As I say goodbye to Harrods, and look ahead to the future, I can’t help but to reflect about the learning experiences I have encountered working in central London for the past 11 months. Lessons grasped, some struggled with, others aced, and several still so new.
Commuting was a HUGE challenge. Expensive and time consuming. We live only 16 miles away from Knightsbridge, and yet you just cannot travel there in a straight line, on the highway. Options, driving, no way, where would I park? Pay & display, if there would be a spot, limited hours, and the congestion charge just for driving in the zone. What about the traffic that time of day, everyone rushing to work too? No direct motorway, with the exit clearly stating your destination, and it within a mile. Not possible, we are talking roads that wind and curve, in the middle of it all, like driving downtown in a big American city, endlessly. So an hour journey became my routine. Hop on the train at Hatfield, go to Finsbury Park, this is where you felt like a sardine, waddling through the crowd shoulder to shoulder, making your stand for your little spot traipsing down the stairs to the underground, gently walking down the spiraling staircase, careful not to lose your footing, because that would be tragic, because you would take everyone with you in the tumble. I have to say I did not defer to anyone on this part of my journey,(or really any of it), because you could miss your connection, then I would be late. You just hope and wish that you can have a seat, as you scan the cars as the underground train approaches, then you make the uggh, sound when you see that it is jam packed, and you will be happy just to make the squeeze into the crowd of other commuters. So if this happens you do the push and shove, and hold on. Headphones on, escaping to your music, and closing your eyes, hoping that you make each designation as scheduled and no delays. The dreaded fear is being delayed this close to people, touching you, breathing on you, and pushing you, all the while you are just hoping for someone to get up so you can sit. I learned when you get on the train, you move down the car, and you stand there waiting, watching for someone to get up, so you can have a sit.
The journey home the same, people everywhere, all the while you just want to get home, to peace and quiet, and no bad smells. You become a detective of smells on these rides of close human proximity. I shudder to think of those discoveries. And if someone sneezes, you coil back in disgust!
I could of taken the bus but it would of been a longer journey, probably very scenic, but the train and tube was much more simple. The other day I actually arrived home in less than an hour. I was able to make my connections, running up the escalator, and up the stairs, and staying focused. That is the main thing is paying attention, I don’t know how many times I got lost in the beginning. LOL! Lesson learned, I can now navigate my journey on my own all over London, rarely getting lost now. Major feat!
Top pin is Hatfield Train Station, bottom pin is Harrods in Knightsbridge.
My biggest struggle was not being free to do the Lord’s work. I was either too tired from being on my feet all day, (I still never found comfortable shoes, because you have to wear heels, and I never knew your toes could hurt), or your rota conflicted with additional functions you wanted to schedule for church events. Because of everyone’s grueling schedule, you need time to calculate the best time, hoping all can attend as we rearranged our time. Many times I would just head to the scheduled event right after work. This is why I moved here, to help my husband in his ministry. This time of working was just for a moment to help financially, so we just carried on, encouraged that the Lord was making a way for us, supplying our needs, financially and spiritually. The work experience was good for me, it helped me relate to our peoples work schedule, commuting, and surviving in London. I’m very thankful the Lord gave me this opportunity.
Selling, the Lord helped me with this one. It was such a joyous occasion to ace a sale. I love sharing my passion of music and of course the Roland product is the best on the market in regards to digital. Inspite of the recession, music is still a fantastic escape and it touches all ages and all levels of playing. So purchasing an instrument is the still the best investment even during this credit crunch.
I learned so much more about guitars, and the inner mechanics of acoustic pianos. I fell in love with the C. BECHSTEIN, grand piano, for only a mere 70,000GPB. It had a dark, lovely sound, the keys just beckon you to “keep playing me.”
Learning more about guitars was a fun experience. I’m still working on this. In fact the Lord gave me an acoustic guitar! Seeing all the guitars and touching them I started to flirt with the idea of owning one. I knew that it was not quite the right time for my budget I would have to wait. Well, they had a competion at work, and the prize was an acoustic guitar with case and strap, I won! I was so excited and elated, the Lord saw my desire and granted my wish. This really meant alot to me. The Lord is so aware of my thoughts. How can I ever forget His greatness. Later on, the Lord put it on my heart to start teaching guitar to some of our young boys at church. They bring their guitars for youth functions and just play so zealously, as if they were playing the right notes. My heart smote me, and it was as if the Lord spoke to me, “I gave you a guitar, now teach them.” So that is what I’m doing, I’m learning right along with them. I’m writing our curriculum as we go, and we are having a blast. With God’s help, we will play together in church by the end of the year.
As iI look ahead to the next chapter of my life, being with my boys and teaching more, I know the Lord will be there, He will guide us and provide. I vow to give Him and His work more of my time. I just want to be His servant, and love God’s people, and be a better Mum and wife. This is my joy, working side by side with my husband, as we work in HIS service.
Thank you Lord for supplying ALL my needs.