Dear friend, I am sitting here thinking about you and this space and how much I want to just chat again. It’s been a long time without any writing here, and I miss it. They – I don’t know who these people are, mythical guru types – say that you’re never supposed to put a blogging explanation up when you stop writing for a while, but I have to keep reminding myself that this is my space. I get to make my own rules.

What a year. We aren’t at the end, but the events in the world, the bloodshed, the disrespect, the abuse, it seems like we’ve opened a Pandora’s box that will not be shut as venom pours out. In my own life, I faced one of the most challenging personal situations I’ve dealt with in a long time. The middle of this year felt lost in this battle against fear and against myself. I started a graduate program at our local seminary, and I finished my first class last week. It was the second half of the Old Testament – Prophets and writings. I left every class overwhelmed with what I did not know about the Jewish context for these books, overwhelmed and grateful. When I read the headlines of our often unstable world, it helped to read the stories of unstable times that are thousands of years old. We are not the only ones who face immoral leaders and deal with abuse of power. It’s been here, it’s been here for a long time.

We spent five weeks in Europe to reconnect with our family there, and we returned to Geneva, the birthplace of this blog over seven years ago. It’s the first time we went back as a family, and it felt significant. Taking the boys on the bus routes they went on as babies in a stroller. Retracing my steps through the hospital where they were born. Standing in front of the apartment where I met my husband. Overwhelming emotions, many thoughts, and I’ll be slowly writing about those here because I hope to blog once a week from now for a little while, at least until my next class starts in seminary.

When I first started this blog, I was a housewife in Geneva, Switzerland. I think something in my soul was knocking, telling me it was time to start writing again. So I started writing about what we were eating, it was going to be a food blog. Nothing too personal. Then I got pregnant unexpectedly. Had my first sonMy father-in-law died. And the words that were mostly about food turned toward other things, perhaps the things that have been there all along, and I’ve spent the last five years pulling back the bandaid on those things. Slowlyunevenlytotally inconsistently. And you’ve been here with me, listening, talking back, sharing your life. Thank you.

I started this for me, a means to process my own life, but over time it became about you, too, and wondering what these words and stories could be in your life. I hope that this has been a place of rest for you. I hope you encounter beauty here, I hope you sense an invitation to think deeply and breathe in grace and hope and move forward with your life with hope as your fuel, wherever you are, whatever you do, whoever you are. You and your life, your stories, your history and your dreams are welcome here.

 

As a thank you for being part of the life of this space, I’m hosting a giveaway. I’ll send one blog subscriber the book Soulkeeping by John Ortberg in the mail wherever you are in the world. This book was a life-changing read for me, and I hope it will minister to you.

How to enter the giveaway:
1. Subscribe to this blog (if you are already subscribed, you don’t need to do anything except number 2).
2. Leave a comment, tell me that you’ve subscribed and answer this question: what would you like to read on this blog? I would love to know your answer. If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll need to click over to the blog post to leave a comment.
3. The giveaway is open until Friday, November 17, 2017.

trees blog

Several weeks ago, I was sitting on the grass watching the light shine on the Baltic Sea and the words write themselves on my heart, Get off social media, and it feels like freedom. It feels really, really good. That was July, and I deactivated Facebook a week ago and deleted Instagram and Twitter from my phone. What does it feel like in reality? I still can’t decide.

I walked into the kitchen of our AirBnB host in Helsingør, and my first thought was, I need to post a photo of this. These are the thoughts perhaps that concerned me about my social media intake and output. I could see that I wasn’t appreciating life’s little moments for the sake of appreciating them but I was looking for what to share. There’s nothing wrong with sharing, but I cannot help myself. I am an in real life sort of person. The virtual thing has never appealed to me. Blogging only works because it is a means to share words and ideas, if it wasn’t for that, I would probably quit this space, too.

So hello there, the handful of you who are reading this now that I can’t share this post on any platform. It feels good to “see” you a bit more clearly perhaps? I’m typing on Husband’s laptop by the way, and it’s a Swedish keyboard and a PC, basically I am really struggling. And apologies for some weird text things and typos.

I know that most of the posts I’ve written lately are of the more reflective, heavy nature, but I am hoping in the next weeks and maybe months that there will be more every day writing happening here, not just the serious things, but also the fun, quirky and every day stuff and perhaps a rant or two. Ok, probably more than just two. There are a few soapboxes I’ve been itching to stand on, and I will probably go ahead and do that. Likely the PC typing is going to keep me a bit shorter as well, and that is probably a good thing.

Whoever you are and whatever reason you come here to read, just know that I am thankful for you, and I am hoping to honor your presence with more words here in the weeks to come, and if you want to tell me who you are in the comments,  I promise I will say hi back.