Last May, H and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary in London but that wasn’t why were there. We traveled across the Atlantic for one reason. We were swollen with God’s dream for us.
The Leadership Conference hosted by the people who inspire vision brought us to the Royal Albert Hall. We arrived expectant, ready for God’s palpable presence to lead us.
As H and I made our way through the black trench coats of South Kensington, around bowler hat taxi cabs and red double decker buses, we traipsed through corridors fingerprinted with history and into our theater seats among thousands. Holy Spirit electricity sparked our imagination with hope for the future.
The theme of the conference was friendship.
On the rim of a deep bowl of humanity, I sat quietly with my mouth open, observing the diversity of faith and culture as people flooded into the theater extending welcome and invitation. Until my seat mate politely tiptoed past my wet umbrella and stack of books lying on the concrete steps at my feet.
Small in stature, she introduces herself as Jules Middleton, a faith blogger and Deacon in the Church of England, wearing kindness and compassion on her face.
Erwin McManus says, Imagination is the playground of God and His creativity often causes me to hold my breath in wonder. I think He loves to surprise us with divine orchestration, yes?
I knew instantly Jules was a safe place and God handpicked her to sit next to me. I sobbed often, tears running off my cheeks in surrender to the unknowns I knew we would face. Along with her lunch and overcoat, she brought a package of tissues on day two of the conference.
If the preferred outcome of the conference was to inspire friendship, then I think it was a great success. It turns out Jules and I have blogging friends in common and she’s given me my first UK writing assignment. What are the chances?
With only one day left in this 31 day series, I wanted to introduce you to some of the wonderful UK bloggers I’ve met virtually and as luck would have it, in real life. Perhaps God will allow us the honor of regular community once my family lands permanently in London.
What Are Days For? by Emma Buchanan and Jane Fawkes (pictured above), two Sabbath Society peeps and dear friends with whom I correspond regularly. I wrote here about our real life meet up and trip to Persephone, my favorite bookshop in London.
Dreaming Beneath the Spires by Anita Mathias, also a Sabbath Society peep who happens to be friends with Jules and lands on the top of all those lists for popular UK bloggers and social media gurus. Mostly, Anita is a thoughtful theologian storyteller with a heart as big as Texas. We’ve guest posted on each other’s blogs.
Apples of Gold by Jules Middleton (need I say more?)
Zoeprose by Zoe Powell, I just found Zoe through her 31 Day series which is one of the gifts in this daily writing challenge. I love her authentic spirit and writing that is both practical and thought provoking.
Thorns and Gold by Tanya Marlow who writes about the Bible, suffering and hope from her own daily perspective as a mom, wife and Kingdom influencer, housebound with M.E. I found Tanya in the Five Minute Friday community where we met once a week in the comments as newbie bloggers.
Words of Joy by Joy Lenton, a graceful encourager with a poetic gift who writes of hope in the midst of suffering with chronic illness.
While there are many others with whom I am becoming acquainted through a Facebook thread I started during this series, asking for UK bloggers to link in the comments, these are the places where I am most familiar. And I know you will enjoy their writing as much as I do.
Join me tomorrow for my last installment in this 31 Day series for some fun and an announcement about the future.