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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back...

Tick, tock, tick, tock.
2011 is nearly over.
Tomorrow is the start of a brand new year!
Starting over...starting new.

On this last day of 2011 I want to look back on the last two years...and what it has brought.  These past two years have been difficult but still not without joy.  I know that we have grown through the process.  There has been good times, bad times, sad times and times of indescribable joy.

In the past two years we have seen our oldest son get divorced and we were all devastated...but all our feelings turned into joy when there was reconciliation and this month the two of them remarried.  I can see how much both of them have grown and matured through this whole process.  I witnessed this new love and respect for each other.  The joy of the little ones having their parents back together.

We have seen our second son lose his eye sight and lived through the trauma of having a sword over his head...a condition that is inoperable....and then we watched in amazement as the Lord restored his sight.  Our hope is in Him alone.

Our daughter ran away from home and again our lives shattered.  Eighteen months later she returned and I truly have my daughter back. Gone is the rebellion, darkness and hatred.  In the past months she has gone for counselling and I see how the light has come in her life...and again I am reminded that the Lord hears the prayers of parents for their children.

My life has come full circle. My family is whole again.  I am ready for this new year and I am excited about what it holds for us as a family. 

xx

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sketch Support December sketches

With everything that was going on around here I have never updated on the Sketch Support projects that I made this year so here goes:
Two-page Sketch #23

You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the two-page sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar of the Sketch Support blog.

Here is my take on it:
"Christmas Memories" by Lynette Jacobs
Supply list Background: Embossed Bazzill; Printed papers: Fancy Pants (Traditions);Stars: Fabscraps; Glitter: Melissa Francis; Title: Enmarc; Brad: Making Memories;Leaves: Making Memories; Flower: Maya Road; Punch: Martha Stewart.

Variation #1: I punched the scallop and the narrow strips.

Variation #2: I doodled on my Christmas trees.

Variation #3: I moved the title to the bottom of the Christmas Trees.
Variation #4: Added leaves and a flower to the right side page.

  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Add-on Sketch #12

You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the add-on sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar.

Here is what I did with the sketch:
"Christmas Tree" by Lynette Jacobs
Supply list - Base: Florist oasis cone; Printed papers: Fancy Pants Traditions; Other:Pins, glitter and bazzill card stock.

Variation #1: I decided to make a Christmas tree and used the same size strips as on the sketch.

Variation #2: I curled the ends of the strips and pinned it onto the Oasis cone starting from the bottom up.

Variation #3: I made a little cone to cover the pins on the top of the tree.
Variation #4: I used a star die cut to cut two stars that I glittered and stuck together back to back after sticking it to a long pin. I then pinned the star to the top of the tree.

Go and check out the beautiful sketches and what the Design Team created on Sketch Support.

xx

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas wishes


I have been pretty bad at blogging and even worse at reading those I am following.  I must confess that although it was my choice to BREATHE and enjoy the process of life this year, the wheels just seem to come off towards the end. When everyone started celebrating, going on holiday and generally just having good cheer...all I wanted to do was sit in a corner with a sadness I could just not shake off.  I guess all the emotions about my father, Wynand and Nadia finally moving to their own home, trying to keep a family together (Eish...that must be the hardest thing ever...I  always find myself in the middle playing the peacemaker), hard work at the Mission and the constant headaches finally got to me.  I still haven't managed to shake the "meh" feeling.

Anyhow....

I wish each and every one of you a blessed Christmas spent with those you love...and let us all celebrate the Great Gift we received more than 2000 years ago.

xx

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Still HERE;-)

Ansie (my little sister;-) and I at the Beach restaurant.

I got back from my parents in Kidd's Beach a week ago and I haven't had a moment to slow down or catch my breath.  We are into our busiest time of the year at the Mission.  I am also struggling with the emotional turmoil in our lives at present.  I apologize for not getting to your blogs, but I seriously don't have the time at the moment, so please forgive me. 

The last two days in East London was not easy.  On Monday early my mom was dressed to the nines and ready to leave to visit my dad in hospital. She then got a call from my dad to say that he is being moved to oncology.  They were hoping against hope and my mom was so devastated that I watched her age before my eyes.  Suddenly the clothes she was wearing was too tight and when I caught up with her in their bedroom, she had gotten rid of it.  It is awful and at the same time comforting that Ansie and I were there at the time.  By the afternoon my mom phoned to say that my dad is being discharged.  The specialist had told them that there is nothing more they can do and treatment will only make him sicker.  

We took him home and I cannot explain to you the joy on his face when we stopped in front of their home in Kidd's Beach.  He was so happy to finally get home.  My prayer for them is that my mom will embrace the next months and that my dad will find peace.

A lot has been happening at the Mission in the past few weeks...and it will get even busier as we get closer and closer to Christmas.  Bianca has been keeping the Mission's blog and Facebook page up to date, so please go and see what we have been up to....and "like" our page please.  You will find us here:  blog:  http://vistarus.blogspot.com/   and Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vistarus-Mission-Station/228171287243605?sk=wall


I saw the neurosurgeon last Friday for the results of the MRI scan.  There is a problem with the C7 disc in my neck which explains my headaches and shoulder pains.  I need to go for an EMG (Electromyogram) before anything can be done.  The neurologist that does this test can only see me on 24 January next year.  Until then I will be sleeping with one of these delightfully fashionable neck braces;-)






I have left getting my neck brace until yesterday.  For some reason I was just not looking forward to wearing it.  Last night was my first night sleeping with it....and this morning I found it.....sitting in a corner of my bedroom where I threw it during the course of the night.








I have been selected to be part of the Sketch Support team for the next year term starting in January and I am very excited about it.  I love working with Allison Davis sketches and the whole team are an inspiration.

I have also entered for this course by Stephanie Ackerman that will be running for the entire year.  I would love to be able to doodle like she does.  
In the first six months this is what we will be covering:
January - Being Honest with Yourself        
February - Surrendering Your Heart
March - Owning your Talent    
April - Random Acts of Art
May - Life IS Beautiful
June - Surrounding Yourself with Friends   
I am excited...I feel that in this coming year I want to really EMBRACE LIFE in all it's aspects.

Wynand, Nadia and the boys have moved to their house and my home is now eerily quiet.  Most of their furniture hasn't moved yet because they are still in the process of completing their flooring and cupboards.

We have already completed white washing the knotty pine ceilings in our home and every evening we paint walls and re-arrange furniture and paintings.  The deadline for completing all the dirty work is Wednesday next week when we get the Carpet cleaners in to clean up. I will show you the before and after pics as soon as it is all done.

Until then.

xx

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Recipe for Hate and the Antidote

This will always be the blog I run to when I need to share something so close to my heart.  Those things that I can't trust everybody with.  During our time with my parents in Kidd's Beach, my sister showed me this poem she wrote some time ago.  I just wept when I read it and so many memories came flooding back.

Unwanted, unloved, wretched, little boy
Doomed to a life robbed of childhood joy
Deprived of your mother's care and her love
An unappreciated blessing from above

Surviving all attempts to miscarry
Alone in your loveless life you will tarry
Replacing the kiss from your mother's lips
You were lavished with lashes from her whips

That is why you learnt how to hate
The worst disease of the human state
Without the unconditional love of a mother
You never learnt how to love any other

As a man your hatred grew to maturity
Distrusting all love and doubting its purity
With a heart bursting with hatred and pain
The erupting anger left an indelible stain

I'm sad that I never sat on your lap
Afraid that something might cause you to snap
I always knew when to run off and hide
By the way your car pulled up in the driveway outside

Out from under the bed I would peep
Dead still and quiet as a mouse I would keep
I sometimes wondered what you were thinking
But now I know... it's what you've been drinking

In your blind rage... I wonder what you saw...
Did you see little children cowering on the floor?
As you took off your belt and inflicted your pain
I thought to myself you must be insane

You're an old man now, with a broken heart
It's never too late for a brand new start
All things happen to us for a reason
It's time for you to start a brand new season

I'll shower you with love without expectation
Together we'll find healing for the next generation
When one day your life has run it's full course
I hope you'll find peace at Love's true source

The years have passed and I'm grown up now
Throughout my life I've kept my vow
A product of circumstance I'll not be
The future is bright and it's all up to me

Seeing my dad...so weak and frail with only a maximum of six months to live just breaks my heart. I see so clearly a man that has never known how to give or receive love.   I know that I love him unconditionally...that there is no bitterness in my heart.  We can only shower him with our love and trust the Lord to touch His heart.

xx

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The sound of silence

 “Silence is pure and holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking.” 
― Nicholas SparksThe Notebook

One thing I know.
I love silence.
I am totally comfortable with it.
I cannot function without it.
I need it like I need oxygen and food.
Without it I cannot recharge and refresh.

Another thing I know.
Some people cannot handle silence.
They need to fill it with incessant chatter.
I sometimes wish that these people came with a "mute" button.
My ears become tired of listening.

We (my sister and I)  share a room in Kidd's Beach. In the crazy rush to and from hospital in these past few days, I have come to cherish the quiet moments...the time I need to just relax and become silent.  The little picture above could have been a picture of us.  We can spend all day together, quietly doing our own thing.  I realise how important it is to just be...no talk needed.

How do you feel about silence?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kidd's Beach - East Londen

I collected my sister Ansie from the airport on Thursday and we left for East London directly. We were both shocked to see how thin our dad's has become.  He is just skin and bone...and his colouring is yellow.  According to the CT scan the tumour in his lung is 8cm in diameter. We stayed with him until 8 the evening and then ran to the car in the pouring rain. We decided to have supper at Grazia on the beach front of East Londen before we return to Kidd's Beach.
We woke to a beautiful day on Friday morning and decided to go for a walk on the beach before we return to the hospital.  
A little bit of heaven on this earth.
Mom and Me.
Unspoiled beaches.
Ansie and Mom

We then left for the hospital and was just in time to greet my dad before he was wheeled into the theater for a biopsy of the mass in his lung.  When he came out of theater he was in so much pain and he struggled to breathe.  There is nothing as emotionally draining than seeing somebody you love struggling to breathe and grow more and more anxious.  He sat upright and Ansie massaged his neck and shoulders. We called the sister and she gave him a cortisone injection.  He is a stubborn man and insisted that he didn't feel better although the machine that measures the oxygen in his system showed it within acceptable range. He also refused sleeping tablets saying that he can't sit up and sleep. Eventually Ansie coaxed him into taking a sleeping tablet after she told him it was just something to relax him. We eventually left the hospital after he fell asleep at 8:30.  We drove back to Kidd's Beach and just collapsed into bed.

I hope that he is feeling a better today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Healing feelings:-)


Thank you for all your support and love following my previous post.  I appreciate all your love and prayers. 

I have become a big fan of the gorgeous doodles by Stephanie Ackerman and I am seriously considering enrolling for her online course "Doodling 101".  Today I have to write a letter to loved ones about my feelings and it is going to be hard, but I am at a point in my life where I know I HAVE to do it...leaving it will make the feelings turn into resentment and that is not where I want to be.

Tomorrow morning at 8 I am scheduled for a MRI of my neck.  My sister Ansie is flying in from Cape Town just before 1 o'clock, I will then pick her up from the airport and we will be driving down to Kidds Beach near East London to be with our parents.

I need to share the sketch and layout for Sketch Support this week.  Here is the sketch:

One-page Sketch #15


You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the one-page sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar of the Sketch Support blog.
Supplies used:  Cardstock: Bazzill; Printed papers: My Minds Eye (Lost and Found); Punches:  Martha Stewart; Rubon: Kaisercraft; Alphabet: Quickutz Blossom; Other:  DMC Cotton.

Variation #1: I followed the directions on the sketch but replaced the stripe paper with glittered blocks.
Variation #2:  I punched the strip below the stripe strip and attached it with a row of hand stitching.
Variation #3:  I replaced the leaves with falling hearts and added a second layer that pops up.

Chat again soon.
xx

Monday, November 21, 2011

Life is too short...


My dad was admitted to hospital on Friday for tests.  He has lost so much weight.  After a lung biopsy my mom was told this morning that he has lung cancer.  More tests will be done before we know the way forward.  I feel such sadness.  He was never really part of my life when I was growing up...and now time seem to be running out.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thank goodness it is Friday.

After a busy week I am thankful that it is Friday and I have two days to relax and recharge my batteries.  I had my appointment with the neurosurgeon this week and have been scheduled for a MRI of my neck next Thursday.  I will then be seeing the doctor again on 2 December.  Until then I have been told to sleep with a soft neck brace...will still have to see how that one pans out.

Anyhow...onto my project for Sketch Support this week.


Add-on Sketch #11
You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the add-on sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar of the Sketch Support blog.



I initially did not know what to do with this sketch....that was until I saw this bonus two page sketch by Allison Davis.
You can print this sketch from the "two-page sketches" page.
So after combining the two sketches this is what my project looked like.

Supplies used:  Cardstock: Bazzill; Printed Papers: Dream Street Papers (Sam); Felt flowers: Scrapbooking Collection; Leaves: Prima; Tag: Basic Grey Basics; Brads: Art from the Heart; Rub ons: Kaisercraft; Alphabet: American Craft; Punch: Martha Stewart. 

Variation #1:  I used the leaf in two sizes.
Variation #2:  I cut the template in two and then traced the two sides on stripe paper.
Variation #3:  I used a black marker to do faux stitching along the lines of the paper.
I am still a wee bit uncomfortable with too much white space so I added the banner with my Sew Easy tool and then cut little triangles to go inside the stitching...I finished it off with brads between the banners.

Hope you are all having a fantastic weekend.

xx

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Proudly South African

I want to share with you a debate that was taking place on my sister, Herlien's facebook page yesterday.  I was watching this unfold with amusement and amazement... but please read this for yourself and then we will chat.



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Congratulations South Africa. Congratulations Cape Town. TABLE MOUNTAIN has officialy been named as one of the new "7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD." This is a momentous occassion for all South Africans as the revenues from tourism are expected to add jobs and more oppurtunity for all as tourism is expected to boom in the Western Cape. We cannot wait to welcome the world to our shores. Peace & Love, SHOUT.
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o     
o    Clark DeNoble and Charlie Newcombe like this.
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Anita Treurnicht We regularly get travel advisory updates here in Oz that it's not safe to travel to South-Africa.Table Mountain is special,but not safe to visit:-(
November 12 at 12:07pm · LikeUnlike
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Herlien Rheeder I think any place can be unsafe - I would go up Table Mountain tomorrow. Bad things happen every where so caution always important, but - don't think it's any more, travelling to South Africa than any where else.
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Anita Treurnicht Have to agree to disagree on this one.The stats on crime in SA tells the whole story.Have you travelled much?
November 12 at 12:46pm · LikeUnlike
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Herlien Rheeder Still a beautiful country with much to offer :-)
November 12 at 2:55pm · LikeUnlike
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Clark DeNoble Crime statistics always look worse from outside the neighborhood, city, state or country yet people are thriving in those areas. If someone is ignorant enough to wander into trouble then nowhere is safe.
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Herlien Rheeder Well said Clark. That's exactly what I was trying to say. I love this country - because of the good and in spite of the bad.
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Anita Treurnicht You can not compare safety in SA with Aus or Europe.If you have not been anywhere but SA you will not know any different.You simply believe what you want to.I will go anywhere in the dark hours of the night here and feel safe.Not where you are.
Sunday at 12:28am · LikeUnlike
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I guess if you like going around any where you like in the dark hours of the night it's better that you left ;-). And no - I'm not ignorant to crime in South Africa compared to other countries - I simply choose to focus on the positive, be ...cautious and stay safe and enjoy all this country has to offer. Compared to how many people visit our beautiful mountain every day, the incidents of crime reported on our mountain are relatively few. I am proud to say that my little sis Elsa will be visiting us from Australia in January. And yes - we are planning to go up Table Mountain.See More
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Anita Treurnicht Enjoy the visit and Africa.Yes, I'm glad I've left so that We can enjoy a better quality of life,but if you have to stay there , you've got the right attitudex
Sunday at 9:45am · LikeUnlike
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Herlien Rheeder I don't have to stay here.... I choose to stay here. The same as many people who could leave if they so chose, but would rather stay. You would be surprised at how many people choose to stay - precisely because they couldn't enjoy the same quality of life any where else. So once again - let's agree to disagree and leave it at that ;-).
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Anita Treurnicht
You are absolutely right Herlien.You also need a lot if guts,drive and money to start over in a new country . That is the hard choice. We love to travel and broaden our " horizons " and it's so nice to do if you earn dollars in stead of rand. I do admire your positive attitude, way to go in SA.
Sunday at 11:25am · LikeUnlike
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Clark DeNoble Where is Oz?
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Herlien Rheeder The place you go to ask the wizard for brains, a heart and courage ;-)
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Ansie Els My family are in a position to live anywhere and we've travelled extensively. SA is still the best.
Sunday at 3:54pm · LikeUnlike
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Ansie Els I guess South Africa's not for sissies... lol
Sunday at 3:57pm · LikeUnlike
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Clark DeNoble Smartass! Seriously what was Anita talking about "Oz"
Sunday at 5:56pm · LikeUnlike
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Herlien Rheeder Australia dear Clark ;-)
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Clark DeNoble My niece and her Aussie husband live there and they've never used that term. Thanks
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Herlien Rheeder I don't think it's a commonly used term. My aunt has lived there since the age of 16 and I've never heard her or my cousins use that term either. Neither my sister and her family who'vlived there for the past 15 years. My aunt still comes back to visit once every two years.
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Anita Treurnicht Ai,so baie Suid-Afrikaners het hierdie kleinlikheid en verkrampte seining,soos volstruise met jul koppe in die sand.Ansie as jy dink SA is die beste is jy beslis met jou koppie in die sand,oningelig en in jou eie kleine wereldjie
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Anita Treurnicht You can still be in a position to live anywhere,but not have the courage to leave your comfort zone.Maybe it's a good thing you all don't know what you're missing,I feel sorry for you.I have also lived in the Isle of Man for a year,what a gorgeous place! you will probably not know where that is...To make such a issue out of the abbreviation Oz,that's so typical small minded South-African.Get a life.
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Clark DeNoble I don't know what Anita's problem is but she's your friend so I'll say nothing about her inferiority complex...
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Herlien Rheeder Not much of a friend - old friend from school who added me on facebook - don't know what her problem is. I respect her decision to leave - but she doesn't seem to be able to do the same. Gosh little Anita - you've turned really nasty. Not the way - remember you at all. Maybe the change wasn't so good for you after all??
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Herlien Rheeder Fortunately Clark - I don't have inferiority complex, so I find her comments amusing. I don't have to leave the country to prove anything to anybody. Or run away to 'Oz'. I already have a brain, heart and courage ;-)
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Ansie Els Sorry to insult your frien Herlien but that's why they say that when SA'ns run off to Australia and Nieu Zealand the average IQ of all three countries increase ;-D lol
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Andre Van Rooyen As well as the average RQ. (Racist quotient). The REAL reason why most people leave.
17 hours ago · UnlikeLike · 

I want to tell you how I feel.
I love this colourful country that we live in.  Where my faith is concerned I know that we have been called to be in this nation for exactly a time like this.  We need to make a difference and be the salt and the light in this country.  

Do I have my head in the sand.  NO!  I don't, I know exactly what is going on in our country politically and economically.  Even so, I believe that we have a great future ahead of us.  

Am I afraid?  No, I am not, the Lord has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.  

What about the future of my children and grandchildren?  I have seen my children become entrepreneurs in this country and today they don't only provide for their own families, they also created jobs so that others can earn a living and provide for their families.

Is it easy?  No, but then again, why should it be.  Our nation is a proud nation that lived through the Great Trek through this country when it was still wild, they lived through the Anglo Boer war and survived the concentration camps.  We are strong and we are proud.  This is our country and we belong here.

I hate it when people who have left this country, try to make us who choose to stay look like ignorant idiots.  Really, I respect the fact that they wanted to leave and they really don't have to give me their reasons for leaving.  Please, respect the fact that we have chosen to stay. I also don't ask for your negativity about my country...if you are negative, maybe it is a good thing that you left, we need people with positive attitudes if we have to make this country work.

LOL!  Then I want to thank my sisters, Herlien and Ansie for standing up for what they believe in, I am proud of you...and Herlien... I will always remember fondly that "Oz is the place you go to ask the wizard for brains, a heart and courage ;-)  I am thankful that we already have brains, a heart and courage and don't have to go to Oz to get it.

So...what do you say?

xx