28 Jan 2016

Blessed Beyond Belief

A mere glance at my life will prove that I am blessed. Overwhelmingly blessed. Incredibly blessed, and it surrounds me everyday. In a good cup of tea and a good book, in a smile from another human, in the laptop I'm using right now, in the opportunities and future of my life, in coming back from a run on a cool evening, in having enough so that I am able to give to others, in being able to talk for hours with people I love, in the good, good things I have but don't deserve, in everything.
Yet I find myself complaining. Too often. How can I when the list of what I have could go on forever?

This is a (very) short list of what I have to be thankful for:


My amazing family and the encouragement they are to me.

My friends, who put up with me and stick with me.

The house I live in.

The clothes I wear.

The food that is available to eat, everyday.

That I am able to learn, to educate myself, that I have the resources and the time to do so.

That I have a healthy body. No diseases, no ailments, no disabilities.

That I can be creative and make art or bake a cake or go for a swim or take photos of beautiful things or play tennis or write something for my blog or narrate a novel or experiment or go to the mall or see a friend or have a sleepover or watch the sun go down or eat ice cream or dress up for fun or flop onto my bed after a long day.

Being able to talk to my God and ask Him for the peace I know He gives freely. Being able to rest in Him and know that He's the only one that will always be there. Being able to pray to Him and read His Word.

Words. Just, words in general. Language and communication are such wonderful things.

Music. Oh, music!

Colour. Blues, pinks, greens. Warm hues and cool hues. Making things brighter, more interesting.

Nature. The life and glorious creation all around me takes my breath away again and again.

Always having enough and more.

The rest of my life, however long or short. Having my God right here to lead me through it. I have so many ideas and passions and sort-of-plans, but I'm going to trust Him to take me where He wants me to be. I want to follow Him, in everything I do. And He wants me to follow Him. It's mind blowing to think that the creator of the universe wants me.

Love. I am so unconditionally, undeservedly loved.

- - -

How? How can I complain?

That list is only a fraction of the joy and blessings that have been poured out on me.
That list is something to remember when I find myself complaining or moaning. I'll use it as a wake up call when I find myself doing that. (I tend to doze off often)
That list will be there for me to read so that I can receive it like a slap in my face when I need it most. I am so obviously blessed beyond belief. And I am thankful.

18 Jan 2016

Listen for His voice, He's calling

6:30 a.m. The alarm on my phone goes off. Get up, it urges. I sit up, rub my eyes, swing my legs over the side of the bed, and stand up to trudge sleepily into the bathroom. I undress, turn the taps on and get into the shower. My brain is still groggy and my thoughts thick. I’m not really a morning person. I sift through the messiness of my mind as the water runs down my back: song lyrics, quotes, verses, faces, names, ideas, memories, what time I went to bed last night, the dream I had, what I did yesterday, what I’m going to do today. I sort everything so that I’m mentally fresh and ready for the day. Another day. More decisions and choices to make, and chances to take or not to take.
I forget. I forget, in my organizing and fixing and mental notes and to-do lists. In my plans, my hopes, my fears.
I forget to listen.
I dress, go to the kitchen, eat breakfast. I start my day. I travel on, through another 24 hours. Everything goes fairly well. I don’t accomplish all that I set out to do, but most of it. I go to bed. I should feel satisfied. Yet I don’t. Something is missing. There is a hollowness inside of me. An emptiness.
But wait. Just wait. Click pause, and let’s rewind to the start. 6:30 a.m. The alarm goes off. I wake up, I sit up. I grab the bible from the bedside table, I open it, I flip through the pages, and I read. As I become fully awake, I absorb the words I read, I devour them. Man does not live on bread alone… I fill my heart and mind with them. And then I pray, I commit the day to my God and I ask Him to guide me, lead me, teach me. I offer myself and ask that I become a living sacrifice, a sweet aroma to the Lord. I seek His will, wanting to know what He wants me to do, in every situation and with every little thing. I listen.  How do you want me to live, God? I stand up and walk to the bathroom. I center my thoughts around my purpose as the water runs down my back. I have a purpose. To live for Him. I have a purpose, and the joy is more overwhelming and powerful than the emptiness ever was.
Do you know what I sometimes wonder? I wonder about the people that don’t know Jesus. My heart aches for them. How do they make it to the end of each day without Him? How do they live, how do they make sense of life, how do they go on? They starve without knowing what they’re starving for. They mess up a lot, just like I do, just like all Christians do, just like everyone does, like humans do, but the difference is that they don’t know He’s there to help them through it. They suffer.

To those who believe that Jesus is our salvation: Don’t pass on what is yours to have, every day, within easy reach, when it is lost to thousands all over the world. Don’t miss out on a beautiful relationship of depth with God. His guiding voice. His love. Listen to what He tells you. And wherever you can, whenever you can, share it with others. Tell them too, so that they find what they didn’t know they were searching for. Open your eyes and your ears so that you are able to open theirs.

To those who don’t believe: I’m not judging, I’m not criticizing, I’m not condemning. I’m crying out. I want to tell you what I have heard, what I have received, what I believe. It is yours too, if only you want it. Whenever you want it. No matter where you’ve been, what you’ve seen, what you’ve done. It’s yours.

14 Jan 2016

January Days | 2016

La vie continue. Life goes on. After the rush and busy, full, fun days of the Christmas and New Years holidays, life is about to go back to normal. Schoolwork and so on. I am actually looking forward to it, although that doesn't mean I won't miss the beautiful, lazy summer holiday days or being able to see my favourite people all the time. I had an amazing end to 2015, much of which I owe to wonderful people in my life. Or, actually...I owe it to God, for putting these people in my life. I am thankful, thankful, thankful.
And I've had a good start to the new year as well. I feel ready for 2016. I feel the future is bright. Bright, not easy. Not perfect. Still full of problems and heartache and things that are yet to come but will come as they always do. But, bright. It thrills me to know that Jesus is with me. Always. And as long as He is with me, I am His. As long as I am His, I'm safe. Content. Brave, because He is in me and He makes me brave. I don't have to fear what this year holds.

Alright, I think I'm done with my little speech. Ha. I know you enjoyed it. (No, I don't. One assumes, one hopes)
So, here's to twenty sixteen.


lately... (I'm just gonna go ahead and include tidbits from December as well, since it was a great month and I didn't blog for the whole of it, not once)

+ spending whole days in the pool and getting sunburned (It is hot here in South Africa at the moment, hot and dry)

+ reading Case Histories by Kate Atkinson and Billie's Kiss by Elizabeth Knox (Both good books, I recommend them. And, do you think I should do book reviews once in a while?)
+ painting with watercolours (Again)

+ having crazy, awesome Christmas and New Years celebrations with fabulous people (Having lots of exuberant little cousins over for Christmas lunch, watching fireworks at twelve a.m. from a hill with friends on New Years eve)
+ having loads of braais (For those of you who don't know, braaing, pronounced bry-ing, is the South African equivalent of 'barbecuing')
+ praying for rain because we're currently in the middle of a terrible drought (All prayers are appreciated)
+ listening to twenty one pilots and getting their songs stuck in my head
+ watching the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens (I enjoyed it, but I know some critics that would scoff at that)
+ going to Retanga Junction with my family, an amusement park where I had my first rollercoaster ride (So much fun)

+ taking family photos while everyone is together for the holidays

+ playing lots of cards and chess and pool
+ writing a novel that I don't want anyone to read (How am I going to publish something someday if I can't even let my sister read it?)
+ making berry smoothies

+ drinking sweet apple and gooseberry ice tea (It's this weather, I tell you)

+ drawing bird illustrations

+ praying a lot about God's plan for my future and just asking Him where He wants me to go, what He wants me to do

...but what about you? Did you enjoy the holidays?