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.
Açai. Apparently a Brazilian fruit that I have pronounced wrong my entire life.
Until I heard my room-mate pronounce it as [aˌsaˈi] which is obviously more correct than [aˌkai] as I thought… Anyways. These bowls of açai smoothie are just so good. What is better than to make them on you own at home?
To buy the fresh açai berries in not easy unless you live in Brazil. But here in Australia, you can buy frozen Açai puree. You can also find acai power, and that is good as well. In this recipie you can change the frozen pure block with 2-3 table spoons of açai powder if you want.
The most important thing about the Açai-bowl is that you have to make it your own.
But here is my favorite version of the famous Açai-bowl, so try it out ❤
-My favourite acai bowl-
–One block of frozen Açai puree – Some coconut milk – A banana- A peach –
-A good handfull with frozen berries (I used Strawberry. Blueberry. Blackberry and red grapes)-
-A few dashes of some natural sweetening-
– A tablespoon of the best mix between sunflower seeds, and dried berries. (I used goji, cranberry, almonds and coconut flakes)-
Blend it all in a smoothie blender. This is my favourite Acai bowl.
“I woke up all by myself this morning and felt so extremely awake. Sadly enough it took me about five seconds to realize that I had slept too long. It was indeed way to light outside to be 6 am. I was right. My alarm had not made a single noise. I was supposed to be at church 20 minutes ago. I ran out of bed and ate a quick breakfast before I finally left home. It was all fine. My leaders here are fortunately really nice. I came in time to grab an orange west and be a parking guard.
So the next Sundays I am going to serve in two of the three first services, and sit in one of them. I am also serving one in the evening. It sounds like a lot, but time went by really fast this morning, so I am honestly just excited. As I mentioned I am serving in the youth ministry, and I am convinced that I will learn a lot.”
Another day has started here in Sydney. But hey. I got my nose pierced the other day. Yes. It did indeed hurt. It still does actually. But it is worth it of course. The sun is shining I am on my way to school. I just realized that I have spent way too much money on coffee the last days. But I can not help it. It is literally half the price I pay back home, and the cold brew here is just so good! Hey. I even get a discount because I am a student. Anyways. I hope you have a wonderful week, my dear reader 🙂
I hope your day is good so far! My Fridays are always off, and it is so nice. Even tough I am serving in church in the evening, it is good to have a peaceful day to sleep out and relax! Wow. I just listed a few things that I really love. But hey. Let me tell you about a few things that i miss as well. I have already stayed in Australia for a whole month. I really can not believe how fast time goes by down here. Probably because there is so much going on all the time …
– MONDAY 11th of February 2019 –
The sounds of different voices flow around me. I am sitting on a café, drinking coffee that doesn’t taste more than tolerable. Lately I have begun to realize how desperate my need is for time to just think. Sharing room, and living with four other girls simply resulted in me being with other people 24 hours a day. I need some me-time sometimes. I think we all do. Time to let my mind run its own way. So I go for a walk. I can see 3 parrots fly by. It is strange that they live in the wild here. I have never seen one outside a cage before. They are beautiful. Colorful. Perfect in a way.
Somehow I find myself next to a girl on the bus, and she smells like my grandmother’s shampoo. Well. She does probably not. It`s just my brain that is making fun of me. Looking for anything familiar. But suddenly I miss the summers with my grandmother. I miss the smell of her shampoo in my hair while I was bathing in her bath-tube. I miss the icy wind as I get up on the cold floor in the morning. I miss the extremely good, cold Norwegian drinking-water. I miss the smell of freshly baked bread. The one that tasted so much better than any other homemade bread I’ve ever had.
Then I miss that house. Suddenly I am so grateful that Mum and Dad have kept it after all. The house that was built by the hands of my own great-grandfather a lifetime ago. I miss it. Maybe because I know that my parents are there right now. I miss picking berries in the summer. All the endless kilos of cherries from our garden. I miss stepping barefoot into the grass. I miss lifting wood down to the basement as soon as the leaves had started to turn red.
The heavy, warm air suffocates me. As I miss the clear Nordic wind wedging in my nose. As I miss snow.
I miss to ski and fall over every other second because I am so terribly bad at skiing. I miss the fireplace. Old furniture. My dog. Mom and dad. My friends. Although I don’t let myself miss them or anyone else. I miss home. All these things. I miss them, and I love it here. What a strange combination.