Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Poem of the Day

From The Temple, by George Herbert:

The Pilgrimage.

I Travell’d on, seeing the hill, where lay
My expectation.
A long it was and weary way.
The gloomy cave of Desperation
I left on th’ one, and on the other side
The rock of Pride.

And so I came to phancies medow strow’d
With many a flower:
Fain would I here have made abode,
But I was quicken’d by my houre.
So to cares cops1 I came, and there got through
With much ado.

That led me to the wilde of Passion, which
Some call the wold;
A wasted place, but sometimes rich.
Here I was robb’d of all my gold,
Save one good Angell,2 which a friend had ti’d
Close to my side.

At length I got unto the gladsome hill,
Where lay my hope,
Where lay my heart; and climbing still,
When I had gain’d the brow and top,
A lake of brackish waters on the ground
Was all I found.

With that abash’d and struck with many a sting
Of swarming fears,
I fell, and cry’d, Alas my King!
Can both the way and end be tears?
Yet taking heart I rose, and then perceiv’d
I was deceiv’d:

My hill was further: so I flung away,
Yet heard a crie
Just as I went, None goes that way
And lives
: If that be all, said I,
After so foul a journey death is fair,
And but a chair.

The Temple (1633) Complete Poem Index

Random Thoughts and Observations . . .

1.) England has an abnormally large population of snails. And they travel in packs! Imagine walking down a partially lit street at 10p.m. There's not much to look at, so you glance down at the pavement just in time to dodge a snail - but wait! there's another! And another! And three more! Holy crap!! The pavement is covered in them! (Well, maybe not covered but there sure are a heck of a lot of snails about!) It's gross!

2.) I just checked the weather back home - 95 in Waco and San Antonio and 89 in Houston. What's the weather like here in Bedford, England? 60. That's right, folks. The middle of August and it's 60 degrees outside. This little Texan girl is rather cold at the moment. If I knew how to work the heating in this place, it would definitely be on! Summer lasted a whole three weeks and it's already autumn. You can smell it in the air. So weird.

3.) I've some how become old enough to date a 32 year-old. 32!!! That's older than my brothers! What the crap?! When did that happen and why did I not get the memo?!

4.) Don't worry, I won't be dating the 32 year-old. However, there's a 31 year-old who I think is really nice . . .

5.) So that $295 phone bill has been sorted out. Turns out the phone company made a mistake. Praise the Lord!!! That's something that's been hanging over me for two weeks. I definitely have $24 in my bank account, so a $295 bill was most unwelcome.

So that pretty much sums up my life at the moment! Oh so very fun and exciting, I know!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Which 80's movie character are you?

Here's a fun quiz I just found via The Thinklings:

You are Claire from the Breakfast Club. Isn't that
like totally cool? So tell us, Claire, the
whole world wants to know... are you a virgin
or aren't ya?

Which 80's Movie Character Are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Things I absolutely love . . .

  • Shopping for new shoes and bags
  • When the new shoes and bags you're shopping for are on sale
  • Packages and letters from home
  • Email in my inbox
  • God
  • The monkeys = Nathan, Daniel, and Abigail
  • Running into a friend from the night shelter that couldn't get a bed when I was working and finding out he was able to get a bed the next night and really appreciated the conversation I had with him
  • Having people in the house with you, after living alone for a week
  • Sitting outside, having coffee with friends
  • Very well-written books
  • Watching Friends, Dawson's Creek, and Everwood reruns in England
  • Pictures Nathan and Daniel (my nephews) draw for me and send me all the way from Texas
  • Sleeping in
  • Three days off in a row!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Things I absolutely hate . . .

  • Emails from my best friend telling me I may have run up nearly to a $300 phone bill!!! (((that's one of those things I always saw on court tv and wondered how in the world that was possible; trust me folks, it's not as improbable as it may sound!)))
  • Running out of beds at the night shelter and having to turn people away
  • When those people you had to turn away lash out at you, say your a hypocrite, and yell that you have no idea what it's like for them
  • Not being able to adequately meet people where they are because you've never had a drinking problem, drug problem, been physically or sexually abused, etc, etc
  • When you pull a prank on someone and are either not able to complete it or it doesn't work like it should have
  • Waiting for that person to get you back because you know he's going to and it's going to be worse than what you did to him
  • Pickled onions. Yuck!
  • Missing my nephew's 5th birthday
  • Missing one of my best friend's wedding. But not just any wedding, the wedding event of the year that's too spectacular to even attempt to blog about
  • Having a guy that your pseudo-but-not-really-interested in think you're a complete moron because, of circumstances beyond your control, you ended up doing some idiotic things in his presence
  • Being single when all but one of your closest friends at the moment are married and you want to hang out with them but you really can't because you're either a third wheel or the married people are off by themselves with each other doing married-people things
  • Having to walk three miles and back to a proper grocery store while the sky threatens to spring open its water storage facility
  • Being in debt!!!
  • Going downstairs to eat and watch tv when you have friends that are sleeping rough with nothing to eat but you're not in a place where you are able to help them

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Late night dialogue

Eleven hour night shifts can lead to interesting conversation. Here's a glimpse:

Setting: 4 am in the night shelter; Debbie makes sandwiches in the kitchen while Nesta works on administration forms in the office.

D: Hey Nesta, how many sandwiches do I need to make?
N: You should use about ten pieces of bread.
D: So five sandwiches?
N: (thinking really hard) Well . . . that's always a bit tricky. I mean, that depends on what you think a sandwich is . . .
D: (absolutely bewildered) Isn't it two slices of bread with something in between them?
(((Both girls giggle)))
Well, do you define a sandwich as two slices of bread with filling between them or as two slices of bread with filling and then cut in half?
D: Uhhh . . . so I think you just described the same thing two different ways. I'm just gonna make about five sandwiches then . . .

Setting: 4:30 am in the night shelter; Resident wakes up and comes down for a break while Debbie tidies up downstairs.

D: Hey Matt! You doin' ok?
M: Yeah, I can't sleep very well. I think I just need a drink and a fag.
D: (momentarily forgetting she's in England) EXCUSE ME???
M: I just want a drink and a fag.
D: (remembers she's in England where "fag" means cigarette, not . . . ) Oh . . . . Okay . . . . Good . . .Well, you just take your time then. I think I need to take a break. I think I need some sleep.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Catch Up Time!

1. So what happened to July?!?! It totally flew by! I can't believe I've been out of the States for seven weeks already.
2. I would have been flying home tomorrow, but God made a way for me to stay longer!!!! Yay! King's Arms helped me out, so now I'm sticking around England for eight more weeks. One of the things I'm most excited about is I get to miss ALL the Texas heat! Praise the Lord!!!
3. Speaking of Texas, a team of six people from a church in Austin just came through Bedford to work on Project. It's sure a small world because their church works closely with our church in Waco and we have a few mutual friends/acquaintances. I've absolutely loved having the team around to keep me company and remind me of home. It's sad to say goodbye though.
4. However, one of my new Austin friends has a blog so it will be fun keeping in touch through that! So check out Savanna's blog!
5. I get to start my nights tonight! It's two now, so that means I get to go into work at ten and work all through the night until nine. Yipee. I actually don't mind the night shift. Reminds me of my college days of staying up all night writing papers. The best part is I don't panic once the sun starts rising because I have nothing due in the morning. Yay!
6. I took two from the American team to visit the night shelter last night. They loved it. Things were definitely more lively there than at the hostel. One girl got proposed to, but it was a guy who proposed to me just three days ago. Men. Too bad these guys are homeless...and smoke like chimneys...and drink A LOT...and don't love Jesus...oh well.
7. When we were at the night shelter last night one of the guys was talking to another staff member about God and salvation and said he wanted to take the plunge!!! Praise the Lord!!! Two people went off with him to talk about what it means and to pray with/for him. Please keep Matthew in your prayers as he starts on his journey of following Jesus. Pray that he would have grace to turn away from the things that so easily entangle.
8. I'm still homesick at times, but I'm loving my life here. It's just weird that life continues back home without me. Wow, that sounds rather egotistical. What I meant is, although I'm loving my time here it's hard to miss out on everything back home. My sister-in-law's birthday was Sunday (((Happy Birthday Brandi!!!))), my nephew's birthday is Saturday (((Happy Birthday Nathan!!!))), and I had to miss both celebrations. My other nephew is finally almost potty-trained (((Way to go Daniel!!!))) and my four month-old niece is now six months old, not four. So I must say that I am really looking forward to going home in October.
9. So this is life in Bedford. What's going on with you???
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