There is so much happening in the world right now. My heart dropped as I looked to see that another Hurricane Maria just dropped on Puerto Rico, and my eyes just couldn’t believe all the flooding. I have to say that if I didn’t believe in God I wouldn’t be able to have any hope or meaning in these circumstances that are coming on the U.S., South America, and so many other countries including many countries in Asia that are greatly affected by flooding every year. I’m humbled that our lives are so fragile, and I know that my prayer is that many would come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ so they might have hope and joy in these terrible, hard, heart breaking times. ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ (Psalm 46:1)
Now I wanted to just share some blessings of traveling through Europe. We are currently on Day 10, but this just about covers the first week. I’m linking up with Amanda for today’s thinking out loud.
I know many of us have a hard time getting out of our comfort zones and exploring, or maybe you absolutely love exploring. . . I’m that homebody who loves the lessons she learns from traveling, so I thought Kristy (with her enthusiasm about exploring new places like Hawaii) could spur me on to really enjoy and treasure 5 weeks we have here in Europe. I wanted to do it by sharing many of the moments with you; of course I haven’t captured all of them, because you don’t have to take pictures of everything. We’ve been in Germany and the Czech Republic for about 8 days (we’re now in Poland.) This trip has been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G; it has not been without the challenges, but what would a trip be without bumps and a few bruises along the way?
This has been part of the Psalm that’s been running through my head this week since my dad read it earlier this week. We have seen so many of God’s mercies this whole trip as we are driving a manual car through a new continent, in new countries, on smaller roads, trying to communicate in English, trying to not get lost, and boy have God’s mercies been IMMENSE!
‘I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?’
Thank you Meg for letting me sneak into the Week In Review this week.
One Week In Europe: Germany and Czech Republic
It all started out with dropping some of my family members off to leave about 7 hours before we girls left.
We spent the time by going to a park, doing some squats and pushups, laying on the ground, playing Dutch Blitz in the airport, eating an amazing salad from Quizno’s, and of course finally getting on the plane.
I’m always thankful for an overnight flight, because it’s kind of nice to sleep and then get up in the morning on the other side. However it’s a bit hard to stay awake the whole day.
The first stop on our trip was a city called Wurzburg, Germany. We were specifically there to discover and honor the history of Killian, one of the first Irish Missionaries, who came down there back in the 600s. O_O Can you imagine? It was interesting to think about how different the city might have looked back then.
We got to see a:
Castle (The Marionberg Fortress)
The Bridge Where the Statue to Kilian was
and of course a few German bakery stops along the way for all the pastries.
The next day we went off to Leipzig, the place where the composer Johann Sebastian Bach the famous composer played at a church there for many years. My sister, brother, and I had been there about 3 years ago, so we opted to walk around a fun farmer’s market that was happening there.
I kind of geek out over farmer’s markets here, (as we don’t have many in Colorado), so we bought some super sweet strawberries, bread, a pastry, peaches, and grapes. All of their grapes have seeds, but they have incredible sweet juicy flavor! PRAISE the Lord for all the fruit of His vine; I can’t imagine life without grapes.
After a little morning in Leipzig, we headed to the real city of the day, the city of Wittenberg, where the Reformation in Europe all began 500 years ago (or almost 500 years ago on October 31st, 2017.) I don’t know a TON of history, but I love the history of the church of Jesus Christ (not the church of the Latter Day Saints) and where the kingdom of Jesus has gone all around the world.
Just 3 years ago, we were in the same town, but I remember thinking that we would probably never come back; I was kind of shocked as we were walking through it a second time just about 3 or 4 days ago.
We got to go inside the church where Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses.
(There’s my big bro taking some video)
We also got to see the museum/place where Martin Luther’s home was; it was fun to read about how he had a huge garden, how his wife Katherine brewed SO much beer every year, and how many people they had flowing in and out of their home every day.
My younger sister and I went a bit ahead of my mom and dad and brother and walked through the museum to read many of the plaques (thankfully many were in English), and I was fascinated to see this really old copy of a Bible. It’s humbling and such a gift to think how Bibles were so rare back then, and now I have 2 or 3 of my own.
That evening we hopped in the car again and made our way to another cute little basement apartment in the town of Dresden, Germany.
We stayed in a huge old German house that evening, and then we gathered up all our things again and went to the little town of Hernhut, Germany where the seeds of the modern missionary movement from the 1700s all began especially with the protection of a nobleman named Count Nicolas Ludwig von Zinzendorf. It was incredible to think about how many of the men and women there had given their lives to bring the light, the hope, the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the most unreached parts of the world at that time. It made me think about how, if nobody had gone out to share the gospel in Europe, I wouldn’t know the gospel. If no one had shared the gospel of Jesus with my mama in college I wouldn’t know Jesus now, but I’m so thankful that by God’s grace He ordained every step of my Christian walk even before I was born by sending out all these missionaries who were so on fire for Jesus.
I want to be like them, but I have to admit that I’m not the bravest person in the world, so I need to learn more from their courage and confidence in the Lord.
My sister by the bust of Count Zinzendorf in the town of Hernhut by the Hernhut church.
Now let’s talk about eating, restriction, eating fears on vacation.
I’ve been struggling. Honestly the first 8-9 days I didn’t eat enough; I was afraid of my digestive system being too ‘off’ because of travel. However, I realized that my body just won’t handle the restriction anymore. I wasn’t purposely trying to lose weight or anything, but I resonate with Joyce when she shares the struggles of eating and IBS. The battle is real, but it is NOT worth restriction.
I’m still learning this. It’s hard. It is not easy for me. I’ve eaten ice cream and bread and pastries on this trip, but I haven’t honestly eaten enough because of fear. I know that God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind, and I have a deep desire and prayer in my heart that I might be fearless and not fearful of food or wonky digestion.
Some of the most creamy salted caramel and Oreo gelato in Prague, Czech Republic.
Do you ever struggle with the urges to restrict on vacation?
Have you ever been to Germany?
What country would you travel to if you could leave tomorrow?