Monday, August 31, 2009


I have a left a friend and beautiful country for another just north. It is still chilly, windy, and cloudy, and there are still friendly faces about, warm with the promise of life-long friendship. This morning I woke up at 4:15, gathered my things, and drove to the airport with Becky and her father. I waited in the EasyJet que (line), sleepy-eyed and tail very much still in a restful state (as opposed to bright-eyed and bushy-tailed). After checking in, I boarded the plane and thought; I thought some about how quickly life changes, and I also thought about my gratefulness that there was a Starbucks after the security checkpoint (four shot espresso with an inch of soya for the sleepy American, please). As we rose above the clouds, I was much appreciative for the sunny day that awaited me. I could bask in the sun through the airplane window for the time being, before we descended and I was once again blanketed by clouds; clouds that provide wonderful, rainy, contemplative days, but clouds nonetheless. I landed, gathered my luggage with no hitch, walked outside, and 30 seconds later Tim (YWAM staffer) was there to pick me up. Seamless pick-up in an international airport, thank you Lord. We drove only 10 minutes back to the base, and we pulled up to a large stone house-the Stanely House, my new home.

Gorgeous! I was greeted by some of the staff and interns, and was given a house tour by my new friend Danielle. I love it! It is so great-so beautiful. I am in the staff wing, and I share the hall with two lovely people named Theo and Tim. And surprise! I have my own little room! It is really adorable. I was told that, since I am living here for two years, I can paint it and decorate it how I wish. Very exciting! I am hoping I can bike into Paisley and possibly Glasgow to some thrift stores there and find some sweet vintage decorations, something to make it look it more like my home, my own precious little hovel. ;)

My room

My precious desk (complete with glasses collection) ;)

Yay! I am so excited to be here... at last!

I have the rest of the week to settle in and get used to being here, getting to know people and getting to know the base. There are a few activities and outreaches I can plug into if I like. The DTS is here now, but they are leaving next week to go sailing. That will be a glance at what the base looks like normally, with not a lot going on. I am excited for this time to take initiative to figure out what I wish to be involved in! There is one other intern here already, and there is another that arrives in two weeks. When we are all here, I will get more of an outline of what we will be doing. I am excited! (I feel as if I cannot say that enough!) With it being cold here, and with the upcoming winter and the few hours of daylight that we will have, it will be easy to want to stay inside and become unmotivated, so I will be praying against that! Especially as I can feel the chill starting to creep into my socks AND slippers and through my sweater, I will need motivation more than ever to keep moving, and keep available and open to what God wants me to do. I want to have an open ear and open heart to what He wants to do in and through me, and how that can be lived out here on the base and in the community. I will try my best to be disciplined and keep you lovely people updated! It will depend on the day, I'm sure; some days I cannot say enough, some there are no words. Thank you all for your support! Until next time...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

England, in photo form.

Here are a few pictures from the lovely adventures I've had in England so far! It was only a short trip here, but hopefully I get the opportunity to come back and visit more!

Classic telephone booth. It had to be done. :)

My first punting experience (standing on the back of a boat, pushing along the bottom the river to move it along)

Becky and I after a day of golfing

The Circle in Bath

Friday, August 28, 2009

England...and then some.

I never wrote much when I was home in Springfield. Not that things weren't happening, but I felt as if the small, mundane things that entertained me weren't worth putting on the internet, because I was the only one that found pleasure in them. However, I am no longer in Springfield, I am in England. Portishead, to be exact. And it's very wonderful! Definitely something to write about.

Tuesday was my last day in Springfield. I had my last breakfast with my family, at none other than the oh-so-wonderful Gailey's Breakfast Cafe...
... then went home to pack. I checked my email, got a message that said my flight was cancelled and they were putting me on a different flight, meaning that my connecting flight from Springfield was moved to an earlier time and to Chicago rather than Dallas. So that took a bit of rushing around to organize final luggage and details of that nature! But we made it there with time to spare, and time to hang out with the parents before the flight. It was a bittersweet goodbye. Bitter because I am going to be across an ocean from these two people that I love dearly, yet sweet because I am following God's leading on my life, as well as going to an exciting new place! (It was hard leaving all my family and friends, but at that moment it was hard leaving them because they were at the airport with me when I left. ;) So I love you all, no worries!) I flew to Chicago, booked it across the airport to the international terminal, and caught my flight just as it was boarding. I then had seven hours to settle in and mull over my life as of late-the leaving friends and family behind, what I was able to do before I left, the things that I didn't get to say, all those things that you never get around to or think about at the proper time, just came crashing down on me. I found no other solice but through pen to paper, some Jon Foreman, and a good cry. So lots of thinking and no sleep-it was a very sweet time. So I made it to the London/Heathrow airport around seven the next morning, only to see my dear sweet Becky waiting for me there! It was a sweet reunion-I've missed her very much. We came back to her house to have a snack of mincemeat slice and to rest. I kept falling asleep, so I was allowed a nap, but not too long, because I didn't want to suffer jet lag. So after a good nap, I felt great, and we then proceeded to drive to town to grab a cup of coffee and to walk around Portishead, while Becky was able to show me the shops and the "what's-what" in England, all the while quizzing me on my vocabulary. As we approached the marina, it started to drizzle, so we decided to turn around for the car, when it started to down pour! (During our outreach, one of the guys always said when it was raining, it was God telling us, "I love you THIS much!") So we were pleased with the unexpected shower. We returned home wet and drippy, so we changed into sweats and watched some TV, ate some dinner, and went to bed. The next day/Thursday/yesterday, we drove to Bath. We were going to go to the Jane Austen museum, but it was seven quid, which was decided was too steep for two kids on a missions salary. ;) So we walked around the shops and the town, Becky laughing at me for being the in-awe tourist with a camera in her hand. I tried not to be that person, but it was so beautiful I couldn't help it! And I have very adamant parents and supporters who want some pictures of England, so I was indulging them. ;) At one point we went to a large roundabout that was all grass and trees in the middle, called the Circus, and ate an afternoon snack of fruit. It was an absolutely gorgeous, sunny day, and I was appreciative to have the wind slightly chill my skin whilst the sun warmed it. It was a very "I can't believe I'm doing this at this very moment," sort of thing. We then came home, had some late dinner and some TV, then called it a night. Today, we went to play golf! It was an adventure for me, because the closest I've ever gotten to golfing is the Fun Acre putt-putt in Springfield, that is $2 to get in, and you have to putt it through windmills and alligators and such. None of the real sort of stuff. So when I had trouble actually hitting the ball, I was slightly embarrassed, but not at all surprised. I would swing and hit nothing, then swing and send grass clumps everywhere, then hit the actual ball, only to have it take off in only 10 feet in the wrong direction. It took me awhile, but I think I got the hang of it towards the end of the course. I will try it again, because Scotland is the home of golf, and you can't exactly live there without having to play it on occasion, right? And at least trying to be moderately good at it? We will see what the future holds as far as my golfing career goes. Look out Tiger? Not likely. Unless he is on the green somewhere, because I would hate to hit him. ;) It was a very windy day, with only patches of sun, but still very beautiful!
We came home, rested and ate, and watched part of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." All fell asleep except this American, who is still apparently running on a bit of jet lag, which is why I am still awake updating you fine people and not sleeping. However, this might be an opportune time to sign off. I appreciate your taking the time to read this. I wish all of you a happy, inspired day, and I will surely keep you posted on life from this point out.

In His Love,
Anna Rae