A Practice for Uncertainty

It’s day Godknowswhat of this lockdown – how are you doing? 

We have reached a state where nothing is sure anymore. 

We don’t know when we’ll go back to school or what school will look like in the future.
We don’t know if we’ll see some students this year at all.
We don’t know if there will be grades or any graduation.

I don’t know what my summer break will look like.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to see real human beings in real life again.
I don’t know when we’ll be able to just sit on the lawn together, with a beer in hand, watching the sunset.
I don’t know if my family will be spared from the virus.
I don’t know how our hearts and minds will overcome this collective trauma.
I don’t know if any of the good practices we discover now – self-care, long walks, enough sleep, solidarity – will uphold once the speed of life is back on.  

Uncertainty really sinks in now and I feel a shift in so many. So far we were able to push back the circumstances as temporary, now we have to get used to the reality that this could really take a while and we need to adjust everything – our schedules, plans, lives – to it. 

This can be overwhelming. 

In the last few weeks I’ve practiced some meditative rituals (inspired by Aaron Niequist’s The Eternal Current) which help me to acknowledge my joys and fears in these crazy times. I can’t make them go away, but I can lay them out in the open and place them into the hand of the Divine who’s right here with me. In such crazy and uncertain times, it is important to reflect (and maybe adjust) our perspective regularly. 

Maybe you’d like to join me? 

Find a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe. Inhale and exhale deeply. Once you’ve found a rhythm, start the meditation. 

This practice is not about dragging God into my life. I rather want to discover the places God is already at work in it. I focus on God right now, as much as this is possible in this moment. I ask him to help me look at my day with open eyes and ears and a receptive heart. 

I look at my day in gratitude, thinking of what I’ve experienced. 

I notice what I feel. God reminds me that I can look back without judgement or shame at how I treated others – and myself – today. 

If you want, you can reach out your right hand, palm up.

I look at the things that brought me joy, comfort and hope today. I express gratitude for them. 

If you want, you can also reach out your left hand, palm up. 

I look at the things that caused me pain, discouragement and fear today. I sit and grieve, then let them go into the hands of God. 

I look to what lies ahead. I ask: What do I want to take with me from today? I ask for strength, wisdom and courage. 

Inhale. Exhale. End.      


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

The Darkness around and in Us

It’s the first week of Easter break, but who really cares? There’s no visible change to the scenery, I can travel from my bed to the kitchen to the balcony with an occasional layover in the bathroom. Things have become so dull, so same, so lifeless. 

It’s actually the perfect way to begin Holy Week. 

In a week when we remember a life giving story in the midst of darkness, it can be difficult to grasp such abstract concepts like sin and forgiveness, death and resurrection. So many of us struggle to feel the right things at the right time because it all just seems so removed from our reality. 

This year the darkness has become tangible. 

For weeks now public life has stopped and we’re confined to our own spaces. While some of us might appreciate this unexpected pause in their busy lives, you might also be one who struggles to enjoy this time. 

You who lives with the risk of domestic violence, turning your safe home into a war zone.
You who craves just a short moment to yourself without your partner, children or siblings demanding more of your time and energy.
You who has not seen or touched another human face in weeks.
You who feels the weight of isolation taking its toll on you as loneliness seeps through your body and slowly takes a hold of your mind and soul.

You who are crammed into broken cold tents on an island at the outskirts of Europe, waiting for a promise to be fulfilled.
You who are most at risk from dying of our merciless politics and rejection.  

You who have seen your dreams of a birthday, a vacation, a wedding being taken from you without warning.
You who have closed your shop and don’t know if you’ll ever reopen.
You who face illness with no chance of a cure. 

You who have lost a loved one in this time and find no safe space to mourn.
You who feel like your grief is going to overpower you.
You who wonder how long this uncertainty will last. 

Welcome to the darkness. 

Maybe this is what Holy Week is about: As we lean into this unknown space together struggling to make sense of it all, we gain a bit more understanding of this death so long ago. No matter where you are on this planet, in your life span, in your emotions – the darkness encompasses us all and makes us one. 

We become aware of each other’s suffering.
We feel each other’s pain.
We grow closer as we blindly stumble towards the light.  


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

When We Meet Here

A simple piece of wood can mean the world to some.

When we meet at the table, a transformation takes place.
All of a sudden,
your age,
your profession,
your ethnicity,
your family status,
your gender,
your faith don’t matter.
Here we are all equal.
Human beings, ready to share a meal together. 

When we meet at the table, we gather with our stories and know that people will listen. Our questions
and doubts
are welcome
because we trust others to hold them for us. 

At the table we delight in the colorful diversity and richness creation has to offer.
We taste
the goodness of the Lord
in new flavors,
spices
and recipes. 

When we meet at the table, we enjoy each other’s company by doing something mundane as eating together.
Everyone does it
everyday,
but far too many of us have to eat alone so often. 

Being together over food nourishes our bodies,
warms our hearts
and strengthens our souls.   

A simple place that has become home to so many. 

Welcome people with their thoughts and stories to your table – and you might give them the world today. 


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Taking Stock

Last night a strong urge to clean came over me. Don’t ask me why it often hits me at such unusual times. Some call it procrastination to avoid more pressing tasks, some need it in order to fully function. For me, it might be a bit of both.

Once in a while it’s good to take stock.
To examine what I have on my shelves and in my drawers and decide which of these things I truly need.
To sift through the stacks of books and boxes full of nonsense.
To realize that things I once bought or held onto for so long are no longer needed.
To get rid of objects simply taking up space and dust in your drawers.
To regain control over the chaos, make space in my head and heart.
To discover long-forgotten treasures and fall in love with them all over again.

It is exhausting and tiresome, but when I clean out drawers and shelves, I learn.

Once in a while it’s time for a spiritual clean-up.
To take stock of my faith and ideas.
To examine what I have been taught and decide what I actually believe.
To sift through the limiting boxes I have put God in.
To realize that the doctrines I once held onto so tightly no longer explain the God I have come to know now.
To get rid of empty forms cluttering my mind and deafening the spirit.
To rediscover old practices and fall in love with truths my soul has known all along.
To make space to breath and new life to come in.

It is risky and often painful, but when I clean out my life and faith, I grow. 

When was your last clean-up? What have you gotten rid of? Which truths have you rediscovered?


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

A Full Table

Last night we sat at a full table.
Full of delicious food and fancy wines.
Full of jokes and laughter.
Full of stories.

Stories of travels across Europe I was able to do this year.
Stories of war and survival, of courage and human connection in dire circumstances.
Stories of hope throughout history.
Stories of dreams for the future that students, colleagues and friends have shared with me.
Stories of struggles and big questions as they allowed me a glimpse into their lives and hearts.
Stories of growing up and discovering how beautifully complex this world is.

Being on the road and walking alongside so many people this year has been a huge privilege.
Being a witness to their stories, thoughts and dreams has been an immeasurable gift I’ll treasure for the months and years to come.

Last night we sat at a table full of gratitude.
Happy Friendsgiving.


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Into the Unknown

I have peeled away layer after layer
dived deeper into who you are
and if I’ve ever known you at all.

Dissected what I learned about you
relished in the moments when you came to meet me
let go of beliefs I had held on so tightly
released my grip on convictions that no longer seemed convincing at all
said goodbye to broken images of you and myself.

I have felt alone and wrong and lost so many times
moments when I heard the past calling me
to just shut off my thoughts
silence my questions
and return.

But I can’t.

I’ve tasted the freedom
I have seen beauty in the wilderness
I keep moving forward even though I have no idea where this will lead me.

I stand in front of the great unknown
with no clue of the destination
There’s no map that tells me where to go next
there’s nothing left but trust.

At the crossroads of doubts and promises is where faith begins.


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Permission to Settle

When people used to ask me, “So where do you want to be in the future?”, I would always say somewhere abroad. Staying here or settling down was never an option.

TCKs never settle.
That’s a fact.
Something that has seeped into my veins and become part of my identity.
I cannot settle.
I am not allowed to settle.
I am made for a nomad life, wandering from place to place in search of the next adventure, a sense of home.

After I graduated from university and started to work, something changed.

I have become more at ease with staying in a place. When I moved into my apartment, I was brave enough to hang up pictures and make myself comfortable for the first time. No matter how long I would stay, I wanted it to look like my place.

There have been battles raging inside of me.
Flashes of envy whenever I read about my TCK friends taking a job in a faraway country and living the global lifestyle.
Inner urges to look out for other job opportunities, to keep on moving.
Unknown feelings of actually liking my work and the people I’m with every day from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds.

The world I had longed to explored has been put right in front of me.

The thought of being stuck in one place and becoming too comfortable still creeps me out and I hope I won’t fall into this trap. But when people ask me now where I want to be in the future, I tell them,
“I don’t know.
But for now, I want to invest myself in the work I’ve been given.
To be present with the people in this place.
To make a home and get to know new parts of myself here.
I give myself permission to stay and settle.

To my fellow TCKs: Have you settled somewhere? How do you feel about settling vs. constantly moving?


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.