Friday, 31 July 2015

Changes

A change is as good as...What?

The saying goes " A change is as good as a holiday"!

How true is that?

or, " A change is as good as a rest"!

Hmmm...

Are changes good?

Do we need change?

I read somewhere that we humans resist change!
( well maybe not everyone but many do anyway)

Why change?

We change our clothing styles, our hair colour, the interior of our homes, the schools we send our children to, the friends we see, the foods we eat, the religions we follow ( or don't- which is also a change), partners, habits.

We change our names, our countries of birth, our minds, our likes and dislikes, our opinions and long held beliefs, our health, our jobs.

If anyone swears to not ever having changed ( their personality) I would have trouble believing that.

We change in the way we look at the world, accepting or not, the changes we are confronted with.

When we want change - we are challenged. How to go about organising or implementing change?

Laws, rights and wrongs, world issues, society's values, inventions, medical possibilities.

I have evolved, survived many a changes. For the better or worse that remains a mystery - but survive and regroup I did.

When making choices to change - we need discernment and guidance! I too have experienced doubts and what if moments. The bigger the change the bigger the impact on me and my life.

One thing has stayed constant - I BELIEVE.

My belief has stayed the same only the how has been tinkered with, has grown and developed.

In the most positive way I may add.


I have grown. 
I have been strengthened. 
I have gained more knowledge. 
I have increased in confidence.

My world, as I experience it - is brighter, more powerful and more pleasing to be a part of WITH my faith. I cannot, truly CANNOT imagine being faithless - No God! Yikes... doesn't bear thinking about.

Does that mean my road is easier? That I travel without hitting bumps in the road? That bad things don't happen? That I don't have moments of hardship and trail.


NO! 

It means I don't travel alone. It means I have help, I have support. That I can call upon God's wisdom and strength. That I can take a moment and listen to Him and feel His presence. That I KNOW I am being guided.

The doubts I may have - are mine alone. I can choose to go it alone or act upon the signs on my path.

Today, I want to just say - I am thankful for my parents who allowed me grow in faith and love.

That their example allowed for me to embrace the love for God whom they also held dear.

Do you have God in your life? Awesome!

If not - maybe IT IS time for a CHANGE!

What changes frighten you? What do you find hard to let go?
Before I started writing - All I got, was to write about the word CHANGE!


( check out this link for inspiration)

Just like I was prompted to write about it! 

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

What a way to start my day

Upon waking I immediately go to the lounge and open our terrace door. The fresh air greets me and I take that first deep breath. Like a tonic it removes any sleepiness I may still feel. I am ready for a new day.

I then step barefoot out onto the balcony and look over the waters that gently flows past our apartment meandering on it's way tirelessly, day in day out. There is quite a current when the winds blow- and when the tide pushes the water level up - many miles down stream. An ever changing situation in and on the water.

An early morning prayer, of gratefulness and thanks for my restful night and the promise of a new day is next. How beautiful it all is- rain or shine. The trees, the birds, the water, the sky. It is a gift I truly am thankful for each and every morning. As I stand barefoot on the decking and enjoy the scene before me, I feel the fresh crisp breeze on my skin

I have acquired this routine since coming to live here last Christmas Eve. Not that I wasn't thankful for where we lived then, or for the days gifted me. I just had a totally other routine, another situation, almost another life for which I was also grateful.

The summer months have arrived. There is a lot more activity on the water. Early morning activity with boaties making an early start leaving the yacht harbour which is just around the bend. The local rowing club members use this stretch to have their daily exercise. Wind, rain, unruly waters- nothing stops these keen rowers from having their fun. Sometimes, when the wind is still sleeping, these rowboats appear to glide over a much polished mirror, silent and effortless it seems, and that is an awesome sight believe me.

We are blessed, my husband and I, that we have been fortunate to have found and been able to acquire this beautiful spot to live in and enjoy. It was a huge change- leaving neighbours who are now friends, a lovely home and in a place we felt so at home. Thankful are we, that we have made the switch while our energy levels allowed us to decorate, scrub and clean and pack up and move. Many of our friends being surprised - as we hadn't reached the age of 'needing' to live in an apartment.

I suggest people not wait till the 'need' to but when then are able to to make the switch. When there is energy, ability and also the possibility. We are settling in, enjoying the friendship of new neighbours and our surrounding.

We are enjoying the 'getting to know you' phase of our new life. We are definitely hugely blessed.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Found this while getting sorted

Surprise in Heaven

I dreamt death came the other night

And Heaven's gate swung wide
An angel with a halo bright
Ushered me inside

And there to my astonishment
Stood folks I judged and labelled
As quite unfit, of little worth
and spiritually disabled

Indignant words rose to my lips
but never were set free
Every face showed stunned surprise
No-one expected ME


Thursday, 9 July 2015

Getting sorted

My mind is overflowing with thoughts, ideas and possibilities.

I have thus urge to type away all day with all sorts of themes and subjects popping in and out of my mind like Jack in the Boxes!

It is time to reflect, to focus on how I can organise myself that I don't mix and match, digress or double up....see what I mean?

For some reason I have decided that I want to 'organise' my subjects. Not write willy nilly everything mixed up in together.

I am in the throws of splitting my subjects so that readers can choose which theme or thought pattern of mine they want to read or follow.

As it is right now, one minute I am totally immersed in Christian based topics, then about the children, then about the world at large, then about my hobbies and other experiences.

And maybe that's how it will stay- but right now, my inclination is to make separate headings and split my blogs.

I will attempt to keep the bi-lingual aspect up to date. A necessity if I want to keep my English language skills up to date and at the ready. Always handy and let's face it. If I don't use it, I will loose it! It is as simple as that.

On my newest Blog about being ' oma ver weg - Oma far away' I have placed the translator...and tried it out myself. I must say - clever idea but not too finely tuned. Oh dear oh dear. Maybe it is too big an ask to expect a computer to 'read' in a language and instantly translate into another. So you can more than likely expect an English version of that Blog appearing too.

At present I am using Blogger as a programme. Up till now quite adequate and I am reasonably familiar with the services and options. I say reasonably, as there are still unchartered waters to discover.

To safeguard my input to date I have had my Blogs committed to paper- that is to say, I used a complimentary programma online to have my blogs printed as books. Before I get totally carried away, I will commit everything to paper in case of a total muck up because once one begins to fiddle with online documents - anything can happen.

The coming weeks I will be plotting, planning and of course doing the occasional writing.

I hope I can count on your patience, continued support and readership as I continue to grow and learn.

Enjoy each day as it is gifted you

Anita



Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Mary the mother of Jesus, the HUMAN side of her ( last post)

Mary was almost 50 when Jesus died and women aged rapidly in those days. In her old age she continued to play a vital role in the establishment of the Christian Church. She reassured and supported the apostles in their struggle to propagate the teachings of her son. Then she died and was assumed into Heaven to be rewarded for her holiness, her virtue, her suffering and her great courage.

Now that I am a middle aged, the image I have of Mary I cherish is of a good courages woman. An aged Jewish woman. her dark hair streaked with grey, her olive skinned face lined, her brown eyes reflecting her wisdom and experience of life and it's sufferings, her hands roughened by physical work, her feet calloused from walking sandaled along dusty road, her clothes coarse, homespun and dark, like those of Bedouin women.

I see a woman who has been a pregnant girl, a loving wife, a lonely and frightened young mother, a devoted daughter, a neighbour, a friend, a widow, a solo mother, a lay worker in the church. I can recognise her and be comfortable with her.

I honour her.



Mary, the mother of Jesus. We cannot get round her.

She was so necessary - to take upon her the role of mother.



I have heard it said, read it somewhere and even said or thought to myself:
( when observing or being involved in some way with a mother and child)

"This is the best mother for this child"

God chose Mary as the mother for Jesus, just as he choses all of us for special tasks

He alone knows our strength and weaknesses.

When confronted with a task trust in God.

He knows I am  / you are UP to the challenge.

I don't ADORE Mary in the sense that I put her before God or my faith

I do, just like the original author of this piece - honour her in her mother role and can ask for her help when my going gets touch.

Yes, I pray 'directly' to Jesus, to my God, to the Holy Spirit
But I also remember Mary and who she was

A mum wanting to protect, guide and nurture her child.

Mary, the mother to and for all mothers


Monday, 6 July 2015

Mary, the mother of Jesus, the HUMAN side of her (6)

A sword shall pierce your heart.

Did Mary's awareness of her son's divinity and her knowledge of the prophecies make it any easier to bear the pain of his suffering and death? I think not. She saw him arrested, tried, imprisoned and sentenced to death as a criminal.

A sword shall pierce your heart.

She walked near him as he carried the cross to the place of execution. When  his followers and friends became afraid of the authorities they deserted him, his now aging other did not forsake him. Mary stayed with her child throughout the agonising hours of his dying and then took his lifeless body into her arms. Mary must be with women who suffer this the heaviest of burdens, the death of a child and she must ask God to relieve their pain.


A sword shall pierce your heart

I am personally touched by this statement. It was delivered to Mary right at conception- and must have been on her mind - not so much all the time - but there lingering and popping up at intervals of unrest and events that troubled or confused her.

Many mothers, myself included can identify with Mary here. Mother's whose children have for some reason or other chosen an path that leads to grief and unhappiness. I think here of parents of children who have diverted off the right track and have lost their way - taking drugs to alleviate their pain, drinking, surrounding themselves with people who 'take them down'. They are themselves lost souls having strayed from the path of life leading to God and goodness. They too need a Mary, someone who doesn't abandon them or put their plight in the 'too hard basket'. Understanding and guidance, not judgement or neglect.

It takes a special love. Courage, determination, love - a special love! Mary love. She had this love. I too pray that in moments when that sword pierces my heart ( which it occasionally does) that I have the strength, wisdom and courage to carry my burden, knowing God is there with me and those I love in times of trial.



Saturday, 4 July 2015

Mary the mother of Jesus, the HUMAN side of her (5)

Just when life feels like it has found it rhythm, the unexpected happens.

Our daily routine sometimes helps us forget that there are bumps in life's road. Events that rock your foundation. Even though you know these things are all part of life and affect everyone at some point- when they hit you, they really can rock your boat.

Sometime during Jesus' youth, Joseph died. Mary knew the grief of widowhood and the loneliness of being a solo mother.Joseph was possibly the only person who understood who Jesus was and then Mary had to carry that knowledge alone. She must pray for women whose husbands die or whose marriages break up and for all women who raise their children alone.

I suppose after Joseph's death people might have thought Jesus would follow in his footsteps and take over the carpenter shop. Maybe he did work as a carpenter for a little while, for they would have needed the money, but we know his life changed and that he was a very unconventional young man.He began to travel around preaching t people and he had some very unusual friends. People would have said, " Your son isn't working". Many women know the feeling of being frowned on because your son has thrown in his job teaching and gone to live in a commune in Nelson, or left the bank to form a band, or been seen wearing a crash helmet in the Anti Springbok marches or joined the Waitangi Action Alliance. Your aunt or neighbour will tell you that you have been too soft or that this would never have happened if his father had lived. Mary's support and loyalty never wavered. Mothers of non-conforming children, mothers of protesters, mothers of the unemployed, mothers of prisoners can all pray to her. She knows all about that.

I am sure that there are many mothers who can identify with this period in Mary's life. Mothers who had visions about their child achieving some sort of 'fame' by becoming a well adjusted 'good' citizen maybe director of a bank, doctor or teacher. ( just focussing in general - not gender related comments)

When that dream doesn't become a reality - society does have a way of 'blaming' the parents. Sleepless nights! Stress! Unwavering love - it is the CHILD who a mother loves - that doesn't mean she agrees with the actions or lifestyle.

Maybe the prophecy ' a sword shall pierce your heart" will have bubbled up from time to time in Mary wondering what else lay in store for her and her son.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Mary the mother of Jesus, the HUMAN side of her (4)

...a sword shall pierce your heart!

Wow, now that's a message to ponder on. And we are told Mary did just that.


The uneventful years would have passed quickly. You know the story of the family's visit to Jerusalem. They would have travelled with a large group of extended family. I suppose on the way home Mary and Joseph thought that Jesus was traveling with young cousins. They waited at home but he didn't come. The story of the lost child evokes memories in most of us. I once lost my six year old son in a crowd at the Easter Show in Auckland. I don't have to tell you how that felt. Children disappear in the bush, on camping trips, get lost in the supermarket, department store and at the races. Mary's child was lost in the city. Surely she would have wept and prayed as they rushed back looking for him.



Imagine her relief when they found him in the 
temple. But when he told them " don't you know I must be about my father's business?" how did she feel? I think she and Joseph would almost have forgotten what lay ahead of this child entrusted to their care. He had been their baby and was now growing up and reminding them that he was born for other things. When mothers feel hurt or rejected because your babies go flatting or daughters announce they are moving in with their boyfriends, when children tell you that they have their own lives to lead, Mary knows how you feel.

About this time Mary's parents would have been elderly. The responsibility of caring for them would have been hers. Middle aged women who care for their elderly, you have a friend in Mary.