A Letter to my Friends. Please Read. It’s About You

A Letter to my Friends. Please Read. It’s About You

Moving is tough and I’m not talking about packing boxes.

I may never see all of you again. When I think of all your faces I think of all the value you added to my life.

There is this urgency in me not to go before you KNOW what you mean to me. That’s what I’m all about I guess: that people may know their worth. Maybe because some individuals have helped me find mine and now I can’t bear the thought of you not knowing the impact your life has made on me.

I’m moving far away and for a few years you have helped form me and guide me through the waves of life. And now that season is over, but what you’ve accomplished in me is not. Your marks made me stronger, wiser and happier. And you have to know that that is a legacy you leave in this world.

Yes, I know with the technology of today we’ll still communicate. But I’m going to miss the times around the kitchen tables and feeling your comforting hugs or seeing your smile. So here’s me trying to say thank you for all those moments.

Thank You for Making me Laugh

Is there anything better than making a serious, complicated person like me get out of her usual box of reference and laugh ecstatically? You made that happen. You made me see the lighter side of life. You made me ENJOY life when all I wanted was to ACCOMPLISH life.

Thank you.

Thank You for Being Wise when I Couldn’t be

I’m used to being the counselor and advisor. But there were times when I couldn’t be and I became the student. And wow, your authentic way of living and “practice what you preach”-ways and your experience made me trust your insight. Thank you that you had the guts to go through trials so I could learn at your feet for a change. I will never forget what you did for me.

Thank You for Listening

I prefer listening. I love hearing stories. But then occasionally I need an ear. And you were there. How can I say thank you enough that you heard my sorry stories without judging or even advising. Safe spaces are hard to come by in this world and you gave me one. Thank you.

Thank You for Drying up My Tears

I love crying. It cleanses me. It’s God’s way of getting all the junk out of my system. And you allowed me to vent. You made me okay again. Most of all you made me feel safe even though I was vulnerable. There is no greater gift a friend can give. Safety. Wow. I’m going to miss that.

But as God always sent you at exactly the right time when I needed you, I also know He will send me new safety nets in my new home. I pray that you will always find the right friends at the right time. You deserve the best.

Thank You for Making me Dream

You helped me realise dreams, dream new ones and encouraged me every step of the way. How do you say thank you to someone who saw potential in you even before you knew it was there yourself?

Thank you for bringing me one step closer to my God-given purpose. Thank you for the insight and inspiring me by chasing your own dreams. You’re amazing and I pray all your goals will one day be reached. I will be praying from afar. I will cheer you on always.

Will We Meet Again?

I don’t know who of you I will see again. I must make peace that seasons change. I don’t want unrealistic expectations because it hurts too much when expectations aren’t met.

But whether this is farewell or only ‘until we meet again’, know that the memory of you makes my life richer. It gives me the strength to move onto the next chapter of my life. You have been good to this person and may God bless you immensely for that. You have been His hand in my life and I have been so privileged to know you.

Today words aren’t enough to express my gratitude.

I hope we meet again. In my heart our friendship lives on. Thank you for the footsteps you left in this heart so far.

The Pen

I know the power of it, but I don’t always use it.

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I don’t know why?  Why do I want to hinder the process so?  My growth process. My revelation process. My process towards the discovery of a new source of a smile.

Writing.

Putting pen to paper is like walking down roads and experiencing life and learning lessons.  It is how I am connected to the answers of many questions floating around in my head.

Writing about something brings it under a microscope and seeing it for what it is…and isn’t.

It is also how He guides me and makes me wiser.  Because that is how we talk.  And I am eternally thankful for this particular way of communicating with Him.  As I write about my toughts and troubles, He comes and replaces the question marks with exclamation marks.  He puts full stops at the end of thoughts that have troubled many a dark night.

And then i have His perspective on paper.  Not to be lost, but to go back to and enjoy.  Its like reading about the adventure…or finding the facts I am in dire need of.

 

That’s what my pen is for me.  And He meets me in what I love.  Paper. Pen to paper.  Beginning to End. Question to Answer.  He’s there.

 

May all discover the way in which they function best…the way in which He talks best…and find that best of advice He craves to give.

 

Prov 3:5,6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

differences made……

the people in my street

i was yet again challenged this week by God to respect and honor beyond my own comfort. so easily we fall  into rhythms of who we think are the important and honorable people in this world, in my community, in my church and in my street.

mother theresa said: it is easy to love the people far away. it is not always easy to love those close to us. it is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in your own home. bring love into your own home for this is where our love for each other must start.

i saw “alta” this weekend. first time in 13 years.  “alta”, the mother of 3. abused by her husband. poor alta. always late for church……because she always had to wait for the taxi. and i didn’t deem it…

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Fighting darkness

We have been given amazing minds.
The think, create, care, dream…
but they also overthink, destroy, hate and doubt.

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I sometimes yearn for the day when nothing will overpower me. I wish I can proclaim that no fear or doubt leaves me stressed or confused anymore.

That I have not achieved, but I have seen how the identification of the daunting items, gives me more power.

In my mind there is a dark chamber where the monsters rule. They rule because I can not see them, and therefore I am even more debilitated by them. I can not fight and overcome what I can not see and what I can not identify an apt weapon for.

But I am changing that.

It takes time. Time we do not always have…or we do not always allocate it correctly.

But a morning of thinking, realising and writing down the things that lurk in my darkness, has set me free from them.

One would think that viewing a monster will make it more powerful.
But in its revelation lies its first fatal punch.

If I know that the reason I am stressed is because I worry about my loved ones, I can challenge that stress with either doing something in my power, or teaching myself (this takes repetition of course) to not take people’s mistakes or choices as my responsibility. The monster of sadness is losing his fight.
If I realise that I am irritable because I am worrying about the future, I can choose what to change in my daily schedule and harness faith (which I embrace as part of my journey) for that which I can’t control. The monster of fear gets its first death-blow.
If I see that I worry about being a good wife or friend, I can assess it realistically, remind myself of what I know to be good and challenge myself to add another achievement or goal to my weekly regimen. The monster of insecurity is driven back, step by step.
If you compare pictures of yourself and realise that you have purpose, but have lost your passion, you can start the journey to discover it (or a different one) once again. The monster of aimlessness will not rule my days anymore!
If you see how your actions bring about conflict or distance with friends or colleagues, you can choose a different action in future situations. The monster of self-pity and isolation dare not touch you!

With unidentified monsters, we simply feel overwhelmed, wishing to rest and sleep. Combined, these monsters can make quite an army. But separately, I know I can fight them off.

With clear pictures of what taunts us, we can break out our weapons of changed thought, changed priorities or changed lifestyles and challenge a monster with opposed thought whenever necessary.

Thinking about a situation turns from devastation to hope; from listlessness to empowerment.

We sometimes just let the jumble of monsters overcome us. We don’t have to.

Our brilliant minds are created to set us free. That is how wonderfully He made us.

Let monsters into the light – call them from the shadows and chase them from your soul.
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Why does this matter?

I’m not even in America. So why does Trump’s win bother me? Maybe his choices will affect my country’s economy. So that is a reason. I do not yet know if it will be for the better or worse though. So for that I can stand and wait.

But why did I just spend an afternoon looking through posts and opinions and memes and articles about people with very little relevance to my life?

It is because I hate what has won. Not who. What.

I hate that arrogance has won.
I hate that lies have won.
I hate that money (turned into power) and manipulation won.

Because that is what I see in his speeches and what I read in his actions.
Proof of this is blatantly visible in his disregards for women’s worth as well as his miss-interpretation of situations to suit his own agenda e.g. telling lies about an Obama speech.

Do I feel sorry for his wife who chooses to stick by such a fool?
No – she chooses that.

Do I want to shun his whole family?
No – I can not disregard the good that comes out of a situation and surely no person is only bad.

Do I think that Hillary was the better choice?
No – no necessarily, because I do not know what lies beneath her crafty surface and she takes a stand for some frightening causes.

But do I weep for the fact that out of 325 000 000 people, it came down to such a frightening choice? Yes!

Surely there are good and honest people who also have the guts and intelligence to lead wisely. How come it is not their faces that are paraded around a nation?

That saddens me: When the good that is within us all (because we were all originally made good by God) is not what is celebrated and is not given a chance to thrive.

Do I fear the future? NO…somehow we (and America) will survive. I just wish I could believe that it would be effortless due to a trustworthy leader, rather than a volatile character. I do not know if God and His principles will be given a chance (as their nation’s slogan says), but I know He can do miraculous things.

I just wish there were more truly Godly leaders. Not holy moley Bible punching hypocrites…simply people who spoke and lived according to what He knows is wise. Because that’s why He gives us morals and guidelines…because He knows what is good for us.

So good luck Trump – may you not run a country into the ground. Good luck America…let’s see what your choice brings.

But now…I shall not forget my own country.

And though everyone around me may feel we are as lost as America, I would like to still stand and proclaim my faith in this country, just as I believe in the possibility of God having an influence in America IF WE LET HIM have an influence.

And this happens through us. Through good people. Through people who live what is right and grab hold of the conviction that we can shine a light and see how darkness tumbles.

And we have many such leaders…and of that I am proud!!!
Are they perfect? No
Are their records blemishless? No

But, oh, I have seen them fight the good fight for the sake of our country and not simply for personal gain.
I wish there were more Zille’s and Leon’s and Maimane’s. (I wish I had their guts and determination some days).
Though they are not saints, I do not doubt these people’s characters that chose to fight for people’s rights. And in South Africa we have given these people power. Power in the form of a position that can have influence.

And of that I am extremely proud.
And that gives me hope for a future even though every newspaper seems glum.

I do not aim at being naive…but hopeful yes!

I do not condemn America or its leader, but I think they chose an interesting ride.

May both the countries survive current leaders.

May we realise the impact of every choice and vote we take.

May we allow Him to lead us in it all.

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That’s just me.

This title was “Mud”…but now it has become “Progress”

Its like pulling yourself up out of the mud.

The sludge of negative thoughts and self-criticism. The draining fight against fear of failure and overcoming challenging events…

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I started this piece months ago and found it today again.

What I am grateful to say is that I’ve done some pulling these past few months.

Gone is the running away from my thoughts. I have learnt that I can come to a stand-still, face them, page through them to see which ones are valid and which ones I should ignore. Some fears exist because of bad past experiences, but pushing THROUGH the thought shows me that there is more light than darkness on the other side. Light in terms of possibilities instead of only the option of failure. The fact that failure doesn’t mean the end…its just part of a process. Pushing through a negative thought and fear, I realise that I am capable to withstand a challenge and that I have more strength than I thought I did.

Why do I write this?

Because, if I can see progress in how I think about life and challenges I want to face and dreams I want to chase, then maybe someone else can too. And sometimes we need confirmation that we can.

Feeling utterly abandoned and frustrated with an unknown future and feelings of inadequacies, I stumble across a hero’s online video, mentioning that miracles and the impossible is where God prefers to work.

If she could survive and stand with a smile on her face, then so can I.

Its going to take a lot of hard work.
butterfly

But I have started breaking through the thoughts holding me back…and thoughts are sometimes stronger than the actual situations.

So let’s keep on going. Mud will not keep me back.

Just words or more life

It is easy sitting here writing.

It is not that easy being out there in the world and doing.

I know all that I wish the world to be. I know all the wise approaches that will make my relationships better and will most probably help me achieve my dreams.
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I know it all. In my head.

But doing it…that’s hard.

Doing it means that I make choices according to priorities, not whims.
Doing it means that I have to stand by my convictions, even when there’s adversity.
Doing it means that I proclaim my beliefs, no matter who is staring me in the face.

And that is hard.

I chase a dream of doing good and I hit a speed bump. The going was easy and suddenly there’s a mud pool that makes me feel uncomfortable, doubting myself, making me feel embarrassed.
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It can be easy to cancel the path taken. I can just sit in front of my computer all day and spew my message out from here. It is comfortable. It doesn’t offer many challenges in terms of finances or in terms of dealing with people.

But that’s not enough.
It is simply not enough for me to write a thing and not live it.

I can not dream of giving my children wise advice one day…but having to hide away the fact that I never attempted what I want them to pursue.

Writing is easy.
Living is hard.
But doing only number 1 just isn’t enough.

He made me for more than that.

I cringe at the feeling of having my beliefs challenged, some of my plans crash, having no answers when everything I try fail. But I’m not dead yet. So failure is only a temporary feeling. And isn’t it subjective? Not thing attempted doesn’t at least have a lesson as result or at least one life influenced. So I choose what I define as failure (still processing that thought…)

So I will face the discomfort and push through. I will attempt to reach the other side, the dream, the ideal.
Even half of it is better than only talking about it.

That’s just me.