Stop running.

Stop running – look up
Be still for a moment

Where are you headed?
Are you running towards – or running away?

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re not getting anywhere…

It has been more than seven years since I last wrote a blog post. So why the sudden return? Earlier this week I was enjoying the sunshine and blossoming trees on one of my regular walks when I realized I have been neglecting the creative side of me – the introspection, the dreaminess, the philosophy.

Sometimes the pace of life becomes so fast that we forget to be still. Since I started working fulltime, my focus has shifted so much towards the development of skills and the achievement of personal growth goals, that I lost sight of my real purpose. I do not even know anymore why I am doing all these things and where I am going.

This feeling of unrest and loss of direction finds its origin not only in a fast-paced life, but in a fast-paced mind. When I do not take out enough time to write, my often overloaded inner world finds no peace and my brain gets tired and overwhelmed. In an attempt to find a healthier balance and quiet down my – often intense – thinking, I have been looking to social activities and fun. I cannot help but wonder whether this is a form of escapism? Every time I am on my own, the same questions and reflections pop up again. Deep questions about the meaning of life, identity, purpose. Themes that used to fuel my passion and take me higher – but now they are a source of melancholic feelings and anxiety.

How about I stop running away? And instead I will start to embrace the uncertainties of the human existence, and try to find a sense of new hope and meaning in the middle of despair.

“Seek and you will find…”
– Matthew 7:7

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
– 1 Peter 5:10

Unconditional Love

How often do we not feel guilty, failing or “not good enough” towards God our Father? Fact is that His love is SO much bigger! No matter how big our shortcomings, He will always keep His arms wide open. In our human thinking this may be hard to understand, but I hope that the next video will help you to let go of the feelings of guilt and fear and to rejoice in dancing freely with your loving Father.

“I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, so that you, together with all God’s people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ’s love.”
 Ephesians 3:17-18

Be Patient

Yesterday in church the sermon was about patience. I loved the illustration the pastor used so I made a little cartoon to visualise it.


Every new level of growth in life needs a foundation. Most of the time we want to go too fast. We don’t understand why we need to go through all those seasons of hardship. But here’s the truth:

“Where our own dreams are no more than a tiny shed, God is building a foundation in us for a castle.”

God knows your future and the foundation He needs to build His masterplan. Though it may take a season of long-suffering, be patient while God is preparing you for something BIG.

“May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from His glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience.”
(Col 1:11)

How Boldness Grows through Perseverance

One of my goals for this new year is to increase in boldness. In my life I’ve often been held back by feelings of (self-)doubt, anxiety and perfectionism. Last year I discovered a way to fight and overcome. Want to know how?

All of those negative thoughts playing in your head are eventually driven by fear. You’re afraid of failure, afraid you won’t be good enough, afraid of not being accepted. The truth is that fear is not the right use of imagination. Faith is!


Fear thinks small,
Faith thinks big.

Fear believes the worst,
Faith believes the best.

Fear paralyses,
Faith moves into action.

Fear causes stress,
Faith gives rest.

So to eliminate fear, you must grow in faith. And faith, in its turn, will grow through perseverance.

My past two years were tough. At many times, I felt like giving up, as if the sun would never shine on me again. I never would’ve imagined that right now I’d be so thankful for the immense growth this experience has brought about in my life.

Every succesful overcoming of trials will remind you of God’s faithfulness. You will know that during those crises in your life you may have despaired but in the end you witnessed that God caused all things to work together for good (Rom 8:28). This notion will help you to live in peace above all circumstances, trusting and not fearing anything.

This is what makes you bold. Knowing that nothing in life could ever go so wrong that God wouldn’t be able to make something incredibly beautiful out of it. This leaves zero room for fear.

“Be bold, be strong! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:9)

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Get More Out of Bible Reading

bible-image_thumbFeeling discouraged to read the Bible? Or longing to get more out of it? I’ve found some tips and tricks that will help you in letting the Word have a practical impact on your everyday life.
Tip: use pen and paper!

1. Set a regular time and place
Setting time apart is important, even more so in a stressful period! The busier you are, the more you need God. Develop a consistent daily routine. Have to rise early? Prepare the night before to spare time in the morning. Get your bible and pen and paper ready and fill your kettle with water for a nice warm cup of tea.

2. Pray
Invite the Holy Spirit to guide you in reading the Bible and to speak to your heart.

3. Write !
As you read, write down any verses that stand out to you. Writing slows you down and helps you focus and structure your thinking.

This one really helped me: get a blanc piece of paper and pick one verse (or passage) that drew your attention to write in the middle. Then use different colors to circle words and write down the thoughts that they invoke. What could you learn from this verse? Is God trying to teach you something? Make connections. Draw a conclusion. This will be your lesson for the day!

4. Respond
Act in response to what you’ve read. Depending on the topic you could make a decision to renew your mind or to take certain actions. Bring everything in prayer.

See below the result of my Bible reading today, I hope you’ll be inspired to give it a try!

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Why you Need to Fail

This one is for the perfectionists! A few weeks ago I came across a video by Derek Sivers on why you need to fail. It summarizes the main lesson I learnt during the past year: that failure isn’t a bad thing.

I’ve always been striving for perfection and avoiding failure. I remember sitting in physics class as a child and spending all my time on reading. My teacher repeatedly told me to start on the problems but my mind was set on understanding the theory first so that I could solve the problems without making mistakes. Later I found that those mistakes were actually the best way to learn.

In the video Derek Sivers states three reasons why we should make more mistakes:

1. Learning
2. Quantity leads to Quality
3. It’s more fun

In a Christian perspective, a fourth reason for failure could be added to the list.

4. Failure reveals weakness

This one really hit me one and a half year ago, when due to sudden exhaustion and fatigue I had to quit everything. It left me feeling extremely weak and worthless for a long period of time. It was in that season of brokenness that God showed me the truth of 2 Cor 12:9. His power is made perfect in weakness. I learnt that failure doesn’t affect my worth, it only reveals how much I need God in everything I do.

From now on my goal is to get rid of perfectionism and fear of failure. Everytime I do fail I see it as an opportunity to learn and as a reminder of how much I need my Heavenly Father. The bible is full of failures (Noah was a Drunk, Peter was a Coward, Jacob was a Deceiver, David was an Adulterer and Paul a Persecutor). Yet God uses those who acknowledge their weakness to reveal the greatness of His power!

So next time you try and fail, remember:

– It’s a sign you’re learning
– Many failed attempts will eventually lead to succes
– God’s power is made perfect in weakness

So go out and Try! Experiment! Make mistakes! Don’t be afraid! Learn! Grow! Live!

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
   — Robert F. Kennedy

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The Train of Life


A poem I wrote more than a year ago in a season where hope was lost:

The train of life, where is it taking me
Choices, experiences, what will they make of me
I look outside, it all goes so fast
My dreams and passions, how long will they last…
When I look to the future I am afraid
And I’m doubtful about the choices I’ve made
What if my dreams will not become real
And I must let go of my hopes and ideals?


My dear child, do not be afraid
I am the One in whose image you’re made
I’ve made you beautiful in your own unique way
Still I keep molding you day by day
So hand me your troubles, let go of your fear
I know how you’re feeling, I’ve counted each tear
My plans for your future are hopeful and bright
Trust Me and know that I’ll be by your side

Uprooting Unbelief

Dandelion windUnbelief is poison to your faith. It’s like weeds in the garden of your heart, often deeply rooted and unnoticed.

“So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God.”
(Hebr 3:12)

The enemy continually tries to plant seeds of lie and unbelief in your heart in such a subtle way that you wouldn’t notice them growing into big weeds cutting you off from the Vine.

Therefore guard your heart from unbelief, and if you find weeds lying around – uproot them! Plant the seed of God’s Word in its place.

And remember:

“By means of His power working in us, God is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of.”
(Eph 3:20)

Abiding in God’s Presence

Over time, I’ve increasingly become aware of the importance of abiding in God’s presence. During the periods where I spent a great amount of each day seeking His face, I felt most loved, joyful, peace-filled, strong and able to overcome obstacles. It is as in John 15 where Jesus says “Abide in Me, and I in You“; when I’ve dwelled in His presence, I can feel His presence dwelling in me wherever I go and whomever I encounter!

In spending time with God I can distinguish four aspects, that I will describe shortly. (They can also be found in Ephesians 3:14-21 so I’ve added the corresponding verses).

  1. Surrender (Eph 3:14-15)worship

Focus on God’s greatness and it will make your pride and self-centeredness disappear. You realise how small you really are and how desperately you need Him. The notion that you can’t do anything makes you surrender everything: sin, pride, fear, worry. Cast your cares. Lay them all at His feet, He will take care.

James 4:6,7,10 “Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

  1. Accept His Love and Truth (Eph 3:17-19)

…and he will lift you up“. He will lift you up! By showing you His abundant grace and lavishing His love on you, filling every corner of your heart! This love casts out fear and brings healing. In this place of trust and safety you can open your heart. Abandon all fear, pain and brokenness to your Heavenly Father to make way for His love and truth. Uproot the lies and unbelief from your heart and let God’s Word be planted inside of you. Being filled with His love is the most beautiful experience you could ever have, you were made for being loved! He dearly loves you.

John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”

  1. Be Strengthened by the Holy Spirit (Eph 3:16)

Let the Holy Spirit do His work in you to fill up your weakness with His strength. Step by step He will shape you so that you will become more like Jesus. Stop trying on your own, start living in the power of the Spirit! Through the work of the Holy Spirit you are being made able to serve your purpose in the Kingdom. Your own strength would die out easily making you feel weak and weary, but God’s strength will make you rise like eagles.

Isaiah 40:31 “But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.”

  1. Move in Faith and be the Light! (Eph 3:20-21)

By the time you have been renewed and filled with God’s love and strength it makes your heart joyful to share it with others. Abiding in God’s presence stirs up our passion for Him and gives faith to live out our purpose. So go out and be the light!

Matt 5:15,16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”