Celebrating my 37th birthday during Covid

I celebrated turning 37 on the 28th April !!! Happy birthday to meee! Before Covid I had this idea that I would do lunch with my family and close friends and call the gathering a birthday party, something I have never had in my life. Alas COVID happened but I still had the best day of my life.

A beautiful story was told by @chrystalhurst about how her late mom showed up for them as kids and through to adulthood . One of the things she did was come up with this idea that on each person’s birthday, she will be serving you your favorite meal on this “special” plate .
This idea resonated so much with me that I even introduced to my family 😄😄😄.As someone who has been celebrating her birthday for the last twenty years only , I am learning each day how important celebration is especially that I have kids. Having unique family traditions is something that I value and this one is staying !!!✅✅


The girls are so excited and looking forward to their birthdays and I think this new tradition will help us thrive on being grateful for one another. #stayhomesa #birthdaycelebratrion #newtradition

So here’s to many years of celebration and adjusting to life as moments present themselves to us !!!

What made this day special ??

  • KG cut my hair !!!! And he had never cut anyone’s hair in the past so this meant a lot to me . I am so grateful for this moment
  • Cooking for the family and just being intentional about my day was quite special and that everyone acknowledged it wa super special for me
  • That everyone agreed and adopted the special plate was super special on its own . Damn the excitement from my kids was out this this world hey
  • I got a cash gift from kg – listen 👂🏽 I am riiiiiccchh 😆😆😆
  • Kg giving me a photoshoot with excitement and so much energy. Honestly this was his best show up moment and kudos to my husband people ! He outdid himself , I changed into 3 outfits in a space of 45 minutes 😃and he was so hyped up about it all!
  • Kg was the dj for the evening and the mood was perfect
  • My friend and family wishing me well and my best friend T sent me cash 💰 I can’t wait to spoil myself !
  • I baked my own cheesecake for the first time – like helooo
  • I just know that this was by far my best birthday celebration ever

In that way , I say I am grateful that I was with my family in this special day. I have grown to love celebrating birthdays thanks to Kg and my friends .

Can’t wait for the after Covid shenanigans 🤣

A testimony from a lemon tree during Covid

After many days of not going to the front part of our yard , I finally did. As I drove past , I saw something that looked a little bit like a miracle . A medium sized lemon hanging on my lemon tree . The same tree I was talking to last year with all hope lost that it will ever bear fruit !!!

Listen !!! I finally have lemons in my tree – even if it’s just one lemon . This tree had something to prove and the lyrics from Travis Green overwhelmed my heart when I saw this . The tree heard me and it just sad , I will stay , even if I show her with one lemon , I want to show her that I am capable. I cannot explain the feeling of seeing a proper , well rounded , the size of a lemon I usually get from the shops, hanging there , right in front of my eyes. Omg 😳

This tree was so close to being cut and thrown out in my yard. But I took one last step of faith last year . I got all the manure , I spoke to the tree and expressed my concerns and now boom . One lemon 🍋, this is worth a celebration!!!!

Oh the overwhelming
Never ending
Reckless love of God
Oh it chases me down
Fights ’til I’m found
Leaves the ninety nine
I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it
Still You give Yourself away
Oh the overwhelming
Never ending
Reckless love of God

There’s no shadow
You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall
You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

The tree reminded me of this song. How much God loves us all. How much His love is never ending. How much He will leave the ninety nine just to show up for you . In the moment of despair when I was about to cut this tree , it showed up for me. Even with one lemon , it showed up.

God will show up , in your moment of being alone , He will leave the ninety nine and come for one . That’s the God I serve !!

Gardening- I didn’t realize it’s been 18 , 19? how many days again since the lockdown 🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️

Time flies amid the lockdown

It’s unbelievable how I assumed that the lockdown meant more time , plenty of time to do what I love , to clean up and do extra tasks that I have been meaning to do .

I was completely wrong , by day 12 I was wondering what happened to all the time ?

The garden suffered neglect and I managed to work on it by day 18. The soil was so hard considering we have had a lot of rain for the past few weeks then more sunlight . Working the soil was like working on stones and I found myself regretting why I haven’t touched it for so long.

Nonetheless I endured the six hours hard work and came out with a nicer looking and better feeling garden .

Tomatoes 🍅

I am growing tomatoes for the second time around and I did a bit of research on Pinterest. I learned that trimming the tree is important to avoid food poisoning. Building a trellis is something I have been wanting to do and guess what ? I made a plan with my old washed stockings – a plaas meisie maak n plan!! The outcome is superb

Carrots 🥕

I didn’t know that letting carrot bush grow taller prevents the sun and all the good stuff from supporting the growth . Sounds like common sense now but in the past I would just let these be.

I did a nice trim on the bush and replanted the carrots to allow good spacing . I think in the future I will space the seedlings to avoid the replanting task . Maybe , I don’t know 🤷🏿‍♀️

Overall I am very happy with the progress of the garden and I must say I have harvested more during this lockdown than I ever did in the past. All my lettuce , spinach and herbs that I have used for the past 20 days come from the garden.

I want to promise myself that I will take a few hours a week and spend time in my garden ??. I need it , something different and helps me relax. Perhaps I must put it as part of my routine??

How clean doe this tomatoes and carrot 🥕 bed look ! Amazing 😉

Gardening – succulents

I am grateful for the feeling I get after cleaning the garden 🙏🙏🙏

It’s amazing how our corner looks like a one month after creation

I just love how beautiful these succulents and aloe looks like . Added about four types of succulents today and it’s looking very good

Gardening is definitely good for my brain 🧠

Reflections

I am here today to allow God to intervene in my insecurities

I am here opening up for Him to create in me a clean heart

I am here for His will to be done

Today we invent the one He created

We open up to the direction of the Holiest one

The One and Only God and Creator of heaven and earth

The past years have been about healing the child in me . Child you are healed

Now we invent the person you were truly meant to be

Here’s to leading your best life

Here’s to owning the pain

Here’s to loving the scars

Here’s to the sweet voices and soft kisses

Here’s to love ❤️

Loving yourself through this journey and loving God your creator

I am here to serve

I say yes Lord

I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
To your will and to your way
I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
I will trust you and obey
When your Spirit speaks to me
With my whole heart I’ll agree
And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes

Dear God

I say yes

I receive the call upon my life and I surrender to your will

Help me choose you always

Dear God

Dear God

I surrender to your will your way and your word
You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail and there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Thank you for this song

I surrender to the call

I hear you dear Lord

The power of 13

Looking back, my life changed at the age of 13. At this age I made a few significant decisions which set the course for my life.

  1. After receiving Christ as my Lord and saviour, I desired, as per the scripture to the altar call, to be that special bread, preserved for special use
  2. I then made a decision to remain pure, together with this, I made a mental note, I will not have a boyfriend until I am 17

I spent the next four years in church, I went to prayer from 5am, and I prayed and prayed. I went to children’s church every work day after school. I learned to interpret the scriptures and the spirt of God was at work. Looking at that part of my life now, I see that the hand of the Lord was at work.

So each night, we would have a programme and the church had a practise that each one must come with a testimony every day. We were encouraged that our testimony must have a basis from the scripture. The testimonies needed to be thanking God for what He has done in that day or week. In short, the church was teaching me the following

  1. Gratitude – find something to be grateful for each day
  2. Scripture reading – relating my life to scripture and memorising the word

The time for testimony was taken very seriously and I also made sure that I partake once a week, either in the girl’s service or the youth service. This really did a great job to my self -esteem and understanding of who God says I am.

From the age of 13, I could have not had food that day and I would go to church and say the word of God says God is Jehovah Rapha, God my provider. For every challenging situation, the word of God was there. If I was sad and needed to cry and I felt no one would understand, I learned about Hannah, who poured her heart in prayer, to such an extent that the priest thought she was drunk. I learned to cry in the spirit, for a good 8 years, when I prayed, I  cried. Prayer was more than just bringing my cares and burdens, prayer became my therapy.

After praying, at the early hours of the morning, I stood up and believed that God will take care of whatever it is that was bothering me.

When I was desperately in need, I knew God was with me. I literally took God at His word. I still believe that He is not man to can lie

These confessions trained my brain to stay grounded in the word. I spoke life and I believed life. The word of God saturated in my bones, it was my life. I believed and imagined His word being fire in my bones and yes, that it was.

I identified with two scriptures

  1. Joshua 1
  2. Psalm 139

I was assured that He will be with me, I was also assured that His plan about me, is beyond what my eyes can see, because He knew me, before my parents even conceived me, my days were written in the book of life. This knowledge kept me. This knowledge comforted me.

Age 13 also set me on a course of keeping a journal. I was taught through the word, that “write your vision down, though it tarry, it will surely come to pass” so I started writing my thoughts down. In most of our quarterly meetings and special events, I started noting key points from the message that I needed to remember.

It was at the age of 13, that the Secondary School did a motivation day for us. There I met the words, “if it’s to be, it’s up to me”. These stuck with me and God set me on a course of a divine life.

My most humbling moment was at the same age, standing in front of the congregation in one of the mid-week services, sharing my testimony. I had read about kings of Israel, I had noted that God chose Kings, regardless of age. The story of David fascinated me, he was the seventh child, like me, he was the youngest , like me, with a strong desire to be used by God; I testified that, although I am 13, I do believe that I can be used by God. If I serve the same God of David, the same God can use me.

This inspired a word of prophecy in the church, a lady stood up and spoke over me, and I still get chills when I think back to that evening. She spoke that God says, He will use me to touch the world, what I was declaring through my testimony, was being confirmed about the depth and extent to which God would use me. The most amazing thing was, as she spoke, I knew that she was telling the truth, nothing sounded new to my ears and my spirit. Everything she said, I knew that to be the truth of who I was to be or who I was becoming. In that moment I confirmed that my calling has the people at the centre of it. I was blessed.

Time of change

A lot changed for me at this age. I started on anew path for my life. I was a Christian and not afraid. I lived for my family and my community. I changed my words, my thoughts and I was born again. I woke up early, prayed each morning and night, I watched the words that came out of my mouth. I watched the company I keep, I watched who speaks to my ears. I focused and had great intent in all I did. I even stopped to carelessly wet myself in bed …at 13

Time of destiny 

The age 13 set me on a course for my destiny, I knew who I was and I never doubted it. God assured me. I went for gold

I was 13 when my teacher told me about Chartered Accountancy profession, I then set my heart on the course for the profession.

Time to start again 

13 was the time to start again. My family experienced no physical fights, the arguments subsided and life was on a different path

I was 13 when my eldest brother got a permanent job

I was 13 when the local municipality installed electricity in my community

I was13 when my brother bought us our first ever fridge

There was hope in the political sphere of the community

South Africa was 2 years into democracy

 

Here is a typical schedule I had from 13 to 17

  1. Monday – a day of fasting and prayer – this I complied and did faithfully for the most of my life
  2. Tuesday – a cell group meeting – which I attended faithfully, it was always nice to go into other people’s house and to share a prayer
  3. Wednesday – a girls service – I participated by being a chorus leader most of the times
  4. Thursday – a youth service – this was always on fire
  5. Friday – men’s service, I seldom went to this one
  6. Saturdays – monthly, quarterly meetings, outdoor evangelism and 14h00 choir practice
  7. Sunday – 10 am service and 3 pm service

Monday to Thursday from 3pm, I went to children;s church, by age 16 I had started teaching the children’s church 🙂

 

1996 , a year of destiny!

 

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lordlooks at the heart.”

So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

 

Dear God….

It was in 1996 when I defined who God is in my life. I believe I was raised in one of the greatest and loving families ever, but there were challenges. My parents were not in an ideal husband and wife relationship and as a 13 year old, I knew that this was not normal.

For the longest time my parents fought a lot and I understood this to be a result of alcohol consumption.  My father was an alcoholic. Every time I came back from December holidays, the energy in my house was not welcoming.

I have very clear memories where my parents would be fighting and I would find myself in between, screaming and begging them to stop. I have clear recollections of punches being blown by them both, I have witnessed one of them fainting and collapsing on the floor due to the sever nature of their fights.

This lifestyle was a constant; I don’t recall a peaceful night as a child, wherein if my father was drunk and all was okay. It was a norm, as soon as we heard him outside, walking towards the house, rumbling as usual; we quickly turned off our candle lights and went to sleep. This was our life.

As a result, I can remember that I had a number of evenings wherein, going to sleep was very sad for me. N those nights, I would cry myself to sleep. I could not comprehend why so many fights, I just knew that it hurt, it hurt so bad. The pillow was my fried, I wept silently for most nights. The words uttered would be around provisions, my mother would be asking my father about the money, food and I would like to think that this was the basis of most of their fights, provision…

The last straw came in January 1996, I had come back from Natal , I came home and I saw that the significant part of the kitchen wall was covered in blood. At first I thought they had slaughtered a sheep, but then I asked myself, why they would smear its blood on the wall. The blood was everywhere; I remember I had to scoop up dry blood inside the 80kg of maize meal as I prepared the pap for my family to eat in one evening. This, I never shared with anyone because I thought they would not want to eat the pap if they knew that it had dry blood inside it.

My parents are traditional; I knew that most holidays they would consult a traditional healer to seek help; I would in most times find that there is a traditional medicine to be used as per prescription by the healer. I would observe with much curiosity, the fresh crosses on the door posts and fresh ingcabo on their arms. It is from such experiences that I would hear stories such as how stuff flew in through the window with bad items that were meant to destroy our family as the consulting process went on. I loved these stories and I looked forward to them every single year. These stories also gave me hope, I also hoped that maybe, maybe each time, the bad spirits would leave our family and that perhaps finally my parents would stop fighting. I didn’t know what they consulted for and I never asked, but I silently thought that it was to stop the fighting; I thought it was meant to bring peace.

The one thing that stayed in my mind from a small age about the visits from the traditional healer is that, they would leave my parents with so much hope and positive words, my parents always tell us that there is wealth on top of our heads. My mother would touch my head and say, you are rich, and there is wealth, imali igcwele emakhanda enu. So I believed this and every time I thought of the possibilities of being okay, having good food and nice clothes, I felt hope. This belief propelled me to really believe that one day, we will be wealthy, we are rich, it’s just a matter of time … J this belief also made easily face discouragement with much ease, I believed my parents words and they were final g me, nothing else mattered

I believe I had a relationship with God from a young age, however I don’t recall accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour until1996. This was the same year that I had decided if God is God, then He has to show up in my family.

The pastor was SD Gumbi, he read from the scripture 1Samuel 21: 2-6, I have no regular bread on hand, only the holy bread. The call for that evening was to ask God to keep me, asks God to protect me; I desire not to be any ordinary bread but the bread that is kept in the holy place. This was my call to salvation. Pastor SD has such a profound way of calling one to the altar, he likes saying , yangena inhlanhla ekhaya lakini, yangena insindiso, yangena impumelelo and this I took and I believed that by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour, healing and restoration will enter my family home.

By this age, I was aware of the social perceptions about what salvation is, even though I had a divine experience after the service of accepting Jesus Christ, I still felt I needed assurance about God’s existence. I felt I needed my own way of understanding who God is and not be based on the church’s understanding only. So I made a prayer, I asked God to help stop my parents from fighting, I asked God to reveal Himself to me. As I prayed, I was afraid of seeing angels, so I kind of wished that I would not see angels, because I was afraid of experiencing something like that. So in the month of January 1996, that worst observation of war and strain between my parents would be the last year that my parents fought and all glory goes to Jesus Christ. I never testified about this in church as it was important to me that I don’t, but I praise God for the peace that was now present in my family.

This gave me assurance that God is alive in my life and that God answers prayers.

My second prayer was answered in a voice, in my sleep, again I needed assurance, I had heard many unkind things said about people who are saved and I was a bit confused. I heard a voice, “ungesabi, ngiyakuba nawe nomaphi la uyakhona” I woke up to the shock and instantly the voice told me to read Joshua 1: 5 -9, I was shocked, I knew God is alive and He is with me. From that age on, I believed God for myself. I knew something special was happening in my life.

 

And all I needed to learn was to trust Him, trust the process….

 

Be strong and courageous; do not be terrified or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!!!!

Owning a piece of land 

One of my favorite past time activity is browsing through internet and looking at properties. Land , farms , houses and new development are my favorite…. I had some time obsessing about flats in the city of Johannesburg and hilbrow 
So at any given point I’m able to tell on top of my mind how much a specific area is going for around Gauteng and other major cities in South Africa 

I owned a house at the age of 22 in Vosloorus. I had started working and I got a pamphlet from a very friendly lady at Noord taxi rank. I took her up on the off plan property. My fascination began with this beautiful house 🏡 

My plan was to settle in my career and perhaps consider staying in the house although it was very far from my then workplace, Sunninghill . I was looking forward to using the house for my family to have a place in Gauteng. Our second place to call home. I then took a logical approach and got a tenant in the interim. This worked well in the beginning but as time went by, I didn’t get rent payment from the tenant 

Unfortunately the timing of this tenant not honoring our agreement was at the same time when my employer was unable to pay my salary. So I had a few months of unpaid bond installments 

The administrative requirements of traveling during the week to find the tenant took a lot from me. My family wasn’t around at the time to help with the administrative issues. I didn’t know much about tenant and contract management.

So with no rental income and a stubborn tenant whom I saw three or four times over the rental period, my house was attached and sent to auction. I then got a call from an agent offering me an option to sell, with no further details I took the offer and got profit from the sale. Unfortunately my name was blacklisted from the delayed bond payments and it took a little over two years to clear it up.

I still have a dream of owning my own piece of land and build something beautiful 

I’d really love a home that represent my lifestyle. I was inspired by the space and the animals with free reign in the Swaziland palace when we visited in 2002. I fell in love with peacocks running around the yard, the sound of birds and gigantic trees. My biggest yearn is the ability to step outside and see the sky, the stars and the moon. This is an experience I marvel at each time I am home at Warden 

After my trip to Swaziland, I added to my vision board a beautiful house and I thought to myself, I want to own a villa of grace, because that’s exactly how my life has been. Grace has kept me 

People who I have seen living this, have also inspired the dream of my house and have made me believe even more that it is possible 

I came across a place called Rietvlei CE and I immediately loved the idea of a hector and the potential of what owning the land would mean

I would be able to have chickens, peacocks, the gigantic tree with a swing and grow my own food 🥘. The thought of it excites me. So today I just want to send my prayers and put it out there and I know in time God will provide 
The coincidence about Ritevlei is the recent discovery I have made that Warden is built on a farm called Rietvlei 🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️I know it doesn’t mean I must live there but what a coincidence right 🙊🙊🙊🙊

Here’s some history..

Warden is a town situated on the N3 Highway between Johannesburg and Durban. The town has one of the largest Dutch Reformed churches in South Africa, with the seating for the 1 750. Warden was laid out in 1912 on the farm Rietvlei and became a municipality in 1920. The town was named after the former Harrismith magistrate, Charles Warden.
In the interim, here’s a picture I have kept for the past fifteen years. The idea of space and freedom fills my heart ❤️