Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 24 White Christmas

I look out the window and it is snowing on this day of Christmas Eve!
This morning I was struck by the thought that Jesus became human. God himself humbled himself to become like us. And all this to save us, to make everything right for us. It is the most powerful, most beautiful, most amazing thing there is, has ever been and will ever be.
I am forever thankful for this gift. Thank you God for sending your son. Thank you for loving us more than we can imagine!

I wish you all a very merry Christmas. This is the end of the official Advent Calendar, but I am sure I will keep on writing about some thoughts and inspirations next week also as we're ending 2010.

White Christmas 2010

Much love


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 23 The Night before

It is the Night before Christmas Eve and here I am wrapping presents, baking, writing cards to get everything done for tomorrow. I'm excited and this year have really made a choice to be more creative and make some things my own.
So today I decided to share some Christmas decoration around the appartment as well as some of what I've been making.

Hope you're getting all your Christmas preprations done.
Much Love



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 22 Crafting

Only two more days until Christmas and the start of my two weeks vacation. I am so more than excited about getting some rest, spending time with my family, reading, going for walks, sleeping, watching movies that have been on my list forever and spending time with bestest of friends! It will be wonderful.
This year I have somewhat gotten into crafting some Christmas gifts so instead of buying or only printing out gift tags I decided to make my own and share the how-to. It is so simple that even I could do it :-)

These are the things you need. I got the brown card board at a craft shop. Also I made my own stencil of how I wanted the gift tag to look like.

I drew the gift tags on the cardboard and cut them out. Then I printed out some really cute Christmas vintage pictures to glue on there. I got them from here.
So I glued an image on one side and a writeable image on the other side.

Then I made wholes on the end and stuck the white rings around them. And voilá:

Hope you are enjoying every minute of this Christmas season, even the wrapping of presents, the crafting of cards or whatever it is you are preparing. This is a beautiful time of year!



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 21 Layer by Layer

I am really super excited about this post because I waited to write it until I thought the time would have come and did not want to spoil this in the world.
So I found this video of a dance that is so incredibly beautiful and so perfectly describes the journey of my year.
The dance is about how we focus on the goal, how we push through, how we reach the end.
This year has really been a year of stretching and growing and moving forward and I feel like in order to become the woman God wants me to be layer by layer has to be taken off to be refined, renewed... yes naked before God's eyes so He can transform and conform me according to His will. Sometimes we want to go back to some of the old things, because it felt easier and pushing forward feels harder, but we have to focus on Him, knowing that He has the perfect plan, the happy ending, the fulfillment of your dreams, what your heart is longing for and ultimately He has an amazing calling for our life!

So... with these words, enjoy the video (for facebook readers please click "view original post" to see the video)...

Much love on this rainy December day



Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 20 For such a time as this

Monday afternoon. I'm still tired from the weekend. Tonight the rain washed away all the snow and I can only hope for a white Christmas.
This weekend got me thinking about the time that we live in. I believe God chose a very specific time for us to exist. We were born for such a time as this. We were born with a calling on our life. We were born to make our world, our environment a better place. We were born to be the change and help the people around and about us. There will not be a better time than now. You were chosen, called and equipped.
Don't doubt yourself, but see yourself the way God sees you (Psalm 139, Romans 8).

He is at work even if you don't see it!



Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 19 Winter Wonderland

It is already the 4th Advent - time is passing so quickly. I have been enjoying a wonderful weekend and just wanted to share some of the bliss on last Sunday of Advent.

taking Melina out for her birthday dinner - Mexican food in Freiburg

Illuminate, the you(th) Christmas Party and the gorgeous Larissa and I

Melina and I enjoying a Saturday walk through the snow

Now of to a great start into the new week... the week before Christmas!



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 18 Off the cliff

The you(th) Christmas Party was so wonderful yesterday and I just simply ENJOYED it!
Today I want to share a video with you that my friend Joshua showed me today.
I haven't listened to Sigur Rós in a while but when I saw that music video it just inspired me to write about it.
You can interpret it the way you want to, but for me this is just beautiful in the end. Sometimes we have to run up a mountain, jump off the cliff and be in free fall, letting go of everything that holds us back. I love how they let it all go, strip off the things that weigh us down...
I know I have said that a lot this year but seriously, just let go and let God do the work He wants to do in your life!



Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 17 Illuminate

This week the theme seems to be Light and I love it because we are hosting our annual youth Christmas Party tonight that is themed "Illuminate" and will be so wonderful. I love how everything is coming together.
So... here's the flyer we have for the party and a beautiful Christmas songs that gets you all romantic and into the perfect Christmas mood.

you(th) Christmas Party 2010 flyer

Much Love



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 16 The extra mile

Christmas lights in Vienna, 2009

This afternoon I treated myself with a sticky apple roll and it felt sooo good.
As I was thinking about today's post I knew that could not do an Advent calendar without at least posting one Sleepint at last song. In their December EP they have a song that is so deep and beautiful and as I read through the lyrics I knew this was it. This describes something I am feeling so wonderfully I have to share, it's called Accidental light.

on your mark, get set...
a million miles past the finish line
my heels lift
at this imaginary starting line.
the trigger slips;
my heart was racing well before it's time.
time's running out, it's always running out on me,
as the road up ahead disappears.

though it's all been said,
and this empty dictionary is all that's left,
i'll try to change the world in a single word.
my hands are shaking, ready or not.
invisible ink well it's all i've got.
so i'll concentrate and pick from these barren trees.

time's running out, it's always running out on me.
and every road i discover disappears under my feet -

some call it reckless, some call it breathing.

have i said too much or not enough?
is it overkill or is it giving up,
to measure out the distance of an echo's reach?

if it's all broken mirrors and a chance roll of the dice,
then i'll risk everything for a glimpse of accidental light.

time's running out, it's always running out on me,
and every road i've discovered disappears under my feet -

some call it reckless, i call it breathing.



PS: you can listen to the song here

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 15 A ray of light

Uuhh... another beautiful December day, candle burning, the smell of clementines in my nose, Sleeping at Last "December" tunes playing. I love the Christmas season and have made choice to stay in the Christmas mood. To purposely plan in pondering moments, to indulge in the beauty of Christmas.

This morning for example I chose to change up my routine as I knew I wouldn't get much down time today and in the next few days.
So I plugged in our Christmas tree and some other Christmas lights, enlighted some candles and had my coffee and Cereal at our actual table instead of the kitchen bar. As I was reading through Psalms I came across a beautiful verse I wanted to share today:

Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right. May all who are godly rejoice in the LORD and praise his holy name! (Psalm 97: 11)

Just imagine. God is shining His light on us, so why shouldn't people see Him in us. Be the change today!

our Christmas tree in 2009



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 14 Good-bye

Today is the birthday of my beautiful best friend and housemate Melina. Happy Birthday,friend!

I had to say good-bye to quite a few things this year and had to let go of other things, like emotions from the past. Thoughts that I thought I couldn't think anymore but kept coming up again and other things.
The following video for me represents the pain, the emotions and everything you go through when saying good-bye, when letting go. I find it absolutely beautiful and it totally gives me chills.



Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 13 How to handle a busy life

It is Monday afternoon and we're entering the last two weeks before Christmas, before my Christmas break and I just want to take a couple of minutes to write, reflect and ponder a couple of thoughts.
First of all I have to say that I believe that a stressful life is a choice, a malfunctioning time management and that it doesn't just happen to you. Yes, we may have a lot on our plate to handle, there might be a lot going on but getting into the feeling of stress is something we sort of do to ourselves.
That having been said I want to give you a few how to's in planning and managing your time where you still get to have time for yourself.
And let me tell you, I used to be Ms no-plan, unorganized, crazy person, all over the place... but I have learned... so I guess that sort of gives me a right of a say :-)

1. Make a list
I have become a huge fan of to do lists. Escpecially within the extremely "busy" times of Christmas where there is one party after another I sit down at the beginning of each week to plan what I want to get done each day of that week.
Don't try to do it all in one day or one night but rather structure it so you do a little each day (and that coming from me is a BIG step).

2. Sort through your to dos
Maybe you do not even know where to start with all your to dos. Maybe you have an overflow of tasks required from you. Take piece of paper and go through all your emails, tasks, in whatever way you have them and write them down. Then make a to do list out of them.

3. See the big picture
Sometimes we have the feeling like we're lost in detail and cannot see the end. Take some time to write out what you you want to do, what you have to do and clear your mind

4. Take a break, enjoy the moment
See, when you plan your things well, you will be able to just sit down (without a bad conscience), watch a movie, have coffee with a friend and enjoy the life you're living. Don't let it rush by. Enjoy every precious second of it. Do it on purpose and don't get lost in being busy. You choose to enjoy your life.

at the ONE Christmas Party 2010 - perfect Christmas feeling


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 12 Pondering Moments

via Geoff Benzing - I love his artwork

There have to be moments in our life where we take the time to look into the stars and just be astonished by the beauty God created. It's these moments of pondering, thinking and watching where we become quiet and listen to God's voice.

Happy 3rd Advent!



Day 11 Commit to the Mountain

Swiss Alps on our Leadership retreat

Sometimes in life a season ends. Sometimes we think that something comes to an end. And maybe it has been something we have been longing for so desperately, maybe the end of a dream, the end of a season in life.
And that end can scare us for we do not know what will come afterwards.
I have been at that moment this year, actually only a couple months ago. But! Oh BUT! When something comes to an end it does not mean that you are finished!
When Jesus died on the cross it was an end, but it was not finished! How I love that!
When this one season this year ended, a season that endured for a while, a season of climbing another mountain I wasn't finished. I didn't have to be scared. Because I wasn't finished! Something ended, but I kept on going, I kept on growing and now I can look back and can see Jesus work in the process!

I guess I just want to encourage you that the best days are still ahead of you. This might be the end of something, but it sure is the beginning of something else. Maybe you have reached a certain point on the way up the mountain and you feel like giving up. Maybe in the middle of momentum, in the middle of a successful climb you have lost hope. There is only one way though and that's up the mountain. Commit to it. You are not finished because Jesus is not only the beginning, he is also the end. He is Alpha and Omega!



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 10 Eternal Memories

Tonight was a beautiful night with the 20somethings group in my church, ONE... campfire, marshmallow roasting, hot chocloate. We were up in the forest and just enjoyed it.
Life is good.



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 9 Contentment

I love my life. That is what I have been thinking today. Sometimes I think I could totally freak out about my life and how full it is especially during this time of the year. But today I sat here and a couple of things just beautifully came together and I was so being myself, flowing in creativity, thinking about things, planning and when it comes down to it I was just content and happy in that very moment.
And I love being back at this place because there have been many moment this year where my life felt like chaos and confusion and I wasn't sure where I was going or what would happen.
Yet this moment today still makes me so happy and my eyes well up with tears because I am doing what I am suppossed to be doing. I am following God's plan for my life every day step by step.

So I just want you to enjoy this moment today which is why I am posting this beautiful video of a dance that I love. The dance represents that moment of complete contentment when time flies (for facebook viewers please click "View original post" in order to see the video).



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 8 Be yourself

I had already planned on writing about Being yourself when I found this today:

I must say that I have learned quite my share on how important it is to be yourself this year. When you start comparing yourself or start trying to be somebody you're not, you're losing momentum in your life (see Pastor Brian Houston's messages on Momentum!!! So good).

It is so very important that we are who God created us to be. We have to follow His will for our life and what He has for us and thinks about us. Because only in Him will we ever find true contentment, rest, peace and that will make us feel at ease.

This year I have had quite a lot of moments where I felt awkward, out of normal, not being myself, but once you get back to being yourself... ahh... I prosper, I am creative and God can use me.

So my encouragement today is to just be yourself.



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 7 Boldness

It is 4pm on a grey December day and I just lit my little candle. I'm enjoying some herb tea, Michael Bublé Christmas tunes playing and getting in the Christmas mood.

Recently I found a quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that I would love to share because it bares truth. But since Goethe was a German writer I would feel utterly bad if posting the quote only in English.
So you will get the beautiful German and the English version.

"Was immer du tun kannst oder wovon du träumst - fange es an. In der Kühnheit liegt Genie, Macht und Magie."

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genuis, power and magic in it."

Isn't that just wonderful. It reminds me and confirms that we must follow our dream. I know that God gives us dreams for a reason and this year God has confirmed quite a few of them again.
Today I want to encourage you to begin, live your dreams, start them, be bold!

up Pikes Peak in 2009 - I didn't climb that mountain but have climbed quite a mountain this year. But I was bold and went on a journey and learned so much about myself.



Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 6 Mad World

It's the 6th of December which means it's St. Nikolaus day. When I was a kid there would always be a boot filled with candy and nuts in front of my door. Today I wondered why we are celebrating this day and researched the history of St. Nikolaus.

I guess today I just simply want to point out that we take away our focus from ourselves. Especially during the Christmas time we are so "busy" that we tend to forget that there is a lost and broken world out there. I know all the organisations want money around Christmas time, but this is really something we must think about and act on all throughout the year. Jesus said "The poor will always be with you". He also said "I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!" (Math. 25:40).

I strongly believe that we have to reach out and be the hands and the feet of Jesus. We are the solution. We as the church are the answer to humanity in its entirety.
So I am asking you. Where are you the change? Where are you making a difference? Where do you reach out to the least of these?
There are so many ways of getting involved in your community and globally. If there is nothing in the context of your church, start something! This is our responsibility and our calling. And every little move will make a difference. Nothing is too small or too insignificant. Even if you make somebody smile. You brightened this person's day.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 5 Cielo

Hey, hope you all had a great Sunday!
There is a lot going on in my heart that I am not able to share, so I'm leaving you with a beautiful song on this 5th day of Dezember, the second advent!



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 4 Change

on our Leadership retreat this year.

"Change is not a part of your life. Change is your life."

I like that idea, because we should constantly be growing and learning. That doesn't mean not getting rest, it simply means that you always have something to work out, you're always reaching out to get closer to God, to understand His word more each day.

So, are you willing to be changed? Are willing to grow even if it hurts a little?

Much love



Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 3 Friends

Today's post is about friends.
Every Friday morning I go to prayer at church at 6am. And I just love it because I get to have breakfast with my best friends plus we unite in prayer and make a difference. Is there anything better?

I must say that the friends I have are really something special and rare and I am more than thankful for them. I would not like to do life without them.

Melina's graduation banquet in 2007 - Best friends for life

Therefore I just want to encourage you to surround yourself with good friends, people you can trust, people you are accountable to, people who have full allowance to speak into your life.
Once you have found that. It will be like a treasure in your hand. Keep it carefully, love them, be forgiving.

Much love



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 2 Christmas Presents

It is 4:17 on a beautiful Thursday afternoon and I'm ready for my second post of the Christmas Calendar. Just lit my little candle on the desk and am enjoying some coffee and chocolate. Bliss.

Today during my lunch break I went to a little shop downtown to pick up some Christmas presents and it got me thinking about the whole buying gifts, commercialization of Christmas and how people just run around to find "something".

I personally love preparing, buying and thinking of Christmas presents for my friends. I usually make a list of all the people I want to give something to and then I try to think of something special.
I believe that Christmas presents do not always have to be something bought. They just need to be something thoughtful. Yes it takes a little bit more effort, but if you want to escape all the shopping-mania, that's the way to do it.
So I guess, this post is just to encourage you and help you come up with a few ideas. So, here's a list of things you can give that are inexpensive, yet thoughtful, loving and special:

- give time. Make or if you're not crafty, buy a card and give somebody time that you are going to spend with this person. A coffee, a shopping trip, a breakfast... whatever it is you guys like
- bake something. That is something I have started 2 years ago. It takes some time to prepare, but people love it. Plus, it shows them that you took the time to create something that they are about to enjoy.
- host a dinner party. This falls into the category of giving time, yet you invite people to your home, you cook something. If you're out of time, this can be great because it can also be hosted within the following year. Just make sure you really fulfill what promised.
- make a photo collage. I've always loved receiving these presents. It's awesome because somebody reminds you of all the great memories you had together.

In my family the whole tradition of giving gifts is a feast unheard of. We gather around the tree and give presents for hours. We laugh, we joke, we're weird and whimsical. We celebrate each gift and enjoy it. I love it. It is always the highlight of the night.

Hope you're enjoying your day taking a couple minutes to ponder about Christmas.
my sister and I joking around the Christmas tree in 2008

Mucho Love



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 1 Slow Down

on a walk through the snow.

Today at around 2 pm it started to snow and within minutes everything was covered in a beautiful white blanket.
On my way home from work the earth was so calm and quiet it made me think of this season. This season really should not be about business and stress, but really about remembering what it is all about. And I guess this is why I am doing this calender: To remind myself to slow down and think, slow down and remember that Christ the savior was born and everything should point towards him. Everything is beautiful in this season with snow... everything dipped in white shimmer, making everything glow. Nature praises him - we should too.




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