Posts tagged gratitude

How did my dreams come true? (Part 1)

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I had many dreams in my life and I never stopped having dreams.

Here are some of my dreams I had: I wanted to become a teacher, a fulltime youth worker, a stewardess and a life coach.

Which dream came true in my life? All – so far!

When I look back I think: how in the world did I manage to do all these things? I could have never done it out of my own strenght and just by myself! There were many people along the way who helped and supported me and who believed in me! And the most important thing: God was in there! He guided me through all the processes. When you reached the dream: it is the best thing ever! But the steps to reaching the dream aren’t that easy and there is a lot of discouragement along the way as well. It is very hard work and you also have to say NO to many things. You just don’t have time anymore to talk endless hours to your friends or spend the weekends just enjoying yourself. It is hard work. BUT: it is worth it!

I am very thankful when I look back! The things I did and experienced in my life so far couln’t have happened without the support of my lovely family! They really helped me to live out my dream.

My parents supported and encouraged me. They said: if you really know that this is what God wants you to do: go for it! They believed in me and helped me a lot. We were always very busy – our whole family (my parents and my three sisters): caring for education and working hard. My mum stayed at home and supported us in a tremendous way. She is really amazing and not selfish at all! She was always happy when we were happy. She abdicated from so many things she could have done by herself, but instead she supported us wherever she could with her whole strength! Also my dad! As a leader of a mission he had so much going on and so much work to do. But he always spent time with us even if he had to work then in the night preparing for bible studies, sermons and many other things.

What I want to say with this. My dreams came true with the incredible help of my parents and also my sisters. The support of a loving family or loving people who believe in you is so important in reaching a dream

I can honestly say: my mum really stepped back so that her kids can live out their dreams that they can live out their God given potential. She encouraged us and was always there for us and cared for us at home. And when I look back now I think: how in the world did she do this? I am so selfish compared to her.

After 13 years of school in the german school system I decided to do a “practical year” before my studies. My parents supported me strongly in this and said that it would be such a good opportunity to spend one year doing practical work.

So I went to a bible school where people studied theology or do a practical year like I did. This community is called “Lebenszentrum Adelshofen”.

The Lebenszentrum is an interdenominational, evangelical centre of Christian learning and living that serves the Christian Church. It is an order of 22 celibatarian sisters and 9 celibatarian brothers who run the Lebenszentrum as institution together with several married and single staff members.

“Through our prayer and worship times and daily sharing of our lives with students and guests we wish to exemplify Christian love and fellowship and provide an environment where Christians can grow in love and knowledge of God.

As groups and teams of the Lebenszentrum we reach out to share the Gospel and help churches in their ministry to people in need” (http://www.lza.de/english.htm)

What did I do there for one year? I attended a one year discipleship program for young christians 18-24 years ( I was 19 years at this time).

It involved the following:

Share life:

build relationships, talk with each other, be active, , music, play, celebrate together, be creative, take responsibilty, solve conflicts, sports, be „on the way“

Work together

discover your gifts, train your skills, learn new things, work practical: working on site, in the garden, in the kitchen, at the reception, in the service, repair cars…

Encounter God

in your personal time with God, devotion time with others, worship, in community, in answer to prayer, on the move with Jesus, e.g. in the youth group, on the street, in the houses for asylum seekers …….

Grow in your personality

live out discipleship in the daily life, one day a week lesson on different topics, e.g. your calling, communication and conflicts, discover your gifts, prepare bible studies, attend a class in the theological seminar, learing to play guitar, singing in the choir…

I worked one year mainly in the laundry: washing clothes for all the 130 people and ironing clothes (blouses, skirts and pants for the community). I think I broke the record in ironing a blouse the fastest =) Sometimes I also had the opportunity to play piano and sing with a group of people. They had big meetings once in a while with around 1000 people and a program with music, plays and preaching sermons.

This was probably the best year I ever had in my life! I learned so many things, I met so many people, I grew in my faith!

What was unique in this community: they prayed about everything! If food was missing, they prayed that God will provide it. If there was any problem, they prayed for it! Big or small – they prayed for everything and knew that God will listen and will answer in his own way!

Every Saturday we had an hour with the whole community together: 130 people. We met in the chapel in the house. This “hour” was called: hour of praise&gratitude.

In this hour we sang songs, we prayed and we told each other what God has done during the week, how he blessed us, how he answered prayers, what we experienced with HIM during the week.

It was an amazing “hour” of praise to God! Nothing was too small not be not told. It was not the “big” miracles that happened (although there were definitely some), but it was more the “small” things in the daily life, e.g. a computer didn’t work and there was no money to fix it and a person prayed for it and the computer worked again or God send a person out of the blue to fix it, or there was a big meeting coming up with 1000 people and they needed potatoes for a salad and God send a farmer to give them potatoes. They never told people what they needed, instead they asked God – their provider for everything. They had such a trust in God! I am so glad I learned already in my family how to trust in the LORD and also how to pray also for little things and during this year I practised it even more. They were such a positive example for me these peopel in the community. Simply amazing!

During this practical year we had this weekly “hour of praise&gratitude” – this was the one of the highlights during the week for everyone. We heard so many stories how God helped in the daily life and how he worked in our lives. To see that we don’t serve a “dead” God, but a living God who cares for the “little” and the “big” things of his children. And also to know: he has the overview over everything! It is not our way – how we want it, but HIS way!

It is so good not to concentrate on our problems, but to concentrate on our great God, who cares for us and loves us! Shouldn’t we give thanks to him more often?

I know that I for sure should! I really try to practise it more and more in my daily life!

 ??? Did you have a dream and this dream came true??? How???

In my next posts I will keep on writing about how my dreams came true!

This practical year at this christian community was a beautiful preparation for my whole life! I am very very thankful for this year and for all the people who invested in me during this time! God bless them richly for this! They invest their time in young people that they can live out their dreams and purpose for the glory of God

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Gratitude

colouryourdream purpose goal dream gratitude India Delhi

Today in the morning I thought about my life in general. And once I read a book and made some notes, which I read again this morning. Reading these notes motivate me a lot and I do read them once in a while to remember what is important for me in my personal life.

A few years ago I wrote down some values I have for my life and one is GRATITUDE. Sometimes I am better in it than other days. But I want to remind myself of the good things in my life, and there are a LOT of things in my life, for which I am very grateful for.

More than a year ago I started to write a gratitude journal each evening and I wrote down 5 things I am grateful for this day. And the next morning I read these 5 things again and thanked God for it. It is so good to focus on the good things in our life! I want to start this journal again, cause I did it only a short period of time.

Because of my work I travel a lot and I also fly to India once in a while. There I see a strong contrast of rich and poor. My heart is always very heavy, when I see the conditions many people live in – living in the streets or in a slum.

Once I walked out of the hotel I stayed in and I took my nice summer leather shoes to put a new sole on it. I walked about 5 minutes and there I saw a very old man sitting on the street with a lot of shoes – repairing them. So I thought I ask him. He said I should leave the shoes for a few hours, so that he could repair them. So I  left the shoes there. Later when I told somebody this story, the person shook his head saying: wow, you really left the shoes there? So good you got them back! And only then I realized, that I am a very trusting person, not thinking bad of people. Probably this was the first time ever that he got to repair expensive shoes like mine. He could have sold them or somebody could have stolen them in the streets where he was sitting. But NO!

This nice old man put such a beautiful nice sole on my shoes – even better then the ones before (even than the original italian sole!). I still have these shoes and I always think back on this experience!

When I gave the man the money, he was so grateful. He deserved much more then he wanted – so I gave him of course more (cause it was cheap for me anyways). He had such a smile on his face when I left. I never forget how he was sitting there in the heat, on the ground with all these shoes – and in the midst of all these shoes, my fancy italian ones.

colouryourdream purpose dream goal gratitude India Delhi

??? What are the things you are grateful for???

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The gift

This story touched me and I thought of people who live their lives with unforgiveness and also they never unwrap the gift God has given them. It’s a tragic, but true story. Sometimes we think something of a person which is not true: like the son thought his dad “only” gives him the bible – he was so dissappointed in him that he didn’t even open the gift properly – the son just assumed something, what was not true. This story taught me not to assume things but to really look “into” the situation and in people’s heart. And also to be grateful for everything – especially the peopel I have in my life. This story makes me sad, thinking that the son never had the chance again to say thanks to his Dad.

Morning Story and Dilbert

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college.

For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car.

Finally, on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible.

Angrily, he raised his voice at his father and said, “With all your money, you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the holy book.

Many years passed…

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