Hey friends. We enjoyed our first London snow and now have a few prayer focuses for the month ahead. Also, we're trying something new and actually writing a February Prayer.
OUR FIRST LONDON SNOW
We have been hoping and praying that we would see some snow since we moved to London. We had a few false alarm weather forecasts, but forecast finally looked right this week! The big fluffy flakes started to fall on Sunday morning. Perry and Shepherd pulled on their wellies, threw on their coats (over their pjs) and ran into our back garden. We came back in inside for hot chocolate and breakfast, and then it was time to walk over to Queen’s Park for some fun.
We all bundled up (Lulu too) and headed over to the park. There were snowman scattered all around. We had a family snow ball fight that became a little too competitive. ;) We stayed out until we were all frozen and then walked back home.
Our snowy Sunday was the perfect surprise for our family (and I think all of London). The peace of watching the snow almost made us emotional. It was so special to have this new special memory in London, especially in the middle of such a tough season.
PRAY WITH US
Many of you who read this blog are the praying sort. We love it when many of you ask how you can pray for us from time to time and we simply wanted to jot down a few things we're praying for. This isn't the whole lot but it's a few things we're comfortable sharing here. We would love for you to pray with us for the following in February...
1. Perseverance and endurance through Lockdown. You know the situation: this is our third national lockdown. We haven't seen our families since this summer and we've had very little friend contact in this season. Things have been locked down tight since January 5. We know that things will probably take a tack towards the better in just another month. It simply takes a lot of hanging on to get through some days.
2. Special time celebrating Shepherd in a few weeks. Our little buddy turns five on February 9. We were able to have a small party last year for him before Covid really kicked off here in London but this year will be a lockdown birthday. Pray that he would feel loved and encouraged even though he won't get to play and celebrate with his friends.
3. Restful half-term break. Home learning is tough on everyone. While Elizabeth carries the majority of the teaching and care we do work together to make it as full of an experience as we can for Perry and Shepherd. We have some really hard days of it and then some days that aren't that bad. Few seem good or easy. Pray for our children as they continue to figure out how to do different things from an iPad and with us helping. Pray for us as well that we'd find some refreshment on the half-term break at the end of February.
4. Diligence for Elizabeth in her new counselling course. Elizabeth began a new course of study with Biblical Counseling UK earlier in January and has been blazing through the coursework in addition to running home learning and being the sounding board and helper for the different things that Thomas faces. You'd find her squeezing in lectures in between home learning lessons and late at night. Pray for her as she grows as a counsellor to others.
5. Wisdom for Thomas as he prepares to teach a new course at a new school. Thomas has been preparing his course notes for a new venture at an online school and seminary. He's preparing six hours of lectures on a course called "The Ordo Salutis" which surveys the order of salvation - the different doctrines involved in God saving someone. He'll record these later this month on an all day Sunday or an all nighter - we're still not sure how it'll work out.
6. Encouragement for the Redeemer team. It's not just us. We're going on about a few of the things we're praying through but there's a whole team of people, singles and marrieds, old and young, locals and expats, that are all enduring this crazy season. We all feel our own pressures and frustrations with the season. Pray for our team as a whole to be encouraged.
7. Mercy for people living in London. We don't claim that this season has been especially hard on us in a way that it hasn't for others. It does seem like London has had a tougher run than other cities and there is a unique weariness and loneliness that people are facing here. Would you join us in asking God to show mercy on the people living in London? Join us in asking God to use this season to open us up to consider things about life and purpose that we would never have considered without Covid. Ask God to provide relief for London in every way.
A PRAYER FOR FEBRUARY
It's on our heart to offer up a prayer for this new month of February. Feel free to pray it with us if you'd like...
Father in Heaven,
We praise you that you because you are in control. You own it all and you really do have the whole world in your hands. Thank you for the good news of vaccines for Covid being developed and passing tests around the world. Thank you for granting scientists and researches and doctors with the incredibly skills necessary to understand this broken world that we live in and find manageable cures and treatments for all the ills we face. We recognise your mercy towards us all in providing knowledge and wisdom. Thank you.
We ask that you would be quick to remember the many that are still suffering from Covid and bring quick relief. We also pray that you would help us to trust your loving plan and pace of dealing with what feels like so much injustice in the world. We trust that even the tough and hurtful things that come our way first pass through your loving hands first. Help us to reflect on your grace that reveals the depth of your kindness towards us through Jesus Christ.
For the many things that need to happen this month we ask you for strength, wisdom, and perseverance. Please give us the boldness and courage to step up to tasks that feel daunting. Please give us the humility and tenderness to be easy where situations are fragile. Please give us a deeper confidence that you are ultimately in charge and in control and you choose to work through us because you love us.
Most importantly we thank you for Jesus. Thank you for his peace that can reign in our hearts even in times like these that seem so uncertain. Thank you for his love that is bigger than we can really understand. Thank you for sending him to the cross to pay the massive debt we owed for our sin and many shortcomings. Help us to reflect on your love for us through Jesus and then to share that others.
For your glory, we ask this in Jesus name.
Friends, thank you so much for being on this journey with us. Even though we're still locked down in London we do feel a renewed sense of purpose and encouragement in this toughest season. Our Father hears all the prayers of his children. Thank you for praying with us.
From Perry, Shepherd, Elizabeth, and Thomas. All the love to you.