Our Goodbye Party

In case you haven’t picked up on it before, a very important part of German culture is throwing parties! One of the most important of those parties is a goodbye party. As with typical German culture, you throw this party yourself and it is a way to honor all of the people in your life and have one last “hurrah” together! Since our two years has sadly come to an end, this was a very important event for us. Over the last two years, there have been so many people here that have supported us, and we wanted to make this part something to show them how much they meant to us! To me, of course, what makes something really special is photographs. To Germans, something really special is an afternoon grilling together. So, we combined the two. We invited everyone to the church for an afternoon of grilling. Then, we sifted through all of our photos for the last 2 years and printed off only about 5% of them. But, it was a small way to remind people of all the good times that we had together and think about all of the wonderful experiences we were able to have during these two years. We also wrote a note to our guests thanking them for their love, support, and friendship. We had a great time and some great food and it was a great way to celebrate the last two years with some very special people! Take a look:

a blog about faith, hope, and love by Chris and Krista at chrisandkrista.org on German culture and a goodbye party in Chemnitz, Germany

a blog about faith, hope, and love by Chris and Krista at chrisandkrista.org on German culture and a goodbye party in Chemnitz, Germany

a blog about faith, hope, and love by Chris and Krista at chrisandkrista.org on German culture and a goodbye party in Chemnitz, Germany

a blog about faith, hope, and love by Chris and Krista at chrisandkrista.org on German culture and a goodbye party in Chemnitz, Germany

a blog about faith, hope, and love by Chris and Krista at chrisandkrista.org on German culture and a goodbye party in Chemnitz, Germany

a blog about faith, hope, and love by Chris and Krista at chrisandkrista.org on German culture and a goodbye party in Chemnitz, Germany

a blog about faith, hope, and love by Chris and Krista at chrisandkrista.org on German culture and a goodbye party in Chemnitz, Germany

a blog about faith, hope, and love by Chris and Krista at chrisandkrista.org on German culture and a goodbye party in Chemnitz, Germany

Special thanks to Meagan Wallace for the beautiful photographs! 😀

 

Book Review: Bread and Wine + We’re featured!

This week, I was featured over at Ren’s Family Blog! Thanks so much for featuring my post about 5 Books You Should Read Immediately!

In honor of being featured, I decided it was about time to put up my review of one of those books that you should be reading immediately. And of course, that book is Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. If you have been talking to me at all in the past few weeks, you have heard about this book.

A book review of Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist written by Krista Cannon on chrisandkrista.org

 Image provided by shaunaniequist.com

Bread and Wine is “a love letter to life around the table.” It is Shauna’s memoir of how her love for food is something that has throughout her life brought people together, helped her family to develop precious friendships and taught them how to serve the people they love. Its broken up in to short stories that are memories of how food and gathering around the table has truly affected her life. And as a bonus every story comes with a fantastic recipe like this Blueberry Crisp:

Blueberry Crisp from Shauna Niequist's new book Bread and Wine in a book review written by Krista Cannon on chrisandkrista.org

In the beginning of Bread and Wine, Shauna writes about a common conversation between musicians who sit around discussing songs they love wishing they were their own. I couldn’t help but think that’s exactly how I feel about Bread and Wine. This book is the book that I wish I had written and it is one I will be reading over and over again. Shauna’s writing is beautiful, emotional and captivates you from page one like a conversation with a good friend over coffee. Although the book is filled with real life stories about her struggles and problems, its also filled with romantic stories of deep friendships, cooking clubs, and of course, the ultimate message, of coming together around the table.

The title Bread and Wine comes from the most important table gathering, which is when we gather around the communion table and take the bread and wine in remembrance of Christ. This is an importance message throughout the book reminding us not only of our weakness as humans and need for food, as we need Christ, but also the opposite. We, as humans, cannot only live on food but we thrive on the Word of God, our relationship with Him and our relationship with others. And that is ultimately what gathering around the table is about.  So, now pick up your copy of Bread and Wine and follow Shauna’s advice:

This is what I want you to do: I want you to tell someone you love them, and dinner’s at six. I want you to throw open your front door and welcome the people you love into the inevitable mess with hugs and laughter.

Gather the people you love around your table and feed them with love and honesty and creativity, because there will be a day when it all falls apart.

These are things I can’t change. Not one of them. Can’t fix, can’t heal, can’t put the broken pieces back together. But what I can do is offer myself, wholehearted and present, to walk with the people I love through the fear and the mess. That’s all any of us can do. That’s what we’re here for.

 

Who are you going to invite to gather around your table?

 

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Hello Monday \\ Fifteenth of July

Hello, Monday!

Hello, a newly discovered online print shop, Society 6 . Artists upload their prints, and Society 6 does the rest. How cool is that? Its very similar to Etsy, but without the need for a super printer or skills in T-shirt making or even framing. You can purchase (or sell) prints as prints, framed prints, stretched canvases, T-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, and even iPod covers! Here is  pretty little print I found, perfect for today:

brooke weeber, hello art, society 6, art prints, spring, Chris and Krista, Hello Mondays

Art by Brooke Weeber

Check it out and see what gems you can find. Stay tuned, as I may even be opening up my own print shop on Society 6!

Hello, feeling loved, from all our friends that came out for our Abschiedsfeier (Goodbye Party). Look for a post on that coming soon 🙂

Hello, feeling excited, for lots of visitors this week!!

Hello, disappointment that my camera is broken in the last month that we are here.

Hello, thankfulness that it is under warranty and will cost us nothing to fix!

nikon, camera, photography, hello mondays, Chris and Krista

Another Print from Society 6 by Bianca Green

Hello, hope and joy in the Lord.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13

German Culture: Birthdays


 

In honor of my birthday yesterday, I thought I would tell you a little bit about what to do when its yours or someone else’s birthday in Germany. So, here are a couple of do’s and don’t of birthdays in Germany.

1. Do not, under any circumstances, wish someone a “Happy Birthday” before the actual date of their birth.

Not only is this considered to be rude, but it is just plain bad luck. At the beginning (and even now sometimes), I made this faux paux quite often. I knew I wouldn’t see that person on their actual birthday, so I would say it a couple days early when I did see them. Very un-German of me. You can, however, acknowledge that it will be someone’s birthday in the next fews days, which I found to be a polite way of acknowledging their birthday, but not bringing them any bad luck!

2. Do throw yourself a birthday party, especially if it is considered a “big” birthday!

The birthday honoree is the also the host. So, whether it is a big birthday like 25, 40, 50, or 80, or just an invitation out to dinner, everything is provided by the Geburtstagskind (Birthday kid)! This is especially good to remember, as an American, on any day of the week. If you ask someone to have dinner with you at a restaurant, that means the tab is on you! We have also made that mistake a couple of times, but thankfully had understanding friends that had been around lots of Americans 😉

Last year, we were able to celebrate two big birthdays with Chris’ family in Germany. His uncle turned 50 and his grandfather turned 80. Although both birthdays were really different, they both reminded me of something like a wedding reception in America. It was a big party at a venue with plenty of catered food, and for the “young folk”, there was music and dancing. Each party lasted for hours and included toasts from friends and speeches about special memories of that person. It was such a cool experience for us, and especially special for me, because Chris’ grandfather asked me to be the photographer at his birthday party! It was a great bonding moment for us 🙂

Hello, Birthday \\ Eighth of July

Hello, Birthday! (which also happens to be my favorite day of the year!)

Hello, the number 26! You look like you are going to be a great year!

Hello, lots of loving birthday cards!

Hello, deep reflections of life that always come at times of beginning and ending. This time is especially good for that with so much change happening in our lives.

Hello, candelight dinner with my husband in a fancy hotel in Chemnitz, a way to celebrate not only my birthday but our time in this city!

Chemnitz, Chris and Krista, Candlight Dinner, Birthday Surprise

Hello, love! And new photos to edit from a super fun proposal I got to witness (and photograph) this weekend!

Hello, cookbook deadline!

Hello, bittersweet. We will be spending the week making preparations for our goodbye party this weekend!

More birthday posts to come this week!


More than Enough

washinglaundry

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Washing loads of clothes for two people means that I have more than enough clothing to wear and that I have someone I share my life with.

Ironing means I have somewhere nice to go.

Dusting means I live indoors and not on the streets.

Vacuuming means I have a floor to vacuum and a way to keep it clean.

Scrubbing the shower and toilets means I have running, hot water.

Meal planning means that I have so much, I am able to choose what I want to eat.

Cooking three meals a day means I have enough to eat.

Changing sheets means I have a bed to sleep in and even an extra to share.

Checking email means I have internet access, which is access to friends, family, and more information than ever before.

Those routine, arduous, boring tasks are signs that we are living in God’s abundance.

Life really is all about perspective.

Just another lesson from Gideon.

 What could you add to this list?

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Hello, Monday // First of July

Every Monday (almost), Lisa Leonard does this super cute link up called Hello, Monday. I thought it would be fun to say hello on Monday, too 🙂

So here’s what we are saying hello to this Monday:

Hello July, my birthday month! Yes, in our house, you get to celebrate your birthday for a whole month! We’re happy to be alive 😉

Hello breakfast of Blueberry Peach Crisp from one of my new favorite books, Bread and Wine.

Blueberry Crisp by Shauna Niequist from Bread and Wine

Hello Sunshine and a beautiful high of 70F/21C. You’ve been hiding behind all this cold weather and rain. Thanks for finally finding us again.

Hello Day off and relaxing with my hubby.

Hello mix of exhaustion and joy from spending so much time with new and old friends in Leipzig and Chemnitz this weekend! 60 people at baseball, 50 people at church in Chemnitz, and 26 people at church in Leipzig! God is moving in Germany 🙂

Hello new book for our super secret best friends book wife. Can’t wait to start reading The Paris Wife!

Hello deadline for my first article for A Woman Becoming!

What are you saying hello to this morning?

5 Books to Read Immediately


My grandfather often says to me, “Stop whatever you are doing and read this book right now.” I love discussing books with him and taking his advice on the next good read. He always has great insight and good suggestions. So, here is my list of suggestions of 5 books that you stop whatever you are doing and read right away!

1. Ordering Your Private World by Gordon Macdonald

If you read this book first, then you will have more time to read all the other books. Macdonald gives us not only a call to discipline, but practical ways to   implement that discipline. By becoming a disciplined person and caring for our inner world, we are better able to handle the stresses and unexpected problems of the outer world. This practical plan will not only inspire you, but also hold you accountable to be the kind of Christ follower that no longer makes excuses. By the way, he says that reading for life is a requirement and should be scheduled into your daily routine!

2. Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist

After I am finished reading this book, then I will give a complete review on it on the blog. But I don’t need to be finished to know that this book is worth every single page. Shauna creates what she calls a food memoir. Every story centers around food or being around the table and through these stories she discovers life, love, and faith and then she gives you a recipe to go with it! Every recipe is delicious and every story of full of emotional enlightenment!

3. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

I buy this book any chance I get and immediately give it away. I could read this book over and over, but I do like to give other books a chance every now and then. It is the beautiful story of our redemption and God’s love for us told in the form of historical fiction and the voice of a woman. My heart healed while reading this book.

 

4. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

I always tell anyone asking that they shouldn’t read this book unless they want to be challenged. I suppose I could say that about all of Chan’s books. He isn’t afraid to speak the truth and does it in a way that makes you want to get up and start living the way Christ intended. But, he also doesn’t shy away from holding us accountable, particularly in the chapter about lukewarm Christians. After you read this book, you won’t want to settle for lukewarm anymore.

5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

If you don’t read this book right this second, it will be okay. But this is absolutely one of my favorite books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It is written in the form of letters and tells the story of an author looking for her next book. She receives a letter from the small island of Guernsey and unexpectedly learns about a people and a history that was seemingly before hidden. Its beautiful and romantic, but the real beauty of this story is that it was the author’s dream in life to publish a book. Unfortunately, she passed away before this book was completed. So, her daughter finished writing it for her and completed her dream!

What’s your list of books that we should read right away!?

 

 

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Kindertag (Kid’s Day)


These specific flags in this color scheme were put up in the GDR times to signify there was a party going on!!

 

Since we had some many wonderful visitors from the U.S. this summer, including some former HIM Workers, we decided to host a mini-VBS or Kindertag! It was for one day and we learned to story of Jonah. We were happy to get to use the ideas from the VBS we participated in last year in Bremen.

The kids arrived and participated in some great singing!

April and Karen leading singing. We sang mostly in German and a little in English for Heidi!

They were split up into two groups- the older kids and the younger kids.

The younger kids were the first ones to get to meet Jonah and hear his story firsthand! They even got to see what it was like to sit in the belly of a whale! What an experience 🙂

Jonah is sad because the kids said his house stunk and they didn’t want to come in 🙁 It did smell like raw fish!

Then the kids had a skit teaching them the story of Jonah led by some of church members, some of our youth, and our EFG team!

Following the skit, the kids were split up again into groups participating in games and of course, crafts!

You know, that I couldn’t resist face painting!

It seems like some other people couldn’t resist either…

 

We had 12 kids in all, and even a few visitors! The kids had a great time studying God’s Word and bonding with one another. And as it always happens, we set out to teach the children, but they end up teaching us even more. We were reminded of the simplicity of following God and being careful to do His will. It’s as simple as that!

 

I played too hard today!

 

 

A Response to the Bikini Question: The responsibility of modesty


Photos from Rey Swimwear

Okay ladies! Swimsuit season is in full swing. Here in Germany…it honestly just started about two days ago. And of course, every year comes up the topic of the bikini. This year, Jessica Rey of Rey Swimwear has everyone buzzing about the Evolution of the Bikini.

I, personally, have never worn a bikini. A tankini, of course, but no bikinis for me. This is not a religious conviction or because I am such a good girl. It is pure insecurity about my body and doing whatever it takes to cover it up! But, I hope, that even without this insecurity I would still be so convicted to be modest.

I love this article from Made In His Image on the subject and I’d like to expand on it.

I would like specifically to speak to some of the comments on this article and many others like it. It seems that when the issue of modesty comes up, many people jump immediately on the defense, saying that lines of reasoning that require women to be modest and think about the way they dress are the same lines of thinking that lead us to say that scantily clad women had it coming when they were raped.

Woah. Hold it right there.

That is a big step from wanting to encourage modesty in all women to women who dress immodestly deserve what they get.

We are missing the point.

The point is that the only person in this entire world that you can control is yourself.

End of story. You can help, you can influence, you can support others. But the only person you have power over is you.

In other words, it’s not your responsibility what a rapist does, or what other cultural norms are or what men do, or what other women do. It’s your responsibility what you do.

You have the right to do whatever you want to do. You are free. You are free to talk, dress, eat, decide, live in whatever way you see fit.

But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
1 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV)

Meaning: Freedom doesn’t absolve you from responsibility to your fellow human beings.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:13 (ESV)

So, when we are talking about the issue of modesty, who are you serving in the conversation? By jumping on the defense are you serving yourself or are you taking the time to seriously ask yourself how you can serve others in everything you do- including what you wear?

Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
1 Corinthians 8:13 (ESV)

Check out this video by Rey Swimwear creator Jessica Rey for more thoughts on the issue.

I love her message and I love her goals with her swimwear line. Here are a couple of my favorites and up on the top of my wishlist!

Photo by Rey Swimwear

Photo by Rey Swimwear

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