We are so goofy
Ah....We are falling!!
LUSTIG'S EUROPEAN VACATION
A trip of a lifetime and a beautiful final family vacation before Madison moves off to Texas A&M
The Clark Family
(because He loves His children so much)
....that I actually ran into my Cystic Fibrosis Pulmonologist at Westminster Abby
This man has allowed our Lord to work through him, to keep me alive. He has prayed with us, and for us and he is the reason that I was able to even live long enough to be blessed with new lungs.....he is the reason why I was even able to still be a mom with my family on a European vacation!
.......and he continues to use his God-given talent to take care of sick lungs and save the lives of so many patients/souls. He has a strong love for our Lord, that reflects from his heart for all to see. I have a great love for him! He is a wonderful Pulmonologist as well as an inspiring brother in Christ
Through that beautiful arched window ahead, I could hear the most angelic youthful voices as they practiced the "Gloria" for Mass
There is still a private school of music there
This is truly a house that our Lord Jesus deserves!
Well.....as much as our physical littleness could ever offer. It is truly extravagant....from every stone to every window.......
Nothing on this earth is could ever be worthy enough to even come close His Divine Glory....
but to think of the laborers who spent their entire lifetime creating this unbelievably amazing church without any of the modern equipment.
They built this structure because they wanted to Glorify God, to show their love for Him, to Adore Him on this earth and for all to gather together in a community of worship (the Body of Christ) because He deserves our praise each and every day.....with each and every breath.
As we toured the Abby, our tour guide revealed all of the meanings of the pictures, shrines, and people buried there. That is when my heart began to ache and feel heavy
I was so saddened to see this absolutely glorious church, without Jesus there! We did not see one image, one Crucifix, or even one Sacred Altar.....as our tour guide told us that the religious order Monks had been kicked out centuries ago......and that ALL of the Altars were destroyed because altars represent Christ's Scourging!
In all due respect....that is not even kind of true! I mean she was our tour guide, so we only know what she told us about the Abby.....but, most everything in this infamous building, was in honor of past and present royalty, honoring people who were/are friends of the royal family and/or famous in this world. The flags in the picture below with the elaborate Crests on them, were in honor of knights that fought in the army. Yes, I know that there might be more religion there, than what we were told but I didn't get to see any of that.
God seemed lost in His own House.
I love You Jesus....more than anything
AND as expected......NONE of the Lustig kids liked the beer even one little bit
(MY FAVORITE FOOD)
FINALLY MADE IT TO
My heart was SO VERY EXCITED and longing to see "The Berlin Wall"
After the wall was torn down, there is still a rock path across the entire city (the bottom layer of the wall)
A constant reminder of the past sufferings
This was my favorite day.....It was full of emotion and memories (watching this all happening here in Germany (ON TV) from back in America)
I actually got to see and touch this history, as I kept reminding my kids that they have never lived in a war-torn country and how blessed we are for the freedoms that we take for granted
Standing on the wall reading the borderline inscription
The actual Wall
....still standing in some places throughout the city of Berlin
A moment of prayer trying to imagine what the Germans might have been experiencing
THE WATCH TOWER
So many lives were lost trying to escape over the wall.....It was so tall that you would need a ladder to get over it.....then you had to get passed the watch tower after already climbing the first wall, then having to climb the second fence of barbed wire
Nobody could have made it across alive
HOW COULD A PERSON EVEN CLIMB THIS
LOOK AT HOW MUCH TALLER IT IS THAN ISAAC AND I
It was hard to smile for pictures.....there were lots of tears and emotions flowing from my heart. All of the pain and agony of war
Oh Dear God,
Please bring Your True and Holy Peace to this world, through Your faithful children
I felt sadness, but I also felt very blessed to be able to see something that was a victory of God's Peace.....and I lived through this, but from very far away.......It stills seems like a part of my childhood! Everyone remembers the day that
The wall came down
November 9, 1989
Thank you Berlin for sharing your painful history.....this pain, hard to take, strengthened this land for sure
Hans Conrad Schumann (March 28, 1942 – June 20, 1998) was an East German soldier who defected to West Germany during the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
On 15 August 1961, the 19-year-old Schumann was sent to the corner of Ruppiner Straße and Bernauer Straße to guard the Berlin Wall on its third day of construction. At that time and place, the wall was only a single coil of concertina wire. From the other side, West Germans shouted to him, "Komm' rüber!" ("Come over!"), and a police car pulled up to wait for him. Schumann jumped over the barbed wire while dropping his submachine gun and was promptly driven away from the scene by the West Berlin police. West German photographer Peter Leibing photographed Schumann's escape. His picture has since become an iconic image of the Cold War era
THE HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL (BERLIN)
A huge field of stelae slabs in the center of the German Capital.
3000 stone blocks commemorate the 6,ooo,ooo innocent Jewish people who were murdered by the National Socialists
I was speechless as my eyes filled with painful tears
I could have gazed upon this huge garden for hours
This pipeline went throughout the city....not sure of it's use but it was very interesting
It was a long day
Lots of beautiful architecture and government buildings
Sarah and Isaac on the train, on our way back from Berlin
Chris and Nicholas on the train back from Berlin
LONG DAY INDEED.......EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY
The only problem going on this trip with Jen was we never wanted to rest when we had the chance to chat....so we took a fake sleep picture for a little rest
Isaac REALLY sleeping
Isaac REALLY sleeping some more
Isaac STILL REALLY sleeping
Okay......Jen and I gave into our "Over 40" tiredness
Madison, Nicholas, and Christopher
BACK ON THE SHIP ON OUR WAY TO SWEDEN (MY HOMELAND)
Northern Europe is filled with so many beautiful buildings....really ALL of Europe
The kids and I went to a zoo visit and storybook time, as the daddies went to a bar built totally of ice to relax and freeze
This beautiful old church.....oh I love old beautiful churches that truly glorify God
All of the pews were numbered and had latches on the inside
This would be helpful with small kids.....not sure what the old-time intent was
The latches from the inside
Places to put your candle to light up this dark church at night without any electricity. My kids were so surprised with that thought. They have never experienced such a thing.....we don't have the old building in our part of America that show signs of how the early cultures dealt with what they lacked
So many beautiful paintings
A gorgeous Altar
The kids and I in-front of the Altar
Wow, what a grand place to read the word of God
My Lord and My God
An old homestead
A little kids play area in the zoo
I have heard this legend, but now I got to see it. In Swedish tradition, little ones wean off of their pacifiers and bring them here (or probably any zoo) and drop them into the "Paci-shaped) dispenser, where they keep and are given to baby kittens when they are taken from their mommies
There were A LOT of Paci's
Look at the shape
Perfect for a Paci
More playing in the zoo play area
Looking at the bears
Madison sitting in an old snow machine
The Swedish flag flying high above an old homestead
The boys making Swedish crafts
Inside of an old Swedish house....very small. Only one room and a loft
Bunk beds right next to the kitchen
The master bedroom on the other side of the kitchen table
a corner with a sewing area and clothes drying area
stairs up to a small loft for another bedroom but mainly storage
The vikings would come upon the land and carve symbolic word pictures into large rocks
This rock is original and truly amazing
Look at the cross......God is truly ingrained in our entire being. He created us in so much love, that we are always seeking Him even if we do not even realize it
Standing in front of a bronze statue of Astrid Lindgren, the author of many children's books including the well known "Pippi Long-stockings"
There was a ride that took you through a storybook, where the illustrations were built three dimensionally and you heard the voice of Astrid, the author, reading the story......very nice
Of course there was a fire in the story and a brother died trying to save his younger brother....
At the end.....when all should be well (in a children's book) the younger brother came back in clothing made of gold clothe and told the older brother how amazing the "after life" was....
.....So as expected, the brothers climbed to the top of their house and both jumped off......the older brother killing himself to join the younger brother in the after-life....yikes!
I don't think that Isaac really caught on, but the rest of my kids were like..."real nice story?!?!" It was strange and rather funny.
after the ride, there was a play put on by children and it was a story about Pippi. it was all in Swedish, but it was very good
FOUR OF MY SWEETHEARTS
Sweden was beautiful just as I knew that it would be. It was like a REAL storybook
The first day in Russia, Isaac decided to throw up (all over Savannah and Madi.....RIGHT after passing through customs to enter Russia (I was still in line....allowing the kids to go through first)
What a crazy day
All in all....Savannah and Madison took Isaac back to the ship to sleep, while we attended Mass and toured a little
We were blessed to spend 2 days in Russia so that the entire family could get to experience it.
God blessed Isaac with health on the 2nd day
MORE PICTURES OF EUROPEAN ARCHITECTURE
His House should be nothing less than gloriously grand.
St. Sigfrid Cemetery
This beautiful cemetery nest to the church is filled with graves of soldiers
Adorned with "Senecio Cineraria"...(silver dust) and gorgeous red flowering plants
Then we were invited inside of the estate for a yummy lunch
THE ROCK CHURCH