Sabbatical in a Teacup: Day Three. Cool Stuff In Britain

So, many of you know I’ve been planning a trip to the Europe for months. Three weeks, three countries. We are in Britain now,  the South Kensington part of London, specifically.

We are seeing some hilarious stuff, like this in the local sweet shop:

Who Eats This Stuff?

Nasty! Right next to the chocolate covered frogs!


The Multicultural  Picadilly Starbucks: Italian, British and Nigerian Baristas!



I’m taking this trip largely to answer some questions for myself. Maybe you’d like to ponder them with me, then add your own voice.

I’ve been a teacher in one capacity or another for nearly 28 years. I was a wife for 23, and a girlfriend for three before that. I’ve been a mother for over 21 years, and a daughter for 48. My, that’s quite a lot. Roles we play have always been interesting to me, and I sense a change in roles coming. Like I tell my students, let’s start with easy, then move to hard. Get a little gratification going, solving the easy problems first, after all. So I’m with this crowd running around and seeing the sights:

“The Portable Party!”

A  more fun bunch of kids is not to be found. Sometimes, death has this funny way with family dynamics. Either it can blow people and relationships to bits, or draw them together. So far, so good. Really, I know there are about a gazillion of you out there reading this who are in the middle of the whole horrible permanent loss merry go round, and I am here to tell you, it will get better.

Not that we haven’t had our blowups. I’m sure we will continue to do so. Keeping a family on track is messy, hands-in, hard work. Honestly, I thought as they got older, it would get easier. It has, a little. But you know? I can almost see my relationship with God mirrored with these kids.

See, God has blessed me with a lot of stuff. I have the resources to take this trip, for example. But, just like with God, my kids don’t need my stuff, they need me. Second Chronicles 7:14 says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face….” Then God promises that he will hear from heaven. God has been unspeakably generous with his stuff. I know it may not seem like that sometimes, but really, the air we breathe is from his good grace. It rains on everyone, and all of us, especially those of us who live in Colorado, get to look at God’s country every time we get up in the morning. (Sorry,Texas readers! 🙂 )

So what do my kids really need? Another trip someplace cool? Another skydiving certificate? A new set of skis? No, they need me. They need me to walk alongside them when we went to Picadilly Circus today, and tell them about the time Daddy and I came here once. They need me to take them to Kings College, and tell them about when Poppa was a Fulbright scholar there.

They need me to hold their hand, and tell them that no, the world is not a safe place. But it will be OK. There is a God who loves them forever, and a mother who will as long as she can, just like Daddy did.

As they get older, I find their demands straying into “Seeking Mom’s hand” instead of “Seeking Mom’s face.” Isn’t that just typical? I find myself doing the same thing with God. Looking into his hand, asking His hand to move, to give me something, to change something, to make something go my way. Now, that’s not all bad. He wants us to ask, and sometimes he even says we don’t have something because we don’t ask for it.

But, it seems to me, that the most satisfying part of the Christian walk is when we seek God’s face. Seek what He is like, what wisdom He wants to give us, and what enjoyment we have out of a relationship together. The Bible says that he likens us to his children, instead of slaves or bondservants, if we accept Him.

How great is that? I love my kids, and they love me. When we get together, we have a good time. How much better is it when we get to sit with “Abba” or “Daddy” as he wants us to call Him? How much better to let him told MY hand, and tell me- No, the world is not a safe place, but I love you forever, Victoria. I don’t need more stuff, I need that.

Just like my kids. Imagine that.

Much love,


Tomorrow: The Olympic Stadium and Cezanne




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