Saturday, 27 October 2007

A Saturday filled with laundry, cleaning, and further nesting... just what the doctor ordered, I would say. Have I mentioned in the past that I have a handful of life words that are important for me to stay aware of and in contact with in order for me to feel centered and healthy? I feel sure that it has been mentioned. Words like balance, breathe, perspective, focus... Today I received the gift of time which allowed me to live out and see these afore mentioned crucials , as well as a few more not mentioned. It is easy for me to get lost and bogged down in the moment, in the current issues and situations, in my own world or sphere. I can get caught up in disorder, analyzation, and dirty laundry. In the midst of people at all times, I lose my compass and lose direction to my true north. Noone else knows what I need to feel healthy and in the center of effectiveness in ministry, in relationship, and in relaxation. Well, noone else knows me from the inside as well as I do (and the Lord, of course), that is; I do have friends at home that can tell from a mile away that things are a bit off with my world. Without the luxury of those people seeing me and living life with me here in England, I am realizing that it can take me a bit longer to find my center. Some of you who read this blog are just those people who act as a litmus test at home. I miss you.
The Lord has blessed me immensely with amazing friends in my new home here, but those that have known me for years and weathered heavy storms and light drizzles, along with picturesque days full of sun and birds chirping, are irreplaceable and invaluable. Relationships take time, and close friends are a gift. Thank you for your friendships, those of you who love me unconditionally across oceans and continents.

I need to mention that today, the 27th of October, marks the one year anniversary of my dear friends' Matt and Ginny's son, Eliot, passing away. He lived 99 days. Many of you may know his story. ( ; ) My heart hurts for my friends as I think of them especially today.

Ministry moves along as the weeks do. Thursday YL lunches are fast becoming a tradition filled with pizza, chatting, and usually something chocolate provided by Lizzie who I fully expect to be find out has become a pastry chef in days to come. She loves to bake and make treats which is just one more reason why we like her. : ) As mentioned, this past week my great friends celebrated my birthday with me which made my heart full of joy! My birthday would not have been complete if I had not gotten to eat cake with these Thurs lunch friends!
We have decided to do an ice skating/bowling/pizza-eating even for Wyldlife kids (middle schoolers) in early December as a Christmas party. I think this gathering is going to be a hit! I hope we have lots of kids come out to play with us, and I look forward to putting a spin on the Christmas story that I predict these kids have not yet heard.
Coaching softball again this spring will in fact be a reality, and I am exceedingly excited. I may even have an opportunity to help coach some cheerleading during the winter. Who would have thought it? After trying out 3 times when I was in school and not making the squad... me, coaching it? Let me just say that I will mostly be supervising and trying to prevent injury if I do end up helping out. (And, I also must say that I would not have picked me to be a cheerleader back in the day, either. I hold no bitterness for not having made any of these squads. Does anyone remember me back then? I wanted nothing to do with being in front of people, and I was fairly quiet. Being the center of attention was never, never my desire. I still would prefer behind-the-scenes jobs, though I have learned I quite enjoy speaking when the right time arises.) I am hoping they do need me, honestly. I would love to get to know a few more girls. We shall see, and I will keep you posted.

I am thankful that I am not the source of balance, breath, perspective, and focus in my life. I am thankful that none of you are the source of these things for me either. Though, you are all wonderful and special in your own individual way to me, you are not, nor will you ever be, the source. I am thankful that the Lord is full of grace, love, and joy. I am thankful that He meets me right where I am and embraces me with His unconditional love every time. Every time. (full stop) Every time I listen or do not listen. Every time I remember or forget. Every time I feel lonely or loved. Every time I am selfish or unselfish. Every time I am lazy or productive. Every time.

Psalm 139 (The Message)
A David Psalm

1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I'm an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I'm never out of your sight.
You know everything I'm going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you're there,
then up ahead and you're there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can't take it all in!

7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you're there!
If I go underground, you're there!
If I flew on morning's wings
to the far western horizon,
You'd find me in a minute—
you're already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I'm immersed in the light!"
It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Thanks be to God... the one true constant, the true north, the source. For me, some days engaging in relationship takes more choosing than other days. How beautiful to be assured that He chooses me EVERY TIME.

Ephesians 1 (The Message)

3-6How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
7-10Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

11-12It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

13-14It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

pictures to come when own computer connects me to the internet.

Try saying the word "water" with a British accent today. Or get a friend to do it. If it doesn't sound lovely and make you want to drink more of this essential life beverage, I will be surprised. : )

Friday, 26 October 2007

My new house in Camdentown. Ok, well more like the path to and the front door of my house in Camdentown. I have been here for right about a month now. I am still in the process of getting settled in. I will say that when you come see me, you will notice quite a difference between the nearest high street to me, Camden High Street, as opposed to St John's Wood High Street where I lived for the past year. Camden is quite a colourful place with people of...well...let me just say every walk of life. : )

Transition...passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another. To adapt or conform oneself (as to new conditions); to achieve mental and behavioral balance between one's own needs and the demands of others.
Webster helps me explain a couple key words that keep reoccurring in my dialogues lately. This move to this new neighbourhood has not been exactly as I anticipated. I see no need to go on and on about all the details of my move here in this platform. I mention the transition and adjustment simply to give you a touch of insight, perhaps, into my world for the past month. Most of you have probably moved a few times in your life and can remember all the new rhythms that must be learned.
One of the bits in the transition to Camdentown has brought with it many an issue with technology. Our internet has been in, out, this way and that... We got it up and working, and I thought my world had finally been put back on track and revolutionized. I had around a week of dependable world wide web dependability, and then three days ago, my computer just decided it didn't want to detect our signal in our house. What on Earth? So, my flatmate is patiently allowing me to use hers when she is not in need of it.
I have some great pictures to post of my YL lunch group from this past week where they made me a cake and creatively adorned it with candles that added up to my appropriate age. : ) I also have a couple pics of my new flatmates and my friend, Becky, who came to visit Londi all last week, and was here to celebrate our birthdays together (we have the same bday). Hopefully, I can get those posted soon. I am spending the weekend at home, laying low, and trying to recoop from, well, life, from the last month or so. I will have more ministry updates tomorrow, hopefully.
Thanks for reading, friends, and for being so faithful in prayer and support!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

The official first YL gathering of kids from ASL you see to your left! : ) From L to R: Lizzie, Micaela, Claire, Devon, and Alexis.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Look closely. Can you see the image on the green shirt Brooke is wearing? Gwen Stefani, that is correct. Liz, Brooke, Kerry, and I had a bit of a girls' staff night "winding it up" to a little Gwen. She put on a great show and even ran out into the crowd very near where we were sitting. It was a blast!

My sincerest apologies about the lack of update lately. I have moved into my new abode, and with a move comes many a challenge of setting up life, as you know. Well, in England, things tend to be a bit slower than that to which I have become accustomed to in the States. So, I am told I will have regular, predictable internet access as of next Wednesday, the 10th of October. Keep your fingers crossed, people! : )

My move went super smooth due to a gang of friends who showed up with vehicles and willing arms to carry and many boxes and bags. I truly think it took us something like 45 min to load it all and move it. Lizzie and her mom, Micaela and her mom, Claire, my friend Courtney, and myself moved it all a few weekends ago. I wish I had had a camera ready to have taken a picture of Claire and Micaela carrying the mattress for my futon across the street to Micaela's mom's van. They looked hilarious and dropped it several times. Claire even fell down at one point and stayed there laughing her head off for a few minutes. It was, in a word, awesome. : )

I am continuuing to settle in. It is proving to take a bit more time than I had anticipated. I have moved to another community in London with different shops, restaurants, grocery stores, Starbucks... It is taking a bit of time to get my bearings. I don't know why I always fail to remember that it takes some time to re-nest (Is that a word?) myself, but I do forget. Once my internet/tv/phone is all sorted, I will feel like all the puzzle pieces are in place.

Young Life begins this week with my kids at ASL! A group of us are meeting on Thursday of this week for lunch at Lizzie's house. I am truly excited to start a regular meeting. Thursdays from here on out I plan getting together. We shall see what this time shapes up to look like from week to week. Right now, I know there will be food, kids, me, and good times. This information is enough for now.

I have about 10 more minutes of internet time before I must go elsewhere today, so I will just give you one other snippet...

I am writing a book. Have I mentioned this fact? I know some of you know that I have toyed with the idea and that said book has been on the "Big Life Goal List". But, I have really begun to work on it a bit more as of late. I am enjoying piecing it together, and I thought I would let you know. Hopefully, I can begin to have some discipline about compiling my thoughts. It does seem that I am an intrinsicly drawn to write, so I am able to be more frequent in doing so. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Cheers! More soon... kb

Word/phrase of the week: "Well done!" Have I done this one? I have heard myself saying if far more lately than before. Instead of saying "Way to go!" or "Good job!", I would the Brits say, "Well done!". As far as the words/phrases of the week go, this one may be lame. It is, however, a new phrase in my vocabulary that has become a staple.