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Settling Into A Routine Of Spontaneity

On the train with the three kids I watch and their grandparents on our way to a free "Let's Dance" lesson
Do you believe in routines?
I do.
I believe they are those beautiful fairytales that humans like to talk about, but rarely actually match our full reality.

In all honesty, I love having myself a structured daily routine.
But ... I think one of the hardest things I've ever had to learn is that the only way to have a successful, peaceful life it to learn how to roll with our messed up routines. You know, be resourceful and accommodating, ever ready with a smile rather than a shout.

Keyword: learning.
I still haven't mastered full acceptance.
I love having one, though one of the hardest things I've had to learn in life is that the only way to have a successful peaceful routine, is to allow for our routines to be messed up.

I'm learning to not mind my well-meant plans failing.

And I'm learning to fit myself into others' plans and routines.
There are so many steps in Germany. Some of them lead to interesting places, and some of them are just short cuts across other paths. 
Little squirrel I saw in a park had absolutely no fear of me and played as I read nearby for a good twenty minutes. 
I still haven't settled into a full routine here in Germany. And I really wonder if I will and should. You see, I'm here only six months. And everything is so different. And everyone else's plans are so random (or maybe I won't even hear of them until last minute).

I've always been a fan of knowing what I'm doing and preparing for that.
But not I've just got to be always prepared for ... everything?

Which isn't bad. But it can be exhausting.
It can also be exciting as it involved a spontaneity I never used to have time for.

On this day I thought I was going to go to a castle with the family I'm staying with. But plans were canceled. I looked out the window and it was so sunny, so I went outside and walked an hour to a huge, gorgeous park and I read under a tree. I also found a pretty white scarf that I probably shouldn't have draped around my neck.

But how childlike it felt to be so free to do without the worry about what is coming next.
It also means when I am watching kids if there isn't anything they have to do ... we can do anything. Such as making plans to go kite flying.

I don't remember ever having time to fly a kite, or having a kite to fly. But then when I was younger I wasn't really into those sorts of things. So maybe my siblings did it without me knowing. Actually, I'm sure that they did.
I find I also miss home more than I thought I would. Even so, I'm still horrible when it comes to calling my family. I've been here nearly two weeks and have called my mom once and my sister once. My sister was babysitting some boys I used to watch when we called, and the boys wanted to say hi ... aren't their smiles just enough to make one wish they knew them enough to miss them?
 In my spare moments with the children, I often embroider. The girls always think that's neat. So I decided to teach whoever wants to know ... I started teaching in mid-October, one random day we had free.

She wanted to make a star. We didn't have any yellow floss, so I told her to make it a fantasy star.
So it's pink.
 This little boy has had a little bit of a hard time accepting me being here and helping out with him. As a result, he can "act" like he hates me. But I've taken care of many little boys and know not to ever take it personally. It's the idea of someone coming and ruining their routine that bothers them ... but after some time, once they realize that their routine isn't messed up but rather improved, they turn out to be quite charming little fellows.

This guy is proving to be just as I thought he would be. The other day I walked to his nursery to pick him up, and he smiled when he saw me, and laughed the whole way home, and smiled for the selfie rather than hiding his face as he had before.

Then later on that day, he snuggled up against me as I read to him.

If only adults could embrace their messed up plans so easily and quickly as a child, people might be happier and the world might have a bit more peace.
There was a pumpkin festival at a castle grounds and I went there with my host family and the mother's parents. It was a long day, and we didn't make it back in time for me to go to church, but I found myself enjoying the day all the same.

We road on some little boats, strolled through a bird area and a fairy tale park, and saw many pumpkins exhibits. My favorite pumpkin statues were a giant frog from Princess and the Frog and Gandolf.
There were many booths that sold all sorts of pumpkin foods: Pumpkin seeds spiced with sugar, cinnamon, pepper, salt, and chocolate; pumpkin ice cream; pumpkin fries; pumpkin noodles; and more.

And of course, they sold pumpkins and squash there, too. And one booth actually had plates of raw squash for people to taste test ... Couldn't you just see some health department official freaking out over that? I mentioned that to the family I'm with and they thought that weird.

Yes, America. We do have some crazy people that freak out over things that people have been doing since the beginning of times. And guess what? Humanity is still increasing.
 I took a family picture of them (they said they hadn't had one with their parents in a long time), and then I got a selfie. So, ya'll, meet my Au Pair family. This is back when the little boy still hid his head when I took pictures with him.
 I love having time to walk ... often, I decide the morning of where I want to walk. Maybe I have to go somewhere. But often I can just take the bike or my legs and explore someplace that once upon a busy life I would never have had the time to satisfy my curiosity. Or so I believed. Now I usually spend around two hours of my mornings outdoors, or more.

And I love the wild (and planted) flowers growing everywhere.
Another fun thing I've enjoyed are the game nights. Before, I used to have to worry about work the next day, but now I don't really have to, as I can technically sleep in until noon (don't worry, I don't).

This is a puzzle that I did with the mother of the family I'm staying with, her parents, and some of her children. It is a puzzle of places around the world.

Fun foods I've had:

  • Free cake at a mall
  • An ice cream bar that was made with Heidelbeeries. 
  • An ice cream bar that looked like a normal vanilla bar with a chocolate coating, except the coating was double and had a layer of berries between the two bits of chocolate. 
  • Stuffed pumpkin 
  • A type of bread noodles with powdered sugar spread on top
  • They eat sprinkles on their yogurt ... I've had it and it's not bad, but not my favorite either 😂

Almost a third of my time in Germany is over. In some ways, it's been more difficult than I thought it would be. Eventually, I'll share the why, but right now I'm still going living in the midst of the hard times and need to process everything internally before I can write about it. But suffice it to say that I am learning, and I'm doing well finding more good than bad.

And, wow, I've never had so much peace (or needed it as much, to be honest) as here.

I've also learned how much I really love America. I definitely don't regret coming here, but I can't wait to be back in my country.

Are you a spontaneous person, or more inclined to get worked up over your plans? Do you understand the sort of peace I'm talking of that I'm living right now? The sort that is purely internal and separate from all outward chaos or calm? Do you love being an American and learning to appreciate other places? 


  1. Oh wow, Keturah!! Your time in Germany sounds so neat!!! 😄

    I believe I do understand by what you're meaning by an inner peace! I have had that in trying situations, myself. Especially when I was in my first (and so far only) wreck.

    I hope everything goes well for you, and I pray that spontaneity and peace come to you easily! I definitely know the struggle with spontaneity, as I am rather ordered, organized person, and it's hard to depart from my plans sometimes. >.<

    I'm probably blind (or I just didn't look hard enough or at all, y'know! 😋), But do you have a way I could contact you via email to give you the stuff I learned about my family??


    ~ Lily Cat (Boots) |

    1. And then soon after this I was spontaneously invited somewhere. . And didn't go. The irony haha.

      But yes my time has been neat. And I've been in a wreck, and other VERY trying times. I love how we get that peace, from God I believe.

      And thanks! Definitely going to keep trying.

      My email should be on my about page, but here it is, too:


      (Just replace what's in the parenthesis with a period)

      Looking forward to the email!

  2. Love this post, and such a powerful, true message. I absolutely adore and thrive on routine, and I struggle to cope without it, but recently I've also been realising the need for flexibility. It's terrifying sometimes, but sometime just so refreshing.

    I think spontaneity is so important because most of the time, that's life. You can't always predict and plan. You need to be able to adapt. That's something I really need to learn ;)

    1. Routine is comforting.
      But adapting is how one thrives beyond survivol. Both are good and necessary. But for most of us, you're right that the latter is so vital to learn for living life.

      Thansk for such a fun comment!

  3. Keturah, you're honestly so inspiring! I love reading these kind of posts so much, praying for your safety as always! <33

    1. Ah Gray, thanks a ton. I think my thoughts are inspiring and the rest of me is just trying to keep up with it all. Life is always much harder than I make it out to be ;b Thanks!

  4. I like to have a schedule, or have my day planed out. And it is hard when things end up changing. I'm learning that a lot. Giving grace instead of getting upset. ;)
    Love all the pictures!

    1. Me too, totally. Learning that grace I think is super essential especially after leave home and emerge into a hectic world. Thanks!

  5. I need to be a bit more spontaneous myself. I'm glad your making the most of it all, but I also understand wanting to be back home. Hope you enjoy the rest of your time there.

    1. I think I'm finally comfortable in Germany, so I don't need to go home. But enjoying everything with a bit of spontaneity makes it all better ;)

  6. I'm definitely a person who has a schedule and a plan and wants to STICK TO IT ONE HUNDRED PERCENT WITH ZERO DEVIATIONS. That need is being slowly but surely worked out of me (a process that's lasted the last couple of years), so even though I'd like my days to go exactly as planned, I'm also learning to roll with what I get and just do whatever it is that I can do.

    So glad to here that your time in Germany has been so incredible and educational!


    1. I think it takes a lot of time and simply learning to appreciate lifes up and downs to be able to handle upturned plans.
      And even then they aren't going to be something you always handle in the best way .... but hopefully better than the last time ;)

      Definitely been an educational experience, and even incredible ;)


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