It’s Different Than You Think

Since I have lived in many different places, it happened quite a few times that people have asked me which of my homes is the best.
How can I even compare them? Each country and culture is so unique, all of them have their strengths and challenges, none is superior to the other.

“There is no better or worse. There is just different. In the most wonderful way.”

Every day we are surrounded by all kinds of people.
If I just glance around the people walking on the street, the students in my classroom, the friends I hang out with – I see diversity.
Our social media channels and political conversations are full of debates on how to create community in our diversity. There are too many voices that say some are better than others, there are too many boxes we sort each other in, there is too deep fear of the other that ultimately separates us from ourselves.

But what if we changed perspective for a moment?
What if we saw the people around us not as “the other”, but as mirrors of ourselves? What if we gave them the chance to reveal a little more to us about the world and what it means to be human?
What if we allowed each other to share a glimpse of the eternal together?

If we look closer, we are more connected than we think.
We are unique in our lives, characters and talents.
Each of our stories deserves to be told and heard.

There’s no better or worse.
We’re just different.
In the most wonderful way.


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.
Cover Photo: Pujohn Das on Unsplash

I Don’t Deserve This

Mornings at home.
A huge window with a perfect view of the sky.
Warm covers to snuggle in.
Eight hours of peaceful sleep.
A full refrigerator with too many choices of what to eat.
A safe job and friendly colleagues.
No worries about money every month.
Friends who are just a phone call away.
A family that supports and encourages me.
Unexpected coffee dates during the week.
A golden sunset after a long day at work.
Carnival break which starts in a few hours.
A full calendar with plans for the future and lots of things to be excited for.
Free access to education, entertainment and information.
Free thinking and controversial discussions.

I didn’t earn this. Too many people on this planet are not as fortunate and have to suffer from poverty, hunger, lack of education, oppression, slavery.

When I look at just this week, I realize: I’m surrounded by pure grace.
My life is enriched by heavenly gifts.
It’s a privilege and I never want to take it for granted.
Instead, I want to practice gratitude. For everything, in everything.

What can you be grateful for this week?


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

You’ve Got to Let Go

Do you know these moments when you got it all planned out and then life takes a completely different turn?
Last Friday was such a moment for me. A long list of things to do, a full weekend ahead of me, a good couple of hours to finish it all. That was my plan for Friday.

I woke up with a headache and a feeling of nausea, so I gave myself an extra thirty minutes in bed. I had breakfast. I took a pill. I really took it slow.

No help.

In my mind I could almost hear the battle going on inside of me:
“I’ve got so much to do, this can’t be happening. Not today.”
“Maybe you just need to take some time to do nothing and just rest.”
“But when should I finish everything then? There are so many things on my list!”
“If you try to work while being sick, you won’t be happy with the results anyway.”

This went on for quite some time, until my eyes just closed and I fell asleep on the sofa.
I gave in to what my body clearly had tried to tell me.
Two hours later, I woke up refreshed and ready to go.

Life doesn’t always go as planned.
No matter how much we work and organize, things can always come in between, people can let us down, life can just get in the way. 

Often times we can’t explain it, most of the time we definitely don’t deserve it.
We can just decide how we’ll react to these interruptions, no matter how big or small they may be.
Sometimes we need to let go and surrender to life’s plans.
Sometimes we have to trust  that there’s someone there who sees and knows and will make it work – all in its right time.


Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Break through the Clouds

I’m writing this from the plane on my way to Tel Aviv. When we boarded in Stuttgart, the early morning sky was grey and it began to rain as soon as the plane took off.
But oh, what joy! When we broke through the layer of clouds we were greeted with beautiful sunshine. The clouds looked like a soft bed, glowing in the sun. And I thought, what a shame down there can’t see the beauty.

To be honest, many days I’ve been very much like the people down there.
I see the grey and deficit only.
I’m way too busy to discover beauty around me.
I’m knee deep in worries and problems and don’t see much else.
I go online and numb myself with useless comparisons to more beautiful, happier, seemingly more satisfied people.

And I don’t like living this way.

Breaking through the clouds reminds me to overcome this mental barrier.
To shut off the filtered reality on my phone from time to time.
To zoom out and see the bigger picture.
To take a deep breath and inhale rest, freedom, beauty.
To trust in the One who sees it all, holds it all, overcomes it all.

Well, we’re landing soon.
Back to the ground and the grey skies. But I’m taking the sun with me.

Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

 

For Those Who Are Weak

“I’ve seen video content of a child that’s the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia.

“And this child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play.” Continue reading “For Those Who Are Weak”