So Grateful for Workshops in the United Kingdom

I’m back home from England, and deeply grateful for what God did during my week of teaching there. In two different cities, I led one-day workshops – one for women in church leadership, and one for arts and worship leaders. With the 300 women who gathered in St. Albans, outside of London, I was definitely out of my comfort zone a bit because I’m not used to spending time only with females for an entire day! The Holy Spirit knit us together from the start, and we enjoyed lots of interactive moments identifying with one another’s stories and urging one another to steward the gifts God gave us without excuses, tentativeness, or lack of passion. With all my heart, I wanted to remind these women that no mistake was made in heaven when they were given gifts of leadership or teaching. From their comments and questions, I could see that their situations and challenges are quite similar to those of women in American churches. And after both groups laughed at my Chicago accent and grew accustomed to my openness, we had a great time together. The arts and worship leaders also raised identical concerns to those I hear frequently in the States, and I was refreshed by having those days filled with 50% men!

God also gave me the gift of an early taste of Spring, as the daffodils and blossoming trees are already in full bloom in England. For a person like me who thrives on the beauty of creation as my primary pathway to God, seeing flowers and feeling sunshine (which I honestly did not expect over there) was healing. Of course, when I landed in Chicago Sunday it was cloudy and snowing – but I’m choosing to trust Spring really will come.

Mostly, I’m content to be home…though my daughters accumulated mountains of laundry and the e-mails felt a bit overwhelming. There really is nothing quite like the familiarity of home and the three most welcoming faces on the planet for me – my husband Warren and daughters Sam and Jo. I thank the Lord for the privilege of sharing learnings in faraway places, and also for the lump in my throat when the plane touches down and I know that in a matter of minutes I will be back HOME. What a beautiful word…

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