Monday, August 23, 2010

Out: Car; In: Cat

My car got sold! Praise God! Friends in Colorado managed, showed, and sold my car while I've been in Germany. I wasn't sure how my car would get sold and of course I was praying God would sell it or show me what else to do, but when a buyer was interested, it went so fast. Shame on me for doubting God's timing (mine would have been the last week I was in America!).

The same day, my neighbor also gave me a cat! I named him Maexli and he's super cute, 3 months old. It's so nice just to know that there's something else breathing and active (!!) in the house with me. He's gotten used me, follows me around, plays a lot, but even cuddles! He's a gift, and I have a few more days to decide whether to keep Maexli. Of course I do, but with me leaving here again in a year and with the upcoming year being so uncertain with daily life, I'm not sure how much I'll be home to enjoy him. I know I would love it when we're here together, but if I'm gone alot or travel, he'll be alone :( So, please pray for wisdom for me!

Transition has been going better. Last week was a little difficult, but I received prayer and I've been filled with more joy, peace, songs, and hope. As one mentor said, these transition days are unique and out of the box. I should enjoy them and journal about them, for I will be wishing them back when I have major structure and schedule in my day/life. Someone else wise gave me a great analogy about transition:
Right now I'm in a tunnel that leads me from one place to another. I'm no longer where I have been and am not yet fully at the place where I will be. Praise God, I know where I'm heading eternally but also in the next few months, but I know I am in the will of God. In the tunnel, however, it is often dark and there's no cell phone coverage :) So you might think you're lost and are getting no direction, but God is Light and in the tunnel, you have to go by what He's already told you.

To the praise of the glory of His grace.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thoughts on Furlough and My new friend

My parents went back to their own home earlier this week and now I'm here on my own. I know I'm not alone alone, but it's strange being here without my parents, since this is their house when they're in Germany and I've never been here without them. Our furniture and everything over 20 years old is still here and when we come back on furlough, it's like we come to a place where time has frozen. We still use our old stuff (who needs new stuff when you only use it a few weeks a year anyway?), reunite with our loyal friends, attend the same church, and do life for a few weeks before we leave again.
Furloughs were always fun for us kids because we got to eat the yummy German food, see our old friends, buy new clothes, and ride our bikes to get everywhere. For my parents it wasn't as restful between speaking engagements, filing taxes, getting us kids and themselves to all the check-up appointments, and still having on their minds the things that are going on with the church in Turkey. Anyway, it was nice to be with my parents here in Germany as a 'grown-up' after I haven't been here for 5 years.
Since they've been gone, I've tried to keep myself busy by adapting the flat to my taste and making friends with our kind neighbors. One of them is a lady over 70 years old who knew me when we lived in Germany 17 years ago and she really likes my family. Well, she lives on her own also, but for the last 2 days, she has invited me over for lunch and it's been such a sweet time with her telling me stories from her life and us reading the Bible together and praying. It's a blessing for both of us to have something and someone to look forward to and we don't have to eat lunch alone!

Praise God.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Stranger in my own Country

Yup, I definitely feel like a stranger and foreigner here!
--I talk funny (they say "with a 'slang'")
--I ask grammar and vocabulary questions that the Germans just take at face value
--I hardly know how to get around
--I ask silly questions
--I view the culture, people, and behaviors objectively, as an outsider looking in rather than an inside German
--I have to learn a whole new system of laws, regulations, norms, speech, etc

It's weird. I feel like such an American here with my good smelling shampoo and smell stuff, with my flip flops and jeans, with my water bottle, and with all my American "stuff." Weird. I wonder if this American-ness will stay with me all my life or if I will be transformed back into a German throughout the span of this year... the mean time, being quite aware that I'm a stranger on this earth in general. My citizenship is in Heaven.

Stay tuned :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thoughts on Transitions

While I AM arriving back "home" full-circle seemingly, in Germany, it still is a transition time. My energy and motivation isn't quite in full gear and during the day I get lost with what to do.

I've realized that transition times are difficult for me because it's a waiting time: waiting for life to get into a schedule, getting into new rhythms, waiting for me to establish credibility and give people a chance to get to know me, waiting to feel like I belong here...

Transitions are a change in gear and I would think that growing up as a missionary kid and having moved around since then, I would be really flexible and used to hello good-byes. But I don't feel any more immune to it. Is it ever going to get easier? Will I always have this "TCK" (Third culture kid) syndrome of not being able to identify or fully arrive with any one culture or country? Feeling rooted in many places, yet realizing not a lot of those roots are super deep?