My time here in Europe has been lavished with unequivocal kindness.
There were times when I was warned before I left that Germans would be harsh or that the French would be snobby and so on and so forth, but I have found that people are people. Perhaps some differences in etiquette, yes but kindness is kindness. I believe Mark Twain said it best, ” Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Yesterday morning, I was up before the rest of the family and had time to make a small breakfast while reading at the table. Not too long after, Jonah and Namir came running from their room and said, “Good Morning, Kensley,” and gave me a huge hug. That was the beginning to a tremendously special day. The children are not in school again this week and so I have lots of time to teach and so we packed up the car, dogs and all, and headed for the river. We walked and talked about the flowers and the river, the stones, and the waterfall. And there we met a man taking pictures of geese. As our time drew to a close, he pulled out a book of pictures he has taken throughout the years. They were stunning. And without hesitation he gave me a beautiful one. He didn’t know me, not even my name and yet this simple act of kindness filled me with warmth and love for others.
In the afternoon, we went swimming at this beautiful indoor facility where the boys had their weekly swimming lessons. Esther paid for my entrance without a second thought. Today, we took a 5 hour tour on the Rhine River, and she again paid my way. Their generosity is overwhelming. Even yesterday, we went to the grocery store and she bought me sushi…So.Good!
The children and I also sat down at the piano. They sang me a typical German Folk Tune and asked me if I could teach them how to play it on the piano. – Side Note…That has been one of the biggest blessing for me. I’ve begun playing piano again A LOT. The piano is dreadfully out of tune (actually, it’s being tuned as I write this,) but still it’s been nice to tickle the ivories. – What an amazing thing! I get to teach music and English at the same time! Last night, Esther texted me and said that they love me and that they wish I could stay longer. I am overwhelmed with joy. It’s reassurance that I am doing the job I’ve come here to do and even more than that, I am now part of their family.
Tomorrow marks one month since I’ve been here and the time is passing too quickly. One of the nicest surprises has been my continued weight loss on my way to living a healthy life. However, in the process, I’ve become complacent. I’ve been satisfied with losing inches and weight just from eating food with no preservative, but instead I’ve wasted time that I could have been building more strength.
Complacency is the kiss of death. We’ve been given this one body and it’s not about perfection or meeting the world’s standards of beauty..It’s about being the healthiest version of yourself and whether we like it or not, our relationship with our own physical health affects every relationship possible. For me, I’m not done. I’m not satisfied. I am not the best version of myself…YET.
I have been lucky enough to have the most amazing support system in Kay. It took us a while to learn how to encourage each other and to learn how to be direct and loving simultaneously, but she’s been by my side since day one. She is also on her own health journey and just ran her first half-marathon and I couldn’t be more proud!
Germany is about becoming a more open, accepting, and loving person. Open to new experiences and beliefs, Accepting of who I am, and Loving others because He first loved us.
Happy Tuesday Peeps!