Top of the morning!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes." 

England.  Quirky.  Beautiful.  Refreshing. 

For the past week, Alex and I have been traipsing all over England.  From London to Sunningdale, Southport to Lake Country.  England has not disappointed.  From Paris Alex and I flew Easyjet to London, where we settled in for a few days.  Last year, our time in London was very short, only one full day.  This year we stretched it out and it was grand.  Upon arriving at our B&B near the British Library and Museum, we found our bearings and then began exploring. 

Highlights included the British Library and viewing the Magna Carta, the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Gutenburg bible, and the codex sinaiticus (one of two of the earliest Christian bibles dating back to the fourth century).  Other highlights included the British Museum, Hare and Tortoise (one of our new found favorite Asian restaurants), a 3-story Whole Foods, Kensington High Street, Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum, and Sunningdale Golf Course.

We really liked London but after four days were ready to hop in our rental and head north!  Thank goodness Alex is left-handed, it's much easier for him to navigate and operate our manual car:)  From London we drove up to Southport, England home of Royal Birkdale, the golf course we visited last year for the Open Championship.  It was even more fun being there after the event, remembering fun little tidbits from the tournament, and enjoying the gorgous landscape.  From Birkdale we traveled even furthur north, stopping for hot chocolate and a walk towards Derwentwater lake in Keswick, the heart of lake country.  Then we stopped for a walk on Hadrian's wall.  All the while we were driving up and down winding roads, with lush green landscapes and the company of many, many sheep:)

We are now in Ayr, Scotland home to many of the best golf courses in the world; Turnberry, Troon, and Prestwick to name a few.  We'll keep you posted on how they fare:)

By far, what we have seen up until this point, we are uttering the words of cummings as we go, we thank you Lord for your gorgeous landscape.

Paris, then and now

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Five years ago in July I found myself in France.  That is literally and figuratively.  I went to Toulouse, France with Campus Crusade in the summer of 2004, and it changed me, forever.  I was older than most, a year already out of college, but the people that were with me were God-ordained.  I needed them, I needed a chance to just be me, and they let me do just that.  Not only did my teammates welcome me with open arms, so did the French.  That time around, the Lord sheltered me from the emptiness that exists for French women.  Instead, he showed me their confidence and a city that needed Him.  That trip was about growing more intimate with the Lord and having my eyes opened to His will for my life. It was about seeing the lost with the eyes of Christ and depending only on Him.

Songs of Summer 2004:  Blessed be your Name, Days of Elijah
Verse:  Habbakuk 1:5 was one;
"Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded.

 For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told"

This fall Alex and I returned.  A very emotional meeting if I might say so myself.  I was a little excited, a little afraid, a little disheartened.  What would the Lord have for me this time?  Upon landing, emotions hit me from every angle.  Where were my groupies?  Where was the Settlers board?  I didn't remember the language!

God answered.  He awoke me the first night for to sleeplessness to remind me of this:

You're the God of this City
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are

You're the Light in this darkness
You're the Hope to the hopeless
You're the Peace to the restless
You are

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

 (God of this City; Chris Tomlin)

and this:

-that He is still very much at work there
-that He is in control
-that it's not about growing me this time, it's opening my eyes to the darkness that exists

Satan was very much present in Paris.  It came upon me almost instantly; the presence of Satan was almost palpable.  It was not the city of love but of lust.  Not the city of style but of distaste.  It was a city full of people who need the Gospel.  It is a city built on sinful ambition to be the best, look the best, etc.  It is a city that is ultimately empty.  Go quickly Dave and Heidi...this city needs you. 

Open their eyes and let them see Jesus.

A Short Sabbatical

Monday, September 21, 2009

We're on a short sabbatical.  We've been sharing that it was a vacation, but after much thought and reflection, it's far more than a's a sabbatical of sorts! 

Sabbatical or a sabbatical (from Latin sabbaticus, from Greek sabbatikos, from Hebrew shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a "ceasing") is a rest from work, or a hiatus...In recent times, "sabbatical" has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something.

There is a reason.  There is a purpose.  

2 years ago on our first anniversary, Alex and I dreamed big in our little cottage at Madden's Resort in Brainerd.  We took the weekend to ask big things from the Lord and well he answered.

          -we watched a lot of flip that house (we didn't have cable then, so on vacation we watched tv)
            and we dreamed big...what would that look like, wouldn't that be fun to flip a house?
          -we discussed our house and where we would live, when to sell and if we should sell
          -we cast vision for South Face and our desire to work as a team in growing the company

Well, if you know us, you know the Lord has answered, directed, established, and blessed our prayers.  In the past two years, despite many days and weeks of sweat, tears, labor and love we accomplished all of these. 

            -We bought and sold our first flip and learned to depend on the Lord in new ways
            -After a year and a half of fixing, remodeling, and relinquishing, our house on the lake sold
            -After two years, the Lord answered our prayers for clarity on where to direct South Face

The Lord has answered, directed, established and blessed us.  Now it's time to refocus, reenergize, and seek again His guidance for these next years.  May You direct our minds to see Your will for our lives.

Our trip to Great Britian is not quite a vacation.  It's really a sabbatical.  We're taking a rest from work to reevaluate, refocus, reenergize: so we can hit the ground running when we get back and most importantly reconnect as a couple.  These past two years have made us stronger, but there hasn't been a lot of time to relax and really enjoy each other.

After 10 years of owning his own company and all that entails, Alex has earned a break.  It's not easy.

Things we're dreaming of right now:  a family, a design firm that allows us to work as a couple in the best capacity possible, a chance to flip another house, to be a couple that does not waste their life but instead lives it with a single passion: to display Christ.

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