Sunday, 6 July 2008

Graduation, Travels, Camping, and Transitions!!

"We forget that the accumulations of knowledge and the holding of convictions must finally result in the application of that knowledge and those convictions to life itself."
-- Jane Addams

Dear All,

So much has happened between now and the last time I wrote that I really haven't the words to explain it all!! So, instead I shall employ a few pictures to help, since, as you know, they're each worth a thousand words :)

My College Graduation
Graduation Slideshow:

Firstly, on June 7th, 2008, I stood on the podium of a beautiful old Anglican church and received my B.A. Hons in Applied Theology, alongside the friends who have become family these years in Europe. It was a very emotional and intense day and I still can't believe this marks the end of my life at Redcliffe. But it was a beautiful celebration for us all as well, and my Mom came all the way over from Park Rapids, Minnesota to be there with me! And she brought along her two lovely friends Joyce and Lucy so I had the pleasure of sharing my Redcliffe with all of them as we picnicked with my friends in the Redcliffe garden that afternoon after the ceremony. Have a look for yourself at some of what the day held!

2 Weeks Travelling the UK with Mom and her friends!
Slideshow of Mom's Visit:

To mark this momentous occasion in my life and to have some time with my mom and her friends (which doesn't happen much these days of living abroad!), the 4 of us set off for 2 weeks staying in various places around the UK! Some of my fabulous friends had us over for meals and fun as we went, and we stayed in some fantastic parts of the country, like the picturesque Cotswold region, the green loveliness of North Wales, the dramatic Lake District, and, of course, London! Mom rented a car and drove us all over kingdom come and with Lucy and Joyce in the backseat, there was never a dull moment!! I loved being able to show off my England to people from back home and to see them interact with my friends over here was priceless. It was the experience of a lifetime and such a precious way to transition out of college...

Camping on the Cornish Coast to Celebrate Graduating!
Camping in Cornwall Slideshow:

At the end of my two weeks with Mom and co., I hurried straight off to meet up with some friends I'd just graduated with (and one who hasn't graduated yet but whom we made an honorary third year for the duration of this camping trip :)) and head to Cornwall!!! We'd been planning a beach trip throughout the college year but found our 3rd year alot busier and heavier than we'd fully imagined and the trip had to be pushed off and off and off until 2 weeks AFTER graduation :) But it was a dream. We all met up in Salisbury where Abbie and Paul are living now and then spent 2 nights camping on the coast of the famed county of Cornwall-- a part of England I had always wanted to go and only just finally got to! These people have been very very important friends in my life and to have a little celebration of our own upon completing these 3 years together was very fitting. These photos especially, with their sea and sunsets and these precious people, speak thousands of words-- don't miss them!


Now I'm back in Gloucester living with Steve and Debs and their daughters (my vicar's family) and searching for summer jobs while planning out next steps. The plan is to be here til September; the hope is to take a position as a nanny, hopefully in Ireland, starting in January, and to spend the interim working with and learning from my missionary friends in Sweden again for a few months before hopefully coming home for the holidays to see my family and sort out new visas and such!

So, it's all a grand transition at the moment and I would appreciate all the prayers I can get as I seek God for the right direction for my next steps. I'm also needing Him desperately as I process all that my life at college has been, and all that He might want to do with it. It's easy to grow very discouraged in light of this huge end, but I'm aware that this new beginning has infinite potential if I follow Him closely enough.

Please pray as He girds up my faith and my heart for this new stage of journeying toward Him!! I fight off a feeling of being lost, lonely, little Leah as I wonder at my purpose now without a clear aim to head toward. I have a tumultuous head full of thoughts on mission in the traditional definition but feel that the step right in front of me may mean doing mission in a slightly less conventional way-- namely, working as I sort it all out and test out a possible country for long-term mission work. Maybe I'm just afraid of fundraising mission support!!! At any rate, this is a time in my life to seek out His heart for me and my purpose in it. I pray that I will grow so attuned to His heartbeat that my own will beat to its time...

Much much love to you from a recent college graduate learning to trust an unsafe-but-good God while practically homeless :)

"But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars."
-- Emerson
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