I can hear the sound of birds singing in between the mainstream music in the background from my mac. I am laying in my bed watching Norwegian TV-series when my room-mate enters our room, and sits down on the floor. One of our housemates have invited her connect-group over. They are having break-fast downstairs. It smells pancakes, and I can hear laughter mixed with different conversations.
But hey there. I just wanted to share some pictures from an evening at Bondi. I deeply regret not bringing my Canon Camera. But Iphone- X pictures are better than no pictures at all. What I have learned is that Australia is so beautiful that i own myself to bring my camera everywhere I go. It will always be something to take a picture of.
We were walking along the beach. With that salty taste in our mouth from swimming in the gigantic Australian waves. Watching people surf, and exhausted joggers run pass us as our feet melted together with the soft sand. These conversations that makes you bond. Conversations about church, God, life, and everything in between.
I am looking at this blog, and thinking that I will love myself for doing this a couple of years from now. It is amazing to have an opportunity to look back at how life was here. How I have grown, and how I will grow on the way.
– Handling pressure –
Our youth-pastor had the best preach on this subject yesterday in our leaders meeting. And I just got so inspired. So I wanted to share a couple of my personal thoughts around this topic. Let me challenge you on how you see pressure.
He said something as cool as ; “Pressure is a privilege”
That did really hit me. Because I have never, ever thought of pressure as a privilege. Rather the opposite actually. You know. If you are leading under pressure, you are leading on a high level. When you are put under pressure, you are actually stretching yourself. If you are never put under pressure, you will never grow. I wish someone told me this just a year ago. When I was sitting with all of my school assessments, drowning in how much I had to do in so little time.
I wish I knew that right there, I was stretched out to handle more of that pressure in the future. Because the last year in high-school might feel like the most stressing time ever. But dear 18-year-old-Victoria; it will get worse. It really will. So learning to handle those seasons are so extremely important and such a privilege.
Just remember that. Pressure is not a bad thing. Stress is not a bad thing. The truth is that it is all part of our lives, and we can not avoid it. It all comes down to how you handle it. How do you let it shape you?
Will you let the stressed times upset you, or will you find a way to get through that season to grow?
I do not know about you. But I do not want to live a comfortable life where I am never challenged, never stressed and never pressured. I want to grow and change into a better version of myself every single day.
So, hey. Do you feel stressed? Do you feel pressured? Good. Treasure this season. You are about to grow.
Good day beautiful reader!❤ My alarm woke me up at 5.10 am yesterday. “That is quite early” my housemate said when I told her about my plans of watching the sunrise with two of my friends the day before. I smiled and started laughing. She is actually waking up like that every single day (I am not joking) It is funny. Back home, I am considered as the early riser. Here I am the one who “sleeps in”
Well. My alarm went of. I jumped into my clothes, and ran outside to Gabby`s little, red car. Together with Millie, the three of us were on our way to the Northern beaches. What was supposed to be a couple of hours, turned out to be most of the day. We talked a lot, and had breakfast at a super cute café. We brought our bibles and did our devotionals on the beach as well. It was such a nice day!
In the evening I went to girls connect with youth. That was also really nice. We watched a movie, and painted our nails. All in all, a good spent day.
Just before bed, I Face Timed Kristin in Norway for the first time since I came here. About time. It was really nice to talk with her again. Miss you loads girl. Buy a plane ticked, and visit me, please!
A bit exhausted of all these adventures in one day, I slept really good that night! That is for sure 🙂
My pink-striped pyjamas is placed in my favorite corner in our sofa. That is a lie. I do actually have two favorite corners in this sofa. It is actually the best sofa ever. Anyway.I have been awake for a couple of hours already as the rest of this house finally starts to wake up. My early bird of a room-mate is not home for the next days that are coming up, so I am officially the early riser in this house now. At least I like to believe that just because it was like that this morning. Well. It feels good! It should be mentioned that there is a huge responsibility with waking up early. I mean. It does unofficially mean that you need to be productive the rest of that day. Not that I always am …
I have already had oats for brekkie for the first time in 2 months! I missed that from back home. What a taste of heaven! I have had two cups of coffee and some vegan chocolate and a couple of books are placed next to me. I am going to do some reading, some assessment working, and some series watching. After that I will just see where the day takes me. Have a wonderful week, beautiful you! 🙂
The kind of rain that specifically belongs to Mondays, is splashing with the sound of drumsticks on our roof. I jump down from the second floor of the bunk bed to grab my phone that is charging somewhere on the carpet floor. 9am. That is not ok. I was planning on sleeping until 1 pm today, and catch up every minute of lost sleep. Well. What can I say. My head aches.
“The conference hangover” is real (given that I am talking about an alcohol-free conference, this is a classical wannabe- funny- statement. Please laugh just to be kind.Anyways. ) Looong days, and all the impressions and experiences … Last monday I felt like I was shot in pieces and put into the washingaching for a centrifuge program. But I served last weekend. This one I sat in. So I did not at all feel as tired this Monday morning. Sleepy, but fine. I almost have the rest of the week off as well. So it is all worth it. Big time.
I always regret not writing in the moment. Why do I never learn?
“Suddenly I don’t even remember what I did five minutes ago. But I am just sitting in the most comfortable sofa on this side of equator. A white furry pillow supports my back. I Have just had a shower and put a couple of clothes in my washing machine, made a good breakfast. Kesha and I are leaving for the shopping mall in a couple of minutes. I need to to my brows. It is just so long ago now. And I need to buy some products for my poor devastated hair. A few of the food products are cheaper in the mall as well.”
-Let’s go shopping –
The sound of different voices, screaming babies, music and dishwashing flows around me. Three bags rest beside me. “Someone please tell me when, during this journey of life, did spending money start to hurt?” I am literally feeling physically pain in my heart. My brows looked so bad. Honestly. Some self treatment is necessary. Even as a student on the other side of the earth. And my hair is so damaged by all this bleaching of mine.
Never colour you natural platina blonde hair black…
It needs some good treatment. I can’t not buy food. In other words “money flew in every direction this morning.” I guess I need to have a coffe-spending-stop again. It’s at least one way to save money. What an expert shopper I am. Ylva didn’t even believe me when I told her I haven’t bought more than one piece of clothes since I came. Student life is hard. Not because it really is. My parent are to nice. But it feels bad knowing they spend to much money on me here. He.. the struggles of life. Time to grow up.
Budgeting people. Be good at it early. That is my best advice.
Conference part 2 // For those of you that are a bit into the Christian world. You might have heard of preachers as Christine Caine and Lisa Harper, and of course our own dear pastor Bobbie Houston. If not. Check them out on YouTube. They are amazing. This was amazing. Even more than conference 1, just because I got to experience it all.
To sit in a conference is quite different than serving. It is awesome to “Experience the room” Everything in a girly conference as this is just so girly. I LOVE IT. All these amazing women together to praise Jesus.
It was all so practical and empowering. Sisterhood sessions, girly topics about life. Cool showes with amazing dancers. The amazing Hillsong worship songs. The list goes on.
Let’s not forget the “gifting moment” where we all received a cute little gift.This year it was a handmade soap from Iraq. Who on earth have a soap with the label “made in Iraq?” Sounds boring. But it is not. Not when you know that these soaps are made of women that have fled from ISIS. It is awesome that this gives them an opportunity to earn their own money, and makes it possible for them to stay in their home country, buy food, pay rent, and send their children back to school! Well. I wish you an amazing week dear reader!
The serving life during conferences like this is summed up by long days with a lot of caffeine. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry of the fact that I have spent two weekly budgets on coffee just the last couple of days. But hey. Let me tell you about an amazing weekend that just passed by.
Hello dear reader. I hope this e-mail finds you well (as we learned to start our e-mails in class the other day). This is not an email. I know. Forget my awfully bad attempt to be funny …
Back home, spring is literally on its way. On this side of the globe, on the other hand, it is more accurate to say that “winter is comming”(Which is also true since the next season of Game of thrones is right around the corner *joyful scream* ) Anyway. Part 1 of 2 of Colour Conference is done!! I can’t believe time runs by as fast as this.
What is Colour conference? Let me just sum it up as many thousands of women gathered together to praise Jesus. I don’t think you can experience anything like it anywhere else. Honestly. Colour conference is actually extremely unique. It was amazing, and it is not completely done. Since there are so many women, we are filling up the arenas one more time next weekend for new delegates.
What have I done this weekend? What was my role? I was serving in something called “seating communities” It is actually a genius consept that means every delegate in the conference are part of a smaller group. This group will sit together in every session, but change seats in the auditorium from every session. This way everyone get to have different views during the conference. My job was basically to wave with signs of where my community should go, and to make sure everyone had a good time. It all leaded me into a couple of interesting conversations. I was even given the phone number of a really nice lady who said I could bring a friend and stay at her house any time I wanted. That was really nice. I mean. I never know when I could find myself on a road- trip along the Australian east coast.
But hey. Next weekend I am allowed to sit in! I promise you to bring a better camera than my phone, and to remember to try to take some good pictures.(take this with a pinch of salt, given that I am not the best photographer) Until then I wish you a wonderful week, my dearest reader.
Remember// ❤ You are seen ❤ You are worthy ❤ You are loved ❤
Every time I put on my pink striped pyjamas pants, I start to think about home. I remember how mom came with them wrapped in after a work trip once. With a big black ribbon. She bough them from Victoria secret and I used to love how the paper bag had my name on it.
Suddenly I start craving her pasta with peas and ham. Literally the only dinner she makes that actually tastes good. Sorry mum. I love you, but cooking has never been your thing. Fair enough. You are the best role model in everything else. But hey. That is what I miss. And your hugs.
“How deeply a girl can miss her mum from the other side of the world.”
I am looking forward to summer when she is going to visit me. We have an open guest room here without doors that are just closed off by a curtain. It contains a mattress, but Kesha and I are going to try to make it a bit nicer. Kesha even got a lamp for it because her mum that is also coming over. She is going to be here already in a couple of weeks.
I have just finished an assessment. Something has been going on every evening the last couple of days, so I am spending the rest of the evening relaxing. Reading. Listening to music. Laying in my bed with these striped pants. Listening to the sound of some cars driving by a few blocks away and a plane that is passing somewhere. I’ll stay here and feel how good my feet likes to rest from all of this walking. I’ll stay here completely safe. Not terrified of dangerous spiders as I were the first couple of weeks here. Hundred percent sure that a poisonous snake would walk in my door at any minute.
Saturday 9th of March
The smell of Australian rain, the sound of Saturday’s traffic. It amazes me how different Australian rain smells from the Norwegian rain. You should not think that the smell of wet asphalt could vary. It does. I miss the scent of Norwegian rain. Another thing I long for. I have to laugh of myself as my eyes fall on the pink shoes I am wearing. They are dripping wet by now. The weight of a book rests heavily on my shoulder. I have just spent the last five hours on two different cafés, reading about Norwegian law.
I am probably a bit weird like that. I felt like it was a little bit long to stay at the same café for so many hours. So I simply moved a few meters away to the neighbor a few hours later. I do not dare to think of how much of my money I spend on coffee these days. Well. Now I am going home. To this Australian house that I call home at the moment. How strange that life would turn out this way. Here I am on the other side of the globe. Soaking wet by Australian rain.
myself about ten and twenty years from now. A few of those life lessons.
Do not stress about it
In our western culture we are told to have all of our lives sorted out. We are told to be effective and productive in everything we do. But hey. Every thing is going to be all right. Every little thing. Use your energy on completing the tasks you are given instead of stressing about it. And know that it is totally okey to not have all of your life completely figured out …
Compering yourself with others is just stupid
We do it all the time. But you can never become anyone else than yourself. I know. What a revelation… The problem about comparing is that you are most likely compering the worst parts of yourself with what you consider the best parts of someone else. We are all talented in different ways. We are told that all the time, but it is so hard to live by. Just know that comparing yourself will stop you from being you, and someone might need you to be just you. And why would you want to be anybody else anyways? You are awesome!
Dear to dream
Dream big. You might reach 80 percent of your dream, but if you don’t dream at all, you will complete nothing. Be brave enough to dream.
You will never regret being generous
My biggest goal in 2019 is to be described as generous. And I have realized that the easiest way to be a generous person is to give. Simple as that. Sometimes you need to do the physical changes in life to change your mindset. But hey. Generosity always pays of in unexpected ways.
Expectations leads to disappointment, but they are worth it
People will fail you. If you did not know that yet… Welcome to this place called the world. But what would life be without expectations? Extremely boring! I promise you. It is so much better to expect. Set your expectations high, it is worth it!
Never take the people you love for granted
It sounds horrible, but I think I needed to actually move across the globe to realize that. Because even though I appreciated the people around me, I suddenly got to feel on my skin how it is when your loved one is not there. And it gave me a good realization of how much my family and friends mean to me. Do not take those people for granted. Cherish every moment and remember that you never know when they suddenly walk out of your life. People are with you in different seasons, and believe that the people that are in you life right now are there for a reason.
Never stop taking risks
Dear to do the crazy things. That is the moments you will remember for the rest of your life, right?
To fail is good
You will fail. You will do a lot of mistakes that will knock you down, but just do not let them knock you out! How many mistakes you do does not determine your worth. But how you learn from them will say a lot about your character.
You are more judgmental than you think. Stop that
Life is about loving others. I Since I am at a leadership college we are learning a lot about leading yourself to be able to lead others. A quote I just love …
“If serving is beneath you, then leadership is above you”
I do really believe that we all are called to love one another. And. We are all leaders. Some people are meant to be leaders for a lot of people, others are going to be leaders for their children one day, or for a friend. To be good a leading you need to know the importance of serving. Love the people around you. You will never regret giving love.
Your life is not about you
A smack in the face since I have to live with other girls and share a room? Well. No matter what you live for your life will always play a small role in a bigger picture. Use your life to mean something positive for someone else!
To tell you anything about how life really is, I have to write my thoughts down in Norwegian first. That is when it starts to get real. That is when I am able to grab out the raw feelings and thoughts that circles around in my mind. But I just could not do it. For the longest time in my life, I had nothing to write. Not because of too few thoughts, but because of too many.
I haven’t stayed here for so long yet. Quite exactly five weeks. I am walking down the hill to school, we have classes in a few minutes. My ripped jeans have started to be too ripped. You can probably see my underwear because of the gigantic hole under my left pocket. Anyways. I need to speed up here. I am going to be late.
First of all I just want to apologize. I wanted this blog to be real. It has not been like that the last weeks. I have just scratched the surface of everything. That is not my intention here. You have enough of those out there already. I am sorry. Victoria the writer is officially back.
With these “Clarendon covered” pictures from my day at Coogee beach with some really nice friends in between, let me tell you about life.
One of the most frequently asked questions from everyone I have talked with during my first few weeks here, was whether I felt homesick or not. Homesickness. Some girls told me that they were crying every day and just wanted to go home. That they missed their parent so much, even though it probably would be better soon.
I didn’t feel like that at all. I have honestly not looked back home and felt homesick at all. Except from a few sticks once in a while. Not because I don’t miss mom and dad or my friends, but because I know that I am ment to be here. And that I am ment to be here right now.
I was so determined to make this house my home as quickly as possible. It is home now. It was from day one actually. Much due to good housemates. There are not any huge culture differences between us, and that makes almost everything safe and familiar. The first difference I noticed was that they all eat dinner around 8 pm. Something that was very strange to me. But instead of sticking to my good Norwegian habits, I began to do like them. Just because it’s so social to sit together in the evening, watch a movie and have dinner at the same time.
We call each other babe, beauty, sweetie and love all the time. Because that is apparently what is polite in english-speaking countries. I have literally heard more encouraging words heading my way the last month here than I have heard the past five years in Norway.
Apart from that I have walked in woolen sweatshirts in 30 degrees by several occasions. Just to realize that the weather here is changing very fast. With that a sting shakes in the dept of my heart. My dear Norway. What are my friends doing right now? Am I missing out on anything? Every time that happens, I just need to think of who the real winner here really is. I’m the one who’s living in Australia, the land of surfing and kangarooes.
I tend to get really tired of how much my mind changes. Get tired of growing so fast. Because I know that is what I do by how much I am challenged in my old mindset. Only in my class there are 14 different nations represented. The encounter with so many different cultures is strange. It is crazy, and I love conversations with different people. I have noticed that my tolerance and worldview needed to expand. And I am reminded that my Norwegian thinking is not always the right one. Just sharing bedroom, and living with other girls 24 hours a day, is a really new experience. I’m being thrown into responsibilities I’ve never had before. And as I realize that, I am 30 hours by plane away from everyone I ever considered protecting and safe.
I was also introduced to a problem I hadn’t been facing before. The challenge of not having friends. It was perhaps the most unknown setting I have ever been in. Seeing gangs form already after a few weeks and not being part of one. If feels like I always have had someone during my entire life. Down here, I did not really have anyone to gather around in my class. Although I am the recipe of individualistic, strong and independent… and probably could have lived alone on a deserted island for myself without any problems… this feeling was just so new.
It was perhaps needed for me to realize how much my friends mean to me, and what role they usually play in my daily life. How dependent I am on them in social settings…
But it always works out. I had to convince myself to be patient here, and give it time. None of my deeper friendships at home were built in two weeks. It would have been strange if it had been totally different here. And I’m certainly one of those who likes that a friendship is genuine and real. So it will take a little more time. I know. But I have never felt lonely like that before. It teached me that this was an unique opportunity for me. An opportunity to be there for someone else. I’m probably not the only one in this situation. I hope that I can be the friend I needed for someone else.
Did I mention that it is just now that I have finally got myself to write again? All these impressions do something strange with my mind. It forces me to stay in the moment, and use all my energy to take everything in.
It is kind of funny. I have just listed a lot of “natural” things that have been capturing my focus. But Hey. I am actually in bible school. I am learning A LOT about leadership. About Church. About God, and about me. And I am definitely challenged in all of that too. Just to see the difference between church culture in Norway and here.
Can you imagine that everyone you talk to have heard of your church? Been given discount on coffee on the local café because you are from church? And actually wanting to bring everyone you meet to church. Just because you are so proud of it, and you know that it will not freak people out, but rather give them a positive experience of christianity? I could not imagine that either. Suddenly it is what I am living in. In a church that is growing all the time. That is healthy and inspiring, and that makes me want to serve. Wow. How can I describe being surrounded by people who encourage you and
“believe in you more than you believe in yourself.”
I have finally started to realize the importance of community and unity within the church. Wow. I am excited for the rest of this year!
I woke up yesterday and felt like I woke up for the first time in a really long time. Victoria the writer is back. Finally. I have missed her.
Let me just finish this by saying that I am so grateful. So grateful for being here, meeting all this incredible people, and learn so much. Even though it is challenging sometimes. And I am so grateful for my loving parents that support me more than what should even be allowed. I love you to a couple of times around the distance of the universe.