Monday, April 16, 2007

Before we all grow old...
and look nothing like the people in these pictures; it seemed like I ought to hurry up and post these.

H's favorite Minnesotans (Do they drink a lot of SODA there, Mom? she jokes) with her Mom and Dad.

Together for the FIRST time since Germany (11 years ago!!!)

Where the heck did ALL of these kids come from? (and one is even missing!)

There was nothing good about the afternoon of my first teaching job as a newly married woman. I imagine the same holds true for my dear husband. The last thing I suspect a new husband wants to do is saunter into the place your wife has been creating---or at least attempting to create(we won't even MENTION Mexican Chicken Suprise or the healthy cake sans eggs) as a warm and cheery homestead and tell her that plans have changed. Instead of three years in Georgia, we've now got a three-year all US Army expense paid tour of Deutschland. Good-bye new job. Good-bye first home. Good-bye family and friends (who this bride cried about leaving when we married and left the Northeast for points unknown aka-the South). But the Army wasn't interested in my opinion, as I would soon find out. Although I suspect the thwack with the saber on my rear end with the accompanying, "Welcome to the Army, Mrs. M!" should have clued me in. At the very least, I guess I can't say they didn't warn me. So, off we went to live our first three married years across the pond. It was one of my first experiences with seeing first hand how God provides:

You miss your friends? Here are 10 other ladies who miss theirs, too. And I'd bet that you've got a few more things in common besides.

You miss your work? Here's an assignment, the first of many, that will challenge anything you ever learned in school. It'll take nine months before the position opens, but that'll give you time to sharpen your skills. And if you're smart-SLEEP!

You miss the holidays back home? You won't believe the Christkindlmarkts here, and those fireworks you thought were the blitzkrieg? Why that's New Year's...right out your bedroom window.

You think the food is strange? One word-schokolade.

Worried about being alone for birthdays, celebrations, baptisms, deployments, etc...Here's where I do my best work. You see, I am about to place in your life people that will lift you up and you likewise through all of that and more. You will look back on the time you spent here when your three years are up; and wonder, how it could all be over so soon. Of course, you'll be happy to land on terra firma in the USA again, but nowhere (and trust me, I know) will ever be like this first place of becoming a family was.

And years later, after spending a brief, but wonderful evening reconnecting with some of those same friends; and watching them pull their van (yes, the one you're dreaming about) out onto the road in the early dawn, you'll smile knowingly because you'll know I was right.


Cath said...

Way to make me cry first thing in the morning! Indeed the blessings of the times we go into heart broken or sad are still blessings indeed. And the memory of them makes us stronger for the hard times to come. Thanks, Jane, not only for the reminder but for being a big part of my Radio GRE (Germany) blessings.

Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same way. We didn't realize what a good time lie ahead when I boarded that plane enroute to Giessen. I had no idea I would look back on those years and be so happy! Thanks for the great supper, I still need that recipe for "corn pudding"!