Monday, 15 October 2012


Pottering around in my bookshop café or watching people on the tube, I get plenty of time to think.
Lately I've been inspired by the thought of all I can decide and shape in my own life. Even the simple choices I make are part of defining who I am and the type of life I live. Its easy to complain about life being too busy or too boring but thinking back its often the choices I've made earier that have formed the life I live today.

I decide what I spend my time on, what I say "yes" to and what I say "no" to. There is no end to the things I could get involved with but I decide what I commit to and prioritize and what to let go of.

I decide who I spend my time with and allow close to me. I don't have to wait around for people to contact me but I can make a move myself and try to get to know the people I want in my life.
Out of the people in my world, I decide who has most influence over me, who's advice I take and who's opinion matters.

What qualities do I want to be known for? I can decide to develope them in my life by choosing what I focus on, read, watch and listen to.

I decide how well I take care of myself by choosing what I eat and how I exercise. I decide what I wear, how I treat people and in what direction my life is heading.

I know life is rarely straightforward, fair or easy. Stuff happens, but I still believe we decide how we react to life and what we make out of what we have.
The thought of how much responsibility I have to shape my life is almost scary, but exciting as well!
Who do I want to be? What am I doing to become that person?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

God is good, no honestly, He is sooo good!
So much has been happening and changing recently that I've almost forgotten the things He has worked out for me. I have a new place to live with the most awesome room mate in a totally new part of London that I've yet to explore. I'm part of an amazingly, exciting church, surrounded by great, inspiring people. Recently I got a new job in a book shop café where I get to be around coffee, books and chilled out people. Loving it!
The only thing is that it takes me an hour on the tube to get to work but the tube is an experience in itself and a great place for people watching. We all just stand around looking at each other in silence most of the time. The other day, however, a chinese woman broke the mold and actually started a conversation with me. She said she is a doctor, that she thinks I have nice teeth and just before I got off she wrote down her phone nr and handed it to me. I don't know why she did it but it made my day!

God is good! I find He is always trying to teach us new things about life. Lately its been all about persistency, character and doing the right thing even when it seems to be insignificant, boring and pointless. Its about doing the right thing when noone is watching, when those watching don't approve and when it doesn't seem to be leading anywhere.
Thats about all the wisdom I can get out from my brain right now, time for bed, but wanted to share a bit of whats new in my life.  

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sunshine and integrity

Summer has come and I’m loving it (my arms are red and sore to prove it)! London is like a different place with people crowding the parks, bright coloured, flowery dresses, sunglasses, sweaty armpits and big smiles.
Yesterday I went out to the park for an hour to lie in the grass and ponder on the word integrity. Integrity is one of the coolest words I know! It easily gets forgotten and overshadowed by words like charisma, talent and passion but they wouldn’t be worth much without integrity at the foundation. Looking it up in the dictionary, (ok I googled it), I found that the word means wholeness, steadfast, being honest and undivided. A person of integrity can be trusted because what you see is what you get. They are the same person at home as on stage, on a good day as on a bad day. Their thoughts, words and actions line up. You know where they stand and won’t get any nasty surprises. A person of integrity can fail and mess up but keep people’s respect because they are honest about it and quick to own up.
Passion, talent, charisma, big dreams, exciting words, great plans and goals are all good but without integrity they fall through. Character on the other hand, cannot be taken away from you and is what will keep you on track.
Skimming through the awesome book of Proverbs, integrity, honesty and character kept popping up, like in these cool verses:
“God can’t stand deceivers but oh how he relishes integrity.” Prov 11:20
“Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.”  Prov 20:28
Love and truth are the essence of God. I went back feeling challenged to build integrity into my everyday life, not trying to be what I’m not but being real to the core, full of love and truth.
Later that day, we took the children to an outdoor pool and spent the afternoon splashing around and enjoying the sunshine. You just have to love summer!
Today has been another glorious day! I started by going out for a short jog. It wasn’t far but I’m proud of myself for actually getting out there despite all my lame excuses. Then I was off to Borough market to pick up a great baguette, piece of cheese and latte and enjoy it with a good friend. Markets are simply great - the smell of food, the bustle of people and all the free tasters! I can’t help but thinking that just maybe the meaning of life is this simple. Maybe we are here on Earth simply to live in relationship with God, love and do life with the people around us and simply enjoy living. It works for me!
We had some awesome conversations, sharing the things we are learning in life right now. I know that life isn’t always sunshine, good friends and food and that it can feel impossible to enjoy at times but somehow God works through that as well and brings us through wiser and closer to Him if we let Him. He is enough for us and the one thing in life that we can count on.
A big group of us spent the afternoon in Hyde Park, having a picnic, soaking up the sun and playing football. Great fun but the football got just a bit too violent and I took the game a little too seriously…
Anyway, tomorrow is church day and the best day of the week. If you’re around in London then you should come to one of Hillsong’s sevices. Even if you don’t believe in anything spoken from the stage, all the lovely people you can connect with make it well worth your time. I’m getting ready tonight by drinking loads of water and nursing my sun burns. When will I learn to use sun cream?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Smile everyone, its monday!
Its been a different, spontanious and pretty cool weekend, doing things I don't usually do and hanging out with some people I don't usually hang out with. Variety keeps life fresh!

On Friday night thousands of people from different churches in London came together for an amazing Pentecost service in Earls court. The three hosting churches have different styles and ways of doing things but we could all come together and be united because we are all serving the same God. Church isn't a competition, we are all on the same team with the same goal. Seeing how many we are when we come together was really exciting!

Saturday started off with a great cup of coffee with a great girl from my connect group at a great café (Grind) in Putney. I ended up going with her for lunch at a friend's place. This turned out to be a top class, eight course dinner made by a super cook who did an amazing job of hosting! Eating delicious food and hanging out with cool people - whats not to love?
Next stop was Louis Vuitton on New Bond Street for a pair of men's shoes. I was on an errand for a friend and felt so out of place in the shop but it was a pretty amusing experince being treated like a super rich woman who shops men shoes at Loius Vuitton. Clenching the bag tightly I went for a drink with my inspiring and wise norwegian friend before heading to a pub for the football final. I wasn't able to see the screen but watching the people who were watching the game was just as fun. So much focus, excitement and frustration in their faces! Thankfully Chelsea won so most of them were in a good mood for dancing all night. Good times!

Despite not getting much sleep, I really enjoyed Sunday at Church! Its surprising how many awesome people there are in the world and how each one you meet brings something unique. One of the things that was said from the stage was about not worrying but trusting God to provide. I love that! Don't worry, be happy. I'm pretty sure it's a choice we make and something that really honours God.

Anyway, I need to sleep right now. Live loving - love living

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Hey soul sister...
You know when you hear a song you used to listen to alot but haven't heard for ages and its such a joy to hear it again even though you were so tired of it last time you heard it? At a childrens birthday party this week they played Train's "hey soul sister" and I almost started singing along in front of all the children and parents. I managed to contain myself though and am listening to it now instead. What am I trying to say with this? Absolutely no idea...

Any way, talking about love songs, Rich Wilkersson came to Hillsong's Young adults night last friday and shared a great message for all us single people. Being in a relationship has become such a big thing today and its as if most of us are waiting for that perfect partner to come so we can start living life for real. We tend to think that person will somehow show us who we are, complete us and open the doors to endless happiness and good times. Thankfully Rich burst that bubble for us...

Rich spoke about watering our own grass instead of thinking how green everyone elses is. Go for your dreams! Live your life now, enjoying this season whatever its like, learning and being faithful with what you have. Its so cool how God works things out for the best when we do the best with what he's already given us. He knows us, what we desire and what we need better than we do. We can basically chill out and enjoy each step of the way, trusting God to show us the next step when we need it (at least thats what I think and its worked for me so far). I don't mean that we should be lazy and not plan ahead but that we can relax in just doing our bit and trusting God to do the rest.

Rich challenged us to keep on the right path doing the right thing even when the crowd is going in a complete different direction. Its not always easy but its right and even if noone else sees, God does.
Its beautiful to see how God brings people together to complement and build each other up but only Jesus can complete us, make us whole and give us a purpose for living. If all else was to fail, He will still be more than enough for us.

By the way, I quickly grew tired of "Hey soul sister" again, maybe I'll try listening to it in another year or so...

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

back from Malmö

This weekend I've been back to Malmö, my home town, to visit. Technically its a city but, coming from London, it suddenly seems like a small town. Either way, its where the people who know me best live and it was great to be back.
Not much has changed there these past 5 months but I saw Malmö with different eyes this time. I was surprised by the empty underground station, the wide cycle paths, the great amount of trees and the calmness of Friday night in the centre. My parents came to meet me from the train with my lovely bike that I've really missed travelling around on. It was so nice to spend time with them and my sister, telling them everything I could think of telling them about these past 5 months, my everyday life, the awesome people I know and all the things I love about London.
Over the weekend I cycled everywhere admiring the decorative buildings, the diversity of cultures and people and my favourite market. Has Malmö always been this beautiful? I met some of my closest friends over chilled out coffees, ice-cream in the sunshine, waffles and a picnic by the docks. Of all the things to be admired about Malmö, its the people that make it the most special. Each one is different and makes my life richer and more blessed in a different way. I loved not having any obligations but just time to enjoy company and catching up.

Sunday afternoon was spent at my church, United, with great worship, teaching and friendly faces (most familiar but plenty of new ones too). I love the party atmosphere there that is all about celebrating and enjoying life together in all its seasons but also reaching out to the world around.

On Monday morning after my family had left for work and school, I packed my bag and cycled into town for the last time for now. I met a lovely friend from church at one of my favourite cafés and tried to convince her to move to London with me. After that I met Baloo, my leader, mentor, role model and close friend. She's been there for me the past few years encouraging me, challenging me and helping me make sense of my life.

I spent the last hours having a picnic with Mum, Dad and my little sis out on the grass before taking the train to Denmark and then flying to London. Sitting on the tube for the last bit of the journey I felt happy to be back in the big city. This is where I want to be right now and I'm excited to see what God has in store for me here. Each season is different but he is always the same and his love for us will never change.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Colour your world

I was blessed with time off work this thursday and friday to go to Hillsong's annual Colour conference, just for ladies. Wemberly arena, powerful speakers, the presence of God and about 6000 women all standing together. It was awesome, loud and lots of fun! What I loved about the conference is that I didn't leave feeling sad that it was over but equipped and inspired to get back into everyday life again, together with God and the people around me. Here are some of the messages that really spoke to me:

Flourish, baby, flourish! We can so easily get overwhelmed by all the suffering in the world and all that needs to be done that we get bogged down and discouraged or worn out trying to make everything right in our own strength. Bobbie Houston encouraged us to go home, learn to take responsibility for our own lives and flourish where we are planted right now, letting God take care of the rest. When we flourish we help others flourish too. Love that!

A revolution of peace. This world is a mess but Jesus is our peace. We are here to bring his peace with us to a world that desperately needs it, because no matter what is going on around us, we are safe in Him.

God wants to go home with us. Its not just about spending time with God at a Conference or at church on a Sunday but God actually wants to be a part of our everyday lives, move into our neighbourhood and invade all that we are. Priscilla Shirer was saying that its when we invite Jesus to become really close to us that he reveals things to us and life gets exciting.

Sisterhood - she is one, she is many. There were so many of us women, gathering together with the same desire to be the change in this world. I find myself wanting to be the one to make a difference by myself but if we all instead go in the same direction, supporting something great together we can accomplish so much more than all of us by ourselves. I was challenged to grow up, quit being selfish and start being a great support to what is already happening.

There is only one love language - DIE. Christine Caine said it straight out like she always does. The kingdom of God is not all about me and how I best can shine and use my talents. Its about God. We don't need to promote ourselves, God knows exactly where we are and what we are good at. Sometimes we just need to a gap fillers and do whatever is needed for the big picture.

It was amazing to see all thats going on in the world and hear stories about everything God is doing! Even more amazing is that God is the same everywhere and that he actually lives in us and has the same power to work things out for the best in our everyday lives! Don't forget to include him because he is a gentleman (like all the guys serving at colour, walking with umbrellas, opening doors, welcoming us girls...) and doesn't just barge in on us.

Have an awesome day!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Good afternoon!
I'm sitting in my room, listening to Jack Johnson, thinking about how much I like avocadoes (as one does) and writing my blog.

Yesterday Waitrose came by with the shopping delivery. The two year old had just done a big poo on her potty (as one does) which she proudly showed the Waitrose man exclaiming "I done a poo!". He was a bit taken aback but probably felt more motivated to keep going at his job. Waitrose in, waitrose out, thats what its all about.

Its great how children don't seem to be embarrased by the things we adults are. Why should we anyway? None of us are perfect, even if we pretend to be, and we all do poos. Don't hide it, just flush it!

Thats about how deep I am right now. Life is good. Enjoy it and share it! The good and the bad, we all need each other and God to keep us on track.
Hi everyone! Its been a while since I blogged but I want to keep it up and after a bit of encouragement from a good friend I'm finally getting round to writing again.

I am often surprised at how many cool people there are in the world. Some people seem pretty ordinary at first but then the more you get to know them the cooler they become and the more you just want to spend time with them. London has a lot of awesome people that I feel blessed to have met. I love how we all are different and bring out different sides of each other but at the same time we all are surprisingly similar with the same basic needs. People can cause us so much trouble but just about everything we do is for and because of  people. Amazingly I think God is all about us people and that just about everything he does is for and because of us. Don't ask me why!

This week I've been to two goodbye parties for friends leaving London. I've only known these girls four months but we've had great times together and I'm going to miss these awesome people! Its sad to say goodbye but exciting to see how the seasons change and we all keep moving forward with the best ahead. Without change we would never grow. 

There's something about giving 100% in every season and just going all in that I think God loves. Its so easy to hold back, waiting for some time in the future to be all we can be, but we really only have the moment now. I love the idea of living life to the max everyday, taking risks and stepping out because thats usually when God steps in and surprises us with something great. When we do life together with Him we are living for something so much bigger than what we can see. I don't always remember that but when I do it changes everything.

This week I'm especially looking forward to Hillsong's Colour Conference which is starting on Thursday with great teaching just for us girls. There are some power women preaching and I want to learn as much as I can!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Someone once said that the wiser he became the more he realised how little he knew. I love that!
On Saturday a great, new friend of mine and I sat in a café with our journals and Bibles reading, writing and sharing thoughts. It was great having time to slow down and hear from God. I often try to do so much but all in my own strength and just end up getting exhausted without much result. After spending some time with God though I usually realise how small I am, how little I know and how meaningless it is for me to try and do life by myself. God is so big and way too great for me to even begin to understand and the fact that he loves me and that I can somehow connect with Him in my everyday life is amazing! Seeing that makes it seem so stupid for me to even try living without him. I mean, who do I think I am?!

Last night the young adults from Hillsong met for a team meeting and I came along for the first time. It was great to feel a part of things and hear leaders sharing their thoughts and challenging us to really put Jesus first in our everyday lives. It can be hard to prioritize time for Him when everything else around us fights for our attention but it really is so important if we want to grow in our relationship with Him. We become like the people we spend most time with and we decide who those people are.

There is freedom in feeling small when you are part of something so much bigger than yourself.
There is freedom in letting go of the control when you know someone so much more capable is taking over. There is no longer any need to worry, just sit back and enjoy the journey.  

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Spring has come to London! I'm loving the sunshine and how it makes everything more beautiful, everyone happier and every moment more enjoyable.
Today two french friends and I went to Richmond and had a full English breakfast with bacon, eggs, baked beans, toast, sausages and half a tomato. Not what I usually start the day with but being in England it seems only right to have eaten it at least once. I was in Richmond for the first time and was surprised at how beautiful it is. Walking by the Thames in the sunshine with good company, pretty houses, blossoming, pink trees everywhere, and time to spend was lovely. I'm so looking forward to more days of sun and warmth!

Later in the afternoon we went to Green Park for a while, joined by my favourite Bulgarian person and then to Starbucks for a drink (although mostly to use their loo). I wanted to spice up my hazelnut latte with a sprinkling of vanilla sugar but the whole lid came off the vanilla and splashed into my cup giving me a very sweet latte and a lid to fish out. It ended up tasting alot more like vanilla than hazelnut but it gave us something to laugh about.

We talked quite a bit about food and the great things there are to eat and enjoy, especially living in london, a city bursting with different flavours. Having lived 21 years I've come to the conclusion that strict, complicated diets are not for me. If I were to create a diet it would be full of fruit, vegetables and lovely healthy things but with the chance to enjoy the cakes and treats you love just not too often and without stressing out about it.
I get to experiment with making some great sallads for lunch each day and I love when the veggies, fruits and cheeses end up getting along so well with each other and tasting great. Goat's cheese with pear and sweet potato has got to be my favorite so far (I haven't tried banana in a lunch sallad yet but I don't think its going to work, unfortunately).

Last weekend was spent with my beautiful little sister, showing her some of my favorite parts of London and introducing her to some of the people I spend most time with. I loved having her around and catching up. We saw Big Ben, Trafalgar square, Camden market and Brick Lane, had some great food, met some lovely people and talked a lot.  

I've had a great week and can't help thinking how rich my life is. Its all about loving God, loving life and loving people... oh and loving lattes too of course

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday morning, listening to music, drinking coffee out of a mug that says "Mr Happy" and thinking about all the great things about my life right now in London.

There are so many great, inspiring people that I get to spend time with! Every person has had different experiences and each one has interesting things to pass on. Yesterday I had coffee with a lovely girl from Finland and then got to spend the afternoon with my beautiful French friend shopping, eating french crepes and talking (I tried out my French but soon got stuck). We pondered on how life can be made so busy and complicated yet its the simple things we appreciate and remember the most.

Last night was girls' night with girl talk (mostly about boys), yummy snacks (I of course brought bananas and chocolate), nail polish and a whole mix of nationalities. We were together in London representing England, Germany, France, Colombia, HongKong, Holland, Bulgaria and a bit of Sweden. How cool is that?!

Last Friday I spent the night at my awesome American friend's place. She made scrummy apple pancakes for breakfast the next morning and we talked about God and small glimpses we have had of who He is. Its so amazing when we get to see even a tiny bit of how great and full of love He is. Its like another reality, so much deeper and more beautiful than the world we can see. Everything else around fades in comparison. She really inspired me to keep seeking out God and listening for His voice in my everyday life. Its not always easy but it is so worth it!

I love staying in a beautiful room so close to the busy city but still in a calm, family area. I love all the new places I get to see and the new things I get to experience. We spent a few days out in the country and had mussels for supper one night which I tried for the first time. Delicious! I also love the fact that the sunshine is back! Hopefully this means spring is here to stay.

What really makes me smile right now is the fact that my darling little sister is coming to visit me next weekend! She is one of my favourite people in the WORLD and I get to show her some of the best parts of London (Starbucks, Hillsong and Brick lane). Whatever we end up doing I'm just looking forward to spending some quality time with her.

I love the fact that I have so much to be thankful for right here, right now!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

More from me

Hi everyone! Long time you no hear from me, so I have lots to tell you from the exciting life of being an au-pair. Well, you know, hopefully its interesting for you too.

On Friday afternoon we all got packed and bundled into the family's Range Rover for a weekend out in the country visiting relatives. We arrived at the house two and a half hours later and were met by the friendly butler. Seeing how a country house like that is kept was a new expereince for me. After leaving your bedroom in the morning, you can expect the bed to be nicely made for you on your return, the meals were all delicious, made by a talented chef, and everything was done just right and almost always by someone else.

I got to hang out with the two year old a lot this weekend who is such a sweet girl and fun company. We were bumping down the stairs on our bottoms, discussing what dolly was having for lunch and forever asking "do you need to do one on the loo yet?". I call her "Bumblebee" and she calls me "Hannah Panna".

Sunday morning we woke to a beautiful blanket of snow and I have to admit I was just as excited as the kids at the sight. We all had a disco in the 7 year old cousin's bedroom, breakdancing and spinning around at ten o'clock in the morning to Snoop dog and Rihanna. After another delicious lunch, finished off with a treacle tart , we packed everyone and everything into the car and headed back to London.
Yesterday was a pretty good Monday. Waiting for a friend at the tube station, I started talking to this guy from Texas who was also waiting for someone. We didn't say much before he found his friends and left. Then I had a nice lunch with two girls from YWAM that I know from Sweden and we caught up on all our news.
So today during my morning break I really felt like some alone time with my diary, a good book and a large decaf latte at Starbucks just to recharge and think some smart, deap thoughts. Who walks in? The Texas tube station guy from yesterday with a group of friends. We started talking again and turns out him and his friends are visiting from a Bible school in America and are connected with YWAM. I postponed my deap-thinking-alone time and joined in their conversations instead. It seems the world is a small place, either that or God just really enjoys connecting people for fun.

Been reading "The Screwtape letters" by C. S. Lewis lately, a great book written as letters from a demon to another about how to ruin people's lives. Sounds a bit strange I know but it is well worth reading. I just want to share a part I thought was really good;

"The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring two-pence what other people say about it, is by that very fact forearmed against some of our subtlest modes of attack. You should always try to make the patient abandon the people or food or books he really likes in favour of the 'best' people, the 'right' food, the 'important' books. I have known a human defended from strong tempations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions."

What he is basically saying is to enjoy the things in life that you enjoy whenever you can. I like that. So now I'm leaving my computer to enjoy the rest of my afternoon off in sunny London. Cya!

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

There is something amazing about BIG groups of people all getting together for the same cause, all saying the same thing.
Yesterday in church we were so privileged to have Israel Houghton as a guest. He's a world famous worship leader who really knows how to get his groove on whilst pointing to how good God is. The Dominion was packed at the 3 o'clock service! Standing amongst all these people lifting their hands and singing "Jesus, be the centre of my life" for all they're worth was a pretty cool experience. Imagine all those people really meaning those words and allowing Jesus to be the centre and boss of their everyday lives. It's an army of world changers!

I love the great teaching and worship at Hillsong but what's impressed me the most are the people and their way of welcoming others into their fellowship. Each Sunday I leave with some new contacts on my phone. Yesterday I went to church with Kristina, my really cool Norwegian friend who I first met last Sunday. She introduced me to two of her friends Lucie and Dori who immediately made me feel welcome and a part of their group. Relationships are such an important part of church! Its all about people in everything we do. Being new once in a while can be good. It reminds you of what its like being a visitor and how much you appreciate people seeing you and stopping to talk.

Today's been a good take-it-easy day. I've been working, reading, writing, drinking coffee, thinking (not too much mind you) and enjoying the company of the people around me.

Todays tips:
Book: The screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, Lioness Awakening by Lisa Bevere
Music: Bon Iver, Mumm-Ra's "She's got you high"
Film: 500 days of Summer, Shadowlands 

Sunday, 29 January 2012

this week's highlights

Tonight I'm babysitting which basically means waiting up and listening out for any noises from the kids. Hopefully it'll be a quiet night and all will sleep well.

Alot has happened this week and I thought I'd let you in on some of the highlights;

Wednesday was my first connect group night. I ended up taking the wrong bus and walking all the way through Putney which took about 45 minutes but it was well worth it when I got there. There were eight of us meeting at an Italian guy's place and he cooked us all a delicious pasta with mushrooms that could have been straight out of an Italian restaurant. We introduced ourselves coming to the conclusion that all eight of us have moved to London from different countries and that all five of us girls are working as au-pairs or nannies. So we have alot of kids' stuff to talk about! All of us are living away from our families so being able to share openly and support each other is something I'm sure we will all really appreciate. It was a good night and I feel blessed to have such great company and food to look forward to each Wednesday.

Thursday I had most of the day off and was able to open an account at the bank and meet up with some lovely friends. Kristina, my new friend from Norway, took me out to a Scandinavian café for "fika" and then to Foyle's, probably the largest book shop I've seen. It has 5 floors with books on just about everything. Both of us love reading and writing and so were quite consumed with looking through the shelves, judging each book by its cover (how else is one supposed to judge a book?). So much knowledge under one roof!

Friday night was a fun but rather odd night out. After work I hurried off to the other side of the city for Hillsong's young adults party at a club called "Cable". A group of us were meeting up at London Bridge station but ended up spending about an hour trying to find each other. So many exits and so many people! Finally we got there and had a good time of dancing and meeting new people at one of London's most popular clubs. Who says Christians don't know how to party?!
By the time the party was over the tube station had closed. Why oh why?! A group of us decided to see London Bridge by night and then being hungry (after all that dancing) set off to find Burger King and a way to get home. London suddenly seems so big when you have no idea how to get from one side to the other and walking isn't really an option. Thankfully there were several of us all heading in the same direction so we eventually worked out which night buses to take and got out from the freezing cold. On the bus some really drunk guys were having a blast falling over each other and trying to get the whole bus to sing along with them. Nobody did but it was an experience I won't forget in a long time.

Today I woke up feeling pretty tired but I wasn't going to stay in on my day off. No! I was going exploring with Laura and Jessie from my connect. We started off with a much needed coffee each before venturing out into the unknown world of Brick Lane's vintage markets and food stalls.    
So many things from different times and places! 

This week has been full of great experinces and people but I think the highlight that warmed the most was when the two year old I'm living with sweetly told me she loved me. That makes it all worth it! 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

a typical Tuesday

Today is Tuesday, I think... this week is going fast and its not always easy to keep up with the days.
Its been a good day, a pretty ordinary, calm but good day. I made a yummy sallad with sweet potato and goat's cheese, betrayed my Starbuck's latte for a cappuccino at Café Nero and sprinted to kids' club to retrieve the beloved baby born doll that had been forgotten and couldn't possibly be left alone for the night.

I'm learning a lot of new, useful things at this job. Like how to potty train a two year old,  make baby food and negotiate with a five year old who loves his computer games. Its a great experience but takes a lot of patience and a washing machine that never breaks down. I truly admire Mums! When my hours are up I can take a break and leave the house but Mums have to be around pretty much the whole time and deal with the one o'clock morning wakeups. Working with kids and living with a family is often rewarding and has many funny moments to laugh about. Like this afternoon when the two year old sat on the potty for ten minutes talking excitedly about a very cute looking 11 year old boy who is her major crush right now. I had no idea it started so early in life!

As happens when living together with people, we have had some misunderstandings between us but have talked through them and worked it all out. Communicating isn't always easy but I've realised how important it is to say what you mean and mean what you say, but also to listen. Every person is unique and sees things from a slightly different point of view than I do. Its so easy to think we know what someone is saying and be so preoccuppied with voicing our own thoughts that we don't really hear what they meaning to say. In the end we are all human with our faults and feelings, hopes and fears and we need each other.

Sunday at Hillsong was great! Brian Houston, the senoir pastor from Hillsong Sydney, was visiting and gave a great message about dreaming big and not settling for a life that is lacking. I was in the connections team for the first time, welcoming people who most of them have been in the church a lot longer than I have. It was a great way for me to meet people and why wait to be a part of all thats going on?
After church I was introduced to a Norwegian girl studying in London and she brought me along with her group of friends to an Italian restaurant for dinner. I love how easy it can be to get to know lovely people and feel welcome!

On friday Hillsong's young adults are having a party at London's best voted club, Cable. That is going to be a lot of fun I'm sure! Things are happening and I'm enjoying my life here. Change can be pretty scary but how else are we going to keep learning, growing and moving forward?

Before I go to bed I'de like to say a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Dad who is turning 50 today and officially reaching the age when he can enjoy life and use his age to get out boring obligations. He's a great man who has taught me so much and been a great role model. Lots of LOVE to him today!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Being happy

I recently saw a book that was all about how its the small things in life that make us humans happy. This could mean reading a great book, buying yourself flowers, enjoy a latte with extra froth, having a lie in or getting your nails done (these are all pretty girly examples but I'm not exactly sure what guys enjoy doing). I've found that to be true for me. Spending some time just taking care of myself for a bit can make me feel totally recharged and ready to get on with whatever I need to do. I'm also usually alot happier and easier to be around so its not totally selfish.

Take today for example, its been a pretty tiring week and I wasn't my happiest self yesterday, but this morning I went out in my break, walked round the corner and (very surprisingly) went into Starbucks to buy myself a latte. I sat there with my diary and a good book and just enjoyed the peace of not having to do anything. After my break I was back to work but with a smile on my face and new energy, probably partly because of the caffeine but also because I had taken care of myself. I thouroughly enjoyed the rest of that day.

Another thing that makes all the difference is people. It really ends up being all about people and relationships whatever it is we are doing. Having great people around me who are encouraging and friendly really gives me energy but being alone for too long just makes me feel as if I'm going mad (thats when I start talking to things around me).
On Wednesday evening I went to Hillsong's young adults big connect night where all the different connect groups met up at a bar for some serious mingling. It was a great place to meet new people! I love the fact that this was part of church, lots of people having fun and getting to know each other in a bar in the middle of London. I traveled back with a great American girl who is also taking care of kids in London and we had a nice chat.

Like I said its the little things in life that make all the difference. My tip to you for the weekend is to write a list of little things you really appreciate and enjoy doing that make you happy. Then whenever you need (or simply just want) some taking care of you have plenty of easy suggestions. If you get a bit stuck here are some that might just work for you:
  • Leaving ten minutes earlier so you don't have to rush
  • Smiling at a stranger and getting a smile back
  • Eatin a peanut butter and jam sandwich
  • Listening to great music and not doing anything but listening
  • Eating your favorite food
  • Buying yourself a little present (don't spend too much money coz that can have the opposite effect)
  • Not doing anything in particular for a while
  • Watching a film that makes you laugh
  • Wearing your favorite clothes and looking good (or just thinking you look good)
  • Hanging out with a close friend or my lovely little sis

Sunday, 15 January 2012

More about trafficking
  • Today there are more than 30 million slaves in the world
  • Thats more than at any other point in human history
  • Half of the slaves are children
  • The selling of human beings has become the 2nd largest crime (after drugs and weapons)

30 million people is a huge ammount and its easy to get discouraged and not do anything. But it all comes down to ONE person. Each and every person matters and we can all do something to help.
I love what the "not for sale campaign" says on their page about using your gifts and passions to make a difference. Keep doing what you love but if trafficking is something that makes you angry tell people about it through whatever it is you are good at and enjoy doing.

The A21 Campaign lists 21 ways to help make a difference on their website. Here are some of them;
  • Write a letter of encouragement to some of the survivors (more info on
  • Donate money through a one time gift or as a regular giver
  • Get social and spread the world on twitter, facebook, youtube or just by talking
  • Get smart and learn more about it through the web, books, films (more info on
  • Pray about it
Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

the world around me

I thought you all might like to see some pictures of where I live and some of the things I've seen...
So, this is my road. Apparently its one of London's prettiest to live on, that is if you like pretty white houses.
Taking a walk down New King's road...

Putney Bridge

  • I've just discovered Ben Rector's nice sounding music
  • I'm reading a great book called "Lioness Arising" by Lisa Bevere
  • I now have a tv in my room for the first time in my life!
Today is Saturday and I have thoroughly enjoyed having a day off in London!
Last night I went out with my new friend Lo, who I met in Cirencester, and she took me to a great bar in Putney. Arriving there she was greeted by all the guys in the bar and I figured she had been there quite a few times before. A while later her Mexican friend joined us and the three of us had a blast, trying to hear each other over the loud music and watching how all the drinks were made. When the bartender started pounding tuna and mixing that in with a drink we were very surprised and tried to work out what that would taste like. We asked him about that and he looked quite puzzled. Then he brought out a bowl of brown sugar and we felt pretty silly but in our defence brown sugar really does look quite alot like tuna in the right lighting. We had a good laugh about it!

Today I decided to explore North End Road to do some serious shopping. Yesterday I had some time off to look around King's Road where all the celebrities do their shopping. It was on a totally different price range to the shops I like to spend money in so I ended up just buying food (as usual) and looking in the windows. North End Road was quite different! Charity shops, lots of people from all over the world bustling about, Morroccan restaurants, the smell of fresh fish, cars beeping their horns, lots of shops selling cheap rubbish and a fruit and veg market. It was like heaven!

I was in and out of the charity shops, buying bits and bobs that I wanted for my room (I found a lovely rubbish bin) all for great prices!
Then I saw the fruit market and got really excited. A big bowl of bananas for 1 pound! and strawberries, mangos, nectarines and pomegranites! Ok, maybe not all of you can understand my excitement but I was HAPPY. Bought a lot and had to carry it all back but it was so worth it.

Friday, 13 January 2012

thoughts from Starbucks

Today has been a bit different, a nice break from the normal routine. I spent my morning break at Starbucks with my latte and my diary. This has become my new favorite thing to do. I used to think it a bit strange going out for a coffee by myself but it is surprisingly nice. After lunch I did a big heap of ironing (I am so going to become London's best ironer!) then had the evening off to go out to dinner with a great girl. Remember the girl I met at the airport who spilled coke over her? Well this was the friend she was visiting in London. Anyway, back to Starbucks. I wrote down some thoughts that I'de like to share with you all:

God, you want us to leave the judging of people up to you, but what when we are faced with great INJUSTICE? What should we as your people, your church, do?
We are ment to LOVE like you LOVE.
You gave your LIFE for us, to buy us out of slavery. You paid the price for us to have FREEDOM, hope, life, peace and you ask us to do the same. That isn't about judging but loving, in ACTION.
How can we offer people freedom and life AFTER death but not do anything to bring about FREEDOM in THIS life? Why should people believe us if we don't SHOW them here and now?
YOU spent your time with those looked down on by others. You ate with them, spoke to them, partied with them and shared your life with them.
You also tell us to bless those that curse us but when do we bless and when do we scream "ENOUGH!"? Cunning as snakes, gentle as lambs...
You can get extra skim milk with your latte here, shoot I missed that!
We need to MIRROR you.
You're the head, we are your hands, feet, arms, smiles, in the world... but not of it.
I'm not that smart just trying to get my head around all this...
Its all about REACHING out to the least of these.
Doing what we CAN do.
Expecting YOU to do the IMPOSSIBLE.
Living with you on the INSIDE.
Its ALL about PEOPLE.
What about the people involve in the actual selling of others? You freedom is for them too...

Maybe these aren't the usual thoughts buzzing around Starbucks a Thursday morning but I think I kind of got somewhere, at least in my own mind. Maybe I just got more confused....

This evening I took the tube to Covent Garden to meet up with this girl and decided to take the stairs up instead of the lift. It wasn't until I was halfway up the stairs and getting really tired that the speakers announced there are 196 steps to get out of the tube station. I will NOT be taking those stairs again!
She took me to a great Italian restaurant in SOHO where we ate some lovely, big sallads and talked. I'm still full up now, but it was a really nice evening and I look forward to meeting her at Hillsong on Sunday.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Today, the A21 campaign against trafficking starts something they call BECAUSE. Its an effort to bring awareness to what is happening in the world today when it comes to trafficking and lasts until january 21. I can't do much right now to prevent trafficking but everyone can do something. I've decided to spend these days reading about trafficking and blogging about it (in my spare time of course).

So what is the big thing about trafficking?
Well, the selling of people as slaves is today the second largest global organized crime, bringing in about 31.6 billion USD each year. There are 1.39 million victims of sextrafficking in the world, 25% of them taken from Southern and Eastern Europe. Sadly, only 1-2% of the victimes of trafficking are rescued and only 1 in 100,000 of the Europeans who are involved in trafficking are convicted.

A big reason that so many of the victims come from countries like Greece, Albania and Ukraine is because of the poverty and unemployment there. The women are promised well payed jobs abroad and not seeing any better option take them, then are often smuggled out of their home countries and sold. Many women end up working in bars and being forced to have sex with 10-40 men a day. Trafficking is not something that just happens in some countries though, every country in the world is affected by it in some way or other today. Many slaves are brought to London, the same city in which I live my everyday life. It is happening so close to me yet I don't see it.

My lunch break is just about over but I'll be back with more facts tomorrow. Check out!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Happy New Year everyone!
Its been a while but life is busy around the holidays. I spent Christmas day at my Aunt's in England with a lovely Brittish Christmas dinner and lots of crackers and party poppers to pull. It was great hanging out with family, seeing my Grandparents again and not having to do anything for my stay. Early Boxing day morning I took a coach to the airport and flew back to Sweden for a few days of great company, Mum's cooking and chilling out. I have some really great friends and a super sis whom I really enjoyed spending some time with.

At Copenhagen's airport on New Years eve I sat down to have a banana (of course) and watched a young woman opening a bottle of coke that started spraying everywhere. Having decided I want to be more social to the people I meet, I offered her a tissue and we started talking. Turns out she was on the same flight as me so we sat together and had a great conversation. She was on her way to meet a friend living in London who goes to Hillsong Church like I do and she had some really cool stories about what God has done in her life, healing her from serious back problems. It was so encouraging to hear and now I have another contact in Hillsong Church. God is so cool the way he coordinates little things like that with a bottle of coke and a tissue!

New years eve was spent with my Aunt, Uncle and cousin Claire watching "Amazing Grace" (a really great film) and taking it easy. My Aunt knocked up another great dinner for New Year's day which we enjoyed with more relatives. Later, back in London, I went to a great worship evening at Hillsong. Don't know many people there yet but enjoyed focusing on God a bit and listening to encouraging words. Good times! 

This week I've been back at work and am beginning to get into the routines. Its been nice becoming better friends with the children and feeling more at home in London. For the weekend we have all gone to Cirencester to stay with the Grandparents whilst the parents are away. Its a pretty town out in the country with some pretty good shops. I will most probably seek out Starbucks tomorrow and enjoy a latte and some people watching. Cya!