Thursday, 12 March 2015

Modern Day Samaritan Woman

Can I call this life, as God intended for me?

A Work in Progress

A Work in Progress.

One of my colleagues asked me a question this week which ended up becoming the basis of this blog today. He very innocently, during the course of conversation, asked me whether I knew and could identify the different calls of our local indigenous birds.

The answer to that was no…of course not.

BUT… (I quickly but privately justified)

I know lots of other stuff.

·         I know how to type all sorts of reports and lists.
·         I know how to prepare my husband’s favourite meals and make sure his clothes are ready for work.
·         I know how to clean a house and keep it that way.
·         I know how to raise children.
·         I know how to file and retrieve important documents.
·         I know how to drive a car.
·         I know how to process data and I know how to process veggies (and I even know the difference between the two).
·         I know how to do a week’s washing effectively and efficiently with minimal fuss and NO ironing involved.
·         I know how to entertain friends / family and be suitably hospitable in the process.
·         I know how to create all kinds of crafts to decorate my home.
·         I know how to pay bills and how to stock a pantry.
·         I know how to attend to the needs of various animals.
·         I know how to kiss away a “boo boo”. And I know how to chase away the scaries.
·         I know…..

This list could go on and on because in fifty (50) years on this planet, I have learnt and acquired a lot of knowledge, how to’ do’s and quick fix solutions, effective living; however, does any of the above really matter?

Can I call this life, as God intended for me?

I’m sure that any woman could probably relate to all of the above. After all, as mothers and wives, it is expected of us to be able to effectively raise our children, run our homes and contribute financially or (otherwise) to the well-being of our family. Regardless of whether we work outside of the home or in the home, we are driven to succeed and perform. For the most part we do well, considering all of the tasks we do manage to accomplish and all of the things we learn along the way. But these lessons learned and successes come at a price…
This price is called TIME!!!

I have found that no matter how effective I am, how efficient and organised I may be (and believe me I have organization down to a fine science), my days are never-the-less invariably measured by “not enough time”…This “not enough time” only adds pressure to the constant need to do more, fit more into my day, finish things because tomorrow the whole cycle starts all over again… and I have to ask myself again…

Can I call this life, as God intended for me?

I can’t help but think sometimes that I have it all wrong. All this busy-ness prevents me from knowing the truly important soul enriching things. More and more frequently, I experience a disconnection with reality, almost as if I am walking through a mist and merely engaging life at random moments rather than being truly present in the moment. During these times I identify with James 4:14, Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]” (AMP).
Proverbs 11:28 A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree”. The Message.

I should rather:

·         Know the calls and names of all the indigenous birds that visit my garden.
·         Know the gentle soul behind the eyes of an aged and confused brain fighting to be remembered and noticed. (My Mother).
·         Know the soul behind the beautiful blue eyes of the man I call my husband. We share a life, but very little actual time together and there is no time for true soul-searching and heart connection we both crave so much.
·         Know the hopes, dreams and fears of all our children, both grown up and growing up.
·         Know the idiosyncrasies and quirkiness of each animal that live on my plot (small holding) and appreciating the creation and majesty of each.
·         Know our (hubby and mine) siblings, friends and their families, deeper and more purposefully touching hearts and touching lives.
·         Know what a sunset and / or sunrise looks like from every part of my home…The front and back. Not the brief glimpse I notice between catching up on chores, but to calmly sit and just watch as the minutes tick by and watch as the kaleidoscope of colours march across the sky and appreciate that I have lived one more day or survived one more night. (Preferably while holding my hubby’s hand).
·         Know my Creator and Saviour more intimately, pressing in deeper, seeking more to touch Him and love Him, than to please him by being a “good worker”.
·         Know love and compassion that is just as tangible, as the hand I reach out to touch someone with.
·         Know my colleagues and be aware of when to speak a “Word-in-Season” to encourage a richer, deeper faith and connection with God, than a weak “I’m Sorry”, when problems occur in their lives.

This list could also go on; however, knowing these things and marrying them into a workable solution are not one and the same. All the above chores still need to be done by somebody, and that somebody is me. I worry about how to do this and then I wonder about my children. I raised them with the ability to take care of themselves, to work hard, to be productive citizens of their country and to love God. All good qualities, but perhaps not nearly enough. Perhaps I have just churned out mini clones of myself, who will also one day wonder through the “,misty” notions of life and never be able to identify the call of the indigenous birds in their area.

Then when I can find no answers to calm my restless soul, I hear the quiet whisper

“You are still a work in progress- wait till you see what I am doing”

In the meantime:  Ephesians 5:16 “Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil”. AMP.

“Time” is the currency we use to
bless our Loved Ones.


Colossians 4:5-6 “Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out The Message.

Philippians 1:6 “…..the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” The Message

 Philippians 1:6

Do you like me struggle to balance what must be done with what should be done? Do you feel overwhelmed by the chores and to do lists, while yearning for the freedom to stop and think a little and simply enjoy the loved ones in your life? What do you have to let go of in order to “save” on your time in order to invest it where it really matters.

*Hugs* till next time.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Modern Day Samaritan Woman

Mending Burnt Bridges, Knotting Tongues and avoiding emotional Mudslides.

Life is a journey…and like all journeys the landscape changes and so too does the road surface. Sometimes the road is clear and straight and smooth. The landscape is breath-taking and beautiful.

We go to work, manage our homes, and love our children and families well enough…It’s all …Easy… Blessed… Happy and Smooth Sailing. You can see where you are going and for the longest time and it a nice safe place to be. It seems like you finally have it all together…Things can only get better from here on in


suddenly and usually without warning you go round a bend and the landscape and road surface are not the same anymore. It’s barren and painfully ugly…You can’t understand how you got there, how did it change so unexpectedly.

Sometimes the road is only scattered with thousands of tiny pebbles… not too bad…merely minor irritations, but if you travel along that road surface long enough and those mild irritations turn to HUGE BOULDERS of annoyance, unfairness, intolerance and downright ANGER. This is the time when………….

A word out of your mouth makes all the difference between crossing bridges and burning them…..

 Mending Burnt Bridges

God’s Word clearly warns us to guard our tongues.  Yet it’s also one of the hardest things we find to do. I, certainly have a very hard time controlling my tongue and being quiet during these times. 

As the pressure mounts and the irritations pile up, so too does the desire to lash out and find relief. The thoughts roll around in my head, the unfairness, the dishonesty, whatever pebbles are scattered in my path at that time don’t let up and I find myself brooding about those things at work, at home, when I’m trying to sleep, as soon as I wake up... Always there, demanding to be let out…  

I know that I have to be particularly careful with loved ones during these times of stress, yet I invariably fail and my tongue gets to have its way.

Admittedly, it brings a very brief satisfaction, but only very briefly and then I feel awful. A huge emotional mud slide of self-reproach and regret invariably floods over me and I wish I hadn't said a word, almost immediately afterwards. My stomach tenses and then I know I will function with the hollow feeling of shame and remorse for a few days before I start to feel better.

 Mending Burnt Bridges

Thankfully, I serve the God of new beginnings who doesn't leave me in that place but has provided for me a way out of that horrible place. I’m comforted to read in scripture that I am not the only person plagued by relentless thoughts and an uncontrollable tongue.

However, I am more comforted by Grace…God’s Grace and Mercy that follows me and picks me up again…Precious Holy Spirit folds me in endless layers of Grace and Peace, while directing me to God’s Word and after spending time relating to the people and their sins that are so familiar to me, and then finding God’s solutions to these sins…chewing on them...and feeling better as I do. Restoring my soul....

 Mending Burnt Bridges

I found that instead of brooding on all the perceived injustices and irritations I should rather……….focus on....

Philippians 4:8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]."(AMP)

 Mending Burnt Bridges

When I do those things…I can avoid the unpleasantness and rather mend my bridges instead of burn them….I can build up instead of break down…..

How about you? How do you manage your tongue? Do you succeed or are you more like me…

*Hugs* till next time.