Monday, February 21, 2011

Halfway Done

Yes, I'm still alive!! I was considering that for a post, but somehow this doesn't capture everything that I've been up to since July when I last posted. There are several reasons why I haven't posted in a while: I was discouraged and felt like I had nothing good to write about, and when I finally did have something to write about, I didn't know where to start since it had been so long. Okay, before I start getting melodramatic, I will attempt to update in an orderly and reasonable fashion. "Attempt" is the keyword because sometimes I'm a little scatterbrained and all over the place when I write.

At the time of typing, it is lightly snowing (since yesterday) after nearly a month of no snow. This past winter has not had as much snow as I imagined (thankfully) though I have seen quite a bit of snow here. I was expecting blizzards and 5 ft. snow drifts, kinda like Siberia. See, I always expect the worse or the best, yet I would describe myself as a realist, most of the time, situationally might be more accurate. In any event, Germany is a wonderful place to live and I am so thankful to the Lord for the opportunity He has graciously given me to live in the beautiful Alps and travel around Europe.

Work has been going very well. My hours are from 5am to 1:30pm, though I get off earlier sometimes. I enjoy going in early and don't mind waking up at 3am, however, my dilemma is making myself go to sleep early at night. As much as I would like to see myself as an early bird, I'm a night owl at heart. Anyhow, I'd like everyone to know how much I LOVE my job! Well, what I really love is the people I work with, who are mainly Greeks, Romanians, a German, and the rest, Americans. I have a super fun time at work talking, laughing, getting hugs, playing the piano, taking breaks, faaiiiling, etc. I mention failing because something misfortunate and crazy always seems to be happening to me at work, this makes for an interesting day tho!

I mentioned I was discouraged for a while. The first several months were difficult because I felt alone, like I wasn't connecting with other Christians, and I was feeling quite sorry for myself. One thing I've discovered, through multiple lessons is that I am most miserable when I am focused on ME. The right response is to turn outwardly, rather than inwardly. Turn completely to the Lord and pour yourself into blessing others. Unfortunately, I didn't do this at the outset, not completely at least. I'm thankful that the Lord changed my perspective, mainly with the counsel of a friend. She kindly sympathized with me, but most importantly pointed me to the Savior who was also familiar with loneliness. Since He had been with God the Father from the very beginning and knew Him in ways we don't He undoubtedly was lonely at times. It also didn't help that His disciples were out of it and didn't even understand what He was trying to communicate most of the time. She pointed out that Jesus responded by focusing on others and praying to God. So this was some of the best advice I received. Thank you, Katie!

Traveling has been a blast, even solo trips! So far I've been to Bonn, Germany (birthplace of Beethoven) for the Beethoven Festival concert, Geneva (for Reformation Day), Nuremberg, Paris, and London. I've gone to the top of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze, which is very close to Garmisch, where I live. This past Saturday I took a sobering and very informative tour of Dachau Concentration Camp. And I'm taking a three day trip in a few days, to either Prague or Berlin. I know my title for this post is "Halfway Done" but I'm actually more than halfway done, it sounds better like that though. My military id card expires July 22, so I'm guessing that will be the day of departure. I'm sad that its gone by so fast and was complaining to someone about that recently, but realized I should be grateful for the time that I have had, and the remainder of the time I do have. Gratefulness is an excellent remedy for a complaining spirit. Well, I think this shall do, thanks for tuning in, friends! I intend to write on here more often because I have several items I'd like to write about. So...stay tuned!