Caravan Sonnet

12/18/17

Lunenburg // Nova Scotia, Canada

Happy Monday friends! Today I am so excited to continue to share more about my recent trip through New EnglandNew BrunswickPrince Edward Island, and Nova ScotiaAs I mentioned last week, I was absolutely enchanted by Peggy's Cove and Peggy's Cove Lighthouse! It was just a truly beautiful place and as we pulled away I was sad to leave such a gorgeous part of the world, but excited to see more of Nova Scotia. 
As you can see from the map above, the next place that we drove to was Lunenburg, which is about an hour drive south of Peggy's Cove. 
Lunenburg was established approximately four years after Halifax was established. What is interesting about Lunenburg is that this was one of the first British attempts to settle Protestants in Nova Scotia and was the site of many raids in the first years of its establishment. 



Lunenburg was designated a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site in 1995 which ensures the unique architecture and design of Lunenburg.
Lunenburg is considered to be the best example of planned British colonial settlement in Canada.
Due to the time of day and the amount of driving we still had to do, our visit was very brief. We enjoyed driving through the town, stopping to walk through some stores, and walk the main street and visit some of the historical sites. It was a brief, but it was a wonderful visit and I would definitely recommend it! 

If you are planning a similar trip and would like, you can read all of the posts from the trip by clicking on the links below:

The Single Journey at Christmas

“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair shall not go on forever.”
-Isaiah 9:1-

One of the most difficult times in a singles life can come during the holidays. I shared in my post, "10 things to pray for your single friend during the holiday season" that loneliness can feel more acute during this season. Just the other night I texted and shared with a dear friend how much I was struggling during here at Christmas with being single. 

My heart knows that the Christmas season and celebration is about Jesus, but sometimes my head gets wrapped up in all of the “festivities” that I long to experience with someone. My prayer constantly is: "Lord, help me to remember that this holiday season isn’t about a TV movie and a relationship with a guy but about my relationship with you."

 On the other hand, while I struggle in this season, this season of advent is so powerful and hopeful to my life as a single woman. The word “advent” is defined as a “time of expectant waiting and preparation”. It is applicable to my life in so many ways and have shared about its special significance in my book, "When Light Dawns". I often feel that being single in this holiday season is like walking through a dark tunnel and that is why one of my favorite verses is from Isaiah 9: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

A light will dawn and just like this advent season is a expectant waiting and preparation, so is this season as a single lady. "If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently." (Romans 8:24-25) The longer we wait for something, the more joyful our expectancy and confident we can be. Since the fall we have waited and longed for a Redeemer. As I share in my book, "Prayers for the Single Journey" I feel that many times I am wanting to be “saved from singleness” but no man can do that for me. Only Jesus is the Lord and Savior. 

As we wait in this single season let us trust that the Lord has a beautiful outcome, a miraculous story for our romantic lives. And just like those long ago, we will find hope in the truth that, even the dark tunnel we may feel we are in will not last forever. “Nevertheless, That time of darkness and despair shall not go on forever.” (Isaiah 9:1)

12/15/17

Peggy's Cove Lighthouse// Nova Scotia, Canada

Happy Friday friends! Today I am so excited to continue to share more about my recent trip through New EnglandNew BrunswickPrince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia! As I mentioned on Wednesday, I was absolutely enchanted by Peggy's Cove! It was just a truly beautiful place. 
After we walked around Peggy's Cove we drove about a mile to the parking lot area by the lighthouse. The time of year that we went in (October) was absolutely perfect as it was easy to find parking and there were not a ton of people. It was just truly beautiful!
As a little bit of history, the first lighthouse at Peggy's Cove was built in 1868. At the time history records that every evening at sundown the Lighthouse keeper would light a kerosene oil lamp that would create a red beacon light that marked the Eastern Entrance to the bay. 
In 1914 that lighthouse was replaced by the current building which is an octagonal lighthouse. Unlike the wooden house that it replaced, this building was made of reinforced concrete. Although the new lighthouse replaced the one built in 1868 the former structure remained in tact and in use as the Lighthouse keepers dwelling until it was severely damaged by a hurricane in 1954. Due to the extensive damage it was eventually removed.
As a fun fact, the lighthouse used to actually contain a Canadian post office in the lower level that was in full operation in the summer months. It served as the village post office but also allowed visitors to send postcards and letters. On each of the letters and mail a special stamp mark in the shape of the lighthouse was used as the "cancellation" of postage. Unfortunately it was closed in 2009 due to mold growth. 
Like the rich and beautiful history, the natural surroundings and landscape were truly beautiful. 
It was a brief, but it was a wonderful visit and I would definitely recommend it! I would love to go back someday! If you are planning a similar trip and would like, you can read all of the posts from the trip by clicking on the links below:

12/14/17

14 MORE Christmas Present Ideas for Your Friend Dealing with a Chronic Illness

Happy Thursday friends! Today I wanted to share with you 14 more Christmas Present Ideas for your Chronically Ill friend! I am not an expert at all, but the things that I have listed below are things that friends have mentioned to me that have been wonderful or I have personally experienced that have truly touched my heart and my life. Be creative and trust me your kindness will touch the heart of your ill friend forever.

1. Offer monetary help if possible
(I know, I know... I mention this in every single post related to gift ideas for friends and family but it is because it is so important.) Even with insurance those with Chronic Illness spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to get healthy every single month. Many people with Chronic Illness have already gone through all available resources. These types of gifts do not have to be large. Truly money and gift cards are wonderful if that is an option for you to give!

2. Purchase Pet Items. 
Does your friend have a pet? Consider purchasing a gift card to their vet, paying for a pet "check up" (or grooming), or giving them a gift basket of necessary food and litter, treats, or toys. 

3. Purchase (or create) holiday cards to send out (and give them a book of stamps). 
Consider blessing your friend in this way. (Concerned that the extra stamps will go to waste? Don't be. Almost all medical bills still have to be sent out the old fashioned way - your friend will use those stamps one way or another!)

4. Help your friend address Christmas Card Envelopes. 

Sometimes the energy to address the cards can be an issue. Offer to address the cards (and mail them!) for your friend!

5. Give the gift of not asking, "have you tried..." at the family/friends get together. 
When you offer unsolicited advice, it can come across as a lecture- even if that is not your intent. Someone once said: "Assume that we have heard all of the tips on living healthier and leave it at that." I couldn't have said it any better. 

6. Give a gift card for "unmentionables". 
If your friend hasn't had the money (or the energy) to buy new clothes in a while consider giving them a gift card to purchase the necessities that they probably need.

7. Support your friends current "money making endeavor"
Those with Chronic Illnesses often have had to leave a job that they loved and have tried to find a way to make money in a new capacity. Support their endeavor. Do they have an Etsy shop? Purchase gifts from that shop and spread the news about their shop via social media. Do they make things and sell them on the side? Help spread the word! 

8. Pay for a Doctors Visit. 

Lots of Chronic Illnesses have specialized doctors and not all are covered by insurance! Consider paying for one of your friends doctors visits. This will be an incredible blessing!

9. Pay for the Co-pays. 
Is your friends doctor covered by insurance? Their co-pays aren't! Most people pay an average of $15-$50 for their co-pays. This might not seem like a big deal unless you regularly see your doctor. Statistically a chronically ill person sees their doctor 15 times a year. That means that they will spend an average of $225- $750 for Co-pays. Consider covering their co-pays for a year. What a blessing that would be!

10. Give a gift card to their "alternative" treatments. 
Most people with Chronic Illness use alternative treatments and these can be an expensive but necessary "addition" to their cost. Consider giving a gift card to their reflexologist, acupuncturist, massage therapist, chiropractor, etc.  (Side note- this is not the time to give them a gift card to some place that you feel they should go - simply a time to come along side of them. (Unfortunately that is a true story...)*smiles*)

11. Give them the gift of becoming an advocate of their disease. 

I suggested a couple of weeks ago to ask your loved one what books that they would recommend on their disease and to read about it. Do this. Become an advocate on what ails them. Isn't it wonderful that there are so many walks and "government supported" funding for certain illnesses? That came about in part because of friends and family rallied to bring awareness. What about your loved ones disease? Do you know how to spell it? Do you know what is happening in Congress or at the state level in regards to it? Become an advocate for your loved one and for the thousands of others that might not have loved ones who care. 

12. Give them the gift of a day at a salon. 

You know how you spend a lot of money on having your hair cut, nails done, etc. for the holiday season? Your loved one who is suffering from illness would love that to but would never dream of spending the money on something like that anymore. If this is something you can give to a friend- it would be an incredibly blessing. 

13. Create a relaxing atmosphere. 
Do you have a loved one coming to visit for the holidays? Consider setting them up somewhere that they can retreat to rest and relax when they are feeling sick. This will give them an incredible blessing amidst the "hustle and bustle".  

14. Remember the caregiver(s). 
I have often said this but me being ill is often harder on my parents then myself. To see people that are constantly hurting and suffering and not be able to do anything about it is excruciating. Reach out to the caregivers and you will touch the heart of the person who is ill too. 

As I have said countless times here on the blog, realize that your friend or family member with a Chronic Illness is the best gift this season. Their illness is forcing them to set limitations but the gift to you is remembering what is truly important in the holiday season. Celebrate people. Not things or activities. At the end of the day people are the most important thing not whether or not you were able to buy every single gift in the world, decorate your house the best, or have the cutest pinterest worthy decorations. People are what matter friends!

Looking for other posts on how to help friends with an illness during the holiday season?

Check out these other posts:


Happy Thursday friends! I hope you are having a wonderful week!  

12/13/17

Peggy's Cove // Nova Scotia, Canada

Happy Wednesday friends! Today I am so excited to continue to share more about my recent trip through New EnglandNew BrunswickPrince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia! I shared before about how one of my favorite parts of the trip was the day we spent visiting Nova Scotia. I truly fell in love with this area and had I to plan the trip again I definitely would have spent more time in this area! Despite the little time I was blown away by the beauty as I drove through this province! Today I am so excited to share with you my favorite stop from this drive- Peggy's Cove! For those who may be planning a similar trip I created this map below for a reference guide:
From Halifax (where we visited the Halifax Citadel) to Peggy's Cove, our second stop in Nova Scotia, it took about an hour and the drive was absolutely gorgeous. I definitely recommend the drive alone. We arrived at Peggy's Cove around noon and we were both stunned at the absolute beauty that surrounded us.
When I was originally planning our trip through New EnglandNew BrunswickPrince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, I knew that I wanted to see the famous Peggy's Cove Lighthouse. I will be honest that I wasn't even prepared for the beauty and adorable quaintness of the town before you even spend time at the Lighthouse!
We parked and walked around the town for a little bit and took tons of pictures because you felt like you had stepped out into a storybook. The surroundings, the colors, and the water were just breathtaking.
Peggy's Cove (originally named Eastern Point Harbour or Peggs Harbour in 1766) is one of numerous small fishing communities that are located along the Chebucto Peninsula. I was amazed to learn and discover that Samuel de Champlain (Lake Champlain is named after him and so are other beautiful parts of the North East and Canada) also is credited with naming this area supposedly after his mother, Marguerite. 
The village itself was officially founded in 1811 when six families were granted more than 800 acres by the Province of Nova Scotia. While fishing was the main source of their economy, the settlers also used the surrounding lands to farm. In the early 1900s the village grew to about 300 people and supported a schoolhouse, general store, lobster cannery, and church. Boats of all sizes were protected in the cove and this tradition continues to this day.
I had heard that artists and photographers love to visit Peggy's Cove and it was incredibly easy to see why. As I have said before, the beauty that we were met with was just incredible.
Everywhere you turned there was fantastic colors that as an artist your eye was just drawn to - it was truly incredible! 
It was a brief, but it was wonderful and I would definitely recommend it! Stay tuned because next I am sharing about Peggy's Cove Lighthouse which was also unbelievable! I would love to go back someday! If you are planning a similar trip and would like, you can read all of the posts from the trip by clicking on the links below: