Det handler ikke om dig

I søndags var det min tur til at tale i min kirke. Onsdag aften – kun få dage inden jeg skulle træde frem foran forsamlingen – blev jeg overbevist om, at jeg skulle tale om noget helt andet, end det jeg i månedsvis havde forberedt mig på. Nemlig Nehemias.

I det gamle testamente er det beskrevet, hvordan Nehemias hjalp med at genopbygge Jerusalems bymur efter jøderne kom tilbage fra eksil i Babylon.

Hvad der talte stærkt til mig var, at ALLE hjalp til med at bygge muren. Det var ikke kun håndværkerne, som havde særlige evner inden for byggeri, der hjalp til, men alle! Både mænd, kvinder, præster, politikere, lokale og købmænd. Selvom byggeri ikke var deres force lagde de deres daglige opgaver fra sig og byggede i samlet flok muren, fordi det var det, der var vigtigt lige der. De lagde deres egen passion og styrke til side for en stund, for at arbejde om det fælles mål – at genoprette byen og folket.

Nogle gange skal vi idag gøre det samme. Nogle gange er vores egne interesser og vores selvrealisering ikke det vigtigste. Nogle gange er der højere formål, som gør, at vi for en tid må sætte os selv til side, så vi sammen kan fokusere på det, der er vigtigt.

Lyt til min tale gennem linket herunder, hvis du vil høre, hvad jeg delte mere i dybden.

http://lyngbyfrikirke.dk/resource/gudstjeneste-v-karoline-jessen/

Nehemias - the stirring

The Stirring Church – Nehemiah

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3 ting jeg lærte af ikke at spise sukker i en måned

sukkerfri

Forhåbentligt jinxer jeg ikke de sidste dage af min sukkerfri måned ved allerede at konkludere på den anden sidste dag, men med semesterstart i morgen er det det perfekte tidspunkt at gøre status nu.

Som jeg har skrevet om tidligere har jeg i Januar ikke rørt sukker. Dvs. jeg har ikke spist slik og kage, men jeg har på ingen måde været fanatisk, så juice osv er ok. For mig har det bare handlet om ikke at spise alle de usunde mellemmåltider, der egentlig er helt overflødige og unødvendige og lære mig selv, at hygge og afslapning ikke hænger uløseligt sammen med chokolade.

Det har været en overraskende let måned uden mange cravings og med kun 2 dage, hvor jeg meget bevidst og af forskellige årsager valgte at spise en begrænset mængde alligevel. Med mig fra måneden tager jeg et par værdifulde erfaringer, som jeg gerne vil dele:

1. Er slankekure hysteri?

Punkt nr. 1 er måske nærmere en overvejelse end en lektie. Jeg har undgået slik og kage, men ellers har jeg spist helt almindeligt. Det indebærer bl.a. pizza og den store buffet på arbejdet. Alligevel har jeg i skrivende stund tabt mig 2,5 kg. Jeg kan ikke lade være med at overveje om de fleste slankekure og diæter er for fanatiske med alle reglerne og forbudte fødevarer, hivs jeg ved kun at udelade slik og kage kan tabe mig. Det kan godt være at slankekurene sætter turbo på hastigheden, men det her er unægteligt en lettere og simplere måde at gøre det på.

2. Hygge er ikke lig med chokolade

Jeg har på intet tidspunkt – modsat min forventning – følt, at jeg gik glip af noget ved ikke at spise sukker. Måske en smule, da jeg var en weekend i Paris  og det blev en udflugt at finde LaDurées macarons (billedet). Ellers har jeg ikke oplevet det som en mangel på nogen måde og jeg har ikke haft mindre glæde af de sociale begivenheder ved ikke at spise det, der blev serveret.

3. Det fysiske ubehag er bare ikke det værd

Da jeg igår var til fødselsdag og valgte at tage en begrænset mængde af det der blev serveret mærkede jeg lynhurtigt effekten af sukker i min krop. Jeg er ikke fan. Hjertet begyndte at galoppere og jeg havde bare en generel utilpas følelse i kroppen. Tidligere skulle der langt mere til før jeg fik den følelse, men nu mærkede jeg den så tydeligt, fordi det er så længe siden sidst. Jeg konkluderede hurtigt, at det bare ikke er det værd. SÅ godt smager chokolade heller ikke (siger hende, der er chokoldeafhængig).

Nu er min måned ved at være slut og næste fase – og udfordring – bliver at lære at skabe balance i sukkerforholdet. Jeg vil nemlig ikke afskære mig selv fra det resten af mit liv, men kunsten er at kunne sige “ét stykke” og ikke hver dag. Held og lykke til mig.

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Sukkerfri januar

Det er idag d. 11. januar og jeg har IKKE rørt sukker endnu! Egentlig har det været langt lettere end jeg troede. Jeg har ikke haft de vilde cravings, der plejer at tvinge mig i knæ eller haft behov for de store badutspring for at holde mine tanker optaget, så jeg ikke skulle få lyst til sukker. Måske fordi jeg midt i flytning har nok at tænke på i forvejen.

Forleden var det dog ved at gå galt. Jeg gik fredeligt gennem Magasin med en veninde, da en sød og smilende Summerbirdekspedient kommer, nærmest svævende, mod os med et glas fyldt med uskyldige nougatovertrukne hasselnødder. Hun fanger en med sin store tang og byder mig en smagsprøve på deres helt særlige vintervariant, som jeg bare MÅ prøve. Jeg rækker høfligt hånden frem – hvem kan stå for det smil – og tager imod den lille bid af himlen, idet jeg opdager, at jeg jo ikke må!

I nærmest et skrig råber jeg NEJ NEJ NEJ NEJ NEJ, kaster mig mod min veninde og skynder mig at overdrage den bedrageriske nød til hendes hånd med ordene JEG MÅ IKKE! Ekspedienten får et lille chock og træder et par skridt tilbage i forskrækkelse over min pludselige reaktion, mens min veninde ser til og forsøger at holde sin latter tilbage. Hun undskylder pænt overfor ekspedienten og forklarer, at jeg ikke må spise sukker i januar. Forstående, og fra sikker afstand inde i butikken, trækker ekspedienten på smilebåndet og undskylder den fristelse hun har udsat mig for. Med et grin og en forsikring om, at jeg ikke er skør, bevæger min veninde og jeg os hjem og jeg glæder mig over, at endnu en dag er gået uden sukker.

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Have you decided on your winter strategy yet?

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Winter strategy? What on earth is she talking about, you may think. But I have a point, I promise.

The other day I was walking, and as I looked down, I saw what I’ve pictured above. And then it hit me. WINTER IS COMING!

As if this recurring event somehow snuck up on me without a warning and took me completely by surprise. Of course I know, that winter is coming – it’s only natural. But I’ve been so busy lately, that I’ve almost forgotten to notice, that summer is indeed over and soon, we’re facing scarves and winter coats. And that’s when I realised, that I hadn’t yet planned my strategy for the winter.

Over the past couple of years I’ve noticed, that I get highly affected by the weather and the lack of sunlight during winter. If I just let things take its course I can very easily end up very depressed until the sun comes out again – not a very desirable place to be.

If I on the other hand am conscious about the effects, I can create a strategy to not end up in winter depression mode. So to me, having a strategy is crucial. Here’s what I’ll try to do this year.

I WILL

  1. Refuse to let the weather define my mood. I will declare that to myself every time I feel the effect of the rain in a negative way. (I know it sounds powerless, but I have experienced how powerful it is to even just tell myself, that I will not let it affect me.)
  2. Make sure to spend time outside every day and get as much of the natural sunlight as I can.
  3. Stay active and go on runs or to the gym (this will be  hard one for sure!)
  4. Eat my vitamin C and D (C for the immune system and D for the lack of sunlight)
  5. Try my best to look for the small joys and see the beauty even in a gloomy day.
  6. Prioritise time with the people I love
  7. Prioritise time with God!

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All it takes is a little courage

I used to have a teacher who always said that the pen is a tool of the devil, because it doesn’t forgive your mistakes. If that is so, I guess tattoos are his preferred instrument of choice since it is so permanent. And yet, I want one.

I find the commitment to something that permanent and irreversible a beautiful and much too rare act.

In spite of what my teacher said, it’s almost as if it’s a metaphor for God’s love. No matter what, it is always there and you cannot get away from it no matter what you do or what you believe.

Some might say that I’m stretching the deeper meaning of tattoos a bit, but I do believe that that is how God’s love works and tattoos, at least to me, serve a purpose of illustrating that.

With that being said, I’m super scared of getting one. Because after all, what if I do regret it? Or what if it doesn’t turn out the way I pictured it? So to this day all I have been doing is finding inspiration for the day I decide to muster enough courage to actually go through with it.

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Finally free!!

FINALLY

For some reason my exams fell unnaturally late this year, so while watching everyone else going on trips to the south or going off on music festival, I was still sweating over philosophy of science. But now I’m free!! What will I do with that freedom?

I will…

  1. Sleep ‘till I wake up
  2. Eat strawberries shamelessly
  3. Read books by my own choice
  4. Forget everything I learned about philosophy of science
  5. Listen to music loudly
  6. Go to bed too late
  7. Start watching Game of Thrones
  8. Empty wine bottles with friends
  9. Have BBQ’s
  10. Go to the beach and try to catch up on my friends’ tans
  11. Travel
  12. Complain about the heat
  13. Complain about the cold
  14. Maybe go for a run or two
  15. Discover new cafés
  16. Also, work (but I won’t think too much about that)
  17. Say goodbye to good friends
  18. Meet new friends
  19. Prepare for my bachelor’s degree
  20. Visit my parents
  21. Get fat eating ice cream
  22. Regret getting fat eating ice cream
  23. Slim down again
  24. Witness friends getting married both in Denmark and England
  25. Play my guitar
  26. Walk barefoot whenever I can
  27. Try not to plan too much
  28. Keep an open mind and see what every new day brings

What will you be doing this summer?

(Oh, and look at that beautiful plant I found at NoaNoa today! I just had to snap a photo of it)

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What are you reading this summer?

Last year I finished about 20 books – this year? 1! What the heck?

I’ve been so bad at finding the time to read even though I really love it. I’ve even started on several ones, but haven’t been able to finish them because so many things happened around me. But this summer, that will change. There’s nothing better than lying in the sun with a book, or bringing it to the beach. So here’s what I’ll be reading, and a few suggestions for you as well.

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1. All the light we cannot see

Anthony Doerr

This is one of the ones that I have been trying to read for what feels like forever. I really like the way it’s telling the story of WW2 from a completely new perspective. I haven’t gotten far enough into it to know if I love it though. Can’t wait to find out.

 

 

25522. On the road

Jack Kerouac

I bought this book a while back because I was following a rating challenge. One of the books I had to read should be by an author with the same initials as me. Surprisingly few authors begin with the letter K. But then I remembered Jack Kerouac and he’s even a well respected author, so there was o doubt in my mind. I have no idea what the book is about though.

 

 

768653. Good to great

Jim Collins

Sometimes I like to read something completely different. Though I study Danish language and literature business really interest me as well. So this book, about the difference between so-so businesses and amazing businesses, will be a good learning read for me.

 

 

 

26574. To kill a mockingbird

Harper Lee

Last year, the sequel to this classic was released and created a massive stir about the glorification of the characters. Atticus Finch suddenly didn’t seem like the role model that he had always been. What people had failed to understand was, that the sequel was actually written before the first book, and thus the characters weren’t fully developed yet. Anyways, To kill a mockingbird will forever be one of my favourite books, so even if you’ve read it before, give it a re-read this summer and remember why we love it so much.

 

68675. Atonement

Ian McEwan

This too, is one of my favourites! It even made me cry when I read it. McEwan tells a beautiful and tragic love story in such a compelling way and with intelligent techniques that you can’t put the book down once you’ve started. Maybe I should read this one again…

 

 

 

7651546. Strengthen yourself in the Lord

Bill Johnson

Like Good to great this is a non-fiction. Written by Pastor Bill Johnson it has been one of my favourite books to read. With great insights, he teaches you how to find your strength in God, and no where else. It has been a massive help for me in different seasons, and may even deserve a re-read this summer.

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juni 27, 2016 · 11:30

Has offence become a trend?

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A year and a half ago, I held a book in my hands trying to decide whether to put it on display on my book shelf with my favourites and classics, or under my bed with the rest of my collection. On one hand, it was a classic that I was proud to have read, but on the other hand, I didn’t like the values it portrayed. It ended up under my bed. It didn’t deserve to be on display because of it’s views on life.

Now, a year and a half later, I wonder if I made the right choice.

It may sound like a triviality and not of any importance whether or not a book should be displayed, but it’s not really about the book or what it stood for; it’s about why I didn’t want it on display in the first place.

Listen, not to agree, but to understand

So why was that? Because it offended me. I chose to deal with my offence by avoiding the source and thereby actually not dealing with it at all. I thought that if I didn’t agree with what the book said, then it didn’t add value to my life.

My flaw was that in stead of trying to understand the views, I tried to prove them wrong and that’s how I ended up offended in stead of enriched.

Are we creating a culture of offence?

I recently read an article about Generation Snowflake making the case, that young women are too fragile and easily offended. Claire Fox, head of a think tank called Institute of Ideas had experienced the inability in young women at the British universities to cope with offence. She had been shocked when she stated that “rape wasn’t necessarily the worst thing a woman could experience” to which the female audience broke into tears and gasps of “You can’t say that.”

I agree, it’s an offensive statement, but the reaction was surprising both to her when she experienced it, and to me when I read about it.

Why didn’t they fight back with valid arguments and start a debate, or ask inquisitive questions learning what might have made her say that?

In stead, they chose offence, tying them to the chair of their current state of knowledge and insight. This could have been a massive learning experience, but they let offence limit them. I am not saying that they should end up agreeing with Fox, or Fox with them, but they should at least be able to handle the challenge of being exposed to different thinking and let it nuance their views.

Let’s stop hating on social media

A while back, my facebook feed and the news media were filled with articles about the negative effect of social media on young women. The theory was, that girls who spend time on social media end up depressed and unhappy with their lives because they compare themselves to the polished lives portrayed on those platforms. Never showing the boring days, or the fights with the boyfriend, social media creates an unreachable standard  for what life should look like to be happy.

At first I bought into that idea, but then I realised that maybe the same thing is happening here as with the offensive statements. I started reflecting on my own use of social media.

A collection of good memories

I’m definitely guilty of only showing the good moments on my instagram account. But that’s not with the intention of creating a fake illusion of my life but rather to preserve those memories – big or small – so that I can always scroll back and be reminded of them – I don’t need assistance remembering the bad ones.

I have definitely been inclined to comparing myself to others’ instagram feeds evaluating my own life with their photos as my measuring scale. But at the same time I have also found myself being inspired, motivated, lifted up, or maybe just aesthetically pleased from looking at the photos of the people I follow.

Whenever I’ve found myself comparing myself to others on social media platforms it has been because I didn’t process what I saw. I didn’t use my head, but rather indulged in my feelings, or maybe even offence from their supposedly perfect lives.

The easy solution would be to demonise social media for promoting perfection, and therefore shield our young women from it. But would that be the right thing to do?

What are we cultivating?

What if we in stead of being afraid of what offends us, were curious to seek understanding and let it challenge us?

What if, in stead of wrapping our young women in cotton so that they never get bruised, we teach them how to deal with controversies.

What if we raised powerful women who could be critical and who didn’t get offended when they were exposed to someting different from themselves? Women who could see polished lives on instagram and not compare themselves because they know what kind of platform instagram is – and most important of all who they are themselves? Women who display the book they disagree with on the book shelf in stead of hiding it under the bed.

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10 little things that make me happy

Sometimes happiness is found in the grandiose, in the spectacular, in the big milestones of life; but sometimes happiness is found in the smallest things in your every day life. If you don’t look for them, you might miss them, but if you do, you’ll be surprised at how many good things are happening right at this time.

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To me, the little things are the most important ones, so here are 10 of them:

  1. Text-messages from someone I haven’t talked to for a long time
  2. A piece of really good music (like this, or this, or this)
  3. The sound of clicking the mouse on my computer (I know this one is strange, but I really mean it. I love that sound.)
  4. Waking up hearing the birds sing outside, or children laugh passing by my window
  5. Dinner with the family at my parents’ house
  6. The smell of a new book (I just started “All the light we cannot see“. Am I in for a treat?)
  7. A perfectly timed joke
  8. Slow mornings, paying extra attention to the breakfast (who knew you could get blue eggs??)
  9. Being really productive and crossing a billion things off of my to-do list
  10. Making funny faces to a child on the train – rewarded with a smile or a laugh (otherwise I just feel stupid…)

I could keep going, but in stead, I will let you continue the list and help inspire each other.

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Summer favourite for the lips

I have to admit it – I really love lipsticks, but I almost never, ever wear them. Only when going out or on the rare occasion that I feel especially brave with my outfit do I finish it up with a lip colour. The reason? No one else wears them. I know it’s silly, but it’s the truth.

Maybe that’s why it made me so happy, when I found the perfect lip colour for summer!

It has the perfect amount of pigmentation so that it doesn’t look overdone, but still rounds up the entire look, and takes it to the next level.

It’s from the limited edition collection at MAC in the colour “Pure vanity”.

snapseed-4

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