Friday, July 6, 2018

Currently

Happy Friday Y'all

Today I'm joining Anne and Shelly and sharing a bit of what I'm currently up to.

As usual, we're given five prompts to guide our Currently post for the month at hand. So this month is no different. July's Currently prompts are...

* celebrating * visiting * baking *
* wearing * loving * 

So here we go...

I'm currently celebrating the 4th of July. On Wednesday, it was just my mom and me since my brother had to work. But yesterday, my brother and his family came over and we grilled out and had fun watching the girls play outside.



I'm currently visiting a different church each weekend, sharing my heart for the ministry God's called me to. It may make for some tired Sunday nights after having driven so much during the day, but I don't mind. I enjoy visiting each church, meeting new people, reconnecting with people I already knew, and all the while, sharing my heart for these incredible kids God has allowed me to work with.

I'm currently baking nothing. But last weekend, I baked cookies with my nieces. It may have been a bit messy, but it sure was fun :)



I'm currently wearing my hair up in a ponytail a lot. It's so hot and humid in Alabama right now. The crazy part is that it's hotter and more humid here than it is in Senegal.

I'm currently loving knowing I'll be in Mobile this upcoming week for Alabama's annual MEGA Conference for Educators. I'll be learning all sorts of new things to help me teach the sweet babies God will be placing in my care this upcoming school year. I'll be working to renew my teaching certificate. And I'll be in one of my favorite cities in Alabama. 


And since it's my blog and I can do what I want, I'm adding a few more :)

I'm currently drinking lots of fountain drink Dr. Peppers (well, Diet Dr. Peppers). Ah, delicious fountain drink goodness, I've missed you...

I'm currently enjoying having so much time with my nieces. These girls take up such a huge part of my heart and it's so hard being away from them for so much of the year. What a blessing it is to be with them so much this summer! 

I introduced my nieces to the deliciousness that is chocolate covered dipped strawberries :)

I'm currently reading a LOT. And knowing I'll have even more down time next week, I'm planning to pack a few books to take with me to read in the hotel each night. 

I'm currently soaking up all the time I can with my Mama. I love that she is my road trip buddy and biggest supporter/encourager as I travel from city to city, church to church, sharing about my ministry in Senegal. She's such a blessing!


I'm currently needing to raise a bit more to fund this ministry God has called me to. Want to know more about what I do? Want to support my ministry of working with a truly incredible group of kids? Send me an email at enichols85@gmail.com and I'll give you more info.

And that's what I'm currently up to.

What about you?

What are you currently up to?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

June 2018 in Photos

Happy Tuesday Y'all

At the beginning of each month, I'll share the previous month's photos. I'm sharing, if for no other reason, to help me remember some memories and thoughts that went along with each of my 365 photos from the month at hand...

So here are June's photos.

Days 152 - 155



152) Day 152 was my last day with this crew for this school year.
153) Day 153 ended with my school's Junior Senior Banquet.
154) Day 154 involved cleaning out my desk and finding this new pack of Goldfish. Yum!
155) Day 155 ended with laundry.

Days 156 - 159

156) Day 156 included a bit of prep for work I needed to do over the summer.
157) Day 157 ended with laughing with this lady.
158) Day 158 ended with out high school's graduation.
159) Day 159 included a whole lot of flying.

Day 160 - 162

160) On Day 160, I had Chik-fil-a with my family after 10.5 long months away :)
161) Day 161 started with church with my Mama.
162) On Day 162, I spent the whole day out and about with my Mama.

Days 163 - 166

163) Day 163 was spent with my two favorites.
164) On Day 164, I got to see this cutie dance.
165) Day 165 ended with a sweet example of good ol' Southern ingenuity and kindness.
166) On Day 166, I wrote a paper and my buddy did a bit of writing of her own :)

Days 167 - 169

167) On Day 167, I picked up this blessing.
168) Day 168 started with me hearing my friends share about their ministry in Italy.
169) On Day 169, we went shopping for gifts for our baby cousin, Zoey.

Days 170 - 173

170) Day 170 ended with this little one cutting me the side eye during church :)
171) On Day 171, we played in the play place at our favorite restaurant.
172) On Day 172, someone thought my shoe was the perfect bed for her baby.
173) Day 173 included a selfie with my favorites.

Days 174 - 176
174) Day 174 included a bit of driving time.
175) Day 175 started off with a helper carrying my big Africa :)
176) Day 176 ended with microwaveable popcorn and a movie.
177) On Day 177, I reflected on how much I so love these two goofballs :)

Days 178 - 181

178) Day 178 ended with me picking up my brother and sister-in-law at the airport.
179) On Day 179, I found a good deal at Wal-Mart.
180) On Day 180, I hit up a local bookstore.
181) On Day 181, my two favorites and I made chocolate dipped strawberries.

And that was my June.

And in case you missed them, here are the links to the previous months' photos.


JANUARY


FEBRUARY


MARCH


APRIL


MAY

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Growing in Gratitude

Happy Thursday Y'all

Today I'm joining Julie and Trista for their monthly Growing in Gratitude link-up, helping us to focus more on having a

Want to know what I'm grateful for at the moment?

I'm thankful for all the people who sacrificially give of their finances and prayers so I can play just a small part in The Great Commission. 



I'm thankful for the goofiness of my two favorite girls. They make me laugh and fill my heart with such tremendous joy :)



I'm thankful for work I actually don't mind doing over the summer...



I'm thankful for time spent with my Mama.



I'm thankful for a car to drive.


And I'm thankful for GPS to help my directionally challenged self :)

I'm thankful for delicious food I can't get in Dakar...



I'm thankful for good sales.



I'm thankful for this dog, who I took home as a few months old puppy, and who probably won't be alive then next time I come home, since she's so old and getting weaker. I'm thankful for sweet memories as her owner.



I'm thankful for the gift of new books and the time to read them.



And I'm thankful for so many other things that I haven't mentioned in this post...

God is so good to me.

And I am so grateful for all He has done for me and all He will continue to do for me.

I'm blessed.

And I'm grateful.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What's Up June

Happy Wednesday Y'all

Today I'm joining  MelShay, and Sheaffer for their What's Up Wednesday link-up. 

 

Every month we answer the same few questions based on how things are currently going in our lives. 

The questions are...

 

What am I eating?



Ah, Mexican food... Yum! :)


What am I reminiscing about? 

The 2017-2018 school year...

What a fun, blessing of a year it was!


What am I loving?

I'm loving being back with my family again after such a long time away from them...



What have I been up to?



I've started up my speaking "tour" for the summer. I have 6 more churches to share at. And I do still have a few openings left for July. If you're reading this and want to hear about the awesomeness that God's doing in Senegal, and beyond, then send me an email at enichols85@gmail.com and we'll set something up today.

What am I dreading praying for?

I'm going back to erasing the "dreading" part and replacing it with "praying for" instead. At the moment, I'm praying for God to provide all the funds needed for both my missions budget and for the supplies needing to be purchased for my return to Senegal.


What am I working on?

I'm working on making fun memories with my nieces. It's hard knowing that I miss the majority of their little lives since I'm working overseas. But I do try to make it up to them when I'm back on this side of the ocean... :)


What am I excited about?

I turned in my last assignment for my class the week before last. So I've been pretty excited to not have school work to do lately. 

What am I watching?

I picked up my brother and sister-in-law from the airport the other night. Due to their flight being delayed, I had quite a bit of time to just people watch. Is anyone else like me? People watching is pretty fascinating :)



What am I reading?


I just started reading "We're the Lucky Ones" by Georgia Hunter. So far, it's a great book. I'm really enjoying it. And I still have a stack of books left to read. I love that I have lots of time to read over the summer. 

What am I listening to?

I've been enjoying listening to the incredibly sweet sound of laughter from my two favorite girls :)



What am I wearing?



Tunics and leggings - my summer wardrobe staples :)

What am I doing this weekend?

My mom and I'll be spending the day with  my nieces on Saturday. Then I have a service scheduled in Enterprise, Alabama on Sunday morning. And I might get back in time to make it to my own home church Sunday night. 

But past that, I don't have a whole lot planned. Just hanging out with my mom and relaxing sounds pretty nice... :)

What am I looking forward to next month?

* more family time
* speaking at more churches
* raising needed missions funds
* shopping for ministry supplies
* MEGA Conference in Mobile
* family reunion 
* more Chik-fil-a :)
* getting closer to heading back to Dakar 

What else is new?

Very little... I'm just trying to make it through the ridiculously high temps and humidity we're having here in Alabama...


And that's what I'm up to this month.

What about you?

What are YOU up to this month?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tuesday Talk Randomness

Today, I'm joining Ashley and Erika for their monthly Tuesday Talk link-up, where bloggers come together and talk about anything on their mind at the moment...


For this month's Tuesday Talk link-up, I'm sharing a bit of randomness.

~ one ~

While I hate to start on a sad note, it's what's been on my mind a lot lately...



This is the 4th Fathers Day without my dad. 

And yes, as the day approaches each year, I can't help but think about him, with a twinge of sadness in my heart, knowing just how much I'm missing him. 

But I also think of the happy times, like a special football game, spent freezing our tails off, but happy as we watched Navy beat South Alabama in an amazing finish!


~ two ~

On to something happier...


I have so loved being able to spend so much time with my nieces. 

~ three ~ 

And speaking of people I've enjoyed spending time with...


Ah, I love being at home with my Mama :)



~ four ~ 

Next up on my random list today is a blessing.

I knew there was no way I'd be able to afford a vehicle this summer. But knowing how many services I had in July, I knew I needed something. Enter God in all His awesomeness, providing a vehicle through a former UM classmate with a grandmother who had a car she said I could borrow for the summer. What a blessing!


~ five ~ 

And last, but certainly not least...


The school where I teach - Dakar Academy in Senegal, West Africa, is still looking for a few more teachers. If you're reading this and you, or someone you know, feel led to further the Kingdom of God by being a Missionary Teacher (specifically - an Elementary Classroom Teacher, an Elementary Art Teacher, or an Elementary Music Teacher, but really anything at this point...), send me an email today at enichols85@gmail.com and I'll connect you with our administration.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Summer Planning

Happy Wednesday Y'all

Today I'm in the middle of my Summer "vacation" here in my incredibly beautiful, but ridiculously hot and humid sweet home Alabama, where I am joining Erika and Shay for their monthly How We link-up. 

June's prompt is How do you plan summer vacation? And since I often have people ask about my summer vacation plans, I thought I'd share a bit here on the blog.



My summer vacation has some similarities to that of other teachers...

I can sleep in almost every day.

I get to spend more time than usual with family and friends.

I don't have to teach.

I do Professional Development.

And so on...

But the difference is that I'm coming in from Senegal, West Africa.

After 10.5 months away from my family, friends, my home country, Chik-fil-a, and Dr. Peppers full of ice that was actually safe to ingest, along with fruits and vegetables I didn't have to soak in bleach water before consuming, I finally made my way back to the place I called my sweet home Alabama.

I hadn't hugged or chatted face to face with my family in such a long time. 

So summer vacation will give me time for that.

But that's not all I'll be doing.

I'll be shopping for food, school supplies, and clothing needed to last me for another year in Senegal, since shopping options there aren't the best/most affordable.

I'll be soaking up all the time with family I can while I'm back. I have two nieces who are growing like weeds. And since I'm working overseas, I typically miss out on the majority of their little lives. So while I'm back, I'll babysit, watch dance practices, and spoil them as much as humanly possibly, to make up for all I miss when I'm back overseas. Not to mention all the time I happily spend with my mom and my brother and sister-in-law, and extended family as well.

And let's face it. I'll also be drinking lots of fountain drink Dr. Peppers loaded with safe ice. And I'll be eating Mexican food, Chik-fil-a, and all the broccoli, celery, spinach, sugar snap peas, and every other fresh/clean vegetable, I can get :)

I'll be doing some school work.

I'm finishing up my class through Southeastern.

And I'll be working on some paperwork for my teaching work, too. It's much easier to bring it home with me over the summer and have long, extended chunks of time to work on it. And hopefully, by spending this time on it, I'll be freeing myself from having to do so much after hours when school starts back in August.

And I'll also be attending Alabama's annual MEGA Conference, a week-long teacher's conference that happens every summer, where I'll be earning Professional Development hours and learning all I can to better serve my students.

And the main reason I'm back this summer is...

As a Missionary Associate with the Assemblies of God, I'll be traveling, speaking at different churches, meeting with pastors, etc., sharing my heart and passion for my missions work in Senegal and working to raise my missions support budget as well. In fact, I have 8 services set in the 7 1/2 weeks I'll be in Alabama.

So yes, I'm back for the Summer. 

And yes, I'll happily enjoy not setting my alarm clock every day.

But that's not all. 

Summer Vacation, for me, involves lots of family time. 

It also involves a fair bit of work.

It involves missions work

 and teaching work.

It involves reconnecting with supporters and churches.

It involves bringing awareness to the incredible group of kids God's allowed me to work with at the incredible school we all ended up at.

It involves raising funds to continue this incredible ministry.

Because, while it's honestly hard to be so far from my family for the majority of the year, it's worth it... It's worth it because I'm doing what I'm doing because God called me to do it. I'm teaching an incredible group of kids who would otherwise have no other schooling option in our country. I'm helping to further the Kingdom of God, through the education of an incredible group of children.

And for that, I'm blessed.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Shameless plug time...

If you're reading this and have more questions about the ministry I'm doing in Senegal, West Africa, send me an email at enichols85@gmail.com and I'll answer any questions you have. 

If you'd like to support my ministry, either click HERE to give online, or send me an email and I'll give you instructions on how to do so another way.

If you'd like more info on Dakar Academy, the school where I teach, watch the video below or send me an email and I'll answer any questions you have.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday Y'all

Today I'm in my sweet home Alabama, where it's ridiculously hot and humid!




Want to see what I've been up to?

This two ladies and I hung out at the airport and flew from Dakar to Paris together.




Due to a delay in Senegal, this lady and I didn't have much time in the Paris airport. But we did take a picture to mark our arrival :)



We also took a plane selfie too :)


I did a bit of studying/paper writing on the plane. Although, I spent more time sleeping than anything :)



I picked up my luggage when I got to Atlanta, thankful it arrived along with me :)


And my mom and my brother were waiting on me when I headed out. And yes, I totally cried when I saw my Mama :)



Seeing that Sweet Home Alabama sign was a highlight of our trip home :)


And then it was time to surprise my nieces. And if I were more technologically proficient, I'd share the video I made :)





Eventually, we all went out for supper and I had my first Chil-fil-a in year :)



Afterwards, mom and I went home and I saw this sweet pup again :)



And yesterday morning, I went to my mom's church and got the pleasure of seeing her church family again and also of hearing her preach.



Then we went and picked up my aunt and the three of us went out for lunch.



And last night, I got to visit my own home church for the first time in 10 1/2 months and what a treat it was! 



And now today, my mom and I are spending the day together, running errands.



And life is good, y'all. 

So, so good :)