More About...

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

a rare moment....

It is not often that I am willing to write out some of my deepest thoughts for the whole world to read... but I also know that the Lord likes to use us in our weaknesses as well as our strengths.

Today, I finished up my official work day... I was the last one in our side of the offices so I turned off lights, shut off fans, closed windows and blinds and locked up. I walked through the reception area, double locking doors and closing blinds as I ...
It is literally two steps from the front of the office to my front door. So I finished my commute and walked up the three flights of stairs to my empty apartment.

And the thought that came to my head? I am tired of being alone. I opened windows, hung my laundry to dry, looked in the refrigerator and thought. I am tired of trying to figure out what to cook for just me. Realized I needed to go to the grocery store and thought...I am weary of making all my own decisions about what to buy.

I gathered by wallet, prayed that PennyMarkt would accept my bank card if I did not have enough cash on me, (bank issues last week), found a grocery bag, walked out my apartment, walked up the street to the store thinking... I am weary of doing this alone.

I got some groceries, paid with the cash I had, took too long bagging my groceries... all 6 items and the person behind me was frustrated, walked home and began to make dinner...for me.

I made a really good salad and thought I wish I could share this with someone. And again I thought.. I am sure weary of being alone.

Now, before all of you who love me think I am disregarding your love and care for me... I know I am deeply loved. I know I am cared for beyond what I could possibly fathom. I have great friends!

And before those of you want to remind me that you can be married and still feel alone.. .I know that!!! I know that getting married does not end all loneliness or solve all issues. I realize full well that when God puts you with someone for marriage there are a whole new set of problems that you will face.

And you know something? Yes. with all my heart I want to be a great wife and mother. I want to be in a relationship with a man where it is safe for me to be as affectionate as I am created to be. And yes... I want to be in love with a man who wants to cherish me and care for me and see the best in me. I want someone who will share decisions with me and who will make some decisions for me.

But this weariness in being alone is not just about a desire to be married. It is about all the nights the past 9 months that I have come home to an empty house too worn out to entertain but wanting so much for someone to just "be" with. There is comfort in having a house mate.

One night this past month, after a loooong day at the office, a co-worker kindly told me to go home... I went home and cried... why would I want to go home to an empty flat?

Don't worry... this is not a perpetual state that I am in... the waves of it come and go.. and it will go again soon... but when it comes I get tired and weary.

God has met me in some very special ways through these lonely times... and while I do believe that God is my sufficiency but I also believe that in His sufficiency He desires that we be in relationship. He has made us relational people... some of us more so than others...

So... please do not give me ways to "fix" this... just pray for me. Pray that I will keep my eyes on Christ and listen to His truth about who He is and what He thinks of me. Pray that God would meet my needs as He delights to do. Pray that if there is a roommate out there for me.. .girl or husband.. that I would follow the Lord's lead on that. :-)

I am not depressed about it all.... just pretty realistic.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Something new to me!

Okay, so I LOVE learning new things and new cultures... And yesterday I got to experience a new culture... the culture of cycling... it was so enjoyable!

So here is the story.... My friend Brad has been into cycling most of his life. Brad is the Western European coordinator for Athletes in Action. He loves to follow the cycling tours on TV... but better in person. And over here in Europe, cycling is much bigger than in the United States so there are more tours to go see in person.

Sunday was the final day of the week long Tour de Suisse. So after church, we drove into Switzerland. It was so great to go with Brad because he really knows this sport. So as we found the route... somewhere between Rain and Root (yes.. actual towns), he would point out how this hill or that straight would affect the riders. We stopped in Root...parking where we could easily get on the Autobahn to get to the next place of interest.

I do not remember the names of the cyclicts... but Brad kindly titled the photos he sent me.. this is Allesandro Ballan. I was within touching distance! But I did choose not to stick my arm out.. that might have caused a crash... not a good thing. :-) Can you imagine the headlines? "American girl watching her first cycling tour causes a 100 bicycle pile up in Root, Switzerland on Sunday."

As we drove on the Autobahn toward the next stage... the feed stage... Brad explained that they do not stop to eat but are given bags with food things inside as they ride past. And he also said that as the cyclists throw away their water bottles... people can pick them up for souvenirs... So.. here you have a cyclist drinking water.. good thing.. it was over 30 degrees C (about 90 Fahrenheit)

And here is a photo of the food hand off.. it was pretty cool to watch. And I did get a souvenir water bottle... It was funny afterward to see people scampering to gather the discarded bottles...

After the feed stage we drove on the Autobahn to Bern to catch them at a few different places... the first place was at an intersection where they rounded this corner.. I was on the other side from where this photo was taken. It is a beautiful thing to see the cyclists... unless they crash... it like a field of tall grass moving in perfect sync... they almost glide. And if you could not see the strain on their faces or the strain in their muscles as they pedaled... you would think it was effortless.

after this place we saw them come up a big hill, then we walked the 1k to where the finish line was... but alas... I was wearing flipflops... and well... the sad truth is that we did not actually see the end of the race. Thank you Brad for being gracious about how I was slowing us down. :-)

We watched a bit of the final ceremony... We saw the winner of the day's race and the over all winner of the tour and the winner on the hills, etc... the winners received flowers and kisses from former Miss Swiss winners. (1999-2003) A Swiss man won the race so of course all the Swiss were cheering wildly.

So... it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! I wish my recently contracted allergies did not act up at the end.. but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I would do that again in a heart beat... sans flip flops.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

My time in the States

Well, I am back in Germany. Back home. And I am catching up on many things here.. funny how life does not stop in one place when you are in another place...

Here are some photos and special moments from my time in the states...

My dear friend Cheryl got married to Matt Oldham. It was wonderful to be part of that big event in her life!

And she... being such a dear heart and a great friend... after the wedding, told me that she was praying for me because she knows that it is hard to be in a wedding or even go to a wedding when you are single. Wow.. how precious those words were to my heart. Still are to my heart. Cheryl is one of my many amazing girlfriends. And we have all encouraged each other to truly trust the Lord that He has our best match for us. And seeing her and Matt together was such an encouragement to my heart!

I have some great friends in the Portland area. And every time I am back there I thank God for bringing them into my life. Some of my dearest and closest friends are there! I wish I had photos of all of them.. it is hard for me to remember to take photos when I am just enjoying someone's presence. This photo is thanks to my friends who remember to take photos of fun times...
These girls and I... and a couple others were in a small group together for several years before I moved to Europe.

I thoroughly enjoyed the quality time with about 40 different people, speaking in 2 churches, time at my own church, sharing wedding memories with dear ones, the road trip to redmond/prineville, and seeing the changes in Portland... there are 3 lanes now where 205 splits off of 1-5 north! about time!!! :-) I loved meeting fiancees, spouses, new pets, seeing new living spaces, seeing Mount Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson... etc... stunning!

Something I was pondering while I was stateside is how much it means to me when you make an effort see me! All of you who contacted me to say you wanted to spend time with me... THANK YOU! Even though I did not get to see everyone.. not even nearly half it feels like... I am honored to know that you care enough to make an effort. My Aunt and Uncle in Walla Walla, Washington even tried to come down/over! I love you guys!!! thank you for making the effort! I think the hard thing about being in the states is wondering if people miss me enough to want to spend time with me.

And I realized that 2 weeks.. is not enough time to get quality time with even half of you! I guess next time I get to be stateside I need to make sure it happens when I have more time to spend with you all.

Another great thing about the time I was in the states was the surprise God blessed me with in the time at Depoe Bay. I LOVE the ocean... and I have seen some pretty amazing beaches this past year (Spain, Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus) but there is nothing like the Oregon coast line. The ruggedness of the coast in Oregon takes my breath away.

During my days at Depoe Bay I got quality time with my dear friend Tami... AND... I was blessed to know her mother Betsy and her mom's husband Arie. AND... her grandmother-Barbara. God designed a perfect few days to get me rested and refreshed before returning home! Rest, ocean storms, conversations, reading, writing, music, great food, deepening relationships.... my souls sings for joy at the Lord's provision for me!

So thank you all for a great time! Thank you to all of you who made an effort to see me! Thank you to all of you who pray for me! You are all so deeply rooted in myheart!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The wedding of a dear friend... and thoughts on that

It was such a huge blessing for me to be able to be in my friend Cheryl's wedding on Saturday. She remembers sitting on a porch with me years ago and telling me that she wanted to be my friend. I remember her forcing me to be real and vulnerable with her through a really hard time in my life. She is a delight and a blessing to me! And the man she married is so perfectly matched with her!

Being part of major life events in the lives of my friends and family is something that I greatly miss and highly treasure. I know I am missing several other weddings this year of people who are extremely close to my heart. I told Cheryl that if i had not been able to be with her on that day, I would have spent a couple hours mourning that loss with tears of joy for her and sorrow for missing the my flat at home. Instead I got to be there in person to cry tears of joy for this union and tears of sorrow that I had to leave again so soon!

Riley and Alli... I held this girls when they were younger and this weekend I got to do their hair for the wedding! Riley was a junior bridesmaid and her sister was a flower girl. they both did a fabulous job!

Brenda... Oh I just love this woman! I love that we could pick up and talk as though no time has passed! She is the mother of the girls above and the wife of Jeff whom I worked with for several years. It blessed my heart to have some time with Brenda!

Allison and Jen, two women who are special in my life. Great for my heart to get this time with them!

I will post more photos when I have them, but for now.. just a couple with my dear friends who I got to be with in the wedding! God is good!