Category Archives: Heart matters

Our Fighting Fair Tip

man sitting beside woman

Photo by Joshua McKnight on Pexels.com

Rule One

So when the Mr and I have a misunderstanding and it looks like it might hit the proverbial fan., the party that does not feel as strongly does not escalate it. How?

Recently, we were traveling, I had mapped out the route and knew what station we needed to get off at to board the connecting train when the Mr decides to change the route halfway. So we get off and the map shows we need to walk five streets to catch the train and I lost my gasket. I was so pissed off, 1) we were running late for a flight, 2) where were you when I was staying up the whole night to get the route? To give him credit though, he just kept on the task at hand and did not engage with my anger or my threats to get us a route ASAP.

This works for us and it is not prescriptive but it saves us from saying what we might later regret or descending into a shouting fit with each other.

Rule Two

If someone needs time to cool off, to think or process, we allow it and the other does not pressure them to discuss it at that time. However much time you need to, take it. Often we continue to engage on other matters as normal and either you don’t feel as strongly later or you have had the room to process why you felt so strongly or couldn’t engage.

Rule Three

I know they say not to do this, but it’s OK to sleep angry every so often. Sometimes it’s safer and better that way. Of course this can lead to silent treatment which is not great but eventually gets resolved.

Rule Four

No name-calling. EVER.

What rules do you and your significant live by when it comes to conflict resolution?

 

 

Advertisements

Sunday Reads

Recipes

Friday Feels

I recently discovered H.E.R. and love some of her songs.

 

 

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday Tunes

Some mellow songs to soak in …

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)

Happy Fathers Day

Recipes

Want to be Successful?

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,that you may be successful wherever you go.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7-9)

True success is found in meditating on the Word of God and in carefully obeying His precepts. I will be honest and say that this is not how I often think of success but my prayer is that for the days to come, this is how I would view it and by the grace of God attempt to live my life out like this.

Famous Friends I want to make

viola-davis

I love Viola Davis’s dedication to her craft.

Image result for shonda rhimes

I enjoyed her book but this after her writing on Grey’s Anatomy, HTGAWM, Scandal … Yes!

Image result for pumla dineo gqola

My first encounter with her was the book Rape and it was jarring but I loved how she laid out her arguments and have loved her books after.

Image result for chimamanda ngozi adichie

We just need to meet Chimamanda, we just need to.

Image result for serena and venus  williams

The questions I have for the William sisters, individually and collectively.

I love her memoir, Always another country. Please read it?

So who is on your list of famous friends?

 

Breaking up with a friend

So I AM VERY loyal in a friendship but will once in a while call things to a head when  they are just not working between a friend and I. So this is how I go about that whole process.

  1. Take time and think through the entire life of the friendship, the good, the bad and the ugly. Grieve even if you need to.
  2. Be honest about the issues that did not make you happy and why you can’t be in the friendship anymore.
  3. Decide if you want to ghost the friend or if you want to speak to them about it. My key determinant is always: is there a chance that you might make up later or is this the end of the friendship?
  4. If I am going to say something, I always email the friend because it gives them room to process without the added pressure of having to think or say something in response.
  5. If, and as it often happens, they are part of a bigger friendship group then I force myself to be mature enough that not everyone will feel as I do and that their friendship with others need not end because of me. However, I make it clear that my stuff will not and should not be shared with the ex-pal.

Have you ever ended a friendship? How did you do it and did you and the pal make up?

Books on Letters between Friends

Image resultImage result for dear ijeawele

About So Long a Letter

About Dear Ijeawele

In March and April I read these two letters between female friends. Both of them touch of womanhood and issues of feminism which although books are written almost four decades apart, are still so relevant and applicable to the plight of women. All in all, they are both great books so I will talk about the common themes that struck a note with me.

  1. Maintain your identity that is separate from your role as a mother, a wife, a sister-in-law. Maintain that single identity and I would even venture to say, keep pursuing those interests you have and love to do.
  2. Make your partner a full partner. From Dear Ijeawele, this is quite obvious and self-explanatory. From So Long …. it’s not quite obvious but I like Aissatou (the friend)’s response when her husband married a second wife, she held him immediately accountable and  left the marriage. Many called her names and wished something else of her but she held him accountable and did what she had to do.
  3. Both authors talk about centering marriage in the right place as a nice to have/do but not the penultimate accomplishment. Marriage is neither good nor bad, but how we aspire to it could be.
  4. Both writers caution each other against assigning certain roles to male or female children and the assumptions we make or impute. The future is not one where boys (girls) can do certain things that girls (boys) cannot. Also the language that we use when we explain the roles and responsibilities to kids also matters a lot.

The entire letter is an ode to female friendship which I totally loved and would therefore recommend both books. You can easily get through both in a single sitting or weekend.

How I want to make Adult Friends

five women laughing

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

I have a friend who is a maverick at making friends. One on one, she seems incredibly shy but I love her attitude to making friends and how deliberate she is about it all. So when I think to myself that I would like to make friends, I always think of some kind of organised activity that brings people together on the regular.

When I think of this though I always wonder how I would go about starting one because it involves putting myself out there in some way or another which is not exactly my thing. But, if / when I get over this hurdle, these are some things I would like to do:

  • Listen to a key podcast each month and then meet and discuss
  • Start an article club – pick a Longread article and then chat about it
  • Pick a cuisine and then assign various parts of the meal (starter, protein, desserts, salad) to different people and thus have a supper club or a cookbook club if you are fancier.
  • Good old Book club
  • Board games with a group of friends, I really have mine eye on this one.
  • A cheese/ wine tasting club.

Do you live in Joburg, would you be keen to do any of this with me and meet some new people?

What’s making you happy now?

  1. A great cup of tea – my sister recently got me some passion and lime tea from Kenya and it is YUM!
  2. Long lazy weekends.
  3. Discovering a lovely little restaurant and liking it.
  4. Church services at 12 O’clock in the Fall/ Winter months.
  5. One-on-one heartfelt chats with friends.

What about you?

Gifts for New Moms

As friends of mine are in that phase of having babies, I enjoyed this post and felt inspired to copy a list of things I would take with me when I next go to visit as in that moment you are often at a loss of what is appropriate.

  1. Time – to listen, help out with her errands, carry baby, fold laundry or cook. Just time.
  2. Easy to warm and eat with one hand food. Also drinks.
  3. What food did she miss during pregnancy that she can now eat? Stock up on that!!
  4. A cozy gown as the new mom will be nursing or up in the cold of the day or night.
  5. Comfy chill at home shoes/ other clothes.
  6. Hand cream/ hand sanitiser because new baby = washing hands often.
  7. A beautiful mug or water bottle as she might be drinking a whole lot more if she is breastfeeding.

When you had a baby, what would you have loved OR what great gift do you get new moms?

Three Random Facts

  1. I am convinced someone might one day want to write my biography so I am cataloguing my life in this blog, journals and keeping significant letters and cards.
  2. I sometimes cook like I am presenting a cooking show online. This involves preparing all the ingredients in advance and sometimes explaining what it is I am doing.
  3. I play back all voice notes I send to try and determine whether I do have a good voice for radio. I am not sure I do.

Book Review: Always Another Country – Sisonke Msimang

Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home by [Msimang, Sisonke]
 Buy here

I read this book over the December holidays and was sooo excited, I am not sure what happened and it’s almost four months later that I am here gushing about it. Urgggh!! Please see below my thoughts under the different themes, page numbers are provided in brackets for you to follow.

General

  •  This is a book for us women, refugees, blacks (6) and I totally totally agree.
  • I love that our time in Nairobi overlap – when she returns from Canada. I know all the landmarks she mentions of Nairobi. It felt so good to read a book about a place that I knew and know of so intimately. Double yay!!
  • I thought it was odd that she kept referring to her folks as Mummy and Baba??? So odd coz those are two different languages in my head and I would have gone with either Mummy and Daddy or Mama and Baba.
  • I wondered also why she protects the names of her own kids but not Simon’s eldest two. Not sure what that’s about is it maybe that they are adults and the other two are minors?
  • The things said to them about a male child being preferred to daughters. And how this is often blamed on the mother in a way that gives the husband carte blanche to stray in the name of looking for a son (pp 7 – 27). I know this reality all too well and all I think is Biology lessons are important for all.
  • It’s so subtle but her talking about not participating in the street games and fights as much as the local kids do coz it could turn on you:

“I had to choose how I would distinguish myself and I knew that it had to be safe.”(9)

  • The plight of house girls and domestic workers – all too relatable ( 50).
  • Having read Pumla’s Rape, it resonated with me how she spoke about the incident of being sexually attacked: her response and that of the adults around her (52 -55). Also, in the light of #MeToo, I thought it quite bold that she opened up about this incident.
  • The urgency for them to receive their citizenship. Yeah, I get that (67 – 68).
  • I remember the following events but was probably too young to consider their true impact on history: Chris Hani, Mandelas release, the IFP-sponsored murders and the election.

Growing up Foreign

  • Being called an African monkey. While that did not happen to me, I know about being called a refugee almost as though it was a dirty swear word.
  • And the rules that their mom had them follow because growing up in another country with parents working full time, there is not a big social infrastructure to support the parents. So rules are key or in young people speak, rules are bae.

“… the immigrant child knows that outside is one thing but home is another country.” (83)

“The immigrant child knows that the key to survival is in the inflection points. … The key to survival is in blending in first, in learning how to be just like else as a first step to freedom. You have to know how the inside works before you can stand outside and make everybody laugh.” (90)

“The immigrant child doesn’t make any noise. … She is preparing for the day when she will have mastered the art of being normal so that she can stand out.” (90)

Sisterhood

  • How she always talks of her sisters, so beautiful and in some way the story is as much about them as it is her. Yay sisterhood.

Race

  •  I understand when she talks of her discovery of her race in the States. The same thing happened to me in RSA.
  • Being foreign in South Africa has shown me that White ones are still preferred to Black ones. Sad but fact!

Moms: 

  • On discovering that your mom is not just a role – mom, wife, friend, daughter – but actually a woman with dreams, feelings and thoughts quite apart from me even. GASP, SHOCKING.
  • How their mom almost became like an older fourth sister but their dad remained a dad. I find this to be the truth with us too.

“To know your mother as an adult is to finally see that she has lived many more years as a woman than you have been alive. To be a grown woman who loves her mother is to understand that it is no easy thing to raise children so beautifully that they don’t worry about you until they are grown up and ready to carry the complex burden of that anxiety.” (304)

  • Class: I enjoyed reading about her relationship with her nanny especially when they were both pregnant. I thought it was the most honest tale by a middle class Black woman that I could totally relate to.

So please go out, buy the book read, it, share it and enjoy it.

Now, to make friends with her in real life?

Sunday Reads

 

I so need one of these random gift registries

Registries That Should Exist

What else would you add?

 

Belated Sunday Reads

Where are you going. You cannot leave with so many pieces of me still inside you. How will I ever put myself back together again.

Nikita Gill

Recipes

Transformed by God, for His Purpose

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

We recently read this at BSF and here are a couple of thoughts that I would like to share with you.

  1. Our response in sacrifice, follows God’s mercy to us, former sinners who now believe in Him, receive righteousness. and therefore belong to His family This is the right and reasonable response. Have you consciously made this choice to belong to Christ’s family?
  2. A living sacrifice signifies that it is a voluntary choice, continuous and implies a death to self. All Christians are called to die to self daily, take up their cross and follow Christ.
  3. Something holy is something consecrated and set apart. What we offer to God is different from what we offer to anyone else. This particular thought struck me because we live in a very secular world and I struggled to think of those holy things that I only set aside for God.
  4. The verse speaks of either the pattern of the world or a renewed mind. It is truly binary. God will not be mocked and we cannot fool Him by adding on anything to His word. Off the top of my head, I think of ancestral worship, superstition, witchcraft, modern/ humanistic thoughts. None of that compares to God, it is the world or Christ’s way.
  5. Ultimately,  we all struggle with discerning God’s will. What is God saying, what does he mean, what should I do …? All of this is never easy or obvious but this verse makes clear that it is found by abiding in God’s presence and dwelling in His word, only then  will one know His good, pleasing and perfect will.

Be Blessed!

(Belated) Sunday Reads

Recipes

Sunday Reads

“To all the little girls out there,
we will set fire to this world
that steals your childhoods
and stops you from being
everything you want to be,
and build you a better one from the ashes,
the kind of world that treasures you
for all your powerful capabilities.”

– Nikita Gill, Women’s March 2018

Recipes