Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Cobblestones. Have I mentioned to you all my newfound affection for cobblestones? You can find them everywhere I have been thus far in Europe and the UK. I love them. I take pictures of them in each new place I venture. I believe these are near Trafalgar Square, though I cannot be sure.
You must be careful walking on these uneven surfaces. Heels are a nightmare, as I have learned by trial and error. Most of the time you must walk slowly and watch every step you take to avoid an ankle twist. My mind reels as I think of various analogies and stories to correlate to this visual...hmmm... Today, my thought? I am thankful that I can step. I am thankful that I am not asked to run, but step. I would love to be a runner, but I am not. I need time to think, to exercise caution, and to understand my surroundings. Sometimes, my head gets ahead of my feet due to internal pressure, the world around me, or various other factors. The beauty in the whole of it? Life is not a sprint.
With loads of time lately with my move, to be introspective, I am realizing much about myself. I thought I was fairly self-aware before...nope. I mentioned last post that I miss my friends who know me. Yep, tis true. I have learned a lot of important life lessons from you people. Now, I have started a new chapter of learning, one filled with more solitude. Not better, not worse...different. I feel my thoughts are rolling about in my head, so forgive if I make little sense.
One of the pices of advice I like to pass along to those I encounter is to keep a journal of your life. You will never regret it. I am convinced of this fact. Having words, phrases, paragraphs written down helps give perspective, deeper meaning, and prompts memories...priceless. My brow furrows as I think of how little I have chronicled since my moving across the Atlantic. So much swirling about in my head and heart, that I find it difficult to pen musings which, to be honest, is unlike any other time in my life. Thanks for caring enough to check in on my ramblings from time to time on this outlet for outpouring. : )

Friday, 16 March 2007

Sweet Ella Claire is a-ok! The last couple weeks have been quite tumultuous with many phone calls and emails back home to check on this little one's health. She has been given a clean bill of health after the removal of her spleen which contained the mass, which the doctors have now determined to have been a birthmark. Strange, yeah? Yeah. Regardless, all is well with her, and she is back to running around like the goofball full of joy that she is! She will need to take a daily dose of penicillin for the next several years to help her body with immunities that her spleen would have normally taken care of for her, but aside from that, she is completely healthy!*(See below)
Thanks be to God, who is good...ALL THE TIME!

Life in a different country is a funny thing. Interesting how often I have to sort of remind myself that I live in England. Obviously, the accents, the public transport, the Union Jack flying remind me on a regular basis. However, it is amazing how we as humans adapt to our environments. Though I realize that I no longer live in the United States, life does not look all that different in London than it does in Fayetteville at base level. I asked my pal, Alix, yesterday if she thinks she is a different person here than she is in Texas. She thoughtfully replied..."Yes, and no...No, and yes". I laughed and smiled knowingly. Indeed.
Life for me looks much like it would/did at home. I just happen to be able to pop down to Big Ben if I would like on any given afternoon. I can go soak up the sun at Regents Park rather than at Gulley Park. I can sit in Trafalgar Square instead of the square in Fayetteville.
A strange thing happened when I moved to a new country. Feelings of loss of day-to-day interaction with great friends, feelings of excitement of new adventures and new relationships, feelings of disjointedness and awkwardness in new surroundings, feelings of absolute peace being where I am, while feeling a bit lonely for my old life...though knowing full well that I should not be in said old life anymore, feelings that I will never be the same, and I would never wish to be... (the longest sentence ever? quite possibly. But sometimes, a contant stream of thought necessitates a run-on sentence. Especially when grading is not involved.)
I love London. I cannot believe most days that I live here and feel so at ease. I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving.
I miss all of you who read this on a regular basis. I miss the fact that most of you know what bits of this monologue lead me to make certain expressions on my face. I miss the shared knowledge, experience, and laughter that I have with so many of you.
I say all of this not to make you feel sad or sorry for me. I wish to only let you know that I think of you all so often and you are in my prayers. Though I miss my dear friends, my friendship with the Lord continues to grow deeper, and He is faithful to teach me how to more deeply trust Him. I pray this for each of you...

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
(Eph 3.18-20)

On a much less deep note... Please do me the favour of going to see the Diamond Hogs play some baseball this season! I truly believe there is nothing quite as lovely as a Sunday afternoon at Baum stadium watching some Razorback baseball! Soak it up for me! : )

Word/phrase of the week: "winge", to complain or moan. "I suppose I should stop my winging. What good is it doing?" Just another word that I enjoy.

*Dad's update on Ella...
The growth in her spleen was a hemangioma. A hemangioma is a BENIGN growth basically of confused capillaries. If you have seen a person with a large red birthmark, usually on the head or neck, that is a hemangioma. They are not that rare. The unusual (but not unheard of) thing about this one was that it was internal and in her spleen. Though they had a couple more slides to examine, the pathologists are 99% sure that this growth was BENIGN!!!

Growths like this are typically without symtoms and discovered while checking something else. This was pretty much the case with Ella Claire. With trauma, these growths are often susceptible to bleed. As you know, trauma to the mid-portion of the body often results in damage to the spleen. This could have caused serious internal bleeding. So, finding the hemangioma and removing the spleen was a blessing.