Heart of Berlin

Inspirations from Kerstin Hack

Kategorie: Family

How she lives on – in memory of Debbie Jones

DebbiimGarten_Hochzeit_Prag06.02Grief comes in waves. Moments of sadness and pain interwoven with moments of sweetness and even joy and laughter as precious memories surface. One person once said: „Grief is sorting – the things that are gone forever and the things that remain!“

In the last days since I heard of the sudden death of Debbie she and her family were in my mind constantly. I was not super close to her, but we saw one another about every other year, spent time with one another, in spite of the infrequency I felt close to all of them.

Many friends posted on Facebook what she meant to them and what was lost and what a person she was. I felt almost unable to write. How can you „summarize“ a life like hers – that is like a huge tapestry of many, many colors.

So I spent time thinking about what remains of her – in her kids.

Sam, Elizabeth, Abigail, Hannah, Tamara:

I have seen you grow up from little children to the Teens and adults you now are. And while each one of you is unique I see some strands of how your mum lives on in you. And would like to share.

Samuel

When I first met you, you were in your early teens and fairly withdrawn. I do not remember you speaking a word with me for the first SamuelBestMan2_Hochzeit-_Prag06.02three years or so of knowing you. And I almost never managed to get you on a picture!

But then – one time while visiting in Berlin – you gave me your own copy of the Lord of the Rings  as a gift. I knew it was really, really special. I did feel like a queen.

Although I was quite different in lifestyle from you and your family I felt deeply accepted. And that is probably one of the biggest gift we can give to each other. And you carry that, too.

For me Debbie also was a very hands on person. She found practical solutions for problems when she saw them and she was just doing it, leading the way. And you carry that, too!

 

Elizabeth

GoCartRacetheGermanteam_Prag06.02One of your mums gifts was to make people feel special –  using little things to express that.

One time when I visited and the house in Prague was crammed full with artists, she made my own „room“ on the balcony… with a czech salt candle.

And you did join the „German team“ in the GoKart race… and of course we managed to push your dad into the tyres…

I feel that in your heart for baking and making really special food you inherited some of that gift from her – in a very tender and precious way that is just right for you.  You are wonderful and will bless many people with this gift. Your mum cared about you a lot. I remember that  once when you were in your late teenage years she once invited me for a walk to have a long time to talk – one hour of uninterrupted talking was a lot for her. She was concerned for you – longing for ways how she could best support and strengthen you. She loved you a lot.

 

Abigail AbigailJoes_Prag06-02

On the window sill of my ship there are three pieces of pottery. One sturdy feminine figure with long curly hair that you once made for me. And two pieces of pottery from your mum.

It was one of her first pieces – a little mug with a painting of grapes. And one really fine mug. I think it is one of twelve pieces. The other ones she gave to other members of the tribe like  Derek and Amy – building community with her art.

I believe you are more of an artist than you think right now. There is „stuff“ in you that is waiting to come out and to be expressed. And I guess what you will create – may it be material pieces of art or spaces to meet – will bring people together and connect them. To me you also are a person that provides  strength to  others and is a safe haven – like your mum.

Hannah

One of the thHannanachdenklich_Hochzeit_Prag06.02ings that I loved about your mum was here unique style. And I loved how she encouraged you to develop your own way of dressing and expressing who you are. I think you do that well – expressing to the outside who you are in the inside – with all the diverse parts of your personality.

I really like that about you.

Hoffnung-von Hanna Jones - 8 J.The biggest gift you once gave to me was a painting. When I was full of pain in a hard time in my life you wanted to paint something for me. I then asked you to paint a picture of hope. You asked me „How do I paint hope?“ I encouraged you to think of something yourself.

Then you painted a flower in all four seasons: budding, blooming with the sun shining on it in full force, then withering and gone.

In the winter part of your painting there was only white – with two musical notes. And You explained to me „In winter you have to sing!“  And that is my hope for you right now.

 

TamaraschläftbeiMami_Prag06-02Tamara

I do not know you so well, but I remember that your mum told me that when she was pregnant with you and felt God told her that she should call you Tamara, she was surprised, as Tamar had gone through a lot of pain and she did not want you to be named after a woman who suffered so much.

But then she realized that in spite of all the pain – and to some extend even because – she was a woman who wrote history. And that was her hope for you.  And it is my hope as well – as you experience loss so early…that in spite of it or maybe even because – you will shape your destiny.CIMG2052

And you are sturdy. One of the first memories of you is of your brother and sisters putting a hat on your face – while you were only two or three months old. You looked cool – and took it with a smile.

I guess you also carry your mums heart to let people feel they are loved. One of my sweetest memories was when you were staying with Maggie in Berlin.

We were playing run and catch and had a lot of fun. When I wanted to leave i could not find my shoes. You had hidden them – because you wanted me to stay. Your 4 year old way to say „I love you!“

 

Andrew

CIMG1991No clue how to express how much Debbie shaped your life – every since you put your eyes on this red haired amazing woman who could beat you in the 1980s version of computer games… She seemed like the haven from which you could launch out in the world and at the same time being the closed travel companion.

It will be hard, more than hard to develop and find a way on your own. But there is so much of her in you, so much that shaped both of you together that this will provide some of the strength that you need to find your own way into the future – carrying the many precious seeds that she put in your life and sowing them into the world – together with your own unique tall skinny Kiwi seeds.

 

 

Me

CIMG2045Well of course – meeting Debbie shaped me. Stretching my horizon. Introducing me to people i never met before. And helping me to expand acceptance. One time when you were all visiting me I told your parents to have a day off without kids and took you to the children Museum. What I had not expected was that TJ was in the mood of wearing her ladybug outfit and your mum said „ok!“

Well…it was me walking around with her all day through the city of Berlin – her wearing a ladybug costume. Now I laugh about it -but at that time it was quite a big stretch for me. Not caring about what people think.

JonesgirlsBerlinjuly02Or at least not enough about others peoples opinion to forbid a child to express her heart. It taught me a lot. I guess that I would not have been able to create a space like the ship without having met and been shaped by Debbie and all of you. God using you to expand and open my heart and make it a bit more relaxed…

CIMG1986Later that day after a lot of big adventures TJ fell asleep in my arms. And slept for three solid hours in my arms as we took the underground, walked to Potsdamer Platz, had a huge ice-cream (sorry, TJ, you missed something) and sat and talked with Andrew and Debbie as they joined us.

Juli 2011 Prag und Dresden 159It touched me that Debbies last Facebook entry was about sleeping. And your family ability to sleep just anywhere. I wish you that in this rough time of saying good bye and do all of the sorting of the things that remain and the things that you have to let you – there will be moments of rest, refreshment.

If you want you are always welcome on my boat – for a time of rest, joy and fellowship and to enjoy the pieces of art your mum made – both in clay and within my life.

Discovering Life – Differences and Brotherly Blessing

Was I alive today?Image029 Yes! What new thing did I learn about life? I was thinking again about what I have heard about the fundamental longings and fundamental fears of the four personality types according to the DISC assessment:

  • Dominance: Independence/To be forced
  • Inducement: Approval/To be short-changed
  • Steadiness: Security/To be left alone
  • Conscientiousness: Doing everything right/To be corrected

I find it interesting and insightful. What new thing did I learn about myself? Right now, the support and encouragement from others, both male and female, has been very helpful for me in regards to the ship project. I recently received two very encouraging emails from dear men I know. One wrote:

A ship is very heavy by itself, and it’s hard to believe that it can float and won’t sink. But the water carries it. Steady and through all the highs and lows, it shows enormous endurance and toughness. A ship must allow itself to fall into the water and to be carried. It can’t do anything about it. But you can also allow yourself to be carried by God and to continue step-by-step. I’m writing all of the exciting things along the way in a logbook for your ship, and you will experience the next few months like a journey with exciting adventures, times where it storms and fear rises, and times when the sun shines and you feel simply wonderful. You don’t know yet how long the journey will be. But every day is a discovery, even when nothing happens and you only have encounters on the ship or, LIKE NOW, you are on vacation on land and leave the ship alone. It’s waiting for you. Someday, instead of the negligible renovation trips, you will be having huge journeys of completion, seminars, and all kinds of beautiful things. But that will still be awhile. You are not alone, because you have some friends who are very close to you and are supporting your project. And the ship is on-site and floats and belongs to you (or the bank), but it’s also that way with most houses that people own. I really admire you. Your competence is growing tremendously in my eyes. The landlubber woman who is building a ship. This comes just after the man who dances with wolves.

I wrote to another man who is like a father to me, even though we are only in contact every few months, telling him that I had dreamt last night of an encounter with him. And I asked him to pray for me. He wrote back:

Your dream doesn’t surprise me. Over the last few weeks, the Spirit has encouraged me to pray for you again and again. You see: the „father’s blessing“ has been given to you even before you sent the letter. It’s good that you’ve brought this ship project to Down-to-Earth. Even Noah had to build his boat without any special knowledge and relying on the guidance of the Spirit. It’s also good for you and for the future home of many. We’ll stick around!
Be protected, you chosen of God! In loving connection,
This touched me almost to tears… it’s good to know that a father is praying for me with blessing – even before I ask him to.

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/leben-entdecken-bruederlicher-segen/#sthash.sOHd2DxH.dpuf

Discovering Life – Holes, Leaks, and Bonds

Was I alive today? Yes! Wäschewaschen...der schwarze "Rand" ist die Wallschiene. Doing laundry… the black “rim” is the wall rail. What new thing did I learn about life? A leak is only a leak if it’s under water. Until now, I thought: a hole is something through which air comes in. A leak is something through which water comes in. As of today, I know that this definition isn’t entirely correct. A hole is only a leak if it’s under the water line. So I don’t currently have a leak – which is relieving. But I have a hole through which water comes in. Not in huge amounts, but trickling… The hole is on the bottom edge of the wall rail. A wall rail is a kind of buffer that runs around the ship. It stabilizes the ship and also has the advantage of providing a little clearance when mooring. The wall rail is hollow. This means that if there is a hole anywhere above, water can accumulate somewhere in the inside of the wall rail (usually at the deepest point) and then it will, sooner or later, rust through the wall. I am currently experiencing this in one place. Which means: find the hole, dry the wall rail as much as possible (= practically impossible), and weld the broken places. I hope that it’s not too bad… What new thing did I learn about myself? I enter into deep bonds with people – which can also touch me deeply. It’s a little like the holes on the ship: where it’s open, something can flow through. And I seem to have many openings to people. I don’t know why this is, but I can let people deep into my heart. Some people have told me that they only have capacity to feel very close to one or two people. I experience that it sometimes only takes a little connection for people to find a place in my heart. Sometimes just a coaching discussion in which a person is very open about themselves, such as I experienced yesterday, and plop, they’ve fallen into my heart… and the closeness and connection that I feel remains. This is often wonderful. And sometimes also painful. Like this week. Sunday, Bernd (who has helped me so much on the ship these past months) had a stroke. I am thankful that the operation went well, but it burdens me that he is not feeling well. His right side and his speech center in the brain need healing and rejuvenation – through a miracle for the things that the doctors can’t do. Then Monday, I received news that the grandson of a beloved friend passed away. We had prayed for months for the preemie whose lungs didn’t want to develop… and although I’d never seen him – he was in the hospital since birth – I had taken the little guy into my heart… I cried and still cry when I think about how his family has to live without him now. My heart has a leak (or hole) and it’s trickling through. Even though he’s surely exploring unimaginably beautiful worlds now, without pain, beeping machines, and such. the-father_s-love And then on Friday, I received the news that Esther Lanz passed away. Esther and her husband, Manfred, are authors at Down to Earth. Manfred, after decades as a performance-oriented and driven person, suddenly made the discovery: there is a Father in heaven that loves me. That loves me. That loves ME. That loves! Without demands or expectations. One that simply loves. Then together, they further discovered, explored, and enjoyed the love of the heavenly Father. And wrote about it. Their quadro „The Father’s Love“ is one of the best sellers of our publishing company and has helped innumerable people to allow themselves experience more of God’s love. I cried when I heard that she had lost the fight against cancer. It’s just sad – for Manfred, the children, and all of the people to whom she was mother and encourager and companion. I would have liked to have had her here on Earth longer. I don’t understand. Bonds with people hurt – when the people experience pain, I sympathize… and I share their pain. This is one side. The other is that life flows through every bond… vibrant, wonderful, beautiful life! Like through the card that I received yesterday from a woman who I don’t even know in person but who is connected to me through this blog and my books and quadros. She wrote me a loving card and included some money I was to use for something that I would otherwise not allow right now… a piece of clothing, going out to eat, seeing a movie, or going to the theater. And she said that it was to remind me that God wants to tell me: I don’t just provide the most necessary things that you need for living or the ship but everything that you wish that is good for you. Another woman wrote to me: With 2 Kings 6:16: Don’t be afraid! For there are more on our side than on theirs! (Note: the quote comes from a text in which – during a siege – a wise man said this to another man who was scared to death.), I send you heart-felt blessed greetings for a good start in November. That was so great! Thank you! Life is rich – sometimes rich in pain – and often rich in treasures. – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/besser-leben/leben-entdecken-loecher-lecks-und-verbindungen/#sthash.ABl6ksPv.dpuf

Discovering Life – Now More than Ever

Image038Was I alive today?

Yes!

What new thing did I learn about life?

Nothing new, really: Life can sometimes be really strenuous and full of fighting. You win some, you lose some. Again, nothing new. And when you (seemingly) lose a fight, it“s painful. This month, I have really suffered and prayed with a friend whose grandson came into the world seriously ill. Today, he took his leave of life in this world. As I was walking earlier through the garden and praying for his parents and grandmother, I felt like God was saying to me, „The fight was not for nothing.“ I don“t know what that means. And I“m not trying to comfort anyone with cheap words. However, this was what I felt.  I really believe that it“s never for nothing to do everything that is in our power to fight for life, even when it doesn“t bring the result that we“d hoped for… that they could share a long life with others here on the Earth.

What new thing did I learn about myself?

This phase right now is really stressful. There has been illness and failure in the team. Delays. Lower back pain that has increased again in the last few days. Worry about Bernd. 1000 decisions about the ship that are building up and that intertwine. Having all of the details in mind at once is definitely not my strength – so far. During the weekend, two people with this strength blessed me that it would also develop in me. As a person created in God“s image, I possess the ability, at least rudimentarily. And it could still develop.

Nevertheless: All these things stretch me to my limits. There are phases when I find everything to be terrible, and I suffer in silence. Or aloud. And then there are moments when a switch is flipped. This happened on Sunday evening. I saw difficulties and challenges without end. And instead of being sad about them and allowing myself to become discouraged, I thought to myself: now more than ever!

Now more than ever

  • – I want to tackle this
  • – I want to believe that God is with me
  • – I want to trust that there is a way
  • – I want to hope, believe, pray
  • – I want to keep going.

Now more than ever – not because it“s easy. That“s not it. But because it“s right. And it“s worth it. Even in the face of difficulties.

Now more than ever!

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/leben-entdecken-jetzt-erst-recht/#sthash.sF26eEIb.dpuf

Discovering Life – Perceiving Deepness

2013-05-04 12.06.52– Was I alive today?

Yes!

The nicest moment was when my father (a widow) called me and asked, “Kerstin, what do I put in the salad?”
“Vinegar.”
“I did already.”
“Olive oil”
“It’s empty. Can I use sunflower oil?”
“Yes. And then you need salt and pepper.”
“Yes – can I also put in tuna and tomatoes?”
“Yes!” He has not EVER made salad for himself in his entire life. I found it nice to be able to accompany him.

– What new thing did I learn about life?

The things that move us deeply often have to do with deep experiences. Yesterday, I heard a worship song by Don Moen on YouTube. His song “God will make a way” touches me every time I hear it. At a concert, he told the story of the song. He had just found out that his sister and brother-in-law were in an automobile accident. A young man drove into the side of their car. Their youngest son died immediately and the others were seriously injured.

In his confusion, helplessness, and pain, the words of Isaiah 43 came into his mind: “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way…” God will make a way there where there is no way.

The song was born out of deepness. I sensed this every time I heard it… I am thankful now to know its story.

– What new thing did I learn about myself?

How I begin the day shapes the whole day. Yesterday morning (it was a holiday) I messed around, and for the rest of the day, I couldn’t really get into the swing of things. It wasn’t bad, I rummaged around… but it was clear to me: how I begin the day shapes the following hours.

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/tiefgang-spueren/#sthash.c1xlrF6I.dpuf

Discovering Life – Questions for God

IMG_0237 – Was I alive today? Yes! I had prayed that God would send me a senior that had time and skills and the desire to help me. God must have thought, „Well, if that’s all…“ and He sent me a nice senior who has much building experience, likes boats, and has time. He has already helped me a few times and will continue on board. On Thursday evening he told me and another woman, who had also helped on board, while riding back together in a car (with seat-heating, which was wonderful for my stressed back) the story of how he met and fell in love with his second wife (he was a widower). It was simply wonderful to hear such a love story out of the mouth of a man. – What new thing did I learn about life? That people have very different questions for life and for God. After getting out of the car, the other woman said to me, „Sometimes I wonder why God gives some people a spouse twice and some like us not even once.“ I was surprised. That question hadn’t come into my head at all. The next day, I was making a fruit salad. Again with hands that were oozing with mango juice. I am never successful with portioning mangos in a „civilized“ way. I ask myself, „Why did God put such a delicious thing like mango in such an impractical package?“ In short: The questions that people ask themselves and God are apparently very diverse. – What new thing did I learn about myself? Apparently, feeling jealous of happy couples is no longer an issue for me. For one, because I know that with most portions of happiness comes a good portion of work. But perhaps also because during a phase where I often struggled with jealousy when I saw happy couples, I learned how to bless them (like this unknown pair on the photo). Just say a short prayer for them that God will strengthen, preserve, and bless them and their relationship. Hopefully, this will be good for them – it’s certainly good for me. – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/besser-leben/leben-entdecken-fragen-an-gott/#sthash.HoJSoxy7.dpuf

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