Thursday, April 24, 2008

Winsome days requested!

winsome \WIN-suhm\, adjective:1. Cheerful; merry; gay; light-hearted.2. Causing joy or pleasure; agreeable; pleasant.

I have always loved this word. Today on my dictionary word of the day, this word appeared.
I am looking for a few winsome days.
I returned today from several days in Switzerland. I was one of a few women facilitating at a women's conference. I didn't blog after the first day of arrival - the days were too filled. Filled with more than just facilitating/learning (sometimes the facilitators learn more during facilitation then they ever expected - this was one of those times). They were filled with learning, growing, relationship building with women ministering in Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia... the countries represented! WOW! They were filled with getting to know a few women really well. They were filled with amazing new friendships and new partnerships.

So, Saturday I fly to England. I fly to seek a few winsome days, a few introspective days, a few days of silence, of setting goals for the future, of quiet talks with new friends.

Interesting that I am going to a country that speaks my mother tongue and I am called to use most of the days in silence, observing the winsome days with Him as my companion. He does have a sense of humor!
Your mutating missionary

Monday, April 14, 2008

random blog

Zip-line anyone?????
K*** from Slovenia is just singing really loudly :-)
and everyone can hear her!
Dropping here wouldn't be my idea of fun - but... to each her own!

These pictures were taken 2 years ago at a new Termer's Retreat.
It is a sweet memory. Where I am now is more rustic with a different type of beauty.
Maybe I can get some shots tomorrow and share.

Fun facts:

So... you know how we in America always say: Hey, you guys. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Well, I just found out that here in Germany the word 'guys' refers to a gigolo! That is right. You are correct in hearing that I just said that. Now, my German friends understand what I mean by this word, but it took them a while. And they sat there stunned the first few times that they heard it from their Christian brothers and sister. They thought to themselves, "Surely this doesn't mean the same thing in America." It took them a while - but they finally figured it out.

There are other words that are the same but have different meanings. Like the word will... one doesn't use that word in the same way here.

So, anyway!

I arrived in Switzerland today. It is a little colder here in the Alps than in the Black Forest Mountains. But, the rain has held off most of the day. It rained quite a bit coming here. I had a bit of trouble heading out this trip. I was supposed to leave on Saturday. But due to some difficulties (i.e. the police situation I referred to in an earlier blog) I had to stay and get some things cleared up. Praising God that I had no legal ramifications. They understood the situation and I had no ticket, and it didn't even cost much. Only 11 Euro! What a praise this is.

I brought Aliza Lorraine ( harp) with me. She sits in the corner now, but I played her for about 40 minutes tonight. She gives me such joy.

Right now I am missing being with our little bible study. It is such a wonderful fellowship there. They meet in a home tonight. Those are really blessed times. The families that come, the women, the men. It is a time of community. I love it.

And tonight - I head off to bed in a few minutes. This week will be filled with classes for missionaries throughout Europe. I am hoping that they will be encouraged and uplifted in their endeavors to share Jesus with the world. Thanking God for an opportunity to be of service. Even though I am a few days late - I pray that God can use my willing heart.
Your mutating missionary

Thursday, April 10, 2008

having problems in a foriegn country can cause you to be in a fog!

Last evening I took a brain break. I have been hitting the books for a few weeks. I'm tired of reading/thinking/planning/creating... I have to teach a course beginning Wednesday of next week. But, I know that I am just in the slump stage right now.

It has been an interesting few weeks. Lots of things that are not really nice have happened. Oh... let me see - like trying to explain a misunderstanding with a German policeman, like having my car door have an argument with a steel fence and the steel fence winning (leaving my car door about 6 inches away from my car), the dishwasher broke and the man that was supposed to come and fix it didn't, consequently the dishwasher door was filled with water this morning!!!!!!!! by the way these things that are happening are all unrelated!!!!! Just being hit from every side.

So back to last evening, I had enough! I had gotten on the computer and tried to relieve my headache with some photo sharing, checked on a friend that I have had on my mind for a while. Cleaned the bathroom and started a load of clothes. Then I returned a call to L***

I'm traveling with L***(an English woman married to a German man) in two weeks to England. We needed to finalize the arrangements, and since I leave for Switzerland in 4 days, we decided last evening was the best time. So... we met. Interestingly enough, L*** had recently had a run in with the German police as well. It was unbeknownst to her that she had scraped a car in a parking lot. She was shocked and frightened. As she told me the story - I could relate!

But then she shared how comforting it was to have her husband standing right behind her. He was there, overseeing it all. He took the brunt of the questions. It was a true comfort for her. And I got a bit sad.

So, this morning when said dishwasher was still filled with water and I noticed the door was also bulging (didn't know doors could do that). I got a little frustrated. I waited till a reasonable hour to call my landlord (is 8:00 too early?)... good grief I waited two hours! Told him the man had not come yesterday and now the door to the dishwasher was filled with water. He called me back and a man came within 30 minutes.

Now, remember this is Germany. I live in a place where most people speak a dialect so thick Northern Germans cannot understand what they are saying. So, this man came and I showed him the kitchen. He did the whole repair man thing - checked to see if it turned on, asked for the instruction booklet, got down on hands and knees and probed this frustrating machine. Alas, he could find nothing hindering the pump, but the pump was not working. I told him I had bought the kitchen about 1 1/2 years ago, it should not be broken for no reason.

In my mind I could see myself on the phone for hours trying to explain what was going on. I decided to call the man that I had bought the kitchen from. While I looked up the number the repairman replaced all of the dishwasher parts. There I sat surrounded by books, this class material I am trying to prepare for, my computer, and a coffee. I was talking to the man at the kitchen store. He put me on hold.

As I sat there, I remembered L***'s story last evening. How comforting it was to have her husband there behind her. And I closed my eyes and began to pray to my husband. I imagined Him there, and I asked Him to help me. I reminded Him (tho' He needs no reminders) that I am in a foreign country, that I have to leave for 3 weeks in 4 days (and 2 of those days are weekend days and no one in Germany works on weekends), that I really couldn't afford one more thing going wrong, that I felt attacked on every corner, that I really needed Him to husband me.

And then the German repair man walked in. The man came back on the phone. The German repairman asked me if I wanted him to talk to the kitchen man. I just handed him the phone with a "Viel Dank"... and then the Alamanisch(dialect) started to fly. I didn't understand a word. But by the time all was done, the repairman had the date I had the Dishwasher installed, the number to contact for an appointment and a smile on his face. Then even more amazing, he asked if I wanted him to contact the dishwasher company that the warranty is with. I just said, "Viel Dank!" He did. And believe me, I would never have been able to handle what went on. He explained all of the details about the dishwasher (that nothing was in it - that it was clean - that my kitchen was very well kept - and I was not mistreating it) - gave them numbers I would have never understood what number was what - and made an appointment for when I return from my 3 weeks away with my job.!!!!

As he was loading his tools to his box in the kitchen, I returned to my computer and realized that my husband had been there helping me. What really made me laugh was the reality that even if I had a husband 'in the flesh... you know like the rest of the world :-)'... I would still want and need to depend on my God to handle things - because reality is... even the most wonderful man can't know everything, be everywhere, or make all things good. Granted - I think it helps (i.e. the comfort my friend found in her husband's support) - but frankly no person should be saddled with that much responsibility. I think it is sad when women that I know put so much responsibility on their husbands. Come on... they really cannot be held responsible for every need.

Just the ones that any hero would be able to accomplish!

mutating missionary
I might need to head to the red coffee box for a cup of Joe

Friday, April 4, 2008

Easter 2008

Good Friday morning found me sitting at the Red Coffee Box amazed at how the mood of the day depicted the reality of Christ's death. All retail stores and grocery stores are closed in Germany on this day. It was cold and rainy in the morning. It snowed in the afternoon. You can see the ice and snow on the mountain. Saturday was filled with preparations for Sunday. And Sunday was a blessed time with my God given family and friends.

Most people post about Easter right after or while it is happening. I'm well - not normal. Sometimes it takes me a while to process things. In pondering this past Easter I come away remembering and being thankful for some really great truths.

Jesus Christ: Son of God who lowered himself to walk on earth, to live, loving Man yet rejected by Man. Would I have followed Him in this horror if I were there? Do I follow Him now?

Jesus Christ: Son of God who was buried and lay in the grave for 3 days to conquer sin. Do I live each day aware of the great gift He has given in forgetting my sins and placing them as far as the east is from the west?

Jesus Christ: Son of God who on the third day rose from the grave conquering death. Do I live my life with the wonderful truth always before me: I live forever. "Death, where is your victory? Death where is your sting?"

Jesus Christ: Son of God who will return for His bride on 'That Day'. Will I be ready? Will I live a life pleasing to my LORD? Will I love the Lord My God with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my mind? And will I love my neighbors as myself? And will I adhere to the new commandment: to love one another, even as Christ has loved me, that I also love those in my life?

pondering... will I love another as much as I love these?

your mutating, mutating, mutating, mutating, missionary