Thursday, May 31, 2012

The heavy weight of the gospel...

We received this unexpected request in our inbox a short while ago. After some research I discovered that we weren't the only ones on the mailing list. A Pastor in Africa, desperately asking for Bibles in a country where Christians are persecuted for their faith. That is all he asked for. Not for silver or gold, only God's Word.

We replied and our journey began...

We started our own asking on this side of the African continent...
no one answered.

So we waited till the next pay check and went down to the Evangelical Mission Press just down the road and we compiled a small package.

Only a couple of Bibles, and lots of good news in a foreign language. All crammed with love into the smallest box, and I wonder about the weight of this package. It's heavy, full of everlasting good news, very heavy... I can't possibly leave anything out, it would be wasted space...

Friendly lady at the Post Office, she asks what is in the package. I stumble, I say Bibles... She gives me lots of paperwork but I ask her to weigh the package first...

6,10 kilograms.

And how much will that heavy weight cost to send half way up and through Africa?

I almost loose my breath.

4 to 10 days by air, 60 days by sea...

Head goes into hands.


I walk away, send an sms to husband, get back in line, maybe it will be cheaper if I make smaller packages. I will do that. I can do that. I can divide all this into smaller packages, I make my own plans...

The friendly lady tells me R27,40 per 100grams... it will end up costing more...

I walk out of the Post Office, heavy weight in arms and my phone rings...

Send it.

Just send it.

My soul leaps with overwhelming joy...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

When you made a mess of everything

The hard Eucharisteo,
that time when I blew it.
Completely acted like an atheist
and forgot all the words of Jesus,
forgot all about turning the other cheek
and acted, reacted.

Action. Reaction.

Totally wrong reaction:
Instead of love, me and myself, poor me
I was offended and now I have the right
to FEEL like this
and act like a complete mess.
I just made a complete mess
and spread it across my whole house...

And then, I know, I had to pick up the mess,
pick up the pieces
and go on.
But just how do I do that?

I asked for forgiveness,
(her forgiveness too)
confessed to God and asked His forgiveness
I KNOW that He is faithful to forgive
that He will no longer hold it against me.
Then I can also no longer hold onto this mess.
My mess.
Try not to hold onto that feeling.
I have no right to FEEL
and own this FEELING.
Feelings are most of the time not reality.
Reality is that there IS
forgiveness and forgetfulness.
Yes, to forgive myself, I must also forget.
I must forget the mess I just made,
do the cleaning up,
accept the apologies and
just love.

I must love more.

"(Love) It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong)." 1 Corinthians 13: 5

Sunday, May 27, 2012

How to make the most of your day...

The washing machine is spinning, dishes undone, tempers and hormones flaring in a house full of girls and we take time out, just leave everything and make a big pot of tea and honey sandwiches, grab a blanket and head for a spot in the winter sun with the last few pages of a good book. This is how to make the most of a busy day...


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Daily vitamins!

This is how we take our daily dose of Omega 3!

Gently break the capsule, and pour contents into a spoon...

open wide...

As a reward they get to chew the gelatin capsule!

We love our fishy vitamins!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What will happen if we invited Jesus into our homes?

This thought came to me the other day.
Teary eyed I prayed, calling upon the Lord for help.
See sometimes I'm not perfect.
I fall out of the tree:
I am impatient.
I raise my voice.
I get irritated.
I don't want to pluck another feather from my chest to build my nest.
I break everything, so carefully built.

And then a soft voice said:
"What will happen if you invite Me into your home?
Every day, every hour, every moment.
Set a place for Me at your table?
I am omnipresent.
Why not experience Me in the present?
Right now.
With you.
Would your behaviour be different?"

Selah. (pause, and calmly think of that!)

Can I truthfully answer that?

I would be sitting right at Your feet, every moment, every hour, every day.
I would not fuss so much about the stuff. The washing and cleaning stuff, the crumbs on the floor.
I would bring my children to You.
I would not fall out of my tree.
I would NEVER raise my voice...

Selah. (pause, and calmly think of that!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A home school philosophy

wrote about the importance of having a home education philosophy a while ago, and here I'll be sharing our personal philosophy as we wrote it over four years ago:
Firstly I wrote down the reasons why we left mainstream school in the first place - I have already shared some of that here.
Secondly I wrote down a couple of things that I as a mother want to achieve through home educating my daughters:
  • Firstly I want my children to come to know the God that I worship, and I want to teach them His way and His word. (discipleship)
  • I want my children to have a strong set of values that could not easily be shifted.
  • I want to have a relationship with each of my children
  • When my daughters leave my house one day, they must be virtuous Titus 2 young ladies, able to take care and love their husbands and children, keepers of their homes, not measuring themselves by a worldly standard, but by the standard that our Lord Jesus has set before us by His example.
  • That they will display Godly character.
  • That they will show respect for all people, of all backgrounds.
  • That they will be able to think logically for themselves; use their God given understanding and knowledge, to His glory!
  • This will be the Lord's school. Every day will be dedicated to Him and He will be the Principle of our little school. 
  • As parents we will be accountable to God for our children's education.

Lastly we will also teach our children about the world. By that I mean that they will not be brought up in a glass box. As parents we will (under our loving supervision and guidance) expose our children to the world and what it stands for, and not isolate them. 

There have been difficult times in the past, where people have questioned and criticized our decision to home educate. There were also times of self doubt, and having this little philosophy in writing, has helped so much during those times.

Isaiah 54 : 13 "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Happy learning

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ons mis vir Ma so!

Dis drie jaar laas
wat ek hier was.
Ek is skaam om dit te erken.

Die twee ouer kinders onthou nog,
die kleintjies volg nuuskierig.

Ons gaan soek haar...

en ons vind...

haar mooi prentjie...
die tyd hier by ons
was veels te kort.
Ek wens Ma kon die kinders sien...

Ek vertel gereed al die storietjies en
die snaakse goed wat Ma altyd gesê het.
"Ouma Stella het altyd gesê..." en
"my Ma het 'n woord gehad vir dit..."
of "Ouma het dit altyd so gedoen..."
Hulle het dalk nie vir Ma so goed geken nie, 
maar deur my ken hulle ook hul Ouma.
Ai ons mis vir Ma!
Gelukkige verjaarsdag en Moedersdag,

Monday, May 7, 2012

When life feels like a big mountain

I so not wanted to go away this weekend. I had all the excuses ready. In fact I already typed an e-mail to my husband about why this weekend felt like a big mountain of work ahead of me instead of it feeling like a much needed breakaway...
I am so glad I did not send that e-mail,
I deleted my words and started packing...
You see, I love just being at home. Packing and organizing everything to just go away for two nights and a day, seemed like way too much effort... and all the rest of the excuses... I even prayed for bad weather.

Terrible attitude I had.

But God had lovely weather in mind, and a different mountain than the one I saw ahead of me...

On Saturday I exchanged my old shoes, for new ones, for the climb...

On Sunday morning, we went up the mountain.
Matthew 5:1 "AND seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain..."
I always wondered why Jesus went up a mountain to speak to the multitudes of people.

Soon I heard how our voices carried gloriously on the slight mountain breeze. Every word any one of us said could be heard, loud and clear. Imagine... the voice of Jesus on the Mountain... "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven..."

On top, at last!
And there, on the mountain, I could recite months of memorizing (Matthew 5 verse 1-26). What a blessed moment, saying the Mount on the Mount....

Fabulous! #2136
Goudini Spa - Rawsonville, South Africa.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Home school journey - part 4

If you were to ever ask me for advice before you make the crazy decision to home educate, this is what I would probably tell you:
  • I am not an expert on home education, and no one is. The only experts are the parents who did the pioneering before us, and they would probably in all humility tell you that they are not the experts either... 
  • You need the absolute 100% support of your spouse. This is absolutely essential! There is just no getting around this one. 
  • Before you start your journey, write down a home school philosophy. Why you home educate, what you want to achieve through home education, how you plan on doing so, and just about everything that comes to mind that is of importance. The day will come when doubt comes like a big wave and you will question yourself and others maybe too, then you have this document in place to put you back on track... (I'll share mine with you in a later post)
  • Every child is different. Every parent is different. Every home is different. We all home educate in a different way. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. 
  • Learning should be enjoyable - if no one is having fun, no one is learning a thing - except maybe that learning isn't fun....
  • This is a lonely road. Don't make it worse by isolating yourself. Join a home ed support group.
Leonardo da Vinci once said: Study without desire spoils memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.
  • Last but not least: Pray for your children. Pray for the Lord's guidance in their learning and your teaching. Pray that He will show you the way. Pray. Pray. Pray.
For any other questions, feel free to make contact with me  and I will answer as best I know how, or put you in contact with the experts.

Happy learning

Thursday, May 3, 2012

If I can do this... you could possibly too...

Before my day really got a chance to start, the phone rings and I need to be a help (meet) and tow my husband's car back in mid morning traffic while its raining in Cape Town and no one seems to own a valid drivers licence...
With the Mount close at hand I get a chance to memorize some more on my way there in heavy traffic, people might think I'm crazy talking to myself...
I drive back slowly, towing my husband and his car, concentrating on keeping the rope tight and stress mount up, husband getting impatient, I skip a red light afraid to stop or go faster or the rope snaps.

I breathe.

"The Lord is my Sheperd I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: He leads me besides the still waters..." and the very long ago memorized Psalm just comes flooding out of my soul. I haven't even read this Psalm in ages, because it brings back sad memories of me reading it aloud to my mother the day she passed away.
I remember how my mother helped me memorize Psalm 23. Once in your heart, it will never leave.

Memorized scripture is like this treasure within. No one can ever ever take it away from you. His Words will always be in your heart, and when the time comes, He will help you to remember the words, but you need to put the words in your heart and the hearts of your (our) children. 
John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
Memorizing the Mount has been such a blessed experience for me. And I will tell you there is no way that I (in my flesh) can or could be able to remember all these Words. It can only be the Holy Comforter that helps me and it is just amazing.
Is there any way that I can inspire even just one person to start memorizing the Mount (Matthew 5 - 7) with me?

Here is where to start with two or three short verses a week.

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