All posts by Violeta

First Monday

One day I will write a book. It will pour out like a summer storm with thunder and volume of water.

But for now, slowly I am staring to process what happened at the camp. I translated 6-8 hours a day, and I wish that everything that was filtered so carefully through my brain would have remained in higher proportions there. Some of it did. Stored neatly, only to resurface at the perfect time. Good insights. Powerful truths. Effective and efficient tools.

This morning I got together with Carmen, Coco and Anca. Diana had a very busy weekend and missed the first meeting. But we started. Decided to struck the iron while it’s hot. We set expectations and we will be sharing our stories through psalms. And this morning we did a Lectio Divina on Psalm 91. Sharon and Sue would be proud. And Brian too.

We have all been struck in the vulnerable spots, by the realities of this fallen world, each of us in a very personal way. No matter how much you brace yourself, it’s never easy after you return from such a rich camp.

As we were trying to decide what we will do with the psalms, we reminisced about Gilboa, about David mourning his beloved Jonathan, and how through poetry he went back in time an re-lived a lost moment, bringing God into that moment. And heal.

Last night I was sharing with my parents a glimpse of how Brian ministered to the men, leading by example, serving. Brian lived joyously thoughout the entire camp, cried with people, brought healing with his gentle words, communion and teary, piercing blue eyes. At the same time he spoke boldly with God through prayer.

Brian did the dishes, served the tables, then his team members served as well, then the romanian men followed suit. I have never seen some of them joyously serve like that before. I even asked one of the guys, and he said Brian’s attitude, eagerness and humble heart are contagious. And this is how Brian’s teaching has added weight.

Keep real and write poems

It is hard to capture into words what happened these past two weeks in Palatca. With the first group, a young church, in so much need for love, grace and truth, and a professor, servant leader in need of healing, the pbc team ministered to the lost, the unchurched. It was a healing time and a slower pace, for the pbcc and the commando team.

Then the New Generation arrived, the hungry for the Word, those who long for Grace to overwhelm the Law. Readily primed, no time to waste. We dove right into the academics of the biblical history and poetry. All the references make sense for us and move us, with rhythm and purpose.

Brian and his amazing team broke open the floodgates. With courage and honesty, we headed up the mountain: the weather report says it will be stormy. But our Guide is trustworthy, and the Rope will not break.
Psalm 142, Psalm 1, Psalm 4, Psalm 63, Psalm 23, Psalm 51, Samuel…
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Camp Intermission

It was intense, rich, teary, bonding, grace-filled and healing for many so far. Jon took lots of pictures with his awesome huge camera, but here and there we got to capture moments from the first camp. Now the cluj team is about to begin their adventure in the mountains.
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8 years together… and pbc is about to land in Cluj

After a sizzling hot day, past dinner time the wind started to blow frantically and the air chilled. One has got to love the moody weather.

The second team from pbc this year, a wonderful mix of 10 people, will spend two weeks with us. This time I worried less about logistics, and I shared the load with the commando team, as the rabbi calls us.

Conrad and I have worked long hours these past few weeks, and it feels like work will never end. We continue to take on projects and learn to work smarter and faster. To nurture our creativity, relax our minds we take breaks and often read books or watch movies in the middle of the day (gotta love working from home). Anyhow, I started doing intern data entry, html sorting work for him, as I familiarized myself with WordPress updating this blog.

Last week we celebrated out 8 years of marriage… with sushi. Not as good as you find in California, but it has become a tradition to celebrate with an unusual meal. We eat at home every day because it’s good, easy and very cheap, but any meal out is special.

All aboard!!

It feels like we are embarking on another wild rollercoaster, starting at midnight at the airport in Cluj.

The wisdom of saying no

I decided this weekend, with the help of a friend, to take a week off from people. There is always a way to multitask and do more, meet with more people, facilitate and coordinate get-togethers. I get energized by the one on one connections, but I often catch myself trying to mix and match meetings to hit more birds with one stone. But there is a limit to that. And I reached it.

I rarely say no to people. I love these people and I like saying yes. I also feel guilty saying no without a very good reason, and being emotionally spent doesn’t qualify as a good reason. I believe in flexibility and grace. Though that can backfire.

But this week I am trying a new thing: saying no to everything for my own sake and health. It’s rather cheating because I don’t need to choose. But it’s still hard. As I am writing this I was invited to a farewell / sendoff of a friend. And I am having such a hard time keeping the promise to myself.

Life in Romania is intertwined with guilt. People (knowingly and unknowingly) tap that button seamlessly, because they know we all have it installed. Except Conrad. He has no such problems. Nobody can make him feel guilty. (Except his wife on occasions:)

I believe in showing up. But often we get sucked into hanging out way longer in afterparties. We are guilty of having let it be up for debate at some point.

“Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” We’ll have to reinforce this rule long term.
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Day trip to Panticeu

We had a unique experience in the village 30 km up the road. It was hot and dusty, but this is where you eat the best food, at the Prunean family. We saw how the woods are cleaned and pruned and we witnessed the cutting of the tree chosen for us, for our Altmannhaus desk. It was epic!

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Living in the now and not yet

It’s a foggy Wednesday morning. I slept well. Conrad woke me up as usual with hot delicious coffee. It rained heavily last night and the ground is still wet. It smells heavenly: the grass, the flowers, the crops, even the cows whose milk we savor fresh every morning.

Conrad is meeting with the Liviu and Rares at a coffee shop, for some guy time. I rarely have the house to myself in the morning or any time of day for that matter. I love being home alone.

The last two nights we had impromptu friends over. We just can’t stay away from each other. We find good reasons to visit each other, like have coffee and see the sunrise (at Adi and Anca) or see the sunset on our balcony and enjoy a bottle of red from Liviu. We work hard and we are rediscovering the joys of friendship and community (living in close proximity – in Terra), a delightful time even for introverts.
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The drama of appearance, status and the stories in-between

We go for walks every day. Even if it rains. …Up the hill, filling our lungs with crisp fragrant wet air. It’s delicious.

Life is so different than it was 6 months ago. Oh so different. And I wonder how much of that has to do wit he fact that it gets dark at 11 PM instead of 4:30 PM. And there is a 40 degrees celsius delta in temperature change. I won’t lie. Life is deliciously beautiful right now, though Conrad never stops to wait for feedback from clients, on the contrary, it’s a constant race, from one big project to another and then another, but this month we have experienced true weekends, needing to stop and rest. I also have a multitude of projects, but because of the summer break which just started, the regular weekly social events have come to a stop. And I love it. It gives me the freedom to put things in perspective and think seriously about what I want to take on come this Fall.

Last Sunday we were at a cupping with Marius from Olivo. We were all dressed up uber fancy, as we had plans to go to the Opera in the evening. (Dressing up is like therapy sometimes.) An old acquaintance approached me and asked how’s the adoption process going. We haven’t talked about it in ernest since the women’s conference when among other, I shared my unfinished story and the fact that we have to wait till September to even begin to build our case. Anyway, this acquaintance, invited me to visit an orphanage he sponsors where a few nuns are taking care of the orphans and they are so well adapted and developed socially, you wouldn’t believe it. That was so encouraging! We are at peace with the idea of adopting a toddler. Oh how life will change then!
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First week back to reality

We are launching one big website this week. Two more are almost ready to launch, and Conrad and I put in 10 hours a day, of entering and organizing content, retouching and getting everything in perfect order for the launch.

Also, our breaks from the intense staring at the computer were facilitated by the aerobie pro ring. So much fun!

Rest assured, the social events were plenty and often: Silviu and Aluna’s graduation, the visit at dr. David, and the weekend with neighbors, mici bbq or salad and pasta carbonara beautifully and deliciously created by our one and only liviu.

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