Sunday, August 29, 2010

You probably know me enough to know that I am NOT a morning person. Never have been. Just before I came to BFA, my friend Rachel gave me a great mug that says: "I don't do mornings"! It has been my constant companion these two years. I have my daily breakfast tea in it while I trudge through the first couple classes of each school day. During those two years, I have had to teach during 2nd period, and during the spring semesters I have proctored Study Hall during 1st period...a painful undertaking.

But Study Hall 1st period was nothing! This semester, I have to actually TEACH during 1st period, every day! AGH! This does not bode well for me or my students. I am trying to do my best at going to bed a little earlier so I can wake up earlier. All this in order to get the crabby out of my system before I'm forced to deal with students, who deep down insided I really do love.

Besides my morning tea in my trusty mug (still emblazoned with my message "I don't do mornings" should any student need reminding!), I need something else to cheer me into a good mood. Lucky for me, someone in our quaint little German town decided to paint their house like this:

Now, doesn't that just make you smile...or actually just laugh right out loud! I see this on my walk to work every morning. And I think I have smiled or laughed out loud every morning. That bright red apartment building just makes me happy every time I see it. I have to thank God for that. It's the first smile of my day and I wanted to share it with you.

Look for those moments, those people, those circumstances or things that God brings into your life to give you a little joy when you least expect it. Really look for them, they are all around us. Then take a minute to thank God for them. They really are gifts from Him. He deserves our thanks for bringing us the joy in our lives.

I'm praying God opens your eyes to a little gift He's given you. Next time you smile or laugh, remember who made it happen!

PS, I'm actually laughing right now. I just did a preview of this message and when I caught a look at the picture, it just made me laugh all over again. Also, I found a typo when I read the preview, but now I can't find it. Extra points to anyone who can point out where that typo went!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Back in the USA

I’m home! And 6 weeks from now I’ll be going back home. That’s my life now, I go from home to home, happily traveling around the world to my other home once or twice a year. Right now, I’m in the Chicagoland area, enjoying the time I have at one of my American homes. Later in the summer I’ll travel to Ithaca, NY to my other American home, my family home.

I hope to send regular notes this summer with highlights from my year. But this first one is actually about my first weekend back in the U.S.

My good friend Mary was commissioned and ordained as a minister in The Salvation Army on Sunday morning, June 13th. Mary and I (with my friend Tanya) have been in an accountability group for about 8 years. Mary has been a great friend, a godly example, a constant encourager. I am so blessed to have her in my life. And I was honored and proud to be there to witness her ordination. She was chosen by her classmates to be their representative speaker during the ceremony because she’s just THAT cool! I sincerely thank God for the gift that Mary and Tanya have been in my life. I thank God for no more volcanic ash clouds that could’ve delayed my trip home. I thank God for allowing me to witness and support my dear friend Mary on her big day.

I hope you, too, have a friend (or more) like Mary in your life.
-the type of friend who prays with you and for you,
-who laughs with you,
-the type of friend who drives out of her way to be at an event of yours when she knows you’re gonna need a little extra support,
-the type of friend who fills a journal full of thoughts, scripture and prayers for you to read when you’re on a mission trip,
-the type of friend who challenges you to be a better person, to be the person God wants you to be.

If you have those friends, take a minute to thank God for that gift. If you don’t, take a minute to ask God to bring one of them into your life. And don’t forget to BE that type of friend to someone else. They need it as much as you do.

Thanks for your involvement in my life. I am blessed!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Only in Germany PS

If you haven't read my last post (Only in Germany), you should go back and read that first. This is a PS on that.

Actually, I'd like to share an antithesis to my last post (or is it?). Here's the story:

I don't have a car. I walk to school, church, grocery store, Bible Study, etc. It's pretty much the only exercise I get and it's pretty good. I mean, I walk about 30-60 minutes a day, depending on how many times I have to go to school in one day. I rely on this walking since I have finally gotten to that age where I can't eat whatever I want without any physical effects. And since I haven't learned to control the eating (especially my consumption of chocolate over here), I need all the walking I can get. And since tonight was a nice night out, I didn't take the offer of a ride home after Bible Study.

So....Picture it, Germany, 2010.... I was walking across my quaint little town nestled in the Black Forest on a cool spring night. I passed the main street section of town with all its shops closed (as they all do at about 6 pm, except on Wednesdays when they close at noon). As I was approaching one of the many inns in town I thought I heard something...a little out of the ordinary. I thought I heard singing. So, I stopped, right across the street from the inn and listened. Yes, there was a choir singing, it seemed to come from the windows of a room on the second floor, a meeting room probably. It was a tune I knew....from....Mary Poppins? Oh yes, there was a choir singing, in English. "ChimmChimminee, ChimmChimminee, ChimmChimm Charee." I stood there stunned, until I burst out in laughter and giggled the rest of the way home.

I love walking thru Kandern! It's worth turning down rides all the time!

Today was also a great day because I tried my new tea I bought yesterday. Mango PassionFruit Black Tea. It's called Havana Moon and it is GOOOOOOOD!

Good night all~!
PS. Extra points to the person who can find the reference to an excellent tv show from the 80s in this post...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Only in Germany!

I’ve had many “only in Germany” moments in the last few weeks and I had to share them with you. I hope you will have as much fun reading about them as I have living them….

In this area of Germany, during the early spring, we see a great frog migration. When fields come up to roads or highways, they put up plastic sheeting walls to keep the frogs from jumping into the street (then people come by and collect them and take them across the street to continue their migration!). There are signs out of the highway to remind you to be careful not to roadkill the frogs. A couple weeks ago I was walking home from school one evening after a recital. I was quite startled when, out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving. When I collected myself, I looked down at the sidewalk to see the bottom half of a frog. He had poked his head into a grate in the sidewalk and gotten stuck. So there he was struggling to get free and all I could do was laugh at the sight, flailing frog legs desperate for freedom. No, I didn’t help free him, I just laughed and kept walking, later wishing I had taken out the camera to take a pic to share with you. Oh well, next time.

One morning I was walking to school exceptionally early because we had pre-school meetings. As I walked through the parking lot at the grocery store on the way to school I experienced one of those moments where you shake your head, chuckle a bit and say “only in Germany!” There was a man literally vacuuming the parking lot at the grocery story…vacuuming! Sure, it was an outdoor type vacuum, not a normal home appliance, but still. They are soo clean over here in Germany, I think the phrase “Cleanliness is next to godliness” surely originated here, and they still live by it. The parking lot!

Above you see a lovely picture of my friends and I as we were arriving to Good Friday service at my church. Only in Germany can you arrive at church on Good Friday to be welcomed by a beer truck parked by the entrance! OK, its not normally there, but we’d rented out the building the day before for a Red Cross blood drive and they’d left it there. This week, I am at a retreat for my mission (TeachBeyond) and we are spending our time together at a Christian Conference Center. I had to laugh when I went down the hall with the dining rooms to see a full beverage fridge stocked with beers and wines. Only in Germany would you find a Christian Conference Center fully stocked with alcoholic beverages…

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's a great day!

I'm in the mood to sing the "Walka Walka" song. No, this is not a reference to Fozzy Bear, although Fozzy Bear is great. No, I'm talking about that great Sunday School chorus where each verse starts with "It's a great day to.... serve, praise, love...the Lord." Why am I in the mood? Because today is a GREAT day!

Today is Tuesday, which is always better than Monday! Today I am well-rested, yesterday I was NOT! Today it is bright and sunny, yesterday it was gloomy and rainy. Today my computer is fixed (thanks to Ev and Russ), yesterday it was not. Today is was my friends birthday and that meant homemade cake and buckeyes! Today I get a texican taco meal for dinner with my Bible Study! Today I saw ducks swimming in the creek...I don't think I've ever seen ducks swimming in the creek! Today I got a ride to work when I was late and needed it! Today I had a leftover cold turkey sandwhich for lunch! I love leftover cold turkey sandwhiches.

So, you see, it is a great day to Praise the Lord. Join me, will you? Praise God for the big and the small gifts. He gives them to you just to see you smile. And I'm smiling! Thanks, God!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spanish 3 Alumni Night- The Horror Picture Rocky Show

Aargh~ I just spent 30 minutes typing up a blog entry, pressed the POST button and it disappeared! I can't rewrite it now. I'm too sad!