sadly, our "önce a week" updates have turned into about once a month! sorry for the few and the proud who actually read our blog! the months of september and october have been full. my allergies were cured some time ago by a magic little ingredient in a drug here similar to Zyrtec, but then i came down with a cold, and then jade with the same cold (moving from the throat to the nose to the chest to a continual coughing up of phlem...exciting!), and then as i am recovering from that, i have been hit with a stomach flu, getting to know the bathroms at lábri more than i ever wanted to. jade asked me the other day if i thought maybe my continual sickness was psychological. and after thinking about it, i thought, öh Lord, I pray it's not!" and then as the sicknesses changed in form, i realized that, no. i have actaully been sick in some way the majority of the time we have been in europe. which is crazy! but i have had to rest more than i have in a long time. rest in literal sleep, and also resting in the Holy Spirit for my attitude, kindness to others, and general patience level. i am in a season of my life when i feel like it is a spiritual discipline for me to sleep. it can be hard when there are people around all of the time and i don't want to miss out on what is going on.
last week we had a "week off," which came as a suprise to us (we had no idea ther ewould be a break!) and we were very excited at first to see a few more countries (maybe even drive to poland!) and then we got nervous that we would come back even more tired than we were, and that we hadn't enough money to travel more because it wasn't planned. and then, when i came down with the cold, Christa offered to help find a place for us to stay in belgium (just one country away!) for the week. she found us a little place for only 300 euros for the week with our own little kitchen and a beautiful view of a little lake and the red, orange, and yellow hues of fall. the region is called the ardennes region, and it spreads also into luxembourg with rolling mountains and so many trees and forests! Henk and Riana allowed us to borrow their car for very low cost and so we had the freedom of coming and going at our will. it was such an enormou blessing! the town was called vielsalm, and was known for it's witches being burned at the stake in the 1500's (we think there may be a connection to Salem in the states?) there were witch statues and figures all over town, but only german, dutch and french were spoken in many places, so it was hard to ask anyone what exactly was going on with all of the witches! though we were both sick, jade and i had a wonderful time hanging out together and jut "wasting our days" reading the bible, cooking, walking, listening to lectures on tape, visiting museams (including a battle of the bulge memorial from WWII, the end of the war, and America much to thank for it!), driving through the luxembourg, belgium and german countryside, eating beliguim chocolate, waffles, and (of course) trying a little belgium beer. mine was strawberry flavored, tasting more like fresa soda than beer...which was good for me! and talking about our future a bit. it was amazing. i am so thankful for Christa's wisdom and guidance in hooking us up with ONE PLACE to settle into for the week so that we could just relax and enjoy eacho ther's company.
and now we're back and going full force again. we have 17 guests here currently. and this weekend is one of the biggest weekends at lábri : "film weekend"we have at least 35 guests staying this weekend. it will be crazy! i am still not completely sure i understand what "cooking for 60" means (dining room fashion, with meal courses, and a fancy table setting). i guess i'll find out soon enough, huh? : ) i do know that we're watching and discussing the movies ""önce"", ""wild at heart, and a few more...so that is exciting to me, cosidering these are a few of the best movies i've seen lately.
more later....and for now...thanks for reading! we are truly blessed to be here now. i encourage you to stay thankful for whichever circumstances you are in today...at this very moment. if it's hard, it will get easier (hang in there a little longer and don't doubt there are things for you to learn through it!). if it's great, relish in the safe pasture for a time (and prepare yourself, in giving thanks and reflecting on what's past, for what is to come)! These are all things that I have been learning to do, and I know they are true and right. Our Father God adores you! ( and me too : )