Jul 29, 2010

Just like Dibs

About 5 years ago Mika introduced me to a little treat found in the freezer section called Dibs. They are little balls of chocolate covered ice cream and they are darn tasty. You don't need a spoon, just reach your hand in the container, pull out some dibs and pop them in your mouth. I tasted them for the first time in Nov 2005. I remember the exact time that I tasted them because it was a difficult period for me. Once I sampled the loveliness of the little dib, I lost all self-control with regards to eating them and it got ugly. I drew the line when one day I realized that my dinner consisted of a can of Coke and a carton of Dibs. I vowed to never eat a dib again. Oh people have tried to break me, but I've stood firm and can honestly say that I only consumed two in the past 5 years. One, Matt physically shoved in my mouth, and the other was just a few days ago. There was a carton in the freezer for weeks and I finally caved and ate one. OK two.
I was recently introduced to Angry Birds. If you don't know what Angry Birds is, take my advise and do not look it up. Don't test it out. Don't under any circumstances download this game to your phone. It has lead to the downfall of all mankind. Maybe not all mankind but at least me. Matt showed me this game on his phone and said "oh you are going to love this game, it is so addicting". Why would I love something addicting? Who knows but I got sucked in and have lost hours of my life and endured serious pain in my neck from hovering over the phone to play this game. To make matters worse, Matt downloaded it to his Ipad and so now I can play it on the super-screen.
I have to draw the line again, just like with the dibs. Clearly, I don't have the self control required for this evil evil game. I'm done. I'm throwing in the towel. No more tossing birds at frogs. Game Over.

Jul 27, 2010

Why stones?

In the story of David and Goliath, a young shepherd boy takes on a 9ft giant and wins. This is a huge victory on its own, but particularly awesome in that David destroyed this giant with just 5 stones and a slingshot. David was out matched in size, strength and weaponry, and yet he was victorious over Goliath and the entire Philistine Army.
Did you ever wonder why he used stones? He was a shepherd boy and part of his job was to protect the sheep from predators. In those days, a slingshot and some stones worked quite well. When David decided to take on this giant who was mocking his God, he used what he regularly used, he chose the weapon that had become second nature to employ, the tool that was required for him to do his job with the flocks of sheep. He used a slingshot and stones to take down a giant.
Why is this spectacular? Because God designed us with certain sets of skills and personality traits, he gave us strengths and talent. And it is those things that are the tools to use to do His work.
God didn't expect David to quickly train up to use a sword, or to manufacture artillery or any other type of weapon to take on Goliath, he expected David to use what he was already using.
This is what we are expected to do. We are called to use the things already at our disposal to reach out to others, to do God's will, and to take down Giants.

Jul 26, 2010

Patience is NOT a virtue....be anxious in ALL things

It isn't Biblical but it is my reality.
While waiting and wondering what the outcome of a particularly frustrating situation will be, I've managed to make myself sick and spend 3 nights tossing and turning rather than resting peacefully. I'm tired of waiting and anxious to find out answers - and I fear my inability to just let it go, is causing me physical and mental harm.
Moses went up on the mountain to talk to God and was gone for about 6 weeks. In those six weeks the Israelites lost their faith and turned to other gods. God had been faithful to them to bring them out of Egypt, he gave them food and water, and he provided the closest thing to a GPS in those days to lead them to the promised land. And yet 6 weeks was all it took for them to turn away from their deliverer and find something to satisfy their immediate desires.
It is easy to mock those crazy Israelites. I mean really, 6 weeks? However today, I find myself making too many visits to the toilet and in a state of complete mental incapacitation after just 4 days. No, I'm not turning away from God, but I surely am not resting in the assurance that he actually has this in his hands. Have I forgotten all that He has done for me and all he has brought us through after just 4 days of waiting and wondering?

Jul 18, 2010

Where has the summer gone?

I can't believe our summer vacation is just about half over. It has flown by so fast...but for good reasons. The last 5 weeks have been filled with travel, trips to the schwimbad, and good times with family and friends. Oh and I should mention a 2.5 week heat wave!
After our trips to Berlin and Belgium we stayed close to the house for a week while we visited a local pool, went into Mannheim to watch Germany destroy England in the World Cup, and the boys and I went to Velberg to visit my friend Katie and her family for 2 days while Matt headed off to Kosovo for a week. Matt's trip took him through Croatia with a 2 day pit-stop in Dubrovnik. Apparently, it is the most beautiful place on earth. If I ever make it down there, I'll do my best to confirm or deny that allegation.
By July 4th Matt was back home and I was on my way to the airport to pick up my cousins. We celebrated Independence Day with a Mexican fiesta? Yes we did. After all, we were celebrating American independence while in Germany, why not throw in Mexican food for the feast?
We spend the 5th of July at the schwimbad with our friends the Mlacks, the Lusks, and my cousins. We couldn't have asked for a better day. We were surrounded by good friends, family, and a relaxing day at the pool.
Matt headed back to work while the boys and I took my cousins down to Rothenberg and Nurnberg for the day, then I sent them off to Heidelberg, we went into Mannheim again to watch Germany lose to Spain in the semi-finals of the World Cup, headed up to Berg Eltz on the Mosul river, and finished off the week with another visit to the schwimbad. Whew! Matt was back in Kosovo again so, the boys and I, my friend Katrina, and the Enright clan took on Paris without him. We took the high-speed train from Mannheim to Paris. Last November we drove to Paris with my sister and family and it took us about 6 hours. This trip on the ICE train took us 3! The first 1.5 hours are not so fast as we travel through cities and have a few stops, however once we cleared Saarbruken the train was going 189 miles per hour. It was awesome! I of coarse got sick, because I do that on trains and boats, but being sick for an hour was totally worth getting to Paris in 3. On the way back I hopped up on Dramamine, Maloxx and took a nap and all was well.
We returned from Paris tired and ready to do nothing for a day...so naturally we went to the schwimbad again. It was truly a wonderful day. We brought blankets and a picnic and alternated spending time in the pool with playing games in the shade and taking naps. It was a very relaxing day and I think a great way to end the Enright's vacation.
Wednesday I took the Enrights to the airport, headed to the schwimbad with friends and then enjoyed a fabulous thunder storm that night. The heat wave finally broke. After 2+ weeks of near 100 degree temperatures with no air-conditioning as a reprieve - this was a welcome thunder storm.
Thursday morning my girlfriends and I plotted our attack on Portugal for our 1st girls only trip, and Matt and I had the pleasure of having lunch with some friends who were passing through Germany on their way to Italy for vacation.
The weekend was cool and quiet. A great time to be refreshed for another week. This week will be dedicated to our summer school program here at home, and doing my best to let boredom set in so that everyone is ready for whatever excitement next week will bring.

Jul 2, 2010

Lift Up my Hands

This week the boys and I took a quick road trip down to Velburg to visit my friend Katie and her family. Remember this airport scene? I was confident when I said goodbye to Katie that it would be years before I saw her again. Well, she lives 3 hours away now! While it is too far to run over and have coffee, it is much closer than the 12 hour drive it was between TN and VA, and close enough that with a little planning, we can easily spend a day together.

On the drive down to Velburg and back I was listening to a book on CD by Francine Rivers called The Priest. I clearly didn't read the synopsis of the book on back of the case. I was expecting something fiction and what I ended up with is basically a creative retelling of the book of Exodus from Aaron's perspective. It isn't a bad book, just not what I was expecting.

I've heard the story of Moses' and the Israelites' exodus out of Egypt into the Promised land numerous times, so this was review. However, there was one part of the story the moved me. Exodus 17:11 tells about the Israelites battle with the Amalekites. Moses stood up on a hill with his hands raised. As long as his hands were raised, the Israelites were winning, but as soon as he grew tired and lowered his hands, the Amalekites took the lead. Then verse 12 says " when Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset". The Israelites won.

It is rather interesting that the position of Moses' hands dictating the victor of the battle. However, this time when I listened to the story I focused on Hur and Aaron. When Moses grew weary and couldn't raise his hands any longer, two guys stood beside him and carried the weight of his arms. They couldn't take the task from Moses, it was still his job to have his hands in the air, but they could stand next to him and share the burden.

What a great picture of friendship! When I am tired, frustrated, hurt, overwhelmed, or broken hearted, it is true, God appointed, friends that will come along and lift up my hands.