Archive for the ‘Life and thoughts’ Category

Read Full Post »

When you’re there, in that dark moment, you are SO desperate. You wonder why it is that, when others need you, you are there, front and centre, ready to help them. But when you need someone, all those people disappear. Oh, they do have a peek at you, but only to judge and condemn.

Finally you accept that you are on your own. You get through the tough times, and become stronger than ever. Realizing that you CAN do this, you ARE ABLE and you DON’T NEED other’s help at all.

Those who left you alone actually did you a favour. Not only did they prove their absolute uselessness as friends, they forced you to grow in ways you never imagined you could.

But, don’t be mad at them, let them go kindly, because being stronger and wiser doesn’t mean you must become part of their ‘gossip group’.

Img source: @mentorsmotivation

Read Full Post »

#FamilyThings #HattinghHousehold #Fun #LifesLittleMiracles #findthegood #ThisOneLife

Video source: Petacular on YouTube: youtu.be/dPi1Bmsy0lU

Let me start at the beginning. So, our trees had the temerity to extend their roots in and around our underground water pipes (the – eeuwww – sewerage pipe). We have this gardener who is also a builder, handyman, painter, you know, your basic Jack (or in his case, Azaria) of all trades. He’s VERY good at EVERYTHING he does.

Last week hubby got ol’ Azaar to fix this root-filled pipe. He came on Saturday with an unhappy helper and dug a hole in the backyard, right next to the water filled hole a.k.a. swimming pool. It rained cats, dogs and hamsters, though, so he couldn’t finish the job and the hole is still lurking there, tempting me to bury something in it [evil laugh].

Anyway, yesterday he came back, installed the pipes, but still did not fill the hole. I figured if we continued digging, we’ll end up in China (yay!), but hubby was NOT impressed.

Now, we have too geriatric dogs. A very, very long Dachshund called Duchess, although I tend to call her Longcelot and a VERY heavy and brain cell impaired Basset hound, Fred. These too oldies were kept behind the gate while the dig-dugging was going on.

Before I continue I also need to add that dear hubby is a bit off-balance. He cannot seem to walk in a straight line or keep upright for an hour at a time. He doesn’t drink, so I think it’s just that he never really concentrates on what and where he’s going so he wanders hither and yon around the house these days, much to our twisted amusement, of course. Shame, I do adore him so much.

Yesterday afternoon, hubby, in his ‘infinite wisdom’, decided the poor pooches need some freedom. They’ve been cooped up in the small dog-run for too long, you see. I understood that he wanted to help, but warned that those two are more unpredictable than the government, so he’d better not. They are bound to investigate the hole and may fall in.

Hubby thought to just peek at the famous hole, just to see if it really poses such a danger as I feared it would. Oh dear, what a mistake! He peeked over, turned around….and around…and around and…KERSPLASH into the pool! Clothes and all. He nearly drowned for he says he laughed all the way down to the bottom! Needless to say, he got no sympathy from any of us. We cracked up! It was just SO funny! Especially since it all happened in silence. He sneaked back into the house, changed into dry clothes and finally couldn’t hold it in any longer….he started laughing like a loon and we almost thought it’s time to call the guys in the white coats. He told his wet tale and, well, I think the neighbors thought: “There goes those batty Hattinghs again!”

Of course it was not the end. He let the dogs out, just like the song says, and they promptly investigated this hole they’ve heard so much about. Fred surprised us, he just went sniffing away, but poor Duchess fell into the hole. Perhaps she thought: “Gosh, there must be a BIG bone down there!”. I heard her whimpering and saw the poor thing up to her in muddy water and peering up to see if and when Superdog will appear to save the day. Superdog turned out to be me, hubby and the two kids and, given the fact that we were still laughing about hubby’s unfortunate swim, it took a while to organize a ladder, ropes and a phone on speed dial to the fire department (or, in our case, the nearest mental institution).  Eventually my son got down in the hole and got hold of the poor, frightened old girl and we  pulled her out, slipping and sliding through the mud. I even got to do the Neo-thing! You know that scene where he dodged the bullets? Hubby was holding on to me and I was holding on to Duchy and then hubby just, kinda grabbed my elbows and started pulling, so I bent backwards, like Neo. Quite something if you considering my inflexibility at this age. It was only later that I realized….what if Pennywise was down there!! It was the sewer after all! Hot damn, and I’m missed it! Aaah, well, maybe next time, neh?

Fortunately our old madam didn’t get hurt, but she was all muddy (good for the old skin, of course), and so were we. I’ll be calling the dog parlor today, she needs more than just a quick hosing off.

I don’t know if you think this is just stupid of me to post or if you are now screaming with laughter, perhaps you had to be there. But at my age, if you don’t write down the fun times, you tend to forget it ever happened.

Life is like this, you know, you need to grab on to the little happy moments when you see them. Have a look at your life today, you’ll see little treasures of good scattered throughout the long hours ahead. SEE them, hold on to them, take a picture, write it down. Because life is NOT all bad, we just have to look without our cynical glasses.

Have a FUN Thursday, my friends!

P.S. You’ve been wondering about the cats in water video, haven’t you? Well, I was obviously not there to film my husband’s non-action hero action, but I suspected he looked like these cats when he got out. I also apologize for not doing the modern thing by first taking a photograph of Duchess in the hole, but, unlike most Instagram addicts, I prefer to DO the saving rather than just filming it to impress my followers.

One Life always post footer

Read Full Post »

Video source: YouTube – https://youtu.be/J3arEmkXZ8s

#InChristAlone #LifeSkills #YourChoice #Purpose #JustBelieve #Faith

I recently updated my playlist on Spotify and rediscovered this gem from the late 1970’s. It certainly brought back a LOT of memories. I used to listen to this song all the time when it was released back in the 70’s, singing along in my usual falsetto, totally off-tune, but singing my heart out anyway. Why? Because I’ve felt like I was looking for ME my whole life.

When I listened to it a few days ago, the reality of what I am, who I am and where I am came crashing down and I realized that I am, in fact, no better off than I was 40 years ago. I’m still floundering around, looking for my ‘destiny’ and I am sure that I’m not the only one.

When we are little we have such wonderful dreams. Dreams of becoming great men and women. People who will MEAN something or CHANGE the world. I’ve always known that I must serve and I did and am still doing it. But, thinking about it now, I wonder whom it is that I serve. I’m not talking about religion, because I serve just one God, but I’m talking about our lives here on earth. We, I, serve others, but would it be so bad to, for once, serve ourselves/myself? This concerns me a bit,though, since I was raised with the understanding that thinking about your own needs, even just a little bit, was selfish. I was nothing, others’ wants and needs and hopes and dreams were more important. This is what’s making this ‘change’ so hard.

I wanted to be a writer when I was little. This idea formed when I was just 3 years old (crazy, huh). These days I still dream of becoming the  next Virginia Woolf (now, don’t you laugh at me, at least I’m still dreaming, despite this gloomy little post), but things interfered back then, changing the way I think about EVERYTHING. Events happened that made me choose between pleasing others or doing what I want. This was to set the theme for the rest of my life. 

Eventually I went through the normal phases: I wanted to be a teacher, a dancer, an actress, a fashion model (I shocked my Mum one time when I told her I want to become a pornographic model. I was 10 and had no idea what it was! Mum nearly had a stroke!). Things got more serious as I grew older and I decided to use my skill for service by becoming a nurse. Mum was not very happy about that, so another choice was made to please….I followed her lead and found a job at a bank. I HATED that job! But at least everyone else was happy. Finally I thought that, perhaps I should try studying to be a minister in our church. I think you can guess how that turned out. 

I finally got my degree in my mid-thirties, but then other things happened and I could never officially open my counselling practice. All the while I was serving, serving family, serving friends, serving complete strangers, helping out, standing firm for others when they had no strength. The past seven years was defined by this while I was involved with welfare work. My life revolved around outreach programs, fundraising efforts, parties for vulnerable individuals and more. It was like I was totally consumed by the thought of making everyone else happy. In the Bible it says that God is the potter and we are the clay. Well, it really feels as if, in my life, everyone else was the potter, pushing and shoving and kneading me into shapes and forms that would suit them. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame anyone for my choices. I’m just trying to explain how one can totally lose direction, how you can forget about yourself in your efforts to accommodate others and how serving others in that way can, in fact, cause you to become something different than you’ve hoped for. 

Today, I sit here typing, wondering who I really am. I accept the consequences of my choices, I even accept this confusion in my mind, just like I accept the wrinkles and the bingo wings that sprung up overnight. But I think it is time I cut the ties that bind me to this selfless identity I’ve allowed others to construct for me. It is time I start thinking about what I want.

A friend shared an excerpt from Diana Appleyard‘s book, “Too Beautiful to Dance”, with me. Look what it says: “I tried to see everything from his point of view so I could filter out the things he did not like, or would annoy him, so his life would be less hassled. How many women, she wondered, experienced this? As if everything around you had to be scanned to prevent potential arguments and create harmony, dirty plates picked up, car keys put back in the appropriate place, television programme details studied to select the ones he might like. It was, she thought with a smile, as if she had viewed the world through Matt-glasses. And now she had to use her own eyes, and rediscover what SHE liked. From the food she wanted to eat, to the way she set out the furniture, the music she listened to, what she wanted to watch on television, even how long she stayed in the bath – all these decisions were hers, and hers alone. It was a kind of freedom, she thought. A compensation for failure?” 

In this story the main character, Sara, leaves her husband, Matt, for reasons I will not disclose in case I spoil the book for any potential readers. This part I quoted though, touched a nerve with me. I could identify with it so much, because my entire existence has been about others. Planning and maneuvering things to fit other people’s lives. For the most part, those people couldn’t care less, so I was actually  just wasting my time. I am most definitely not sorry that I did what I did and I never want anything in return. It just, sometimes, feels as if I have failed at my own life. It feels as if, somewhere along this road that I’ve traveled for the past 51 years, I’ve dropped off large bits of myself, losing my identity along the way.

So, now I’ve made a decision. I will not stop helping, giving, serving, caring or anything like that, because, in my heart, I know that is what God wants me to do. But I am slowing down a bit. It is time that I turn the kindness around and be nice to myself for a change. I don’t think I was a failure, no, and this new ‘freedom’, as Appleyard calls it, is not compensation for a failed life. I feel that every day, every moment that I lived up to now was a learning curve. I had to be that ‘sucker for punishment’, as my husband calls it, to become who I am now.

Maybe it is wisdom brought about by age, I don’t really know. I just know that, from now on, I will seek to find my way back to the road I want to be on. It is time to stop wandering with my open arms and heart on my sleeve. It is time to come back to me.

Like Frodo in “Lord of the Rings” I will ask for a guide, for I know not the way and, like always, I found Him……He has been there all the time.



Img source: ebay.com – goo.gl/DMBVrx


APPLEYARD, Diana.  2007.  Too beautiful to dance.  Black Swan Publishers.  404p.

One Life always post footer

Read Full Post »



Image via https://www.leonardcheshire.org/

#CanDo #BetterLifeBetterWorld #Inspiration #Motivation

I don’t know if it is me getting older and wiser, or just me getting older and crankier. The thing is, I’ve become a little bit irritated by everything in the world. So, I have been wondering if I’m the only one noticing these really bizarre things.

Have you noticed, for instance, that everyone on social media seems happy, yet the world is now more filled with depression and suicide than ever before in history? Not to mention the enormous increase in drug and alcohol abuse AND the growing rate of prescriptions for anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and sleeping pills. Never before have I been so bombarded by meme’s proclaiming that kindness, compassion and love is the way, however the world remains to be a boiling cauldron of war, famine, poverty, abuse, pain and suffering, while those that are supposed to bring change, just keep on talking about the very things these meme’s proclaim. It is ludicrous, to say the least.

What is this ‘authentic life’ people are talking about? I just don’t understand. Have we been living false lives then? Yes, I know I sound crazy, but seriously, it seems that everywhere motivational speakers are popping up with ‘the answer’ to it all. They provide solutions and 5-step programmes, solutions that are rarely taken seriously and programmes that are never followed through. People remain in discontent; they are clinically unhappy and wallow in self-hate, self-pity and depression!! Why?

I’ve mulled over this issue and suddenly it became SO clear. Remember that old saying ‘talk is cheap’? This is exactly what is happening here! We talk and talk about kindness and caring, love and compassion, reaching out to war zones and helping refugees. “PEACE,” we shout and then we have a cup of tea and watch CNN. WATCH CNN, mind you! So that we can comment on the war and the famine and say things like: “This should…. They must…Why don’t they?”. I’m right, aren’t I?

Then we go to our comfortable beds, scan our Facebook newsfeeds, check Twitter and post a nice meme on Instagram (or a photo of your cute cat, curled at the bottom of the bed). How do I know this? Because this is what I do and I just KNOW I’m not the only one. We are SO busy online and wagging our tongues about the state of the world (and life in general) that we forget we’ve got some serious power. That power, my friends, is the ‘CAN DO’ or in SM-speak #CanDo. Unfortunately, you’ll have to get up and go out and actually lift a finger or two, not to mention an arm and a leg, oh, and you’ll have to bend the old noodle as well.

Point is, you cannot change the world or your life, by just TALKING about it. Your words will not feed the hungry or bring warm blankets to the poor during the winter months. Your power of positivity-meme on Instagram will NOT stop the teen from committing suicide or using drugs. Yes, it may uplift him in the moment, but once he scrolled down, what then??? Politicians love to talk, we all know that, and maybe they have the REAL power to change things. Celebrities have money and social power and many of them actually do go out of their way to help those in need. Hats off to them!! Now I can just hear you saying: “But I’m not a Hollywood star or a politician. My input has no clout at all. I don’t have money to fund outreach programmes and build rehabilitation centres. It doesn’t matter what I do, it will amount to nothing.” WRONG!!!

Do you believe that meme you posted this morning? That one about kindness or compassion? Do you believe that is how a person should be? Then BE LIKE IT!! Don’t just post about it because people expect you to, actually BE KIND! Smile at the stranger in the street, give food to the homeless fellow on the corner, visit a sick neighbour. This is something you CAN DO!

Did you comment on a post about a tragic suicide or a mourning family? Did you send them a little sad face to show your support? Did you think: “Those poor people, I feel SO sorry for them”? Why don’t you start doing something about it then? If you can’t visit them in person, at least type something more supportive than an emoticon. Or send them a direct message with a poem of condolence. Learn the lesson through their experience by appreciating your own loved ones more, be careful what you say to others and talk to someone who seems lonely or depressed. You never know when another person’s misery and sorrow come knocking at your own door. You CAN DO it!!

People, we may not be able to have the universal power of the United Nations or the fist of power held by leaders in the free world, but we can nurture our own CAN DO-power with action. We can change OUR little world, our lives if we dare to reach beyond our own comfort zone. And to think that you will not impact anything or anyone is a big mistake. Your smile may give hope to the stranger in the street, your kind touch may save the life of a broken teenager, your loaf of bread may feed the beggar’s family tonight…and if that is not impacting a life, I don’t know what is.

Closer to home you can be more THERE for your loved ones (and less online), listen to them, take time to care about their lives, notice them, love them. Stop posting about perfect families and CREATE the perfect family. You CAN DO it!!

You want to live an ‘authentic life’? This is how. This is also how your Facebook smile becomes the real thing and not just a ‘for the photo’-grin. This is also how health and happiness can be achieved. Doing good for others uplift the spirit, brings fulfilment and content. Why? Because you feel you live a life worthy of something. You MEAN something.

Also, when you see the suffering in the world first-hand, you learn to appreciate what you have. We are all struggling to get by in a world that demands more and more from us every single day. Sometimes we feel trapped by all these terrible things. We worry constantly, but once you are faced with the harsh reality of other people’s misery and pain, you learn that you should count your blessings and be thankful for what you have.

The thing is, friends, we post a multitude of nonsense on social media, yet we never take responsibility for it. We put things out into the world, without a single thought that, maybe, we must take that message to heart ourselves. I admit that I love the meme’s and the quotes and the little smiley faces (even though it sometimes gets irritating) and that it gives me hope to think there are so many people on this planet who crave to become better human beings. However, perhaps we should really consider acting on what we post: BE kind, BE considerate, BE caring. Do not read the inspirational quote and then promptly forget it. ACT on it if you believe in it.

Life should be lived to the full. We all have limited days and we must make the most of it. This is our world, we have a responsibility towards it and its residents to be the best person we can be and no post will ever achieve that. You must do it YOURSELF.

Look, listen, learn….that’s life, love it and embrace it.

Remember, you got this and you CAN!!



Read Full Post »

#1Life #Ministry #Testimony #LifeInChrist #Faith #Hope #Love

I suppose that all the people reading this humble blog have, at some point, come to a crossroads in their lives. You had to choose which direction your life will take from that moment on. I’m not talking about simple, daily decisions like must I have coffee or tea; I’m talking about those that will totally change your life.

Many years ago I arrived at just such a crossroad. I was very young and didn’t quite understand, but did what my heart and soul cried out to do.  I stepped onto a path that will eventually lead me through many trials and temptations.

On that evening, many years ago, I gave my life to God. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Redeemer. That night I realized that I’ve been called to a life of service. Service was something I was used to, though few realized the commitment and responsibility I felt at that young age. For me, at that point in time, my purpose was to serve my family, my friends in school and anyone whom I could help.

1 Peter 4:10:As each has received a gift, employ it in serving one another, as good managers of the grace of God in its various forms.”


Over the years these acts of service grew and consumed my life, my soul and my identity. People took advantage of me, but I didn’t really care, because I felt I am doing what I was called to do. For many years I served in that way and thought that it was enough. What a fool I was, because, while I did live close to God, I don’t think it was ever close enough. Serving God was just the beginning; He had greater plans for my life and needed me at His feet, not in the doorway.

Of course, Lucifer was hanging around all the time. He saw what God was planning and had plans of his own for me, my life and my loved ones. He also knew that my relationship with God did exist, but that I was not yet strong enough in faith. This was something he wanted to use against me.

I was 18 years old when the first big attack took place. It popped up out of nowhere. A child was lost. A child who was precious to me.  The way she died was horrific and unthinkable, especially since she was so little, only 3, and innocent. It was a terrible time for my family and I witnessed their demise. It was as if the entire foundation of our household was crumbling beneath our feet. We were in ruins. The sorrow and pain of the parents (my brother and sister-in-law) drowned out anything good. There was nothing ‘good’ about the event. I saw all this happening and, in the midst of those dark days, I heard a voice telling me to get up, to get going. The message was clear. Someone had to stand up and SURVIVE this and I was elected. My family needed to mourn, but they also need someone to pick up the pieces of their lives and glue it together again.  I made the decision to take charge and be strong for those who were feeling devastated and weak. This was my calling, after all. God told me to do the work and I did it as best I could.


Of course the devil was, yet again,  waiting in the wings. He was biding his time and over the course of the next few years, he did his best to lead me further astray. He saw that I was standing firm and supporting the family. He also saw that my faith, while there, was still not strong enough. Through faith we conquer, not through our own strength and that was my mistake. I tried to help everyone deal with their grief, while not even giving myself a second to consider my own sorrow. ‘I tried’, you understand? Not ‘God made me strong enough to do this’. Lucifer saw this and pounced.

He nearly killed me. During that time and in my efforts to overcome numbing grief, I started to hate the body God gave me. I now see it for what it was, the devil whispering in my ear: “You are NOT good enough. You are fat, ugly and not worthy of love or anything else on this earth.” I was struck blind by his lies and made the mistake of listening to his deception. Mixed up in all these thoughts were ideas of self-harm, even suicide, so that I can be with my girl again.  Life became unbearable, but my resolve to support others grew even as my own physical appearance diminished.

The outside world didn’t help much and neither did close friends or relatives. According to the media (even in the present day) being super-thin is THE thing to be. Being a bit chunky is NOT cool. Only thin people are loved and admired. It was a whole lot of issues concocting ideas in my head. On the one hand I had the grief and the overwhelming responsibility of keeping my family strong, on the other hand I had this issue with my body. This issue was basically a means to an end, said end being self-destruction. You see, I wanted to be perfect, because I couldn’t fix my family, I couldn’t take away their pain, I couldn’t bring our girl back from the dead. So having a ‘perfect’ body would somehow compensate for that. Yes, I know it doesn’t make any sense at all, but at that point I was so confused that it was all I could do to regain control over my life. (Notice what I’m saying: ‘control over my life’. It should NOT have been like this. GOD should be in control of my life!)


Throughout my torment, though, I still read the Bible, prayed and went to church, but my mind was in such turmoil and I was so focused on regaining some sort of balance and control that it meant nothing. Satan was ready for action and I stepped into the trap willingly. I stopped eating altogether (control, remember). Physically I literally melted away. Psychologically I was totally becoming unravelled. Anorexia nervosa the doctors called it. A wasting disease that eats at your spirit, your physical body and your soul until a mere husk of a human is left. Depression, anxiety, fear, responsibility, guilt, all rolled into a physical body weighing less than 32kg. Doctors reckoned I had about two weeks to live and, man, I was ready to die. Wasn’t this exactly what I wanted? The final, blissful end, completely orchestrated by myself. My life, my terms, my ending. That is how I thought it was, while, of course, it was exactly what the devil wanted. He wanted me to think that having control over my life is the best thing. He made me believe that I can, in fact, refuse to be a mere pawn to a God who obviously does not care. A God that stole a precious life, that allowed a family to be torn apart by grief and was allowing me to become physically and emotionally so sick that I can barely move. He blinded me to the fact that, in my selfish battle to win control over everything in my life, I’ve forgotten the original call, the call of service to God. A person with a sick body and mind cannot serve God properly. A person focusing so much on ‘being in control’ cannot be a useful tool in God’s service either. Sin leads to death, always, and Satan was making cartwheels of joy, because he got me and he got me GOOD!

James 1: 14 & 15: “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

When I finally realised that the end was inevitably close (I still didn’t realize my mistake nor my sin) I became obsessed with the Word of God. I felt a great need to study the Bible, to seek God, to seek redemption. I felt abandoned by God Himself, because NOTHING was getting better. I now understand that this was the Holy Spirit, gently trying to pull me back towards the road God wanted me to travel. Through my Bible study the Spirit showed me my transgression against God.  My sin was twofold: I neglected the temple of God, my body, and allowed Satan to have his way with it. Then there was the element of pride, I wanted to be accepted, I wanted to look good. But that was not all, this pride took over the wish of every true, devoted Christian. The true follower of Jesus Christ allows God to control his life, I, on the other hand, was trying to take charge of my life and to do God’s work on my own, without His help and intervention. I thought I could do it. ‘I am strong’, I thought, ‘I will survive’. I-I-I, me-me-me. When I realized this it was as if everything fell into place and I stubbornly started to fight for my survival again. I entered a programme with the help of a psychiatrist and eventually managed to get better, healthier. I thanked God for His help, for finally showing me the truth. I even gave testimony in church. But do you notice? I still said ‘I entered the programme’ and ‘the psychiatrist helped’, ‘I gave testimony’. Lucifer was lurking in the shadows again and he was rejoicing, because he knew that I was not quite living for God yet. You need to take note of the mention of ‘I’ in the story as I continue. I tell it as honestly as I can, leaving nothing out. I want you to understand that one can praise God and still not be His true follower. You can say ‘Jesus, Jesus’, but have no clue what commitment and true, heavenly citizenship entails. It took me years to understand this, as you will see at the end of my story.

After my discharge from hospital, I remained under the care of the psychiatrist for another 6 months. I took a lot of medication and things settled down a bit. What I didn’t realize was that the war has only begun. I’ve won the battle, yes, but there would be many more challenges ahead.   I was not yet ‘right’ with God and was still standing in the doorway.  I was not yet worshipping at His feet.  Lucifer was adamant that the situation remains unchanged, that my relationship with God will not grow and that he will ‘get’ me in the end.

Life went on. I got married and started a family. I had a job I enjoyed and things were finally looking up. During these years I continued my mediocre relationship with God. From time to time real passion will flare up and I will devote myself to His Word for a while. Then something will happen, life will happen, and I will fall back on the old ways, lurching along the road, not really going anywhere, just ‘being’. I had so many blessings. A wonderful husband, children, a beautiful home, but I never quite saw it that way back then. At the end of the millennium, the devil remembered about me. Perhaps he has been around all along, just waiting to grab me, I don’t know. But the Word tells us that he prowls the earth and looks for souls to devour.

1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:


I’ve let down my guard, you see. I was relaxing everything, even my daily worship. We still went to church on occasion, my son to Sunday school and I did read my Bible and prayed. But this was more out of habit than anything else. As I said, I was just ‘being’. I did try to feel thankful for everything, but my relationship with God was not as intense, as intimate, as it was (and is) supposed to be.

Luke 6:45-47: “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them:…”

Yes, I still spoke like a true, devoted Christian. Yes, I would not be ashamed to be called a child of God and yes, I still remembered the God of my childhood. But even so, I did not walk the talk, so to speak. My heart was miles away from devotion to God and I never allowed Him to lead me. I was too busy trying to control my own life…..AGAIN!!

I once heard a saying: “On the road from Gethsemane to Calvary, I lost my way” [from the Inspector Lewis series by Colin Dexter – episode: Life born of fire] I could immediately identify with that. I did indeed lose my way.

It was August 1998 and we were desperate for another child. Both I and my husband were thrilled when we learned that I was expecting. Unfortunately, only two days after we received the good news, I lost the baby. Being the person I am, I got up and battled on. I was used to falling down and getting up, you see. It was simply how life treated us. Years later I would finally mourn the loss of that child. At that time I refused to allow grief to enter my heart. The last time it [grief] consumed me, I nearly died, and I was determined to avoid going through that again.

We did indeed have another child. A boy, who grew up to be a wonderful, loving and kind person. During my pregnancy the doctors again feared for my life as well as that of my unborn son, but we both came through and survived. Raising him was quite challenging, but he is such a sweetheart, it made up for all the difficulties I had during pregnancy.  He is 18 years old now and had a life filled with struggles and challenges. Being ADD, he had his share of academic troubles. Most teachers couldn’t care less about him and only told him he was not good enough. His troubles were part of my own pain and worries, part of Satan’s plan to bring about my final fall from grace.

I started to doubt God, because I couldn’t understand that he allowed an innocent child to be verbally abused, ridiculed and demeaned by adults who should know better. Sometimes I got SO enraged that I screamed at God. Afterwards I would be so ashamed, because I could see myself as a three-year old throwing a temper tantrum. This was all exactly what the devil wanted. He wanted me to get angry at God, to blame God, to feel ashamed and abandoned. He was driving both me and my husband into bouts of deep depression. We worried all the time and nothing we did seemed to work. Eventually this particular situation worked itself out, but not before we both felt that we are all alone in this battle for our child’s wellbeing. And even now, today, I still worry about him, but for reasons I’ll eventually explain, the worry is not so intense anymore.

I resigned from my job when he was born and my focus became the children and our home. The early part of the 21st century wasn’t easy. A lot of factors added extra stress and worry. We were constantly building additions to our home, changing things around to suit our family better. I was left to care for the kids amidst dust, bricks and plaster, while basically living in one bedroom for months on end. My husband had he’s own set of troubles at work and often came home under a cloud of depression. Then, in 2004, my sister passed away. A few months before that, my parents moved in with us. Mom had Alzheimer’s and needed constant supervision and Dad wasn’t too healthy himself. Add to this the problem of my sister’s diagnoses (it was breast cancer) and her subsequent battle, and you have a recipe for disaster. During this time I continued to care for the children, as usual, driving them around to their activities, helping with homework, assignments and test preparation. I was still trying to control it all, you see. If I couldn’t cope, I fear the world will perceive me as a loser, a bad mother and a horrible daughter. What I didn’t know was that, with all these things happening at once in our family, the devil was busy setting the scene for the grand finale. He planned to drag me into darkness so deep, that the light of God could never reach me.

With my parents staying and both being sickly, I had to step up (again) and be the strong one. I cooked and cleaned and tried to deal with sister’s illness, well knowing that she was terminal. Her death was imminent. She died in November and Mom took it VERY bad. My parents remained with us for another 8 weeks after the funeral, during which time their new home in the retirement village was completed.  Helping Mom to cope was difficult, as she would keep on forgetting that my sister is gone and when we told her the truth, her grief was absolutely devastating time after time after time. That was the worst thing, to bring bad news to someone who can barely remember her own name.

During this period God was completely out of my mind. I would sometimes remember to read my Bible or pray a little bit, but I was so busy trying to hold everyone and everything together, that I simply had no time for God. Looking back I can, once again, identify the work of Satan in all this. I don’t blame him for my sister’s death, of course I also do not deny that he may have had a hand in it, but the circumstances just kept on getting more challenging, the evil attacks coming one after the other. I didn’t realize it at the time. I was too busy surviving. (Have you remembered to look at how many times I’ve used the word ‘I’? We’ll get to that later, but it is very important that you understand that ‘I’ was trying, ‘I’ was doing this and that. It is like carrying a heavy mountain on your shoulders. Yes, I think I felt like Atlas himself.)

My parents finally moved into their own place again and we had a respite, some minor moments of peace and quiet.  All the time I was still trying to help my younger son cope in school, as well as encouraging his older brother to study harder, helping with exam and test preparation and so forth. Mom’s health kept on getting worse and I would receive calls from Dad to come and help.  This I had to take care of in the mornings, rushing home to be with the children and prepare lunch and dinner for the family. Mom finally passed away in January 2009, but that was not the end.

During 2008 we started an adoption process. We took in a lovely little 3-year old who soon became a bright ray of sunshine in our lives. My husband said that he got a sign from God that we should do this and we did. Everything worked out beautifully and by the end of 2009 she was fully adopted and her name was changed.  We would say that it was God’s hand, but at that point, speaking about God was just that, ‘speaking about God’. We didn’t feel connected to him anymore. Satan, causing so much trouble in our lives, made sure of that. He had his own ideas for this young life in our care.

The little one had a lot of difficulties, especially with feelings of abandonment and she was very attached to us. She couldn’t bear to be separated from us. There was always anger brewing just below the surface and sometimes she would lash out and attack me physically. Since I was the stay-at-home Mom, I was always the victim. We learned to deal with this, and eventually these attacks abated somewhat. She received proper psychological treatment and, though the issues will take years to be dealt with, she learned to manage it in a healthy way.  Now I understand exactly how the devil tried to undermine God’s plan with this child in our lives. He wanted us to hate her, to abandon her again, to hurt her emotionally and scar her for life. He wanted us to feel guilty about it. He did not succeed. Not then and, even now, with the troubles she has at this moment, he will NEVER win.

During this period my Mom died and Dad became dependant on me for everything. He would call me day and night and expect me to rush over to his house to help him find his remote control or his sleeping pills or his keys. Silly things like that, but I did what I could. Something else also caught my attention about him. I noticed odd things, like he would lose stuff or he would get lost when driving to the shop. I recall one time when his neighbour told me how he left his house to do shopping at 9 o’clock in the morning and only returned at 4 in the afternoon. He admitted to her that he couldn’t find his home. The residents in the retirement village started to notice more things and it worried them so much that they would call me about it at all hours. Dad would, for instance, get up in the middle of the night and start nailing his doors and windows shut. It was to keep the ‘bad people’ out, he said. One time he locked himself inside his house and couldn’t find the key. He had to call a neighbour for help. The final straw was when he fell in his bathroom and hurt his back so much that he had to use a wheelchair. I called an ambulance to take him to the emergency room, but it became clear that he needed more care. After his hospital visit, the demands increased and I eventually had to do buy his groceries, pay his bills and drive him to and from his doctor.

Keep in mind now, that all this time I still have a troubled daughter at home, a son with learning disabilities and an adult son who needed my support for further studies. He was also in a new relationship and would obviously need some advice and guidance in that department. But I battled on, because I am to serve, am I not? I need to do this and I was never one to say no to a challenge.

Throughout this time, I would sporadically return to God. I would study scripture and pray. Thing is, I never felt His presence in my life. The troubles that were sent upon us stole my happiness, it was destroying the last vestiges of a relationship I had with God. During one of these ‘returns’ I remembered my first calling. God called me to serve. I knew that I was serving anyway. By helping my Dad, my family and everyone else, I was serving them. I wanted to do more and decided on reaching out to people further afield. I started a foundation that cared for orphanages and day care centres in rural areas around Pretoria. It became busy fast, with organizations calling me and asking for help. These days I am still officially involved with 6 charity organizations, not counting my own and I assist more than 80 facilities across South Africa. I tackled this monstrous task on my own and am still doing it on my own. I have no assistance, no helpers and only two volunteers who will help on occasion. I held onto the call and the words in Galatians 6.

Galatians 6:9:Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

I did not care about the harvest, I was helping others. When they praised me, I told them it was NOT me, it was God’s work. I believed this and I feel that, because I held on to this truth, I was able to ‘keep in touch’ with God. I was misled. You cannot speak about God and praise Him to the masses, you have to LIVE a holy life as well. Nothing should stand between you and God.

The foundation grew and while that was wonderful and a blessing for others, I had other problems to take care of. My children still presented an enormous challenge and I felt for them. I cried often and got cross more, not at them, but at God, for allowing this to happen. My anger came directly from Satan. I know this now. He wanted to lead me further away from God, hence the encouragement to blame God for what was going on.

Then there was Dad. He was placed in a retirement home, but completely lost it during his time there. At this point he was still driving on his own, but we took away his car for fear that he may get lost or be attacked or even be in an accident. I suspect he never forgave me for that. His midnight wanderings in the village and his irrational reaction to people got so bad that the nurse in charge of the facility suggested we move him to a 24-hour care facility. This meant we had to pack up his things and move him for the second time in two months. Fortunately this time I had no need to worry about selling a property and finding a buyer, so we moved him. He spent his last days in a 24-hour care facility in mid-town. I felt terrible about it. I think all children feel bad when they leave their parents at a place like that, even if they knew for certain that the parent will be well cared for and that it was for the best. It felt as if I abandoned by Father and I’m sure he held that against me as well. He was never really happy there and he missed my Mom terribly. I was feeling a little better in knowing that he will now be cared for. He will make friends and not be so alone. Still, I went to visit once a week and bought his few groceries, took him to the doctor and dropped off his medication at the nurses’ station. It broke my heart when I finally saw him fading. The thought of losing him was terrible. My Dad was my hero, the one who always protected me from Mom’s wrath. But I knew, even that last day I saw him, that his time was close. He died on 31st May 2013.

You would think that I heaved a sigh of relief at his passing, but doing that never crossed my mind. I miss him, even now. He was a good man and couldn’t help himself during those last few years. He was grief stricken after Mom passed and then his mind simply went AWOL. He is not to blame and I am, in a sense glad that I had the privilege to do for him what I did. It was an honour to give back a little to the man who took such good care of me during my entire life. But still, being there for him was exhausting and I thought that I will finally have time to spend with my children. I wanted to focus on them, help them and take better care of them. I have always seen myself as someone who can do better. I was never good enough and thought that, hopefully, now things will stabilize, the bad things will start to go away. I was wrong, of course.

Things only got worse at home. My poor husband suffered greatly at the hand of his colleagues. People whom I believe to be the devil’s ‘hand puppets’. We managed a holiday just after my Dad’s funeral, but during the holiday my husband had a fall and hurt his back. He was unconscious for a bit and suffered mild concussion, broke his coccyx and two of his vertebrae and had muscle damage. We had to extend our holiday for a week before the doctors would allow him to drive all the way home. Fortunately his back healed relatively fast, but he still suffers some intense pain from time to time.

A year after Dad’s death and my husband’s fall, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I couldn’t care less, though. For me death was a way out of this mess (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). I didn’t die, I survived and I was lucky, or rather, I was blessed. They could remove the malignancy completely and I did not even have to receive any kind of treatment! How did I deal with this? Well, I barely considered it. Even now, when you talk about cancer I struggle to identify myself with being a ‘cancer survivor’. It was then that I began to understand that I was not surviving anything, not on my own strength. There was someone or rather, Someone else in charge. I will tell you why.

10 years before my diagnoses a doctor told me I should consider having a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, since breast cancer seems to run in our family. My Mom, aunt, sister, grandmother and great grandmother all had to face this truth at some point. Great-gran and sister actually died in exactly the same way, with exactly the same symptoms. I thought the doctor was a bit loopy, but the idea stuck. During those 10 years I’ve had various lumpectomies done, but the lumps never were malignant. In April 2014 I visited my GP and brought up the subject of a prophylactic mastectomy. To this day I cannot understand exactly why I spoke to him about it, but after that, things started happening. I was referred to a surgeon who, in turn, referred me to a cosmetic surgeon. Approval was received from our medical aid for the procedure and on July 3rd that year I had both a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction. It was only when they tested the tissue that they discovered the cancer. It was ductal carcinoma, the one that killed my sister and great-gran. Did Someone save my life? I think so. There I was, thinking I was making this very clever decision of having the operation done as a precaution, but all the while God was working in the background, pulling strings to secure my survival. One of the ladies at an orphanage I represent had something to say about this as well. She said that God was not done with me yet. That He had bigger plans for me. I think she was quite right. Looking back, I can now see how God was starting to stir my soul. He was slowly trying to lead me back to the road He had planned for me.


You can imagine how upset the devil was about this. Here I was, finally GETTING the fact that I was NOT in control of my life. I was, at last, moving back through the doorway towards God’s throne. He must have been foaming at the mouth, because during the second half of 2014 things rapidly got worse. One brilliant moment was the wedding of my older son. He married a lovely girl and the wedding was perfect. Despite the perfection of the moment, we were having a mountain of trouble at home. The wedding placed an unnecessary financial burden on my husband and we felt extremely angry at the people who placed us in such a position. In addition to this, there were issues with my in-laws. The relationship has been vulnerable forever, but that December it all came to a head. We will never know or understand the truth of what happened and why, but the point is, they abandoned us. They ‘wrote us off’. Apparently because of something I’ve said 14 years ago. We suspect we know who the instigator of this trouble was, so we’ve honoured their ‘abandonment’ and haven’t seen them since. This was a terrible blow for my husband. He never felt loved by them, but to be so rudely dismissed by your own parents and them not even considering the fact that they are not only cutting ties with him and me, but with their grandchildren and future great-grandchildren as well. That is quite an emotional storm to deal with. Even today he still struggles with this and the fact that he is also experiencing victimizing at work doesn’t help his state of mind at all. Personally I went through emotions of shock, at first, then anger. I couldn’t understand that parents can do that or that sisters can tell such tall tales to cause such a thing, a thing to hurt a son and a brother. It is an unspeakable act. Eventually I just felt disappointed and sad. These days I pray for them and believe that they will see the truth for their own sakes. I will get to the part where I finally found the courage to do this for them. Perhaps then you will understand how grudges, hate-speak and anger can fuel the devil’s furnace.

For the next three years our lives were a rollercoaster ride of more downs than ups. My husband wasn’t coping at all emotionally and the burden to carry on quickly became my responsibility. Once again I was in a position of ‘surviving’. I was to get up and fight the good fight, keep up my spirits and find a way through the horror of our lives. We coped, somehow, but during the past couple of weeks, it all came to a head in the strangest manner.

My husband was diagnosed with acute depression and put on medication. His colleagues had no sympathy and used this to discredit him at every turn. The decision was made to put him on ‘sanity leave’ for a while. During this time, our daughter had her own troubles to deal with. School became unbearable for her and she acted out in ways that made the teachers horrible angry. She was treated in ways I cannot imagine by people she thought she could trust. It was suddenly as if everything that can go wrong, went wrong. My husband was in the deep, dark hole and he started to ask questions about God. How could God allow this? How could he allow our children to suffer like this?

Over the past few months I got into the habit of reading my Bible again and praying. I still felt distanced from God, but had an intense need to be closer to Him. Now, during the worst of times, God finally spoke up loud and clear. I was at the end of my strength when I was given this scripture:

Psalm 55:22: “Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.”

It suddenly dawned on me that, all these years, I have been trying to ‘fix things’ myself. Despite knowing better, knowing about faith in God, praying and more, I did not understand.

Romans 12:1-2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

God wanted me to realize that I need to lay down my own ego and commit my entire being, my whole life to Him. He wanted me to step out of the doorway and closer to Him. My life, forged with spiritual fire, must be His, not mine. I am NOT in charge of my own life.


Then God gave me this scripture:

Revelation 20:6: “Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.”

The Holy Spirit impressed upon me the importance of ‘dying’ for this world; meaning that you must spiritually lay down all that belong to this world. That first time, so many years ago, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I accepted Him then as a child, not fully understanding, but hearing His Voice nonetheless. Now I understand and KNOW that I am called for a second time to reclaim my place at His feet. I now see how I must leave this world and all its beautiful temptations behind, which is the first death. The death of the ‘I’, consumed by the world and its evil, will allow God to fully take charge of my life. I will arise in Jesus Christ and live a life filled with hope, faith, glory and love. Only then will I be able to find true peace.

God showed me that, whatever has happened to me in the past, all those challenges and struggles I faced, have been orchestrated by forces beyond our understanding. Evil forces that wish for us NOT to turn to God. In the end those were allowed to mould me, like clay, so that God can use me as His instrument for the task He has in mind for me.

Ephesians 4:14-15: “So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,…”

Isaiah 64:8: “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

The Holy Spirit continued to reveal the footholds satan got in my life. He urged me to pray for release from bondage. The forces of evil had made my body and spirit their home and they were ever so comfortable. Every day I was made aware of certain things that I need to address, things that I have done wrong or thoughts I had that didn’t please God. First and foremost I had to get rid of the pride in ‘coping’, the ways I’m hurting my body (His temple), the anger towards Him and others, the judgemental attitude. It was all consuming me and I was quickly losing the battle. Satan and his minions were almost everywhere in my life and they were having a BALL!


1 John 5:4: “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

Showing me the doorways Satan had into my life was not all God did, He also showed mercy. All my previous prayers were not authentic, you see. How can I ask God to help me or forgive me and not be pure in His sight? How can I expect Jesus to stand in the gap for me, if I only half-heartedly believe that He is the Son of God? I have been blinded by these evil forces in the world. The dark clouds gathering over my head, the challenges of satan and my own transgressions kept God’s love and compassion hidden from me. In a way it kept me hidden from Him, as well, because He wanted to reach in and save me, but knew that I need to walk this road so that I can learn valuable lessons. He wanted me to ‘find my own way’ back to Him, and I did.


Through faith I had victory over myself, my pride and ego. I let go and let God have His way with my life. You will remember that I asked you to notice how many times in the story above I used ‘I’, there was a reason for that. I wanted you to understand that, all my life, I trusted only myself to ‘fix things’. I did not want anyone else to take over and soon, everyone was seeing me as ‘strong’, as a ‘survivor’ and that made me proud, it made me feel good. Few people in my life really understood the battles I was fighting. I think they will be appalled if they knew how bad it actually was. Now I know that it was NOT me fighting and that, even in the depths of despair, it was God who was doing battle with me. I was never alone at all.

I can’t express the relief I felt once I’ve given it all to Jesus. There is simply no way to describe the feeling of sweet release. To know that you do not need to carry your burdens anymore, that you will receive an army of angels to help fend off satan and his demons if he dares to attack you (which he does).

Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

There is so much more that I can share with you. Things that have been revealed to me, some of them quite unbelievable, but I will do so in time.

I want to tell you how to be free from bondage, how real spiritual warfare is, how to pray for your enemies and how to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ, which I feel in my soul is closer than we can imagine.

For now, however, I want to leave you with these words:

Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”


All scripture references from: https://www.openbible.info/

I wrote this under guidance of the Holy Spirit. Believers, listen and learn, Jesus is almost here. Do not make the mistakes I made in the past. Believe, have faith, give your entire life over to God. The world and what it demands of us is worth nothing at all. Look at your life, your possessions and your friends through God’s eyes and get rid of that which keeps you from His grace and glory. And above all else, love one another, love your enemies, love God with all your heart.

Blessings until we meet again.


Read Full Post »

#Faith #Hope #Love #LifeEverlasting #EndTimes

Acts 2:17-22: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.

And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.  I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’

This message has been pressed on my heart to share. We need to take stock of our lives, we need to examine our hearts. Who is your God? How do you serve Him…..really? Be honest with yourself and if you hear a whisper about anything that is amiss in your life, THAT would be God pointing out something you have to change. Truly give your whole being to God. Allow Him to lead you on the road He has planned for you. Do not be stubborn and insist on doing things YOUR way. Listen to His words, His commands. Confess your sins, seek forgiveness, bless your enemies.

There can be no excuses, for I suspect the time is nearly up.

Don’t you believe me? Just look around you.

Be vigilant, my friends, be prepared, keep your lights burning for the Lord. It will not be long now.

Video via YouTube: youtu.be/BSy4wd4QbaA<br>

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: