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

Don’t get sucked in!

Black hole

It’s the end of the year. I don’t know about you, but to me it feels like there is a black hole in my universe trying to suck me in. I am physically, emotionally and mentally tired. So much so that I can feel the fight in me ebbing to an all time low.

What I found easy and even enjoyable to do, is now a battle. I have to battle to stay on top of my game at school and at home.

But thank God I don’t have to do it in my own strength. He said when I am weak, He will be strong. (Exo 14:14)  “The LORD will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still.”

cross whirlpool

Do you remember the Idescribable Tour of Louis Giglio and Chris Tomlin? This picture of the cross whirlpool is the furthest galaxy that could be photographed by the Hubble Space telescope. It is such a comfort to me, knowing that at the end of me, my comprehension of God, my feelings, my abilities, my strengths and weaknesses, are God. He is the beginning and end of me. He encompass me. What am I? A puny human in the greatness of everything, yet He made me and His Spirit lives in me.

So in this dry, tired season, I can sing with Chris Tomlin and Lecrae “Awake my soul”:

Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me

I come alive, I’m alive when you breathe on me

Speak to me, word of God, speak to me

I come alive, I’m alive when you speak to me

[Chorus:]
Awake, awake, awake my soul,
God resurrect these bones
From death to life, through you alone
Awake my soul

Then He said to me,
Prophesy to these bones and say to them,
Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!
This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones,
I will make breath enter you,
And you will come to life.
So I prophesied as I was commanded.
As I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound,
And the bones came together, bone to bone.
And I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them,
And skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then He said to me,
Prophesy to the breath,
Prophesy, son of man, and say to it,
Conjure the four winds of breath and breathe.

[Chorus:]
Awake, awake, awake my soul,
God resurrect these bones
From death to life, through you alone
Awake my soul

Yeah, I’m not alone, I realize
I breathe out, I come alive
Your word gives life to my dry bones
Your breath tells death it can ride on
Awake me, make me a living stone,
A testament to your throne, I
I’m nothing without you, I’m on my own
The only one who satisfies my soul

So I’m not going to get sucked in, and neither are you friend. We are more than conquerors through Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.

you see the depths of my heart

Enjoy the rest of this week. There are 20 schooldays remaining for me. In 45 days it is Chrismas. New Year, 2014, is 52 days away and then we start over with a new year.

But for now, I want to try to live each day to the full, as if it is the first day of the rest of my life. Because it is.

On marriage…

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I was at a beautiful wedding yesterday. As the bride walked down the isle in her wedding dress and cowboy boots to a country song, my heart remembered my special day and our unconventional wedding.

The nervous jitters of all the people helping to make it a special day to remember and cherish, gave me a grin. It was precious to see how much love and commitment went into the planning and execution of a perfect wedding. And like all human plans, unplanned things happened.

In all the preparation to lay out the reception hall, the groom forgot his clothes at his mom’s house and had to rush back to get it! The look of panic and determination on his face will always stay with me! It was the first wedding I attended where the groom was thirty minutes late! But the bride took it in her stride and was still smiling all the way down the isle with eyes of adoration on her husband- to-be.

The chocolate fountain didn’t work too well as a near-gale force wind cooled the chocolate down. But that didn’t deter the guests! They used the marshmallows and fruit sticks to scoop chocolate out, and had a ball eating the deliciousness while photos were being taken.

I enjoyed watching all the happy faces while everyone posed with the bride and groom. I felt a pang of sadness over my happy-ever-after that didn’t end so happily.
But I will keep on going to weddings. I will keep on believing in happy-ever-after. I will stay the hopeless romantic that I am. I will believe in love. Because I believe in God.

I will bore you another day with the tale on ‘How not to get divorced’ but today I celebrate the marriage of two special people and I pray Jer. 29:11 over them. That God’s plans for them are good is a fact, but that they will stay in His will, bound together with the cord of the Holy Spirit, a united front against attacks.

My wedding anniversary was a couple of days ago. It would have been 20 years this year. Shakespeare comes to mind and it is apt to close my memory with his Sonnet 116.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

May you stay in God’s will Frikkie and Niqi, loving each other everyday like yesterday.

Xxx hesta

Stock taking…

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Every 16th day of August I do stock taking, probably because it’s my birthday and I have this nagging desire in me to check if my life is moving forward. I know that sounds alot like being a perfectionist, but I pride myself in being a recovering perfectionist!

So is my life better than last year this time? Let me see…

My boys can drive me nuts more than half of the time but then they can be so sweet and considerate and loving more than half of the time too. Every year, with great secrecy, my birthday breakfast gets planned and executed. This morning I upgraded from scambled   eggs and toast to coffee and cookies at half past four in the morning!

Their handwritten cards, hugs and kisses will make any difficult day for the rest of the year bearable.

At school I wonder if I ever make any impact on the children. Schooldays are very difficult most of the time, with children pushing every boundary, some even becoming downright rude sometimes. But then on my birthday morning, I get hugs from every child I meet as I walk to the assembly area, they all burst into “Happy birthday to you!” as soon as I round the corner, and my table groan under packages and letters written in their bestest handwriting to tell my I’m a cool teacher.

Some days I wonder if God remembers me? Things go wrong and I wish He can magically make it right. Like my car is a Skorro-skorro! It is on the road out of pure grace and mercy alone! But then again, God has promised us many things but never a smooth ride.

I look at my friends who I sometimes think have such busy lives that they don’t have time for me. Then they organise a picnic on the playground, at break while we are doing play-ground duty, and know, they still love me and care about me.

I receive sms’s, mails, tweets and facebook messages. I get phone calls from my brother, sister-in-law and nieces.

I am loved.

Life is good.

Thank you God. Thank you for giving me another day, a birthday! to celebrate life with my loved ones. Thank you for blessing me with health and good-looks!! (Haha , I had to put that in!) Thank God for blessing me more than I deserve.

Friends, I sincerely hope that your birthdays are just as precious and when you take stock, that you realise that every minute, every breath you take is good, even through the difficult days.

Have a super Friday and lovely weekend. I will…. my birthday will carry on this whole weekend!

Let me do something beautiful for you…

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I’m contemplating life (and death) tonight.

We buried a very special friend today and not a couple of months ago a favorite cousin too.

I was shocked by both deaths because they were so unexpected and because both of them are only a couple of years older than me!

It made me realize how fleeting life actually was. How we waste time holding grudges, feeling offended. Or rushing through the busy-ness of everyday without seeing the beauty around us, touching those we love ánd those we don’t want to love.

Does your life have eternity-value? If you die today, will there be others that can proclaim before our Judge you loved them when they were unloveable? You helped them when they needed a helping hand? You showed them the way to the Light and Grace and Mercy of a loving Father? You spent time with them when you could have spent time doing what yóu wanted?

I want to start a conscious, daily, random act of kindness-thing. For in being randomly kind to someone, without expecting something back, we will be living like Christ wanted us to live – souled out to Him, to loving the world as He loves us.

I hope to do something everyday to touch someone’s life in a positive way. My friend’s life reminded me of that. How she was always gracious, generous, loving. Never a push-over but always ready to do good.

I’m sorry that the death of a friend had to tear me out of the inertia I’ve fallen into. We know these things, know that our days are numbered, that we all will one day reach the finish line and step over into the Glorious Light. Yet somehow, we still live as if we will live forever, and doing that good deed, spending that couple of minutes can wait until tomorrow.

I’m reminded that God knows us so well:
“Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” -Psalm 139:16 (Msg)

May He grant me the strength to follow through on this decision. To live life fully, loving without expecting something back.

Until we meet again in Glory, rest in God’s arms my friend!

xxxxx hesta

Father’s day: What my dad taught me…

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My brother sent me a mail this morning with this message:’ This will make you think about our dad…’ He’s been gone for 10 years now but will never be forgotten!

What my dad taught me…
He taught me to crawl but also taught me that when I’m all grown up not to crawl for what I want, but to wórk for it…

He taught me that not everything in life ends like a fairy tale and that a cactus is a flower too…

He taught me about north, east, south and west but also that only I can determine the direction my life takes by the choices I make…

He taught me that the shortest way to a man’s heart is through the TV remote, with all the sport channels as main course…

He taught me that Bostik can fix anything from a broken kettle to a broken heart…

He taught me that grid, grout and great is not the same thing…

He taught me not to blame my sister (me!) If the half moon hangs in the night sky and I said she broke it.

He taught me there is always three sides to a story: my side, your side and the right side.

He taught me the most loyal and cheapest pet is a piggy bank.

He taught me that the most beautiful woman in the world is my mother.

With tears in my eyes I remember my imperfect, perfect dad. Whose whispers of wisdom still echoes in my mind. And I can add to my brother’s thoughts:

He taught me to always get up when I fall.

That failure is a new beginning.

That smiling can make the sun shine brighter.

That overlooking someone’s faults don’t make you blind but gives you compassion.

That loving even when you feel unloved will come back to bless you hundred fold.

That prayer is always answered.

To our dad in heaven and to our DAD in heaven: Happy Father’s day!

xxxxx hesta