Monday, December 26, 2011

The Kite Runner

 I had literally five minutes to spare when I dashed into the library. I handed in my due books and grabbed a few books on the library display section, one being THE KITE RUNNER by KHALED HOSSEINI. The only reason I took it, was that I liked the title of the book.

I don't often have the time to sit and read a book, and many of those I do read are just so-so, a nice easy read. Every now and then, I might come across a good read, one that grabs you and you remember the author's name for when you next go back to the library, but its been a very long time since I have read a brilliant book.

The Kite Runner, is such a book. Its a brilliant read. It is written so well and this is what makes the author so good. I have read many "best selling" authors, but few have been written as well as "The Kite Runner".
Its not a "nice" book. You don't put it down feeling all warm and glowing afterwards, like a romantic novel, and besides, this book is far from romantic. I cant say I particularly liked the main character, as he is a weak character, but this is what makes for a great book.

The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship, betrayal, and the price of loyalty. It is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of their lies. Written against a history that has not been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. But with the devastation, Khaled Hosseini also gives us hope: through the novel's faith in the power of reading and storytelling, and in the possibilities he shows for redemption.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas precious ladies

School holidays and Christmas time is a stressful time for me. It mean lots of untidiness  in the house. With a 4 and a 6 yr old, its a constant conveyer belt of clothes, swimming towels and toys everywhere. Even with getting them to help out, its not easy.
We went away last week end and this week we had family here, so for the last few days, I have had a ton of washing to do, not to mention trying to tidy up the garage where tents and camping gear had been ceremoniously dumped.
Today it was vacuuming and moping floors, more clothes washing ( thank heavens for a speed queen), and then the thankless task of folding and packing away. I don't do ironing.We are very fortunate to have a full time maid, or domestic help as its now called as maid is not PC anymore in South Africa, and I appreciate her very much. But its at Christmas time, when she is on leave, that I realise just how hard she works for our family. She is a very quiet lady, and highly efficient and as you can clearly see, I am totally frazzled without here. If it wasn't for my praise and worship cd's that I played over and over again to help me try and not focus totally on the drudgery of house work I would not be sitting here taking a break. I would be sitting under the table with a triple, no make it a quadruple gin and tonic.

So, to all those ladies who are just as frazzled as me, and to those amazing ladies who do this everyday without help, I salute you.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Too busy for God?

If you have time for facebook, then you have time for God! 

I wrote this  blog a month ago and didnt post it and so it has a bit of then and a bit of now in it.

This blog is mainly for myself, but I am sure that almost every Christian can identify with it. We all have busy lives, but I feel that I  am too busy. Even though I do have a "quiet time" in the morning before the household awakes,it had dwindled down to once or twice a week at the most and wasn't very long and often I was  just "too tired" to get up that extra hour earlier.

All we have to do is look around us today to see the evidence of this sad truth. And where has all of our busyness gotten us? For starters, it's made us more tired, stressed out and sick. This is not the way to enjoy life! Plus, our busyness also effects our relationships.
A wise man once said, "If you're too busy to spend time with God, then you're too busy!" If we don't spend regular, quality time with those we love-- including God--our relationships will be shallow, meaningless, and unfulfilling.

I needed to make more time for God.
That night I was mulling  this over, wondering on how, where, to make more room for God, as my day is so full as it is. I really wanted to and it just didn't seem possible. This is  when I clearly heard in my spirit, " If you have time for facebook, then you have time for God". 
It stopped my thoughts dead in their tracks! I realized that I fill in a lot of the gaps in the day with a quick facebook post here and a check check on what my friends are doing there.

The truth is that I had my my priories all wrong. I say had, as I am now writing in present tense again, although I am sure that there are many priories that still need adjustment.   I began to formulate a plan on how to put God first in my life and not to schedule him in a time slot. In my busy life, God had moved down the ladder. It was a gradual process, and I cant even say when it started happening.

That night I decided to re-dedicate my mornings back to God. I also need to slow this "time" down, to be able to get back to a place where I can be still and know that He is Lord. A time to listen. In my busy life,  my prayer and worship time had even become busy, and I had forgotten to "stop and smell the roses".
Since I have started re-dedicating a morning time, I have once again been drawn towards contemplative prayer. I know that I desperately need to listen to God, and really just soak in His spirit once more. My prayer life has also opened up and now it seems that my morning time is too short.

I was thinking again ( I do a lot of thinking),  on how I am now going to get up half an hour earlier as I didn't see getting up at 05.30 being very easy.
God has a funny sense of humour. In fact, I find Him very humourous.You see, I have started spinning again at gym, and the only classes I will be able to do are the 06.00am ones, which means I have to get up at 05.25 then, in order to get there on time.
The next challenge is what to do about my quiet time and spinning time on the same day. But I am sure if I leave it to God, he will find a way, and not the other way around, which is what I am apt to do.

As I begin my journey once again into contemplation, I will keep you posted. In today's Christian world, this is not regular practice, but it really is truly vital. Richard Foster writes how its in these small quiet times, totally alone that we truly begin to know who God is. The monks sure got it right all those years ago! I love his book Celebration of discipline and Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home.

Its  almost 10pm and so time to log off and go to bed in order to go "spinning" tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to have meaningful time with God

How to have meaningful time with GodBy Rick Warren

Once you’re convinced that a daily quiet time is necessary for spiritual growth, then how do you go about having one? You may be motivated to do it but may not know how.
You need to consider four essentials elements of a good quiet time:
  • Start with the proper attitudes.
  • Select a specific time.
  • Choose a special place.
  • Follow a simple plan.
In God's eyes, why you do something is far more important than what you do.
On one occasion God told Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”(1 Samuel 16:7, NIV*) It is quite possible to do the right thing but with the wrong attitude.
This was Amaziah's problem, for “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord but not wholeheartedly.”(2 Chronicles 25:2)
When you come to meet with God in the quiet time, you should have these proper attitudes:
  • Expectancy - Come before God with anticipation and eagerness. Expect to have a good time of fellowship with Him and receive a blessing from your time together. That was what David expected: "O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You." (Psalm 63:1)
  • Reverence - Don't rush into God's presence, but prepare your heart by being still before Him and letting the quietness clear away the thoughts of the world. Listen to the prophet Habakkuk: "The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him." (Habakkuk 2:20; see also Psalm 89:7) Coming into the presence of the Lord is not like going to a football game or some other form of entertainment.
  • Alertness - Get wide-awake first. Remember that you are meeting with the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Redeemer of men. Be thoroughly rested and alert. The best preparation for a quiet time in the morning begins the night before. Get to bed early so you will be in good shape to meet God in the morning; He deserves your full attention.
  • Willingness to obey - This attitude is crucial: you don't come to your quiet time to choose what you will do or not do, but with the purpose of doing anything and everything that God wants you to do. Jesus said, "If anyone chooses to do God’s will he will find out whether My teaching comes from God or whether I speak on My own." (John 7:17) So come to meet the Lord having already chosen to do His will no matter what.
The specific time has to do with when you should have your quiet time and how long it should be. The general rule is this: The best time is when you are at your best! Give God the best part of your day - when you are the freshest and most alert. Don't try to serve God with your leftovers (leftover time). Remember, too, that your best time may be different from someone else's.
For most of us, however, early in the morning seems to be the best time. It was Jesus' own practice to rise early to pray and meet with the Father: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed." (Mark 1:35)
In the Bible many godly men and women rose early to meet with God. Some of these were:
Abraham - Genesis 19:27 Moses - Exodus 34:4
Job - Job 1:5 Hannah and Elkanah - 1 Samuel 1:19
Jacob - Genesis 28:18 David - Psalms 5:3, 57:7,8
(See also Psalm 143:8; Isaiah 26:9; Ezekiel 12:8.)
Throughout church history many Christians who were used most by God met with Him early in the morning. Hudson Taylor said, "You don't tune up the instruments after the concert is over. That's stupid. It's logical to tune them up before you start."
The great revival among British college students in the late 19th century began those historic words: "Remember the Morning Watch!" So we need to tune ourselves up at the start of each day as we remember the Morning Watch.
If Jesus is really in first place in our lives, we ought to give Him the first part of our day . We are to seek His Kingdom first (see Matthew 6:33). Doctors tell us that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. It often determines our energy levels, alertness, and even moods for the day. Likewise, we need a "spiritual breakfast" to start our day off right.
Finally, in the morning our minds are uncluttered from the day's activities. Our thoughts are fresh, we're rested; tensions have not yet come on us, and it's usually the quietest time. One mother sets her alarm clock for 4 a.m., has her quiet time, goes back to bed, and then rises when everyone else in the household gets up. Her explanation is that with kids around the house all day, early morning is the only time when it is quiet and she can be alone with God. It works for her; you need to select a time that will work for you.
You might even consider having two quiet times (morning and night). Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, used to have code letters for his night quiet time: HWLW. Whenever he was with a group of people at night or home with his wife and the conversation seemed to be ending, he would say, "All right, HWLW." HWLW stood for "His Word the Last Word;" and he practiced that through the years as a way of ending a day with one's thoughts fixed on the Lord (Betty Lee Skinner, Daws, Zondervan, 1974, p. 103).
Stephen Olford, a great Christian and minister in New York for many years, said, “I want to hear the voice of God before I hear anyone else’s in the morning, and His is the last voice I want to hear at night.”
David and Daniel even met with the Lord three times each day (see Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10).
Whatever time you set, be consistent in it. Schedule it on your calendar; make an appointment with God as you would with anyone else. Make a date with Jesus! Then look forward to it and don't stand Him up. A stood-up date is not a pleasant experience for us, and Jesus does not like to be stood up either. So make a date with Him and keep it at all costs.
The question is often asked, "How much time should I spend with the Lord?" If you've never had a consistent quiet time before, you may want to start with seven minutes (Robert D. Foster, Seven Minutes with God, NavPress, 1997) and let it grow naturally. You should aim to eventually spend not less than 15 minutes a day with the Lord. Out of 168 hours we all have during a given week, 1 hour and 45 minutes seems terribly small when you consider that you were created to have fellowship with God. Here are some additional guidelines:
    • Don't try for a two-hour quiet time at first. You'll only get discouraged. You must grow in this relationship as you do in any other. So begin with a consistent seven minutes and let it grow; it's better to be consistent with a short time than to meet for an hour every other week.
    • Don't watch the clock. Clock-watching can ruin your quiet time faster than almost anything else. Decide what you can do in the Word and prayer during the time you have selected; then do it. Sometimes it will take longer than you have set aside, and sometimes less time. But don't keep looking at your watch.
    • Don't emphasize on quantity, emphasize on quality. There is nothing super spiritual about have a two-hour quiet time. It's what you do during your time - 15 minutes or two hours or anything in between - that's important. Aim for a quality relationship with the Lord.

The location where you have your quiet time is also important. The Bible indicates that Abraham had a regular place where he met with God (Genesis 19:27). Jesus had a custom of praying in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. "Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and His disciples followed Him." (Luke 22:39, emphasis added)
Your place ought to be a secluded place. This is a place where you can be alone, where it's quiet, and where you will not be disturbed or interrupted. In today's noisy Western World, this may take some ingenuity, but it is necessary. It ought to be a place …
    • where you can pray aloud without disturbing others;
    • where you have good lighting for reading (a desk, perhaps);
    • where you are comfortable. (WARNING: Do not have your quiet time in bed. That's too comfortable!)
Your place ought to be a special place. Wherever you decide to meet with the Lord, make it a special place for you and Him. As the days go by, that place will come to mean a lot to you because of the wonderful times you have there with Jesus Christ.
Your place ought to be a sacred place. This is where you meet with the living God. Where you meet the Lord can be just as holy as the place where Abraham met God. You don't have to be in a church building. People have had their quiet times in their cars parked in a quiet place, in an empty closet at home, in their backyards, and even in a baseball dugout. Each of these places has become sacred to them.
Someone has said, "If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it!" To have a meaningful quiet time, you will need a plan or some kind of general outline to follow. The main rule is this: Keep your plan simple.
You will need the following three items for your planned quiet times:
    • A Bible - a contemporary translation (not a paraphrase) with good print, preferably without notes.
    • A notebook for writing down what the Lord shows you, and for making a prayer list.
    • A hymnbook - sometimes you may want to sing in your praise time (see Colossians 3:16).
  • Wait on God (Relax). Be still for a minute; don't come running into God's presence and start talking immediately. Follow God's admonition: "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10; see also Isaiah 30:15; 40:31) Be quiet for a short while to put yourself into a reverent mood.
  • Pray briefly(Request). This is not your prayer time, but a short opening prayer to ask God to cleanse your heart and guide you into the time together. Two good passages of Scripture to memorize are:
    • "Search me, OGod, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24; see also 1 John 1:9)
    • “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law [the Word] ." (Psalm 119:18; see also John 16:13)
    You need to be in tune with the Author before you can understand His Book!
    • Read a section of the Scripture (Read). This is where your conversation with God begins. He speaks to you through His Word, and you speak with Him in prayer.
    Read your Bible …
    Slowly. Don’t be in a hurry; don’t try to read too large an amount; don’t race through it.
    Repeatedly. Read a passage over and over until you start to picture it in your mind. The reason more people don't get more out of their Bible reading is that they do not read the Scriptures repeatedly.
    Without stopping. Don't stop in the middle of a sentence to go off on a tangent and do a doctrinal study. Just read that section for the pure joy of it, allowing God to speak to you. Remember that your goal here is not to gain information, but to feed on the Word and get to know Christ better.
    Aloud but quietly . Reading it aloud will improve your concentration, if you have that problem. It will also help you understand what you are reading better because you will be both seeing and hearing what you are reading. Read softly enough, however, so that you won't disturb anyone.
    Systematically. Read through a book at a time in an orderly method. Do not use the "random dip" method - a passage here, a chapter there, what you like here, an interesting portion there. You'll understand the Bible better if you read it as it was written - a book or letter at a time.
    To get a sweep of a book. On some occasions you may want to survey a whole book. In that case you will read it quickly to get a sweep of the total revelation. Then you need not read it slowly or repeatedly.
    • Meditate and memorize (Reflect and Remember). In order to have the Scriptures speak to you meaningfully, you should meditate on what you are reading and memorize verses that particularly speak to you. Meditation is "seriously contemplating a thought over and over in your mind." Out of your meditation you might select and memorize a verse that is particularly meaningful to you.
    • Write down what God has shown you (Record). When God speaks to you through His Word, record what you have discovered. Writing it down will enable you both to remember what God revealed to you and to check up on your biblical discoveries. Recording what God has shown you is the way of applying what you see in the Scripture that pertains to your life.
    • Have your time of prayer (Request). After God has spoken to you through His Word, speak to Him in prayer. This is your part of the conversation with the Lord.  
    What if you miss a day? Don't worry about it if it only happens occasionally. Don't go on a guilt trip. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NIV)
    Don't get legalistic because missing one day does not make it a flop. BUT don't give up. If you miss a meal, it does not mean that you should give up eating because you're inconsistent. You simply eat a little more at the next meal and go on from there. This same principle is true with your quiet time.
    Psychologists tell us that it usually takes three weeks to get familiar with some new task or habit; it takes another three weeks before it becomes a habit. The reason why many people are not successful in their quiet times is because they have never made it past that six-week barrier. For your quiet time to become a habit, you must have had one daily for at least six weeks.
    William James had a famous formula for developing a habit (Selected Papers on Philosophy, E. P. Dutton & Co., 2000, pp. 60-62):
    • Make a strong resolution (vow). You must always start with a strong initiative. If you begin halfheartedly, you'll never make it. Make a public declaration by telling others about your decision.
    • Never allow an exception to occur until the new habit is securely rooted in your life. A habit is like a ball of twine. Every time you drop it, many strands are unwound. So never allow the "just this once" to occur. The act of yielding weakens the will and strengthens the lack of self­-control.
    • Seize every opportunity and inclination to practice your new habit. Whenever you get the slightest urge to practice your new habit, do it right then. Don't wait, but use every opportunity to reinforce your habit. It does not hurt to overdo a new habit when you are first starting.
    To these suggestions I would add one more:
    • Rely on the power of God. When it is all said and done, you must realize that you are in a spiritual battle, and you can only succeed by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. So pray that God will strengthen you and depend on Him to help you develop this habit for His glory.
    If you have been convinced that this is what you need to do, would you pray the following:
    "Lord I commit myself to spending a definite time with You every day, no matter what the cost. I am depending on Your strength to help me to be consistent."
    This article was adapted from Dynamic Bible Study Methods (Chariot Victor Books, 1989) by Rick Warren. ©Copyright 2004. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
    *All scripture references from the New International Version.
    You may use this study guide for yourself or share it with friends, but please keep the copyright information within the document, and please don’t sell it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ban Father Christmas

I don't often us my blog page as a  moan session, but I do feel like it now.
I am cross that some parents don't want to have Father Christmas part of their little kids lives. Okay, if the words Father Christmas make your hair curl, then lets call him Santa Claus. I grew up with Father Christmas and that is what I will call that jolly fat man!
I am extremely bugged by this. I am a Christian. I am a very firm believer and like to think that I walk what I believe.
Saying that, please don't judge me, as suddenly I am now classed into a different box, and people often then use a different set of standards.  I am far from perfect and never will be! I am  not where I want to be, but then I am far from the person who I used to be!

I am now getting side tracked and better get back to my topic, Ban Father Christmas!
To most of the western world, Christmas is a time when our dysfunctional families all get together, spend a lot of money on relatives we only see a few times of the year, receive gifts we really don't want and and hope we can exchange in the new year and eat and drink far too much. 
For little kids its about imagination. Oh, how I love the imagination of little kids. The stuff they come up with is too precious! Christmas is a build up in our house of about two months. Basically because the shops start putting up the decorations in October already and so the excitement  begins.
Its the excitement, the stories of the North Pole, of Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, strange little men dressed in green and red and presents. Lots and lots of presents! Here in sunny South Africa, winter land stories are so thrilling! And so I say, just because you are a serious Christian, WHY TAKE THIS AWAY FROM YOUR LITTLE KIDS? WHY, WHY, WHY?

This imaginary world is only going to last for a few years so let them enjoy it. DAMN IT!!
Your job as a parent is to make Christ real EVERY DAY, not just Christmas! With all the Santa fun, your kids must know about why Christmas is really important. They  must know all the Christian Christmas carols inside out, you should be singing  them to your kids, getting them to love them and make a big deal of it. They must know the real Christmas story. They must play at being  the angels, the shepherds, Mary and Joseph and in my house, we go all out, even the lambs and the cows in the stable. When my kids were tiny, I used to sing them to sleep. My singing is so terrible and I didn't know  any children little songs to sing, except Christmas Carols. Man, my son Adam, who was colicky for over a year, this poor kids heard away in a manger at least a hundred times.

The bottom line is that the true meaning of Christmas is all year around! If your kid believes in flying reindeer's, Santa Claus, and the North Pole, then good for them! My kids are still trying to figure out how Father Christmas gets down some of the chimneys as he is so fat. And mom here, needs A LOT of imagination to explain it to them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Karoo Prinia nesting in our garden

I really have begun a wonderful love affair with birds. My heart has opened up so much to these feathered friends and my eyes and ears are always attuned to the their little tweets and twitters. My love has been wonderfully passed down to the kids and my hubby, who always has loved birds, is much more interested too!

A while ago I saw a Karoo Prinia on our fence, and today I am sure I found their nest. I was peering so closely into the bush, near my neighbours kitchen window, and when I looked up, there was my neighbour staring straight at me. I blushed as I am sure she thought I was looking into their home being a "nosy parker", so I pretended to be carefully and most purposefully examining the entire hedge!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Funny things kids say

A bit of Christian humour to brighten up your day!

This morning Adam ( 4) came into the kitchen brandishing his sword. He looked at me sternly and says, " Mommy, I have just given the dogs a warning!". Puzzled, I ask him "why my boy?", he said that "this is a house of prayer and not a den of dogs!". Well, I fell about laughing. In fact its two hours later and its still so funny to me, that I had to share it with you all.

What really brightened up my morning, was not that it was such a funny thing he said, it was that he remembered the bible story we had shared last week and that he took the verses and quoted them. In fact I think a den of dogs is very appropriate, as thieves are dogs ( and even some dogs are thieves!). I sometimes think that I am not making an impact on there spiritual lives, and often wonder how to make Christ more "real". Today I realised that I don't have to "work" at it, we are doing just fine!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cape Canaries in Capri

I love nature and since moving into this house I have begun a love of birds.
Today I saw a Cape Canary in the garden. Lovely to see one in the wild and not in a little cage.

A fool and a fight

Proverb 20 vs 3 is one that every married woman needs to learn and  take to heart.

It is to a man's (persons) honour (or benefit) to avoid strife (conflict/ fight), but a fool is quick to quarrel.

It is a fact: Men come from Mars and Woman come from Venus. Last night I forgot that Martians really, and I mean REALLY do not understand woman at all, and that trying to talk to them over a situation of the heart from a Venusian point of view can often land up in a quarrel, which is not the best thing to have  before bed time.
You see, I often forget to take my pretty Venusian glasses off and put on Martian glasses so I can see things  through a Martians point of view. I also forgot that Martians don't like to talk when they are about to go to sleep.

After the quarrel, which meant that I could not sleep,I realised that it is better to sit on my feelings (which I later realised were  feelings of insecurity) and talk them over with God, then to try just blurt out what is on your mind  to a Martian.
This brings me to the proverb I read this morning. Woman are very quick to talk about what is on their mind. There is nothing wrong with that, but when its matters of the heart or marriage, it is best to think over things very carefully, weigh up everything and then, when the timings right, not as you are about to hop into bed, decide if you need to have have a chat about it.
Last night when I realised my fear was based on insecurity and it was an unnatural fear over the particular issue, I  understood why we are to capture all thoughts and take them to God. ( 2 Cor 10.4-5). When we have negative or worrying thoughts, we need to take them to God, pray over them, and get guidance from the scriptures. We also need to speak life over the situation. Feelings are just feelings, its what we do with them. We must never let them get control over us. We need to line up our thinking with God and His word.
Joyce Meyer calls it, the " battlefield of the mind", and she is 100% correct. And its a constant battle. We need to renew our minds daily, meditate on what is good,  whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,  whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or admirable think about such things.(Phil. 4:8)

Its time for me to log off now, but I just want to ask you what is going on in your mind? Is it filled with peace, or anxiety and fear? Let me know!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Adams excema is under control

Every day I have to check Adams skin, put on his moisturiser and cortisone cream if needed. So far the cortisone cream application seems to be only used maybe once a week after his swimming lessons. It seems that the swim schools chlorine levels are pretty high and it causes him to get hives and itch like crazy.
The sugar free diet is working amazingly well and so is the juicing regime. The kids love fresh apple and carrot juice and we try make it around four times a week. Adam is so good at saying no to sweets and cakes etc. Bless him, he is such a good child. His sister Jordan is amazing too. She has also been subjected to a sugar free diet, and always comes and tells me if they had sweets at school. She says no to them, and then at home we give her sugar and preservative sweets. We do give the teachers them as well!
I am still floored at the amount of hidden sugar in our food. Cant remember if I mentioned that they put sugar in peanut butter. I also found out that they put margarine in most of them as well. That's just plain stupid and gross. We now only use black cat peanut butter with the YELLOW lid. The others have sugar. Once you start using it for a while you can actually taste the sugar in the other's, ( which we now use for the birds...they love peanut butter).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Getting Fit and Healthy naturally

After my shocking report from the biokeneticist last week, I decided to take some serious action about getting back into shape and getting fit for my heart, so to speak.

In the last two years, I have been constantly sick with sinus problems, even ending up having sino-nasal surgery, After that,I was 100% convinced that from here onwards, i was a free woman. "Oh no, not so fast my dear" said the dreaded germs, " you are mine, mine mine..har har har."
And so I have been theirs. Every 6-8 weeks i have been man down with hectic sinus infections, causing laryngitis.
The down side is that my gym training has taken such a knock back and I got a kick up the bum when I read the report.

So, from here on, how do i go forward with being ill so much and wanting to get fit and fabulous for summer.
Here is the plan: 1, I will be reading as many healthy food books to be inspired to follow a nutrition regime, I have loads of these books,Patrick Holford books at home and love them, so I have no problem implementing that.
2. The exercise thing that must incorporate my buddy sinusitis when he is often around. The answer to that is ball work. I dusted out the gym ball from the garage and my gym ball workout. Last night I actually did the stretching exercises advised, as a starter and did back stretches, upper arms, and upper body and then lunge and glute muscles. I went to be feeling very refreshed and slept like a baby!
so, that's my answer to when I am feeling terrible, I can still do some basic ball moves to strengthen and tone and feel good, feeling horrid.

I will be reading these books, writing about them and sharing if they work.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Karen's machine rye bread machine winner

I have adjusted "Uncle Wynn's bread machine rye" from to suit our family.
I have used only a pinch of caraway seeds as the kids find the original 3tsp very very heavy.

2 teaspoons yeast.
2 cups brown bread flour.
2 cups rye flour.
2 tablespoons wheat gluten
1 teaspoon salt.
3 tablespoons sweet molasses or honey.
2 Tablespoons oil.
1 1/2 cups water.
1-3 tsp caraway seeds depending on your taste.

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer.
I used the rye setting and its 3.5hrs.
Otherwise I would suggest the wholewheat setting and light crust.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Getting the car back seat fixed

From 7.30 this morning I started calling McCarthy's auto trimmers every 15 minutes hoping that they would open soon. At 8.30 they opened and I told the chap in the workshop that I am a desperate woman and need my car seen to ASAP. I am very grateful that the chap, who I now know as Andre', when he says I can bring the car in right away.
45 minutes later and my filthy car is being looked at. I am so embarrassed at the state of it. I am sure every mom with little kids knows what I am talking about. Andre' says its not a small job, and they have to remove the whole back seat to sort it out. But, he promises me, it can be done today. I am very grateful to hear this. I quickly remove the bits and bobs out the car and head of to the visitors lounge for a nice cuppa coffee to wait for Tamsyn to come collect me.

My sister is busy packing and wants to know what the weather is like here. Crappy I tell her. Shame, she had hopes of walking on the beach etc. Maybe the horrible weather will clear and all will be well for her visit tomorrow.

New template design

I changed the template of my blog. I think it suits very well.

I would love to hear your comments.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bread Machine Rolls Recipe -

My rolls turned out to be cocktail rolls. Very tasty but not what I was hoping for. I only wanted to make 6 so I halved the recipe. Used about 1 tsp yeast. Was this too little?
Bread Machine Rolls Recipe -

'via Blog this'

Oh dear. Get that fixed ASAP

Jordan wanted the back car seat to go down so she could "sleep". She pulled the lever so hard that it must have snapped and now its stuck in the down position. This is a big problem as I have to collect my sister and family at the airport on Tuesday, and now cant pack anything in the back.
So I have been "googling" fixing car seats- Pajero Cape Town and have found an "auto trimmer" in Diep River. From what I read, I think this is the place to go. I will call them at 8 am tomorrow and hopefully they can fit the car in.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Springbok in my garden shed

Walked into the garden shed and saw this. So cute. Love the bokke flag all laid out on the sleeping bag.

Sent via Karen Lawrence African Shark Eco-Charters. Blackberry.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shea Butter Baby Soap

I have totally fallen in love with Victorian Garden Shea Butter Baby Fragrance Free Soap.

Since Adam's terrible excema and frequent break out of hives, we have been using very expensive body wash for him. I took him to the nutritionist ( will blog about that), and she recommended Shea butter baby soap. I decided to try it on myself before using it on him. It is FANTASTIC. My skin felt so soft, i suppose from the Shea butter, that I even used it on my face. My face was not dry at all and also felt wonderful. I miss the nice smelly fragrance soaps, but the whole idea is to remove anything that might irritate his skin.

Here is some info on Shea Butter Baby Soap.

Based on old Victorian recipes made during the 1800's, these hand crafted soaps contain natural ingredients with the very best sourced essential oils, plant extracts and cold pressed vegetable oils. During the Victorian era, and during the Tudor era and indeed, in previous times, soap making methods included using the 'cold method' which ensured that active organics do not deteriorate as they do when using the 'hot method' used by most commercial soaperies.
Our soaps are suitable for sensitive skins and are classed as VEGAN. The soap process removes excess alkali from the bars thus creating a very mild soap. Alkali, used to turn oils into soap, and water are the primary non organic ingredients. Most components come from plant based renewable resources which are farmed and processed without chemicals in a sustainable and Fair Trade manner. When you mix oils, alkali and water, they chemically react and turn into soap and glycerin. The glycerin is then stirred back in to add to the moisturizing qualities of soap. Our Bathroom and Soap products all contain natural ingredients.

Saponified Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Jojoba Wax ( Buxus Chinensis), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Nut) Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Amygadalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Prunus Armenica (Apricot Kernel) Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheatgerm) Oil, Cocus Nucifera (Cocoa Butter), Vegetable Glycerin, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cucumus Sativus (Cucumber) extract.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

This song is all about coming back to our first love.
The heart of worship by Matt Redman.

Where do you stand in your faith today?

When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the ways things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath

I'll bring You more than just a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus

Its all about you

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Top 15 Biblical Ways to Get a Wife

Top 15 Biblical Ways to Get a Wife

Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she's yours. - (Deut 21:11-13)

Find a prostitute and marry her. - (Hosea 1:1-3)

Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock.- Moses (Ex 2:16-21)

Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. - Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)

Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. - Benjaminites (Jud 21:19-25)

Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you.- Adam (Gen 2:19-24)

Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That's right. Fourteen years of toil for a wife. - Jacob (Gen 29:15-30)

Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law's enemies and get his daughter for a wife - David (I Samuel 18:27)

Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. (It's all relative, of course.) - Cain (Gen 4:16-17)

Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. - Xerxes or Ahasuerus (Esther 2:3-4)

When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a woman; now get her for me." If your parents question your decision, simply say, "Get her for me. She's the one for me." - Samson (Judges 14:1-3)

Kill any husband and take HIS wife (Prepare to lose four sons, though). - David (2 Samuel 11)

Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It's not just a good idea; it's the law.) - Onana and Boaz (Deuteronomy or Leviticus, example in Ruth)

Don't be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. - Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3)

A wife?... NOT! - Paul (1 Cor 7:32-35)

A truly amazing bread making site

I really have been struggling to find a good bread making site and this one is great. It is truly comprehensive, and I will be baking a lot in my Panasonic SD255 bread machine this week end.

Have a super week end everyone.

Bread-baking tools and resources for making and enjoying great bread:

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rye Bread recipe in bread maker a flop.

I am sure you have seen the last few updates on my face book page to know that I was on the look out for a bread maker. After reading endless reviews on bread makers and finding one that has a rye bread and gluten free bread making function, I settled on the Panasonic  SD255 bread maker.

However, when I wanted to make rye bread today, the only recipe that the booklet didn't have, was that one. I googled a rye bread recipe it from the Panasonic website, and it turned out to be a flop. The top had caved in and it was all doughy on the inside. 

The top has caved in.

Possible causes

  • Too much water was added.
  • Not enough flour was used.
  • Poor quality flour was used.
  • The yeast was old.
  • Water came into contact with the yeast.

The bread also had a lot of flour around the sides.

Some flour remains around the bread.

Possible causes

  • Too much flour was used.
  • Flour was not weighed on scales.
  • Not enough water was added.
  • (This problem is more likely when the flour used - for example, rye or wholemeal flour- is less water absorbent.)

The problem (a) seems to be too much water and (b) not enough water. So, that leaves me just as confused as when I started trouble shooting the problem.
Any idea's?

Warning..this blog is under-construction

Over the next few days I will be redoing my blog template. Please be patient.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Taking blog main stream

As I spend so much of my time on face book and that is becoming my blog, I am wondering how to merge the two.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Prayers for a grieving family

My prayers go to Nikki Boyd's family today and for many days to come, I will be praying for you all.
 Nikki died this morning from cancer, leaving behind two little children.

She was an incredible lady, and one of the funniest and happiest I have ever met. You always felt happy and came out smiling in her presence. Nikki is pictured on the right in pink.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Do not drink alcohol on a detox!

We had some people for dinner last night and I decided to put the detox on hold for "just one meal" and enjoy my evening with friends.
A big warning to all. Never do what I did, and drink alcohol. Its now 5 pm the next day and I still feel as if I have been hit by a truck. In fact I feel worse now than this morning.
I also ate a spicy meal and perhaps that wasn't the wisest thing to do. Today has been a complete waste of a day. I haven't done a stitch of work and have been in bed since 2pm, but with kids, unable to get some rest.

Bottom line...if your going to break a cleanse or detox, do it gently or you will just end up hurting your body and feeling really hung over.
Sent via Karen Lawrence
African Shark Eco-Charters Blackberry

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Parasite Cleanse Day 3

I woke up very tired this morning and turned over and switched off my 6am alarm and promptly fell back asleep. I had cravings for Christmas cake with Marzipan last night. The parasites must be getting grumpy and are wanting sugar....buggers! The kids came into the room after 7 and so we were all late for pre-school today. My cat had also decided that the expensive lounge mat was a litter box and so i had the fun of cleaning cat poo before 8am.  The cat's new name is Poo cat!

Popped into "Rogers" to buy some fresh veg for the detox and the owner said, "You look terrible my dear. Are you alright". I know i hadn't put make up on this morning, and I am feeling a bit "odd", but yikes, to be told you look terrible, was a bit of a shock to the system. It has to be the cleanse ! So, we had a good old chat about parasite cleanses and as I was leaving she says, now you go get some rest my dear!

My spine is tingly today and the arch of my feet are very uncomfortable and quiet sore. Wonder what parasite likes my feet?  Die you buggers!
Last night I attended a moms evening at the preschool. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was such fun. We had load of laughter and Jordan's teacher showed us her scrap book collection. Oh my word. What preconceived ideas I had about scrap booking are all gone. Hers were truly AMAZING, amazing amazing! She makes hers from scratch with the most amazing idea's. What a talented lady. I don't think its something I would do, but I certainly will not be raising my eye brows every again when someone says scrap booking is their hobby!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The detox..Day 2

So, with the fast yesterday, I thought it would be appropriate to start the detox. As long as your mind is centered on the reason for the fast and not the detox i was happy to start then. Also, Monday is a good day to start.

I am on a parasite cleanse, and then depending on how that goes, may move onto a liver and kidney detox. The parasite cleanse is for 30 days at least, and that is what I am aiming for.
I am following the cleanse from Cape Town nutritionist, Sally Ann Creed's book, Let Food Be Your Medicine, and also from Mary Ann Shears, The Natural Way. Its intense but the only way to get rid of those pesky hosts that rob you of your health. Interestingly enough Sally Ann's candida diet ( a 3 month diet)is really similar and so that should benefit me greatly.
So,here are the No no's
No fruit ( hosts thrive on it and so does candida)
No yeast
No grains except brown rice if necessary
lots of fresh veg, avo's, raw if possible. Thats not hard to do. Nibble on  a raw carrot here and there and other "travel" veg, yum!
nuts and seeds ( yummy, i eat them daily anyway).
Meat eggs protein allowed
No alcohol. ( now that is going to be a challenge...we will see...may be a glass on a special occasion)
You will need: a good "live" probiotic, that is stored in the fridge;
Ester C..a decent vitamin C
a decent multi vitamin
an anti-fungal preparation for 3 months. I am using clove drops and para-90' an AIM product parasite cleanse ( see The Natural Way).
Lots of water.
Add to diet garlic, olive oil, cloves, pumpkin seeds, paw paw pips and pineapple ( the only fruit that i can see is allowed). Your diet must be HIGHLY nutritious.

This morning I awoke with a KILLER headache. Thats to be expected and I will make sure i drink loads of water today, which is hard as its cold and miserable outside. Maybe black rooibos tea will do?

Will keep you posted, but if your not keen on reading about parasites, then these next posts are not for you.

The call to be disciplined

Have you every felt that you are not grasping the magnitude of what God is telling you?

The Lord is currently teaching me things about my faith and walk and I sometimes feel that I am "way over my head". Like a school child being thrust into a university lecture.
This teacher-pupil relationship keeps coming up, from visions of Jesus and I in a school classes to the proverbs I have recently written down and look back upon.
The Lord keeps urging me to " Pay attention to what I teach you, apply your heart so that your trust may be in the Lord". Prov 221.17
Listen to advise and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise. Prov 19.20

My biggest challenge is that my faith is fear based and not trust based. This is such a huge revelation that the Lord has shown me and its going to take a lot of focus, discipline and applying of the heart to shift.
He is a gentle teacher, patient and kind, but i do feel an urgency about Him now. A call to wake up, do not be a sluggard, be a disciplined student. Get up earlier, read the word more, apply your mind, apply the scriptures.
Its time to move forward. I think this is a global call, for us Christians to rise up and take our faith seriously. I know for me it is!
What about you?

Monday, August 22, 2011


Today is Monday-Fast day.
Today I pray: Teach me ever day that my peace is to be found in You only. Jesus, be the source of my joy, my hope and my salvation.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Do I really trust God...really really?

Each Monday I have been fasting for my business and those in our small ladies group. Almost all of us own our businesses and in these economic times, its more important than ever to be praying over your work.

Fasting has been part of my life now for just over two months. Some mornings I sit and wonder exactly how I am going to pray and how to start the day properly focusing on God as this still doesnt come easy for me.

Fasting must center on God. It should draw us closer to God, where we will experience a deeper relationship
with Him. Like Anna, in Luke 2:37, we should be “worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” This continual part is what I struggle with as I am a really busy  mom, and to be very honest, sometimes I only have a time for God. 
But this is what is required if we are to properly fast. Our eyes must be lifted from our circumstances and our prayers must be God centered before we focus on the reason for fasting. It is then that the Holy Spirit starts to move and work in our life.

Fasting reveals the things that control us. I find this very interesting how as we start focusing on God, he starts to focus on us.  You see, we tend to cover up what is inside us with food and other good things, but in fasting these things surface. If pride controls us, it will be revealed almost immediately. David said,
“I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting.” (Psalm 35:13) Anger, bitterness, jealousy, strife, fear - if
they are within us, they will surface during fasting. At first we will rationalize that our anger, for example, is due to our hunger. We will then discover that we are angry not because of hunger, but because the spirit of anger is within us.  
Over the weeks two major things have surfaced. Bitterness and fear. Its the fear that is the reason for this blog. I have become fear based and not faith based. I am filled with worry, anxiety and stress over work and over what I cannot control. What God is showing me is that I do not really trust him in this area. This revelation is one of the most important things I have ever been shown and I am sometimes a bit overwhelmed by the realization of how true it is. I need to express what I am feeling and putting it in writing, I feel is the best way to do this.
Last night I asked myself, do I really trust God with my future? If I look at the above, again the answer is no, as these are all linked. It goes hand in hand. Living in South Africa I am uncertain about my future. Everyday I hear what the government is doing, the policies its changing and introducing and how this is going to affect me. This uncertainty scares me. I cannot properly voice it as well for fear of this being used against my business as we rely on a government permit to operate.This is just one fear, but like a can of fishing earth worms, touch them and they all start wriggling.

And so, this revelation touches the very core of my being and so I ask myself how do I do it. How do I really trust God. I mean really really? 

1 Peter 5:7
Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

John 14:27
I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn't fragile like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.

Philippians 4:6-7
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don't forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ.

Psalms 34:17-19
Yes, the Lord hears the good man when he calls to Him for help, and saves him out of all his troubles. The Lord is close to those whose heart is breaking; He rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins. The good man does not escape all troubles - he has them, too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one.

Isaiah 40:31
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

John 14:1-3
Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in Me.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid of them! For the Lord your God will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.

Psalms 112:6-8
Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God's constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it. He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him. That is why he is not afraid, but can calmly face his foes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fast day. Beginning of the week. Time to put my thoughts together about what I want for this week.
I want more me time, to spend with God.
I want to read the bible more. So, today I am going to dig out my 365 day bible, and even though its July, I must not let that put me off because part of me says you have to start it from the beginning first.
I want to pray more.

Today I ask that the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart, be pleasing to you oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer.( ps. 19.14)
I ask that my eye's be continually drawn to You today and not to the rumbles of my tummy.

Looking back at my journal I notice that one of my recent Monday prayers( 20 June) is: Teach me how to speak kindly to my family. I have noticed that I have a harsh tone with them when I am displeased.
I can see a difference. I am quicker to change my tone when I catch myself talking this way with my kids. I still have a long way to go with my husband. As we both work together, a lot of my grumbling is over work, and the way I talk makes it seem if its his fault. Apparently I also pull my mouth. I am grateful that he is pointing it out, even though "in the moment" I am not. Its not easy to change a habit. Richard Foster (celebration of discipline) says the purpose of prayer is to be continually transformed into the image of God. I love that saying. For me its comforting to know that its a process.

One of the aims of my Monday fast is to pray for our business. This is an area that we should all continually  bathing with the Holy Spirit, especially in these economic times. Its a struggle to hand it over to the Lord as its an area that is very much about me. How hard I work, What I am trying to do and succeed. I, I, I.I hold tightly onto it, and thus hold onto all the worries that go with being self employed.
God says we are to" cast your burdens onto Him, and He will sustain you". ( ps 55.22)

Lyrics Sally De Ford Church Music Contest: Anthem division--Award of Distinction 2005 (version with organ).
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will make it light 
Come unto him, ye heavy laden; find your rest in Christ 
Bring him your sorrows, all your grief 
Lay every weakness at his feet 
He will sustain you, give you peace 
And lead you into life

Cast your burden on the Lord and he will heal your soul 
Place on his altar all your sin and he will bear its toll 
Bring him your blindness born of pride 
Give him your broken heart to bind 
It was for this he bled and died: 
That he might make you whole

Cast your burden on the Lord and he will carry you home 
He will attend you and defend through perils yet unknown 
Put your unwavering trust in him 
Christ, your constant heavenly friend 
Has graven you in the palms of his hands 
And never forsakes his own

Friday, June 17, 2011

My favorite song...I will follow

Our God.

I really do like this song. The only bit I would change is I would remove the "our". Not our God, but God!

My big mouth

Yesterday I had a fight with my hubby over nothing really important, and out of my mouth came such filth that it actually shocked me. But  I was so angry, at him and at myself (for realising that I now had to apologise for what i had said), I didnt want to. It took me over an hour of  wrestling with my emotions before I did so. And then, I messed that up to0. I was still angry over the incident that I said Sorry....but..I am not the only one to blame here.  I couldnt just hold my tongue back, because in my heart I felt that he was to blame for starting the fight.
Pride is a hard emotion to work with. To humble yourself and just say sorry regardless, is an incredibly hard thing to do.

Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Colossians 3:7-9
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips
 Psalm 4:4
In your anger do not sin;
Proverbs 14:17
A quick-tempered man does foolish things,

I thank God for His word, which brings life, truth, wisdom and knowledge.......and FREEDOM
I still have a long way to go........BUT....I have come a long way to!