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

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

According to the computer it's still Thursday on the continent I'm on. And since I haven't done one of these in months, I figured there's no Thursday like this Thursday! So without further ado:

1.) My leg grew, if you hadn't heard! And two weeks later, it's still nearly as long as the other!

2.) Thanksgiving is next week! I'm cooking a Thanksgiving feast for friends . . . just haven't told all the friends about it yet . . . AND I'm going to my friend Sarah's for another Thanksgiving feast the Saturday after Turkey Day. Yippee!

3.) I went up to Sheffield last weekend to hang out with some kiddos during the Antioch Sheffield's church-wide retreat. Besides having a headache basically all weekend, I had a good time catching up with people and meeting new folks. And I was blessed with some serious cash by the guys up there -- paying for my trip AND extra for the work I did over the weekend.

4.) I don't have kids.! Don't get me wrong: Kids are great and a blessing but I realized last weekend how hard it can be sometimes. From seeing the mom stuggling whose little one didn't want to sleep at the retreat center 'cause it was just a huge jungle gym, to being in with all the kids for 3+hrs, knowing that right next door people were praying and worshiping and meeting with God and I couldn't leave and join them. I'm sure my day will come and I'll be thankful for the blessing, but for the moment I'm thankful for my singleness without little ones.

5.) I survived my round of night shifts that started just a few hours after stepping off the train from Sheffield. And they passed quickly. Yay!

6.) I'm doing a Night Shift cover tomorrow night. Crazy, I know, but it too will yield some serious cash since it's happening in the middle of some days off. Serious cash. Like only £50 LESS than I get a month. Seriously.

7.) My scarves. They're so pretty. And I doubled my collection a few weeks ago when I was down in Camden Town in London. There are some amazing scarves in the market for only £3-5! My fav is my red pashmina. It was worth every penny! And it's so warm and beautiful!

8.) Christmas is FIVE WEEKS AWAY!!! Scary and exciting!

9.) Costa coffee shop. Last night (well, afternoon; it was 4 pm but was already dark!) was the first time I went in and it was so warm and inviting! And they had holiday drinks!!! I went back again this morning to meet my friend Sarah and it was so nice! For two and a half hours I forgot I was in England -- Sarah's also American and the coffee shop has an American feel to it.

10.) We had some amazing times at the night shelter a couple of weeks ago. Guys were asking for prayer and really being touched by God. Some even offered to pray for members of staff and for each other. How amazing is that?!
Granted, the past week or so has been hard and the ones who had been praying have been dabbling with drugs again, but such is warfare. We still have faith for their lives. So should you. So go pray for them! NOW!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Away for the weekend

Lord willing, tomorrow I'll be boarding a train headed to Sheffield. And hopefully I'll figure out how the trams work, get on the right one, and head to meet the McGinnis family who I've known for 10 years now (Unbelievable!). Daniel and Jeannie McG were my college pastors who moved to Sheffield about 3 years ago to plant a church: Antioch Community Church, Sheffield. It's the annual church-wide retreat and I was recruited to help out watching the kiddos. It should be fun, though busy. I'm excited to see my friends, esp in the beautiful Peaks District, and I'm blessed that the church will be paying for my transportation, food and lodging! However, I'm coming back on Sunday evening, about 4 hours before I start a night shift. Oh joy. But I know it'll be worth it.

My leg's still longer than it was! It's still ever so slightly shorter than the other, but there's a vast improvement. People can see it just in the way I walk! The pain continued for another day or so, but went away after some more prayer. Crazy, huh?

Things have been busy at work. Taking on more responsibility and such. Tonight I led my first evening shift and it was VERY busy, but not overly stressful. Only slightly stressful. I'm hoping the guys I annoyed by changing the bed plan stop being grumpy and remember they love me by the time I see them again. I wasn't all that bothered, honestly. One guy threatened to walk out multiple times 'cause he didn't get his way, so after the 5th time I opened the front door and told him he could go if he wanted. Probably not the most gracious of responses, but at the time I was busy with the paramedics and concerned for another ressie who was still suffering from the effects of a stroke he had the week before. So the life-threatening condition took precedence, in my opinion.

Ok, it's nearly 1 a.m. and I must wake up early. So CIAO for now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fare me well

Well, it's time for me (Tirzah) to branch off now. :) Debbie has been kind enough (and a good sport) to let me share this blog with her, but it's time for Decidedly Wandering to officially be Debbie's blog only. Readers will be able to read here about Debbie's traveling adventures. But if you'd like to keep up with me (the rambling, aspiring writer who only dreams about traveling), please visit my blog on

You haven't seen the last of me yet, though. Lord willing, I'll be back frequently to read and comment.

Thanks for reading! :) --Tirzah.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow . . .

So, my whole life my left leg has been a good inch shorter than my right leg (hmm...can you see where this post is headed?). I actually don't remember when I realized this fact. It was well into my teenage years, AT LEAST. Heck, my own mom didn't even know until I pointed it out to her two months ago as she was hemming some trousers for me. Within the past 4 or 5 years I've heard people tell tales of having one leg shorter than the other and them praying and it growing. I would always think, "Oh, that's great for them!" But I never thought about praying it for myself.

Let's fast forward to Sunday night. They asked for people to stand up who needed an impossible healing -- healing for something doctors have said there's not hope of healing. The thought crossed my mind - should I stand up? - but I thought better of it since I still wasn't experiencing any pain or discomfort from my oddity.

Now let's fast forward to Monday night/Tuesday morning. I was finishing my third and final night shift and I noticed a slight ache in my left leg - the shorter leg. Strange, I thought. I have a method of popping my femur - weird, I know, but it does make it feel better if there's some pressure on it. So I tried it, but the pain didn't go away. I suffered through the night and then stumbled home at 9:15 a.m. to sleep for a few hours before attempting to readjust to regular working hours. The pain was constant, but not unbearable, for the rest of the day. Wed morning I was as good as new . . . so I thought.

Every Wednesday a.m. we have Team Training. One week it's with just the Nightshelter team at the house, the next week at the offices in town with both the NS and hostel teams all together. I love Team Training. We had a guest speaker who gave a wonderful talk about Abraham's faith and how to remain faithful and believe in God's promises, even when you mess up like Abe did; but that's irrelevant to this post. At the end the speaker spent some time praying and prophesying over us. When he prayed over me he said I needed to know it was ok to pray for myself; I shouldn't discount myself. He said it's wonderful that I love to pray for and minister to others, but I needed to also take time out to pray into my own life. It was a good word, but I quickly ran off to do a cover shift at the hostel and it went out of my mind.

My friend Zoe prayed for me when we were covering at the hostel. A simple prayer for healing. She also prayed for my leg to grow. It didn't. By that evening my leg was killing me. I couldn't move or walk around much. I had friends over for dinner so it was nice just chillin' with them; it took my mind off the pain. I got some more prayer for the pain to go. It didn't. And for my leg to grow. It didn't.

But Thursday morning I woke up and felt back to normal! Praise God, the pain was gone . . . until I went into work that afternoon and had to make a trip to the shop. After the 15 min walk I was nearly in tears and limping like an old man. But I sucked it up, completed my shopping and walked back to the shelter where I continued to get the house ready for the evening (it didn't help that I was the only one officially on shift until 5:30). By 6:15 two other team members plus two volunteers were with me praying for the evening and the guys coming in at 7. I told them about the pain in my leg, so they prayed for healing. It didn't happen. They prayed for it to grow. My leg didn't so much as tingle. So I suffered through the rest of the night (but it was an awesome night 'cause I got to chat and pray with two of the residents!). I had hoped one of the residents would be bold enough to ask to pray for me and see something miraculous happen! Yeah, that didn't happen either.

So let's fast forward to tonight - Friday night. Around 9 Justyna and I were sitting outside enjoying a cuppa and chit-chatting. She had laughed at me earlier when she saw me limping around. So sitting out there I mentioned how I thought God was going to make me ask for prayer for my leg on Sunday, esp since the sermon will be about extraordinary healings. She asked if I didn't want to, and I said something along the lines of, Yeah, I guess I do. Full of faith, I am! Then she asked about the pain and if it hurt for real. Um, YEAH! Then she asked if I had prayed for myself. I just started laughing. 'Cause right when she asked that, I remembered the word that was spoken over me on Wednesday morning. Of course I hadn't prayed for myself! The thought hadn't even crossed my mind! So I told her why I was laughing and that made her laugh.

The thing about Justyna is we always have a great laugh when we're together. And it's rare we ever stop laughing long enough to have serious conversations (well, that's a bit of an exaggeration). So when she asked if we should "try out what the bible says" and pray for healing for my leg, I wasn't too sure she was serious. Esp since she was laughing as she said it. But abt 10 min later we stopped laughing long enough for me to show her the difference in lengths of my femurs. Even outside, in the dark, by the firelight, it was quite noticable. So she prayed a simple prayer for healing and for my leg to grow. Then I prayed a simple prayer for healing and for my leg to grow. We were fighting laughter the whole time, just 'cause that's the way we roll. But obviously God took us serious because when we opened our eyes and inspected my legs THEY WERE THE SAME LENGTH! Seriously! MY FLIPPIN' LEG GREW!

I kept walking and jumping around to see if the pain had gone, but it hadn't. But that didn't matter: MY LEG GREW!!!! I almost couldn't believe it -- it's still boggling my mind as I write this post! So I called a friend to come over, even though it was 10 p.m., so he could have a look 'cause he's one that had seen it before and had prayed for it. He definitely noticed the change. WHAT THE HECK?!

So the moral(s) of the story: God is a God of miracles! And when He tells you to pray for yourself, PRAY FOR YOURSELF!

Oh, and fyi, my leg still hurts. But I don't mind the pain now. It's just growing pains!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Since I have to be at work in 8 hours . . .

. . . I'm heading to bed.

But I'll leave you with a few thoughts:

*I'm cold

*My fingers get confused by constantly switching back and forth between British and American keyboards

*I've started adding u's to words that don't need a u -- like colour, flavour, behaviour, mouldy -- what's up with that?!

*I love the fall colours (there I go again!) but I hate that it's starting to get dark at 4:00 p.m.

*I'm excited for team training tomorrow. Apparently God was moving and touching lots of the residents at the Nightshelter tonight.

*I got so caught up with life here I never got to print and mail off my ballot. So I'm really bummed I didn't get to vote. But I'm praying for God's will to be done.

*Speaking of praying, let's remember God's word:

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and HEAL THEIR LAND."
~ 2 Chronicles 7:14
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