So, I am reading this book at present on the recommendation of some American friends here in London. If any of you have any interest in behaviour of the English, you would truly enjoy this read, I think. It is quite interestingly done. Kate Fox is English, so it is the real deal. I have found that as I co-exist with natives here that many of these observations are quite true and add humour to my world.
I left some of you wanting if you checked on Thursday for a posting, but since it fell on a holiday, I thought you might be otherwise engaged. I spent the day celebrating, as well, though it looked different than any day o' turkey I have spent previously. I attended a church service at St Paul's Cathedral with quite a few Americans, sang God Bless America, and got to hear the American Ambassador speak. I enjoyed it, and the aesthetics of St Paul's could only be topped by some of the churches in Rome that I saw a month ago, though I believe I prefer the more understated "Paul" to the extravagantly ornate "Peter". I finished my day with Brooke, Tate, Kerry, and their friends who visit every year at Thanksgiving. We feasted as is appropriate on this American holiday that seems to focus on good eats! : ) We even watched a bit of NFL to truly remind us we are Americans.
I am on my way out the door to have feast, the sequel, with my friends who live around the corner. What a blessing to have multiple people to celebrate with, especially when I couldn't be home with my own fam on this weekend.
Sad to read about the Hogs getting beat by LSU, but hey, on to the title game, yeah?
GO HOGS GO!!!!!
I started this post the day after Thanksgiving, so clearly our Hogs did not pull out the SEC title. Sad again. But, I left that little bit in because, I mean, no matter what... GO HOGS! : )
I have spent the last week in a little town called Hertford (pronounced "Hart"ford), which is about an hour commute for me from my flat in central London. Young Life goes there as well but differs a bit as ministry is done with nationals, a.k.a. English kids. For three days, I attended some YL training, the second installment of the year. (The first was in Munich when I first arrived.) Wow. What an amazing time of rejuvination and uplift for me. Being with people who are experiencing the same struggles, joys, are of the same heart and mission...priceless. Truly. To be prayed over, to laugh LOUD, to be moved by wisdom and insight that Scripture and years of life and experience of others...priceless. I hadn't even realized that I was in need of some of those things mentioned prior until I received them. It is truly a great gift that the Lord is omniscient and knows my thoughts, needs, and desires even before I do. I continue to stand amazed.
I deepened some friendships with some people and began new connection with some fantastic new folk. : ) I am so energized by other people who love the Lord. We talked a bit this weekend about how truly awe-inspiring friendships are that begin so quickly, grow so deeply, and bond us so closely when we have the common denominator of a relationship with Jesus. I hope and am assured that many of you have experienced this phenomenon in your own lives. I was reminded again this week.
After training, some of my pals came back into the city with me, dropped off their luggage at my flat, and we ventured off to see the lights of London. I loved it! We laughed hard. We shopped, looking longingly at shoes, clothes, etc. that exceeded our income. We walked by the Thames, looking at the city lit up in beauty. I had a couple girls stay with me in my flat on my snazzy Ikea sofa bed. I loved having people stay with me even though we realized quickly why I am the only one who lives in those small quarters. So fun! We went back into the city and met up with the boys and a friend of theirs (who is now friends with us) to do a bit more sightseeing. Such a delight to play with friends. Fun for friends to come into my flat and compliment it. Fantastic to navigate the tubes with me and be silly. A stake digs in this past week as a time of ease, a time when I have truly begun to feel like myself here. A burden of...something has fallen off my shoulders, and I have busted through a wall of realization of my home being in England. I struggle to find the words to express all because I cannot really explain it. I just feel good, refreshed, full of joy, and encouraged to love the Lord more deeply.
I went back to Hertford after my day of play with friends in the city to attend the European Women's Conference. Also amazingly refreshing and uplifting to see and relate to women in the same situation as myself. I am thankful. Closer connection with my fellow staff women that I work with here in London is a blessing. I love my England family.
So, I come back to Arkansas in a week and a half. Wow! I am baffled a bit about that fact. I am excited! Though I love it here and am assured I am in the exact spot where I belong, I miss you guys! I am pumped that my annual Christmas gathering where we watch Christmas classics such as "Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is planned and on my calendar! I cannot wait to see my family and sweet nieces! I am excited to see many of you!
Oh, can I just say that my internet is not only working at my flat, but it is crazy fast! It takes me less than 15 minutes to download my weekly "Grey's Anatomy". Woo hoo! : )
Word/quote of the week: "loads"(in honour of stef), meaning "a bunch"
or "lots". As in...I love you loads. I have loads of friends and family to see when I get home. I have loads of things on my to-do list to accomplish before leaving England.