Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Maybe I'll become a blogger yet...

Okay probably not but I can always aspire to be some deep thinker or hilarious internet personality right? Uh huh, sure.

Anyways, I started this blog as a way for me to post about all the amazing and life changing things that I was discovering and doing while I spent a semester in London. Since my last posting, ashamedly in April, many many things have changed. I've come back to the States, graduated with a BBS in Ministry, had an amazing internship at South Main Baptist Church all summer, and moved to the awe inspiring town know as Waco, TX to start seminary at Baylor University. Yes, I am being sassy, Waco is tiny and I miss London and Houston. PS, I've been living alone for the first time ever for 5 whole days and good news my friends, I don't want to fling myself off of the nearest building. I'm not exactly a fan of living alone but dare I say its getting better with every day, every new friend I make at school, and every silent prayer said. On Saturday when I was driving up to Waco alone I was nearly in tears but decided in that moment that I could look at the next 2 to 3 years of living alone as a season of lonely solitude or as blessing that would be filled with quiet sweet moments with my Savior. I'm choosing each day to be the latter.

I actually logged back on here to share quite an amazing story with you all and felt that this was probably the best way to document just how amazing my God is. So I'm in seminary and that basically means that I'm poor. Like really poor. BUT part of this amazing season in my life is seeing just how God will come through in real ways, He hasn't kept the loaf of bread on the counter mysteriously fresh or multiplied the frozen dinners in the freezer but oh my has He been gracious to me. It was just this afternoon that I was contemplating the declining balance in my checking account coming close to tears and hitting the refresh button on the "employment" tab on the seminary's web page when I remembered a conversation. This conversation was between Jerome Smith, Tallowood's youth minister, and myself well over a year ago when it was planted in me that I shouldn't take the easy way out of going to grad school in Houston but that I should listen to the guiding of the Spirit in all areas of my life. Hence my being in Waco at Baylor this year. But another thing that Jerome said came to mind, he said "We as ministers in the Body don't look for work in a way that any other profession does. Ministry isn't about sending out resumes and going on job interviews and if it does look like that I would run has far and as fast away from it as you can. Ministry is about waiting for God to lead, to open doors, to call you somewhere that He has already set aside for you." (Okay, so I'm paraphrasing but nonetheless those of you who know Jerome know that he is an amazing man of God who is that eloquent.) Upon remembering this conversation I wept and prayed to my Savior that I would wait until He called me somewhere, I would stop the mindless ministry job searching and just be content to wait on His timing. I thought that this meant that I would work retail or as a graduate assistant or some other work that wasn't directly in the church (Not to say that every single job and place of employment isn't a place for ministry every single day! It is!) After this grand revelation I felt an overwhelming sense of peace come over me, like everything would work out, like the God who made the heavens, who knows the stars and calls them by name was taking care of me.

I had gone out to dinner with Susan and Joe Womack and had shared this moment of clarity in the chaos of my life with them and was encouraged by their sweet presence. (Side note, Susan was the preschool minister at Tallowood for many years and retired to Waco about 4 years ago. Since I've been here, even less than a week, they have practically adopted me and made me feel so welcomed into their home and lives and I could not have asked for a better couple to want to invest in my life. Thank you both for your tremendous love for me. God knew I'd need a family here.)

Fast forward just 4 hours

I'm sitting at my kitchen table reading a textbook, just as I plan on spending the next 2 years of my life doing, and I get a text message from a friend saying that she's been on the phone with a new pastor in a nearby town and he is looking for a part-time children's minister. WHAT!?!? I couldn't help but laugh and literally say out loud "God, I don't know what You're up to but it's amazing!" I've known this pastor from Tallowood and he and his family are very old friends of the O'Quinn's. I know that once I gave up my need to find a job, to make some money, and to be in active ministry, once I was completely vunerable, that's when God said okay. Obedience and trust, it's what's best! After a little conversation with this friend I sent my resume off and will wait to see what God does next. Maybe I'll be the right fit for this body of believers, maybe not. Either way, I know that my God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him, that He has a plan for me that is to prosper me and not to harm me, that He has got the whole world in His hands. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Don't Ever Change

Today was perfect. The weather was beautiful and sunny, the feel of the city was lively and the company was even better. To start off the day I slept in, talked to my parents for a little while and then went out in the fray of the city with some of my favorite people. Bekah, Lanna, Steph and I headed out to try and find a place to do high tea but after a little bit of searching and realizing that it would cost about half of our weekly allowance, we opted out and just spent a little time enjoying each others company. We fondly refer to ourselves as "the sisterhood of the denim shirts" now, because 3 out of the 4 of us were wearing them today. You can't coordinate awesome. After some laughs and hugs we divided up for lunch and to see what else the city would show us. Stephanie and I ended up at Wagamama for lunch, basically just fancy ramen! It was so good and we both used chopsticks the whole time. Skills.

Once we had had our fill of deliciousness, we decided to stop by Covent Garden one last time. Covent Garden is one of my favorite places in the city and even though it is always busy and crowded I feel right at home. Its sort of starting to hit me that I have to leave London and I don't like it one bit. I've come to love it here and no matter how often I visit or come back it will never be my home, not like this anyways. I'm trying not to sob every time I walk up the stairs to my flat or sit at the kitchen table because I can't help but think that its one of the last times. I don't have any profound statements about my life or about being a world traveller but I can tell you that this semester has changed me, for the better. I quoted this on twitter the other day and think its appropriate here:

"You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place.
You'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person 
you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again."

These are from a few days ago at our cronut outing!

It's hard for me to express to you all how much I love these girls and how special they are to me. Coming here I literally had one friend and only really knew her from the one class we had had together, leaving here I've made memories and friends that will last a lifetime. To each and every person on this trip: I love you guys and can't imagine spending my last semester of undergrad with anyone better.

Time for some pictures of my last few days:

This is my bestie Zac, he's a pretty cool cat. 

Regent's Park last Saturday with Stephanie.

I found flowers!

Stephanie is just the sweetest

Napping in the grass at Hyde Park :)

From the Spiderman premiere! I met Emma Stone!!!

It's time for me to go soak in all the last little bits. I don't want to leave here. Yes, I want to see you all, be at home in Abilene, and love on my puppy but oh London, my London don't ever change. 
3 more days.

Missing you all, 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

London Farewells

No need to state the obvious, I'm a bad blogger. It hasn't been a whole month yet if that counts for anything... not really I suppose. Anyways, it's almost time for me to head back to Texas and it is so bittersweet. The past month or so has been really busy, primarily with school work but not to worry, I've made a little bit of time to see more of London. Before Spring Break my bestie Rebecca was here and I loved spending time with her and showing her around my favorite parts of London, leaving was so sad but I'm excited to get to see her soon! Our Spring Break was spent in parts of England, Scotland and Wales where we visited all sorts of places. We went to Whitby and the North Sea, saw Loch Ness, relaxed in Glen Coe and hiked a little bit, and many other places...of which the names escape me, but nonetheless, it was a wonderful 10 days! We were all pretty tired of being on a coach bus...and of each other once we got home but I think that its safe to say that it has been my most memorable college SB. My favorite part was on one of the last nights a bunch of us were hanging out in the hotel lobby in Caernarvon (did I spell that right? Its Welsh.) playing pool and piano, drinking coffee, and having good conversation with good company. It's the simple things that I'll miss with some of the greatest people that I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Once we got home we were immediately back into the fray of everyday life in London. One of our first classes was through Westminster Abbey, I was practically dancing at how excited I was! I had a quick conversation with Queen Elizabeth and some of my other favorite English people. Some people get excited about sports or celebrities, I get excited about seeing dead English monarchs! To each their own?
I made a to-do list a week or so ago...and cried. It was that long and I was that worried about it. BUT with the grace and peace that comes from God I've survived this crazy hectic week (I had 3 huge papers due + other assignments) and I intend to survive the next 2 just fine. I would greatly appreciate it  though if you all would pray for me as I finish my last semester of undergrad! Pray that I would finish well and that whatever God has for me after HSU would be clear to me...and soon!
I've grown to love London, learn London, and make it part of my heart. This place, that I got to call home for this very short 13 weeks has been life changing. In the midst of making new friends, preparing for graduation, adapting to living in a foreign country, and getting school work done I learned more about myself than I ever have before. Farewell, my sweet London, I'll be back someday.
Missing you all & see you very soon,
(11 days to go!)

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


Miracle of miracles guys, I feel like blogging! Since we've spoken last I've done so much and have been in a remarkably good mood for the past week or so, God is so good! On 3/6 (last Thursday) I was just having one of those off days. Ya know, when you wake up late, forget to take your hair out of the "I just washed my face" bun and scramble frantically down the 4 London city blocks to the classroom only to find that class had been moved to 10am and not 9. Our prof told us this and Emily and I had just forgotten... What college students in their right mind would forget that they got to sleep in, you ask? Us. So after a haul back to our flat we ended up with time for tea and oatmeal at our kitchen table while overlooking the gardens behind our flat, the day was getting better. Once we got to class there were schedule changes (I'm learning to be a go-with-the-flow girl but its a work in progess), the room was hot and I just felt that the weight of all the assignments for the semester were piling up no matter how on top of things I tried to be. The day carried on and I refused to enjoy the beautiful day, it was one of those sulking sort of ways. But then one of my friends, who shall not be named *cough Janelle*, surprised Emily and I with a package of brownies and a sweet note, thanks girlie! And the sun came out. There was an overwhelming sense of peace that I felt upon being reminded that I was loved and that everything would work out. "God's plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day." Amen to that. That night we got all gussied up (well most people did, I missed that memo and my faithful jeans made an appearance) and went to Royal Albert Hall to the opera and saw La Boheme. It was a beautiful show, in Italian I might add, the music was so moving!
The next day was FrIdAyYyY!!! Its my favorite day of the week and consequently the day that I chose to go exploring around Hyde Park and simultaneously take pictures of war memorials for my Britain at War class.

Hyde Park, well all of London really, is in full bloom! Spring is almost here and the flowers are the first to tell us!

At Hyde Park I not only got a lot done for class but I walked to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, a beautiful little stream that is shaped like a circle and has water running in it that bubbles, swirls, and cascades gracefully at different points, it is supposed to be a representation of her life and they even encourage people to put their feet in and relax. I thought it was a sweet testimony of her life. There were also lots of ducks, swans and friendly squirrels which I've got to go back with bread for! One little squirrel came up and looked at me expectantly waiting for me to feed him. They are such curious little things. I got back to the flat after dark and enjoyed a quiet evening in with a book and tea, perfect. 
Saturday was very full and very wonderful. Emily and I began our morning by leaving the flat early to photograph more war memorials, yippie, and get coffee. We then met our group and took a ferry to Greenwich, so fun! After a lecture, the painted hall, a place where many movies (including Thor) were filmed and lunch we went to the royal observatory and stood over the Prime Meridian! Whatttt! 

I'm in 2 hemispheres at once! 

Real excited about this craziness!

I rushed back home (only about 30 or so minutes) because my best friend was coming to London!!! Rebecca, her sister Rachel and their Mom, who is now my mother too ;) had landed at Heathrow when I was at Greenwich. Me being gone gave them a little time to ride the tube to their hotel, get settled and then figure out where we were meeting. We met at Russell Square station and when I finally got to hug my Rebecca I cried. I have missed her so much and lets be honest, some people go their whole lives looking for a friendship like I have with this girl. My mother affectionately called us "lifeies" ya know, friends for life, like her college roomie and bestie, hey Aunt Kelly! Anyways after a teary reunion (only on my part that is, she just puts up with my crying) :) we headed to The Ship Tavern for dinner. While the 3 of them tried not to fall asleep on the table, I rambled on about London and all the places that they had to see! That evening Rebecca stayed late at my flat and we just talked for wayyy later than we should have, but there's something special about seeing her face not on a computer screen, and we even had a little pre-birthday party for me, sponsored by my parents. Thanks Mama and Dad! 

My dad thinks that confetti makes everything more fun... he's right! 

Sunday marked the start of their London adventure and my new discovery of a calling to be a tour guide, juuust kidding! We started off at St. Paul's for Sung Eucharist in the morning and I pretended to be an old pro at Anglican services (which we all know I'm not) but it was a great worship experience. Sunday afternoon was exploring the Covent Garden area and Jubilee Market, one of my favorite places in the city and getting crepes! We found whimsical little souvenirs that aren't all that touristy but still have a hint of London in them. So fun! 

In front of St. Paul's (:

The evening was spent at a few places: Skoob, a used bookstore that I and now Rebecca love, Primark, you've heard about this glorious shopping experience, and my flat for a delicious dinner of sandwiches.

Monday started off with me having to go to class (boo) and them getting to go to the Tower of London (yay)! From what I hear they had a great time and even took a boat up the Thames River, jealous. We met up and decided to tackle climbing 311 stairs up to the top of monument. You may remember this from earlier posts but the Monument is for the Great Fire of London in 1666 that started in a bakery on Pudding Lane. Anyways, we decided that it sounded like a good idea to climb it! It really wasn't as bad as I was expecting, I think London has been secretly conditioning me with stairs for 2 months now. We all made it and the view was spectacular. 

We got certificates that said that we climbed the whole thing! Yayyy!

The rest of Monday was eventful and very chilly! We went to the Old Operating Theater and Shakespeare's Globe (see previous posts for details about these) and had to walk across London Bridge! The evening was pretty uneventful except for Rebecca making fajita pitas, a twist on fajitas when you don't have tortillas, it was delish though. 

Tuesday, ah finally today! We went to Oxford and spend the morning wandering, we came across the lamp post that CS Lewis used as inspiration for Narnia, so cool! I've been to Oxford before but it was rainy, cold and pretty miserable when I went so today was a chance to change my impression of Oxford and the town did a pretty good job. Lunch was at the Eagle and Child, a pub where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien were known to hang out. It was great food with great company. 

Had to make sure we got a picture in Oxford! 

Tonight those lucky ducks went to see Wicked!! I went to see a different show for class but enjoyed it quite a lot, I'm sure they loved where they went! Tomorrow we have another full schedule. That's all to report for now!
Missing you all,

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Happy March, y'all! Its my favorite month of the year and I'm so excited that I get to spend it here; not only will I be celebrating 22 years of God-given life but I get to go to Scotland, my best friend is coming to see me soon (I would probably loose my mind if she wasn't), and of course its almost Spring! I couldn't even imagine trying to catch you all up on what I've done in the past few weeks, seeing as how I've fallen off the face the the earth in blogging terms anyways, so a brief recap of what I can remember :).
  • Many, many papers have been written
  • Saw a big boat...the HMS Belfast, a British ship used in WWII so yeah, a big boat
  • My sister turned 24 and I cried a little that I couldn't celebrate with her sweet face
  • I discovered a store called Primark, its basically a huge Forever 21 type store but everything is dirt cheap but super cute! 
  • I went to see an art exhibit of German Renaissance Art where the most intriguing question was asked of me: "Is ugliness more authentic than beauty?" Still mulling this one over...
  • Saw a few theater productions, none were particularly memorable 
  • Had a class walking around the outside of Westminster Abbey 
  • Did a walking tour of Jack the Ripper from the world's leading expert on him, our tutor Donald Rumbelow. Look him up, he's kind of a big deal ;) 
  • Got lost walking through Epping Forest looking for Queen Elizabeth's hunting lodge, we found it eventually!
  • Spent a day getting beautifully lost in the British Museum and only saw half of 1 floor! Ancient Egypt must have been a pretty cool place though.
  • Went to the Royal Air Force Museum, again not super impressed...planes. Cool. 
  • Got a package from my very wonderful mother that included peanut butter, valentines, and some American mac & cheese among other goodies!
  • Had a day trip to Bletchley Park, The Cambridge American Cemetery, and Cambridge
    These somber white crosses were a beautiful reminder of the American's who lost their lives in the Second World War. Thank you.
Goodness gracious I have been busy! Right now though, it is quiet and in these few moments of peace in a flat where 5 girls live, this is precious. I feel like I usually don't have time to process what I'm seeing and learning, so right now I am grateful. I've just re-read the list that I made of all the wonderful things that I'm getting to see and do and this doesn't even begin to cover all the tiny things I do and see each day. The sheen of red double decker buses, the quiet squares where old couples sit and hold one another hands while nestled away in the heart of this busy city, the somber silence that the Thames River has, and every single pigeon that gawks at me as I pass it and resist the urge to feed it part of my breakfast, they are all a part of this place, as am I. Needless to say the initial tourist phase is gone.
Pray for me friends, as I am so desperately wishing to go home, that I would value my time here and find energy to finish my last semester of undergrad well! It is physically painful how much I miss Lily, I got that baby when she was 6 weeks old and have only ever been away from her for 3 weeks! I hope that I never have to leave her for this long again.
But then I get gems like this and I feel a little better :)
Back to is a never ending stream of reading, papers, and tiny annoying assignments. Back into the fire!
Missing you all,

Monday, 24 February 2014

Roma, Italia

So I'm apparently the worst blogger in the world. I just haven't been in a very "bloggy" mood lately but before my mother and sisters decide to virtually throw something at me I'll post!
The last that you all heard was that I was flying into Rome and going to spend the weekend there. Let me just say that Rome is an amazing and beautiful city full of friendly people (a nice change to London)  and that I will without a doubt be returning to it someday. After all I threw coins into the Trevi Fountain and now its my destiny to return to the eternal city ;). Getting to Rome was definitely a bumpy experience. Everything from having our car to take us to the airport be 45 minutes late, to one of our friends having her entire suitcase searched at Heathrow security, and then finally not speaking any Italian to explain how to get to our hotel to a cab driver, we made it!

On the plane from London!

However, I will say that we did get a ride to the hotel from a sketchy shuttle driver outside the airport (maybe not our best decision ever and if you're my mother then I'm lying and that didn't happen...) but no worries, we made it and the grace of God abounds even as far as Rome, Italy! Once we finally got to the hotel we had to hunt down someone to let us in the door and then we got to settle in for just a little bit. We all decided that when in Rome one cannot sit in a hotel room! So we went out to explore the city a little bit and see if we could find some genuine Italian food. We are 4 American girls trying not to get lost in the middle of Rome so naturally we stuck out like a cat in a tutu but after a few wrong turns, kind strangers, and almost giving up we found where we were supposed to be to pick up a ticket for the next few days adventures to be less expensive and let us cut the lines. Victory! Dinner was at a small restaurant and on the first night in Rome you bet your left foot I got spaghetti!

These are my lovely traveling companions! (from left to right: Ally, Lanna, and Jacey)

I am so grateful for these women who God so perfectly placed in my life for this semester, whether its a hug when I miss my mom or a huge laugh, they always know what I need. After dinner (which was crazy expensive, the exchange rate to Euros is terrible plus I am so tired of paying for water) we headed back to our hotel, Casa Di Fiori, and got directions to a few key touristy places in Rome. We headed out with a map (or 3) in hand and confidence that we would not let Italian master us anymore! Lanna had given up on leading us places so Jacey and I took over and got us safely around that night and back home in one piece, score! We went to Pizza Narvona, the Pantheon, and the Fontana Di Trevi all in one night. I'm telling you, we were bound and determined to make the most of our very short time in Italy. There was a moment out on the streets that night that I knew I could handle being an adult. It may sound silly as I am 21, almost 22, and living in a foreign country currently but it was dark, Italian, and a little sketchy but I knew where I was, where I was going, and how to get there. I literally said out loud to Jacey "I can do this! I can survive in an unknown place and figure it out! I can read a map!" See adults, my generation really can survive without GPS and Siri, I have a brain and I used it. Score! The rest of the night was spent just being in awe of the city, as it looks so very different in the daylight, and getting gelato. 
Full Day 1:
The day started out with an open bus tour and we decided to get off and explore THE COLISEUM.
Yes, I have been there and yes, I freaked out when I first saw it. It was off in the distance but I knew what it was and I stood up on the bus and practically shrieked! When we first got off the bus it took everything in me not to run and just touch it, I had waited so long to see this place and here I was, this really is what dreams are made of! (That was a Lizzie McGuire Movie reference, for those of you who got it: props, for those who didn't: carry on, I won't judge.) 

So in all honesty there isn't a whole lot to do at the coliseum, its really just the experience of being there with your own two feet and being a part of history. People have been standing where I was standing for thousands of years, crazy! The coliseum was the first stone amphitheater of its kind and was built from 70-80 AD and was used as one of the main forms of entertainment for ancient Romans. They would hold fights between animals of all kinds many of them were imported form Asia and Africa, gladiator competitions, and it could even be flooded to hold naval battles. It was really amazing to be there and to just imagine all of the things that had taken place in this open air building. While we were there I said that I never wanted to leave! Except for its stairs that are practically at 85% angles and the no roof part I could just live there and bask in its glory. 

"Guys, I'm touching it!!!"
Thank you iPhone for panoramic mode!! 

I told you I was crazy excited!

Once my group practically dragged me out of the coliseum we headed over to the forum. Basically just a lot of ancient ruins, suh-weet! We hung around for a little while, looked at ruins of the temple of Saturn, the arch of Septimius Severus, the temple of Titus and you guessed it... more old rocks! Needless to say I preferred the coliseum to the forum but it was still pretty cool. We left and met up with another group of our students from London who had also come to Rome for the weekend and all went to see the Trevi Fountain in the daylight! 

Sitting on some Roman ruins at the forum with my girlies! (Chloe, Ally, Me, Jacey)

We didn't want to pay for tours so I had a nifty book and would just read about whatever we were looking at and would answer questions as they arose, haha! I spent much of our time in Rome like this.

When we got to the Trevi, via open top bus again, we all got gelato and just spent a little time people watching and of course made wishes! There is a legend that any foreigner who throws a coin into the Trevi with their back facing it over their shoulder is destined to come back to the Eternal City! Being at the Trevi was one of my favorite things to do while in Rome, I passed by it about 5 times in our 2 1/2 short days but I loved every time I got to see the beauty of it. On valentine's day we even saw a proposal there! What a special place to be asked that question! 

So apparently my wishing face is really dumb. Enjoy, while I go bask in shame.
Fontana Di Trevi!

The day ended with Ally and I going off to do a little bit of shopping and a quick pit stop inside the pantheon. Its not a far walk from the fountain so we moseyed on over, making a few pit stops on the way and enjoyed our time together. Once we saw the pantheon in the day time I was awestruck! It is, like the coliseum, huge and pictures will never and I mean never do it justice. 

The inscription reads: "Marcius Agrippa, son of Lucius, third time consul, made this temple." It was originally built in 27-25 BC and was dedicated to Mars, Venus, and the Divine Julius. However, what we see today dates from the early years of Hadrian's reign, between 118 and 125 AD. 

The rest of the day was very slow and we ended up getting pizza somewhere and taking things slow, we were all so tired after this day!
Full Day 2:
The morning began with a beautiful Italian breakfast at our hotel and typical confusion as to what bus to take to get to the Vatican. Once we figured out how to get there and got inside, holding our purses tight I might add, we began a very long traipse through the smallest country on earth. I'm not going to lie to you, I was pretty bored and unimpressed with the whole shindig but tried to make the best of it! The whole time I was there I just kept thinking of my great grandmother, the sweetest, sassiest, most precious woman that anyone could ever have had the privilege of loving. She was a devout Catholic and I know that she would have loved every minute of being there but because heaven has taken my hero, I will tell her all about it someday. 

We had such perfect weather all weekend! Time to break out the shorts and sandals (well almost). 

My favorite thing that we did while at the Vatican was meet the Pope! Juuuust kidding. The Sistine Chapel was breathtaking. I had heard so much about it my whole life, about Michelangelo timing his painting on fresco perfectly and about his contemporaries hoping he would fail because he was primarily a sculptor. To see The Last Judgement and the famous paintings of God reaching for Adam and Adam and Eve, among so many others I was literally awestruck. I stood there for a good 15 minutes with my eyes glued to the ceiling, my mouth probably hanging open, and my heart so engulfed in the images that they became engraved in me. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the chapel and honestly I'm glad. I think knowing that I couldn't pick up my camera and look at it through a lens made me appreciate it more. All I had was my eyes and whatever my heart could carry. Once we had finally escaped the maze that is the Vatican we opted not to climb up St. Peter's Basilica (the huge dome building) or "The Greatest Church in Christendom", well I don't know about that...have you seen Tallowood's stain glass and new sanctuary?! ;) But decided that we would rather go to St. Peter's prison. Too bad that it took us the better part of 2 hours to find and then when we did find it, it was a one room cell that may or may not have been where they kept Peter one time in Rome. Cool beans. I guess? Although, anonymous travel buddy: "Why is everything named Peter? Who is he anyways?" Everyone else: "Ummmm. You know like the disciple..." ATB: "Ohhhhh, I knew that!" Uh huh, sure you did. It was a hilarious moment for all of us who go to small Baptist colleges in Texas! After our small let down of the prison we began a new quest: The Spanish Steps. We found them! and with not nearly as much trouble as the prison. They were ya know...stairs that were covered in people. Cool. I can see that at the mall in the US, haha. But really, they were pretty neat and if I knew the significance of them I'd tell you but I have no clue so here's to doing research! We met up with everyone from London and just hung around the pantheon like no big deal right?! I happened to have great wifi signal and got to FaceTime my dad and make him super jealous so that's a plus! The rest of the day was spent eating more carbs (seriously how do these people survive?!) and packing for our journey back to London. Our flight was set to leave Rome at 6:20 am which meant that we were being picked up to go to the airport at 4 am...Lanna and I just ended up pulling an all-nighter for fear of not waking up at all. Perks of freakishly early flights though:
Sunrise over Rome, God really does have the whole world in his hands.

My girls and I at the coliseum. <3 
The past week or so in London has been uneventful although full of homework and writing papers, but I cannot believe how blessed I am to be here and to be having this experience. More blogging to come later but this has taken me almost 3 hours! 
Missing you all,

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Plane Writing

I'm so sorry that it's been so long since I've blogged (Kellie is harassing me about another post) but to be frank, I've been too tired and nothing that crazy has happened. I'm actually writing this on a flight to Rome and figured that I should write down some of the past week before I get bombarded with more! I think the last thing that I told you guys about was the globe and seeing
Oh What A Lovely War so let's see how well my memory serves me because that was over a week ago. Last Saturday our group took a day trip to Bath, an ancient Roman settlement of...wait for it... baths! I know that was shocking. The baths that we looked at (you aren't allowed to swim in them) are a natural hot spring that ancient Romans thought would make a good hot tub I guess, haha. But in all seriousness the baths were used for religious cleansing and healing. The people came from all over the country to seek relief from various illness and ailments. They have been in existence and used for over 2,000 years! (Did I make that number up?) Our tour guide was hilarious and said that she wasn't surprised that Romans came to Bath because if they showed up in the winter of Britain in nothing but their knickers that are skirts and sandals they would be very cold! There was one large bath that in its heyday would have been covered and very architecturally sophisticated. Around the top of the bath house were statues of Julius Caesar and Herodian (did I make up that too?) among other prominent Romans of the day. The city itself was a quaint little town that provided a touristy atmosphere and lots of shopping opportunities. And since you asked yes, I did finally get my British tea set and a cat scarf :) not a scarf made of cats...just for clarification. You'll have to wait until I get back to London for pictures, I didn't bring my laptop with me to Italy. I know that the anticipation will be mounting for the 3 days that I'm here but you can make it!
Sunday we went to a tiny little Baptist church in the heart of London called Bloomsbury Baptist, we more than doubled the congregation but it was a great experience to get to worship with them! We were greeted warmly and asked to remove our ten gallon hats. ;) After church Emily and I set out to enjoy a quiet lunch just the two of us, I love spending time with that girl! We ended up getting crepes and window shopping around the jubilee market in Covent garden. Of course by then we had to be getting back to the flat for homework. Sidenote: now that I'm a senior I feel like I've actually got the hang of college, perfect timing right? Like I know how to study, set time goals for reading and writing papers. Also my mother was right...if I had read everything that I was actually supposed to read for high school and college I would be 1,000x smarter. Oh well, I guess that'll make me a better graduate student! (HBU and Baylor if you're reading this...I'm just kidding I was always a perfect student!) ;) 
Monday was, how do I phrase this nicely...gross. We had our British Life and Culture class first thing Monday morning but once our walking lecture was over about London Bridge, Shakespeare, and Dickens we headed off to an old operating theater. Sounds cool right? Yeah I guess so... The brain, kidney, and other specimines were enough to make my stomach churn not to mention the crazy medical equipment that looked more like torture devices than things used to help people. This may be tmi but you clicked on this link, there was a cervical dialiator that literally looked like a metal spider of death that is used to rip women inside out. We then had a demonstration of how surgeons would have amputated limbs. With no anesthesia, no pain meds, and no sterilization. A good surgeon would have had a limb off in under a minute and a half, a great one in under 30 seconds. Napoleon had a surgeon in his army that could take an arm off at the shoulder in 17 seconds flat. I have never and I mean never been so grateful for modern medicine. I salute you all who are in that profession and am grateful that it isn't me. 
The rest of the week was spent going to class, finishing a book for class and starting another one,  writing a few papers, not blogging, going to a theater show and getting ready for Rome! Speaking of, we're starting our descent now!! 
Missing you all,