Sunday, August 28, 2011

Holiday Club

Holiday Club was great! It was a ton of hard work but it all paid off. For four days, I got to dress up as a spy and share a Bible story on stage and then make sure everything went really smooth. We went through the story of Moses (Undercover, Your Mission, Mission Accomplished!) and the kids did a really great job of learning and remembering the story. They listened in the morning, participated in games, music, and crafts, and behaved beautifully! We had maybe two discipline problems all week and one issue with timing-- it was a really smooth week! With around 30 kids, we had a small club but it was a good number for the amount of adult volunteers we had. 

Friday was a quick trip to Skegness for the beach. Unfortunately, it was wet and freezing! The rain did stop after lunch but the sand was too wet to be any fun. Instead, we hung out in a fair-type area where we rode carnival rides and got hot chocolate. It was a fun day over all.

This Saturday, I went to Grapevine with some of the families in the church. This group of families is like we used to be at Western Heights-- they all hang out together and have known each other forever. They come to everything at church and their kids are either in attendance or helping out at most events. One of the moms picked me up and I joined the crew of older teens (as well as Hilary) for the day. The Shepherd's got me there and got my ticket while the Bridgewoods made sure I got fed. We went to a mid-day worship session and then two afternoon seminars before an evening session and then a late-night worship for teens. The speakers were really good and the music was great too. It was like being at church camp, but for families. Most of the families from the church are camping out but I had to be at church this morning. Hopefully I can go out again tomorrow (it's a bank holiday) and share some baking with them this time. :) 

This week has been long and busy-- my iPhone broke too and it was really frustrating because the closest Apple store is like an hour away and I obviously can't drive myself. Not having my phone made me feel really disconnected from home, especially with everyone my age on holiday and few people around to just hang out. But getting psudo-adopted and going to Grapevine helped and hanging out with Neil and Rachel is always fun. Today has been a resting, refueling, cleaning, and organizing day. Yesterday was great for unwinding and hanging out and this week will be more of a getting-ready week. Stuff starts back up at church next week, events and things. 

Thank you all for praying-- I know the prayers help! I am enjoying my time here-- I like working for the church and I've been spending some great time with God. I have time to read for fun too :) It's been a great adventure so far!

How can I pray for you this week?

Internationally yours,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

21 and counting

Hello dear friends and famalia (fam-ah-lee-ah, because I'm like my mom sometimes),

I miss you all. I miss simply hanging out with people my age for fun. I miss being surprised by parties with family friends when I was home for the weekend. I miss skipping through the halls and saying hi to all my previous teachers. I'm okay--don't worry, I have lots a friends and things going on here. But it is odd seeing all the back-to-school posts on Facebook and not being part of that busy, preparing, nerve-wracking, exciting time. I hope the Pirates go all the way in play-offs so I can make a few tail-end games. I can't wait to get back and see my church families in Dallas and in  Crawford.

It's been a slow week for activities-- pretty much spent all day every day getting ready for Holiday Club (our VBS) and reading library books. I've read a good bit (surprise surprise) and got to re-read Howl's Moving Castle which is one of those books that reminds me why I am a writer. I discovered a long-suppressed almost liking for Country Music after watching Country Strong. Good movie. I'm sure there was a splash of nostalgia and a dollop of it's-after-ten-pm which promoted me to buy the soundtrack but I do like the music.

Not having tons to do has left me some time to think. For the first time I can remember, there is no set course for me after what's going on now. In school, there was always another grade, another year of college, and plans in place. But God really re-mixed my plans with England. I am officially a college grad now, though I will walk in December. This put me in the I-need-a-grown-up-job phase a little sooner than planned. So that's something I'm praying about. I have no idea what I want to do-- I want to work for Disney, I want to sing and act, I want to make a living as a writer, I want to get married and keep a nice home, I want bees, I want to be creative, I want to not have to worry about money, I want to study mythology and folklore in Grad school, I want God to just tell me what to do!

This morning was my first Sunday in actual church (the youth go out mid-service as do the kids and I've been in their Sunday Schools) and we had communion. Andrew preached about worship and talked about William Carey, the first missionary, who went to India. When he talked about Carey, something stirred in my soul. I got goosebumps. I thought about Shibani (my compassion child that I support with Mom) and how she asked me when I could visit her. This stirring, these ideas are terrifying. I don't want to move to India! I don't know what God's plan is, but he did let me know fairly early on that India is in my future (there was a month freshman year where I could. not. get. away. from India) and I feel like that is coming up. Hunches and freezing in place do not a good future make, though. For now, I am praying about January. I am finishing my book and sending it to agents soon. I am looking at grad schools and writing-type jobs. The future seems a lot closer on this side of 21 and it's scary, but God has brought me this far and I know he has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11, thank you DBU). Plans for my future. And Holiday Club next week!

Please be praying that I get some direction and purpose in my life. I feel a bit like a ship sans moorings. Pray that children attend the Holiday Club and that God moves in strong ways. Pray for the students as they head back to school. I'll be praying for new school years for all y'all, is there anything else I can pray about for you?
Thanks for caring and for coming and reading!

Internationally Yours,

PS: I've also been catching myself acting and saying things like my  mom more and more lately... scary huh? :)
Love you Mom!

PPS: This radio station has been really encouraging me today, check it out:
It's like every thing I talked to God about was being answered by songs as I prayed about them. God is kinda cool like that!

Monday, August 15, 2011


Wall of Cards

Invites, very posh, designed by Neil

I turned 21 last week and it was quite a big deal. To me anyways. :)  It was my first birthday to not be at home, but everyone here made me feel so incredibly loved while friends from around the world flooded me with birthday wishes on Facebook. Thank you everyone for making it special! 

Thursday night, Hilary and I had a sleepover where we had Chinese take-out (I've never had Chinese take-out before! Thanks and watched princess movies until one AM.

Friday morning, I woke up two more birthday cards (I got several cards with gifts on Thursday-- someone even gave me proper biscuits and chocolate!) and scones for breakfast. My famalia woke up extra early so we could Skype and I opened presents with them online. Thanks for waking up and making my day extra special! I then wandered off and spent some time writing post cards home in the Arboretum (I hope you've got your post card! I found some really nice ones) where I found this cool castley bit that actually had a play ground behind it. 
Look at that sky!

A rose, just for me and my birthday 

A nifty old castley bit....
Is actually a post garden shed! 

I stopped for tea with scones, and more library books on the way back to the house, where we had sushi and stir-fry for dinner before Rachel and Neil pulled out this fantastic cake! Chocolate with frosting and raspberry between the layer, Cadbury mini-rolls for turrets and 21 silvery candles. Living with artists means they lit the candles for me to blow out when they presented the cake, then we relit them an hour later before eating the cake just to watch them burn beautifully. 

Saturday was a lazy day and Sunday was THE PARTY-- Jane Austen-style Low Tea with costumes, cute cakes, and tiny sandwiches. Rachel led the charge and Neil and I helped get it all baked, decorated, and assembled before we head out for Hartsolm park. There we met the rest of our party, all dressed to the nine, and proceeded to picnic, amused by the bemused glances tossed to us and by the capricious antics of the kids in the group (almost 3, 2, and 1 years-old-- they were wonderful!) 
The ladies and litlles
so cute!
like watching a movie!

Jonathan and Ewelina-- her dress is gorgeous!
Cheeky Mya helped me open presents

The weather was perfect, the food was lovely, everyone looked fantastic, and we had a marvelous afternoon. All too soon, we packed up and headed back, the end of a truly lovely birthday.  

I really felt the end of being a kid (I know, that's supposed to happen when your 18 but as long as your in college, you are a 'college kid'). I think it really hit me the worst watching the last Harry Potter movie though, almost a month ago. I grew up with Harry. And the end of his childhood-- the last movie-- felt like the end of mine. I loved having this birthday-- it was a grown up party but just as much fun as my hula party or my fifties party when I was little. It's bitter sweet in a way and I'm glad I felt that in the movie so I was free to enjoy the birthday, but there really is no going back.

I can't believe I've already been here for more than a month; it feels like longer but less too. I think I would move to England if I didn't miss my family achingly every time I entertain the thought. I have no idea what happens when I get back in December. A job, maybe an apartment. A grown-up sort of life. 
Please be praying God gives me direction and wisdom as I pray about the future. Also, continue praying for us at LBC- the youth just got back from mission and school starts back soon. I've been teaching Sunday School but soon there will be a lot more going on! It's been a good summer-- let's see what the autumn brings!

How can I pray for you this week?

Internationally Yours,


Monday, August 8, 2011

Ireland! (and other neat stuff)

I went to Ireland last week and it was fantastic! Greer, over in Melton, wanted to go and invited me to travel with her. Since it's not like I can come to the UK every year, I jumped at the chance.  Since Ireland isn't an actual part of the UK, there were all kinds of fun new lines at the airport, but since we weren't UK citizens, our lines were a lot shorter.

A part of the trip I:

Rode a train for the first time EVER

Wandered through an open-air market in Melton that smelled like the HOT Fair and Rodeo (because they were selling livestock too...)

Got to see the Book of Kells! (It was beautiful-- the colors were so rich and it is a 1300 year-old illuminated text!

Rode in a nifty tour bus all around Dublin (we really only saw Dublin-- we need to go back and see Ireland!)

Tried to learn Irish from all the street signs

Visited the Guinness Factory-- and decided that while Guinness itself is not very nice at all, Guinness stew is awesome!
It was free-- I took a sip and it was soooo bitter-- we were the only ones who didn't finish our drinks though! Thank goodness for the choice of sodas up top where the complimentary pint was served.

Visited vaulted Cathedrals and lovely church grounds, though none of the cathedrals or castles in Dublin were as great as our own Lincoln Cathedral and castle

Walked all OVER the Temple Bar district (which is not actually a bar, though it is full of pub-- it's an arts/shopping/cultural center) (there is a pub called the Temple Bar too)

Acted like a total tourist and bough scads of cool souvenirs and post cards. Also, Greer and I bought a chocolate bar just because it had the odd sheep on it that turned out to have it's own (the sheep had, that is) souvenir line-- that I cannot find anywhere online sadly. This was the most colorful cartoon sheep ever. For realz.

Of course I found the Disney Store! I couldn't find it a second time though...

Made Greer take tons of pictures because A) my camera battery died and B) I sort of fail at taking pictures anyways.

Existed on less than eight hours of sleep from Tuesday through Thursday (Tuesday bedtime was midnight, then up at 4 AM, down at 2 AM the next morning, back up at 6 AM because a girl in the hostel had her trunk under out bunk, and thankfully asleep by 10 PM the next night.) I managed to function and even be pleasant-- the Irish air helped I'm sure. 

I loved wandering all over this ancient city and learning about Celts, Vikings, Normans, and the dreaded English (apparently Ireland used to rise up about every 30 years to through off the oppressive bonds of the British. And failed. Every time.) The accents were lovely and lilting and we even went to the pub where parts of  P.S. I Love You was filmed. While I did not fall for a dashing Irish boy, I did have a lot of fun dashing around Ireland and being a tourist for two days. Next time, you should come too!

Internationally Yours,

PS: I'm done with school! Thanks for all your prayers so far-- I can slow the pace a bit now but Holiday Club is coming up and I am second-in-command for that. Please pray things go smoothly, the kids have fun, and that they actually come up with a deeper understanding of Jesus. How can I be praying for you this week? (you do have to tell me, or else I just pray over my five followers... Hi Mom! Love you!)

PPS: This is easily my favorite song right now. And my favorite singer/songwriter/musician-- he's just really cool! :)

Monday, August 1, 2011


In lieu of a long, wordy post, I give you: Pictures of Lincoln!

This is a really pretty rose I pass on the way to the church
Monk's Road-- this is the main thorough-fare for our area

The Arboretum has a great fountain

As well as this really cool stone fountain!

More from the Arboretum.

Really pretty; this is the Abbey Access Center in the Arboretum.

Terraced Housing:  a lot of young families, older couples,  and immigrants live in this kind of housing. I love the  Bay windows.

More of Monk's Road, these are houses and shops. The road is so narrow!

Phone Booth!