Monday, June 21, 2010

On Vacation with Hannah


I have a lot to share with you today! =) So find a comfortable spot (like the one pictured above, which was also taken at the home we rented in Sunriver, Oregon last summer) and enjoy the scenery!

Yes, I have a new blog design! Thank you to Ashley over at After All....... Tomorrow is Another Day for helping inspire me to really revamp my blog for each new season! Since yesterday was the first official day of summer, it made sense to make the switch now. I'm hoping that the new background, the picture above, and the color scheme all convey a sense of "summer."

I would love to hear your thoughts on the new look for my blog! And I thought I would share my thoughts on it, as well, particularly the picture above. =) In the "Seasons of Humility," summer would be the time when we are humble before God and seeking His will--not our own. We are sinners (and therefore not perfect), so this season in our lives won't be perfect either. But, as much as possible, it will be a time when we let go and truly trust God and His plan for our lives. It's hard to come to the place where we surrender all that we have to Him. But, as paradoxical as this may sound, that is when we reach the mountaintop--for we are seeking to see our lives from God's higher perspective. The more humble we are, the more we are able to see God's powerful working in our lives and the more open we are to following Him. I hope that the picture of the mountain above (along with the tranquil and green, "growing" colors on this blog) will encourage you. May we, through the Lord's grace and strength, be coming ever closer to the summertime of humility!

Now, coming back to "Vacation Week," it is my great pleasure to welcome Hannah from Project Journal as our guest! Little did I know when I asked Hannah if I could interview her that I was talking to a world-traveler! Here's a list of the places Hannah has been:
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Jersey
  • Isle of Guernsey
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg
  • Germany
  • Wales
  • Canada
  • Holland
  • Nassau (in the Bahamas)
  • Over half of the United States
  • And soon . . . London!
That's some list! And I thought I was quite the traveler! ;) So please join me in welcoming world-traveler Hannah!

Amber: What is your favorite vacation destination?

Hannah: I would definitely have to say that my favorite vacation destination so far would have to be Ireland or the Isle of Jersey. My family always travels together (mom, sister, aunt, grandma, grandpa, and myself), so it's always interesting. Ireland was our first international trip together. Hence, one of my favorites, I think. I believe Kav had said that you don't know green until you go to Ireland. Boy is she right! Ireland is beautiful. Plus, they don't have any snakes!! The Isle of Jersey, for those of you who don't know, is in the Channel Islands, which are part way between France and England. It is a beautiful, tiny island where the Jersey cow originated. My grandparents used to be Jersey farmers, so we like that little history about it. It is only 9x15 miles or something like that, but interestingly you could never walk it in one day. The island is full of beaches, castles, and very friendly people. I would recommend that everyone gets there at least once, then you'll probably go back like we do! Lol....

Amber: If you could travel to anywhere in the world you have not been, where would you go and why?

Hannah: I have been many places, but I really would love to go to Italy. My dad's side of the family is very Italian; his grandparents came over from Italy. So, I have some ties. I mean, my last name is Cerasoli! Lol! They have gondolas, lots of history, and good food. Why wouldn't I want to go? I'd love to track down some of my family history also.

Amber: What setting would you choose if you were writing a book?

Hannah: My story would probably take place in a small town. Then, depending on the story, it could be a small town mystery/murder or a small town romance story! It leaves my options open.

Amber: What is one thing you love about your hometown?

Hannah: I live in a relatively small town (especially compared to others), so I love how everyone knows everyone. I know that sounds cliche, but it's always fun when news gets around. *A bit of sarcasm* No, really though, it is fun to have nosy neighbors sometimes and little old church ladies that want to know all your business, because you know they care. It's not like the city where everything passes everyone by. You stop and take the time to listen and tell stories because you all care about each other.

Amber: Thank you, Hannah, for sharing some of your experiences with us and for visiting "Seasons of Humility" today! Here's to many more wonderful travels!

16 comments:

Julie Lessman said...

AMBER!!! Love the new look and I have ALWAYS loved the mountaintop picture, my friend! And I was especially touched (and inspired!) by your following words:

"It's hard to come to the place where we surrender all that we have to Him. But, as paradoxical as this may sound, that is when we reach the mountaintop--for we are seeking to see our lives from God's higher perspective."

Oh my, I am realllly going through that right now, and your words really blessed me.

Great interview, Amber and Hannah! And Hannah, you little brat -- I worked for a travel company for over 30 years, and even I never went to THAT many places, girl!!! And Ireland???? You went to Ireland???? I am SO jealous because there is no place I would rather go on God's green earth than the greenest spot He created!

Fun blog, fun interview, guys!

Hugs,
Julie

Amber S. said...

Hi Julie!!!

How fun to have you visit today! :D I'm so glad you like the new blog look! And thank YOU for your encouraging words! I'm so glad God can use us to reach out to each other and inspire one another. :)

And I know what you mean--I had NO idea Hannah had been to that many places! And I would LOVE to go to Ireland, too! :D

Thanks so much for visiting, Julie!

~Amber

Amanda said...

AMBER! Your blog looks BEAUTIFUL!! I LOVE the green- it’s the same color as my desk :) Ashley had such a great idea and you just made it happen, girl!

I’m so blessed by what you said about this summer of humility. That is what I’m in definite need of my friend. I find it so hard (especially lately) to surrender my life, my dreams, and what “I” want to the Lord. There is too much ME in me and I’m in need of some major decreasing so Christ can increase. He wants (and deserves) our WHOLE heart not just a few rooms that we "allow" Him to occupy. I need to come down off the throne of my life so Jesus can take His rightful place as the King of my heart. Have you ever heard the song “Surrender” by Barlowgirl? The words are incredible and very fitting for this season. Check it out when you get a chance, I think you’ll like it :)

And great interview Hannah! I can’t believe you have traveled to so many places :0 I’ve been only 1 place in my whole life (Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which wasn’t very far seeing as I live in RI). And how cute, my family is from Italy too! My great-grandparents on my mom’s side are from Italy, and on my dad’s side my great-grandmother is from Italy, but my great-grandfather is from England. I think I definitely look (and act) like my Italian side, LOL- the only thing I get from the 25% English running through my veins is my height and last name ;) LOVE your last name too, BTW- I’m so jealous! Thanks for sharing your grand adventures with us here. Praying for blessings and traveling mercies as you tour the Lord’s magnificent creation :)

Amber you are so sweet and you have such a gift for writing! Your love for Jesus is evident in every word and such a blessing to the reader :) And it's such a blessing to see Julie here too! Hi Julie :)

Praying the rest of your day is beautiful!!

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Thank you so much! :D Your words make me smile! And how fun that my blog matches your desk now. ;) Wasn't Ashley's idea great?

And thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your thoughts! I love the way you put it--getting off the throne of our lives so the true, rightful King can take His place. :) You put it so beautifully! And I'm definitely in need of this lesson, as well--I want my own way so much, but I have to remember that God truly loves me and knows far better than I do what I truly need. It's like the lesson from "The Princess and the Frog"--it's not what you want, it's what you need! And yet God often blesses us with what we want, as well, when we our seeking His will. What an amazing God we serve!

I'll have to check out that song sometime, too. :) Thanks for sharing!

Thank you again for your encouraging words! Your comments have been such a blessing to me!

~Amber

bluerose_shelnut said...

Your blog looks beautiful!! I'm glad you put the "heart" picture at the top. It's one of my favorites. :)
I'm jealous of Hannah! I've never been out of the states that surround mine. Of course, I'm terrified at the thought of flying.
When I read books about different places around the world, it makes me want to go so bad, though!

Kav said...

Nice fresh look, Amber. A perfect way to herald in the new season. What a neat idea and tie-in to your blog title.

Lovely inspirational thought as well. I'm notorious for holding on to everything I want God to help me with and telling Him how He should fix it. LOL. We usually end up in a tug of war.

Great interview with Hannah. I can't believe how many places you've visited already. There must me some gypsy blood in thos Italian ancestors. LOL. Love that you have such a warm and loving hometown to come home to. Sounds like you have the perfect balance.

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

Thank you!!! I like that picture a lot, too. :) I was so blessed to come upon that spot--a natural, beautiful picture frame for the distant mountain.

Hannah has been to a lot of places, for sure! It is nice that books let us travel places, though. :) It reminds me of "Love Comes Softly," when Marty is trying to convince Missy to learn how to read. She tells her that you can be anyone you want to be and do anything you want to do in the pages of a book--and no one can tell you that you can't because it all happens within the safety and comfort of your own home! :) Books are wonderful!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Kav,

I'm so glad you like it! :) It is fun to have a fresh look for the new season. I'm so glad that Ashley asked if I was going to change the main picture--which helped lead to all of this! ;)

Thanks for your kind words, and I'm happy you enjoyed the post!

~Amber

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

I love the moutaintop picture and how it fits in with your post! AWESOME!

Hannah- Wow I can't believe you've been to so many places that is so wonderful. I would love to go to Italy too as my great grandparents on my dad's side "came over on the boat" form Italy so to speak. I really would love to go to Venice and take a ride on a gondola! :-P

Thanks for another great post and love the new design Amber!

XOXO~ Renee

Amber S. said...

Renee,

Thanks so much! :D I appreciate your feedback on the design over e-mail and here on my blog. I'm happy with how it turned out!

Glad you enjoyed the post, too! :) And it would be so awesome to ride in a gondola--I agree!

~Amber

Michelle said...

Wonderful interview, really enjoyed reading it! I would definitely love to go to Italy. Hannah, I loved your description of your small town.

Amber, I really enjoyed your devotional at the beginning. What you wrote about the mountain reminded me of Third Day's song "Show Me Your Glory," which is one of my favorites.

Love the new design, and I'm guessing the picture is what the mountains in the Northwest look like in summer. The snow is definitely a bit of a shock to my eastern eyes. ;)

Amber S. said...

Michelle,

Good! I'm glad to know you liked the interview! :)

And thank you for your gracious words! Hope God was able to use me to encourage you!

Also, I guess I was taking a risk with using a snow-covered mountain as a summer picture. ;) But yes, some mountains out here have snow year round (I'm pretty sure the mountain pictured above is Mt. Bachelor--in Oregon).

Thanks for stopping by!

~Amber

Julia M. Reffner said...

Well said, Amber. What I'm thinking about is that you're right when we are humble its when we reach the mountaintop, but strangely (or maybe not so strangely) its often when we are in our "valleys" when we realize most how inadequate we are on our own. That's true for me anyway. I think the lower the valley, the more beautiful the mountain view will be when we get to the top.

Thanks for the beautiful picture & your thoughts.

Amber S. said...

Julia,

You're very right! :) If this makes sense, maybe our struggle to becoming more humble before God is like walking through the valleys, and when we are humble we find ourselves on a mountaintop.

But thinking about it in a different way--yes! It's true that when we go through hard times and realize how foolish our pride is (while we're in the valleys), we realize just how right and necessary humility is.

Hope that makes sense! :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as well, and I'm glad you like the picture!

~Amber

Julia M. Reffner said...

Very true, Amber :). I think we're on the same track, we just put our words differently :)

Have a great vacation :)

Amber S. said...

Julia,

I think you're right! ;) And thank you! :D

~Amber