Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Day

This was the first year that I did not celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving in the traditional fashion. A close second would be the Thanksgiving Day that Susan and I met in NYC to fly to India. That year I was thankful for my parent's blessing, for we left America right after the attacks in Mumbai. But today, as I reflected on 2011, I have so much for which to be thankful! Several friends advised me this time last year to write down the stories of God's faithfulness and provision as I was in the process of moving here. As you might have guessed, I did not do that. So this morning, I wrote down all the stories that I could remember (and numbered them as I went along, just for kicks). My hand was quite tired afterwards, for I wrote down 126 stories!!!! God has done immeasurably more than I could ever ask or imagine!!!! Many of those stories are of how God used you to bless me. So thank you all for your prayers and support the past 365 days!

Ironically, another story I wrote down in my journal was the reason why 24 November, 2011, was such a non-traditional Thanksgiving day. That evening, we hosted the 1st Annual David Jack Memorial Lecture. We celebrated David's life, his passion for sharing the love of Christ with those around him, and his desire to advance God's Kingdom in the area of science and medicine. In fact, David was writing a book titled, Molecular Romance. So it was appropriate that Dr. John Patrick gave the lecture titled, Molecular Romance: Is there more to life than science? Many of his peers and professors were in attendance and were challenged that "...if you love him, do some of the things he was doing... read outside the box." I am thankful that God is being glorified even in David's death. I am thankful, for him, that he is now in the presence of his Lord and Savior.

The David Jack Memorial Lecture titled, Molecular Romance: Is there more to life than science?can be found at:

This photo was taken at Ninewells in February 2010, when we came over for the CMF national conference. David couldn't make it to the conference, but we had lunch with him to celebrate and discuss our future plans of moving to Dundee!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Taryn to Town!!!

What's Megan been up to lately?

Well, December 18 - 23 she hosted me -- Taryn! I've always wanted to have a blog. Thankfully, Megan said I could write a guest post about my holiday!

Due to cool rainy weather my cold toes had no feeling until I came to my senses and wore my hiking boots for our amazing sight-seeing adventures -- Saint Andrews, Glamis Castle, Stirling Castle, William Wallace Monument, and Edinburgh Castle. After the 3:15 pm sunset each day, we returned to the house, sat around the Monopoly board by the Christmas tree in the "warm room," and indulged in delicious foods -- tea, tea, tea, hot chocolate, scones, pan de chocolate, biscuits, fruit tarts, lasagna, and garlic bread. I learned a wee bit of Scottish vocabulary -- wearing trousers, staying for a cuppa, and wishing friends a Happy Christmas! I noted a few challenges -- crunching for the kingdom -- a phrase I used describing the way clothes feel after drying on the radiator. On the other hand, I know people who have invested in heated towel racks, but in the Stadalsky/Kibbey household, the bathroom radiator heated my towel each day during my shower for no extra charge! At home in the US today, I dreaded unloading the dishwasher, but washing the dishes by hand did not seem at all burdensome in Scotland -- especially when I stood by and watched Megan wash them (note the facial expression in the picture!

Each aspect of the visit brought joy to my heart. However, the very best part was spending time with Megan, Jennifer, Scott, John Spencer, and Sophia and seeing how God is gifting, equipping, challenging, and providing for each person. I am so encouraged to see the body of Christ in action -- loving, including, and inviting others to join in. I left remembering more of the power of the resurrection, and experiencing a deeper sense of freedom and love that come from knowing Jesus. And, now that I'm back home in Charleston, Megan's life in Scotland is continuing. I'm sure she will write more soon!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Valleys and Mountains

The past two months have been full of both valley and mountain-top experiences (literally and figuratively). The second hardest thing that has happened since our arrival in Scotland was the illness and near death of our dear friend and pastor, David Robertson. He was in critical condition for over 5 weeks, and it was looking like he was not going to make it. However, in God's mercy, he healed him. Praise God! Just a few days ago, he left the ICU and is now breathing on his own! I have been amazed at the body of Christ around the world who have been praying for David and his family through out this time. Please continue to pray for David, for he has a long way to go for full recovery. Please continue to pray for his family as well.
During the past 4 months, with the death of David Jack and the illness of David Robertson, I have been reminded over and over again that God is both sovereign and good... even if it doesn't look like it from my point of view. These situations, as well as times of loneliness, frustration, hearing lies about myself (and starting to believe them)... have brought me closer to my Lord and Savior. For I have numerously cried (yes, literally "cry") out to God and each time He has answered me with a truth from his Word, and a peace that surpasses all understanding. So although the past 4 months have been really hard, I have found that my intimacy with Him has deepened. I have had to utterly depend on Him, seeing my constant need for Him. He is my comfort and friend.
One Saturday in October, I needed to get away and spend some time with God. So I drove to a nearby town of Falkland. I had a nice cup of coffee at a tea shop and read a book. Then I decided to hike this mountain and talk to God. I say "mountain" instead of the real name "hill" because it was difficult to climb. I want to blame it on the fact that I was just getting over being sick, I was dehydrated from the coffee I drank before hand, I was wearing trainers and it was wet.
None the less, I made it a fair distance up the mountain, sat on a rock and had a time of worship. It was really good.
Yes, the trainers... I need to get a pair of hiking boots!

There was a castle in Falkland that I could get in free with my year pass. So I stopped in. I had some fun conversations with the tour guides. They were amazed that I was there by myself as an American. It was an easy way to share why I was in Scotland.

The next weekend I sang in Steve and Claire's wedding. We sang Psalm 103 to the tune of "Before the throne of grace," acapella. It is a great way to learn the Psalms. Each week we sing two Psalms in a service. I bought the book so that I could learn the melodies and eventually the harmonies! In this picture is Lizzie and Kathryn.

So, two hours after the wedding started, I hopped on a train to go to London for a CMF student training weekend. It was good to learn what folks are doing on other campuses. As the student rep, Kathryn came down later. After the meeting, we had a few hours (I mean 8 hours) to kill before we took the overnight Megabus back to Dundee. We tried this asian restaurant. Here is Kathryn using chop sticks for the first time. I think that whole bite made it into her mouth. Well done!
As we were walking around tea, we spotted this Bubble tea place. Bubble tea is tea with tapioca balls in the bottom. A larger sized straw is used so that you can "drink" the tapioca. It was quite yummy! She had never had any before, so yet again, another "first" for her. Notice the erlenmeyer flasks in the back? I love the word erlenmeyer. I used to "doodle" chemistry set- ups like this back in college/dental school. TMI, I know. I am such a nerd.
I am really excited about the ruck sack I bought right before this trip. The reason I was traveling so "heavy" was because I needed a sleeping bag. Yes, there is a sleeping bag hidden in the ruck sack. Notice Big Ben in the background. Eventually we made it to the bus station. 10 hours later, we rolled into Dundee. That, was a mega-first for me!!!!!

The kids had some time off for what is known as "Tattie Holiday." It's my understanding that back in the day, children had to be home to help bring in the potatoes. Per this tradition, children today get two weeks off of school in October. So the day after getting back from London, the Stadaslky's and I headed to Fort William for a few days. Notice the rainbow here, reminding us, again of God's promises.

Sophia and I had some fun times together in our room!
The kids were REALLY excited about hiking Ben Nevis. Therefore, they had their gear on about 1 hour before we were ready to leave.
The day we left, I bought a pair of hiking boots.
Here we are hiking Ben Nevis. Notice that John Spencer is no where to be found. He ran...yest literally ran ahead of us!
I caught up with John Spencer at one point. He had this smile on his face the WHOLE time!

So the boys went ahead, and us girls went at Sophia's pace. Which was quite remarkable for a 5 year old (sorry 5.5 year old)! It started to snow and was quite cool (haha)!

The kids went wall climbing. John Spencer is in the white shirt towards the top. Sophia is #2 on the wall. They both really enjoyed this.
Is that spider man?
Spider woman?
The day we got back from holiday, I went to Dundee University's Christian Union House Party.
You might wonder what a house party is...well it's like a retreat, but with a techno ceilidh and other fun events over the weekend. Here I am with some friends at the bonfire.
This is the largest bonfire I've ever seen in my life.
One was to dress up for the techno ceilidh (pronounced kaylee). So us dental gals were pirates! I had some pirattitude...Argh :)

It was good to be back in Dundee for a while after all of that traveling. So we had some friends over for some Autumn festivities. Mamma Kibbey had sent some decorations and candles to help with these festivities. Many of our friends had never carved a pumpkin before, so that was on the agenda for the evening. See below!

There were three prizes given. Sophia won "MOST CREATIVE."

John Spencer won " MOST ORIGINAL." Yes, that's a butter knife!

The finished products!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Happenings!

CMF Summer School

The Stadalsky's and I headed to the Lake District in England for CMF Summer School! This is a week long training where medic leaders from all over the UK come and learn how to share the gospel with their classmates. We had a brilliant time...

Little did we know that God had prompted Kathryn, a medic from Dundee, to come to Summer School. We were excited that she decided to become the CMF student representative for Dundee! She has also become a good friend. These were two huge answers to prayer!

Yes, students in the UK like to play signs! I didn't even have to suggest playing this one.

We went on an awesome hike...that lasted over 4 hours! That was because we got a wee bit lost on our way back down the mountain.

It was well worth it for this view.
John Spencer in the beautiful heather.

There was an experiment being done to find out the volume of water a frisbee can hold... three bottles of water.

John Spencer wanted a lift on the way up. I was feeling pretty good at that point!

Ok, so folks across the pond like to play "the game." That is the game where everyone places the name of three people/characters in a box. You split into teams and the first round you have to describe the person in words. The second round, you use a charade. The third round you use one word. It was quite a good lesson in British culture and history.

I'm not sure whom I was trying to describe in this picture.

One of my new roles across the pond is help leading worship. I did this at summer school and have done some at church as well. It is very sweat provoking. But I enjoy it!

We drank a lot of tea and coffee! This is universal in the UK. On a normal day, I often have three to four cups! And I thought I had a dehydration problem in America!

Fresher's Week
We headed back to Dundee and the freshmen arrived! Kathryn, Scott and I manned a table at the students fair and were amazed at all the medics who showed interest in CMF. We then held a CMF dinner for the medics...13 freshers showed up and 7 older students.

Kathryn, Anna and I at the CMF fresher's dinner. Anna was gracious to host this dinner in her flat.

Students Into Our Home
It has been really fun to have students into our home. The food is a hit as well as the trampoline and the Wii! We had a wee bit of a Wii tournament the other night (sorry, I couldn't resist). I think Scott was singing the blues! Overall, it has been a great way to get to know the students. Catch a glimpse of some of those moments below...

Hanging out with the Family

Before school started for the kids, we went to the Discovery. The Discovery "was the last traditional wooden three-masted ship to be built in Britain. Designed for Antarctic research, she was launched in 1901." It was built in Dundee and is now appropriately housed in Dundee. If you come and visit me here in Dundee, we most likely will visit the Discovery! And I thought Chicago was the windy city!?!
I really love these kids! John Spencer and I could talk for hours about college football. Each week after the (Clemson) Tigers play, we read the play-by-play on the web. I just wish The Ohio State was doing as well! Sophia could play with my hair for hours! She informed me earlier today that tomorrow night we are having a "hair tester". I asked her what that meant, and she said that she is going to try different hair styles on me. I said that is perfect, for we are having a party tomorrow night (while Mom and Dad go out on a date) ... with quesadillas, a surprise dessert (which I don't even know what we are having yet...) and watching Chariot's of Fire. The kids (and I) are excited!

We also took the 20 minute drive to Glamis Castle. It was a great place to visit.

On a walk in the gardens, I asked the kids to stop and pose for a picture and this is what I got...

I said, "Come on guys, a real picture...why don't you smile!" ...and they proceeded to turn around. They are a riot!

First day of school! The kids had their backpacks on 1 hour before it was time to leave. They were just a wee bit excited!

I was teaching John Spencer about dentures. Will he one day become a dentist? Well, in actuality, Scott and Jennifer brought home some teeth candies and John Spencer was excited to try them out!

Sophia and John Spencer often come and hang out in my room. It is quite fun. Here is Sophia dancing around my room and taking advantage of my long mirror! They know the rules... no shoes on the bed, no wining and no arguing. Usually we end up laughing!