It’s the last day of October. It’s also the last chapter of Mundane Narratives. One month of people, objects and stories we so often tend to overlook. I hope you had some fun reading along!
The question is what remains at the end of this month.
What are you taking away from this challenge?
Continue reading “Packed Bags”
On a sunny Sunday morning my parents came to visit me. It was the Sunday before school started after six long weeks of summer break.
For me this wasn’t just the beginning of another new year, it was a whole new chapter of my life. My first real job as a real teacher ever. New classes, new surroundings, new role. This was a big deal, still is in fact.
Continue reading “Ebenezer”
In July I was in London for the second time. Even though I was there for a conference it felt very much like a short vacation. Often it doesn’t take much to feel relaxed if we know how to grant our souls some rest. Continue reading “A Little Treat for Yourself”
It starts with the little things.
When I get up in the morning, but my body is still weary from the day before – I know it’s time to rest.
When my hair starts falling out and my wrists starts itching – I know it’s time to rest.
When I snap at people for no obvious reason – I know it’s time to rest.
When I forget about people because I am so focused on the product – I know it’s time to stop. Continue reading “Listen to the Little Things”
I got off at the airport and picked up my rental car.
And then I started driving.
It had been four years since I had driven on the left side and I was surprised how quickly I got back into the rhythm. It was dark, but with a GPS and a sort of sense of direction I found my friends’ cottage I would be staying at for the next few days.
‘Pilgrims Rest’ said the sign on the door.
How appropriate. Continue reading “The Wonderful Exhausting Pilgrimage of Life”
I had it coming for a while now.
Too many weeks of running around, stressing out about all the things I had to do.
Too many days of not enough sleep, quick lunches or no food at all.
Too many hours of sitting at the computer, planning and worrying.
Too often the feeling of being overwhelmed, wondering how I could manage it all.
It started with a soft itching in my throat. Then a running nose. Then a feeling of heaviness in my legs. Now I am writing this from my bed, lying down with the flu.
I am weary. And sick.
I guess we all know this feeling of everything being simply too much.
We work too many hours because something just has to be done.
We don’t take time to relax, to really enjoy a meal.
We take chances and keep on working even though our bed’s calling for us. Sure we can survive on little sleep, but we shouldn’t have to.
We push everyone away because we’re so buried in work and worry.
We are weary, but we won’t admit it.
A few weeks ago I complained to my roommate how everything was just too much and I didn’t know where to start anymore.
She said, “You do know you’re allowed to say NO?”
My head knows, but my heart needs to know it, too.
My hands needs to release the task I hold on to so firmly and relax.
My mind needs to let go of the thought it keeps mulling over and shut down for a while. My spirit needs to stop worrying and come to rest.
My lips need to muster up the courage and say the redemptive words:
I am weary.
I need help.
If you’re weary this week, pause for a moment.
Allow yourself to rest a bit.
Your self does not depend on what you do.
Reach out for rest.
Reach out for help.
Writing for Five Minute Friday today.
Welcome to Day 25 of #write31days!
For more information check out the series’ page.
Setting healthy boundaries also means taking care of yourself. This also includes taking time off, making time for the things you enjoy. Things that restore your soul.
Luckily, God has set an entire day aside just for us. A whole day with lots of time to spend with Him, refresh our spirits in His presence, relax and restore. Restoration looks different for everyone; it’s just important that you find something that gives you energy, joy, and peace.
One thing that restores me is cooking. During the week it’s mostly just quick and simple, but on Sabbath I actually take time to find a cool recipe (or tweek with an old one), invest time in the kitchen, and have people around me to enjoy it with. So the Sundays of October will be filled with recipes – and if you enjoy cooking, too you might want to cook along! And if not, just give it a try, you might actually like it!
Lemon Ginger Syrup
It’s October and slowly it’s getting colder. Fall and winter also mean cold season; not the most pleasant thing to wake up with a sore throat, right? Last year I stumbled upon this recipe and this syrup has become my secret weapon against a cold. Why not try it some time?
Ingredients for 2 bottles
1 cup of freshly cut ginger
1 cup of sugar (or more, depends on your sweet tooth 🙂 )
2 cups of water
Cut the ginger into small pieces and the lemons and limes into slices
add sugar and water and bring everything to boil in a pot
let it simmer until it thickens
let it cool over night
fill syrup into bottles, squeeze the fruits for some extra juice
serve either cold with sparkling water or add to hot water
When I started working a few months ago I was swamped with a set of letters only grown-ups get: ads from insurance companies, health insurance, taking care of potential accidents at work, an insurance if I break someone’s stuff, investing my newly earned money in a fond…the list was long.
So that’s what grown-ups do.
Taking care of insurances.
Taking care of the future.
In German we have a word for that: “vorsorgen”.
It means to take care of something in advance.
Even though I am glad for the German welfare system and the different insurances, this word left me wondering.
Vorsorgen has a second meaning: to worry about something in advance.
And this is rather a burden than a blessing. For our future, but even more for our present.
When we worry about the future and our safety, we actively keep our hearts in distress.
We unconsciously choose this state of uncertainty and worry because we don’t want to let go.
Even though, as much as we worry and seemingly plan ahead, we can’t control this world, someone else’s life or our own. We can create a certain framework, but we can never guarantee that tomorrow will be as planned.
If we worry about the future and occupy our minds and hearts with tomorrow, we miss out on something very important: today.
We walk by today’s nature and beauty.
We miss out on great conversations.
We overlook amazing people who want to walk life with us.
We forget to take a break for our bodies and souls because we are anxious to be left out.
We are left empty today because we chase the riches of tomorrow.
Take in today, share its joys and challenges.
Don’t miss out on today’s blessings because you wait for tomorrow.
This day will come anyway, no matter how much or little you plan.
As always, linking up with Kate Motaung‘s Five Minute Friday today.
On Wednesday, as I was sitting in the teacher training seminar, I took a look at my fellow teacher trainees. A colleague leaned over and whispered, “Is it just me or do we look more exhausted each week?”
He was right.
Dark small eyes glanced back at me. Bored and incredibly tired expressions on their faces, many of us worked really hard to not fall asleep during pedagogy class.
We’re exhausted and in desperate need of a break.
Do you know this feeling? Your body is exhausted, your mind is tired.
You just need a break.
If we take a closer look at the word “break” we find it’s actually a very active verb.
Breaks don’t come upon us, we need to take them.
Break up the routine you’re in, the spinning wheel you can’t get out of.
The clusters and circles you’re stuck in.
Break with the thought patterns you entertain every day. The worries and questions tormenting your soul.
Break free from things and people holding you back.
Break through to rest. Peace of body, soul, and mind.
We need it desperately. Every day.
Often it doesn’t take much to have a break.
Give yourself time to get ready in the morning.
Enjoy your breakfast. Food in general is good. 🙂
Don’t work through your break time at work.
Take a walk.
Meet a friend for coffee and allow them to encourage you.
Read a book. No notes, just for you and for fun.
Listen to a piece of music, really listen. Let the instruments and the lyrics sink in and resonate with the strings of your soul.
Be still. Seek silence. Seek Him who promised to bind you wounds and refresh your empty soul.
It doesn’t take much to have a break.
But it does take your first step. Break is an active verb.
Where can you take a break today?
Want to make break a routine in your life? Then join me at Shelley Miller’s Sabbath Society – for all those who are all in for Sabbath, God’s desginated break for us.
Taking a break from work and writing for fun – this is Five Minute Friday over at Kate Motaung
‘s place. There’s also a great video interview with my friend Liz
over there today! Why don’t you join us?
Things had to change.
After five years of studying theory at uni, it was time to put knowledge into practice.
So I started a new job a few weeks ago. Actually, my first job ever. I am a teacher at a school nearby and the next 1.5 years I’ll be in training. People will watch and evaluate my teaching, there will be lots of late nights preparing and many early mornings.
I had heard quite a bit of rumors and horror stories about these years.
“You won’t have a life during this time.”
“You’ll just live for school.”
So obviously I wasn’t that thrilled when I had to get up at 5.30 am for the first time in many years.
I would cut all my extra curricular activities, no more social work.
I would limit my relationships because I wouldn’t have time for people.
I have to be an adult now. But is that really what it’s like?
Shortly after I started working I met a friend for lunch and she said something that stuck with me:
“Don’t stop living. Keep the things in your life that keep you alive.”
I guess we all know situations that drain our energy.
You might live through such a phase of life right now.
You only go from day to day.
You function, but you don’t live.
And slowly by slowly you realize joy has left the house called your heart.
Don’t cut off everything.
Yes, life is not just about fun and easy going.
Yes, there are times that really challenge us and take our energy.
But keep going.
Keep the things and people in your life that push you forward.
That touch something inside of you, below the surface.
In German, we have a verb for that: “beleben” – it gives life to you.
Keep life inside of you.
This might mean a good night’s sleep.
A coffee date with a friend.
Reading an encouraging and exciting book.
Going for a run.
In my case this means lots of cooking.
Playing music in a band.
Leading worship at church.
Practicing my administrational skills at organizing congresses.
Find what gives life to you.
Small things everyday, bigger things once in a while.
Don’t just function.
Friday means five minute of free writing over at Kate Motaung‘s place – come and join us!