2006-04-08

The Bread Machine Saga

A couple of years ago, April introduced me to a great cinnamon roll recipe on allrecipes.com. It makes cinnamon rolls that taste just like the ones you get at the mall, and you can use your breadmaker. Everyone was a huge fan, so I was making quite a few. One of the secrets of this recipe is that you put vanilla pudding mix in the dough.

So one weekend, I decided to make some for our home group. I started the machine and left it to work its magic. When I checked on it later, it had a very very pink tint to it. That's when I realized that instead of vanilla pudding mix, I had put jello in the dough. Oops. I tossed the dough in the garbage, not realizing that the paddle for the machine had come out with the dough and landed in the trash too. It was only a week later when I decided to make another batch that I discovered that the garbage truck had hauled away my paddle.

Thus began an 8-month saga of trying to get a replacement paddle for my bread machine. Since I had purchased it in Holland, my friend Elizabeth ordered me a replacement for me. Which didn't arrive, and didn't arrive. Elizabeth called again, and finally she and I went to pick it up while we were in Holland for staff conference.

After I got home, I gleefully filled the machine with the ingredients for pizza dough. The paddle didn't work. It was slightly too big, and slipped too much to do anything. Sigh. Eventually the bread machine was relegated to the garage.

This week, my friend Nicole emailed a bunch of us to let us know that Lidl, a German supermarket here, would be selling bread machines on Saturday (today) for the great price of 49 euro. From previous experience I know that people line up at Lidl to get their special offers. I didn't think that Spaniards would be too interested in bread makers, being that the crusty baguette is king here. But just to be safe, I decided I should get there early.

I dropped my Dad and Esly at the train, and then drove through billowing white fog to the closest Lidl, not sure what time they opened. I got there at 9:30 to find that there was still a half hour until opening. There were already six people in line. I toyed with the idea of sitting in the car but decided I would brave the cool air and just stand in line.

When the store opened at 9:53, I walked calmly to the back of the store where the "ofertas" are stacked in big bins. Some of the women who were standing in line behind me passed me in the aisle at a good clip. I was pretty surprised to see almost everyone heading right to the breadmakers, and some people were picking up more than one.

I managed to get a machine without having to fight for it. By 10 I was on the way back home. I stopped at the store for cream cheese and vanilla pudding mix.

We've already eaten half the pan.

2006-04-07

Apartment Hunting

We looked at our first apartments in the city today, and now my head is spinning with too many details and difficult decisions.

Our whole reason for moving into the city is to be more accessible to people. But it's really hard to balance the needs of our congregation with our family needs. It makes me irritable that I have to choose not only based on the apartment and how it would be to live there, but on whether people will come to our place without complaining about the commute.

We looked at 2 apartments in a brand-new complex, and to be honest, if it was 3 or 4 blocks in a different direction, we would have snapped one up. The apartment was brand-new, right across the street from a beautiful park, the complex had an indoor and outdoor pool, a gym and we would get a storage room.

The apartment we're going to look at next is probably 20 years older, no pool or any of the other (not sure about storage space) and is exactly the same price. But it's closer to the metro.

I guess we just have to continue to pray and ask God to show us a place that is good for our family and congregation both. And that our nerves don't get completely frayed in the process!

Keep praying for us...

2006-04-03

When I met Troy in the fall of 1988 (I was starting my second year of college) I already knew I wanted to be a missionary. I can't say exactly why, but that was my heart. Maybe it was largely because after growing up in Ecuador I couldn't fathom anything else. And maybe it was partly because it was the Grant family business; I am the third generation of missionaries. After all, it's not a bad business to be in.

Anyway, enter Troy. Troy had plans to be a pastor. When our relationship started to get more serious, I realized I had a problem. I had no intention whatsoever of staying in America to be a pastor's wife. So I started doing what every godly woman does: I started praying behind Troy's back! I prayed that either I would want to be a pastor's wife or that Troy would want to become a missionary.

Not too long after, in a booth in the cafeteria in Nazareth Hall (directly underneath the chapel where we would later marry) Troy somewhat hesitantly admitted that he felt called to missions. I tried to react with grace and dignity instead of reaching up to give God a high five.

Mission accomplished. Although it took us a lot longer than we hoped or expected, in May 1998 we arrived in Spain. For the first three years we worked on staff at a church. Later, our mission approached us about leading a team to start a new church. We agreed, and arrived in Madrid in February 2002. Mountainview International church was born.

I'm not sure when the irony started to sink in. When it did, I had to grin. Somehow God had gotten me in almost the exact same position I had been so adamantly avoiding. Grranted, it was in Europe, but I was a pastor's wife.

Over the past few years, God has somewhat sneakily grown me into leadership. Now, instead of being ''the pastor's wife", God has given me a vital role in leading Oasis Madrid with Troy. Turns out that God actually knew what would be a good role for me! Go figure!