Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Challenge of Travel Blog Hop!

I hate to travel!
Let me say that again, 
I hate to travel!
I am not one of these people who loves the process and would pick up in an instant and head out to places unknown.
So, what could make me pick up and travel half way around the world, by myself to 
Only the Mother of God
who has been appearing everyday to visionaries in 
for the last 33 years.
If you are interested in learning more,
here's a link to a great site with lots of information.
I left and met up with my tour group in Frankfort, Germany.
All by myself.
I've been there twice now, and both times have had their blessings.
Whether or not I'll ever go back,
I don't know.
It was like going home, at last.
When it came to color,
I felt that Medjugorje was a contrast of warm colors from the copper colored roofs to the warm greens that were planted in the bushes and trees.
 This photo was taken as we walked back from our trek up Cross Mountain where the Mother of God prays every morning at sunrise.
In the distance, you see the twin towers of St. James Church which is the church of the village of Medjugorje.  In the early days, the apparitions of the 6 visionaries were held in the upper room of the church.
Notice, the colors of the roofs and the contrast of the greens.
I thought that was one of the most beautiful sights there.
There are many shrines in Medjugorje.
Outside of most houses, there is a shrine of some kind for all to see.
Many of these shrines have been handed down from generation to generation.
The culture is different there than it is here.
Many of the shrines are very bloody and graphic scenes from the Passion of Christ.
Other shrines outside of homes are dedicated to the 
Mother of God.
There are religious icons and statues inside and outside of most homes in Medjugorje.
Of course, since Medjugorje is a site of religious pilgrimages, there are many shrines and statues all over.  
 This statue of the Risen Christ is a most interesting one.
Shortly after it was put into place,
pilgrims began to notice that a liquid was coming from the statue 
at the knee of Christ.
This liquid has been analyzed and it is olive oil.
On my first trip there, since we couldn't get close to the statue during the day due to the amount of pilgrims there,  my new friends and I got up at 
6 AM, and we were there at dawn.
I climbed up on the raised part of the statue.
We all brought hankies with us to collect the precious drops of oil.
There was none!
I couldn't believe it!
Here we were, Gail, Eileen, and I, and there was no flow of oil!
Jesus' knee was dry.  I couldn't even feel the morning dew on the statue.
the oil began to flow.
We were all able to touch our hankies to the oil.
We praised God and thanked Him for that blessing!!!
I never thought I'd see such a miracle!
So, seven years later,
I still feel the graces flowing in from this trip.  
Now, with this blog hop, I have the joy of remembering this trip!
Now, the challenge for me has been to translate this trip into something 
respectful, yet beautiful.
Here's what I made.

I made the lampwork beads for this necklace.  The copper colored beads and findings reminded me of the roof tops in the area.
The green, of course, reminded me of the green in the area.
The bird in this necklace represents me as I flew to this holy place.

I added to this a bracelet with copper findings and beads.

You can't leave Medjugorje without being impressed by the devotion of these people for God and His Mother.

I also decided to make my own version of their shrines.

This is my shrine to the Divine Mercy of God!
Jesus, we trust in You!
 This is the shrine I made to honor Our Lady of Medjugorje,
the Queen of Peace.
She came to tell us that 
God exists.
She has told the visionaries that her job is to bring everyone to her Son.
She has said that if we knew how much 
God loves us
and how much she loves us,
we would cry with joy!
Praise God!  This is an amazing gift!
Now, since this is a blog hop, it's time to get hopping.
Here's the list of the other bloggers participating in the hop.

Name Blog Region Chosen Inspiration Nation
Monique Urquhart Africa Burkina Faso
Niky Sayers Africa Egypt
Therese Frank Africa Kenya
Raychelle Heath Africa Lesotho
Joan Williams Africa Mauritania
Sherri Stokey Africa Senegal
Regina Santerre Africa Seychelles
Raida Disbrow Africa Tanzania
Kristi Wodek Africa Zimbabwe
Sally Russick Americas Brazil
Melissa Trudinger Americas Mexico
Tracy Stillman Americas USA
Sandra Wolberg Asia India
Tanya Goodwin Asia Japan
Susan Kennedy Asia Japan
Beth Emery Asia Japan
Lisa Cone Asia Japan
Tanya Boden Asia Japan
Inge von Roos Asia Laos
Erin Prais-Hintz Asia Nepal
Dee Elgie Asia Phillipines
Carolyn Lawson Asia South Korea
Lisa Stukel Asia Sri Lanka
Elly Snare Asia Thailand
Shelley Graham Turner Europe Austria
Mallory Hoffman Europe Bosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maxim Europe France
Jenny Davies-Reazor Europe Germany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson Europe Greece
Evelyn Shelby Europe Iceland
Holly Westfall Europe Ireland
Rebecca Siervaag Europe Ireland
Toltec Jewels Europe Ireland
Lee Koopman Europe Ireland
Laren Dee Barton Europe Italy
Cindy Wilson Europe Norway
Kathleen Lange Klik Europe Poland
Shaiha Williams Europe Portugal
Jennifer Justman Europe Romania
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca Europe Spain
Lola Surwillo Europe Sweden
Kim Hora Europe Switzerland
Leanne Loftus Europe The Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemen Europe The Netherlands
Marcie Carroll Europe Turkey
Marlene Cupo Oceania Federated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappelle Oceania Fiji
Tammie Everly Oceania Guam
Alice Peterson Oceania Kiribati
Elisabeth Auld Oceania Nauru
Susan McClelland Oceania New Zealand
D Lynne Bowland Oceania New Zealand
Denielle Hagerman Oceania New Zeland
Rebecca Anderson Oceania Papua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi Oceania Samoa
Kari Asbury Oceania Solomon Islands
Cece Cormier Oceania Tonga
Emma Todd Oceania Tuvalu
Debbie Price Oceania Vanuatu


Marlene Cupo said...

A truly inspiring post. The level of your devotion is matched in the beautiful creations you made. Congratulations.

Lalit said...

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Pixiloo said...

Your pieces are beautiful. I love the beaded prayer tins .. so inspiring.

Jennifer said...

Very interesting. Your piece is an eclectic colorful mix that I am sure you will wear often, as it embodies such an important pilgrimage.

angelinabeadalina said...

Beautiful, just beautiful...the pilgramage, the photos and memories, the pieces you made. Love, love, love, Mrs. M!

LisaS said...

A lovely and interesting post. My mother visited this place many years ago ;)

Micheladas said...

What an awesome blog. I love your pieces and the prayer tins.

Regina said...

Thank you for sharing your spiritual journey. Love the necklace you have created to remember your pilgrimage.

Melissa said...

Your necklace and bracelet are beautiful, love the colours, and I'm sure they'll be even more special to you because of the memories they contain.

A Half-Baked Notion said...

What a beautiful experience you have shared, Mallory! A little over twenty-five years ago, I was preparing for a 3-week Easter pilgrimage that included the Holy Land, Rome and Medjugorje. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Just a month before we were due to leave, I discovered I was pregnant for my oldest son. I made the decision not to travel, and though I of course never regretted protecting my unborn child, I was nevertheless sad to miss out on my special "journey of a lifetime". Of course, once we had a family there was no longer the opportunity.

I was so touched to read your account of some of the special events you experienced, Mallory. You must have been reflecting on them as you created your lovely inspiration pieces. The jewellery is beautiful, especially with your symbolic bird "traveller". But I admit I am drawn to your little shrines... so original. How wonderful to have them to carry with you, enjoying private memories of such meaningful times in your life!

TesoriTrovati said...

Miss Mallory, your unwavering faith is vwry inspiring. Thsnk you for showing us the impact that this country has had on you. Your jewelry is a nice reminder of this very important trip. Thanks for joining me on the journey! Enjoy the day. Erin

Patti Van said...

Okay...I got goose bumps when I read that the oil flowed...I did! I felt this way when I visited an old church in the outskirts of Rome. There is something about visiting a country so steeped in history. Your shrines are beautiful. And I hope you relive your memories of this beautiful country every time you wear your fantastic necklace and bracelets!

SueBeads said...

Very nice Mallory, and I just love your post and your photos!

Alice said...

What a beautiful story and a life-changing trip for you. I love to travel but its always good to be home.

Your pieces are beautiful, especially the beaded prayer tins. I'm so glad this blog hop brought back happy memories for you.

A Polymer Penchant said...

Certainly sounds like a very inspired place for you to be. What a lovely creation to come from that.

Islandgirl said...

Interesting blog.. so glad you got your oil! Lovely colours in your necklace!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Mallory,
Thank you for sharing this inspiring story of your trip to Boznia Herzgovina. I agree it is a beautiful site from the mountain trail. Your necklace and bracelet are also beautiful and capture the essence of Medjugorje.