The Power of Listening

I just finished my first year at the Encounter Course at the London Centre of Spiritual Direction. This is a refection on one of the main lessons I am taking away from this year.

Three chairs Spiritual Directors International www.sdiworld.org

It has been such an exciting journey to discover how powerful listening really is. How listening in itself is just enough. It is one of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone. It is in the being listened to that people are changed.

It is something so simple, so straightforward; anyone can offer it, but yet so powerful and so life changing. Someone said, ‘being heard is so close to being loved that, for the average person, they are virtually indistinguishable’ (D. Augsberger).

I have learnt that this is not just about me becoming the most skilled listener with the best techniques at hand. No, it is not even really about me being good at listening, but about me trusting in the presence of God in the act of listening. And holding the other in that presence… Continue reading

Advertisements

One Step at a Time

movingSo we are moving.

Again!

This Summer, I am celebrating my 10th year in Britain. I first came to Durham and after that lived in Canterbury, London, Staplehurst and Gravesend. In a few weeks time, it is time to start packing and say our goodbyes again.

I don’t think it ever gets any easier. The future is full of uncertainties. I am struggling to deal with questions of those showing an interest in our move. Where are you going to be? How is it going to work with the children? Have you found any schools? Will you be able to keep your job? Can your parents still come and see you? Continue reading

“What Do You Think She Is?”

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were asked to come to our daughter’s school to share something about our different cultures with the 120 children in reception. Now we both have quite a bit of public speaking experience, but standing in front of so many four and five-year-olds was a rather new experience (at least for me)!

My favourite bit was when we asked our daughter to come forward and put four different flags around her. Continue reading

When Someone Deeply Listens To You

encounter2I have started a new course in Spiritual Direction called Encounter at the London Centre for Spirituality. I am hoping to share a bit more about the content of this course in future posts. For now, I would like to focus on one of the first subjects we looked into on the course, which was ‘listening’.

In our small groups, everyone was asked to talk on a specific subject for five minutes without being interrupted. The rest of the group was asked to listen and reflect on their listening, noticing any distractions and specific feelings that came up while listening.

Continue reading

Thoughts on Brexit by EU-immigrant living in England

Artwork by Eugene Ankomah

Artwork by Eugene Ankomah

Dear Great Britain,

Has it been nearly a decade
since I swapped my beautiful country
for your lovely streets;
left behind opportunities back home
to be transformed by you?

I came to you to be stretched,
to widen my horizon,
to be changed by your people,
but it was never easy
to leave everything familiar behind.

Don’t think we found happiness
because of your wealth and greatness.
It was in the giving of ourselves,
investing in your people and society,
that we became better-off.

It was you who taught us
that when you let go
of what is comfortable,
you are changed in the process
and gain so much in return.

Oh dear Great Britain,
don’t you realise
that protecting what is yours;
keeping things to yourself
will not make you any richer?

It is in the awkwardness,
in the letting go,
in the opening up,
in the giving out,
that you will find your blessings.

Tonight I am walking your streets with a heavy heart;
I worry about my future,
but even more about yours.

As I prepare myself
to give up my comfort once more
I see you holding on tightly to what is yours
and fear you might be losing out
more than you could ever imagine…

EU-Immigrant

by Mirjam Ngoy-Verhage

For my Dutch readers, you can listen to an interview with me on Dutch Radio about Brexit the day after the referendum results came out (see the right of this page: ‘Midden-Nederlandse Ngoy vanuit Engeland over de brexit’).

What I Learnt From a 10-year-old

e83ed6e02290bcf1050986a43f5afd17PUTTING MY PRAYERS INTO ACTION

Every Monday evening I am involved in a youth club for ten to thirteen-year-olds. This week I had the privilege of being part of a new initiative called prayer shack. We handed out small pieces of paper for young people to write down their prayer requests.

I work for a Christian Youth Centre, but most young people that come through our doors wouldn’t call themselves Christian. This means prayer is not something they are used to; especially being prayed for is new to them. Continue reading

Go, Live and Become

downloadA Sudden Wave of Homesickness

So here I am again. Sitting in my son’s dark room trying to get him to go back to sleep. I am forced to leave everything I was doing behind and enter some quiet time. Success at last?

He’s managed to fall back asleep, but every time I try to get up he starts crying.

So I just sit here.

Continue reading

Four more sleeps before the open swim

Why I am JOINING A COMPETITIVE RACE

Yesterday I had one of my final training session at the Olympic Aquatics Centre in London

Yesterday I had one of my final training session at the Olympic Aquatics Centre in London

This Saturday I am hoping to complete the biggest challenge of my bucket list so far: swimming a competitive race. I am going to swim the one-mile (1600 meter) Great Newham London Swim. But no, I am not in it to compete, completing it is my main goal!

I signed up for the swim a week after  my husband Lusa gave me a bucket list for my 30th birthday and my first training session was on 20th April. I managed to swim 60 laps (1500 meter) in about an hour. Continue reading

What’s in a name?

Finding Strength in our Pain

when-oceans-rise

This morning I am getting ready to go to a women’s conference, where I will be speaking on Isaiah 62:4 and how God gives us a new name.

“You will no longer be called Abandoned,
    and your land will no longer be called Deserted.
Instead, you will be called My Delight Is in Her,
    and your land, Married.
    Because the Lord delights in you,
    your land will be cared for once again.”

Continue reading

Trying To Find My Voice

Blog
On Presenting the Truth

I started blogging with so much enthusiasm, but a few weeks later I just wasn’t so sure what I wanted to write about. I had been following some other mum bloggers and was trying to fit my writing in this category. But very soon I got bored of trying to write reviews and share about the ordinary life of a mum.

Continue reading