Monday, April 25, 2011

Starting new in Sweden

Greetings from Sweden!

I arrived here at Holsby Brunn for Bible school on April 2. I've been exploring the Swedish forest, learning new things, and making new friends. Before I arrived, I had been traveling for two weeks, discovering Europe, and enjoying the company of old and new friends. It started out in London after leaving my dear friends at Capernwray. I spent a nice two days with my friends Kate and Alaina in a penthouse on the 31st floor of a fancy hotel. We stayed there for free! (Alaina's dad has connections) Then I met up with my sister Anna for two more nights. It was so wonderful to see her again. She is by far my best friend and I trust her more than anyone else, so therefore she was a great traveling companion. We had fun in London and Anna made a point to bring me to a true English pub to try my first beer, as the drinking age in England is 18. After those two nights in London, we flew over to Aarhus, Denmark to stay with Anna's Capernwray friend, Eva, for another two nights. That was fun to see the city, walk through the picturesque old town, and learn about Danish culture. Then we flew to Leiden, the Netherlands to stay with Anna's other Capernwray friend, Rosa for three nights. I really loved Leiden. It was a beautiful small city filled with canals, bikes, pancake houses, churches, and windmills. Imagine Amsterdam, but smaller, prettier, more peaceful, full of college students, and not quite so promiscuous. I met some of Rosa's friends that live in her dorm and made some good friends. Anna and I definitely enjoyed the Netherlands immensely. Then Anna had to go home for college. I had another week left of break, so I stayed with my old Capernwray roommate, Merethe, in Norway. She lives near Oslo, but for a couple days, we went to visit our friend Anne Elisabeth in the South of Norway, which was beautiful. She pretty much lived in the middle of nowhere, right on a fjord. So that is the extent of my travels. It was great, but I must say I much prefer settling down in one place for an extended period of time. I can't believe how fast my time is flying now that I'm here. I'm trying to enjoy every bit of it.

Rosa, Anna, and me enjoying Leiden

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Leaving Room for God

I just read a great message on January 25 in "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers:
"Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way... Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides."

I feel like I really needed to read this right now. I always expect God to show himself in certain ways, but I need to be open to anything. And I need to realize that He is the one in control and my life isn't always going to go the way I expect it to.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Term

I'm really glad to be back in England after an enjoyable break. Last term was wonderful, I made great friends, I settled into a nice routine and I loved my room, but now I need to accept that things will be different. I live in the castle now with two nice new roommates. I'm trying to settle into a new routine and living space all over again. I may not like change, but I'm learning to adjust. Currently, I'm lounging on my new bed wearing my new hand-knitted Norwegian socks from Anne Elisabeth :) I'm planning a lesson on the book Philippians for my New Testament discussion group. I really love that letter from Paul. It's so encouraging and uplifting. This is my favorite verse:

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7