other circumstances

It was the one thing I was just not prepared for, at all.
It was what we had planned and expected the least. Never.
We have been very happy and really busy enough with four kids and our growing school project, alhamdulillah.
I was happy to gain back more and more freedom, now that they were all growing older. After nearly fourteen years of being pregnant, breastfeeding, diaper-changing and caring for very small children, even the smallest one shows, with his four years of age now, already large amounts of independence.
So I enjoyed myself so much in just having sometimes a few hours alone, in being able to travel a few days without children, in engaging in bigger projects outside the home, in being myself, thinking about myself and being just with myself.

 

And then this:
menses already ten days over, a tearing belly, knowing that this might not be just an early menopause-symptom,… and the result of the test: positive!!!!
Pregnant with the fifth child!

Oh—my–God. It just cannot be possible, mashaallah. It cannot!

A whole world of dreams and plans broke over me. I felt weak, and old, and imprisoned, and forced into something I just was not ready for.
Astaghfirullah. Lord, forgive me, make it easy for me…
It was horrible, I immediately began to feel very sick, uncomfortable, tired, miserable, with no joy in anything and ready to vomit every moment.
Scenarios of having a big pregnancy belly, giving birth and holding a baby came to my mind like horror and it just felt so strange, so far away, and so not at all me any more, I thought I was over all of this.

Towards the outside world I didn’t’ show these thoughts.
I hid it, the pregnancy and my awkward feelings. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I maybe looked like I’ve got it all together, but inside, I felt like standing ankle deep in crap.
I first had to make peace with it myself.
I had to learn how to find the magic and wonder in this mess, in become a baby-mother, again. I had to gain back faith and confidence and trust.
I had to learn to surrender in Allah’s will, to be thankful.
I had to learn to accept and to let go, to drop myself and to give up my selfishness, my wish to control and my ego-claims.
I had to accept that I cannot just close our family-door and all the blessings and prosperity we live in, if God wishes us to take this task and to care for another child. I had to accept this duty.

It took time. These whole summer vacations I spent pondering, meditating and working on this.

I slowly feel better now. I still have some nausea, but I begin to accept the situation and even begin to feel something like joy, honor, gratitude, pride and excitement with it, alhamdulillah.
I begin to accept this mission that was imposed upon me.
I look forward to a house full of children, to a small one who needs us all and who will have his place among our wonderful-crazy family-tribe, inchaallah.

My faith helps me a lot – I just know that everything happens for our highest good.
I find inspiration and encouragement in blogs from moms who have more than seven or ten children, in movies like “cheaper by the dozen” and especially in the belief that destiny (God’s way) is always perfect for us.
And I find joy in the joy of our kids who are eager to welcome the new family-member.

So many wonderful women do and did it, nearly all my neighbors have more than four kids – yes I can, as well, inchaallah.
I still have nearly six months to grow into it, and time will help.

When life gives you lemons – make lemonade!
– Up into this new adventure, into this new learning opportunity, into the joy of being a family of seven!
I mean, honestly, having a full handful of children, being “mom of five”, sounds not so bad at all…

 

 

Preparing for this year’s Ramadan

The better I plan my Ramadan-days, the better I feel, making most out of this special month….
it is so easy to get distracted and lost by our own laziness, television, spending time in the kitchen, thinking about what to cook for Iftar, cleaning around and not making anything that really matters…
but there are so many thing that really do matter, things I want to do and accomplish during this sacred month.

I know, that the self-control we have to practice in not eating from dawn until the evening can help us in many ways to control also other parts of our lifes. This self-control can help us to improve and train the different “muscles of good habits”… giving up bad things and training ourselves in blessed ones…
and the hours we save by not eating can help us much in accomplishing things we normally would not being able to do during normal days, interrupted by coffee-, lunch- and tea-breaks.

In planning, defining and  organising my Ramadan, I find great help in the “productive Muslim” book from Mohamed Faris. I try to put the focus now on what really matters and making best use of the waking hours every day, inchaallah.
How and what d you plan for your Ramadan this year?


this year’s Ramadan calendar:
a bunch of paper-sticks, like flowers in a vase,… everyday with a little reminder of worship, blessing, beauty and love…

 

 

 

DIY for the gardener



Because gardening is (mostly) an easy and do-able task done together with small children, just like baking and crafting, we spent a lot of these days outside.
Being in the garden this week, planting, creating and improving our flower beds, I’ve suddenly felt the need to go in, to my nearly forgotten sewing machine, and add bags and pockets to my work-clothes. And to sew some pocket-belts for the most important utensils of a gardener.
By reusing, repurposing and recycling, out of old trousers and aprons, arose those useful garden belts, very practical for all these little things one always needs to have at hand…., alhamdulillah

Many other beautiful ideas to be found online by searching for “garden belts diy”.

Happy April, inchaallah!



 

Past Present Future 01’17

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The new (miladi)-year 2017 just began, and even though it is still “new”, it also is already nearly two weeks “old”:
the white, blank pages of my organizer fill consistently, my last post is long ago, and while I’m observing the passing of time, I feel the need to reflect on things that passed and things to come.

Last year was full of change and development, sometimes very demanding and exhausting, but also promising and full of joy and beauty, alhamdulillah.
If I would have to put the essence of the last year into a few words, I would call it “transistion”.

A lot of my private life is very much related to my work life – in fact our school and everything connected to it IS our life – it is a life-project, present in our heart and mind 24/24h and 7/7days, alhamdulillah, and last year we had the chance to develop and realize many incredible things, alhamdulillah.
So, a lot of my reflections concerning the last year are related to the events and development of campus vivant’e and can be read on our latest newsletter here: https://ecolevivante.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/news-from-the-campus

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If I fade out the project and look at my personal last year, I see that I learned a lot about myself, I met very interesting people and made important life choices and changes. But there is, beside the very many other things, one thing that stands out in 2016:

It was the medical result we got last February that scientifically confirmed that our smallest son (3 years old) also is hearing impaired, just like our daughter, mashallah.
First, this was a shock and very sad news, even though we had suspicions since several months and were kind of prepared to the fact that he also is deaf. But it hurt. Just as it did 5 years before with our girl, and from time to time again.

But thanks God, subhanallah, the things changed to better and better; the burden of having two children who have difficulties to hear turned more and more out to be a blessing.
We got the chance to learn a lot together as a family and even with society here.
Through a professional volunteer from Berlin, who came living in our valley for more than three months, we, and the whole school (teachers, some parents and pupils), learned sign language and communication with the deaf. It was a real gift to see so many people beginning to happily signing and understanding each other.

new-horizons

And it was and still is very touching to see especially our own two children evolving great communication skills between them and with others. Even our smallest boy’s capability to make himself understood by signs and words unfolds now in beautiful ways.
I can see how sign language helps him developing his spoken language and learning skills in general and how his older sister benefits from having a mate and someone who shares the situation with her. They support each other, they help and encourage each other, they grow and have fun together and they fight for their rights as 2 deaf children in a family of 4 hearing people.

It’s incredible to see their strength and courage in life. Allahumma barik.
So everything developed for the better, subhanallah, tabarakallah, and I am looking forward to accompany and to see those two little souls flourishing and growing in their own very special and  beautiful ways, teaching us a lot by just being who they are, inchaallah.

“after burden comes ease” – it’s so true, I assure you, we can count on HIM –  Allahu akbar!

Wishing you light, love, peace for 2017
and a never ending trust in God’s wisdom and the divine ways!

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Travelling the High Atlas Mountains

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We have been on a seven days hike with our friends who own the Marrakesh-based travel company “Marabout Travel”.
They organized a beautiful trip with everything included: tents, all material needed, nice food, a cook and a very helpful team of mule-keepers that took very well care of us, alhmadulillah.

This was such a new experience for me! I live since more than eleven years in the middle of these mountains and my husband is even a mountain guide. But I never did a trekking tour into the higher parts of the Atlas (when there was possibility, I either was pregnant or the children were too small).
So this year was the first time we went on a big walk as a family. And there, only about twenty kilometers away from home, over the mountains that I see every day, I discovered a whole new world, subhanallah.

trek13trek7trek16trek trek4 trek8      trek12trek9
I wrote a little travel journal and will share some of it over the next days, inchaallah.