Sunshine

When I set a goal, I rarely alter it. I focus solely on what I’m determined to do and don’t stop working until I accomplish it.

My most recent goal involves serving where the need is greater in the Sunshine State. Originally, my goal was to move to Miami to support a local ASL cong that I visited in the past. I love Miami and made a few great friends down there who I looked forward to getting to know better. However, every time I made plans to job search or apt search, nothing seemed to come together properly. I felt like I took 1 step forward and 3 steps back. Though I was discouraged, I was still determined. I decided to write Bethel and explain where and why I wanted to move. I also asked (due to the persistent request of a very good friend) if there were any other ASL congs in Florida that needed support.

My response letter arrived and I could not have been more surprised. Bethel informed me that although Miami did need help in the ASL field, there were other congs in Florida that needed more support. (TBH, I was kinda bummed) I felt like a huge storm cloud had just rained on my Miami parade. I cringed at the thought of changing my original plans. However, Jah helped me to see that my plans did not fail but were merely readjusted.

One of the ASL congs that Bethel suggested I contact is located in Bradenton, about 1 hour from Tampa. I spent 6 days there and could not be happier with the wonderful friends and cong that Jah led me to. Here’s some highlights from my sunny, fun-filled trip:

For starters, a sister named Nicole allowed my mom and I to stay with her during our trip and she was so sweet. Her house is adorable and her sense of humor is golden. We spent a lot of time with her and truly enjoyed every minute.

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Nicole & I
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Nicole’s house
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Nicole’s house

She took us to my fav place…THE BEACH!

She took us to a couple of parks with nice views while we were out in service…

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Nicole pointing out the views

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Emily & Nicole
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Nicole, Emily, my mom, me

Everyday we were in service the weather was beautiful. One day we got to see dolphins (Only got a picture of their fins. Sorry lol) and another day we got to see an eagle while we were out.

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Nicole made sure we saw even more animals at Big Cat Habitat which is an animal-lover’s paradise…

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It was the coolest animal sanctuary I’ve ever been to. The family owned and operated business seems to have a passion for caring for all the animals it houses. I highly recommend spending the $18 to see everything and attend the show that features the owner performing tricks with a liger, white tiger, and African lion.

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Mom with the emu
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Llama made me laugh
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Nicole with baby llama

 

Nicole introduced us to the great food, drinks and atmosphere at Wicked Cantina…

And towards the end of the night, there was a beautiful sunset right across the street. It was an awesome reminder of how artistic Jah is.

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Sunsets weren’t the only thing I marveled at during my trip. I was also amazed by the overwhelming zeal and encouragement that the friends at the ASL cong displayed. Spending time with them in the ministry and at the meetings was truly a joy. The cong is full of hilarious and kind people. I can’t wait to reunite with them soon.

 

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Fake spider fun LOL

 

I shared more laughs at a family’s house where a backyard-Bible story- play was performed by young ones and their parents.

 

 

The props and costumes were so adorable. It was cute to see how much effort the kids put into each of their little performances.

It reminded me that no matter where we are on our spiritual journey, every little effort that we make always matters greatly to Jehovah.

The remainder of my time in the Sunshine State was spent apartment hunting, interviewing at potential jobs, and of course going to the beach.

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Mom at the beach

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Beach bound

 

I’m not quite sure how this big move will happen exactly but I am 100% sure that Jah will guide me. He nudged me towards Bradenton and I wouldn’t dare turn back now.  Even though, I live in the cold-weathered city of Chicago right now, I already feel like I’m living in sunshine because I am so genuinely happy. I have such a sunny, bright outlook on my life now. Jehovah has brightened my future and I’m extremely excited for it to begin. My goal is to live in this sunshine forever.

 

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See you this summer Bradenton!

 

If you’re basking in your own figurative sunshine, feel free to tell me about it in the comments. Share your happiness. It’s contagious.

B.P ❤

 

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