Sunday, November 23, 2014


The whole package includes socks

or how to feel over-committed without over committing.

So I got a little note from Ana's school that said that Ana took her shoes off at school and the teachers had to put fresh socks on her because hers were wet.
socken waescheleine 468x624 Richtig Wäsche waschen & muffige Wäsche vermeiden
Since she did not have socks with her change of clothes in her backpack the teachers had to borrow socks from another student. And this is how the note ended: "...Please send the used socks back as well as send a 'whole package' of fresh clothes for Ana, including socks. Thank you."

So there I was. "The whole package". I have never considered that sending a change of clothes to school included socks. My mind races. I am utterly embarrassed! I want those teachers to like me and know that I am a committed mom. I'm on top of things! But socks? At least in my mind, I never included socks. Socks were not even included in life in general. We lived in California and South Carolina. We wore sandals and flip-flops or Ana had orthopedic inserts which did not let Ana take her socks off and blocked any kind of moisture to get in (or out for that matter :-)!).

Of course, I will include socks from now on....

Just like I have to learn to include a pair of Gummistiefel (galoshes) - shoes for dirty, rainy weather, Hausschuhe - shoes for inside use only, Normale Schule - shoes for normal weather, Turnschuhe - PE slippers, Turnhose und T-shirt - PE clothes, Matsch Hose - pants for wet weather, long underwear, long socks, Matsch Jacke - jacket for wet weather, lunch (HEALTHY THAT IS - even though I have discovered that smearing Nutella on a semi dark slice of bread does pass as semi healthy, and if you then include some slices of apple or cucumber - you are sooo set!).

Yes, of course, I knew that all these things are needed in Germany. I respect that, like that, support that..... 

....but I never had to make sure 3 or 4 more people besides myself had to have them.

And of course I also have to make sure that we are always wearing appropriate clothes for the right weather. Cold weather - thick sweater, pants and underwear and big time warm jacket, semi cold weather - semi thick sweater, semi thick pants! And I know I've forgotten something!
And then I have to still make sure that the boy wears boy clothes, and the girls have at least something that looks girly! I have to make sure that the sweaters are at least long enough to cover the belly button, and if not wear something over it that is big enough to cover my insufficiency as a "kids dressing expert" - but wait - that's my own "whole package".

I was so relieved when all the kids were set in their own classrooms. Because that meant I have a free morning to work on the 20 half opened boxes standing around. But quickly I discovered that it was a full-time job to just get all the items needed to cover all the needs my kids now have at school. You see, the brain of a German native works differently. It is easily going down the list of "the necessities", whereas my brain was a beach girl from the get go. "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem!"

I am committed to fit in! I am over-committed! Yes, priorities. Making a big move into a country that wears at least 3 more layers of clothes then what I have been used to, makes my head fuzzy and my priorities frizzy! Or is that vice versa?

I find myself being more committed to pleasing everybody around me before they possibly get to the point of thinking badly of me. In this new place, in this new culture I am fearful of hurting other peoples feelings of being looked at as a "typical American", and I fear I will fail right from the get go. I am fearful to be looked at as lazy and culturally insensitive, and in all this pressure I don't take the time to be safe. I'm committed to everything around me without committing to the one priority that would keep me sane. 

Fear of man, becomes a trap,
    but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. (Proverbs 29:25)

Must I say more?

I tend to want to please people - but does that honor God?  - NO

It is you oh Lord I want to please, it is you oh Lord who hears my prayers
It is you who listens, and answers, and protects, and prioritizes! I do not have to fall into the trap of believing that I am loved only if I can please people! Whatever I do, I want to do "heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3:23)

I am committed to understanding (or re-understanding) the German culture - but it has to be on God's terms!

so now....

....lets sit down with a cup of awesome German coffee, in this 
    very messy house and let God talk to me!
....lets make HIM our priority! 
....lets look forward to another day where yummy German bread
    and cheese and cake is readily available.
....lets love him first and and so have more than enough love left 
    over for others!
....lets full-heartedly embrace a new/old, unfamiliar/so very
    familiar culture!
...And we will give God the "whole package" including the socks!