Friday, 27 October 2017

Crying Ground

Yey! I havent been able to participate in FMF for some time, but glad to be back this week! Five Minutes of heartfelt writing, here goes!


Social media in South Africa is a buzz, I'm not on it much, I prefer to live a life where social media does not take a big chunk of my life. However, with the recent tragic farm killings that continue to take place here, and the public call to wear black on Monday as a sign of unity in our mourning, well it's not fair to hide away from this. Even though I haven't been watching the videos many are posting or getting caught up in the debates and dialogues, I cannot help but feel the sadness. Last night I actually crawled in to bed fearful. Today I woke up thinking how happy I am to be leaving South Africa for a few weeks on a ministry trip. I've never felt this way before. This place has always been home, but suddenly I'm aware that I'm overcome with tiredness.

I believe in the truthful reality of being the change you want to see. Of doing good whenever you can, wherever you can, especially in your community. But what happens when you suddenly have no hope that things can change? Farm murders have been happening for years in South Africa, it's our current genocide and it is tragic, disgusting and wrong. But can we change it? 

While lying in bed feeling suddenly fearful, I started praying asking Abba for understanding and light. My fear dissipated, even though my soul was still in turmoil. It's the desire of the righteous to see justice and to pursue it, that's what the Bible teaches us, and so if we are overcome by the desire to change injustice, it stems from a place of goodness. I'm wondering about the future here, but I know the safets place to be is in God's Will, wherever that may be. Hope overcomes despair, faith overcomes the challenges of daily living and I pray His protection and Justice will ultimately overcome what's happening here, as the blood of the innocent cries out from the chaotic, broken ground of South Africa.

STOP! Linking with Five Minute Friday
and Velvet Ashes

Monday, 2 October 2017

And then a Promise



I’ve window shopped online, being staring at the screen uninterested. To be honest, I’d love to be doing something else right now but between my headache and the nervousness that’s giving me a goldfish brain, I’m pretty much stuck with this. I’m stuck with the nervous subconscious stuff, and I guess it’s relevant.


We leading a week-long retreat camp in two days’ time, travelling and not knowing what to expect. Excited about it, but nervous. I don’t think I would feel this nervous if I was not also nurturing the reality of being away when my dad goes in for his heart operation this week. I remember the first time he went in for a heart op, I wrote English 206, Jane Austen essays, second year university. I did pretty well in that exam, but I remember looking up at the clock every half an hour thinking, he’s in now, I wonder how it’s going. The older I get the more these moments have held indescribable meaning, the value I attach to my family has become deeper, more settled. I’m led to believe that is the case from my friends who are much older than me. I guess that is why the older you get the harder it is to let go of things, physical things, so you end up hording. Most of the time, when you unpack one of my grandparents houses you will end up finding loads of old things and there’s a story for every single thing they own. Those stories were boring when you a teenager, but as you grow you realise your grandparents tell you those stories because through them retelling it, it holds profound and lasting meaning to them. Stories are a beautiful way of making things live, through our oral memories, we put flesh and bone on something that is merely a misty photo in our memory. Speaking of photographs, I’ve heard my mom and my aunts arguing about who gets the photos when my gran isn’t around anymore. She has a box of old photos, she lets us look at them every now and then, but no one gets to touch them. Those are sacred memories on paper.


Every day is a memory, perhaps I’ll look back on this one day in the same way as I do on my Jane Austen exam paper and remember this very moment. In fact, of all the exams I wrote, that is the one I remember the most, because it was coupled with a bigger story. God has given us as a family, profound peace about my father’s operation and I’m reminded of the promise God gave me when I was newly saved, that one day He would save my family. That promise still hasn’t happened yet and as I sat on the couch this evening, I heard Him tell me to read Joshua chapter 23. I was like – I don’t think there is a Joshua chapter 23 and maybe this isn’t God, but there is a twenty third chapter and it was God. My thoughts were empty save for one cry from my heart, what are you saying to me through this?


As I clung to the promise of salvation for my family and the promise of peace in the midst of this storm, Yeshua pulled me to verse 14 and whispered; “You know with all your heart and being that not even one of all the faithful promises the LORD your God made to you is left unfulfilled; everyone was realized--not one promise is unfulfilled!” Yahweh promised Israel so many things, so many beautiful things and every one was fulfilled in its time, not one remained unfulfilled, even the small ones. I am comforted by His unfailing Love and promise, my family will make it in the right time, in His perfect way. What amazing hope and comfort to know the King of Kings and to hear His voice. He is the One who knows the future and this year through some very hard, internal stuff I’ve really learned just how Sufficient my Messiah is, in absolutely everything. So here I am, more comforted than before, tucking this promise in to the folds of my spirit and praying for a good nights rest. Abba You have this, and I trust you, I trust You….

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

"Father"


This Poem first appeared on Altarwork 
The picture of Father dropping seeds, feeding things, the sound of the creaking, unoiled gate at the bottom of the garden. The sinking feeling of not knowing how to come home, but the shining light that illuminates His face. These images are a part of me. I see this poem so clearly, having entered that gate 15 years ago, I'm just caught up by His face. And the Love that's never changing from His Heart, I needed to share this poem right here... 

 Father. Framed in black and white, ​
your smile captures the light on a broken window pane.​
Framed.​
Father. Bag in hand, other hand open. Lifted high.​
Seeds for others to eat, light – laced seed, ​
feeding the world’s forgotten things.​
Feed. ​
Father. There is a gate at the opposite end of the yard, it is open.​
Is there space for me to slip in?​
Father.​
Let’s talk over by the body of water that resembles a pool.​
Draw near. Our faces wrinkled in the water’s gaze.​
We look the same.​
Our reflection in water’s grace, smile at the sameness of our eyes.​
Face.​
Father. Framed by light. Squint my eyes and you fade into the dark shadows.​
Correct my sight and you fill the scene.​
Bathed in the fires flame. ​
You.​
Hands open Wide.​
I enter the gate at the bottom of the yard. Tired.​
You hear the steel, it’s different from most who enter.​
Smile. You turn, it’s me. I’m home.​
Here, embraced.​
Forget all else, you turn because it’s me. ​
Your eyes filled with my broken need.​
Father.​
I’m coming home to you.​

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Girl in the Pink Dress


“Both my parents are dead,” she said with her smiling voice, “they died from AIDS.”
“Oh,” the man replied. “That must have been hard for you.”
“It’s okay. I don’t have AIDS.”

The man paused and I listened more intently, wondering where this conversation would go, wondering how the man, an older, experienced psychologist, would respond.

Her hair was shaved, her faded pink dress snug for her adolescent body. Her smile was big and her face held light but she was one of the numerous others just like her, an orphan because of AIDS....

These are the hard stories, the stories we have to tell because they are the truth, orphans, child-headed families and how to bring hope, I'm writing about it over at Off the Page. Join me!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Surviving Childhood Sexual Abuse - Podcast


My podcast series is on going over on my authors website, but I had to share this recent one, a conversation with Crystal Sutherland. Crystal has such a gentleness about her and so much of our conversation has stayed with me. She is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and she has shared her story in her book, Journey to Heal. This book outlines seven steps for hope and healing for anyone who has been a victim of sexual trauma. She has an online bible study and leads retreats and conferences for women. In this podcast we discuss her journey, her book, what the church can do to help survivors and a lot more. I am grateful to Crystal for sharing her story, and for sharing it so that the body can receive truth about sexual abuse. You can listen to this podcast over here:

 

Friday, 25 August 2017

FMF - Girl Guided

Five Minute Friday, I'm writing on the word "Guide," so let's see what comes up! GO!


When the word guide comes up, I'm suddenly sitting with a picture in my mind of girls in pink, ribbons in their hair, sticks in hand. Call them the girl guides, it was a huge trend to join the guides when I was little. I never did though. But I'm super sure guides was useful, teaching you how to trek, build fires and tie knots. When you grow up though, you soon realise there is no ultimate guide for life, no manual, no how to, and you are left feeling a little bit scared some times. Overwhelmed with the questions or experiences life gives to you. The passed few weeks I've allowed myself the needed step back, to step in to Gods presence, not only for guidance, but for togetherness. I've felt confused about a number of things, and it has been good to be there, to be present with God. I think the discipline of presence, is a worthy pursuit. So is the reality that prayer is an experience of pondering, reflecting, and often just stillness with the Almighty. While life deosn't offer open handed answers, I know Yeshua does, and when He doesn't answer, He leads, He guides. It's a journey, an adventure, a place of travelling, life is often uncharted but I think we are all girl guides, learning truths that can guide us further. If we learn from todays lesson, tomorrow may be a little easier, and eventually we  will become an instructor helping others through the swamps we once fell in to....
STOP!
Linking with Five Minute Friday

Friday, 28 July 2017

FMF - He Stops Here

Five Minute Friday! A time to write from the heart for 5 whole minutes, here goes! 
 


Wednesday was going to be a busy day, time spent driving from location to location, place to place, to my hairdresser, to my moms work, to the beautitian, to the doctor, to the mall, to hubby's hairdresser and then home in the traffic and to sneak in some food somewhere. As hubby and I got in to the car, I prayed and asked Father to bless our day, to not let it be stressful or crazy but for us to enjoy the day and its busyness. As we drove through the thick traffic we barely made the first appointment in time, poor start I thought. But as I sat in the hairdressers chair, the same one I've had for ten years, she asked me some questions and our conversation turned towards an area of life I had not spoken much about. A new something brewing in my heart. She listened and then poured honest, sincere encouragement all over me. We have totally different spiritual beliefs and lifestyles but her words were refreshing and God was shining His love through her to me. I felt inspired, and peaceful. When I finally got to the doctors room, the doctor I was going to see had left so I saw the other doctor, I had seen once before. She was kind and we spoke for such a long time and something drew me to share with her, some private thoughts. She empathised in sincerity and we spoke about our common faith, she knew what I was facing internally and I felt safe, at peace, inspired, refreshed and so so grateful. I smiled the whole way home. God had really travelled with me from my morning prayer and through the flesh and blood people I had seen. Such love and encouragement, I barely expected it because to be honest, it doesnt happen often with me. God knew and He still does, He knows what we need, what you need and He shows up in greater ways then we imagined, to encourage, refresh and to inspire and through that I am truly truly grateful!

Stop!
Linking with Kate M