Saturday, 31 May 2014

Update: Keeping busy

So I have been keeping myself busy by trying to knit/crochet over the past couple of days and I am finally getting somewhere! I started using circular needles to make an infinity scarf. I’ll post a picture when it’s all done. J It feels good to be able to create; to make something useful and pretty.

I know that it has been a while since I last posted but there were some battles that were being fought that needed internal processing before I could express them. I think that the inspiration to write has once again returned, so I’ll post some of my journal entries from the past month later.

F* said that he would call today, but then he postponed it until tomorrow. Apparently he has something that he wants to tell me. I’m guessing it’s that he’s started seeing someone. I mean, that’s the only reason I can think of that would make him announce it like that. He hasn’t really been chatting the last month or so and I think that he’s been keeping me at a distance.

Yes, yes, he’s been busy studying and it’s really important and stressful and hectic…. And that is an excellent excuse reason to not communicate…. AND I would be completely unreasonable for wanting to speak to a friend to see how things are going, other than on his terms… but whatev’s right, I am building a bridge...

Initially I had some mixed feelings, but if his updated relationship status is the big news then I will be happy for him. Honestly and truly. He deserves happiness just like the rest of us. And I have decided that I will not make a big deal about any of my feelings about the silence. I am learning that I can’t always expect people to deal with things the way I want them to. He has been dealing with his life the best way that he knows how, and confiding in me, just wasn’t something he felt he needed. It could possibly be as simple as that. So, no hard feelings here.

Other than that, things have been quiet, with the usual family chaos. I guess this is a good thing. At least we have a reasonably stable life. Stability is good. Stability is what some people look for all their lives…. I am grateful for all that I have been blessed with.

I hope anyone reading this has been well. I hope to hear from you soon. J
Take care xx

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Trusting God

1 So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things? 2 If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we're given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. 3What we read in Scripture is, "Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own." 

4 If you're a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don't call your wages a gift. 5 But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it's something only God can do, and you trust him to do it - you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked - well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift. 

6 David confirms this way of looking at it, saying that the one who trusts God to do the putting-everything-right without insisting on having a say in it is one fortunate man: 7 Fortunate those whose crimes are carted off, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate. 8 Fortunate the person against whom the Lord does not keep score. 9 Do you think for a minute that this blessing is only pronounced over those of us who keep our religious ways and are circumcised? Or do you think it possible that the blessing could be given to those who never even heard of our ways, who were never brought up in the disciplines of God? We all agree, don't we, that it was by embracing what God did for him that Abraham was declared fit before God? 

10 Now think: Was that declaration made before or after he was marked by the covenant rite of circumcision? That's right, before he was marked. 11 That means that he underwent circumcision as evidence and confirmation of what God had done long before to bring him into this acceptable standing with himself, an act of God he had embraced with his whole life.

12 And it means further that Abraham is father of all people who embrace what God does for them while they are still on the "outs" with God, as yet unidentified as God's, in an "uncircumcised" condition. It is precisely these people in this condition who are called "set right by God and with God"! Abraham is also, of course, father of those who have undergone the religious rite of circumcision not just because of the ritual but because they were willing to live in the risky faith-embrace of God's action for them, the way Abraham lived long before he was marked by circumcision. 

13 That famous promise God gave Abraham - that he and his children would possess the earth - was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God's decision to put everything together for him, which Abraham then entered when he believed14 If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That's not a holy promise; that's a business deal. 15 A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise - and God's promise at that - you can't break it. 
16 This is why the fulfilment of God's promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God's promise arrives as pure gift. That's the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father - that's reading the story backwards. He is our faith father. 

17 We call Abraham "father" not because he got God's attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn't that what we've always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, "I set you up as father of many peoples"? Abraham was first named "father" and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. 18 When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, "You're going to have a big family, Abraham!" 

19 Abraham didn't focus on his own impotence and say, "It's hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child." Nor did he survey Sarah's decades of infertility and give up. 20 He didn't tiptoe around God's promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, 21 sure that God would make good on what he had said. 22 That's why it is said, "Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right." 23 But it's not just Abraham; 24 it's also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. 25 The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.

-Romans 4 MSG

Monday, 19 May 2014

Skype Cell Group: His love casts out all fear

One of my best friends and her mother have started a cell group via Skype! She has been looking for a new cell for a few weeks now, and asked me if I would like to be a part of it. I haven't found a church here at home yet, so this couldn't have been more welcome. It is a chance to have fellowship with a few women that are earnestly seeking God's heart. I need this.It is too easy to get lost in this world on our own and forget the promises God has made in our hearts. We need to be reminded of His goodness and love, especially during the storms in our lives.  

So, this group chat is made up of my friend - in Cape Town on campus, her sister - at their home in Somerset west; her mother - all the way in Wales; her friend - over in Newlands, UK; and me - here at home. 

It is truly amazing that no matter where you are in the world, the word of God can reach you. He will send you the right people to help you through whatever situation you may face, to support you and help you grow in His love. 

Here are little bits and pieces, words of wisdom and encouragement from the session. I hope you find something that touches your heart too.

Trust in God and His promises will come to pass. In His time, He will reveal all things to us. Be Patient and lift your voice up to Him for He hears our cries. He is always fighting a supernatural battle for us. Have faith, the victory is already yours.

He [Abraham] was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything he promised.
-Romans 4:21

“Don’t give up on your hopes and dreams; you may just be on the brink of your miracle.”

Jesus is not the spare wheel in your life, so don’t put Him in that position. Allow Him to take the lead and trust Him with all your troubles and worries. Give it all up to Him.

Our flesh is weak, but our spirit is strong. Therefore, we must feed our spirit with the word of God every day. Soak up all His wisdom and grow in His presence.

“Doubt kills faith, so don’t allow the enemy to put that in your heart.”

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare of the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I am trusting him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from the fatal plague.
He will shield you with his wings.
He will shelter you with his feathers.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor fear the dangers of the day,
nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
But you will see it with your eyes;
you will see how the wicked are punished.
If you make the LORD your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your dwelling.
For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you with their hands
to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.
You will trample down lions and poisonous snakes;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
The LORD says, "I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue them and honor them.
I will satisfy them with a long life
and give them my salvation."
Psalm 91

“His love casts out fear. Allow Him to fill you with peace and replenish your spirit.”

Don’t be afraid. The Lord sends His angels to look after each and every one of us. Don’t allow the enemy to put fear into your heart either. Trust in the Lord, in all things, and for all things. The Lord is your protector, make Him your refuge and turn to Him when you are afraid. No harm can fall upon those in the Lord’s counsel.

When your day is not focused on God, you miss the point. You miss out on hearing His voice and receiving His direction. We are here to live a life that is pleasing to God. Therefore, let every day be a testimony to Him; and let it bring glory to our Heavenly father.

Find your hope in Christ Jesus, and it will never run out.

God is good, and we need to be able to acknowledge that goodness, and look for it all around us.

Don’t let your circumstances affect your faith. Look first to God and let Him deal with all your worries.

You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!
They are innumerable!
I can't even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me

Psalm 139:16-18

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Pro's and Cons of becoming an Au Pair

Regardless of what any one says, I am determined to make my own decision about my future. 

Travelling experience
Make new friends
Get paid 195USD/week
Study a short course
Child care experience
I have friends that have gone over and done this - Good experience

I will be alone/ away from my family
It is a big responsibility
Will take another year off from studies
It is a risk (no guarantees)
I’m afraid of traveling alone
I might not get along with the family, or have a difficult time with the kids
I won't be able to just come home at any time. - flights expensive!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Update: Difficult conversations

I tried speaking to my father about the Au Pair thing, but the whole conversation just upset me. He doesn't understand anything, and I don’t know how to make him see things the way that I do. Instead he just asked a whole lot of questions and undermined the whole idea.

Apparently he is worried that he will have to retire in 3 years and I still won’t have any qualification; and he won’t be able to pay for my studies. He asked whether I was now completely done with medicine, and if there was any way that I could go back to it. He also asked if I had spoken to someone about any other career options.

He said that, without a degree in this country I will have problems finding a good job, and he’s worried that I will end up struggling (financially) in the same way that he has been for most of his life. Then he made an example of my sister (final year Law) that will at least have a degree next year and can decide whether she wants to study further or work.

I stood there almost speechless as he just kept speaking. Yes, I know that he has some valid concerns, but he just wasn't giving me a chance. I started feeling like a complete failure all over again. I felt useless, like a child incapable of making her own decisions and I'm still so confused. 

He is so closed minded, how will I ever be able to make him understand that medicine scares me. I am terrified of who I may become, and of what my life as a doctor will be like. I am afraid of all that responsibility and the pressure of working with people fighting for their lives but still just being helpless and not able to control anything. It's enough to make any one run for the hills. 

And yet I still keep asking myself if I'm just being ridiculous trying to find something that will make me happy.Or maybe my fear is just blocking me from seeing that this really is where my passion lies. I really don't know anymore.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Option 1: Au Pair in America

I have been trying to write this post for a while now. After  a couple of months of trying to figure out my next step, I have decided to pursue the two options that appeal to me the most.

Option 1: Au Pair in America
I’ve always wanted to be able to take some time out to travel and experience life from a different view. This is probably why the idea of Au Pairing appeals to me. I heard about it when one of my childhood friends took a couple years off after matric to go overseas. I think I was in 2nd year at the time, and didn’t think I’d be getting a gap like this any time soon. But still I secretly dreamed of being able to work and travel one day.

What I find so enticing about this whole thing is the picture that it paints – exploring the world and meeting new people, while still living with a family, getting a decent allowance and looking after some cute kids. And, then also getting the chance to study a short course and explore some interests.

One of my school friends, Dove, took a year off after graduating and went to Au Pair in New York. I speak to her every now and again, and she seems to be doing ok. She says that her host parents are pretty chilled and that she has quite a bit of time off. When put like this, it all sounds great!

But the thing that scares me the most about this is that I have never traveled outside South Africa. And this will require me going miles and miles away from my home all by myself. I think this is one of the biggest risks that I have ever considered. My whole life has been sort of sheltered. Even though I lived in Cape Town, away from home, for 5 years, it didn’t really feel as though I was out there in the world. I lived on an enclosed campus with security patrolling 24/7 and people around me that I could easily trust.

Traveling to the USA will not guarantee me such. It will be a completely different world filled with the unknown and, to be honest, is extremely daunting for me.

So in the fairness of exploring all options, and after some encouragement from my mentor, I have done some research and had a meeting with an agent in the area. She was really nice and told me about all the requirements and fees involved. Although I am still hesitant, I can still work on these things. 

Requirements that I need to work on
  • 200h child care experience
  • Drivers's licence
  • Passport
If you have any advice, please feel free to share :)

Monday, 5 May 2014

5 Little Grins #2

This is my second time joining the link up from Warrior Queen by Raewyn

"Don't wait until you lose something before you start to appreciate it. Don't take for granted all that God has given to you."  - Ps. Paula White

 5 Little Grins

1.      On Tuesday I couldn’t fall asleep at all. Next thing I knew, my sister's alarm clock was ringing at 6 am for her to start getting ready for varsity. So I decided to get out of bed and make coffee for everyone while they got ready for their day. And then I made them lunch! Felt nice to do this for them.

2.      While busying myself in the kitchen, I noticed the sunrise over the distant ocean. It was truly breathtaking!

3.      Baked some really delicious Cinnamon rolls

4.      Had a long awaited night out with my bestie J* and a few of her friends. Started the night off with some Wine Tasting at a nice little wine bar and then went dancing at this club (that I semi-frequented back in my younger days…). Stayed over at her place and spent the next day just chilling and rewatching random Mindy Project episodes. Lazy days after nights out are just the best.

5.      Got in touch with *F again. Was good to talk to him after this month long hiatus.  Turns out that the break was good for me. Whatever reasons he had don't matter so much any more. I no longer need him to get through my issues and I think that those feelings I was fighting have fizzled out. But I also now realize that it is easier to accept that I love him (in that platonic-friendly-kinda-way). Our friendship simply is what it is and I don't want it to be complicated anymore.

6.      On Saturday I had a coffee date with J* and we went for a lovely walk along the beach and through the park. I appreciate this girl so much. She is one of my oldest friends and we have been through so much together.

7.      Now that I think about it, I actually spoke to quite a few of my friends this week. I am not the only one struggling to get on with this growing up thing. Being an adult is tough! But I guess we just have to trust the process and take it one day at a time. 

Clockwise: The sunrise; the park along the beach front;A beautiful day for a walk on the beach; Centre: Red Velvet cake with a Mocha :)

Hope you're having a great start to the week!
What made you happy this week?

Sunday, 4 May 2014

"No, I will no longer love the people who poison me."

I have spent twenty years letting other people break my heart.
Not tonight. I am taking myself back. No, you cannot kiss me, I know you are only looking for a pair of lips to wash her out of your brainstem. No, you cannot hold me, I know you are only lonely because you refuse to ask out the boy of your dreams. No, I will not write you anymore lovesick poetry, it only makes you live forever. No, I won’t put your needs before mine any longer, you would never do the same for me. No, I will not be another footnote, another forgotten one, another shotglass broken on this floor. No, you cannot have me, not now, not today, not ever again.
I am going to finally be my own person. I refuse to be the shadow of another girl, the bed to keep you warm, the transitional object.
I reclaim myself. I am my own. And you cannot harm me.
— No, I will no longer love the people who poison me. /// r.i.d (viainkskinned)