Well, that was fast. Half Term break went just as quick as it came. We had a few good times and then a conference as well. Meanwhile, Thomas' parents have arrived and we're happy to have them in London for the week. In fact, we're quite 'chuffed' about it all. Read on for more of what's going through the lens of our word for the week...
Word For The Week: Chuffed
If you're delighted, glad, gratified, happy, or pleased - then you're also: Chuffed. We've picked up on this word a few times and to be honest it threw us for a loop. The word sounds as if it were going to be negative but in fact is extremely positive. If you were pleased with the presents you receive at Christmas then you might respond by saying, "I'm quite chuffed about my gifts this year." This adjective was first used in 1855 and became more common around the 1920's. We're quite chuffed about our Half Term break...
Half Term Break
As we reported last week, the kiddos were on Half Term break for the week. We started the weekend with Shepherd and Thomas having a play date with friends and Perry and Elizabeth going for a girls day, including some special sweet treats. We also had a morning of going out to get some pre-winter shopping in (temps will be in the mid 40's a few days this week).
The best part of Half Term Break was our day spent at Regent's Park and the Zoo. Perry and Shepherd love the zoo and we were thankful to have a day with them there. In the course of a few days we were able to get away from our phones more and simply enjoy some time together. In moments like these, we remember that our first ministry is to one another as family. We receive rest as a gift from God and take a moment to step aside from the work and remember that our work is dependant on His.
An Ill-Timed Conference With Good Results
Thomas was busy with a conference from Tuesday to Thursday of Half Term Break as the International Mission Board hosted a think tank to discuss partnerships and missions. We were not excited about having a full-on set of meetings in the middle of the break but we were really pleased with how things turned out. Over the course of just a few days many connections were made and some good ideas were discussed. We serve a global God with a global mission. Gatherings like these are evidence that God is at work all over the world.
We were able to squeeze in a few more family memories at the end of the break by watching the rugby world cup game with friends. In addition to the game, we're now enjoying some time with Thomas' parents for the next couple of days.
The Wests Have Arrived
We're glad to have Thomas's parents in London with us for the week. "Grammie" and "Grandaddy" were troopers over the last few days as we ran around London. While this is their first visit since the move we have actually been in London together before. Four years ago the grown-ups came to London as Thomas was conducting research on his dissertation. Those few days that we spent in London then seeded much of what has taken place in the last couple of years. More about that story in a future post. For now: the grandparents are here and the kiddos are loving it. God is good!
Learning To Wait
Last week we started talking about our struggle to slow down and find some time for rest. As promised, we're exploring the issue of rest and taking time to think more carefully about it.
Our friend Jack recommended a book called "Waiting on God" by Andrew Murray. In it, Murray provides 31 days of reflections on the discipline of waiting on God. The sections (devotionals?) are only a few pages long but they are absolutely packed with useful information. Reading ahead doesn't do any good and you're supposed to slowly chew through it bit by bit. It's been really good to get into.
What are we learning at this point?
Sometimes our busyness and hurry is caused by a lack of waiting on God. Much of the time there is much that needs to get done. Nevertheless, we need to do the work with God instead of running ahead and trying to do things for God.
What does this look like in our family?
We're taking time to pray and embracing times of silence and solitude. While it's difficult to manage with the kiddos - especially during Half Term break - it's worth it. Taking time to fight the frenzy with silence is calming. It's not easy. We haven't arrived. We're figuring it out.
Thank you for being on this journey with us.