Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Hiya. It has come to my attention that my last couple posts about flats may be a bit confusing. Thought I'd take a moment to clarify.
When I left for the States in January with Mom and Pop, I had moved out of my flat in Camdentown...the one with the blue door marked 9 in a past post. When I returned in late January, I stayed a few weeks with my friends, the Hendersons, a.k.a. Micaela's family. As of a couple weeks ago, I moved in with my friend, Claire, and her family. I plan to stay there until I get a flat or through the end of March, whichever comes first. Last week sometime, I thought I found a flat to move into permanently and put a bit of money down for a holding deposit. After a few days of considering, gathering advice, and praying, I felt a bit ill at ease about taking said flat. I wrote the "I found a flat" post the day of putting down that money. At the time I was beyond excited about the location of this flat (in the neighbourhood of my school) and the prospect of being able to settle into a new nest. Like I said, I just began to feel uneasy and hesitant about making that move for several reasons. So, I passed on that flat, and I will continue to look while I very much enjoy my time over the next handful of weeks at Claire's.
I know many of you are anxious to see pictures as I have not posted any in quite awhile. I am closer and closer to remedying my lack of computer problem, so please be patient with me. All my pictures are trapped on my old computer which has opted out of connecting to the internet indefinitely.
Despite the absence of image, I will tell you we had our second Wyldlife event this past Saturday night. We went to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets and then to Nando's, one of our favourite Portuguese restaurants, for dinner. We had a smaller crowd this time around which enabled us to truly get to know the kids a bit more. Jess (my volunteer leader) and I greatly enjoyed sitting over dinner and chatting with this handful of kids.
Young Life (F.W.E.L.) continues to take shape on Thursdays. We have recently started discussing "Blender Questions". Everyone writes a question about life on a notecard anonomously and places it in the blender. I pull these out and choose which question we will discuss each week. It is quite interesting to see different perspectives and to hear insight from several of my friends. I look forward to digging in even deeper as the weeks progress.
Thank you friends for continuing to love on me and support me as I step. through life in London. I assure you your prayers are felt and appreciated beyond words. I am overwhelmed to be living here. I am overwhelmed by your friendship. I am blessed. God is good.


Thursday, 21 February 2008

Ok, I pulled the plug a bit too early on my finding a new flat. I did find one, yes, but I have reconsidered and believe that I need to hold off for a bit longer to make a permanent move. In order to be financially responsible, to wait for a place that I feel a bit more at home in (if the place were not in the location it is in, I would not have considered it for a few reasons), and to overall just feel more at peace about it, I am going to wait and pray for the correct timing. As my wise Pop has told me countless times, just because an option presents itself, that does not always mean you are to take it. It simply provides the opportunity to choose. : ) I agree. I will keep you up-to-date on the latest.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Today I found a new home! I move in next weekend. God is good. I will once again reside on the high street in St John's Wood...the perfect location for me. Fantastic.
On the flip side...my computer is barely breathing these days. I can charge my ipod and look at my documents. Any other functions sends it into an scary array of warning messages and dos prompt screens. No internet connecting...too much to ask. And somehow it has erased its audio drive, so I have no ability to have sound. I believe I will soon put it to rest permanently, as I am unsure how to bring it back from such a deep malfunctioning world. I need a new laptop as my old faithful is dead never to be repaired, I fear. I have hijacked my friend Claire's computer while she is at school to do some work and update you guys.
Sigh... I am excited to move into my own space again, truly. I will be sad to leave my families, though, I must say!
Must maximize this computer time with some more work, more soon...

Friday, 8 February 2008

Nomadic...\nō-ˈma-dik\;roaming about from place to place aimlessly, frequently, or without a fixed pattern of movement.
An odd sort of reality and sense of normal these days living in London... Depends on the angle of perspective within me in determining blessings in the midst of such movement.
Since my introduction to YL some fourteen years ago, my abilities to both adapt and adjust have increased immensely. We, in the Young Life world, spend quite a bit of time in camp-like situations and learn how to survive with little surprisingly well. : ) I must say that these skills are most certainly ones that have been significant in molding my "default", as I like to call it. (Or, I also think of 2 Cor. 5.17..."the old has gone, the new has come." I believe as the Lord settles deeper into my heart, He continues to fashion the "new" within me.) In my life as a nomad at present, I am finding how true it is that the Lord is faithful, as He continues to provide blessing without fail. ("No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Cor. 10.13.) Were I to be transparent of the current "temptations" that abound all the more without a consistent nest, it might be what we would deem a "laundry list". Though I do value transparency and honesty, I will spare you the entirety of my catalog. As mentioned in entries previous, having my nest to live in and in which to retreat is a key component of my health.
"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me." (Ps. 139.1)
And He does. (full stop)
And now back to the view from which I choose to look into my current lifestyle, where I spy an advantage to unpredictability...
He is quite aware that hopping to and fro from house to house is not my most desired way to live; however, He also knows and is assured of what and how much I can handle. One of the other things he "knows" (and created in me) is my desire to live life with people and to grow deeper in relationship. Without this need for other peoples' shelter, life for me would have continued to be a bit more solitary. (The other laundry list I can make you is one of blessings I feel drenched in as this winter unfolds.)
The news this week...I am, indeed, the varsity girls softball coach for the upcoming spring season. A bit anxiously, quite pensively, and excited exceedingly, I step up to this task. Our season begins with tryouts the last week of March. The girls keep telling me that they are pumped, and I am formulating a plan that I hope will lead us to victory and loads of fun.
Some of you may have seen (and if you haven't, go check it out) that Young Life has gone through a re-branding recently.
Our new tagline? "You were made for this." I dig it. This afternoon as I laid down for a quick nap on the couch, I put the book I had been reading on the floor. The new logoed sticker I was given at our All-Staff Conference fell out of the front of it. As my eyes moved across the tagline, I thought,
"Yep, I was made for this". The grammar-minded part of me has a hard time with the open-endedness of this sentence. But, you know...in this case, open-ended is spot on. Wow, the laundry lists just keep coming, as I think of all the definitions of "this". Specifically, today, I thought... "this" equals building relationships with kids, knowing more about the Lord's character, and showing up to take steps.
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10.10)
"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."(John 15.11)

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Hiya. Though I typically try to avoid leading off any writing with an apology, I do feel it necessary in this case. I realize that my last post was in mid-December prior to the holidays, and I am sorry for my absence. Quite a bit has unfolded since then, and in my chaotic world, though I have thought countless times about sitting down to record events, it simply has just not happened.
Firstly (as they would say here in England), my laptop has died, I believe. At present, I have a computer savvy friend trying to bring it back to life, but I must honestly say that I have little hope. Therefore, you will be lacking a pictoral view of life since December here in this post.

So, Mom and Dad journeyed across the pond for both Christmas and New Year's Day. We had a great time walking and riding around London seeing the sites and taking may pictures courtesy of Dad. Our two weeks here was capped off by making our way down to the Thames to see the fireworks to ring in 2008. Wow! We stood on Waterloo Bridge for three hours in the cold and drizzle to hold our spot in order to have the best view possible. It was quite a show to behold, though a touch frustrating that the cloud cover overhead was quite thick. It acted as a blanket and held all the smoke from the fireworks down making it impossible to see the brightly colored lights being shot off of the London Eye, which was disappointing at times. The real adventure began as we tried to make our way home from these festivities. May I skip to the end and say that we stepped foot inside my flat at half past four in the morning?!! Yes. We walked, and walked...jumped on a bus, sat waiting for traffic to move, went down to wait for the tube and then opted out due to crazy drunken folks and train delays...got on another bus, walked home. (Sigh), my body is tired just re-living it here for you...wow! "Once in a lifetime", became the mantra of the night amongst us all-me, Courtney, Mom, and Pop.
The parents Brinkley and I returned to Arkansas on the 2nd of January. I made a quick trip to Fayetteville where I got to see a group of you guys at Angie and Jenny's ONE NIGHT ONLY gathering for me. I was so blessed by that time as I cried with laughter at each person there. Oh, how I miss my friends! (I am sure I will return once again to this sentiment in the near future to tell you how I continue to learn daily the importance of community...how much more applicable and tangible are so many bits of Scripture these days!) You are all hilarious in your own way, and I love that I know you all well enough to understand what makes you tick. Thank you for being my friends and for being so excited to see me! It delighted my soul, and I only wish the time could have been longer with each of you. : )
From 6 January to 13 January, Orlando hosted me and around 3500 of my Young Life colleagues from literally around the world. We had a fantastically enriching, and of course, hilarious week at our all-staff conference we have every 4 years. What a treat to see the sun after being in England where the light is sparse! I got to see staff friends from years before and spent time with my fellow England staff family away from tasks in our normal world.
Finally, I flew back to Arkansas for a few days to sort out some financial matters both in my YL world and in my personal sphere and to see my sweet nieces a bit more before journeying back to Londontown.
In retrospect, I must say that this most recent time away from London felt a bit rushed and not as restful as I would have hoped. I needed more time in Fayetteville, but I will be able to make up for that lack of time this summer. I suppose the holidays rarely are completely laid back and restful, are they? Loads of people to see and much travel to be done is the typical story for most of us. I hope your holiday time was filled with laughter and good times with your friends and family!
We will call this the catch-up post. A more current one to follow...