Garden time – Me time

garden applerose garden itto
garden metime garden rosaapple

I have a small garden, about three square meters, which I call my refuge.
This is my personal piece of garden.
Our garden is much bigger, alhamdulillah, but only this corner I call my own.
It has exactly the right size to care for, not too small and not too big. This is the size I can dedicate myself to. This is the size of garden I like to offer my energy and time for.
Here I become more and more familiar with the power of plants. I do not really have a “green thumb”, but it is here where I learn how to cultivate healing herbs and wild flowers; where I spend my afternoons, inhaling the beauty, the smells, and the quiet and observing the changes of nature while drinking a cup of tea.
This little piece of land in front of my doorstep, right beside the kitchen window, gives me peace and inner harmony. Its green comforts my soul and the colours of the flowers fill me with thankfulness.
I call myself lucky to have this oasis, subhanallah, and I wish every woman would have one…to celebrate “Me time” in God’s beautiful creation…
garden breit

Springtimefeelings

spring pfirsich 

the nature awakes, the trees are in blossom – subhanallah, what beauty!

the things begin to grow all around the house and in the garden,
and also our smallest family member begins to crawl and wants to walk now, mashaallah.
once again I realize how quick time flies…

it is ten years now that I can call myself “a mother”, alhamdulillah,
more than eight years of changing diapers on a daily basis; that makes more than 14000 diapers… (that would be a huge trash-pile; I am glad we are mostly using cloth)
nearly eleven years of personal growth and learning;
ten years of amazement and challenges, of questions and insights;
ten years of growing with these littles ones, alhamdulillah!

one of them is now not so little any more, our biggest one quickly develops into a man, mashaallah, and I feel that recently a new decade began:
puberty and all it brings with; new questions, new challenges of another kind; new insecurity (do you have any parenting books to recommend???) and a lot to find out together, inchallah.

so, happy growing and happy spring!

sping schmetterling spring biene

spring wander

The Beauty of Age

meer boot meer boote2

Old boats in Rabat city 

This month I turn 36, mashaallah.
I do not celebrate it, as it isn’t in the habit of us Muslims to celebrate birthdays. The date itself doesn’t mean a lot to me anymore.
But recently I come to think a lot about age and getting older.
I am not sure if it is because of the actual number of age itself, like kind of a midlife-crisis-thing, or if it is because of after having given birth to four children, alhamdulillah, my body aches sometimes and passed the zenith of its lifetime.
I sometimes really feel now like an old old woman, mashaallah (even though 36 is not a very old age), and sometimes, when I look into the mirror, I see the youth passing. I see the grey hair showing up more and more on my head, and wrinkles tracing my face.
I then have to remind myself to appreciate these signs of age and to thank Allah for what He gifted me with; to honour my body for all it did and experienced already.
I then have to remind myself that we all have to go through the same and that the wrinkles are the testimonial of lots of happiness and also of some suffering, of good and sad moments I’ve already been allowed to live, alhamdulillah; And that the grey hair is a sign of inner wisdom and light, inchaallah, that grows with age.
I then have to remember all the wonderful older women I know, some of them much older than I am (like my great aunty for example who will turn 100 this year inchallah); Women who went through so much in their lives and who are still so beautiful, healthy, strong and very energetic, wonderful role models to follow.

I then have also to remember to take care of my body, to be good with myself, of taking advantage of youth before age, of health before illness and of life before death;
I have to take care of my wellbeing, my soul and inner balance and I have to remind myself to see the aging itself in a beautiful light, like the Wabi-sabi–philosophy teaches us (an old Japanese world view) to see the beauty in the imperfect and to acknowledge the grace of patina and age in everything.
I then have to remind myself that I generally much prefer old things over new, antique over modern stuff, and that I should also appreciate my own age with all its good and the signs it begins to show, with all the experiences made, the inner self-confidence gained, the things already learned, the insights reached, the maturity won, subhanallah.

Honestly, 36 isn’t an old age. But my little sister died already at the age of 28 mashaallah, and so I know that life is too short to be spent in complaining, moaning and self-pity , there is still a lot to expect, a lot to wait for, aims to achieve, knowledge to seek and things to learn, inchallah,
I sometimes have to look into the mirror, leaving self criticism behind and telling myself that I honour and love the woman I am and that I appreciate the things I see deep in my own eyes: love and warmth, sorrow and pain, joy and laughter, understanding and empathy, many questions and a curious twinkle that is still so vivid, alhamdulillah, even though my eyelids sometimes show now signs of fatigue.
Spring is slowly coming back into our valley, and what seemed to be death gets now filled with new life, subhanallah. Life turns in circles and cycles and mother earth gets older every year, but there is always the promise of new life, of hope and beauty in the creation of God.
Life is good, alhamdulillah!

meerblick moschee BM

A little family trip to the Moroccan capital and coast 

meeresschätze first spring
And some first signs of spring and treasures from the sea 

How to Print with Potatoes

print how to

Take some potatoes, cut hem neatly into half, take a (not so sharp) knife to cut out nice shapes that stay, whereas you cut the surrounding areas lower.

Take liquid fabric paint and a thin brush and put then some paint on the higher ornaments/forms you’ve just cut out.

Make a first try by printing it on a piece of paper.

Make some adjustments to the cut if needed, but if you are happy then go on and press the shaped potatoes onto the fabric you’ve chosen (old ones to repurpose or new; linen and cotton work best); arrange the print in a row, in circles, groups or totally by hazard, close or in a wider distance – even kids can do this.

Let the paint dry (and maybe iron it) and then go on and use this unique piece of art however you want – for gift bags, pillowcases, table runners, curtains, etc… happy sewing!

print blatt print blätter
print butterfliesprint fabric
print hand print addi
print flowers print HT
print print print potatoe

Winter Solstice

winter sols feuer winter sols cafe
winter solstice kerze winter solst kids

Winter solstice: the longest nights, the shortest days.
The world holds still for a moment before new light comes and fresh life grows.
Time to reflect, time to connect.

Time to enjoy the comfort of a warm home.
Time to inhale quite weekend mornings.
Time to create little oasis’s of peace and family intimacy.

Time to rejoice at the many never ending cycles of nature who promise the repeating return of that what is gone.
Time to strengthen our souls by God’s mercy and wisdom shown in His creation everywhere: the inhaling and exhaling, the warmth and the cold, the north and the south, the day and the night, the living and the death…

Time to remember that all is good, subhanallah,
despite all difficulties that life sometimes brings.
Have a happy Winter!

winter sols blatt winter solst holz

 

Natural Choices as a Parent

wochenbett bett
baby moon – in bed with baby after birth

As a parent there are many choices to make and a lot of different opinions turn around each one. Today I want to share some of the choices we made since we had our first child nearly ten years ago; choices that proved to be good ones and to which we still stick to, now even with the fourth one, alhamdulillah:

  1. natural homebirth without PDA or other painkillers (thanks God that I never had complications that forced me to go to hospital, alhamdulillah)
  2. fully embracing baby moon and staying in bed after birth- at least for a week or two (Wochenbett).
    This I consider such an important part on the journey of being a new mom; this is the “vacation” you need after pregnancy and birth to become ready for all the challenges as a new mother; this I consider as so important to give your body the time to recover and to fall in love with the newborn. The hormonal ups and downs and the defining of your new role now is already difficult enough, so it is important to rest, to have time to sleep and quiet to think, to be pampered by others in these first days and to have someone who takes care of you, of the household tasks and especially of the older children. I am very thankful, that I had always the luck to be accompanied by very caring people, subhanallah.
  3. breastfeeding baby: at least 6 month fully (the best vaccination ever) and then slowly beginning to feed food but continuing with breast milk up to two years, inchallah, such as it is ordered by Allah even in the holy Qur’an.
  4. cloth diapering instead of plastic (I use many different styles, here is some good information for beginners)
  5. natural fibres, eco fabrics and healthy products for baby. I think it is very important, especially in the first months, to keep baby warm with materials that are healthy and feel good (wool, silk, cotton) and to keep away artificial fragrances (often used in baby products but also mom’s perfume, strong shampoo etc). This time we even made our own chamomile-calendula oil to clean baby’s bud, alhamdulillah.
  6. co-sleeping and sharing the family-bed (attachment parenting in general)
  7. carrying and wearing baby in a sling (now, after more than 16 weeks, I am wearing baby also on my back)

What choices did you make and why?

baby tragen draussen baby wickeln nov
kräter öl angiessen krÄuter ÖL
Self-made baby cleaner with olive oil and chamomile/calendula wochenbett essen
Treats during babymoon 

P.S.: Happy 1435 after Hijrah to all my sisters out there! Salam aleikoum.

it’s the little things…

bliss oct

Sometimes there is no time to look for a new motive: so here you see again our kitchen, from another corner on a Sunday morning during a few minutes of semi-peace and silence…

When it is quiet on this blog, it usually means that real life is very busy.
For my taste, it is a bit too busy at the moment: with the everyday tasks as a mother of four, alhamdulillah, with a husband who often has to travel, with a whole school to manage and with some serious things to organise…
In the spare moments, when I finally find myself alone, quiet and able to breathe, (during daytime this only happens in the bathroom, and even there I sometimes have a baby with me…) I often feel too exhausted for everything. I then simply enjoy the peace of the moment and the silence around – these are the moments when I really thank God for the energy He gave me to carry so many different things, subhanallah, and these are also the moments when I realize that I have to use my energy wisely and to honour my body and mind for the work they do, alhamdulillah.
Over the years I learned that I really have to treat myself well, especially in times like these. I have to be kind with myself in order to be able to give love and to be good with others.
This wasn’t easy for me to learn and I often neglected my own needs. But I get better on with it and I try now to consciously listen to my own needs and to create some oases of peace (even small, short and tiny ones) in the midst of my hurry-blurry days full of musts and have-to’s.

This is my actual list of small little moments of bliss to treat myself:

  • Smiling to myself in the mirror
  • Drinking a big mug of fresh and warm milk coffee
  • Looking at the happy face of our baby-boy, subhanallah
  • Reading beautiful home interior magazines
  • Eating a slice of Swiss chocolate
  • Massaging my hands with some rich hand cream (Weleda is my favourite brand)
  • Taking a little walk behind the house, to get another perspective of everything
  • Watching a movie with the children in the evening
  • Getting to bed early or sleeping a bit longer in the morning, to have at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep
  • Rejuvenating myself 5 times a day during the minutes in prayer and prostration
  • Decorating the table with lovely flowers or herbs from the garden.

What is the bliss that carries you through the day?

I keep you in my prayers, especially all the hard working moms out there, and I wish you satisfaction and joy in all what you do.

‘Id el Adha 1434

id kebir kuchen
Peace with you all!
recently I am totally taken by all the different duties around here, mashallah, and with our slow internet connection it actually is extra hard to find time to respond to mails or to blog here. I beg your pardon and hope to find soon more time and space to come back here more often and also to write private mails, inchallah. Until then I wish you blessings, light and love. xxx

id kebir said  

What do you want to be remembered for?

persgrowth

It’s been long since I have been here last time. This period of the year is always very intense and this month especially full of things because of some new volunteers and important changes in school, because of our baby and other things going on and needing my full attention, alhamdulillah.

I realize more and more that my role as a leader in so many different areas asks for constant personal improvement and development. The responsibility that comes with all these leadership-roles sometimes nearly overwhelms me and I understand more and more how much I need to grow and to learn myself in order of being capable to hold these roles and to respond to what they require and to what God has entrusted me with, inchallah.

At the moment I am reading a very inspiring book called “Managing the nonprofit organization” (by Peter F.Drucker) – a book I received from Christian Hlade, the founder of the famous austrian travel company Weltweitwandern, who is a role model of a leader himself.

By reading it I learn so much about myself but also about how to guide and how to encourage other people to give their best.
Questions like “what do you want to be remembered for?” or “how can you improve yourself and where can you really make a difference?” push me to work harder on my self, to go further and to aim for higher things.
This sometimes is very exhausting, challenging and needs a lot of energy, but it also gives a deep feeling of satisfaction and sense and it just fits so well with my religion and on what we as Muslims should focus on, alhamdulillah.

What are you working on? What are your personal aspirations?

Wishing you well, sense and joy in all what you do! Masalama.

Being in the flow

flowfluss
flow walk

“Oh Allah I seek refuge with You from distress, grief, incapacity, laziness, miserliness, cowardice, the burden of debt and being overpowered by men“

(a supplication from the Prophet (sas) reported by Al Bukhari) 

trying to be in the flow of life, to swim with the rhythm of the everyday, to balance all the different roles, the “must’s” and “have-to’s” in a healthy way, to completely trust and surrender in Allah’s will.
flow fish
beautiful fish-mobile made by my au pair girl Elisabeth – good bye dear!