Bath Time

Bath TimeMy favorite part of our new apartment is far and away the bathtub. I had no idea I even liked baths that much until the last place we stayed in the US didn’t have a bathtub, and I missed it so much.

I can sit and process what in the world is happening in our life. I can hear my neighbor enjoying her evening rock-n’-roll time, and I can hear all the dogs of the back balconies barking the night away. I can reflect on what we experienced that day, and reflect on how we ended up here.

It also makes me miss my mom. In the house we lived in when I was a child we had a claw-foot bathtub and my mom loved to take a bath. I’m sure it wasn’t every single day, but that’s what it felt like. I remember so clearly wondering how she could possibly enjoy sitting by herself for that long. Now I get it. It’s my happy place. Sometimes I’ll play music in the background, Storyhill’s Steady On is always on the list. That’s me and my dad’s song.

One part of living in Greece so far that I wasn’t expecting is how often I forget where I am. I grew up on a lake that seemed to never have enough water in it, and so the other day when it was raining cats-and-dogs here I immediately thought, “Oh well, at least this will be good for the lake.” Stuff like that happens all the time. I just forget. And that’s why I need bath time, so I can remember. I remember that almost two years ago God revealed that we would be coming to Greece, and then it happened. And 2.5 years ago all I was concerned about was walking down the aisle to my best friend, without a sweet clue what was about to happen. That is so important because just like I forget that I am in Greece, I forget that I will never have a grasp on this whole “life plan” situation. It’s so hard to carry the load of people asking us how long we are going to live here, when we are going to have kids, anything about our families in US and their timelines…. because believe it or not, much to my surprise, moving to Greece did not magically give me the ability to see or control the future.
As I sit and face that reality two things usually happen: 1. slight panic, and 2. total joy. All I can do is focus on today. That’s it, that’s all I️ got. That’s all God gave me.
The Greek culture in general is much better at the concept of enjoying the day. They don’t view time the same way US culture does at all. They are not in a hurry. Ever. I️ would say 9 times out of 10 when Joe and I go out to eat we are the last people to get to the restaurant, and the first to leave. They take their time, and they value a relaxed pace. Also, I am the only person I have seen with a laptop in a coffee shop. The Greeks coffee. Hard. But it’s unlike coffee shops I’m used to where everyone is desperately searching for an outlet, maybe with headphones in, trying to give the not-so-secret-signal to the world that they want to be left alone. Everyone is with someone else (maybe someone they came with, or someone they found there) and they are enjoying their coffee. There are no giant lines in order to get coffee to-go as fast as you can with as little human interaction as possible (to be fair the whole concept of waiting in an actual orderly line isn’t a thing here either, but that’s beside the point). It’s about the right now. It’s about who you are with.
I am so constantly aware of myself when I am moving about here. I stick out. Like crazy. I have blonde hair, blue eyes, and I am a giant…. so- people notice me. For the first time I have experienced what it feels like to consistently walk in to a room and everyone immediately notice me, size me up, and wait to see what in the world I am doing in their space. I don’t feel threatened or anything like that…. mostly I just sense people’s total confusion. When Joe and I walk into a coffee shop together everyone, with out a doubt, is going to notice us. Most of the time after the 10 second side-eye stare down, that’s it. But every now and then people will just ask, “What are doing here?”
That is a great question. And that is why I love my bath time. I need to think about that question every day…. because if I don’t, I’m going to forget.
Here are some pictures from our first month in Greece. One of my favorite things about Athens is that everywhere you look there is a scene telling a story.

 

 

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There are beautifully old pieces of Greece everywhere. This is on a hike just outside the city. Notice the really old wall Joe is looking at, with and even older pillar inside of it.
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There aren’t many trees in Athens, and even less trees with leaves. But there a few, and this one is a beauty.
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Every neighborhood in the city has its own weekly farmers market, and I love it.
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The Mediterranean diet is bliss. All the food is so fresh, including the bread. There are tiny bakeries everywhere and someone may go to a bakery several times a week for delicious bread.
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This is the sunrise view from Joy and Philip’s (our team leaders) apartment. The city is so dense, yet so close to such beautiful nature.
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This is taken through the blinds of our favorite coffee shop. It hardly rains at all here, but this day it had just begun to rain, and the woman was peering out her window just to watch it fall.
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Roasting s’mores with the youngest Kirkland, Abraham, who is cleverly using his Spiderman mask to shield his face from the heat of the fire.
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An egg and cheese biscuit is my favorite meal. As amazing as the Greek food is,  it’s a biscuit desert. However! Philip and Joy prepared this home-made biscuit for me, and I loved it. It’s amazing how far a sprinkle of familiar will go when I need it.
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Fruit from the farmers market. We bought 5 apples for 1 euro.
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The view from my back balcony. I’m a clothes line kinda girl now.

9 thoughts on “Bath Time

  1. Oh what fun to peek into your lives there, Hannah! You are an excellent writer because you’re willing to stop and think and “bathe” in your surroundings – and in what is deep within you. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Jesus that you’ve found! Praying for JOY and protection for you and Joe! 😘Love, Lisa Briere

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  2. Thanks, Hannah, for this! Jim and I read and looked through your pictures this morning! We smiled as we reflect on our own (although not across the ocean like you two) journey that the Lord has us on! We miss you and pray for you both!! Really miss you in DGROUP! Can’t wait for your next post!
    With much love, Sally

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    1. Oh sweet Sally, miss you and dgroup just so so much. There’s so many thing I just wish I could come and sit and tell y’all all about. Thanks for reading and soaking it in- glad that you got to do some reflecting on the journey God has y’all on! Life is so exciting:) Love you much, dear!

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  3. My heart is melting with JOY for you two! Life is good and God planned it that way. HE will watch your every step and carry you (to that bathtub) when you’re too tired to carry your self. HE will see you though. I know you both know how true this is. I Love you so much!

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  4. Dearest H ~ I loved this peephole into your new life… and the picture of you pondering up all the change and some of the possibility from beneath the warm, soapy water (sometimes with your ears submerged, trying to decipher if it sounds different than baths of your childhood?) I will take this to heart, as I have been running with no margins and haven’t actually taken a bath in years (though I do shower regularly!). Wish we were coming with Jim and Lyn this week! We all ache a bit from the separation, but I remember a poignant lyric from Fiddler on the Roof: “Who could imagine I’d be wand’ring so far from the home I love — Yet there with my love, I’m home.” We’re living our lives here, but living your adventure vicariously. xox

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