Happy new year! We're back from our first family holiday and settled in to the full swing of life in London. We had a wonderful time being away and are looking forward to the week ahead. Here's a little more about what's going on...
First Family Holiday
We had a really really wonderful time being away as a family. We spent a week in the village of Blockley at a small cottage. If you are familiar with the BBC series "Father Brown" then you will recognise Blockley instantly. This beautiful village is where the series is filmed. The village is so lovely. Our cottage was right around the corner from the church, little market and restaurant. Perry and Shepherd loved getting to share a room while on holiday, and mommy and daddy loved listening in on their "bedtime chats".
Over the course of the week we visited some different villages around the Cotswolds, ate at a some yummy pubs, watched movies, drank hot chocolate in front of our cozy fire and got some serious rest. Some our favourite memories are riding the steam train, attending church at the beautiful cathedral in North Leach, going on our first country walk/hike, visiting Daylesford Farms, and visiting Blenheim Palace (we even got to see the room where Winston Churchill was born). Our Shepherd boy especially loved seeing all the sheep everywhere! We also played LOTS of Uno and Elizabeth introduced everyone to Dominos.
Here are a few photos from our week...
Getting away was very helpful in finding perspective in the year that was 2019. So much happened - we shared about it in our last post. We took time to reflect as a family on how the last year shaped us and how we're doing now that we're through it. We are grateful for all the good things God did for us and how His care was so evident. We are also thankful for the ways we experienced God's nearness through the tough times and the low points in the past year. Getting away was helpful in getting perspective.
We also found some perspective on the pace of life and are making some adjustments. We spent some of the week with our phones switched off and simply there with one another. While the phones were on we limited our time on social media. These experiences helped us think differently, and more critically, about the role that technology plays in our family and about setting helpful limits.
We're talking specifically about how to limit our time on social media so we can be fully focused where we are. We enjoy knowing where friends are and what else is going on in the world. Yet, we also want to position ourselves to be fully present with each other, our neighbourhood, and what God is doing here in London. We don't have things sorted out...but we're thinking through best practices.
The kiddos are back in school and seem to have settled in well. Christmas has been packed up around the house and we're officially back into the routine. Ballet and Little Kickers will resume next week and the homework has already started. We're back to the normal stuff.
This is a big week in the life of the Redeemer community. We're hosting the first of The Redeemer Sessions on Saturday at the local primary school. These "Sessions" are designed to be informational gatherings about what the church is and how to be a part of it. These are not "Preview Gatherings" in the traditional - church-planting - sense. They are an informal way for us to share more about the nature and purpose of Redeemer. You can learn more about what we're aiming for on our website. We're thankful to have a few friends from Biltmore in town for the week to help get things going.
Please pray for the first Redeemer Session.
Thank you for being on this journey with us.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.