It was a super late night, & we were very tired but still didn’t get to bed until about 1 am (!) We slept in til about 9:30, & theBean & I woke up to the smell of good German kaffee delivered through a french press. TheBean & Julia worked together in the kitchen to craft a mashup of German/American breakfasts: scrambie eggs, bacon, good German bread; cucumbers; salami & cheese. And we laughed. So much.
With the crush & press of activity that is coming, & out of a desire to relish our time with our Julia, Friday was very much a Sabbath rest day for us. We hung out at her house & talked, sat on the couches & read our books or magazines, then broke into spontaneous conversations, then read some more. Finally we decided there were a couple (few?) things we wanted to do (like plan dinner) so we got ready & headed out to a specialty store for some desserts & then to the grocery store to buy supplies for dinner.
We bought 3 desserts to share – a black forest cake, chocolate cream cake, & sour cherry pie. These were glorious, esp. because German (most European desserts actually) aren’t overly loaded down with sugar & aren’t sweet-sweet. They’re tasty & subtle & you can taste the chocolate, the chocolate cream, the body of the cakes, the cherries, the subtleties of the flavors in a special way that doesn’t flood your body with sugar & cloying sweetness. I don’t eat dessert at home for that reason, but I readily jumped in to the ‘sampling party.’
The girls decided that they wanted to try to make a version of theBean’s white chicken chili soup, which is WAY more daunting than it sounds. One doesn’t just purchase American style food supplies at a German grocery store, often because the foods/staples we have/use are not available (or in some cases, not legal because of additives, chemicals, etc) here. So, in true theBean style, she improvised. Her white chicken chili soup turned into white bean & beef/pork/Italian sausage & greenish chiles soup. (BTW, theBean doesn’t agree with my naming of the soup, but this is my account of reality, so there’s that.) It was significantly different from her normal creation, but it was good. We turned on the music (theBean’s “Joanne” playlist from Spotify) & ate & laughed.
We turned our attention back to the desserts, (yes, btw, desserts were harmed & significantly diminished during the making of our dinner. But we’re adults, so forks out!) After dinner was clean up time & then we resumed our spots on the couch for more talks until it was time for bed. As Saturday afternoon & evening are spoken for (coffee & dinner with Julia’s parents & family), we wanted to get another good night’s sleep, then have a good breakfast in the morning & hopefully do a load of wash before we head to the Foursquare LIVE pastors’ conference.
I think (know?) the most difficult parts of this trip are ‘the limits.’ We are limited in our time/availability & there are many, many dear friends here in different parts of Germany that we won’t be able to connect with, not out of a lack of desire to do so, but because we are ‘limited.’ (I much prefer the idea/reality of ‘limits’ vs. ‘busyness.’ ) Everything we have said “YES” to for this trip, requires a very difficult “NO” somewhere. That goes for ALL of us, in ALL of our lives; some of our greatest struggles in life/in our schedules come from us ignoring the reality that we have limits on our time, energy, resources, etc, & we run ourselves ragged attempting to have it all, do it all, see it all, accomplish it all, often with destructive or even tragic consequences for our physical, emotional, spiritual, & relational health & well-being.
I’m thankful for the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality lessons we’ve learned over the years, esp. when it comes to “Embracing God’s Gift of Limits.” It allows us to be fully present where we are & to acknowledge we CANNOT do everything we’d like to do… & embracing our limits, to me, equals embracing the fact that we’re human BEINGS not humans DOING. In a perfect world, we’d be able to be here for 6 weeks (or more?!) & be with each & every one of our dear friends in Frankfurt & beyond… into Poland… & Austria… &… you get the picture.
To all of our dear friends in Germany & beyond – you are deeply loved, & we hope to be able to see & hug you again very soon.
The pictures below are our desserts & a random shot out the window as we drove next to some beautiful vineyards (trust me! They are really there.)
It was a beautiful day. We call it “Friday.” And now sleep.