Monthly Archives: October 2014

#marymoment no.5 – I have a dream

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Yesterday I took some time out with a friend. Just a little bit of time to walk through my favourite bookshop. And obviously, I bought a book. A book I have been planning to buy since it was released. “Knitting Adventures with South African Yarn” by Dana Biddle. I know the author and I know many of the people she writes about in the first part of her book where she gives information on a few of the many yarn artists in South Africa.

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Each of the people she wrote about, had a dream. And each of them did everything possible to bring that dream into reality.

I couldn’t help but think of my own dream. If I reflect on the past twelve months, the change in our lives is mind-blowing. God helped us to make big parts of our dreams come true. We are not finished yet, our dreams are growing!

I serve the God of impossibilities! He makes ways where we cannot see ways. He bring solutions where we see only problems. He doesn’t answer our prayers in the ways we prescribe He should – He comes up with much better ways – that I have personal experience of in this last year.

I want to encourage you today to keep on dreaming. That passion in your heart is there because He placed it there when He formed you in your mother’s womb. Dream on! Dream big! And make it happen with the God of impossibilities!

#100marymoments no.4 – a passionate smile

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I hate public bathrooms. I have a thing about people who do not wash their hands after using the toilet, and in public bathrooms you see it all the time. I always see a smart lady walk out of the toilet cubicle, pause in front of the mirror just long enough to fix her hair before she walks out of the door with unwashed hands. It always freaks me out. I am at the point where I hate touching anything in there. Picture this: if the door to the ladies automatically closes, I grab some toilet paper on my way out of the toilet cubicle. After I have washed my hands, that extra toilet paper is used to close the tap and open the door. Balancing on one foot while the other holds the door, I aim for the rubbish bin with the used toilet paper. And I usually miss. Which means I have to go pick it up off the dirty floor and wash my hands again. This little ritual could be repeated several times until I hit the target; I am sure you get the picture.

Tonight I am at Lanseria airport waiting for my husband. Luckily here, the door to the bathroom remains open. Much easier. I was vigorously shaking the water from my hands after washing them when I heard her soft voice next to me: “here you are Mam”. In her hands she had two sheets of towel paper. Yes TWO! No person ever gets it right with just one anyway. I was so surprised. She had such a lovely smile! It really touched my heart.

As I sat down for a cup of coffee, she wondered into my mind again.

She is a toilet cleaner. It is a job that I, with all my hangups about hygiene, will never survive. And yet, she is doing her job with a smile. With passion. With kindness. It is mind-blowing to me.

Imagine what life would be like if we all start doing what we are supposed to do, with a passionate smile and an attitude of kindness. Imagine such a world. Just imagine it.

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#100marymoments no.3 – what is faith really?

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It’s Monday. My off day. I still woke up with my husband at 4h30 and has been up since. That doesn’t change the fact that this is my off day. I didn’t have to drive to the shop. I didn’t have to get dressed early. I didn’t HAVE to do anything.

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I sat in bed and alternated between crocheting a rug for our bedroom, reading “The Mind of a Fox” by Chantelle Ilbury and Clem Sunter and checking what is happening in my world on Facebook.

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And in between, I chewed on the question of faith. Faith is a very debatable thing. It has always been. People get passionate about faith and will defend their view of it at all cost. But what is faith really?

In order to strengthen my faith, I have listened to every sermon on the topic I could find. I downloaded podcasts, I have read books and I listened to real life sermons as our local congregation has been focussing on faith too. What I have learned from all these teachings over a 12 month period is basically this: ASK what you want, BELIEVE that you already have it, CONFESS positive things and eventually you will receive it. It all sounds so simple.

Unfortunately, there is a but. BUT. Yes, I have seen miracles in these last 12 months. In fact, I have personally been touched my a miracle when God restored my hearing. BUT. There are many prayers still unanswered. There are many sicknesses still not healed. There are many wants on my list that I still don’t have. There are many needs on my list that I still have to do without. My best friend died of cancer despite the fact that we all prayed, believed and spoke positive things. My spiritual mentor was recently diagnosed with cancer and she is one of the people in my life with faith that can move mountains. My sister-in-law has childlike faith and the gift of healing, yet she battles with a back problem. Where does the teaching on ask, believe, receive fit into these scenarios? I don’t know.  I cannot debate about it. I am not trained in theology. I don’t study the Word of God for hours each day. I am just an ordinary Christian with more questions than answers.

I recently came across this blog: Mundane Faithfulness. It is the story of a woman with cancer – Kara Tippetts. Her daily life, her strugglings, her victories and her downfalls. It is inspriring to say the least. She is holding on to God for dear life, fighting the cancer in every way she can. Yet if you read through her blog posts, you will find that she has made peace with the fact that one day, she will die, probably of cancer. It sounds contradictory I know. I am battling to understand it too. One part of me is so indoctrinated after listening to faith sermons for 12 months, that I want to shout at her not to confess these negative things. Another part of me is silently admiring her strength through all of this. What am I admiring? Her faith. Yes her faith.

To me, faith is not believing God will answer our prayers. Faith is not expecting Him to jump to our wishes and demands in puppet-like fashion. Faith is not approaching Him daily with a long list of wants and needs and firmly believing He will do exactly as prescribed. No. Faith is to hold on when nothing goes as we want it. Faith is to believe in His love and provision even when the whole world starts to fall apart. Faith is to declare Romans 8:28 and carry on through the storm regardless of the wind in our faces. Faith is to steadfastly push forward even if it is one step forward and two steps back. Faith is to believe in His everlasting love even though our lives are flashing past and death is lurking around the corner. Faith is what Kara Tippetts has. I want that faith. That faith to silently hold on and let God be God. Maybe that is what is meant in the Psalms where He says “Be still and know that I am God”. Maybe we should keep quiet. Maybe we should stop prescribing unto Him what we want and what we think we should have. Maybe we should stop demanding. Maybe we should just become quiet and hold on to Him in true faith, knowing He has good plans for us, knowing He loves us, knowing He will never leave us nor forsake us, regardless of the sickness we sit with. Regardless of the cancer. Regardless of the finances. Regardless of whatever.

Be still. Hold onto Him in faith.