Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Regensburg; A Beautiful End to A Beautiful Pilgrimage

Psalm 25

LORD, I turn my hope to You.
My God, I trust in You.
Do not let me be disgraced;
do not let my enemies gloat over me.
Not one person who waits for You will be disgraced;
those who act treacherously without cause will be disgraced.
Make your ways known to me, LORD;
teach me Your paths.
Guide me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
I wait for You all day long.
Remember, LORD, Your compassion and Your faithful love,
for they have existed from antiquity.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
or my acts of rebellion;
in keeping with Your faithful love, remember me 
because of Your goodness, LORD.
The LORD is good and upright;
therefore He shows sinners the way.
He leads the humble in what is right
and teaches them His way.
All the LORD's ways show faithful love and truth
to those who keep His covenant and degrees.
Because of Your name, Yahweh, 
forgive my sin, for it is great.
Who is the one who fears the LORD?
He will show him the way he should choose.
He will live and good life,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret counsel of the LORD 
is for those who fear Him,
and He reveals His covenant to them.
My eyes are always on the LORD,
for He will pull my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am alone and afflicted.
The distresses of my heart increase;
bring me out of my sufferings.
Consider my affliction and trouble,
and take away all my sins.
Consider my enemies;  they are numerous,
and they hate me violently.
Guard me and deliver me;
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in You.
May integrity and what is right watch over me,
for I wait for You.
God, redeem Israel, from all its distresses.

I had returned from my free week in Nice, France.  It was time to settle in Regensburg for 3 weeks;  and that meant settling into a new Psalm.  I picked Psalm 25, and settle I did.  While traveling throughout Europe and asking Jesus where to camp out in His word, I found that every time I went with where I felt He was leading me, the Psalm corresponded perfectly with what I was going through.  He taught me so tenderly;  I love that He knew exactly what I would be going through and what I would need to hear Him say while I walked.  

While I sat on "my" bed at Lauren's house before leaving for Europe, Jesus clearly gave me Psalm 84.  He told me to set my heart on pilgrimage.  He said in that Psalm that those who trust Him are happy.  I trusted Him.  I set my heart on pilgrimage.  And He was right--I am happy.  

From Italy to Switzerland, Switzerland to Germany, Germany to France, and from France back to Germany He spoke to me.  He reminded me of things I already knew and showed me things I didn't.  This is the main thing He taught me (and He used a Skype date with my mom to tell me):  

Make your ways known to me, LORD;
teach me Your paths.
Guide me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation.

He teaches us things by guiding us through them.  He taught me His way by walking down a difficult path with me.  When we look back up at verse 3 we realize that we can walk confidently because:

Not one person who waits for [Him] will be disgraced.

So, we trust Him.  We set our hearts on pilgrimage.  And when the path gets difficult, we realize He is teaching us.  He will guide us and as we wait for Him, we will not be disgraced.  

The following are some pictures of my 3 weeks of settling into Regensburg with 17(+) of the dearest friends I've ever had.  During the entire 3 weeks that I was in Regensburg I took about the same amount of pictures that I took each day in Rome.  Nevertheless, these pictures capture the rest, the routine, and the beauty that was extended time in a delightful German town with incredible friends.

Pictured below are Hannah, Megan, and I on one of our many grocery store trips.  Nothing better than a room full of German cookies, candy, and coffee drinks for study time and late night snacks.


Hannah, Megan, and Becky.


Hannah and I spent many afternoons "reading" in our room.  (In her defense, she did read for a while before her nap.)


Becky and I after biking to soccer to watch our friends play.  What a fun bike trip!  I'm so glad she led the way.  


I learned so much in Europe.  I might even argue that I learned to love coffee.  But if I did, those who tasted my "coffee" would declare (probably rightfully) that I learned to love hot milk and sugar.  Call it what you may, we all loved our coffee--hence the 7 mugs I collected from our room one afternoon.  


Hannah and I bonded over this bag of assorted cookies.  She introduced me and I was hooked.  We bought 5 bags and ate them all (with help from friends, of course).  We each rated all 7 cookies from best to worst and would retrieve cookies for each other according to number.  Here's a little example of what a cookie conversation between Hannah and I would have looked like:

Me: "Ugh, I am so tired of reading Grudem right now."
Hannah:  "Want a cookie? That will make it better!"
Me: "Of course I want a cookie."
Hannah: "Which ones do you want?  I'll grab them for you."
Me:  "I think I'm feeling 1-3-1-1-4."
*Hannah knows exactly what I mean and brings me my 5 cookies thus enabling me to continue reading  joyfully.*

Hannah, I miss our cookies.  We'll have to find an American equivalent.  


McCafe study date with Becky and Jin....


...and Megan.  Oh and Grudem--so much Grudem.  


Gelato.  Obviously.  



More McCafe to celebrate Megan's birthday!  Oh I am so glad she was born!  And so glad we are friends!


Every time I post pictures and write about them I get a little embarrassed about how much coffee I actually consumed on this pilgrimage across Europe. #worthit  #especiallybecauseofthefriendsIenjoyeditwith



Wandering around Regensburg looking for snacks...


...we decided on bread and gelato.  Typical. 


Many afternoons were spent reading (and napping) by the Danube river.  This little beach was across the street from our hostel.  So many good conversations had, good music listened to, and good books read here.  


A glimpse at Regensburg would not be complete without a "studying picture".  Taking Systematic Theology was probably one of my favorite parts of this entire trip.  "Theology done rightly sings Jesus Christ is beautiful" (Dr. Clark).  That statement is true, and Dr. Clark proved it.  


On the Saturday before we left we took a boat to this German temple/museum, hiked to the top, and enjoyed one last adventure together.  










French fries on the boat ride back;  because that's how we roll.  


Sunday night--dessert in Regensburg.  









An early Monday morning goodbye to the ever-amazing Kelley.







Some last friend pictures...



...two long plane rides...


...and a reunion that made every minute worth it.  I'm so thankful for my parents who sent me on this European pilgrimage--they grace me beyond what I deserve.  (By the way, I had been waiting for that dad-hug since Wittenberg.)


And my mom.  In flesh.  Available to talk face to face.  Oh, I love her!


I am thankful.  
I am thankful that mom and dad sent me to Europe.  
I am thankful for each of the beautiful ones that I met.  
I am thankful for how each one showed me a little bit more of who Jesus is.  
I am thankful for all the memories we made. 
 I am thankful for all Jesus walked me through and all He spoke to me as He did.  
I am thankful for the classes I took.  
I am thankful for the food I ate (especially at Casa Cares in Tuscany), for the coffee I drank (in Switzerland), and for the candy I consumed (in Germany).  
I am thankful for many conversations had with wise friends.  
I am thankful for community and the love and learning that was fostered as we all did life together, pilgrimaging through Europe.  
What beautiful memories made with beautiful friends on a beautiful continent.  
I am forever thankful.  

4 comments:

  1. I had to control myself while reading this blog from crying. And not like tears streaming down my face, but uncontrollable sobing with awkward sounds coming from my mouth. #embarrassing. I love you so much and your blogs have driven me mad with a desire to live in Europe, not travel, but live. To see this beautiful world and to minister to it. So so so so so so happy you are home and that I can hug you soon, but also so so so so so happy and over-joyed that God taught you so much in Europe. This might so weird but w/e, some of the greatest joy I receive is when I see God working in my friend's lives. When I see that they are encountering God and getting a vision. a glimpse of eternity - its all that I could ask for in life. You experiencing God in europe has made me so happy for you! Thats all I pray for, is for everyone to KNOW CHRIST. I LOVE YOU CHEZ #deepcomment #sorry

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  2. Don't be sorry. I love this. And I love your heart. It's ALL about Jesus and your comment is a reflection that you not only embrace that for yourself but also for your friends--and THAT is beautiful! Love you deeply Allie! Our hug will be obnoxious.

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  3. My dear Chesney! I just read this blog post again and started crying! What wonderful memories were these! I miss our time in Regensburg and Europe for that matter but I am so grateful that we were able to do it together! I love you dear!

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  4. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.

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