But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
Isaiah 43:1-7 (NIV)
I love these verses. They remind me of God’s personal promises to us His children. We are loved and precious to Him. It also reminds me of a very dear friend of mine because she really got me into this verse. I have highlighted and underlined verses that are particularly meaningful to me.
During my BSF break, I have been going through the Purpose Drive Life book. I had read it some years back and following the study on Revelation, I thought this would be a great way to meditate on those specific lessons. I have finished the first purpose, created for his pleasure and wanted to summarise some of my thoughts so far.
- Because God delights in us, He created us (me). Worship is how we reflect our delight and pleasure back to Him.
- Anything, from the mundane to the extraordinary, can be done as unto God and therefore qualifies as worship.
- Delayed and partial obedience is disobedience. Understanding can wait, obedience cannot. Obedience to God precedes understanding.
- Worship is steeped in a total surrender to and trust in God. Here I am reminded of the 24 elders in Rev 4:10 who before the throne of Christ. “fell down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne” declaring His uttermost worthiness of all glory and honour. Their crowns were their most precious things and before the throne, they laid that down before God.
- Nothing is more powerful than a surrendered life in the hands of God! Surrender is counter culture and against our very personalities.
- True worship is steeped in understanding who God is. And here I am reminded of this famous line: “when we see Him as He is, we will worship Him as we ought”. Often we (me included) talk of worshiping a particular type of God i.e. I cannot believe that a loving God would do … and if He would, then I cannot worship Him. This makes the construct of God something that either you or I could fully grasp. God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours and the only we can understand that/Him is via constant prayer and meditation on His word.
- God calls for true worshipers in spirit and truth (John 4:24). True worship is authentic. Authentic in that it is centred on a true understanding of God and His character and is true to my unique character. I have come to understand that I worship best in a very structured and almost ritualistic environment and therefore things like an Anglican service really appeal to me.
- Sometimes, we feel like God is distant. We still have to worship. But how? (i) we can honestly share with God that we do not feel Him or His presence. We can trust God with our emotions. All of them, the pleasant and the not so great. (ii) Focus on God and His true character. Continue to pray and give thanks ceaselessly. (iii) Reflect on God’s past faithfulness. God has already met our utmost need through sending His son to die on the cross for us. Our biggest need is our salvation and reconciliation to God. This has already been met, we only need to believe.
- There are also some barriers to great worship. The biggest one is me and my perception of how I need to worship. In addition, is fear, lack of trust and pride.
- Finally, I leave you with a few verses to meditate on regarding worship: Philippians 3:20, Romans 12:1-2, Hebrew 12:28 and 2 Corinthians 5:9.
This Hippo advert provides serious fodder for a pre-marital class. Husbands never want to hear they are nothing like your father or wives that you wish she could be more like your mom.
Hilarious ad though that captures the message adequately!
Other adverts available here and here.
It’s a really tough call for me because I totally love Mary J Blige but I also love the second version!!
- Quick lunch/snack recipe: Chickpea “tuna” salad
- Cooking with lentils & beans
- Don’t really like vegetarian burgers but these lentil meatballs sure look yum!
- This article made me realise why people do not share the names of their babys before birth, but clearly once they are born, the name is not safe either!!
- Pics of the beautiful Cape Town.
- Beautiful pics of the Festima Festival in Burkina Faso.
- Some non-traditional baby gift ideas.
- Breaking up is hard. Breaking up in the day of Facebook, is something else altogether.(NY Times Article)
- A better way to think of your to-do list.
- Get Tested. Be Faithful. Remain Faithful. Otherwise, always use protection.
- On buying friendship in Japan. Read this and thanked God for my genuine (free) friendships.
- This lady did what I always say to my single pals about putting themselves out there in order to meet a guy!
- Sad that the recently legalised Marijuana business in the states has a colour preference.
- How do you feel about motherhood?
Posted in design, Heart matters, life
Tagged AIDS, break-up, Burkina Faso, Cape Town, cooking, design, Facebook, friendship, gifts, Heart matters, Japan, life, lists, motherhood, parenthood, racism, recipes, relationship advice
If we were having coffee, I would tell you of the different moments when I knew I was grown and I was OK with it. Minute 5:22 of this video.
“As you start to get older it’s about reconciling the fantasy with reality and still maintaining the vision for your life. So that you are going towards what you want but still incorporating the reality of life’s experience and reconciling that certain things you don’t have control over.” Tracee Ellis Ross
We all have this age when it hits us that some of the plans we made as young people will not take the single format we had envisioned.
When I was young, I knew that I would one day be married, never really planned the wedding but knew that I would be married. In my head, I was going to meet my husband at 24 get married at 26 and have my first child at 28 like my mom. Well, when at 23 I enrolled to do my Masters, I knew that this was never going to happen. Also, when I started working and realised the cost of weddings, I knew I had to push it out.
Or the dream to join the World Bank Young Professional Programme? Slowly and painfully letting this one go as I approach 32 and resting on the fact that hopefully I can join the Bank at a later stage in my career.
Similarly, how quickly I dropped the dream to go to the London School of Economics and do my Masters – one day I looked at their prospectus and realised that I was not interested in their course offering.
The dream to live alone before I was married. Things changed and it was fine.
I guess at different stages I learnt that the dream does not have to come in only one format and that you know what, it’s OK to reconfigure, to rediscover to restart or redo. It’s OK. My new thing is to keep it moving and to keep trying forward.
I love Seth Godin and look forward to his daily blogs. Below, a recent one that totally challenged my work ethic, copied word for word from his blog here.
Show your work
It’s tempting to sit in the corner and then, voila, to amaze us all with your perfect answer.
But of course, that’s not what ever works.
What works is evolving in public, with the team. Showing your work. Thinking out loud. Failing on the way to succeeding, imperfecting on your way to better than good enough.
Do people want to be stuck with the first version of the iPhone, the Ford, the Chanel dress? Do they want to read the first draft of that novel, see the rough cut of that film? Of course not.
Ship before you’re ready, because you will never be ready. Ready implies you know it’s going to work, and you can’t know that. You should ship when you’re prepared, when it’s time to show your work, but not a minute later.
The purpose isn’t to please the critics. The purpose is to make your work better.
Polish with your peers, your true fans, the market. Because when we polish together, we make better work.
I tend to wait until I have the perfect answer, or I have the perfect report/ proposal or I have prepared the perfect meal before I speak up and sometimes what is required is that you give a suggestion or you show that you are engaging with the material.
I will now ship before I am ready because unlike the common saying, I will never be ready!!
Following this summary of what is currently on my to-read bookshelf I have a couple of books that I would like to review.
Happiness is a Four Letter Word – Cynthia Jele
I loved this book, it deals with two things that I am particularly passionate about: Johannesburg and female relationships.
- The book is what would happen if Sex and the City had been cast in a cosmopolitan African city. If you would love to see that, check out the YouTube series, An African City.
- The themes are easily recognisable: love, family, beauty, work/ career advancement, marriage, female friendships.
- The book is a really easy read, I started on Friday at 7 and finished the next day by 12.
- Having said that, it is definitely a conversation starter and will have you thinking deeply about some of the issues dealt with for instance, what would I tell a dear friend that was cheating on her husband because she did not exactly marry him for love? Or a friend that rekindles communication with an old ex?
- Only concern and I guess because of my personal views, I feel like the author portrays a very negative view of (Black) relationships and someone that is not acquainted with any Black people might take it as a given that this is how our love dynamics play out. Yes it’s a novel, but their portrayal is definitely very one-sided, what happened to “normal“?
- Would I recommend it? Definitely yes!! I actually cannot wait for the author to release a second book.
Men of the South – Zukiswa Wanner
A bit of a preliminary disclaimer is that I read this book on the back of Happiness and the after-glow it gave me.
- The book’s main theme is love and relationships (gender dynamics, hetero- or homosexuality, family and friendships) and it definitely deals with each of these in turn.
- The book is set in Johannesburg and Cape Town, cities that I can safely say I am familiar with which makes the reading that bit enjoyable when I can understand the physical setting.
- The book provides an entry point to have some difficult conversations for example, being a Black homosexual in a culture where one is expected to get a wife and settle down or what if I earn more than my husband and can take care of him, should he stay home while I work?
- However, I think it attempted to do too much in a few pages and fell short. Hence, it was not as memorable as it could possibly be. I also felt that the first person reportage was not too helpful either.
- Overall, the book was quite predictable and I would not recommend it unless you maybe had a few hours and did not want to be wowed but wanted to tick a book off your reading list.
Rachel’s Blue – Zakes Mda
I tried to read this book and failed to get into it despite trying. In light of my recent advice on how to read more books, I am giving up and will mark this is a non-read on my part. My biggest issue I suppose is that I love it when he writes about various aspects of South African people and the setting of this book was too different for me to adjust my expectations accordingly.
Posted in books, Heart matters, home, life, marriage, working
Tagged being gay, Being Zulu, books, Books reading, Cynthia Jele, female friendship, friendships, Heart matters, home, life, love, marriage, reading, relationships, working, Zakes Mda, Zukiswa Wanner
We all have those days when we need a little boost, each one help one!
Happy Human Rights Day South Africans.
At my first job, we had a dedicated “DJ” that would send us Friday Tunes to
stop us hanging ourselves get us all into the weekend always with the title “Friday Tunes” and this post is definitely meant to be a shout-out to those good old days.
Enjoy and have a super duper weekend!
I often talk about female friendships that are in many parts so fulfilling but sometimes so emotionally frustrating. Just today at lunch I was thinking about how fleeting female friendships can also be. In particular I was thinking of all the people that I am not longer friends with.
Of the friend that is a twin who felt the need to lie about her age. PS: her twin said his age honestly. Also, we were in our early twenties when age was not yet a thing.
Of the childhood friend that went through such a demeaning and embarrassing break-up and because we all knew of it, our friendship could never be the same again. We eventually made up and can talk but things are just not the same. Too much history there.
Of an old time friendship that is hanging on by the skin of its’ teeth because … who knows.
While they have such depth and can be emotionally fulfilling, female friendships can at times also change just as suddenly. Sometimes because we honestly outgrow each other or sometimes for no reason beyond the fact that its time to let go and move.
Today’s post is written in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt —-> Fleeting
To all the women out there. Collectively, we are all SHE.
Laura Mvula is another new discovery and I am delighting in all her stuff.
In keeping with my 2016 theme to be more rooted and connected, this is what I hope to do in March.
- Reach out to close friends via calls, emails or messages to talk about what’s really happening in our lives. I mean group communication and Facebook is great but not all the time. Also, to get into the habit of praying for friends and family.
- Do more outdoorsy stuff and enjoy the last of the Cape Town glorious weather.
- Cook more and enjoy that time.
- Get data and finalise topic for school.
- Read more African literature (more on this later).
- Host a high school friend and her family for lunch.
- Hang up more pictures around the house.
Will post at the end of the month how it’s all going.
Posted in books, design, Heart matters, home, school
Tagged 2016 Theme, African writing, books, Books reading, cooking, design, entertainment, friendship, Heart matters, home, home decor, PhD, school
Went to a fancy Stellenbosch restaurant for lunch with the Mr this past weekend and this is what I had.
A friend recommended NPR’s Tiny Desk and this week I gave it a go and discovered the most delightful band, The Suffers. I love the soulfulness of the lead singers voice, their lyrics are so dreamy and I just know that the lead singer and I would get on famously.
Below are some videos that have been entertaining me.
Below see some pins that have been getting some love on my different Pinterest boards.
I love their glasses first of all and then the beautiful locs styles – low maintenance but stylish!
I loved the curls and the size of the locs.
This actually challenged me to colour coordinate my bookshelf. So beautiful!
I would cut my hair this short if I got bored of my locs.
I love Nidhi’s cartoons and I love how she expresses love between herself and her husband. ❤
Posted in design, Heart matters
Tagged about us, design, dreadlocks, dreads, hair, Heart matters, home, home decor, love, Pinterest
Adulting never gets any easier the longer you keep at it. I recently got thinking on three things in my life where I certainly needed my parents to come through and tell me what to do or how to do it.
- Finishing high school and having to decide what career I wanted to pursue thereafter. Then having to visit the different Universities and make my application and everything else. Coming on the back of completing high school and being told everything I needed to do, this freedom was quite sudden and frankly overwhelming. However, I oddly always knew what I wanted to do and so all I had to work on was finding a school to study Economics.
- Dealing with my first job. So many different things. One, I put in an application for a Work permit and this took over seven months to finalise and eventually I had to decide whether to stop working while I await my permit or go back home and either look for a job or start the application all over again to come back and coninue with my old job. Two, dealing with a difficult boss and having to decipher honest feedback against being bullied. The hardest lesson ever that I had to go through. Three, deciding to quit and wishing I could ask my folks to take care of me again.
- Moving house across cities. Urgggh!! I thought of my mom for months in the build up to it and for weeks after and secretly begged that she would offer to come help me.
And this is only up until now. I cannot imagine having a first baby, bringing up kids, losing loved ones, sickness, marriage stuff. Oh dear me, please can I just go back to being twelve!
Posted in Heart matters, home, life, marriage, working
Tagged adulting, Cape Town, careers, growing up., Heart matters, home, life, life lessons, marriage, parenting, working
What I’m listening to: NPR’s Hidden Brain. Haven’t really gotten into any new music of late. So happy to take any suggestions in the comments.
What I’m reading: Introduction to African Religion by John Mbiti; The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna.
What I’m wearing: Blue nail polish on my toes because nothing says summer quite like that.
What we’re watching: Just finished Shameless Season 5 and waiting to continue onto season 6. Trying to get time to get into Billions.
What I’m struggling with: My inner critic particularly professionally. Also, trying to maintain my theme to stay connected to some of my friends and acquaintances.
What’s making my heart happy: BSF, Downton Abbeys’ last season, Woolworths Spicy Chai tea
Inspired by Joy at Frock Files
Posted in books, Heart matters, home, life
Tagged Aminatta Forna, Billions, books, Heart matters, Hidden Brain, home, life, Podcasts, religion, Shameless, tea
This year I fired the Mr from Valentines Day and decided to plan a three course in-house dinner for the both of us. #iSlayedV-Day. I totally did. I obviously took no pictures but below is the selected menu.
Warm winter greens with Ceasar dressing, smoked bacon and a poached egg.
Steak au Poivre, Creamy lentils with rosemary and tomatoes and sauteed rosemary and garlic potatoes.
Poached pear with lemon sorbet
I used Rachel Allen’s Entertaining at Home for inspiration.
Posted in books, design, Heart matters, home, marriage
Tagged about us, books, cooking, design, food, Heart matters, home, marriage, recipes, relationships, Valentines Day
Happy Valentines Day all … Something warm and fuzzy!
- Healthy pumpkin and oat bread
- Finally government and ruling party comment on the evil virginity bursary schemes.
- Loved this story about second hand booksellers in Joburg.
- Simple enough DIY involving a wok that turns into a lamp.
- Childhood obesity is on the increase. In Sub-Saharan Africa *GASP*
- Fascinating read on a river that actually boils.
- Lunch club anyone?
- Always in life it helps to be a unique individual. Always. Be Unique.
- This cooking project in Delhi just warmed my heart for some reason.
- On the schooling options for Black children and the issues to consider: One and Two.
“The paradox of elite education in SA is that it breeds an economic elite with very little social literacy, and who display contempt for the idea of social intelligence.”
Posted in design, Heart matters, home
Tagged Africa, baking, books, Brazil, children, design, DIY, education, enviroment, girl child, Heart matters, home, lunch, traditions