“So is the honeymoon over?” my friend asks me as I stand over the sink filling up the tea kettle with water. She is referring to living in London, not my marriage.

“No, I still love living here,” I smile, pulling a Yorkshire Gold out of the box and plunking it into the red teapot.

Helen is British but we met in the seaside village we called home in South Carolina; the one we left to become expats in London. It’s Saturday and she doesn’t have to fight traffic or pay to park when she comes for a visit. H and I are spending the day with she and her husband, Steve, as well as their youngest.

“There isn’t anything that annoys you yet?” she continues prodding while laughing through her lovely accent.

“No . . . . well . . . okay, maybe customer service at the grocery store could be better,” I chuckle.

Helen’s converter is making a visit to my kitchen too. We both have one because Kitchen Aid and Cuisinart are expensive appliances to purchase in the UK so we shipped them.  I’m making a cheesecake for a party and the fuse blew out on mine earlier in the week.

This is one of the many reasons I love living in London. Not borrowing a converter but cultivating friendship. All those months I waited to get to England, Helen was here in the UK praying, planting bulbs for me, sending vital information and touring the house we now live in with a video camera so I would know what to pack. She also listened with the utmost patience to many of my rants.

Proximity is no longer a gift I take for granted when it comes to friendship.


People often ask me the same question Helen posed in my kitchen that day. Along with a few others regarding living in London as an expat. So today I’m starting a new series on the blog in response to your curious inquiries.

Last October, I wrote 31 Days to London, a series on God’s nearness through waiting periods. This year, I’m writing 31 Letters to you from London, joining more than 1,000 bloggers for Write 31 Days, an annual writing challenge.

Except that I already wrote most of them in September so Mind the (time) Gap, as they say while traveling on the underground.

My faithful readers here know I’m also writing a book, due December 1st to the publisher which is why blog posts have been sparse here lately. But I’ve missed you!

Like my weekly letters to the Sabbath Society, these posts will not be tidy or grammatically perfect but morning papers to prime the pump. I’m giving you a candid, everyday look into what makes life (mostly) beautiful and (a little) challenging in the world’s most popular city.

And I’m inviting you to write back to me in the comments. No stamps or mailbox required.

For those of you who are new to the Sabbath Society, I’ll be publishing the email letters I wrote in September, giving you a peek into what this group is all about, in case you’ve been on the fence about joining us. Awesome, yes?

And if you follow me on Periscope (SMillerRB), I’ll be doing my first live broadcasts this month. A house tour and trip to the Cotswolds may be included. For those of you who are new to this app, the live video will only be available to watch for short periods.

Tomorrow, expect a letter from me in your inbox. From your friend who is doing her best to navigate new culture, parenting between continents, writing her first book, speaking to groups of people and oh, did I mention I’m recording radio spots tomorrow?

Stay tuned by subscribing here so you don’t miss any details. I’ll fill up the kettle for us. Tea or coffee?