Friday, 12 March 2010

Directions.  I adore directions.  You can see here why London suited me straight away, as the lovely English do the favour of helping people cross the zebra crossing safely with instructions painted on the street.  Love.
Tonight I sit at a table at a friend's house who is offering her hospitality for one week more before I move onward thinking of my UK home.  It is dark and rainy outside, and the sound of the drops on the windows is quite cathartic.  I will not be so overly romantic as to say that I loved the fairly ever present precipitation in London consistently, but now that I am in the States once more, rain soothes in a way in never did before.  While others hunker under their coats and sprint in and out of buildings to there vehicles, I walk quite at my leisure breathing deeply and enjoying the familiarity of the smell, sound, and simplicity of raindrops. 
Clearly, it does not take cloud cover and drizzle to bring thoughts of London to mind.  But, as I sit on the verge of a new move, I am taken back to my last move of significance.  I also write here in a bit of a shout-out to my friend, Lana, whose blog you can read on the column link to the left.  She is one of my kindred spirits in more ways that I can aptly describe and specifically by way of London love and life.  She and I shared the city streets for only about 6 months, but as she spoke about in her last entry, those times had a way of flipping the whole of our lives upside down, sideways, and...well, changed perspective on all things previously thought "normal".  By the way, I believe I have found two words that it will be difficult for me to ever write (or even say) without using inverted commas (or quotations marks):  "normal" and "home".  I am pleased that these words have been expanded and altered in my world.  I am eternally grateful.  
Having written numerous times before about the specifics of my London-missing, I will abstain from doing so this evening.  Instead I will comment on what I learned in a conversation earlier this week about my time in London.  While chatting with a friend about "how my transition is going", I began to fall into a bit of a script I have come to follow when asked said question.  I began to comment on how full-on the roller coaster of transition, re-entry, and culture shock are and the nature of learning to leave London in London and look ahead to find the next adventure and step in the journey.  However, this time when I began to say these somewhat pat answers, I meant what I was saying.  It was quite a moment, actually.  
I explained that I am learning that London was/is...well, indescribable, intimate, and embedded in my character, heart, and head henceforth.  Part of me will always live in London.  I will always feel at home there.  At this moment, I do not do life in London, however.  And attempting to recreate that life lived across the pond here in the States is not a realistic expectation or goal.  Were I to hold onto hope for said accomplishment, I would fall short time and time again.  
So, I look forward to the next steps, and I do just that...keep stepping, putting one foot in front of another.  Whether wearing my American New Balance or my black Camper "English girl" shoes, I keep moving as Kym, the girl who is from Arkansas, who lived overseas for a few years, and who is now looking for where the Lord has for her next to experience and engage in life.  What new locale has He in store?  
I feel at the moment it will be in Colorado, if we want to get a bit more specific and less theoretical.  The details of moving to this destination are yet to be hammered out, but the process has begun starting with a move to near Little Rock with the parentals for a time.  I need to touch family home base for a bit before the venture westward.
My time in NW Arkansas has been full of purpose, as the Lord does not make mistakes, in my opinion.  Though the time here has been up and down, full of emotion, and frustrating at times, I have simultaneously been blessed with precious reunions with dear lifelong friends, have been introduced to amazing new friends with whom I have lived life full of stories, coffee, and perspective, and have been shown by the Lord changes He has made within my person that I am convinced may have not been as evident to my eye and heart had I been in a non-familiar environment directly upon my Stateside arrival.  NWA is not home for me now.  As mentioned, I hold that word loosely and only know currently that I need to move onward to find its new definition in my world.  
I look forward to the next locale, and I am assured the Lord has gone before and is going alongside me.  (Duet. 31.8)
I quote my afore mentioned friend, Lana, below as my heart shares her sentiment:
"I now have a constant ache for a new place, a new city, a new adventure."
Yep.  Well said.  I recognise this new state of myself, and I am thankful.  I also recognise how foreign and puzzling this newfound disposition may seem to others with whom I live life and interact.  I find myself at a loss by way of truly "explaining".  I can only say how blessed I know I am to have such dear, dear friends quite literally around the world who invest in, take interest in, and love on me as I move here and there in my quest of finding "home".  Thank you.  Thank you for your loyalty as I eagerly, nay desperately, seek to  discover which steps are coming into view in the midst of a literal haze of transition.  

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Have you read any Henri Nouwen?  I highly recommend him, if not.  I get a daily email from his writings that honestly, sometimes I read and other times I just pitch.  One day this week, I was struck by this excerpt I found in my inbox.  I hope it blesses and frees you in your pursuit of deeper relationship and intimacy with God, who IS love.  

Creating Space for God

Discipline is the other side of discipleship. Discipleship without discipline is like waiting to run in the marathon without ever practicing. Discipline without discipleship is like always practicing for the marathon but never participating. It is important, however, to realize that discipline in the spiritual life is not the same as discipline in sports. Discipline in sports is the concentrated effort to master the body so that it can obey the mind better. Discipline in the spiritual life is the concentrated effort to create the space and time where God can become our master and where we can respond freely to God's guidance.

Thus, discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God. Solitude requires discipline, worship requires discipline, caring for others requires discipline. They all ask us to set apart a time and a place where God's gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.

                                                                                                              --Henri Nouwen