The table is set

tafelgedekt

“To dare is to lose your balance momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.”

– Soren Kierkegaard

The test run is over. The dots are on the i. I can tell you that now I am looking back on a week with our teacher and the children to prepare for the final bits and pieces of the end-of-Lent silent retreat in Szentistvan.

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Jelle was planning to go to the Netherlands by plane with Femke to celebrate the 70th birthday of Pa Huisman. They flew from Budapest to the Netherlands. I brought them both to the airport at 02.15 am.(Szentistvan-Budapest).

A midnight journey with frozen brakes, a heater what is not warming up, a laundry machine what needs attention. With preparing this retreat, I also was challenged to lose my balance and I most certainly did. But, gladly I did not loose myself.;-)

Our kids had laughed at me a bit. That midnight, I was pretty well-prepared for any emergency. A note on the passenger seat next to me with name and address details read, “Man and daughter at the airport and a teacher/friend and three children in bed in a village far away. Just to let you know.” But, fortunately, it remained unused.

If I get through this okay, I’m sure to be at a higher level of stress resistance,” I thought cheerfully. I cannot say how happy I was when I drove back up the street and saw the house where my treasures were sleeping.DSC_1417

That first day, I took it a bit easy and was amazed at how peaceful it was to be in Szentistvan. “Why is that,” I wondered. That evening, I wrote this in my journal:

Ten reasons why I love this place:

  1. It’s quiet here.
  2. Present and past touch each other.
  3. Wooden furniture.
  4. The bike.
  5. Contrast in black and white furniture.
  6. Eye for beauty and detail.
  7. Grass and trees.
  8. Flat fields.
  9. A clothesline!
  10. Charming barns.

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Still some plans for this week:

  1. I want to find a doctor / medical help.
  2. a good place to eat out.
  3. a nice hiking spot.
  4. a surprise.
  5. visit the internet cafe.

We drive one day after school (Yes, Miss Marieke and books are with us, this week) into the mountains. (Yep, now I can check off number 3 of my list.) And there we find smoke coming from the earth. “What is it?” we wonder. It is this: Spring water, directly from the ground. What a fantastic discovery! There is a whole box of tourist information and I knew something, but to see it coming up from the mountains in front of your eyes is a wonderful discovery! (Yep, now I can check off number 4 of my list!)

Thursday: Help, tomorrow we leave! Nobody has a problem with trying the pizza hut (Yep, now I can check off number 2 of my list) There is also a very nice restaurant. Meanwhile, we drive past a hospital. (Yep, now I can check off number 1 of my list.)

I check the much needed e-mail in the internet cafe in the village. (Yep, now I can check off number 5 of my list.) And this is what I read:

Hi Janneke!

The retreat sounds fantastic! I’ve found that a small retreat is often disproportionately more powerful for attendees.

I pray it’s a powerful retreat and that God meets every person in a unique and powerful way!

And oh, how wonderful to get this encouraging message, just the support that I need;-)

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So, that was that. We sweep the house, pick up Jelle and Femke from the airport and drive back to Osijek. I am ready.

I have certainly lost my balance during these preparations. But only that makes you feel alive! So, much looking forward to start.

Warm greetings. Janneke


Let’s be e-mail friends, I would love that, and I hope you too.


 

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