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XIII: Growing up with Sabbath

Nothing shaped my early spiritual life quite like Sabbath. I was raised on holy rest, unflinching devotion to the seventh day God himself called sacred and blessed. You didn’t have to be Jewish to celebrate the seventh day. Sabbath was for everyone! We considered Sabbath as sacred as God himself. Honoring God meant honoring his […]

XII: My radically generous family

Generosity is a mindset fueled by confidence in a God who is more than enough. My mother beautifully modeled a generous heart to me. Besides adopting many children and tirelessly teaching people to eat healthier, mother held little attachment to money. It’s all God’s anyways, she would proclaim while passing piles of cash along. My father […]

XI: Nutty Vegetarians

People thought we were nuts, becoming vegetarians in 1983. Not consuming any meat pushed the limits of socially acceptable behavior in East Germany. A meatless diet? Impossible. Unheard of. Absurd. Why starve yourself amidst plenty of pork! What would you eat? Concrete? Poor children! ‘Vegetarian’ had no word recognition. Only one box seemed to fit our […]

X. Wacky Neighbors

Growing up in apartments meant encountering all sorts of neighbors. One became my childhood best friend. Another birthed the cutest baby in the world I pretend-adopted as my own. We shared walls with less desirable neighbor-types too: tattletale, party animal, overly-friendly, gossip, complainers. Not to mention the ever present GDR exclusive government informer. Snoop & […]

IX: The night our books perished

Everything we own belongs to God. And sometimes I wish He would replace what gets ruined. Instantly. We did not have many treasures growing up in our 700 square foot apartment in East Germany. A small black and white TV, a record player, a rotary dial phone which was tapped by Snoop & Spy INC. (officially […]

VIII: Communist Education: What I learned in first grade

German students entering first grade receive a Sugar Cone: a large, decorated cardboard cone filled with small toys, school supplies and sweets on the first day of school. I couldn’t wait to get mine, unaware no amount of sugar in world would sufficiently sweeten the transition to socialist style education. I’d been spoiled with freedom […]

VII: When your soul bears a scar

You can certainly get through life without understanding what helped create your vulnerabilities. Perhaps you will never feel desperate enough to want to explore the paper thin places of your soul for fear of falling apart. A few years ago I was tired of banging my head against the brick wall of infertility and ended […]

VI: Adoption in the land of a million ironies

The communist regime in East Germany did not encourage adoption despite vulnerable children existing right within our walls. Orphans and other defenseless children were placed in state run facilities, being cared for socialist style. A foster care system did not exist and private adoptions were pretty rare. Christians in particular were deemed unworthy to adopt […]

V: East-West Wedding: How love scaled the wall

Did you know you were growing up in a communist country?” My friend leans back in her chair, genuinely curious. “I mean you were just a kid when the wall came down….” Did I know about communism?!? I am trying not to laugh. True, kids may not care about politics but life works differently under […]

Behind the Wall & Under the Steeple IV: Church

After my parents got married, we started going to church. My father had attended a faith based seminar, where a dynamic speaker delivers bible truth one persuasive slide at a time. Dad was hooked, rapidly absorbing amazing facts and dragging my mother along to meetings. In the end, both decided to commit their lives to […]