The Beauty and The Beast

       Tonight we went and saw Beauty and the Beast. It was fantastic. I loved the songs that played directly from the movie of my childhood. I loved watching Hermione Granger…I mean Belle…unwittingly find the grand adventure her heart so sought after. And my absolute favorite part was watching the restoration of the castle. My entire body was chilled and covered in goosebumps.

         When I was a child, I saw myself as Belle. I detested the boring town I grew up in and constantly took myself away on adventures by burying my nose deep within a book; always lamenting that an adventurous story never happened to me. But tonight, for the first time,   I realized I was not Belle, I am the broken down castle. I am the beast.

          As we are first introduced to the story, we see a gorgeous castle, filled with light and hope; expectation and life. The Prince who lives there is known throughout the land for his beauty; there is none that can compare. And then, something happened. A curse fell over the land. And everything is broken. Each person who lived in the castle is now only a dim reflection of who they use to be. The once glorious and beautiful building that stood as a testament of power and majesty, is now broken. Dingy, dusty, fallen under a dark shadow, in which nothing shines bright or beautiful, not as it once did.

          And everything within you screams, this is not as it should be.

          Each of the characters within the castle longs for the return of life. Longs for the one who would break the curse. They wait, with eager expectation, for the one who would bring restoration.

           I remember watching an author talk about the return of a tv show I use to watch. He was discussing how one of the main characters the season before made some horrible choices and betrayed her friends. And he said how excited he was for her storyline this year because it was going to be a story of redemption. I remember his face lighting up as he said next, “I love redemption stories!”

          Why do we love redemption stories so much? We love stories of the brokenhearted finding love again. That Christmas finally comes to Narnia. We cheer Simba on as he defeats Scar, and the rain washes away all the destruction the hyenas’ made to Pride Rock. Our hearts ache when we see Bruce Wayne run down so many paths to destruction, his brokenness a reflection of our own.

          And yet, we know how the story ends. A cry deep within him, stirred up by witnessing the brokenness, damage, and destruction of his home city, wrenches his heart. This isn’t what it should be! And this idea propels him into becoming Batman. As a way to redeem his city; as a way to redeem himself.

          You and I were created to be glorious. The original world we were meant to live in was perfect. It was without violence. It was without hatred. It was without pain and guilt. It was without depression and cancer. Without shame, without fear, without anger, it was without every dirty and broken thing that we live with now. Each of us has something within us, that when we see it in the world, it breaks our hearts and we think: “This is wrong. This isn’t right. This isn’t how things should be.”

          And we’re right. This isn’t how things should be. We are living in a broken, dim reflection of the world as it was created to be. And the reason why we love redemption stories so much, is because each and every one of us is a redemption story. We love redemption stories because it’s a reflection of our own lives! Of our own world! The Bible says that even creation waits in expectation for the day it will be free from death and decay! (Romans 8:22)

          We were created glorious, placed in a beautiful world without any pain or suffering, and we didn’t want it. We chose to do the one thing God said not to do. Out of this big, ginormous, beautiful garden, God said, “Don’t eat the fruit of this one tree, because you will die.” And what do we do? We eat the fruit. And our disobedience brought upon us the curse of sin. It brought upon us death, pain, suffering, all the broken down dirtiness of the world.

          Jesus came to break the curse.

          As we watch the beast transform at the end of the movie, the beauty returned to the    castle, everything repaired and restored to its former glory, it moves something within us. Because this is what God promises to us. We are promised complete restoration. That one day, things will be even more glorious than what they were in the garden. Everything will be set right.

           Ecclesiastes 3:11 says “He has placed eternity in the hearts of men.” When God promises eternity, it is an eternity forever in His glory, with us and all His creation fully and completely restored. Even nonbelievers feel this pull of eternity, evidenced in their love of redemption stories. They long for what they do not know, because God is always pulling us to himself.

             And that is why, as we watch The Beauty and the Beast, we are waiting for the final moments. For the final scene when everything is made right, when everything is restored. When the beast is turned back into a man.

It was glorious. But it is only a dim reflection of what is to come.  

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Sealed

I’m a nerd. 

I love the dictionary. 

Today my father was doing a devotional with a group of guys that have been hanging around my house. Two of them were new Christians and two of them had recently rededicated their lives back to God. He was speaking to them out of 2 Timothy chapter 1, specifically verse six, which says: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which has been given you through the laying on of hands.” My dad was using this verse to explain to them that their actions can either fuel the fire inside of them, or put it out. This idea stuck with me all day, fanning into flame the gift(s) God has given me. I just kept pouring over it in my thoughts and different songs would come to mind that referenced this idea, the most prominent one being You Won’t Relent.

You won’t relent until
You have it all
My Heart is Yours

I’ll set, You as a seal
Upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm
For there is love
That is as strong as death
A jealousy demanding as the grave
And many waters
Cannot quench this love

Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until You and I are one

After having this song stuck in my head all day, I decided to set the second part as my status. I was typing it in from memory, and when I got to the ‘seal’ part, I wanted to make sure that I was using the right form of seal. I wasn’t sure if the animal seal had the same spelling or not, and whenever I second guess myself on my word usage, I always run to my handy dandy dictionary. 

Seal:
Noun 
1: a device or substance that is used to join two things together so as to prevent them from coming apart or to prevent anything from passing between them.

2: a piece of wax. lead, or other material with an individual design stamped into it, attached to a document to show that it has come from the person who claims to have issued it.

3: a thing regarded as a confirmation or guarantee of something.

Verb
4: conclude, establish, or secure (something) definitively, excluding the possibility of reversal or loss.

Now, I’ve always questioned that part in the song. Not hardcore questioned it, or I would have looked it up before now, but always in the back of my mind when we would sing this song, I would wonder, “What do they mean to place God as a seal up on their hearts? Or upon their arm?” Usually my mind would come up with some little Christian answer to keep my mind from dwelling on it too much so I could get back to worship, but I think knowing the literal meaning of the word ‘sealed’ gives more meaning to the song. 

Think about it. To bind two things together so nothing can pass through it. 

I’ll set you as a seal upon my heart – Sealing our hearts to God. Nothing can pass through and separate us. 
As a seal upon my arm – Showing that it has come from the person claiming to have issued it. Not only have we sealed ourselves to God, but more importantly, God has placed his seal on us. Binding us to him. Nothing can get in and separate us. 

To conclude, establish, or secure something definitively, excluding the possibility of reversal or loss.

The blood of Christ is our seal. 

When we accept that the perfect blood of Christ was payment for our sins, we allow it, in a spiritual sense, to wash over us. To cleanse us. It takes away our punishment of sin and seals us to God. He has claimed ownership over us and has sealed it with the blood of his son. 

To secure something definitively, excluding the possibility of reversal or loss. 

Because I’m a nerd, and because I want you to understand the full weight of these words, here are some more definitions for you.

Secure:
adjective
-fixed or fastened so as not to give way, become loose, or be lost
-not subjected to threat; certain to remain or continue safe and unharmed
-protected against attack
-feeling safe, stable, and free from fear and anxiety

Definitive:
adjective
-Done or reached decisively and with authority
-The most authoritative of its kind

Excluding:
verb
-prevent the occurrence of

This is what the blood of Christ has done for us. It has sealed us to God. It has secured us definitively to him, excluding the possibility of reversal or loss. 

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long, we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:31-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of Creation.

We are sealed. 

Preventing anything from passing between us and him. 

How beautiful, how great, how masterful is the love of God.

Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame inside my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until you and I are one.
 
This thought was actually covered at camp a couple weeks ago, but I missed the significance of what the speak was telling us at the time. My brain always needs a little time to process things. But the speaker had said that the Israelites use to put the name of the Lord on their arms, signifying that they belonged to the Lord. And that’s were the second part of the definition comes in. 

Attached to a document to show that it has come from the person who claims to have issued it. 

When a king would place his seal on something, he would be sending out that document with his authority. Meaning, anything that had the kings seal on it had as much authority as if the king was speaking those very words from his mouth. That’s what God has done to us. He places his seal on us to show that we have come from him, and with that, we have all the authority he has granted us. The same authority that he gave Jesus. The authority to heal the sick. Cast out demons. Make lame men walk. 

You, my dear brother or sister in Christ, have been sealed by God. You have his authority upon you; you cannot be separated and nothing can pass between you. 

 

The Desire for Connection

Many who know me have heard me rant a time or two about hating people. Most know that I’m kidding, but some are skeptical. The ones who are skeptical know me best. Now, for the record, I don’t hate people. I’m not particularly fond of humans as a whole, but I love individuals. And when I say “individual” I’m not talking about uniqueness or individuality, but rather you and me, on a personal level, communicating. 

This is important to me that you understand. Because truthfully, I’m not a huge fan of the general public, but I love the individuals that society consists of. There is something so great about getting to know someone and beginning to hear their deep thoughts. Finding out what makes them tick and how they view the world is fascinating. 

Here’s something about me, I hate bees. A truly, honest to goodness, hate. I despise them. This isn’t like when I say I hate people, because truly, I only hate large groups of people that expect me to interact and socialize. But some people see bees and think, “What a marvelous thing to God’s creation, how they pollenate flowers and make honey.” I firmly believe that bees are a product of the fall. Have you ever taken a good look at a bee? Specifically wasps? They are like little demons with wings. They have a tiny, beady little head and it’s butt is detached from the rest of it’s body. It’s disturbing. Most people when the see one of these flying terrors, have the response of: “If I don’t bother it, it won’t bother me.” They are wrong in this line of thought. When I see a bee, I freeze. My thoughts are oh gosh. It sees me. It is currently planning the best way to kill me. My life is over. Dear God, please, please, please sned that bee away. Now, these thoughts might vaguely resemble that of a crazed person, but I’m okay with that. The rest of the world simply doesn’t see how malicious and cunning bees are. 

This is just an example of how I see the world. I find it odd that more people don’t have the desire to run screaming in terror when a wasp flys within a fifty foot yard of them. Really, I do not understand it. I am thankful that most people aren’t as terrified as them as I am, because then I would have no one to kill them for me when they happen to find their way into my place of dwelling.

Now, in an attempt to bring it back closer to a full circle, I have often said I would be happiest living in the woods somewhere, alone, with only my siberian husky and a cat to keep me company. I would order everything I needed to be airdropped, or allow one of my brothers to make a supply trip up once a month. Considering my dislike of people, I thought this would be the perfect idea. 

A couple months ago, I packed up my instruments and music degree and moved to Memphis. It really wasn’t as exciting as it may seem, but I was following what I felt was God’s call on my life, and hoping that Memphis was only a temporary stop on my journey. I moved into my apartment and things just kind of halted. My roommate worked full time, I didn’t have a job yet, I couldn’t get keys to the apartment or building until I had a job, so I found myself trapped in an apartment, alone. For the first week I thought: This is paradise! But one week turned into two, which turned into three and a month later with no job and no keys and barely leaving the apartment, I was starting to get anxious. I was feeling cooped up and to my utmost surprise….lonely. I, Alexa Hunt, the people hating borderline hermit was incredibly lonely.    

I honestly didn’t expect that. I always thought I would love being alone. I could think freely without interruption, I could read peacefully, I could apply to several hundred of jobs without being bothered by unwelcome noises, but I realized I wanted all of that. I enjoy noise. I enjoy commotion. I like having people nearby, even if they’re not in the same room as me. It’s comforting. 

I have come to find, that even if I don’t enjoy large groups of people, I enjoy companionship. My plans for being a hermit have been shelved. Maybe when I’m sixty-five, cranky, and miserable I will go back to my plans to live alone in the woods, but probably not. I have discovered that I need people. How weird is that? I need people. 

And this is how much. 

I hate monopoly. I always have, it’s just not a game that I particularly enjoy. But tonight, Danny and I took off for Arkansas at twelve in the morning to pick up monopoly, drive back to the school, where I proceeded to loose dreadfully until four in the morning. I still hate monopoly, but I enjoyed being with friends. It was refreshing not to be alone. 

I think it’s interesting that God created even the most antisocial of us to need other humans. I think in this, we find a reflection of our relationship with him. I was lonely when I had extensive time to myself, I needed human connection. Spiritually, we need a connection with God to find completion in our lives. I truly believe that in as much that humans need other humans to be complete and happy in life, that humans also need God to find wholeness and satisfaction in life. 

All About Wales…not Whales

        It’s been a while since my last post, and I have quite a bit to tell. And pictures! I finally got my camera out and became a tourist.
        Now last week I was staying with an elderly couple and their dog. Ken, the husband, didn’t get out much and slept a lot, but Sylvia, Aunt Sylv she insisted on being called, was always out and about doing something. On monday we played badminton. I have never played badminton before, but it wasn’t incredibly difficult to get the hang of. I did have a lot of issues with serving however, which is very common for me when it comes to sports that requires you to hit something over a net. Now Sylvia, the lady I was playing with, is in her mid seventies, but you wouldn’t know it. She had the energy of a teenager, bobbing up and down all over the court. she was also very aggressive when it came to badminton, something I didn’t really expect. Anyways, she whopped me at badminton.
        On tuesday, we went singing. Sylvia has a singing group called Sunshine Singers. Anyone who knows me really well may laugh at this point….done? Good, we shall carry on. It’s a really great ministry. Sylvia and some other elderly folk go into all the nursing homes in the area and lead a participatory singing for the residents. It was a truly great thing, and the people there really appreciated it. However, there are two things I want to bring to your attention.
         Thing one: remember how I wrote in one of my first blogs that I was going through and pulling out all the songs with dreadful lyrics? We sang most of them when we went out. They were mixed in with a couple of old hymns. I love hymns, I really, truly do. However, most hymns have verses people have never heard of, for good reasons. But we sung every single verse of the hymns. Even the ones that had six or seven verses. It was kind of dreadful at points. I wasn’t singing, because I didn’t have any music so I was trying to follow what Sylvia was doing on the keyboard.
        Thing two: I don’t do well in nursing homes. When I was younger I had a great-grandmother with Alzheimer’s and we would go visit her in the nursing home. I still remember the smell, twelve years later. The smell of sickness and I remember seeing the brokenness of people who couldn’t remember. Who didn’t know who they were. My grandmother, who didn’t know who we were. I really hated going there. To be honest, it frightened me; I remember thinking: “This is where I’m going to end up.” The last time my mom took my siblings up to see my grandmother, I didn’t go. I could not bring myself to enter that place again. She passed away not too long after, and I haven’t gone back into a nursing home.
        As much as I hated going, and as much as it terrified me, it was a healing process. I was still holding on to memories as a kid, ones that as a kid, I couldn’t deal with. So I went and played my guitar in a nursing home, and it wasn’t as terrifying as I remembered. I didn’t enjoy it, but the people there did, and that was more important then my own discomfort. That’s an important lesson to learn, especially as Christians. Sometimes we have to do things that make us uncomfortable for the joy of others. That’s what Jesus did, so that in turn is what we are called to do. However, on thursday when she abruptly said we were going to another nursing home to play, I politely asked if I could pass. I might have been able to handle once a week, but twice was more then I could muster up the courage to handle.
        On wednesday, we went to Wales for lunch. It was a beautiful ride along the coast, and as I am staring out the window, my eyes caught a glimpse of something. My heart sped up, and I came inches from pressing my face to the window. My eyes intently scanned the rapidly moving tree lines. Then I saw it. Set back into the edge of a cliff was a castle. A big, huge, real castle. I really cannot express how excited I was. Unfortunately, we were moving too fast for me to take a picture, but not too fast for my imagination.
        If you have spent a good amount of time around me, you probably know that I have a very vivid, sometimes overactive, imagination. When I saw this castle, my imagination immediately went to work. In my mind I saw a vicious red dragon swooping down on the stone walls. I saw teeny, tiny people running along these same walls, putting out fires and throwing rocks and spears at the dragon. There were people running and screaming from the village outside the castle (which in reality was a field filled with sheep), guards were trying to keep take down the dragon, but it was too strong for them…
        This image continued on for the rest of the journey.
This is where we ate lunch.
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This is a picture of the couple I was staying with.

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        As we are out for lunch, Sylvia instructs me to order from the menu on the wall, which hosts the daily specials. It’s on a chalk board that has smudge marks on it and old chalk markings beneath the new ones. As I am looking over the menu, she says to me: “I think the markings are only there for looks. They always have the same thing on the menu.”
        I eyed the daily specials menu and said, “Do you come up here on the same day?”
        “Why yes,” She said. “We have been coming up here for years and years on Wednesday afternoons.”
        “Ah. Well then they probably have different specials on different days, but since you always come on the same day, the daily specials are always the same.”
        She looked at me for a couple seconds before going, “No, I don’t think so.”
        Deep in my heart, I was amused. So I sipped on my tea and after I placed my order, I stepped outside so I could look around a bit. I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to walk around after we ate, since Ken has a difficult time walking too far.
        And this is what I saw…
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Yes that is a John Deere tractor going down the road. I’m still home, even when I’m not.

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        After we were done eating, we did go for a little walk. Ken went and waited in the car for us. I went into this wonderful little second hand book shop. It was a literally a hole in the wall. It was marvelous. I really could have spent all day in there, but I was suppose to be catching up with Sylvia around the corner once I was done, so I had to go a little faster then I would have liked. I feel as though I missed a treasure in there. But alas, it was not to be.

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        Eventually, all these pictures and more will end up on Facebook. I just wanted to put them in my blog for now.
        When we got back from Wales on Wednesday, Sylvia and I left immediately for the church. There was children’s club at six, and I was suppose to be giving guitar lessons to rowdy youngsters. Thankfully, the guitars were all locked in the pastors office, and none of the people who had keys to the office were there that night. It really was a good thing, because the kids were really wired and I was incredibly stressed. I needed to hide from people. So I walked around the cemetery.
        I have always found cemeteries peaceful. When I was a kid, I went through a brief phase where I believed I was strange for liking cemeteries because they were suppose to be creepy. So to be normal, I pretended to find them creepy. It didn’t last long. There is something so calming about knowing that this is where we all end up. No matter who the person is, what they’ve done, good or bad, they will pass out of this world and into the next. One day, we will all be laid to rest. And by this time, all the petty things we worried about doesn’t matter. There is only a stone, set up so people will be able to find your body and remember you, that is assuming that they want to.
        Our culture is completely obsessed with immortality. From vampires, to elves, to supernatural beings and fairy tales. Anyone remember Tuck Everlasting? Before Edward was running around sparkling and living forever, a wise man told a young girl that dying is apart of life. We must pass on so that new life can come. The Tucks hated living forever. Everyone they knew and loved had passed on. It was only them.
        Cemeteries are peaceful because it is the end of a story. Whether the story was completed, or just beginning, a just ending or a tragedy, it’s still the end. The people there are gone. Their lives on earth are completed. Some will go on to be in the presence of God. Some will, by their own choice, go on into eternal suffering. But knowing that there will eventually be an end is very peaceful.
        Anyways, now that we all know too much of the inner workings of Alexa, here are some pictures of the church I work at:
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        The reason I took a picture of the tombstone above is because my great-grandparents had the same names. Walter and Gladys.
        Thursday was incredibly uneventful since I didn’t go singing at the nursing home. There was a Bible study held in their home on thursday night. They randomly stuck a guitar in my hands and told me to lead worship, afterwords I decided memorizing more worship songs was on my to do list.
        On Friday we went to another little cafe. Apparently the building use to be a train station that was converted into a little restaurant. The food was really good and afterwords we went for a walk in the surrounding forest.

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This picture reminds me of the Tomas the Tank Engine moves I use to watch with my brother when we were
kids.

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        Now imagine with me if you would, a man dressed entirely in green, a hood drawn up around his face, perched in the branches of this tree. As I mentioned before, I have a vivid imagination. I’m in England, walking through lush, green wood, taking photo’s and lagging behind. Sylvia was quite a bit ahead of me, so I started running to catch up.
        Suddenly, I was Robin Hood, running through the forest. My eyes intently scanned the road in front of me, I tried to make out any unusual sounds. (At this point and time in the real world, I saw a deer path off the real trail and followed it without thinking of where I was going.) I had to escape King John’s men. I could still hear them thundering behind me, circling around to cut me off at the river. Pausing for just a moment, I picked a decent size tree and ran to it. Hoisting myself into the branches, I leaned in against the moss, making sure I was fully hidden. Minuets later, I could hear King John’s men loudly running past. I waited until I was sure they were gone before moving. But right before I jumped down from the tree, I spotted a deer moving through the brush. Gently I lifted my bow from my back and fitted an arrow against the string. Carefully I took aim…
        At this point and time during my imagined adventure, my vegetarianism kicked in and wouldn’t let me/Robin shoot the deer; successfully knocking me back into the real world, where I was leaning against a tree and aiming an imaginary bow. Should anyone had been passing by, I would definitely been the crazy American.
        Saturday was uneventful, consisting only of worship practice. Sunday was equally so, except that I got to lead two of the songs for worship, which I was really excited about. I also returned to the dairy farm I was staying at previously Sunday night.
        I have many more stories to tell, as I have not even touched this weeks adventures. More shall come soon. Thanks for reading.

I Lift My Eyes Up

I’ve had a couple reminders to put pictures up, and I shall, as soon as I have pictures to put up. I haven’t had anything to take pictures of yet, unless you want images of stacks of worship songs I’ve weeded my way through, or a picture of the desk I’m working at covered with more stacks of worship songs all around my laptop and somewhere, hidden amidst the clutter, is a cup of tea.

Let me tell you about tea for a moment. I think it is fabulous. And British hold to their stereotype of tea drinking. Everywhere I go I’m asked, “Do you want a cup of tea?” And they make me up a cup of tea and while it’s brewing they ask: “Do you take milk? Sugar? One scoops or two?” When I return to the states, I believe I will be a converted tea drinking. No more coffee for me. Tea doesn’t make me crash, and it’s warm and delicious.

On the subject of delicious, the food here is spectacular. I have a absolutely marvelous host, and everyday, before I go to the church, she makes me lunch to take with me. I felt a little guilty when I was first coming to the UK because I was a vegetarian. Now, I don’t feel guilty about being a vegetarian, I love it quite a bit actually; but I was feeling guilty because I don’t like being difficult or being a problem for anyone. My goal in life, subconsciously or consciously, is to not be a burden and to make other peoples lives easier. However, I had no desire to eat meat, not to mention how sick it would make me, so I told the Pastor of the church that I’m serving at that I was a vegetarian. Once I got here, I found out that my host had been a vegetarian before, but started eating meat because it comes from her farm and they treat the animals well, and it’s all organic. All of that to say, she has been feeding me the most delicious vegetarian food. Today I had a wrap, as they call it. It was a burrito type wrapper with lettuce, tomato, cheese, red onions, and something else that I can’t recall. It was so simple, but marvelously delicious. Needless to say, I’m being well taken care of in my vegetarian ways.

However, I’m struggling elsewhere. My heart is very heavy, and for some reason, I just don’t want to be here.  I think I’m just having a hard time with all the people I’m constantly around, not to mention that my body is being quite stubborn and not adjusting to the time, so I’m always laying in bed awake or feeling tired throughout the day. So if you would just say a quick prayer that I will sleep tonight (because it is nighttime here) and that God would refresh my spirit, I would be most grateful.

I shall soon have pictures for you all! I have off from the church tomorrow, so the family I’m with is taking me exploring. I believe a castle and the Chester Zoo is on our list. The youngest daughter, who is about eight, told her mother that: “We must take Alexa to a castle, because Americans love castles!” Apparently she was practicing her American accent and lassoing a rocking horse before I got here as well.

I almost forgot!

I really wanted to share this song with all of my blog readers. My job at the church during the week is to go through all the old songs that where in pills around the office and organize them, as well as find new songs for the worship service. I came across the most terrible song ever. It is in the pile for the shredder, never to be sung again, but I had to share the lyrics because they were dreadful. Dreadful. Dreadful. I really can’t express it enough how dreadful these lyrics are, but I’ll let you see for yourself. The name of the song is: I am the Apple of God’s Eye and I’m typing it out exactly as it appeared on the lead sheet.

 I am the APPLE of God’s eye

His BANANA over me is love

For wherever this MAN-GOES

He ORANGES His angles to look after me

As His blessings PLUMet from above

And the Chorus goes:

The Great Fruit of God

The Great Fruit of God

The Great Fruit of God it over flows.

And that was it. Terrible. Dreadful. I suppose it could have been a VBS song from the 1800’s, but even then, what a terrible song. Fruit puns. In a worship song. It’s painful to me.

On that note, my current favorite worship song is Always by Kristian Stanfill, the lyrics have been very encouraging and I’ve been writing this listening to it on repeat, only through my left headphone though. I very rarely put both headphones in; odd fact about me.

Jetlag, cows, tea, and laptop computers

Greetings from England!

I am currently using a windows desktop computer, which is more painful then I think you can imagine, but I suppose I can’t be too picky. I am waiting to get an adaptor for my laptop, because while I was going to purchase said adaptor while I was still in the States, I was told by my contact in the UK that I wouldn’t need one, so I didn’t purchase one. Turns out, I do need one. So once I have that solved, I shall put my window using ways behind me for good; hopefully.

To start things off about my England trip, I shall tell you about the worst experience flying I have ever had. I flew out of Buffalo to Washington D.C. on a small aircraft, but it was only an hour flight, so that really wasn’t too bad.Once arriving at the Washington airport, I wandered around and found my gate, settling in to wait out my six hour layover. As the time neared nine, half an hour before I was to board the aircraft to England, a red word appears next to the flight number on the screen. Cancelled.

I may have panicked a little. Cancelled? It was a mistake, I was sure.

Unfortunately, it was not a mistake, and at 11 pm, I headed out of the airport with a hotel voucher for the night and made my way to catch the shuttle. Once I got to the required shuttle pickup, with all the other people from the same flight, and fifteen minuets later, the shuttle bus appeared. People pushed and clamoured on, and because I am the way I am, I was standing on the curb as the bus was literally packed full. People were standing back to back stomach to stomach in the aisles. But I wasn’t worried, for a second shuttle bus had appeared a couple minuets later. It was quickly packed equally as full as the first bus. And I was still on the curb.

“I’ll be back in fifteen minuets,” the shuttle driver promised the rest of us.

So fifteen minuets we waited. My feet had began to ache and I was just tired all around. Five minuets past the promised fifteen, there was still no sign of the shuttle. Ten more minuets, still no sign. Fifteen. No sign. Twenty. No sign. And a full forty-five minuets later, the shuttle finally appeared. I was one of the first people on, just because of where I was standing. The bus became as packed as the first two, with still more people on the curb. I felt the slightest bit guilty for not giving up my seat, but I couldn’t due to the fact that I was in the very back of the bus, and I really didn’t want to.

Little note about me: I don’t like hotel rooms. I never really have honestly. But a couple years ago, I watched a thriller with one of my friends about an author who stayed in a haunted hotel room. It may have frightened me more then I had let on at the time.

So I get to my hotel room and put my key in the door. It won’t open. I flipped the key around and put it into the lock the correct way. The light flashes green and in I enter. Now imagine for a moment if you will, a twenty-one year old girl who is afraid of hotel rooms, with a guitar strapped on her back and a messenger bag hanging from her arm holding the door open with one foot as she leans into the dark hotel room feeling the walls for the light switch. I’m sure it was amusing. I finally found the light switches, inconveniently located on the other side of the bathroom, and flicked them on. And that’s how I slept, with all the lights on, repeating to myself, “Greater is He who is in me, then he who is in the world.”(1 John 4:4b)

I got up at four to catch the shuttle at five, for my eight o’clock flight. Needless to say, eight o’clock flight turned into a 1 pm flight, which put me in England at 2am. It was incredibly exciting. My luggage had been destroyed somewhere along the way. The main part was still intact and all my clothes where there, but there is a giant hole in one of the pockets and one of the sides is crushed. Needless to say, I was not impressed with the airline.

For the good stuff, being in England has been great. I am staying with a family from the church and they own a large, organic dairy farm. The family is great, and being on a farm is great. There are cows, sheep, goats, cats, kittens, and horses, all in the backyard. For breakfast sunday morning, I had fresh brewed British tea with fresh milk that came from one of their cows that morning. It was splendid.

One final story for now.

I have been here for a couple days now, and have had immense trouble flushing their toilets. For some reason, I couldn’t get it to flush. So I would stand in the bathroom, pushing down on the handle over and over and pumping it and finally it would flush. But I figured, ,you really shouldn’t have to pump the handle to get it to flush. It didn’t make sense to me. Finally I asked if there was a trick I was missing, because it looked just like a toilet back in the states, but I couldn’t get it to work properly. Turns out, I wasn’t pushing the handle down all the way. I’m sure I’m the only guest they’ve ever had that has asked how to use the toilet. But one push on the handle all the way down, and wah-la! it flushes.

Alright, that is all for now.