Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WHERE: Piliscsaba, Hungary

This right here friends is progress. What may look to you like a mess of disheveled yarn is in actuality a wonderful representation of my first week in Piliscsaba.  Slowly, but surely, things are coming together while my hands complete unfamiliar tasks in unfamiliar ways.   Each stitch feels new and uncomfortable, but I’m starting to get the hang of it.

Friday afternoon I was sitting in the home of a woman who hosts knitting classes to teach children and adults the profession of her deceased mother, a Hungarian fashion artist known for her intricate patterns and textures.  As I was sitting there fumbling with yarn and stitches, I had time to reflect on what an incredible week I had just experienced. 

Zsuzsa and Lajos are my loving parents
during the first few months of my time
in Piliscsaba.
In addition to knitting, I attended a dance class that teaches the traditional dance of an area in Transylvania.  It was there that I first noticed the true love between my host mom and host dad.  My anya and apa.  Their enjoyment and delight in dancing with each other reminded me of the joy between my parents, and I am comforted to know I am in a home with two people who care deeply for each other.  Lajos and Zsuzsa have easily created for me a home away from home.  And they encourage me to join alongside the lives of their three children as much as possible.

Réka is featured in this blog post
preparing dinner. Angela, you have
cutest sister award competition.
Ákos, Miklós, and Réka are my new siblings.  I am blessed to have two new brothers and a new sister who each possess a unique personality and humor.  With them I attended my first Taekwondo class and enjoyed being active and playfully “fighting” with them.  We have a punching bag in the living room, it provides great fun after dinner.

So, to give you a short recap that’s knitting, dancing, and taekwondo in the first three days of my time in Piliscaba.  Remember that one time I told you I didn’t want to go to swimming lessons because I didn’t know how to swim?  Well that mentality is gone, and I couldn’t be happier.  Yes, I am nervous and scared and constantly exhausted, but I am experiencing new things in new ways and in a new language. 

Oh yeah the whole language thing…everything I’ve done has been taught in Hungarian… obviously.  Knitting, dance class, and taekwondo were all instructed in Hungarian.  Did I know exactly what were they saying? Heck no.  Could I tell you what they said in my own words? Probably not.  Did I pick up a few words and recognize instructions? Yeah,  I did.  The shake of a head or the sound of, “Nem nem” signaled I was completing a stitch the wrong way.  I figured out you twirl three times at the stomp of your partner’s foot, and I could tell that if you get pegged in dodgeball you have to do 10 push ups.

It’s got me thinking about our own understanding of a foreign language we are unfamiliar with.  And that is the language of our Father.  I believe that God speaks to us as a community and gives us instructions just as my knitting friend, my dance teacher, and my taekwondo instructor do.  But we don’t actually speak God’s language just as I don’t actually speak Hungarian.  I mean, come on who can actually be fluent in God.  Who can really know exactly what he is saying and exactly how to interpret his messages. 

Whether or not we can actually be fluent, I think the point is that we are trying.  And, that we should be able to figure out how we are supposed to be living.  Instead of trying to pick out every single knit picky detail of what is right and wrong or acceptable or unacceptable, we can be watchful and figure out the way the best way to live out Christ's love and grace.  God gives us the shake of the head or a gentle, “Nem nem”. He gives us others as examples to exemplify his love, and he grounds us in law and gospel according to our actions.  Who are we to judge each other on our own interpretations of God's language?  One day we will all be fluent in God when we join at the feast on the last day. But until then, I’m doing my best to become fluent in Hungarian.  And we can all keep working to be fluent in grace and love.

More later

Mom- take comfort knowing this mom hugs
 me goodnight every night!  I love you both!


  1. Beautiful thoughts and recollections. I look forward to reading your blog posts! Miss you!

  2. This is absolutely fantastic! Wow. Thanks for sharing!