Monday, February 27, 2012

Deliberate Acts of Kindness - Day 6



Yesterday a friend of mine told me about this youth group that regularly goes out to stand outside grocery stores to ask people for donations on bargains they got because they bought goods in a bulk. The 2 for 1 kind of offers. They collect all of it and then go to spots where some of the local homeless people gather and hand them out.

I found this story truly inspiring and while I was shopping for groceries today, I kept an eye out for some special offers for goods which I'd only need one of anyway. So, I'll store them for the moment and repeat it again at my next shopping trip.
By then, I will hopefully also have found the right person to give them to.

Luv,
Julia


[Find out more about why I'm doing this 40 day pride and comfort fast here]
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Deliberate Acts of Kindness - Day 5



There are quite a lot of advantages that come with living more or less in the countryside.

Snow is still piling up everywhere, which gives you that nice feeling of walking through winter wonderland - even at +10°C. Another upside is the super clean and fresh water, we get directly from the mountain outside my bedroom window.

The only downside about this privilege...the water is very very hard, leaving lime (calcium) deposit everywhere and clogging up all the water taps.

So, as I'm still staying at my grandparent's, today's DAOK was to dismantle and descale all their water taps, shower heads and just about everything else that had traces of limescale on it.

Desperate Housewife Alert!!!

I'm nearly afraid to say what kind of satisfaction it gave me to have all taps and showers running properly again.

Well, my grandad was very happy about it, as he's not really much of a DIY guy and it gave me a chance to let out my inner handywoman.

My grandma seems do be doing better, but there are more tests and examinations to come next week.

Luv,
Julia


[Find out more about why I'm doing this 40 day pride and comfort fast here]
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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Deliberate Acts of Kindness - Day 3 + 4



As my mum (who is actually my grandma - but more about that some other time) was admitted to hospital on Thursday evening after suffering a stroke, I rushed back to my home town yesterday to go see her.

I'm ever so thankful that she is just about the toughest cookie I know and she is doing quite ok.

Of course, my DAOK project will not be put on hold...because the whole point of all of it is, to be the hands and feet of Jesus wherever I am, whatever happens and whoever I'm with.

Therefore, yesterday and today are all about visiting my mum in hospital and taking care of my granddad - which proves to be quite easy with that much skiing, ski jumping and other winter sports on the TV.

What is becoming more obvious to me though - however great it is, having your mum and grandma in one person, simply because it means that I have a very young, fit and fun grandmother. It also means that I have a rather old mother - and the thought of possibly losing her is absolutely devastating. 

I'm trusting God, and my grandma's ability to always get back on her feet. Nonetheless, I would really appreciate your prayers for her, the doctors treating her and our family. 

Thank you and I'll be back tomorrow with Day 5.

Luv,
Julia

[Find out more about why I'm doing this 40 day pride and comfort fast here.]
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Deliberate Acts of Kindness - Day 2



Have you ever wished somebody a "Happy Birthday" just because that's what one does?!?
I must have posted, texted or emailed at least a hundred "Happy Birthdays" in the last few years but so often it was just a phrase without actually thinking about that person for more than a second.

(Facebook & Co. are not really helping either. You may get reminded of every birthday, but do you really take the time to write a personal birthday message then?)

So, I decided to put an end to this and sat down to pray for a friend of mine, whose birthday it is today. As a result, I was able to write her some words that were actually for HER. Not just some superficial cookie-cutter lines.

This DAOK will definitely go down in my notes as a good one to keep on doing.

Do you like taking your time to write someone for their special day? Or do you feel like a simple “Happy Birthday” says it all? Any thoughts?

[Find out more about why I'm doing this 40 day pride and comfort fast here.]
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fasting Pride and Convenience

Oh my, let me think back to when I last attempted to fast for the whole period of Lent. You know…the 40 very long days between Carnival season and Easter. So, to be quite frank, I don’t think I have ever actually done it.

I’ve never refrained from anything for 40 days straight! So you can imagine my surprise at this one thought that didn’t leave my mind:

~ Do a fast this year – but not a regular one – fast for a full 40 days. Lay down your pride, comfort and convenience. ~

BAM! That one stuck. Fasting pride and convenience…really? How do you do this? How is that supposed to work?

Well, along came a phrase that seemed to be squatting in my brain with no intention of leaving…and usually those ideas are equally inconvenient as they are rewarding:



Out of that grew the idea for my fast this Lent. 40 days of deliberate acts of kindness as a result of fasting my own pride, comfort and convenience.

I will consciously and deliberately inconvenience myself, step down from my high horse and go out of my way to be kind to friends, family and strangers. Through this I hope to make this principle a foundation in my life, not only a project I’ll blog about. I shall attempt to become more conscious of situations where my personality would choose a self-centred action instead of a kind one.

And no, I’m not doing this to earn my sainthood or a massive mansion in heaven (thankfully that’s not how you get those ;-)) I’m also not doing this to promote any kind of agenda or put myself into the spot light.

I'm doing it for people...because I love Jesus and because He loves people. By serving them, I want to serve Him. By setting my heart right, I want Him to change my heart for the better.

By blogging about it (hopefully) every day, I want to let you see how I’m doing, which struggles I face and which insights I gain. However, most of all, I want to give you examples, options and ideas of how you could also live out deliberate acts of kindness.

Well then…bring it on! ;-) I’m excited and expectant!

Day 1:

I bought one of my flatmates dinner. He can’t afford to eat out at the moment, so I took him out for Indian food. We had a lovely time, can't believe I didn't really know him too well after living in the same flat for nearly a year.

[Sorry, as this is my first day doing this, I forgot to take a photo]

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

A stolen Tradition



Yes, I know...I’m not even one hundredth bit American and I have no good reason to get all obsessed with a holiday that has just about nothing to do with my cultural heritage, BUT oh how

I LOVE THANKSGIVING!

It started out in my childhood, when my father and his girlfriend one year decided that stealing Thanksgiving in order to have an excuse for a good party sounded like a marvellous idea and thus it became our tradition. They had both been to America quite a few times and had brought back a love for the festivity and some mouth-watering recipes!

Although we had the real Thanksgiving food, turkeys so big they barely fit into our oven with deliciously prepared chestnut-stuffing and sides of salad, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and my favourite, the little known spicy tomato-sweet corn. We however, never took on the tradition of giving thanks.

Lately, and especially since I have embarked on my exciting journey of giving my life and heart to Christ, the question of what I am thankful for, has been crucial to my everyday routine. So, I won’t let a day pass by to thank God for what he is doing in my life. It has been so enriching and challenging to actively thank God every day, because seriously people, living on the side of the world that we live in, there’s always something to be thankful for.


I’ll make a start, but think about it too, what are you thankful for?


I’m thankful for unanswered prayers; they have taught me that my will is not always best for me.

I’m thankful for having honest friends; they correct me, encourage me and are the most amazing people to do life with.

I’m thankful for my grandparents; they instilled in me a hunger for knowledge.

I’m thankful for mentors; they challenge me, teach me and bring out the best in me.

I’m thankful to my God, for never letting my life get boring or predictable.



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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Life. Interrupted


WOW, it's been quiet on here...but that's about all that's been quiet lately.
Initially, I was really hoping that this blog, the one I had actually put some thought and heart into - well, before it started anyway, would be different to my other attempts at blogging. But to no surprise I didn't get very far.
To be fair though, life's kinda interrupted my cosy blogging routine. First off, 7 days after my last post in February I was hit by a car. Yes, a real flippin’ car...and no, I'm not kidding. I guess it's just one of the peaks/lows that my crazy rollercoaster life has taken, but to say the least, I was kinda lucky to have gotten away with only a few bruises and a concussion.
It's not like I really had a lot of time to think about the What, How and especially Why of my accident, because just a few weeks after it happened a big women's conference, that I worked for, kicked into gear and so, life just continued interrupting my...well, actually life interrupted my plans. My plans for blogging, working, projects I had going...just about all of it. And now...five months after, I'm still having a hard time getting back on the horse. Somehow, this life with all its interruptions has me desperate for some structure that's nowhere to be found.

So, I guess I'm asking you (my non-existent blog-readers): Has your life ever been majorly interrupted? Did you ever wonder whether planning ahead made any sense at all? How did you make your way out?

I'm curious to hear your bits and pieces to the puzzle.

Luv,

Julia

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