I have a
rough sketch vague idea of what to expect from this year in England. However, the following goals have been bouncing around my heart like rocks in a tumbler, and I think they apply regardless of what will be asked of me during my internship:
- Serve (Matthew 20:28)
- Give / Invest* (2 Corinthians 9:7)
- Avoid sharing stories that end with me looking awesome (Proverbs 17:28)
- “If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.” — Coco Chanel
*The difference here being that you can give generously and walk away, but when you invest generously, you revisit, attend, and continuously give energy to that in which you’ve invested. Including both terms connotes a goal to supply others with my resources (time, energy, talent, funds) on both one-time and ongoing supportive bases.
I love those times when something wonderful drops into my consciousness as I’m falling asleep, or just waking up, or mindlessly driving a well-worn route. These drops capture what my heart is blooming into – a phrase about identity, a whisper about life, a poetic and comforting solution to a trying time – and then they are gone. Rather than mourning my inability to remember, there is delight in knowing the experience transpired, that truth hit my spirit and became part of me so I am no more aware of its effect than to smile more quickly henceforth, or to care a little less about things beyond my control. There is something sweet about learning without mental effort. It’s how we learn we’re loved – not with the intellect, but with all the rest of our being.
I spent the better part of my day with three young British girls whose extended family is awaiting me in September. They assure me that chocolate chip cookies do exist in England, and if I choose to continue calling them cookies, I will be understood. That’s a relief!
Today’s art consisted of wax scratch pictures, water color paintings, thermoplastic masks, and salt dough ornaments. We painted the masks and ornaments with acrylics, and I bequeathed my stock of ribbon, sequins, and hot glue gun sticks to them for further embellishment. I also gave them a selection of vintage felt hats for dress up tea. We didn’t actually have tea, but we had a lot of laughs!
Eton Mess, or “Eatin’ Mess” if you’re Southern
I went to Northern England for the first three weeks of April 2013. While there, I stayed with a friend in a host family – cultural immersion at its finest. I spent the majority of those three weeks filtering and sorting experiences through the lens of an expected eminent return, and now as the reality hits, a refresher on English vocabulary I picked up seems an important part of my preparation.
- American – English
- Dessert – pudding
- Shortbread cookie – biscuit
- Underwear – pants
- Pants – trousers
- Trashcan – bin
- Restroom – toilet
- Dinner – tea
- Biscuit – no translation
My side mission is to spread the good news of biscuits ‘n’ gravy abroad. No translation necessary.
You must understand, I love my land. I love my heritage, I love my culture. Every rose has its thorn, but the sweetness far outweighs the sour in the South (bless its heart). Yet in less than two months, I’m leaving for Northern England for a year or more. As is typical for me, the magnitude of the transition is happening within. By beginning this blog, I hope to surface a bit more and give glimpses of my gears and cogs as I launch into the adventure I’ve longed for, which, hyperbole aside, may turn out to be the adventure of a lifetime. In this space I intend to pepper my prose with updates on my creative process and produce (sewing, painting, etc.), images of my experiences, cultural contexts and colloquialisms, and ruminations on my Christian faith.