When mom made Valentine’s Day worth it 💜

As I was sitting on my favourite bench under some trees in our garden this morning, writing a Valentine’s card for my love, Rohann, I began to reflect on Valentine’s days in my past and I thought to share something really special that I experienced every Valentine’s Day…
Growing up, I never really had a Valentine to look forward to every year. Yes, sure, in primary school, there were the red ribbons we could pin on our school dresses and my friends and I would make sure we all had some ribbons…and there was fun to be shared and it was great but we were young and didn’t really have a good idea of the value of being loved by someone else. We were still kids. 
I am talking about when I got older and the value of receiving a gift from someone who might just care a bit more about me than what I thought, the years when receiving something made me feel important and loved ( I obviously now know that finding value in whether or not you receive a valentine is really not the gauge on which to measure your worth 😉)
During those years, high school into university, I didn’t have a Valentine’s, I didn’t even really have guy friends apart from my brothers and yet I always received a Valentine from someone. During the most important years, there was a person that always ensured I got something for Valentine’s. That person is my mom. My mom would always give me something….be it just a card, or a special chocolate or even a bunch of flowers. She would make sure I got something on that day to make me feel special. And this act of loving kindness to me made all the difference. I remember once walking into the reception area of Res at university and there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers there just for me. Immediately I thought, “oh wow, I have a secret admirer, how exciting!” And when I opened the card, a simple and beautiful note from my mom “Happy Valentine’s Day my girl! Love mom”. While I may have felt a little disappointed that it wasn’t from some mystery man, my heart felt so loved and secure to know that mom would always think of me and take the time to do something special for me. She made me feel important and valued. 

My mom did something for me that I will do for my kids, to always let them know that they are thought of, loved and valued. 

So, to my mom , thank you for always taking the time to think of me and love me. You showed me the love of Jesus, even if you didn’t know at the time. I love you! 

To the moms out there who have wondered if they should do this…do it! It made a world of difference to me 🙂 

And to my kids, I hope, that when you are adults, that you too would look back and your hearts would be filled with good memories of the love you have received from me. 

1 John 4:19

We love because He first loved us.

   
 

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More than the sand…

  
Since becoming parents, I love the way God has been teaching me about Himself through Rohann as a father figure. God is our Father. HE is my DAD. And He uses so much of our everyday lives to show me more of His heart. 

This past week we were walking along the beach as a family and I happened to take a photo that I love. And so I am going to share what God has shown of His heart to me in this photo:
  
1). Rohann & Amylia’s footprints remind me that we are moving forward with Jesus. Everyday is a journey and a process and everyday is WITH Jesus, not alone. 

2). Rohann is holding both Amylia’s hand carrying Benjamin on his shoulders and this reminds me that God will always hold us and that somehow in His greatness He holds ALL of us. My mind cannot comprehend how He does it?!?! How He holds, cares for and loves ALL of us!!! 

3). And the scripture in Psalm139 which says that His thoughts towards us a far more than the sand, confirms this love He has for each of us. Often when I think about this verse I think about the sea shore and the gazillions of grains of sand….but sand isn’t only at the beach! It’s EVERYWHERE!!! Think about your garden, or fields or a desert….that’s a whole lot of sand!!! And that’s how much He thinks about us! He must be pretty fond of us to think of us this much!!! 

4). The waves and the incline of beach indicate that some things in life are tough. We know this. Jesus says so Himself in John 16:33

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” So when trouble comes, we don’t run away, we don’t fear and hide but we do hold tighter to the One who will never leave nor forsake us and we face the trouble with Him. 

5). I am so grateful that I took my camera out when I did-the timing was just right. A moment later and the footprints would have been washed away. This reminded me that we need to make the most of every opportunity. Make the most of every opportunity to show Jesus to the people around us. Ephesians 5:15-16 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil”. 

6). Their footprints were washed away very quickly, but as we all know, a new set of footprints appeared just after this and this reminded me that life and things in life change at a rapid pace but that the King of our lives remains the same as it is stated in Hebrews13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”. 

7). And then my final thought…Rohann loved being with our kids that day. He enjoyed spending time with them, having fun, laughing together and protecting them. And Jesus loves being with us. Spending time with us. Having fun. Laughing with us. Protecting us. He is crazy about us. 

Isn’t He just wonderful to show us His heart through the simple things around us. I am so grateful for His love towards me 🙂 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Freedom in the big & the small

  About 2 weeks ago I went through a little dip. Nothing serious. Just a flat spot and for no good reason. The thing is, that if I look at my life, I have had a number of these dips and at some point these would occur fairly frequently. Praise God they don’t happen as often and Praise Him that He is working in me to leave this behind :). I would describe it as a low, irritable, selfish space really. And unfortunately I usually find it quite a difficult space to get out of. It can take me a day or two to snap out of it. Anyhow, during this particular bad space, which seemed to stretch over a whole weekend, my darling husband reminded me of something. And it is something that I have thought about before but this time it came as a fresh revelation. Let me put this into context:It was Monday morning and Rohann was just about ready to go to work and came to say goodbye to me. I was in a grumpy mood and just irritable towards him and our kids. And he said this to me: “my love, you are free to choose to not be irritated today”. As simple as that. And it dawned on me: Jesus has set me free so that I don’t need to feel irritated or angry or grumpy towards anyone. He has set me free. Small yet big at the same time. 

Often times we think about the freedom Christ has brought us in the “big things”. Things like addictions or really destructive behavior-and this is 100% true-HE has set us free from this sin by taking the punishment of our sin on the cross-punishment that should have been ours-so that we would be set free and have fellowship with Him. And so I am not undermining this miracle at all. I just got thinking about the “little” things He sets us free from. Things like anger, impatience, lows, bad attitudes. For some silly reason, we or perhaps it’s just me, seem to think that it’s my right to get irritated and angry about things that have happened or are happening around me. Almost as though I would thrive on this little wave of “self pity-I deserve to feel angry right now”. But honestly, this is not freeing at all. It binds me. It keeps me angry. It sucks life out of me. Bleh! And this is not the life that Jesus wants for me. 

Galatians 5:1says

​IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].
Jesus has set me free! Jesus has set you free. Free from the big things, free from the small things. Free from sin. HE HAS SET US FREE! 

This is good news! 
As I ponder this freedom, I am reminded about the scripture in Deuteronomy 30:19-20

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
God uses Moses to speak to the Israelites about choosing life or death. Blessing or curse. We have a choice. Life or death. Freedom or bondage. And I believe that it would be God’s desire for us to choose life. To choose blessing. To choose freedom. And all of these are available to us through Jesus. He paid it all on the cross that we would have life, blessing and freedom. How amazing is His love for you and for me?!?!
Perhaps this does not sound all that profound but it has changed my thinking and what I believe about freedom in a great way. 
He has set us free from every little thing that would keep us from an abundant life in Him. Perhaps we need to think a little more about the things that He has set us free from and begin again to live in this freedom 🙂 
I love this song, I trust it would bless you! 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kyk vir Pappa

I had one of those moments today where God spoke to me in one of the simplest day to day activities. It’s most likely that He speaks to me like this more often than I realize but today I heard and listened. I wish I did more often! 
Here is what happened. Rohann was feeding Nikalus ( now 7 and a half months) his dinner. Just like most of his meals, he sits in his Bumbo chair and either of us sits in front of him to give him his food. Nikalus is at the stage where he will be hungry but is so easily distracted by anything that moves and makes a noise. His brother and and sister just so happened to be the things that moved and made a noise at that point in time. 
And so Rohann in all his daddy kindness was persistent in saying “Kyk vir my, kyk vir Pappa”. (For those who don’t understand Afrikaans, this reads as “look at me, look at Daddy”). I heard these words as I was busy in the kitchen and immediately God dropped it into my heart that this is exactly how He is with us. We are hungry, we are thirsty, we are needy but if we don’t look at Him, meet with Him, engage with Him, we will never be satisfied. We will go on being hungry. We need to be fed by our Dad. 

And what is it that distracts us from being fed by Jesus? Well, it’s pretty much the same little things that distracted Nikalus, things that move and make a noise. Things that seem to make a promise of satisfying us and yet once the distraction has passed, we are still hungry, thirsty, needy. Nikalus still needed to eat once his brother and sister moved on to their next exciting adventure. 
Throughout scripture we find reference to Jesus being likened to our daily bread, our living water. He alone can satisfy the deep deep need and hunger in our hearts. And He waits patiently for us to look at Him, meet with Him and engage with Him. And once we have taken from Him our daily bread (his Word) and Living Water (Holy Spirit), only then we will be full and satisfied. 
I am reminded of a song with the following lyrics: 
“Hungry I come to You

For I know You satisfy

I am empty but I know

Your love does not run dry

So I wait for You

So I wait for You

I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me

Jesus You’re all

This heart is living for

Broken I run to You
For Your arms are open wide

I am weary but I know Your touch

Restores my life

So I wait for You

So I wait for You  

I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me

Jesus You’re all

This heart is living for

So I wait for You
So I wait for You

So I wait for You

I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me

Jesus You’re all

This heart is living for

I’m falling on my knees
Offering all of me

Jesus You’re all

This heart is living for

Hungry I come to You
For I know You satisfy”

Isaiah 55:1-3
​“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”

John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

John 7:37-38 “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Perhaps God is saying to you  

“Kyk vir My, Kyk vir Pappa”. 

I know it is what He is saying to me…

 
 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Living Hope

  
I had an encounter with a drug addict this past week. I’ll refer to him as “James”, although this is not his real name. James is a young man I have seen a few times over the past couple of years. At times I’ve been able to have a quick word with him, at other times I have just driven past him.

I don’t know why, but I feel particularly moved by this man’s situation. I often drive past beggars, we all do. And while I feel sad for each one’s situation, there is a different ache in my heart for James. Perhaps it is because of his blonde hair that reminds me of my little boy Benjamin, I’m not sure. But every time I see him, my heart shouts “God has better plans for you than this!!!”

On a particular day this week, I happened to be driving alone. I drove past him at his usual set of traffic lights and decided to find a place to park so that I could have a decent conversation with him. It turns out that James has been taking heroin for 15 years. He says that he wants to stop but that he can’t and that he is too ashamed of all he has done, to get help. His last fix was the day before our conversation, and the last time he ate something was 2 days before this. We chatted and he shared a bit with where he was at and I told him about Jesus and that he has nothing to be ashamed about because Jesus knows everything about us and loves us still. At the end of our conversation he agreed to meet Rohann and I at church on Sunday so that he could get some help. He seemed quite keen and said he would be there. Sunday has been and gone. No James. 

I was hopeful that James would be at church, that he would experience Jesus and that his life would change for the better forever. Some of you may be thinking “but heroin Cherié! No body ever comes off heroin!” Perhaps that is what statistics say. And that is what normal looks like to the world. But I have a greater Hope than statistics and the world. 

HE is the living Hope. 

The Hope that is an anchor to the soul. 

HE has never given up on any of us and nowhere in the Bible is there fine print that says “I died to save everyone except the ones on heroin”. 

HE is real. 

HE is true and 

HE is miraculous! 

HE is Jesus and Rohann and I are trusting HIM to turn this man’s life around. 

Why am I sharing this in my blog? And why would it at all be applicable to any of you? 

Well, first of all, perhaps you are facing a seemingly hopeless situation as well. It may be something personal or it could be something a little less close to home. Nonetheless it’s a situation that looks like a sinking ship with no one to rescue or save the day. 
I want to remind you that Jesus is your Living Hope. He died and lives again so that you would have a beacon of hope in a very hurtful world. 

Secondly, perhaps it is shame. We have ALL been ashamed of something, whether is is something in the past or something we are currently struggling with, we have all been there. Perhaps you haven’t taken heroin and perhaps you have not hit rock bottom, regardless, we have all sinned and made some really silly decisions. Things we are not proud of. Again, Jesus is the only one who can bring hope to these situations. Hope of forgiven sin. Hope of new life. Hope of eternity with Him. 

What makes us all similar to James? We ALL need Jesus. Every day we need Jesus, our Living Hope. 

I am trusting that Jesus will become Jame’s Living Hope. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grace & Capacity for days like these

  
I believe with my whole heart the scripture in Lamentations 3: 22-23, that God’s mercy is new every morning and that His compassion never fails. 

Every day we need His grace and every day He makes it so freely available for us. 

Today was one of those days that I desperately needed more grace and a greater capacity to handle my own life and the lives of 3 precious little people. And, man! Am I so grateful for Jesus’ amazing grace and ability to give me the capacity for today. 

Here’s a summary of what this day looked like:

6:30 am- I hear the gentle call from my husband: ” Cherie, my darling, wake up…” It is such a gentle call that I think I must be dreaming but as he repeats these words and comes closer, I realize that this is my alarm clock for the start of a new day. I am not ready yet. 10 more minutes please. Didn’t I just feed Nikalus (6months) his 3 am bottle? 

Nope. 

It’s time to get Amylia (3years) ready for school so that she can leave on time with Rohann. And so in a whirlwind, we get her ready, make sure Benjamin (19 months) is happily occupied with a cup of Rooibos tea with honey and milk and a Marie biscuit. And we pray that Nikalus keeps sleeping so that we just have enough time to get through the first bit of morning chaos. He does. Thank You Jesus! 

7:15am- Bottle time for Nikalus and breakfast for Benjamin. And then the boys played a little before needing to give Nikalus porridge and get him ready for a quick nap before having to leave for a doctors appointment with both boys at 9:30am ( They both are a little sick). 

8:15am- Time for Nikalus’ nap. Everything is working out well. Our timing should be perfect. I see that the sheet in his cot is a little dirty and so I quickly lay him on the single bed that is also in his bedroom. My eyes are on him. And there’s no problem to let him lay on the bed quickly. Until…Ben decides that it’s a good idea to fling the air purifying machine ( also in this bedroom)onto the floor. Water every where, including over the extension cable running along the floor. (Ben is into EVERYTHING at the moment, especially if it has a switch and makes a noise). 

And so I now need to clean the water and potential hazard it could be. I turn my back on Nikalus and in a swift movement, I hear a little thud. He’s fallen off of the bed. Face first. 

I know, I shouldn’t have put him on the bed in the first place, but there’s no time to feel guilty right now…but there is time to praise God because He protected him from a very hard fall-he cried, he got a fright, but he didn’t have even a tiny bump on his head. I know God commanded His angels charge over him in that very moment! 

Eventually everything is cleaned up and Nikalus is asleep. Now I can get dressed because yes, it’s 8:30am and I’m still in my PJ’s. 
9:15 I need to wake Nikalus from his sleep so that we can get to the doctor on time. We get to the doctor and have to wait a little. This is not a problem for me but Benjamin isn’t too happy about the situation. He’s bored and clearly doesn’t want to be at the doctor. He is also mastering the art of “The Perfect Tantrum”…this includes hitting mommy in the face in the waiting area. I reprimand him while pretending that no body just saw that!  

Finally we see the doctor. Both boys need antibiotics and eye ointment. This means I need to go to the pharmacy. Oh boy! 
10:30 am- We made it out alive! I get the boys strapped into their seats and quickly check my phone before leaving… Oh look! A message from Amylia’s lovely teacher saying she’s got a temperature of 38.4 ‘ C. Great!

And so on our way home we stop to fetch little missy who is not a happy little Missy at all….

I have only been awake for 4 hours…is it possible that all of this just happened?!?! 
I’m sure you could imagine what the rest of the day looked like. But the point of this post is not to complain about this day. The point is that I made it. The kids made it. Rohann made it. And throughout this crazy day,I have had peace and joy in my heart that can only come from The Lord. He has carried me, given me grace and increased my capacity without me even asking- He just did it. And I am so very grateful for His love! 
I am reminded of a beautiful song by  Kristene DiMarco called “It is well”. A portion of the lyrics go like this:
“So let go my soul and trust in Him

The waves and wind still know His name”. 

Jesus calmed the storms 2000 years ago and He still calms them now. 

So take heart dear friend reading this, the waves and the wind still know His name. His grace is sufficient and He will increase you capacity for whatever it is you are going through. 

Bless you x

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

By Grace we are saved 

There is an important lesson I was reminded of when I was deciding on whether or not I should begin a blog. Or rather should I say, I was reminded of this lesson once I had already decided that I wanted to blog but was procrastinating because I wasn’t 100% sure how it worked. I felt like I first needed to know exactly what to do before I even began. Why? Well, I didn’t want to make mistakes or a fool of myself…

But the reality is that I haven’t needed to know exactly what’s potting. I’ve just needed to take a few steps forward and realize that I will learn along the way… And that is exactly how it is going…watching a few tutorials, asking a friend, trial and error…and so I am slowly figuring this blogging thing out. 

What is the lesson I’ve been reminded of then? So often, either as people that have not yet given their hearts to Jesus or even as born-again believers, we first want to ‘fix’ ourselves before coming into His presence. 
We wrestle around with thoughts like ” let me first sort out this issue” or ” this sin is too great for me to actually be with Jesus so I need to sort it out and then I’ll spend time with Him” or “I’ll fix myself first and then give my heart to Him”. 

These thoughts waste our time when it is ONLY Jesus who can sort out the issues, forgive the sin and fix what is broken. There is no way we could ever be good enough on our own. And so we need to just step in faith, knowing that it is Jesus who will work all things out and give us the grace we need for each and every day. 
Do you see how this ties in with my “let me know everything about and perfect the art of blogging before I even begin” example? 
It is like trying to be the perfect child before you even recognize that you have a loving Father waiting for you just as you are. 

Ephesians 2:4-5 says,
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—”

And

Ephesians 2:8-9 says,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”. 

It is a wonderful truth to know that it is only by His grace that I am saved and not by any of my works-all so that He may be glorified! 
  

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment