Archive for March, 2017

Bouncing your eyes


We have just gone through the process of revealing to our 11 yr old about the " birds and the bees"
Someone once said,that your first born is your "practice child". You are so inapt and inexperienced with being a parent first time round, that everything you try is by trial and error.
And so it is with us.
We were so nervous about having " this talk" with our son, we prayed a whole year in advance for God to show us the way, to prepare our sons heart and mind and to guide us!!
In the book we are using to guide us , it warns about the trap of ponography and suggests you teach your son the method of "bounching your eyes".
This involves the habit of immediately taking your eyes away at first glance when an inappropiate scenario present itself to you unexpectedly, whether on a screen, magazine, or in real " flesh".
The words of Casting Crowns puts it brilliantly:" its the second glance that ties the hands…"

This got me thinking.

This is really a valuable method to use in our spiritual walk too.
As mother, feeling the weight and importance of parenting my boys, i OFTEN go to bed pondering my mothering skills.
" Did i handle that disrespect my son showed me right? Was i too hard ? Was i too lenient?
What is it,that that mother in our church, whose children walk and talk so obediently and whose kids is up stage playing the drums in the worship team, doing different from me?"
I find myself pondering and pulling apart every misbehavior, every bad school report and disecting it…..fearing the worst outcome for my child. What if???
I do this in other areas of my life.
In my marraige,in my friendships….in my life in general.

When you learn how to drive a car, you quickly learn that what you focus on is what you are drawn to. If you look at someting too long on the side of the road while driving and you dont look ahead of you, you will find your vehicle veering off course.

I have also read that worrying is a negative way of meditation. To worry is to MEDITATE on the negative.

Yet Gods word is clear:
" whatever is good, pure, noble, lovely, praiseworthy, MEDITATE on such things….."
And the promise?
His supernatural peace will gaurd our hearts and minds.

It instructs us to fix our eyes on JESUS,
The promise?
That He will be the author and perfector of our faith.

So maybe.
Just maybe i must learn to also BOUNCE MY EYES.
When i feel worry creep up on me, i need to immediately bounce my eyes off what is causing me to fear and fix it on Jesus.
His Word says He never leaves nor forsake us.
In that case then,
I wilL deliberately bounce my eyes off my fear/ worry and ask God:" show me where YOU are in this? What would YOU have me do? What are YOU trying to show me in this?"

This way i take my eyes off myself by trying to figure out what i am doing wrong. It also helps me to take my eyes of the enemy trying to figure out how he is busy robbing me.

In the physical if i had to be bound by robbers, or incapacitated by a load that has fallen on top of me and has pinned me down, i may not be able to move.
But my eyes are controlled by my brain. I can move them around in my head.

Like wise i can will myself, no matter how pressing my situation is, no matter how incapacitated i feel by my situation,to bounce my spiritual eyes towards Jesus. My eyes dont need to be
Its not that i am completely ignoring and denying my situation, because that would be closing my eyes or turning a blind eye. No i am choosing to bounce my eyes to God and saying to Him: "open my eyes and show me where You are in this. Show me what good is in this so i can be steered towards it."

Gods word says that He always provides a way out. But unless i look to Him for the answer by bouncingy eyes off my situation, i wont be able to SEE the way out.

Apart from that, if i continue to ponder on the
hoplessness of my situation, i will find myself steering to it and soon find myself in the pit of dispair and depression.
No! Instead i will bounce my eyes onto Gods promises that talks about HOPE,RENEWAL,HEALING,
And by faith i will find myself steering towards exactly that!!

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The kingdom of Heaven belongs to little ones like these

Last night my husband me sat outside on the steps in the warm night air.
My 11 yr son was playing outside.
My two yr old was tinkering around too.
It was so good to JUST BE…….to sit quietly and just enjoy the moment.
The next thing we knew, m twonyr old was carrying out the couch pillows and throwing them down the steps by our feet. Within a few minutes, he had successfully buildt a mountain of pillows.
We let him be for two reasons:
One….it gave us a window of oppprtunity to just sit and relax and secondly everything in our house and the house itself is old and damaged anyway….
Mission now complete, he moved on to the next adventure: standing on his selfmade mountain and flopping down into it.
With each " flop down" he would disappear into the " depths of pillow mountain",
with just his top body sticking out.
This off course was great fun……for him…..and to a point for us as we were sharing in his delight.
But this meant our peace was coming to an end as my hubby or me kept having to rescue him out,as he held his hands up for us to pull him up.
This new adventure was repeated over and over and eventually my hubby warned him: " ok. Enough now my boy"

This fell on deaf ears off course.

Jordan just looked my hubby straight in the eyes and with a delightfull giggle flopped down just to stretch out his hands again to us while looking up at us with a radiant cuteness and delight that just could not evoke anger or irritation in us.

At that moment i understood what Jesus said, that the Kingdom of Heaven, belongs to those who can become like children.
When we seek to enjoy God and to WANT to include Him into our daily life, when we look up to Him with delight and just our plain human self…. No hidden agendas, no trying to impress or perform………my oh my……how we must tug at our Heavenly Fathers heart too……and suddenly our request( prayers) surely too grabs hold of Heaven ……as we hold out our arms to Him in surrender,expectation and trust…….

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The joy of the Lord


I remember how i used to play "dress up " in my grans high heels and long skirts. I used to lick smarties and then apply their color to my eyes and lips. I used to pull my moms petticoats over my head and imagine that the long silky material hanging down my back was a stunning display of hair.
I used to play " house" where i cooked and cleaned with zest.

As i left my childhood behind and stepped into teenage shoes, my imaginary games seized being acted out but continued being alive in my mind. I would dream about having my own money, my own house and car,my own freedom and the space to make my own choices without parental eyes and ears kneehaltering everything i wanted to do.

EVENTUALLY, what felt like forever, the time came to leave my teenage years behind and actually step into my colour full, imaginary world and live my dreams! Such freedom!! Such endless opportunities!! So much to explore and experience…….and the best of it all: no one to tell me how, when ,where and how!!

That was 24 years ago.
I am now 42.

Been married for twenty.
Two boys :age 10 and 2.
Just changed jobs after 16 years in one vocation.

I am tired on more levels than one.

I find myself looking at my children and envying the simplicity of their life.
My entire chilhood, i dreamed about being " big".
Now i find myself wishing to be small and young again.
I detest and find my freedom of choice i so longed for, burdensome and somedays frightfull.
Daily i have to make numerous decisions on parenting, finances, marriage. The choices are endless and so is the resultant consequences…….
I often battle sleepless nights as i toss and turn ,wondering if i made right choices.
I often have to fight off depression as i am overwhelmed by responsibility. I long for someone to just make decisions for me and tell me what to do. How i would love for someone else to worry about how they are going to pay the bills or clean the yard or fix the burst pipes or flat car tyre!
How i wish someone else could
" doctor or nurse " me back to health when i am sick.
I wish someone else will cook and clean – its not as much fun as i thought.

Being " big" has not turned out to be as thrilling as i imagined all those years.
Yet i know i am blessed. I have a wonderfull strong marriage. My boys are healthy and beautifull.

" I should not feel like this,Lord."

‘ we are all Gods children’

This familiar saying enters my troubled thoughts like a sudden comet from nowhere, followed by bursts of familiar verses where God likens Himself as our father.

Its only days later that I understand the full impact of
" this comet"

I am playing with my two yr old by the rock pools on the beach. Its a new experience for him. He clings frighfully to me and wills himself to keep a safe distance from the waves, albeit them being gentle tidal waves.
I pick him up and while holding him, i demonstate to him how i run towards the oncoming gentle waves and " catch" them and jump into them. I show him how to find the hollow buckets formed by the rocks and how to sit in it and find the " treasures" of colorfull pebbles and shells within their bellies.
Soon he overcomes his fear
and two hours later, with skin shrivelled up from being in the water too long and his cheeks and shoulders rosy and warm not just from too much sun but also excitement, i now have to pull him away from that which he earlier was too scared to attempt.

"Lord, enable me to allow You to show me too, how to find fun and enjoyment in the midsts of the rocks of my daily path.
Show me how to gauge the ebb and flow of the waves in my life so i dont have to be hit over by them or run in fear from them but meet them face on. Show me how to frolick in the daily low tides waves of my ordinary daily routine .
Help me discover the rockpools that has been carved out by the mundane,yet constant sameness of everyday and may i too take the time to linger long enough in them to discover their treasures.
Teach me and demonstrate to me how to find joy in the midsts of my daily life.

A few days later i am sitting down haggered and exhausted. Me and the kids have been up with vomiting and diarrhoea. I have just hung the last towel and sheet. The sheet is fluttering in the wind. My two year old screeches in delight as he stands underneath the flapping sheet, trying to grab it as the wind flaps it backwards and forwards.

I sit and watch him, delighting myself in watching his delight.

Most days i feel overwhelmed with the stark reality that i need to teach my sons and model to them how to live right.
I take this call to mother very serious.
Every opportunity i get,i try and teach them lessons.

And yet on days ,like today, when i am tired and demotivated., i find that in moments like these, it is my children that teach ME.

"Lord, as an add on to my
‘ rockpool prayer’, open my eyes to recognise when Your Spirit is blowing through my day. Let me stop and enjoy the small moments of my " big world" and allow myself to find the fun and laughter in the small things of my ordinary day.

There is a difference between joy and happiness.
I AM happy.
My life is full and blessed.
But most days i just survive…..i am too tired and overwhelmed to enjoy it.

Teach me Lord……how to be a child again.
Teach me the art of childhood joy.

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As a deer pants for water.

In the book of Psalms, David makes the well known statement:" as a deer pants for water, so my soul thirst for You Lord"

I have often read it and even sang the song that was based on this psalm.
I would read or sing these words and ever so often i would look at the people around me singing it.
Some would stand motion and expressionless and " just sing"
Some would have their hands stretched heavenward and with contorted faces sing along.
I looked at everyone around me, while simultaneously looking within MYSELF.
I would stand there and wonder:" are they REALLY thirsting, or are they ,like me , trying to will myself and convince myself ( and maybe even convincing others)that i am truely thirsting after God?

For i know in God alone i can be safe, satisfied, healed,protected,guided. But to actually be desperate for Gods presence…to THIRST……

I have cried out to God before in pain,anguish and anger,but i have never really THIRSTED for Him.
On my lifes journey when i was in the pit of depression, devout of any feeling or sense of purpose ,my senses were so numb. For me my depression was the closest i could imagine with my human mind what hell would be like, because it was a dark, suffocating,lonely and fearfull place.
But it was devout of any sense or feeling. No emotions, no appetite and hence definately no thirst.
No, even in my depression i can not claim that my soul thirsted for God.
What i longed for was to once again walk in The Light and have purpose guide my steps.
I craved deliverance from my darkness.
I cannot claimed i thirsted for God.

In times of pain or disillusionment i have cried out in anguish and anger at God. I was desperate yes. Desperate to be delivered from my circumstances , but even in this i cannot claimed that i thirsted for God.

In times of fear and uncertainty, i have clung to God for peace and direction. But even here what i longed for was deliverance from my anxiety.
I cannot really claim i thirsted for God.

It was only when i willingly decided to withdraw from people and God and just be still and know that God is, that the true meaning of this became of meaning to me.

I was responsibility overtaxed.
In short: burned out.
Not depressed.
Not anxious.
Not hopeless.
Just pulled in so many directions for so many years, i could not stretch any further.
So i took time out from people…..and from God.

My faith was deep enough to know He would never leave or forsake me and that He Himself commands us to just be still and just KNOW He exist.
My faith was mature enough to know my salvation was secured.

I did not read my bible.
I did not go to church.
I did not listen to worship songs. And i completely withdrew from all people.
I just was.
I just was ….a mom and a wife……no more.

I knew i could not live on bread alone, so i did play my worship songs while cooking and cleaning. I did try and read a verse here and there between a monsterous to-do-list.

Then one morning as i walked to work, instead of trying to pray through my list of thoughts, i decided to just plug my earphones in my ears and not think, but just listen to worship music.
It was not that i was seeking God.
I merely wanted to distract my very busy mind.
I just wanted to forget all the responsibility and worry.

I am not sure if it was because the earphones blocked out the traffic sounds around me, or the fact that one can hear the music so much more in detail when its plugged next to your eardrum, but as the music played i listened to Gods word transformed into lyrics. I listened with more than my ears, i listened with my heart. I meditated on the words of truth sung and in my minds eye, i imagined the greatness, the magnitude, the mercy and love of my God that was being sung about.
And suddenly i felt something in the pit of my stomach…..it was like air was sucked out from me and as i allowed the music, the words and the mental images it conjured, to enter in,it was asof water trickeled in and satisfied! Something i did not know i lacked.
Through tears i felt my soul gasp,sucking in whatever it was that was taking place.
" oh God…..oh God……." Is all i could whisper through tears.
" i miss You Lord….."

I dont think " thirsting after God" is something we can, or need to will.
Its not something we have to muster up or try to attain.
It is something we are born with – an inert thirst to see our Makers face.
Spirit is born of Spirit.

Someone once wrote: our soul is restless untill it finds its rest in God.

I dont think modern man knows what real thirst is in the true physical sense.
But we all know what a craving is.
Thirsting and craving is probably closely related.

When people get councilled to help them to stop smoking, they are taught that a craving last only three minutes. If you can distract yourself from grabbing a cigarette for three minutes, the intense desire will pass.
I think thirsting for God is a natural need,but we have become so distracted, so focussed on other things,that we have suppressed that craving.

But it is there.
It depends what one focus or meditate on.

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Over the years i have learned what God meant by the statement:" He will not give His glory to another"
The hebrew for glory is ‘ kavedh’ and means TO SHOW ONESELF great or mighty. Thus God’ s glory is how He makes Himself known or shows Himself.
If His Word says that he never leaves us or forsake us, instead of trying to " spot satan or evil’ s handy work in a given situation, rather stop and ask:" Lord show me where YOU are in this?"
Hand and hand, closely related to this,
i have learned that the reason WHY it is so powerfull when we choose to praise God in the midsts of trails and pain, is because it ignores satan, it takes the focus off you and your circumstances and it places the glory where it belongs: back on God.

One particular morning i was walking to work, pondering on all my " lessons" from the last few years.
I was rather dispondent this particular morning and my mind was like a noisy zoo, conflicting voices of depression, confusion, exhaustion, doubt and much more ,all shouting at each other for centre stage.
I tried to override these voices with some selftalk:
" ok,this is a good time to practice what you preach, to walk the talk.
Lord, i feel so wound up and unsettled. Please help me. I know Your Word says that You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is steadfast on You and that when we aknowledge You in all our ways, You will make our paths straight.
Please help me."

As i walked on the way to work i was waiting to hear from God. I expcted Him to now " do as He says He will".
But nothing happened.
I looked up and decided to then start worshipping God. I looked up and saw a small bird pecking around in a bush. The sunlight caught his small body, his green and blue feathers shimmering like satin. Everything about him was perfect and beautifull. Even the green leaves and the little pink flowers in the bush was stunningly formed.
I looked up and saw the fluffy white clouds against the bright blue sky. I felt the crisp morning breeze on my bare skin and felt the wind twirl my loose hair ends. As i looked down on the ground i saw an ant carrying a morsel of food 4 times the size of itself and a centipede slowly going through some leaves.
" thank you Lord for Your creation. Such beauty and diversity.You are truly magnificent! How marvelous is the works of Your hands!
Other religions worship the god of the sun,the god of the river, the god of different animals,but You, You are not just God of ALL, but CREATOR of all!! My God is amasing!!!!"

"Thank You Lord for my legs that are able to walk this morning,my eyes that are able see Your glory all around"

A movement on my right caught my eye and saw a young lady struggeling to pull a big green dusbin uphill towards the gate to be in time for the garbage truck
" thank You Lord, that i have a loving husband that does that for me. How blessed i am. Lord, i dont know this lady, but You do. Please bless her today and may she know how special she is. If she is waiting for a life partner, please bless her with a Godfearing man.If she is married, lead them to You so they can fully enjoy the benefits of a godly marriage. If she is unsaved, please lead her to a place where she can know that she does not have to carry around the garbage of her own life, but that You will cleanse her from all unrigteousness."

As i walk past the security gaurd standing by the gate of a block of flats, i smile and greet him.
He looks baffled as if not expecting it. He smiles back nervously.
" lord protect this man as he stands protecting others. Watch over him as he watches over others and as he gets paid to keep others save, i pray that he will get to know the Ultimate Savior of his life. And if he does know You allready, save him this day then from all his troubles as he trusts in You."

A man is walking towards me. He is looking rather " dodgy".
His eyes looks glassy and he is in desperate need of care – on more than one level.
"Lord, please cover me in the blood of Your Lamb. Forgive me for judging this mans intentions, but if he has any evil intend, please protect me. May You open his eyes to see Your angel surrounding me and may he be drawn to You. "

I walk pass unharmed, i trust and hope that my prayer has prepared the way for Gods salavation for him

On the opposite side of the road, another man is carrying an entire wooden door on his head.
" lord, You know his circumstances. Please may Your will be done in His life. If he is unsaved, may You lead him to open the door of his heart to You. If he is allready saved, please open doors of opportunity and blessings to him."

I walk past two men sweeping the pavement and gutters. I smile broadly and greet them. They look up puzzled and then hesitantly greet back.
"Lord, bless the work of their hands. If they are unsaved, let Your Spirit sweep through their hearts and lead them to YOU."

As i cross the busy intersection, two cars rush pass me, even though i have right of way as a pedestrian, causing me to halt.
"Lord forgive them their selfishness. Protect them as they rush to their destination. In their rush, may they not miss YOU on their journey, whether they are believers or not……."

A bus waits for me to cross. I smile and mouth the words THANK YOU to him. He smiles back and nod.
" Lord may goodness return to him three fold"

I walk into my work place……and i have not really encountered any miraculous evidence of God on my way. But my spirit feel lighter and less cluttered.

I have chosen to aknowledge Him in my path today….and i have indeed found His signature all over…i have put the Glory where it belongs and
as i have chosen to have my mind stead fast on Him, i now find that i am in a place of perfect peace…..just like He promised.

Its only the next and following days that i realise that He has indeed made my path straight just as He promised. For as i walk deep in thought,pondering about many worries, my thoughts get interrupted by a joyous greeting. I look up and see the security gaurd greeting me with a radiant face and wishing me a great day.
In the days to follow the security gaurd, the beggar and the street sweeper seem to notice the days i dont walk and every now and again they stop me to say more than just hallo.
Just a few months ago we were all strangers to each other, each one busy in is own lot.

We are all made in the image of God. This is a sobering thought to keep in mind when we deal with people around us.

Sometimes we seek to find God in the storm or the earthquake, but He is found in the stillness and the quietness in our daily ordinary everyday path….we just need to aknowledge it……

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