I didn’t die…

the first step to getting anywhere

If anyone was worried, I didn’t die. I haven’t been blogging since January, as I am re-evaluating the value of blogging. I love writing, but I have been feeling that I am only writing about myself and my activities. I love myself but I’m definitely not narcissistic to the extent that I believe people would find my everyday activities remotely interesting. So I am re-thinking what I want to achieve with my blog. So if you are following me, I will be doing some cosmetic surgery on the site soon, as well as writing about more than just my little corner of life.

Hope to start soon. Have a great day! Here by us it is wintery cold and a bleary sun is stroking the yellowed and reddened leaves on the trees…

I would really appreciate some input: Do you like my blogs? Why or why not? Do you have any suggestions for changes?

Lots of love

Hesta

Do you know everything about Autism?

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I sure don’t!

I have read various articles and been on courses but I feel like my knowledge is but a drop in the ocean!

I am facing a challenge at school. There are quite a few Autistic learners or learners with Asperger Syndrome.

As parents and teachers of children on the Autism spectrum know, these children sometimes present with other learning barriers too. In most of my learners’ cases it is ADHD.

I’m very excited because tomorrow counselors and teachers from our school is going to visit another school to learn more about helping these special needs learners.

I know having all the academic background is a must, but I would love practical advice on how to help these learners cope with our curriculum and also teach them the necessary social skills to deal with everyday life. Every individual has his/her own set of unique circumstances, learning style and coping mechanisms.

Please comment with tips that worked for you in cases where the learner battles with frustration due to sensory overload or inability to interact appropriately in a class situation.

There is a Sotho proverb that says: Motho ke motho ka batho. (A person is a person through other people).

There are so many people with specialised training that has tried many different techniques that work with special needs learners. Is it appropriate to ask for help? I sure hope so! I want to learn everything I can to help each learner in my class be their optimal self and to learn with enthusiasm.

Thank you for your input guys and galls! It is really appreciated.

xxx much love – hesta.

Why would God use me?

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 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Romans 5:6

I saw an awesome video clip last night that really made me think. God uses people who first has to hit that thick, impenetrable stonewall of hopelessness. When you’ve realized that you can’t do anything on your own, that you need God in your life because without Him, you will just fade into nothingness – that’s when He will use you.

It made me look at who He used in the Bible. Check this out:

The next time you feel like GOD can’t use you, just remember….
Noah was a drunk;
Abraham was too old;
Isaac was a daydreamer;
Jacob was a liar;
Leah was ugly;
Joseph was abused;
Moses had a stuttering problem;
Gideon was afraid;
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer;
Rahab was a prostitute;
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young;
David had an affair and was a murderer;
Elijah was suicidal;
Isaiah preached naked;
Jonah ran from God;
Naomi was a widow;
Job went bankrupt;
Peter denied Christ (3 times!);
The Disciples fell asleep while praying;
Martha worried about everything;
Mary Magdalene was promiscuous;
the Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once…
Zaccheus was too small;
Paul was too religious;
Timothy had an ulcer…..
AND
Lazarus was dead!

I am learning that Jesus gives me endless hope. I don’t need to be perfect to be used by God, just willing. He will even make me able.

 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 1 Corinthians 1:27,28

Awesome isn’t it?!

Use me Lord.

Use me Lord.

xxx much love – hesta.

I am a teacher!

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I’m a teacher…………..

Behind that doctor, there I am, a teacher………..
Behind that economist, there I am, a teacher……….
Above those astronomers there I am, a
teacher……………….

I carry the light even though they mock my passion………..

But i am a teacher……..

I don’t qualify for a RDP house nor earn enough to buy an expensive one…………………..

I drive a cheap 3rd or even forth hand car that I’ve learned to fix myself so that it can take me from my home to my school, because I am a teacher……………

Some think or even say that I have so many holidays, never knowing that I
I spend those holidays either researching or planning what and how I’m going to teach when I go back to school…….

Because I am a teacher…….. I sometimes get confused and even stressed by the ever changing policies that the politicians, who have political power over what and how I have to teach, lay down as law…….

On pay days I don’t laugh as others do and by the next day I have to come with a smile to those that I teach………..

Because I’m a teacher………

The main source of my satisfaction is when I see my learners growing, succeeding, bravely facing the world and its challenges.

Yes I am a teacher……..

It doesn’t matter how people look at me. It doesn’t matter how much more they earn than me because what they have wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t for me……..

I am a teacher………..

(A beautiful post by my friend and colleague Barbara-Mari Du Toit with a few tweaks by me!)

To all teachers starting school for this new year: Carpe Diem! Go get them, inspire them and make that difference!

I teach.

I teach.

xxx much love – hesta.

So, what’s new in your life?

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in with the new

in with the new

 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelations 21:5a)

As the old year 2013 drew it’s last breath, my sons and I were in church with thousands of others listening to this Word.

We all have bad attitudes, words and feelings. We grumble, moan and criticize the government, our bosses, the economy, the crime rate, our family members, our friends. No use trying to deny that one.

And in the spirit of new year we always want to make a resolution to try again. Good and well, and some even last to February!

But I’m not going to make resolutions in my own strength anymore. I want to make resolutions standing on God’s Word, His promises for each one of us, His strength when I can’t carry on anymore.

So here’s my new attitude:
 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;

16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. (Philipians 3:14-16)

New words:
1 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.

2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly.

4 A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:1,2,4)

New feelings:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.( Philipians 4:4-7)

And this year I’m claiming this promise of God for you and me dear friends:

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.

13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

14 I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

May you be blessed in 2014!

Happy
NEW
year!!

Bless this year

Bless this year

xxx much love – hesta.

Meditations on Madiba…

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

This morning when I woke up, Nelson Mandela was dead. Just so quietly gone…

I remember the vigils everyone had when he was in hospital a couple of months ago. There were candles and prayers and singing. And he went home after weeks in the hospital and everyone sighed a collective sigh of relief.

And now he is really gone. And I’ve been thinking this whole day of the changes he started in our country.

I was raised to have a racist point of view by parents who I loved dearly but who didn’t know better because they were raised by parents who came from parents who were at war with black tribes for survival. And we can all throw many stones but somewhere someone had to say, “the buck stops here. Racism must end”. And that was what Mandela did.

He had every right to be angry, bitter and full of hate to those who imprisoned him. Yet he chose to walk in forgiveness. He lived it everyday. He became for me an example of a person who shows grace and mercy to those who didn’t deserve it. That you can love anyone as your brother and sister, no matter their skin colour.

I looked on after 1994 and waited for him to fall flat on his face as a president. “What would he know about good governance?” was my thought. But he governed well. He rose to the occasion. He didn’t abuse his power to enrich himself. He didn’t abuse his power to put family members in positions of influence. He taught me that a good leader, leads by example. That a good leader walks behind his people to herd them in the right direction, to be there to pick up stragglers. That the people mattered not just an elect few.

I have only known two truly good people to ever live in my lifetime, Mother Teresa and Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

He left a legacy of hope to a nation divided. That out of diversity can come unity.

I really hope we live up to it.

Rest in peace Tata Madiba, until we meet again.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Are you ready?

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With keen interest I watched comet ISON’s coming and going. It was called by many ‘The comet of the century’. Last night when it made perihelion and fizzled out, I saw on Twitter how many people were very disgusted, because they wanted a brilliant display during December.

But do they know that ISON is one of six (yes 6!) comets on course past Earth? One comet is commonplace, two rare, three spectacular, but six! Biblical for sure!

The Word says that there will be signs in the heavens before the coming of our Saviour, Jesus. We would be fools to disregard them.

The last couple of weeks we have had severe thunderstorms here in Johannesburg. Hail the size of tennis balls hurtle down, destroying roofs, windows, cars and scaring the living daylights out of everyone.

I was reminded of a passage in Romans 1:18 ‘ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.’ I might be wrong but it sure feels like the wrath of God raining down on us.

So are you ready? If Jesus appears on the clouds and calls us home, will you be leaving with me? What glorious thought that all our suffering might be coming to an end soon!

I’m becoming a cloudgazer. I really feel it can’t be long anymore. The best is yet to come!

Are you coming along? If not, where do you think you’ll be going? God is merciful and just and He said He forgives our sins if we repent and ask Him to be our Saviour.

There is no time friends.

Are you coming? Are you ready?

Greater things are yet to come...

Greater things are yet to come…