Thursday, 25 January 2007

Back from Munchen.
We had a great time in Starnberg, a town about an hour away from Munich. All of the international staff in Europe and beyond gathered for the YL European Winter Staff Conference. Our week was full of fellowship, learning, encouragement, and much laughter. I got to see old friends and make many new ones. I truly now can say that I have friends all over the world...from Japan to Madrid, from Munich to The Netherlands. It truly is encouraging and amazing to see how these friends are building relationships all over the world with kids. We went to eat a couple of nights at true Bavarian restaurants where the waitstaff donned true German dress from head to toe, did traditional dances, and played accordians and autoharps. This guy pictured with the accordian was a bit of a flirt, winking at any girl who would hold glance with him for longer than 5 seconds.
I am pleased to be home in England. I have no trips planned of any substantial length until April, so I look forward to staying close to home for a few months. As I had suspected, my arrival back to Londontown has brought me much more clarity and presence of mind...a more centered feeling. The staff conference brought great encouragement and provided a spring board into ministry for the semester. I look forward to doing a bit more exploration of this fair city so that I am more versed of its charms for when the guests start arriving which I hear will be soon.
Exciting news! I have mentioned our Service Project that we are taking in April with kids from all over Europe? I got my first sign-up yesterday! I am thrilled, and we are praying for nine more to decide to journey off to Sofia, Bulgaria with us. My brain is feeling dry of bits and pieces to report this day, so I will get back to you soon. I am out the door shortly to have my "induction" (walk around the facility to get acquainted with what it has to offer) to the leisure center I joined yesterday. Perhaps getting some treamill time will stimulate my thoughts, and I will report more this week. I have added a "subscribe" option to the top of my page for those of you that want a reminder or just a personal update of when I update. : )
Cheers for now,
Word/phrase of the week: "homely", or what we would call "homey". I know. These two words appear to mean the exact opposite of each other, but this is why I felt obliged to share with you this definition. I was sharing with a friend how much "homier" my flat seems now that I have put up more pictures and decor when this word came up. She told me that someone here had come into her home and described its furnishings as "quite homely" in a kind, complimentary tone. She checked her immediate reaction of being offended and realized the meaning is different in England. : ) Funny. Oh, the Brits! I love the constant learning.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Back home. As I heaved my enormous suitcase into my flat yesterday, I had an overwhelming sense of being glad to be home.

What a great time I had back in the U. S. of A. over the last few weeks seeing family and friends! I got to see loads of friends, and my heart warmed as I walked through their kitchens and saw a magnet of me on their refridgerators. I was blessed to be reminded that though at times I feel by myself in this move and ministry, the fact is that many, many people are a vital part of what the Lord is doing in my life. I am quite visual, so that image of so many fridges will not soon leave me. Thank you!

I wanted to post a bit so you knew I arrived safe and sound. I am leaving today for Germany for a week to go to a winter staff conference. I am just about over jet lag, I think, but it has been a tad difficult for my body to figure out where in the world I am over the past week. When I get back from Germany, I will get back in the groove of Thursdays.

Waiting to hear back from the authorities that be, the visa folks, concerning approval to be able to coach in the spring. You can pray for that approval to come along speedily!

Word/phrase of the week: "fancy". "Do you fancy him/her?" "Would you fancy a cup of tea?" As you can tell from these examples, it is another word in place of "like". As ever, it sounds more pleasing to the ear, does it not? I suppose this word might be used in the way we would think as Americans here, but I have yet to hear it. Monica would use it to name several categories of towels, for example. : )


Wednesday, 3 January 2007

A view of London celebration for you! One of these coming years, I am going to make sure I am back for a personal look at this amazing display!

A few recommedations for the new year? This album was introduced to me by my precious pal, Kristen several years ago, but I recently happened upon it again. I love it just as much as the first time I heard it! I think you might dig it. It brings joy to my spirit and makes me groove! What could be better than that?

I am rereading this book this month. What a fantastic reminder of the definition of GRACE! Truly sufficent and amazing.

Happy New Year!

Have you made any resolutions? I just looked up "resolve" in Mr. Webster. Basically, he says resolving to do something requires determination and decision. A decision to be determined about doing something or not doing something.

My resolutions always seem daunting at the beginning of new year filled with pressure and potential for failure if I miss a day of being "determined". I would like to resolve this year to have more grace with myself in these lofty goals. Be honest, aren't your resolutions lofty? I mean, if they were easy and took little work, we would just do them and not have to write them down, making a point to remember and reach. Fantastic! Make your resolutions large, vast, and great! Reach beyond yourself and believe you can achieve your greatest desires! My word of encouragement? Take each day as its own entity. We are human, and we will drop the ball, our resolve waning, from time to time. Have grace with yourself. Expect some lapses. But, don't throw in the towel or beat yourself up. Start again tomorrow. Baby steps and process teach the greatest lessons, ones that we will remember. A challenge? Grow this year. Whatever that means to you...just strive to grow.

Ok, I will now update you a bit on me. I write that paragraph of admonition above to myself just as much as to anyone else. I constantly need reminders of perspective and healthy expectation.

As you can see above, I had some good quality time with my nieces, Ella Claire (the eldest) and Isabel (Izzy), over the holiday here in Little Rock. We made my favourite Christmas treat with our hands, laughed a lot, and did a bit of work cleaning the floor. : )

I have a handful of days left here in LR before going back the ville to jet back home to London. As with any trip home (where the fam is) since leaving for university, my heart always looks forward to returning to "my" world I call home. Strange that this time around I call England home. Still surreal, but oh so lovely! As I have mentioned several times to many of you, I feel the haze has lifted a touch, and I look forward to feeling more like "Kym" in London over the next several months. I am making lists like mad, preparing for projects, and getting excited about formulating talks and reading books.

Happy New Year, friends!
May the Lord bless your days, one day at a time!