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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Some "Cariena" therapy.

Last week Wednesday I drove through to Jeffreys Bay and The Scrapbook Studio.  I was planning on doing the class that Jowilna Nolte taught on the Saturday of the Woman's Day Event.  I was also not in a "good" place and needed some therapy.  Scrapbooking does that for me....I have to add that Cariena the owner of  The Scrapbook Studio is such a lovely, caring person and just what I needed on this day.

This is the beautiful layout that I made that is designed by Jowilna Nolte.  I have decided that I enjoyed the messy processes that have scared me silly for years.  I chose this photos of Bianca that was taken a week before Stefan's birth.  The papers are from the TCP Studio Grandma's Attic Range.  I have had it for ages and found it a bit "old" to use.  It worked beautifully with these photos.
I worked with modelling paste, stencils, mists and micro beads.
I made pretty paper flowers and stitched hearts.
Isn't this embossed patina heart gorgeous?  The Scrapbook Studio sells Jowilna's notes on how to create this gorgeous effect and can be found here.

xx

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

He moves mountains.

Oh He doesn't only move them....He flattens them!

If you read my previous post...you will know that I hit an all time low last week.  I cracked under the stress and strain of the past few months and it was making me sick.  I finally got to the end of myself....the end of my strength.  I surrendered.  Despite my weakness....God extends grace.  He doesn't tell me "oh you of little faith", He just loves me too much to do that.  He just tells me that His grace is sufficient for me and that His strength is made perfect in weakness.

If you are new to my blog, you can read more about the Mission we started 14 years ago  HERE.  

For the past 8 months we have seen an alarming trend in our electricity and water account.  It started climbing at an astonishing rate. Eight months ago our account was around R35000 per month...and then it was R55000.  We installed heat pumps and started load shedding between 11pm and 4 am.  Still the account climbed to R85000 and last month I opened the account and like David said in  Psalm 22:14 "I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax it melted within me." The account was for R116000 and fear gripped my heart. Month end was looming and there was NO way to pay this account.  When phoning the municipality we were sent from pillar to post and never managed to reach the "right" person to speak to. Everyday we expected that the authorities would come and cut the supply of electricity and water to the building.  The burden was immense....we were failing the people in our care.  The future of the Mission was at stake.

Last week we called for a corporate week of praise and worship at the Mission. The theme was "Breaking the chains".  Every evening we just praised Him despite our situation.  My favourite song during this time was: "Saviour, You can move the mountain, my God is mighty to save...He is mighty to save."

Yesterday at 2:50 THE MOUNTAIN WASN'T ONLY MOVED...IT WAS REMOVED!  I received an e-mail from die assistant director of customer care at the municipality.  Our account was reduced from R259000 to ZERO.  From September we will be paying a reduced rate that is called "Assistance to the Poor". (ATTP).  I am so thankful to our ALL KNOWING, ALL POWERFUL, AWESOME GOD.  He is indeed Mighty to SAVE.

ps.  I have burned my superwoman cape. I only need Him.  I can't accomplish anything in my own strength.

xx

Monday, August 20, 2012

Not for the faint hearted

Since I was a little girl, I was the strong one.  No matter what was happening at home, I wouldn't discuss it with anyone and I would NEVER EVER cry. I learned early that showing emotions was a sign of weakness and that when people hurt you, you never show them how much it affects you.  Sad hey!  Sad that this became a tendency in my life and something I would carry on doing right up to the ripe old age I am right now.

I am always the organizer, the leader, the fixer, despite what I am feeling..I am always there to support my friends and my family. In fact, I love "being there".   The sad thing is that I am so good at keeping up appearances that they seldom or ever know when I am going through a "bad patch".  They think that I am strong enough to survive without help, a hug or an ear.


I have always prided myself on being strong and being able to "handle stress" well.  In fact, I go to great lengths to shield my loved ones from stressful situations.  I even shield my DH because of my belief that he doesn't "do stress" well.  That when he stresses he erupts and woe be to those who are in the blast zone:-)

I am now in the place where I don't want to be the strong one anymore.  

I want the freedom to (just now and then) fall apart.  
I want the assurance that when I do fall apart there will be someone to pick up the pieces.  
I am tired of pretending that all is well when it is not.
I am tired of hiding my feelings.
I am tired of smiling when I can't even face the world out there.
I am tired of saying yes...when it should be no.
Just for now I want to be the one being sheltered from the storm of life.
When I can't face the day, I want the freedom to curl up and hide under the covers.

Yup, I guess I am not in a good place...but it sure feels good to just express how I feel here.


xx

Friday, August 17, 2012

Woman's Day Event with Jowilna Nolte

Last week I spent three fabulous days in Jeffreys Bay.  The Scrapbook Studio hosted a Woman's Day event and the talented Jowilna Nolte taught us a whole lot of new techniques.  I think I told you before that I normally do all my creative work on my own in my own studio, so needless to say this was totally out of my comfort zone.  Added to this I was sick most of the time.

I want to show you some of the beautiful things I created starting with my favourite.  On Friday last week Jowilna taught a mixed media canvas class and this had me the most excited.  This is the canvas I made:
What you see here was an "all day" process.  I can't even remember how many layers was added to the canvas until this was the result.  I got REAL messy...and I loved every moment of it.  This is going to be something that I will make often and it will make awesome gifts.
We misted and painted and let the paint drip of the edges.  We applied texture paste using stencils.  We used gold perfect pearls and misted over this then used gel medium to stick down the music paper. 
We learned how to make our own crackle effects using wood glue and acrylic paint.
During the whole process we used a white "drip sheet" and the hearts were cut out from this random drippings.  Awesome don't you think.

On the first day we made a double layout.  I scrapped these photos of Leane taken at Plettenberg Bay.  
I love hexagons.  On day two we made this awesome layout.  I haven't had time to add the journaling.
We made eight cards with techniques that I have never done before.
We dabbed paint through stencils and did sewing around the middle circle.
This card took forever to finish.  Each key of the typewriter was mounted on glue circles.  How could I ever give it away?
One of the card classes was dedicated to working with gold leaf...and we were taught various application procedures.  
We made the rosettes from scratch and you can see gold leafing on this card too.

Other than that...today is the 9th day that I have been sick.  So I am really sick and tired of being sick.  On Wednesday last week a muscle in my throat went into spasm with the result that it becomes very painful to swallow.  Then it was headaches that wouldn't let up, a stomach bug and finally flu.  The doctor was not very sympathetic when I visited him.  He asked my why I am stressing so much.  I denied it...so he told me that I can say what I want but my body is betraying me.  So for now I am following his advise and using little white helpers until I can cope again.  

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

xx

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life is fragile

This past week I was reminded, once again how fragile life is.  On Saturday 5 August a friend that I have known most of my married life, got married.  His wedding was arranged and held at the mission.
Willie and his son (best man)
DH walked the bride down the aisle.
He couldn't take his eyes off her.
The beginning of happily ever after...or so we thought.

On Thursday morning, four days after the wedding we woke to the news that Willie had passed away during the night.

Tomorrow will the the funeral celebrating his life and my heart goes out to his wife and son.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

14 years ago....

....today, the Mission came into being.
The only thing we knew is that we heard the call...to make a difference and we had said:  "Whatever you say Lord...we will do it."

We stopped in front of the building and were greeted with picketing residents.  They didn't want us there.  They were saying "Take your electricity and water and go!".  We were too ignorant and full of zeal to be afraid. We ventured fearlessly into territory that belonged to gangs, drug pushers and addicts.  When I look back I cringe when I think how brave and utterly stupid we were.  We really didn't have a clue what we were doing.

The Lord sure has a sense of humour...don't you think?  He calls people who are totally unqualified to do a job...so that those people will KNOW that any success would not be because they were so cute or clever...that He was the One making it happen.  He called us because He knew that we would be obedient.  I remember those early days sitting across from our attorney and very good friend.  He was telling us that we will NEVER make it, that we were not hearing right.  I remember family members furiously telling us that we have lost the plot.  I remember (good)friends that suddenly became too busy to speak or see us...it was as if we had the plague.

When you believe with all your heart that you have received a "calling".  You also absolutely believe that the Lord will place a large number of people around you that will support you in your "call".  Not true.

Those first years were the most difficult of our lives.

Family and friends looked down their noses at us because we were working with the outcasts of our world.  I am pretty sure they were afraid that it would be contagious.

Those first years were some of the most lonely years of our lives.

We thought that it would be easy....our "church" would be behind us.  Not true!  For years they watched and they waited for us to fail. We were alone and the buck stopped with us.

We learned that we had to make do with what we have...and work with what we have.  We learned that we were called because we can make business work.  We learned that it takes years before people believe in you and the work you do and that you indeed have integrity  We learned that without transparency we will fail.  We learned that it is heartbreaking and backbreaking work to make a successful Mission. We learned that this work is not a sprint...it is a marathon.  We are in for the long haul.   We learned that credibility comes with years. We learned that the satisfaction and fulfillment we experience in our work cannot be measured in money.

If I were given the choice to choose all over again...I would be exactly where I am today.