Friday, April 24, 2009

Speakers Week

So, we just made it back to York from our week away in the countryside, it's nice to be back in the flat, but i miss the country already!

We went and stayed at the Jonas Center in Wensleydale (Wallace and Grommit anyone?? Think cheese...their favorite Wensleydale cheese!) It was an absolutely amazing week! We stayed in little cabbins with a different set of rommates than usual which was fun, but i must admit i was missing my girls! Luckily we had a room date or two through out the week so we still got to spend some time together.

I can't even begin to explain how beautiful this part of the country was...probably the prettiest part of the England I've seen yet! We were in a green valley full of fields of sheep, and mountains on both sides. It was truly a perfect example of just how beautiful God's creation really is. What a nice break from the city life it was! It was so awesome to wake up every morning and walk out and see a view like this...

Brian and Cheryl Broderson flew over for the week to run morning and evening sessions which were incredible. I was so blessed to hear both of them speak, and they had some really great stuff to share with us! But our afternoons were ours to do as we pleased.

My first afternoon I went for a hike down to the river and to some waterfalls which was so peaceful and relaxing. I started out with a group but decided to go off on my own and just enjoy some peace and quiet and some rare alone time. It was so amazing...I waded through the river in my wellies (rain boots) sat in a green meadow, and did a little bolder hopping trying to cross the falls.

I got volunteered to do Thursday morning devotionals...meaning I had to prepare a talk to share with everyone that morning. It was a good challenge...and definitely God stretching me, showing me how much i've grown, and showing how through my weakness he shines. I'm not a huge fan of talking infront of people, especially about God...I always fear I'll say something wrong, or get intimidated by how much more the people around me know about the bible and how much longer they've been walking with the Lord...but that so isn't what it's about! Of course the one week I had to talk this semester was when we were off campus, no church library, no internet, and all i had with me was my bible...and of course I hadn't packed my Bible with a concordance in the back, or a Bible with commentary in it...all I had was a basic bible...just God's word, which really is all I should need anyway! It was a total blessing, I couldn't lean on those other things, or look up a suggested topic, I truly just had to rely on God to show me something, and my memory to pull together other verses that applied. So a bit of my free time each afternoon went to preparing for that, as well as most of my evenings.

Wednesday afternoon I went back down to the meadow by the river and hung out there for a few hours with a small group. I ended up getting soaking wet in the river, running through the hills, and talking to a lot of sheep! There were little lambs everywhere and they were SO stinking precious! Overall I'd say it was a VERY succesful afternoon...I even got a bit of a sunburn, yes, that's right..a sunburn! The weather was so great all week, we didn't get even a little rain! It was a bit windy a few of the days, but the sun was shining and that was just amazing!

Thursday was probably the best day all week. My devo went really well..I was way beyond nervous to give my talk. But my 3 roommates from the flat and I all got together and prayed before hand which was nice. I'm pretty sure it was evident to everyone when I got up there how nervous I was, but it was amazing how as soon as I opened my bible and started to read the verses I was going to be speaking on I felt and absolute calm wash over me...I don't really even know how I got through without stumbling on my words, or making a fool of myself, I can honestly say it wasn't by my strength...but by the Lord's...and it actually went really well. I was definitely relieved when it was over, and it really wasn't so bad afterall! Thursday was my date with my roommates and Helen Salmon (the school secretary/admin person...and the sweetest/funniest lady ever!) We hiked to a have a tea party in their tea room. Talk about an English adventure! It was so amazing, Bolton Castle was beautiful, and they had the most amazing sticky toffee pudding! I don't think we stopped laughing all afternoon...

Okay, I could go on and on with stories from this week. Ask me sometime and I'll share more! But this will have to do for now :) Time to get down to some serious homework! I'll add more photos in the next day or two so be on the lookout for those as well!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring in York

an afternoon out in the countryside

spot the english man!

The Blue Bycicle...I've never been there but I walk past it all the time, it's so cute!

Teddy Bear shop downstairs, tea rooms upstairs. This shop is so cute!

the market (during the week...on weekends it's much, much busier!)

walking through town there are always street musicians playing, and street performers on the weekends. I wasn't expecting to see a piano in the middle of the square though!

One of the old churches in town

an entrance to the wall

a view of my walk along the wall

So, yet again I'm sick this week. Seriously...why me?! I guess I need to go see the chemist and see if they can help me out with figuring out what i'm missing vitamin wise, or what i can do to avoid this crap that keeps coming around. I seem to have caught a cold again, my throat is killing me and my head is so full of pressure! I literally thing i've only had 2 or 3 weeks that i've been fully healthy since i've been here. Things just seem to cycle through here faster than you can get rid of the last illness. If it's not a cold, it's this wierd bug that makes you really nauseous and weak, you literally feel like you're car sick for days at a time, and toss on that more migraines than i've had in a long time. Pretty darn lame!

The funny thing is i'm eating healthier than ever (Mom you would be proud!)...but that just doesn't seem to be quite enough!

Other than the whole sick thing though things are going pretty well. Work is piling up, I've got a bunch of papers due this week that I need to get going on. And sometimes there just isn't enough time in our day to get things done! But hopefully I'll get all caught up this weekend.

I'm going to experiment in making fried rice's going to be pretty boring though as i forgot to buy onions and peas to put in it, but it'll be egg, chicken, and rice. I think I'm going to make it with a more sweet and sour sauce than soy sauce...i couldn't find terriyaki sauce at Morrison's yesterday, and I just don't dig soy sauce so much. but we'll see! This whole learning to cook thing is just quite an adventure! especially in another country when you aren't really familiar with brands and things have different names, or just don't exist here. Sure makes it interesting!

Only 50 more days til I'm home home home! I can't wait! I know it'll be sad to leave this place and the people, I will certainly miss it. But I can't wait to get home and sleep in my own bed and play with my dogs, and hang out in the sun :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

what a week!

It was a rather stressful week with midterms and such in my clases. Things are definitely getting tougher and the work is piling up! We only have like 6 weeks left of the semester, and one of those weeks we're off at speakers week so we really only have 5 weeks left of classes.

Anyway, Thursday morning at devo's Dave announced that he wanted to cancel our afternoon classes and take us out to the Farndale to see the daffodils. I guess it has the reputation as being the best place in britain to see daffodils, and it was the peak day of the season to go. So, they called the bus company and rented a bus and off we went!

I must admit the daffodils weren't at all what we expected. We all assumed it would be a valley full of daffodils, a field of yellow. But it was really a valley with lots of little daffodils scattered around everywhere...still pretty, but not as exciting as we had expected since we have loads of the huge daffodils all over York. It was just amazing to get out of the city and into the country for a few hours. And it just happened to be the most beautiful day we've had since i got here!

Anyway, I'm currently back in Warrington for a couple nights. And it feels so good to get out of York for a bit! I really needed a break from it all, I was just feeling rather stressed! I guess living with so many people can do that to ya. Luckily I really don't have any issues with any of my flatmates...but it's still hard being around so many people all the time! I went to a rugby match with Matt's parents today while he was off at work. Warrington just happened to be playing York which was pretty exciting...york got absolutely destroyed! 56-10 or something rediculous...but it was a fun game, and i got to experience my first rugby fight. Seriously, rugby players are some seriously manly men. And although I don't completely understand all the rules and such I absolutely love watching it!

Okay, I'm off to join Matt's parents and grandparents for some chinese food before headin out to the pub!

"Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."