Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Finally, a New Home!


 Seven years ago, I started praying for a new home. The crazy thing is, we don't often think much about timing when it comes to moving or finding a home, as much as we consider timing when it comes to many other things, like our purpose or calling. But somehow, God never released us into a new home until this month. All these many years later. If there's one thing I know, it's that sometimes the things our Father decides to do, defies logic and understanding. But that's the beauty of faith. It suspends meaning. And as people of faith, we forfeit control by allowing there to be no understanding in situations which call for it. Or we risk attaching the wrong meaning to our situations.

Moving has been a deep journey. Ten years of living in one home almost placed us in a comfort zone, which wasn't very comfortable at all. We lived in a close complex, sadly one of the needs within South Africa, is the need to be safe. So we are often found living in security villages, which put you in close contact with your neighbours and if your neigbours aren't very nice, well, you are basically in hell. Our story. We had a restraining order against our downstairs neighbours (thankfully they moved away eventually), we were physically attacked by another neighbour and basically routinely victimised because lawlessness, selfish and evil heartedness prevailed within our security village and we refused to bow our knee to it.

Fast forward..

As I sit in the quiet solitude of a large home, with its high ceilings, in a beautiful suburb in a neighbourhood where the neighbours greet, and help one another, where the birds never stop chirping and the cool breeze blows from the sea, I feel released, and blessed. The years of living in that home, have taken its toll on my soul. Of that I have become aware. Yet in the 4 weeks of finally settling in to a new home, a new space and a new rhythm, I've learnt a lot. And I have truly come home. We moved back to the neighbourhood I grew up in, with the beautiful familiar sights and sounds. Our beloved Table Mountain can be seen from our home and it never fails to mesmerise me. 

Ive learnt about yearning and pulling. The reality of feeling a pull towards "coming back home." We always knew this was where we would be, we felt it spiritually. And God made it happen. When you feel a deep spiritual something indescribable pulling you towards something, it's because there's destiny written all over it. The invisible string that connected us towards this pulling, brought us home.

God can do in 1 day, what could take you many years. Eighteen months ago, we drove around in this very suburb (and it's a small suburb), almost like spies looking at the houses. In this very suburb we prayed, "Father release a home to us right here." We had complete belief in the Goodness of His Heart. The absolute conviction that He is a good Father. In March, we received a call from a family member who never knew we wanted to move. They were moving, thought of us, and offered us the opportunity to rent the home they were vacating. Where? In the neighbourhood we prayed in. There are no coincidences.

 A comfort zone is fear based. Even though we were desperate for the move, we were afraid at times. And almost risked giving up the blessings that waited for us on the other side. When we defaulted in to seeing things with our natural eyes, we risked almost giving up what was intended for us. This is such a HUGE lesson! One I am still pondering deeply. Thankfully, Yahweh knew our humanness and never let us slip, going ahead and doing wonders. His peace guided us like a very strong light, it never moved or failed, never left us, or let us down. We are here, because He was guiding the whole process. 

When we are blessed, others are blessed. Friends have been joining with us in prayer for many years. We had shared with a small number of friends about our hardships and our desire to move. They were our prayer warriors, and our voices of encouragement. Because of their love and prayers, we are here as well. And now our home, is their home too. Our blessings, help them know God is still good and they can trust Him for their own dreams. Deeper still, we've shared meals and conversations around our dining room table with more friends and family in a single month then we usually have before. That's because this space is a home. And we want to share it with the ones we love. A few months back, someone I know was praying for us and saw a picture of people coming in to our home who needed a touch of love and peace. She told me she saw many people refreshed as we welcomed them in. These words are unfolding. Naturally and without hesitation.

It's a journey. We look around and feel the gratitude, it's deep because we know what we went through to get here. Yet, for me personally I also know how my body has held the score of the years of trauma we lived through in an environment which felt unsafe emotionally, and mentally. No, we weren't living in a dangerous neighbourhood, in fact it's one of the most upmarket neighbourhoods in the Cape. But it is oppressed and depraved, and the richer people are, the more they demand licentious right, to everything and anything. I'm taking the time to heal, knowing that everything - light, sound, environment, and people all effect our cells. Since moving, there are mornings and afternoons I've felt the Holy Spirit beckon  me to lean in deeply, in to the silence that charaterises the environment where we live. Leaning in to this silence, has meant realising I am safe. As a child, my home was never silent, there was always fighting. My brain was always scanning for danger. It was the same where we used to live, people were always gossiping, or complaining, arguing or intimidating others. Your brain scans for clues of fear. Now, God is showing me that's no longer the reality, there is a silence that is calming. I am safe. Of this, I am still learning.

So we are settling. And it's beautiful.

Friday, 29 January 2021

A Multi - Faceted Design

 Writing with Five Minute Friday this week! GO!


Everyone has their own unique design.

A way of living, a way of being, our personalities and giftings shaping our purposes and destiny. Some of those ways and some of our giftings come to us slowly slowly. They awaken at certain times, like a long stretching and a smiling after a good nights sleep. I used to think, I'd always know my purpose and my clear path ahead, if I knew my giftings. There's truth in this to be sure. My writing gene was etched in to me and began awakening when I was just 5 years old. My speaking gift and my calling to be a radio presenter and public speaker, well that was a gift I don't think I ever had, until I had to have it.

I was content with the write life, and earnestly wanting to grow as a writer. Until, I was nudged forward by God to speak. I had a fear of public speaking and prayed I would never have to speak in public. Yet, it was where God wanted me to be. He weaned me, nurtured me and helped me forward. It's not about the sound of our voice, or even the words we speak - it's the sheer belief I needed. The belief to know this was where I was called to be. This gift and calling, gradually awakening. Possibly there in childhood, but very dormant and unawakened. It's the Most High who nurtures our giftings, and teaches us what they are - giving us gifts incrementally throughout our lives. And who knows - what gift we will find within ourselves tomorrow? Or which gift we may discover we have even now, they might be the ones we grapple with, or don't think we have...! 

STOP!

Linking Up with Five Minute Friday


Friday, 15 January 2021

FMF - View From the Porch

 Joining with Five minute Friday, for a therapeutic 5 minutes of free writing from the heart...



I remember reading the posts, humorous as they were. Tread in to 2021 lightly, look around, and don't touch anything because who knows what we will get. Now two weeks in, our humour has turned into prophecy, almost. 

 While driving home from the store today, I was thinking about the way we usually enter a new year.

By this time, people are hustling and setting those goals, working hard, planning for their dreams. It's a time to think fresh thoughts and dream new dreams and yet so much of what we face looks so much like yesteryear. I paused to pray with my weary heart, the same things tumbling over one another. My concerns for my friends, my family, concerned for my self. Always praying for safety and health. And turning to God with all these thoughts, what of today and tomorrow and these fears. The weariness of it all.

There is no voice booming down from heaven, no scripture or phone call. There's just a simple sense of Abba drawing near. Just sitting in the now beside me. Bigger than me, so I am comforted in the arms of a Giant. This discomfort remains somewhat, but these questions are safe, extended in the arms of a Giant God. Just here. With me. Looking out on to my horizon, to understand the view from my inner porch. Just here,with me....

STOP!

Linking with Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Eep was the Heroine I needed to See


If I followed a timeline of new release films, I'd say I came late to the party when it came to watching The Croods when it first released back in 2013.

Looking back, I don't think I came late at all, I don't think I would have been able to comprehend the message I needed to understand, all those year ago. So I watched The Croods just this month, the first one and than the second one. I was struck with an important message about womanhood and matriarchy as I followed the journey of this family. If you haven't yet watched the film, sorry for the spoilers, but maybe you need some of this insight before watching these films.

The Croods family is the last "cave" family left in the known world and the way they survive the truly prehistoric, dangerous world they live in, is to stay in their dark, empty black cave. The family has survived for the most part, because of Grug the very strong caveman father whose sole mission on earth is to take care of his family. Undoubtedly Grug's strength is so necessary in this world they inhabit, but his strength is completely born out of fear. His wife Ugga is strong, so is Gran, and Sandy the baby of the family. Thunk the son is a actually very much a modern day teenage boy, who complies with his father, is lazy, and will eventually (in the second film), become addicted to the window (something we'd understand to be an ancient TV). And then there's Eep! 

She's the oldest sibling, with her fiery red hair and tiger skin halter dress, she's filled with the wonder and desire to step out of the cave, in to the unknown. Her father calls it curiosity, in essence it's independence and wonder outside of fear. 

Everyone of us have experienced the pull of independence within our teenage years. Those years felt full of pushing and pulling, as our parents still tried to reign us in but we yearned to fly. But For Eep there's more. It's not just the pull of teenage years, Eep is the foil for her father Grug. In fact, Eeps curiosity saves the family as the continents shift and the world as they known it changes. Eep pushes her family to think differently, and eventually she leads them to a boy she meets named Guy. He's advanced in thought, and ideas, he's very much a modern guy (excuse the pun). But in opposition, Eep is filled with both inner and outward strength. 

She's the heroine I needed to see when I was young, the one millennial girls never grew up seeing. 

She saves the day and saves the guy, in this poignant scene I cannot get enough of. Her holding Guy with her one hand and a rope in her other as they dangle across a bottomless hole about to be murdered by a monster. 

While the patriarch has dominated the scene, it is not another male who will become the protagonist of survival, it's a woman, it's Eep. She is the future, and she is the rightful leader. Everything points to this, her father has to learn to see it.

In the second Croods film, the wives and daughters led by Gran - who loves talking about the tribe of warrior women she used to lead, ultimately save all the men. This is not a way of saying women do not need men, it's a way of saying, we have to be who we were created to be. 

Some women are born to be leaders in various capacities, and some men are needed as leaders as well. It's about learning to work together, and being humble enough to accept that female leadership is Divinely Ordained and historically rejected. And perhaps the bigger narrative in the Croods is the one beneath the surface in the first film but glaringly obvious in the second, matriarchy is needed within this world. When it is not given space, it will grow regardless, and when it grows it will be a holy force for Life. The empowerment of women to be who and what they were created to be, should be coupled with teaching men how to live with that empowerment and to see it as a force for the goodness of this earth.

With fresh heroines like Eep, our daughters are witnessing what it means to be fully yourself, (I love how happy she is when Guy calls her heavy - a truth we need to internalize that beauty standards are shaped by culture and exposure). These were not the kinds of heroines I saw growing up, and perhaps it shaped my generation's thinking of what it meant to date, and what kind of guy we were all looking for. This is changing (yes please!) and it needs to. The world is changing, our generation is changing and the divine calling for the next generation will be a different one. God is trusting us to model; equality, togetherness and co - rulership on this earth. Grugg is needed, but so too  more than ever, is Epp...

 

Friday, 18 December 2020

FMF - Not Letting Go

Five Minute Friday - Sharing my heart and thoughts in 5 minutes, writing on the world "conclude," go!

 


As we conclude the year 2020, I found I held inside a sense of fear. It's become normal for people to say "it's been a bad year," or "it's been a year!" And I get that, it has. Covid was suddenly around, it was among us, with us and continues to take many lives in its wake. South Africa had one of the worst lockdowns in the world, back in March. Looking back, I'm so grateful for it, though initially I was fearful. 

But personally, I felt as though I was falling apart when lock down began. 

I suddenly had to face trauma I had carried with me from 2019, that I had subconsciously numbed through work, new opportunities and day to day living. I ignored the gnawing sadness that had entered the new year with me. Lock down was used by God to help me face this. I grew a lot, so much in fact that I am a whole lot stronger. A lot has changed inside of me and I have been able to see parts of myself that I could not see before because I was "hidden" behind things I wouldn't face.

SO as 2021 approaches, it feels unknown. Not because of Covid, but because of the good things this year gave me and I've been afraid to let go of that. Yet, over the past week in times of prayer, the fear has slipped away. The changes and the inner growth cannot be taken away. God has good in store, there are new seasonal beginnings, but God has them all and HE never stops working on us, when we walk hand in hand with Him.

STOP!

I feel incredibly grateful this year, that God has done amazing things for many people I love and care about. I've seen that the work He has done has been inwardly and that's a precious gift. What are you grateful for today? 

Friday, 4 December 2020

Friendship and Connection

Have Missed taking part in the Five Minute Friday posts!

So writing today for five minutes on the prompt "present." Go!


 
I've struggled with the meaning of friendships over the years. Wondering if I could put my finger on what my needs are, and what I want to be for others. I know I am deeply loyal and faithful, I care, love blessing my friends and holding space for them. I believe in sitting on the couch, letting your friend cry and loving them in the mess of it all. I believe in connecting, I'm not superficial or surface. I can't be, it's just not me. I'm not intense or crazy, and I only allow a handful of people to be called friend. 

Inevitably though, people claim to look for friendship, but cannot commit to connecting. We as a society, have become afraid of connection. So people stay surface - level. They don't impart the gift of connection, which is my definition of friendship.

Even as I pen these words, I'm struck by a deep revelation. My word for the year - given to me by God - is "connection."

Let me tell you, when I got this word at the beginning of 2020, I was kinda confused. I had no context or words, no frame of reference for the word connection. Now, some 10 months later in a Covid world, I have so much context for the word connection. I'm also now aware that my friendships have to come with connection. If they don't, I struggle with it and that's okay too. It is our presence and our ability to go deeper than the surface that can cause a friend to become more than an acquaintance, I believe this is where true friendship begins....

STOP!

Linking with Five Minute Friday 

 


Friday, 20 September 2019

I've Been Challenged - FMF

My Five Minute Friday Check - In! Go.



The passed few months I've been challenged. At first I just started struggling to cope and feeling easily overwhelmed and tired. A trip to my doctor and she diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue. We had a frank chat about my life and she booked me off for a week. That week was truly a blessing, although it was hard at first. I'm intuitive by nature and I live very consciously, especially of my own feelings and thoughts. That week, I asked God to simply hold me, and not to give up on me. It was a simple and honest prayer. And I allowed my heart to lead. When my soul was telling me to rest, I rested. When it felt angry, I allowed myself the freedom to feel the intensity of it. I stopped stuffing feelings away and started paying attention, not surviving as we all do, when we have to routinely go to work, do our chores and our duties. I started paying attention. To myself. One of the biggest challenges has been realising that my own burn out is not caused by being overworked, or having too much to do, it's cause by my own internal desires to be the best I can be at everything. That perfectionist voice, keeps us from resting inside. No matter how many pockets of peace one takes, there comes a cloud, a voice always saying "get it right." I'm a lot better, but I'm still being challenged. Still figuring this out, still struggling at times. 

Stop!
Linking with Five Minute Friday