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Whitney Peterson  Transplanted to Seattle by way of Nashville. Saved by grace. These are a few of my favorite things...

I have joined the brunch bandwagon and it is perfection. (Special shoutout to @hazelgaze28 who brought us friendship flowers ๐Ÿ’•)

Happiest of birthdays to the beautiful @kelseyzoodsma! ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽ‰Our kinship has flourished everywhere from the beaches of Hawaii, mansions in Florida, through Oregon, Michigan, Illinois, and of course you and Will letting me adventure with you in Seattle all last summer. You were essential in my survival of this big city for that first summer. To think it all started in Nashville with a little snow football. Wish I could be poolside with you today celebrating. ๐Ÿ’•

When you're back in Seattle but you still hang out with your friends from Iraq. #EFHforever

Today I went floating on a boat through magically colored waters, sat on the banks of beauty, and sipped on drinks like this one. ๐Ÿ
But something happened.
As I leaned over the bow of the boat, wind pushing my problems away and I basked in a moment of peace I was having staring out at the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, I remembered an article I had recently read. I was reminded of the thousands of refugees that have died in recent years attempting to make it over this very same Sea. These very waters engulfed the lives and hopes of so many, and yet here they were bringing me peace.
As I turned and told my friend Summer about the article I had recently read, her response was short. "Have you looked into responding at all", she asked. It wasn't a question meant to lead to guilt, and it wasn't rhetorical. She wanted an answer. It was her genuine curiosity if I had applied to any of the companies responding and helping with the refugee crisis around the Mediterranean. Her question struck me. How fortunate I am. For so many reasons, obviously. But for this. To be a part of a community and have friends who's natural response is to ask, "Will you respond?" Sometimes the answer needs to be no. But so many times, the answer gets to be yes.
As I spend my last day in Malta tomorrow preparing to return to life in the US, I can think of no better question to focus on. When I get home, where in my life will I respond? Who will I get to say yes to? Who will you?

So long Cyprus. We may be leaving, but we'll carry your sun burned into our skin and your hummus in our bellies for days to come! ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŒดโ˜€๏ธ

Today was my last day in Israel and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to broaden my perspectives and see so much while here. I've learned more here than just about any trip I've taken and it's been incredible. Until next time....

Our last night as a trio happened to be on Israel's Independence Day!
Naturally when we stumbled upon a celebratory dance party in the streets, we joined in. From the war torn desert of Iraq, to exploring Israel, and soon...moves to Seattle, I'm so glad to have these two friends and the memories we've made. #habibis #EFHisforlovers

Having the best time exploring the land that I've read about for so many years.

I'm heartbroken that yet another month in Iraq has come to an end. If you've been praying, THANK YOU and I promise an email update is coming soon!! In the meantime I had a great day exploring Jordan and am grateful for a friend who spent his day off showing me some great spots. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ Now off to Israel for a few weeks. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ

Being surrounded by blast walls means I spend a lot of time looking up. Whether it's because it's the taste of freedom I get here or because it's just always this glorious, the skies over Nineveh are some of my favorite and among the most beautiful I've ever seen. Even the simple clouds seem to suspend in the heavens for a short period of time, light shining all around and the analogies of the Lord and our time here fills my mind. What a beautiful Easter Sunday we've had here. Hoping you're all having just as good of a day celebrating that He is risen!

I returned to find that the reminder of Romans 15:13 has been painted on the blast walls at the field hospital. โœจ๐Ÿ’›โœจ

I'm packing up to head back for another month in northern Iraq tomorrow morning. When you're only taking the essentials it's good to have clothes that double as a refreshing reminder. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to return and see the abounding hope coming out of Mosul. ๐Ÿ’•

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
โ€ญโ€ญRomansโ€ฌ โ€ญ15:13โ€ฌ โ€ญ

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