Thursday will mark six months from the date I arrived in Vienna earlier this year. When I left the U.S. in January it was hard to imagine what six months later would be like. Somehow it feels much longer than six months. Not because I’ve had this terrible experience, but because so much has happened and there are so many ups and downs involved in adjusting to a new life and culture.
my top six . . .
Lists of odds and ends from the last six months:
Things I’m thankful for
• a renewed visa and an Austrian driver’s license
• this Friday will mark completing four German classes (the entire A- level of German courses)
• two scans both which have both come back clear of cancer! Go God!! (my recent PET scan was ALLL clear!! )
• an apartment where I can host guests, and enjoy a little place of my own that feels more and more like home.
• growing friendships! I’m thankful for those people I’ve met and am getting to know better through language school, church, my team and even randomly.
• YOU – your encouragement, prayers, financial support, cards, and love are such a blessing to me! Thank you!!
Things that are funny (but may not have been funny at the time)
• I almost got caught in the U-Bahn doors when trying to get off the train!!
• I put my bag in a locker outside of an electronic store in the mall. You have to submit a four-number code to store your items in the locker (and then remember the code to get them back). Someone had already pressed one number before I began to use the locker. I submitted three numbers and my bag got locked in the locker. It took a few attempts, but I figured out the missing number and was able to retrieve my bag. The alternative was trying to figure out how to explain the situation in German, so I’m thankful my 007 skills worked!
• I didn’t know how to buy only one zucchini at the grocery store, even after asking for help. So I ended up buying 6 that were pre-packaged because the price was marked.
• The state of Indiana requested I come for jury duty . . . again. Instead of using the cancer excuse I told them I no longer lived in the country.
• on the church retreat me and three other Austrians went for a hike around the vineyards. We got lost while we were out and about. Since I don’t speak much German, I didn’t know much of what to say about the situation. So I just kept asking if we were almost to Slovenia.
• to get a PET scan I had to walk down this long hallway to an elevator. I got in this rather large elevator and went down and the door opened on the other side. I promise you, I felt like I was Batman going to the Batcave!
What I’m still learning
• goodbyes will always be tough
• i’m lavished in God’s grace and mercy (thank goodness!!)
• tears can be good
• laughter always makes me feel better
• until I begin to use it, I won’t remember it
• i have to choose each day and sometimes each moment in the day what I’m going to believe: truth or lies
update on my beautiful gallstones
Well, my friends, these beautiful gallstones along with my gallbladder need to come out soon. After much thought, prayer and discussion, I’ve decided to have this surgery in the U.S. I’ll be heading back August 23 and returning to Vienna later in September. This was a tough decision, but I have peace about the route chosen. Thanks for your prayers!! I’ll keep ya posted on how everything goes.
on the calendar
Here’s what the next few weeks look like and how you can pray:
July 29- last day of my A2.2 class!
July 30 – heading to the GEM annual conference in Poland (and it’s my birthday!! yay for 32 years of life!!)
August 9 – maintenance chemo # 3 in Vienna
August 18 – important German language exam at 5:30pm my time (11:30 a.m. EST)
August 23 – leave for the States
August 25 – meet with my surgeon
summer photo story (part 1)
So before the summer is over, I thought I’d do some recap in a photo-story-style. Enjoy these pics and captions of various happenings this summer. More to come soon.
In June I also attended my first Austrian wedding. A couple in our church were married and invited the congregation. This location isn’t our church, but another church used for the ceremony. Notice the white chairs. The bride and groom can sit down while other people are speaking/singing and then stand when they say their vows and exchange rings.
Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” This verse was on the back of the wedding program.
In June, Vienna hosted one of the largest music festivals in all of Europe. I joined one of my language school friends in experiencing quite the variety of music down by the river.
One of the best parts was that I got this free, inflatable guitar!! I think we were supposed to do something with submitting pictures. But we didn’t understand all the German, so they gave us each an inflatable guitar and told us not to worry about the rest. hee hee!
Okay, so it’s time for me to go to bed so I can be ready for another day of language school. More of the summer photo story soon.