Thursday, November 21, 2013

Life at Liel Haus

This post is long overdue. There is no way I will be able to share everything from the last 3 months, but I will try to give you a good idea of what life at Liel Haus has been like.

Emma, Ruthy, Me, Esther, and Lea at bowling
As I explained in my previous post, I had to change dorms due to German regulations. The transition and adjustment hasn't been easy, but I can see God's hand upon the process. Firstly, I want to say that I just LOVE my Liel Ladies!! What a precious group of girls. They have been so accepting and welcoming, bringing me into life at Liel with sweet attitudes and kindness. I am so appreciative. I admit that I was worried in the beginning that there would be some uncomfortable feelings about split loyalties between dorms, but I haven't encountered that. I've greatly enjoyed getting to know them all and sharing life with them. I love the times that I get to see my Storchies, too. I've been able to go to Storch a couple times to hang out, and I see them at the school every now and then. I love the hugs. I do miss seeing them every day and hearing about how they are doing, but I'm grateful for the moments that I do have with them. I just have double the love now!

Liel Family at Thanksgiving celebration
Adjusting to a new dorm staff has been harder. I appreciate and enjoy the dorm parents and my co-RA, but it's hard to start over with a new staff, new dorm, new girls, new town, etc. We say in Res. Life that working with your dorm staff is kind of like being in an arranged marriage. You don't have the relationship already built on trust and mutual respect, but you have to get to that point very quickly in order to maintain a loving working home for the students. Sometimes it's harder than others due to personalities, ways of being brought up, convictions, etc. We've had our difficulties, but we've been able to talk through a lot of things and make progress. I believe the Lord is working on all our hearts and teaching us lessons that will be valuable for the rest of our lives, not just for this season in the dorm. We want to be unified in Christ and in our team for ourselves as well as our girls. I know God has asked us all to be here at this time, and we trust that He knows what is best. Please remember us in your prayers that we would build stronger relationships with each other and love each other through our differences. One thing I am very grateful for is that we all love a good laugh! They say laughter is the best medicine...well, it may not be the best, but it sure is a good one! Love the fun times that we share.

A birthday whipped cream pie in the face!
It's now nearing the end of November, and today we are having our first snowfall of the season. This winter has been much slower in coming than last year, something that we are all grateful for! The warmer weather and more days of sunshine help tremendously with life in general. Volleyball season has ended and basketball just started. I had 3 girls on the volleyball teams, and now I have 5 on the basketball teams. Glad that they are able to do something they love, be active, and enjoy being a part of a team. The high school choir is leaving today for a trip to Vienna, where they will be performing at several different venues. I have 4 girls on that trip. Our dorm had a retreat a few weeks ago to a place not too far from here. The town, Titisee, is up in the mountains by a lake. It was really beautiful, but very cold! We walked around the town and looked at the shops, then went to an indoor water park and enjoyed splashing around and going on slides, then had a nice dinner at a Chinese restaurant. It was fun to take the girls somewhere out of town and just enjoy one another's company. We have also already celebrated Thanksgiving at the dorm. We had nearly 30 people packed into our living/dining room and fed them turkey, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, stuffing, and 8 pies! It was quite the spread. I was thankful to be surrounded by such lovely people, even though it's always hard to be away from family during the holidays.

Tara & I at a castle in Luxembourg
In terms of schedule things look pretty similar to how they were at Storch. I stay busy with staff meetings, grocery shopping, laundry, and cooking in the mornings, have a little free time before the girls get home, and then spend the rest of the day with them, chatting, eating, helping with homework, watching TV shows, cleaning, etc. During the weekends there are often school events going on, or we plan something fun to do as a dorm. And of course the girls have weekend chores and homework to do. All in all, BFA life is pretty busy for everyone. I think we're all looking forward to Christmas break, just 23 days away! I get to go home this year to spend the holiday with my family (praise Jesus!). It's going to be really good to be with them, but it's also going to be very hard seeing as it's the first Christmas without John. We're already dreading the hardship of it, and experiencing it, too. My heart aches dreadfully with the sorrow, and some days I feel like I just can't handle it. God has been gracious in the pain, and my staff has been understanding of my need to occasionally have some time away to process and grieve. But there is no way around's just hard. So I thank you for your continued prayers for me and my family in this, as well.

Deuteronomy 33:27a

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”