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!


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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Confessions of a Pinterest Snob


I have a confession to make.

I am a Pinterest snob.

It’s true. I can’t deny it any longer, but I also can’t feel sorry for who I am.

The truth is- I refuse to follow men on Pinterest.

I know. Shocking, sexist, etc. It is what it is.

I just can’t bring myself to do it. I realize that Pinterest has expanded and grown and become one of the most important social media websites. Which means, I should evolve and grow along with it. But, in the beginning, it started with women. It was like a world wide secret women’s club where we could get online and share all of our favorite clothes and recipes with abandon.

With no complaining from the opposite sex.

We could pin 150 different ways to do our nails, if we wanted to. And in fact, we got more followers that way. Because it was a safe place where we could be as girly as we wanted to be and everyone else there wanted to be girly, too.

And when in real life, we talked about what we had seen on Pinterest, it was if we were speaking in code that only member of the club could understand.

I am not saying that now that Pinterest has grown that men don’t also pin super awesome things like quotes, photography, and…cars. I am just saying that I can’t get on board yet. I can’t give in to it not being about women.

One day, I am sure I will no longer be a Pinterest snob. I will repent of my ways and realize that having men on board means they can help us with all those wonderful DYI projects that need sawing or drilling or things that would mess up my newly Pinterest-ed manicure. But until then, I am living in the dream that this genius idea of a website really was a facade for a world wide secret women’s club, where boys weren’t allowed and still always asked the question, “What the heck is Pinterest?”

Leipzig- The Amazing Race


On Monday, we spent the day in Leipzig hosting the second annual Leipzig Amazing Race!

As huge Amazing Race fans, we were honored to be hosting such a prestigious event. Last year, we joined the race for the first time as racers. This year we were able to the race from the other side!

The Leipzig Amazing Race was created by the missionaries in Leipzig as a fun and creative way to orient their Let’s Start Talking teams with the city.

Tasks must be completed in various locations throughout the city such as, the train station or the post office. The idea is that the tasks would also help the newbies gain more confidence in their new surroundings. Last year, this goal was explained but the competition got a little fierce between the Leipzig missionaries! So, this year, Chris and I created a few more rules to keep the Leipzigers from completing all the tasks and giving the interns more of a chance to lead the race.

Here is an example of a clue:

Clue #9:

We have been waiting so long for “SPRING”When it comes, you’ll see. We will JUMP for joy and even sing.

Answer: Trampoline in the city

Task: Take turns jumping on the trampoline and take pictures!

 

We started out with a clue, in which they had to figure out a specific location. Once they found that location, then we gave them a task the had to be completed. Tasks included things like printing off train schedules, finding out costs of postage, and even learning a few German words! They visited places that would be important to daily life, such as the bakery or the grocery store, but we also included places that are important to the history of the city, such as Bach’s grave. Both teams were extremely competitive and ended up finishing the race with a time difference of less than a minute! And I am happy to say that the ladies took home the prize this year! It was well deserved and I do think they enjoyed every minute of their ice cream prize!

2013-06-06 17.30.00

Waiting on God


Patience.

What a lovely, ugly word. It’s a virtue. It’s a fruit of the Spirit. It’s important. And often, it is the bane of my existence.

In a world of instant coffee, news, and information, we don’t often have to wait on anything. Living in Germany, Chris and I learned the meaning of patience waiting for the next tram or bus. Ten minutes of standing there.

Just waiting.

We thought we were going to die.

Then, we got more and more used to it. We enjoyed those moments of pause in the day, when we could stop and smell the roses. (Literally. There are flowers by our tram stop.)

Little test of patience in life are sometimes troublesome, but often quickly overcome. Then, there are the big, huge, in your face tests of patience.

As many of you know, Chris and I are making quite a big, life-changing decision right now. We have sought all the advice of every person willing to give it. (There were many.) We considered all the evidence. And, then, we got on our knees and banged on the door of Heaven. We prayed our hearts out. We prayed and prayed and begged and prayed. And do you know what we heard:

Wait on Me.

Over and over again. Wait on Me.

I would start prayer like- But, God, we need an answer. But, God, this. But, God, what about that?

Every time the answer was the same- Wait on Me.

Patience. God was asking me to have patience and wait on His timing. The audacity. Doesn’t He know how valuable my time is? Doesn’t He know that I have to make plans? And even more so, there are more people involved in this decision than just me! Doesn’t  He know those people need an answer?

But in my heart, I knew. It wasn’t their decision. It wasn’t my decision. It was His decision. He knew the next step to take, when we were supposed to take it, and where it would lead us. And more importantly, He knew when He should tell us.

So, we waited. We told the voices of the world to be quiet. We told everyone that this decision was not about us, but something bigger than us. And we waited. And waited. The voices were not silent. They tried to be encouraging, then became critical, then became frustrated, then became critical again.

Then, for just a moment, we let doubt creep in. It was only for a little, tiny second.

It was enough.

“….and do not give the devil a foothold.”  Ephesians 4:27

The devil had a foothold and doubt turned into stress. Stress turned into depression. And depression infected us.

But, we kept praying. Soon, the depression lifted and can you guess what happened?

God was faithful.

We don’t have all the answers and we still don’t know for sure everything the future holds. But, He is opening doors in places that we could have never opened them ourselves. He is revealing things to us that we know are direction from Him. He is confirming our diligence in making a wise decision and waiting on His counsel. He’s coming through.

And we are looking back thinking- how could we have ever doubted?

He is so worth the wait.

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

 

This post was shared on these sites: Christian Mommy Blogger, A Wise Woman, Bible Love Notes,  Live Called, the Family Blog,and Missional Women.

 

Oklahoma, you are not alone.

As an aspiring and self-titled up and coming blogger, I felt the pressure today to give a profound response to the tragedy in Oklahoma, the state Chris and I used to call home.

It seems like today everyone is searching for the right words- words of comfort, words of hope, words of explanation. If only words could turn back time, or stop a tornado.

If only words could mend a broken heart or save a life or find a missing family member.

But they can’t. And only hours after the tragedy, words feel superficial and not enough.

When this world fails us, when everything we have known to be real and safe and true is literally shattered in a matter of minutes, what words could there possibly be?

Yet, its these words, these offerings of hope that remind us that we are human. And more importantly, that we are not alone.

Today, we turn to social media and the internet, and we see it flooded with people writing messages of hope. People who are far away and feel helpless to give aid and yet are falling on their knees in prayer. These words will be enough. And God is listening.

However, because my words are nowhere near good enough or wise enough, I offer you these words. They have offered me comfort in times of hopelessness and they are as true today, as they were 2000 years ago.

 

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart! For I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Oklahoma, you are not alone.

Image from Tumblr