Leaving On A Jet Plane

Passport

It is time to take out the passport and yellow card as I am travelling to Tanzania for the Christmas holidays. This year it will be a very hot African Christmas for our family.

I will not be posting for the next three weeks, but keep watching this space as I know I will have many experiences to share when coming back.

I wish everyone all over the world a blessed festive season . Let us keep in mind the real reason for the festivities, the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gone but not Forgotten

Memories are never lost.

A childhood might be gone, parents might be gone, other loved ones gone, but memories are never lost.

When I saw the photo challenge of the week I immediately thought of my mother, gone for two years this month  but not forgotten.

This photo taken when I hosted a table for a charity tea earlier this year using porcelain I inherited from her for both the table settings and the flower decorations bring back wonderful memories of her.

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Wide Eye Wednesday 3 : Moments That Take Our Breath Away

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Exactly one year ago I moved into my new home.

At the time,  every day was a different shade of grey. Sometimes the grey was so dark it was almost black.  I couldn’t see the light through the grey mist which enveloped me. Every action I took was taken with a foggy mind.

The house was bought on a Sunday afternoon, barely 10 days after my husband’s death. The children scouted for possibilities and then took me to see the places. This one was the last stop on that Sunday afternoon and I could immediately see myself living here. It had everything we needed. Enough space so that the children could visit, but not too big for me to live in alone. No stairs as I plan on growing old in the house and no pool to be looked after. A garden with lots of possibilities, but not too big for me to manage.

Without any further thought I signed the contract and felt peace enveloping me. This hasty decision turned out to be the right one. During the past 12 months the house has become a home, a place of refuge and rest. A place where I could begin to heal and make new memories for me and my family. Thinking back, I realise  the moment I signed the contract was  one of those taking my breath away ones. l now see God’s timing and provision as we were the first people to view the house after it came onto the market.

The garden was neat but very impersonal. I set out to change and transform the garden into a place I could enjoy. Many happy hours were spent gardening and it is slowly taking shape, becoming my own.

Home 2 One of the best parts of my home is  the covered veranda. As we have wonderful sunny weather in Pretoria almost year round, it quickly became the heart of the home. A place where many meals were eaten, many thoughts were thought, even some lonely tears were shed.

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I leave you with this promise Jesus made in Matthew 6 :26 

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you can add a single hour to this life? 

So let us thank God for the breathtaking moments He gives us and trust him with our lives, even in the worst possible circumstances.

Wide Eye Wednesday 2: Jump for Joy

They came as if from nowhere, beautiful and graceful, running and jumping in their own unique way called ” pronking ”  ( literally translated to display). They ran and jumped past us with even the smallest of the group imitating the adults’ pogo sticklike jumps. We were still gasping with awe when they returned with their display for a second time.

They are called Springbuck, meaning jumping buck and they are the national animal of South Africa.  It is generally believed that springbuck display their bouncing ball behaviour for joy of living. Yesterday as it was after the first good rainfall of the season I chose to believe it too.

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Scientifically however there are other reasons for the “pronking” behaviour of the Springbuck. It is a common response to predators; those that jump higher or at a faster rate, are fitter and faster, a fact the predator should recognise and so pick out a weaker victim . It is also for purposes of orientation, as the springbok can take in their physical surroundings, and the position of predators and other springboks . There is  a social role too; the fold of skin on the back produces a secretion with a strong, sweet odour that can be released while” pronking” , and thus sends out visual and olfactory messages to other springbok.

After a few minutes of delightful display the springbuck disappeared in the bush not to be seen again. This incident took place while we were on our weekly walk in the Moreletta Nature Reserve. It left me in awe and filled with joy. If only I was younger I might have joined them jumping for joy.

I leave you with this verse from the psalmist as I believe God gave us the rain, He made the grass grow and He sent the springbuck to show us the joy of life.

Psalms 147:8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.

What makes you jump for joy?

Wide Eye Wednesday 1: The Tree

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But ask the animals and they will teach you or the birds of the air and they will tell you or speak to the earth and it will teach you or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12: 7-9

Recently I realised, I became so involved in the struggles of daily life that I neglected to see the blessings and beauty that God bestows on me every day. Therefore I decided to look for one thing every week which is an unexpected and surprise blessing from His hand.  I will record these blessings here every Wednesday and name the posts Wide Eye Wednesday.

It can be an unexpected visit or phone call from  a friend, a beautiful flower or sunset,a day without any problems, a good meal. In short anything which is a blessing and brings joy.

Here is the first one : The Tree

About six months ago I planted a WisteriaTree ( bolusanthus speciosus) a small flowering indigenous tree in my new garden.  According to the literature and books I read the wisteria tree does’nt transplant easily, nor does it flower in the first year or two after being transplanted.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw small buds forming on the bare branches at the beginning of spring.

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Each day, I eagerly watched the buds grow untill  the flowers opened.There they were beautiful delicate purple flowers hanging from the drooping branches.

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. To me this was undeniably the hand of the Lord shown in my own garden.

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I challenge anyone who reads this to join me in recording the small miracles and joys of life. Write a post on a Wednesday and join me  here on Wide Eye Wednesdays   by leaving a comment and a link to your post.