You will notice a slight change in title from what I have been doing.  Since I am not in Wittenberg anymore it just doesn’t seem right to call this “Reflections from a Wittenberg Coffee Shop.  And, truth be told, I should have called it “Reflections from the lobby of the Luther Hotel” because that is where I had internet access.  But, now, what do I call it?  Well, I do my best writing at the dining room table.

When I sit at the dining room table I can look directly ahead at the fire burning in the fire place.  I can hear the whir of the furnace and I can rejoice in my space.  So, the dining room table is where I find the peace for creativity.  Thus, this blog will now be known as “Reflections from the Dining Room Table.”  The journey goes on!

This week, I will have been back from Germany for one month.  It has been quite a month.  I really expected the transition to be much smoother than it was.  I can say that, finally, this week, I am somewhat back into my stride.  It has taken much longer to reorient than I ever imagined.

I keep getting asked, “Do you wish you were back in Germany?”  Well, how does one answer that question?  I love being home with family and friends but I would be dishonest to say that I don’t miss the German life-style and my German friends.  Overall, I am very glad to be back, but, in so many ways it has been hard.

Coming back has been difficult as I have striven to get all of my life systems up and running again.  Everything from re-starting the TV and internet to restocking the freezer and food shelves has taken a great deal of time and has involved some serious soul-searching.  What do I REALLY need.  I learned this summer that I don’t need all that much to have a good way of life.  Now, can I maintain that in this culture?   We will see.

I have learned that going to the gym is not as healthy as the life-style I had in Germany.  Walking and biking everywhere was very good for my system.  I have learned that walking, biking, and, especially taking the bus is very difficult here and so I can feel the weight coming back on.  I have to take stock as to what this means AND I have to deal with a certain amount of anger that the Metro Transit system is just really not very user friendly.  Oh, the stories that I could tell!

I am having to deal with the fact that I am only working 10 hours per week as a chaplain and the rest of the time is there to use as I desire.  Will I have the self-discipline to use this “free-time” well.  Will I invest this time in reading, research and writing or will I invest in numerous distractions (which I am quite good at I might add).  A wise person said to me that it is important that I build structure into my life.  Some of you will laugh, but I may have to re-institute the Franklin system to get me going again.  Go figure!

I have made some changes, though.  I am very conscious of consolidating trips in order to use my car as little as possible.  I am very conscious of what types of food I am buying.  I am going through my house and getting rid of even more items (anyone want a George Foreman grill?).  I continue to simplify, simplify, simplify.

But, I think the stride is back.  My motivation is back, and, I know that I am very different because of this summer’s experience.  I thank God for the people God brought into my life this summer and for the people God continues to bring into my life here.  The journey goes on.

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