While my final week in Oxford has been pretty busy with packing, cleaning, and pulling details together, I still had time for a few last-minute adventures.One of these adventures was the opportunity to make holiday wreaths with my church friends, and for my first time wreath-making I was very happy with the results! It was quite relaxing to walk with the other ladies in the park to pick out our natural materials, and then sit together to craft over Christmas-themed snacks in the warm, candle-lit church building. It all felt as if a Christmas carol had come alive!
Until tomorrow my friends and I are questing along in our second big side trip—in Rome! If I thought being at the Roman baths in the UK was an awe-inspiring experience, it has nothing on visiting Rome itself. I’d like to share a brief travel update with you all before leaving this morning for Vatican City! Continue reading “Ruins”
This blog post, short though it is, is officially my first writing project started after college! I made it to the end of my degree, but it’s not quite the end of my journey There and Back Again. Early Saturday morning I left with three of my friends for Oslo, Norway! There were a lot of reasons I wanted to travel here, but by far the main attraction for me was the Kon-Tiki museum.
Spending Thanksgiving Day abroad was a lot less lonely than I thought it would be. On Thursday, my housemates and I went to KFC together for dinner, so at least the poultry and potato food groups were covered. Some friends from another house invited me over on Saturday for some homemade food and merriment as well before we head out to Oslo this weekend! Possibly the best perk of spending Thanksgiving abroad, though I do have some good Thanksgiving memories with my coworkers, is the fact that I didn’t have to be at work on a holiday for the first time in a while! Continue reading “Giving Thanks: End Credits”
This weekend, the hanging Christmas lights above the streets were switched on, creating rows of chandeliers that turn the entire main street into a gigantic ballroom. Everyone stops to take pictures of the lights, and they are even more striking against the sunset, a double picture of illumination. A giant Christmas tree stood on Broad Street this weekend as well, smack in the middle of the yearly Christmas market. Its lights were smaller than those in the shop windows or above the street, but they still reflected the illumination of Christmas. Continue reading “Illumination and Reflection”
For the past week or so, just about everyone in Oxford has added a splash of red to the lapels of their coats—a red poppy pin in honor of Remembrance Day. Even if I don’t go out on the street and see all these decorated people, I can still look outside my window at the war memorial right in the middle of my street on which people have been putting more and more flowers over the course of the week. The tradition of remembrance is everywhere, and for me personally, this week has been a week of remembrance in other ways as well.
Before the shops closed on October 31, the windows had changed from orange and purple displays of pumpkins and spiders to glittery red-and-white stripes. Even though this often seems a little bit jarring to people who haven’t worked in retail, you have to remember that in England they don’t even have a Thanksgiving Day to skip over! Even without Thanksgiving to look forward to (and I am going to miss it), this week I had plenty of traditions to learn about and celebrate. Continue reading “A Mighty Fortress”
I’ve landed safely in Fourth Week, just about halfway through the semester already! Thank you for your continued prayer that I would continue to stay motivated in this final push to the end of my college years.
Just when I thought I could stop taking pictures and gawking over every single old building within sight, (“okay, you live here, you’re not a tourist anymore, calm down!”) my study abroad program visited Bath. And I was just about knocked over by how extremely old everything was. Continue reading “A Step into Another Century”
In the midst of all the academic writing I’ve had to do over the past few weeks, I heard my novel–in-progress cry out for attention. I don’t know if it’s surfacing because it’s a convenient way to put off essays, or maybe the fact that fall is usually my most productive season, but somehow this week my fiction writing goals gathered to the front of my mind.
It’s been a week of countdowns—it is under 50 days until I complete all work for my bachelor’s degree, and under 100 until I get married! There are new life seasons blowing in at me from every which-way. At one point I wondered if constantly counting down to the next big moment was distracting me from what’s going on here and now. But I think for all my countdowns, God is also keeping me focused, helping me enjoy the season I’m in. Continue reading “Seasons”