Making someone happy

There is a song I really like, the words go something like: “make just one someone happy and you will be happy too…”

Today I was really proud of Mohammed. He came over in the ambulance to the school where I work and allowed the little children to look at it and to look inside of it. With his big smile, kindness and patience he made a few children really happy.

I will never forget the children´s faces. One little girl looked like the sun was shinning out of her eyes and I have never seen her have such a huge smile on her face! I will always treasure today as one of the best moments of my life and as one of my best memories!

The little boys kept saying “wow!!!”

They had so many questions and couldn´t stop smiling and looking at everything with huge open eyes.

What an amazing experience for them on this Friday just before the school holidays! But it was also an amazing experience for Mohammed and for me. I think I was more excited than the children and it took me several hours to come down!

Of course it wasn´t the seeing the ambulance that was the highlight of my day but seeing how happy we had managed to make the children.

It made me realise that with a little thinking and working together we can make someone´s day and without intending it, we can make ourselves truly happy.

Think about it, maybe those words on the song are true!

With the weekend ahead and the October holidays already here, I fully intend to find as many chances as possible to make someone´s day. Not for what I get out of it but because making someone happy should be the highlight of any day.

Have a happy weekend!

All content and photos are the property of Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio

© 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio

Focusing on old German Architecture

Recently we wrote a post on 10 things we love about living in Germany. One of the 10 was German Architecture. Today we would like to focus a bit more on this subject and show some photos that Mohammed took of our favourite German city: Celle.

We drove to Celle early one Sunday morning, spent time walking around and just really looking at the buildings in the city centre area. There were only a few tourists around looking with big eyes and open mouths at the buildings. Observing them I realised how often we take our surroundings for granted, when was the last time you stopped and really looked around the place where you are?

It was wonderful to look around with fresh eyes, really noticing every detail. There is so much in Celle to discover! One blog post on it will never be enough!

There was some information we already knew about Celle but then we accidentally met two lovely ladies who told us a lot about their city. They both live there and are really proud of their city.

Celle is a Royal city. It has a castle, sadly we couldn´t take any photos of it as it is covered in scaffolding at the moment, but as soon as we can I shall post photos of it. Ancestors of the British Royal Family come from here and lived in this castle.

So here are some of the photos we took and some really interesting information!

I love the painted decorations on the houses. The colours are fantastic and what is written on many of the houses is very moving. Most of them have the name of the original owners, when the house was built, and something about them or the hopes they had for their new home, others have written on them a verse from the Bible or a short prayer or petition to God, like Bless this home and it´s inhabitants.

Others have funny comments like it is not possible to be happy if your neighbour doesn´t like it or doesn´t like you.

But usually there is something written about God or asking God for His blessing and protection.

 

 

 

One thing that I didn´t know and was told to us by the two lovely ladies, is that these decorations on top of the houses, contain the original architectural plans for the house, inside that golden ball. So that if ever there was a fire for example, then the plans for the house would be safe and the house could be rebuilt again. Amazing and truly clever!

 

 

This one I already knew! Those thick pieces of wood sticking out of the top of the houses were used to lift goods, with the help of a rope and pulley, into the houses and pulled in through those little doors, like in the photo here above.

Goods were stored in the loft of the houses, like for example large quantities of flour for the winter, or in the case of shop owners, a tailor for example, the fabric for his work would be lifted up and pulled into the house to be stored in the loft.

This one  is really interesting! If you look carefully at the above photo, you will see that it is two 1\2 houses. Originally the two halves were planned by the architect as one house, but the sisters who were going to build it and live together had a major disagreement so the house was literally cut in half, with no extra money or resources, the house was built in two halves, with a piece of ground in between, with the two halves in opposing direction to each other.

  

One of the things I really like about Celle is the fantastic window boxes that hang from the windows. The Geraniums look so wonderful and they make the houses look even more attractive!

Yes, that is my lovely feet there! but that is not the interesting thing. The interesting thing is the stone road. These stone roads, or cobbled roads, are protected and I can see why, they have a lovely pattern to them and are in amazingly good condition. I really enjoy them even if they are uneven! No high heels girls!

         

The photos above show the old Rathaus (or council offices) and the tower from the main church in the city. The view is lovely.

And the last photo is to make you laugh a bit! Here I am looking into the window of one of my favourite shops, Mohammed took the photo and then showed it to me saying: “here I am working and what is she doing? shop window shopping!” and he laughed a lot.

Celle is a truly amazing and wonderful city, it looks amazing with the Christmas market there. I promise I shall write a post before Christmas with photos of Celle on the run up to Christmas and the Christmas market.

Until then we would like to say that we had an amazing day rediscovering Celle and spending time together. I think this was the most important part of the day, the spending time together. We highly recommend rediscovering your surroundings with friends or loved ones or with your husband or wife. Building good memories is the secret to growing strong relationships and a happy life.

Mohammed & Beatriz

All written content and photographs are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

© 2018 Mohammed Al Ali & Beatriz Custodio

Happy Wife = Happy Life

Wives who are happy blossom. They look more beautiful every day. They apply themselves to everything they do and try to do it right. They make their houses into welcoming homes.

A woman has the ability to affect the atmosphere of  any room with her mood. A happy and radiant wife will turn a home into a little bit of heaven. An unhappy wife will bring a sad and heavy feeling into the home and every day life.

Most men know what makes their wives happy and what makes them truly unhappy.

Men who truly love their wives strive to do everything they can to not do anything that makes their wives unhappy. Of course we are all human and do make mistakes, but the important thing is not to keep on making the same mistakes. If something that you did made your wife unhappy and made her cry, don´t do it again!

Obvious! but why is it that some people keep on making the same mistakes over and over again until their relationships fail?

Once a relationship has truly failed there is no way back. Once the love dies it is the end.

But before you get to that point it is time to wake up and take care of your wife and your relationship.

Take a little bit of time everyday to get to know your wife all over again. Bring romance into your relationship and lavish your wife with your love. Encourage her, praise her for her beauty and what she does right, motivate her to keep growing as a person and allow her the freedom to be herself.

Always focus on the positives and if there are negatives find a way to talk about it in a calm way, finding together a solution to the situation.
When you speak with your wife give her your full attention and! do actually give her your attention and time, tomorrow it might be too late. Time goes by way too quick and we don´t see it.
Value your wife and do not take her for granted.
Time together should be a high priority, but not just time together, a time when you leave all else aside and focus on your wife and fall in love with her all over again. Movies tell the stories of those falling in love but never the “happy ever after” as a happy ever after. Believe me! It is possible and real to fall in love all over again every day with your own wife!!!

From one happy husband to many!

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

© 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

A heart full of love

Some people have no love in their lives. They spend their time asking themselves when will they find a person to fall in love with and get married. Or why do my parents or family or friends not love me?

When it comes to love relationships, it is easy to find just a person but it is not easy to find the right person, the person that will love you as you are unconditionally, who can understand you and walk through this life with you.

I believe personally that God has a plan for our lives and in this plan He includes the right person for each one of us. The aim is to meet this person and to have the ability to recognise them.

Don´t think that every person is happy, in fact some appear to be happy but are not, every home has it´s own story.

Traditions, experiences, different backgrounds and different cultures all contribute to who we are and our expectations of love and life.

Relationships can be complicated and difficult but a successful relationship depends on each person making the decision EVERY DAY to choose the other one. Not to give up on the relationship, on the person they love or on themselves.

True love is when we know everything there is to know about the other person and we still love them.

But love can also fade away. Specially if we do not learn to mould ourselves into the relationship  and consider the needs of the other person. Making a point of taking the focus of ourselves only and focusing on the other person too, helps us to build a successful relationship. That doesn´t just apply to love but also to friendships and family relationships.

To only pursue what we want without thinking about the happiness of the other person leads to failure in any relationship.

Having shared goals and dreams, as well as taking time to build good memories, makes relationships stronger.

Of course there are set backs and hard times, everyone makes mistakes. The important thing is to learn from those mistakes and not make the same mistakes again. Knowingly doing something that hurts the other person and causes damage to the relationship is not going to contribute to success.

Investing time in your relationship and in considering if what you are doing is helping your relationship stay strong or not, is the key to opening the door to success. A heart full of love is not enough if you don´t put time and effort into your relationship.

Invest time on focusing on the person you love, studying them again, learning about them like if you saw them for the first time and see the positive changes in them, in you and in your relationship.

Wishing a successful relationship and a heart full of love!

Beatriz & Mohammed

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Recognising True Friendship

Our friends came over a few days ago to visit us. We hadn´t seen them for a while. We laughed, we talked about many things, we went shopping together, BBQed together and ate together. We played on the X Box also and listened to music we all like and we danced together. Mohammed did some crazy dancing and made us laugh some more.

But the important thing about tonight was the “togetherness”. We had a lot of fun.

I write all of these things, to say how nice it is to have good people in your life, they make the difference.

It is important to find the right friends and once you find them take care of those friendships that make a positive difference in your life. Try to choose good people and let go of those that do not bring anything positive but cause you to be unhappy or put you down all the time.

Celebrate the good friendships and continue to build them up.

Finding good friends can take a long time. To build a strong friendship that stays with you for the rest of your life takes time too. To have close friends that know you well and you know well is very valuable in life.

True friends are not those that just agree with everything you say and do. True friends sometimes tell you the ugly truth too. They disagree with you without hurting you and in a way that builds you up, not in a way that leaves you broken.

Real friends take time to listen to you. They invest their time and energy into the friendship and are by your side when things are good but also when things are bad. True friends don´t try to push you into making decisions you are not ready to make but help you to analyse every situation until you alone are ready to do what you need to do.

Emotional blackmail and control are not part of a true friendship. There will be times in life when you are not feeling strong, then true friends try to build up your strength and are by your side when you can´t keep going alone.

Such friends are more valuable than treasure. Maybe you have been lucky enough to find such friends and are going through a difficult time in your friendship. Be encouraged that friendships also go through hard times, important is to know the difference. Is this a friendship that builds you up and makes a positive difference to your life?

Are you making a positive difference in their lives? What can you do to make a difference in this friendship?

Recognising the positive attributes of your friends and knowing their value in your life will help you resolve any difficulties.

Be encouraged to focus on your true friends and the friendships that you value.

Beatriz and Mohammed

(All content and photos are the property of Mohammed Al Ali and Beatriz Custodio.

© 2018 Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali)

Facing Opposition

  

Have you ever noticed that often when a person tries to do something different they face unbelievable opposition?

I come from a land that praises and encourages individuality, where people are allowed and encouraged to be unique and to live unique lives.

Of course there are role models or we observe the success of others to encourage ourselves but we try to do things in our lives that speak of our individuality and who we are.

I have noticed that often those who know me seem to forget that I come from a different culture, therefore my expectations in life are different to those of other people and my way of living my life is also different.

I found that in some countries in Europe people are expected to fit in with the rest and do things in the same way as others. If we don´t fit in then we find great opposition.

Today I want to encourage us all to be ourselves, to seek to be an individual and to live a unique life that fits and suits us!

Opposition can be really discouraging.

Suppose you have decided to choose a career path that is different to most, those that don´t understand your choice tend to speak against your career choices and make discouraging comments.

If you have chosen to do a unique job that takes you on a career path that is different to the majority of the population and you are sure that this is the right way for you then you need to learn to use opposition in a positive way.

Behind every negative remark you can build within you a positive answer.

There is no point in using your precious energy discussing or arguing with those that don´t agree with your choices in life. If they have made up their mind that your choices are wrong you will spend precious time and energy trying to change their minds, instead of using this energy to achieve your goals and be successful.

Pick your battles. Be yourself. Keep your eyes on your goal. Close your ears to those that try to discourage you without understanding what you are doing or having your best interests at heart.

Of course it is important to hear those that have your best interests at heart, but the final decision has to be yours. Not everyone has to agree with your choices in life, but people should respect your choices and your individuality.

Always doing what others want of you ends up stealing your freedom to be yourself and lead a unique life.

The road to success can be a very long one if you are not focussing your energy on your goals.

Finally, to face opposition you have to be really strong. Ask yourself if you are strong enough to withstand opposition and prepare yourself on how to deal with it. Be honest with yourself, is what they are saying to you correct? Are they speaking out of concern? If so how can you use their comments to turn a negative into a positive.

Be encouraged! there is always a positive solution to every negative situation!

Don´t stay standing at the negatives, turn them into positives. Don´t concentrate on the problems but find solutions by looking at each situation from every possible angle. If something you tried did not work then don´t keep heating your head against the wall! Try a different and new approach to the situation.

Wishing us success in the unique paths we choose for our lives and careers!

Beatriz & Mohammed

All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

The pursuit of happiness in every day life

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is a very important phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The Declaration says these are rights that have been given to every single person by God. 

We have the right to pursue Happiness in every area of our lives, but I believe that our happiness can not infringe on the rights and freedoms of others. Not only that but we need to learn to respect the right of others to pursue their own happiness. As long as that pursuit is not breaking laws or damaging other indivuduals and their property.

We do not need to agree with their life choices or support them on their choices but we do need to learn to respect them and give them the freedom to live their own lives.

If we spend our time focusing on what other people do that we do not agree with, then there is no time left to focus on our own happiness.

We find happiness in every day life, for example in the changes in nature. We delight in seeing the changes in the vegetation around us and are grateful for the chance to witness God´s hand at work.

Taking time to stop our busy lifestyles to simply look around and notice the beauty that surrounds us, brings great satisfaction and makes us happy. Sharing these peaceful times with our loved ones makes it even better.

Take time to look around you this weekend, take a deep breath in the fresh air and be happy! Simple things are the best in life!




All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.

Look inside

When you look at someone what do you see?

We all meet a lot of people in life and in comparison with real time and eternity, we live for a very short time.

We laugh, we cry, we are happy, we are sad. We have good times and bad times.

It is so nice to see someone with a smile on their face in the morning, but it is also quite rare.

A long time ago I learnt something, to not look at the outside of people but to try to look at their heart.

Some people are sad because of the things they are living through and others are happy without caring about what is happening to the person next to them.

Some people loose themselves, their identity, they no longer know who they are and they are searching for answers. They try to identify themselves with others.

Some react in a very negative or aggressive way most of the time. These people are usually trying to protect themselves or are scared because of what they experienced in the past.

When we first came to Germany we couldn´t speak a single word of German. Mohammed went to learn German but I came to Germany under other circumstances and did not go to any classes.

I learnt German alone at home and with the help of some friends. I used to be tired all the time, after a while I realised that it was because I was concentrating so hard to try to understand what people were saying. I concentrated a lot on the expressions of their faces, the movements of their hands and their whole body language in general.

Although I have never been able to see colour or nationality, age or social status, during that time when I first arrived in Germany I learnt to really see the person. After a short time I could easily tell what was happening to the person in front of me even though I couldn´t understand everything they were saying.

When we can speak the language of the person in front of us, we tend to concentrate on the words being said and we loose the ability to see the person behind the words or the real meaning and impact behind what is being said.

Now that I can speak German I tend to focus more on the words than on the expressions.

I have resolved to go back to looking more intensely at the person and listening really carefully. To really listen to what someone is saying, is to respect them, to give them value and to value your time with them. It is also a means to personal growth.

For both of us what matters is not what is on the outside but what is on the inside. What matters is the good things inside the person and the positive contribution they can have on our lives and that we can have on theirs. Focus on the postive and let go of the negative!

If we just throw words at each other without thinking whether these words are going to hurt the other person or not, then we can cause great damage to ourselves and to others. We are all human, not animals, no matter what we look like on the outside, where we come from or how old we are, we all feel in the same way. If you can get hurt so can I, so can anybody else.

Resolve this weekend to look inside the person in front of you and not at the outside. Really focus on what they are saying and listen carefully not just to the words but also hear the meaning of what they are saying.

Wishing us all a happy people weekend!

Beatriz and Mohammed

(All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.)

Living in Peace

One of the nicest things in life is to live in peace. When you have your family around you and you are there for each other then you know you are not alone.

Many people search for peace in all different areas of life. Peace at work, peace at home, peace in their family relationships, peace in their marriage, peace in the world and peace with themselves.

For me the search for peace took me on a 3 months walk, all the way from the war until I reached Germany. Although there is peace in Germany, the war goes on in my country and therefore my search for peace did not end with my arrival in a country without war.

I search for peace within my thoughts and in my heart. In some areas of my life I am fully at peace, for example in my relationship. But I have no peace when it comes to the safety of my family. I wait daily to hear news from them and ask myself when will I meet them again in person.

I watch and read the news regularly to check the updates on the war and try to find some peace about my family.

I miss my family but I am grateful that I have them. I give thanks to God for my family and their love and for the life and freedom I now have in Germany.

Where has your search for peace led you?

(All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali.)

 

Staying Strong

 

There are times in life when everything seems to be going wrong.

Maybe you had today one of those days, weeks or are even having one of those months.

We could sit here talking about how wrong it is all working out or how difficult it all is but that isn’t going to help anyone.

The secret is not to focus on what is going wrong but to focus on finding a solution. Make a list, mental or written, of what is going wrong and the possible reasons why. This might end up being a long list so I choose to write it down.

After writing this list consider if the reason why things are going wrong is your responsibility or not. Sometimes we blame ourselves for what is not our responsibility, however sometimes we start to blame others and everything else for what is really of our own doing.

Deep searching ourselves might not be a favourite activity or a fun activity but one thing is for sure, if we want life to go back to being good again then we need to take a deep look at what is going wrong and the reasons for it.

Once this is done, don´t stay stuck there! Make a new list with possible solutions!!!

Don´t focus on the problems, focus on the solutions. What is the solution to the different situations and whether you are able to put a solution in place, are the most important questions to ask yourself at this point.

If you have the answer to the problem and if you know what you need to do, so you don´t have this problem any more, then do it! As long as your solution to the problem does not cause damage or hurt to any other person.

Always take into consideration the impact that your actions are going to have on those around you. You might think that by doing what seems to you right your problem is solved, but you might end up causing a bigger problem in the long run or causing hurt to somebody near you.

Careful consideration is of the greatest importance at times like this. Rushed actions tend to lead to bigger problems.

In a world where everything happens really fast and confusion reigns, with so many people and so many situations in our lives,  we hardly have any time to think, but when everything seems to be going wrong it is the right time to stop and consider every angle of the situation that you are in and find a solution to it.

If it is at work then you might need to communicate with colleagues.

If it is at home then you really need to find a solution and put it into place. Running away is never the solution (just in case that just crossed your mind), the solution is to confront the problem and deal with it in a positive way. Talking with those involved is of major importance! Blocking people out of your life does not solve the problem!

Stay focused on your goals and the better life you are trying to build.

Stay strong, don´t give up!

(All content and photos are the property of Beatriz Custodio and Mohammed Al Ali.

Copyright © 2018 Beatriz Custodio & Mohammed Al Ali)