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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

June 11, 2017

Cherish Conference

We are One. That was the theme of this years Cherish Womens Conference. And so we all began the trip by heading to Leeds, England as ONE bunch of awesome women in a bus. A loud bus, might I add. We were all very chatty ;) I distinctly remember the whole bus singing to the theme song of Frozen ;) hehe

Our wristbands when we stopped at services for lunch 
DAY ONE
We then arrived at the hotel and were divided into rooms. I was going to be sharing a queen size bed with Morven, and Isabelle and Steph would be sharing a bed as well in our room.

After we had settled down and been to the bathroom we set off for dinner: Mcdonalds ;)

We then set off for the first night of the conference with spirits held high and hearts ready to be filled in awe.

Getting ready at the hotel 

The first night at the conference <3 From right: me, Isabelle, Steph and Morven

Different perspective

Opening sequence of the first night 

My favourite song that night: He never fails
Dancing with the lights 
Dinner of fried duck dumplings. I am very happy to say that I used my chopsticks all night and had amazing green tea :)

DAY TWO

The second day at the conference. We were waiting in the line, because security had to go through all our bags to allow us into the conference
My lunch on day two: Peanut butter and bacon burger with sweet potato chips. Sounds interesting, I know, but it was on the menu!! 
Steph and I taking a tea brake while the other room mates sleep :) 
My HUGGEE Chai Latte <3 

Lift selfie <3 
From our position where we were sitting at the conference
Morven loving the music <3
DAY THREE

Day three selfie in the line 
We were given a chocolate snack :D 
The main entrance with all the girls leaving for lunch
My starter for lunch: dough balls
Our necklaces that we were given. They represent being united as One in Christ
The final session: Morven, Steph and I
Goodbye Cherish!! 
In the bus back to Edinburgh. Steph and I had a lovely time dancing and singing

I am so thankful for the time that I had to relax with my girlie friends this weekend!! What I got out of the trip was an understanding of God's love. I really don't think that there is ever going to be a time when we are not learning about God's love.

Till next time,

Laura xx

May 27, 2017

Edinburgh: Gullane Beach

The last couple of days have been a huge shock for Scotts. They have taken off their shirts to reveal their white skin, and have taken to spending their days outside with friends. And, the weirdest of all, they actually speak to you while you are walking outside!! This has never been heard of, an occurrence that only happens on the extremely rare warm days. It is a complete turn around from the reserved people who put earphones on and stick their faces in smart phones. Including me ;)

On Wednesday this week Graeme, Iulia and I went on an adventure to Gullane Beach.

Our first sightings of the beach 
Iulia and I taking an awkward selfie 
Whoops ... the camera slipped.

We then decided to go for a walk. So we went over many slimy green rocks, with small rock pools and shards of shells (that got stuck in my foot on the way back). 

We then found an inlet, and so we followed it and then we found this mysterious cave!! 

The mysterious caves
Iulia thought that there could be mermaids in there, and Graeme said there was seas lions. I think I was a tad more realistic by saying that it was probably a pirate smugglers cave, hehe..


On our walk back to the car we HAD to take a selfie in the sunlight :)
The afternoon sunlight shining onto the sand and the sea
The next day was very hot as well, and so I decided to go again to Gullane beach. This time with Graeme and Morven. Well, It was really Graeme's idea because he has a car ;) haha. Morven and I juts kinda went along with it ;)

This time we decided to have a barbecue, so Graeme went to our local grocers to pick up some chicken, hamburgers, sausages, buns and bbq equipment. Not forgetting the sunscreen!! It was all sold out at the grocers I had been to earlier on in the day ;) haha. I think Scotts are caught unawares when they suddenly have a hot day ;) 

I had rode my bike into the city that morning. It was a great day to ride, because of the sunlight, but at the same time it wasn't because I turned as red as a tomato!! ;) When I finished work I rode to a cafe, had a savoury scone and rhubarb and pear drink, and read a book. I then rode back to uni to prepare to go to the beach. By preparation, I mean shaving my legs. Well, a girl has to shave her legs to wear a swim suit :D

After we had prepared all the food, jumped into the car, and driven to the beach, we were all ready for the feast on the beach!!

Gullane Beach 
To begin with we went for an unforgettably cold swim. The more I walked in to the water, the more I was tempted to just walk straight out again. But we all persevered!! 

I am so proud of all of us <3 

I even ducked my whole head in!! 

We spent a while in the sea, basking in the sunlight and warming up by swimming. Morven took longer than us to get deeper, so when Graeme and I were ready to go Morven still wanted to go deeper ;) haha.

So we pushed her deeper ;) Just kidding!! ;)

Here we all area after eating a lovely meal on the beach <3 
Panorama of the beach
The awesome sunset 
Capturing the red sun through the leaves

The colours were sooo amazing!! A picture just does not describe it enough!! 
I have learnt to love the Scottish beach called Gullane. It is serene, secluded and specially secretive. It is a wonder that it is not advertised to the tourists!! 

I am glad, though, because it means that it is ours :D

Now you are uptodate, 

Laura 

xoxo

April 8, 2017

Not another attack!! Continue scrolling...

It has come to my attention that we are getting too used to the violence and evil that this world has come under. 

The cars plunging into crowds, and the fear of where it is going to happen next. The citizens being killed because of a war that has gone on for way too long. The citizens starving to death in East Africa because of food shortages. The women and men who go through hell everyday, here, in our own cities and towns, because of human trafficking, discrimination and/or abuse. Why are we not crying every time we see these horrific ordeals?

If there is something that I can do to bring justice to those who are put through hell, I will do it. Would you not do the same?

But is there anything we can DO to stop all this stuff?

I strongly believe that there is, and I hope that after reading this you will believe that there is too.

Have you ever wondered why there is evil in this world? Why do some people love violence, and other people detest it?

Just here me out here:

I believe that there is a Creator of the world who gave us the perfect set of emotions: to feel love and compassion. But then evil entered this world when one of the Creator's helpers decided that he did not want to be loving and compassionate anymore. And so the Creator had no choice but to send his friend out of the perfect heaven so that the evil would not spread. However, the evil came down to earth touched the first humans of the world. And so evil entered the world. It then continued to spread to more and more humans like a plague. 

The Creator gave us all freedom to choose our own paths in life: whether it would be to love or to hate, to follow evil or follow love. He loved humans so much that He did not want to dictate how humans should live. He wants humans to find the path to life for themselves. But many humans have chosen the path to death and hatred. 

Now you might ask: If the Creator of the world gave humans the freedom of choice, why would He not tell those people who have chosen to live evil lives by killing people for pleasure that it is not right?

Good question!!

Would humans really listen to someone telling them that they were not supposed to be committing evil crimes? I think they would be far to deep into their own emotions to hear any reason.

So now you are probably thinking: Is there any hope to bring love and compassion to the people who have chosen evil?

Yes, the greatest news EVER is that there is hope!!

The Creator wants us to let him know that we will not allow the evil to corrupt this world!! And to do this we need to talk to Him, like we would to a friend or family member to show them that we care. We need to let Him know that we are standing as a united barricade against this evil. We need to start crying and showing that we care about bringing love and compassion back to this world!!

United we will stand up for love and compassion.

The Creator of this world is called God, and the way that we communicate to Him is through praying. To pray you stop what you are doing, focus your attention on God, and pour out your heart to Him. You don't need to clasp you hands, or close you eyes, or even be your knees. God is everywhere, and He is always listening and waiting for you to talk to Him.

Will you pray with me to God for love and compassion to fill the evil in the world?

Laura

March 14, 2017

~ My awesome flatmates ~

13 March 2017 

From front left: Sophie, Jennifer, me, Caroline, Sixian and Pamela. 

I truly dont have words to describe the awesomeness that is my flatmates. They are, beyond a doubt, the most kind and warm people. And so how could I not have learnt from them? Here is a list of things I have learnt so far:

To begin with, I learnt to be patient. haha.

Patient because my natural personality is to be FAST, FAST, FAST, and have a hectic schedule that means I have little leeway for side tracking. I mean, I am still like that, but I have learnt to relax more with these people. Honestly, the best thing that I could learn right now is relaxation!! Being a student and all...

Relaxation with our daily pilates in the kitchen
And in a field. 
I learnt to have friends that love you for you. And this is how friends should be. They are there for you when you need help, and vice versa. For example, I am naturally good (I would say) at giving, but not so much at receiving, and so when I was sick and I was determined to keep going, Pamela brought me down to earth and told me to stay in bed. She even said that she would walk into town and get groceries from the shop for me!! How amazing is that? It makes such a difference when I allow myself to receive sometimes ;) 

Here are some things that I love, and that my flatmates have been been there to help me:
Love for baking <3 Pamela decides here that she loves the camera more than my informative recipe instructions ;)
Tea in the kitchen <3 My flatmates help me finish my large teapot of tea :) 
Love for adventure <3 
I learnt to love in a way I have rarely allowed myself to love before. Love as a colour has such a large array of different shades. I have definitely learnt to be more openly loving. Something that has been hard for me to achieve (and is still).

Loving someone as cute as Sophie is definitely a challenge ;) 
I mean, how can you not?
I have learnt to listen even more.

Never underestimate the power of listening!! When you look at us, we look like we have no problems, but trust me when you take time to listen more you realise that we are no where near perfect. And that makes living our lives just that bit easier ;)

Listening to Sophie's instructions was sound, but actually doing them was much harder ;)
I have learnt to delegate.

I know many people have hinted at me to delegate, but there is nothing quite like learning through practice. Now is there?

For instance, during the surprise birthday bake session for Jennifer, Caroline and Allan (written about in my other blog: The Baking Students), I wrote up a timetable of what baking, and when we would start and finish each component, during the day. I also posted it online so that everyone helping could see it. Now, I thought I had all the baking covered. I started baking, and realised that things take longer than you plan. NOW, if people had not come up to me and asked to help I dont think we would have got everything done. And I thank my flatmates so much for teaching me the art of delegating!!!

Caroline helped so much with the baking <3
Awesome volunteers to help out!!
Team effort in the Pizza Bake Off!! Sophie ran to Tesco to get the ingredients in record time, Caroline made the pizza sauce and ran after us with the much needed basil, while Jennifer and I made the dough. 
I have learnt what a family of students feels like.

Why is Sophie in a field? ;) Because of me!! haha :D
And I sure do love it!! ;)

Now you are uptodate,

Laura

xoxo

January 3, 2017

December Tallinn Trip

26-28 December

I think this was actually a trip that would be like a break away from a break ;) If you know what I mean. It was so much work getting gifts wrapped, food baked and gift tags made for Christmas Eve that I was more than ready to just relax for a while ;)

So my parents, my brother and I headed from our home in Helsinki to the terminal where we would catch the boat to Tallinn via bus and tram. When we got off the tram, a student from Singapore asked us for directions, and so we took him with us onto the boat. You know, just to make sure he made it ;)

There is a long way to walk from where the terminal is to the boat, and so it was very surprising for the Singaporean guy to comprehend when he actually got on the boat. I don't really know what he was expecting as a boat, just not what he saw ;)

After we said goodbye we headed to our usual spot onboard to get a seat. The boat wasn't that busy, so it was very easy to snatch up one of the four-seater tables. We then promptly started on one of Harri's games :D

After 2 and a half hours spent on playing games, and the swaying of the boat from such huge waves, we were excited to finally get off the boat and go for a walk on solid ground.

Here we all are in front of the entrance to our apartment
Our favourite cafe in Tallinn: The Peppersack :) And not just because it is super cheap ...
But look at that architecture!!
The gates of the old town
A busker outside a shopping centre
Gates of the old town
All of us in the Christmas markets
The Christmas markets were full of huts selling woollen things to wear, like beanies and mittens, and huts selling glogi (mulled wine). I tried a blueberry glogi, which was lovely, sweet and fruity.

Harri got lots of games this Christmas, and so we just had to try them out. The first game we played in our apartment was called "Ticket to Ride". The instructions were quite long, so on one of our car journeys Harri and I read it out to each other to make sure we understood it ;)

Ticket to Ride game. I won the first time we ever played it (I was yellow) :D
Our apartment. It was so cute and comfy :x Definitely recommend  it!!
Peak-a-boo. Walking on the Tallinn gates that go all around the old town
Lunch at the Peppersack. Interesting Fact: Apparently spice traders were teasingly called "Peppersacks" in the old days. One wealthy spice trader quite liked the name "Peppersack", so when he bought this place he named it in commemoration of the name. 
This was now the last day that we had in Tallinn, so we decided after eating lunch to go for a walk to the nearest shopping centre for mum to, hopefully, find a bag. But no such luck. So then I suggested we go to a shopping mall area. But instead of mum's bag, I found a jumper. haha.

Lovely winter decorations
We then had to stop to get a chai latte, since they are cheaper in Tallinn than Helsinki, and we all love chai latte :D Interesting Fact: Alcohol is also much cheaper in Tallinn, so that is why so many Finns take back hordes of beer ect. on the boat to Helsinki.

My chai latte <3 
This was a very successful trip to Tallinn in my eyes, although mum was quite annoyed that she didn't find a bag (might I add that it has been a year since she started looking).

Now you are uptodate,

Laura 

xoxo