An “Overdue” Update

What does one do when her husband leaves town for drill and Sunday plans have been canceled?   Make something special for the hubby and pour a cup of tea to enjoy while blogging on a rainy afternoon 🙂  Ahhh….

Image

(Can you guess what I made???)

Well, I guess the first update I can give you is that Rob will not be deploying this next summer.  Even though this wasnot the news that Rob and I were hoping to hear, we are confident in the Lord’s guidance.  Plus, staying in Munich will mean that Rob can continue his PhD studies without interruption (which is probably better for his studies).  Also, while Rob was in the states this past month for Army training, he had several conversations that led him to think about changing from the “reserves” to “active duty.”  Rob and I will not have to make the decision until next year, but it is something that we are considering…

During the absence of blogging Rob and I also enjoyed celebrating an early anniversary in Prague.  We took a great “free tour” of the city our first day in Prague and I would recommend it to anyone – it’s the SANDEMANs NEW Europe tour.  My favorite part of our tour was the fact that the guide actually grew up in/around Prague (in fact, when he was a child the country was still under communism).  After the tour, Rob and I enjoyed sipping a nice cup of coffee along the river.  It’s nice to know that we have finally figured out how to see AND enjoy cities in Europe 🙂 AND…for all of our friends and family who know that Rob and I can’t really “work out” or run together…it only took 4 years of marriage and a move to Europe but we have successfully overcome that obstacle, wahoo!

Image

(Prague)

I’m convinced the Rob might have had a hidden agenda in bringing me to Munich.  When we were in St. Louis I began to understand the phrase “April showers bring May flowers.”  It rained EVERY day in April, but once it got to May the sun came out and we had wonderful weather until it reached 100 degrees a few weeks later 🙂  Munich has been VERY different.  It started raining in April and I thought “OK… April shower bring May flowers.”  Well apparently the flowers over here need a lot more rain because it is now June and we are still experiencing what the German’s call “Dauerregen” or “lasting rain” – hmm…maybe my husband is REALLY hoping to get adjusted to the weather in the Northwest???

June and July will be busy months for us.  We will be attending our first German/American wedding, taking trips to Barcelona and Rome, Rob will hopefully go to an Air Assault School with the Army, and my mom will come visit for two weeks!  I think that’s it for updates – but I will add that we miss seeing all of you on SKYPE.  Somehow we have gone weeks without spending quality time on SKYPE with our family and friends (or maybe Rob is just SKYPING with everyone while I am at work, haha)…please get on so we can see your wonderful faces!

(Pictures will come tomorrow – it’s 11pm and they are still uploading…)

Advertisements

Enjoying the Present

As many of you know, I love to plan.  You might even say that making lists is my specialty (i.e. meals, chores, grocery shopping, budgeting, when to exercise, spending time with friends, vacations, holidays, how to spend my free time during the week and I even take joy in planning what I will wear to work regardless of the fact that I spend 99% of my time with 2 year olds :)).  But lately, I have been convicted about the amount of time I spend making all of these plans.  How many opportunities to fellowship with others and to enjoy God’s current blessings have I lost or been blind to see because I was so busy planning a future that I ultimately do not control?

So, these past few weeks I have been attempting to enjoy God’s present blessings more – realizing that He has perfectly planned our future.  What might those be?  Walking to get Gelato with my husband after work on a perfect sunny spring day, going out to eat on Sunday with a dear family from church, going to the Biergarten down the street from our apartment for dinner with a friend from Scotland, watching the Milan vs. Barcelona game at a pub with our friends from Spain, meeting some of Bryonie’s (Rob’s sister) friends, and maybe visiting the BMW museum today.  Here’s to enjoying the present and all of the fellowship that it brings!

Image

Now to catch you up on our life during the absence of blogging…

Rob and I have really been enjoying these past few months, but they have been busy.  We spent March 2-4 in Landstuhl for the PRJC Chaplain Retreat.  During that time we met several Chaplains (and their wives) from across Europe.  In fact, one of the Chaplains there told Rob that he has an empty Chaplain spot in his Brigade’s upcoming deployment (Summer 2013).  As many of you know, Rob and I both feel a desire for him to deploy (and no…it’s not because we need “space” :)).  Rob has often said that he didn’t become a Chaplain to sit at home while his Soldiers face the effects of war (ethical decisions, the loss of friends, martial trials, physical disabilities and death).  Such trials can bring a Soldier to think about God and Rob and I both desire for him or her to have someone there who can provide godly counsel.  All of that to say, we are waiting to hear if Rob can deploy and are praying that God would open that door.   We will keep you posted.

That Sunday, we worshipped at Trinity Reformed Church and Doug Lee (retired BG Chaplain) preached.  One of the customs in the military is to bring out the oldest and youngest Soldier present.  Putting that tradition into practice during the worship service meant that Chaplain Lee and Rob administered the Lord’s Supper together – what a wonderful way for Rob to experience his first time serving the Supper.  Since that weekend, Rob has been back to Trinity Reformed Church once to preach.

Rob’s studies and my job are both going well.  Rob will take a break from his studies April 14th-28th and travel back to the U.S. for Army training at Fort Jackson.  Then, on May 11th he will go before the New Testament department to present a paper on the history of the interpretation of Hebrews.  I have recently found out that one of my co-workers is leaving at the end of May.  All in all I believe that this will be a good change – BUT, it will mean that we are down one teacher and now have two teachers for fourteen 2 year olds – YIKES!  I have a funny feeling that I will be praying that the Lord will give me strength, energy and patience these next few months J (…and the same for Rob).

We had a lovely and unusual Easter yesterday.  Lovely because we enjoyed the afternoon with some dear friends and unusual because it SNOWED – so much for wearing a spring dress on Easter!  Even though it was a little colder than I would have preferred, it was a physical depiction of Isaiah 1:18 (ESV):

Image

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:

though your sins are like scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red like crimson,

they shall become like wool.”

We hope you had a wonderful Easter Sunday and miss you all!  Er ist wahrhaftig auf erstanden…

Christmas, New Years and a New Job



So, I sat down tonight with one task and one task only…to post on our blog. I must admit that I have had the intention of putting up a new post since December, but couldn’t find the time. However, I did stumble upon my sister-in-laws blog (which was also at a standstill until recently) and felt that if SHE can find the time to make a blog entry with a 2 year old and an infant…surely I can do the same – thanks for the motivation Courtney ☺

As many of you know, we spent Christmas and New Years in the U.S. For the first week, Rob and I were in Tacoma with his whole family (including 5 nieces and nephews – 2 and under) and had a WONDERFUL time. The Lord has blessed us with two church bodies here in Munich, but it was so special to be able to attend Faith’s Christmas Eve service with the Rayburn clan. Sadly, hymns aren’t sung too often over here…so being able to listen to our favorite Christmas hymns and other choral arrangements was a real blessing (especially having the opportunity to hear Courtney sing the Magnificat – it was beautiful!). The second part of our trip to the U.S. was spent in Florida. Unbeknownst to Rob and me, both of my sisters (and brother-in-law) were able to come down to Florida during our stay so that the whole family could be together. In addition to being able to see all of my family, Rob and I were also able to connect with Amy and Andrew Allen (friends from Covenant Seminary). It was so nice to be able to spend time with our family and friends relaxing in the “warmer” weather before coming back to snow!

One thing you should know if you travel from the U.S. to Germany is that it takes around a week to get over jet lag. (Just a side note – right before Christmas I signed a contract with a private day care center to be a Native English speaking teacher). Since I was unaware that it took so long to recover from jet lag, I scheduled my first day of work to start 3 days after returning from the U.S. To say that my 1st day of work was difficult would be an understatement. Lets just say that jet lag = No Sleep = Tylenol PM = Not hearing alarm = Waking up at 8:18 and needing to be at work by 9 (with a 30 min commute) = Not Ideal = RUNNING out the door → Having incorrect directions from the website = walking 15 min the wrong way = Slight breakdown and getting to work 20 min. late. I think that sums it up… Haha.
The good news is that the Director was very understanding (regarding my/the computers lack of navigational skills) and was happy that I made it into work. All in all, I really enjoy working at the day care center. There are two other German-speaking teachers in our classroom and we have around 12 children. As I mentioned before, I am the Native English-speaking teacher so I can only speak English to the kids. I’m actually surprised at how much English they understand and how much German I am picking up as I hear them ask the same questions every day. I’m sure that I will have some good stories working with 1 and 2 year olds, so I will keep you posted ☺

Lastly, Rob and I went to Landstuhl, Germany last weekend so that he could preach at Trinity Reformed Church (a mission church of the PCA). I must admit that I was somewhat intimidated by this weekend as it was my first “preacher’s wife” scenario. Upon arriving Saturday night, we were taken out for dinner with one of the elders and another couple from the church. Any nervousness that I might have had going into the weekend was certainly gone by the time we finished dinner – we had such a lovely time. The next day Rob preached a wonderful sermon from Habakkuk, we had lunch and then returned to Munich.

Some of my favorite moments:

Walking home one night from work as it is snowing…feeling the snow crunch beneath my feet, smelling the wood burning fires and hearing the church “gong” in the background. You can’t really get that in the states ☺

Rob telling Markus (an elder from the FEG church that picked us up from the airport) that we would be bringing back 6 pieces of luggage. Now that might not seem interesting until you realize the German/ English differences when writing 6. Since 6 sounds like “zex” in German and the “s” is pronounced like a “z”, Rob wrote that we would be bring back sex luggage instead of “sechs.” Switching from language to language really does a number on you…and makes life a little more humorous ☺

Growing in our love and appreciation for the unity of the church. Being able to go to the U.S., Munich, Landstuhl and commune with believers is such an incredible gift that the Lord has given the church.

***Updated pictures coming in a few days ***

Kaiserslautern, Zurich, 2 Thanksgivings and 2 Interviews

Coming back from KTown

As you can tell from the title of this post, the past few weeks have been anything but uneventful. But due to several “hints” to write more often from our family and friends, we realize that we may have already let some of you down 🙂 So, to fill you in…
Two weeks ago, we took a trip to Kaiserslautern for Rob’s drill weekend with the Army. Rob has been assigned to the 457th Civil Affairs Battalion as their 1st Chaplain. They are headquartered in Kaiserslautern, but also have companies in Wiesbaden, Bamberg, Grafenwoehr and Vicenza (can’t wait for that ministry visit). Overall, the unit seems very excited to have us both involved and we have met several wonderful people (including his commander). During our meeting with the commander, we found out that the 457th is actually being deployed in 10 months…but they don’t have a spot on the roster for a Chaplain. Even though I am not sad to be keeping my husband nearby when everyone else deploys…I must admit that it makes me sad knowing how much Rob desires to be down range with his fellow soldiers – building respect among them and giving them encouragement. But, I know that the Lord has a perfect plan for Rob as a Chaplain and right now he is asking us to have patience and to care for those left behind during the deployment.
Two days after returning from “Little America” as Rob would call it, we went on a trip to Zurich with Markus Michnick. Just a little side note — Markus is an elder from the FEG church. He and his wife have been so kind to us these past few months…taking us to the Konigsee, having us over for dinner, and letting us spend the night before leaving early in the morning for Zurich. Needless to say, we have really enjoyed getting to know them — Ok back to Zurich. We left for Zurich around 6:45 and took a rather scenic route (through the alps – not too shabby) to Zurich. When we arrived, Markus dropped us off to tour the city while he had a business meeting. So, for 6 hrs Rob and I enjoyed our time walking around the city. As you can see from the pictures, we found several churches to walk through and enjoyed a stroll by the river. It was wonderful to look at the pulpits of Zwingli and Bullinger and to walk the streets that Calvin and others walked (especially for Rob). We saw more Reformed churches within three city blocks than we have ever seen before. Every now and then we would pop into Starbucks since neither of us had winter jackets and it felt as though it was 20 degrees. And…we ended the trip by visiting a chocolate store that makes truffles filled with champagne (where we did make a little purchase, of course). Not a bad day…
Since Germans do not get Thursday off to celebrate Thanksgiving, Rob and I were invited to Thanksgiving meals on Friday and Saturday. Matthias and Sarah Lohmann (the pastor and wife from the FEG church) invited us over for lunch on Friday. We had such a nice time with them and were able to meet Matthias’ parents. Then, we came home to bake two pies (Raspberry Ribbon and Apple) for the next Thanksgiving meal hosted by the Henderson’s. Steve Henderson is the pastor of MICC (the English speaking church). Unfortunately, I was too sick to go to that Thanksgiving meal…so Rob delivered the pies and enjoyed that meal while I stayed in bed. Even though we weren’t able to be with our families during Thanksgiving, it was such a blessing to have the Church. I can’t imagine how different things would be here if the Church (their hospitality, care, etc.) did not exist.
And for more recent news – this past week I had 2 job interviews! My first interview on Wednesday was for a nannying position (but only 8 hrs a week) and the second on Thursday was for a day care/kindergarten. The first interview went well. I really enjoyed the family, but I also knew that I needed something more than 8 hrs a week. I also wasn’t sure how I felt about working at a day care/kindergarten, but my interview on Thursday went really well. In fact, I went back earlier today to observe one of the classes (to make sure I liked the atmosphere). Hopefully, I will get an email on Friday or Monday with the job details…
I guess the last piece of news would be that I am taking a short 2 week intensive German language class. So far, I would say that I spend 30% of my time understanding what is going on and 70% trying to figure out what the teacher is telling us to do. All I can say is thank goodness for body language! Hopefully over the next two weeks the ratio will change a little 🙂
Finally, we should say that these past weeks have also been spiritually stimulating. A new country, a new culture, and new challenges have caused us to confront our sin and the God that we serve. While it may sound like life is roses and beer (for Rob) here, we have had to bear one another’s burdens, and have grown closer doing so (even as imperfectly as we do). The Lord has shown us what it means to rely on Him, and we are thankful. Until next time…

Guten Tag!


Here it goes, or as the Germans would say, “Los gehts!” Robbie and I use to think that we would NEVER have a blog. Actually, there is still a large part of us that doesn’t like the idea. Needing to write in a way that would keep a reader’s attention is somewhat intimidating; and, who’s to say that our lives will be too terribly interesting anyway? But alas, we find ourselves embarking on a new adventure and hopefully we can give those interested the ability to keep up with what is going on (especially with the time difference between Germany and the US). Besides, considering that we are in a new place and that only one of us knows German…I’m sure that we will have plenty of interesting stories (and pictures) to share.
The quote from which we have taken the title of our blog is found in a letter Samuel Rutherford wrote to a woman who had lost her husband. Rutherford’s encouragement to this woman was to pray and wrestle through her trial, clinging to the victory that was already hers in Christ for “the miles to heaven are but few and short.” Our hope and prayer is that with this blog we can share the road down which our Father leads us – and in doing so, reflect upon our own joys and sorrows as we seek to remember that one day soon we will be in the presence of our Creator.