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EINE GUTES NEUES JAHR meine Freunde und Familie!

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Ich hoffe euch allen sind gut und gesund! Mir geht es gut… Ich nehme jeden Tag nach dem anderen.

Okaiiiiii, jetzt auf Englisch…

Time escapes me quickly here, so these are raw and unedited thoughts coming from me to you.

It’s been a really good, extremely blessed, interesting and somewhat complicated time so far.

The process of moving to another country and getting all of the logistics completed is a drawn out process. I can’t accomplish some big/important tasks without first some very small yet key details. For example, I have not yet been able to open a bank account because I first had to get proof of where I am now living. I can’t get a new SIM card until I get a German bank account with a German Visa card. I’m still waiting to get a response from the bank. In addition, so many German holidays in the past week have painfully slowed this process. Ein Tag nach dem anderen – one day at a time.

For the next three months I am living with my friend Melina’s family, in Reutlingen. I have been beside myself with how incredible and generous they have been in helping me with EVERYTHING. For an independent gal like me, I have been repeatedly humbled several times in each day and deeply impacted by the abounding love and grace I am immersed in.

A very unexpected surprise came to me when Papa Martin und Mama Dani said to me, “Lindsey, instead of you taking the bus to the train station, and the train to another bus to get to school, you take one of our cars!” Yes, I have a car to drive back and forth to school for the next three months, which not only saves me money, but also at least 2 hours of commuting a day! Simply, WOW.

I am moved by the true love in this family. I am transformed by how they include me so naturally as one of their own. It is something special to eat breakfast, lunch (on the weekends) and dinner together every day, and for Papa Martin to lead off in a time where we all pray, give thanks and acknowledge our Lord before we embark upon each day. Family is so uniquely different in Germany. As I continue to spend a lot of time with the Link Family, I experience the gentle touch, endless love and holistic healing of Abba Father through them.

Yesterday, I received an email from the police station in a different city, “Dear Ms. Brunsman, Your wallet and passport were found in the “Ranitzky” restaurant in Tübingen. Now it is at the police station…” WHAT?! My heart stopped – I had no idea that it had fallen out of my purse, and I have absolutely no idea how that could have happened, but it’s a true miracle that it was safely found and given to the police with nothing missing from it. Colossal provision and protection from the Lord.

Today was my first day of German class at the Sprache Institute in Tübingen. It went very well, although it was also very difficult. I really like my teacher. I definitely have my work cut out for me the next few months… and actually this will be my next to last English communication for a while (I have another post almost complete) because many people have advised me to have very limited English communication while I am learning German. Today my German teacher told me absolutely no English. Going back and forth between the two is a huge set-back and prevents me from being able to excel in learning, thinking, listening, writing, reading and speaking German. So I told her that I would send a long English message to all of my friends and family today, then follow her advice. I will STILL be in touch with all of you, aber auf Deutsch, and you can translate with Google, ja? And please, it fills my heart with a sense of home and encouragement to hear from all of you – so be free to get in touch with me (in English).

Here are some photos of where I am now living, of my time here so far, the city where I’m going to school and a photo from my last trip with the Link Family.

I mean this with every bit of my heart when I say that I miss each of you greatly. Your absence from what was my normal-daily-American-living life is deeply felt. It’s definitely a vast challenge stepping into a new country, culture, language, but everything is more than okay. Ich nehme jeden Tag nach dem anderen mit meinem Gott. Er ist genug.

I send much love, hugs and smiles to you all. Sei gesegnet.

Another year quickly gone by… today my dear brother, Chandler, would have been 21 years old! Today was perfect, beautiful and truly the BEST day ever!

I am so tickled to have spent this day with two of my favorite people, my second parents – Mark and Dianne. We adventured to one of the most gorgeous land-locked bodies of water I’ve ever seen – Crater Lake National Park. We hiked to the top of one of the points for an incredible view and couldn’t take in enough of the beauty while being mesmerized by the refreshing tones of blue. If only we could have dived off into the water… perhaps next time.

Amazing dinner at one of my favorite spots, topped off with sweet beats, fire pits, friends and a toast in honor of Chandler’s 21st. This day couldn’t have been any better.

Brother, you are SO ALIVE in my heart! I cherish and am honored to carry your legacy with me every single day… infinitely thankful to our Heavenly Father for you and your life and that I was part of it, and that you are a part of mine forever and always…

I raise my glass to you. Love and miss you TOO much! xoxo

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“If we continue to carry upon our weary souls the guilt, shame and condemnation of our past sins & faults, or we continually project it upon others for their past sins & faults, then we are believing and voicing that God’s humility, grace, forgiveness, healing and redemption are not possible or enough for both ourselves, and our fellow brothers and sisters.”

—thoughts (truth) stirring in my mind

When I awoke this morning, I did not anticipate witnessing a car accident transpire in front of my very eyes, walking over to lay hands on and pray for an unconscious yet breathing man, hear him take his last gasp for air, then die.

It is quite surreal to see life leave a human, and despairing to watch medics work fervently at attempting to pump life back into his departed soul. I can’t imagine the thousands of emergency responders that experience this reality on a daily basis.

My heart hurts for this man’s family, and the grief they now face. Today was just another average day, and as this man began his day, I bet neither he nor his family expected that it would be his last.

While I was waiting to speak with a police officer to give my testament of the accident, a woman who had, minutes earlier, stood next to me while I prayed and she administered first aid care to the man, came over and embraced me in a tight hug. Tears were welling up and streaming down my face as I watched over her shoulder the unsuccessful efforts of the paramedics. When she pulled away, she looked fixedly into my eyes and told me to be sure to generously express my love to those who are close to my heart.

As I exited the scene of the accident, my mind flooded with thoughts of empathy and heartache for all those who have experienced significant and sudden loss: friends of mine, the families in Newtown, CT and Portland, OR, the orphans I spent time with in DR-Congo… these are only just a few, and it’s overwhelming to think of all the millions currently grieving.

I know the pain of sudden and significant loss all too well, in addition to the process of grief. It comes and goes in waves. Last night it came in a very strong wave at me, as I am currently grieving both fresh and familiar losses simultaneously. Today’s accident helped me remember that I’m not alone in my losses and grief. It was also an important reminder to carry intentionality to pause and take an extra minute to communicate my heart to those I love. I encourage you to do the same.

What a heavy day and year it has been. I so pray that the man I was burdened to intercede for in his last breaths, is now being held in the arms of our Heavenly Father.

Twenty years ago a radiant shining star came into my life. It was an incredible gift to have that star in my life for 12 short years. That star is my brother, Chandler. Today he would have been 20 years old!!! There is no helium in central Oregon, so sending off his card in a boat down the river was my alternative!

O Happy Day Chandler! I love & miss you MORE!!!