Finding Peace in the Alps

Saturday's sunrise, 6:45am

Saturday’s sunrise, 6:45am

I contend there is no air fresher than the air in the Alps. It’s full of health and healing, relaxation and peace, wonderfulness and goodness… It has it all! If I didn’t get so car sick driving up and down mountains, I’d like to live in the Alps someday. But I don’t think Will wants to deal with that, so we’ll stick to where we are for now.

Last Friday we drove up to Schwarzwaldeckhaus with our fabulous 20 Somethings bible study group. Once a year, the family who takes care of this particular house holds what’s called an “Arbeitslager”, or Work Camp, in order to prepare the house for winter. We’ve talked a little about Schwarzwaldeckhaus on this blog before, but in case you’re joining us for the first time, Schwarzwaldeckhaus (Black Forest Corner House… literally translated) is a large cabin house at the top of a mountain in the Alps. People from the churches in Austria often go there for retreats and camps as we did this past July. Because the cabin is so large and old, there’s a lot to be cared for. Therefore, an Arbeitslager is necessary before winter hits. So there you have it. We arrived around 7:30pm Friday night and enjoyed a quiet night by the stove fire in the living room. We had an Andacht (devotional) time together then split up into little groups – some went to bed, some gazed at the stars, some played cards, and some just relaxed. I’d love to spend all of my Friday nights that way!

Will posing for a picture while I yell at him to be careful.

Will posing for a picture while I yell at him to be careful.

On Saturday we woke up somewhat early to have breakfast together then we went to work. It was surprisingly fun! Beáta and I paired up to organize a couple of large closets while the others paired up various tasks. Will spent his time outside with some of the other guys using rocks and logs to divert a stream. They definitely had the hardest job, but they all came back to the house with smiles on their faces. It’s such a joy to enjoy work. We had a great time working together. After we finished up, we played endless hours of 4-Square which was undoubtedly awesome. The Lord blessed us with amazing weather, thus we never froze while we spent time outside. We were able to catch a beautiful sunset sometime before 5pm (which still blows my mind!) then had dinner together before we had a second devotional, this time around a camp fire. The stars were particularly gorgeous Saturday night and we spent a long while looking up at the sparkling Milky Way.

We had church together Sunday morning before we went our separate ways. The weekend, though too short, was wonderful and peaceful, and rejuvenated us to get back to work this week. Will and I have BOTH been sick with the most ridiculous colds for the last two and half weeks, but this weekend was exactly what we needed: fresh air and good friends. We’re so thankful the Lord provided us with this opportunity and put these incredible people in our lives.

20 Somethings!

20 Somethings!


About Holly

Vienna-based American wife/mom/expat.

2 thoughts on “Finding Peace in the Alps

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