Monday, May 21, 2012

Wales: Beginning at the End



I feel like I don't even know where to start.
But, isn't that how it is with any great story? Okay, maybe only for the author. 
So many wonderful things to describe. Divine appointments, fabulous new friends, God-orchestrated moments around every corner.
I know the old adage goes something like, "It's always best to start at the beginning." But I think I will take some creative license.


I'm going to start at the end.


We spent two glorious weeks in Cardiff, Wales. Then one day in Paris (to celebrate the incredible Kim Trobee's birthday) and one day in London.


Our last full day being in London, I set off by myself to go see Big Ben, Parliament and Westminster Abbey, all within walking distance of our hotel.
As I started walking I said a little prayer. Something like, "Lord, would you help me find something to remember this day by? Something special. Something that will be meaningful to me."
There are so many touristy things and trinkety-trash, it seems. Some cool, yes. But most not.


I was only a little ways down the street when I spied a *pause for effect* Vintage Charity Shop, which is what they call Thrift Stores in the UK.
I know. I KNOW!!!!!!!!!
Most things were lovely and old and a little spendy for me. Then I saw the sign: Basement Sale.
A winding stair took me to a hodge-podge of vintage treasures, and in the corner were old books atop a cabinet. I pieced through them. Nothing of note.
But there was an unmarked box at my feet with more books, spines up. I pulled them out one by one, and gasped outloud when I pulled a thick red leather spine upwards to reveal on the cover one word:
Tennyson.


Other than the works of A.A. Milne, one of my most favorite poems of all time is The Lady of Shalott, by Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson.
And in the contents of this 1904 volume, I found exactly that, along with an inscription:
For Miss Connie with my wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
London 25th December 1907


There was also a red covered Charles Dickens Reader. No date, but was stamped to look like a gift from a publisher to a grade school.


I just love the ways that God loves us! He knows exactly what will make our hearts sing, and He longs to bless us with that!
A 1904 volume of the works of Tennyson. And it's even red.


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I spent some time walking around the grounds of Westminster Abbey. She is so beautiful in her soaring majesty! (Details in another post.)
Around back there is a kind of courtyard area. I was looking up at the trees and amazing architecture and thanking God for giving me the gift of coming on such an awesome trip, seeing such amazing things and forming relationships with such incredible people.
Something caught my eye. I looked down to see a heart-print scarf blowing across my feet in the breeze.
But, no one was anywhere near where I was. I tied it to a bench nearby thinking the owner might come along looking for it and continued on to the Jewel Tower behind the Abbey. (Built in the 1300's to store the King's treasures.)
When I came back out a while later, the scarf was still there.
I untied it from the bench and tied it to my purse, where it will live for a while...
a reminder of the amazing ways God tells us He loves us.


A heart-print scarf... in the courtyard of Westminster Abbey... from God to me.


He is so good in the ways He loves us.




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