Wednesday, April 28, 2010


"Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” St. Augustine

I'm learning lately that we sell ourselves short. I mean think about it; Jesus died on the cross for our sins right? Which, to me, means that despite our contemptible behaiviour, he looked upon us with gentleness and love and willingly took up the punishment that was intended for us.Would it not then be safe to assume that there is no longer condemnation? We no longer need to punish ourselves or each other for our sins. All we need to do now is to come before him and seek forgiveness and it is ours. We need not flog ourselves because he took the flogging for us already.

This must be the freedom that the bible so often speaks about. Because of the cross, we should no longer look at ourselves through the eyes of the world, that so often critisises and shakes its head at us in displeasure, but rather through the filter of the blood of Jesus. Through this filter we are pure, we are blameless, we are his.

May we look at each other through the same filter. May we not rob ourselves or each other of the freedom that Christ so unconditionally gave. May we do away with the chains we bind ourselves and each other in and experience the freedom that comes with being a child of God.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ode to Family

Two weeks ago, my new sister-in-law came to visit us for what we called "bonding time". The main objectives were to get to know her and to have her get to know us and also to get the traditional stuff underway. Ok, let me elaborate on the traditional stuff.

In our culture, when a girl marries into a family there are specific.... procedures that need to be done. First of all, the makoti (bride) is officially dressed by her sister-in-law (that's me) in an attire that sets her apart as the new bride.Her sister-in-law also gets to name the new makoti, because when she marries into a family she not only becomes part of them but she also brings certain qualities that will add onto the dynamics of the family. In giving her a name you are expressing the significance of having her as an addition to the family; you are speaking into the new life that lies ahead with this new family.

So I had the privellege as the eldest daughter at home of dressing our new makoti and giving her a name (mind you, my mom gave me a name to give to her and only told me afterwards that it was my job to come up with a name. thanks mom!). I also had to officially introduce her to the family by her new name - don't worry, it's all symbolic! no changes are made on birth certificates or anything!. I (or my mom) named her Siyasanda, which means we are multiplying; get it? Her joining the family means that our family will multiply from here on out. She is also a symbol of our unity as a family (and with that my eyes fill with tears of pride, lol)

When I look back on the 2 weeks that Siya was with us, I realise how blessed I am to have my family. I realise how proud I am to know that my identity is in these people with their unbelievable strength and colourful characters. I am privelleged beyond words to share my roots with them all. There is really nothing better than family!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Understanding Mister God

I've always been a restless person. While other people would find my life relatively satisfactory I will find something I'm not happy with in my life, blow it a little out of proportion and vuwala; I have myself a hopelessly empty life. It's a bad habit; something that I do subconsciously, something that I need to stop.

Lately my restlessness has been in God. Now, God being the center of my existance means that when I am unhappy with Him, my very core is shaken. A girlfriend and I were chatting the other day, her words to me still ring in my ears; " I don't understand God", she says in defeat.What plagues me about what my friend said is that in her frustration with God, she has walked away from Him; given up on Him. That for me is so sad because, while there is still so much I can't grasp about God, the very little that I do know is so phenominal, so outrageous that i can't bring myself to walk away.

Don't get me wrong, I'd be lying if I said I've never walked away before, but there is one thing I have learned. When you are in the blackest abyss, there is very little anyone can tell you that will help you see the light and that footprints-in-the-sand poem starts to look like something to start a small fire with.

What has often gotten me through these times is clinging to that which I already know about God because when you are that down and out, trying to understand God gets very frustrating. It's just a matter of saying, " I don't understand what you are doing, but I do know that you are sovereign and you are bigger than this." Try that and see if you won't experience His peace even when there seems to be nothing to feel peaceful about.

So next time (there will be a next time!) you want to throw in the towel on God, ask yourself this, " What is it that I do know about God?" and cling to that with everything that is in you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stop This Train

Am I like the only woman blogger in the world that has put her age up on her profile? I suspect that I am.

As you know, I love reading other people's blogs and taking a walk in their shoes if only for 5 minutes. Whenever I'm bored here at work, I spend some time on the next blog link just reading other people's blogs and if I find one worth following, I add it to my reading list. During these escapades that have so often proved amusing, I find that women will share pretty much everything about themselves from how many kids they have, to their deepest most intimate secrets,but their ages? There's no way you'll get that out of them. I usually try and estimate, based on what they talk about, but in all honesty I'm not much of a guesser ( you don't wanna play pictionary with me!)so I doubt I've guessed right.

So, let me ask you ladies; what is it about your age that freaks you out so much? For me, it's the thought that I'll be 25 soon and I've accomplished very little. I look around at girls, I mean, women my age and I see engagement and wedding rings, baby rattles and business plans and I think to myself, "Myself, you are lagging far behind." It feels as though I'm running out of time and life is passing me by. I have a better understanding now of how the fat kid picked last in P.T class felt; like a complete loser!

But that's the negative way of looking at it right? I mean, I'm 25 years old, I have no children, I am single which means I have no responsibilities and I'm not tied down. Those gir- women, I meant women see my side as greener than theirs- oh the irony! So, I'm just gonna sit back, relax and try to enjoy, because before I know it, my time will come and I'll be looking back nostalgically and I don't want to wish that I'd done more with all this freedom.

John Mayer says in one of his songs "don't stop this train, don't, for a minute change the place you're in", and with that ladies I wanna say this. We are all of us lucky to be married, to be engaged, to have children, to be single, to be students, to be young and to be old. May we embrace where we are in life while we look forward to the what awaits us ahead and may we look back without regret for the things we were too scared to do.