Thursday, September 18, 2014


Sometimes my time in this magical city feels like a dream. I wake up in the morning to the sounds of Budapest bustling around me. My daily walks are filled with the smells of frying bacon, baking bread, and a little too much cigarette smoke- I've never seen a city with so many smokers! The buildings look like they were created as the set to some splendid fairytale or mostly accurate BBC historical drama. I've finally started to get my footing here. Perhaps the hardest part for this extrovert was realizing that it's okay to be alone, to savor the moments, to not have someone to talk to every second of the day. Of course, I'm never truly alone; more than anything, this season in my life is teaching me to trust in God more fully and completely than ever before. Proverbs 3:5-6 has been my constant during this time: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths." And really, isn't that one of the hardest lessons to get into our thick, self-centered skulls? This journey that we're on hinges on such a small, yet powerful word: faith.

It is in this season of learning what it is to be faithful that I find myself. I don't wake up in the morning with the same strange, heavy-hearted feeling of loneliness that encompassed my first month here. And with each new day, I feel so grateful that I have been given this time to draw closer to the One who makes me whole. His grace and majesty are undeniable; they are present in the kindness of strangers- now friends- at my new church home, in the sunlight that glints just so off the cupola of Szent Istvan's, and even in the notes of Brahm's compositions that pay tribute to this resilient nation.

So you'll have to forgive me for my infrequent posting. You see, I'm taking this adventure a little differently than all the others. Each day is a new discovery; a study in getting lost and absorbing the sights, sounds, and smells- whether they be large or small- of this lovely place. I know that my time in Budapest will come to an end all too soon, and I'll be leaving a piece of myself with the city that has so thoroughly captured my heart. And even though this thought makes me wistful, I look forward to seeing what great adventure God has in store for me.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

St. Istvan's Day

Every year on August 20th, the Hungarian people celebrate St. Istvan's Day (St. Stephen's Day- In English). It's their "Fourth of July," so to speak. The celebration actually starts the day before with a lots of food, which you know I'm totally down with. In Buda, near the castle, the street that runs along the Danube is closed off to trams and traffic, and food vendors bring all kinds of Hungarian staples and delicacies for people to try. There's stuffed cabbage, wine, cheese, pastries, goulash; I could go on!!!! People come from all over Hungary to sell their farm-fresh items, and there are various artisans selling lace and other Hungarian things. It's pretty amazing.