Monthly Archives: May 2015

Cheese Platters

I went to help out at the cheese shop today.  It is such a quaint shop.  I wish you all could see it.  We had a “hen party” scheduled.  Do you know what that is?  It’s actually what they call a bachelorette party.  This party was low key not a wild out of control party.  There were 7 lovely ladies that each had a cheese platter and a glass of wine or prosecco.  They were spending the day shopping and doing other fun things together.

I wanted to take a picture but I thought that may be a little intrusive.  So, instead I took a few shots of some of the platters Alexander (co-owner with Caroline) made.  It turned out to be a mostly sunny day so they were able to enjoy the courtyard under the sunny skies.

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The customers can choose 1,2, or 3 cheese platters.  The platter comes with a baguette and a chutney.  He adds a garnish of rosemary or a fruit.  They look so tasty.

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I’ve had a couple people say I need to learn all about cheese and come back to the US and open a cheese shop.  I’m not sure what the response would be where we live.  Any thoughts?

Until next time….

 

Mom’s Birthday

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Today is my Mom’s birthday, and I thought I should tell her how much I love her on this blog since I don’t get to see her today.  Mom is a great mom and when you think of her you think of “fun”.  All of her friends would agree.  She is also super generous, kind, and loving.  She likes to help others and it isn’t unusual for her to be driving someone to their cancer treatment or going places with a friend who just needs company.

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The older I get the more I realize how fortunate I am that my parents are still living, are healthy and active, and are still married (to each other)!  These pictures are from when they came to Chile to see us and when they have been traveling on their own.  The one with them dancing makes me laugh.  They do like to dance though!  One funny story about my mom-

She LOVES to dance.  She said when she was a girl she would wrap a towel around the refrigerator door handle and use it as a partner.  The school  would let them dance before and after and even during lunch.  This was the 1950’s.  When she was a senior they voted on senior superlatives and she was disappointed- she got Best All Around and not Best Dancer!  She is both to me!

She and my Dad have been married 54 years this October.  They have been through a lot with having 4 kids and all that entails with each of us.  They also kept foreign exchange students in our home every year from my 2nd grade year to my 12th grade year.  They taught us to appreciate other cultures.  My mom is one of the most unselfish people I know.  I can only count on one hand the times that she has complained or been upset about someone or something going on.  She keeps a positive attitude, but not in a fake way.  She just handles things well.

I know most of us think we have the best mom, but I am so thankful I was put in the family I was.  Happy birthday Mom.  I love you and can’t wait to see you in a few months.  Have a super day!

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Baptism in the Sea

Sunday after church most of the congregation walked across town a few blocks to the North Sea.  We were going there to see one of the students get baptized.

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There are many students in our congregation because of the university.  We have also met American college kids who have come over just for the semester.  The student that was baptized lives in Indiana but attends Baylor.  He is the youngest of 3 sons and he spoke during the church service.  His parents had flown over and then they were going to spend some time exploring Scotland.

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It was so meaningful to watch.  I cried (as usual) and I had only met Nick once before.  It is definitely something he will remember for his lifetime.

Spring in St. Andrews

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The spring in Scotland is still cooler than I am used to but it has been very pretty.  My phone doesn’t take a picture that shows how beautiful the fields are.  There are sections of bright yellow that contrast so brightly with the green beside it.  I have heard that this yellow plant is flax, canola, and rape seed oil.  I’ll try to take a better shot of it before it is harvested.  The other day I saw a car full of girls pull over on the side of the road and run into the field and take pictures of themselves in it.

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The flowers are blooming and it just makes things nicer.  The days are getting long which makes up for the short days in winter.  It doesn’t get really dark now until after 10 pm!  It’s crazy but I like it.  It gets light super early around 5 am.  Lots of daylight now.

 

Lessons Learned

I’ve thought about what lessons God has taught me through this experience.  Here is what I  came up with.

1.  Listen to what God is telling you.  There’s a reason you feel the nudging and we know He has our best interest at heart.  If He’s leading you to do something, do it.

2.  People want peace and security. The true answer to both of these issues is a relationship with Christ.  We don’t know what is going on in people’s lives but we know we all have issues.  Don’t be afraid to share about Jesus.  The worst thing they could say is they aren’t interested.  And that’s OK.  We don’t make anyone believe.

3.  Sharing with people really does start with a relationship or a conversation.  The easiest way to start is to smile at them.  It’s a free gift to them.  Smile at everyone and see what God does.

4.  Ask questions.  Most people enjoy talking about themselves and their life.  Be sincere and truly ask because you care.  People can see if you are authentic or not.

5.  Remember names and use them when you are talking to that person.  It’s more important than you think.

6.  As an American Christian, I am no longer going to depend or rely on my church to “give” me opportunities to serve.  My responsibility as a believer is to always be aware of others around me wherever I am and to serve them when possible.  Like Sam said from the beginning of all of this adventure– find a hobby, job, etc. and join a group that you see regularly and start ministering!

7.  Enjoy your life wherever you are!

Wow, this is really convicting me and makes me realize I have a lot to work on.  I definitely don’t have all these down, but it’s a good place to start.  Have a great day!

More New Friends

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Vasare- I have so much that I could say about Vasare.  She is a private person so I won’t tell too much :-)  She is a well-read, intelligent young lady.  I tell her that all the time.  She’s read the Bible, Quran, Zen, etc.  so she is a thinker.  She would consider herself more of a Buddhist.  We have spoken to her so much about Jesus and I appreciate all of the conversations that she has had with us.  I love being able to speak and communicate these truths without it being tense and emotional.   She is leaving Scotland for good so I may never see her again.  Today she met Kent and I for coffee and we talked for 2 hours about Christianity and other religions.  I told her the reason we keep giving her information to think about is that we love her and as a Christian we want all the people we love to be with us in heaven.

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Agnieszaka is in the orange shirt above.  She is such a lovely young lady too.  She is from Poland and is a masters level student in psychology.  She and I met in the yoga hallway.  She is a smartie too.  She would like to come to the US for a job or to study but surprisingly Poland is the only EU country that can’t just come to the US and visit.  I couldn’t believe it.  Anyway Agnie was one of the first international students I met and she is just so friendly.  She has been a fun addition to our group.  Her parents came to visit so we have missed her recently while she has been travelling around with them.  She will be here all summer though which I am glad about since I will be too!

I’m so sad I don’t have a picture of Agnes.  She got her flight dates of her return home mixed up so we didn’t get to see her before she left.  She came as a friend of Vera’s and we were so glad she joined us.  She is a soft spoken young lady.  She’s someone who doesn’t say a lot but when she does you want to know what she says.  She has another year at uni so we hope to see her again in the fall when the students return.

Here are just some of us gathering together.

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New Sweet Friends

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This is Carrie.  She is my partner in crime.  She has a love for the Lord and His word.  She is a deep thinker and has a desire to teach.  Her lessons are so good and so much more than just looking at the text and asking “What do I think this means?”  She goes deeper and asks hard questions that make you think.  She is contemplating studying for her PhD. which I am encouraging her to do if the Lord opens the door for her.  She is kind of a “single mom” to her daughter Rosemary for this year because her husband Garrett is having to travel back and forth to the US.  He is a scientist and invented a polymer that can be used in many different ways.  He has a business that is here and there so he is having to do a lot of traveling now.  They’re hoping he will be more here than there in the fall.

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This is Margaret.  Our first yoga friend.  She has a sunshiny personality and is always friendly and talkative to everyone.  She is a go-getter and an organizer.  Her family has taken advantage of living here and been on several trips that she has made into lessons learned for her boys.  She has 2  elementary sons, Jake and Henry, and of course her husband Erik who is a philosophy professor.  She is a retired attorney and has been at home being a mom for the last few years.  She’s been through a lot but you would never know with her positive outlook to life.

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Vera!  She is a student at St. Andrews.  She actually goes to our church and we’ve known  her since we moved here.  She is a strong Christian and knows her Bible!  Her background is amazing.  Her mom is German and her dad is a Palestinian Christian.  She shared with us that her family’s Arabic heritage has always been Christian.  There is a special way of following their family generations by the repetition of names so her dad researched and knows the long  Christian heritage they have.  She is in medical school so she will be moving to Glasgow to do 3 more years of training.  I’m always so impressed with people who can speak and understand more than one language which she can.  She spent a year in Israel working and living with her family over there.  I could go on and on about Vera and how special she is.  I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in her future!

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This is Joan.  I have written about she and her husband before because I appreciate them so much.  She and Robert travel quite a bit but Joan has come with me to the bible study when she is in town.  Everyone loves Joan!  She is a godly example to us and so energetic.  When I think of Joan I think of laughter.  She has a contagious laugh that just makes you want to be happy too.  They are retired missionaries but they really aren’t retired.  They are always serving and doing for others.

More on the next post…

Biggest Blessing Part 2

Carrie and I are now going to yoga 2-3 times a week for exercise and to meet people.  Our first friend was Margaret.  Margaret was right behind me and I liked her outfit! ( I am so spiritually deep sometimes!)  So, after class I asked her where she was from.  She is American and lives in Indiana.  Her husband is on a year sabbatical from teaching as a professor at a university so their family came over for the year.  We hit it off immediately and invited her for lunch.  During our conversations we just started talking about the Lord and she asked us if she could come to our bible study.  We were so excited and through some specific “coincidences” we decided that Carrie and I would meet with her on Tuesday mornings and study the book of John.

We met a handful of times and then decided we should do a “coffee” and invite the people that we had met at yoga.  We would tell them that we usually meet for bible study but for that day we just wanted them to come over and get together away from the gym.  We got the best reception.  They were so excited.  In fact, after the coffee they all decided they wanted to come and study the bible with us.  Our first study we had 8 ladies  of all different ages and from USA, Scotland, Lithuania, Denmark, England, and Poland.  The best part is they were not all Christians!  It’s been amazing.

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Now that school is out and 2 of them are graduating and leaving us for good we wanted them to hear the clear message of the gospel.  We wanted them to hear it and then be able to do with it what they wanted.  So, last week after yoga, we had a lunch and invited our pastor to come share and answer any questions they may have about Christianity.  We also invited our teacher Madira and she came too!  It was a great conversation with lots of good questions.  As Americans I think we take our Christian culture for granted.  Most countries are not like that.

We may not see some of these girls ever again but we have showed them God’s love.  Vasare from Lithuania said she had never been around a group like this before in her life.   What a compliment!

The next post I’ll introduce you to my bible study friends….

My Biggest Blessing

We have definitely “struggled” being over in the UK the last few months.  I do use the word struggle in a loose sense.  I clearly understand that my struggle is nothing compared to those who are being slaughtered, beheaded, and tortured for being a Christian and heroically and graciously not denying Jesus’s name for their life.  Our issues have been more in the line of being homesick for our boys and other family and friends, spending a lot more money having to pay for 2 households, living a very quiet, uneventful life, and just not being in our comfort zone.  I hope I am not sounding petty because I really don’t mean to.

But, in all things good and bad, God teaches us.  And I thank Him for doing that in all of us.  Today, I wanted to share about the biggest blessing He has let me be a part of over here in Scotland.  I don’t want to bore you so I may split it up in 2 posts, and if I have already shared this with you personally -sorry!

About two to three years ago I felt God asking me to get out of my “Christian bubble”.  All of my friends and my activities revolved around Christians and the church.  I love the church and the security it brings.  I love studying and being around like- minded people.  I didn’t want to leave it and honestly I didn’t try to.

When we got to St. Andrews I was ready to once again get involved and find out how I could serve over here.  We found a church and I kept checking the program for ways I could do it.  There was nothing there.  Ever.  I thought all churches listed different areas where members could serve.  Even in Chile, I went to the orphanage once a week.  Nothing.

Some friends came over for lunch one Sunday after church, and we were discussing this problem I was having.   When they were about to leave, Sam said something to me that changed my thinking.  He told me I wasn’t going to find a list of places to serve  over here.  He told me I needed to pick my hobby and find a group that did that hobby, join the group, and minister to people there.  I didn’t like that at all.  I’ve been a mom so long I didn’t know if I had any hobbies!  I didn’t see how my hobbies of reading a book or exercising was going to do this.

At the same time this was going on I met my friend Carrie.  She and I became fast friends and had the same desire.  We used to drive over to the Costco in Edinburgh and ask the Lord how He could use us and what we could do.  We didn’t understand how it could happen.  So, first we decided we would have our Smile Ministry.  Whenever we would go out somewhere we would smile at people.  I know it seems mundane but we weren’t seeing people smile at all.  We thought we would start there and just see what would happen.

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This is me and Carrie.

Carrie invited me to start going to yoga with her.  I had only gone once many years ago and I didn’t like it.  I thought it was too “mystical”.  I was a little scared of what was going to happen.  But, I thought about what Sam said and went with her.  I loved it.  It was a great class and I was getting stronger and more flexible.

The teacher of the class is Madira from Croatia and she is a gifted teacher.  She is so good that to get in her class you needed to get there early and wait in this small narrow hallway that leads into the room.  We were getting there 30 minutes before the class which gave us plenty of time to smile and start conversations with lots of people- ex-pats, students, etc.  There are people from all over the world living here so there is never a loss for questions to ask.  I would ask about where they are from and what it’s like there.  What there family is like?  What kind of foods they eat?  What is the religion of most people that live there?    I now know that I hope God keeps putting people from different countries around me to meet.

The next post will tell who we met first and what happened…..

Belfast-Last Post

Belfast is the place where the Titanic was built.  They have a huge museum that tells all about the  ship.  Ship building used to be one of the main industries in Northern Ireland.

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This is the museum above.  Now, the main industries are tourism, IT, and tv and movie production.  This is where the Game of Thrones is filmed.  The Belfast area is the cheapest place in Europe to film so film production is coming there more and more.  Here are some pictures of the city during a few sunny hours.

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Lastly, they like their Irish stew, but they don’t like salt and pepper.  We went to a pub that began in the early 1700’s and had a huge bowl.  It looked delicious and it was once we added a little seasoning!  They also have an orange drink that Timothy liked.  I actually liked it too.  It was like orange juice with a fizz.

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So, finally on the Thursday after the Sunday break down the car part came.  The garage fixed it in less than an hour and we were able to make the 7:30 pm ferry back to Scotland.  After a 2.5 hour ride across water and a 3 hour ride across Scotland we were finally back home Friday morning about 1 am.

Home Sweet Home!