Saturday, August 30, 2008

Car, Camping & Chocolate

My new ride!
And this sweet decal action is how you know I bought it in Germany
I miss my family, but I must admit that I'm being pulled into a pretty great family here, too. The Grubbs had me over for dinner this week and listened to me pour out my heart and ask for advice before even the main course. I also had dinner with the Stuckeys. They love themed parties; so this one was a happy birthday to everyone party. We told silly stories on ourselves and had a great time. And the people who I knew would be family once I got here, the Youngs, are in the States this week, so I can't add any dinner stories about them yet...but they furnished most of my apartment! So they're pretty darn great too :)
Another fantastic family is that of the single ladies, especially those of us not in the dorms. I love the RA ladies, but the residence life and teaching/administrative staff are quite separate during the school year, simply because of schedules. That's why I say specifically the non-dorm women. Last night 11 of us went camping, and it was so great to get away for a night and get to know people outside of school. As we were getting ready to go to sleep, sprawled out on the floor in the little hut we stayed in (see photo below), I realized I was the only "new staff member" there and that I felt completely welcome. So, I told them that, and a massive "awwww" followed. Another great family is the young couples- who I've actually spent quite a bit of time with although I don't suppose I fit the defining factor of the group. Tonight I'm having dinner with 5 couples. I'm really glad that they invite me to stuff because they are incredible people, and because (selfishly) I feel like I'm learning a ton about relationships by just being with them and watching them interact. I'm learning what things are helpful within marriages as well as relating to others as a married person and what things aren't...what things show a man that his wife respects him and ways to show a wife love, what questions to ask, how small issues can become bigger if not dealt with, what to do when you're without TV, car, phone, internet, or friends other than your spouse for an extended amount of time...all kinds of good stuff. I used to make jokes about seeing how some of my guy friends treat their wives by saying something like "that's why I'm not married" or "you just convinced me to stay single forever." Looking back I realize how bad that was for me to say (even as a joke) to those guys; I really hope I didn't cause damage. But these new friends are showing me what good, Christ-centered marriages can look like... and how having someone to serve with can be better in some ways.
Having several families with different strengths = answered prayer

Having a car = liberating
Hiking and camping with great friends = the needed break from work to keep me sane (and fun:)
Eating from a never-ending supply of real dark chocolate everyday = divine
And, finally for today, in response to my last post about my desire for a healthy heart, I got several concerned emails from people thinking that I'm having a breakdown or that that post is just a surface explanation of what's "really going on." Let me assure you that I'm not that complex; I say what I mean. No breakdowns or veiled hidden if you're one of those people, stop reading between the lines. I want a more compassionate heart. I want to actually get to know people and let them do the same. And, for those of you still trying to read farther into my words, this has nothing to do with a guy--just my wanting more depth.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Productive Day

Within the last day I've gotten a phone, internet at home, online banking, and bought and insured a car. YaY!!!! These were the things that were overwhelming me, and in a short day, ta-dah! Amen :) I can update my blog and add some pictures.

Yesterday was Opening Ceremony at BFA. The students come from 48 countries. They marched in behind their respective flags, and each country was introduced. It almost moved me to tears just thinking about how big of a thing I'm involved in. My role is small, but this school is so integral to work being done all around the world. I got to meet some students and parents and am excited about getting to know all these new faces!

Right now I'm so ecstatic to have access to the internet that I'm not even sure what to say! So I'll show some pictures...

Me and Steph (my fellow Hoosier) at Hochblauen

Sausenburg Castle ruins (just about 5km from my apartment)

Check out that sky...

Solveig, Rachel, Katie and Me atop Sausenburg

I need to start carrying my camera with me so I can show you guys more of life. It's definitely not all mountaintops and castleviews. The last week has been quite the emotional ride for me. Tonight I was able to articulate my greatest desire right now--to have a fully functioning heart. I feel like most of my heart is encased in a metal shell that has never really been broken into (and keeps people at an arm's distance) but significantly dented from some hammer blows trying to break in; and the nonhardened part is raw and missing large chunks- some given away, some ripped out. So, that's one of my main prayers right now, that God will do what it takes to get my heart to a place where I'm sensitive to Him and to people but still guarding my heart which is the wellspring of life. I've never found this balance, so I don't know what it looks like. I'm really hoping that to get a fully functioning heart that honors Him I don't have to go through total brokenness. But if that's what it takes to be genuine and effective then bring on the tissues. So, here's to a healthy heart!

Monday, August 25, 2008

New School Year

School starts tomorrow! I'm ready for the students to arrive and to see BFA in action. Today was orientation for parents, and I've never been asked so many questions that I don't know the answers too. Questions like, does Air Slovenia fly directly into Frankfurt on any weeknight that will still allow my son to catch a train to Basel? And how much would that cost? I definitely have a lot to learn! But, I know that people must still be praying for me to not be overwhelmed because I'm not. So, thank you! The last week has been an emotional roller coaster, which for any of you that know me well, know that that in and of itself is a stretch! I'm not typically an emotional person, but this last week has brought out quite the gamut in me. I think it's because I've been without my two main emotional releases- sports and singing very loudly while driving. To try and get back into balance I played indoor soccer last night with a bunch of men (yay! for them letting a girl walk on and score some goals), will play volleyball tonight, and am going car shopping tomorrow. Maybe things will be right in my world again :)

Please pray for smooth transitions for the students and the parents that have to leave them, as well as for my quick learning of the job.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dear Readers

Dear You'enses,

Still no internet at home and the incapability to update the blog from my work computer has made for poor blogging. Sorry! On a happy note though, things are going very well. Right now I'm at one of the dorms and can't particularly concentrate. So a "real" update will come soon.