Saturday, December 12, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Reflect

Wow, its been about 6 weeks since I last wrote a post. Today seems like the perfect time to write. All is quiet besides the birds chirping outside and fresh rains have soaked the earth this morning.
Yes, time to reflect...
Its been a different year with different challenges but on the whole I am grateful for God's provision, guidance, grace and goodness. 
Our girl has finished her home education journey and she did exceedingly well in art, coming first in her class. Next year she will be able to pursue her passions without the stress of school assignments and exams...yay!
Our eldest has gone from strength to strength at work and is an asset to the company he works for. I love seeing him enjoy his work and studies. 
Our youngest has grown in character and is a blessing to have around. I love seeing him "come into his own". Can't believe that I have just one more to home educate!
Hubby has had a really busy year at work and traveled a bit over the last while. I am grateful for his dedication and provision for our family.
I have had the opportunity to work with little people. Three precious little girls who bring joy to me. It's been lovely to work a little outside the home spending time with the cutie pies and earn a little pocket money. 
I am grateful for travelling mercies for hubby, our girl and extended family; my extended family who have stuck together through thick and thin, always there for one another despite miles that may separate us; new friends and old friends and our wonderful church family. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 31 Almost

Almost...yes, precious daughter, you are almost there.
 Almost at the end of your home school journey. I can scarcely believe it.
 I am immensely proud of you and the way you have diligently applied yourself even when it has been tough and the deadlines have come thick and fast.
 Just four more exams and you are done! 

It has been my joy to walk this journey beside you and watch you grow over these years. 
A sweet little thing who loved to play with dollies and tea sets and get muddy and dirty too, now a talented, confident, God and people loving young woman.
 One who is always up for the challenge of something new....
 (as we have seen with all your great and fantastical hair colors and cuts over the last year)

......and with the attitude of I can do it!
Yes, some of your first words were, "I'm do it!"
 Keep that attitude and it will get you places my girl!

I am so thankful for the precious journey to adulthood that I have shared with you. 
I am so excited to see what God has in store for you in the coming year.
 I smile because you are my girl!

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Five Minute Friday: Bacon

Just add bacon!

Mmmm, if you have never eaten it before you don't know what you are missing! Peanut butter and bacon is something I learned to love in my childhood home and all my kids love it too. Some of mine even have their eggs with peanut butter and bacon. I prefer to skip the eggs and have lashings of preferably crunchy peanut butter and butter and loads of bacon! Good thing I don't do it too often as I am sure all that fat is not too good for me, but gotta enjoy some things in life!

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 29 Sea

Sea....all my life I have lived close to the sea. I love the scent of the sea air and the soothing sound of waves as they rhythmically roll onto the shore. Sea air refreshes and calms me.

My fondest memories of the sea are of our days in Dar es Salaam. The water always turquoise blue and so warm. Long strolls searching for sand dollars and my little browned beach babes having a whale of a time swimming for hours on end. 

My daughter and I have a memory imprinted in our minds of a particular day when we were far out in those warm Indian Ocean waters. As we looked back to shore the water stretched out before us and we took a mental photograph of the magnificent view. Pristine beach with countless coconut palms and little beach huts known as bandas. Something similar to the image below but more beautiful...

Neither of us has forgotten that day or that mental image we captured.
 Some days I long to return to that precious and beautiful moment forever captured in time....

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 28 Hope

Life has been busy, birthdays, exams, work and keeping house so I have not been able too keep up with the writing challenge but I figured I will just do today's challenge and if I feel I can , go back and do the ones I missed out on. 

Hope....hope is something we hold on to and for me it goes well with faith...believing in what we cannot see. Without hope, life could be very dismal. I have learned much about hope this year. Some good lessons and some difficult lessons but I am thankful that there is hope. 
Early in the year there was a situation I was facing and many around me were convinced that there really was not much hope for any change. I clung to hope and cried out to God and He came through in an amazing way. The naysayers could not kill the hope I had regarding that particular situation. I hoped, trusted and believed and the situation turned around. 

I do believe that sometimes hope can blind us to reality though. In a different situation I have had hope for a long time and that hope did not serve me well. Even while hoping, the hoping made me very unsettled and anxious. Sometimes we have to accept that there is no hope in a particular situation and we have to close a chapter and move on for our own good.
 Sometimes the answer for what he are hoping for is no or not now.....

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 19 Honour

Honor...the Greek word, timao, translated to honor means "to prize (fix a value upon), to revere". Showing honor is then treating others respectfully because we value them highly. 

What comes to mind is the commandment to honor our parents and the promise that comes with this. A promise that your days may be long in the land He has given you. Imagine if all children were taught to honor their parents....imagine the impact on relationships with others if honor was taught at a young age.
As parents we can treat our children with honor too. 
How do we discipline them?
 Are we treating them with respect and dignity? 
Do we honor the aged among us and treat them with respect too? 
Do we honor the people who serve us at the shops or the petrol attendant? 
Honor does not depend on how we feel at the time. Perhaps their issues are greater than yours. Perhaps you are the ray of light that is needed to brighten their day.
Imagine a world where we all humbled ourselves in order to honor one another at all times.
Who can you show honor to today?  

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31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 18 Worth

Image result for worth it quotes

Yes, you are worth infinitely more than what others may think of you or say about you.
 You are worth so much more than the numbers on the scale and more than your scores on those tests or results....
Too often we place too much value in anothers inability to see our worth.
 We need to know who we are in Him. Loved, blessed and precious and worth it.
Numbers, yes numbers can make one feel worthless too...the numbers on the scale do not define you. Whats in your heart is so much more important. 
Those scores that we are all forced to face at some point do not determine your value and worth. 
Too much value can be placed on those scores. We are all different and all blessed with varying talents and gifts . What you do with those gifts is much more important than a score.

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31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 17 Offer

Offer...we are all part of the body and we all need each other. None more important or less important than the other. Where is your place and what is your part to play? What gifts do you have to offer?

We have worked through some great material from our church recently and I have been challenged  to become more involved and offer my time. I look forward to meeting new people and making new connections. How you can bless others with what you have to offer?

I love that God made us all different and we each have something unique to offer. Imagine if we were all the same....

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Joy

Joy.....I am a great believer in seeking joy in every day life. Life can really get one down at times whether its financial, health, relationship issues or just the daily news. But there is always something to be joyful and thankful for even if you have to look harder on some days. 

Here are some of this weeks joy filled moments:
puppy cuddles with the cutest husky pup
my dads welcoming home and time spent hanging out there
time spent gardening, filling my pots with splashes of summer color
laughter and pure delight playing with my nephew on a hot summers evening, water and balloons involved!
giggling little girls 
friends popping by and staying late to catch up and chat
my sweet girl cooking dinner for the family, a joy to eat a delicious meal I didn't prepare
barefooted walk in the pine forest
the sound of the stream bubbling and gurgling, delighted children and dogs splashing about
a shady spot , good food, beloved family members 
carnival time at church, family, friends, festivities, balloons, fabulous food, fun, a great big bonfire and sparklers....
I hope you seek joy in the ordinary and sometimes difficult or messy days too. 

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Monday, October 19, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 15 Laugh

Image result for laughter quotes

Laugh, yes it's so good to laugh. I love that my three all have a great sense of humor and I often hear them laughing or better yet, we laugh together! My oldest often shows me videos that make me laugh, my daughter and I have had some hilarious moments together and my youngest and I often laugh when we are doing school, particularly Afrikaans lessons!
I love the little people in my life that bring laughter too. The little girl I look after twice a week laughs uncontrollably if we play catch at the park. My nephew often has us laughing with his antics and the cute things he says. The other two little girls I look after are just as sweet and often have me laughing too, specially the tiny two year old who is learning about the world around her and how it doesn't always go her way. She knows that when its supper time, it is time for me to leave so often after her shower she tells me, "supper time, supper time!" as if to say, you can go now! 
Laugh when you can, it is oh so good for you!

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31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 14 Fly

Fly....birds come to mind and one of my favorite scriptures in Mathew 6.

"Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?"

Many a time when I have been despondent and pressed on all sides by worry, God has shown me birds and reminded me of His provision and care for us. Birds will always remind me of this and how valuable we are to Him. My daughter blessed me with a beautiful soft grey scarf this year on mother's day. It has white swallows flying all over...she knows how much that verse means to me and that scarf is a gift I treasure. 

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 13 Patience

Patience...I always think of the phrase, "waiting without complaining" when I hear the word patience. It's something I tried to instill in my three when they were little. Along with that came the practice of putting their hand on my arm when they saw I was talking to someone else and they wanted to talk. I would put my hand over the little hand resting patiently on my arm so they would be aware I had acknowledged their need to speak. Then I could politely ask the person who I was talking to if they mind if I check on what my little person needed. It taught them respect for who I was talking to, and seemed a more patient and polite way to get my attention than just butting into my conversation. 
I had to giggle the other day when my grown daughter told me that she had been doing this with other people too... and she only recently realized it was not something everyone did.

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Five Minute Friday: Green

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 
He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams . 
He renews my strength.

Yes, something refreshing , calming and comforting about the color green. Just this morning my youngest and I enjoyed a stroll along the green belt. The geese were greeting the new day, the stream trickling along , and the scent of jasmine was heavy in the morning fresh air.  A great way to start the day. Sometimes getting out into the great green outdoors is all you need. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 12 Storm


Yes, He didn't promise days without storms , in fact we are warned of trials and tribulations but He does promise strength and comfort on those dark days.
Will you place your faith in Him and trust that He knows what He is doing?
Will you find peace in Him despite the raging storm?
Will you let Him calm the storm within you?
The storm won't last forever, it too shall pass....

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31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 11 Rest

Rest...yes, I was resting on Sunday when I should have written day 11's post. It was wonderful to just catch up after a busy week of work and many celebrations surrounding my daughter's birthday.
Rest is good! 
I hope you take time to rest this week. Put down the phone, switch off the computer, leave the tasks for later. You will get to them. Pause and rest, give yourself a moment to sit back and relax . Breathe deeply, do something that makes you feel alive and brings back your smile. We all need to make time to rest from the rush and appreciate the beauty around us and our loved ones. I hope you press pause and rest this week. You will feel so much better if you do....

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 10 Ready

Ready....last night we sat in church listening to my precious niece do her 360. A short preach which is part of an eight month long course that the church has been running for young adults.The night before she had been in our home and I knew she was somewhat anxious about what lay ahead. Minutes before she took the stage I asked if she was ready and my daughter's response on behalf of her cousin was," Yes! she is more than ready...."

What a privilege to sit and listen to this beautiful young woman of God talk about love.  God's deep love for us and how He wants to use us by letting His love flow through us so we can love those around us. 
Such a blessing to see what God is doing in the lives of the young adults in our church who are ready and willing to be world changers. Are you ready and willing to be the change that this world needs ?

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Friday, October 9, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 9 Trust

Trust....the above is one of my favorite reminders that I can trust Him with all things and in all things. I remember a day many years ago when hubby was standing with two of our precious little ones on some rocks... too close to the huge crashing waves of a wild ocean for my heart to bear! As I looked out towards where they were, fear overcame me and just as suddenly there was a sense of peace as God told me to trust Him to take care of them. I often think back to that day and our tiny precious ones who are now young adults. I am grateful that I have that reminder to keep trusting Him for them (as well as our third precious young man) as they journey through life. 

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 8 Purple


Purple...makes me think back to the girl cousins party last, colorful and alive!
Purple...the color of the scent of lavender, something I never tire of. far away Mum, she loves color.
Purple...little girls dressed in pink and purple.
Purple...the memory of a pair of bright purple high heels a friend once owned and the laughter we shared over those shoes!
Purple...a color in the rainbow and the reminder of God's promise.
Purple...the dinosaur that all my kids loved when they were little ones.
Purple...grapes and granadillas.

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31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 7 Love

Love.....Oops ....I missed a day's writing but that's OK, I was too busy loving those around me. It was a beautiful spring day and I had a surprise picnic planned for my daughter's 18th .
 She had been busy with exams the last few weeks and has more exams starting next week so the pressure of planning her own party was taking its toll. 
I decided to take that pressure off her and planned a couple of surprise events to celebrate with those she loves and loves being around. So far so good...she has had three surprise events which have been small enough for her to really enjoy the company of those there. Not one of those big parties where you hardly get to chat to anyone in a meaningful way. 
I am loving the element of surprise for each event and loved our day in the park yesterday...

I loved watching the teens from the youth group connect with each other and loved seeing my little nephew run wild and free and pick flowers for his cousin and his daddy at the the birthday picnic. 

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 6 Possible

With God All Things Are Possible.

Possible....yes, with Him all things are possible! 
Have you ever been in a situation where things seem impossible?
 We have many times and what keeps us going is believing in Him who says all things are possible. Which voice are you listening to?
 The voice of truth or the liar....
When the lies dominate its easy to be fearful, but when we listen to the voice of the loving Father whose ways are far beyond what we can imagine or dream of , there is hope and there is peace and all things are possible. 
Keep believing and trust that He knows what you are going through and He is the one who makes a way where there seems no other....
there is nothing impossible for Him. 

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Monday, October 5, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 5 Home's good to home tonight with all my loved ones gathered around. Some of them were away for the weekend and I always feel more settled once they are all home safe and sound. Today was a busy day, a full day of work for me away from home. Tonight feels just right. Home cooked meal and everyone relaxing at home. 
My little nephew has spent a lot of time in our home too since birth, and often has sleep overs here. I love that he feels at home here and he knows where everything is. His special plates and cups, his blankets and the books that he loves his big cousin to read to him. The box full of cars that my big guys once played with and the cupboard where his favorite food is found. Last week he told me he has a swimming pool at home and I asked if it was new? His answer was, no, but this is also his home and we are family so he does have a pool! I love the four year old logic.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 4 Embrace

Image result for hugs pictures

Embrace....a while ago we watched a show on tv where a woman was feeling somewhat out of sorts. She asked someone to hug her really tight. It worked, she soon felt much  better and in control.
Sometimes my daughter demands to hug me really tight just when she sees I am stressing a really helps!
 An embrace can be powerful and can make everything OK . 
Remember to hug your children often.
 Ask for a hug if you need one.  
Hugs are good for you and oh so necessary. 
They boost serotonin levels and strengthen the immune system, release muscle tension and strengthen connections. 

Image result for hugs pictures

Have you had a hug today? 

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 3 Capture gain control over or exert influence over

Yes, as the Message says so beautifully, the world is unprincipled,  its dog-eat-dog and the world does not fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way. We use our powerful God given tools to tear down barriers against the truth of God and demolish corrupt culture, smash warped philosophies, and tear down barriers against His word. Take CAPTIVE every loose thought , emotion and impulse and align it with His word. 

I am a great believer in recognizing and taking CAPTIVE the thoughts that would seek to destroy who we are in Him. 

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Friday, October 2, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 2 Family

Family, yes a gift I treasure and am thankful for. They are the ones who stick together through thick and thin. I am so grateful for my hubby who is wise, calm and collected when I am not; my boys who are wise like their dad and funny; my daughter who is one of my best friends. 
I am blessed with a wonderful, prayerful mother and a caring and wise father too and the best siblings in the world. Yes! God knew what He was doing when He gave the amazing gift of this particular family to me. 

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes - Day 1 Calling

Calling.... yes so much calling for my attention over these last few weeks. I had intended to write on my blog more regularly over a month ago, yet my attention has been called to more pressing things. 

My extended family have needed me, my daughter has been through a grueling few weeks of prelim exams and I have taken on some work. Called and pulled in many directions but that is more than OK as people are my calling. I feel most satisfied when I can be there for others and care for them. I was never called to be a high powered career woman and that is just fine with me. Are you called to care and be there for your loved ones too? Its messy, its busy, its wonderful and fulfilling.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday's Multitudes

Yes, despite circumstances, good or bad, it is good to give thanks....

time spent with my precious sister
cousins having fun together
good medical care
celebrating our son's birthdays, just three weeks apart from one another
family tea time at my dad
a visit with my sister to my aunt and uncle
a getaway with my girl, a wonderful treat
celebrating a dear friend's birthday at a wonderful out of town venue for the weekend
soul food views like this....

laughter , good food and making new friends
visits from old friends who live in  another city
calls from old friends
hospitality shown 
safe travels for hubby when he was working out of town
my son unharmed when he was robbed at knife point
powerful prayers
friends and family helping with lifts for the kids
a new work opportunity for me
more wool gifted by friends
outstanding results for my girl
house full of happy and vibrant young people
connecting with a friend I have not seen in a while
another dear friend being a good listening ear
God using my girl to deliver a wonderful message
family all together in church
a jar of coffee gifted when I had none
a morning of fun with friends
family group chats that keep us connected
a good solid walk along the seaside
peaceful rest
home cooked meals
a fire keeping the winter chill at bay
winning another prize
seeing His hand in circumstances

2781- 2814

Friday, August 7, 2015

Five Minute Friday : Here

Here...yes I am still here. Been a while since I have posted. It's good to be back here I must say. So much has been happening . Last week of holidays, visits from far away precious family, sick kids....yes, even when they are big it takes its toll! Getting back into the rhythm of the third school term and planning all that needs to be done before prelim exams for my girl. Hubby travelling for work, weekend away celebrating a friends 40th birthday and all the day to day.
I am hoping to get back to posting more regularly again but perhaps the "being here" prevents me from being present where I need to be present. Just a thought....but still good to be here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up: Last Week of Holidays

The last week of holidays has been relaxing despite the fact that the older two have been rather sick. The weather has been really wintry and evenings have been spent around a cozy fire. Home cooked meals have been hearty and Keren has made us a few delicious puds. I am sure the kilos are piling on! I love the fact that she enjoys baking and cooking even when she is doing it for fun and not just for practicals that she has to do. 

Early in the week I enjoyed spending time at the church holiday club and observing all the fun going on there... I wished there was a holiday club for adults too! Keren had a slot where she had to teach the kids a bible verse. It was wonderful to see her enjoying teaching the little ones. 
She spent three days at a youth conference too so we saw very little of her this past week.

Zak and I had some fun with friends and enjoyed getting out to the botanical gardens to picnic and to see the dinosaur exhibition. 

Another day a friend treated us to lunch out at the seaside. Despite the cold, we enjoyed ice creams and a stroll along the beach front.

I sent all my recent knits to the Zoe project and have had fun knitting beanies for some of Keren's friends as well as this little beanie and booties for the newborn son of the the boy who was page boy at our wedding!

The holidays have been great and we are ready to face the third term...

Weekly Wrap-Up

Friday, July 10, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up : Two Weeks into the Holidays

Holidays are in full swing and Keren and I have just returned from our mid week getaway. We had a wonderful time together and enjoyed and savored every moment. On Tuesday we headed out to Strand and had lunch at an old fashioned restaurant over looking the sea. They offered a three course meal at very reasonable prices and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Good old fashioned food!

The views out over the bay were magnificent. Just what we needed after all the pressure of exams and getting her file done for term 2.
We ambled along the beachfront before driving to my aunt and uncle just outside Stellenbosch.

 We were welcomed with tea and enjoyed catching up before taking a walk around the estate with my uncle and his dog.

The estate is beautiful and peaceful and their home like a home from home. Familiar objects, pieces of furniture from my grandparents, beautiful quilts made by my aunt and giant comfy beds and delicious home cooked food made our visit perfect. We enjoyed a log fire and long conversations reminiscing about days gone by. We slept in and didn't want to leave those comfy warm beds but eventually did to enjoy a hearty home cooked breakfast made by my uncle.

We stopped off in Stellenbosch to visit Oom Samie se Winkel , a place I have often passed by but never ventured in.

 Everything you can imagine is found in this shop from old fashioned sweets to spices, vintage clothing and dolls, memorabilia from days gone by, books, trinkets and curios. Well worth a visit even if you are not buying but just browsing. Apparently bus loads of tourists stop by on their way through the village.

We drove through the village and out the other side to climb the Helshoogte pass to our destination, Clouds Estate. With great excitement we entered the estate and made our way to reception. It deserves a post of its own so that is all for now!

Besides this wonderful getaway, holidays have been filled with friends, sleepovers, sleep ins and lots of fun. A few girlfriends joined me for a movie night. I had the wonderful privilege of joining 194 others at the prison for a prayer walk. An unforgettable experience and I cannot wait for next month's prayer walk.

 Zak has been to the movies a couple of times and to a magic show where he attempted learning to spin a plate!

 He volunteered time at church helping to prep for the holiday club for a few hours.
 We have enjoyed sunny afternoon walks.

Keren besides completing her exams, finished her oil painting and handed it in for marking.

 She cooked endless dishes for consumer studies and we all enjoyed eating them!

 Josh bought himself a car!

Tonight the youth are having a stay awake at church.
 Its been full and fun and I am thankful we have another week off!

Weekly Wrap-Up