Whew! Our 10 days in England were beautiful and chaotic and inspiring and stressful and fun and HOT and art-filled and so tiring. There’s been so much going on just with trying to get us from one place to another that there hasn’t been time for the kind of reflective blogging I’d imagined (or for knitting, drawing, painting), but WOW are my FitBit stats benefitting from all the moving around we’ve done!
Yesterday, the Dukes said goodbye to London by having afternoon tea at a place called Dukes of London. Because that is just the kind of fun I can’t pass up. (In Gloucester, I also couldn’t pass up repeatedly joking about how Duke Robert of Normandy almost had the same name as Robert Duke of Ann Arbor – my poor family doesn’t find this as endlessly amusing as I do.)
If you are Dukes in London and you go to Dukes of London, of course you’d better take pictures.
It wasn’t all about the name, though. The afternoon tea was substantial and delicious!
And the tea itself was yummy, too. I ordered the Dukes Blend, of course. And of course I made everyone pose with pinkies raised.
I hope to do a fuller look-back post about our time in England soon, but in the meantime, we are moving forward! After a 15-hour (!) journey (tube to taxi to train to ferry to bus to train to tram to hotel), we arrived in beautiful Amsterdam this morning.
We love it here already! And the train ride up to Amsterdam was just the kind of relaxing little break we’ve been needing.
While on the train, I realized it was June 30 – my ordination anniversary! On a Sunday afternoon 23 years ago, I was ordained to the gospel ministry at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia.
All who were present participated in the “laying on of hands” – a physical sign of their recognition and blessing of my call to ministry. As I knelt in the front of the sanctuary, people filed by behind me, one-by-one, placing their hands on my shoulders or my head, praying silently or aloud, or whispering words of blessing in my ear. It was so tender, so intimate, so physical, so powerful. I still feel the power of the blessing of all those people carrying me forward as my life takes it’s unexpected turns. It means a lot to me that the community that blessed me that afternoon included my mom, my dad, my grandmother, my aunt – all of them gone now, but still, I trust, continuing to bless me from another shore.
And I am blessed, and so grateful, for these 23 years of getting to do what I’ve been called to do, in collaboration with so many wonderful people (including my spouse!). Thank you to everyone who was there that June afternoon 23 years ago, and to everyone who has been there for and with me since, and to everyone who continues to bless me, encourage me, pray for me, minister with me, and love me.
Goede nacht vanuit Amsterdam!