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tisdag 15 maj 2018

Fresh start and sour grapes

Dear friends!
I'm not sure if I'm back again but I just wanted to add a few lines about recent events.
I hope you are all doing fine, winter is behind us and spring is attacking from all angels.
I started my new work in February and am slowly getting acquainted with the dos and donts and the amount of people constantly flowing around me.
As I said, it's a school where you can get an education even if you are an adult with adult children. It's a school where people come to shape up grades or just finish the schoolyears they didn't finish before, because life got in the way.
To our school people come that has been working many years and finally made the decision to learn the trade properly. It's also a school for newcomers that needs to learn swedish language and culture in order to get established in their new country.I help out in those classes.
AROUND the school you have a peaceful village and a great deal of forest, birch and pine and others.  Streams with old stonebridges are everywhere and there are plenty of steep hills so getting around by bike would probably fit nicely for one particular Austrian friend.....
Here I have my place as schoolchaplain but I also teach a little.

School has got a chapel and since the school don't have any classes for Swedish church anymore, the chapel is often empty. However, I've arranged a theme for Valentine's day and one for Easter, using some lovely dolls that were made especially for the biblical drama. I'll show you later how I used them!
Otherwise, life is slowly getting brighter and the dark days are not over but have become endurance, at least some of them. There is hope. I think you have been praying for us, I know for sure that some of you have and I'm truly grateful.
That's it for this time, God bless you and enjoy this spring and the treasures that goes with it!
We got lost in the woods on our outing day with school

fredag 12 januari 2018

Breaking Hiatus? Not really.

Dear friends in the blogosphere!!

I have been away for some months now and it was of great need.  I have missed you all and the relatable and fascinating posts you make.
Life turned into misery for us, and so I thought I didnt have the strenght to follow up with reading and comments . As you know, I have my faith and rely on it, but even if I also find my friends here very supportive and openminded, I just had to leave.
During autumn and this strange season called winter ( you cant  sleighride on puddles can you!)
weve experienced one of the worst periods ever. Its been important for me to create new reasons for spending time with my girls, since teenagers tend to retreat in troublesome times.
Also my husband and I try to find time to breathe, walking miles as often as possible.
We are beginning to see light in the tunnel!!!
So dont worry, we are not burdened beyond capacity.

Now for something else!  I am taking up another position, earlier in autumn I applied for job in the post college school we have some miles from here. I dont know if that concept is familiar to you, but its a school where you catch up with your studies, upgrade where you failed, try something new.
There is also shorter and longer courses for seniors. Language for the newcommers.  Specially featured classes for people with social disorders and other handicap.
To this kind of school there is often a chaplain to go with the school chapel. So the chaplainship and the teaching will be my new life. Church of Sweden arrange some shorter weekend class for volonteers, these will be my responsibility . 
This means meeting a constant flow of people, mostly younger but also seniors.
I felt it time for a change since there was things in life that didnt seem changeable right now. Change what you can, wait for the rest.  Ive longed to teach for years, now the opening was there.

They asked if I was use to comunicating via internet. If I could imagine having teachings, conversations and councelling that way also.
It was a new thought. But this autumn I have as I said spent more time with my girls and in order to do that I joined an internet community where they both spend much time. That world have been closed to me, apart from this blog, and Ive been very unsupportive and non-understanding.

Two things emerged from this experience:
We have lots of things to talk about and debate on , common interests and experience.
Second, I have had the opportunity to make contact with young people all over the world.
Being older, a parent in their midst, they have been a little awkvard at first, but now I have a constant flow of chats going on. I read their blogs and comment on things I find interesting or alarming.
They dont know that I am a minister, but they still come for private chats, seeking help and advice.
I have learned so much about how young people think, act, speak, interact and express themselves.
I have learned to be more creative since many of them also share their skills in editing and painting.

Some of you were a bit troubled by my Korean blog earlier this autumn. I kept thinking that I ought to be troubled too, but then it dawned on me:
Sharing this with my girls and challenging myself to meet teenagers and young adults on internet, have actually become my great advantage! I didnt know this summer that I would be teaching this spring. But the Lord knew and prepared me for it.  Its not idle time, its tough getting through sometimes and with quite a few I have very deep conversations around faith, bible and God.

We just have to face the fact that many people withdraw from actual contact with others, partly or totally. The school where I will now work, is a place for these. Many come here with social anxiety, bad experience from school, work or social life. Their time in this school will let them grow and mature, develop new skills and hopefully be ready to take on life in a brighter mood.

I know, she takes a hiatus from her blog in order to be more active on internet???? Aha.......?
Not quite, but partly true.
As soon as I have established myself on the school and eased down a bit, I will probably be back more often. Maybe not very active, but still here.
I wish for you a blessed and bright start of this new year.  So much to bring despair, even more to bring hope. The Lord is present in everything we do and if its in our hearts to do something we believe deeply in, he will bless it. Nothing is outside of his care.

This summer water was running critically low, as you can see, the streams are now filled!!

måndag 2 oktober 2017

I'm letting autumn pass - see you in wintertime!

Dear friends on this blog!

I am taking a longer hiatus now, some of you have probably seen it coming, since I haven't been very active as lately. It bothers me, since you are all so nice to me.
So many things happens in my own family, and this blog and my new friends here, have been a safe haven and a place to share thoughts and feelings. Also considering the events going on in the world, it has been a place for good conversation and wise posts from all over and it fills me with joy having all this, all of you to read about and talk to.

I would probably like to write about recent events in the world, my heart is bleeding for the people in Las Vegas, for all those losing their homes in the many hurricanes , for brothers and sisters in South Sudan, for starvation and mindless use of nuclear weapon, but I don't feel up to it.  I do pray, though.
So I will take a break, hopefully returning when and if things are changing for the better in my own life, there seem to be possibilities for it and we keep praying and hoping but even when you recover from a rough period, you can feel drained .
Ahead of me lies the opportunities for brighter days, I never loose faith, but sometimes focus.

Those of you who have my e-mail are welcome to use it, I'd be happy to hear from you.
Here, however, I will stay quiet and be occupied elsewhere.
God Bless you all, I'll be seing you when things look brighter, thank you for all the sharing so far!
You will be in my prayers.
Sometimes this feeling is very strong, but like Jacob, I find good use of it!

måndag 11 september 2017

Autumn is my time

As I am sitting here writing, youngest daughter is getting ready for school.
She is late, everything is on the edge but she is working on it.
I am told to keep out of the way and be quiet, so I am,  and she made it!
I can remember my own schooldays, the fears, the bullying, the comments and the groups of people, belonging for some reason, and others, not belonging, for some other reason.  

In her new school, there is no mention of such, so we can hopefully meet autumn with ease and peace.
Plums are gone, apples are calling!!

So, now what? I have a couple of hours before I'm heading for a meeting. Laundry?
Catching up with the news about the hurricane? I hope to God that you are out of that region and praying for all those who are not!
There is so much to carry in prayer right now, only Father himself can keep track. One does feel very small in front of all these disasters and trust must be built up again. Trust in the good will, the helping hand, the mercy and love. Trust also that we are not alone.

Last week, I had to say a heartbreaking goodbye to one of the young men that came here almost three years ago. He has become a good friend and converted while being here, I baptized him this summer. But Migration turned him down and now he is back in unsafety and fear, on his own.  Swedish migration is turning and tossing, one month giving one answer, the next one another. Most unclear seem to be the situation in Afghanistan. I say the situation is directly lethal for the lonecommers. Sending these young people back, often orphants or with heavily diminished family ties, is sending them in the arms of warfare. 

They are scared off their wits some of them, this is very hard. And we can't help all, more are coming , some are not honest, some have hidden agendas, there are riots and attacks daily, without firm support and a thourough education in rules and social patterns, and lots of time to talk and cry, they go heywire. 15 randomly chosen teenage boys in a house, waiting waiting, sometimes given place in school, sometimes not, it's nothing I complain about, just wishing it could be different. Many of them work hard to fit in, get grades, make friends. Many find their way to church.
But now he is gone, my dear friend and I hope to see him again. Several of our volonteers where there, floods of tears were shed. 

Oliver had many keen visitors, I wonder what they talked about?
And last, what else is typical of this season? Yup, markets!! We went to one in a village some ten miles from here. Its an applecounty, and they also grow barley and brew beer.
We weren't prepared for the thick clay and chose wrong shoes....but here are some pictures.
Along with the market, the local church was of course present, you could watch a childrens performance, some local singing talents, some award being given to a local apple producer, eat spicy pork with fried apples, applepie, chocolate wheel, you name it!! And Oh, the WASPS!!!!!!!

About 150 tents, with everything than be grown, jammed, mustered or made into cheese and sausages. Bread and pastry, knittings, carved knifes and a great amount of baskets.
They still make these....

Wintertime its a skiing facility!!

Olivers behind showed his working tools

And so we got home again with a basket full of goodies and a sunny day to remember.

torsdag 31 augusti 2017

Slowly returning to life as we knew it

Small boys are working again
Now we can see that things are beginning to take shape and some shapes we even recognize as normal. Nothing has been normal for the last 14 months or so, we need normal.
On the other hand, what is normal?? I guess I mean a kind of status where life is almost predictable, possible to handle and control, bearable and at peace.
I know that is not possible for many people, Turkey is going heywire with their new policy of keeping western tourists out, Giant baby in North Korea keeps tossing his mortal toys over Japan,  Texas has turned into one gigantic water reservoir making normal life impossible.
IS keep beheading people and filling up the streets with the remains in front of the children, how can life ever get normal again?

Big boys are working again!!
Still, as far as our family goes, we need days where hope is springing so that we can share that feeling with those in greater need than we are.
Daughter began new school, every day is a struggle but there is hope. She is so tired and everything effects her, but she does her very best and wants to go every day.
Grandfathers apartment is ready for the market and the tiresome and sad sortering out and throwing is soon over. Photo albums and souvenirs, china and linen, all in a persons life story. And those before him.

Life will now go on without him, you get used to that, being without people. Some "withouts" hurt more than others. Some remain vivid more than others.  You have to settle with the footprints and impacts a person leaves in your heart and head. The rest is up to the good Lord to handle.

Underneath the pinetree

From next week the election period in our Church of Sweden will take place. Every fourth year , you have to decide on political or non political candidates, church council, deciding together with vicar, another council handling money on local basis, choosing people to represent us in dioces. Last time we voted for king and country there was a major break through for a nationalistic party called Sweden Democrats. They want immigration to stop, Sweden to be swedish, less sharing and more total integration. Many of them constantly get into trouble, behaving badly on internet or outdoors.  Same as every where else in Europe. They have also made their way in to church, and have their own list. So the strong lead they held in the local elections three years ago, will maybe give them a strong position in the church council or so we fear. 
Deserted and unwanted?

Participation is very low, around 20%, the leadership of the local parish or the church is not the most interesting issue.  
Our church rests on Lutheran Evangelical Theology and democratic standards, we all pay taxes to afford keeping churches and other buildings, paying salery to ministers, musicians, pedagogues and gardeners.  Being a member means paying tax to church. You pay according to income,  the elected council decides what to do with the money and where the efforts must land. Mostly, but not always, they are devoted and interested parishioners with a deep and longterm relationship to the church and life in it.  Sometimes they are just politicians wanting to learn something new. 

Per-Anders cut out the names of boats long gone and put them on the light house walls, there are at least 30.
Saturday my husbands starts his BM, birthday month, right Freda?? Celebration takes place in our local harbour, one restaurant is open almost all year long,  table by the window towards the sea is booked. Seaweed is slowly dying away, leaving that strong smell, geese are already starting to practise their journey south, the marina has started to look deserted, ducklings have grown up, fishingboats are heading out again for cod. We will celebrate birthday and pray for normal days for the world, normal meaning being able to breathe and hope. 
Next year the foot that used to recide here will be at least one size bigger.. 
We never get any nuts, birds and squirrels beats us to it!!
Wish you all a blessed and sweetsmelling start of september!!

torsdag 24 augusti 2017

Daring to breathe!!

Late summer greetings to you all!!

Summer evenings are more quiet now, a bit more chilly too.
I know I haven't been really active lately, not here in the blogosphere anyway.  In every other aspect I have kept myself extremly busy.  As you may have noticed I have tried a new thing:

Comment moderation.    I started to get some strange comments and also visitors from a sight I now know have commercial settings, so I thought I'd try this. In this post I will add some nice views of the slowly changing world of late summer, as well as an important message.

Last week I had the strangest visitor scale, 47 from South Korea!!! That was really unexpected and very nice also, I've had visitors from Vietnam, Indonesia and Kambodja too. Every time someone new come to visit, I really hope there will be a comment, but mostly there is none. 

Some of you have loads of visitors and loads of comments, but you are on the other hand very very active and good at keeping things up with new, interesting posts almost every day.
In the beginning, I wrote one post every day, after the surgery and while I was at home, mending.  Lately, like the last 6 months or so, more perhaps, I have been slow in writing and slow in visiting and commenting this precious bunch of people I have come across, I am sorry for this, really!!!
I am not sure this will improve much in the months to come, but I will try. I'm extremly tired and the one thing holding is up is the conviction that we are not abandoned and never was, the Lord has kept us safe and shared everything with us.  Good friends have been supportive, although we have been absent socially. I'll try to explain.

This past year and a half has been rather harsh for us. One of our beautiful and lovely girls is autistic and it became more and more obvious that school couldn't support her enough. On top of that, you know how children and teenagers can be, rather mean when someone is different. That goes for adults as well, actually.  Turning teenager and moving up to higher grades and new, much bigger school with less help, was too much.  In short, she stayed home. Since october last year.

I'm not going to say anything about how life has been, but this week she started anew.  New school, new town, new thinking around children with diagnose and a lot of support, space, time and focus in a quiet, lovely setting.  Now she can catch up and go forward. She is an intelligent and creative person, she only needs someone that understand her slightly different way of approaching and understanding things. We hold our breath, pray hard and hope strongly that this school will be right for her. We are grateful that it even exist schools of this kind, Sweden has all too few, better off in both UK and USA . 
I must strongly emphasise this:  People with a diagnose or disorder of some kind, need to be taken seriously. We keep hearing about the lack of money and resources, that we must make do with what we can get. True. The world is starving , people are dying every second, war and terror needs attention. But letting every child fulfill his och her potential can eventually turn this negative rush into something better. Wherever they are born!

Summerguests have left and there is room for a quiet pike fishing tour!!

I believe that a person who is met with respect and love will grow and shine and contribute to family, friends and society. Asking teachers what it takes to give these children the help they need they say that all it takes is knowledge, patience, love and time. And support for the family.

This last sunday the topic was Jesus taking a child as an example. He is not only speaking of children, he is speaking of the focus and loves goal: get strong by allowing weakness, see to the weak first and love will grow stronger than evil.  Gods perspective goes from weak to strong, Jesus does his battle the hard way, and by doing so, there is hope for the small and weak, the sinners, like me, and the outcasts.  The reward that is hidden in doing good sometimes stays hidden for a long time, but it will flourish and the Kingdom will come.  Not always will we see if the good deed payed off, but it always does .  
The world today needs so much love and so much faith, so many tokens of grace and mercy, so many unexpected acts of goodness.  These actions comes from all over, from believers and nonbelievers, people of other religions. What binds this together is Gods will to show what love does to us when we live it, and that love starts from Him and Him alone. But we can reflect it.

So, children like our daughter,  or any person that needs just a little more support than the next, must be given a chance to make a difference too, with the skills and abilities unique for every person. When the big question is based on terror , our answer must be love and faith.
And so I close here, daughter came home and had things to tell us!   God bless you!
Apples are growing, soon they will be ready for harvest!!!!