!

Pubs are often more reasonably priced than the restaurants, so we frequently ate lunch at the pubs. This was fun. You’ll find pubs in almost every town, even the remote places. Some of the pubs play live music. They all offer alcohol, including the infamous Guinness beer (which neither Leah or I tried! I hate beer!)

The King’s Head is a famous, 800-year-old historic pub in Ireland.  It is supposedly the building given as payment to Richard Gunning for beheading King Charles I. No, we didn’t eat there!

The King's Head pub
The King’s Head pub

 

Deli/grocery
Deli/grocery

 

Chips and chocolate
Chips and chocolate

Bernadette served a wonderful, full Irish breakfast, which included delicious home-made scones with jam. Leah and I enjoyed having a French press coffee maker just for us at our table.

Fresh fruit & yogurt
Fresh fruit & yogurt

 

French press coffee maker
French press coffee maker

Bernadette was such a friendly, welcoming hostess. She encouraged us to go view the Atlantic Ocean on Salthill Promenade. I’d already read before coming to Ireland that parking was a big problem, especially in big cities, but on this busy street there is free parking on the side of the road! 

The Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean

 

Galway beach
Galway beach

 

The Atlantic, Galway
The Atlantic, Galway

It was overcast and windy, and it began to sprinkle, so the cute, comfortable, and practical raincoats I’d bought me and Leah came in handy that day. I found my blue, gently used one for only $7.99 at a thrift store and got Leah’s navy blue one on sale at Amazon. We got some great pics of each other by the ocean. It was very peaceful there.

The Atlantic Ocean beach
The Atlantic Ocean beach

 

big rocks on Galway beach
big rocks on Galway beach

Leah couldn’t believe that people were actually swimming in the water and said the water must be cold. 

In the pic below, you can see a swimmer behind me in the water, staring at the camera. Leah gets upset with me for taking photos of random people, but they often make the best pics!

In the other pic, I love how the woman’s sneakers made footprints on the wet sand as she walked. It reminds me of the poem Footprints.

Swimmer in ocean
Swimmer in ocean

 

Leah at beach in Galway in her rain jacket
Leah at beach in Galway in her rain jacket

 

me in my blue rain jacket in Galway on the beach
me in my blue rain jacket in Galway on the beach

 

Random woman walking on the beach in Galway
Random woman walking on the beach in Galway

I thought these pictures of Leah looking out at the Atlantic Ocean were poignant and powerful. She also took one of me, without me knowing about it. 

Leah looking out at the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland
Leah looking out at the Atlantic Ocean in Ireland

 

Leah looking at the ocean on Salthill Promenade
Leah looking at the ocean on Salthill Promenade

 

Leah walking on the beach
Leah walking on the beach

 

me looking out at Atlantic ocean in Galway
me looking out at Atlantic ocean in Galway

The beach is my place of peace and refilling. Leah liked the seagulls on the beach; she loves any kind of animal.

The ocean is my place of peace.
The ocean is my place of peace.

 

seagull on Galway beach
seagull on Galway beach

Leah and I saw a telescope on the sidewalk and looked through it to see a ship and an island across the ocean, which had houses. The telescope cost a couple of Euros coins, like parking does in most places. 

Leah putting Euro coins in telescope
Leah putting Euro coins in telescope

 

Leah looking through telescope
Leah looking through telescope

We ate a delicious sidewalk cafe in Galway called The Quay Street Kitchen that I’d read great reviews about, where Leah tried her first Irish fish and chips (she liked it). This was one of the funnest, most peaceful times we had there, eating delicious food and people-watching in Galway.

Our waiter was brand new, and did a fabulous job waiting on us. At the table right next to us, a young couple dined together. In the background on the sidewalks Irish music played, which Leah noted. 

It again felt surreal, to be eating at an outdoor cafe in Ireland! I felt so happy sitting there with my sweet, beautiful daughter Leah. God is so good!

The Quay Street Kitchen
The Quay Street Kitchen

When I visit Ireland again (I am praying to go back!), I would love to stay in Galway several days. I wanted to stay in Galway much longer, but it was beginning to rain so Leah suggested that we leave to drive to our next B & B.

In my next post in this Ireland blog series, I’ll share more about Galway’s town center.

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A gift from God

Our daughter Leah with her violin
Our daughter Leah with her violin

Yesterday our youngest daughter Leah and I spontaneously went to eat at the Mexican restaurant in town, one of my fave places, and when we were almost finished, I spotted my old friend Denise and her husband Clayton at the door. They were looking for a meeting room in town for their MLM business. She ran up to me and hugged me, loudly laughing in exclamation to see me. As we talked, they shared about their business and then we left.

As soon as I was home, Denise texted me an apology, saying she hoped that they hadn’t been “too much” sharing about the company, but they were just excited about the testimonies from people using the product. I texted her back no, but I was wondering if I had run across her for another reason: our daughter Leah.

Leah Jones' graduation -in her blue cap, gown, and tassel
Leah Jones’ graduation -in her blue cap, gown, and tassel

Leah graduated two years ago from our homeschool, but isn’t sure what she wants to do yet with our life, so she doesn’t have a job and isn’t enrolled in college. She’s been taking violin lessons for two years and is an incredible violinist, and is teaching herself how to play the mandolin, the guitar, and the keyboard. She’s also an amazing, completely self-taught artist.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Several years ago, Ray bought her a graphic art tablet for her computer. I believe the art she creates is inspired by God. It is simply beautiful. I knew Denise was an artist and had been to the art studio in her home when we used to be neighbors and Leah was a toddler. I told her about Leah’s art and asked if she’d be open to us coming over for Leah to see her paintings. This year Leah began experimenting, too, with watercolor paints.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Denise said yes, and then she suggested coming by in a few minutes since they were already here in town to look at Leah’s art (they don’t live here, but close by). She not only paints, but she was an art teacher several years at a Christian school, won a local painting contest, and was commissioned to do portrait paintings for pay by people.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

When Denise and her husband Clayton looked at Leah’s art, they really encouraged her. Denise looked at Leah after going through her computer graphic art and her watercolors and said, “Leah, you have a GIFT FROM GOD.” She explained that not everyone was able to do this, and it was God-given.

Copyright 2011 Leah Jones
Copyright 2011 Leah Jones

When I told them that I thought Leah could easily sell her art on Etsy but didn’t want to and didn’t think it’d sell, she and Clayton both told Leah that she COULD do that and SHOULD try. They told her they believed it would sell and if she could make money at doing what she loves and is good at, why not? What a lesson for you and me today! God wants us to prosper!

a gift
a gift

Denise then began sharing with Leah about the parable of the talents –how interesting since that’s our study in the Creative Christian Women’s Network on Facebook this week! It’s also a passage I’ve shared many times with Leah before about her art and music. Denise told her that the master called the servant who hid his talent “wicked” and “lazy,” and that Leah doesn’t want to hide her talent. Clayton explained that while the “talent” in that passage was a means of money in those days, it still applied to our talents and skills.

In the parable in Matthew 25, the word “delivered” in the original Greek language is the word paradid?mi (Blue Letter Bible Strong’s G3860), which means:

  • To give into the hands of another;
  • To give into one’s power of use;
  • To deliver to one to keep, use, take care of, manage;
  • To commit to, to commend.

Just as the master gave his servants the talents, giving them into their hands to manage wisely, God has put gifts, talents, and skills inside of you to steward faithfully. God doesn’t want you hiding your gifts, just as He doesn’t want Leah hiding her amazing art or music gifts. He created Leah in my womb, wonderfully and fearfully, with those gifts innately and He created yours, too.

Leah with our family, Heather, Ray & me
Leah with our family, Heather, Ray & me

The question is: what will you do with them? Hide them or let your light for Christ shine, so He may be glorified in you and through you? Remember, it’s all about Him and for His glory. Don’t hide your gifts!

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Leah’s art, Mint Green Black Cat coffee cups and more: Make extra money on Etsy

Today is Day 7 of the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. The daily blog post inspiration was to go browse an interesting online retailer and see what pops into your head.

I checked out Bridget’s Etsy. I like the Mint Green Black Cat coffee cup, the tiny gold compass necklace, and I thought the This is My Selfie TShirt was funny.

I’ve been trying to encourage our daughter Leah to sell her art on Etsy. She totally could. 

We’ve always homeschooled Leah and several years ago, Ray bought her a graphic art tablet. I’ve been encouraging her since graduation to enroll in college art classes (she still “doesn’t know yet.”) She’s a completely self-taught artist and is just amazing. Here’s just 2 samples of the incredible graphic art she’s drawn:

#10 Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

 

#14 - Thumbnailing - 19th Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

 

Her art is very unique. I also LOVE this cute one she drew!

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Leah could sell some of her art on Etsy and make some money to buy whatever she wants or needs.

You can sell items on Etsy, too. I have a friend, Jennifer Whiddon, an anointed jewelry artist who sells on Etsy. She also created a custom-made, sterling silver necklace just for my website here.

What talent or skill do you have that you could use to make some extra money on Etsy?

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