life is a mission......

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I can't post pictures of the kids....but this is one of the hallways. It's so cute how all their coats and backpacks are on their own hook and right where they are suppose to be. So heart warming. At least you get to see the evidence of kids at school! LOL

effective communication.....

Germans have a reputation for being efficent.

Well, this is just another example of German efficiency!!! The road does exactly what the sign does. I love it! So effective! Oh and don't forget the hiking trail sign at the bottom. It's a little smaller, but on the same sign post! <3 it!


My new friend who LOVES my apple cores. I was eating my apple as I exited the

forest and she came RUNNING over to me (which was quite hillarious to see a lama run and her hair bounce) wanting my apple. I took the last couple of bites and fed her the core. The funny thing was, the day before she totally ignored me, but I wasn't eating an apple! She loves apples. I think I'm going to name her Apfel Shirley. =)


WOW!!! If I had to sum up my 3 1/2 months here in Germany so far in one word it would be WOW! When I felt God leading me to be here in Germany for this year I got a LOT of questions about I would be doing during the year when it's not camp time. A very valid question. Well, slowly but surely God has placed me in places and relationships to grow and water into deeply rooted trees.

So, what ministries am I involved in during the year?

First: my house. Not only my roommates, but our "Germany parents" :) It is evident to ALL of us that God has us all here for such a time is this. We love each other and we are truly a family.

Second: small groups. Tuesday morning I go with two other lovely ladies to Basel, Switzerland and I'm involved in Bible Study Fellowship. It is a small group of about 10 ladies and this year we are studying Isaiah. We get a new study sheet and questions each week for us to work on throughout the week and every Tuesday morning we get to fellowship with each other and talk about our answers and discuss how it relates to us. Tuesday evening a group of single ladies meet and we are talking about the book of Esther. Wednesday morning I go to a small group that is in the building next to my office and it's the same basic principal as the Tuesday morning one, but with ladies in my direct community. Wednesday evening Brad, Janis, Brittany and I are watching a series and talking about the video segment that we watch. All are inspiring and challenging in their own way. It's great to be able to devote so much time to God's word and His people.

Third: KIDS! I'm not a "teacher" and have my own classroom, but I get to help with Awana on Tuesday afternoon. I get to hear the darlings say their memory verse and encourage them to learn the next one! AND I get to sub for a lady who went back to the states for 3 weeks. She works in the library at the elementary school here and teaches science. I'm not doing her library, but I am doing her science lessons! It's been great to get to be in the classroom and interact with the students and learn some "elementary German". LOL

Forth: RA's!!! The resident assistants that live in the dorms are in the dorms ALL the time! They get a weekend off each month and one of the girls, who is new this year, and I connected and so we have been able to take a couple of short weekend trips. It really is a ministry opportunity! It's been a great time for her to have someone else to talk to besides just dorm people and I'm enjoying having a great new friend! =)

Fifth: DORM LIFE!!! On Monday's I get to go to the dorm that I have "lived" at during the past two summers and sub for the RAs that are off. Each Monday the RAs get the day off and each Thursday the dorm parents get the day off. It's a much needed rest because they are "on" the whole rest of the time! So, I go on Monday's and help cutting veggies for sandwiches for lunches and make some cookies, help with homework and make sure the guys do their chores. It's a great time to connect with more students and help with homework too.

Sixth: RELATIONSHIPS! The people here are wonderful! Our goal is to have people over at least once a week. And, if we happen to slack and not invite someone over, we get invited somewhere! It's great! People are supportive and friends from the beginning. :) On Wednesday nights I am helping out a family by sitting at their house with their teenage son while the parents are at a Bible study. I use this time to read and visit with him while he is having his snack and settling down for bed.

Seventh: the scenery! I get to walk to the elementary school and then I walk home. Total, it's about 6 miles. I do that 4 times a week for 3 weeks. The paths are awesome! They lead through the woods and pop out in places and I know where I am! The weather has been beautiful! Janis and I went for a walk through some vineyards last week. Just the simple things are scenic!

Eigth: lessons.....God has lead me through some lessons. From being able to forgive myself and HOW to do that to just treasuring each moment. The simple things. Loving life. Loving on people and showing them God's love.

Nineth: God. He is amazing in His tapistry weaving.

~I stand in awe of You, Lord. Thank you for your love and mercy. May You be glorified by my actions and life. Amen.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


This is the village that I walk to for the science classes I sub for. It's called Sitzenkirch....sitting church. :) It's a beautiful walk and very scenic! There is a castle in every village!

The sign to the castle...Schloss....

This is how I get there! Yes! By feet! (as the German people in my office say! I get there by feet!)

God's glory shining through His creation. I'm so thankful I have the sight to see it. :)


My Papaw was a wise man who liked to tell stories and had his "Papaw-ism"'s. LOL I was reminded of one today on my walk home and I had to stop and take a picture.

Papaw-ism: "There are only 2 kinds of snakes I don't like: ALIVE AND DEAD!" Yep, I TOTALLY agree with him. They just creep me out! This picture would NOT have taken place if it would have been alive! I just walked up and it was like this. I did not do anything to it, but it reminded me of my Papaw.... Here's to you Papaw! Miss you! But guess what?! I'm in Germany! I know you would be proud!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The giving tree....

When I saw this tree it reminded me of the poem by Shel Silverstein....The Giving Tree...

Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy. And every day he would come and gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide- and- go- seek and when he was tired he would sleep in her shade. and the boy loved the tree very much, and the tree was happy. But time went by and the boy grew older and the tree was often alone. Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said, "come boy and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat my apples and sleep in my shade."
"I am too big to climb and play," said the boy. "I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money?"
"I'm sorry," said the tree. "I have no money. All I have are leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy."
And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered the apples and carried them away. And the tree was happy.
but the Boy stayed away for a long time and the tree was sad.
And then one day the Boy came back and the tree shook with joy and she said, "come Boy, climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and be happy."
"I am too busy to climb trees," said the boy. "I want a house to keep me warm. I want a wife and children so I need a house. Can you give me a house?"
"I have no house," said the tree. "The forest is my house. But you can cut off my branches and build a house and then you will be happy."

The poem goes on. It's a beautiful picture of how selfish we as humans are and how giving nature is to us. It can also be related to how much God gives us and how we just keep asking and asking from Him and then when we are finally at the end of ourselves, we might have time for Him. I think we should live each moment to the fullest, but never forgetting WHY we are here. Our purpose in life..... SIEZE THE DAY!

A walk to remember......


The sun giving these grapes some more juice before they are harvested.

the contrast of colors is amazing....

GRAPES!!! and these are not for jelly or jam purposes...

with a paintbrush....God let us enjoy this marvelous sunset!

in the middle of the vineyard there are signs that tell you things. It's so great, no matter where you go there is a sign that tells you which direction to go or the history of the village.

The rows and rows of grapes are an amazing sight!

As we were leaving and enjoying the crisp evening air to our left was.....THE MOON!

and to our right.....the sunset! What an amazing contrast!!

Here's the moon, playing peek a boo with us!

For but a moment, I got to hold the moon in my hand! God's grace and mercy abound and SHINE! It was about 2 years ago when I was fascinated with the moon. It was always there! day, night, good mood, bad mood. It didn't matter...I would look up and it was there. I always smiled and said a thankful prayer. Then, one day God revealed to me that the reason I was fascinated with the moon was because it was like Him in the fact that "I'm always there." I was astounded and honored that God would allow me to get to know Him by this wonderful creation. Not only is the moon always there, but it reflects the light. God is always there.....a constant.....and I need to relfect His light.
WOW! I had decided at the beginning of the walk that I was going to name this blog "A walk to remember". Do I really have a lot to remember this evening?! How marvelous, how wonderful is our Father in Heaven?!


Sunday, September 19, 2010


Brad and Janis have been telling me about the "Stages" festival in the nearby village of Staufen. We thought it was this weekend so we went on Friday night to see the festival. We arrived and there was no festival! LOL So, we decided to hike up to the castle ruins. We took advantage of the opportunity that God gave us. It was a wonderful, beautiful sunset that we arrived for! AMAZING!!! Laura asked "Do you feel like a princess?" LOL Well, I don't think a princess would have had to hike up the hill! LOL but it was definately a wonderful sunset that the King painted for me. ;)

The amazing view of the castle in the moonlight.

Janis was not feeling well, but she was hanging in there! She made it to the top of the castle for the view!

The stairs that lead to the top....

I find it amazing that the castles built in the middle of vineyards. Very stategic....

one last sunbeam on this amazing evening!

The SON shining through..... ;)

Brittany's panoramic....



Saturday, September 18, 2010


Each village has their own festival. The village next to me, the largest one, the one where I work is called Kandern. Their fest for the year is Budenfest. It means small booth. So, different groups in the area build small buildings where they cook food and serve you. Here are some sights from the fest!!! This is Juila S. She is a camper that I met this year. :) and she lives in a village near by. Her mom brought her over and we sat and chatted for a while. :)

Heather is trying the local speciality! Onion and ham flatbread pizza. It's very thin crust and cooked in a brick oven. Yes, they even installed a brick oven for this festival! Everything you see here is temporary! All the booths and decorations are built just for this and now, things are "back to normal".

A traditional favorite, pretzle necklaces! (and she's precious!)

I had cooked sauerkraut with some kind of noodle from this place. It was very good. :)

I just loved the decorations on this place.

Can't be a festival without balloons!

The booths are so neat. Hard to believe they are temporary!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Brad and Janis and I went to a local mountain and hiked to the top. It was a 3 hour trek to the top. Here are some pictures of our journey!
The local village.
We've already gone 1 km and we have 4 more to go! whoo hoo!!!

God's grandure.....

The Black Forest!!! Schwarzwald!!! Schwarz=black and wald=forest The reason it's called the Black Forest is because the trees are so dense they look very dark from the air.

This is about 1/2 way. Larry loved the view. We stopped here again on the way down to eat lunch. Yummy lettuce wraps!

We loved watching the contrails all day. The sky was perfect!

The hills are alive.....with the sound.....

We got high enough that we were at the same level as the clouds!!! They were just sitting there!

The next mountain over.... in this area there are 3 mountains that are the highest in the region. They are in a row. Blauen, Belchen (which I'm standing on to take this picture) and this one that I'm looking at (I don't remember the name of it).

I made it to the top!!!!! Yay!!! Only 3 hours! Now to look around and to journey down!

God's majesty at the top! Just a reminder of His goodness!