The theme “Growing in Trust” is still occupying me. A central question that is on my mind is, “For what can I trust?” I don’t mean the foundational questions: on what or on whom I found my trust. That is, at least in theory, relatively clear. I am much more occupied with the question, “For which concrete things or behaviors of God can I hope on the basis of the claims of the Bible?” I am still sorting this out. A long time ago, I thought I could trust that everything would work out the way I thought it would. I was that naive, at least theoretically, but at least I’m not anymore. For one, God never promises what the process will look like. Once, God promised David that he was going to become king. The “small print” about how much character building, difficulties, and challenges would come before that, David painfully discovered over the next years and decades, surely with a ton of frustration. If I correctly understood God, He allowed the idea of building this ship to grow within me. This doesn’t mean that everything will go smoothly. My current level of knowledge: I can not trust that everything will go smoothly, but I can trust that God is with me and also wants to and will give me advice. Photo “Eistee” (Ice Tea) by Nuno Soares – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/vertrauen-wofuer-kann-ich-vertrauen/#sthash.igNqcjPd.dpuf
Month: January 2014
As I was walking home through the snow today, I asked myself what the most beautiful moment of the day was… and couldn’t decide. – Perhaps it was the moment when I woke up this morning and realized that I wasn’t feeling nauseous anymore – the evening before, I upset my stomach by eating food that was too fatty. – Perhaps it was the moment when an executive told me that he stumbled across the quadro “Learning to Forgive” through an article in ZEIT online… and through this, the whole association discovered me (How did ZEIT online find us? We didn’t do it!) – Perhaps it was the moments when I saw that around 30 pastors and responsible employees were intensively listening to me, taking notes, and taking in what I was saying about the treasures that I’ve discovered through coaching and psychological concepts. And how I could see through practical exercises for individual concepts how much they were innerly moved. – Perhaps it was the mid-day walk through the snow. – Perhaps it was the moment when the director found out that I thought it was a shame that there was no snowball fight and suggested sending me off with a snowball fight… – Perhaps it was the moments when the man who drove me an hour to the next train station answered my request, “Tell me something about yourself!” with a brief description of his career and then a detailed explanation of the seven months before the death of his wife – the most intense phase of their marriage. – Perhaps it was the time when I was sitting in the train and was reading a novel for relaxation in which a man struggled to rekindle the love between himself and his wife after a 30 year marriage that had fallen asleep – and while I read, a man in the next section played accordion… a live concert for me… – Perhaps it was the moment after I got out of the train in Berlin when I discovered that my cell phone was gone and a train conductor allowed me (although I didn’t have the appropriate ticket) to ride to the main station in the hopes of finding my previous train (it was actually still there) and tried to help me through his cellphone connections and network. And I – while he was searching – discovered the phone in the wrong pocket in my bag. – Perhaps it was the moment when I stopped bymy neighbor’s with whom I often pray, and I told her that everything went well and she rejoiced with me… – Or perhaps it’s the moment now… when, after a long, good day in which I gave and received much, I fall thankful and happy and dog-tired into bed… and look forward to sleeping like a rock. – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/der-schoenste-moment/#sthash.mi5vSfoF.dpuf
This morning as I stood in the kitchen still half-asleep, it suddenly came to me: I like God. Of course I honor and obey Him – He’s God. That’s obvious! But as I stood there and considered whether I wanted orange juice or coffee or both, it suddenly hit me: I like God.
- I like His creativity, the range of colors with which He makes plants and flowers – I like His creative power.
- I also like His approachableness, His warmth, and nearness.
- I like His brightness, His expression.
- I like the depths of His heart.
- I like that He talks to and with me.
- I like that He hears me.
- I like that He knows me and still wants to discover me.
- I like that He enjoys taking care of me.
- I like Him.
- I really like Him.
Sometimes I wish He was different. I wish He would act more often like I imagine. But when I imagine that I had a husband who was the way I sometimes wish God would be, I’m horror-struck. I would soon be seeing Him like a wimp who does everything that I say. Terrible! I currently have three Portuguese men on board who are helping me. Sometimes, when I tell them: do this or that this way, they say clearly, “No!” usually with good reason: because it’s better another way. Sometimes it’s just because they prefer to do things differently. This is also good and motivated by the wish to support me and help me in the best ways! And I don’t have to carry any heavy bags when they are near: they enjoy taking the burden from me. In looking at this, it’s clear to me: I even like God when He is sometimes “macho,” when He insists on His own independence and doesn’t let me tell Him what to do – at least not about how He should do things, and nevertheless acts out of love for me.
- I like God!
– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/im-vertrauen-wachsen-ich-mag-gott/#sthash.WN9DAD0y.dpuf
Did I trust today? Yes! Trusting God – during and despite disappointment in humans During the first phase of renovation, I worked together with a shipbuilder who took responsibility for the work. He worked on many areas properly and well, but unfortunately not on all. In some areas, this is not so tragic: when new lacquer is laid over old lacquer on the ceiling and both come off together when someone hits their head against it, it’s annoying. However, when in the underwater areas of the ship rusty spots aren’t cleaned or insulated, it’s not just annoying, it’s life-threatening. Every rust spot is a source of danger if not treated. So my prayer in the last few months was that God would make me aware of all of the places that need to be reworked. I discovered a spot with black core rust in the seminar room in the keel of the ship and another further above. Yesterday, someone helped me lay insulation. He didn’t get it stuck well in the corner, and I pulled the insulation up to show him how to do it properly. Suddenly, I didn’t just have the insulation in my hand but also a palm-sized piece of lacquer and rust. I almost cried. It is so frustrating when I can’t trust the work that someone else did (The black areas on the picture to the left are rust spots. The big black areas to the right are black insulation). Here it is – only 5 months old – lacquer already flaking. This morning as I was talking with God about it, it became clear to me: God is answering my prayer. I had asked Him to show me the areas that aren’t sound. The area yesterday was really a random find… normally rust hides well under white lacquer. Yes, I am sad that there are bad spots on the ship despite the performed and paid work, but I am thankful that we’ve already discovered some of the most critical spots. God has obviously answered my prayer. I am also thankful for the people who help me. Last week, my cousin derusted and oil-sealed about 15 square meters that according to my estimation and the opinions of multiple shipbuilders whom I asked hadn’t been worked on at all. Now, friends from Portugal are painting it again with primer, and then we can put on the insulation. The whole thing cost me three extra weeks of time and was very frustrating, but better safe than sorry. In short: I am sad that the situation is the way it is and thankful that God answered my prayers and thankful for the support of other people! I ask my God to comfort me about my experienced harm… and am excited to see what He comes up with! – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/im-vertrauen-wachsen-traurige-gebetserhoerung/#sthash.CcHN4Gs4.dpuf
Did I trust today? Yes! Above all, I trusted that I have enough time for taking breaks – despite or perhaps because I am currently in the middle of a writing marathon. A first milestone has been reached: the manuscript for the inspirational booklet about Coco Chanel is finished. I enjoyed being preoccupied with this fascinating woman. The next weeks will bring the following: an article about God’s promises, the quadro Lean and Fit, a lecture: Nonviolent Communication, another lecture: Spirituality and Psychology. Then two more inspirational booklets: Friendship and Grief. Although I enjoy writing and do so quickly, this is still a lot of work. Oh yea, I’m building a ship on the side which means all kinds of organizational work. The Foundations for Trust I recently asked myself what the foundations for my trust in God are. The basics for me are these four things:
- – God is good and trustworthy in His essence.
- – God is powerful and can shape and change situations (even if He doesn’t always do so).
- – God is relational. He want’s to be close to me.
- – God is task-oriented. He wants to cause good things in this world.
Upon these cornerstones, I can anchor my trust:
- Because God is good, I can trust that He is also good to me.
- Because He is powerful, I can trust that He can also act for me.
- Because He is close to me, I can feel secure.
- Because He wants to affect things in the world, I can trust that He will help me in the tasks with which He has entrusted me.
This doesn’t mean that I expect everything in life to go smoothly. That would be a delusion. God is powerful, but He limits His power within the boundaries of the personal responsibility of people and the expectation of being invited to act (Christians call this invitation “prayer”). – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/im-vertrauen-wachsen-die-basis-fuer-vertrauen/#sthash.dyKesEZQ.dpuf
Over the last few months, I often asked myself the question: was I alive today? I feel like this is not going to be my theme for the next few months. I am alive, and I am aware of life (sometimes more, sometimes less). I notice an inherent liveliness and am pleased. This year, it is important to me to grow in trust. I would like to trust God more, trust myself more, and trust other people more (as appropriate). For me, appropriate means: according to how well I know people in general and this person in particular. Some people, whom I know very well and have known for a long time, I trust very much. For others, trust is still growing. First, I have to discover in which areas I can and cannot trust them. What have I learned today about trust? It is lovely and calming when I can trust people. On New Year’s Eve, I prayed for the new year with a very good friend. For more than 15 years, I have known her as a woman who has a very intimate relationship with God and is sensitive to hearing Him speak. We asked God to tell us what is important to Him for the different areas of my life (publishing company, ship, health) and then discussed what we each heard internally. About health, she said that the keyword “salt bath” came to mind. She couldn’t figure out what it meant, but I knew. I know that stress, both internal as well as “only” physical (like through building a ship), overacidificates the muscles, and natural sea salt or rock salt brings balance and regeneration. For Christmas, I (not completely unselfishly) gave my neighbor and friend, Sonja, a two-for-the-price-of-one coupon book. There wasn’t a coupon for a salt bath in the book, but there was one for Saltero: a massage and a time of relaxation in a completely salt-coated grotto. After a while there, it was as if I were at the sea: my airways are clear again, I can breathe more freely and deeply, my back is wonderfully relaxed, hours later my skin in still pleasantly lightly salty, and I am wonderfully relaxed. It wasn’t exactly a salt bath, but it was pretty close. Without the impulse from my friend, I surely wouldn’t have gone, and now I am very glad. Trust was good to me. And: I would like to go there again… – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/vertrauen-2014/#sthash.EayO7Uve.dpuf