Posts Tagged With: God

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!

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

A Woman of Determination

A woman who is determined – well apparently there is no force greater… Now can you imagine such a woman who teams up with God…. Well I tell you – that is one intense combination that cannot go wrong.

There is one woman who has proved that over and over again. She is such a special inspiration and motivation in my life. My words cannot do her justice. But whenever I am in her presence or just get a little message from her, I am always blessed and blessed in abundance!!!

She is a strong believer in God and one feisty woman, she isn’t afraid of Satan and I think he is pretty chuffed when she decides to go to bed. I think he’s relieved. She is a determined woman. A breath of fresh air. Someone who builds up and just lives the love.

Full of love and hugs and laughter, you just have to experience her in real life to understand. I really look up to Dee! Such a blessing.

So just wanted to share some love and lift her up! And say how much I adore and love this lady! She feels like family. May we all be a blessing as she is to all the people around us, being the light and love Jesus sees us to be.

Have a blessed weekend!

Lots of love xx

Dee getting ready with her tender

Dee getting ready with her tender

Dee and Gogs

Dee and Gogs

Dee handing in her tender - the big moment

Dee handing in her tender – the big moment

Dee always fun and sharing her love

Dee always fun and sharing her love

Dee loves sharing and walking in love as well as spreading love by giving kisses and hugs

Dee loves sharing and walking in love as well as spreading love by giving kisses and hugs

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What is this ‘happily ever after?’

073d651ce06a1ef8806ed75f1460084bEvery day of our lives, especially in mine, since I can remember, the world has painted this crazy picture of a ‘happily ever after.’ Every story ever seen or read since I was a little girl, has been about some ‘Prince Charming’ saving a princess, they fall in love, get married and end up living that ‘happily ever after.’

As a little girl I was always in two minds about this idea and my parents can vouch for the long time that I went through a perspective of, “I’m never getting married or even having kids…instead, I’m going to become a nun.” You can laugh and giggle but I truly felt that way. Later I fell into the other extreme of ‘serial dating.’ What I’m trying to say is not that there is something wrong with ‘happily ever after’ but that we must realise what pressures can also come with painting that kind of picture. I am not saying that that can’t be true and that we’re setting people up for some huge disappointment, because that isn’t true either. It is just that there is so much more to the whole dating picture and then marriage after that.

I was a serial dater until I realised how much I kept giving away, how much it was taking away from me and someone else’s possible future partner. I also just started seeing things differently as I got closer in my relationship with God and saw the way He loved and pursued me, and continues to do every day.

You might be thinking there is no way you have given into this idea in any possible way, but somewhere along the line, this idea of a ‘happily ever after’ does creep into your heart and thoughts, affecting them whether you choose to admit it or not.

I realised this before, during and after my serial dating and had to come to a decision. Because of it, I chose not to date again until I was absolutely sure about the guy and that we had been friends and so on. Even now, while dating,  I have to constantly keep myself in check, so that I don’t let this idea of a ‘happily ever after’ become damaging to me, the other person or our relationship as it can cause unnecessary pressures and expectations that aren’t entirely realistic and based on God’s grace and truth.

The day I said ‘yes’ to dating, was also because I believed that is whom I would marry. But for most people this isn’t always the case and dating isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. You cannot constantly date people and throw them away at the first signs of trouble or when you get bored. This creates a false expectation in marriage, and proposes the idea, that if a marriage isn’t working for you, you don’t have to worry, you can quickly get divorced and start your search for the ‘PERFECT ONE’ again.  Hey, I mean – ‘there’s plenty of fish in the sea’ right?!

Dating isn’t a Biblical principle, so I really think that when you do choose to date someone, you need to take that decision very seriously, just as you would with marriage.

Anyway, these big decisions and the idea of a ‘happily ever after’ can put a great deal of pressure on us and we can be made to feel a bit doubtful. Although you say ‘yes’ to dating and even though you may know deep down this is the person you’re going to marry, you too may have doubts or have moments of doubts as they are big steps and very serious times.

In the perspective of the world and what it tells us, the person we marry(or date) is the one who makes YOU happy. He/she is perfect for YOU. The proposal is perfect for YOU. The ring and the wedding is perfect for YOU. The honeymoon is perfect for YOU and the ‘happily ever after’ is perfect for YOU. It is all about YOU, YOU, YOU and YOU!

But honestly, that is what the world says and NOT what the Word says. In the Word it speaks of the covenant of marriage being about God. The journey of navigating through a lifetime of promise like this has everything to do with Jesus. It is about ‘US’ – an equation involving your partner, Jesus and you. And the only perfect thing in this equation for YOU is grace.

I was afraid of making the wrong choice, most of us are. But we make the choice, no one else and I need to believe I make the right one.

Marriage is the covenant, the promise, to God that you vow to love another person just as Christ had/has loved us first. The most intimate, challenging and all-inclusive way of loving is what this vow consists of and is what the vow of becoming one flesh with another person includes. To serve and selflessly love them in such a way, as Christ served us and selflessly loved us to and even on the cross. To carry their burdens, taking the lashings of their shortcomings and bearing the taunting of Satan and the struggles and challenges he may bring. To put them before yourself even to the point where you feel like you may be broken, but can ultimately rise, just as our Great King did and does, in love. Lifting your partner up to Jesus when they feel they cannot do it themselves. This, with a great understanding of the magnitude of the Gospel in which we come to realise a greater appreciation for the power and authority of what was done by Jesus on our behalf and because we are so loved by the Almighty King.

Marriage (and even dating) I have explained to a few people lately, is a tiny yet supernatural taste of God’s love for us. How He treasures and cherishes us. This is a promise not to be taken lightly, because it is ultimately, a promise to accept and love one another (including all versions and parts of one another), like God loves us, on a daily basis. Something we can’t even come close to doing on our own and can only come through natural relationship with God. That is the JOY of saying ‘yes’ in your heart to the covenant of marriage. Be it a choice you made when still dating or asked to date, a choice when proposed to or deciding to propose, it is a choice to be looked forward to and excited about, one to confess with joy in your heart, even on the day of marriage and every day after that. Although, a serious choice, it is one so profound and beautiful. It isn’t that you have found the ‘perfect one,’ but that we are a step closer to drawing back another layer and getting to see God’s perfect love played out in our lives in a rather magnificent way and that we get to share that with one another.

What is truly great about marriage is that, there is the sweetest of sweet joys in knowing that you don’t have to go at this whole thing alone and that God is with us, in this, every step of the way and through Him all the crazy, deep adventures and moments are MORE than possible. It is such an honour to be able to have the privilege of loving and caring for His child in this covenant the way He has loved and taken care of me. The great truth and grace is pure magic that comes with knowing that although we aren’t perfect for each other, we both are committed to making the choice every day to follow the King who showed us and IS the perfect example of how to love. It is a commitment to having our story become a ‘happily ever after’ but one, determined by the Word of God and not the world.

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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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Defeated? – NO!

Being home at the coast, visiting my parents is always a great time for me as I get the chance to do a lot of self-reflection and it always seems to be at the right time and when I have just about had enough of the city and need a breakaway to another place. But although I came home to see my parents, I also had a plan of things I needed to discuss with them and a whole bunch of things that needed to be sorted out as well as the feeling that I needed to come home and see them.

Today though, my dad and I made a trip to Harding to the licensing department, one of the reasons I am home. Somehow I really just don’t enjoy making appointments with them, as mine rarely work out but today I was pretty optimistic. Once I came out with an appointment date though, my optimism was short lived and had flown out the window. The earliest appointment they had was a month after the date I had hoped for… I really felt defeated when the guy gave me the date and tried hard to swallow back my tears.

I was disappointed because I have a lot going on and really needed that date to be at the end of February, to suit my schedule. I also had a million things that were on hold because of this date and lots I needed to get back to in Pretoria. More than that though, I am missing my friends and more importantly, my life. DEFEATED just wasn’t the word. I guess it is also dealing with how many things I’m missing out on every day and hearing about them on the phone or a few days later, just isn’t the same.

Being at home has been a challenge as I’m home alone with the dog all day. I haven’t seen my sister in over a month. And ya. Mates are all back at varsity and stuff. And being without a car also gets me down. Relying so much on others really is frustrating me. But today, when I got back to the car, my dad was super sweet about it. He got a plan in action in the first 5 seconds of me telling him the horrid news, and all is well. My dad – a HERO!

But just by this, although I felt defeated I kinda got to a point where God was telling me, that it isn’t how I planned but He turns all things to my good. So it is best just to make the best of the situation and use this time fully rather than me moping around about things. All my grandparents are down, so now I get to spend time with them, which I hardly get to do with a usually busy schedule. I get to see a few friends, who live down here that I never see. I get to do a ton of yoga, sort out my stuff before I move back to Pretoria, I get to spend time and minister and build relationship with my parents. I might miss my life in Pretoria every day, but I get to focus and build relationship with God and help me become more of the woman that is needed so that I can be a blessing to so many others.

Me being alone, I got used to it in 2011, but after that my sister and I lived together for 2 years. Now being home and alone most of the day, I get to build me again and get used to doing what is needed and focus on myself and the goals I have. It is a tough time. I felt just as defeated yesterday in yoga. I was just as optimistic and eager to go do yoga and after the first 10 to 20 minutes I was already feeling frustrated and defeated as I wasn’t getting any of the poses right that I had planned to. I wanted to give up right then and there and throw in the towel. But I soon realised that I could do that, it is easy to do that. But the harder choice is trying again and persevering through the frustration and disappointment, and doing my best to try get things right. I ended up sticking to it, and stretching and messing around all day, trying over and over again until I got some of the poses right. Once I got at least one of them right I was totally stoked and the perseverance paid off and felt totally worth it and I suddenly felt like tomorrow I could actually try again. I suddenly felt hopeful in trying again the next day. It just takes patience and an attitude of trying again even though all other attempts failed. An attitude that believes there is still hope and is going to try make the best of whatever is thrown in your direction.

So yeah, I might have to be here an extra while but I can work around what is happening and still make other things happen. I can just do my best and use it to my advantage and to strengthen my relationship with God and others.

So defeated? I could have been but I refuse to be. I can be anything, but I won’t be defeated by anything or anyone and the enemy won’t defeat me.

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

Confidence

c4ebf5f48073b2a7eaf421d557f72e6aIt is often said that the most beautiful thing a girl can wear (apart from her smile) is confidence! But that doesn’t seem to come too naturally to all of us.

Blame it on comments we get, the media or whatever the excuse might be, generally it is something girls lack and I often wonder why. I myself, easily give into my insecurities and forget how to be fearless and live happily as a unique woman. Once again, Cape Town is awesome in this sense. There everybody wears and looks the way they want, co-existing without comparing and it seems everyone and everything there is different – being ordinary or a copy of something seems to be what puts you on the outside. It truly is a breath of fresh air compared to the city life of Gauteng where it feels like everybody is fighting to be somewhat the same or similar… Maybe being the same and what others expect you to be is what makes me struggle to get along with some people (including some in my family – and now I don’t mean my mom if that is what people assumed). The set standards of society can often be what breaks people’s confidence as they fear being different and suppress that as no one wants to disappoint or be an outcast.

What a sad thought.

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God created each one of us so uniquely different yet still He is totally pleased with each and every single one of us as we are still created in His image. How awesome to think that each of us, although different are created in His image, just shows how many facets there are to Him and how different and awesome each and every single one of them are if you think how many of us there is…. Each different but so complimentary of one another… So many different, and yet He loves us ALL the same…so why are we actually all fighting to be the same?!

What makes you confident? Is it makeup? Pretty lingerie? Pretty clothing? Is it just being you – all natural without anything? Naked? Dirty hair, comfy clothing? Jumping off a cliff? Wearing heels? Acting like a tomboy? Doing a photo shoot? Is it a new red lipstick? Being silly and having people laugh at your jokes? Mine are definitely a little make-up, wearing cute lingerie, when someone makes good jokes and I actually get it and can laugh, doing a photo shoot, having a good hair day and skin day without even having to do my hair or makeup, dancing and some good music, when I can actually accomplish a new pose in yoga, when a recipe comes out right when I try it, my boyfriend compliments me, when I pass a test, when I’m around good, close and positive friends or people…. there are many things…but whatever it is for you, go out and do those things or find those things and embrace them. In each moment, take up the challenge to love yourself and embrace feeling confident…

1279c910dbd327460f6b57cc53e74986But also take the time to figure out how to be confident when you don’t have any of those things…when you have just yourself…find a way to love yourself in all your forms – the way Jesus sees you and loves you…you will be more confident. Embrace who you are, your strengths and weaknesses and in that way you’ll be able to eliminate insecurities because then you know yourself and accept yourself. That confidence will compliment you and who you are. You won’t let insecurity rule and turn you into someone who knows who you are and shove that down people’s throats. That is just being cocky.

You are a beautiful being and creation. Confidence is such a great accessory, so use it. Go ahead and own it!

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Yoga time

f3c8119297010ec2f7c9383e67d11fbfSo it is the beginning of twenty-fourteen and I am excited about doing some new stuff. What is really great and a theme that God has been putting on my heart, is taking the time to LOVE yourself. God totally adores me…He believes in me. He thinks of me as beautiful and confident, after all, He created me and I am His daughter, His princess.

Unfortunately, I don’t always see myself the same way and I don’t have much patience with myself either. I seem to compare myself, giving into being ruled by insecurities and that just won’t do it for me. After being in Cape Town, I really feel a sense of bringing back my focus to God and I. Seeing myself through His eyes.

So I have a few things lined up for myself this year, that will be taking me out my comfort zone, that will build confidence, teach myself to have the patience God has unconditionally with me, grace abundantly, things that will take accepting and loving myself in ways I could never have imagined.

One of the really cool things I have lined up that really gets me inspired, that will teach me to accept myself a lot more, have patience with myself as well as be a little more determined – is YOGA!!! Some know that I’m into the yoga kind of thing, but this year I’m taking it a bit more serious and totally up-ing it a notch or two. I really am keen on this one, not only as it is about the journey of loving myself in all my forms, but also because it will definitely be challenging on so many different levels.  I guess not only because I’ll be challenged on different levels, I guess, when I get a little bored or any other time too, I DO like to get a little silly and do weird things (not that yoga is silly), so why not do crazy poses?!

af10048c01c7eea61b3e1e95ed236767In a sense, it is also to get out of my head, so that I don’t think too much or rile myself up into any state of panic – which I do very easily – and to just get away from limiting myself, and do things I never thought I could do or that I thought my body couldn’t do….just defy all limits and live a little outside of the box we all put ourselves into.

Candace Moore and her story about fighting Lyme Disease, has been so super inspiring as well as motivating. Her story has moved so much in my heart and I am truly excited about her passion for yoga and the way in which she is so real and honest and wants to help others through her yoga and other stories. She makes it seem fun and exciting, and it’s just awesome to see how and hear how she motivates you to explore all aspects of life and yoga and everything involved in it…

There is just so much more to yoga than poses and exercise, it is just a way of focusing yourself on what makes you tick and the present moment. Your breath, your heartbeat, your movement. It is about persevering, patience, acceptance, loving, experiencing, building confidence – just plain being!

More than that, it can be done anywhere, anyhow, with anyone or by yourself. You also get to get close to nature and all of creation….and I think, why not use this time, to get close to God as well…just appreciate yourself, your body, your present circumstances – all these things that God created and the beauty of being alive in HIM!!!

Not only is there yoga, but coming up there is other experiences leading to more confidence…there is my studies, driving and other adventures like stand-up paddle boarding, photo shoots and different courses in restorative justice, makeup and other things…but this is a year of exploration and just diving into crazy awesome opportunities and enjoying life to the full – no holding back!d4

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

A Restless Heart

Something I’ve struggled with the most over the past weekend that has left my heart unsettled… Is not only people’s words but also what is not said and the body language that is left to fill in the blanks. Suddenly I can see why people struggle when I refuse to say something or take my time before just responding…

In general, people have expectations or even have a lack thereof, both having ripple effects that can be positive or negative…finding the balance can be tough… Expectations that have been put into words or not… But the ones that do the most damage are probably the unspoken ones. Before this weekend in general and this weekend, by people I am close to or not, unspoken standards and expectations have left me unsettled the most. Not only by others but those I have myself… It has put me under a lot of pressure and made me reflect a little on what I do too… Asking myself, whether I have any unspoken standards or expectations of others and what they are and who are under them? And whether or not it is fair on whomever is under it?!

It is something that really has broken me and left my heart in an awkward space as I try figure out how it influences the way I think and feel as well as my perspectives and relationships… It really has left me upset – quite challenged and insecure and disappointed all rolled up in one…

This definitely is a time to seek the Lord, as I look inward in an effort to find some solution and comfort in His words…

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

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