Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Random thoughts

This is the view from my room this is raining!!!!!....and has been since last night.  I don't feel like going to work and decided I need some "me" time.

I am really struggling at the moment with putting my feelings and emotions into words. So I am going to use a a Female to Female challenge that I recently saw on Shayne's blog.

I am bone tired.  I get enough sleep but I still wake up feeling as if I have been hit by a truck.  My eyes are burning and I wish I can go and walk next to the beach and just have a good cry.
I love coffee and cuddles in the morning.
I taste coffee.  It has become my staple food and keeps me going;-)
I believe that the Lord is true to His word.
I hope that I will have a semblance of normality in my life soon, some calm waters would be lovely after all the recent storms.
I wish and pray for a creative miracle for Wynand.

Wynand and Lukas.

I laugh too little. Maybe I should have the little ones over more often...they always manage to make me laugh. Over the weekend Leane discovered my decorative scissors.  It is kept in a little tub.  This little tub went everywhere with her, even slept with her.  On Sunday when her daddy took her home, she brought me some plastic discs she picked up and gave it to me in exchange for the scissors.  Clever little girl, already knows how to barter.
I feel sad when I bump into friends and they tell me that they haven't phoned me because they don't know what to say to me. (now that is making me cry)  Freak, they don't need to say anything...just hold my hand and be there.
I dream never during sleep...but I have the most wonderful daydreams.
I smell the freshness of rain on the grass and soil.  Nothing could smell nicer.
I fear ...I can't afford to have fear in my life right now...then my whole world will collapse around me. This morning Wynand (in a panic)  phoned to tell me that it feels as if his vision is getting worse...I had to tell him not to stress about it, it will improve. When I put the phone down it hit me... that I have no option but to be strong, to keep encouraging, to keep praying, to keep trusting. 2Ti 1:7  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
I am thankful that Wynand is married to such a joyful girl.  Yesterday he was so tired of being indoors that she took him on an outing to a mall.  His sight is so bad that he bumped into a few people and he got tired she got a wheel chair from the center management and off they zipped.  


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An update...and on a lighter note....

I have had this post sitting in my drafts for the past few I am going to combine two posts.

We had our appointment with Wynand's neurosurgeon today.  Freak!!!   I get the feeling that he is walking on eggs when he has to talk to us...and he only gives us the information we ask for.  Our conversation went something like this:

Dr:  I want Wynand to go and see the eye specialist so that his loss of vision can be measured
Me:  Is it the bleed that caused the loss of vision?
Dr:  Ummm...I can't really see a significant bleed on the MRI.
Me:  Last time you told me that it is due to a loss of blood flow to his the AVM causing cerebral steal?  (See I am starting to "get" the lingo)
Dr:  If there was steal we would be able to fix it with an embolization of the necessary arteries, but there is not a specific feeder vein, so we can't do that.
Me:  So why do you think he has loss of vision?
Dr:  Ummm...well during the period that there was pressure in the AVM some of the arteries must have blocked up (embolized), causing blind spots.
Me:  Will his vision improve?
Dr:  That I can't say.

So the truth is...there is nothing new. 

My entrance hall.  The wood carved mirror was done years ago when I was in a wood carving phase of my life. I have gone through many phases in my life, and proof of it is scattered all over my home:)
The table is an antique radio gram and the angel is a recent find, when I saw her I just fell in love and she wanted to go home with me:)

I made a number of cards the Saturday before Wynand became sick.  I am very pleased with how they turned out. I will show them to you before I forget.  The cards are also designed by Melissa Phillips.
I love the messages on these cards and that they can be given for any occasion....and yes, I have parted with some of my cards...just hope they did not end up in the trash:)

Thank you for remembering Wynand in your prayers.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A prayer

In Isaiah 62:6 the Lord tells us that we can remind Him of His promises.  That we are never to grow weary in our prayer.  I am pretty sure that it is not that He will forget His promises, because that would be impossible, He is not a man that changes from day to day.  He is always the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  We must remind Him of His promises so that we will remember them.  That we will never lose hope.  Therefore today I remind the Lord of His promises concerning Wynand.  Everyday there is an improvement and at present the pain is getting less.  We continue to believe the Lord for the restoration of Wynand's sight.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am grateful for.....

These are two of the cards I made on the Saturday before Wynand became sick.  The past week I have again realised the value of true friends.  I want to thank each and every one of you that have been praying for Wynand's recovery. ( I am currently playing with the idea of opening an Etsy shop to sell my cards.)

I am so grateful for...
  • The many people all over the world that is constantly in prayer for Wynand.
  • The love that I see among my two boys...they are not afraid or ashamed to tell each other "I love you"
  • The ability to create a sanctuary for my children.  Last night was the first time in many years that we had all our chicks and their chicks under our roof.
  • That my body has gone onto auto pilot. I find myself dragging my body through each day, totally exhausted.
  • That slowly each day, Wynand's pain is getting less.
  • I received a text message from must have taken him hours to do..."Ek is so baie lief vir julle, julle is die beste ouers wat 'n mens kry."  I can't tell you how much I cried when I received it.
  • That I know that the Lord is our "stronghold of hope" and that He is in control.
On Monday night we were sitting in front of the Knysna hospital, praying and crying and watching the sun set.
As long as she is near him, he is at peace.  She has made a decision to live life one day at the time...thinking of the future is just to scary.
I am thankful that he is home and that we can keep his surroundings the hospital he suffered with the bright lights.  In the moments that he is awake and without pain, his frustration with his inability to focus is heart breaking.  We are trusting that once the pain is less, and the pressure in his brain is gone, that his vision will slowly start returning.

I love you all, thank you for your support.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just to let you know

This weekend our sons went to Sedgefield for the long weekend to have a break from the usual.  On Monday morning early Kobus Jr. phoned to let me know that Wynand became sick with severe nausea and a terrible head ache in the early hours of the morning and they had to take him to the hospital in Knysna.  The idiotic (sorry, I am angry and can't help it) doctor at casualty saw the young men and made his own conclusion...that they had too much to drink and that Wynand was suffering from dehydration as a result.  The more Kobus Jr. tried to tell him about Wynand's history and begged him to phone us to find out more the more arrogant the man became, actually chasing  Kobus out of the emergency room.  We eventually got hold of Wynand's neurosurgeon who is away in Langebaan and he phoned and spoke to the doc, and at last the man started to listen.

DH and I drove down to Knysna to support the children.  When we got there they were stabilizing Wynand's condition and sending him for MRI's.  He spent the night and was transferred to a hospital in Port Elizabeth yesterday morning.  By the time we got to the PE hospital his pain levels had spiraled out of control and he was suffering badly. Watching him and feeling so totally powerless is a feeling that I can't put into words for you.  Last night at 10 o'clock, after many prayers, they got his pain to a bearable level. Today he slept most of the day, I believe today could have been a turning point for him to start getting better again.

The thing that is causing the most concern at present is that there was another bleed into his brain and that the vision of both his eyes are now affected and he has blind spots and blurry vision in both eyes.  The neurosurgeon that is standing in for his usual doctor spoke to us today.  Surgery is still out of the question.  The reality is that if they leave the AVM it could gradually lead to him going blind.  The abnormal arteries behind his eyes feed into the optical nerves and to remove it they will have to cut blood supply to his eyes...which would leave him blind.  So you see...only the Lord can change his situation.

This past few days have not been easy, DH and I both feel weak and vulnerable.  We are trying so hard to stay strong for the sake of his wife and all our children and grandchildren.  I have been angry at the Lord...we live our lives for Him, we work full time in a ministry He called us to.  Why this? Why Wynand?  Why something that is inoperable? Why such a severe testing?  Why not rather me, I am old and have had a good part of my life?  Wynand is still so young, he still has to see his children grow up.  Oh yes, I have raged...asking Him where He is when His children need Him.  But then I remember that He works all things to the good of those who love Him, and that He will never give us more than we can bear.  I can never stop having Him as my "stronghold of hope".  I can never not keep trusting in Him for a solution to all of this.  I am not going to wake up and find that it was all a bad dream...this is a terribly hard reality that we just have to cope with...and we will with His help.

So please pray the Lord will do a creative miracle in Wynand's brain and that he would be totally healed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just a bad dream

What I would give to wake up tomorrow morning and find that it was just all a bad dream.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Project Life 2010

When I first saw this project on Becky Higgins blog...I loved the idea of a sort of photo journal of a year in your life.  Initially I could not get hold of the kit because they would not ship to South Africa.  A friend on the Personal Scrapper board offered to get it and ship it to me...I am so thankful.  My kit arrived last week and yesterday I had time to pack it out and start.  I did not take a photo a day...but I love the way Ali Edwards is doing the I will have lots of little notes and highlight events and meaningful times.

I just love the neatness of the kit...the little journal cards and the rubber date stamp.  It is the first project that I do that does not have my desk in a total mess and paper and embellishments strewn all over the place. I am so thankful for blogging, because it is going to help me a lot with completing the journal cards.

Now on to some pics I took of Kobus and his two little ones last night. I love to see how my sons have developed in excellent fathers.
Just gives me such a warm feeling:)

Lastly I would love to share something from scripture that have really touched me.  This is a scripture that also carried me through a tough time recently. 

Isaiah 26:4 - You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

Perfect peace literally means "shalom, shalom"  The doubling of the word is done to show the certainty of this peace and the complete fullness of this peace.  It is peace in every aspect of the word - Peace with God, peace with people and peace with circumstances.  It is that knowledge that the Lord offers us His peace.  He wants to take all our anxiety and replace it with His incredible peace.  This peace will only come as we rest our thoughts on His, and not on our circumstances.  Our mind has to be "stayed" or resting on the Lord.  It is when we get to focused on our problems that we get all tense and anxious.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Things I realised this weekend

Saying "no" and setting boundaries is a good thing and very liberating. 

With life in perspective I can look past the little things that usually irritate me and see the big picture.

It is not easy when one of your grown up children move back home...and it is often necessary to just close their door so that you don't see the mess:)  I am one of those people who believe that each thing has it's this is a big thing for me. 

That picking up things and putting them away, clearing away countless cups of coffee, wiping sticky spots from kitchen tops all day (sometimes it feels like it)  and picking up toys strewn through out the house will not kill me.

That creating a sanctuary for your loved ones costs a price and takes a conscious decision. 

That there is a reason why at some age, reproduction no longer takes place.  Sjoe, the energy you need to keep little ones occupied, clean and happy:)

That it is possible for a little one to stare at you long enough to wake you from your slumber:)  (On Sunday morning I woke up, felt Leane's breath on my cheek and when I peeked at her through my lashes she was staring intently at me.  When I opened my eyes, she laughed loudly and crawled into bed with me.)

That despite the fact that I don't believe children should sleep with you, I prefer a good night's sleep.  (Friday night Lukas slept between me and DH and did not wake once during the night.)  Thank goodness for king size beds.

That I cherish the two hours ALONE each afternoon before the rest of the family comes home.

That unless you are a parent or grandparent it is difficult to grasp the term "unconditional love".

I am truly blessed.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Basic Grey 2010 Calendar

I can't believe that we are already nearly halfway through March. Where has the past two months gone?  Sometimes I wish time can just stand still for a that I can catch up....and catch my breath.

Today I completed my Basic Grey 2010 last:)
The Cover
January...calendar girl will see this is according to the Northern Hemisphere's seasons.
February...just the two of us:)
March...our little fashion girl.
April....Little Lukas
June...Wynand and Nadia.
July...Kobus Jr. and his two darlings.
August...Lukas, Leane and a frog.
September...Christian's first day of school. Dewan.
December - baby Christmas...I mean Lukas:)

Hope you are having a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A few cards and a few memories to share

I guess maybe I am a card maker after all.  I have enough stash to be able to go into business:)

Today I made this card for a special friend.
...and this one for a friend that is having a birthday.

I want to share a few photographs of my niece Corne's wedding that was held in George recently.
The happy couple
I just have to show you this pic...his mischievous brothers-in-law sabotaged his shoes before the wedding...see SOS on the one and HELP on the other.
Wynand and Nadia
My sons, Kobus Jr. and Wynand
My very pretty daughter. She has the most beautiful eyes.

Thanks for the visit.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Putting life into perspective

The stress of the past few weeks left me in a very contemplative mood.  Our lives have been on hold...for what exactly I am still trying to figure out:-)  It has been incredibly difficult to pick up where we left try and pick up the threads and continue with life "as usual".  It is a constant struggle to stay focused and keep my thoughts from going off on a gallop.  I had to find my quiet place again, that place where I can think, hear the Lord and put things into perspective.

The clever people say that health issues and divorce are some of the most stressful situations people have to cope with.  We have made peace with the fact that Wynand's  health is in the hands of the Lord, and that we can't fix it. We made a conscious decision to be "there" for Kobus Jr.  while he is coming to terms with the end of his marriage and to help him with the little ones on the weekends they come here. The things that are happening in our children's lives profoundly affect us...we are so close and when they hurt we hurt.

In the past few days I have taken a long hard look at my life.  
  • I see where I am wasting time, energy and losing opportunities because of it.
  • I looked at the things that have become so important to me...and realised that a lot of it is just a "striving after wind". 
  • I had to make decisions to purge the things from my life that are eating up all my energy and focus on the things that really matter.  
  • The little problems we have in life really aren't that important.  
  • Our time on earth is fragile and we should make the most of it.  
  • We should laugh more and take the time to just sit and hold the hand of somebody that needs us. 
It reminds me of my favourite quote by Emerson:
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded. 

It is our relationship with our Lord and Saviour and our relationship with our loved ones that matter....everything else fades in comparison.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Valentines Ball photos

This year was the second year the Woolworths sponsored a Valentines Ball benefit for the Mission.
The two of us.
Our cell group supported us.  The girls in the cell group:)
Just for fun:)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The wait is over...and now?

“God's promises are like the stars: the darker the night, the brighter they shine.”
—David Nicholas 
Yesterday I received the call that we have been waiting for.  I don't know what I wanted to hear...but this seemed such an anti climax.  I spoke to Allie shortly after and she gave me the scripture above.

In short:

  • Wynand  has what is called a rare phenomena that has never before been seen, he is now a Groote Schuur case study.  (my view: rare is no good)
  • he has probably had it since birth which makes it what the neurosurgeon called a "syndrome"
  • the AV malformation is problematic in that it does not have one feeder artery but it can't be plugged or taken out.
  • they cannot operate because the risk is too high.
  • they don't think his vision will get worse, but it will not get better either.
  • he will need to go for another MRI Angiogram in 12 months.
  • that is it!
I phoned Wynand and told him what the doctor said.  His answer, a very calm: " Ma, vir God is niks onmoontlik nie." (For God nothing is impossible).  What can you say to that?

This fixer can do is out of my hands. We have to trust the Great Physician, our Maker and believe every promise that He has made concerning Wynand's life.  Where modern medicine ends our Lord and Savior begins....