life is a mission......

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Zurich, Switzerland…


The RA's at BFA need some time off every once in a while! Well, this weekend Laura and Elanie had the weekend off and I was privileged enough to get to hang out with them and we had a "debriefing" time in Zurich, Switzerland. It was a great time to see the city and explore. We didn't really have any "plans" when we went. Just knew it was a neat city to visit and within driving distance of Kandern.

It's a beautiful city with not only a gorgeous view of God's splendor, but culture. Just breathtaking! The Alps, the Grossmuenster



and the Fraumuenster



and many other cathedrals! The full moon that shone so brightly!! Oh thank you Lord for the reminder that you are always there.

I am so thankful for the relationships that I have been blessed with in such a short time that I have been here in Germany. I am confident that they are lifelong friendships because these are genuine people that God has placed in my path. What a wonderful season!!!






Here is a video of some guys that just show up at this place

and sing. It has some great acustics there. They not only had great voices, but great stage presence!!! We enjoyed just standing and listening!!! What a way to pay the rent!!





Sunday, October 17, 2010

Strasbourg, France....

Just a reminder of the way a "typical Europen" street looks! I <3 style="TEXT-ALIGN: center; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; WIDTH: 181px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 154px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5529093910041795426" border="0" alt="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_NG41nduGh7I/TLtJneXRG2I/AAAAAAAAARc/AWQepBJu53s/s320/IMG_1201.JPG">
It's the weekend....what to do? what to do? Oh, I live in Europe for a year! Let's go to a different country!! Oh, Ok! Where do you want to go? Oh, I don't know...I heard that Strasbourg, France is nice. Oh, ok, then let's go!

Ok, so the conversation wasn't quite like that, but close! This weekend one of the RA's that is new this year and we got to meet at new staff orientation in Minneapolis, MN before we came wanted to go to Strasbourg. It's a quaint city that has a HUGE Muenster, the largest cathedral. The tour of the cathedral was really the highlight of the trip. We got to know a couple of girls who were visiting some of the local dorm parents. They rode with us and enjoyed the city as they explored.

For me, this is yet another time of God confirming that I'm taking the correct next step. I know that sounds strange....how can visiting a city in France confirm that I'm suppose to go back to Texas and get my Master's? Well, let me share. :) For the past 12 years I have lived in small country towns. I really have loved each place that I lived, even if the closest shopping was 45 minutes away. I enjoy the small town feel and knowing people and the small schools that I have taught in. Drastically different from the city. Visiting the cities I have realized that I enjoy seeing all the "touristy" things and things being close and just "city life". I like being able to walk around and see different things. So, in walking around and seeing this city, I thought of the next journey of my life and how great it will be to be back in a city.

I love taking phone booth pictures! I'm starting a new collection.....bags that say where I've been and phone booth pictures!!! I was reminded of Centerville because of this sign.... Centre Ville!!! yes, the center of the city! LOL

I'm continually remided and thankful that God is always showing me and confirming to me of His will for my life.....even in the seemingly mundane things, God knows how to talk to me! It's different for each person, and I am so thankful that He knows me so well that when He speaks, I know it's Him.

Monday nights.....

On Monday nights I get to go to Sonne. It's the dorm that I have spent my summer English Camps at for the past two summers. It's a beautiful drive "up the hill" and a wonderful time of ministry to the dorm parents and the guys that live there during the school year.

Here is a map and pictures representing where all the guys are from. Sonne is a guy's dorm and there are 21 guys here with now 3 RA's. There were only 2 until this past week, and a set of dorm parents. They all live together and they are a family during the school year, and even past graduation the memories are held dearly in their hearts. Meet the dorm....
This is the dorm.... SONNE!!!! This is the Schulbus on the way "up the hill". It was so full that 3 guys had to sit on the floor! There is a girl's dorm right across the street and there are a few elementary school home students on the bus too.


So, there are a few pieces of snack left (some pizza bagel things) and there aren't enough for all of them to have more. What is the best way to figure out who gets more? PAPER, ROCK, SCISSORS!!!


Some of the guys were hungry and so they are making some noodles to pass the time between snack and supper!


Here is the soup that the guys made.




Here are the guys...doing guy things....waiting on supper to arrive....


A central kitchen cooks supper Monday- Friday and the food is "brought up the hill



Here is our yummy pan of hot food that arrived. It is chicken, rice, and lots of other goodies in there!


The food is hot when it arrives, so Marty does his best at getting out the big pans of hot food....these are his "built in oven mits"!!!



Greg does such a great job setting the table each day! Such care and attention to detail! Good job Greg!


A peek at the dish pit in action! They have way too much fun doing dishes!!



Here are the pots and pans crew! What a lovely job they do!


Here are the guys doing the supper dishes! All their hard work of dishwashing is paying off....LOOK at those piles of clean dishes!!!



I made a brownie for John's "unbirthday". Sometimes for the actual birthday not all the staff is around, so they wait until a day when everyone can be there. I made the brownie on Monday night so the guys could enjoy it on Tuesday. They sent me a piece later in the week and it was YUMM-O!!!


So, does it suprise you that a lot of my evening revolves around food? I mean, I am at a guys' dorm! It's been such a great way for me to get to know some of the students. I'm not at the school doing activities with the students, so I enjoy hanging out and chatting with the guys. Marty and Debbie Shilling are the dorm parents and they are so inviting! They are such great parents! The guys know what is expected of them and they respect them.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

a confirming walk....

I went for an evening walk. I was walking on a new trail and just enjoying the scenery. When I walk I listen to my ipod and sing along or talk to God. There have been some amazing conversations here in the Black Forest. Tonight, like many other, I was chatting with the Creator. During the past month I have been seeking what I should do next, the step of my journey after my year here in Germany. I feel that God is leading me back to college. Since being a teacher I have always been intrigued by the school counseling career. I took a couple of classes the second year I was out of school and teaching, but life changed and I haven't gotten back into the courses. So, my first feeling was that I was to go back to school. I didn't know where that would be. I kept seeking and asking. I looked at a lot of different places and kept knocking and kept seeking. I know that I will have to take the GRE, so I ordered the study guide from Amazon and I'm having it delievered to me here in Germany so when I come home in late February I can take it. I can even sign up to take it online! This was one of the first steps of faith that I took in the next journey. Just ordering the book. ~we walk by faith and not by sight~ Then, I made a chart.....I know, I know.....of all the qualities I was looking for in a place to live and all the places I felt I had to choose from. The places were: College Station, Hunstville, Houston, Clear Lake and The Woodlands. All of these places had to be near a college and have public transportation (those were just two of my qualifications). After looking at all of the places and the things I saw as important factors for life, Clear Lake was the clear "winner". So, I applied to University of Houston, Clear Lake over the internet this weekend. AGAIN ~we walk by faith and not by sight~

Ok, that was the back story to why this walk tonight was such an amazing walk.

I'm walking along, talking to God and asking for a conformation that I am taking the right step. I am a human and when I need to know that I'm doing something and following God's plan for my life I ask for something confirming to happen. Now, I figured I would get an email or something, but no....I'm in the woods and I get to a clearing. [let me set the stage for you] There is this perfect meadow at the top of this hill. An opening. It has this perfect tree in it. Just one tree in the middle. And then there is a line of trees to the left, an opening and more trees on the right. There is a level of rolling hills. Then, behind those there is another level of rolling hills. Then, some mountains in the back of that. And right there in the crease of where the hills collide, is a sliver of the moon. It's a pinkish sliver. Just hanging there.

God knows how to speak to me. He knows that the moon is a speaking tool for me. He has used it so many times to confirm that He is always there and so for it to be such a distinct moon at this particular moment, I knew He had hung it in the sky to answer my prayer. Now I didn't expect to have my prayer answered at that moment, but I was thankful that it was. I stopped in that perfect meadow and listened to the song "God Speaking" by Mandisa. The words are so perfect. {Who knows how He'll get a hold of us? Get our attention and prove He is enough. He'll do and He'll use whatever He wants to. To tell us, I love you!} That is definately what I felt tonight. I was standing on a hill in the middle of the Black Forest in Germany, it was dark, and I was standing there: admiring my Creator and thanking Him for speaking to me through His creation.

I didn't have my camera, but I did have my ipod, so this is the best picture I could get. The little pinkish dot is the moon. And amazingly enough, after I decided that it was getting really dark and I should get home, the moon disappeared. It was only there for a short time. Just another miracle to show me that He loves me and He was answering me. ~we walk by faith and not by sight~

Thank you Lord for confirmations.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

colors.....

Germany.....with green trees and hills....what a beautiful sky!!!



On my walk home the "turning" of the trees just popped!!! All the colors are amazing!!!



What beautiful scenery!



This is the village where I live....Reidlingen....




The colors of FALL.... =)

Thank you Lord for letting me experience your grandure!

a new cut.....


So, it's been about 5 months since I've had my hair cut. Brittany, Janis and I decided that we couldn't take it anymore!! These are our before pictures..... (not Heather, but Brittany with the curly hair and glasses and Janis with the short dark hair and glasses).

so, those are our "before" pictures. We got into the car and prayed about going. We had never gotten our hair cut somewhere here in Germany and we were very nervous about just walking into some place. So, our prayer was that we would find a place that we could just walk into and get a cut AND they spoke English. So, we went to the nearby village that we thought we would have the best luck in and parked and walked down the main street. We saw this one place and went in and they didn't speak English (that was one of our criteria), so we left. We kept walking and found another place, went in, and they took people that just walk in AND they spoke English!!! We just wanted to be able to communicate to them what we wanted done. The girl that cut our hair was EXCELLENT!!
These are our during pictures......

Janis...


Brittany....

Me....

And after.....


Brittany.....
Janis.....

Me.....

Ok, so you might be asking...."why would she blog about this?" BUT....belive me it was definately a cultural experience..... We walked in, asked if they spoke English...yes, they do, so we sat down and waited our turn. After the girl cut our hair, she asked us if we wanted to blow dry our hair. But, since we have curly hair, blow drying it would have just been a BIG frizzy mess!!! so, we opted not to blow dry it! The difference.....on the other side of the "big pond" the hair stylist would have "fixed" it for us. BUT we aren't complaing....we got an answer to prayer, we got a good hair cut, and it only cost 14 Euro (less than $20). So, all in all, it was a good day and wonderful reminder that God answer prayers. :)



visiting a camper in Freiburg....

After spending a couple of hours with me Ela told me that talking in English that much made her brain hurt! I told her I can only imagine and that I wish I could talk to her more in German!

One of my campers from this summer goes to school in a nearby town. We've been communicating via email since the end of camp. She asked me if I would like to meet her in Freiburg and have lunch. So, I took the bus to the train station and met her there. We shared a very nice pizza and had a great walk around the city. She had to buy a book for class and so I enjoyed looking around the bookstore and found a good book for me to read on a Sunday afternoon or during train rides. :) She had to leave and home, and hour and a half train ride for her, and I continued to walk around and enjoy the sights. As I was walking around I heard some very nice music and looked and it was a group of local students who came out to show off their musical playing skills. I was so impressed I took a video so I could share with everyone the sights and sounds of Freiburg, Germany.


Enjoy!




Wednesday, October 6, 2010

where do you live?......

I've been contemplating "where I live". There is the physical place of where I live....here in Germany....and there is the place of where my heart is. So, I love taking pictures of the landscape and the sunsets to remind me of the physical place that I live, but they also remind me that I need to be thankful every moment for God's provision and grace. As I walk through the forest to get from one job to the next I am constantly in awe of His creation and sovereignty over us. I listen to podcasts, pray, cry out to the Lord and listen to Him.
As "Momma Janis" met me today on my walk home from school, I was literally crying. Just standing looking at this view, trying to capture it the way my eyes see it and not the way the camera captures it, and thinking about the amazing blessing I have to be serving such a wonderful Creator in a land this beautiful.

Don't get me wrong.... I LOVE TEXAS! And when people ask me where I'm from, I tell them Texas and I am not ashamed of it.... BUT, I really don't recall the sky being this BLUE on a consistant daily basis. It strikes me every day the sky is stunningly blue.

So, physically, I live in Germany. Spiritually, in my heart, I'm trying to live with Jesus, with the One who created us. I want to honor Him in my life and my actions.


May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation--those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ-- for this will bring much glory and praise to God. ~Philippans 1.11