Fun fact about living in Vienna: When you ride the U-Bahn you can pick up a free newspaper called Heute (which is translated “Today”) and have some reading material for the commute. So since I’m focused on deciphering the headlines in German, I thought you might appreciate some headlines from my life:
• One month of language school completed – In March I took the second level of German. I went to class 9-12 a.m., Monday through Friday. I took the first in January 2010. So needless to say there were many things I didn’t remember. I was probably somewhere in middle of the class as far as ability goes, but it was still a tough first month of school for me. So this month I repeated the course I just took. It’s given me more confidence and I’m definitely ready to move up a level in May.
• Visa renewal in process – Last month I began to gather the documents I need to renew my visa. There are a lot of important documents needed to be turned in along with my reapplication. I’ll turn in all of this paperwork in May.
• Ready to run – The Vienna City marathon/ half-marathon is tomorrow. I have such mixed emotions. I so wish I was in a place to run it, and yet at the same time I’m thankful I’m not running this year. This was one of my goals, but in the transition of moving here I haven’t had the time to really train. I am making this a new goal for next year!! At the same time I can totally celebrate, as I had always planned on doing because I am actually living in Vienna when this race is taking place!!! Yay!! Some days I have to pinch myself. So in honor of that I’m going to cheer on another runner as he runs the half tomorrow. There are quite a few women’s running groups in the city and I’m looking to check one out after Easter.
• Applied for my Austrian driver’s license by myself – This is another situation where certain documentation is required. Because of the way circumstances ended up I had to go to the counter and apply by myself. Oh I prayed so much that morning!! Funny enough, the person I talked with spoke English and we completed the entire application process in about 10 minutes. I have to say I held my head a little high that day, because sometimes I’m not that courageous.
• Finding community – This past week has been a fun week of getting together with new friends. It can be hard when you move to a new place. But I’m so thankful for the people God has brought into my life. I’m enjoying our conversations, laughter and discovery of Vienna. Some of these friends are from language school and others are from my church.
One of the many things I discovered that I really like in Vienna is this pear-flavored mineral water with the brand name – Emotion. Now I don’t know if this Emotion water and my consumption of it corresponds with what the month of March looked like, but I could be onto something and have to laugh at the connection!
Last month (March) was tough and full of emotion. It’s hard to pinpoint what triggered the tears. They would come on quickly and then they were gone and I would laugh at myself and ask, “What in the world just happened?!” I’m thankful my God knows me inside and out and understands all of my ups and downs even when I don’t.
Living in Austria is much different than visiting Austria. This is not a news flash for me, and it may seem like I’m stating the obvious, but this is the transition I’m trekking through. Simple tasks take a lot of energy because there is quite a bit of thinking involved in every little thing. That may sound silly, but I remember it being quite easy to have a day full of errands in the States. I could go to Target, the post office, a quick trip to the grocery store and even get in a run before hanging out with friends for the evening. Here, I may be able to tackle one of those things in one day or even in a couple of days because I have to think about what to say in a different language, what to do, where to go, how to get there, what I need to have with me and too many times I exhaust myself trying to stay a step ahead.
I’m thankful that God doesn’t expect me to stay one step ahead even though sometimes I try to, that’s His job. He wants me in the now with Him every moment of every day. This verse really ministered to me recently, and I wrote it on a note card and kept it in my pocket so much that I had to throw the note card away because it actually ended up going through the wash. Oops! Oh, I’ll be making a new note card for sure:
“I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].” (Philippians 4:13, AMP)
This version really struck me because it uses the word “infuses.” This last year I heard the word infusion a lot. This usually meant receiving my Pac-Man drugs to fight off the cancer. So the visual that comes to me is hooking my port up to this machine that administers the chemo. Jesus infuses me with His strength so I can be “self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.” Wow!!! What a deal we are given! Now that’s my idea of an infusion I want to have every day!
I’m learning to embrace my emotion, give myself grace and just be okay with having melt-downs every now and then. I think what makes it hard for me is that it’s very humbling when I have melt-downs, especially in front of people (whether they are in the same room with me or on Skype!) I know no one expects me to have it all together, thank goodness, but these emotions still battle with my ugly pride. This is one way God is refining me.
skyping my Collide family
On April 10 I went to bed early and got up in the middle of the night to say hi to some of my favorite people, the Collide high school group in southern Indiana. It was 1 a.m. my time and 7 p.m. there time. I wish I could see all of them when I’m talking, but it was still fun!! Here’s a little video from that.
coming soon . . .
This week I’m headed for a short getaway to Venice and Rome! And also, I found a beautiful Easter Egg from the Schönbrunn Easter Market. Stories and pictures to come!!
Have a great week!!