28 December 2011

Catch Up - Almost

Hey blog world. I will catch you up soon in pictures. But for now, my family's here and we're enjoying London at Christmastime. They embrace the whole 12 Days of Christmas thing, so the holiday spirit is still going strong! And we are loving it.

I'll leave you with this: 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2012!

18 December 2011

The Jesus Story

Kids are the best. This rendition of Jesus's birth is both hilarious and cute.


12 December 2011

North Point Ministries

This is the church we left in Atlanta. So proud to have been a part of it.

North Point Ministries' Be Rich. Do More. Give More Campaign.

Be Rich 2011 Celebration from North Point Media on Vimeo.

05 December 2011

I fell flat out... twice last week... true story!

1. Ice skating at Somerset House. I was mid triple-sow-cow when I was suddenly flat on my face. It was funny and my sweet hubs was right there beside me to help me up and laugh about it over hot coco later. {pics to come!}

2. Wet steps in the rain. True. It was pretty spectacular, actually. I had just gotten a coffee... so when I slipped, fell backwards, then continued down several steps, my backside was wet and dirty from the steps, my front was wet and dirty from coffee--in the hair... down the coat... on my knee... into my boots. Spectacular is the only word for it.

Word to the wise: be careful around me in cold and or wet settings. {nothing was even remotely hurt... except my pride.}

02 December 2011

5 Minute Friday: Tired

Well this week certainly got away from me. It's already time for another 5 Minute Friday Linkup with The Gypsy Mama! You know the drill.

For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!


I'm so tired. A really great Beatles song starts with this line.... Let's not got there. I really am tired. Yesterday was my last day of class for the semester. It feels like I've poured out all my brain on papers and group work and I have very little left with which to think and write and converse.

I wonder when there will be a day when I'm not tired. We stay up late, enjoy each other and the city of London, we sleep in (sometimes, depending on classes), we rinse and repeat. When are the days of 12 hour nights plus naps? Was that only for a brief moment, sophomore year in college? I long for days when I don't feel tired. Or braindead. Or frustrated. Or short-tempered. 

I need some perspective. Someone once told my Mama right before she had me that hopefully she had cherished a good night's sleep because she wouldn't have another one for 18 years...! If these are the good days of restful nights free of care and worry and limited responsibility, I need to feel less tired!

I guess the tiredness affects my attitude and sleep deprivation doesn't help, so I will try to, a) get more sleep and, b) adjust my perspective. It's Christmastime and in the words of Kevin McAllister's mother, "The season of perpetual hope." Amen.

25 November 2011

5 Minute Friday: Grateful

From The Gypsy Mama Blog
For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just writewithout worrying if it’s just right or not.

    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!


I am grateful for many tangible things on this earth. I have the best husband in the world, the sweetest most supportive family, and the kindest and steadfast friends a girl could hope for. Hugging their necks, holding their hands, sharing life over dinner, or grabbing a coffee together—these are the real ways I can love on these tangible people.

But I am grateful for intangibles, too. I am grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Godhead three-in-one, and the fellowship of believers.

I am also eternally grateful for music.

Where would I be without it? Very few things can change my mood as quickly and effectively as a song. Very few things can express the thoughts or yearnings of my heart the way a song can. Words can be so limiting—but words and melody can come together to compensate for the burden I sometimes feel stirring in my soul. 

Music is my muse. Music is my inspiration. Music makes ordinary things seem extraordinary—riding to school on the tube, doing the dishes, dinner with my sweetheart. Music can represent the best and worst of things simultaneously and still be beautiful. 

Music appeals to the dancer in me—the dancer that will exist long after the days of dancing, when I am stooped and arthritic. 

Music brings color to my world when circumstance threatens to bleed it dry, leaving only shades of gray.


Music is incredible—its depth and its intricacies—and for it, I am grateful. 

18 November 2011

City University London

There are a few things you should know about City.

People call "college"/ "university"/ "school" "Uni" over here. So when I'm on campus, I might text a classmate saying, "I'm at uni. Where are you?" {I'm still getting used to this}

We have a student Union, like Tate at Georgia or the Ferg at Alabama, only this one is a replica of Saved By The Bell's the Max. Let's compare:

The Max

City Uni

Neon lights? Check.
Gaming tables? Check. 
Bright colors? Check.
80s/ 90s music? Check.
Totally cool kids hangout? Like, totally.

But there are some really cool aspects to campus life. We have a square (like a quad) and it's beautiful in the fall. 

Northampton Square
{that little shack in the bottom right corner serves the best coffee}

View from the Library

It can be quite picturesque. And that's what you need to know about City University. That, and there are so many undergrads, a trip to the library is more often an educational experience in overhearing awkward pick-up lines and teen angst than anything else. That part of school translates globally.

Masquerade Pics

I'm a little bit over facebook right now, so I'm posting stuff on here, 
rather that setting up new albums there. Enjoy!

Alex, Martin, and Shara

Dancing Divas 
{friends from church} 

Alex, Martin, Shara, and me 
{my mask was a big hit, but it looks ridiculous in most of these pics. Oh well.}

Alex, Martin, Shara

Dance floor 

GG, GG's friend, Charlie, and Me
{GG's mask had feathers!!}

Katie and Me

Our table

Shara and Me
{two americans in london. love her!}

16 November 2011

Paris in Pictures

We arrived at Gare du Nord station

Found a McDo and some freedom fries ;)

Walked over to Montmatre and Sacre Coeur

Stayed near la Tour Eiffel 
{and took a lift to the top!}

Le Metro

Toured the City of Lights at night on bike - amazing!
Best way to see the city

Look them up: Fat Tire Bike Tours

Academie francaise {home of the immortals}

Blurry, but the Eiffel Tower from the Boat Cruise we took. On the hour, la Tour Eiffel sparkles {magical}

Street Art - River Seine


The Pantheon

Jardins Luxembourg

Saint Sulpice

les cafes, un pain au chocolat, et un eclair

Notre Dame de Paris

We went to the vespers {a sung service... like evensong} on Sunday.
One of the most incredible and moving experiences - to understand so little of the language, but understand so much with the heart.

It's beginning to {feel} a lot like Christmas
Saint Nick!

Departing for jolly ol' England.

03 November 2011

London... and Paris!

We've been busy!

Halloween came and went with several parties (people here love Halloween... who knew?). Hult rented out a bar near the Gherkin for a full-on costume party.

{Grant was a 1970s soccer star. He was a big hit!}

We went to a Swedish birthday party from my classmate Elin--so fun!

I attended a Hillsong London Sisterhood event and met Mrs. Anna Smith, got a signed copy of her book(!) and explored Surrey (perfectly English!).

Wednesday we had dinner first at Wahaca (the only decent Mexican food in London) with Grant's Peruvian classmates, Alejandro and Fiorella. Then we made our way to the dazzling Lyceum in West End/ Covent Garden.

Grant and I have had a packed week with school, but managed  to see The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre (beautiful, moving, powerful, and awesome).


Tomorrow night Grant has tickets to see Incubus at the Alexander Palace (aka, "The People's Palace," aka, "The Ally Pally") with a fun group of guys from church.

I am attending Hillsong's VELOCITY Masquerade Boat Party!! The tickets sold out earlier this week!! {There should be 300+ people at this kick-off event!!} I have several classmates coming! And the usual fun crowd from church. It should be amazing, with drinks, nibbles, a DJ, masks, and fireworks on the Thames as we cruise from Embankment to Putney Bridge!!!!

And now for the best bit: WE'RE SPENDING THE WEEKEND IN PARIS! Yep. Can't wait. We've booked our eurostar tickets from King's Cross/ St. Pancras to Gare du Nord, Paris {from the center of London to the heart of Paris!} Oui oui!

We're staying in the Eiffel Tower District and plan to see as much as we can before returning Sunday night. I can't wait! I've written too much already. I'll give you the details of Paris when we get back!

31 October 2011

Guilty Pleasure: My So-Called Life

So can we talk about My So-Called Life? I love it. It is exaggerated, ridiculous, and has hilariously characteristic 90's high school banter - sprinkled with plenty of "umm... you know"s, pregnant pauses, and "like"s.

Here are my Top 10 Favorite Things about My So-Called Life {sad that it only had one 19-episode season}.

10. The awkwardness is palpable and the tension in some strained relationships on the show is painful {in a good way}.

9. 1994 was the year of combat boots, over-sized plaid shirts, and grunge bands.

8. The issues of identity and searching for self are legit.

7. It's set in Pittsburgh.

6. The parents' relationship is embarrassingly real.

5. The hair.

4. The clothes.

3. The frienemies that the girls morph into - catty one minute, bffs the next.

2. The melodramatic nature of unchecked high school emotions.

1. How the show miraculously portrays a youthful Jared Leto (whose character, Jordan, is on the verge of dropping out, is habitually indifferent and makes little/ no effort with Angela {Claire Danes}, and who can barely read) as irresistible boyfriend material in true high school form.

I wasn't exactly allowed to watch it {at the time, I was in 4th grade} but as I caught up on the reruns in high school, my Dad thought the name "My So-Called Life" was fetching for a maladjust teenage show.

27 October 2011

Speck and Plank

My own blindness astounds me.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye." {Matthew 7:3-5}

It's amazing the things that seem so clear in me someone else's life but I'm blind to that very thing in my own life. I recently said:

"How does she not know that faith is grown life, not in bible studies?!"

Wisdom, knowledge, discernment, identifying and drawing near to the Character of God, the Person of Christ, the Miracle of the Holy Spirit all happens in bible study--and bible studies are great! But faith is something that is grown in the everyday--the good and the bad, but especially the bad...

How did I miss God growing my faith (even especially in my doubt and anger) by all this in my life?? How??

So I've made up with God and we're on speaking terms again; things are good and I'm now open to instruction (whereas before I had serious bouts of throwing my toys on the floor and stamping my feet around like a toddler). We all have our moments. And thankfully, in God's grace, we can have them unedited--He can take it.

But when we are ready to grow up a bit--and I am ready--we can learn from the pulling and stretching, the pruning and circumcising, when we are ready to accept both the new wine and the new wineskins, our covenant (like a reconciled marriage) is a beautiful and intimate one.

That's where I find myself most of the time these days. The difficult, graceful, new, frustrating, reassuring place of faith-growing life here in London.

26 October 2011


I cringe as I write that word. It's true of me: I'm ungrateful.

This came crashing into my reality only recently when I read this quote:

"What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?" 

 My response was: I would have nothing.

That got my attention. Finding things--searching outside myself--to focus on that I am truly grateful for really pours water on the fire of anger and bitterness.

I struggle most days with choosing joy and contentment over selfishness and circumstance. But I have learned that a thankful heart is rarely self-centered and a grateful attitude rarely contains anger. So I focus on being thankful.

12 October 2011


Things are going well. Grant actually had strep throat over the weekend {with 102* fever!} but he saw the doc on Monday and is on penicillin. Things are looking up!

We're both busy with school and group work and presentations and find that our "exploring" phase of London has dwindled significantly - but not completely! Other than trying new venue, pubs, and restaurants, we pretty much crash at home - reading, studying, emailing, facebooking, or blogging. We do have some fun things coming up, though!

My class is having a Halloween party in Seven Sisters (North London)
We're helping plan this Masquerade Boat Party in November
My family is coming to play in December for Christmas!
Hillsong is having a ridiculous NYE party that we get to help plan and organize
In January we're having a massive Murder Mystery Party
In February we're teaming up with Hillsong's The Gathering for a Valentine's Day Party
In March we're heading to Bulgaria for a snowboarding/ ski trip!!

I can hardly contain myself. That's about all that's new with us. What's new with you??

07 October 2011

I'm on the mend!

The nurse said she wouldn't have to see me again for 6 weeks! That was just news too good to not pass along!!

We--Mama, Grant, and I (with the doctor's permission)--have been able to do some really fun stuff:
The Mousetrap at St. Martin's Theatre--amazing!
Driving Miss Daisy at Wyndham's Theatre--who knew a touching story of a jewish lady and a black man would make us miss Atlanta so? Beautifully done--it was Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones's finest hour High Tea with friends; drinks at the Holly Bush with more friends (I had a Coke... I was still very much on meds but loved the company and setting)
Dinner with Londoner Katie (from Church)
Lunch with Aussie Gimyana (also from Church)
Tea with family-friend Katia and her new baby!!
Mama squeezed in the British Museum and a few other "touristy" things without me {and Grant went to class}

I have learned much about myself and about where I put my trust and my hope. There was much newness and little/ no comforts of the familiar: new place, new school, new flat, new healthcare system, no family except my exceptionally patient and kind husband who attended to me with limitless care. It showed me how much I value comfort and ease over the new and unfamiliar and difficult--how blessed and lucky we are to have to much support even in a new place and strange circumstances. It also taught me that you can create friendship and family with people all around you. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing in action.

We are grateful. We are healing. We are going to be ok.

Just in case you're one of the few who have not seen this {64 million others beat you to it} this is treat from me to you:

Something about the eyes and the nose and mouth... remind me of Georgia. Happy Friday!

28 September 2011

NHS - Surgery

Yes, I had appendicitis and an appendectomy.
Yes, I survived the National Healthcare Service and I was in the hospital for 6 days.
No, I did not like it.
Yes, my mama is here taking care of me (with Grant's patient and attentive care, of course) and I seem to be recovering well, albeit slowly.

I really don't like talking about it and am ready to be done with the whole experience, to be honest.
Wednesday through Monday I was in the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. Having been woken up every hour of the night with by-the-book symptoms of appendicitis, a neighbor offered to drive us! Praise the Lord! I was examined by a med school student and an EMT in training. It was a little disconcerting for him to be examining me in so much pain, asking questions like, "So should I begin by pressing here? and applying about how much pressure?" I did NOT want to be his guinea pig. Oh, also, I was literally on a cot in a storage room. Seriously. People would come in and out to get gloves, IV bags, etc while I was being examined, each one shocked to find a patient in that room!

Hours later they told me that it probably was appendicitis, but they wanted to get a Gyn opinion and an ultra sound. Oddly enough, many departments in NHS work M-F 9-5. At this point, the ultrasound department had just closed, so they put me to bed to wait it out. When I asked What if it should burst, releasing toxins into the incredibly compact area of my abdominal cavity? They reassured me: If it bursts, we will know...!

Thursday, they operated.

Friday, I was told the surgery was successful. I have two scars: the laproscopic approach didn't work, so I have the typical appendectomy scar, too. I was detained Saturday, Sunday, and most of Monday. I never saw my surgeon again. I won't dwell on the negative, but the care and overall experience was sub-par. Please pray for healing, for a full recovery {the woman next to me had been back FOUR TIMES for post-op complications after her initial surgery 8 months ago....} and for restoration.

Mama's here now! Yay! She arrived on Monday and got to experience first-hand a bit of the NHS with me until I was released. Her timing has been perfect because this is a really busy week at school for Grant!

As for me now, I am still struggling to get up, sit up, stand up, and walk - but I'm doing it! My wounds throb, and daily things have become exhausting: taking a shower, drying my hair, getting dressed may take hours...! But sleep is good for healing so I sleep as much as possible.

A few positives, so as not to end on a negative with NHS:
  • They serve you tea every day, twice a day in the hospital at 10 and at 2.
  • The food is actually really good and you have a full menu to choose from for up to a full 3-course meal, if you so choose (and are able).
  • You are in "wards" which means your bed is one of 4, 6, or 8 in one room. This may seem like a negative, and sometimes it can be, but visiting hours are STRICT! so for the majority of the time you are alone, except for your fellow companions, and the conversation is usually easy and it all makes you feel less lonely.
Your prayers are much appreciated!

18 September 2011

Times and Seasons

"Jesus said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority.'" (Acts 1:7)

I realize that this was in response to the disciples' question about the second coming of Christ and the restoration of Israel, not in direct response, to say, my equally important question. But I feel I am in the middle of a season of when and why not now and I find myself pleading with God all the time.

Nothing wrong with that!

The disciples understood this and came from a long line of Jews asking desperately how and when and how long, oh Lord?! Most of the Old Testament is sprinkled with the groaning of people - the Israelites in the desert, the people striving to establish justice through judges, the nation crying out for a king, the prophets lamenting Israel's wayward heart, the "remnant" of the Babylonian captivity, the revelation of the coming Christ Messiah - the waiting, the disbelief, the confusion, the crucifixion, the three days, and finally the resurrection! There is hope and a promise and salvation as a result of all that, but what a history to have come out of.

So we, too, as believers corporately step into this long line of patiently waiting for the revelation of something to come. There is a powerful spiritual implication for each of us, if we can grasp it, accepting the season of already, not yet.

Today at Hillsong, I was reminded of this verse, and it seems that God is speaking right to my soul: Lucy, it is not for you to know times or seasons that I've fixed by My own authority.

There is a purpose.

I am God. You are not. {It's better this way.}

I don't need your permission; I have all authority.

I am trustworthy.

It seems to be much easier expelling energy (to my detriment, I might add) fighting the whole thing, but to what end?

He has designed it - any season of waiting - as a time to either struggle against the not-knowing and pout like a child {me, mostly} or to revel in the journey. Do I let Him lead me or do I seek my will, missing what could be something beautiful? Am I stiff-necked, proud, and untrusting or pliable, teachable, and moldable? Do I value the known over the unknown - no matter the cost; regardless of the One who goes before me and behind me?

It is a simple and frustrating question: Do I trust Him?

I want the answer. He wants my heart.

I want independence. He wants my humility.

I want knowledge. He wants my trust.

I want the destination. He wants the journey.

And he gave a cry, saying, "I have faith; make my feeble faith stronger!" (Mark 9:24b) Lord, help me learn to wait.

A Treat for You

Just for those of you who read and follow my blog. Here's a shot of the Lady Chapel {aka: Albert Memorial Chapel} of St. George's Chapel at Windsor. Stunning, isn't it?

And a few Guards just walking around on duty in the Lower Ward of the palace.

And finally, we have had a guest in our backgarden today. I was sitting in bed reading this morning, when something outside caught my eye... a fox! I'm pretty sure it was just perusing the garden for things to snack on, but still....

I have limited iPhone evidence. After I show it to Grant, I'll see if he confirms or denies my claim that a fox is what I saw. {I wish you could have seen me trying to record this darting, quick little creature outside the french doors of our bedroom.... He was a good distance away, I was perched on the edge of the end of our bed, trying to get a shot that worked, all the while battling the curtains to stay open without dropping the phone... that could've been a noteworthy sight in and of itself, had you been here this morning...!}

17 September 2011

One Month

It's officially one month today: we've lived in London, dealt with the transition of moving, found a flat we call home, mastered survived public transport, and seen some pretty awesome sights.

London is amazing and intoxicating and the energy here is vibrant.

There is this beautiful combination of Old World and New World here where you can plan an outing to the largest occupied castle in the world {more on that later!} or just wander around randomly and have an equally intriguing encounter with this great city and its surroundings. We love it.

Today, we went to Windsor.

Private apartments of the Queen

Back Gardens and State Rooms
We got a deal on tickets and got to be a part of history, too! They just reopened The Round Tower for the first time in 30 years - it's a trial run for August and September only - and we got to be in one of the groups.
Loved it. The view was unparalleled!
You can see all of the surrounding royal grounds, gardens, and park, as well as the Thames River Valley and London skyline. We took the train out there, packed a picnic lunch (yum!), and toured the castle - tower, state rooms, upper and lower wards, St. George's and Lady Chapel {aka: Albert Memorial Chapel}. Followed it up with a quick jaunt through Great Park - The Long Walk to George III's statue - and a look around the charming and picturesque town. I know why it's the Queen's favoured residence.

My Favourite Part: The Norman Gate