Monday, September 25, 2006


It is good to be back online! I feel reconnected with the world. This has been an incredibly difficult move. Friday and Saturday were just one long continous day for us-- 45 hours without sleep! During that time, we were running constantly with barely time to eat, drink, or use the restroom. Leaving our family and home was emotionally draining, but the flight was good although turbulent and not conducive to sleep. We had 7 very heavy bags plus the stroller and 3 carry on pieces of luggage and once we got to Heathrow we had to lug all that stuff down to the tube and change trains twice to get to Brighton. You only have like 30 seconds before the train doors close and the train takes off, so we would have never been able to do it without some of Allan's friends helping us. Poor guys, they didn't even know us, but they labored very hard for us. When we got to the flat, there was much to do since we had no household items with us. All we brought were clothes, books, baby stuff, and our computer, which unfortunately, did not survive the flight. Some of the furniture in the flat was missing too. But the porter (he takes care of maintaining the facility) is very helpful and has brought us everything that we need as soon as could possibly be expected. Shopping here has been a bit of a nightmare so far. There is so much that we need, but since we don't have a car we have to take the bus or train into town which takes about 30 minutes, and even then, we're having trouble finding everything because things are sold in individual shops, not big stores like back home. And since I have no idea where anything is and people have no idea what I'm talking about half the time, it is challenging. Saturday night was a very low point for us both since we were so tired and the place was so small and different and we couldn't find bed sheets and the computer was broken! We both pretty much just wanted to go home right then and there. But we're doing much better now after two full nights of sleep and two days of attempts at marketing. We have a working computer, sheets, dishes, towels, pillows, and hopefully tomorrow we'll get some groceries. :)

I must say that Britons are wonderfully nice people. They are all very friendly and willing to help you out. As soon as I fgure the new computer out, I'll post some pictures of our place. We're still putting it together, but we are very thankful to be here by God's grace. We've already experienced some trials, but He has been faithful to see us through as always. But I am glad that Friday and Saturday are safely in the past and I never have to live through them again. Please pray that we will be an encouragement and a witness to the goodness of the Lord here on this campus.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

And There Was Much Rejoicing

Our visas arrived via FedEx yesterday! We are approved-- we're going to England!! It is such a relief to know with 100% certainty what country I'm going to be living in for the next few years. :) God really used this circumstance to test my faith, and I'm ashamed to say that I didn't do very well. But Christ intercedes on my behalf, and all is well. God is so good! I must go. I still have many things to pack up!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Jonah Day

Yesterday was a day that will seem funny in about 5 years. Brian was working on our visa stuff yesterday when Jessie cut herself badly right below her eye. We spent half the day and $400 to get that fixed and our poor dog is wandering around with a plastic cone on her head. She keeps crashing into stuff-- every 5 minutes or so I hear a noise in the distance. What's that? My dog crashing into boxes, the stroller, the doorway, whatever. She looks so pathetic. Anyway, we finally get home from the vet and we're late to meet some friends for a baseball game. We finally get there through crazy traffic and it is sprinkling. We had no rain gear with us. After an hour of rain delay, the game starts and we slosh through the crowd to our seats, which are very wet. So we settle in to watch the game. During the second inning huge raindrops come kerplunking out of the sky. They start slowly but then increase into a typical Florida monsoon and we are stuck out in the rain fighting through a huge crowd to find some dry space. The rain was coming down in sheets as it only can in Florida. So after 20 minutes of that, we decided that the game would probably be called, and even if it wasn't it would be very late before they started again. So we left. On the drive back to our friends' house, the left windshield wiper of the car stopped wiping. Then the lights grew dimmer and dimmer, and the radio stopped working. When we got to the house Brian shut off the car and it refused to restart. We jumped it and it made it 1/2 mile. Our dear friends let us borrow their 15 passenger van to make it home. So our car is about 30 miles from home right now and we've got to find a way to get it fixed today. Neither of us want to think about it is going to cost!

By the end of the night, we were laughing. It was just a crazy day. We don't what God is trying to teach us, but we know it must be something. I have to run and get some stuff done since yesterday was such a bust, but I wanted to record this day for posterity!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Walking Blindfolded

I'm so very thankful for the encouragement of the Word of God and for dear brothers and sisters in the faith. This past month has been one of wavering for me. I've lacked faith in God.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or mule which have no understanding,
whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
otherwise they will not come near to you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.
Psalm 32:8-10

I've allowed worldly thinking to cloud my eyes and I've seen things with eyes of flesh instead of eyes of faith. I failed to remember that although I don't know what the plan is, God does. I've forgotten that though we seek to rebell, as Jonah did, God will never fail to execute His purposes, bringing us into conformity through pain if need be. And as I've lain awake in bed at night with my heart aching as I listen to my baby "cry it out", I've wondered if it hurts God as much to train us as much as it hurts us to be trained. All of this is to say that God is good, He is in His heaven and does as He pleases. Pastor Jay's sermon this morning pointed out that sharing in the suffering of Christ is not always martyrdom or something big like that, but rather the daily grind of slaying the flesh, repenting of sin, and becoming like Christ. We ought to grieve over the sins that nailed him to the tree, and the reminder of what our sin cost ought to motivate us to flee from it. So often I'm looking for something big to do for God and I neglect the very things He has already given me to do.

Seeing these things has given me more peace about the future than I have had in awhile. This is a blessed relief because although we are packing and preparing to leave the country for 2 years in a little less than 2 weeks, we still don't have our visas. Our student loan was finally approved and we are grateful to God for His providence in working that out. As of last Friday, things were looking pretty hopeless and we didn't know what we were going to do. But no matter what, I know that God is going to take care of us. How much I need to think on that! Worldly wisdom screams "You don't know what you're doing! You better be worried!" But Lady Wisdom of Proverbs says "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom."

I got Iain's visa picture taken today. He is able to hold his head up now, which made it a lot easier to get than his passport photo. The little sweetie decided that he wanted to smile for the camera!

Our yard sale went very well. Many friends and family came to help us. We made about $500, which will be a great help to us and we got rid of a lot things. Today at church they had a surprise goodbye luncheon for us, which was so very bittersweet. It is hard to leave. I thank God that we are still all members of one body, and no matter whether or not I see any of them again in this life, we will meet again singing praises before the throne of the Holy One.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Some days just suck.

And that is all I have to say about that.