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Friday, July 30, 2010

Disillusionment


How do you react when you are disillusioned and disappointed?  Do you give in to cynicism and get bitter, critical and judgemental?  You know, I have often wondered whether I set standards that are too high for my loved ones to attain.  Yesterday I was left in total despair when I found that I have been deceived by a loved one. My first reaction was to lash out and I could feel bitterness rise up in my heart.  When you have invested all your love, time and attention in a loved one and they turn around and go in exactly the opposite direction that you taught them, disillusionment sets in....you don't see the bigger picture and it becomes a personal hurt and your natural instinct is to judge.

Oi, the Lord has sorted me out in no time and I had to get my heart out of this mess quickly!  This was today's devotional in "My Utmost for His Highest".  (again it is a lengthy piece...but please read it...there is a point to it)

"Disillusionment means having no more misconceptions, false impressions, and false judgments in life; it means being free from these deceptions.  However, though no longer deceived, our experience of disillusionment may actually leave us cynical and overly critical in our judgment of others.  But the disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism.  Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief, or pain, stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions.  We are not true to one another, seeing each other as we really are; we are only true to our misconceived ideas of one another.  According to our thinking, everything is either delightful and good, or it is evil, malicious and cowardly.

Refusing to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering of human life. And this is how that suffering happens— if we love someone, but do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; yet we are demanding of a human being something which he or she cannot possibly give. There is only one Being who can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord is so obviously uncompromising with regard to every human relationship because He knows that every relationship that is not based on faithfulness to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no one, and never placed His faith in people, yet He was never suspicious or bitter. Our Lord’s confidence in God, and in what God’s grace could do for anyone, was so perfect that He never despaired, never giving up hope for any person. If our trust is placed in human beings, we will end up despairing of everyone."

Thank you Lord, for bringing sanity to this situation.

I phoned my loved one this morning.  "I want you to know that although you chose to.........and I don't approve, it does not mean that I love you less.  My love for you is unconditional and I will never reject you.  Please remember that if you need me you need only pick up the phone and call...I will always be there for you."

Just knowing that for every hurt, disappointment and problem, our Lord has the answer...gives so much peace.

xxx

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Team Up Thursday: Blue

For this week we chose the colour: blue.

Here is my team member Stefanie's photo:
She says:  I did battle a little with this one, then went outside and just snapped a shot of the sky this afternoon.
It is an amazing colour, with just the tips of the tree included.
One of reasons I would battle to live in Europe is the grey colour the sky can be for so many days of the year, in South Africa it is usually blue.
Clear and inviting.

Here is my photo:
I was playing around with my camera settings.  Still learning to take photos on other settings than automatic.  This was just a random shot...but I love how the background is totally blurred and the focus is on the object.

Thanks for looking.

Others taking part in this challenge: 

Andrea: http://andrearobertsontoo.blogspot.com
and Claire http://www.mcgeers.blogspot.com

Berta http://rboice.blogspot.com
and Corey http://livingandlovingeveryminuteofit.blogspot.com

Megan http://mentalinventory.blogspot.com
and Melody http://thehipmommasjournal.squarespace.com

Cat and http://juggelingactoflife.blogspot.com
Shayne http://scrappy-time.blogspot.com


Joanne http://worth-it-all.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slow Dance

 Slow dance

"Have you ever watched kids
On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain
Slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight?
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
Do you run through each day
On the fly?
When you ask How are you?
Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done
Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
Running through your head?
You'd better slow down
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
Ever told your child,
We'll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste,
Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
’Cause you never had time
To call and say,"Hi"
You'd better slow down.
Don't dance so fast.
Time is short.
The music won't last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift....
Thrown away.
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over."

- Anonymous -

I am in a very contemplative mood today.
xx

Monday, July 26, 2010

She needs an operation

When I was with Shayne last week Wednesday, I received a "please call me" from Bianca. She told me she still felt sick and cannot swallow because her throat is so sore. I fetched her and took her to our doctor. He found that her tonsils are very infected and needed to be removed very urgently. He used his charm to get us an appointment with an ENT on Friday morning (the next day).

Initially when I received the "please call me" from Bianca I felt unhappy that she only makes contact when she needs us...other times she just does not reply to SMS's and does not answer her cellphone. She has still not returned to college. Kobus and I sat down and discussed how to handle this situation. We decided that we need to sit her down and tell her what our expectations is if she expected us to continue covering her medical expenses.

I was so proud of my DH. He told her that she either need to return to college or alternatively find a job that will be able to support her needs fully. She cannot be independant but still be dependant on us for her medical needs. If she returns to college we will meet her financial needs and her other needs will be covered by the policy that paid out last week. With good budgeting this money will last until she completed her studies. She decided to go back to college and I told her that I will be monitoring her attendance.

On Friday I took her to the ENT specialist, he will be operating on Thursday this week. He told her that it is going to be "VERY, VERY, painful and that he will be doing a sinus flush at the same time to make sure that there is no bacteria that will affect her healing after the operation. She will need to get back to a normal diet as soon as possible after the operation, she has been living on yogurt the past two weeks. She has to be at the hospital at 6 'o clock on Thursday morning and we told her that we will pick her up from college on Wednesday and she must come prepared with an overnight bag to sleep over at our home. DH and I also suggested that she comes home to recuperate after the operation. The doctor told us that the recuperation period is approximately 10 days. She is stubborn and I don't think she will take us up on our offer.

I don't know what the future holds. I just pray, hope and trust that the Lord knows and that He holds the future in His hands.

xx

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Team Up Thursday: Favourite flower


Stefanie chose this weeks topic "Favourite flower".  Here is her photo:
Go to Stef's blog to see why she chose this flower.

Here is my photo:

My favourite flower is the Lisianthus.
This flower always remind me of bygone romantic eras.
Another thing I love about it is that it seem to last forever.
This photo was taken on Wynand and Nadia's wedding day.
These romantic flowers were Nadia's choice for the tables at the reception.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A heart attitude

Most of you know, that as a family, we have had a VERY difficult year thus far.  Looking back I realise how much I have grown spiritually in this awful process.  I also realise that spiritual growth comes at a price and is often very painful.  Would I have chosen not to have the pain?...in the flesh I have to be honest and say YES!  I can only thank the Lord that He sees the big picture. 

I recently read this in My Utmost for His highest...it is long...so please bear with me:-)

"As a saint of God, my attitude toward sorrow and difficulty should not be to ask that they be prevented, but to ask that God protect me so that I may remain what He created me to be, in spite of all my fires of sorrow. We say that there ought to be no sorrow, but there is sorrow, and we have to accept and receive ourselves in its fires.  If we try to evade sorrow, refusing to deal with it, we are foolish.  Sorrow is one of the biggest facts in life, and there is no use in saying it should not be.  Sin, sorrow, and suffering ARE, and it is not for us to say that God has made a mistake in allowing them.

 Sorrow removes a great deal of a person's shallowness, but it does not always make that person better.  Suffering either gives me to myself or it destroys me.  You cannot find or receive yourself through success, because you lose your head over pride.  And you cannot recieve yourself through the monotony of your daily life, because you give in to complaining.  The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow.  Why it should be that way is immaterial.  The fact is that it is true in the Scriptures and in human experience.  You can always recognize who has been through the fires of sorrow and received himself, and you know that you can go to him in your trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you.  But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be comtemptuous, having no respect or time for you, only turning you away.  If you will receive yourself in the fires of sorrow, God will make you a nourishment for other people."

My friend,  have you made it through that?  If you did then you will understand what I am now going to tell you.

Most of you know that our daughter has recently decided to leave home and live elsewhere...not with our blessing and not to a lifestyle that we approve of.  So as a family we decided that we needed to practise "TOUGH LOVE" in this situation.  Well peoples....I have learned that Tough Love is maybe tougher on parents than on their children.

The very first day that I went back to work after she left this is the situation I walked into:  A mother had brought her son to us.  He is 25 years old and a crack cocaine addict. He has never worked a day in his life.  He steals from his parental home to support his addiction.  His parents have had enough!  The young man was in total denial of his problem, and he most definately did not want to be at the mission.  He was very arrogant and in front of him we had to tell his mother to let go.  That if he walked out the door and out the gates of the mission, she is not allowed to pick him up and take him back home.  That would just enable him to continue his abusive ways.  (While we spoke to her....I struggled to keep control of my own emotions.  In the past this has been the easiest thing ever, I never knew what it felt like to LET GO...and how painful it is for a parent to do this.)  The young man jumped up and stormed out the office and out the gates of the mission.  I went to the mother and I hugged her, telling her to be strong...and inside my heart broke, because I knew how helpless she felt.  After she left...I locked myself in my office and just wept and wept...for the mother and son....and for my daughter...and for my own broken heart.

So suffering and sorrow brings growth, and I can only thank the Lord that He is the One Who is in control.  I also thank Him that He does not give us a choice in what He allows in our lives...because we would all choose to be "saved from the hour."

xxx

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Month later....

Amazing how time and distance can bring perspective into any situation.  In every situation we can choose to be a victim or we can learn from the experience...so what have I learned:
  • That some people cannot be trusted with your most vulnerable feelings.  After the very first post on this blog, I felt the first pain of betrayal and had to deny access to siblings and their closest friends.  Yes, isn't it just amazing that those we would normally expect to support us are the ones who points accusing fingers at you?
  • Bianca's biological mother, my sister Elsa who lives in Australia, have decided to become part of Bianca's life once again and is the one who is now supporting her financially.
  • It is sad to see how she never learned from mistakes made in her youth and to see how she is now encouraging Bianca to make the exact same mistakes...history repeating itself.
  • Bianca ignores all sms's that we send her except on Monday when she felt sick.  I took her to the doctor and tonsilitis was diagnosed.  She knows where we are when she needs us...that is a comforting thought.
  • Because I had to take her to the doctor, I now know where she lives.  I did not go in...I prefer to be blissfully ignorant where it comes to her living conditions...that way I don't lay awake at night.
  • She looked so neglected and she smelled like an overflowing ashtray....it took all my strength not to grap her and hold her and take her home.
  • College started last Monday and she has not been attending.
  • On Monday her policy will be paying out...I wonder how long her money will last.
  • She is now living in the 4th place since leaving and seem to have cut ties with all the people that helped her thus far.
  • I have thought a lot about NATURE vs NURTURE.  Why do I see so much of Elsa's mannerisms in Bianca...why is she making so many of the same mistakes? 
xx

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Team Up Thursday: Cold

I know, I know...I am very late with this post...but better late than never.  I chose the word "cold" for this weeks challenge as we have had an unusually cold winter this year.
This picture was taken last winter at a guest house just outside Bloemfontein.  It was early morning and this bubbling little stream turned the overhanging grass into icicles...an indication of how cold it got during the night.
My team member Stefanie chose this picture taken during their cruise in New Zealand...she says:


CJ and I were on deck and saw this little fellow be blown aboard. 
It was raining and the wind was incredibly strong. 
He waddled along, and at each railing support he looked out over the edge and decided it was too far and trudged on to the next support post. 
We must have been easily 5 stories up.
Suddenly he clambered to the edge and just jumped off. 
CJ and I rushed to the deck railing and were delighted to see him swoop and fly.
God is such an awesome Creator.
This little bird taught me that sometimes you just have to go for it.

Others doing this challenge:

Andrea        http://andrearobertsontoo.blogspot.com/
and Claire  http://www.mcgeers.blogspot.com/
Berta         http://rboice.blogspot.com/
 and Corey   http://livingandlovingeveryminuteofit.blogspot.com/
Megan      http://mentalinventory.blogspot.com/
and Meloldy    http://thehipmommasjournal.squarespace.com//
Joanne      http://worth-it-all.blogspot.com/
Cat  and  http://juggelingactoflife.blogspot.com/
Shayne    http://scrappy-time.blogspot.com/

xxx

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The colour orange

We are back from our trip to Cape Town and in the next few days I will try my best to catch up with all my blog reading.  For now, I want to tell you about the day that Cape Town was coloured orange and "die Kaap was weer Hollands". (Cape Town became part of the Netherlands again)  It was on the day that Netherlands was playing the semi final against Uruguay in the soccer World Cup.

We decided to go down to Cape Towns Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and catch the vibe....and boy was there a vibe.
The Dutch go all the way when it comes to supporting their team.
The atmosphere was electric....a cold day in Cape Town was made warm by these warm people.
Did I say that they were very friendly;-)
Dayglo orange...I kid you not.
Despite warnings from friends and family not to go near Greenpoint stadium ..this is where we found ourselves at 4 o'clock the afternoon.  The sign DID say "Residents Only"...but then DH always sees things like that as a challenge.
People started walking to the stadium and the roads were blocked off...so there we were stuck in the traffic for more than an hour.
...and I sat clicking away and catching the mood and the vibe in Greenpoint.  The restaurants and pubs were buzzing and you got the feeling of street cafe's and lots of fun.

Despite all the negativity, the World Cup turned out to be an awesome event and South Africans showed themselves as warm and hospitable.  I do believe that we will be seeing a lot of tourists in the future.