Category Archives: Heart matters

Happy Anniversary /Ode to Marriage

Today marks our third-year anniversary and I am not sure what it is about marriage that makes each year feel tougher and harder than the previous one yet the returns are just as fulfilling. I love being married and I love my husband and even after all these years together (nine this year) I am still remarkably happy that we are together. He is certainly my person.

What have I learnt so far?

  • Communication, yes, it’s great and truly the key. Half of communication however is being mindful of how you deliver the message. It is possible through how and when you say something to break the other person or get a response that you were not prepared for. True Story.
  • Regarding in-laws, that can be managed. There is a happy coexistence that you can attain. A fine line between respect for them and firm boundaries for your relationship. Also, one of the ladies that spoke to me before I got married reminded me that I can never be the best daughter in law and so I should not work on that but focus on being respectful.
  • Marriage is better when you have a crowd with whom you experience it together. This calls to mind mentors, other happily married couples of all ages and even people that are dating and hoping to also settle down. Being surrounded by happy couples in different seasons of life keeps you connected and encouraged to strive more within your marriage.
  • The move to the Mother City was also beneficial because it helped us build a firm foundation for this new phase of our relationship and to help the “crowd” around us begin to see us as a unit and to respect that.
  • Though we had known each other since our early twenties, we only got married in our late twenties and in the last three years we have spent a lot of time integrating our single lives into our new entity. In true us style, this has involved a lot of “business” meetings to plan, dream, forecast and review our future plan. Although we are closer now than when we started we are still not done. Urggh.
  • My husband is my best male friend and probably someone outside of my family that knows me best BUT having said that, I still believe it is important to keep other friendships going strong in your lives and to continue to meet new people and maintain old friendships. This is important because of the “crowd” I spoke of earlier but also the fact that when we interact with other people it draws out another side of you and also allows you to miss your partner that you look forward to seeing them.

Having said all the above, it is a fact that marriage is work. You only reap what you put in. Also, that both of you must work on it or the other party eventually gets worn out and might lash out. Each year has brought us something additional to work through / focus on and that has been interesting and kept us both connected.

What will I work on this year?

Firstly, on the words I use. I know that as a wife, I can either build him up / tear him down and I have to be very careful not to do the latter. Secondly, in the Love Dare  the authors speak of  guarding one self against spending time in your mate’s depreciation room. This is basically the place where we keep stock of all of his bad traits and all those things you do not like about him. I also have a depreciation room that he could dwell on but that won’t take us anywhere if we both fixate on it. Lastly, to work on making more couple friends and hanging out with those we currently have.

In closing, one piece of advice we received that I always remember is that marriage is what you make of it. Just as no two marriages are the same, you can get out of yours the things that you want and that works for the two of you despite what other people out there might feel/ have to say.

So here’s to many more and loads of love.

 

I Hear Myself Everywhere

I consume a lot of stuff online or on television and I know that the stuff I like best is anything that I can read and feel in some ways that it represents my inner voice. Like what you ask?

  • Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. In many ways she is my inner voice from when I was 16 until now at 32 – she is what the inner me wants to be.
  • Cup of Jo. This blog is what I wish that my own little corner of the internet would grow up to be.
  • Call your Girlfriend. This podcast reminds me of conversations I would have with my best gal pal and sans the cursing. As the tag line promises, it is the podcast for long distance besties which we happen to be.
  • Julia Braverman and her family because I REALLY loved the show Parenthood.
  • Tamar and Vince. Something about this show reminds me of the Mr and I . I also say that Tamar is the inner last born I always wish my family allowed me to be.
  • Randal and Beth Pearson from This is Us is another portrayal of how I think the Mr and I relate to each other. If ever there was a couple on TV that I would happily squeal #Relationshipgoals it would be them.

And you, who/ what represents that inner voice?

 

 

A Relationship I Still Love

All of this week I am thinking a lot about relationships and one long-term one that I have is with my dreadlocks.

After seven and a half years, I really really still love my hair. It is now waist-length and just as exciting as when it was first locked. After all these years, I still get excited at having my hair washed, twisted and then styled. Before that I delight myself by looking at pictures online and choosing an appropriate style and then looking forward to the big reveal at the salon. When I see someone with dreadlocks that either have a style I would like, that are dyed beautifully, longer and sometimes even shorter than mine but just look so good, I get the worst dread envy.

And all of the above is how I know that I made the best move and I still don’t regret it. Nah, nope, I am still good. CONFESSION: Come Summer, I do want to trim them slightly shorter, just an itsy bitsy bit.

In the meantime, below are some styles I am looking forward to in the next couple of months.

Loc updo and custom color by Shawn Lamar Daniels, Atlanta Ga

For a wedding or special date night

The Beauty Of Natural Hair Board

I love the braid at the front, it elevates an otherwise boring style

I love the take on the traditional morehawk – but a part of me keeps thinking of the weight on your head.

Sunday Reads

 

Dear Future Daughter

I generally hate letters written to future whatevers but today being Women’s Day in South Africa and because I just watched an advert of ladies giving advice to a younger self, I thought I would give it a try.

  1. Stand tall and work on fostering positive self (body) image. There is so much advise to women today about how they ought to look/ weigh/ what they need to do and this piles on the pressure. Filter out all of these and work with your body type, your likes and bring out the best in yourself.
  2. Work hard at school. Push yourself  extremely hard and do not dim your light so any guy around you can feel better about himself. Keep learning and challenging yourself to greater and better heights.
  3. Surround yourself with female friends that push you to your best and that you can do life with. Female  friends rock! FACT. We are not all in competition with each other (female) and do not all like to gossip and bring down a fellow sister. Work on being a good  friend.
  4. What makes you tick and brings out your inner feminine self? Don’t worry it varies from one lady to the next, find what works for you and foster that. If you wanna be like mummy, I love to read and to get my hair done.
  5. Work on your relationship with God. That’s the most important  and constant relationship you will ever have.

Overall, be confident. There is nothing as attractive as a woman who is confident in her skin and who draws out the best in the different people she encounters in her day to day life.

All the best!!

Three Positive Images for Monday

Sunday Reads

Source

Hosting Long-Term Guests?

This blog has slowly become a firm favourite. I thought this was a whimsical post but it definitely gave me ideas of how to prepare our guest room when we have visitors.

What do I currently do?

Growing up, my mom always made us pack a towel a face cloth and other personal items we might require when we go visiting. I have slowly learnt that not everyone packs these so I  have since had to include guest towels when I prepare the room.

I also ensure the guests have a set of keys and boy does knowing that there is extra toilet paper help a tonne.

I also stock the house with food and then on the second or third night when the guests arrive, I take them along to the shops so they can shop for food and personal effects that they might need that I do no have in the house – it certainly helps guests to feel at home. This and knowing where the breakfast cereals, tea and coffee is in the house.

From this post, I have since learnt to include the following items for that home away from home feel.

  1. A luggage rack, I read this and the simplicity but indulgence of it made me happy.
  2. A mirror so that guests can prep themselves once they get up.
  3. A box of tissues.
  4. Clearing out shelf and hanging space and providing a few hangers for use
  5. Stocking up the sugar bowl – I don’t add sugar to my tea/coffee so it’s an

    issue to remember that other do.

    How do you prepare yourself to host guests?

    Beware the tongue

    I have been studying James over the last couple of  weeks and one of the themes he speaks repeatedly of are the words of your mouth. In fact, he specifically states that “perfect” is the man who is able to bridle his tongue. This has got me thinking of how I can restrain myself from saying certain things and therefore prevent myself from falling into unnecessary sin.

    This morning I read this blog post cautioning against using secular language rather than speaking the words of truth that many in the world today need to hear about. This article brought to mind another area of the tongue that could lead us to fall into sin – the hollow words we speak of that while well meaning do not really mean a thing or profess the hope we have in Christ.

    This article got me thinking of the number of times I have said rather vaguely “All the best”, “Good Luck”, “Best Wishes” or “I will think of you” rather than I will pray about this to Jesus and ask that His will be done. How many times have I heard of people talking of an energy/ the forces out there and not called it out and asked them to rather refer directly to Jesus – and this is true also of Christians and non-Christians.

    So from the post, this is the challenge that I would like to leave you with.

    I would like to challenge you, as a believer in Christ, to evaluate the phrases and hashtags you throw out to a world desperate for hope. It may seem harmless enough, but the vibes you’re alluding to are vacuous. Our friends aren’t strong enough on their own to “keep their heads up” and “pull through” life’s challenges, like vain platitudes suggest. No, they were made to find their strength in the God who made them. Theology matters. It doesn’t take long for someone to see the way we deal with the circumstances in our lives. We either have confidence in God or confidence in the flesh.

     

     

    The Double-speak we give children

    Source

    i’m just incredibly tired of this rhetoric where apparently we have to be super gentle and coddle white children through the shock of realizing they aren’t actually better than everybody else, there’s just been an imbalance in their favor throughout history; that we should be understanding of how hard it is to accept that they may not have earned everything they have

    and yet nobody gives a thought to how painful it must be for children of color to be taught that they have to be on guard against prejudice or violence at all times, that sometimes people will treat them badly for no reason and there’s nothing they can do about it

    no, no, that’s just the facts of life. just standard growing up stuff. being conditioned to handle constant dehumanization is not as hard to cope with as maybe not being as good at life as you thought you were.

     

    Belated Sunday Reads

    We mentally compress our networks when we are harassed, bullied or being threatened by job loss. We close ourselves off, isolating ourselves, creating a huge blind spot where we can’t see our resources, allies and opportunities.

    10 things that make me smile

    1. Discovering a lovely brand of tea.
    2. Sleeping in on a Saturday morning during the BSF break.
    3. A wonderful chat with my sisters and friends.
    4. I read my first Bessie Head (Maru) this week and it was lovely.
    5. Successfully parallel (flash) parking in one attempt.
    6. Trying a recipe and immediately knowing you will do it again.
    7. Enjoying Season 7 of My Kitchen Rules.
    8. Seeing my nephew and niece as they start to interact as siblings.
    9. Really enjoying the study of James. Quite challenging but very interesting.
    10. Discovering a great podcast and then going back to download all 80 episodes Smile 

    Words we Need

    shelf friend

    When you become an option. You are not first pick of friends. When your friend starts dating someone and you are put up on a shelf until they have no other people to hang with.

    I sometimes feel this way with a close group of female friends and so when I saw this word on Urban Dictionary, it totally made sense.

    As I also have friends who I treat like this, the lesson was more about making sure that I do better with these people in my life Smile Incidentally, I also read a post yesterday about increasing your social network and yesterday as I left for home,I bumped into a friend of a friend I had met a couple of weeks back and it turned out that she lives a few streets from me so we drove home together.

    Lesson to self? Be more open minded and look for ways to get out of my comfort and involve people that would typically be on the fringes or in this case, who would be classified as shelf friends.

    Something on my heart

    How can small groups deepen their faith?

    Encourage your group members to choose a verse or passage of the Bible that illustrates:

    • A way they would like to grow in Christlikeness.
    • A promise they need to remember.
    • An attribute of God’s person they want to know more deeply.
    • A precept they want to apply to an area of struggle, pain, or temptation.

    Sisters, Jesus is not your Cheerleader

    And, to be clear, Jesus does encourage. He offers words of strength to the weary and comfort to the hurting. In a world where we so often feel we don’t measure up, we need his encouragement daily. By focusing on only part of his message, however, I’m concerned that we’ve reduced Jesus to a spiritual cheerleader. And, in turn, that’s what we’ve become to one another. We offer words of affirmation, but not rebuke; words of forgiveness, but not repentance. We rightly celebrate his grace, but often forget to mourn our sin.

    How to win the war for your mind

    Take your thoughts captive and examine them closely. Bring them into submission. Consider the fruit. Then fight back with gospel truths. This is how we go to war.

    When we don’t love the Bible

    What can we do when we’re unmoved by God’s love and the gospel’s power?What can we do when we’re unmoved by God’s love and the gospel’s power?

    Good lovemaking is about God

    You can have the best spouse on the planet and enjoy the most fulfilling sex life imaginable, and still this fact remains: if our hearts are not satisfied in God, they will never be satisfied. Spouses can be wonderful helpers, but they are sorry saviors. The best way to have a blessed sex life is to delight in the God who gives the gift. Jesus is always better than any gift he gives you, including sex in marriage.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Four African Cities

     Of all of them, I would probably only want to visit Luanda and hopefully at someone else’s cost!

    Sunday Reads

    Recipes

     

     

    Failed relationships bring us such great music

    Sunday Reads

    Source

    Recipes

    I read something lovely recently

    Image result for nectar chisala image

    I recently read this (poetry) book and it was amazing. A workmate recommended it and initially I thought poetry *insert puke face*. ASIDE: Am I the only 8-4-4 product that does not appreciate poetry for leisure? Anyway, its ~165 pages and since most of the poems are a couple of lines, I finished it in one fell swoop. I LOVED IT, did I already say that?? Below are some of the amazing poems I loved.

    There is danger in letting people misname you. If you are a fire, do not answer when they call you a spark.

    Tell the story. Give it a name and skin of its own.

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    13827240_161250300950289_1610798121_n

    Please go out and get the book. It’s a lovely read.

     

     

     

    An area of growth

    Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3 

    If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26

    With those close to me, I love to talk. But equally, I tend to say things that are undesirable or hurtful and so my desire and prayer is that I would learn to restrain my tongue, being slow to speak and anger and quick to listen (James 1:19) starting today and always by God’s strength.

    Courtesy of this journaling prompt.