Posts Tagged With: beautiful

Magical celebrations of marriage

I just wanted to take the time to congratulate two amazing couples!

About two or so weekends ago, one of my friends, Marcell Coetzee got engaged to Chanelle. Our moms used to work together at Trustbank, before it became absa and for a long while after that. They stayed and still do stay, on a sugarcane farm and we used to visit there a lot, playing games and rugby while our parents still worked together and had braais. We later lost touch and then I got in touch with his mom again just over a year ago. Marcell and I are the same age and he has been playing for the sharks and South African rugby team for the last couple of years. They’re awesome people and it is great to see that Marcell and Chanelle are finally engaged! May God just bless the road ahead for you both and indulge you in His amazing love and grace.

Chanelle and Marcell celebrating their engagement

Chanelle and Marcell celebrating their engagement

The engagement ring!

The engagement ring!

Then, I want to say a big congrats to Ben and Tanja who got married this weekend in Heidelberg. I wasn’t there, and I’m too far to give hugs but I am so happy that it turned out to be such a magical day! It rained on their day but that didn’t get this couple down. It rained and that is just a blessing by God Himself, something I hope for on my day too! They have been a tremendously awesome couple who shared much of their testimony with me and are dear friends. Ben has survived cancer after having Tanja stand by him through each moment. I remember helping Tanja and her sharing much of her troubles and her heart with me, as she tried to support Ben. An intense time that God turned to their good as they got closer to one another and became so much stronger, not letting the enemy of sickness defeat them and their relationship. They just have such a beautiful heart wrenching story and so much thanks in their hearts, they truly are wacky and loving and joyful and you can’t help but feel better after any moment with them. And to be able to see their beautiful wedding photos and the way they just love and adore one another and worshipped our almighty Father in the rain, bought me to tears…it truly is absolutely beautiful. So to them, may Jesus just continue to bless their walk and worship through everything that happens in life and may they continue to be blessed and covered by grace and love in every moment together! You both are such an inspiration! Sending love and hugs from afar! Xx

Ben giving Tanja a kiss on the forehead - such love

Ben giving Tanja a kiss on the forehead – such love

Ben and Tanja worshipping our Dad in the rain - amazing worship, so magical

Ben and Tanja worshipping our Dad in the rain – amazing worship, so magical

P.S – Photos of Tanja and Ben’s wedding was taken by Garick van Staden Emotive Art Photographer. Great photography!!!!

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Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo Shoots

932cf2d99fcd7e09e912d043c4a68a68In general, each of us have that one photo moment every now and then, that we wish we could just destroy or take back…. Capturing and forever remembering that one moment we regret or wish we could just completely forget… Don’t you just hate it when someone pulls out a photo, that to you looks so bad that you’d actually nearly attended therapy to try forget?! Ha. I’ve had a couple such moments.

Yet, as girls we still love photo shoots. Many of us would say, we hate being photographed… And yes we do… BUT, when it comes to being perfectly done up, hair, makeup and wardrobe sorted – very few of us are gona hate it… I mean it could be uncomfortable at first, but later it is kind of fun!

I have quite a couple of model friends and they totally love it, even though the industry is a tough one. But even if it’s not for a big company these could be fun. Even when you’re not getting paid. We have had a couple of shoots and have one coming up… And there is something nerve-racking about it but at the same time, it is soooo fun and a definite confidence booster…

c532b0312970f231d456615ecdca6796What is fun about it, is having the right photographer, which does make a huge difference. It is something I have noticed about a friend of mine who is a photographer. What is awesome about her doing our shoots, is the fact that she makes it fun and puts you at ease. She totally gets who you are and doesn’t push you into doing anything that isn’t comfortable. She also won’t try and make things look unnatural or photo shop it so much that you hardly recognize the person in the photo! She definitely encourages you to be yourself and love who you are and then captures that, which is so special and hard to find.

Especially since we aren’t into not being ourselves, real or natural. We don’t dig being portrayed as what we are not, or as these skinny photo shopped people who pressure our opinions of how we look onto others. We want people to love themselves and their bodies, the way they are. To embrace yourself the way you are is important…

deedefab2aac9e787a43356d5c3a0068And the wardrobe, makeup and hair should just be an extension of who you are, it should compliment you and your personality. Let it build your confidence and add to who you are. Not overshadow you or break you down in anyway! From now on, embrace any camera shot, and make it worth the moment. Don’t let regret or embarrassment rule and be what you remember.

In your next photo shoot or any camera shot, whether you’re dressing up or down – feel beautiful and enjoy it!!!

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Beautiful Robes

large (7)Waking up to a friend in distress is pretty hectic…but God is awesome and seems to prepare our hearts for the knowledge He wants to share with them. In the past couple of weeks, tragedy has set upon lovely sisters of mine and God’s daughters have felt a little more down than usual… A few have been left feeling defeated – but ladies, what you must know is that you ARE NOT. You have not been defeated and God hasn’t been disappointed by you in anyway.

I am going to speak as kindly as I can so bare with me. There is NOTHING in this world that can separate you from Christ and His love. You are 100% close to God 100% of the time!!!

I am sick of the lies and misconceptions about our relationship with God. Churches and people have gotten into a mindset that what we do will change God’s love for us and will somehow affect our relationship with Him. If you believe that, then God isn’t God anymore and Him as a constant, never-changing being seems to be under us and falls under our power somehow. God isn’t dependent on who we are or what we do.

God is love. Regardless of the obscured world-view of what love is and does. Love doesn’t hurt. God is love. God is good. God is truth. He cannot be anything else than that. He doesn’t send wickedness into this world, neither shame, nor death, nor loss or pain or destruction. He does NOT condemn. The only one who does that and has that fingerprint is SATAN. If you haven’t read John 10v10, go read it.

Anyway back to the story…when we feel like we have failed or made a mistake and we can barely look at ourselves in the mirror because we’re ashamed…when we feel like God must be shaking His head at us disappointed, we have to remember that is not how it really is. Those are lies and we are giving into deception from the devil. After doing something I think would have disappointed God, I usually feel overwhelmed by thoughts of shame and disappointment and I feel condemned and judged but I have to remind myself that it can only be Satan who is trying to make me feel that way and he is enjoying every second of it. It is the thing he does, he uses lies because he has nothing else that could possibly change the relationship I have with God. He can’t drive God away, so he tries driving me away with thoughts of guilt and shame, so that I feel like I should run and hide the same way Adam and Eve did. But what happened when they did that, God still came looking for them and CHOSE to clothe them and continued a relationship with these beings He created. Why? Because He is love. He LOVES us. He wants a relationship with us.

Many years ago I did something I was ashamed of and felt like I had disappointed God…but He came to show me that He wasn’t disappointed and loved me and that what I had done hadn’t changed anything about the way He feels about me. There is nothing I could do that could bring me closer or less closer to Him. He already sent His Son… So He’s made sure to show me that He has pursued me and that there is nothing that can stand in the way of my relationship with Him. He doesn’t look away disappointed. Instead He looks at us the way He always has… Through filtered eyes of Jesus. So all He sees is our utter perfection and beauty.. He is God. He is love. He CANNOT look at us with shame or disappointment – because He is GOOD. He cannot be anything other than love and goodness – if He was – He wouldn’t be God anymore.

This morning when I spoke to this friend, God showed me a beautiful picture. He has gorgeous pure robes for you to put on, ones of worthiness, holiness, love, understanding, beauty, comfort – He’s standing there holding those robes… Waiting for you to take it… And I’m sure it comes in pretty colours too…but the devil is also standing there with robes of shame and disappointment, guilt and hurt, robes of unworthiness… But at the end, you’re the one that has to choose which you put on. Are you going to choose the princess dress or the tattered rags…? Because I know God wants you putting on the princess dress and the robes of righteousness. Because He loves you and He wants you feeling like the amazing person you are. Whether you put the beautiful robes on or not He loves you and isn’t disappointed in you. If He didn’t already know about imperfections and mistakes, He wouldn’t have sent His Son. But He wants you putting on the beautiful robes because He loves you and wants the best for you.

What has comforted me is that for long I felt dirty but I went to God and asked Him to show me what He thinks of me – everyday…because I was tired of believing these lies that I was dirty and that He wouldn’t love me as much or whatever the world was telling me. And He did. Everyday something happened. Someone would come up to me and give me compliments or I’d see a beautiful sunset and would feel God showing me His artwork… It made me feel special. Later it became verses and more of His character. And then He sent friends who built me up. It is still a daily thing but I forget more and more about my mistakes. Because God came to comfort me and showed me how there is nothing we can or cannot do that would change how He loves us. His love is constant. He is 100% close to us 100% of the time. He loves us 100% of the time too. So whether I feel close to Him or not, or loved or not, I am 100% of the time. And the only one who fills my head with lies – is usually the devil trying to get between me and my Dad. And he takes cheap shots at my identity because he has nothing else to use against me which is pretty pathetic of him. But in those times that my identity is attacked I remind myself who my Daddy is and in whom my identity is rooted. My identity is rooted in Christ and nothing can change that. So Satan has no chance. Things have already been taken care of through my Saviour.large (3)

So in these times, when you feel ashamed and like you should be running away from God, choose to run towards the One who loves you regardless of your current circumstances. Choose to wear the beautiful robes He wants to clothe you in and let Him show you off in front of Satan. And enjoy your relationship with Daddy in front of the enemy and don’t for one second feel ashamed.

John 3v16: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

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Incredible views

Just wanted to thank Renaldo for this over the weekend! What a stunning view that was to see 🙂 incredibly beautiful!!

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Beautiful Hartebeespoort Dam

Just a beautiful photo taken at Harties from the weekend! God really does create beauty 🙂 dankie Eugene viri awesome pic 🙂

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The Fragrance & Petals of A Woman

It’s a brand new morning, very peaceful after some rain and a lot cooler than it has been the past few days. I’ve woken up after sleeping through my alarm, kind of missing my prayer time. Luckily for me, God is always there to listen. But I am glad God blessed me with an extra hour of sleep as my body is still trying to recover after Tuesday evening’s all-nighter. So now, I am feeling a whole lot better.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I read Proverbs 31. And God seems to be putting it on my heart again, reminding me of the Proverbs 31 woman.

He really is putting it on my heart to share about beauty and your heart. This post is basically for the ladies, but obviously the guys can read it too. Beauty really isn’t everything and I have had to learn that more times than I would have liked.

A guy who truly adores you and cares about you, isn’t going to care about the way you look. It’s great to get all dressed up when you go on a date, and taking care of yourself should be part of your normal routine as it shows you respect yourself. But that isn’t all there is to it. A guy who adores you isn’t going to care how pretty you try look every time he has to see you. It might be great and he might give you a compliment but even if he does that shouldn’t be your priority to trying to win his heart. He would fall in love with your personality and heart for God. He may first give you a glance because your hair looks good or you have a cute dress on, but if that’s what won his heart, he’ll be out the door or breaking you down at the first sign of crazy hair or the wrong colour painted nails.

Often beauty and the looking pretty can be a curse as guys think of other things they can get. IF you’re having to use looking pretty or dressing up just to get some attention, then you’re looking at the wrong type of guy. And what is even worse, is that once you’ve gone through all that trouble and he still doesn’t notice anything, you are left disappointed and sad. It isn’t dumb, but you are seeking the wrong kind of attention and expecting way more from the guy than he is necessarily able to give and in many ways that isn’t fair because that is dumping YOUR insecurity issues on him. The same goes with doing things for others. You shouldn’t have to grab his attention by doing millions of things for him as if he should owe you or as a way of proving yourself, because again, if you suddenly stop or for some reason can’t do all those things, then what is there for him to like if that was the basis of the relationship? You should be confident in yourself and just be yourself, all the actions in the world shouldn’t be the reason that he likes you, because then you risk being used and not truly loved.

The problem here is – you should be looking toward God for those things. God should be the one who makes you feel beautiful and lets you know it. For a year, God took me on a journey where He proved to me I was worthy and beautiful. It wasn’t because of my looks, it was because of my heart for Him and how I dedicated my time to Him and decided His opinion mattered more than any guy ever. In that time He used people to compliment me on my looks but on many other things too, He really showed me there is more to it all and that the guy who falls in love with me will be one who falls in love with me for more than just my petals, it would be because of my fragrance of love, grace and joy that is founded in Christ.

That’s why I am reminded of the Proverbs 31 woman.  So what is she? She is a blessing to those who know her. Her strong character and industrious spirit give where others only take. She doesn’t expect anything back, not even a ‘thank you’. Her focus is never on herself, but on God and because of that, she isn’t easily offended. She is also not offended if others play or sleep while she has works. Her gift to those around her is her undying love for God, which takes her out of herself and gives her the confidence to create opportunities to prosper. Everything that she does, she does for the love of God and because of that the people He has entrusted her with are well cared for. She is able, by the help of God, to do more than the average person could do because she doesn’t rely on her own strength but on His. When stress or worry rears its ugly head, she quickly looks the other way and returns to her purpose on earth: to serve her living God and NOT her emotions. She speaks with wisdom that comes from her faith in God and His Holy Spirit.

Her words encourage and admonish and NEVER belittle or despise. They are always coloured with her love of God. She isn’t afraid of teaching others the truth of Scripture because she is so confident in it herself. She is tireless in her efforts to serve the living God because she draws her power from Him daily. People are amazed at her tenacity and ability to overcome even the most difficult situations. She finds truth in the Word of God and application for her daily life, looking for answers to life’s hard questions in its pages.  Her life is enviable, not because of its earthly success but because of its heavenly success. Peace, hope and love are hers, and because of that others call her, like the women who have come before her, blessed.

So true beauty and then love from anyone for you won’t come from your service to that person or how pretty you try looking, it comes from your heart for God and serving Him and not your emotions. It all comes from God and being gentle and compassionate in your spirit. Not from trying to prove yourself or that you are worthy, not breaking others down with your negative words and pointing out how others are always doing something wrong or not the way you would do it. It comes from loving and accepting others, keeping quiet instead of deciding to say something negative. It comes from never giving up or being afraid of doing good to others. It is all biblical principles.

Your heart for God should be the attraction and the fragrance of Him that you leave behind, not the mask or petals you have on.

Proverbs 31v10-31

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character                                            

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honour her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

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Friendship Blooming Like a Rose

Today I had coffee with Liela…my special friend. We went to Tribeccas on our University Campus. As always, our coffee date didn’t disappoint. I haven’t seen her in a month so doing some catch up time like this is a whole session of DMCs. Anyway, it was great chatting and catching up.

Campus is extremely peaceful this time of year with exams and all, and so beautiful in the summer time with the trees and flowers, so our setting was perfect. 

Obviously, I got to chat to her sharing deep stories and where I am at now. As soon as exams are done, it will be a more peaceful time for her to spend with Yvotte, which I am extremely happy about. And at the same time, I am busy moving into a more peaceful season in my life now. We spoke for ages about what is happening in our lives and what we’re doing next year. I am so grateful to have her around and to say we will still be in Pretoria together next year. We spoke about seasons changing…hers has changed as Yvotte is part of her life now and she has new things on the horizons. Like me, she has also left TMC and isn’t going to the LIV outreach either. Both of us are moving into seasons where we can say a lot is behind us and we’re walking on into new phases. New chapters are waiting to be written and it is things we have prayed for all year and now it is finally coming together. We both feel like we don’t need to be on TMC (the Tuks Missions Committee) as we have served our time there, and for some people it has just become a status thing, so we’re ready to move on. She also said she just doesn’t feel like God is calling her to go to LIV this year and I can honestly say the same. The only reason I might visit is to see Tich, his wife, the mothers of the village & kids for a day or two and catch up with them as I did earlier in the year and then visit Freddy and them who are finishing matric now. I also spoke about my studies and that I’m moving out of Intentional Living this year. It was one amazing year but I’m glad to be  moving out. This year has been one of the toughest that I’ve seen in all 3 of the years at Intentional Living… Lots has happened and I am ready for a more peaceful season, I too am moving into different relationships, studying phases and strengthening friendships with people like Liela. So we are both at a place where we are moving into special, peaceful seasons that we have been waiting and praying for and now they have come and we are ready for them. 

We’re kind of ready to move on from old things into the new, making new memories. Living positively and just enjoying being alive. 

That being said we also spoke about and discussed our surf trip we would have had this December. Between exams and all that has happened it has been a little rough and has bought plans to a halt. So we have decided to postpone the trip which is a blessing and we’re both really at peace about. It helps because if we wait, we’ll possibly get place to stay for free. We’ll be able to plan really well and only have to worry about petrol and food and have time to save up. So all in all, postponing has been just as much of a blessing. We still need to round up people and friends for this trip and we’ve decided we’d like to do it over Easter in April next year. So I’m really excited as that keeps God in the midst of things and makes the trip a little more special than it would normally be. 

Getting together with Liela doesn’t always happen as often especially with how hectic this year has been so we’re hoping to make the most of the last couple of weeks that I’m in Pretoria before heading home to the coast and then next year. So in this time, she’ll be sending her exam roster so that we can make a time to hit that old bucket list of ours. We’re hoping to have a little sleepover at her house, watch some movies on our bucket list and do a few other activities from our bucket list. So I can’t wait for that either.

Lastly, about this special friend of mine. She has so much love and wisdom in her and it always shines brightly through her. I can share anything with her, we do the craziest things together and we’re both very passionate people. Our friendship is such a pure one that I cherish so much. So, today, as I headed out to see her, I found a rose in the garden and picked it up for Liela. I was just reminded by God through the rose, of how special and delicate our friendship is and how much it is like a white rose. Pure, and beautiful, leaving the aroma of God and His Love behind. There is nothing more beautiful than a rose blooming in the Summer time, and such is our friendship.

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Angels Passing Through

Many times, we struggle with waking up early…I mean, it is all good and well when you know you’re getting up early to go down to the beach but when you’re living in the city and it’s to pray, in the early hours after a long night – suddenly it isn’t half as easy as usual.

But when you do get up, especially when you really do feel like it, somehow it always seem worth it and more memorable than other times. This morning was one of those mornings which I didn’t want to get up. I got to bed late, I just didn’t feel it.

I dragged myself out of bed after my alarm had gone off. I decided to go to the study with my Bible, laptop and diary, got myself a cup of tea and sat down. I needed to pray for a friend and then Heinrich, Aunty Valencia, Ingrid, Karen and Bernhard – as Uncle Johann passed away exactly a month ago.

It was a dark morning, looked like it was going to rain but it has turned out to be a gorgeous, hot day. But this morning, after praying, the house was still quiet. I was able to open the door of the study that opens so that wind comes in. It was just such

a peaceful morning, that really had me feeling peaceful and feeling God’s presence. It was just such a pleasure to listen to the wind blowing through the rustling leaves of the trees….the rustling of the leaves made sounds I love. It sounded like it was raining.Every time I hear that sound, I am reminded of what a friend use to tell me about that…. “Every time you hear the sound of the wind, they say, it is God’s angels passing through,” – that really brought a smile to my face. The same sound that the trees made when the wind was blowing at Uncle Johann’s grave the Friday that he was buried. But it was just amazing to me, how God made His Presence known and filled me with His Gracious Love.

So even when we do struggle, I guess God knows it and when we push through the struggling, He gives us a moment…a beautiful memorable moment with Him.

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