Monday, January 31, 2011

A New Week

Hello my bloggy-followers!
It’s been quite a week. We just got back from our weekend away at the church where we will be spending our 10 day outreach. It was fantastic. Corinne and I stayed on a farm, where we lived with a cute farming couple with 4, yes 4 little boys, all under the age of 11. They were all blonde and crazy and loud and are going to be a real fun part of our 10 day experience as we get to know them better. Because we were on a farm and we do live in England, there were lots of sheep. Lots. Of. Sheep. And- they were having lots more baby sheep. Corinne and I put on our Wellies, grabbed our cameras, and headed out to see the little guys. We got there just as one was giving birth. EEEEWW! It was probably the grossest thing I think I’ve ever seen in my life, however, there’s something about new life that is just so cool. I saw two little lambs breath life and start to stand up on their own within 5 minutes of coming into this world. It was a really cool experience. The boys decided to name them Corinne and Katie after us. We felt special J
Another thing that we did was spend time at the church that we would be working at. Let’s just say that I though our church at Hume was small, there was probably 40 members of this church, most of them little old ladies who wore brooches and drank tea every hour on the hour. Seriously, these guys are intense about their tea. We probably had to tell them about 6 times a day that, no, we are really okay without a cup of tea thank you!
We had a meeting going over all the things that we’ll be doing. There’s a lot but I am really excited to serve the community and am excited to partner with a church who really wants to reach out to the people they live with. We’re going to be leading 2 entire Sunday services, plan ladie’s meetings, plan Youth clubs, go visit old ladies, plan a girls night, and because of the crazy tea-faze they have, probably have about 12 cups of tea a day. Oh boy. Our church is lovely and the staff are really excited to have us there. I remember sitting in the meeting and going, “This is what I want to do. I want to be working in a church, planning ways to reach out to people who probably don’t feel loved by the church.” It was really cool. I’m excited to see where God takes me once this year at Capernwray is over.
This week we have a lovely couple called Sam and Joan Fiore, (Italians!) who are talking to us about living the Christian life and seeing what God’s will for our lives are. Let’s just say we’ve already had Sam play the drums for us and show us where he lives in Italy by showing us a boot. Yes, a real boot. It’s going to be a fantastic week and I am excited.
The end of term is coming on us so quickly, I can’t believe I have a shorter time left than from when I started counting down to get here. I’m excited to go home and see everything, yet I’m soaking up as much as this place as possible. It’s my birthday in 21 days so of course I’ve already started counting down for that J and am excited for Italian dinner in Lancaster for the event with my friends.
I’m also really excited for my red-headed friend Tiffany to come and visit me. She’s coming soon and we’re going to start planning soon. We’re basing our travels around Jane Austen, because we’re just cool like that. So you bet we are going to both Pemberly’s and Bath, Jane Austen’s home-town, and London. It’s going to be splendid.
If you could just keep my PaPa in your prayers, I’ve heard that he’s gone into the hospital and isn’t feeling too good. Please pray that doctor’s would be able to get him on the mend and for my Gramma, that God will give her peace and that she will be able to rest in Jesus’ hands as I bet she is very stressed out right now. I just learned that he is out of ICU and is getting his strength back. All I can say is, “Praise God!” I told him before I left that he wasn’t allowed to leave before I got back so I’m glad to see he’s keeping his promise J
Well, that’s all I can think of to talk about. Geez, I remember when I used to write every day on this thing. Sorry for not being a diligent blogger ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's been far too long...

Since I've last wrote a song. A year and a half probably of song-writing muteness. But today it just came out. Here it is, titled, "Whispered Love."

Verse 1:
I ran away
I hid my face
I tried to do it
On my own again
But you whispered love
And you pulled me back
To the place where
Your healings’ at

So here I am, bowing down
At a cruel and wicked cross
Where true love was found
You broke my heart
With your love for me
So undeserving of being free
So take this life
I give it up
To feel your worthy and humbling love

Verse 2:
I forgot today
That you know all of me
When I walked away
Thought you couldn’t see
But your arms stretched out
And your scars touched me
Wounded and broken
So un-worthy lips could sing

So here I am, bowing down
At a cruel and wicked cross
Where true love was found
You broke my heart
With your love for me
So undeserving of being free
So take this life
I give it up
To feel your worthy and humbling love

And this is love
Life made new
Sealed with blood
And hearts renewed
On wood my Savior
Arms stretched wide
Calling me back
Dying breath breathing life

So here I am, bowing down
At a cruel and wicked cross
Where true love was found
You broke my heart
With your love for me
So undeserving of being free
So take this life
I give it up
To feel your worthy and humbling love

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Hypocrite...humbled.

The Hypocrite…Humbled.
Wow. I can’t even begin to describe the things that happened in my life tonight. First off, I discovered I was a hypocrite. Secondly, I was humbled. Completely and thoroughly in front of the throne through our worship night.
Let’s begin at the beginning.

Today we had to write a paper. We were asked to take a character of the bible (either Abraham, Saul, or David) and write about 3 things in their life that can be used for our own spiritual walk.
I chose Abraham, and talked about how God called Abraham to be obedient, even when it hurt. This is what I wrote:

From the lessons that I have learned through Abraham’s story, I realized there are things in my life that need to change in order to follow Christ in the way He desires for me to follow. First off, I need to learn to listen and wait for God’s guidance instead of going and doing what I believe to be right. When Abraham left Haran, he left and went where God told him. However, he did not stay there, and made a wrong turn into Egypt. I need to work on going exactly where he wants me to go, and make sure that I follow that route exactly the way His map points out for me. If it says “go four miles, turn right.” I need to go four miles and turn right. Not go four miles, then take a left. In our lives we cannot see the full picture of our life and what God has in store for us. We are like a paint-by-numbers masterpiece, where we can only see one color at a time. God however, designed the painting. He knows exactly where each color will go and how they will fit together perfectly to create an image made in the likeness of Christ. I need to work on painting my picture exactly by the directions Christ has written out for me, and not getting ahead of myself and painting the wrong pictures different than what he was made for me.

When we were heading out to worship night, I got an email saying that I would not be able to work in the Ark this summer. I had previously received an email saying there was no place for me in the Meadow either. For those of you who know me, you know that the Meadow is my favorite place. I would spend every summer for the rest of my life working there if I could. To find this out was like getting a knife in my stomach. The first reaction I had was anger. I’m a Hume-kid! I have first dibs over jobs! This is how I entered into worship night. Angry and bitter over something that isn’t even mine to control. Then God broke me. Immediately I burst into tears. I was a hypocrite. What had I just written about? Oh yeah, going EXACTLY where God tells me, even when I can’t see where that is. God had just given me the perfect place and way to exercise this and I failed. I was not like Abraham, who went up and left. I was the hypocrite who said things that I did not mean. Someone who would rather hold on tightly to the things I hold dear instead of giving them up to God, who can take far better care of them than I can.

I have so much more to learn. So much more to be broken about. So much more to be humbled by. I keep saying that I’m not ready to go home, I haven’t changed enough yet. Capernwray is not the place where you are significantly changed. Bowing down at the foot of a cruel and wicked cross where my Savior, bruised and broken hung for a poor, hypocritical, lustful, manipulative, sinful, lying, cheating testament of un-worthiness, seeing no greater love no I can ever know, mercy so underserved, freedom I should not know, THAT is where change happens. THAT is where God takes broken things and makes them new. THAT is where I am grown. THAT is where the painful process of being more and more like Jesus happens. THAT is where I need to find myself everyday.
So here I am. January 22nd, 2011. Bowing down at the feet of who deserves all that I am, all that I will be, all that he made me to be. The hypocrite, humbled.

Monday, January 17, 2011

10 Day Outreach!

Today was quite the day. First off, let’s just say that today was the day we found out where we’re going for 10 day outreach. Now let’s say that we’ve been waiting for this day since the beginning of last term. So how nice of the Capernwray staff to make it the very last lecture of the day, building our anticipation and making us pray that we got people we wanted to be with. By the time Carolyn (The Outreach Director) got up, I was so nervous I was shaking. Not out of nerves to be going somewhere, just because lets just say I there was one person I was really hoping I wouldn’t be with, (Jesus forgive me!) Then, Carolyn started talking about an outreach called Caton about 30 minutes away. She kept looking at my row. I kept praying it wasn’t mine. Who wants to go 30 minutes away for their outreach? I listened as she read off the names of all the people around me, except for me. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then suddenly, she announced the name of the team leader, “Katie MacDonald!” Oh boy. The best part is when she described what we would be doing. “I laughed when this team formed because of one of the things they will be doing, you lucky guys will be doing some…football outreach!” Oh boy again. It’s me, 4 other girly girls, and one boy from Texas who never wears shoes. Oh gosh.

So it’s been an interesting morning. I’m in charge of 10 days and 5 other people. Some older than me. They say they choose leaders very carefully, watching what you do and how you do things, and pray, pray, pray that the right leader for that team would come along. The fact that I was chosen was so mind-blowing because I don’t think of myself as a leader at all. But I guess that I did pray that God would stretch me and mold me more and more into the woman he wants me to be, and I guess being a leader is something he’s shaping in me. It’s going to be an interesting ride, and I am really excited to see how it plays out. Included in our outreach is working in youth ministry (which I’m SUPER stoked about), going into schools, leading men and women’s bible studies, and leading worship (I am the only musician on our team, oh boy again.)

I’m a little confused about this outreach and why God wants me here, because the reason I wasn’t chosen to go to Kenya was because Carolyn really felt God telling her I was meant to be here. I honestly didn’t expect “here” to be so close, but if it’s where God wants me to be, it’s where I’m going to go, and I’m going to go with an open heart and mind to all that he has to offer me. Pray for me as a leader, that I will be the kind of leader that God wants me to be, that our team will grow together and all our differences will work to the benefit of the church we’re going to, and that we will have a perfect peace over God’s plan for these 10 days.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.
Oh. Boy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Travel Journal...part 4!

Paris: Paris was my favorite city. Which is funny because Rome was supposed to be my favorite city. Oh well. :P
I absolutely loved Paris. We got there late, and after a taxi ride where the driver spoke no English, arrived at our hostel to find that I had no money in my bank. Oh. Boy. I was so stressed out, I emailed my mom crying and finally got to call her. It was so good to know that even though I’m 5,000 miles away my mommy can still take care of me. It was also pretty humbling because it made me realize that although I’m 5,000 miles away I still need my mom to take care of me. I am so blessed by a family who cares for me, and it was that night that I truly realized how excited I am to go home and see them. So, momma and daddy, I do miss you ;)
The next day we of course started with Paris’ biggest and well-known landmark, the Eiffel Tower. It’s crazy that something made of iron can be so beautiful, but it is. After standing in line for an hour to go to the top, we realized it wasn’t going all the way to the top so we got out of line and headed somewhere else. We took some fun pictures and wandered around, and then, like the true North Americans we are, we found a Starbucks. It was fun just to relax on a cold and rainy day in Paris. We explored some more and ended up at the Notre Dame. It’s huge! But not as huge as I expected it to be. Disney movies kinda messed that up for me, there’s no way Quasimodo would be able to hang from those spires and be all the way up there, I could hang on those spires if I wanted! We then ate our first French Crepe….and ooooh. It. Was. Good. I love crepes. After that we headed back to our hostel for a good nights sleep….except for that our room was right above the bar that’s open till 2 am and the drunk singing Spanish girls……

We woke up to rain. It never rained in England when we were there, but when we came to Paris, it rained. Oh well, we had a game plan…the Louvre. I thought that the Louvre was just that glass pyramid and the stuff underneath it. Oh no. The Louvre is the entire building around and underneath it! It was huge! 2 hours in and I was so tired of it already. Haha. We first saw our friend Mona Lisa. Boy was that disappointing! She’s so small and encased in a huge glass case! It’s crazy that people go mad over that painting. Sure, she doesn’t really smile. Sure, we don’t really know who she is. She probably wanted it that way! After exploring more Corinne and I took a break from thinking and went outside and played in the rain. It was so fun. I am so blessed by my friend Corinne and so glad for the friendship God has given me. We had a blast. After drying off in Starbucks, we went in for round two…and oh it was long. Finally, when we were tired of looking at paintings, (even though some of the really famous ones were pretty cool), we left in search of food.

The best thing about Paris? The bakeries are SO GOOD! We seriously wanted to eat baguettes and croissants all day. After this is was night time, and it had stopped raining, so we went to the Eiffel Tour and saw it all lit up on pretty. We ate yummy crepes and I discovered that the boy I marry better make crepes as good as the French can.
Our last day in Paris we went to the Champ Eleysses….or the big arc where the Tour de France bike riders finish the race under. I basically only went there because dad really wanted pictures of it, but it was fun…I guess. The fact that it was pouring rain probably didn’t help but it was really big and cool to see the thing that lets my heart know…yes! I get t.v back again because the race is over! :P

We then drank chai and ate baguettes from a bakery and they were so good. We then seached for more crepes and Madelines, went up to the top of the Eiffel Tour, (which is incredibly high! So scary!) and enjoyed a last night in Paris while singing “So thissss is the niggggthhhhttt it’s a beauuuuttifulll nighhtt and they callllll it Belllllllla Notttteeeee!”
We left at 6:30 the next morning, made it on our plane, got delayed in the air, got to Liverpool, had the taxi driver be real nice and drive us all the way to school, and loved seeing the sight of our castle.

Now I’m in the biggest room in the castle, it holds 7 of us, and it’s going to get some getting used too. I never really hung out with all the girls before but we’re all pretty chill and get along so I’m excited. God is going to teach us some awesome things this term and I’m excited to see what he does in my last 10ish weeks in England.
Well, that’s Christmas break in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures! Miss you all!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Travel Journal....part 3!

We walked out of the metro station and found ourselves right in front of the Coliseum. It was so crazy to just see something in pictures and then randomly find yourselves right next to it. It’s huge! And so cool, but we’ll get back to that later.
After grabbing a quick croissant and asking lots of Italians for directions to our flat, we headed out…and found it…2 hours later. We also stumbled upon the Pantheon on our way….and that thing was incredible. It’s crazy to think something of that size and awesome-ness was made 2000 years ago. Once we got to our flat…a dingy little thing in a sketchy alley way but right next to a bus stop, we had to wait 2 more hours until the lady got there to give us the keys. So what did we do? We sat on the ground and slept….well, kind of. Once the lady got there we found our beds and paid the fee and then decided to take a 2 hour nap…..we went to sleep at 11...and woke up at….6!
Oh boy. After going to the local market to buy some pasta and hot dogs, we watched 2 Disney movies and just relaxed. The Lion King and Snow White are absolutely hilarious in Italian. Or should I say, Il Rei Leone and Biancaneave. It was an experience
Once we were awake the next morning, we headed to the Coliseum for a tour, and it was incredible. The thing is so old and the fact that it’s still so intact is incredible. To see it up close and learn it was completely covered in white marble, and to only be able to see one part of the floor where white marble still is is crazy. To see where the Emperor would stand, giving life or death to tributes, and to now see a Cross standing there is crazy. To be able to see the catacombs where the gladiators would be before they died was crazy. Just being there and thinking back to the time where people went insane with blood-lust, enjoying watching people fight to the death was crazy. I really enjoyed the Coliseum, and loved the history in it. What was crazy though, was one of the couples in our tour were from San Diego, and the wife had been to Hume for camp lots of times before! It’s crazy how no matter how far away I go…I always manage to meet someone who’s been in contact with my home. Hume really is an awesome place, and I’m so proud of it and the way God moves through it.
Next, after eating a yummy sandwich that cost me 5 euros, (enter angry face here), we headed to the old city of Rome, Palantine Hill, or the Roman Forum, to see all the old ruins. That was incredible. Standing on this hill you can see houses upon houses, worship centers, Temples, and the last 3 remaining columns of the Roman Senate. So much history was infused and alive in that place, and it was incredible to see, instead of just reading it in a history book.
After wandering around, watching them set up for their New Year’s bash…which looked…interesting, we stumbled upon some delicious gelato…the same gelato that would have us coming back every single day. We then headed back to our house, ate the last of our pasta and hot dogs, fully intending to head back to the party….but soon we found ourselves hooked on MTV’s Hitlist Italia and the New Year’s party…which consisted of everyone speaking and singing in Italian…including little kids. We then realized that it wasn’t worth going back for so we boiled our apple juice for apple cider, ate peanuts and cocoa puffs, and watched the crazy fireworks that lit up every inch of the sky.
The next morning, we slept in because we were tired, watched more Hitlist Italia, then headed to the Basilica, where the Pope lives. We were shocked by the amount of people there, and then found out that we had missed the Pope’s speech by 15 minutes…..BAH! We were so mad because if we had just turned the t.v. off when Eminem and Rihanna’s music video off, we would’ve made it. But oh well, what can you do? We then went and window shopped, looked at open markets, drank hot chocolate, ate gelato, and just enjoyed a new year. We saw the cool old church that’s in the movie Angels and Demons, saw the bridge with the angels on it, watched people attempt to ice skate, and then found the best pizza in all of Italy…..from a little store where the man working wasn’t even Italian, but still called us, “My friends!”
After that and a delicious Crepe, we headed back to watch the 1st Harry Potter, in Italian of course.
The next day we headed to the Trevi Fountain. It was really neat, but really crowded. We all made wishes, ate more gelato, walked around everywhere, discovered new places, went to the Wedding Cake (I can’t remember the name of the actual building, everyone just calls it the Wedding cake), saw some Capernwray friends, ate more gelato, and watched more Hitlist Italia.
The next day was our last full day in Rome. We went to the Vatican city…and by that I mean we waited in line for 2 hours to get into the Vatican city. It was actually pretty fun. After we were in we saw all those cool old things everyone talks so highly about, but if we’re honest, I thought it was all kind of overrated. Yes, the Sistine chapel was cool, but it was a lot smaller and seemed less grand than expected. There were so many people, there were no lights, and you could take no pictures…except…gasp! I did. ;)
After more gelato and pizza, we went to sleep for our last night in Rome.
The next day we basically just traveled to the airport. It was a pretty chill day, but I was excited for our next adventure…Paris!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Travel Journal part 2

I loved Venice! It was freezing cold but so incredibly beautiful! We walked out of the train station to the beautiful canal surrounded by colorful buildings and people. We took a bus to our side of the island…and by bus of course I mean boat, and was just in awe of this city on the water. Our hostel was pretty lame actually, but we were tired and hungry so after a meal of pasta made in the microwave and steamed from the espresso maker (Bars were the only things open), we went to bed…at 8:15.
The next morning we were refreshed and ready for a sunshiny day in Venice. We walked across bridges, we rode on water-buses, we went in tons of mask shops, we ate Nutella flavored gelato, we saw a friend from Capernwray, we rode on a gondola for 25 euros (after much compromising from the gondola driver, these Italians all like to give ‘dis-counts’ to you) and had so much fun! We saw Napoleon’s house, Casanova’s house, pretty bridges, singing gondola drivers, and beautiful sunshine. It was wonderful.
By now it was late and on this side of the world, everything closes by around 6, so what do we do? We sit in McDonald’s for….da da da….3 hours. Yep. We sat for 3 hours in a Micky D’s, randomly buying a small French fry or a coke or a ice cream cone so they wouldn’t kick us out. Once we had eaten too much and were ready for our train, we headed back to the train station and sat on the floor watching Glee for 2 more hours until our train finally left.
Well, sort of. We got on the train at 11:30 like we were supposed to, but the doors to our cabins weren’t open, and the Italian police kept going through our carriage…aye ya ya. It was crazy. Emily and I sat in the uncomfortable cabin falling asleep when suddenly two 30-something couples walked in, sat down, opened a bottle of Champagne, took out a loaf of bread, and passed around a tin of cookies. So much for sleep.
6 hours of uncomfortable-ness and loud Italians, and finally…we pulled into Rome…at 7 in the morning!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Travel Journal...part 1

I am officially a world-traveler. Woo-hoo!
I have done so many different things in these short 3 weeks and it’s insane to think of all the places I’ve gone that I only once dreamed of going to.
Since there’s so many places and things I’ve done, I’ll break it up in a few blog posts just to keep you hooked ;)

Part 1: Work week
It was a hard goodbye, and this was only for 3 weeks! Most of the castle emptied out that December 16th and left us with a quiet, large, cold, home. Corinne, Nicole, Emily and I stayed and worked on Housekeeping staff for the week to save money and we had so much fun! Since I’ve worked S.S before and my dad’s a pretty awesome toilet-cleaner-teacher, I didn’t freak out as much over the work as some people did. :P We made beds, we washed sheets, we vacuumed, (and yes Dad, I even edged!), we decorated for Christmas, and we had a fun time doing it. Being on staff was so great because we didn’t have a curfew, we could basically do whatever we wanted, the food was better, and the Internet was….gasp! Fast! Who knew? ;)
With a giant castle at our disposal, we would regularly play cut-throat mafia and sardines throughout the giant rooms. We’d also stay up until 3 in the morning watching movies in front of the fireplace in the lounge while drinking lots and lots of left-over students’ teas. It was really just a great time to relax, work, and get to know different people.
After a week we headed out. Me, with my giant backpack strapped on my shoulders, excited for the next adventure, hopped on a train and then broke off with my traveling buddies to spend Christmas with my 2nd cousins, Debbie and Rich Sheldon, and their 4 kids. I had a blast! Their kids are so crazy and fun and I loved spending time with them. I walked into their cute little English house to see a Christmas tree and a mantle with my own stocking hanging there. I basically almost lost it, (but don’t tell my mom, she can’t know she almost made me cry ;)
It was so nice just to be able to relax and enjoy being in a home for Christmas. It was weird not being with my family but I was so blessed to be able to share someone else’s. Christmas was just a great time of eating, (lots and lots of eating), getting to know different guests, reading one of my cousin’s new books, and calling my family 5,000 miles away.
So that’s Christmas. Next, we’ll travel to the faraway land of……Bergamo, Milan. Da da daaaa!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


So many things, no time to tell you all of it yet though.
But here's a quick recap:
Cousins, Milan-Bergamo, Venice, Rome, Paris
I have been so blessed to go to more places in these short 2 weeks than most people go in their lifetime.
School starts on the 8th! More than!