Don’t let your encounter with God leave you untouched!

Since it is Christmas time, I'd like to share with you one of my favourite poems and discuss the meaning of it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and find a little bit of the hope of the Christmas miracle inside this poem. 

Don’t let your encounter with God leave you untouched!

Christmas Comforts: Music to my ears!

Since I can remember, I have associated Christmas with big family get-togethers, laughter and happiness. And of course there was the food. Lots and lots of food, for days on end (the leftovers are the best!). It was also the one time in the year where everybody pulled out all the stops to prepare delectable dishes, never to be repeated until the next year! 

My mom was quite the virtuoso, so she would always have some new and elaborate concoction. Through the years, the dishes changed with the fashion (like all the innovative tasteless microwave dishes of the seventies, the moulded foods of the eighties and the trio’s of anything during the nineties). 

Celebrating Life!

A friend once sarcastically commented that I celebrate everything and anything. Not that she is wrong, but is it really that bad? Why not celebrate everything? I did not realise it up to that point when she actually said it, and then it made me think...

With all the negative things happening in the world and around us, why not celebrate everything good? 

True, we might overdo it a bit, because we don't only celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Easter and anniversaries, we also celebrate the first blossoms of spring, a clear summers day, a very cold winter's night, a new piece of jewellery, old friends, new friends, you name it! Whenever we think of something good, we celebrate! And yes, you can open my fridge anytime of the year and you will find chilled Champagne bottles there.

Keeping our Children safe?

I had breakfast in the mall this morning with my family. On our way back to the car, my dad spotted a van in the parking lot, parked completely skew and with one wheel standing on the curb, leaving the van to lean over.

In South Africa this is not a rare sight, in fact, one might expect this from taxi drivers. The irony here was the writing on the van: Children in transit, please drive safe....

Food, glorious food!

Our family has a long and delightful history in food making and fine dining. My fondest memories of my grandmothers on both sides, revolves around the dining room table!

My granddad use to make brawn and would always give us slivers of it on toast. Sometimes we would heat it up to become runny, and then eat it as a gravy on toast. When my mother and her twin sister decided to get married, my Grandmother B catered the food for the whole wedding!

Anywhere I lay my hat...

"Distant Drumming"
Annemie Odendaal - Charcoal
Will you die for your country?

I always believed that you can only know someone truly, when you have travelled with them. When you are not in your normal surroundings, you might act differently. Values change and gets challenged, the anonymity gives you more freedom, you get tired and fatigued and that can also alter how you cope with the constant change. 

Do you go about making choices the same way you would in your home life? This all contributes to you getting to know yourself better. Maybe that is why some people are scared of travelling or moving.

Count your Blessings

At this moment, there are more than 7 billion people on the earth! It is hard to picture, so if we could reduce the world's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, the demographics would look something like this*:

- The village would have 60 Asians, 14 Africans, 12 Europeans, 8 Latin Americans, 5 from the USA and Canada, and 1 from the South Pacific
- 51 would be male, 49 would be female
- 82 would be non-white; 18 white

A Journey to Happiness or Heartbreak

My husband and I have always been rather adventurous in life and embracing every challenge that comes our way, but this year we have embarked on the scariest journey of our lives. After seven years of marriage, we were ready to start a new chapter in our lives and start a family. Turns out it is not always the easiest thing to do...

After a few doctor's visits, we have decided to go to a Fertility Clinic, where we started with In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). For someone as terrified of doctors and needles as I am, it was quite a daunting prospect, but we committed to the process, so off we went with our purple bag full of magical pills, vials, needles, and a crash course in "how to become an overnight nurse", for my husband.

Too much love can kill you...

"Resonance"- Annemie Odendaal
Charcoal & Oil
Let me just start off by saying that I believe in love completely. Especially after my divorce. I am more certain than ever that love really is everything (1 Corinthians 13). I have also learnt that Love can only be Love if it is Freedom. Control is not love. Rules and changing someone is not Love. Compromising until you bleed is not Love. 

Apparently I am not the only one confused about the whole love / marriage thing. Books have been written, movies made and wars fought over Love, and I am still not any closer to understanding the full gravity of it.  After studying the Love Languages I do however grasp a bit clearer why some relationships just work, while others are hard work, frustration, fighting and doomed to fail.

Thy Enemy is My Enemy...

No, it is not from the Bible and definitely not Biblical either, but a true fact of life.

If I introduce you to a friend of mine, you might become acquaintances, or not. You might even become friends at a later stage, or not. 

The opposite however, is not quite so boring. Nothing binds two people as tightly together as a shared enemy. If I introduce you to a friend of mine, and you accidentally find out that you both know and hate my cousin, you will become best of friends in an instant. A bond as thick as can be.