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Monthly Archives: April 2012

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Germany Head

Seriously, I got a massage yesterday and was so relaxed at the end that I asked the girl the same exact question two times in a row. As in . . .

Me: “Wow! You’re parents are in China! How long will they be there?”

Her: “10 days.”

Me: How long will they be there?”

Her: “10 days.”

Exact. Same. Question.

Two things: I was really relaxed. And my head is full of more stuff than normal. Oh, and I only got like four-ish hours of sleep the night before due to my head being full of more stuff than normal (see above). Okay, so that’s three things. But that just proves my point. Right?

It feels like a big, huge ball of stress that’s different than any stress I know. Not really I-have -to-get-stuff-done kind of stress, although, let’s be honest, I DO. But just the constant, in the back of my mind at all times, I’m-leaving-for-a-year-and-everything-I-know-about-day-to-day-everything-is-going-to-be-different. Oh, and … (oops, my husband just asked me a question and I don’t remember what I was going to write in this sentence. Just keeping it real for you.) Seriously. I have Germany Head.

So — here’s a small glimpse into Germany Head. Ready?

I hope Hanna gets off her training wheels before we go so we can ride our bikes everywhere when we get there. That makes me think how glad I am we got Grace a new bike for Christmas. How fun that will be! I wonder if we’ll ever ride our bikes to take them to school. Oh school. OH SCHOOL! How will they do? I hope they make friends quickly. Friends that speak English. Maybe they can teach them English. That would be fun. I wonder if they’ll have any sleepovers in Germany? What will that be like? Will their parents be nice to them? Oh man! How will I know how to handle getting to know their parents before they go to a friend’s house?!? That’s a little scary. You know what else is scary? Thinking about going out to eat. What if all they have is like blood sausage and some beer that I hate? Do I just get up and leave? It’s a small town, so will they mark us as rude foreigners if we do that? Oh look! There’s the rebate form for my contacts that I couldn’t find! . . .

Scary, huh?

So today, I did what I am learning is really the only way to deal with such things. I went to my place in the living room and laid face down and, again, asked the God Who is sending us to Germany for a year to take every. single. detail and make it happen His very perfect way.

Oh, and tonight I practiced my German-living by drinking some beer. Just keeping it real.

Roots For My Kids

I couldn’t sleep last night. My mind exploded with excitement and ideas and what-ifs and details that no human can possibly keep track of. Seriously, it’s like a fireworks show in my brain. Big, huge fireworks.

We leave for Germany in tee-minus 8 weeks. We’ll live there for a year. The move has hung in the fringe since last August, though never truly defined until yesterday. We’ve been living between the where-we-are and the where-we-know-we’re-going. And, I’ll tell you, it’s a strange place to live. Leary to commit to anything in any long-term sort of way because we didn’t think we’d be here past November. Then January. Then February or March. And now, well, we have a date. We leave June 5 to live like Germans for one year.

Twelve months of life-altering, upside-down living and figuring out how to do stuff we don’t even know that we don’t know how to do. We won’t grow roots there, because we will always know we’ll be leaving. Not deep roots, anyway. I imagine that to some degree, we’re going to feel like our roots are dangling in mid-air, because we won’t have immediate access to the things of life to which we are so very accustomed. We won’t just get to stop at Wendy’s for a frosty when someone gets a shot or a strep test. I won’t get to meet my favorite people  for lunch when I need some girl time, or I just don’t have it in me to make lunch.

I got up out of bed last night after laying there for an hour-and-a-half wondering when the fireworks would slow down so I could shut my eyes and ignore them for a while. I wandered to my children’s rooms, watched them sleep in the dark. I wondered about the details surrounding them and this move and how hard it will sometimes be for them. And I prayed.

I prayed for their friendships and their safety. I prayed about their health and the schooling they’ll get while we are over in upside-down land. But mostly I prayed that Almighty God would use this to make them strong in Him. To make them who He created them to be.

I made my way to the couch, Bible and journal in hand, and sat down with it before opening the computer to for the tired I needed to find. I opened to the words I read about fourteen hours earlier. Blessed. Trusts. LORD. Confidence.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him. (Jeremiah 17:7)

But that’s as far as I had read until last night, on my couch, after I asked God to help each of my kids to find their hope in God alone. To lead them to find their confidence only in the One Who can give them any real sustenance. Then I saw the next few words, and my heart literally skipped a beat as I realized the truth that God had directed me to pray for my daughters, for my husband, for myself.

They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream. (Jeremiah 17:8a)

Did you catch that? The person who knows that his or her only hope, the only anything truly worthy of his or her entire confidence, that person is like a tree planted in the exact perfect spot. Like a big strong tree that knows the best place to root itself is smack next to the stream. And the best place to root ourselves is right next to the true Living Water. Solid and firm in our place near Him.

If we plant ourselves right next to Jesus Christ, our hope and confidence rooted in Him alone, then we have nothing to fear. Nothing.

It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jer. 17:7-8)

Because the only worthwhile place to dig real roots is near real water.

And this is what my children need to learn. Me too. We need to stop looking for life in what is not water. We need to stop looking to pretend-water to quench our spirit thirst. And somehow, I believe that God is going to use every ounce of that truth to teach my children, and me, to root our hope and our confidence only in Him.

But it’s kind of a hard thing to pray for my kids. Because I know it will require ripping out the misplaced roots they’ve started planting. And yet, I sit here believing it’s what God wants for my kids. And this year in Germany will have a significant impact in that regard. And goodness knows I want to, I need to, pray more for my kids. I need to pray more of God’s Word for my kids.

So I was thinking. What if I commit to praying this for my kids for this Germany adventure? And what if you commit to praying for your kids as you believe God leads you? Wanna’? C’mon…pleeeeease.

Why I Love Easter Morning

The new day dawns, and I sleep right through it. Right through the break the light brings to the dark. Right through 6am’s call to arise and celebrate the new life this day remembers.

It’s Easter morning.

I know this in my heart, but my body, slow to wake, procrastinates the alert, wants to lay in the cushy bed with lovely pillows and the perfect amount of covers a bit longer. The memories are what actually wake me up. Those Southern California Easter Sonrise services of my childhood when we’d wake up in the dark and worship God as He whispered the sun up to its place for the day. We’d lay in our sleeping bags on the grass in the park, and we would worship the Almighty God Who had spoken His Son up to life anew that very first Easter morning. That first Easter weekend, when everything changed.

I remember fondly the Easter mornings of my younger years and wonder why it feels different now, as a grown-up. I don’t want to lose the excited new that Easter morning means. New life in its entirety. Because Jesus is risen, everything is different.

So I get out of bed and find a sweatshirt for the cold house. We start the day with traditions. Traditions to remember that we live new life. Find the Easter baskets, filled with treats. Make some pains chocolates (which we eat every. single. holiday. morning. period. Because we lived in Paris, and we love chocolate and bread). Then we start something new because today is so special. Because I want my kids to get how special it really is.

We make Resurrection Rolls, with crescent rolls and marshmallows and cinnamon and sugar.

We color eggs and make memories to commemorate the special.

We celebrate life today in the new. Life that Jesus Christ made possible. Life that changes how we live in every possible way.

Happy Easter, my dear friends. Happy New Life.