Well, today begins our official do-over. It is the morning of Monday, July 9, 2012, and as I have strived to remember at every waking of every day for a long time now, today it was somehow just a little bit easier to open my lazy eyes and pray, “This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
We’ve had a couple of very rough years now: Misunderstandings and stupid mistakes on top of stupid mistakes; lost friendships of those who were like family; watching my husband’s faith , which has always been the bedrock of our family, waver just a bit for the first time EVER (not in the Lord specifically, but perhaps in His ways, in the why, why, whys of everything); utterly debilitating depression and anxiety just sitting on my freaking head for over a year (ME! The former banner-wearer of the joy of the Lord), which believe you me has caused tidal waves of doubt in what the heck good am I to anyone if I’m not that happy girl), months of uncertainty and anxiety over whether we’d stay and martyr ourselves emotionally in and for Japan, the land I love so much I can’t type this part without a nice, long pause for tears, or whether we would be given a reprieve and start again in another completely unfamiliar place, without any sense of purpose there; losing our identity as the Cash Clan Japan. (By the way, I’ve changed our website to http://www.thecashclan.com, and as of next year http://www.cashclanjapan.com will not exist.) But a good friend reminded me wisely the other day that we are not the Cash Clan Japan or the Cash Clan Deutschland or the Cash Clan Anywhere. We are the Cash Clan in Christ. It’s who we are in that matters, not where–a real paradigm shift for this wannabe-missionary.
So let’s get to the fun stuff already! Geesh! Wanna hear a little about our first official day in Germany? Here are just a few highlights:
1) Claire and I both rocked into the Frankfurt International Airports with our pink, blinged-out cowgirl hats on. We agreed proudly that you can only take the girl out of Oklahoma. Oklahoma stays in the girl. Oklahoma sky, I miss you already.
2) I love you, Tulsa, but you’ve got nothin’ on Germany as far as that “green country” title goes. Oh my gosh, the 90 minute drive from the airport was just stunning. It is so green and alive and beautiful here–in a very different way from Japan, which is somehow such a breath of fresh air to my soul. And then for several months a year, it will be white, which will be even prettier! Holy moly!
3) No air conditioning!! But it’s July! No air conditioning??? Because it’s not needed. It feels like Hawaii without the humidity here! Holy crap, the weather is amazing. I’ve never lived in a climate like this, so it’s very strange to me. But I’m loving it already. And supposedly, it rains “just a little” almost every day, which if you know me well, you know how much I love rain.
4) First thing in the morning (well, after starting up the coffee), you walk around your house and open all the windows (they slant open from the top) and the skylight in the kitchen above the kitchen island, and there’s all this amazing sunlight and cool fresh air just bringing the house to life inside. Loving that so much already. I can tell that’s going to become a ritual I adore.
5) This apartment is ridiculous. I did my research and I read the TDYHomes was the way to go for long-term temporary housing. But seriously? This place is ridiculous. It’s THE most beautiful place I’ve ever stayed, including any hotel ever. There’s a freakin’ ping pong table! The beds are like Westin beds! It’s fully outfitted for a family of our size. And we get to stay here for 90 days for FREE! Yay!! I will put pictures up on Facebook once we get unpacked for those of you who won’t find that egocentric of me and/or annoying and not subject you to them here.
6) Keith will be MIA for several days, as he is obviously the one who has to do all the in-processing. Today, the first thing on his list is to take the German Driver’s License Test. I’m a tiny bit worried since he didn’t have too much time to study the last several days. But if he fails it, I am scheduled to take it, and I can rock a multiple-choice test like no other. (And I WILL study my butt off if he fails it the first time, which DOES happen often supposedly; otherwise, we’ll be stuck in our beautiful apartment for a while because we’ll have no way to GET anywhere!)
7) Today we will be loaned two BMWs to drive until we get our own personal vehicles here. But of course, we have to pass our driver’s tests first! That’s just insane, right? (Yes, I’ll be careful. Actually, as long as Keith passes his driver’s test, I have NO intentions of driving until mid-August, after watching him navigate for a good month or so.)
So far, so good. I know there will be bumps and bruises here, just like anywhere, but I really am truly thankful for the chance to start fresh. Thank you, Lord.
We have free phone plans to the States, so call us on our magicJack! (918-960-7383). We’re only 7 hours ahead, instead of 13, so that’s different. If I don’t get to the phone, leave a message anyway, and I’ll receive it as an email and get right back to you.
Love you all, all over the world, all the way from the other side of it.