Sabbath Afternoon Musings

No residence permits yet.  I guess our sovereign God has a different plan than I do.  Imagine that! ;)  We continue to ask Him to make a way for us to stay here in Austria past the end of July, but we also know He may desire us to spend some time in Turkey in the interim.  Still, I am asking, daily, that this would be the day we receive our letter of confirmation (excluding Sundays and holidays without mail, of course).  I feel very ready, for so many reasons, to rent a place and make it our own...to truly settle here in Vienna...  I wonder if that's what God has for us...

I find myself sitting down to write a blog post but with little knowledge of what I will write.  Sunday afternoons are quickly becoming one of many favorite points in the week.  On Sunday afternoon, I set aside all work, all studying, all household duties, and I simply rest.  Today I picked up Pride and Prejudice and read a few chapters.  It was utterly entertaining.

And shortly I will take some time to journal and reflect on the last month or so and how we have seen God among us during this time.  For Nathanael's first Christmas, as Gregory and I were thinking and praying over what Christmas traditions we wanted to begin, we decided to gift our children every year with an Immanuel Journal -- a recollection of ways we have seen God working among and through our family over the past year.  We've only been keeping it for a year and a half now, but it truly is a blessing to take some time every other month or so and reflect on God's evident work.  We pray God will use this family tradition to give all of us a greater aptitude to see Him in our lives and look for Him and speak about Him.

Finally, I must briefly post about our yesterday.  We headed out in the morning to the Danube Island and had a long Saturday family walk, with a brief stop at a large playground.  At points we almost felt we were walking along Memorial Drive in Boston.  Almost.  Our new city continues to delight us with its appreciation for natural recreation.  And we can't wait for our container to come someday along with our bikes!  This city is such a biking city, and we're anxious to explore together by bike!

Tomorrow begins another week of language study.  I'm excited to see what God has for me to learn this week.  Last week, I learned how to make statements with "because", "that" clauses, and "if/then" sentences!  Do you realize how much of a difference that makes in my ability to communicate with someone?!  It's huge!  I completely remember discovering each of those grammatical forms in Turkish and the growth in friendships that resulted from being able to take one step further in our depth of communication.  "Thank you, God, for slowly, yet truly, giving us the ability to communicate in a new language."  Now maybe I should go study my vocabulary a bit more...


Awaiting a long-term home

Our church retreat a week ago focused on prayer.  One of the points the speaker made was regarding being specific with our prayers.  I am praying specifically that our residence permits will be granted this next week.  Just thought I'd let you know...


Settling in to life in Vienna

Well, we've made it to Vienna! And hopefully we're here to stay.  (We're still waiting on our residence permits...)  We've honestly had a somewhat simple adjustment, only a night or two of waking periodically.  The travels here were so exhausting that I think we all had no trouble sleeping when we were allowed.

We have commented multiple times every day how thankful we are for the 12 weeks we had here previously.  It's made the transition quite smooth.  For example, going to the grocery store is not stressful because I already know what items to buy and what brands I like and what to get at which store.  Seriously, it's amazing how nice that feels!  It's like coming to your familiar neighborhood after a long trip...

Nathanael has adjusted really well; he has many great memories here from before which has helped him feel secure and comfortable.  Today at church, he ran straight to the toddler room; he definitely remembered the place and people (and the toys).

We've already had three days of full-time language study, and our schedule, though still a little crazy, is so much more manageable than the back-to-back language school schedule we had here in November and December.  We're thankful for the flexibility we have now that we're not trying to reach a certain proficiency level for our residence permits!  I'm excited to start my class this Tuesday and Thursday evening; we'll see how it goes!

Here are a few pictures I pulled from the camera tonight.  I love this age of Nathanael's life; it's so much fun to see what his little mind comes up with!

Wearing Mom's garden shoes...
One of our favorite activities, playing with beans!
(Thanks, Fays, for this great indoor sandbox alternative!)
Helping Mom in the kitchen
Driving a firetruck at the park
Working on shifting gears
This little guy is so full of laughter and excitement!