Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Happy One and All.

We haven't gotten the snow we had hoped for, but we do have Our Girl and my McG Folks with us for Christmas - which, as far as I am concerned, is way better than snow!

Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas and a 2014 that is filled with realised dreams, renewed vision, passion for the day-to-day, all with a good dose of fun and laughter tossed in!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift. (2 Cor. 9:15)

Friday, December 6, 2013

You and those shirts...

We woke this morning to the news that Madiba had finally found real freedom. We all knew it was coming, and I suspect many of us had quietly said goodbye in our hearts a long time ago - but it didn't quite cushion the grief I felt on hearing it 'for real.'

I got dressed and wore my SA flag around my waist, as I am in the habit of doing with my scarves, and tied a black tie around my arm.  I couldn't help swallowing hard and trying not to cry on the bus - everyone was just going about their normal daily routine as though nothing had changed in the world.

It was horrible. I just wanted to be home, in my country with my people - where we could look at each other and know we were all feeling the same sense of loss.

Standing alone at the bus stop, in the hectic morning traffic, I prayed "God please, just one person, one South African, just send me one."

I heard a hoot, and a black car whisked by me, I couldn't see who was in it, but looking between the seats through the back window, I could see their arm raised in a fist, in the Amandla salute - and I frantically waved back.

I can't tell you if I cried then because Madiba had left the building or because God so graciously answered my prayer before it left my heart.

I suspect it was a bit of both.

I will always remember you like this... filled with passion for life and people, for dancing and for shirts that only YOU could get away with.

 And, of course this one!

There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said. So, thank you for your unselfish life of courage, for not backing down even when the going got tough, and for demonstrating how to forgive and live graciously.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Getting what you ask for, or not.

We've been here four months now. I was thinking about what I prayed for on waiting to come out here. I had asked only a few things that I felt were absolutely necessary if we (or I) was going to be settled.

Because my #1 concern was thinking I needed people around me and perhaps being lonely I prayed:
  • for a home that was in a big town within walking distance of shops and a gym.
  • for neighbours surrounding me so that I could have "over-the-wall" conversations.
  • for a spiritual home - but different. I didn't know HOW I wanted it to be different. But different.
God in his infinite wisdom chose to give me none of the above.
  • There is not a shop AT ALL in our village, never mind a gym. I need to take a bus to get to either.
  • I have neighbours on either side of me that in the 4 months we have been here, we have laid our eyes on once. I have no neighbours in front or behind me. In fact, I have forest.
  • Church in its "normal format" - nothing fresh or new. (Same procedure as every year, James)

I wonder how much more isolated and far away from my requests I could have gotten.  Yet, the strangest thing has happened. I am not lonely. Not even a little bit.

I love looking out at the trees and the sky -every day the scenery appears different. I go for runs or walks with the dogs through forest trails and stumble across caves, rivers with quaint bridges and castle ruins.  One day the forest is green, then the leaves are orange and red, and soon the trees are merely ghostly shadows.

On the bus, I have begun to recognise people and we greet and attempt to make conversation, and have even met up socially. God can bring people together on a bus as much as over a wall.

I feel like I am getting to know a part of myself I didn't know I was. I may never have known that I can live in such a minute community.My desire to be around people has little to do with need and more to do with want. I just enjoy company!

We have found a spiritual home, (not nearly as epic as our Cpt spiritual home). However, yesterday I went to the first of their "Bible Studies"... I have found that perhaps the Sunday meetings are the same format as I am used to, but the group is filled with women from various countries and I found that THIS IS FRESH. Each one of us, although sharing the same faith, appear to walk it out and express it in so many different ways based on our culture. It's exactly what I love. Variety. Conversation.

I feel as though I have the best of both worlds. I have the lovely quiet of our home and surroundings and the beginnings of added friendships..

Sometimes God doesn't give us what we ask for because he knows exactly what we need.

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