Friday, 29 November 2013

Week recap: Reflection

It's been a busy week... Malcolm has been attending a conference all week, though it is in town so at least he was home in the evening. Tuesday night we went to the international Haus Kreis after being MIA for 3 weeks, and it was great to see everybody again.

Wedesday evening when Malcolm got home we decked the halls with boughs of Holly, fa la la la la la la la la. Okay, not quite, but with advent and christmas markets starting soon, the house needed some Christmas cheer.

We made candle holders out of nutella jars to avoid setting anything on fire.
Malcolm did a good job of getting stuff to stick to the window.
Our candle holders got Christmas-fied.
I made an advent calender. And included the 25th because I can. 
Thursday morning Malcolm didn't need to be at the conference so we hung out in the Obenstadt together.

The Town market square and the church area are getting ready for the Christmas market.
We had free coffee and chocolate at the Weltladen, thanks to our vouchers.
Mum, with reference to our last conversation, look at the game we found?
They have advent-everything. Including sweets to look like pills for children to take every day til Christmas.
Malcolm found Spock-ears.
Then in the evening he had a grand dinner in the Castle while I went to church. The town looks beautiful lit up.

The streets and lights.
The staircase up to the castle.
The view from the Lutheran church. 
While standing outside the church waiting to go in, I had the most beautiful view of Marburg twinkling below. I was amazed by where I was. But I was also really, really lonely. I'm so grateful to be where I am, but sometimes it just seems so foreign. I could hear the band practicing "Our God" or "So bist nur Du" and it brought me back to times at NCF standing crying out to God - recognising that nothing is impossible for Him, and crying out for Him to make this happen. Asking Him to provide for our wedding, for a job for Malcolm, for the scholarship to be awarded, to make paper work go quickly, get Malcolm's Visa approved, provide accommodation and finances. There was always something. When things looked bleak and hopeless, we relied on God and had such faith. It's amazing how in the toughest circumstances my faith grows, but I grow complacent when things are okay. And things are okay right now - but I'm thirsty for more, for purpose and to know why God brought us here.

6 months ago today Malcolm and I locked up our flat, said goodbye to PMB and people we love there, drove to DBN international airport, met our families, had coffee together (in our case, a very late lunch), prayed together, and boarded the plane on our adventure. 6 months later I'm still not entirely sure why I'm here. But, I've learnt SO much. For example...

- that fighting with each other is no fun and just lonely.
- that while summer in Koln was in mid 30s, winter in Marburg is below freezing.
- that I stored a lot more German from when I was a child than I thought.
- that God does look after His kids: 6 months of neither of us working and we're more than okay.
- that hugs are worth so much.
- that I can walk 2 km, I don't need a car (though it would be nice).
- that making friends isn't easy, but is worth it.
- that not even distance can stop the love that ties us to our family and friends back in SA.
- that I'm not alone and have more support than I thought - not only can I turn to the maker of the universe Himself, but He's given me the Super-Husband-listener-encourager-extraordinaire, easy access to people back home, He's opening doors to friendships here, and the Blogworld is so full of people who exactly what it's like.
- I have a LOT to be thankful for. And a LOT to have faith for.

So I'm in a weird mood of "wow, we've been here 6 months already?!" and "Only 6 months?! I wana go hoooome". We have lots to look forward to this weekend though, and I'm glad for the distraction :)

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


  1. I am so glad you guys are being festive and decorating for Christmas and what a wonderful place to do it with all the German Christmas markets! 6 months already, wow!

    1. Germany is such a Christmassy place, the excited atmosphere is pretty contagious!

  2. Making friends as an adult in a totally new place is HARD and definitely takes effort, but the end result is totally worth it! And I love your advent calendar! I usually make one similar to yours, but we're traveling half of December so I skipped it this year.

    1. Absolutely - finding friends is so much easier when you're forced together in a room at school ;)
      I miss our cute advent calender of boots hanging in a row, but this is doing the job quite well... though it's the furtherest thing from portable with pegs getting tangled so makes sense not to do it if travelling :)

  3. The nutella jars are an awesome idea! I should do this for my apartment.

    1. It's shocking how many jars we have considering we've only been here 2 months? ;)

  4. Your advent calendar is cute! I was going to make one this year...but now it is already December 2nd! Your jars are really cute too!

    Germany looks really beautiful around Christmas! That's the thing about being abroad is it makes being apart from family a lot harder. You two will get through it, and you'll make some amazing Christmas traditions together on your own! :)

    I realized yesterday that after this Christmas I won't have been with my extended family for our traditional Christmas day in 3 years due to studying abroad, a snow storm last year when I was supposed to go, and being with Tyler's family for Christmas this year. Kind of sad, but how things go I guess!

    1. Thanks! I made it a few days in advance and couldn't wait for advent to start so I could use it! Never to late to start counting down... it just wouldn't necessarily be an 'advent' calender so you could think of a creative name for it ;)
      Germany is so amazingly Christmassy - it's like they're not even trying and it doesn't feel at all fake... years of fake snow on Christmas trees and really sweaty Santas in Summers and now it finally makes sense! I'm looking forward to figuring out our own Christmas celebration, though we'll probably be at somebody else's house for it so that helps :)

      3 years is a long time, and not being there because of a snow storm must have been awful! I always thought it would be pretty simple for us to celebrate with both our families because they're only an hour apart from each other, but I guess not this year!

  5. What a blessing that you've learned so much during these six months! I'm sure the next six months will fly by and soon enough you'll be home!

    1. We have learnt a lot! And although I hate wishing time away, I am looking forward to visiting home at the end of next year hopefully! :D