356 Days of Joy: Week 7

I’ve decided to do 365 days of joy this year (inspired by the wonderful Raquel Kato. You can find her 365 days of Presence here).  Some posts my be long, some may be only a sentence, but the important thing is finding joy in your everyday life, because there are so many things to be joyful about, but I tend to forget that. I’ll be posting one every Wednesday, and hopefully I can stay consistent with this. So here we go, week 7!

callingThis seems like an appropriate quote to kick off lent with. This quote is a great reminder that we were made by God for God, and he is waiting and waiting for us to come back to Him in Heaven. He keeps calling, we just have to call back.


Nothing too exciting happened today. However, it was beautiful out so the kids and I spent some much needed time playing in the park!


Carnival in Limburg officially began today! I took the kids to the children’s parade and they actually liked it (which is a big step because they usually don’t like loud music). Carnival is crazy here in the South (apparently in the North they don’t celebrate it like this), they celebrate hard (like to 4 in the morning) every day for 5 days. Also, since the Dutch are not ones to skimp on anything, they go all out–I’m talking costumes that would put many halloween costumes to shame.


Saturday night I took a train down to Maastricht where I met up with Anna-Louisa, a girl I had met earlier in my stay in the Netherlands. She is a student at one of the Universities there and she graciously welcomed me there for Carnival!



The Maastricht parade was full of life and joy. The Limburgers (I don’t know if that’s what they are technically called but I like it) know what they are doing when it comes to costumes, parades and parties.  It was quite hilarious because I don’t think there was a single float or parade entry that didn’t have a designated spot for their drinks and almost everyone walking had some sort of beverage in their hand, and for the most part it was a distilled beverage of some sort–they really have character here.


Monday I went back to Amstenrade to see their parade. While it was on a much smaller scale than the one in Maastricht, it was still fun and lively to see, and it reminded me of the small town parades in Iowa (only not as many tractors and more crazy costumes).



Happy Mardi Gras! I went out of my comfort zone today and went to the final town party, where the light on the owl (as seen above) was turned off, marking the end of Carnival. Not to worry, the party still continued, we went back to Jan Van Cep’s cafe and finished the ceremonies…I was also forced on stage at one point to sing “Wannabe”–they were quite shocked that there was somebody in the world who knew all the words–basically they thought I was a Spice Girl 😉



Lent has begun! I do love me a good day of fasting! For lent I am giving up a few things, but I am also picking up ways to improve my spiritual life (because that is the reason for the season, right?) My two main goals are to say a Chaplet of Divine Mercy everyday and to read the New Testament. The Bible study I am in handed out a reading plan to get through the New Testament in the 40 days of Lent–I’m pretty excited, it’s been far to long since I’ve read the Bible consistently. If anyone has any suggestions for a good Lenten book, I’m always game to here those! Also, if anyone is interested for the New Testament reading plan, just let me know!

Also, I just put up part one of Rome with lots of pictures! Feel free to check it out by clicking here!

That’s all for now! Hope you all have prayerful and renewing Lent!


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