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Dear Friend,

I have exciting news, starting tomorrow, you will be seeing something interesting… that is Guest Posts!!! As I’ve been writing my Identity series (and yes, I have several more posts in the works) I’ve also been thinking that there are many identities out there in the world, many of which I do not hold, and I wanted to find a way to celebrate the diversity of stories and identities. So I started asking some people I know who I thought might be willing to share an aspect of their personal identity (If you are sitting there thinking, Why didn’t she ask ME??? Don’t worry, I’m not done yet) if they would pull together some thoughts and let me share them with you… I’ve just recently received the first of these guest posts and can’t wait to share it with you… These posts will be similar to Identity posts I’ve written in that I’ve asked them to pick a “topic” of sorts to focus on, rather than try to introduce their entire selves to you. This may mean that we have repeat topics, and unlike my posts, you won’t have the “back story” of sorts that the rest of my blog creates. So who knows how that will impact the way you read these guest posts, but hopefully you will find bits and pieces of these stories that you relate to, that inspires you, or perhaps that even change how you think about something… These posts will be published with varying levels of acknowledgement from Anonymity to Names and Blog Links… I’m hoping that this range allows people with sensitive stories to be able to share comfortably, while also allowing those who would like to be able to share other parts of their story to do so as well…

Anywhoo, I also have a request…

As you probably know, I will soon be starting my senior year of college. Say WHAT?!?!?!? If you’ve talked to me about post-college ideas at all over the last year or so, you’ve heard me bounce around ideas like Teach for America and MCC’s SALT program… Basically I’ve realized that I would like to do some sort of service that could also serve towards giving me work experience (I’ve also caught the travel bug in my Middle East adventuring). And yet another opportunity has me feeling excited about potential future plans. You see, when my family was in Chicago last week to pick up Lydia (because she’s FINALLY home from her year in South Africa!!!) there was this information table for the Peace Corps (and you can probably see where this is going) so I decided to grab a few pamphlets and look into possible volunteer positions. So now I’m trying to discern what God is calling me towards… Because right now I’m looking at really exciting service opportunities in Mozambique or Ghana with SALT or the Peace Corps respectively and I really would love some guidance. SALT would be with a faith-based organization which has its appeal and is a 1-year commitment, while the Peace Corps would much more feasible financially, has a position that sounds really exciting, and has a 2-year commitment. I would need to be turning in applications by mid-fall, so this is all sort of weighing on me in that I feel like I need to figure out how committed I am to serving overseas relatively quickly. Anywhoo, I would just request for your prayers, encouragement, and then some more prayers as I try to figure out what I will do.

Thanks!

Lots of Love, Mandi Jo

P.S. Don’t forget you can always get in touch with me through the “Contact Me” tab (See top of the Page)