Friday, August 29, 2014

Three ways our lives have changed

We are still readjusting to life in a small village in Scotland.  This phrase alone makes it sound hard and exhausting.  It is not, it is actually pretty amazing so far.  We are clearly smitten with the land, culture, and people of Scotland.  Everyone tells me this is the honeymoon phase and that harder days are coming.  I believe them a hundred percent.  But during this season of fully embracing our new home I will explain a few things that have made this move easy and how our lives look different than before.

Number one, FREEDOM.  We all have wheels of some type.  Whether borrowed or bought.  We have also never lived in a house that you can just walk outside hop on your bike and end up at a rivers edge, bay, or corner shop.  Luke bikes everywhere. Even to school and back.  Levi can walk to the corner store alone, or to a friends house and back.  Ian, well Ian still has to stick with me.  But he gets to ride his scooter to pick plums or blackberries after preschool and he loves that.  The village is small and everyone knows or at least can recognize you.  When I meet someone on the bay and I tell them I live in 2 The Beehives house, they smile and say oh yes, that is where you are, I always see you doing dishes.  There is only one church in Wormit, one restaurant, a blacksmith, a hair dresser, a small corner store and post office.  In Culpeper, VA we drove EVERYWHERE, had many shopping and eating out options but only rode bikes at the park or walked in the woods behind our house.  We had two neighbors we could walk to, now we have a whole village to get to know by foot, bike, or scooter.  There is something about passing someone face to face and being able to stop and talk that has been such a fun way to get to know kids and families.

Number two, RECESS!  The boys absolutely love school.  They also loved their school in Culpeper.  The school day here however starts an hour later and has a twenty minute morning break and a full hour of outside recess (picture the whole school pouring outside to the big green field to play last man over, sleeves up, and all of the other games they have yet to learn.  They also have far less homework and are not tested (think SOLs) until Secondary 2.  That would be our equivalent of 9th grade.  They seem to be at the same level and have not complained of feeling far ahead or behind (except in cursive and handwriting).  They do wear uniforms and instead of not liking them, they love not having to figure our what to wear each morning.  They also have outside and indoor shoes for school.  Floors stay clean and the janitors here must be happy about that.  Ian is in Nursery 4 and spends the majority of time there outside.  They trek to the bay, and local farms, and even have a forest academy where they all don jumpsuits and head out to the forest to learn.

Number three, RISK!  The playground and outdoor setting here offer adventure and risk.  Ian totters up tall climbing towers, the boys swing on huge rope loops, they jump from mound to mound and fly down some of the tallest slides I have ever seen.  Scotland playgrounds look more like a training ground for vikings.  Or a outdoor retreat center to work on fears or team building.  The playgrounds are where I have met the majority of moms and grandmas I know.  The local hub for young people and I love that my boys have never asked "when are we leaving?"  as we talk.  

Everywhere we go we feel like we are living life to the fullest.  Getting to know more and more the community around us.  We are enjoying the increase in family time and the larger overlap with ministry and the boys.  We really do feel like we will reach out as a family instead of just sending Jeff out each morning and night.  Incredible connections have been made as the groundwork is laid for Young Life in Fife, Scotland.  Churches have been supportive and we have felt welcomed in so many ways.  Pray for us as we seek to meet and develop leaders, student leaders, and move boldly towards the vision God has for us.  Thank you for walking beside us as we continue to discover what God has in store!

John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy;  I have come that they may you have life, and have it to the full."   Jesus