Christmas Lights

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The first couple lines of a Christmas poem, which was played on the radio by one of the houses we went to have a look at… Christmas lights… a joy to go watch what other people do to decorate their houses… it was even synchronised to music which you could hear if you tuned in through the radio. Most houses were decorated to raise money for a good cause. One house stood out though.. their website said that their aim was to tell people about the good news of Christmas… a Saviour born, to restore the relationship between God and man.

Our favourite area was a neighbourhood in Plymouth, MN. The houses were beautiful even without the lights… but with the lights it was just magical… that’s what I really do love about Christmas… the cosy atmosphere these little twinkling lights bring to an area…

Are you a little twinkling light bringing good cheer to men? Or is this time of the year one of sadness and loneliness? Whatever it is, I hope you will find some comfort in the lights all around you, passing it on to others… knowing that The Light came to save us all.

Merry Christmas to all!

Waiting

Everyone probably knows the feeling…. suspense, nervous, excited, with anticipation…. something has been worth waiting for and is drawing near..

That is what I feel.. I have not been home in the UK since May this year, and in only 6 days I will be going home to visit. Am excited to see those things I hold dear, spend time with my family that I miss. Making new memories along the way.

Am also a little nervous. Will my cats remember me? Will my home still feel like my home? Will I be ok to leave again after the holidays?

Having been travelling between the US and the UK extensively, I have truly had the best of both worlds…when in the UK I miss the US and vice versa. And yet… the UK is my home. Or is it?

What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for the Christmas period to end so all can get back to normal? Are you looking forward to spending Christmas with loved ones? Are you eagerly anticipating the presents you will receive? You are not alone….

Know that your biggest gift is freely given. And all you need to do is to accept it. Christmas is a reminder of Gods love for us, and He is waiting eagerly for you to be with Him.

Maybe that is what waiting is about? Anticipation to be reconnected?

Christmas is coming!

Christmas…… I have these dreams of cozy family time, roaring fires, love for all, peace on Earth, home cooked meals etc. Am sure you get what I mean…

Instead, I find myself still on another business trip at the end of this year, wondering how I will manage all I want to accomplish before I fly home to spend a couple weeks in the UK. I have not bought any Christmas presents, although my emails are bombarded with ads, promises of cheap and cheerful presents. I have not decorated my apartment, other than the below Christmas trees in the window. No roaring fire, I don’t even have a fire place! Today in the news I saw a New York bomb attack, California wild fires.. peace on Earth is still far away.

What is Christmas really about? Why is there so much pressure on this season? Should we not be celebrating the fact that Jesus came to this Earth as a little babe, to reconcile us with our Heavenly Father? Would it not be sufficient to just be grateful for that, and let the rest pass by?

Maybe that’s what I will do this year.. just be… a little Mary, sitting at His feet, rather that Martha..always busy… I still have a couple weeks to ponder that some more…. what about you?

Road Trip

And so we are on our way… as soon as I knew my parents were coming I had booked up the road trip to visit my dads brother. A long way away, in Chattanooga. 

We set off about 3 Friday afternoon with destination a hotel in Independence Missouri. About an hour south of St Paul we saw a massive Cabellas. If you have never been inside you probably don’t know what pulling power that store has for Europeans, who never really see shops where you can buy positively everything to kill and cook animals. My mother had seen a coat in that shop, and our mission was to check if they had her seize on a good colour.

We were admiring the stuffed animals, when my dad realised he was naked…. no phone!!!! I don’t know about you, but without phone these days we feel lost, drowning in a feeling of emptiness without something to hold in your hands… so back we went to retrieve it…

We arrived in Missouri at 1.30am… a little later than anticipated… but on our way!!!! Today the destination is Memphis..therefore… to be continued….

Birthday

Today was my birthday…I always pretend I don’t really care about birthdays, but deep down I do… after all, who does not appreciate the fact some one thinks of them specifically on this day,..

When I woke up, my daughter had already wished me a happy birthday…. it warmed my heart.. however, my husband was quiet… maybe he forgot? He called me in quick succession just as I was getting ready to go to work, so I called them back from my car… such great invention… FaceTime… it truly makes the world smaller. They sang for me… yep… feeling like a birthday girl alright! Shame you are no longer home, my husband said… your present is under your bed…. nooooooo…. now I had to wait till the end of the day!!

Finally I got home, and quickly checked under the bed…. a bag!! My husband had visited me in the US some weeks before and has managed to surprise me! From my favourite Store!! Lovely cards and a lovely sweater…. and my daughter bought me a gnome… those Norwegian ones I love so much….

I am far away from home… but I feel very special indeed!

Thank you!

Snow

I have been silent on here, mostly because life just got in the way of taking time to write. Maybe that’s a good thing, to not be so connected to social media. It sure is not intentional to not keep you updated with our adventures.

Life can sometimes be so fast… You live from one day to the next, without taking time to breath… well, it’s Sabbath again, and taking time to breath is part of that plan of rest.

Geert had been following the weather updates and warned me it may snow on Friday…think he was secretly hoping it would start while he was still here, but sadly he had to leave to go back home to the UK.  Me? I am totally not ready for this colder weather. Only last week I was walking along the river with Geert in a t-shirt… now you need a jacket! It’s not the kind of snow that sticks to the ground… but the wet, slushy one. It sure does look pretty when it settles for a moment… but it quickly turned to wet, not so pretty slush… am sure all the pretty trees are now going to be bear… so I attach at least a few pictures from our sightseeing trip last Friday, chasing the colourful leaves…

So … Sabbath… rest…. the snowfall is inviting me to just stay in and to do just that…. rest…. have a good one!

Autumn

As I sit outside at Caribou, it’s hard to imagine we are already in October. Time is certainly flying by!

However, one thing has changed…(besides that Mel is in the UK for a couple weeks, to ensure Geert does not get lonely, and the cats don’t forget about her)… autumn is here!

I don’t know what it is about that season. I am more of a summer, beach kind of person. But something about this period in the year grabs me. Maybe it’s the last swan song of nature, showing their abundance of colour. Maybe it’s the promise of Christmas being around the corner, and all the coziness that goes with that. 

Or maybe it’s just that this season each time reminds me of Gods promise to us. No matter how rotten we feel, there will be new life.

For many this season brings despair, loneliness, falling leaves, depression. I sometimes get caught up in that too. I am a true worrier, and this season of the year I worry more. 

A day like today however, blue sky, too warm for jogging pants, beautiful autumn colours… I think I want to keep the Godly reminder in the forefront of my mind!
What about you?


The Kindness of Strangers

Sometimes strangers touch your heart and leave a warm fuzziness inside…

Let me start from the beginning. After we flew back to the US from Costa Rica I already started to feel a little funny. Worn out maybe? I put it down to the hot sun, and ignored it, but suggested to the family we would start our camping trip a day later. We got everything unpacked and repacked and on Friday set off to Bear Head Lake state park in Northern Minnesota. The state park had very good reviews and the trip to it went smooth. As we got closer I started to feel more unsettled but thought that a few days of no outside contact, cooking on fire, family time, fishing etc would do the trick. 

We arrived and got the tent nicely set up. We cooked over a hot fire and yep… that which I had been fighting came back with a vengeance in the evening. What a shame of the lovely salmon, corn and mashed potatoes! Each one of those would make my meal normally! Off to bed I went, and the other 2 followed out of sympathy (after clearing everything away… bear aware!) 

It was a bitter cold night, although Geert said I was like an oven… I did not sleep…. the first day of our holiday started well!

The next day I could do nothing much but stay in bed, trying to sleep it off. Geert and Mel went off exploring around the campsite and met the wonderful host from the side. God always sends lovely people to lift the spirit! An uneventful evening, (we won’t mention the soup….) and another night to pass.

On Sunday I woke up feeling more like myself… so off to Ely we went. We wanted to visit the famous mukluks shoe shop we had read so much about! We walked over a lovely little village market before going down a hill to the shoe shop. Shoes always make me feel better! Except… this time it did not and I realised I had already done too much. We decided to have a quick drink, mostly because I needed to rest… no sooner did I sit at the bar seats or I passed out… Mel sweetly held my hand… Geert ran off to get the car. The bar tender came over to ask if he could do something… a glass of coke, no ice…. I asked… I needed sugar in my blood fast! I felt a little better and could go to the toilet…. and God sent another little angel. ‘Minnesota nice’ the bartender called it…. don’t need to pay…

Sometimes it’s just the little things that make us smile… it takes little to be kind!

Musings

This morning I was watching the livestream at our church, where my husband just got up to share a life story with the kids there. It’s too much detail to retell it, you can watch online via this link (http://stanboroughpark.adventistchurch.org.uk/)

The point of the story is worth retelling though. You are valuable!!! No matter what happened to you, crumpled, dirty, alone… you matter!!!

You matter to me, and you are valuable to me.

Happy day!