Life isn't all cappuccinos (that are even Natalie-friendly) and pretty buildings that make you swoon. But Europe is. Rothenburg ob der Tauber proved itself worthy of the title One Of The Most German Cities Ever. All of its buildings were basically original and perfectly German. The place was a dream, our stay was wonderful.
This trip has been a gift of slow paced thinking. No work, no meetings, no rushing, no real to do's or to dont's, no editing photos, no cleaning the toilet or laundromatting. I love my life at home, very much so. It is nothing short of blessed; but having a break is also nice. The only rushing is to trains or buses, but that's fun, adventure like.
I have asked Loren almost everyday if he would still like my face if I got a hoop in my lip. His reaction remains the same: unenthused. So then I inquire about dreads, something I have always loved, and his reaction is the same. Guess I will remain dreadlock-lipring-free. Having my husband see me as cute is important to me, obviously.
We visited another church while in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This church is over 800 years old, or something crazy like that. To say that these old churches silence my soul and calm my spirit is an understatement. The stone statues of Jesus and Mary and His disciples always bring my heart to its knees in awe. I cannot help but stare up at them, as though I owe them something. I am thankful for the reverence that is welcomed, the deep thinking that is inevitably stirred, the honest experience of His calming peace and presence, letting me know that He is here. To be candid, I have been having a hard time recognizing that as Reality. I'm not worried or doubtful, just honest and stubborn on this Life Road. And I have this confidence that He can handle it when we are honestly seeking; that He welcomes honest hearts of wrestling if it means close knitted souls in the end. Being in these ancient buildings makes it easier for me to see He is here, because His fingerprints are everywhere. For centuries, He has been here, loving us so patiently and freely. These ancient churches make me feel small and insignificant, remind me that I am but a vapor, and yet He sees me.
Can you imagine sitting here every Sunday to worship? It totally happens - and the organ is played.
The thing about traveling is that you leave to do lists and loved ones at home to pause life and see the world, but your heart and past come with you. And if you cling too tightly to your past, you have no room for your present. My mind has slowed and I've finally given myself permission to begin processing Certain Present Things again. Allowing myself to feel what I numbed for the two weeks leading up to this trip. Yes, this trip is full of amazing buildings and peaceful walks and dreamy towns and thick accents and romance and so much bread to covet...but it also contains a process of grief. Bittersweet. And it is certainly nice to have space and a little time to do so.
It is confusing to be on such an amazing adventure and have this weight of lostness clawing at me, residing as a monster where my heart and stomach should be. I battle feeling downright soul-ugly, but then He reminds me that I'm okay, I am His.
We're walking through severe loss on a road that feels quite lonely; I am a foreigner in a land with people I do not know and I almost feel free to express to myself what I truly feel. I didn't realize how caged I am. Caged inside of my own Self.
Yesterday morning we made some sweet potatoes, eggs, avocado and tomatoes for breakfast, jumped on a train and headed to somewhere busy. I grabbed us some McDonald's cappuccinos and met Loren by the bus - our schedule was changed and we had two nights to spare before heading to Berlin, so we got on a four hour bus ride to Prague, Czeck Republic.