Belated Easter

They say that Easter is the only time it is safe to put all your eggs in one basket. Nope. Not true.
If I did that, in MY house, by the time I got to the basket there probably wouldn’t even be one left for me. 😛

This is not because my children are selfish. Or because they don’t care about their mom. (In fact, my daughter will tell me it is because she cares, and is trying to help me lose weight 😛 )
It is simply because, well, they love chocolate.
And they know their mom – if it’s left lying around, it’s for us – if mom wanted it for herself, she would have hidden it 😛

Something was missing for me this Easter. By the time Sunday lunch rolled around, I felt a bit restless, trying to determine what it could be. (We celebrate Easter on Easter Sunday – the chocolate overload dished out in the morning, and a delicious roast dinner at lunchtime.)
I put the ‘missing part’ down to the fact that by the time Sunday rolled around I was utterly exhausted, after the events of the last few weeks, both emotional and physical. Pain didn’t help – I’d helped move my mothers care home and lifting boxes, carrying things etc. isn’t quite a great thing to be doing when you suffer from old back injuries.
Plus there was the fact that I had kicked my baby toe so hard, I broke it – but that just makes me laugh. I am a strange one, indeed!

It was only when my daughter came to me in the late afternoon, and made a comment, that I realised what had been missing!

Every Easter Sunday, for the past 20 years, I have woken up early in the morning, to write out clues and hide them with Easter eggs…. sending my children to hunt for their next dose of chocolate. As they have got older, I was able to have even more fun with it, because I could make the clues a bit more difficult. On Saturday afternoon, knowing how truly tired their mom was, both kids had approached me at different times, saying that they were really too old for it, and it wasn’t necessary. And so I didn’t give it another thought.

And then my daughter commented on Sunday afternoon, ”I actually missed the clues this morning – it wasn’t the same.”
And in that moment, I knew that my heart had missed doing it…. that that was the ‘missing part’ for me. Something so small, and seemingly insignificant. That actually had a great impact on all of us – because when I asked my son later if he had missed it too, he smiled and said that even though he knows he is an adult and too old for ‘his mom to be doing stuff like that’, it was weird to get all his share of the Easter eggs at once.

Things change with every year that rolls by. The pandemic brought VAST changes in just a year, that none of us saw coming. If you’re a believer, then you know that God never changes.

But I also realised something else that doesn’t change : the little things really DO make a difference! We need to keep doing them!

Here’s hoping you all had a really great Easter! ❤

An Unholy Rant

I read this today, and it HAS to be shared.
Current circumstances and situations have me saddened and stressed – I will probably blog about it in the near future.
It’s not personal as such – all things I can do nothing about that are completely out of my control.
They have left me feeling despondent and doubtful.

I logged on to WordPress to type a blog – this blog post was the first place I visited though instead.
The tears are streaming down my face as I type this.
What a pertinent reminder – He is a Big God and we need to trust His abilities!

Letters To Pogue

Dear Pogue,

This is a letter that I have started several times only to find it populating the waste bin. I know what I feel and want to say but have never found the right way to express it. You see, this letter will start with an idea, a rather passionate one, something I need to say, and before long it will take on a life of its own, choosing its direction. It’s all an adventure.

Here’s my issue. When I talk about God I have come to realise that the entity that I am defining is not understood by others in the same way I do. What they’re hearing is not what I am saying! Indeed I get to wondering if we are even thinking about the same entity. So, Pogue, I have a question for you, even a challenge:

Are you a big Godder or a small Godder?

View original post 754 more words

vulnerable bridges

It’s been an interesting 24 hours. I’ve felt quite overwhelmed, with good things, and bad things. And loadshedding (read the post here) continues…although not quite as bad as it was – we’re down to only being without power for four hours a day – I can handle that!
The funny thing is that even though we’re conscientious with the scheduled times and switch off plugs etc to prevent damage from power surges, the surprise cuts seem to have affected things somewhat. My modem appears to be confused – it seems to think its function is now that of a strobe light 😛 It’s rather fun watching the internet light go on and off every minute or so. Green…red….green….red…. it’s a special kind of Christmas tree 😛 adding holiday spirit to my home 😉

With regards to yesterdays post :

Thank you to those of you who have offered support, prayers and encouragement. It is very much appreciated at all times, please know that.

Up until a few months ago, I wasn’t aware that I could be reached at my private email address through WordPress. This isn’t a problem for me at all – as you all know, I love to communicate and make new friends – and of course I am always there for support and encouragement. I’d like to thank one lovely lady in particular for emailing me – I won’t mention her name but she knows who she is – your continued encouragement and outpouring of love and prayers touches my heart deeply. 

I did receive another email though, from someone that I wasn’t even aware was reading my blog. The irony of this email is that it’s from an ex-South African, now living overseas, who only returns to SA every few years for a week or two on holiday. I haven’t responded… I guess I’ll do so a little later… or maybe I’ll just leave this here :

I am well aware that yesterdays post was rather negative, and reveals that I have ‘that side’ to me. Unfortunately, living with, working with, seeing and being emotionally involved with the atrocities that are occurring here daily, it sometimes does affect me in a negative way. My heart is not made of steel. While I have the ability to practice ‘tough love’ in situations where it is called for, this does not mean that I do not shed tears when I am alone, and that it doesn’t affect me in any way.

So in a round about kind of way, this post is actually about vulnerability.

I am an extremely vulnerable person. And no matter how you try to convince me otherwise, I will never see this as a weakness. 
I AM an open book. You can pretty much ask me anything, and I will answer you. But I won’t just give you facts. I will share in a way that exposes my emotions and will ultimately open me up to the possibility of getting hurt. How else will I connect with you?

And you see, that’s the thing…. I truly believe that I am designed for the purpose of connecting – not just with God, but with other people. In order to achieve that purpose, unfortunately, I need to make myself vulnerable. 

And yes, it means I get ’emotionally hurt’ sometimes. (Other times it is the most rewarding thing for me!) But through all those experiences, the rewarding ones and the hurtful ones, I learn life’s greatest lessons, and the crucial skills that I need to continue with living this life.

Raw truth is necessary to connect. But it has another function too. If I am not prepared to be vulnerable and share the truth of my experiences and failings, then how will anyone ever be able to walk away from me knowing hope, kindness, goodness, grace and joy? 

I am about to make a statement that many are going to possibly attack me for :
I understand and a part of me has to agree with Ghandi : ”I’d be a Christian if it wasn’t for Christians.”

Except I AM a Christian. And now you’re as confused as a chameleon in a bag of skittles.

So I’ll explain it like this : I grew up in the church. And there were some who didn’t preach God, but showed me who He was. But from a little girl, through various stages in my life, I was emotionally, physically and sexually abused by people in the church who were in positions of leadership. I left in my late teens. I have returned many times, to different places, and found much of the same, sadly – except now it has added judgment for some of the bends in the road of my life.
It has been preached to me on numerous occasions that I am a dying ember – because to be a burning light, I need to be with the coals in the fire – a church. While I understand what they are saying, and agree that it is an amazing thing to worship with a group, I remain a dying ember. I guess? Well, in the churches opinion (and the opinion of most of my family members too). That’s where it all gets confusing, even for me…and we’re talking about me… so confusion reigns! 😛

It has taken me a very long time to fully appreciate the statement that ‘God is God, and I am not.’ In the same way, all those people seated in church, as well as all their leaders, are also not God. Which means that like me, they also suffer from sin – hidden or exposed, their choice. They choose to wear masks, instead of being vulnerable enough to admit to their failings. And this means that they never learn anything, and can never be helped. It discredits any good that those who know their secret sins could ever glean from their words or their seemingly perfect lives. By not making themselves vulnerable, they have prevented growth, not just in themselves but in their ‘victims’, because many of those ‘victims’ have turned their backs on God as a result.

I am no longer angry about the abuse I suffered personally. It’s been a long and very difficult road to get to that place. The circumstances surrounding those different types of abuse affected the options that were open to me – and while I could have made different choices, at those times the circumstances affected me negatively and I made a long list of bad choices.

In the past few years, I have grown. And here’s what I know :

I will never come into contact with someone who isn’t loved – I need to be kind always.

I have learned NOT to judge – because I don’t know what choices you actually had. And here’s an additional thing to add to that – take time to find the person they are at that very moment, and not who they were yesterday or last week – based on fact or rumors. Change takes time, but the choice to change takes a minute. By judging and making it known, you may just undo that choice.

Don’t preach it – be it. At the end of the day, my words are meaningless if I can’t show you.

Unconditional love. The hardest of all. So important though because it sums up all of the above, and so much more. I struggle with this particular one a lot. It is hard to love others, especially those who have hurt us. It’s a journey all on its own. 
I love my children dearly – but they know when they disappoint or upset or anger me – a statement often used in my house is this : I love you, but I don’t like you right now because…..
And my children have free reign to use it on me. And they have. I have learnt from those moments – sometimes I am unreasonable, and sometimes I have worded things in a hurtful way. If they did not have the opportunity to tell me, “Mom, I love you but I don’t like you right now because…”, we would all live in a war zone in our own home right now. Being able to say this, and then walk away, leaves time for what has been said to sink in. When the initial anger and hurt has passed, there has always been apologies, calm discussions and resolution. And the freedom to continue loving and liking one another.

So yes, I am vulnerable, even with my kids. How else do I teach them that not everyone is right all the time, and that even parents/adults fail?

Vulnerability HURTS sometimes! It opens me up to judgment and criticism, and nastiness and negativity. But it also grows, helps and heals.
There may be ten people judging me, attacking me, and hurting me when I am vulnerable enough with admissions of guilt and failings. But there may be ONE person who is listening…. and hurting…. who connects with me and experiences hope in their seemingly hopeless situation; who somehow finds healing in a broken piece of their heart; or feels a kindness that no one else has ever shown them and sparks a ‘kindness seed’ that they in turn sow themselves. 

Vulnerability is also sometimes VERY REWARDING! I would not make the beautiful connections and friends that I do along the way if I wasn’t. And many of them patch up broken pieces of my heart in their own way.

And that, for every person who is reading this, is MY purpose in life.

Words and actions WILL hurt me. I WILL spend time crying and experiencing a form of brokenness. I WILL wish that I had a steel heart. And I will have my moments where I fight being ‘good’. I have tried being bitter and angry – I even think nasty thoughts. I have the potential to be all those things – and I’d probably be very good at it. In my head, I do great…for about twenty minutes.

But I WON’T change. And I have come to accept that. I am, and always will be, vulnerable. 

(there’s green light on the modem, so I’m hitting publish! 😛 😉 )

Sunshine Blogger Double Whammy

Right, so…

sunshine-blogger-award

I got nominated for this award twice, pretty much on the same day 😉 I’m so grateful that others find material worth reading on my blog 😉 and that they’d like to share me with the world out there 🙂 I always get really nervous with these kinds of things, but I’m going to attempt to ‘do it right’ 😉

Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site.
  2. List the Sunshine Blogger Award rules and display the logo on your site.
  3. Answer the Sunshine Blogger Award questions.
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  5. Notify the nominees about their nominations.

As I mentioned, I got the award twice. So I’ll try and keep my answers short…but be warned, this will be a long read…. and you’ll know far too much about me by the end. So not really much different to my other blog posts 😛

FIRST NOMINATION :

Thank you to My Forty Something Life for the nomination. If you’re forty something, it’s definitely worth checking the blog out. I’m even tempted to try Yoga 😉

The questions (and my answers) to that nomination are as follows :

  1. Why do you blog? To reach out to others and hopefully connect, because I love to write, to try and make a difference with my voice, to be an encouragement
  2. If you were stuck up a tree for an hour or two…what would you do? Just sit and appreciate the view. I don’t get a whole lot of ‘down time’, so it would be a special moment for me 😉
  3. What is the funniest thing you heard today? No one else is awake yet, but I read this and it made me laugh : ”Here, I bought you a calendar. Your days are numbered now.” 😛
  4. What makes you smile on a regular basis? Pretty much everything 😉
  5. What is the one (or two if you must) thing you can’t live without? Air 😛
  6. Who’s blog do you read that you recommend to us all (it doesn’t even have to be someone you nominate)? Uh….that kinda puts me on the spot, doesn’t it? 😛 I always visit Dr. Eric Perry, PhD – he’s a very popular clinical psychologist, and I like to read his views on things. But that’s also because I am kinda nutty about all things psychology related 😛
  7. What kind of soup would most reflect you as a person? Alphabet Soup 😛
  8. What is your favourite TV show right now? A really old one which I am revisiting – and still loving 😉 Full House My daughter is loving it, but I think John Stamos has a lot to do with that 😛 For once her and I agree on a ‘nice looking man’ 😛
  9. If you have a spare £100 in your wallet / purse…what does it get spent on? A random stranger/beggar and my children (human and fur)
  10. What was your favourite children’s show growing up…can you remember the theme tune…are you now singing it? UGH! YES! (Thanks for that 😛 ) Good old Barney.

SECOND NOMINATION :

Thank you to Jesusluvsall for your nomination 🙂 A man of faith who lives his life serving others, and that’s more than blog worthy 😉

The questions (and my answers) to that nomination are as follows :

  1. If Jesus were to knock on your door, what would you think? If He knocked, then I probably wouldn’t actually know it was Him till I opened it, so my thought upon hearing the knock would be, “Who needs me?”
  2. This week is Thanksgiving Week in the USA. What are you thankful for? In all honesty, everything. Even the difficult times and difficult people I encounter. And yes, I AM being honest. Sure, it makes me tired, and I get hurt. But I learn along the way. And it makes me different, and better.
  3. Where would you like to travel to in the world. I gave the long answer here. The short one is USA!!!!
  4. What is your favorite snack food? salty crackers and a variety of cheeses 😉
  5. Do snack while you blog? No. But I do drink copious amounts of coffee 😛
  6. What is your favorite season and why? Winter, winter and winter 😛 Yes, I live at the coast in sunny South Africa, so our winters are never colder than about 40 degrees F – and I was told for years that that’s why I love Winter. Then I went to the UK and faced a different kind of cold – ‘proper’ cold. And I still thrived in it. And that’s why I love Winter – I thrive in cold and gloomy weather. Strange, but true. While others just want to stay in bed, all toasty and warm, I am at my most productive when it’s cold. In our Summer heat, with high percentages of humidity, and no air conditioning, I just don’t get anything done. My energy is sapped and those are the days where I am the one who would rather just be on my bed 😛 I also exercise a lot more in Winter – not because I am preparing for a ‘Summer body’, NOT AT ALL. But simply because those are days where I actually have the energy to do so!
  7. What book has meant something to you lately? Kathryn Cushman’s ‘Waiting for Daybreak’. Not the type of book I usually read – if I’m not reading crime thriller murder mystery, then I am reading self help/growth books. But something made me pull this one out of my bookshelf. It was a gift from a friend who passed away last year – I never read it when she gave it to me. I’ve only read it recently, at a time when I needed it most. Amazing how things like that happen, isn’t it 😉
  8. Who is your favorite singer? No. Just no. Because I have too many 😛
  9. What is a favorite blog post of yours? Share a link Mine personally? One I have written? Hmmmm….. I have a few – and they’re all about where I live. I have linked them to each other, sort of. But please read them – a great guide to South Africa 😉 Mostly the differences between here and the US. And it will also explain my spelling 😛 One of a Kind; Can you speak American? (highly recommended 😛 ) and South Africa’s Tummy
  10. I am a disaster cooking in the kitchen. Would you trust me in your kitchen? Yes. Because I think it would be fun 😉
  11. What movie have you seen recently that you liked? Nothing new, I’m afraid. I watched ‘You’ve got Mail’ for the umpteenth time the other night – it’s a firm favourite with me because one of my dreams is to own a bookstore exactly like Meg Ryan’s in the movie 😉 (I don’t usually watch romance, so yes, it really is all about the books 😉 )

And that’s all folks 😉

Now for my nominees (you do not have to participate). Their questions will follow :

Winning 40
Rest and Chaos
millenniallifecrisis
Fractured Faith
Cynthia D. Griffin
Encouraging Grace
The Happiness Nerd
Fun with Philosophy
Herry Chic Counsels
juantetcts
Paul – A life worth giving

Your questions (total randomness):

  1. What is your favourite quote?
  2. If you could share a brief word of encouragement with someone, what would you say?
  3. Do you like to ‘dress up’?
  4. Are you an animal lover? If yes, favourite animal?
  5. What do you think is your best physical feature?
  6. If you could ask your president/ruler of your country one question, what would it be?
  7. If you could visit only one place anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
  8. Coffee, tea, or neither one?
  9. Pizza, cheeseburger, or salad?
  10. Sweet or savoury?
  11. If you could be good at one sport, which one would you choose and why?

If you made it through, thanks for reading 😉

I Need A Man

So now that I have your attention *ahem* it’s not what you think 😛

  1. There is a plug that needs changing in my house
  2. I am not a useless woman

While I am great at dangling precariously from ladders to change light bulbs in my ridiculously high ceilings (it doesn’t help that I am quite short), and while I have managed to fix my drainpipe with some ‘super tape’ and loads of instructions from the guy at the hardware store; I have never learnt to change a plug.

Google is great, and I know I could learn. But I don’t want to.

You see, I don’t mind being a woman. Or actually even being considered ”useless”, to a point. While I agree that feminists have it right in some aspects, I’m not a great advocate for feminism as such. I actually like the fact that there are some things that men ‘are supposed to’ do.

Society is very different these days. As are the general opinions. And we’re all raised different ways. I was raised that the man is the head of the home, so long as he submits himself to God. (Yip, Christian upbringing – which came with its own trials and tribulations) I was raised in such a way that the man was the provider, and the protector. That it was his responsibility to carry the burdens of the household. And in a lot of ways, I view that as correct, and possibly incorrect. But…

My own experience may have warped that thinking all together.

When my son was eight and a half, and my daughter was just twenty months, I became a single mom in every sense of the word. I initiated it because there were no longer any other options available to me – unless I was ready to welcome death. Full on parenthood of both sexes was NOT on my agenda, however. Long story short, after failing at every other option he thought was available to him, he settled on, ”If you divorce me, I will never see the children again and you will suffer for it.” And no amount of counselling or help changed his mind. So at those young ages, that was the last time my children heard from and saw their father.

And suddenly everything was my responsibility. There were no weekends off, and co-parenting was non-existent. At that stage in my life, I was pretty clueless about a lot of things because I had always been a girly-girl. I had to learn about home maintenance in a hurry, and how to be a good mom, and dad. Discipline became that much more difficult, as did dealing with all the emotions of both genders of children. I was now the sole breadwinner, provider and protector in every sense of the word (I never got maintenance out of him – long story, big battle). He passed away last year and there was nothing for either of the children. In fact, I heard of his passing purely by accident. Such is life.

It took four years to get back in the dating game. It was a disaster. I don’t blame the men entirely – I had done divorce recovery courses, but I wasn’t healed…not that I knew that at the time. I made a lot of mistakes in those dating years, and I paid dearly with the last one, because I had never fully healed. 

I had to pay a huge price for it, but finally full healing began. That intense pain and traumatic experience was the catalyst for mind blowing change, and a form of rebirth. Proof that even the most negative experiences can have very positive outcomes!

Anyway… when my daughter was 10, I was asked on a date by an attractive man I had got to know through friends. And for the first time in a long time, I found myself actually considering it. My son was non-committal when it came to his opinion on this – he didn’t mind either way, apparently. My daughter was rather vocal.

“But you don’t need to date anyone, we’re perfect like we are. We don’t need anyone else.”

The full impact of her words never hit me till later, even though for years my children had been giving me Mothers AND Fathers Day cards filled with appreciation.
I actually wasn’t failing them the way I thought I was – I wasn’t a struggling single mom. They were happy and secure despite the fact that they only had me.

I rejoined the dating world anyway, and BOY, HAD IT CHANGED! I made it through first dates just fine, and always got a second one. But there was never a third. Completely my own fault. And yes, here it comes….
some brutal honesty regarding a taboo subject : S E X. 
There seems to be this trend that when you’re a mature adult, you’re considered a consenting adult, and none of the normal rules of dating apply. Thus the expectation of an exchange of bodily fluids by date number three. UGH! What?!?!?!

(While I have no issue with the exchange itself and have always found it rather enjoyable, I am very much a relationship kind of girl and stuff like that needs to wait. Sorry fellas!)

(side note : not all men are like this – I just haven’t found the ones I have come into physical contact with to be different.)

When discussing this with a close girl friend, who has been in a committed relationship for over four years now after going through her own divorce and jumping back on the bandwagon a little faster than me, she suggested to me that possibly I was meeting the wrong type of men. It was a subtle hint from her to focus only on good Christian men.

Now, let me very clear. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUT THERE! Do not, for one moment, in your never ending frustrations at not being able to find a mate, doubt that THERE ARE STILL GREAT MEN in this world!

Imagine how disheartened my friend was (as was I at the time) when I shared with her that one of those ‘no third date’ guys was the attractive man that I had spent ages getting to know and called a friend – excited for the possibilities – who happened to be a man who was studying to be a pastor. Sigh.

So I came up with a new motto at that time, about three years ago :

FB_IMG_1566756944448

And what a journey that was! The sudden acceptance of the fact that I was single taught me more things than any romantic relationship ever could. Acceptance brought about a change in my attitude. And it provided me with the time to explore my emotions, my mind, my heart. That exploration was not always pretty – there were some very ugly truths that I needed to accept about myself, and dealing with them – learning about them and changing them – was HARD! My childhood and past left me with this ‘lonely’ feeling much of the time – but I discovered that being alone didn’t mean I had to be lonely. 

And I discovered that in order to be able to give of myself to anyone, I needed to actually KNOW myself, and love me for what I knew.

(I still fall short with typical female rants of, ”I’m too fat”; “I’m not pretty enough” etc. But not to the degree where I dislike myself like I used to – it’s more of a laughable, ”I’m such a woman” thing 😛 )

AND THEN…

The other day I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, and came across a friend of mine who had played one of those OMG games. Apparently Santa is bringing her ‘the perfect man’ for Christmas. Her caption was, of course, ”Yes please”!

LIGHT BULB MOMENT! (must be the one I changed in the bathroom last week 😛 )

Now we all know that NO ONE is perfect. But I think when people speak of a perfect situation, or the perfect partner for them etc. it’s basically their own personal perception of perfect. And so I don’t criticise my friends when they tell me they have found ‘the perfect man’, because in their perception that may very well be exactly what they have found, for them.

And that got me thinking about MY ‘perfect’ man. And something popped (broken light bulb that needs fixing) in to my head :

My perception of perfection may be what I WANT, but it may not be what I NEED!

In getting to know myself I have learnt that there are a lot of things that I want for life, and from life, but they’re not always the things/tools/equipment that I actually NEED for life. I am continuously given moments where I learn that annoying fact. It’s annoying because I don’t like to be wrong. I like things to be clear and concise.

And this suddenly became an epiphany for me on romance.

I can have my list of all the things that I want in a man. I can seek him out, or check items off the list when he somehow finds me. But at the end of the day, those are things I want and because I am continuously growing and learning, they may not actually be things I need. (And here’s where my Christianity comes into play) God knows what I NEED and in His time, he’ll provide it. And He’ll provide me with discernment with regards to that – I just need to keep asking!

When I shared this with a friend yesterday, she was discouraged by my views. I thought I was being quite positive. I shared the above with her, and ended with, “So if it means I spend the rest of my life single, I’m actually really okay with that.” And I really am. I can’t explain it. I just am.

I am not closing myself off to the potential of a future romantic relationship. I am not in  state of lonely depression. I am not shutting myself off and withdrawing to an unlit room – I know how to change a lightbulb 😛

But I am also not going to chase after what I want, because even in my successes with regards to getting to know myself, what I want may not actually be what I need. So I’m leaving it up to Him.

dating-affirmations

For now it might have to just be my dog – but if you knew my dog, you’d understand that he’s worth it 😛

It might always just be the air – but for the chance to wake up each morning to a new day, and have the love of my life only being the breath that I take – well, that’s pretty much worth it too 🙂

Goodness, this really was a post of ‘relationship randomness’. Here’s hoping someone got something out of it…even if only just a good giggle somewhere along the way 😉

1 grateful person tag

I got tagged! 🙂 Thank you to herrychiccounsels for the honour 😉

I have to be entirely honest here – I am not one to post about religion or politics. These are very sensitive areas, and best not argued about on any social media platform or blog.

I have been criticised in the past for this, particularly when it comes to religion. I have been accused of being ashamed of what I believe, and that is very far from the truth.
But my own upbringing makes me a little wary of how and when I share my beliefs.

Probably one of the greatest things I have learnt in life (other than the time that I learnt that I will never be able to moonwalk like Michael Jackson 😛 ) is that we are all different and should respect each others differences and embrace them. Being critical and nasty and refusing to consider that others have different views to us doesn’t benefit anyone.

I had the Bible shoved down my throat growing up. It wasn’t about relationship, it was about religion. I promised myself that I would never do that to anyone.
The religion vs. relationship thing also taught me that people don’t care to hear the words if there are no actions to support what is being said.

AND THIS IS TRUE OF LIFE IN GENERAL. Don’t just say it, show me that you mean it.

So if you’re averse to Christianity, you can stop reading. I’m certainly not going to hold it against you. I’m thankful that you stopped by anyway 😉

On with the tag :

The 1 Grateful Person Tag is based on Luke 19 and the account of Jesus with the 1 out ten lepers he healed who came back to thank him. Let us aspire to be like the 1 who thanked Jesus and not the 9 who did not.

The ‘Rules’:
1- Share what you are grateful to Jesus for.
2-Share a passage from the bible about gratitude that means something to you.
3- Tag whoever you wish to.
4- Please share a link to my original post. 1 Grateful Person
5- Use any picture in your post that expresses gratitude
6. Share the intro

1 Do we have till the end of the next year? Could any person really read for that long? 😛
Yes, that is my way of listing that there is just so very much – simple things and complicated things. A myriad of things.
But I guess I’ll share this one : I am grateful for the difficult times. No, don’t scoff. I really am. When I look back at them 😉 When I have been in those dark and difficult places, I’ll admit that I didn’t like them, and I certainly wasn’t grateful for them. But when I look back and see how far I have come and learnt along the way that has made me a better person, I can’t help but be glad that I had them. I still experience difficult times, and I still don’t like them..even though I know that there’s going to be a rewarding change for getting through them. I don’t always tackle them gracefully, and I am definitely still inclined to complain in that dark place – even though I know the outcome will hold valuable lessons. But these days (after years of practice and tough times) I am more inclined to react with, “What am I supposed to be learning from this? I wish there was a better way of teaching me!”
Would you believe, it STILL sometimes takes me a ridiculous amount of time to learn the lesson!!! Sigh!

            “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
                                                    Proverbs 17:22

Wait, what? It’s supposed to be a verse or passage about gratitude?!?!?! Well….to me, it is. I’ll make my explanation as brief as possible. If I can somehow manage to keep happiness in my heart despite my circumstances or the bad situations I encounter, I am more inclined to express gratitude. When I sit in the dark depths, my spirit very much does feel crushed and I am more inclined to lean towards feelings of bitterness and despair – and we all know that those don’t push us towards gratitude.
That doesn’t mean that when something devastating or bad happens that I don’t feel sad or angry, that I don’t hurt. A ‘happy heart’ is not immune to bad feelings. It just has a quiet type of joyful peace that manages to draw on gratitude despite it.
(Okay, so I am not very good at explaining it 😛 )

3 Hopefully there will no offense in this… I’m not tagging anyone. BUT..if you WANT to do it then you are definitely worthy of the grateful person tag. Please tag me if you do – I’d love to read your choices 🙂

4 Here’s the link to the lovely lady who nominated me 😉

5 The image I chose kind of goes with my chosen verse of scripture 😉

images
Photo Credit : soulutionary.com

And I’ve already completed task number 6 at the top of this post.

 

Looking Up

The little Yorkie from down the road had come to visit, again. My dog was delighted. They make the strangest pair.

She’s three kilograms of fluff and fun; He’s twenty two kilograms of boisterous activity.

And yet, somehow, they just seem to get along so very well that he won’t eat his breakfast until she has dropped by and eaten her share first.

Yes. Can you believe that?

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