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Friday, September 25, 2009

Taking a break

This is where we will be for the next week. For those of you who are not in South Africa...this beautiful resort is in Plettenberg Bay on the garden route of our beautiful country. Unless the weather is real lousy...or I am very bored I will be taking a break from the internet. Don't miss me OK?

xoxo

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Love is the key


I think we all struggle with loving unlovable people in our lives. We tend to live according to our natural affections - we like some people and others we don't like. This week I was challenged in this by Matthew 5:39-48."....You have heard that it was said, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR, and hate your enemy. But I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Verse 48 ends like this "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." In the past it suited me to say that my neighbour is my fellow Christian and it is much easier loving my fellow Christian...another thing most of us love to say is "...but I am just a human being, I can't be perfect." In this context "perfect" does not mean sinless or flawless. In this context "to be perfect" means to love those who hate us, and to pray for those who persecute us, and to show kindness to both friend and foe. Perfection here is spiritual maturity which enables a Christian to imitate God in dispensing blessings to everyone without partiality.

This new commandment by Jesus calls us to a higher degree of love: John 13:34 "As I have loved you that you also love one another." The true mark of a Christian is love for others. So the challenge is to work out our perfectness in God's likeness by not just simply doing good. Being friendly and nice to those we like is natural. Being friendly and nice to those not so likable is spiritual and can only be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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Little Shop of Sketches #49. This sketch was for multiple little photos...I put a twist on this sketch in that I used a quilt of different papers from an old Sassafras Lass line as a border and one large photo.

I used a photo of me with Dewan...my soft little marshmallow baby. I would love to encourage all of you who like to work from sketches to do layouts based on the sketch and upload it to the gallery on "Little Shop of Sketches". From time to time Tanya Leigh draws names for prizes.


Today we have a public holiday, Heritage day which is also celebrated as National Braai Day. I am hoping to get a bit of scrapping done. Since starting on my "Journey" of discovery through My Utmost for His highest, scrapping has taken a back seat. On Saturday we are leaving for a week in Plettenberg Bay where we have timeshare in the Beacon Isle Hotel. I am so looking forward to just doing nothing, walking on the beach, reading and eating way too much:)

xoxo

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ten everyday things that make me happy



Allie and Mel's recent posts left me reflecting on the little things that truly make me happy.  Here are some of them in no particular order:)
  1. The last cuddle in bed with DH before we have to start our day.
  2. The warm feeling of sunshine on my skin.
  3. Wet and sticky kisses from my grandchildren.
  4. Hugs from my sons.
  5. My first cup of coffee in the morning.
  6. Long, leisurely baths in the winter.
  7. Finding a warmed towel (thanks to DH) when I get out of the shower.
  8. The smell of vanilla or lavender.
  9. The taste and smell of freshly baked bread.
  10. The laughter of children.
What are the things that truly make you happy?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend photo post

On Saturday was Christian's (with the brightly striped shirt) 7th birthday party.  Every second year it is a small affair...so this year he was only allowed to invite his best friends.  Wynand and Nadia took them to Kids Galore...and they had loads of fun.

 Mamma....I want to take this home with me!

 He is walking at last!

 Christian and his friends having a "ball".

Big boys can have loads of fun in the ball pit as well.  Here they buried themselves in balls.

He was so tired that he actually fell asleep in the ball pit...right in the middle of the playing children.

Wynand and Nadia

Bianca and Nadia

Some weeks ago I posted some photos of DH and his helpers removing a huge chunk of my garden in order to replace a wall and to let the sun through to the pool.  Part of the area is going to be a play area for the little ones.  Here you can see the jungle gym in process.

Here you see Oupa's little helper.  One sock on and one sock off. He helped DH with the irrigation system..

He even had to get into the hole to help Oupa fix the pipes.

After all this he really needed a bath!

xxx

Friday, September 18, 2009

Such a fool...


....not to have seen this one coming! 

Why is it that I can reach people, from teenagers to old people, and counsel them, but I can't reach my own?

She has been dating a young man for more than a year...a few weeks ago I noticed that she was irritated by him.  She told me that he was obsessively jealous and that he is forever checking up on her.  So for the past three weeks there has been an on-again....off-again relationship.  Last week she finally told him that it is over, and she seemed fine.  She has mastered the art of wearing a mask of indifference.  A happy face that hides the tears.  That is her way of coping, even with her epilepsy she would never show how much it affects her.

I am not hurt by what she did...disappointed maybe....concerned most certainly. She is a young lady that would normally do what is expected of her, cutting classes is not like her at all.  At first she did not want to talk to me about it when I confronted her.  I explained to her that friends and boyfriends will come in and out of her life, but that we as parents will be the one constant....and the ones that will still be there when all falls apart. What ever happens she has to remember that one thing...WE LOVE HER UNCONDITIONALLY.  Until yesterday I did not realise just how much the break-up affected her.  The sad thing was that he started rumours that she was seeing someone else behind his back and HORRORS OF HORRORS that she was secretly cutting herself.  She cut classes because she could not face all the other students that believed the lie.

My immediate reaction was to want to take this young man by his neck and force him to admit that he spread lies about her.  After sleeping on it  tossing and turning all night, I realise that it would be better to let this thing just die down naturally.  Her college work is still up to date, so she will be returning to class on Monday.

I just realise again how important it is to stay alert where your children are concerned...and that you cannot always trust what is in front of you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Deceived


deceive
verb
mislead; be dishonest


bamboozle*, beat, beat out of, beguile, betray, bilk, buffalo, burn, cheat, circumvent, clip, con, cozen, cross up, defraud, delude, disappoint, double-cross, dupe, ensnare, entrap, fake, falsify, fleece, fool, gouge, gull, hoax, hoodwink, hook*, humbug, impose upon, lead on, outwit, play joke on, pull fast one, put on, rob, scam, screw, sell, skin, suck in, swindle, take advantage of, take for, take for ride, take in, take to cleaners, trick, victimize 
Everyday we drop her off in front of the college. 
Every afternoon I pick her up.
Today I received it in the mail. 
The attendance register. 
She has been cutting ALL her classes for the past three weeks.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blah!

I have been in a very contemplative mood these last few days. Maybe just a tad frustrated. You know how much I adore my family...that is something I NEVER want to lose. When my sons married, I welcomed my new daughters into our family...and that is what I always wanted, not DIL's, I wanted daughters that feel as comfortable and welcome as my own children. I never treat them different from my own.

I am not getting it right and that makes me sad. My one DIL is like a child in my house, always loving and warm and she even calls me "mammie". The other never wants to visit and when she does it is always unpleasant and her moaning and constant bickering with my son just breaks my heart. I see how he is slowly changing....just to try and keep the peace...and I worry about him. This weekend there was a confrontation and it was not pretty. I ask the Lord daily to give me an abundant love for her so that I can just cover her in it...but she is like a little hedgehog...you just can't get close to her. Never wrong and always wants to win. I can't imagine what happened in her life to make her so hard, cold and self-centered. So hard to love. My prayer is that somehow I could bridge this hard exterior to get to the heart.

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Enough of that!
This week was time for Sketch 48 at Little Shop of Sketches.
Here is my take on the sketch. Lukas at the beach. I used the Fancy Pants Summer Soire line.

xxx

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A God shaped hole

I just marvel at how God created us to seek Him. He placed in us a hunger and a thirst for Him something like a God shaped hole in our souls. We have this emptiness and the emptiness creates in us a yearning for Him. Often times we don't know or choose not to know that He is the only one that can fill this emptiness in our lives. We fill it with the things of the world...but no money, no alcohol, no drugs and no person can ever satisfy us. In us will always remain this yearning for Him.

When the things of the world can't fill us, we are easily drawn into alternative religions, cults and the occult...but these things will also leave us empty and even more devastated and alone than before. The hole was designed by God and for Him alone. Once He takes His place in our lives. we know what true peace and joy is and we are never alone again. That reminds me of the scripture in Psalm 42:1 "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?" I found this poem by Dr. Annette M. Parrott that just touches my heart.

A God Shaped Hole

I searched, I waited, I fantasized
Schemes I concocted, plans I devised
Confident I could do my part
To fill that God shaped hole in my heart

I begged, I borrowed and compromised
Revised, disguised and advertised
Pursuing the piece to make me whole
To fill that God sized void in my soul

I went to and fro, up and down
Looked here and there, looked all around
Only finding keys to discontentment and strife
Trying to open the God like lock in my life

I sought aid from strangers, family and friends
They only failed me and could not make amends
I could not understand why a fissure was left
As I tried to fill that God shaped cleft

Oh the chasm that plagued me, the emptiness looming
the hollowness weighing, the vacancy dooming
The cavity persisted, the vacuity followed
As I tried to fill that God fitted hollow

So much time wasted in pursuit
Not following His footsteps, but my ill chartered route
Seeking His hands, yet not His face
Trying to fill that God patterned space

Father please fill this unfilled position

Supply me, occupy me, you're my only ambition
I come to You, Creator, Source of my soul
For only You can fill this God shaped hole.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My little trip

Yesterday morning Anita and I left for Kidds Beach (20 km from East Londen). The three hour trip passed like magic with us chattering away and making up for time that was lost through the years. When we arrived in Kidds Beach, my mother had freshly baked bread and a lovely meal ready. After lunch we went for a walk on the beach.

To me Kidds Beach is a magical place because there is still no major development and the little village is unspoilt and beautiful.

Somebody laid out this cross with pebbles and shells and my mother tells us that whenever the tide comes in and takes part of it away...somebody lays it out again.

This is the beautiful view walking back towards the village.

Shortly after 4 o'clock I left and Shayne had to explain how to get to their farm. The farm is high up in the mountains above Stutterheim. I never realised what a beautiful area this is until now. By the time I arrived it was bitterly cold and the mist had set in. I was welcomed by Shayne and her lovely family and felt at home immediately. I find it amazing that we could just chat as if we have known each other all our lives.
Oh yes....and Shayne has been holding out on us. She is very artistic and these beautiful canvasses were painted by her and hangs above the fireplace.
Another of her beautiful paintings.
This is what our dear friend looks out on from her sun room...a gorgeous crab apple....

....and a beautiful old oak tree...where you can see many hours of play is spent.
The time passed all too soon and I had to be on my way again. Thank you my friend, for your hospitality and your friendship, you can never know how much it means to me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bubble Fun - Little Shop of Sketches #47

This is sketch 47 by Tania of Little Shop of Sketches.

This layout of Leane is with photos taken at home after buying her second birthday present. She was not interested in anything at Toys R Us. She just wanted a Barney lucky packet and after she discovered the jelly sucker inside we had a very sticky little girl by the time we got home. She then discovered the little container or bubbles and was happily blowing bubbles...then Ouma had to blow so that she could catch them...then she got bored and pored the rest of the soapy liquid into the fountain. Then the fountain was bubbling over:)

I loved working with the soft "girly" colours. In the background over the photos you can see the neighbour's house. These photos was taken after the old vibracrete wall came down and before the new 8 foot wall was built.

  • My sister Anita arrived yesterday from Cape Town. We are the closest in age of us five sisters...but we have never had a relationship - I am so happy that it is not to late to build a good relationship. Today we are going to spend some time together.
  • Tomorrow we drive down to Kidds Beach where I am leaving her with my parents.
  • Then I am driving through to Stutterheim to spend the evening with Shayne - can't wait to get to know her in her environment.
  • On Friday I am driving back home - I hope my DH miss me:)
Don't miss me okay!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A life poured out



"He who believes in Me....out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
(John 7:38)

What Jesus was saying is that : He who believes in Me will have everything he receives escape out of him. His purpose is not the development of a person - His purpose is to make a person exactly like Himself....and Jesus' greatest characteristic is that He poured Himself out to each and every one of us. It is not what we gain...but what He pours through us that really counts. OC states that "God's purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeese the sweetness out of us. Our spiritual life cannot be measured by success as the world measures it, but only by what God pours through us - and we cannot measure that at all." "He who believes in Me...out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" - and hundreds of other lives will be continually refreshed. now is the time to stop seeking out own satisfaction, and to pour out our lives before Him. Our Lord is asking who of us will do it for Him!"

Key Thoughts: Live to pour out your life to Him! This means quit looking for happiness and concentrate on surrendering yourself in any and all circumstances the Lord puts you in. God filled us with grace so that we might "give it away" to others. To keep it to ourselves only lessen our relationship with the Lord.

  • Are you a juicy plump grape or a dried up raisin?
  • Are you, in fact, "prepared to pour out your life for Him?
If I am totally honest I have to confess that when we went into full time ministry 11 years ago, I was on an incredible spiritual high. Somewhere along the way and busyness of the ministry...works became the overriding feature of my spiritual walk and my relationship with the Lord suffered. I no longer heard His still small voice in the early hours of the morning...It felt as if sometimes I had to be dragged {screaming and kicking} to meeting with him. The zeal was gone...I had lost my first Love. Don't get me wrong...through our works He still did amazing things and many came to know the Lord. NOW I REALISE THAT WE SIMPLY BURNED OUT BECAUSE A LOT OF WHAT WE WERE DOING WERE DONE IN OUR OWN STRENGTH. Something like a dried out bone.....I was continually pouring myself out but I was no longer linked to the Source and was running on empty.

The Lord is however gracious and He loves me {and you}....and He is calling us back to our First Love....and I am saying "Yes Lord....I want to be completely Yours."

Today I am grateful for:

  • the Lord, who remains faithful even when I become faithless.
  • Him giving me my DH...who is my soulmate. We just compliment each other perfectly.
  • Health and His grace in carrying us when we struggle with health issues beyond our control.
  • The spark that I see slowly coming back to DS's marriage.
  • His love that is so great...that we cannot comprehend it.

Please share your heart...I would love to know where you are at.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A dreaded virus!

I ask myself :"How is it possible to get an awful virus on you computer when you pay your annual $$$ subscription to Norton, never visit "danger" sites?" But dear, oh dear, it happened anyway and my computer is soooo sick. The virus is called "Personal Antivirus" and is known as malware. This horrible trojan embeds itself in your computer and pops up ALL the time to tell you you are infected. It stops you from using any of your usual favourite sites and closes down and blocks all the blogspot sites....it does not want me to see my friends and that makes me mad. I got hold of Norton and they want to charge me $100 to manually remove it...by hacking into my computer....so more mega bucks. They also only guarantee that you will be problem free for 7 days....sound awfully much like a money making racket. Fortunately for me my DS has IT training and will hopefully come and doctor my computer. In the meantime I am using my laptop to stay connected.

I want to share with you this beautiful piece I read yesterday:

"The life of the heart is a place of great mystery. Yet we have many ways of expressing this flame of the human soul. We describe a person without compassion as 'heartless', and we urge him or her to 'have a heart'. Our deepest hurts we call 'heartaches'. Jilted lovers are 'brokenhearted'. Corageous soldiers are 'brave-hearted'. The truly evil are 'black-hearted' and saints have 'hearts of gold'. If we need to speak at the most intimate level, we ask for a 'heart-to-heart talk. 'Light-hearted ' is how we feel on vacation. And when we love someone as truly as we may, we love 'with all our heart'. But when we lose our passion for life, when a deadness sets in which we cannot seem to shake, we confess, 'My heart's just not in it.' In the end, it doen't matter how well we have performed or what we have accomplished - a life without heart is not worth living. For out of this wellspring of our soul flows all the true caring and all meaningful work, all real worship and all real sacrifice. Our faith, hope and love issue from the heart as well. Because it is in our heart that we first hear the voice of God and it is in the heart that we come to know Him and learn to live in His love." (The sacred Romance - John Eldridge).

Friday, September 4, 2009

His! or entirely His.

Have you decided to join me on my journey? Have you lost your zeal and become complacent in your walk with the Lord? Do you want to climb to higher heights? I welcome you to the adventure in walking through "My Utmost for His Highest". I hope that you will enjoy the journey...sometimes we will travel very slowly in order to make a new discovery our own. I would love you to comment and share your insights with me...that is the only way we can help each other grow.

One of the scriptures for today is from 1 Corinthians 6:19. "You are not your own. For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." The lesson is relatively clear. The next scripture has always been incredibly hard for me to understand. It is the words of Jesus in Luke 14:26: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." Now, I will be the first to say...impossible....but now consider this (out of the workbook) "Jesus was emphasizing that love for Christ must be so great that all other loves are "hatred" by comparison! No consideration of family ties must ever be allowed to deflect you from a pathway of full obedience to the Lord. Instead of living self-centred lives, we must live Christ-centred lives. Considerations of personal comfort and safety must be subordinated to the task of glorifying Christ and making Him known. There is no half way measure."

This speaks to me very strongly because I have to admit that I do compromise. I think you have come to know just how important my family is to me...and how much I love them...now I must measure my love for the Lord against my love for my family....how does it measure up? The writer makes it clear that if we do put our family first it does not mean that we will not be saved, we are His...but it does mean that we cannot be entirely His.

The Key thoughts: Let NOTHING interfere with your relationship with Jesus Christ. Let the Holy Spirit interpret the nature of God and His plans for your life. Then something to ponder on...to what degree are you surrendered? Have you put all things secondary to serving the Lord? Are you a "perfect delight to Him"?

You remember that I posted about stolen joy a few days ago. I got my answer:) I found this gem in the My Utmost for His Highest workbook:

"Joy is not Happiness. Happiness depends on the circumstances of this world while joy depends on God. Formula: COMPLETE JOY = SURRENDER TO JESUS. Anything less diminishes our joy and the need for happiness increases!" I have come to realise that I can be pretty hard on myself. And if I read this correctly, I realise that I had lost my happiness, not my joy. Happiness is a simple thing...and simple things can make you happy, a pretty dress, the sunshine, the smile of a grandchild. Joy is so much deeper and is found in our communion with the Lord.

Be blessed.

Back to my first love


We are so blessed to be part of a wonderful home cell/fellowship group. We consist of 6 couples and most of us are people that some will call "mature" christians. A few weeks ago the one couple joined and here we had a brand new 10 month old christian. What a blessing, this man was absolutely bubbling over with his love relationship with the Lord. This new christian challenged us all and I know that I for one yearn for that "first love".
A few months ago my dear friend Allie reminded me of a very precious daily devotional called "My Utmost for His Highest". When I found out that there is a workbook that you can use with this devotional I immediately ordered it. Yesterday when this book landed in my hot little hands I just knew that I am in for a new journey back to my first love.
Now my only predicament is whether I should start another blog to document my journey or whether I should blog about it here. I just know that I am going on a journey of discovery and I would never be able to keep all of the treasures for myself. Only a few days ago I commended Allie for combining her two blogs and now I am wondering whether I should place my life into two compartments.
Any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Little Shop of Sketches #46

Here is this weeks sketch from Tanya Leigh at Little Shop of Sketches.
I loved working with this sketch and ended up doing two layouts based on the sketch. I used the Fancy Pants Summer Soire line for this layouts of DH and Lukas. I traced and handcut the waves borders and added the chipboard stars for a beach theme. In this layout you can see what ears are actually made for. To steer Oupa in the right direction of course!
The second layout was done with photos taken of Leane two weeks ago. I used We R Memory Keepers Tiffany printed paper and the little chipboard deer from the same line. The deer is fits nicely because I call all of my loved ones "bokkie" (little deer).

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I just love the Fancy Pants Summer Soire line. The colours just make me feel SOOOO happy. Here is a layout of Christian flying his kite at the beach front.
I am really enjoying my scrapping lately and I love scrapping recent photographs.
xoxo

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why do you blog?


I found this funny poster on http://www.despair.com/ and wondered about the truth of it. Why do I blog.....I mean, who would be interested in reading my blog?
  1. How long have you been blogging? One year

  2. Why did you start blogging? Initially to showcase my scrapbooking layouts...but that changed a lot over the year.

  3. What have you found to be the benefits of blogging? Writing about things often puts things into perspective...and I have found the most amazing cyber friends through my blog.

  4. How many times a week do you post an entry? That depends on whether I have something to say or share.

  5. How many different blogs do you read on a regular basis? Many!

  6. Do you comment on other people’s blogs? Yes, I try to comment on every blog I visit.

  7. Do you keep track of how many visitors you have? Yes...I find it interesting to see from which countries my visitors come.

  8. If so, are you satisfied with your numbers?I don't really care about numbers...I just wish I could find a way of getting my visitors to de-lurk. If you haven't introduced yourself yet....please de-lurk.

  9. Do you ever regret a post that you wrote? No, not really, the ones I regretted I deleted...and I can always delete a post if I feel uncomfortable about it later on. I sometimes feel the need to blog about something personal but end up not doing it because I am afraid of offending family members.

  10. Do you think your audience has a true sense of who you are based on your blog? I hope so, I try to be as real as I could possibly be.

  11. Do you blog under your real name? Yes, but I have often wondered about the wisdom of it.

  12. Are there topics that you would never blog about? Yes.

  13. What is the theme/topic of your blog? It is about my life, my family and what is important to me.

  14. Do you have more than one blog? If so, why? Yes. I have a blog that is supposed to keep the news of the Mission up to date...but I haven't blogged there in months.

  15. Have you ever deleted a comment from your blog? No, it has never been necessary...but if somebody should leave an offensive comment I would most definitely delete it.
Why do you blog?