Saturday, 29 December 2012


Another year is almost done, it rushed past in such a flurry.  What hopes and dreams did we not have for it?  Plans that this year we will do this or that.  This year would be the perfect year, this year I will get it just right.  This year I will be perfect.  Noble and high ideals, but chances are, we did not get it all right, plans did not work out as we hoped, we had to adapt, change course, take a different route.  We might look back at the year and feel like a failure, because once again my dream only gathered dust, yet again I had to accept something less than perfect.  If you feel like that, then this is just for you, just for me.  Life is after all what happens when we make other plans.  Life is not perfect, in fact, it is seriously flawed, but it is exactly in that flawed state where we find such wonders, such inspiration and excitement.  It is the eternal hope that life can indeed be better, more perfect, that keeps as going, that help us to reach out to our dreams.
The world that we live in has us believe that only perfection is good enough, only the flawless is beautiful, and only precision is acceptable.  Wonderful ideals, but the reality is simply this, nothing in life is ever absolutely perfect and as long as that is our measuring tool we will always fall short, be disappointed and deflated.  It is time that we look past our ideas of perfection and enjoy all of life with its imperfections and flaws.  Instead of looking at what you did not get right, look at what you did achieve.  Instead of moping about what you did not get done, celebrate the process of trying.  Instead of being bitter about what you did not receive, count the unexpected blessings that came your way.
We get so bogged down in our quest for perfection that we do not notice the whispered blessings of soft rain on a wedding day, we miss out on the giving heart of a simple man, we walk past the beggar not caring about his beautiful smile wishing us a "Merry Christmas".  We are so intolerant of everything less than perfection that we immediately start to change the people in our lives to be acceptable to us, according to our standards, our "perfect" ways.
My wish for this new year is that we will all start noticing the perfection in the imperfectness all around us, it is okay to love somebody with flaws, to aim for the stars and be slightly off target.  It's okay to cry, to feel hurt, to sometimes throw your toys out of the cot.  It is really okay to err, life carries on, and if we are blessed we get another change to try.  The only way we can avoid making mistakes is by doing nothing and what a waste such a life would be......

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Thursday, 20 December 2012

ABC of Living

Cleaning out my daughter's room in order to make way for the new double bed for the newly weds I came across a notebook of hers in which she wrote "Mommy's ABC of Principles to Live By" and I thought I'll share them here with you.
A - Always Smile
B - Be kind and mild
C - Count your blessings
D - Depend on the Lord
E - Enjoy Life!
F - Friendliness spreads sunshine
G - Give with gladness
H - Have a Happy Heart, and an honest one
I - In everything rejoice; value integrity
J - Join hands with the needy
K - Keep your faith strong
L - Let your light shine; be loyal
M - Make eye-contact and smile
N- Now is the best time to do!
O - Openly praise the Lord
P - Positive attitudes brightens any day
R - Remember every good, special time
S - Stay humble
T - Trust the Lord
U - Unity of the family is a treasure
V - Vows are sacred
W - Willingness creates an open mind.
X - Go the eXtra mile
Y - Your yes, YES, your no, NO
Z - Zest, put it in everything you do

Looking at my two daughters ten years down the line I can see how they are implementing these things in their lives and I am so proud of them!

If you flutter by here, feel free to share your ABC of living with us, I would love to hear from you.  To comment just click on the words "no comment" or "1 comment" and follow the prompts.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Sweet Grapes

I often wonder how it is that a butterfly knows exactly which flower has the sweetest nectar?  All insects seem to know that instinctively.  They always find the choicest, sweetest fruit.
All of us in our house love fruit, especially grapes, and the fruit sellers make them seem even more delicious with promises of  "sweeter than honey".  Exactly such salesman talk enticed my husband to arrive home with a whole box of delicious grapes, and although not exactly sweeter than honey, they were mostly quite nice.  However, every now and then you would bite into a particularly sour one that would make your toenails curl up and clench your jaw muscles in a tetanus grip. 
This made me think about life and what Forest Gump's mother told him, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get". To me life is like a bunch of grapes.  Most days are sweet and juicy, full of lovely fresh goodness.  Unfortunately some days are sour, testing our perseverance, trying our patience.  Some days leave us with a bitter taste in the mouth.  Some days make us want to declare that we never want to eat grapes ever again. 
Yet it is that sweet tasting grape that let us reach for the next one, and the next.  It is exactly that sour one that makes us appreciate the sweet grapes all the more.  It keeps life interesting and exciting.  It keeps us grateful.  Every single grape, sweet or sour, is needed to make that special bottle of wine.  Every experience, every success or disappointment, shapes us into the people we are, giving every one of us our unique character. 
It is not the even easy and level road that build and strengthen our muscles, no, it is the uphills and uneven terrain that develop our perserverance and stamina, strengthening us.  It builds our character and shapes us.
My wish for you today is this - may you enjoy your bunch of grapes, and may the sour ones be few!

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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

More Than a Label

On Saturday it was my daughter's wedding.  What a wonderful occasion it was!!  It was so lovely to have all the family together for such a joyous event!  Equally nice was meeting the other side of the family and soon everyone was talking,swapping stories and getting to know one another.  While making new acquaintances I was struck by one thing in particular.  It was a question I heard repeatedly:  "What do you do?"  The answers varied greatly from "I am a housewife" to " I am a teacher" to "I am a financial adviser" and everything else in between.  A single label, and never once was the answer queried, or the person asked to elaborate.
This made me realise how easily we attach and accept labels.  Since a young age this brought out the rebel in me, as at the very least I am a mixed fruit jam, a muesli cereal, a rainbow coloured writing pad, an omnibus, a buffet.  No single label for me and certainly not for the next person either.  I hated labels and I absolutely still do.  Yet, that is exactly what we as people do.  We conveniently label people, pack them into little compartments and let them just dare to break free from that perfect little niche we have placed them in.  Conveniently we sort the "bad " ones with the baddies and the "good" ones with the goodies, the adulterers with the vow breakers, the divorcees with the failures, and the gays with the arty's. We feel comfortable knowing where who fits in.  That way it is easy to avoid those that don't fit in with what we view as the norm.
This system we have of labelling makes me want to scream.  The label " Teacher " after all, is only the title of the work Anne is doing, it tells me nothing about her passion for scuba diving.  John, an accountant, is much more than a number cruncher, he spends his week-ends painting beautiful murals for the children's ward at the state hospital and Betty, the housewife, is an interior decorator, chef and psychologist to three teenagers.
Then of course there are the other labels.  Those that are whispered about behind hands and glassy smiles - oh, Marc is that banker that embezzled all that money... did u know Susan got fired.... Dan has an eye for the ladies....poor Bob and Mary, their daughter is pregnant, she'll never amount to much now.....hmmm, Lydia had an affair..... the woman in the green dress is Professor Smith's wife........on and on the labelling goes.  Yet, Marc is much more than his "sin", Susan much more than a woman who lost her job, the woman in the green dress so much more than her husband's profession, but sadly, few people are  interested or really care to look beyond the label.  No-one bothers to read the fine print and few people take notice of the ingredients.  We are often so easily fooled by the glamorous images, the colourful graphics on the outside that we don't care to look beyond the labels.
It is also not just other people who label us, no, we are quite eager to label ourselves.  We are often our worst critics and attach the unfairest labels to ourselves.  "Failure", "Stupid", "Inadequate", "Ugly", "Loser" to name but a few, and so we live up (or should I say down) to these expectations we have labelled ourselves with. 
I remember walking into a farm stall last year during our annual vacation.  On the shelf there was a variety of homemade jams and condiments.  I noticed one bottle in particular.  It had a label that read "Tastes Like Nothing You've Tasted Before".  What a perfect label.  We should all rip off our labels and replace it with one like that, because each one of us is unique, there is no-one else like us, has never been, nor will there be again......

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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Soon It Will Be Dawn....

While you are fast asleep in dreamland, I sit here at your laptop with a heart full of words and a head full of memories.  The day of your birth, your first smile, your first wobbly steps.  I still remember your excitement to go to big school, your pledge when you were ten never to let a boy kiss you!!  Then, at sixteen, the model, the jazz singer. 
Now, in hours little enough to count it will be your special day - your wedding day.  A day all little girls dream of, fantasize about and hope for.  The world is full of little girls playng "Wedding-Wedding",draping granny's lace curtain about their bodies, weaving blossoms in their hair.  There are so many things I want to say to you, but my heart is so full that I simply do not have words enough to express them.  Despite the long time I've had to familiarise myself with the idea, this day is here too soon, not because I'm  reluctant for it to happen, no, but simply because a mother's arms are never ready to let go.
Yet, this is one of those special moments for which I have endevoured to prepare you since that wonderful day I held you in my arms.  The day you walk down the aisle with your special young man into a new tomorrow as a woman and a wife.
My darling butterfly, I wish you happiness as wide as the heavens above, I wish you love as timeless as the sand of all the oceans and I wish you wisdom and patience as never-ending as the ever-expanding universe.  My thoughts and prayers will always be there as the wind beneath your wings, lifting you and catching you.
Go well, my butterfly, it is a wonderful journey you are embarking on, accompanied by a special man, hand-picked by the Lord.  Soon it will be dawn, and you, the most beautiful bride.......

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Fly High

I love looking at kites flying high in the sky.  I remember the first kite I ever had was a butterfly kite my dad bought for me one beach holiday.  I loved it, although it was not a good flier.  I could not wait to hold the string all by myself, and begged my dad to do it on my own.  In my young mind I thought it would fly better if I were to let go of the string, but although it took off with a great "whoosh", it soon tumbled from the sky and got tangled in the undergrowth.  Painstakingly my dad untangled it and we tried again.
From a very young age we have been raised to do things for ourselves.  Almost from the moment our children are born we encourage them to become independent,  we are ecstatic when they start sitting up by themselves,  we applaud them when they can hold onto their own bottle and we are ready with the camera to record their first unaided, wobbly steps.  Day by day we marvel at how their independence grows.  Of course there is nothing wrong with that, it is the natural way of life.  However, the problem comes in when we become so independent, so self-sufficient, that we start believing  we need nobody else, we can do it all, we are an island.
This type of thinking will lead you on a bitter and lonely road.  "Needing people" is seen by fiercely independent people as a weakness.  They believe that they have to be a Superhero, strong, undefeatable, self-sufficient, powerful.  They never ask for help, never admit defeat and never open up to anybody.  They even experience God as an entity outside of their lives, remote from their lives. To accept and receive anything is foreign to their whole being.  Very often they not only distance themselves from other people, but they even distance themselves from their own feelings.
People need people.  We have to connect with others, learn from others, inspire others and in turn be inspired by them. Independence that is out of control is actually just a mask to hide behind.  Behind the mask often lurks fear, pride and low self-esteem.  It is a way to protect ourselves from disappointment, hurt or rejection.
Looking up at the sky, watching the kites ducking and diving in the breeze, I relate it to the way life is.  Although the kite is tethered by the string, it sails through the air and rides the wind with such freedom, such abandon that it leaves me breathless with excitement.  As my dad explained that day on the beach, it is the very fact that it is held by the string that it can fly so high and so gracefully.  The minute my little hands let go of the string, my kite's future was lost and all it could do was to tumble down and crash.  It needs that connection, that guiding hand to fly.  The same way we need to be connected to God, to interact with others as it is in that connection and that interaction that we find our true strength, new inspiration and freedom. 
I leave you with a quote from a song by Barbra Streisand : "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world!"

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Thursday, 22 November 2012

God's Perfect Time

A while back somebody told me this story:
    A little boy was walking along and in the veld he found a cocoon, he picked it up and noticed that on the inside there was a butterfly struggling to come out.  He immediately took out his pocket knife and cut the cocoon open.  Very proud of himself he helped the butterfly out and placed it on the nearest flower.  However, instead of spreading its wings to fly off, it fluttered weakly for a few moments and then fell over and died.  Dismayed the little boy ran home and told his father about the incident.  The father explained to the little boy that the butterfly needed to struggle its own way out of the cocoon in order to grow its wings strong enough to survive.   When the time was right it would have emerged from the cocoon, delicate yet strong.  This story made me think of us as humans.  So often, when we find ourselves in a difficult situation, we wait for somebody to come along and help us out.  Some knight in shining armour to fight our battle for us, some Samaritan to help carry the burden and often we will just give up the fight, but it is in the struggle, in overcoming, that our stength lies.  The butterfly is exquisitely and perfectly created by God, and the inborn struggle it has to go through is also part of God's perfect plan, it serves a devine purpose.  When the time is right, God's plan will reveal itself to us, and looking back we can see how it all worked together  to complete the picture.  Without that time spend in the cocoon, the struggle towards freedom, the caterpillar would forever stay just that, a caterpillar.  In Jer. 29: 11 the Lord promises that He has plans for us, plans that we may prosper, not plans to harm us, but when the time is right, His perfect time........

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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Build A Church

Years ago there was a certain traveller who loved to experience different cultures and find new ideas.  As he neared the next town on his journey, he noticed a man next to the road breaking stones.  As he was quite weary he sat down under a tree and observed the man.  He noticed that the man seemed to be quite aimless and would often stop and just stare off into the distance.  Then he would carry on again and half-heartedly chisel at a few more stones.  Eventually the traveller asked the man what it was that he was doing.  Irritated , the man mumbled rudely that the traveller was a fool if he could not see what he was doing.  To this the traveller replied that he could see that the man was breaking the rocks into smaller pieces, but could not understand what he was doing.  Angrily the man stopped what he was doing and glared at the traveller, clearly thinking him an idiot.  Then, wiping his brow and kicking at the few stones at his feet, he answered that he was breaking the rocks into smaller pieces and then even smaller pieces.
"Ah...." the traveller answered.  The man picked up his pick, strolled about for a few minutes, stared off into the distance and then continued listlessly chipping away at the rocks.  Feeling rested the traveller went on his way.
A few miles further the traveller came to a quarry where he found another man breaking rocks.  He noticed that this man was covered in sweat from the exertion.  He called out a greeting to the man, but the worker hardly took any notice of the traveller.  Going closer, the traveller asked the man what he was doing to which the man grufly answered that he was working, he has to make a living, he does not have time to engage in idle chatter.  The traveller noticed that the man looked very tired and very unhappy, so he tipped his hat to him and continued on his journey.
As the traveller approached the town, he was amazed to find another man busy in the midday heat breaking up stones.  Near him was a huge pile of stones which he had already broken into smaller pieces.  As he drew nearer he could hear the man whistling as he worked.  He, too, was covered in sweat and dust.  Warily the traveller approached the third man and greeted him apprehensively.  To his surprise the man stopped what he was doing and gave him a hearty welcome.  Taking courage the inquisitive traveller asked the man what it was that he was doing.  Proudly the man stretched himself up to his full height and swept an arm over the pile of rocks and said that he was busy building a church. 
"Ah...." the traveller answered and tried to envision what it was that this man saw in his mind's eye, as it was clearly the reason of the beautiful smile on the stonemason's face......
A long story with a simple message.  Three men, doing the same grinding job, but the effect on each was vastly different.  The first man had no vision, he was just going through the motions, he was irritated and his heart was clearly not in it.  The second man knew that he had to work hard, because he has to provide and earn a living.  There was no time to enjoy life, the job had to get done regardless, although he had an aim it was only a short term plan.  The third man had a purpose, he had his eye on the end result, he knew why he was doing it all and it gave him immense pleasure.
The question is: which one am I?  Do I just go through the motions of living, without purpose, without focus?  Without purpose life loses its meaning.  The second man spent all his time working, being driven to survive, to make a living, to accumulate.  He took no time to enjoy the moment, his focus was on his immediate needs.  Is that who I am? Focusing on the daily struggle, rushing from moment to moment, no goal beyond the day to day fight for survival.  The last man’s heart was filled with joy despite the hard work, he would take a moment for a friendly chat, sharing his dream, keeping his eyes focused on the end goal.  He saw beyond the toil, the dust, the daily grind and looked forward to the end result.
Living life with a purpose, having a goal higher than ourselves gives our lives a whole different meaning.  Life with purpose is a life filled with happiness and expectation. Living a purposeful life gives us peace, and direction.

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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Open your Hand

I am blessed with some very special friends, they are my human butterflies.  Each one of them is special in her own very unique way.  Every one contribute and enrich my life in countless ways.  I treasure them. They teach me and bless me with their presence in my life.
One such friend is Emily.  We've known each other now for about a decade, our children grew up together and our friendship steadily developed. She is one of the most generous and giving people I know.  She is living the concept which my sister taught me about as a young girl.
It is the concept of the Open Hand.  It should actually be known as a law of nature.  When we give something our hands fall open naturally and the result of this is that our hands are also open and thus able to receive.  No one can grasp hold of something with a clenched fist.  I cannot receive without first opening my hand, and ultimately my heart.
When my husband and I were newly weds, we at times found ourselves having some serious disagreements about (looking back) trivial matters, and in a huff I would withdraw from him only to days later wail that it does not feel as if he loved me.  In my mind I reasoned that if he loved me then surely he would seek me out first and show me how much he loved me.  After one such incident he said to me with exasperation evident in his voice : "If you want love, then you must give love."  It was not exactly the words that I wanted to hear and I rebelled against them, yet those words stuck in my mind and I often pondered them.  Finally understanding dawned (how wonderful that everyday we grow wiser!!), and I understood what my husband meant and I started to put those words into practise.  What amazing results!!!  The effect of it has had a profound effect on my life.
Giving love, I have received abundant love, giving acceptance, I have received the same, forgiving others has given me freedom, spreading happiness has endowed me with peace.
The Open Hand principle makes one a more graceful receiver, and it opens your heart and mind to new possibilities and opportunities.
What do you desire in your life?  Friendship? Then go out and be a friend.  Tolerance?  Be ready to be tolerant.  Everything you want is already there, all you have to do is to open your hand to give it in order to receive.

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Monday, 12 November 2012

Once upon a time....

Once upon a time there was a woman named Suzie and a man named Tom................
My husband and I have a funny thing we do.  We have a television in our bedroom.  It is always on, but the sound is on mute.  We would wake-up in the mornings, usually on Saturday mornings, and watch whatever is on the channel at that moment, but neither of us will turn up the sound.  We have great fun watching it and making up dialogue for the actors.  In the background the radio would be playing and it is so funny how the actions would go perfectly with the music of the moment, and that in turn would influence the mood of the dialogue. 
This set me thinking about life.  How important the script is that we write for our own lives, and it all begins with our thoughts.  Events are set in motion by thoughts.  Thoughts can steer our lives on a completely different track, it can alter the daily dialogue of our existence.  Thoughts almost always result in us taking some or other action.  How we think is ultimately what affects our destiny.
The actors in the movie convey certain actions according to the script they have, but with the sound turned off, Suzie, who storms away from Tom, could mean that she hates Tom and wants nothing further to do with him, or it can mean she left the stove on and the pasta is about to burn, or accompanied by Beethoven's 5th it could mean that she is rushing back to pack and bade her family farewell as she leaves with Tom to live happily (because she is with him) and sadly (because she has to leave her family behind) forever after.  The choice is in the beholder's hands / thoughts.
My question to you is:  by what dialogue do you live your life?  What theme music plays in the background of your life story?  Your thoughts set the mood of the scene, your thoughts write the script of your life.  Is the theme of your life kindness or judgement, is it love or bitterness, are you a victor or a victim?  Is your stage set for drama or comedy, is the plot fear and negativity or is it filled with hope and expectation?  You are the writer of your own story.  Will your character be defeated by its circumstances or will it conquer the obstacles with a steadfast spirit and perseverance? 
Yes, life don't always have happily ever after stories, but it tells YOUR story, and it is a story worth telling, because it is so unique, because you are unique.  It is worth living it fully, with all its sad, happy, comic and dramatic moments.  Have fun writing it, but remember to give careful thought to the actions and the dialogue of your character for it will determine the ending....

If you flutter by here and would like to share the plot of your life story with us, just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Smell the Flowers...

It is incredible to think that it is already November!  This year just seemed to have flown past at breakneck speed.  We live such hectic lives with everything that is expected of us during the course of the months, that the year just seems to pass by in a blurr.  Days become weeks, become months, become years, and then one day we look back and ask in bewilderment "Where has the time gone?"
We fill our lives with so many distractions, occupy our minds with so many problems and get involved with so many issues that we have little time for anything else.  It is then that we look back and discover that hollow, empty feeling inside of us that leaves us baffled and confused.  A feeling that somewhere along the line we have missed out on something, but what could that be?  After all, you have given it your all, you have achieved all you could, you've fitted everyday with 30 hours worth of work, you've gathered wealth or tried your darnedest to accumulate as much as you could, yet still there is this void.  How is that possible?
The answer is simple.  In our quest to get as much done as possible, to achieve all there is to achieve, we have simply been too busy to invest time in replenishing our spirit, feeding our souls, bonding with our families and in the process we have misplaced ourselves on the way.  There is a lesson to be learnt here.  Take time to slow down, to hitch a ride.  The tortoise is one of the slowest creatures, but slowly and steadily it gets where it is going.  Relish the beauty of the moment, the wonderfulness of NOW.  Be still and enjoy the moment of silence on the tortoise's back, breathe......
Butterflies flutter from flower to flower, but if you watch them you'll notice that they'll linger a while on each flower, savouring the fragrance, collecting the nectar, before they fly to the next bloom.  Maybe this week-end is a good time to take some time off to just be, to take a ride on that tortoise and smell the flowers.....

If you flutter by here and would like to share with us how you plan to take some time out, please feel free to do so.   Just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

It is Okay......

Yesterday I spoke to a friend of mine, Nelly, and I could hear that she sounded not like her usual happy self.  When I asked how she was doing, she first replied with a cheery "Wonderful", but when I pressed her for more, she burst out crying. 
After a few moments of crying, she apologised for her tears, and started explaining how she felt so terrible for crying and feeling the way she does.  She reads my blog and tries to just be happy and positive, after all, she carried on, she had so much to be thankful for.  Her husband's diabetes can be controlled with medication, her son's asthma is under control and they've found another house to rent, after the house they've currently been renting for the past 21 years has been sold.  She felt so guilty for feeling depressed and teary, and no matter how positive she tries to be, her melancholy does not seem to budge, and it makes her feel increasingly guilty which in turn compounds her feelings of depression.
Emotions.  We all have them, even those who claim that they are level-headed and practical.  Emotions are a trait we have in common with most mammals.  Emotions are what drive us and even make life worth living.  We cannot deny our emotions and we cannot wish them away.  Emotions serve physical as well as psychological purposes in our lives.  They include a wide range of feelings.  Emotions are specific reactions to specific events.  Our behaviour is a visible sign that we are experiencing a certain emotion.
Listening to Nelly, I realised that she is making a mistake most people tend to make when it comes to our emotions.  We confuse emotions with strength of character and we categorise emotions as weakness.  We try to smother our emotions with positive thinking, encouraging cliches and a cloak of cheerfulness.  We think that by denying our emotions they will magically change or disappear.
The very nature of our emotions demands that they are taken notice of.  Emotions trigger definite reactions in our bodies.  Fear causes a rush of adrenaline and our hearts beat faster, while anger causes our blood pressure to skyrocket and worry affects  our concentration and appetite.  When we suppress them it is like putting a lid on a boiling pot, sooner or later it will explode.
Happiness does not come as a result of ignoring our emotions, or pretending that they simply don't exist.  It also does not come from overloading our thoughts with positive quotes and encouraging anecdotes. Happiness comes from making peace with our emotions.  We have to be honest about our feelings, whether they are feelings of sadness, rejection, anger or depression.  We have to experience all of our emotions, right down to the very depth of them.  If we deny our emotions they will find a way to manifest themselves.  Emotions are very closely linked to our physical bodies and therefor, suppressed emotions find their way out through our bodies via symptoms of ill health such as high blood pressure, symptoms of stress, etc.  There is no such thing as an unpermitted emotion.  We have to face our emotions and acknowledge their existence no matter what they are.  It is okay to not always feel on top of the world.  You are allowed to grief.  It is fine to feel like pulling the blanket over your head on occasion.  Giving way to our emotions is okay, and very necessary.  Looking to the butterfly, we see this lesson of nature in action.  A butterfly is first of all a caterpillar, an earthbound, slow crawling insect.  Long before it can even dream of having beautiful gossamer wings it moves laboriously through the undergrowth. Then, still not ready, it has to weave itself into a coccoon, in solitude, transforming.
Finally we have to let go of our feelings, our emotions.  You see, it is not the fact that we have emotions, or paying attention to them, that prevent us from being happy and joyful, it is holding onto them for dear life that stands between us and happiness.  We have to open our hands to release all the creepy crawlies we are holding onto, those feelings of fear, worry, anger, self-doubt, rejection, wounded pride that eat away at our happiness.  Once we let go, our hands are open to receive comfort, hope and love.  The butterfly can now alight on my outstretched palms.  We have to let  go in order to receive peace.
So next time you feel like crying, shouting or pouting, know that it is okay, curl up in your coccoon for a while, but just don't stay there, the winds are calling to you to spread your wings and fly.......

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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Fly Above the Clouds

This morning I woke to a very cool and windy morning, all my plans for summer attire were immediately changed and I donned my faithful old jersey.  Outside clouds were gathering on the horizon and I was sure that we would have rain.  My morning garden party with my friends will have to be taken indoors.  I am sure that the people of the American east coast can testify how a storm can enforce a change of plans, wreak havoc and change lives forever. As it turned out this morning, though, the coolness made way for a mild summer's day, the clouds passed by and we had a lovely time out in the garden of a favourite coffee shop.  Storms can suddenly develop, rain can unexpectedly pour down, winds can change direction.  So it is in life, too.  Things can suddenly happen that impact on our best laid plans and set our lives on a whole new course.  It turns our lives upside down, and we can do very little to avert these things.  Storm clouds can gather in an instant.
The very thought of this makes my pulse race, and fills me with a sense of dread.  When we think of all the possible disasters and mishaps which can befall us, our natural reaction is one of fear.  We worry, we fret and we are consumed with a paralysing sense of dreadful expectation. Our thoughts are tainted by it every waking moment and it envelops everything we do in a cloud of depression.  Our focus is on all the what ifs and we run all the different scenarios and the terrible consequences through our minds.  The worry drains us of all energy and steals our joy.  It gets so bad that we start to feel what is the use of it all?  Why fight?  Why hope?  Why live?
The truth is this:  Yes, there are a trillion things that CAN go wrong, there are even some things that WILL go wrong. We can make the wrong choices.  We can loose our jobs.  Sickness, natural disasters and accidents are all possibilities.  Heartache, disappointments, divorce are all realities people face daily.  Things happen to "good" and "bad" people alike, whether they are Christian, Jewish, Islamic or atheists.  Nobody can give us a safeguard, a promise that it cannot happen to us. 
However, an even bigger truth is this:  No amount of fear or fretting can prevent these things from happening.  Worrying is not some or other mantra that can fold a cloak of protection around us.  It cannot change anything, it cannot turn the storm away.
The sad thing is that while we worry, fret and fear, we cannot enjoy the precious gift of now, this wonderful moment we have this very minute.  This moment does not come again, therefore we must enjoy it fully in all its perfect imperfectness.  Do not obscure the sunlight of this moment with the clouds of worry.  Fly above the clouds, celebrate your family, your love, your memories, your hard work, your health, even the aches and pains you do have.  Rejoice in life!!
I heard somebody today at gym sympathise with a woman about her husband not having found another job yet, she smiled and said, "We are so blessed, we have not one day yet gone to bed hungry or without shelter, life is still good."  I felt so small.
A dear friend send me a message yesterday , "The cancer has spread, but I am so grateful, it is still small, I am positive, please be positive with me."  I feel so small, but I will be positive with her.  Even as she fought her first bout of cancer she carried on reaching out to children, teaching and changing their lives.
These are the people who show us how to fly high above the thunder clouds, up there where the sun is shining.  Their focus is not on the looming storm, but on the sun that beckons high above.  Their lives are a testimony of these words: "It is not what happens to us that affects our destiny, but our reaction to it".  Yes, these are pretty easy words to say, but to live it quite something else, but the truth that these words contain is absolutely profound and life changing.
If the storms seem to close in on you, if you loose your focus and it feels as if worry and fear have you in a strangle hold, suffocating your joy, take out your thankful journal and list everything you have to be thankful for, then put on your wings and fly!

If you flutter by here, please feel free to share your thoughts with us, to comment just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Today my thoughts turn to New York and America, where super storm Sandy is causing major destruction, and while I pray for their protection, I am filled with gratitude for a house, a home.  So many people find themselves destitute, not knowing where next they will find shelter.
I remember many years ago my youngest asked me "Where do butterflies live, Mommy?"   At that time her favourite movie was "Land Before Time", so it was an easy answer - "Right there in the valley with the Long Necks".  That answer was quite to her satisfaction, but if I really had to answer her, the answer would have been, I don't have a clue.  Birds have nests, bees have hives and rabbits have burrows, but butterflies?  I only ever see them flying joyfully from flower to flower.  Maybe their lives are too short to find the time to also go back to a home somewhere, so I think their home is right there where they are. 
We all have houses, some small, some massive, some humble, some majestic.  Whatever its size, one thing that is true is the saying "Home Sweet Home".  Ask any traveller, any holiday maker, what the best thing about travelling is and the thoughtful ones will say "going home".  Is it going home to bricks and mortar, wood and trusses?  No, it's going to that place where we belong, a place of warmth and acceptance, a place that folds around us like a favourite blanket.  Home is my family, their love, their smiles, their happy chatter.  Home is my hand in my husband's, hugs from my daughters, the smell of toast.  Home is that one-of-a-kind place where I can just be me and I am loved for that very reason, the uniqueness of 'me'.  Home is right there where my heart is, the centre of my being, and that centre is my family, they are the ones that give me my warm fuzzy feeling.   When I think about 'home', I think about them.  I think about walks at twilight, movie nights and breakfast table talks.  Their smiles are the wide-open front door welcoming me home.  I am never far from home, because home is where I hang my memories. 

If you flutter by here, share your memories of your 'home' with me.  Just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Monday, 29 October 2012

What are you waiting for....?

Another brand new day, another week, another Monday.  What is the most popular day of the week to start a new diet?  Any guesses?  No, you are wrong, it is not MONDAY!  It is tomorrow.  Yes, everybody just loves tomorrow and not just for dieting, but practically everything else too.  Tomorrow I will this, tomorrow I will that, very seldom is it TODAY.  We wait for tomorrow to come.  Tomorrow seems to have some or other magical power, as if dieting will be easier tomorrow, I will have more courage tomorrow, tomorrow will be filled with more opportunities than today, tomorrow will be more perfect, I will be prettier tomorrow, I will be so much more intelligent tomorrow than today.
Sadly, tomorrow never comes, it stays eternally out of our reach by a mere 24 hours.  And so it is that we enter the waiting game, the train station of life, always waiting for a train that never comes and we are forever stuck on the platform.  And so all that happens is that the train of yesterday gets filled with another wasted today.  That train in fact is so full of past todays that it has been retired from service, it stands in the junkyard gathering unfullfilled dreams and missed opportunities.
Why is it that we are always waiting, waiting, waiting.....?  What is it that we are waiting for?  Are we waiting for some or other sign?  A bright neon sign that flashes ahead saying "It's NOW the right time to pursue your dream"?  Are we waiting for an insurance agent to come along with a thick wad of papers to assure us that what I want to do has been guaranteed to be successful, it comes with absolutely no risk?  Am I maybe waiting to be miraculously endowed with extraordinary bravery?  Or could it be that I am waiting for somebody to come along and give me permission to do it, or some form of encouragement and incentive?  Maybe I am waiting for that mythical knight on a white horse to sweep me off to the land of fairytales and perfect moments.
Whatever it is that we are waiting for, let me shatter that illusion once and for all.  None of these wonderful things are ever going to happen.  Neon signs, or any other sign for that matter, have all been reserved by Hollywood for their Feel-Good movies, no guarantees exist that will give you the peace of mind you are hoping for. Nobody is going to come along to give me permission, encouragement or any incentive, because they themselves are waiting for it.  As for knights on white horses, well, it is more likely that the Easter bunny will come hopping by.
The truth we have to face is that all of the above things that we are waiting for are only excuses we hide behind.   The true reasons why we don't step off the platform onto Today's train is much more simple.  It is our own fear, self-doubt, insecurities and comfort zones.  Years ago I was testifying to somebody about the Lord and encouraged her to turn to Him, to which she replied that she wanted to first get her life in order.  Needless to say, that was also an excuse, an unwillingness on her part because it entailed change.  It is because of these things that we fall into the trap of procrastination and we get stuck in never-land, there where my whole life is on hold because I am waiting, waiting, waiting........
There is a story I remember hearing as a child.  It is the story of a group of hikers that came across a skeleton in a cave.  Near the skeleton they found a journal.  In it the person wrote : "It is now a week since I have fallen down this shaft.  My ankle is feeling better, but I am at the end of my supplies, my water is finished and I am on the last match, soon the darkness will overpower me.  I have tried in vain to climb back up the shaft.  The cave seems endless and I am too afraid to venture far lest somebody comes to the shaft and I fail to answer them when they call......."  The irony is that these hikers did not enter the cave through the shaft, but an obscured entrance at ground level, sixty meters from where they found the skeleton.  Fear have kept the backpacker from rescue.
Whatever it is that keeps you from going forward, be willing to set it aside, only you can take action.  It is your life and only you can live it. Once you take that step, you will find your path, your actions will determine your destiny.  However, be sure of this, not taking action will also determine your destiny, but with it will certainly come the regrets of life and opportunities wasted.
Now is the time to take that step, get on the train of that relationship you've been afraid to commit to or end, that new job you've wanted to apply for, that trip you've been meaning to take, the dream you've had for as long as you can remember, the club you've been wanting to join.  Go on, what are you waiting for.......

If you flutter by here and would like to share your thoughts on waiting  please feel free to do so.   Just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Let Go!

We all know that feeling.  We have all experienced it at some time or another.  That feeling which is beyond anger, hurt and resentment that settles in the pit of our stomachs.  It is a feeling that tears at our insides, it consumes all other thoughts and it follows us around all through our days and even haunt our dreams.  It is a feeling that leaves us with a bitter taste in our mouths and it taints our very existence with almost tangible resentment.  That feeling is called a " Grudge ".
A Grudge is a vile monster.  It is a vampire.  It drains us of our joy, robs us of our future and destroys our peace.  It drags our thoughts down into a pool of sludge filled with bitterness.  It clouds our judgement and blinds us to the beauty of life.  Nothing good ever comes from a grudge.
When we carry a grudge around with us it is like the butterfly tied to a rock.  Even if the butterfly spread its wings it cannot take flight, because the burden is too heavy for its delicate wings.  It is as trapped as it would be if it were caught in a jar.  The same way our spirit cannot soar when we treasure a grudge.  We become weary, we have to constantly remind ourselves what the grudge is all about, we are constantly reliving the hurt, the anger, the distress. All of this while the person against whom we have this grudge carries on with his/her life usually completely unaware of  our distress.  We are unable to move forward and we cannot begin to heal.  Our thoughts and spirit are dragged down into despair, life becomes joyless.
How do we rid ourselves of this ogre?  What is the antidote for it?  The answer is something that is so easy, yet it is one of the most difficult things to do.  Forgiveness.  When we forgive, the ties that bind us to the negative emotions of the past fall away, they dissolve.  Forgiveness restores our spirit.  Forgiveness renews our hearts and thoughts.  It fills us once again with joy and gives us peace.
Yet, how do I find it in my heart to forgive?  Does forgiving mean that I give the other person permission to treat me badly, does it condone the transgressor's actions?  Not at all.  Forgiveness does not say it is okay, but forgiveness sets me free.  It allows me to let go and to move beyond the pain, the fear and the anger.  Forgiveness is seldom spur of the moment or instantaneous.  It is a process. 
Whenever I am faced with this dilemma I always remind myself of how the Lord has forgiven me for my many sins and if He could do that then who am I NOT to forgive?  It is then that I say "Let go, and let God."
I leave you with this quote of Buddy Hackett :
"Don't carry a grudge, while you carry a grudge the other guy's out dancing."

If you flutter by here I wish you peace.  Feel free to share your thoughts on forgiveness with me. To comment just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

This Day.....

Now this day, too, is past.  This day that no-one thought would come so soon.  Way too soon, for someone like you, we think with our flawed human minds.  The church were full of everyone you've touched, in whatever small way, to escort you on your final journey, the fragrance of roses filled the air.
I picked this delicate bouquet of lavender up off the floor where it fell, I think it came from your garden, and I thanked the Lord that we briefly rubbed shoulders, and that I could also experience the glow of sunshine you seemed to carry around with you.  I see the legacy you have left behind on the faces all around me.  I take the words of the minister with me - age is not a requirement for living life to its fullest.  You were still young, but you knew the secret of living every moment to its fullest, your life was a declaration of God's glory, love and mercy.
You lived your life like a butterfly, spreading beauty and good seeds everywhere, not hemmed in by any borders.  Now your soul soars where we can only dream of for now.  I will remember your warm smile, your giving heart, the way you lived your faith with daily actions and I'll remember that roses are for the living.
Do not let this day pass without telling the people you care about that you love them and appreciate them, without giving them a rose, whether naturally or spiritually.

If you flutter by here and would like to give a rose of gratitude to someone in your life, please feel free to post your thoughts here. 
Just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Monday, 22 October 2012


Last week my daughter's school friend's mom suddenly passed away.  It is doubly sad as just last year his father passed away too.  I could not believe it when I heard the news.  His mother was such a lovely person, it radiated from her, she was a devout child of God.  How could this happen?  Does the Lord not know how much her children still needed her, all three are still at school ?  To answer my question, I decided to do some research this morning and came across this post by author Robby Stephens ( that I would like to share with you.  I have e-mailed him to ask his permission to use it here on my blogspot.  and very kindly he has given me permission to do so, thank you Robby.  Should you find it encouraging please drop him a note at .

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

The title of this lesson happens to be one of the most widely asked questions typed into Internet search engines such as Google or Yahoo. Perhaps you were directed to this web page by your inquiry to an Internet search? If you or someone you care about is going through a particular illness or trial, or you recently lost someone very special to you, I am very sorry that you are hurting at this moment. I hope you receive encouragement from your visit here.

Many centuries ago, there happened to be a true story about two men placed into prison by the king of Egypt. We don’t know exactly what either of these men did to receive this punishment, but we do know that each served Pharaoh in his palace. They were officials to the king, one being the chief cupbearer, and the other being the chief baker. We can only guess about the circumstance that led to their incarceration because the story only says that they “offended their master the king of Egypt.” Perhaps their only “offense” was a poorly prepared meal, and they received the wrath of a powerful ruler.

The story goes on to say that on the birthday of the king, the king gave a feast for his officials. The chief cupbearer was released from prison and was restored to his position in service to the king; at the same time, the chief baker’s life was taken. I can only imagine that a conversation within the king’s court went something like this:

  “Did you hear about the chief cupbearer and the chief baker?” whispered the court jester to sergeant of the guard.
  “Yes, I know,” answered the sergeant. “I was given the task to turn both of them over to the captain of the guard.”
  “Such a bad thing for the chief baker; he was a good guy,” the jester responded with much sadness.
  “Why do you say it was a bad thing?”
  “Are you crazy?” asked the jester. “Don’t you know his life was ended?”
  “Yes, I know, but I wonder who really received the better fate. Things are pretty difficult here.”

Throughout my years of hearing and thinking about this story, I always thought that the better off person had to be the chief cupbearer since he was restored to his position in service to the king. I felt that the chief baker must have done something really bad to be killed; but perhaps the chief baker was a good person. That would lead to the question: Why do bad things happen to good people?

I recently had lunch with an old friend who I grew up with. The two of us really hadn’t had a good talk since we were young boys; in our conversation, we discussed a few of our mutual friends and the bad things that have happened to some. My friend made the comment, “That was bad karma” about the particular situation concerning one of the friends. My mind quickly thought about the TV show My Name is Earl, where this guy named Earl is going around to repair all of the wrongs he had done in life in order to restore his “karma” to balance over to the good side. The word “karma” comes from the Hindu or Buddhist teaching that what one does in this life will determine where he will end in the next life. Is there such a thing as “karma?” Do you believe in the existence of good and evil? Perhaps it’s easy for us to accept the bad fate of someone whom we think deserves some sort of punishment for his or her bad deeds, but we struggle with why something “bad” would happen to someone that is a good person. I ask you: What makes you really know that what happened is completely bad?

You may be thinking now, “Robby, are you crazy? You certainly have no clue what I’m dealing with.” I say you are right in thinking this. I don’t know how you hurt or feel about your situation. I am very sorry that you are going through this pain, but I also encourage you to look at your situation a little differently.

There is a story I heard about an elderly gentleman who was considered very wise by his contemporaries in China many years ago, but very unusual because of the way he viewed particular situations. He was in charge of the finest stallions in all of China. He awakened one morning to discover that the number one stallion in all of China had disappeared. The people living around the ranch area were alarmed and came to this wise stallion manager:

   “Oh elderly one, elderly one,” one of the local people called out. “We heard what happened last night!”
   “What you hear?” asked the wise Chinese gentleman.
    “We hear that number one stallion in all the land of China has disappeared. Is this true, could it be true?”
   “It is true, it is fact,” he calmly answered. “Number one stallion has disappeared.”
   “It is bad that this has happened.”
   “Pardon me?” asked the elderly one.
   “Too bad he’s gone, isn’t it just terrible?”
   “Yes, he is gone. But how you know it bad thing that he is gone?”
   “What??” answered the local resident.
   “How you know it bad that he is gone?”

Unable to respond to the elderly gentleman’s response to the situation, the people went back to their homes. The very next day the elderly gentleman awakens to find that not only the number one stallion has returned, but two more beautiful wild horses of the same breed have followed the stallion home. Upon hearing about this, the local people come running over to see the new arrival:

   “Oh elderly one,” say the people. “You are so wise!”
   “Why you say that?” asked the elderly man.
   “Well, just yesterday the number one stallion is missing, and you say ‘how do we know this is bad?’ And today the stallion returns with two additional beautiful horses following him. Is this true?”
   “It is true, it is fact.”
   “This is good news that this happened isn’t it o’ elderly one?”
   “Pardon me?” asked the wise man.
   “It is good that stallion is back with two additional horses!”
   “Stallion is back with two more, but how you know it is good that he is back?”
   “What?” said one of the people.
   “How you know it is good that he is back?”
Unable to say any more, the people once again go home.

The very next day, the son of the wise horse manager, attempting to tame one of the two new wild horses falls off the horse and breaks his leg with a very bad break. The local people come over to show sympathy to the elderly man about the news of his son:

   “Old man,” calls out one of the people.
   “Yes?” the man answers.
   “We hear what happened to number one son.”
   “What you hear?”
   “Your kid! Did he not break his leg trying to tame one of the new wild horses”? they answered with a little agitation.
   “Ah, honorable only son, while attempting to break one of two wild horses, falls off horse and breaks his leg. It is true, it is fact.”
   “Too bad he break leg?”
   “Pardon me?” answered the wise man.
   “Too bad your kid broke his leg, agree?” answered one with much frustration.
   “Ah, son break leg, but how you know it is bad he break leg?”
   “Well, heck old man; we don’t know nothin’!” they yelled. “We don’t know nothin’!”

The people who lived near by walked away agitated. Each time they tried to give the old wise man any sympathy, he responded with the question of how do they know what happened is bad? They just decided to give up and go home. The very next day a Chinese warlord, and his army, came through their part of China taking every able bodied young man into their service to fight for them in their war. The wise man’s son, not being able bodied, wasn’t taken to go to battle. He was left to stay at home with his family.

The point to this story is to point out that what may seem as bad to us, may have a deeper reason for a good to come. Unfortunately, we don’t always get to see the good that results, but we will one day. I think back to when I was a child, I heard the term Good Friday. I asked why the day was called Good Friday, and I was told that a man was killed on a particular Friday, and we celebrated His death. I’m thinking, “How can anything good come out of a death of anyone?” Perhaps I needed to look at situations a little differently?

Back to the story about the chief cupbearer and the chief baker: How can it possibly be good that the chief baker’s life is ended much earlier than it should have been? I say, by looking at situations a little differently, like the old Chinese man. Perhaps, while in prison, the chief baker met someone who could change the direction of his life. The story tells us that he did meet a man named Joseph. You may ask, “Robby, what’s the big deal about changing one’s life if it’s only for a day or two?” My answer is, on that first Good Friday I mentioned, a thief condemned to die by the punishment of being nailed to a cross made of wood met such a person who did change the outcome of his eternal life in just the matter of a minute. What seemed as very bad for this thief was actually very good that he was there to meet such a person.

Perhaps you are here to meet such a person.  Perhaps this “bad thing” that happened to the good person was the only thing that brought you to this website? You see, “things don’t just happen.” If you type that phrase in you’ll see that I published a book with that same title after I began to look at the results of situations a little differently. A few years ago I was placed in a very difficult situation in my life, and I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me, a pretty good person. Then I met the same Man that the thief met the day he was to die, and my life was changed too. I finally understood why the day is called Good Friday. I would like to introduce this Man to you. He can change your life too, and if you don’t really know Him, that WILL BE the answer to the question you may have just typed into the Internet search question. You’re here for a purpose!

Just over two thousand years ago, a Man named Jesus was nailed to a cross on a day we now call Good Friday. It seems to the world that a man being killed for a crime he didn’t commit would be a bad thing, and perhaps that day should be called Bad Friday. But we call this day Good Friday because this Man’s purpose and mission in His life here was to die on a cross for you and me. You see, there is good and evil in this world. There is a good, loving God who loves you so much, He brought you here to hear from Him: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). Just like there is good in this world, there is evil as well. The evil keeps us separated from the rest that Jesus provides. Do you need rest from what you are going through now?

You may think that you are a good person and not evil, but if you do just one thing in your life that God views as evil (a sin) then you fall into the same category as if you did many sins: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10). We all fall into that category, so don’t think you’re alone here. The thief on the cross was in that same category, but in a moment of asking Jesus to remember him, he became a child of God, and God no longer viewed him as evil. There is a difference between being a child of God and choosing to live a life separated from your heavenly Father. In the privacy of your heart, ask Jesus to remember you and to include you as a part of His family.

I assure you there is no “karma” of scales balancing out our good deeds verses our bad deeds, even though there is much truth in the phrase, “You reap what you sow.” The Bible says, “Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time” (Galatians 6:7-9 NLT). The “appropriate time” where we reap a harvest of blessing will be in an “everlasting life.” The everlasting life that Paul, the writer, was speaking of is the eternal life in heaven, and the only way to get there is through a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus tells us, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Now you may think, “Robby, I’ve heard that religious stuff before, it’s just not for me.” I say I understand, because at one time I thought the same thing. Then one day I needed that “rest for my soul.” I was weary from carrying a heavy burden that weighed me down and consumed my very being. In my privacy one day, very much like your private moment now, my spirit within me felt a call to truly desire that rest if it was real. Without anyone knowing it, I asked Jesus to help me. There were no bright lights, no music in my ears, but a peace did suddenly come upon me. I didn’t share this with anyone, but I continued to seek His guidance. My favorite Bible verse today is James 4:8. The Bible says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” This is so true. I challenge you in your private way to try this and allow God’s spirit to give you a new peace.

I hope that today, no matter what bad thing just happened, that you look at the situation differently, like the wise Chinese man. As bad as it seems on the surface, God is still in control, and He promises that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). You’re being called for His purpose now; the call is for you. Answer the call and see how He can work the bad thing for good.  It takes courage to take this step and give up control to the One who can help you through the bad times.  He will give you the strength to endure the difficult times, not necessarily take them away. “Courage is the mastery of fear, not the absence of fear.” – Mark Twain  

Be Courageous and ask Jesus, the true Master, to help you conquer your fears and to have a new understanding of why bad things happen to good people.


If you flutter by here please feel free to comment, I would love to hear from you.  Just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link, Thank you, Charri.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Find the Beauty

I am sure you have noticed by now that I simply adore butterflies.  I am enthralled by them. I love watching how they dance happily from one colourful flower to the next.  Butterflies are beauty-finders.  You will never see a butterfly sitting on a whithered flower, and they always pick the most fragrant of roses to visit.  Wherever they go they leave a trail of beauty behind.  They always remind me of my sister.  She too, is a beauty-finder.  She knows just how to pick the most beautiful piece of cloth or the prettiest dress in a shop, she'll even find the most delightful dishrag hiding amongst all the other ordinary ones!  Just being near her makes me feel a part of the beauty around her and inside her.
But in life we also have poison-finders.  Poison-finders are oblivious to the beauty that surrounds them, they are only interested in finding their poison.  Just look at the spider. It visits the same flower as the delightful butterfly, but instead of beauty it finds the ingredients to make a deadly poison.  Some people are like spiders, they will pay little attention to the beauty that surrounds them, in fact they don't notice it at all.  Their focus is entirely on finding everything that is wrong, imperfect or ugly.  They look for it with a trained eye and they will unerringly find the tiniest fault. They are poison-finders, but even worse, they are poison-spreaders.  They delight in sharing this poison with others. Poison-spreaders are energy-sappers, they taint everything with their negativity.  An encounter with a poison-finder can leave you feeling totally drained.
Beauty-finders will always share their beauty with others, they just can't help it.  Beauty-finders make the world around them beautiful too, even if it is just with the smile they leave behind in your heart.  Even in the bleakest of circumstances beauty-finders decorate life with fragments of beauty. 
The choice is ours.  What we find in life is what we look for.  If you look for the beauty in everything you will be sure to find it, but if you are searching for the less beautiful, I can guarantee you that you will find that too.  Today, let us be beauty gatherers, let us fill our stores with those things that delight the soul, so that we can become beauty givers in a world that is crying out for it.

If you flutter by here, I wish you beauty.  Please feel free to comment and share your moments of beauty with us.  Just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

For the Love of Handbags

I simply love handbags, all shapes, colours and sizes.  I am not much of a brand name person, but cute and funky play a big role when it comes to the choice of handbag.  My mom once said to me that she is only dressed once she picks up her handbag to go.  A woman's handbag is her treasure trove, her absolute must have, her security blanket. 
Throughout her life the contents of her handbag will be a reflection of what is currently happening in her life.  It bears witness to her activities and status, her hopes and dreams, her fears and worries.  Take a peek into any teenage girl's handbag and you will most definitely find lip gloss and extra length mascara,  the business woman will have an assortment of pens, lipstick and anti-perspirant while a mommy will have a spare pacifier, wet wipes, plasters, etc.
Whether her handbag is a top of the range designer handbag or a many season, floppy and faded saddlebag, they all have one thing in common, they contain  every woman's individual survival kit.  It is with this thought in mind that I decided to take a closer look at mine this morning and share it here with you. This is what I found and I realised that these are the must have items every woman should have:

Sunglasses - so that you can always walk on the sunny side of the street.
Lipstick - so that you can always have a ready smile to cheer up somebody's day.
Nail file - to smooth life's rough edges.
Tissues - to comfort those who need comforting
Hairbrush - to brush the cobwebs from your mind and keep your thoughts ordered.
Pen -  to write beautiful words on people's hearts, the memory of which cannot be erased.
Ear buds - so that your ears can really listen to what others say, to hear their cries of distress.
Cello tape - to keep all the broken pieces together, to mend hearts.
Ointment - for life's unexpected hurts, and to keep negativity from infecting your thoughts.
Sweeties - to keep your memories sweet, to leave a pleasant taste when people say your name.
Salt - because we are the salt of the earth.
Hand cream - so that we can always treat people with kindness and a gentle touch.
Perfume - so we can leave a pleasant fragrance behind wherever we have been.

Yes, a handbag tells much about the character of a woman, I read somewhere that they say a woman is as complex as the contents of her handbag.  Have a look at the contents in your handbag today and look for the message your subconscious mind has been telling you, how you can use it to bless others.

If you flutter by here,  share the contents of your handbag with us and what you think it tells you..  Just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.

Saturday, 13 October 2012


We are such creatures of habit and comfort, and we take most things in life so for granted.  We are surrounded by wonder and miracles everyday, but we get so used to it that we hardly notice it.  We simply expect it all to still be there the next day and the next, and the next.  The truth is that it is just by the grace of the Lord, a blessing.
We get born, we grow up, we fall in love, marry, have children, grow old, and all the while we pass through life mostly oblivious.  Each one of these events come accompanied by a whole long list of invisible miracles, amazing happenings.  Maybe it is simply that we as humans are too small, too fragile to really absorb the awesomeness of life.  If we were to really experience each moment as the wonder it is, it would simply be too intense for us as mere mortals to understand.  I think it would be like standing on the edge of a high cliff  every second of our existence, watching the sunrise lighting up a vast incredibly beautiful valley below while Beethoven's 5th Symphony fills every breath of air around you.  It would be too huge for one heart to contain!
This week I had the privilege to watch my daughter at work.  She is a teacher and has a class filled with the most adorable four year olds.  To watch her and these little miracles each day, had me feeling exactly as the scene I painted in the previous paragraph.  I was filled with wonder and awe.  The moment was too big to contain, I tried to engrave it on my memory, I tried to relate it to others, but words were too inadequate.
Each little child has been so beautifully and uniquely created, and their eyes sparkled as they took part in each activity with total abandonment.  The way their teacher captured their attention using all of her love and talents, left me speechless with admiration.  A mundane activity such as counting to twenty became a symphony of its own filled with cadences, crescendos and movement, first soft, then loud, then just a whisper followed by big daddy bear voices.  Twenty wonder struck faces tell of a lesson learned never again to be forgotten!
How beautiful life is when we look at the mundane, everyday, ordinary events through eyes of wonder, with eyes that really see, instead of just glacing ahead at the next chore to be done, the next event to be rushed to, just another moment to survive.  It is time to spread out our arms and embrace every beautiful and incredible moment, and live!

If you flutter by here please feel free to comment.  Share your incredible symphony moments with us.  Just click on the words "no comments" or "1 comment " and follow the link.  I would love to hear from you.