Enjoying Hardwick Hall

This past saturday, the 15th, we met some wonderful friends, Erin and Kimble Kornu, in Chesterfield at Hardwick Hall. This time we all remembered our passes and were able to see everything Hardwick has to offer…which is a lot! It is a really incredible place, with the ruins of a 16th century home right next to the more recent 17th century house surrounded by gardens and placed in the Peak District. It is filled with so much history, beauty and wonder. I absolutely love wandering about trying to imagine the hustle and bustle of the times  when it was called a home. Luckily, we were blessed with some fairly good weather, especially since the ruins have lost their roof :)

Again I have some pictures, and again they are unedited but the place is so beautiful in and of itself that I don’t think you’ll mind!

You can see why we were glad that we only got the occasional drizzle… Amazingly, despite the destruction, the artwork for the walls and fireplaces remains fairly untouched…

The views of the Peak District.

This is a view of the new house from the old ruins.

Each room was furnished beautifully. There were accessories around the house that reflected the many years it had been lived in. It remained a home until the 1960s!

I just had to include this next one because it is so very British. All of the antique furniture had these polite little signs on them…

This was the view of the house from the side gardens….

It was absolutely wonderful. I could definitely go back again and again. Not to mention getting wonderful time with the Kornus! Love and miss y’all!!

Tatton Park and Sunday Funday

Not gonna lie, I’m pretty proud of myself for two posts in one month. Yeay.

Life is good. Busy, chaotic, tiring, unpredictable and yet oh so good. The past two weekends have been absolutely packed, and we’ve enjoyed all of it. For two weeks in a row, the sun was out!!!!! I had started to believe the sky was actually gray, not blue, but it proved me wrong – a correction I was more than happy to take!

Two weeks ago…

Two Saturdays ago, June 9th, we enjoyed a SUNNY day at Tatton Park . Unfortunately, due to a lapse in preparation we only had one national trust pass to get us in to the house. Luckily, you don’t need your passes to get onto the estate so instead of going into the house and gardens we enjoyed the sunshine and spent the day wandering the grounds that surround the house and gardens. It was  actually fabulous. We will definitely return again one day to explore the rest, though!. I have a few photos to share. Yes, they are unedited, but hopefully you can enjoy them as you do me, flaws and all….

The grand entrance.

I want this little guy guarding my door :)

This was a random but pretty archway… for some reason I really like archways.

These beautiful stables turned restaurant… look at that blue sky and sunshine!!

This pretty farmhouse uphill from the farm.

And last but not least, Me and Peter Rabbit hanging out. (You can see how badly I’ve been missing the sunshine)!!

Some of Beatrix Potter’s original sketches and watercolours were on display. Unfortunately, they were on display inside the house so we didn’t get to see them. They’ll be there ’till september though so hopefully we can make it back before they’re gone.

You’ll notice I didn’t have a whole lot of pictures of the outside of the house as a whole… or any… it was actually quite underwhelming from the front. Based on pictures I’ve seen, the back of the house seems to be the gorgeous part…strange, but yet another reason to make a return trip.

The following Sunday our church put on a Funday for the local community with free barbecue, crafts, face-painting and more. It was really fun. The sun shone the entire day, Mo looked like a lobster for quite a few of the days that followed :) It was such a joy to serve, meet and bless the community around our church. Not to mention I got to brush up on some face painting skills and on my tan!!

This is sweet Megan my facepainting partner….

Josh and Joe, mannin’ the grill…whatever Joe is doing it doesn’t look too safe.

Joe getting schooled by an American at “football”

Me and my sweet Megan, she is so very very wonderful!!!

Well that was our fun and sunfilled weekend. Check in again soon for a weekend at Hardwick Hall :)

Trying To Pick Up the Ball

My. Oh. My…. Did I drop the blogging ball.

For some reason blogging is incredibly overwhelming to me. I love the idea of it, sharing my life with friends and family all over the world, especially since we are so very far away from so many that we love. But my desires and expectations for myself and this blog are so high that I give up before I even get started.

The other thing is that I love love love good photos. But good photos mean good editting and the daunting task of editing photos well is so overhwelming to me. Mostly because I’m a perfectionist so learning new things tends to be really hard because I want to be great from the get go and if I can’t be great right away then I give up… Im an all or nothing kinda girl. Mo and I are really working on that…. And on the editing note my grammar is horrendous (which I’m sure you grammarians already noted and cringed at) and I tend to love run-on sentences so then I have to have Mo edit my posts ’cause I dont want y’all to know I’m grammatically challenged. But he’s got a job and a side-job and a life and for some reason he just doesnt have the time for editing my rambles.

On top of all of this (or maybe more at the root of it) is my heart-struggle with the ‘fear of man’ aka people-pleasing. All of these things that are keeping me from blogging may seem silly to most but they feel huge and terrifying when I think of them because if my blog is poorly written with ugly pictures then no one will like it and if no one likes my blog then naturally no one likes me and that of course must be the end of it all as I know it.

But those are lies that the enemy feeds me to get and keep me down. The truth is that I dont have to be a perfect, gramatically correct blogger who has fantabulous photography skills. I have to do what the Lord places on my heart and do it the best that I can within the confines of the time and abilitites that He has blessed me with. Not to mention that I write on this blog to keep up with the ones I love who live in far away lands and if you love me then you take me with my flaws and walk with me while we work on them.

So here it is… a new start to my blog life. My imperfect, gramatically incorrect, photo-deprived blog post is here to say…. Hello, forgive me for my absence, love me with my flaws, and please come visit me through the blog again. I miss you all.

Working on that update…

I know I promised an update this week, but I’m going to need an extension on that deadline as an unexpected time-filler has taken over. As some of you know I have a new part time job teaching 2nd and 3rd graders. I’ve been working for approximately 4 weeks now but since I only teach on Fridays I’ve really only taught 4 days so far. The headmaster told me last Friday that he’d like to observe one of my lessons this Friday. Needless to say, I have spent most of my free time this week planning and prepping. This combined with house-work, headaches and a field trip today has left me with zero blogging time. I hope you can be patient with me and pray for my lesson tomorrow. Also pray for my migraines as they have been coming back with vengeance.

Also, while you’re praying, go ahead and pray for Moey. He’s been working so hard lately. In fact, due to a continually moving deadline, work is all he’s been able to do lately (other than eat and sleep). He’s exhausted and needs time to recoup and spend time with friends. Pray that he would have the strength and ability to work as if he is serving the Lord and pray that they would finally be able to finish and launch this most recent project.

We love you all and miss you very much.

It’s been too long

Wow. . . it sure has been a long time. Life got super busy and I kept waiting for it to slow down so I could start blogging again, but I think that this is one of those seasons in the Lawson house where life won’t be slowing down any time soon (I’m beginning to think life only speeds up).

So with that said, I’m back and I will be trying my very best to regularly blog from here on out. Mo and I have decided that it’s probably best for me to blog less than I was before. It became a point of stress and worry. One day the Lord may have me do this more often, but for today and the days to come in this season I will be blogging once a week, hopefully.

Another thing that was keeping me from starting up blogging again is my all or nothing personality. Since I have missed telling you all about the things that happened in December and January I feel the need to catch you up on everything. Obviously, that is a horrible idea for all of us. So, I just put off blogging altogether (that’s the nothing half of me). Neither of these is the solution, just as my all-or-nothing habits are ones that need breaking. So, my new plan is to give you highlights of what’s been missed. Those highlights may include pictures and will only be 1-3 sentences depending on the topic. I will begin this tonight and probably post it next week. We’ll see how this goes. . . We love and miss you guys.

We’re Having Adventures…So Should You!

As I mentioned the other day we are super busy here in the Lawson home, but our time is all taken up with wonderful things, people and travels.

When everything slows down a bit more I will flood you all with pictures and stories of our latest adventures.

For now I thought I would point you to YOUR next possible adventure… coming to visit us in Europe!!

A dear friend of mine emailed this page to me as AA seems to be having a Europe sale where if you book before November 27th you can get some good deals to travel between November 21, 2012 and March 20, 2013.  There’s also Kayak, which is a great sight to use to compare a variety of flights and airline carriers.

We would love to host you here in Manchester or even try to meet you somewhere close by for a bit. AA has flights from Dallas to Manchester, Madrid, London, Frankfurt and Paris. They also have Portland to Madrid, Paris, and Frankfurt – shout out Andrew and Dana :)

Come on… you know you want to!

You only live once and there’s so much of the world to see (not to mention some great folks in Manchester just dying to see you)!!

The World Aint Slowing Down

Oh my have the Lawson’s been busy lately! And of course, we can’t slow down yet.

We spent the week in Belfast, Ireland attending and volunteering at a great conference called Build. We both really enjoyed ourselves and I can’t wait to share more info and a few pictures with you soon!

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time at the moment to update you on our life, as it is 1 in the morning and Moey and I are headed to Matlock tomorrow morning (Nov 17th) to meet up with some friends and explore the area.

After that we’ll celebrate Jacob Burgess’ dedication on Sunday at church followed by the usual dinner with the fam.

Then Monday we have some friends from the States coming to crash for the week. Then once they head out Moey and I are off to Leeds to see Tanya and Luke for the weekend, followed by a Sunday at the Crowded House in Sheffield and then hopefully back home for a quiet week where I can tell y’all how everything went.

If you’re deprived of reading material while we’re busy with all of that then hop on over to Sweet Ezer and read about ginger tea or two of Moey and I’s new favorite recipes.

Until then, we hope you all enjoy your week and know that we miss you guys so much!!


Cousin Ben and Kale Chips

I love being near family. It’s the first time in my life that I can regularly spend time with my relatives!

My cousin Ben is free on Fridays so we have decided to have weekly get togethers. He catches the bus, we walk around Glossop with Lady dog and eventually wander home. Once we are home we usually hang out for a bit and then inevitable I find a way to put him to work with me :)

This past Friday during our get together I decided that we must use up the remaining kale from my veg box. Ben was quite the cook’s assistant as we labored over some kale chips (I posted the process on sweet ezer). Don’t worry though, he was rewarded with a belly full of chips. I’ll have him cooking and baking in no time!

Ben is such a joy to be around and he is such a servant. He claims that he likes helping me with the things I have to do. I want to believe him, but I guess only time will tell ;)

It’s such a blessing to have regular time with him! Unfortunately, while Ben and I play/work Mo is locked in his office upstairs. This time we remedied that by extending our hang out time and going out to eat with Moey once he was done with work. We ended it by dropping Ben off and hanging out with my Aunt and Uncle for a bit :) It was a great evening with many more to follow!


Being and Making Talmidim

I’ve been doing a lot of housework lately. Between cooking for the bonfire crew, dinners with friends, baking deserts for my nana & grandpa and for the church, and just trying to use all of our green box goodies, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Not to mention all of the pots pans and dishes that require washing after all of that. Throw in the fact that we don’t have a dishwasher and I’ve got my hands full.

Needless to say again, with all of that going on, I’ve been in our kitchen a lot. It has been good though. I love the cooking part and getting to share it with those we love. And, although I don’t love the cleaning part, I spend that time listening to music, or books on tape (literally on cassette tapes), or sermons, or searching for things to watch on hulu or netflix as I work. Today I listened to a sermon about making disciples. It was interesting and has got me thinking.

It was given by Mike Turner, a missions pastor at the Village Church. He said quite a few things that got my wheels turning. A lot of those things were fairly obvious but were also very easily forgotten or ignored. Like the fact that if we want to make disciples (people who know God and learn from Christ’s life and teachings, also known as Talmid or Talmidim when plural) then we must have people who are not disciples (don’t know God or Jesus) around us. Pretty obvious, yet so easily forgotten.

In Dallas, Mo and I didn’t have many people around us who didn’t know and have a relationship with God.  I had my students, but other than that the people that I did life with all believed in God and believed that Christ died for their sins so that they could have a relationship with Him. I was constantly challenged, loved, supported and lifted up by people who desired the same thing that I desired – to know Christ and be more like Him. It was a blessed time in my life that I know God used to prepare me for my future. I was surrounded by Christians day in and day out.

Quickly, God changed that. He called Mo and I to a place where being a Christian is uncommon. The label is frowned upon. We are the minority. Accountability is considered intrusive. Discipleship is rare. Sometimes it’s a very hard place to be, but I am so thankful for it. The Lord has brought us to a place where the urgency of the Gospel is so evident. Where my heart breaks for the things that break His heart. My heart breaks for the people around me who do not know that there is a God that loves them deeply and wants them to know Him. A place where I fear for the ones I love who don’t know Him and I desire desperately for them to know my God and feel the peace, love and freedom that comes with knowing Him.

Being surrounded by fellow Christians day in and day out in Dallas was such a blessing to me and to Mo. I have no doubt that the Lord wanted us there and used it to prepare us for this time in life. But I am so thankful for the mission He has sent us on. I’m thankful that we are in a place where He will really and truly use us to further the Kingdom… to make disciples.

Another thing that Mike said that was a great reminder for me was that in order to make disciples we must be praying diligently and specifically for the people around us whom God has put on our hearts. Not only for the communities and neighborhoods around us but specifically by name for individual people that the Lord gives us a yearning for.

We can be examples of Christ in our actions and we can share the gospel till we are blue in the face (and we should be doing that) but thats only the beginning, that’s the kindling. Those are the preparations for the fire, but only God can light it. I know that’s super cheesy, but it really is a good picture for me to remember. God is the only one who can change hearts and that is what we must be praying for and asking for specifically. That is what we must plead our Father for and expectantly wait for Him to give us the good gifts that align with His will.

We are called not only to be disciples, but to make disciples. To be fishers of men. We must do that by living with and loving the men and women of this world and by lifting them up to the Father on their behalf. We have the opportunity to intercede for those we love.

I love you all friends. Pray with us and for us as we try to love others the way that Christ loved us.


Bonfires, bonfires, and more bonfires

Oh my, this has been a busy end to one week and beginning of another. The most recent days of our lives have been filled with enjoying bonfires, building bonfires, feeding people who build bonfires, and serving people at bonfires. It’s just been a bonfire kinda week.

Guy Fawkes Day is a big deal here in England. It is celebrated in most towns and neighborhoods with bonfires, fireworks, food and more. It has been the center of a lot of hard work, focus, and enjoyment for us over the past few days.

Our church puts on the bonfire in Stockport. It all came about years ago when the Stockport bonfire was no longer going to be sponsored by the local rotary club. When the church found out about this they saw an opportunity to love and serve the community they live in. They stepped in to serve and reach out to them by taking the bonfire on themselves.

The events of the evening have grown over the years and now consist of a large bonfire, carnival rides, food stands, a rap concert (we have a lot of rappers in our church), a message of the Gospel, and a great firework show. As you can imagine this requires a lot of work to make happen. Mo and I have tried to lend our assistance in any way we can.

A few weeks ago I went around with some friends putting up posters in local shops to advertise for the bonfire. Last week Mo and I went to a prayer meeting at church to pray and plan a bit of what we would be doing. Saturday morning Mo woke up bright and early to meet the men at the church and transport pallets to the bonfire site. Sunday he returned again bright and early to begin the masterpiece. He came home sweaty and dirty and quite proud of himself and the men of the church. I wasn’t there but I managed to snag some photos  from facebook to show you a bit of their hard work and preparation


I spent all day Sunday cooking up a storm to feed the workers on Monday. I made a gigantic batch of chicken soup (all from scratch – stock and everything). On Monday Mo worked all day while Anne and I ventured down to Heaton Norris (the bonfire area) to feed the hungry workers. They were quite appreciative and seemed to enjoy the warm food after a laborious day. There was even enough to feed the night crew who had to spend the night to supervise the embers as they died down.

As soon as Mo was off of work we dropped lady dog off with Nana and Grandpa and headed to the bonfire. Mo was on bouncer duty and I was taking money at the gates. Most of the people who went through were absolutely lovely. Not being a math minded gal I was incredibly thankful for my money collecting team mate, Lizzie. Even with her assistance I did have a few corrections from the public, woops.

It was fun getting to serve the community. I wasn’t able to feel the heat of the bonfire, see the fireworks or ride the rides, but I still had an amazing night. One of the wonderful volunteers that came from a bible college in York was going around taking pictures for us so hopefully I will soon be able to share those with you. For now this is all I’ve got (another facebook photo)

We had a great time and really enjoyed serving alongside our new brothers and sisters. Maybe next year some of you can come visit for the festivities!! Love you all!

New Mills Bonfire with Family

You may or may not have heard of Guy Fawkes… you know, “remember, remember the 5th of November”… no? nothing? Well, the long story very short is that he failed at his attempt at assassinating King James I and blowing up the house of Lords. This was on the 5th of November in 1605.

The Brits don’t let things go very easily ;) so England spends Nov. 5th and the weekend closest to it every year celebrating the fact that the “gunpowder plot” was foiled.  They do this by making massive bonfires all over the country and at some they burn his effigy… I know I think it’s a bit strange as well, but being new here I’m trying not to ruffle to many feathers.

This Saturday we took part in enjoying the festivities. We enjoyed a warm and incredibly large bonfire followed by fire works with our cousins Tanya and Ben and their mom’s, Auntie Angela’s, side of the family.

We met at their house and shared tasty hot pot and hot dogs. We met new distend relatives and shared good time with familiar family. After we had all filled ourselves up we headed to the bonfire. We got as close as we could (which is about 30 ft away due to the barrier) and prepared ourselves.  The huge bonfire was lit and we soon found ourselves slowly backing away from the scorching heat. It felt like we were back in Texas.


You can see the size of the bonfire when you look at the people behind the perimeter on either side of the picture. It was pretty big, and like I said, it was extremely warm.

We had to be careful because the lit ashes were being blown in the wind directly over our heads and often landed on our coats or hair. We lived though :)

It was great to get to spend time with my family. Tanya and Luke, her boyfriend, live in leeds which is about two hours away, so we don’t get to see them often. When we do though, its always wonderful.


A while later songs were sung and fireworks were set off and before we knew it we were back at the Lonsdale’s house eating more hot food and drinking warm tea. :)

Overall, it was a great night with family. We got to eat lots of food, get warm by a fire, watch fireworks and meet lots of new people.

Our Garden Through the Ages

A friend of mine was asking to see some pictures of our garden, and I thought you all may like to see them as well.  I thought we could take a trip back in time and watch it grow.

You see my nana created this garden. She started it all from scratch. It was one of her many babies.

While I was sorting through the old photos I found a picture of me as a little girl in the garden. I decided to search for it so I could add it to this post and as I searched I ended up finding all sorts of wonderful photos with the garden in the background. I wanted to share these little gems so you can get a sense of the gardern through its ages…

So you will see behind John mayer, oh wait sorry thats my dad, behind my dad is just a bunch of dirt. You will notice the same thing behind my uncle nick…

As I said my Nana started this garden from nothing. It is the work of her labor.

Fast forward like ten years and you have this…

and then another year or two…

And then another 24 or so…


And here’s the view from our garden…

So there you have it. Our garden through the ages.

Snapshots of Seasons and Scenery

I am so in love with fall and it seems to be quickly fading. So, I often feel the need to take and  post as many pictures of the burning colors as i can while they last…

Not only am I captivated by the fall colors but I am also still constantly enamored with the scenery that God has surrounded us with. I pray that it will never grow old and that we will continue to treasure it. In an effort to appreciate it I have been attempting to capture it with my phone as often as I can. Here are a few more photos of what’s going on around us.


Lady can’t get enough of the sheep either. I wish the lighting had been better, but these pics were the best I could do…she was freaking out!! Haha.


The temperature is quickly dropping, and the day light is going with it. The sun sets a little before 5 now. And today I looked out the window and to my surprise it was hailing…

Yea that’s hail on our back door step. haha. We aint in Texas no more! Today was so cold and a cloud of fog was taking over the city when we left for our church prayer meeting.

So those are some snap shots of the latest in Glossop. Hope all is well with you and yours!

“Timeless Melodies and Soul-Stirring Lyrics”

Oh goodness I have an absolutely amazing husband who treated me to an absolutely fantastic birthday gift.


My birthday was last week and we spent the night in and relaxed. It was wonderful, but what made it even better was receiving my birthday gift from my sweet husband – 2 tickets to see The Civil Wars and The Lumineers. Two American bands that I love, who just happen to be in Manchester playing the same gig the week after my birthday :)

I was so excited! The evening ended up being all that I hoped for and more. The Lumineers where fun and energetic and The Civil Wars were beautiful (those two have voices that can knock anyones socks off).

The Lumineers were a bit out of their element with a British audience. I think they are much more used to an interactive crowd with a bit more oomph. They said it was the most “polite” audience they had ever had.

The Civil Wars were incredible. Most of the concert was just a guy, a girl and an acoustic guitar, and when you have the talent that they do then thats all you need!

We both loved every minute of it. If you haven’t heard of or listened to either of them, we definitely recommend that you do (it’s free on spotify)!

This night leaves me with the reminder that I have many things to be thankful for. I am so thankful for a husband who loves me and knows the things that stir my heart and affections. I am thankful for his desire and ability to serve me and bless me. I am thankful for the gifts of music, melody and the ability to get lost in songs. I am thankful for a night out with my boo. I’m thankful for quality time and conversations with him. I am thankful for the times we have on this earth to celebrate one another. I am thankful for the many blessings I have received around my birthday. I thank the Lord and everyone and everything He has used to bless me.

A Great Way to End the Week

Sunday Funday

We had a pretty heavy sermon at church about judging. It was both challenging and in some ways encouraging. We left church and went home to bake a pear pie to take to Nana and Grandpas.

Mo tried to help in the kitchen…

Haha, he knocked a bowl and it went EVERYWHERE. Like, in the kettle, all over the work top, on the floor…everywhere! Really though, he is a fantastic help in all areas and a true servant. It usually doesn’t result in catastrophes such as this one, but I just couldn’t help capturing it.

The pie was a success! Mo said it was my best pie yet :) Even Nana and Grandpa gave their compliments… Nana even wants the recipe! Yeay!

After that we all sat down for some Antique Roadshow, followed by Downton Abbey :) And when I say all, I mean all…


Lady has made herself quite at home with them!

After that we returned home to skype with some long lost and dear friends…

It was fantastic! All of it! The best way to end the week!

And yes, that is definitely a party hat Becca is wearing! They were equipped with hats, blowers, and goofy glasses to wish me a very fun happy birthday.

We are so blessed!



Mo spent the day putting together Ikea furniture.

He said he liked getting to spend the day working with his hands.

He also got a new cable in the mail (very exciting!) and hid it under our carpet from the downstairs to the upstairs. He seemed to enjoy himself quite a bit. He did a very good job – it’s hardly noticable. And it’s supposed to make his internet faster for work.

I spent the day reading and baking.

We went to some new friends’, Becky and Nathan Burgess, for dinner. We brought dessert, brownies from scratch, hence the baking.

Becky made a delicious English dish called toad in the hole. It’s basically sausages in Yorkshire pudding and you pour gravy on it. She also made loads of veg to go with it. It was absolutely delicious!

After that we hung out at their house and played a very fun game called articulate. It was so much fun to eat good food and build good friendships! We are so blessed.



I had an interview so I could get my NI number. For you non-brits thats the number that I have to have so that I can maybe get a job one day. It seemed to go well, but I have to wait for the official stamp of approval.

There’s a possible part-time teaching job on the horizon so I’d appreciate your prayers for the Lord’s will and for peace! I’ll explain more about the possible job later.

Nana came over for a bit and we scrubbed floors together (more on that later as well).  It was nice to spend some time with her, even if it was while working (she doesn’t sit still very well).

We also got an Ikea delivery which I will blog more about later…can you tell I’m ready to be done typing. But I’m all or nothing so I gotta finish my task.



Wow, catching up from a week of non-blogging has taken far more out of me and far more time than I expected. Next time I need to limit the amount of pictures I take in between posts. Yikes.  Anyways, My Birthday was Wednesday and it was great.


was pot luck dinner night at church, so I spent most of the day baking. I made a potato dish that was absolutely horrible. So frustrating because it took SO long!!! It was the recipe not me ;)

I also baked an apple pie – it was mostly a success – delicious flavor, but a bit soggy on the bottom due to a time management error on my part… woops. I didn’t actually leave us enough time to full bake the pie before going to church so it got half baked at home and then it sat in the car soaking up the juice on the bottom and then half baked at church… yea, not such a good plan, but like I said – great flavor!

Pot Luck dinner was great. Both Mo and I were able to enjoy great time with friends, meet some new people and talk about the gospel :)

Birthday Blessings Galore

Just as I was worrying about what to put in my windowsill, I had a birthday. And boy was I blessed.

Thank you so very much to everyone who reached out to me in one way or another to wish me a happy birthday! I felt so loved, cherished and appreciated!

Our windowsill is now far from lonely…

In fact after I took that picture my other Aunt Uncle and cousin brought over a beautiful orchid to join the mix!

Our Father in heaven sure knows how to clothe my windowsill, just what I had been hoping for.

I was greeted with breakfast in bed consisting of pancakes, eggs, British bacon, nutella and tea. Oh my goodness was it delicious!!

I spent the rest of the day reading, relaxing and working in the garden. It was great. I felt a bit lazy but I figured when am I ever going to get to enjoy a birthday with no responsibilities again? so I took advantage :)

I didn’t feel like cooking, but I did feel like Fish and Chips, so we made that happen. We spent the night in and it was spectacular. Next Tuesday we will be celebrating with my birthday present… check back in to find out more :)

Adding Some Colour ;)

We live in what the Brits call a terraced house. Basically it means that we share walls with our neighbors, all of the houses on our street look identical, and most of the houses all the way up the street are connected.

(the picture won’t load, I’m going to try again tomorrow)

Our home is about 100 years old. Sometimes that fact amazes me and sometimes it is screamed at me from the walls, or cabinets, or plumbing around me. It’s quirky, it has character, it’s walls are literally rock solid and it’s all bitter sweet. I digress…

These terraced houses, as you can see, don’t have front yards or walkways or even front doorsteps. Every house has a main window that can be peered into from the sidewalk. While clearing out my nana’s things I also cleared out the items that were on display in the windowsill. So our windowsill has been quite bare and boring. It had nothing in it for weeks, which you don’t see around here (empty windowsills that is) and it makes the house appear quite empty, boring and sad.

I just had to do something to liven it up.

As some of you know my Nana had a beautiful garden. It’s raining right now, but the next time it is nice I will take some pictures for you all. Anyways, I moseyed on out to the garden and picked some beautiful hydrangeas…


They were so colorful and bright… just what my windowsill needed. Hopefully they will at least last long enough for me to figure out what to put in the windowsill next :)

Moorfield Sunset

With the last post being such a heavy one, I thought I’d lighten it up a bit with a fantastic walk that Lady and I went on.

We ventured up to an area called Moorfield.

The view that we had was fantastic but the most breathtaking part was the sunset… I just couldn’t stop taking pictures.

I’ll let them do the rest of the talking…


Then the sun starts to set…

Not the best photo quality cause they were taken with my i phone, but I think you get the idea :)

Frustration, Faith and the Feet of My Father

As I said in the last post I wrote this about a week or so ago, but just couldnt find the right time to post it. So here goes… a little slice of what the Lord is revealing to me.

So, here is a post that I hesitate to write, I hesitate to share and I hesitate to let you read. I hesitate because it’s a post in which I share the ugliness of my heart. But, as I have said before and will probably say again, we don’t want this blog to be all sunshine and rainbows. We want it to be real and honest. We want it to be a real picture of our lives for those who don’t get to live life by our sides. So here goes, here I am.

I keep trying to write a happy, fun post and I just can’t seem to get anything out that’s any good. Really that’s because things don’t feel happy and fun right now. Over the past few weeks I have been experiencing a lot of frustration and anger and it has been far more frequent than I am used to. I am not generally an angry person… anxious? yes. emotional? definitely. but angry? not really.

I am so ready for it to stop. Ready for the frustration that quickly escalates to anger to cease and leave me alone. But honestly it is just becoming more frequent.

What pains my heart the most is that more often than not it gets taken out on my sweet husband. It pains me just to write that. The truth is that he didn’t and doesn’t deserve any of it. It is nothing he has done or that he can fix. It is all me and my sin and he is simply the unsuspecting target of it all.

In church yesterday Kirk, our pastor, was preaching about… wait for it… anger. Yep, we are going through the Sermon on the mount and just as I begin to fall on my knees begging the Father to change my wicked heart… He speaks.

But, not all of the things that the Father says are comforting, at least not at first. Jesus is talking to the people about the laws and giving them a radical new way to see the laws. Teaching them to look beyond the external act and to look straight at the heart of what’s happening. So with the law “though shalt not murder” we are now called to look beyond that. To look at the heart and ask what is it in the heart that causes people to murder. Well, at the heart of it, the root of the issue is anger.

Jesus speaks to the people warning them not to be like the scribes and Pharisees, who find their worth in their keeping of the laws. He challenging them and their way of thinking, reveals that their external view of the law is missing the point. The pharisees see the law pointing only to physical murder as sin, but Jesus looks beyond it and points to the anger that causes the murder. A heart of anger, if allowed to continue in it’s path will lead to murder. It will lead to taking something into one’s own hands and putting it to death to get our own way. Murder begins in the heart. As Kirk said, “Behind every violent act there is a heart attitude that caused it to happen.” Even though they have not physically murdered, they have felt anger towards people and that is the sin in their hearts all the same. That is sin in my heart all the same.

So here I am, drowning in my own anger, feeling suffocated and trapped by it and unable to break free. So now what? I do what Christ did and look to the heart of the issue. I am angry…but why?

When we look at the heart of anger what do we find? Why are people angry? Well, before we can ask that we have to recognize that there are two types of anger…righteous anger that flares up and gets angry on behalf of the glory of God and unrighteous anger that flares up on behalf of an idol.

Either I’m angry for God, or I’m angry for my idol; unfortunately I cannot claim my frustration or anger as being on God’s behalf.

Through listening to teachers, praying and reflecting, I think I know why I am so angry and frustrated. I’m selfish. I want it to be all about me. Something is not happening the way I want it to, or a way that I don’t think it should, so I am frustrated.

This “its all about me” attitude is immediately met with friction because the reality is that it’s not all about me. In fact very little, if anything, in this world and life is actually about me. It’s all about God and as long as I want it to be all about me I will be constantly frustrated or angry with the things that keep pointing to my lack of control or lack of respect I’m receiving or whatever else it is I think I deserve.

Being here in England having my work not be in a school, but in building my home and loving my family I’m feeling a bit lost for direction. I realized the other day that I have given myself super high expectations of what should be done everyday and am giving myself no grace. I’m comparing myself with other women and their calling instead of focusing on God and asking Him each day for my tasks.

Then, when Mo comes to me with something small he needs doing during the day (because he’s working to pay the bills that keep us living) I get frustrated with him. The idol of myself gets threatened because an extra thing means my to do list gets longer, making my goal and my new worth further away and I get angry.

Of course I’m feeling angry. My worth is not in this world. My worth is found in my heavenly Father and when I put it in a to-do list I will be disappointed whether its by reaching it or not being able to. And I will be angry at whatever or whoever I can blame for not letting me protect and puff up my idol, which in this case is myself.

I don’t want to puff myself up. I don’t want to make myself more important than God. I don’t want to get frustrated thinking that I deserve X, Y, and Z. I don’t deserve anything. I have been given it by grace from a loving Father who finds joy in blessing me and bringing me into Him.

In a way the anger is a blessing. It has woken me up from my “its all about me” frame of mind. It has made it painful to gaze upon myself instead of gazing into the face of God.

And so I return to the feet of my Father. Admitting my sin and my idolatry. Asking Him to change my sinful heart as only He can. Thankful that I don’t have to try and do it myself. Heartbroken for all of the angry people out there who don’t know my Father and won’t turn to Him. Tomorrow is a new day. My Father finds joy in welcoming me back. And for that I am thankful.

Where does the time go?

My oh my, last week just flew by.

Sorry for the lack of writing!

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, flowers, cards, gifts, phone calls, emails  and all of the other birthday love received! I felt so very blessed over this past week.

Although I wasn’t writing there was lots I wanted to share. I just couldn’t find the time between my birthday, a potluck dinner, an interview and more. Instead of a massive post with all I hope to share, I thought I would do a bunch of short posts. Basically one for each day or so.  Most of them will be pictureful :) We’ll see how it goes…

The first one is a little heavy. I wrote it last Monday and was waiting for the right time to post it but it just hasn’t come… so bear with me…

Hope you enjoy! Love you all!

Family and Fellowship with a side of Downton Abbey

We spent this weekend with family and friends. Saturday evening was spent with my cousins. Sunday morning with our new church family and Sunday evening with my nana and grandpa.

On my dad’s side I have 2 cousins Ben and Tanya. Ben lives in Hayfield, which is very close, about a ten minute drive, but Tanya lives in Leeds which is about an hour away. Tanya had the week off of work so she and her boyfriend Luke both drove down to spend the week here. We met up for coffee on Thursday to catch up and then we all went to dinner on Saturday.

It was so great getting to catch up with them and hear about life. They are such great people and I was reminded how blessed I am by their friendships. Mo and I are hoping to make a trip down to leeds sometime in the near future to see them again soon. They recently visited the crowded house church in sheffield – another acts 29 church here in England. They seemed to really enjoy it and to be welcomed in by the community there which is really exciting!

At our church on Sunday morning the sermon was tough to listen to, but definitely something I needed to hear. We are studying the sermon on the mount and yesterday was specifically about anger. More on that later.

After church we stayed for a church members meeting in which they discussed the way things are going, what needs to happen and possibilities for the future. It was great to get to sit in and listen to the way that the church makes decisions and communicates with one another. We have truly been blessed with a body of believers who are seeking God’s will and the furthering of His Kingdom.

After church Mo and I headed to a coffee shop, had some lunch and I read while Mo worked on some free-lance stuff. It feels like he never stops working, but he’s soon going to finish the free-lance jobs he’s got going and that will cut the hours and stress down quite a bit.

Later on in the evening we headed to Nana and Grandpa’s for dinner and some Downtown Abbey. We had delicious food, good conversation and good time together. I feel so blessed to be able to spend time with them on a regular basis. Please keep my Grandpa in your prayers as he is in a lot of pain due to the damage that the cancer has caused in his bones.

And that was our weekend – friends, family and fellowship all topped off with some hot-pot and Dowton Abbey :) It was great. Thanks for your love and prayers! Love you all!

Handpicked, Homemade, Blackberry Pie

About 2 weeks ago Lady and I found some wonderful blackberry bushes as we walked the countryside. I picked a whole bunch and had great aspirations for a pie or some jam. However, being a bit naive to the shelf-life, or fridge-life, of fresh picked fruit I made the mistake of leaving them for too long before using them. I was pretty bummed when I opened up the bag to start my pie and found the berries all speckled with mold. eww.

I was left with no choice but to add them to the compost and head out on another walk with Lady dog to pick some more. We walked and picked for half of an afternoon and really enjoyed ourselves.

Well, Lady enjoyed the walking, not so much the waiting while I picked, but, all in all, I bet she’d say she had a great time…until the cold rain came. Nonetheless, we made it home alive with loads of blackberries in hand.  Luckily, the afternoon we went out was before the frost, otherwise my pickings would have been slim. Thankfully there were plenty of fresh berries and I was able to make it back with a pound of them… mmmm… just look at them.

I pulled out one of Nana Joan’s old cookbooks and got to work. I rinsed the berries and laid them out to dry.

Side note: I have since learned that you should not merely rinse fresh picked berries, but you should actually soak them in salt water to get rid of the grubs. Apparently little caterpillars LOVE blackberries. Oh well, at least I know for next time. This time we’ll just say that I added some extra protein :)

I found a good recipe, unfortunately I didn’t have any lemon which it called for, so I went without, but that left me with a bit too much sweet-cinnamon flavor. Again, hind sight is 20-20. Onward and upward…

I mixed sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and berries. I made some homemade pastry from Nana Angela’s recipe. I sliced up some apples and added them to the mix. Surrounded it all in pastry, crimped the edges, sugared the top and baked away. Out came a spectacular, tasty blackberry pie. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the completed product.

The Thornley’s enjoyed it when we took it over for core group :) There were no leftovers! yay! I’d say it was a success.

Bortsch it is

So our new veg box has been loads of fun and is making us try all sorts of new things. We have received lots of vegetables that I just wouldn’t think to buy on my own; one of those being beets, or beetroot to the Brits. Not only do Jo and Steve, the green box folks, bring us delicious vegetables, they also bring a recipe each week to go with them (they also have bunches of recipes sorted by veggie on their website).

Luckily enough for me, the recipe in the box with the beets was for “Bortsch” also known as “beetroot soup.” Mo was quite skeptical of the beets and the soup. He claimed to not like beets and swore that I had made him something with beets in it. I have never made anything with beets, so he must have been confused. Nonetheless, I set out on my beet soup endeavor, and we ended up with two beautifully colored and very nutritious bowls of soup.

If you’re looking to try some beet or beetroot soup then I definitely recommend Jo and Steve’s recipe! If you’d like to read my take on it and look at some pictures along the way then hop over to Sweet Ezer. Mo and I both ended up really enjoying it.  It was super filling and would have been great with some yoghurt or sour cream in it and a chunk of good bread. Isn’t everything great with good bread though? ;)

Bonfires and Building Community

Lately, there’s not a lot that’s new in the Lawson house. I have been baking and cooking quite a bit. It’s been fun, and I will be sharing recipes and pictures on Sweet Ezer as I get time. I’ll always drop a line here in case anyone is interested.

Outside of the Lawson house we have had some fun things happening. Our church puts on a community bonfire in Stockport. So, I have been driving around town asking shops if we can put up poster’s to advertise. Well I have not been driving, but I’ve been driven. Still working on my driving legs.

Putting up posters was quite an interesting journey. I was a bit nervous to do it at first, but as I went along with my new friends, Anne and Lauren, I found that many people were quite receptive and friendly, some were quite curious about the accent and others couldn’t have cared less about me or the bonfire. :) Either way it was a great day out, and I am praying that the Lord will use our efforts to draw lots of people’s interest and eventually expand His Kingdom. Only time will tell.

Tonight we have community group, or core group, at the Thornley’s. This is a time where the families from church that live near one another get together to fellowship, talk about Christ and tough stuff in the Bible and really just build community. It is a wonderful time, and the Lord has blessed us richly with it so far.

We meet each week at the Thornley’s house. The Thornleys are the only other church family that live in Glossop. They are a wonderful family and the Lord has used them to bless us so much! They have taken us in as family and really made us feel welcomed in their home, the church, and England in general. They were infact the first family we met when we came to visit in the summer. There are 4 of them and they are all wonderful! There is Josh (19), Meghan (16), Anne (mom) and Mark (dad). They are fantastic.

We first walked into their house on Sept 27th the week after we arrived in England. They welcomed us with smiles and hugs as they seem to welcome most people :) As we walked in we could literally feel the peace of the Spirit as we entered. They fed us, loved us, listened to us and poured into us all in the same night. Since then, they have welcomed us in many times and have become very near and dear to our hearts, truly feeling like family.

So that’s the latest. We’d love to hear from you and about you! Love you all!!

My Little Green Box of Joy

As some of you know I really like natural things – natural medicine, natural cleaning products, natural beauty products, and of course natural food. So, many of you will not be surprised to find out that I just had to try to get my vegetables from as close to the source as I could. I also really like supporting local farmers and businesses as much as possible. As you can imagine it did not take me long to start my search for a co-op or a “veg box” (incase any Brits are reading this ;))

I found one company that seems great, called Abel and Cole. They are all organic and get the veg from as close to their area as they can. They had some great stuff, but they are based out of Wimbledon and I wanted to see if I could find something even more local.

After scouring the internet a bit I found two great option put together by people here in Glossop. One option was local, but it lacked information and was not organic.

side note: Now, before you start to judge me on my love for organic, I need you to hear me out. Over a year ago Mo and I started altering our diet a lot to see if we could get rid of my migraines. One of the variations we tried was eating organic produce. I know that a lot of people think that there is no difference, but after eating a pescitarian diet that consisted mostly of vegetables and taking out highly processed food and going all organic I became pretty sensitive to the taste of the few foods that I could eat. After we had eaten organic for quite some time we tried a few non-organic things again. With some of them you cannot taste a difference, but with a lot of them the non-organic options had a much more bitter taste and tended to lack a lot of flavor. Trying to eat as little processed food as possible and as much fruit and veg as possible means that the flavor of your ingredients is important!

I know for some of you its a money issue. And I get that and I agree – usually, organic options are incredibly expensive compared to the non-organic counterparts. However, when you look at the veg-boxes and co-ops (or other ways to get it straight from the farmer and knock out the middle man) you can find very good, high quality, organic produce for much less than is available at the stores!

Now that I am done with my defense I’ll return to my post… :)

The other option, The Green Box Company was local, they provided organic produce from the closest areas that they are able to, and they were so affordable! They deliver a small veg box with six different vegetables each week for only £5.50 (thats about $8.85 for the Americans out there). Thats such a great deal! More than enough delicious organic veg for Mo and I is delivered to my door every week for a steal! Look at this beautiful box -

I am so very excited about this, if you couldn’t tell. It will encourage us to continue eating healthy, balanced meals. It will encourage my sweet hubby to keep trying new vegetables (he’s agreed to at least try everything in the box once and if he doesn’t like it we’ll request to not get it). It will save me trips to the shops. AND it is so affordable! Mo has recently requested that we get their fruit box as well.

Not to mention that the other day we made a potato-broccoli dish and his response was AND I QUOTE “you know, if we added a small amount of onion to this, I think it could go on the favorites list” – about BROCCOLI!!!! That is HUGE (when we met he did not like to eat anything green and up until a week ago he swore he hated broccoli)!

So that’s our newest excitement. I am still not sure how I feel about the fact that I can get this excited about vegetables… ;)

De-carpeting the Kitchen

Let’s just say you can definitely call me Betty homemaker ;) My new life in England is brining out my domestic side. I have torn up carpet, scrubbed floors for days on end, picked fruit in the wilderness, and made my own tasty dishes completely from scratch. Can you tell that I’m pretty proud of myself? Okay, really though, the Lord has blessed me with some fun things to do among the chores!

My latest chore was deep cleaning and fixing up a bit of the carpet in the kitchen. Yes, you did read that correctly…there is carpet in our kitchen. And it’s a 30 year old brown patterned carpet as well… oh, you can’t picture it… well here it is in all its glory…

Yes friends. That lovely design dominates our kitchen floor, or at least it did… You see, in my cleaning and poking around the house I decided to pull up a small corner of the carpet and to my delight I discovered laminate tile!

Unfortunately, it only covers some of the kitchen (I’m not sure exactly how much yet), the rest is covered in a completely different type of laminate tile, so I couldn’t pull it all up. But, I did pull up a good 3×7 ft chunk of it. After doing that I really felt like it brightened up the kitchen a lot. Unfortunately, with the carpet having been in its place for 30+ years it looked like this underneath…

Can you tell which half was covered with carpet? Yea, I thought so. Out came the scrubbing tools. I spent 3 days on my knees scrubbing that floor. Was it painful? Yes. Frustrating? Of course. Oh so worth it? You betcha! Eventually we ended up with this…


Okay, okay, I know it’s not spectacular, but it really feels a lot better!! So that’s been the most recent home endeavor. We’ll continue to update you as we go. Love you all! Thanks for visiting!