My alarm goes off at 6:40. I roll over and crack open my curtains; the sun is coming up and the pale blue sky is streaked with gold. What a perfect morning to start things off. As I get up, I hear my parent’s alarm going off and their sleep-cracked voices murmuring gently. The coffee pot is turned on, and mugs clink in the kitchen as I slip my sneakers on and slip out the door to go running. I breathe deeply in the chill English air and I know what it means when the morning sings to you.
It’s 7:30 when I enter through the front door. Little footsteps can be heard through the house as the younger kids wake up and the shower is going in the bathroom. My dad is sitting in his chair in the kitchen, sipping cooled coffee, his Bible open before him. I chug down water and throw open my curtains to let in the sunlight.
The noise of the morning is at full capacity as clothes are put on, beds are made, and the music has been blasting for at least ten minutes as the clock strikes 8:00. Jackets are pulled down from the coat rack and some of us head down to Cedars because its Tuesday and the cooks serve hot breakfast.
By the time 8:40 rolls around, the campus is alive with people on their way to work and my parents pull down their NETS binders and refill empty backpacks, excitement on their faces because its the first day of Stage 3.
Rachael arrives just as I’m putting up my Bible and pulling out school books and goodbyes are said as my parents float out the door to join the stream of students, some new, some old-timers, on their way to class.
I fix Abby’s hair as 9:00 comes and school is officially in session. We all sit around our lounge and welcome (as much as one welcomes Geometry back) the normal schedule as Rachael pulls out her famous “Nanny calendar/grading book” and in the main house my parents settle down in seats and the guitars start to be played as class worship begins.
I glance out the window at blue skies and budding trees and welcome new beginnings.
Some Favorite Things From the Past Three Weeks:
1. For the last week of break, Grandmommy came to visit! We had lots of fun showing her around and she thoroughly enjoyed experiencing “life” with us. For a surprise, she took us to an indoor pool/water park in Guildford! A perfect ending to winter :)
2. NETS 33 has now begun Stage 3! In addition to that, the brand-new NETS 34 (there are two NETS groups that run during one year) students have arrived for Stage 1. It has been great getting to know the new students on campus that have arrived from all across the world.
3. To start off the beginning of the new Stage 1 and Stage 3, Pierrepont hosted a cream tea as a welcoming party. Everyone on campus turned up for scones and clotted cream (if you don’t know what clotted cream is, just know that America is missing out).
4. The second day of my parents Stage 3 class was their first “team building day” (Stage 3 focuses on really uniting as a group and on team ministry since at the end of the stage they will go on a two-week mission trip together to South Africa). The team building exercise? Walk four miles to a nearby pond and carry back a twenty-liter bucket of pond water with your two other teammates in your group for an exerting eight-miles-total group bonding! The purpose? To really understand what it means to carry water for your family everyday when clean water is as far as twelve miles away from your home. It was a sobering experience to first-handedly realize how blessed we are.
5. Just had to mention how amazing it is to eat your first hamburger in six months at a local pub, it was definitely a family highlight!
Please continue to pray for us and for my parents as they have jumped into Stage 3 and school has started back. Love all you guys!