Dearest blog readers!
Our apartment is growing more and more into "ours" and at the same time our rental contract expires end of September and we have to think about the future. Are we going to stay in this apartment or are we moving again?
Based on the photos you can see that the hard white walls got some pops of color. I bought several art prints from an artist that I really admire (www.gracelaced.com). The most of the prints are from a 9-piece series based on the bible verse from the letter to the Galatians, chapter 5, verses 22 and 23a.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."
With those words and pictures I wanted to fill our apartment and our hearts. They also shall serve as a conversation starter for visitors and bless us in our own spiritual journey.
Art in the kitchen
patience, faithfulness, peace
Art in the living and dining room
For me personally our living room corner is finished.
"Live a quiet life and work with your hands." (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
The print on the right wall is from the same artist as the fruit of the spirit prints (www.gracelaced.com). I've fallen in love with that special one and wanted to surround myself with it. The picture really speaks to me as I love flowers and Mason Jars and in combination with the text it especially touches my soul.
I think that's what I long for right now. To live a quiet life, in balance with myself, my neighbor and with God and to create things with my hands. Of course I am capable of doing more than to create things with my hands, but I am still in a phase in my life where it is rewarding for me to create things and be content about it and share it with others (as one of the those things is this blog).
"I'm sorry for what I said when I was hangry."
This print I got from the Internet and printed it out - most affordable art eeever!!! :-)
How much truth lays in this play on words with the words "hungry" and "angry"?!
Do you know that feeling? You are having a horrible mood because you are actually hungry? I have that quite often and since Daniel and I are married and live together often Daniel is being attacked by me and my hangryness (I am a little ashamed to tell you all, but that's how it is). But he knows where it comes from and is kind enough to point it out to me - "Kati, you really should eat something right now! You are hangry again." And eventually I will eat with a lot of nagging (sorry, but when I am hangry I can't be reasonable). After my blood sugar is back to normal I am able to think straight again and can apologize to Daniel.
In the dining room corner the fruit of the spirit prints continue. The pretty flowers on the table (on both tables actually) are from Daniel for my birthday (well, right now they are all in flower-heaven or on a dump somewhere in New York).
love, kindness, joy, self-control, gentleness and goodness.
Fruit of the Spirit.... what's that?
Maybe you think "Why fruit of the spirit and not fruits of the spirit?! Those are nine things you are talking about Kati, not just one!"
Well, yes - you are right and that's a good question to ask! ;-)
The answer is a simple one: All of those attributes together are the fruit. They all come in a package and effect each other.
When you accept Jesus in your life and the Holy Spirit is taking room in you, all of those fantastic fruit-pieces will be his gift for you! Yes ALL - not just one that you pick, but the whole thing. Because it's a gift from God and nothing you can make yourself. Youmight try, but that's not the same thing!
Here is an example from my own life:
I am struggling with self-control a lot. Why? You might wonder because I am quite the working bee usually and can't sit around doing nothing for a long time. I am having my neat to-do-lists every day and every week and probably already planned out for the coming year, as I am a planner. And self-control and forcing myself to get stuff done is a thing I like and I am good in. So you could say:
"Gee, Kati you are already having the self-control - yay! Check it off your list"
But it's not like this at all! Yes I am having self-control and I am doing a zillion things a day, but after doing that the whole day I am not having a drop of love, kindness or joy in the end of the day and poor Daniel is the one who feels it when he comes home from work. Imagine this together with the hangryness ...
The self-control I put on during the day isn't the self-control that the Spirit of God gives as a fruit. It was just myself trying to make it all work, because of whatever is pushing me from the inside (because of years of therapy and self-reflection I could tell you the whys, but there's not room in this blog post for this).
The self-control that God gives will help me to work and at the same time to keep my own needs and the needs of others in mind. This could mean to realize when it's time to take a break and to treat myself with love and see my limits and stop comparing myself to others. I believe that a lot of you might know the bible verse "Love your neighbor as yourself." You can find that in different parts of the bible (Leviticus 19:18; Galatians 5:14) and also Jesus said it in an even stronger and more challenging way (John 13:34). So in my case that would mean to stop working ahead of time so that I can regain my own balance (love myself) and when Daniel comes home I am not exhausted and hangry, but able to show him kindness and love.
A piece of cake?
I don't know if there is anybody out there who would say "Gee, that's a piece of cake! Easily done!" At least I can't say that. I really tried on my own and I realized that I am not capable of doing it. I need God's help in this and I can't do it on my own. Folks, and I was just talking about the self-control - there are eight other fruit-pieces that I need help with as well! I am not perfect and I know that, but at the same time I am a perfectionist and that's a hard lesson for me. Everybody will come to his or her limits in such a learning process, but I think the perfectionists are falling deeper (if you wanna climb sooo high to reach the sky, your fall will be a deeper one as well).
Grab the hand!
So there's God's hand stretched out to me and heck yes I am going to grab it! Why wouldn't I?! I need his hand that helps me - the hand that guides me, strengthens me, comforts me and also challenges me to face my fears. Life in Germany wasn't easy and life in New York City is a story incomparable to our old life. The obstacles are higher and harder, but HIS hand is there as well and I am going to grab it! Because I have to! I just have to! Sometimes every other day is enough and there are other days - like today - where I do it every other hour.
Shall we move again?
This is the big question - "Shall we move again?"
I want to ask you for your prayers for the coming days and weeks. Tonight Daniel and I are going to talk to our landlord about our rental contract. We know that we can't pay a rental increase. Truth is that we are already stretched to the maximum. We are able to pay all the bills and have healthy food and once in a while make nice things, but we aren't able to built up a safety buffer for health insurance bills, a future car or money for pension. We wanted to ask our landlord if he can imagine to decrease the monthly rent, but we have no clue how he would react to such a suggestion.
Another thought is to move to another neighborhood. To find another apartment that is way lower in rent and as well with a shorter commute to Daniels work place. I am sure that not commuting three hours a day would be a relief for Daniel. But this thought is creating a lot of "oh no's" in me:
"Oh no! We have to pack everything again and start from scratch in a new place."
"Oh no! I am probably not able to go to my church anymore... now that I've made friends there."
The hand is still there
So I have to remind myself that God's outstretched hand is still there! We aren't alone in this, although I might feel alone and helpless like a little child.
Dearest friends please pray for us - for wisdom that comes from God. I realize that our own wisdom is pretty limited and we need godly guidance in this situation. Here's a song that helps me in those moments "Cast your cares on the Lord." Maybe it comforts you as well. click
I send you all my love!
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