Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Not-So-Brief Update on Life in Germany

I have now been here 2 weeks.  In that two weeks time, we have kind of just been camping in the house because all of the furniture was still being shipped, but alas.. it has arrived!  I have a bed!!  After two weeks sleeping on an air mattress, I seriously don’t think I have ever appreciated a bed more!  While there are still boxes everywhere, it is beginning to feel more like home.  I am so appreciative that I was able to spend time with them in Texas so that their furniture is familiar enough to make me feel that way!

These two weeks have certainly had their times of frustration and home sickness, but there have also been lots of times of joy.  Lets start with the frustrations so that we can end on a positive note!  If you don’t want to hear about the negatives just skip the next four points…

Its frustrating that I have to have someone to communicate for me.  While I know some German, I don’t know enough.  My language classes started last week, and I am slowly seeing some improvement at least in my understanding. 

My credit and debit cards aren’t accepted here.  UGH!!  I hate dealing in cash.  It makes me nervous to have that much cash on me.  I currently don’t have access to all the money I saved for this year.  We have been working on getting me a bank account, but since I don’t have my visa yet (I’ve applied but it takes 4-5 weeks for processing), the banks can’t give me an account. 

Its frustrating that my mobility is limited to where the s-bahn and u-bahn goes.  I will eventually be able to drive, but we haven’t really had time for me to practice yet.  I am pretty intimidated by driving here, but my frustration with how not driving would limit my mobility is soon going to be enough to get me over that fear. 

Its frustrating that I don’t have a set schedule/routine.  No one is a fault in this and I know that Mareike wants a set schedule just as much as I do, but it is going to take time for her to build her client base and start to have routine in her workload.  I understand that and I’m flexible, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. 

Now onto the joys!  I am grateful…

when I understand a conversation that is being held in German.

for Christmas Markets

when Dooley makes Bennet laugh and smile.

for Bennet.

for Dooley.

for the walk that Dooley and I take most days.  We are pretty far out in the country and there is a dirt road that leads all the way into Maisach (the next town). 

that I have been able to meet folks that speak English so that I can at least have a social life before I learn German.   I have met a group of non-competitive runners that go on runs and then just spend time socializing.  I went on a run with them last Friday and am going down to Innsbruck with them this weekend for a run!

that I have found an english speaking Methodist church with a very international congregation that I think I will learn a lot from. 

for the peace in the unknown that the Lord has placed on my heart.  If you had told me a couple years ago that I would be okay with the fact that I don’t really have a plan for what is next, I would have called you a liar.  I am definitely searching and seeking, but I am very much trying to do this through God.  I feel as though its God’s will that I am here, so I am trying to be open and let Him use me where I am needed here. 

for technology that allows me to see and speak to my parents daily.  No, its not the same as being able to pick up the phone whenever I’d like, but it helps the homesickness a bit. 

for AthensChurch podcasts.  They make my train rides enjoyable and a good use of time.  I encourage each and every one of you reading this to go listen to Parts 1 and 2 of the Be Rich series.  You will be so glad that you did!!  I just finished the Game Plan and the Be Rich series.  In my search for what is next the fact that the Be Rich series so closely relates to what I’ve been feeling in my heart for a while now, I think I have my answer.  Now to see how God’s will will manifest itself…

Well my dears, that is all for now.  My regular blogging might be a bit spotty for a bit, but I promise to keep you updates with my adventures—which, granted, might just be my ramblings about walking my dog in cold weather and 15 month old boys, but there you have it.


  1. Lauren I have awaited your first blog entry with great anticipation. When you said "alas" the furniture has arrived did you mean "at last"? It seemed from the rest that that is what you meant. It does sound like things are falling into place. It is very nice that you have found the running group and a comfortable church. Have a great time on your run in Innsbruck. Charlie and I both say Hi to you and Dooley.

  2. Danke for the update! As I see it, as long as we trust our Heavenly Father enough to follow His plan for us, see our challenges as opportunities for growth, and have gratitude for our blessings, we are on the right path! Now, help me learn a new German word whenever you post...but you will need to include phonetic spelling or I will be verloren...sounds like "ver-Lauren"?!?
    Auf wiedersehen!

    P.S. Dooley and Bennet's photo...what a great screensaver!!

  3. Hey Lauren, to take on a whole new world like you have I know that your parents are very proud of you. You are taking on a new adventure that we can only dream of. It will get easier as time goes back. Keep us posted..