If you saw these words on a sign, it might appear to represent an established street or pathway. Our desire, however, is to share the path of our lives as we respond to the Lord’s direction in these days, to present a work-in-progress to our family and friends (known and yet unknown).
Our lives have been shaped and molded separately and then together by God’s hand. Here, however, we will specifically address our steps through this time of life called “retirement.”
Sunday, October 6, 2013
When October arrived, we were surprised at how quickly the
time seemed to pass “when we’re having fun” and enjoying our assignment! We’ve
been blessed with so many rich experiences!
I think everyone should visit another country and enjoy the cultural
diversity of our world and of our church’s servants.
Fall colors beginning
One Sunday, one of the ladies approached me during coffee
time after church, asking if I’d help her with decorating the church for
Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving in Germany is in early October but, since many folks
in this international church are from the States, Thanksgiving here will be a season (October 6 – November 28), rather
than one day or a weekend.After
discussing the things that would represent harvest and thankfulness on the
altar table, Dorothea agreed to pick me up near the end of the day Monday from
work and we’d go shopping!We started at
a bäckerei (a bakery), where Dorothea
ordered several loaves of sunflower-shaped bread, with extra rolls, so everyone
can have some.She also recommended the Zweibel Küchen (literally, onion cake),
so I got 2 slices of the delicious quiche that Dan and I each enjoyed for
dinner that night.Next on our list was
a stop at a farm along the road where a farmer had presented for sale, on farm
wagons, his harvest of squashes and gourds of every shape and color! We picked
out some for the display, then each bought a couple to take home – every
section had a designated price and there was a place to leave your euros, honor-system purchasing!
After that, she drove to a farm on the other end of Büsingen
where we bought apples and pears for the display and for ourselves,
again with an honor system for payment after you weighed what you wanted.From there, we went to the church (which is
right across the grassy area in front of our apartment building). I’m sure it
was a sight, two gray-haired ladies carrying the side handles of a basket full
of colorful fall produce!We made plans
to carry out the decorating later in the week!
Thursday was a German holiday, so Dan and I drove to
Liechtenstein for the day.Dan always
“does his homework” before we go somewhere new, so we had a map and we had a
GPS to get us to Vaduz, the capitol city. It’s a charming town, famous for
postage stamps and for its castle, where Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein,
currently lives. Lunch was delicious at a outdoor cafe and we
took lots of photos.I think it’s
impossible to take too many photos of charming stone castles and streets in Europe!
Friday after work, Dorothea and I met to begin the fall
decorating in the church, promising to finish up on Sunday morning while the
worship team was practicing before worship. Continuing this domestic theme
(decorating and cooking, etc.), I spend most of Saturday cooking and baking to
get a little ahead for the next few days – squash soup, potato soup, banana
bread and cookie dough!
Sunday was quite a treat! Our European Thanksgiving worship
service was great and the display was beautiful with so many pretty fruits and
vegetables, bread, fall leaves, and chrysanthemums. Afterward, several of us
piled into Nancy’s car to go to a nearby town, Gottmadingen, to their
semi-annual fair. The Gottmadingen Nazarene Church always has a booth where
they sell Thai food (they cook for 2 days ahead, just to have enough, and they
always sell out!) to make money for missions. We helped them out, of course, by
purchasing our lunch there and spent a couple of hours wandering all the
vendors’ booths. There was a real variety of stuff – from traditional clothing
to modern clothing, biergartens to
cake shops, spices and music CDs. Dan bought a leather hat; he’s been looking
for something European for the cold weather, especially since he didn’t even
bring any baseball caps with him for this trip.
Between the people and the food, we're being blessed every day! Thanks, God, for giving us another opportunity to be useful while experiencing these benefits!