Monday, 30 January 2017

Sowing Seeds

After a lovely breakfast of warm toast with strawberry jam and cheese, I sat in the shade of the veranda and contemplated the origins of the bread I have just had. Bread is made most often using wheat flour.  The bread we eat is a witness to the faith of a farmer somewhere.  When a farmer buys seed, the seed does not come with a guarantee that it will grow, or that it will give a good crop.  He takes care to buy good seeds, he even researches the different types of seeds available and makes an educated choice, but there is no promise from the seller that the seed will produce a good harvest.  The farmer buys the seed believing that it will be good.  He trusts that when he sows it, it will bear a successful crop.  He plants the seed in faith.

In a sense we are farmers too.  Every word we say and every deed we do are seeds we sow in the lives of the people we encounter along the path of life.  Unlike the farmer though, we seldom consider the crop these seeds we sow will bring forth.  We rarely spare our words and deeds any thoughts.  We never wonder what plant would germinate from the seeds we have scattered.  We are often quite careless with our words and deeds.

Words and deeds contain creative force.  Like a seed that is sown in a field, our words and actions are absorbed by the listener or observer, and it germinates and grows.  It becomes a life force and bears fruit.  It can be good for sustenance and growth or it can poison depending on what the seed was that had been sown.  It is our responsibility to take care what we say and do.  The most important consumers of the seeds we sow are our families.  Our children feed on the seedlings we plant in their lives.  They in turn become the product of what they ingest, and they again become farmers sowing seeds in the lives of their own children and the lives of the people they encounter throughout their lives.  The big circle of life, growing ever wider, generation after generation.

The seeds we sow are in fact our greatest legacy.  It is our children's inheritance, and in these seeds we find our elixir of life, we continue living on in the words and deed we left behind.  The question I ask of myself and that I want to leave you with is this:  what seed am I sowing along the way?

I love this quote by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
"With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see."

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Words of Wisdom

I love words.
I love the way they feel in my mouth, on my tongue, the weight they carry.  The way they can be sweet, or heavy or sometimes just a gossamer whisper slipping over my lips.

Words can heal, but also hurt.  Words can bring despair or inspire people.  Every word we utter has a consequence.  They have wings.  Once they leave your mouth, they fly away, never to return unspent.  We can easily mop up spilled milk and we can replace a shattered window.  We can glue a broken vase and we can reset a fractured arm, but we can never catch a word once it is set free.  It gets carried from my mouth directly to the listener's ear.  It cannot be unsaid or unheard. 

Our constitution protects our right to freedom of speech, but with this freedom comes the responsibility to use it wisely. Words have to be used carefully.  God created by means of a word.  He IS a word.  Words are to be treasured.As a child my father taught me that cussing or swearing was proof of a poor and inadequate vocabulary, and my sister told me to always choose my words the same way that I would pick flowers for a friend, just the most beautiful.  I have passed these truths on to my children.

A single word can be a poem by itself, it is loaded with suggestion and meaning.  It can calm the storm or ignite a fire.  It is reckless to speak before giving a thought to our words.  To say the first thing which comes to our mind often leads to disaster and hurt feelings, therefore we must consider our words wisely.  Words may be audible for only a split second, but their echoes can last a lifetime.

This year I want to be aware of the words I speak, I want them to be words of affirmation and hope.  Words that reverberate with enthusiasm and encouragement.  Words of kindness and empathy. Words that spread life and beauty.

Please note: The image I used for this post is from the BraveGirlsClub.  It is an awesome, inspiring blog well worth a visit.  Here is the link

Wednesday, 11 January 2017


This year is already eleven days old, and most of you reading here will admit that you are already bogged down with everything and everyone demanding your attention.  It might even feel as if the holiday you have recently had never happened at all.  We have so many roles to fill, errands to run and deadlines to meet that we end up with very little time for ourselves.  We arrange meetings, events, retreats and  parties for everybody else, but forget to invite ourselves.  We encourage, praise and inspire our family, our spouses and our colleagues yet spare no thought for ourselves.  This brings me to my next resolution for this year.

My husband often says that you can only give somebody fifty cents if you have fifty sends to give.  If we spare no time for ourselves we will sooner or later have no time to give to others, we will be physically and emotionally too exhausted to care any longer.  It is essential that we schedule time for ourselves.  This year it is time to give ourselves a pat on the shoulders, and to celebrate who we are.

You have been wonderfully made.  Rejoice in it.  There is nobody like you.  You are unique.  Celebrate the wonder of you, give thanks for your health and be awed by your talents and unique abilities.  Celebrate the woman, mother or daughter you are.  Give yourself credit, smile at yourself.

As women we have been taught by our mothers to put ourselves last, we are the caretakers, the nurturers and the support system for our families.  We feed our families first, and we provide for their needs before we spend time or money on ourselves.  We save the good china for our daughters for one day.  No more!  Take out the silver and fine porcelain and lay the table for Thursday night's dinner, even if it is a humble meal of sausage and smash, pour Oros into those delicate crystal glasses and drink a toast to being alive and being a woman, a mother, daughter, wife and friend.

And remember:  YOU are awesome!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Attitude of Gratitude

How are you enjoying 2017 so far?  How are you doing with your new year's resolutions now that the normalcy of regular life has returned?  Chances are you have not gotten to them yet, or the pressures at work or school or at home are interfering with your implementation of them.  Don't be too hard on yourself, there are still 355 day left during which you can work on those resolutions!

One of my resolutions is to live 2017 with an attitude of gratitude.  It is very easy to get bogged down in the realities of living in the 21st century.  Life is definitely not the same as it had been twenty years ago.  In some areas it is much easier, but in a great many others life in this century demands a lot from us.  Living has become difficult as we are faced with so many challenges every day.  However, what a blessing it is to be alive!

It is amazing to see the difference it makes to the quality of our lives when we start looking for each little blessing in our lives, when we turn our eyes away from the trouble, the difficult situations life throws at us and start to focus on the good things our whole vision is changed.

This year I don't want to just notice the good things, I want to write them down and I want to talk about them.  I suggest to you to make time for a little experiment.  The next time you join a group of people talking about how bleak the future looks, the state of the country, the exorbitant prices or the lying politicians, don't add your two bits of negativity as well, but rather point out something positive.  At first they might ignore you or pause for a moment before they carry on, but after your third or fourth positive comment the conversation will turn and soon everyone in the group will have something positive to say as well.  Soon you will be cultivating an attitude of gratitude in other people as well. 

When we practise gratitude we become less self-centered, we start focusing on others and become open to new ideas, we smile easier and we become more enthusiastic about life.  This in turn has a major impact on our self-esteem and energy levels.  When our hearts are filled with gratitude we become infused with feelings of optimism and in the process we rid ourselves of the heavy load of gloom which accompanies feelings of depression and dissatisfaction.  The added benefit of all these good feelings is that it has an effect on our health as well.  When we feel optimistic and energetic we are able to exercise more and eat healthier.  It is my humble opinion that Gratitude should be listed as a hormone for all the wonderful benefits it has on our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Are you with me in my quest for achieving an attitude of gratitude this year?  Please drop me a line, I would love to hear from you, be blessed.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Look Out

Sometimes I think we tend to go through life with blinkers on.  We are so focused on what we have to do and occupied with everything demanded and expected of us on a daily basis that we have no time to look around us.  In the process we are missing out on opportunities.

I know that when most people hear the word 'opportunities' they immediately think of it in terms of a chance to make more money, to get a better job or career opportunity or maybe getting a bargain somewhere.  However, while those opportunities are important too, I am talking about opportunities which do not actually have monetary value.  

The opportunities I refer to is the chance to do something good, to really see the need of people around us, people we encounter in our day to day lives.  I want to open my eyes and see where it is that I can make a difference in somebody's life.  Maybe a few words spoken with kindness could make all the difference to somebody's life.  Perhaps it is a simple smile which could encourage someone who feels he can't cope. On my new year's resolution list is that I want to have an open mind to see the opportunities around me so that I can make a difference somewhere.  

So often we prefer to pretend not to see another person's need, we say we care, but we look past the needs of our society, the needs of the environment and the pleas for help in the eyes of the animals at the animal shelters.  We look without noticing, because we are afraid that if we were to really see it, we would have to get involved, and we fear what it would ask of us, what it would cost us.  Maybe it is time that we stop hiding behind our busy schedules and our excuses and start looking for opportunities to give something back to the world we are living in. 

It is amazing how many chances there are to do something worthwhile once we start looking for opportunities to serve and not just consume.  Look around you and make a list of the people or places where you can make a difference.  It need not be a huge thing to make a difference.  Something as simple as putting your small change in the tin at the till for the society of the blind can be a step forward for change.

I pray that we will all start looking around us and will really start seeing.

May you be blessed in whatever you do.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Love Life

 As I have said in yesterday's post, I would like to share some new year's resolutions with you during the month of January which I would like to implement in my own life throughout the course of the year.

This year I would like to open up and love life.  In the very busy world we live in we have very little time for ourselves and even less time for other people.  At times we live our lives as if we are living on an island.  We are completely absorbed in our own lives.  We seldom reach out to others, and rarely allow new people into our inner circle.  People live years next door to each other, but never get to know their neighbours.  We simply have no time to make new friends.  As a society we have also become very suspicious about strangers, and we have cocooned ourselves into a net of safety.  The result is that we become more and more isolated and lonely.  While we are living together with our immediate families, surrounded by our spouses and children and maybe grandparents we are not really aware of all the lonely people we pass by on a daily basis, but once our children grow up and leave the house, or divorce or any form of separation happens, we start realizing that we miss close interaction with other people, and it is then that we discover that although we might know a great many people by their first names, we do not know them at all.  The closeness of friendship is non-existent.  Therefore I would like to reach out more to the people I pass by, I want to take time out of my busy schedule to spend a few minutes in the company of somebody I have promised to visit every time we walk past and exchange a hasty greeting.  Maybe this year we can go have that cup of tea at the old lady sitting alone at the back of the church, maybe invite the new couple who moved to our corner of the world and desperately miss their family and friends.  

The truth is that humans are pack animals and as such we need people, we need each other.  When we reach out to others and we open the doors of our lives to them we not only do something good for them, but in the process we also enrich our own lives, as we can learn something from everybody we meet.  Look around you, make a list of all the people you have passed by during the past year and have thought for a brief moment that you would like to invite them for coffee or lunch or pay them a visit.  It is your subconscious sending you a message, so maybe this is the year to listen to that voice and reach out and make a connection.  Come on, let us open up and spread the love.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017


A new year has arrived.  Most people spent the last few days of December in anticipation of the coming year.  Some viewed its arrival with excitement, while others were filled with sadness, even trepidation.  Most people have made some or other resolution.  However as we know resolutions are often not even worth the paper they have been written on.  They are forgotten as quickly as the sun goes down on the first of January, as soon as real life comes knocking at our doors again.

Yet, despite the bad reputation new year resolutions have, I still believe in them.  I love the freshness which comes with a new year.  Over the month of January I would like to share some new year resolutions which I would like to implement over the course of the year.

My first resolution is to "Embrace" the new year.  Sometimes I am like a child wanting to jump into the pool, but he is too scared about the unknown, unsure about the temperature of the water or the depth of it.  Often we fear to pursue our dreams lest we fail, we worry about starting something new or stepping out of our comfort zones and so we stay on the edge of the pool until the season to swim has passed us by yet again.  This year I want to embrace the new, to worry less and to pursue my dreams.  Come on, reach out with me and let us embrace 2017!

May you be blessed this year beyond your wildest expectations!