Posts Tagged With: family

A season for blooming

It is getting closer and closer to April, and this is probably my most favourite time of the year…It is the season in which tulips come into bloom and they start opening up to show their pretty and delicate colours. Such beautiful flowers that should be handled with such soft and caring touch, that seem a lot like me in that way I guess. This is the time of year that God breathes over them and lightly and gently touches them with His love, peeling them open with a gentleness only He possesses, that opens them to reveal His magnificent beauty and glory… Oh how I love this time of year and how my heart just sings as it is full of praise for Him.

Praise for Him – especially now as my dreams are also blooming into reality by the works of His hands. I have gone for my training to work in the prisons locally, in South Africa and internationally and am now a qualified counsellor and facilitator of Reformative Justice. A dream and desire put on my heart nearly 7 years ago by God, is now becoming a reality. I am now stepping in to it with fef2e7404cfc59a838abca787b26c1a4the authority of Christ. Yesterday I had my last day of training to become qualified and registered, and it felt like one of the most exciting and beautiful days of my life!!!! I am so excited and have such an amazing mentor under whom I will be working until I get transferred to Cape Town and I am truly blessed by Dad with this. The fact that her and I have clicked so well not only emotionally but also in Spirit has been such an amazing blessing, I was definitely pleasantly surprised by it and God’s faithfulness and goodness, Him being true to all He has promised.

I guess what made the day even sweeter and what makes it all sweeter, is that I am finally standing where God has promised after 7 years, of people telling me I couldn’t ever do this or would never be able to. So many critics, so many who tried to break and tear me down and the dreams and desires in my heart, so many who tried their best to discourage me, so many who tried to limit me and didn’t approve, some that still do. Other challenges also came along and it has been a long road taking many turns, as Satan has tried his best to keep me from Dad’s plans and dreams, but he has been unsuccessful and Dad and I have come out victorious. I know there are still many things and challenges that will be thrown my way, but with Dad on my side, who can really come against me?!

What has been amazing on this journey too, is to have seen how God has changed the hearts of my parents along the way as well as my aunt’s. I have always pushed the boundaries and my family’s way of thinking, challenging them and their perspectives as well as that about Jesus, just because my heart and thoughts were so different to theirs and because of the desires and dreams placed on my heart by God. From their perspectives that I couldn’t do this, that these things didn’t fit into the box or what they had hoped for me, to them coming humbly in tears and amazing appreciation, as if their Spiritual Eyes had been opened to God’s amazing plans. It has been humbling and so beautiful, a true honour. I was able to witness the same thing happen to my aunt last night, after feeling years of disapproval, she tried to support me over the years, but she always tried to push me in a different direction as kindly and softly or subtly as she could but I knew how she truly felt… and then last night, with great and honest revelation she came to me apologising as she had been to a conference and there the Spirit had changed and challenged her heart and thoughts… a mind renewed.  She felt guilty and ashamed and I tried my best to comfort her as she shouldn’t feel bad, she should just be more open to different things and different functions now….So I tried to show her as much love as I could…but it was truly a special moment I’ll never forget.

So this journey has been such a blessing and I am excited about what lies ahead…. A flower opening up, coming into bloom…this is a great season!

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Weekend of Celebrations

Freddie & Ashley

Freddie & Ashley

So this weekend a really good friend of Jean and I and my old roomie – Shikara – is celebrating his birthday. We’ll be going out for drinks to celebrate tomorrow night and then away next weekend to the Vaal dam to celebrate some more. Freddie is one awesome guy with very strong opinions but one great man of God. He has been such a good friend over the year and a half that I have known him and been great in speaking to about grace and so on. He also helped me during a time that I had found out about my ex dating a friend of mine, when I was the last to know after he’d had ample opportunity to tell me. The whole experience wasn’t so great. Shikara and Anneke, my roomies at the time had comforted me with a bottle of red wine between many tears and the next day I had a movie date with Shikara and Freddie. Needless to say, I had the worst hangover the next day and they treated me with so much care and laughter that I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciated that. It really had a big impact on me, and since then Freddie and I had a lot of conversations and our friendship grew really strong. Now he has a girlfriend, Ashley, whom I also get along with so well although we don’t see them often enough. But they really are such special people! So I’m looking forward to celebrating with these awesome people who have had such a great impact on my life and my relationship with God. It has truly been a blessing.

Then, this weekend also marks a year since Uncle Johann has passed. As September has come to a close and we get closer to October the 14th, I’m left in awe at how much has happened and the growth that has come. The way I see grace and God now, started to change in the time I met Uncle Johann and more of Bernhard’s family. A year later, and I would have done so many things differently. But I am still so happy about how close his family and I got and am so thankful for our conversations and for the experience and the precious month I got with him. They were conversations about God and the church and what grace really is. He too had started to see things the way I see them now, and felt that if he pulled through he’d be leaving the NG church and doing things differently, loving differently. A year later and I see the same things and more and too have left the NG church and am in ministry elsewhere. It also bought me closer to many friends and family. Although I have many regrets and things I wished I had done differently, I am really happy. God has radically changed my life in the past year and I am so thankful for the experience and Uncle Johann and his family. This weekend is going to be tough, the whole week has been and has felt very emotional, but my thoughts will also be with his wife and four children and I will find time to celebrate with them somehow as I can’t be with them in Wesselsbron. I think Sunday will be a good day to do something special and will work it into my busy weekend.

From Left: Uncle Johann, Bernhard, Heinrich, Karen, Ingrid, Aunty Valencia

From Left: Uncle Johann, Bernhard, Heinrich, Karen, Ingrid, Aunty Valencia

From Back left: Heinrich & Bernhard Front left: Karen, Aunty Valencia & Ingrid

From Back left: Heinrich & Bernhard
Front left: Karen, Aunty Valencia & Ingrid

This weekend, if you can, just take time to cherish those still around you and to reflect on your past year and what has come and gone for you too.

Have a lovely and blessed weekend.

xx M

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As A Woman Thinks in Her Heart

Just an amazing few words shared by an incredible friend and woman of God – Cheryl – that I have to share with you.

As a woman thinks in her heart; so is she. And if she doesn’t allow the love of God to seep into her very bones, she will never to be able to love herself in a holistic way and neither will she be able to receive love from others or give love to others in a healthy way. A core of a woman comes alive when she is ignited by the flames of love of her Maker.

This amazing friend never ceases to surprise me with her laughter and incredible wisdom. We met at church, at Grace Life Pretoria and she has spoken into my life so much. She has given me so much prophetic word and we have connected on such incredible levels spiritually. No matter how little we see each other, every time we do, we have such deep and super fun conversations. Not only that, this amazing lady in engaged and getting married to our other brother and friend in Christ in our church, an upcoming leader (or so I think), Christiaan.

So happy to have these two people in our lives and get to be a part of theirs. Feels like we’ve known them forever although it has only been a few months. But they have been such a blessing to us and others. Just so beautiful how God has bought them together and bought us all together as a family. Amazed!!!

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Be The Statistic That Conquered

My friend - Sarah Beth Flippo (on the right)

My friend – Sarah Beth Flippo (on the right)

This morning when  I woke up, I just felt the need to share a testimony of a friend, whom shared hers with us two days before my birthday in August. Many girls I know, including me and some friends struggled with eating disorders back in high school, for different reasons but it is something that happened. So when I read her testimony, it really struck a deep cord in my heart.  It is beautiful and she wrote straight from the heart. Hope this may encourage some girls out there today.


Xx M

My Struggle Against Anorexia Nervosa and How I Survived It!

Tonight as I was laying in bed, God really started to speak to me about my past. I have met so many people that look at me and think straight off the bat that I am a very confident and put together person. Now I am not saying that I’m not because I am but it took one crazy road to get here. Most of you have never heard my testimony as to how I came to know Christ. I actually haven’t even been a Christian that long. But tonight as I was laying here I felt that God wanted me to share it to the public for I know many girls and even some guys are struggling from the very thing that brought me to my knees, Eating Disorders.

I was diagnosed with Anorexia January 2009. It had all started six months before that when I had moved to the US for 9 months with my family. I was a happy teenager that didn’t care about the size in her jeans or the way she looked all I knew was I was happy with life and that is all that mattered. I was comfortable with where I was in South Africa and was not ready to get up and move. There was nothing I could do to make the move stop it was something that had to take place. I soon realized when I got to move to America that it was not the same as Africa. I had never experienced culture shock until June 2008.

As I got to America I started to realize a difference between me and all the other girls, they wore make-up and dressed up for class and I was a simple girl that didn’t wear make-up and did the jeans and t-shirts every day. As school began things got a little harder. At the lunch table I would eat whatever but the other girls would watch what they eat or not eat all of it I thought that was why they were all so pretty and skinny. So I slowly began to do the same thing. It started out as a harmless little “I’ll lose a little weight to where I am healthy.”

So it started I began to eat a little healthier and work out a little harder in gym class and as they said, the weight began to decrease and it felt good, I loved the compliments. So I decided to lose a little more and again, I loved the compliments. So I decided I’d lose another dress size, except it wouldn’t stop one dress size became more than 7 dress size in total. I was a size twelve when I started and made my way down to a size zero by the December of 2008.

But I still was not satisfied with the way I was, in my mind I was still the size 12 girl (which is not even close to being big). When I got to a size four that is when the compliments stopped and the questions started. Soon people were telling me, that I needed to stop losing weight as I looked good but not healthy anymore. But I did what I knew best and listened to my anorexia speak. It got so bad I would not let myself eat over 200 calories when the regular intake for one was 2000.

Soon the symptoms started, I began to lose my hair in chunks, I began bruising all over my body, I was always cold no matter the temperature I always had sweats and jackets on and then more symptoms arose after that. In January 2009 I fell ill and my mother took me to the doctor where I got medicine and weighed nothing was said about my weight until I had to return two weeks later because of severe bruising down my spine, and this is when the mater arose my weight,  had lost 4 pounds since the last time I saw the doctor. I will never forget this is the day my life changed forever. He diagnosed me with Anorexia Nervosa. I can still remember the look on my mother’s face when he said that I had developed an eating disorder.

It seemed all so unreal to me as I didn’t want to believe him, in my mind I was not sick and I did not need help until he said the D word. What D word you may be asking? Death. He told me that I could have a heart attack any day if I kept up this life style the words to this day ring in my head “You are killing yourself, Sarah if you keep losing weight you will DIE.”9ebfa4ab860bbaae959de916264e81b5

That is the moment I realized it was not my time to die, that moment I realized I did not want to be a statistic on some graph of people who died from Anorexia but I wanted to be the statistic on a graph that survived it. I remember getting off that table and getting into the car and looking at my mom saying were going to do this. It was not an easy road out, matter fact it was one of the hardest roads for me and especially my family. It took 3 years for me to recover from anorexia, and to this day I still struggle with it but not as badly.

I had to go to counselling, doctor visits, shots, medications, nutrionist the list goes on and on but every single person that helped me through my journey saved my life. But most of all my Christian Parents, I know that they did not have an easy time with me growing up and I know I had cost them some money but they never once turned away, they always stood right next to me and cheered me on. They still cheer me on to this day. God has blessed me with an amazing family that has supported me through a very difficult situation that effects many many families today. I have to say to the girls that consider any sort of lifestyle that your body is a temple of Christ and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Love the way you are because God does! And if you are struggling with something along these lines, go seek help because you want to be that statistic that conquered!

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Weirdly enough I am now at a place where God is preparing me for the things He had inscribed on my heart years ago. Since that time I have only ever had glimpses of what He has wanted me to do but in the past few months and especially now, I am slowly seeing it all come together and I am left in awe as I have seen how He has prepared the way and started to bring it all together.

I am very excited, feeling like a child on Christmas Eve, too excited to sleep and constantly thinking about what gifts await my opening them the next morning. So yes, I am super excited as I feel the time nearing to what God has laid on my heart.  Not only have I been excited, I have also felt nervous and scared…the kind of scared because I am ready but I fear I’m not…So once again, I am filled with mixed feelings…

Obviously with all this, there is a requirement of preparation – so continuous research is being done. Reading articles, rapports, books, journals, watching videos made about prisoners and gangs…it is a lot on an intellectual and emotional level but there is a lot of preparation required spiritually too. It really means getting rooted in the Word and in my relationship with God before I go…it has meant looking at myself in all honesty…People and relationships are important. The Body of Christ is important. Very important. The parts of the Body of Christ help in supporting one another and establishing key characteristics needed in everyday life.

In this preparation I have learnt the importance of sharing with others and the importance of including others…if you don’t – they feel left out and like you are shutting them out, which might sound weird in a sense, or at first it did for me – because I did feel like this was something God has for me and it has nothing to do with anybody else…it is my gift, my treasure, something God placed in MY heart…but the more I look at it and think about this issue, the more I realize it isn’t just mine…that I am being selfish…in the beginning it was mine, given to me, but God wants me to share it…it is like grace..He gives it to us and first when we find the little treasure, we want to keep it and cherish it…constantly opening our own hands in which it was placed, to just look at it and admire it and just soak it all in, but once you have and you’re saturated and you realize just how beautiful it is…you can’t help but want to share it and feel you need to share it because if you don’t you just might burst. It would just be selfish not to, right?! It is so good, you just have to!

I guess I didn’t want to share it because it was mine, but also because you would then be able to see deep into my heart. Deeper than what has ever been seen before. And I’m not sure I want anybody but God seeing that deeply…why? Because it makes me VULNERABLE. Vulnerable is great but it is means that I could get hurt… It means I could get laughed at or mocked… And I try protecting myself from that and also from the negativity and death people could speak over me… But even that, God has shown me, is no excuse for shutting myself to the world…to Jean… I have to open myself up…that is what love requires… And love casts out all why do I still hesitate…? Isn’t it selfish? I have always been transparent, with all my issues..because being vulnerable, making myself vulnerable and transparent makes me admit everything, putting it all out there myself, by choice, takes it away from me control and shows I’m okay with me, that way, no one can really harm me… but with this…this piece…this command God has put in my heart…it is the only thing I have been reluctant to share…the only thing I have chosen to be selfish with and not fully shared with people. People know bits and pieces of the story and what I feel God leading me to do, but no one knows the whole truth…

So what am I talking about? I want to work in the prisons… I am all for supporting the raped, the hurt, the victims…but long ago, God placed the other side of that coin upon my heart…the murders, the liars, the convicted, the rapists…that is what I want to do…the gang members…the youth that go into the gang life..who end up in prison and those who live on the outside of prison… That’s as far as all people know. Many cannot understand that.

But I have come to know many like them…I have also watched enough footage to feel something different for these people… Watching and observing these people, I have come to know they are no different from us…We all want the same things and they are just as scared, if not more than us, of vulnerability… They shy away from it, just like us, but we all do long to be vulnerable…all of us do…and we long to be accepted even when we are vulnerable and only when that happens…that acceptance and love that takes place when being vulnerable, does change come. Vulnerability is what ties us… And vulnerability doesn’t have to be as bad a thing as the world has made it. And the biggest lesson I have and am learning is that – if I can’t be completely vulnerable in front of God or others, no preparation in this world will prepare me for what God wants to do with these people and with me on this journey of working with convicts in prison.

So to those I have not been able to be vulnerable with, I am sorry and I hope I will have that chance again. I hope others will be able to learn from this too. Love casts out all fear. So as God has showed me and said to me, I will say to you – DO NOT FEAR. 1376039_orig

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He turns 21

So he was a little poser...

So he was a little poser…

Today I have the privilege of announcing that one of my favorites has turned the BIG 21!!!!! This little man is now legal all over the world…and a whole lot older!

Wishing we could be home to celebrate with him but it’s all good. We will see him soon… Can’t believe how time has flown. Now this little yet very big man of ours will be leaving back to the U.S soon and then he has also decided to study Criminal Psychology and Forensics while he is there. Something I too am interested in. All I can say is that I am soooo proud about how far he has come and the kind of man he has become and still is growing into. No matter what he does we will stand behind him and support him in any way possible.

He is the coolest person we could have ever asked for and so supportive of us. We love him to bits and cherish him so much. Although we don’t get to see each other as often anymore, our bond continues to grow stronger and the times we do spend together are always fun and deeply cherished. I don’t think he always realizes exactly how much we love and miss him….how proud he does make us… He’s always scared of disappointing us but without a doubt I can say, he never has!!!

So a BIG happy birthday to one of the most special guys in my life!!! We love you lots Kelly!!!!!

When he was still very little

When he was still very little

Such a cutie

Such a cutie

the big guy was MC at my matric dance

MC at my matric dance

Kelly and my sister out one night with mates

Kelly and my sister out one night with mates

Kelly & I!!! Love you lots lil bro....

Kelly & I!!! Love you lots lil man….

Kelly chilling out with us...sharing stories

Kelly chilling out with us…sharing stories

He enjoys sharing his stories but also his scars...needing a little TLC from us

He enjoys sharing his stories but also his scars…needing a little TLC from us

Loving having some attention from us... can't believe he's already 21

Loving having some attention from us… can’t believe he’s already 21

Lucky..or rather really have someone special like Kelly :)

Lucky..or rather really blessed…to have someone special like Kelly 🙂

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Celebrating God’s Blessings

So God has totally blessed me with some pretty damn amazing and inspirational people in my life… Each of their situations different with different things to celebrate, but celebrating nonetheless! I am so incredibly blessed and cannot help but share their amazing stories and excitement with all of you.

Firstly, Friday, I was hardly on the coast an hour when I bumped into a great friend I’ve had in my life since high school at the Southcoast Mall. She is an amazing woman of God who has been an incredible blessing, always sharing her love and wisdom and inspiring me to do more and be more and constantly seek God in all situations. I have been able to confide in her so many times with my heart and issues and so much more. She is the sister of my friend Ryan, but also a friend I had made being in school, doing a play together and later being there to do my make-up for my matric dance, one day when I get married, I’m sure she’ll be there doing my makeup too just by the way. As I left school our friendship grew and I was able to look to her as a great role model and we got closer as we both were concerned about her brother and later as we prayed for her first born, Reece while he was still in her tummy. God also gave me a vision and prophetic word that I soon shared with Kerry-lee about her son Reece. Now, I am happy to announce that this lovely lady’s family is growing from 3 people to 4 as she is expecting a second little person to be joining soon. Kerry and her husband Kyle have another baby on board and I must say, I am thrilled for them. Reece has grown up so quickly, being one bright little boy. So another little person seems like more joy to be added to this amazing little family. Such blessed news and Kerry is glowing! Hoping to have tea and a little catch up session in this week with Kerry-lee so I am super excited!!! What an inspirational woman!

Then, Saturday evening, I got to spend some time with Kelly!!! His news is that he is heading back to the U.S soon and taking friends with him… He is motivating and inspiring his mates to start doing things and it is a pleasure to watch and hear. He really has matured quite a bit and God really seems to be using him in helping his friends get up and started in life. He’s also turning 21 in less than a month which is pretty exciting too. So I am incredibly proud of my favorite and enjoying every little moment I am having to spend with him.

Then, lastly, one of my oldest friends who I have known since my days of running around in a nappy – Raymond Burger… He’s been in my life forever. We used to live around the corner from each other and our moms are very good friends! We went to the same nursery school and later ended up in the same high school. We’ve been through the laughter and the tears… We have seen the best and worst of each other but have been there to support and believe in each other through it all. Nevermind what people have thought, I have always been proud to call Raymond my friend. He really has been an inspiration in my life as well. He’s had it tough, tougher than a lot of people that I know, but he made the best of it and has turned everything around for the best. If there was one guy whom I never doubted knew God personally and had seen God’s light shine through, that would be Raymond. He doesn’t always believe he’s been the best person, but if people got to see half what I have seen in him and from him, they’d agree he’s pretty incredible. Anyway, in the past few years he’s been in the gym and going at it. Always setting goals and persevering ’til he gets there. If there is a strong person who has taught me about fighting for what’s right and what you want and persisting through anything, battling it out. It would be him. And loving yourself and being you, no matter what. Lessons he’s taught me. Anyway, I’ve watched him and chatted and kept in contact while he has gone through all he has. I have also been there while he has given me lessons on nutrition, spoken about helping people and the book he wants to write, the hours he spent practicing driving with me and many more moments. He’s the one I’ve called if I need advice on body issues or actually any other stuff. He’s always had my back. Now, I get to celebrate another fine moment in his life. On Saturday I saw him for a moment at the rugby game, and I could hardly believe the transformation… But if there has been anyone who could do it, it has been him. Over the past year and a half, I’ve been able to see him before his transformation and now another part of it. It might not be the end or his final goal, but it is a massive goal he has reached! He has lost an incredible amount of weight and the pictures say it all. So, well done to him for getting as far as he has and for all the success still to come! Sooooo amazing! Rejoicing with him in every moment. He is a great inspiration and motivation. If you put your mind to it and with God by your side, you can do anything!

So congrats to these people I am lucky to call friends and family! Amazing people whom God has blessed me with. Love you all xx

Kerry-lee & her family. Kyle(her husband) & little Reece(her son)

Kerry-lee & her family. Kyle(her husband) & little Reece(her son)

With my favorite

With my favorite

Kelly & I - chilled evening

Kelly & I – chilled evening

Raymond. An incredible difference!!

Raymond. An incredible difference!!

The crazy transformation! So proud of him!

The crazy transformation! So proud of him!

The difference. These pants are from grade 8. They were a size 40. #transformation

The difference. These pants are from grade 8. They were a size 40. #transformation

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

Feeling cloudy

lala strawberry

Lala goes strawberry picking

large (2)Today I’m feeling a little cloudy… Mixed emotions…I should be super excited because I’m going home for a couple of days but my emotions are feeling a little mixed.

This morning I got to chat to Lala again.. It just always seems to amaze me how God knows exactly what our needs are all the time and how sufficient His love and grace is in every part of our life. It was good to talk to her but now I’m feeling bummed because she won’t be home when I’m there & I know we’ve both been feeling a little homesick. But I am glad to see that she enjoyed picking strawberries today and suddenly I’m longing to be in Germany, to have fun and do that with her.

On the other hand, this day feels like it has been going too quickly and that I haven’t had enough time to see Jean…as the time draws closer to my leaving tonight, I’m feeling bummed that he can’t come home with me at this moment and visit the family. But he has to work and I totally understand…and this was so unplanned anyway.

Jean & I

Jean & I

But I am stoked and excited to be going home. Seeing mates, my family as well as see the beach again. Apparently it has been raining and I haven’t seen rain in months. So as excited as I am to go out to the beach and chill, I’m also looking forward to the rainy days where I can cuddle up with a cup of tea and a good book! large (3)

Either way, feeling clouded or not, I really am hoping to make the best of these last few days before studying starts again. large

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