Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It takes humility to admit that you have been wrong all along. To apologise to all those who have been led astray or confused by your influence or example.

That type of humility will bring you much respect.

It takes much humility to let go of a cherished dream when you realise that it clashes with God’s principles. To forsake the ambition and drive you had for something specific because though your family agrees with it, God doesn’t.

That type of humility will earn you respect from me.

I respect anyone whose convictions trump self. Who would rather admit that they had it wrong but are now willing to do it right.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Magnifying Its Flaws

                       yesterday

I put this up on our Facebook wall, asking if anyone knows its name. The previous owners had planted it and it has a delicious scent. And sometimes, that lovely perfume enters the bedroom too. Two people told me the answer…(Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow)

I was going to take a close up of its flowers, but then realised that the white ones (There are deep purple, then almost light lilac and then white) had brown spots on them. (Today there are more than just ‘spots of brown) I decided I didn’t want to magnify the ugly flaws and just took a picture from a distance.

                    IMG_1257

Someone took the picture I posted and put it on her wall, together with information she had gained regarding why this plant was given this name. (Amongst other names like “Kiss Me Quick.” It turns out that the flower blooms for 3 days then drops off. The colours lighten each day before falling.

Ahh, so I guess that’s why there were brown spots, it showed how each white, spotted, blemished flower was about to fall off and die.

It reminded me of myself. I don’t want my flaws to be visible to people. I definitely don’t want them to be magnified and fully visible for all to see. Yet I forget that my Father can see everything, better than even I can see it. I don’t want to be so flawed, so permanently flawed,that I die. I want to be “without spot” and unblemished. I want people to be able to see every part of me and only see perfection. I can’t do that on my own, just like these flowers can’t breathe new life into themselves.

I am imperfect but I cannot remain imperfect and survive the Father’s scrutiny. His Son told me to be perfect just as He is perfect. (Matt 5:48) But with my brown spots, with evidence of eternal death upon me, I need HIS power to change me. To change my character. When God sees me, I want Him to see a pure white bloom. When He looks at me closely, He must see His white, pure, perfect character wrapped around me. I want to be as unflawed as He is. I want to be like-minded, hating the things He hates. Loving what He loves. Our life on this earth might as well last only 3 days, when compared to eternity. One day, I want to be able to live as long as He lives.

Unlike this flower, Jesus stays the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I want to be like Him. As beautiful and as lovely this flower is, I want to be even better-consistently. I don’t want to change who I am depending on the mood I’m in or where I am, or the time of day or night. I want to be like Christ. Unblemished.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Am I the Daft One?

I sometimes see people who may post something like, “Ugh, head cold today. Nose so stuffed up!” and the comments will be a list of what they should do to get rid of the cold.

Maybe I’m the socially unaware one, when did they ask for help? I’d understand if they said, “Ugh, been unable to shake this cold for 2 weeks now, someone help! What must I do?” or “ Ahh, I don’t know how to get rid of this cough!!”

I’m bringing this up because I once posted about my friend and my niece and cancer. I DEFINITELY didn’t ask for suggestions on how to treat it, after all, I’m not my friend nor my niece! If they want (me to give) suggestions, they’ll ask (me to ask). But I got a nice rundown of what to try because that person’s friend had ‘cured’ their 1 year old child of cancer with natural treatment.

Firstly, who said none of the above-mentioned people hadn’t tried natural therapies already? One of whom actually HAS tried, at the peril of her life! And who said that I would ever want to tell any other parent how to treat their child’s cancer? And thirdly, was this remedy tried on anyone with these people’s SPECIFIC cancer?

Let’s dwell on how number 2 and 3 are linked. Here someone comes-who hasn’t ever treated and CURED anyone’s cancer, of any type. And when I ask what TYPE of Leukemia it was, she doesn’t know. (Not that what ‘cured’ a baby would necessarily cure an adult!) Let’s apply this to the one who did not try natural remedies. I tell my cousin taking care of a minor, that they should ditch chemo-which sometimes does help-in order to try a cure for a different type of cancer, based on the testimony of this lady who has never treated any cancer-the two cancers being so different that one produces tumours while the other is basically almost a blood cancer. How does that work? Would that not be crazy of me? “Hi Cous, why not leave this tried and tested method to try something that no-one else has ever tried, well, not for this that your precious child is dealing with?” I’m not irresponsible. I would only think of mildly suggesting it if I had evidence that it had 100% worked every time, that there were no confounding variables in the subjects who were cured and that it would not cost an arm and a leg to try.

Secondly, my job is to support. If there are any improvements to be made that I know she is open to, I can certainly suggest them, or answer when asked. But my job is to support, not to second guess what she is doing for her beloved child. Especially when I am very aware of what this cancer does. Especially when I don’t know anything about how to treat it. Why would I dare interfere when I have never dealt with this type personally, and why would I interfere and risk the child’s life?

And so, maybe you do mean, “Tell me how to fix it” when I say, “Oh no, my buckle broke just as I was on my way to a job interview,” but I don’t. I just mean, “Typical Murphy’s Law, always out to get me!” When I say my car broke down on my home from visiting in hospital, that’s all I mean. I don’t mean I want a way to stop someone from being in hospital. (No, my car didn’t break down.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Live

I live because I still have breath within me. I live because my Creator has been merciful and given me undeserved life. I live because the gift of His breath is within me.

His breath is within me. I need to live to show forth His glory. I need to live for Him. I live to be a blessing just as He is a blessing to me. I live to serve, just as His Son serves. I live to be true, just as He is the Truth. I live to show the way to One who is the Way. I live the way I live because I want eternal life with the Originator of all life.

I live because He lives. I live the way I believe He wants me to live. I live because of Him. I live my life for Him. I live so that I can one day be like Him in character and purity. I live so that I can see Him and speak to Him and thank Him for every good gift He has ever given me in this life.

I live to die daily. May others see God in my life. May my life help them find eternal life. May they live because I live..because He lives within me.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

When They Leave

There comes a time when friendships just have to die a natural death. There comes a time when there is such a wide gulf between you that it’s just impossible to leap over. There comes a time when you are trying to build a bridge across to the other side but the other is not interested in making a bridge that will meet yours halfway over the chasm.

There are just some times when you began the race together but one of you dropped out. When the marathon became too gruelling, when the path became too steep and slippery and safety and comfort seemed better than the narrow, difficult path that cut across one’s inborn desires. There comes a time when as you read life’s roadmap, your travel companions decide they prefer using a different route to reaching the same destination you claim you are heading for. A time when they say, “No, we are just too different and our differences are so extreme that I can’t communicate with you anymore. I’m leaving.”

Just like Jesus and the time He lost a lot of disciples. They decided they couldn’t walk the road with Him anymore, He was being too extreme, too weird. He wasn’t making sense.

And they never went back to Him.

So, if Jesus, the loving Lamb could not ‘keep’ them, why are you stressing yourself following people and trying to woo them back when they have made it clear they are not ever coming back?

It’s time to let go.

You did nothing wrong. Let them go.

Keep following the Lamb, He will be there when you arrive. He’s the only Friend that matters anyway.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

She knows

This is for mothers with chronic pain. Sometimes you feel like no-one understands what it's like. I came across this article on mommyish.com  just now and the parts I will copy are what I also go through sometimes. If it echoed my experience, maybe it echoes yours too. And maybe it will help encourage you-you are not alone.

Thankfully we have our heavenly Father-which this poor woman doesn't have. He gives us strength,hope and humour when we need it most.

And yes, the mental hospital one-when I was in hospital for 6 hours getting the iron infusion-it felt like a holiday. I had no choice but to lie there and just read. They served me, I was nursed, I was nourished. Mothers are the one who do the nourishing and when at home, even when our husbands tell us to rest, we just cannot when there is so much to do. My husband tries but he has work to do, he too needs to rest, especially now with his long tiring drives in and out of Cape Town. I just cannot lie there even if he literally sat on me.

Snippets of her article as seen in full here

“I shouldn’t have to feel like my husband made a bad decision marrying me."

I tell myself we are going to the zoo even if I have to limp around and cry in the bath when we get home. We will go to the spring festival even if I’m using my walker to go to the bathroom the next day. I will be the mother that they deserve, even if it’s just for a day."

What I have learned is that I can’t compare myself to other mothers. Some days I feel like a super-mom. Not because I’m doing anything that other moms can’t do, but because I’m doing things that I generally shouldn’t be able to do. On a decent day I’ll take my babies somewhere special, make dinner from scratch and have the house clean before my husband gets home. By then, I usually can’t move at all. But the pride that I have about all of my accomplishments is worth it. The smile on my angels’ faces is worth it."

Chronic pain comes with a chronic depression that just eats at the last bit of normalcy that you try to maintain. Some days, all I want to do is stay in bed. I want to curl up under my blanket, watch TV (I'd want to read though) and have no one who depends on me. Some days, I think serving my husband divorce papers would give him an out and he wouldn’t have to put up with a burden for a wife anymore. Some days, all I can do is cry.

You aren’t alone in your dark thoughts of committing yourself to a mental hospital because getting drugged up and sleeping all day sounds like a vacation. Being a mother is difficult, and being a mother with chronic pain can feel impossible. Don’t compare yourselves to the mothers that spend all day baking and cleaning, while simultaneously teaching their children quantum physics. All we can do is the best we can with what we have to work with. That’s what I strive for every day."

Friday, October 3, 2014

My Husband Doesn’t Complete Me

And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power. Col 2:10

A desperate search for the right man means there’s something lacking within. And desperation makes you settle, makes you take what if you were being rational-you wouldn’t take at all.

There’s this idea that he needs to “complete” you. Nope. If a man marries an incomplete woman, he will feel cheated too! We need to be strong so that WE can give. Marriage is not about ‘getting,’ it’s about giving. And to be desperate for someone who’s going to give you something you feel you’re missing is a recipe for disaster.

Marriage is about adding joy. It’s about enhancing what already exists. It’s about melding together two strengths, not joining two halves. You are your own person with your own individuality. You should be strong enough to be an asset to him, not him needing to be your crutch.

And therein lies the rub. Being single doesn’t mean you’re ‘missing’ something. You’re not incomplete just because you don’t have a spouse. Marriage is not about finding someone who will help you lose your neediness. Marriage is about joining two, strong individuals in order to become a force bigger than themselves.  If you marry with the mindset that he needs to complete you, what will you do if he lets you down in some way? Discard him because he’s not fulfilling the expectations you had for him? What if his mind is broken in some way and he is the one who needs someone with nerves of steel to help put him together again? You can only strengthen him when he needs it, if you are already strong on your own. In order to be a “help meet for him” you need to already BE. To be everything a husband needs, everything a wife needs to be, everything a potential mother (if you’ll have children) needs to be. Marriage is two complete individuals deciding that they can make a great team together.

May Christ be the One to bring you to HIS fulness, may He make you perfect in every good work. May the only need you have, be that of being like Him more and more with each passing day.