James 1:2-3 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Today was a wonderful day, though there were some difficult moments as far as understanding and feeling helpless. Jeff was going to head off to his new work early this morning—he is in fact repairing a wall which entails clearing off all the vines and tree branches that have embedded themselves into the mortar holding the bricks together, but after a little begging for support, he agreed to join me. We needed to meet Johannes at David and Lucia’s school to discuss any registration forms we needed to complete, school supplies that needed to be purchased, etc. There were several difficult parts to this meeting; it was at 7:30 am, which meant that we all needed to be up really early, and that it was all in German because only a few of the folks at David and Lucia’s school speak English and the principal is not one of them. The first challenge of the day began when we tried to get the kids out of bed and ready to go for this meeting. Our kids have been sleeping in until 8:00-9:00 am and the thought of having to wake them all up this early was not going to be an easy task, but they did rise and get ready for the meeting with a few grumbles…and we realized quickly that we needed some training for our bodies and some adjustments made to our sleep schedule. The second tasks for the day was to try to figure out what was happening and what we needed to do as far as the school goes for David and Lucia when everything said was in German. For a moment in this meeting I began to wonder why I was even there because I had absolutely no idea what was going on and what was being said, though I knew it was about my children. We are having to put a lot of faith and trust in people we have just met, it can be difficult for a person like me who always wants to be in control and know what is going on in a conversation about my children. But, I don’t understand and I am left with trusting Johannes and Ines (the principal at the school). I was handed some papers to complete, though because they are all German, I have no idea what they actually mean! Johannes was nice enough to send over his son, Moritz, later that afternoon, to help with translating some of the paperwork. So given the challenges facing me this morning, I feel like I’ve done pretty good…kids were out of bed and dressed for the meeting, the meeting took place and I have no idea what was said or done on our behalf, and I have paperwork that was entirely in German that is now done and already returned to the school.
On a really exciting note, Lucia has been practicing her bike riding skills and she is now able to start by herself, bike by herself, and stop by herself!!! This is really exciting. She is doing fantastic, but still needs more work. She is only good for the short driveway in front of the church. We are hoping to get her out to a park of somewhere where she can ride for a longer period and get her more comfortable on the bike.
We heard from René and he said that Susi was doing great, but still in the hospital recovering, so he and Emma came over for dinner. Tonight took an interesting turn when I asked René a question regarding wedding rings. Since we have arrived in Germany I’ve have not noticed wedding rings on any married couples (or so I thought). When I asked René about this, he clarified for us that in Germany wedding rings are worn on the right ring finger, which differs from the custom in the US to wear them on the left ring finger. This sparked an interesting thought in my head when René turned to me and asked where my wedding ring was? I told him that both Jeff and I left our wedding rings at home because we will be traveling to so many different places and doing a lot of work with our hands, we didn’t want to ruin, damage, lose, or have them stolen. I looked at Jeff to see if he was thinking about anything, and what do you know, he was thinking the same thing as me…we decided that evening that we were going to get tattooed wedding rings on our right ring fingers so that we would have wedding rings that would remain forever and to have a permanent memory of our wonderful time in Germany.