So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


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Follow the Peace

 

When you have God’s will and you are meeting his in your heart, there’s a peace.  It’s difficult to describe and I can only say that by having re found it, I’m now so aware of how I had lost it.  I was so eaten away by bitterness at the Erna at work situation and I was causing strife in my mind because I was just letting my damaged pride eat away at me, when we live in strife the devil has a foothold (Thanks Joyce Meyer)

 So I’ve been back to praying and reading, and come to a realisation that I need a daily realignment in my thinking and actions. I wanted to care for those at work, even Erna. When she started the ignoring me, I thought (and this didn’t come from me), dear Erna, she is a sister in Christ and I’ll be with her in eternity (HELP!!!!!!) and the following sensation was sweet.  Driving up the hill to the Burg one morning after an early shower, the sun caught the rain drops and golden light filtered through, and I was overwhelmed with the beauty of his creation, and was filled with joy.  I haven’t had a moment like that for ages. 

 I’ve been wary of fasting for a while, for those who say that you get closer to God and have new insights.  But surely isn’t that just the effect of having low blood sugar and other chemical changes in the blood?  This moment in a way proved it to me, I was happily well fed and untired when this happened.  I think fasting should be a discipline for the body, God I don’t think loves you more because you’re hungry –someone comment?

 For several days following this I was filled with this Holy sweetness and the light around me on the plants and trees gave them a new beauty.  The supernatural is so close but we fail to perceive it.

 My perceptions changed too, when Edith suggested we work with the disabled people, my heart leapt – mainly because it is financially viable for them which we had thought not.  I thought this way was blocked since I left the FCRT, but maybe it was there all along, after all, seeing the Lebenshilfe workstation was one of the key moments in deciding us for here, although I later failed two interviews – my timing not Gods?

 I was still yearning my alone time, but began to see the element of self in it.   I also had another bout of the unexplained sadness – it during when I was trying to deal with Erna at work and then Edith rang and I snapped at her.  Maybe it’s the Holy Spirit being grieved in me.  I have felt there’s a contraction in being told not to follow our feelings, but sadness/grief etc are part of them.  Maybe its in the sense of knowing.


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Testimony

The storm - hailstones hurtling onto the Hof

This is first of a series six I’m reposting as I’ve added extra shares to the Blog.This summer I posted  a spate of blogs  that I wrote in the spring as I was having a break and dealing with stuff as in that Woman and life, but also because I knew I was back tracking in my faith and needed to do something about it.  The blogs are full on Christian which I hope might inspire some comment -although if something interesting happens I’ll add!

 I started off the season with all the best intentions, using scripture to deal with that E woman but I fell by the wayside as stress and tiredness took their toll, and laziness too as I relaxed my Bible and prayer time. It was  in some ways  a desire not to get tied to a regular reading in case it became the law ie just a ritual which I know now is a lie.  It was a twisted thinking because I need scripture to feed me spiritually and let God speak to me through it.  God will not love me more because I do it, he just gets more chances to talk to me!

The Burg being quieter meant that there are now days when we work on our own and so my MP3 comes out and I wander the Burg like a demented wombat singing when I hope no one’s around and listening to Andrew Wommack downloads.  This amazing man does all this for free, the only telly evangelist I know who does so.  We are partners with him and so I feel free so to do.  Last year I had listened to the How to Find, Follow and Fulfill God’s will in your life series and as the player was on the blink, it seemed a good idea to start here again as I’ve felt for a long time we had taken a wrong turning.

http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1066

 As blogged, Edith and I have finally started the Asylum seekers work and yet I was just feeling a sense of dread and hoping no one would turn out.  I began to see that here I was fulfilling a dream of working with horses and kids again and I was so guilty of not loving them at all. It was particularly when a little five year old girl took my hand for reassurance I was shamed and began to love again. I even had the naughty joy of nicking one of Lois’s customers one day and it all came back to me, I need to refresh my teaching skills so that I don’t run out of things to do in the lessons. 

 So I set too and cleaned bogs and listened.


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Oh no, not an Erna Blog……….

More Burg in the snow

As I write its only 3 and a half weeks till the end of the season at the Burg. I’ve moved on so much in the last few weeks and gone backwards too!  On one shift with Erna, she was just so completely mad that I lost all respect for her.  She’d been told we’d cleaned the Chapel the previous day but insisted on going in and sweeping.  When I challenged her, she said everything was so dirty, she had to do it, but 30 seconds later came out.  She even re-swept some stairs Michaela had just done, she must have realised she’ done them.   This was the point she ceased to matter to me. In respecting her as a co-worker, who was senior to me, it had to be my fault when something was amiss.  Now I don’t value her opinion, I feel nothing about her, the past is forgiven and forgotten, after all the pain she has caused me this season, it’s over.

The real end came when one day she exploded in fury at us in the shower rooms.  We hadn’t realised some bar on the shower door could be raised, and so was dirty underneath.  I don’t know what you do all day, its only me who can clean, just one more thing and I’ll go to Rosie (the Head cook and her mate, our boss actually is Helmuth!) she screamed more in dialect I didn’t get.  I’ve never seen Michaela so upset, she was all for leaving, but she decided to hang on till the end of the season.  So now, its me working with Erna while Michaela absents herself, she wont speak to Erna, and you know, I don’t mind the situation!  I speak to Erna when I need to ask something, otherwise we work in silence.  I think the penny has dropped that she has shouted at us once too often.  Now I’m the one in the middle!

Both Michaela and I are leaving, enough is enough.  I’ve prayed that if I’m wrong, to have some message/knowledge from God and similarly if I should apply for the job of ‘Burgrat’ or manager at the Burg.  So far nothing either way, except more attacks of the unexpected, unexplained sadness which hits me sometimes, whose cause I cannot pinpoint – or maybe it is that I should stay.  I pray on…..

The other day, someone spilt candle wax all over the Rittersaal floor, which on the old wood just seeped in and solidified.  I think maybe the solution is to use an iron  to reheat the wax  through newspaper which will absorb it. Of course, I got the ‘look’ when I said so.  Erna consulted the all-wise Rosie who said use bleach and soda.  Result?  Right in the middle of the Saal is a huge patch of lighter coloured wood with blotches of wax in it, oh I feel sooooo smug!


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So what happened?

Usually a view down the valley, but now a white out as the storm hits

I must confess to a certain amount of butterflies  before I had to work with Erna again.  It was the uncertainty of what would happen. I was geared up to being shouted at, or at the most blindingly unlikely, being apologised to.  The plan was to do the bins and loos and clean away from her. So we arrived at breakfast and she said the usual ‘morning’ to Micheala and then ignored me – also as usual.  She was set on scrubbing every floor in the place she could. Fine, I could deal with this, but if she was any sort of leader or ratherwhat I would have said would be great, we have some time, lets see if we can do anyhting to clean things up a bit – no it was just we’ll scrub the floors as we have time, there’s so much more than just floors to keep tje Burg claen! So I felt  if she wants to be an Ostrich and not deal with things, I will too. Hopefully we won’t work together more than a few times more this season, then I’m out of there. So she mopped and I made a point of asking her what to do, even if I got the blank look, andI even ended up with the broom!  If they think I’m so bad at mopping/scrubbing and they do all this work and end up knackered, why should I care?

Every time I started on the negative thoughts or feeling down, a Christian anthem came into my head, ‘Shout to the North and South….Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth’, now I don’t even really like this tune, though we sang it loads at the Fortune Centre, but there it was in my head, so strong that I got caught up in singing it (well not very loudly). I don’t often get songs stuck in my head either. I’d often thought of bringing my MP3 on Erna days but hey, this was God doing it for me! WOW!

 However, most importantly for me, I’ve learnt some things from God in this process that maybe he’s been trying to explain to me for a long time. And how?  Besides getting my prayer and reading life back in order, I’ve apologised to the Holy Spirit for grieving him and asked for help, and look what he did! Sorry non Christians, this is deep Christan speak now. I can see that the devil has tried to sink me in negativity and so separate me from the path I should be on – and he has shot himself in the foot because I’ve got over the not handling being ignored, and working with someone who yells and screams and can move on. No longer will I be eaten up by negative thoughts and worries –result!  

Spookily or really a natural coincidence, that afternoon the Lungau was hit by a freak thunderstorm.  We saw it coming over the hills as the sky went black, then came the wind and the trees bent double, then the rain and hail hit.  Non of the windows in the Burg were water tight and the howling of the wind though the gaps was incredible.  Hail lay like snow in the Hof and from one of the baclonies you could see nothing except the cloud and the lightning in it as the strom howled through.  It cleared in an hour and the sky was blue.  But I felt a deep, overwhelming sadness, and I was I right, for when I got home, so many of my flowers had been cut to shreds and the veggies were either flattened or full of holes.  Pictures will be on the next posts.

A week on…..Saturday I was on my own and there was one trakt that needed cleaning for new guests.  Micheala had said to me in her ‘speak to her seriously and slowly so she understands voice’ that two the rooms would need scrubbing because there had been dogs in them – like I wouldn’t have worked that out?  Well any way, I scrubbed two of the rooms on my own initiative as well as these two –so there!  But one room was occupied by an old boy with a chihaua, which had pooped all over the floor. At 3.30 he was still faffing around in the room, so I went to Helmuth- maybe this guy was staying on.  Helmuth exploded and went to give the guy a heave – the next group was due in an hour.  So I went and sat in the sun and ate a cake until I could finally get in.  At four o’clock I was finally finished – quite a contrast to last week and my paddy at having leaving at three. I didn’t moan to Helmuth once, as mostly I was chuckling inside, payback  for last week!


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The next day at work!

View of Weisspriach from above!

Michaela had sent me a text  telling me we started at 8 and I was to drive myself.  I got the idea she was a bit cross, so asked her – she said she was ‘Stink sour’ (translation) so I got the point!  Funny thing was once I knew what my reception was  going to be I was immediately calm, and slept well for the first time it ages. My brother’s comment on the blog made also a lot of sense -thanks Hugh!

On arriving at t’Burg with a few butterflies, we ignored each other during breakfast and went up the tower. Once in a room I said we can work like this all day but I think we need to talk.  And we did, and I think we eventually got each other’s point of view.  Hers was that I should have told them earlier that I couldn’t stay, fair point, but I genuinely felt that we would finish near or on time. She said she had tried to warn us in the morning. Again my lack of understanding of dialect doesn’t help! She had realised I was keeping my distance and I explained why and she softened.  I apologised, saying I had lost the plot  and she accepted.  She said she had spent the weekend boiling at 500 degrees!  She’s also mad at Helmuth, who as I expected ducked even discussing the issue with her. By the end of the day we were on good terms again, though I expect deep down she still hates my guts!  When I said I had my notice to give in to Helmuth, she please don’t , I can’t work everyday till the end if the season.  We also sort of arranged that I will do bins and loos on Friday when Erna is next there – that’s going to be another interesting one!  Still I have found peace and will stay at the Burg till the end of the season.  Whether I;m under attack or just a prat, I still don’t know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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The Very Last Moaning Blog – yes, really!

Stuck Cherry picker

This is the last really negative blog I’m going to allow myself to post. Looking back through the summer I’ve done nothing but whine, suffer and grumble.  Take it as said till the autumn that  Erna drives me mad, work knackers me, and if she is working next year, unless things change I will not return to the Burg!   There are some developments on the horizon which I will blog later.

I sometimes really wonder how long I can go on like this.  Maybe the situation is of my own doing, my reactions, my lack of faith.  I don’t know.  Its all snowballing in this fear of tiredness, the tiredness itself and the consequent lack of sleep, the frustration, and the just sheer numbing , overwhelming sense of the futility of life  for me as it is now, the sense of having nowhere further to go which generates an inertia that is inescapable.  The thought of not going back to the Burg and being at home and writing and doing stuff is such a dream.  I don’t even feel the therapy work is going to begin, what should be my biggest dream feels like nothing.

Not the usual lunch break!

The film crew was at the Burg, along with 140 school kids.  Whoever thought the two groups could be compatible in such an enclosed space needs their head examining! They brought a Cherry picker up the steep turning road and of course it got stuck and the trailer collapsed.  Did no one in logistics look at a map?  Michaela was stuck for nearly two hours until they shifted it – I decamped and walked home!   They later used it to shine a light from outside into the room they were filming in, to keep it constant I suppose, I could see the guy’s feet hanging over the edge of the box, he was asleep I think!

Shades of the past?

The following day was an Erna day.  It started well for me, I’d finally sensed my oncoming sleeplessness feelings and so took a tablet at the right time instead of trying to get off and giving up at midnight, and so I slept like a baby though the night and felt great in the morning.  After breakfast I said to the other two that we must clean the main loos in the yard first because they were being used so much the previous day that I’d had to do them three times. It took several attempts to get through what I was saying. This lead to confusion, a break in the Burg cleaning routine, something out-of-order, the dumb twit was speaking .  I took the buckets and went. My fault, I took the wrong one and when I got back to the other two, Erna and Michaela had had a shouting match,  because I was with the bucket with the binbags in and they’d forgotten a scrubbing brush.  The atmosphere was hell for the rest of the day.  Erna asking Michaela if she’d known a shower door was stuck, despite the fact I was working the previous day, it didn’t even occur to ask me.  I do have another day with her, the 23rd.  Do I go on or hand my notice in?  The next few weeks I’m with Michaela or on my own.  I can download some good bible teaching and listen to that as I work. I’d feel wrong leaving them in the lurch mid season if I did leave. We also need the money for bits we need to do on the flat.  I’m maybe not listening to God enough.  I feel there is no point in saying to Helmut that I can’t work with her anymore, he is soo just keep the peace and bury your head in the sand.

Action!

Then at lunch time, Helmuth started saying he may need both of us on Saturday, I have three days off and need the break.  The thought of working the weekend through just made me want to weep.  It would mean working three weekends his month.  I keep on getting this what I call, ‘Unexpected moments of sadness’ when I just want to weep – (see being Austrian blog) , maybe its related to tiredness or hormones, I dunno!

So when I get home, Dave announces he has Thursday off, fantastic, extra time being given to us together when the weekend is lost, just the thing I’ve been saying we’re losing.  But all I wanted as time out on my own, in quiet, to write and potter.  It was delayed till today.  Dave and I talked about walking, but overslept and just spent the day doing a it of shopping and sitting, which did a great deal to make me peaceful.  and I’ll get all day tomorrow too.  Is God giving me what I need so I can make it till the end of the year?

Most important, is that I have the plot for a new book.  I’m going to put Tom onto Kindle once I’ve checked it over and this will follow.  If I could make money writing, I’d be my own boss and never have to see the inside of the Burg again.