One formula marriage

I use to think I liked being alone. Now he leaves to the store and before he does I miss him. My crazy, amazing, wild, awesome husband. People say a lot of things about marriage. It’s hard work. There is something hidden in marriage that you don’t understand until you are living it. It’s wonderful. It’s not easy.
I can come up with a 100 things people say about being married. And it seems like everyone knows how it really works. Like we are all experts and the way we know it works, is the only way it works.

Honestly that is a huge lie. How can there be just one way to make a marriage work? How can there be just one formula? Isn’t that just an insanely stupid thought? I mean, aren’t we all different? And with that, are not our relationships different? Of course they are. And of course we can not copy what our neighbors do and think that we’ll have a happy and good marriage then.

I think we have to stop trying to have it all the same as others. Look at who you are and who your spouse is. Serve each other and communicate (about everything) and I guess only those two things work for everyone. But some women love getting flowers and others don’t. Just like some men like watching sports and others don’t. Those are very simple examples.. but you get what I am trying to say.

ENJOY! Have your marriage the way that works for both of you 🙂
Your neighbors might not agree, your friends might do it different and it might not look at all like what your parents marriage looks like. FINE.
Have it be the way that is best for both of you. There is not just one formula.
Just like every love-story looks different, so does every marriage.
I personally really like that.

In the end, things might be very different then what you thought it would or should look like… even that doesn’t matter. I use to think I liked being alone and I am so happy that that’s not true.

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Learning how to walk

A streak of lightning pierces the sky, In the back of my head thunder roars and as a response rain starts to pour down. I look at it, delighted, relieved. Finally, there is new air to breath. Finally the tension is pouring down and the pressure released. Finally.

It has taken me months of silence to find my way back here. And here I am. A stranger in a new country. A published author. A child. A woman. Running like crazy. Still learning how to walk. Weeks pass with my thoughts put on hold, to busy to make space for the rivers of emotion. Days follow, wandering around, hoping for a new adventure, a way to escape.

And then I realize, it’s all part of the process I am in. Settling.
Ah, settling. Who wants to do that, right? Living in the same place for years, decades, a life time. Knowing the same people. Never going anywhere. Just being right there.
Sounds so boring to me. So instead I have refused. I have stayed here, in the same place for five months and not settled. Sure, I have settled a bit. But not really. Only just because I am scared. For, what will happen if I do really settle? Will I become just like the others, who one day settled down and never started moving again? Will I lose my zeal for life? My love for adventures? My liveliness? The craziness to just do whatever I like, make dreams come true and go for it?

No, I won’t. Why would I think that? Because fear always comes creeping right in.
It’s never far away. Always ready to come and interrupt.
But the truth is.. settling is not boring. It’s an adventure in itself! Staying, sticking around, getting roots, growing deep friendships, laughing and crying together.

So here I am, watching a thunderstorm. Surrounded by memories on how I use to go outside in a storm like this and just let the rain pour down on me, until I would have goose bumps all over and be soaked. Allowing the memories to come, making new ones.

Step by step, learning how to walk.

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My first Finnish adventures:-)

It’s not like I never rode a train before, I mean come on, I have done so for the past decade. But honestly, how do you find the right train times when everything is in a language that has nothing in common with your own? More even, it looks nothing like English, French or German, languages I also understand a bit, next to Dutch.. so here I am looking like a toddler trying to find my way out of the city. While instead, I am a 23-year-old (so-called ‘grown-up)…
Yes, life in Finland is interesting. Walking into the magistrate building the other day, I paid careful attention to the hot coffee I was holding and missed the doorstep. Result? I almost fall flat face on the floor and the guard at the door obviously sees me do it, but very politely tries to keep himself from bursting out in laughter. Not long before that I was walking outside and realised that it would maybe be good to put on my gloves. (-11 Celsius) The person I am with confirms the need of gloves and as we walk into a building I try to find them in my backpack, only to discover I have left them in the car. Brilliant. To make things worse, the car is on the other side of the city and I am not going back to it that same day.

To add to the fun you are having by reading this: Yesterday I was telling my friend that I went to the sauna, naked. (In Finland this is common, but I had never done that before) She looks at me with a face that tells me she is surprised but also impressed and asks me: ‘How many people where there?!’ Erm.. just me. Hey! I did go in there naked and it really was a bit scary… Then I bought a snowboard yesterday and when I got home, tried it out by putting the shoes and the board on… but couldn’t get the straps off anymore. Resulting in me sitting on the floor with a heavy snowboard attached to my feet, thinking I probably have to go to bed wearing it as I have no clue how to get myself out of this uncomfortable situation.

Don’t even ask me about speaking Finnish. I thought I discovered what the word ‘totta’ means. I heard people say it often and someone told me it meant something like ‘oh well..’
but instead it means ‘true’. Honestly you pronounce it the same…

Ah well, what can I say? I am definitely having fun trying to find my way here. Stumbling and crawling and doing everything wrong, right when I think I do it right.
I guess it’s just my first week….

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One last day

It’s getting dark outside. The boys are still playing soccer. With the boys I mean the kids from our street (girls are almost extinct in this street.) It looks fun. This afternoon one of our neighbours started putting lights in the tree before his house. As is tradition, every family has the same kind of lights we all put up before Christmas in the tree before our house. Within seconds the other men in the street ran out of their house, holding lights and ladders. Discussions on how the lights should be put up and where they had left them from last year followed. It looked fun.

As normal as it is that I am here right now, as rare it will be from tomorrow on. It is time to go. Time to leave this house and this country. I expected to feel sad, but I don’t. I am at peace and just feel ready.

Still that is not how I have felt the whole time during these past months. Choosing to follow God and taking the steps to really live it are two very different things. Living the dream is not like dreaming. And it sure is not easy. I know it is worth it. But I don’t want to be this person that gives the idea that living the dream is amazing and easy and nice and nothing else. 

Living the dream takes sacrifices. It is painful. And tiring. Taking a step without knowing whether it will work out or not takes courage. Honestly, dreaming about moving to another country and not knowing if you can go or not, until a week and a half before you leave, is simply crazy.

Yes, this life exists out of living one dream, waiting and living another dream. And in the end it is all worth it. If only, because God is worth every sacrifice and every step in faith. But life in itself is raw, fun, painful. Like a dance of which you don’t know the steps. 

This may sound negative. But that is not my heart. I mean to be honest and not paint an unrealistic picture. For me, I am excited and look forward to this new adventure, this new chapter in life! I am very privileged to be able to live this life. That’s the truth.

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Knitting my way through life

 

It is funny how much you can learn from the simply things in life. For example: Knitting.
I only started knitting a couple of weeks ago and therefore am not an expert (yet!)
Expert or not, true life lessons I have definitely learned from simply struggling my way through creating a (maybe not so beautiful) scarf.

As I started it seemed easy, but soon enough I got frustrated by the many mistakes I made. Then, as others told me it was just the first time and totally fine, I decided to just keep going. Again others told me to just start over, but I went against them. This is my first scarf and I will finish it. Perfect or not, I am proud of what I have done.

Then today I was knitting and messed up again. Too busy thinking about other things I forgot to count and messed up the pattern I had in mind. Even though the pattern is far from perfect by now, as I have messed up before, I decided to go back and fix it. About half an hour later I was back where I had started this morning. A while later I found myself in the place where I could have been an hour before that. Had I not made the mistake.

God had told me to keep going and now He wanted me to see something else as well.
As gentle as He is, He started by asking me a question: “Can you see that you’ve made a mistake?” I looked at the scarf and realised that no, it did not show that I had. So I answered Him that I could not see it. He then continued saying: “You can’t see it, but you know it and therefore you will see it.” Silence. “But others don’t see the mistake, they just see the beauty.” Sigh. True. “You have to be less hard on yourself, others see the beauty of who you are and are not bothered by your mistakes. Every one of you is equal in sin. You are not less than others. Be happy with who you are.”

I am me. Simple and complicated. Beautiful and fun. Just a person. Trying to knit my way through life. And I am worthy and worth it. I often tell others this, now I need to hear it myself. For it is true.

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Something with a knee, a dance and some other stuff

07.30 am this morning. Wide awake. Out of bed. Check what time I actually have to leave. Oh. I woke up way to early. Well then, smile and chill.
09.59 am meeting is over. 16 Minutes earlier then planned. Walk to the bus-stop. Check the time the bus is leaving. 10.46. Good, it’s chilly and I’ve got 47 minutes left of nothingness. Let’s go to the centre and see if I can find something fun to do.
10.46 am sitting in the bus. Just arranged everything I needed to, but did it hours before I actually planned to. Awesome!

My life is absolutely normal. And really weird. Hardly anything ever goes as planned, yet everything turns out fine all the time. Everyday God finds ways to put a smile upon my heart. Even. (Yes I am not kidding!) Even when I am really hurt and feel really broken. Sometimes I lie  face down on the ground, I have cried out to God for a long time and He suddenly says something that is so funny, I can’t do anything else then burst out in laughter.

So here I am. Sitting behind my desk. Just started writing a new book. This one is serious, but less than the first. Real, but more weird. Fun, but sometimes in a sad way. Different. My knee hurts. I feel like dancing. But it seems my body thinks I have just been playing soccer for a very, very long time. My heart is dancing. My heart is smiling. Life is good. Life is fun. Life is hard. Life is a blessing. Life is tough. Life is great!

And every single day again I wonder, am I the only one who has such a weird-wonderful-fun-crazy life? In any ways. It’s definitely worth it.

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Visions for my broken heart

Lately I have thought about telling my story. Simply because I am overwhelmed by what God has done. Risen me from the ashes. Rebuild and restored a life that was completely ruined. And I think telling my story can be a blessing to Him. Which is the point. That everything I do is a blessing to Him. Not to me. Not to the world around me. But to Him.
One other thing that has crossed my mind is telling about how He blesses me today, in the life I lead now. This very morning one of my best friends discussed with me how she thinks that she should tell other people more about how blessed she is.

Therefore I now have two very good reasons to share some things that have happened in my life. They are very personal, so I am not sure that they will really be a blessing, but I am just going to write them down.

A while ago I spent some time with God, while being in my bed room. As I did He worked in my heart and I started to cry. Sitting down on my knees, with my arms on my legs and my face in my hands I saw a vision. In the vision Jesus was sitting in front of me. I couldn’t make out His face, but I knew it was Him. He held out a cup. As I was crying, my tears fell down into the cup and turned into blood. I watched this happen and He said: “I died for these tears to.”

A while before that I was at work. During my break I decided to eat in a place where I could be alone for a while. I needed the silence and rest. While I was sitting there I saw a vision. In the vision I saw myself. I only saw my back. While I was looking a hand came and with big black letters the hand started to write the word ‘BELOVED’ on my back. I had no clue why it happened, but kept watching. The hand continued writing words, all over me. Some were bigger then others. Some were short sentences. ‘Love’ ‘Precious’ ‘Daughter of the living God’ were some of them. Astonished I looked and asked God: “Why are You doing this for?” He continued and said: “Because it is true and I want you to believe it.”

These are visions God has given me, to heal me. To draw me closer to Him. To show me the truth. It amazes me that He is cares so much that He thinks of all these different ways to show me how much He truly loves me. The same is true about how much He loves you. I want you to know that He wants to be with you like this, just like He does with me!

 

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