Monthly Archives: February 2012

Five letter word

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I had one of those moments this morning in which I was faced with truth that seemed hard to grasp. (I seem to have those moments often actually). I know that all too often I’m so easily thrown around and battered by the storms that come my way. I would love to say that I’m able to stand my ground amidst these storms, but that would be a lie.

My daily struggle, it seems, is to stand firm when uncertainties, disappointments, frustrations, and emotions (and hormones!) are swirling all around me. I know that as a Christian, I’m expected to have Faith – “…the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see,” but I have to be honest…I really do struggle and all too often I collapse in a tired heap – too tired to continue placing one foot in front of the other.

Today’s quiet time piece spoke right into my situation, and into something that’s bothered me for some time. This lack of Faith I seem to have (do I really lack it?), annoys me and I often hang my head and squeeze my eyes shut – wondering what on earth I can do to ‘get it’ – to let the concept finally click!? Why is it that so many people find it easy to have Faith, yet I try grabbing at it, but never seem to really grasp it? It’s like wanting that pair of shoes for so long, and then having your best friend buy them for herself, and parade around in them – so effortlessly, so easily…loving every moment. Like I said to a friend of mine a while ago – if there was a Faith switch I could flip on, I’d dash for it immediately. I’d run to that switch like I’ve never run to anything before, and I wouldn’t let anything stand in my way.

So back to the part of my quiet time piece that poked at me – the Apostle Paul had what I want. In Philippians 4:11-13 he talks about how he’s learned to be content in any circumstance. He wasn’t tossed about by any storms – in fact, if I remember correctly, the dude was even happy in jail! Like my quiet time piece put it this morning…”…he never allowed himself to get upset with where he was at the moment, he was always looking forward to where he could be.” He was enjoying where he was, on the way to where he was going.

Now this just makes me sit here and say, “Darrrrnnnnn Paul! WHY! How come you got it?! And how come I don’t get it?!” I think this is a situation in which I’m allowed to be envious 🙂

I long after the revelation (and subsequent peace) that Paul had. I want to sit next to him, chat with him, ask him what he did to flip that switch. Some days I think it’s hopeless – one of those “if you don’t get it now, you never will” situations – but at the same time, I’m always hearing about how God will give you the things you desire the most. And for now, put aside all the things I want that I cannot get; the crappy situation I’m in that I hate…apart from all that…what I really desire is to gain insight into having that Faith that cannot be shaken…to be able to say, with complete conviction that “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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The Waiting Game

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I’ve never been much of a waiter. And by this, I don’t mean the person who serves you your food and drinks…no, I mean…I’m very impatient when it comes to waiting. I remember whenever I used to upgrade my mobile phone contract – I could never wait for the new phone. Sometimes, I’d even just go for a less attractive deal, just so that I could get a new phone sooner.

And now I’m being faced with one of the most significant waiting periods of my life. I need my unabridged marriage certificate from the South African Department of Home Affairs – once I have this, I can apply for my German Reunification Visa. I applied for the certificate on 30 December 2011 and was told it would take 6 – 8 weeks. I’m currently well into week 8. My mother called their offices yesterday to get a progress report and she was told the following: “You should’ve gotten it already?!”…yes, duh, thank you for that bit of information. Apparently they’ve ‘escalated’ the matter and it should be on its way soon. *sigh* Ok. Well, what can I do? Just continue to sit and wait (and cry and scream and curse the world).

I know I’m supposed to be positive and ‘strong’ – I should be walking around with a geeky smile on my face saying “all’s going to be ok, yaaaay” – but I just really don’t always feel like that. Have you ever wanted something SO bad, but you just never know when, or how, you’re going to get it?

The waiting game is not my favourite game – rather give me Monopoly or Scrabble any day! This waiting game is one that really can break your spirit and test you. I guess I’m not supposed to give in to it, but some days, I just can’t help myself!

Hopefully though, by the time I post another blog entry, I’ll have better news.

Out of the blue

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So I was retrenched in December 2011. It was a shocker, yes. It’s one of those things you never see coming, and then *BAM*, it hits you square in the face. I’ve had a little difficulty finding something temporary to bring in some cash while I sit and wait here in South Africa for my documents from Home Affairs (the docs that will allow me to apply for my German Visa!) Once people realise I’m not here to stay, they’re not interested – and those who do offer me anything, offer way too little – not enough to even cover my petrol costs.

This whole situation was making me a little edgy and I fell into the trap of lifting my hands up in anger, shouting…”WHY Lord?!” (I still do that sometimes…)

I decided about a week ago however that I’d just make good use of my time and volunteer at my church. It’s a decision I’ve not regretted and though I still sometimes worry a little about my financial provision for the next few months, I’m happy to be rooted in a place that makes me feel secure, and feeds me spiritually. My days are filled doing all sorts of things – from setting out thousands of communion cups, to inputting information on the church database – whilst at the same time, enjoying Hillsong’s well-known worship songs as they waft gently from the speakers, filling the entire building with magical melodies. I’m also meeting wonderful people, and there’s just nothing that could be better than that!

This morning, whilst clasping a cup of hot coffee in my hands and driving through the beautiful suburb I live in, I heard something on the radio which grabbed my heart, so I thought I’d share it:

“Lifes Lessons” by Paul M. Connors, an Inmate in Texas

I learn, as the years roll onward
And leave the past behind,
That much I had counted sorrow
But proves that God is kind;
That many a flower I had longed for
Had hidden a thorn of pain,
And many a rugged bypath
Led to fields of ripened grain.
The clouds that cover the sunshine
They can not banish the sun;
And the earth shines out the brighter
When the weary rain is done.
We must stand in the deepest shadow
To see the clearest light;
And often through wrong’s own darkness
Comes the very strength of light.
The sweetest rest is at even,
After a wearisome day,
When the heavy burden of labor
Has borne from our hearts away;
And those who have never known sorrow
Can not know the infinite peace
That falls on the troubled spirit
When it sees at last release.
 We must live through the dreary winter
If we would value the spring;
And the woods must be cold and silent
Before the robins sing.
The flowers must be buried in darkness
Before they can bud and bloom,
And the sweetest, warmest sunshine
Comes after the storm and gloom.

You clever little Bishop you!

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So today is supposed to be the day that people intentionally remember that ‘someone special’ in their lives. I’m sure that for 86.87% of men, it’s the day that the reminder alarms on their phones go crazy – reminding them to go out and buy lovey-dovey stuff for that one special lady.

But who was the original Valentine? Well, waaaaaaay back in time, Claudius II was the Emperor of Rome and he was of the opinion that men who weren’t hitched made far better soldiers than their married counterparts. It was this opinion that led him to making a law that young, unmarried men were not allowed to take the leap of faith into marriage.

Then along came a Bishop Valentine. *Cue ‘saves the day’ music* He felt really sorry for these young men and decided he’d start conducting marriage ceremonies on the sly. But as with any story like this, his secret didn’t remain secret for too long and Emperor Claudius II sent him to jail. (In fact, not only was he jailed, but the Emperor also tried to get Valentine to start worshipping various Roman gods. Valentine’s response: he started trying to convert the Emperor to Christianity. The result: our hero was sentenced to be executed.)

Now in terms of the actual emergence of Valentine’s Day, there are numerous theories about how it came about. The most popular being that whilst in jail, Bishop Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. Then, shortly before his death, he sent this lovely lady a note and ended it with “from your Valentine” (as any good man would do…). Those who knew about Valentine found this rather romantic and shared the story with others. He become rather popular and eventually was promoted from Bishop Valentine to Saint Valentine.

After his death, he then became a Patron Saint and was considered by many to be the spiritual figure who oversaw a festival that occurred annually on 14 February – one during which Romans would send out cards declaring their love to those they had their eyes on!

And there you have it – a brief history of Valentine’s Day. Now go out and buy heart-shaped chocolates! (Even if you keep them for yourself! 😀 )

14-2-12

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It’s that time of year again – every second ad on TV is about love and pictures of couples in loving embraces with hearts floating above their heads are popping up everywhere. Yip, it’s Valentine’s Day fever (and we haven’t even hit the 14th yet).

I never enjoyed V Day – probably because I spent the majority of them alone, doing one of two things: (a) contemplating sending chocolates and lovey-dovey gifts to myself, or (b) remaining defiant and swearing that “actually I don’t care…I’m totally unphased by Valentines’ Day! I’m happy for all the couples out there…”

Now you would think that since I have a significant other, I’d be looking forward to V Day – but really, it’s a little sucky because I’m in South Africa and he’s all the way in Germany. And you’d think that since we’re now legally married, we’d get to spend our first V Day together…apparently not.

So there won’t be any candlelight dinner, no popping of champagne, no cuddling on the couch with a DVD, and definitely no chocolates packaged in a heart-shaped container.

And so I have to say, theoretically Valentine’s Day this year is on 14-2-12…but I say, mathematically, 14-2-12 = 0. Therefore, Valentine’s Day is cancelled!

(Though actually…Mani’s taken the night off from rehearsal in honour of said V Day…so I have to admit, I’m excited!!! YAY ME! :D)

 

 

My real-life rockstar

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A friend of mine pointed something out to me tonight: I’m living smack-bang in the middle of a dream girls normally have…I’m the wife of a real-life rockstar. I don’t think that ever occurred to me…perhaps because I’ve been so concerned with what that means for me – late nights without my husband at my side; dinners alone; Saturdays spent alone while he’s rehearsing…I’ve focussed completely on the unglamorous part of it all.

Tonight Mani has a gig and it completely infuriates me that I cannot be there (as his number one groupie!), cheering him on, watching his performance with starry eyes, feeling like the most important girl in the crowd of many. But what’s made it easy to get through not being there to share this with him, are the random sms’s I received tonight in which he reminded me that at some point, he’d sing a song for me 🙂 (Yes…romantic, I know!) Whilst many girls merely dream of having someone in their life who can write a song that’s all about them, I actually have that guy! And tonight, he’ll sing the song he wrote with me in mind:

 Long Distance

Verse 1:
Ten Thousand Miles from here
confusing mind that cannot rest

She’s got the strength to rise
The voices, in her head won’t stop

Her heart’s been dragged through the mud
Compassion fills the space inside

The world is between us
Love devours all of our shame

Our souls – groan – for
breakthrough – falling in dismay
It’s all – wrong – when
bureaucracy just takes her away

Verse 2:
3000 days apart
yet somehow we are of one heart

3000 lies will steal
a wounded soul takes time to heal

Chorus:
Long Distance, far apart
she’s left with a bleeding heart

Long distance, anxious mind
where truth is hard to find

Persistance in this trial
hold on for another while

Long distance, in this mess
When hope still carries rest

Bridge:
Oh she cries
When she’s alone
It’s just her and her weaknesses

Oh she’s crazy
My blue-eyed daisy
She will make it through

Verse 3
Her heart’s been dragged through the mud
Compassion fills the space inside

The world is between us
Love devours all of our shame

Our flame proclaims affections
haunting, it’s haunting me

Attachment, close affections and passion
haunting, haunting me.

Yip, indeed, I couldn’t have wished for a better partner in life…I guess I have to be someone’s crazy, blue-eyed daisy! 🙂