Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'Twas the Day before Christmas

This is not going to be a long post. But for the first time since I arrived nearly one month ago, my room feels settled. Why the need to publicize this milestone? For one thing, it's finally starting to feel like home; I'm not guessing where I should put things to try and establish my 'normal'. For another thing, it's symbolic of so much more. Whenever there is a move or a transition, feeling displaced, or not quite like one belongs in either the old or the new place, is a natural experience. I've been feeling that way a lot over the past few weeks. I am thrilled to be back, but I miss  However, yesterday was a day full of events which contributed to expelling the 'displaced' feeling. In the morning, good friends took me to go submit my visa paperwork. Not much can make me feel so small as walking into a business/government building with my minimal Deutsch and needing to acquire something as big as a visa. But God, in His faithfulness that hasn't changed a bit, made a way once again. Lord willing, I'll have my visa shortly! The rest of the day was spent with a (new) friend baking and getting ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This is one of those moments in which I stop and realize that, without me even realizing it, God is once again building community for me here. So when I finally plunked down on my bed, and looked around last night, I realized everything had a place, or was at least getting there. In the midst of it, I keep thinking of the words of Christ when He came to earth. (paraphrase mine) Foxes have dens, birds have nests, but the Son has nowhere to lay His head. It's not about the decor of my room, or finding the perfect storage containers. It's simply about following the Son, step by step, through each day, and allowing Him once again to define my role in this place. His way is perfect. For today, my next step is to participate in the Christmas Eve service at church, and continue becoming a part of this community here. And to keep on following.

I also want to say thank you again to all of my prayer and financial supporters! I am so thankful for each of you and think of you often. May God bless you richly for your kindness and generosity to me!

Merry Christmas and many blessings for the coming year!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Settling in

After successful flights, and a safe arrival in Kandern, I am enjoying getting settled in, meeting new friends, and reuniting with old ones. I've spent significant time in the last few days accomplishing tasks that allow me to feel more at home, as well as trying to wrap my brain around this transition. Per usual, this transition looks different than I had expected. There are definitely hard aspects. I miss those of you who were a huge part of BFA for me before. On more than one occasion while at school or walking around Kandern I've found myself looking for you. Sometimes I feel as though I am living in a ghost town. "[insert your name here] used to live there!" But it's not totally depressing, and leaves me feeling very grateful for the lives that have touched and changed my own. I also miss working in the dorm and often feel compelled to ask to drive a dorm van. I assume this will change, and can only hope so. :)

But there are so many amazing aspects of this transition. I have an office now, with my name on the door! And I have a piano, and another unique vantage point into life here. I get to go to department meetings and be part of a new team. I live in a beautiful home with two other women who are a privilege to do life with. From the moment they picked me up at the airport, I have been continually grateful for the smooth transition they have given me into our home. I've gotten to see and begin to catch up with many of the guys who I shared time with at Sonne. Last Sunday I had the privilege of sharing a meal with them, and was overwhelmed with a loving welcome. Mixed with so many familiar faces are many others that are new to me, but I am so grateful for the way so many have reached out to me. Can you tell that my heart is full? Over the last two weeks, I've gotten registered at the rathaus (or town hall), and spent time completing other tasks that contribute to living here for more than only a month or two.  I've also tried to spend time at school each day so that when I officially start next semester, I won't be unfamiliar. Through all of this, the cry of my heart is that God will make clear to me what my role is to be at this time, and in this place.

To all who are praying for me and who have given to allow me to be here, I want to say a huge thank you!! I look forward to sharing more as I find my new normal.