Friday, October 24, 2008


okay, so i know i just posted. but i had to tell you guys this.

today we hosted our first muslim wedding reception in our church. it has been a funny experience. the whole fam came and set up, then all went to mosque for the family ceremony. evidently tomorrow is the big one, with all the friends and public. today is the small party and official ceremony for the family. so, i've decided its more like a rehearsal dinner.

so, they are all hanging out, playing with babies, whatever. then suddenly its 6:00. the father of the groom (and organiser) asks if we have a room for the women to pray in while the men pray in the back garden. i show him our small lounge, but he opts for the main hall. so all of a sudden this hush falls and women are scattered throughout the hall, amongst the tables and chairs, bowing down on some cloths serving as prayer mats.

then, in about 2 minutes its all over. everyone is back up, talking, eating, etc.

so, in the midst of this, the russian church showed up. we also have a russian pentecostal church that uses our hall. so right now they are upstairs with their russian matt redman, or whatever (actually, right now its "give thanks, with a grateful heart" in russian) whilst the muslim family is cleaning up the byriani in the kitchen. no, i don't know what it is, but it is some kind of meat and rice that was yummy.

or, as i like to call it, friday. my life is so random.

the one you've been waiting for

today i got to share my faith.

i have this friend. we'll call her maggie. maggie was a police officer in our neighbourhood a few years back. however, our neighbourhood police team is often a stepping stone to something better. no condemnation. she should keep trying to make more of herself. anyway, she went away to training and has recently been assigned as a "normal" officer in wood green... just next door to our 'hood. Here's the thing about maggie. she has only lived here 5 years (the same as me) and did not speak a word of english when she arrived...and now her english is good enough to protect me from the baddies...unbelievable.

anyway, now that she is back around she called me up looking to improve her english. so we've started meeting up as her crazy schedule allows. her english is excellent, she just lacks some confidence. so, maggie and i were talking about confidence. we were talking about our shared tendency to resolve one fear/worry just to replace it with another. i told her that my faith helped me deal with that some. she just sat there, no response, so i continued. i told her that when i worried about things i couldn't control that i reminded myself that god loves me...that he wants good things for me...and that i should trust him with the things i cannot control. maggie said that that was something she would have to think about.

all in all, its been an amazing week, but i this is the spiritual biggie.

...and after only 5 years

Sunday, August 17, 2008

isaiah 1-4

isaiah begins by talking about the tough stuff coming. he launches into the choices jerusalem has made and the consequences that will have on the day of judgment... really encouraging stuff. but then comes chapter 4 ...this little ray of hope, about those who survive. that was when i started to connect with it.

verse 6 talks about a cloud/fire that god will put as a shelter and shield. all i could think was "i really need a shelter from the heat of the day and a shield from the storm and rain". then i looked back at all that jerusalem had been through in the first 3 chapters... some desolate and desperate times; times where hope could not be seen and the work of god was not evident. in verse 4 of chapter 4 god talks about the cleansing of jerusalem. but its not a pretty cleansing like we like to picture in our minds... of water cascading from heaven, "there is a fountain", or floating in a river (ala "find me in the river").

its a cleansing by 2 spirits- judgment and fire.

a couple weeks ago i fell into psalm 51, one of my faves because its about reconnecting after falling. i spent about a week asking god to cleanse me. little did i know...

cleansing by judgment and fire... this is how god cleans and purifies his beloved jerusalem. no gentle bathing in the river here... but purging and burning... consuming fire... dross from the gold... and all that.

how can i embrace a cleansing of fire and judgment?

right now i am desperate enough for the canopy that i embrace the cleansing.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

a life out of control...

i am back...due to popular demand (i.e. my mother in law and one random friend of tims)

my life is completely out of control. i have 258 emails in my inbox (in case you are wondering why i haven't replied to you... i can't even find your email!), i cannot seem to get enough sleep, and i just failed 2 assignments on my stupid management course. awesome. my great tan from france is quickly fading in the rain of london... as is the peace of mind i found. everything is scattered right now. but at least my mom is here to spoil us all, tell us how wonderful we are, and do the dishes! that is my saving grace right now.

i know, not very profound for my great return; but i've had so many gaps and returns... surely you've lowered your expectations by now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

the islam "christian bookstore"

today i went into my first "islam bookstore". it was basically the islam version of our christian book stores. when i found it, i thought that it made real sense, but i had never considered that other religions would have special bookstores, like we do. that's kind of embarrassing to admit, but i had just neve thought about it.

it was pretty small, but had most of the stuff we have. there were puzzles for children based on stories from the Quran (creation and noah's ark), books on what the Quran teaches about family, how to be a good wife, husband, how to pray, etc. there were even little toys for children to learn arabic. you may or may not know that the only true and authoritative translation of the Quran is arabic. you can get copies in english, but they aren't seen as the actual Quran. so learning arabic is very important for muslim families.

the clerk was very friendly. he let me try some perfume and helped me pick out some henna. i also bought some halal sweets for my muslim friends.

it was strangely similar and familiar. a little bit like being in the same place, but in an alternate universe or something.

the autobiography of martin luther king, jr.

since i am not cool enough to know how to post a list of what i am reading (see pretty much any previous entry for a lengthy discourse on my technical inadequacies), here it is. it's not a real autobiography, but a collection of his writings put together in biographical form. which makes sense since he was murdered before having a chance to get around to writing about his life. i picked it up off the "black history month" display at my local library.

sidebar: i understand why some things must be different in other countries, like money, time changes, etc. but why do we do things different that aren't necessary and just make things that little bit harder. take black history month...february in the states and october in the u.k...why would we do that? also, writing the in the states...month-day-year here. and don't even get me started on paper and hole punches. i mean really.

anyway, the book is blowing my mind. MLK writes about the challenge of coming from an evangelical background that was all about "taking things on faith" rather than examining things critially using intelligence and the way philosophy and political knowledge helped him develop his theology that lead him to the actions we all celebrate. it made me think of how relevant his development and conclusions may be to all those post moderns out there wrestling with "what is church" and all that stuff. but i am most interested in the way he combined ghandhi with christianity. i am on a slipperly slope right now with islam and christianity. i don't talk about it too much, because i don't want to cause anyone else to struggle or get a lecture on how dangerous it is to go down that road. but i am coming to believe there is a real case to be made that our similarities are more than our differences. i concede that jesus is a big difference, though. but i really feel this book, and moreover the life journey of MLK gives support to my asking the questions.

if you are looking for a way to personally celebrate black history month, i highly recommend it. if you aren't looking for a way to personally celebrate black history month, you should be. if you are american, keep this in mind for february.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

remember when people used to blog...

stretch your minds way into the past with me, before nintendo wii (which i just learned about today), before itunes (which i am just now learning to use), and before FACEBOOK! Just in case you are wondering....

i know that i should totally sign up for facebook. " i mean, its way easier to keep up with your friends, you can just write a quick phrase, blah, blah, blah" but what you are not taking in to account is how long it will take me to learn to do the stinking thing, or how much time i will waste trying to come up with a password complicated enough that it will really let me register, or how long i will spend trying to find the stupid email i had to send myself with my login and password so that i can ever access my account again (i know, but by the time i get around to registering for anything the "same login i use for everything" is always taken!). so, thanks for the suggestion. i mean, don't you think i should learn to load pictures and video on to the computer first? me too.

in other news, i tried to go to france with an expired passport (unknowingly until i arrived at the airport), i was just given my first sari, and i just saw hairspray last night.

is anyone still frequenting the blogging world?

Friday, April 20, 2007

good news...and bad news (aka another update on the trauma/drama about preganancy, childbirth, and motherhood)

I am declaring it officially and publicly…I have returned to my pre-olyvia size

That’s the good news....

But, somehow nothing between my knees and neck looks like it used to

That’s the bad news.

I have now purchased several garments in the size I used to wear before being blessed with Olyvia. So, I excitedly dug out the few treasured items I have held onto in faith and hope that I would eventually be able to wear them again. And finally that day arrived, after much work, weaping, and nashing of teeth. Imagine my shock when those %*^*&%^*&%) jeans still did not fit. It seems that cut of trouser (pants) is important and is even more important now than before.

I shared my disappointment, dismay, and disbelief with my long-suffering, encouraging husband. He was quiet for a minute (I could tell he was wisely reflecting on what he should say before speaking, not always one of his best skills) then calmly said “I guess that is what they mean by your body never goes back to what it was like before”. Fortunately he is great at letting me know he likes how I look!

I put the holy grail of jeans back up and have resolved to keep at it.

Can I get an amen, if you’ve been there? Stories of success are welcome responses. No stories of failure are welcome.

If you haven’t yet become a mama…don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

my new "favorite 3 words"

although we all love to hear "i love you" just got bumped down a notch on my list.

for this past sunday, the label in my diary (calendar) said "British summertime begins" (that means daylight savings time to you and me, russ)

British Summertime Begins!

yesterday it was still light when i got home from work...even after stopping at the grocery store. those 3 words mean that i have survived another dark, miserable winter. 2 weeks ago we had a warm spell that had me trying on vests (tank tops) and flip flops (flip flops).

British Summertime Begins!

i am so desperate that i don't even mind losing that extra hour of sleep. of course, we did skip chruch, so that makes a difference!

British Summertime Begins!

i love that they call it summertime. that sounds so much more charming than "Daylight savings time". and since it is just "beginning" it means i have months of daylight stretching before me! i love the beginning of great things...friday afternoons, traveling on holiday (vacation), all the promise stretches before you. plenty of time, no need to rush, you still have the whole thing to look forward to.

British Summertime Begins!

it's enough to bring this sun-addicted american to tears....