Last week I was buying some clothes and while I was checking out I started to get overwhelmed. There were lots of people and someone started to talk to me.... I usually wouldn't worry about that small fact but since they were speaking to me in German I unfortunately got frazzled. As I was taking my bag and getting ready to run out of the store as quickly as possible the woman at the cash register said "Danke" to which I replied to with a cool and confident (I mean heck, I've been in Austria for 3 months- I know how to say "thank you")
In case you don't know, thats wrong. Very very wrong. Especially when you are standing in a line surrounded by native german speakers.
Why am I starting a blog? I keep asking myself that. I have already been in Austria three months and just finally came to a place where I feel that some of my experiences are just too funny not to share. I have been given such an amazing gift of being able to step out of whats comfortable and normal and step into something that is totally new. New country. New town. New people. New language. New cultural norms. New foods. Everything is new and different and I'm loving it. In all the newness and totally weird situations that I find myself in, I am learning to depend on Jesus like I've never before. And He, in His perfect timing, has taken advantage and started a work in me that is truly beautiful. I love Jesus and I love what He is about. He doesn't play by our rules and for that I am thankful. If I had it my way, I would probably be somewhere in Arizona right now, walking through a target and enjoying a cup of Starbucks coffee with one of my friends. But instead, I'm in a small village in upper Austria getting ready to eat Schnitzel with a group of people that I find it hard to even communicate with. But I am being changed and stretched in ways I never could of if I stayed home, and its because of that, that I have peace. Why "A bird in a fish bowl"? Well, because that is exactly how I feel. One day I was standing in the center of Mauthausen with my friend Tim getting ready to go on stage to perform with the gospel choir I am apart of. I was taking in my surroundings and started to laugh thinking of my present situation. The only way I can describe how I feel to say its like putting a bird in a fish bowl. I'm totally out of my element here. The native language is German and although I am meeting with a private teacher my progression is slow. So communicating can often be difficult and most times I just smile and nod and pray that I don't get asked a direct question. I'm involved in a gospel choir and I can't sing. Literally, not at all. Sometimes I just pretend and moves my lips, but I think people are catching on. Once a week I go with my host mom to a line dancing class. Yes, it is actually pretty fun, the only thing that gets weird for me is that all my classmates are at least forty years old, if not older. So here I am, a 25 year old girl from ARIZONA taking a line dancing class in AUSTRIA with a bunch of middle aged folks. I would lie if I said I didn't miss the normalcy of being home, surrounded by friends and family and people speaking english. But even though I miss those things, I wouldn't trade my time here for anything. There is a beauty in not feeling comfortable, a place that opens up in you for real peace to actually come in and invade your life. I am excited for my time in Austria. Excited to be changed and molded, never (I have a feeling) to be comfortable again.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders Let me walk upon the waters Wherever you would call me Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Savior.