Alles auf dem Kopf stellen.

Alles auf dem Kopf stellen…. or in other words – to turn everything topsy-turvy. And that’s just what I did this week. Literally.

I’ve been looking for a soccer, (Ok…Fußball,) jersey to properly engage in cheering on the sport of choice of my European companions. And I found one. The last one. There was just.one.problem.

The words are upside down, but I Ab.solutely.Love.It. In truth, it gives me a better excuse to be upside down and turn flips which was half the motivation to buy this particular shirt in the first place; Well, that and the fact that the store gave it to me for 5 Euros!

Germany won their first match against Ukraine!

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We had a cookout at the language school I attend complete with “American Burgers.” Which in reality meant that, they bought fake, processed, colored cheese resembling nothing other than malleable plastic. Really? Why Kraft cheese when we are in the promised land of cheese? I’ve never tasted such cheese here. French Cheese. German Bread. HEAVEN on a sandwich! I digress.

The majority of the week has been spent with friends. Walking along the Rhein, sharing life, and creating lasting memories. Two of my closest friends here, Julia and Colleen, both leave within the month. A month seems endless when you count the days, hours, and minutes…but when counting in precious moments with friends, the time seems overwhelmingly too little.

With Julia, long walks have become a habit for us…though often preceded by ice cream, we claim they are healthy for both body and mind. Our last one ended with one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve seen. God is good.

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Saturday after church, our bubbly bunch hiked to the top of the Siebengebirge. Specifically, to the Grandhotel Petersberg, which is my favorite place in NRW. The hotel itself, while grand in stature, is for sure an eye catcher, but the star of the show is the view from its humble stone balcony.

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With Colleen, everything always involves food. Before church on Sunday, just as I stepped off the train, she greeted me with two bags of homemade cookies. We are trying to make the best of her last few days here and she wanted to try a local cafe just a few blocks from her home. Germany is known for its cheap food – but as with life, there are always anomalies. Our budget was approximately that of 1 slice of cake and so that’s just what we did. Cake for lunch. No better decision has there ever been made.

While I am among those fortunate enough to spend time with close friends, not all have that option this week. After the senseless tragedy in Orlando this week, I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to tell you, each of you, how dearly I care for you. For those in neighboring countries and those across the pond, for those with whom I speak with daily and for those that we haven’t lately for various reasons, let me tell you this – I love you. I’m praying for you. I miss you.

While it was my choice in full to live in Germany, and while I truly could not be happier for my time here, today, I wish more than usual that I could hug each of you to communicate in a way that only a hug can that you mean so very much to me and that I’m grateful for your impact in my life!

Music is a great comfort to me, as I think for all of us. This song comforts me in these moments when unmarked evil is at the helm. While I can’t actually hug you now, I hope these words and these notes will bring a sense of peace.

The Prayer of the Children

Many Blessings and Many Hugs to each of you, as always,

~Kens

 

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