A few days ago I celebrated the half way point of my time here in Cambridge with a glass of wine [yes the drinking age is 18]. For many reasons it feels like this point hasn’t come soon enough, but it is uplifting to know that I’m that much closer to accomplishing a semester abroad. Many travels and adventures have been had as usual. Pictures will be included. But the most valuable things I am learning are not necessarily unique to the UK, but the experiences and trials have brought me to them. There have been many self realizations and shoves from God that I wouldn’t have been able to see if I was comfortable in the states. God brings you to your lowest points to build you back up in Him. My little brother likes to comfort me saying something along the lines of, “A skilled sailor doesn’t come from steady waters.”
My classes are going as well as they can. I’m learning how to help myself focus by getting enough sleep and taking breaks at the right times (and putting away Facebook Messenger, even though the time I get to talk to my loved ones seems like it’s not enough). The two big things I have to prepare for each class is a term paper and an exam. I am nearly complete with one term paper. The teachers expect quality work so it has been an arduous and stressful process so far. But that’s school. It is a good thing to learn how to push myself instead of procrastinating like I normally do.
Next week marks the start of a month-long break. For the first two weeks of it I have planned to go to Berlin, Wittenburg, Copenhagen, Ireland, and Scotland. I think it will be fun to try to live out of one backpack for two whole weeks. Details and plans still need to be worked out [a little stressful that things haven’t been planned yet, but circumstances happen]. Flights around Europe are much much cheaper than flights within the US, so that’s why I’m able to hop around to so many places. I’m sure I’ll have many stories to blog about next time.
This past weekend was a Westfield House Sunday. Westfield House Sundays are where Dr. Lumley rents a van and all of us students are taken to different ELCE [Evangelical Lutheran Church of England] congregations. Last weekend we went to the church in Plymouth [on the shore of southwest England]. Along the way we had opportunities to see Stonehenge and the Lacock Abbey [Harry Potter was filmed there!!!]. The congregation fed us that Saturday evening, we were assigned members to stay with overnight, and we joined them in worship Sunday morning. Again they fed us and we started our journey back to Cambridge. On the way back we stopped at the Mayflower Memorial Steps and drove through a most beautiful national park. The Dartmouth national park was beautiful. It is now one of my favorite places on earth. Pictures included. My favorite part about it was all the sheep. Yay sheep!
Speaking of sheep, the reading for this morning’s chapel was John 10 where Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” This has been a dominant thought for me all day. Just as I am wandering the world, falling into sin again and again, I am like a silly sheep who can’t seem to stay with the flock. I go my own way and I get stuck in a thorn bush. Jesus Christ always comes to my rescue, even when I hit rock bottom. He leads me to green pastures and quiet waters, he restores my soul time and time again [Psalm 23].
There are moments where I’m completely ready to hop on a plane home. The amount of times I have looked at plane tickets from London to Minneapolis is shameful. But God keeps showing me that he has much more to teach me. My time in England is not over yet. 66 days to go [but who’s counting still? (I am, I’m still counting… ;)]. Prayers and love to everyone back home in the US of A!