Living In The Chicken Lane

On this last day of 2014 I woke up very early. Lying in bed I reflected on the past year. This image taken on my recent visit to Dar es Salaam to visit my children who live there came to mind.

Notice the car coming straight at us from the opposite side?

We were in the chicken lane. IMG_5438In this very busy part of the city the road has three lanes. The middle one is known as the chicken lane. This lane is not designated to a specific direction. The most courageous driver who gives way last has the right of way. Hence the chicken lane.

Looking back on the year 2014, it seems as if  I was living in the chicken lane of life for the most part. It was a year of many challenges which needed to be faced head on and with courage. After 32 years of marriage I had to adjust to life on my own. Small everyday problems which previously I didn’t even think about were suddenly my responsibility.

A toolbox  and a ladder became my friends in need helping me fix those unexpected small household breakages. A tap stuck in the open position spewing water everywhere left me and my daughter soaked to the bone on a cold Sunday morning. After much laughter and scrambling to find the main shutdown point we triomfantly waved the spanner in the air. We fixed it!

Then there was the day the electrical garage door refused to open leaving me with an appointment to keep and a car in a locked garage with no way of opening the door. Why didn’t you open the door manually you might think. Well I thought so too, but the opening mechanism was damaged in such a way that it was  impossible. A few phone calls later, I  made contact with a young man who was to become a friend always ready to help  ” Tannie Martie ” in need.  At a price of course.

On another day I reversed out of my garage in a hurry to leave for work. I tried to change gears, only to find the car stubbornly refused to go anywhere but backwards. There I was in morning traffic, frantically trying to move my car out of the way in reverse. Needles to say it caused much embarrassment and frustration.

On a more serious note, the past year taught me life is filled with chicken lane moments. Each one of us has to face our own chicken lane in life. Sometimes only we know about that moment as we face it alone.

However if we trust in God we do not have to face the chicken lane of life alone, for as the psalmist David said in  Psalm 18 : 29  

With your help I can advance against a troop, with my God I can scale a wall.

Therefore I will face living in the life’s chicken lane in the new year with confidence for I do not have to be alone.

How do you face your chicken lane moments?

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.

gone 2

Wide Eye Wednesday 3 : Moments That Take Our Breath Away

life2

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.

Home 1

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.