A Writer’s Dream (major news below!)

BIG NEWS!

In the summer of 2016 I was stuck in a period of waiting. At first I was impatient and angry to have nothing to do and feeling so lost and uncertain. But then I decided to use my unexpected time off well, so I sat down and wrote. Ideas kept coming and words kept flowing.

About two years ago a dear friend of mine put a fly in my ear. She kept telling me how much she enjoyed reading my blog. She said I should translate some work into German, so that more people could read it.
That my words mattered.
That I should put them in a book.

I hesitated.
Were my words good enough?
Am I really a writer? Would anyone like to read what I had to say and even pay for it?
But I thought I would try and so I talked to publishing houses.
For the first time I dared to believe in my words.
I dared to dream.

Now this dream has become a reality.

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A few weeks ago I signed a book contract!

Fliege ins Leben , lande bei Gott. 52 Zwischenstopps einer Alltagsreisenden will release in September 2017 and I couldn’t be happier.
It is a guide throughout the year with texts to make you think about God, yourself and the world. The Lord’s presence and gifts are everywhere if we train our eyes and hearts to see them. This might mean to practice new routines or to embrace doubt, but it will definitely be rewarding.
I hope these words will bless you on your faith journey and lead you to many new encounters and discoveries. This book is written for YOU – with lots of space in between for questions, practical prompts and thoughts about your journey.

As you can read from the title, it will be in German – sorry for my English speaking friends! – but for my German readers I am excited to offer my writing in my first language. So far the publishing house and editors have been really great to work with and the more we work on it, the more excited I become. Birthing a book into this world is quite some work, but a rather elating and fulfilling one I must say.

THANK YOU to everyone who’s been on this journey with me so far!
Thank for encouraging me through messages and comments.
Thank you for your questions that inspire my thoughts.
Thank you for your prayers when writing is a struggle sometimes.
Thank you for being such faithful readers.
Thank you for all your support.

This book is my gift to you.

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What a Table Can Do for Community

In my short twenty-eight years of life I’ve traveled the world quite a bit and spent
some time in different cultures. The best thing about other countries are the people
who invite you into their homes and lives to show you a few of their traditions.
Traditions I can then take back to my own life and introduce others to them.

When I lived in the States a friend invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family.
I got to experience a whole day of family fun in the mountains, great food and good
conversations. A day to reflect, appreciate and give thanks. It was such a treat and
blessing for me. So I took this tradition back home and introduced my family to it.
Ever since then, they keep asking, “Can you please cook Thanksgiving dinner
again?”

Last Thanksgiving was a little different.

I am sharing my last Thanksgiving experiences on Kristin’s blog Turquoise Table today. Read the rest of the story here.

Why I Stop Taking Pictures

My colleague threw herself into the chair next to me. “What’s wrong with us? This week is horrible as if we have no time to breathe at all.”

She was right.

The last two weeks were crazy. Well, rather perfectly normal for end of term.
Grading papers through the nights and finishing all grades for the report cards. Conferences and meetings.
Spening all day at school.
My apartment looks like a big mess because I’m hardly ever there to clean up. All I do there is sleep. Since I don’t have time to cook I mostly eat sandwiches and fast food. So much for healthy eating resolutions.
I am just rushing from one thing to the next.

I must admit I do appreciate a certain amount of stress in my life. I like it to have several things running at the same time and seeing the tables turn my way.
But there comes a time when stress becomes too much.
You know how I know?

When I stop taking pictures.

When my heart can’t detect beauty anymore.
When my eyes have seemingly become blind to the gifts surrounding me.
When my soul has become numb to the creative sparks around.
When I breathe in beauty, but have become unable to exhale gratitude.

Last Friday was such a day.
I just needed some breath of fresh air.
There was still so much to do.
There were unanswered emails, unprepared lessons, unopened letters on my desk.
I. didn’t. care.

The sun was out, so I bundled myself up in a winter jacket, gloves and hat and went for a walk. I had no specific destination, I just needed to walk.
Walking despite all the things I still had to do.
Walk off the stress of this week.
Walk against the exhaustion of these countless meetings.
Walking off the frustration with people and schedules.
Walking towards a new perspective, towards restoration.

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It took a while, but then it happened.

First I recognized birds chirping in the cold winter air.
Then I saw the snow flakes glittering in the sun.
I inhaled fresh air and felt it fill my lungs, my body, my thoughts.

It seems ridiculously easy to recharge ourselves.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Go for a walk.
Have a glass of wine.
Let work be work and treat yourself.
Read a book, just for yourself.
Take a nap.
Let the sun shine on your face.
Inhale fresh air and let it fill your lungs, your body, your thoughts.

What does a breath of fresh air look like for you?


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

The Terrible Difference of Now

Now.
Now we are in the final days before Christmas. Our houses are filled with candle light and the smell of Christmas cookies. We are rushing through the department stores in search of the perfect presents and let’s hope we don’t forget anyone. We spend hours planning the Christmas meal. After a long and busy year we just long for a few quiet days with family, rest and peace.
This is our now.

Now.
Now the people of Aleppo are in the final days of their war, their lives. Their houses are nothing but a pile of bricks and burned down structure, all they have left is what they can carry on their backs. They are running through the streets in search for some safe place, some last fortress against the terror going on outside. They spend hours waiting for help and support to come. After another year of war and suffering they long for a few more days, a bit more hope, change after all.
This is their now.

The difference is appaling, terrible, embarrassing.

I spent all Wednesday afternoon reading news on Aleppo, watching final messages, listening to pleas of help. After so many years of war in Syria, this seems to be it.
Is this the end?

The conflict is complicated and in our media-saturated world it’s not easy to figure out what is truth and what isn’t.
But this is no excuse.
No matter how much we know or don’t know – we can never say we didn’t know.
We knew.
I knew.

The more I read and watch, the more I have to admit how little I actually know. While I have been so busy with my life, they were fighting hard to not lose theirs.
The more I get to know what their NOW looks like, the less I feel like enjoying mine.

This is what leaves me so angry, confused, helpless, hopeless.
This is what makes me wonder how there can be such a difference of now.
This is what makes me cry out to the One who says he sees all of it, their now and our now. Do you really see?
Are you really there?
Have mercy.


Writing the last Five Minute Friday of 2016 today.
It’s not beautiful, it’s rough, messy and honest.
That’s life.

The Joy of Giving

December 6th is a special day in the German Advent tradition.
In memory of St Nicholas – a kind bishop from the Middle East – we celebrate kindness and surprise people with little gifts. For the children it is sheer joy to put out their little boots at night and find them full of nuts, clementines and candy in the morning.

Continue reading “The Joy of Giving”

Golden Rain Drops

Anja and I met in church about five years ago. Whenever you need someone spontaneous for a movie night, a beer on the city wall or just a good talk – Anja is the person to call. She finds the most interesting events and has surprised me more than once. And she is one of the most encouraging people I know. Today I am lucky to have her on the blog and share a little bit about her work as a nurse.

Continue reading “Golden Rain Drops”