Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It made my day...

Yesterday,when picking my son up from school, he couldn't wait to tell me that the misunderstanding between him and his best friend had been cleared up. Upon hearing this conversation, one of his other friends commented that he couldn't believe that Jaco shared this with me. Jaco was very surprised at this and replied: I always ask my mom for advice!

This made my day. I pray that as he gets older he will always feel comfortable talking to me about the things that bugs him.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Count your blessings...

This morning I read a blog.
This caused me to stop and think and count my blessings, naming them one by one, so here goes:
* My Amazing son
* Good Health
* Having fun with my studies
* Good friends
* New Friends
* Seeing lives change
* Having hope again
* An amazing friend
* Being loved
* People who challenge me (like above mentioned blog)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A new season

The changes that spring brings, the growth, the warmth, the hope and the excitement is beginning to blossom in my soul and I am smiling, really smiling with my eyes, my mouth AND MY HEART.

I am embarking on a new and exciting journey and I love it! I am studying ‘Basic Ambulance Assistance’ on a part-time basis and if all goes well will be finishing my BAA by mid-December. I am having so much fun with this course! I am excited about making a real difference in someone’s life; I am excited about saving lives, and I am excited about doing ministry outside of the financial chaos that has marked this year. I am excited about being able to speak up and out without worrying if the church will still employ me next year. I am excited about the possibilities of stability and fulfillment that the future holds. I am excited at the thought of even a possibility of a future.

And even though the study fees are killing me and finances are tough right now, I am at peace.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spring has Sprung

After a long and exceptionally cold winter in my heart, the first signs of Spring and new life is beginning to appear. My heart sings with Mari du Toit's song:

Hierdie winter is oor
Die lug is nou skoon
Die seisoen het gedraai
Daar’s groeikrag in die grond
Daar’s `n wolkie daar bo
Met belofte van reen
En die winde steek op
Wat die boodskap verder neem

Die eerste voeltjies het terug gekom
Diere snuif in die wind
almal ken die tekens van die reen – reen oor ons land

Gee ons in oorvloed weer
Dat almal in alles kan deel
Ons buig laag soos bedelaars
O, gee ons `n reenjaar vanjaar

Hierdie winter was fel
Daar het harte versteen
En die velde was vaal
Want blomme leef van reen
Daar was ver te veel stryd
en `n oorvloed van haat
maar die hoop het bly leef-
die winter is verby

Die eerste vriendskap is uitgeruil
Mense reik na mekaar
Groter as die wonder van die reen-
Vrede in ons land

Gee ons in oorvloed weer
dat elkeen met almal kan deel
ons kniel laag soos bedelaars
o, gee ons `n reenjaar vanjaar

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Soek - deur Koos van der Merwe



en ontnugter


en seer

moet ek groet

nog voor ons regtig kon ontmoet

nog `n gedig

nog `n gesig

ek dag nog dis jy

toe’s dit alles verby

Friday, September 4, 2009


dis weer winter in my lentetyd
elke bloeisel is doodgeryp
dis weer eina in my
my hart
my trane sout
my hart gegrendel
my drome weer verydel
dis alleentyd in my saamweestyd

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Four years ago, I have found a wonderful book called “breathe” by Keri Wyatt Kent, a book that speaks of slowing down, of taking time out and of Creating space for God in a Hectic Life. The problem is that, up to a week ago, I haven’t had the time to read it so that I could create space. Finally sitting down to read this book however has gotten me thinking: What is it that my life is about? What are my limitations that I am so intend on hiding that I am wanting to create this picture to the world of someone who can do it all, be it all, have it all – without resting at all?

I am amazed, I am amazed at how hard I try to fool the world and I am even more amazed at how hard I try to fool myself!

And so, sitting in a place of tranquillity on a otherwise rainy day, with the sun peaking our from under the clouds causing the raindrops to sparkle like diamonds on ever flower and every leaf, I know that I need to simplify my life. The question is: How, where do I even start?

I will start by taking a deep breath – remembering that the word for Spirit as used in the Hebrew and Greek (and most African languages I am told) is the same. I will deliberately take time to simply take deep, slow breaths every day while reminding myself of God’s presence and power in my life.

I have had to stop and take time to reflect on the things that I value in my life. Last night I have watched the movie “Bruce Almighty” again with some students. There is that conversation between Morgan Freedman – God & Jim Carry – Bruce

God: Pray…!

Bruce: Well ok… Lord, bless the poor people and let there be peace … on earth. How’s that.

God: That’s great, if you want to be miss America,

But what do you really care about?

That is my next stop, to reflect on what it is that I really care about? I care about my son, I care about my loved ones, I care about people who are finding it hard to experience God’s love and grace. I care about making a difference in the lives of people. Why is it then that up to 90% of my time is taken up by admin – something that I am neither passionate about, nor good at. So, I find myself frustrated in my job and taking it out on my child family and friends.

Right, note to self: Find a way to minimize admin

I am missing the opportunity to do teach not school subjects, but about God and life. I miss putting things into words that makes it accessible to people of all walks of life. I miss sharing my passion and love for God and others with people.

Note to self: Create opportunities to teach

I find myself scatterbrained and spread so thinly that I can’t seem to do a single thing properly and I hate that I am always on damage control.

Note to self: Focus – choose were you are going to make the difference and stick to it!

I am tired of being tired, I am tired of running around I am tired of complaining…

Note to self: Plan better and be more grateful.

I want to have more direction in my life. I hate that feeling of being lost, that feeling of not knowing where my life is going, that feeling of unpreparedness.

Note to self: Start the day by saying “I am available to your direction Lord”

I want to live in the moment, not just dream about the future. I want to be happy where I am at. I want to enjoy the journey; I want to appreciate the adventure.

Note to self: Live life frugally

When I friend of mine asked me over the weekend: so what do you do for fun, I could tell her what every one of my friends, my son and my love one does for fun, but what do I do? What do I really enjoy? What rejuvenates me? What gives me joy that I can do for even half a day every week and what can I say ‘no’ to?

Note to self: Have fun! Be ME (and say no)

Now this is the part where I really begin to struggle: I have been brought up not to be self-centred, not to waist time or money, never to be idle. I have been proud of always being available to everyone – no matter what the time of day or what my needs. And now it is time to reassure myself. It is okay to stop and drink from the wellspring of life. It is okay for me to say no to that which is worthwhile but which I am not called to do. It is okay. I need reassurance that not being busy all the time does not make me less but more, it means that I have more energy and focus to be truly present in the things that I choose to do.

So this is me on a journey to life in the slow lane, I am not there yet and I am tempted to hurry – but I am getting better at being me.

Simply Bugs

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"I did not raise you that way"

2 Tim 1:7 "for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind"

On Friday Morning i was sitting in a tea Garden with a book about slowing down (that i have often tried to read but never have the time to finish), while my son enjoyed the sun, playing on tractors and with bunnies. It was an idyllic day with the warmth of the sun on my face re-assuring me of the warmth of the presence of the Son in my life.

While reading the book "breathe" i was reminded or the words of 2 Tim 1:7 and it got me thinking...

I have often heard parents say to their children (and not without a little hint of disappointment or frustration): "I did not raise you that way"

here i could almost hear God saying to me "I did not raise you that way" - although in His voice there was no disappointment or frustration, just overwhelming love.

Over the last couple of months with so much happening in my life i was often overwhelmed by fear and ran around like a chicken with it's head chopped off. "what if..." was driving me insane.

And so i hear God say: "My child, i did not raise you that way... in fact - I did not make you that way" God has not given me a Spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Counting down to what?

At Synod Gus asked me what i was counting down to, my answer then was: 'I am counting down to Pentecost'. That was true, that was the idea (then Synod happened and i stopped counting) but i had no idea what i was really counting down to. Pentecost this year brought for me a new and fresh look at myself, stripped of all pretense, bravery and masks. Pentecost brought an overwhelming sense of God's call on my life and of my own limitations. Pentecost reminded me that this was God's call even if it was my life (as a matter of fact, i am even beginning to doubt that it was my life to begin with) and a renewed sense of urgency, hope and of being captured by His grace.

so today, i am beginning to sort out a few things in order to do that which i can do so that i can get out of the way and allow God to do that which is is known for - the impossible.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Sunday, God has this way of answering patiently even when i behave like a 2-year-old. Pete's sermon was a blessing


Saturday morning was spent clearing some of the clutter in my house, a time that i used to also clear some of the clutter from my mind - another blessing


Friday afternoon was spent in simplicity, playing games with my son and reading - thanks be to God for a time of sanity

Friday, May 22, 2009

Count(ing my blessings) down to Penticost

At our Ascension Day Service Pete(rock) challenged us to journal every day about at least one moment in that day when we encountered God: So here Goes:

Wednesday was not a good day for me. My car ran our of fuel in peak-hour traffic on a very busy road with no-where to go to get out off the way. This together with some other struggles and frustration (and probably a bit of pms) left me feeling useless and extremely sorry for myself. I began to reflect on all of my failures and the events of my life that has brought me to the place i am. Eventually i ended up saying i am useless, i am useless in ministry, i am useless in motherhood and i am useless in my personal life... and then i looked around me and so the unwashed dishes and started crying.

On Thursday morning at 00h23 i woke up with an sms from a friend who lives 1000km away pleading desperately for some encouragement to make it through a very dark night. I responded rather sleepily and went back to bed.

When i woke up again at 6h15, there was an sms from the same friend thanking me for my friendship, encouragement and ministry to her over the past couple of years. My son came to disturb my peace with a tickle-fight (which got me moving enough to wash the still unwashed dishes) after which i spend an amazing day of family fun. This perfect day draw to a close with a time of worship and a candlelight dinner.

And so yes, i encountered God. I encountered Him in each of the areas where i felt lost and helpless.


Ps. there is another post that has been mulling around in my mind for a while now (lets call it 'Esther' for now) and for those who are waiting for this post... please keep bugging me about it until i eventually do it

Friday, May 8, 2009


Today i feel guilty for being so ungrateful. Over the last four weeks i have been going around with a "woe is me..." attitude simply because i have had a bit of a stressful time... How could i have been so ungrateful, so self-centered! Here i was, thinking that i am going through a particularly difficult time, when there are people around me, people i care about who is experiencing so much more pain, so much more fear, so much more...

Yesterday, i learned that my younger cousin (a beautiful, kind-hearted, inteligent, gifted, 22-year-old woman) was diagnosed with MS). This would be hard in any family, but with Anita...

Anita is the youngest of two girls, her older sister has downs-syndrome and has had a stroke when she was about 10 years old. She is now in a wheelchair, are wearing diapers and have the mental capability of a two-year-old. Nina's condition has put a tremendous amount of strain on the family. Anita, in her gentle way has always taken care of her older sister with so much love and devotion.

Pray with me for this family- for Anita, Nina and their parents.

As for me, i choose to count my blessings (after all, i am only a bit tired and stressed).

So today i give thanks for my amazing son; an opportunity to minister amongst amazing people; my friends and loved ones. Today i give thanks to for life!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


And so the rainy season begins here in the beautiful Cape...

Last night my sleep was disturbed with the noise of strong winds blowing around everything that it could find; my two dogs complaining outside about the cold, wet weather; and my cat walking up-and-down in front of the window, refusing to go outside but having to go...

So, i got up in waves, first to secure windows, blinds and doors that were banging and making a noise; then to move the dogs to a drier, warmer spot - finding dry bedding for the two; and finally at 3 to do something about my otherwise delightful cat. Not surprisingly, i woke up this morning feeling grumpy and tired - reflecting on the night and the past 5 months that has left me so tired and worn out. The waves of things that have to be done and dealt with over the past 5 months (a divorce, moving, new school for my son, new job for me, my car being stolen, facing the family, facing the in-laws, facing a pastoral commission, facing the world, facing myself, facing the pain of others, dealing with new challenges, new dreams, new hopes, new fears, new excitements, ...) has indeed left me feeling a bit frazzled - yet at the same time, this has been a time of growth and nourishment, i time of truth.

I pray that the rain and storms in my own life will leave me as beautiful as it does the Cape.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jephtah's dilemma - part 1

"Which Bible character do you most relate to and why?" - i often use this question as a ice-breaker in the groups that i am leading to try and see where people are at. Today as i read through Judges 9-11 i came across Jephthah again, only to find that i can (perhaps for the first time ever) relate to this obscure character:

So Jephthah, the son of a prostitute, was always frowned upon, rejected and even loathed because he would never completely fit in, never be one of 'them'. What he was (not by any doing of his own) made him unacceptable to others. But then, the proverbial paw-paw hit the fan and so they needed him for who he was, his skills and his strength. Now what, should he respond in spitefulness and anger and refuse to help or should he hear their plea and answer to the call?

How often have i not struggled with this same dilemma: it is often those who would not accept what i am who needs me for who i am. Do i hear their plea and answer to the call or do i lash out in anger and spitefulness?

Well, i will answer the call, i will pray for those who hurt me, i will help them to pick up the peaces when they need me to. I cannot choose for others how they respond to that which is different, but i can choose how i respond to that which they do out of fear, pain and ignorance.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A new perspective

Reading through Joshua 9-12 today, it struck me that this land that Israel is taking possession of is the same land that a previous generation thought impossible to enter (see Numbers 13:28).

A new perspective is what we need, a new unshakable faith in our God who gives victories over the giants we are facing.

My prayer is that i will not leave this up to the next generation (although this next generation excites me with their focus on possibilities), but that i will make that mindset shift and live the adventure.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Fall of Jericho

Today in my devotions i was reading again the story that i used to love as a child - the fall of the Jericho walls.
- now before i continue, allow me to say that i know this if far from an exegesis. It is not meant to be a sermon but a rather loose reflection on where in am. So, without further ado: this is what i felt when i read Joshua 6 today:

For a very long time in my life i have felt like the city of Jericho: strong and steadfast but with high walls all around me so that no one could enter, no one could come to close. I have been serving a purpose that i thought was mine, or perhaps i just wanted it to be mine. In this city of mine those who were allowed 'inside my walls' were given a falls sense of reality and security - they were as much prisoners as what i was (only they did not know it).

In the last few years, but certainly in the last few months, God has been at work in me in a process of breaking down the walls. The people around me did not see the cracks, but God in his grace and wisdom knew better and so in a process that does not make sense to most people (and even to me at times) began the process of setting me free.

There are those who has been a place of refuge for me in one of the most difficult times in my life and they will always be welcome inside the new city. Others will be welcome too, but few will chose to re-enter my life with the new (yet ancient) reality.

It is a painful process for me to allow the "people of God" access to my life, to allow the God of the people to brake down the walls so carefully constructed to keep me safe.

Yet i know that i am destined for more that what i could dream and the temporary embarrassment, the moment of nakedness and complete vulnerability will soon make way for the me that i was created to be...

Friday, February 20, 2009


I hereby resolve to ask people directly if i have any questions about them and not to rely on that which i hear from others - no matter how well-meaning. (and i would appreciate it if they would return the favor)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


The last couple of weeks have been crazy with logistical nightmares as my car has been stolen and although it was retrieved, it took a lot of time and frustration to have it fixed. In this time, having gone through a whole lot of changes in my live, i have grown increasingly more impatient.

This morning, after having rushed my son and after disrupting the little bit of routine that he has, his prayer made everything okay when he prayed "thank you Lord for the best mom in the whole world".

I thank God today for having the best son in the whole world! Today everything seems to be back into its proper perspective for me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Challenge

A friend of mine challenged me last night to find at least one thing in each day that reminds me that i am where God wants me to be right now.

This is proving to be quite a challenge, but here goes:

Yesterday i met with a group of ministers in the surrounding circuits to discuss a standardized but meaningful confirmation program, while i feel completely out of my depth for the task ahead, i am excited by the sense of real connexionality. I am passionate about confirmation and seeing ministers working together, instead of against each other, fills me with hope for our church.

So yes, it is good to be here right now

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jaco's new journey

I am so proud of Jaco today! This morning he started grade 2 in a new school, in a new town, under new circumstances, with his new uniform, in a new language medium - and he was sooooooo brave!

Jaco learned how to read and write in Afrikaans, this morning, he went to an English school. He was standing there in front of his new class, looking at all the strange faces - and he smiled... not a ecstatic smile, but a smile of determination, a smile that said "i will be ok".

I cannot wait to walk around the corner from my office to his school to go and fetch him from his first day of school.

I thank God for my amazing son who brightens my day and my heart.

Yes, it is correct.

Facebook, there are many good, bad and ugly things to be said for it. Today i am simply answering questions that arose in the minds of those who have me (and or Hanno) as friends on facebook:

yes it is correct.

After almost ten years of marriage, Hanno and i got a divorce. I am grateful for the 10 years that we have had together. I am grateful for a wonderful friend that i have in him.

Hanno and i have been struggling to make things work for the past 10 years and have at last made peace with the fact that it is better this way. This has not been a decision that has been taken lightly or on the spur of the moment. We have prayed together, cried together and found peace in the gracious presance of Him who made us and know us fully.

Pray for Hanno and me, and for our son Jaco as we each continue to journey on a new path.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Corrected by my son, AGAIN

And so the story continues:

yesterday morning i was standing in front of the mirror, doing my make-up when my son asked me: 'mom, why do you have to put that on?' I explained that i don't have to, but that it makes me look a little prettier. Jaco looked at me for a moment and said:

"Mom, you need to be spending time to help you be prettier on the inside, not on the outside"

What can i say...