Monday, 6 July 2009


Spent the first half of this week at my Mum and Dad's which was nice, we haven't seen them in while due to distance so there was plenty to catch up on and of course plenty to eat. My Mum and Dad like to entertain around a dinner table which I thoroughly agree with. They also took us out for a steak and kidney pudding which we haven't had in absolutely ages. I am not so sure that eating all these traditional English meals is a good idea when we hit England, none of them seen to be particularly low in fat but boy do they taste good, waistline is suffering though.

Well we have been tractor hunting this week whilst on our travels. It does help to get information in proper English rather than half of the information and trying to make sense of the rest, they do try in Latvia but if they are not used to conversing in English then of course it is going to be difficult and we don't know enough about tractors to fill in the blanks or enough Latvian so we are kind of stuck. Still the trips have been useful and even surprising. We turned up at one tractor dealer and told him our story and he took us outside to see a tractor. He kept looking at us and I kind of felt like he didn't trust us or something like that, after all it was an unusual story living in Latvia and getting a piece of land to work and we hadn't got a clue about tractors really. Just as we were finishing off he said "I'm sure I know you", well I was a little perplexed as we were not in an area we visited often when I lived with my parents and certainly not after I had left home. I did wonder if it was anything to do with travelling round the agricultural shows with my Mum and Dad selling jewellery in craft tents - maybe he recognised me from there. No! Eventually we worked out that he was one of my Dad's old school friends, in fact we had only been talking about him during the week as my Dad thought he would be really useful for information about tractors but he had lost contact. I guess looking more and more like my Mum has some advantages and I had great delight in reconnecting them both.

We had a lovely time in an old stone house making some new friends just south of Lake district. It is a gorgeous area and a stunning place to visit, all stone walls, sheep and rolling hills with trees weathered by time. It was interesting to hear God unfold another part of his plan for us by these dear new friends but it looks like it will be a gradual unfolding of the plan and I have a sense that God wants to unfold something bigger than we imagined and we need to get ready for that step up. While we were there we took advantage of being close to where my Godmother used to live, which was a farm up a very steep track only accessible by foot. Usually when you remember something from childhood your perception is that something is bigger than it really is but in this case it wasn't - that track really is steep and to think my Godmother retired to that farm and used to carry her shopping up there and the farm hand in his 90's could make it faster up that track on crutches than we could walk up.

We got to the farm gate and stood outside were two walkers trying to work out where they were and if they were on the right path, and it was easy to put them straight as to their exact location as the place was so familiar to me - seemed weird and significant to be reaching into my past to give directions, I think I will have to ponder that some more.

One thought struck me this week (really there were more but this one seems like something to ponder on too). It occurred to me that so often as Christians we believe we have a duty to rescue people as if we have all the answers, the white charger syndrome! Why do feel the need to rescue, can't we just learn to play our part as a member of a community? I sometimes wonder if we can speak to our local communities more in our learning than in our rescuing, more in our vulnerability than in our strengths. As I write this I wonder if we are more helpful in pointing fellow travellers in the right direction from time to time rather than constantly jumping in and trying to be the answer to everything.

I passed another milestone this week, our daughter drove us to visit some friends. Might not seem like much of a milestone but this is the first time I have ever been driven by one of my children and I have to say it did not feel as weird as I thought it would. She drove very well and parked much better than I can now - I used to be able to park a car before going to the US but now I can't park in those tight narrow little parking places where people park on the streets here in the UK. So this week finishes where it started around the table eating and talking only this time with some friends from our old church, our spiritual family not my physical family though. These were friends who set us off on our journey to Latvia by filling us with enthusiasm to visit the country as far back as 1999. Seems appropriate for a week of revisiting the past.

The pictures this week are all of the lakes. The first shows the narrow country lane that passes for a road only one car wide, the second is some recently shorn Herwick sheep - the sort my Godmother used to farm, the third more sheep, the fourth is the steep track up to her house and the last is the house where she retired to. Worth the trip!


Kathleen said...

"I wonder if we are more helpful in pointing fellow travellers in the right direction from time to time rather than constantly jumping in and trying to be the answer to everything."
Much more civilized approach I heartily agree. Just had the same epiphany this week.

Joanna said...


Was encouraged to read Martin Scott's blog this week about wanting to see Revival yet felt it ought to be slow

"Revivals, as we have known them, have seen so many ’swept into the kingdom’ but my hope now is for something slower, a gradual increase. We must learn to occupy space in order to see a long-term transformation, deal with history – a lot of that being church history – little by little. Otherwise we replace old powers with new powers that are simply the religious form of the old power."

So jumping in is not good on many different levels and I suppose we have the Iraq scenario to see the effect of removing power without having something to replace it.