Keswick (the Lake District), Part 1

After our stint in Bath, we headed north to the Lake District, where we spent a couple of days in Keswick. Keswick is a charming town of around 5,000 that lies on the shores of Derwentwater and is surrounded by fells that are as breathtakingly beautiful as the town is charming. The town was filled with English pubs, sporting goods stores, bed and breakfasts, and quaint tea houses. Continue reading

Bath, Part 2

We continued our adventures in Bath at the Bath Abbey. The current Abbey building was restored in the 16th century; however, a church has stood on this site almost continuously for more than 1,000 years: first an Anglo-Saxon monastery in 757 and then as a Norman cathedral in 1090. The cathedral still stands although it has been restored and added to over the years. Continue reading

Bath, Part 1

Our first stop in England was Bath, home of Roman antiquities, Georgian architecture, and Jane Austen tourism. We arrived in Bath after an overnight, international flight, barely 3 hours of sleep, and an inaugural drive on the left. Needless to say, we were exhausted when we arrived, but in an effort to use our time well, we opted for a walking tour of Bath and a late pub dinner rather than a restful night in. While we certainly could have used the rest, the tour was the perfect way to begin our sightseeing and helped us decide how to spend our days in Bath. Continue reading

Across the Pond

A little over a month ago we returned to the States from our anniversary trip to England. I had meant to write about the trip immediately after returning to the states, but every time I sat down to write, I found myself staring at the screen and scrolling through hundreds of photos, unsure of where to start. This is all quite belated now, but I’ve decided to write our travel stories nonetheless.

Even before we were married, we decided that we wanted to take this trip, so to say it was long-anticipated is an understatement. I had been wanting to travel to England for longer than I can remember, and it happened to also rank in the top three countries KJ wanted to visit. So we saved up and booked our vacation.

The trip was full of gorgeous scenery, historic buildings, and a particularly English blending of history and religion. Continue reading

Being Known

Being a Christian in higher ed is something of a rarity. Being a Christian in higher ed in the humanities seems even rarer. I have lived in this tension for nearly two decades now although I certainly felt the tension less in my undergraduate years. The deeper into academia I’ve gone, the clearer it has been that Christian perspectives are not warmly welcomed.

Now this is not to say that there are no Christians in the academy, but in my experience they often keep a low profile about their faith. We start to wonder about one another based on small comments and almost imperceptible attitudes. We discover one another in quiet conversations. “Oh, are you a Christian too? I thought I was the only one.” It is a little spoken of bond that connects us to one another. Continue reading

Slow Days

Today is a slow day. It’s gray and rainy and perfect for staying indoors. It’s so rare that we have empty days. Our days are often filled with work and church and friends and errands and mission teams. They fly by as though they’re perpetually running late for something. As a result, we tend not to get many down days, but today is one of them. It’s a day for rest and reflection. Continue reading

Snow Day

Today was a day for much rejoicing. It’s our 10 month anniversary. Has it really been that long? Has it only been that long? It’s the first and probably only snow day this academic year. Huzzah! And it’s pi day, which is both geeky and delicious. Continue reading

Settling In

Last week we moved across town into a new apartment. It’s further from my work but is closer to the church. We were both really excited about the move. The timing was right; the place was right. We love the new apartment. It’s a little bigger than our previous place and is in a much newer building. I love that we have a small outdoor space to call our own and a washer and dryer we don’t have to share with the building’s other tenants. I love the hardwood floors and the sunlight that pours through the living room windows. I love that our kitchen actually fits in our kitchen and is no longer spread throughout the various closets. Most of all I love that it’s ours. Continue reading

Hard but Good

Can we just admit that church planting is hard?

I asked Kenneth this very question early on in our engagement. We were in a difficult season with the church plant, and I was struggling. There were more days when I wanted to walk away than when I wanted to stay. Wouldn’t it be easier to do something else? Anything else? In the midst of my struggles with that particular season, I had fallen into a pattern of being overly negative and critical of the church plant.

So in the midst of a, um, discussion we were having about the church and us, I blurted out that question: “Can we just admit that church planting is hard? Is it OK if I say that?” Continue reading

Without Fear

Lately I’ve been thinking about fear and how it runs rampant in our world today. While a little fear can be healthy, too much fear may control and cripple us. We want our children to have a healthy fear of things that may harm them, like moving vehicles, but we don’t want them to be forever paralyzed with fear to the point that they won’t cross a street or enter a car. When we live controlled by fear, then we aren’t living in freedom. Continue reading