I’m on the mend!

The nurse said she wouldn’t have to see me again for 6 weeks! That was just news too good to not pass along!!

We–Mama, Grant, and I (with the doctor’s permission)–have been able to do some really fun stuff:
The Mousetrap at St. Martin’s Theatre–amazing!
Driving Miss Daisy at Wyndham’s Theatre–who knew a touching story of a jewish lady and a black man would make us miss Atlanta so? Beautifully done–it was Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones’s finest hour High Tea with friends; drinks at the Holly Bush with more friends (I had a Coke… I was still very much on meds but loved the company and setting)
Dinner with Londoner Katie (from Church)
Lunch with Aussie Gimyana (also from Church)
Tea with family-friend Katia and her new baby!!
Mama squeezed in the British Museum and a few other “touristy” things without me {and Grant went to class}

I have learned much about myself and about where I put my trust and my hope. There was much newness and little/ no comforts of the familiar: new place, new school, new flat, new healthcare system, no family except my exceptionally patient and kind husband who attended to me with limitless care. It showed me how much I value comfort and ease over the new and unfamiliar and difficult–how blessed and lucky we are to have to much support even in a new place and strange circumstances. It also taught me that you can create friendship and family with people all around you. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing in action.

We are grateful. We are healing. We are going to be ok.

Just in case you’re one of the few who have not seen this {64 million others beat you to it} this is treat from me to you:

Something about the eyes and the nose and mouth… remind me of Georgia. Happy Friday!

Times and Seasons

“Jesus said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority.'” (Acts 1:7)

I realize that this was in response to the disciples’ question about the second coming of Christ and the restoration of Israel, not in direct response, to say, my equally important question. But I feel I am in the middle of a season of when and why not now and I find myself pleading with God all the time.

Nothing wrong with that!

The disciples understood this and came from a long line of Jews asking desperately how and when and how long, oh Lord?! Most of the Old Testament is sprinkled with the groaning of people – the Israelites in the desert, the people striving to establish justice through judges, the nation crying out for a king, the prophets lamenting Israel’s wayward heart, the “remnant” of the Babylonian captivity, the revelation of the coming Christ Messiah – the waiting, the disbelief, the confusion, the crucifixion, the three days, and finally the resurrection! There is hope and a promise and salvation as a result of all that, but what a history to have come out of.

So we, too, as believers corporately step into this long line of patiently waiting for the revelation of something to come. There is a powerful spiritual implication for each of us, if we can grasp it, accepting the season of already, not yet.

Today at Hillsong, I was reminded of this verse, and it seems that God is speaking right to my soul: Lucy, it is not for you to know times or seasons that I’ve fixed by My own authority.

There is a purpose.

I am God. You are not. {It’s better this way.}

I don’t need your permission; I have all authority.

I am trustworthy.

It seems to be much easier expelling energy (to my detriment, I might add) fighting the whole thing, but to what end?

He has designed it – any season of waiting – as a time to either struggle against the not-knowing and pout like a child {me, mostly} or to revel in the journey. Do I let Him lead me or do I seek my will, missing what could be something beautiful? Am I stiff-necked, proud, and untrusting or pliable, teachable, and moldable? Do I value the known over the unknown – no matter the cost; regardless of the One who goes before me and behind me?

It is a simple and frustrating question: Do I trust Him?

I want the answer. He wants my heart.

I want independence. He wants my humility.

I want knowledge. He wants my trust.

I want the destination. He wants the journey.

And he gave a cry, saying, “I have faith; make my feeble faith stronger!” (Mark 9:24b) Lord, help me learn to wait.

Hillsong: Our Home away from Home

{The other 1/2 of that previous post’s excerpt}

Hillsong London has been the other surprise.

We love it. I mean, we knew the reputation that precedes it: awesome worship, solid theology. What we did not know was THE PEOPLE. Oh my goodness, the people. I cannot explain to you the full extent of my gratitude for their welcoming openness.

We filled out the requisite “Welcome Card” thinking it would be weeks before either of us heard anything. Nope. People had called us and set up coffee for later that week! We have met more people and made new contacts in this otherwise overwhelmingly huge city. We’ve attended drinks (several times), dinner (twice), a Hillsong party (amazing. they rented out an entire bowling alley/ 2-story bar and maxed out its occupancy), a birthday party (South African braai!), and a clothes swap with tea and cakes (just the girls).

These people are completely open with their hearts, homes, experiences, contacts, and calendars. It makes me wonder why we tend to be so guarded in our relationships and friendships. It seems to me (looking back) that I would almost expect people to prove their worth–jump through a few hoops at least–then I would take the time to invest in them. Not these people. You want a look at first century church… it is here. And it is beautiful. And humbling. It will absolutely bring you to your knees when you witness giving, sharing, and generosity at someone else’s expense (making cupcakes from scratch just for you; going out of his way to include you in his birthday party; journeying across town to meet you just because you’re new and don’t know the area; making a special trip to the store to be sure they have enough — for you).

We find ourselves, in the still darkness of night, asking, “Why do they do it? Why do they give and give and give and then give some more? Have they never been burned? Do they not end up with crushed expectations? Is there ever a return on their investment?” {If I’m honest, I’m still trying to figure out how they do it without being constantly disappointed, constantly heart-broken over people and things that didn’t turn out the way they thought.} I know why they do it. I know it’s because the love of Jesus in them runs over into the lives of others.

Here’s another happy surprise: knowing that His love spills over and being the recipient of that love are two entirely different things. Wow. Blown away is an understatement.

We’re adjusting quite nicely and I have to admit, at least 95% of that has to be because some sweet, real, authentic, raw, un-churched church people decided to take us under their wing and share their world with a couple of strangers who, honestly, may not even be here a year from now… which makes their commitment to us all the more dear. How do they do it? I’m amazed {and am learning MUCH about myself and my motives and my heart}. London and God’s grace is treating us well. Thank God for Hillsong London. Seriously.

God has done great things for us and we are filled with joy! {Ps 126:3}

Daily Life Excerpt

Here’s an excerpt from an email I recently sent out. I think it just about sums up daily life (at least at first).

As for daily life, things have been surprising. London, for being a world power and the seat of Europe’s academic and financial business, can seem like basically a third world country when it comes to customer service (none), processing paperwork (weeks and it may have to be restarted), finding a place to live (a fanatical, fear-driven “get-what-you-can-when-you-can” supply/ demand), and standard of living (crazy expensive plus the unfavorable exchange rate).

There have been plenty of frustrations–many of which, yes, would be the case no matter where in the world we were living because moving is a huge and incredible headache; some of which are completely unique to London life.

But really and truly, that is to be expected and God has been gracious with us and the transition: we didn’t lose any luggage, we found a flat and moved in within one week of landing, we have bank accounts set up with access to our money in pounds, our flat is cheery with lots of light, our flat included all kitchen accessories (cutlery, plates, glasses, and basic cookware), we ended up living less than 1/2 a mile from our friends Claude and Mary Elizabeth (KD with me at UGA!)… the list goes on and on and on.

Great is His faithfulness.

London Life

Life is busy but oh so good. We just got done with church: Hillsong London. The worship is amazing and I think we may have found our church home here. At least for now. 

Pics are hard to share because I’ve used up my allocated Internet usage for the MONTH on my phone and we won’t have Internet at our flat until MID-September…! But I’ll do my best to show you the before and after of our little place as soon as I can!

Life is so different here, but were taking each day and every experience as a gift from God to learn more about this curious little corner of the globe. Historically speaking, so much of the American government, mindset, and Anglican/ Episcopal church came from over here, there is MUCH to learn and observe… And were not even in school yet!

London with its 13 million people is truly a melting pot of language, culture, religion, philosophy, color, and ideas. It’s all fascinating really–if you hold it up to the light and look at it from the right perspective: Choosing joy and embracing the little daily difficulties with a smile, knowing that our lives are being changed and molded by each of them in great and tiny ways that we may never know but will forever appreciate. 

Life is so good and God is so faithful. What more could one ask for??