Levelling the Playing Field

Looking back I begin to suspect that the playing fields were never level …I assumed they were, but at the age of 48 I was prescribed Concerta (an ADD medication)…the first day on Concerta changed EVERYTHING.

I remember agreeing to try Concerta as a last resort. I certainly did not feel that I had Adult ADD … but I was desperate to be functional.  I took the new medication, and immediately forgot about it (I have an issue with my memory).  A short while later I glanced up and EVERYTHING was crisp …clean …sharp lines …no blurring. It was beautiful … my mind seemed to have “recalculated” …I was stunned. I was alert …after years of warring against myself – suddenly I found myself at the other side of the fog I usually battle to get through each day in order to “get things done”.

“Sounds like the meds have levelled the plaing fields”, my friend responded after the extremely gushy explanation I gave her.

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Toy Hospital

When I was young I read a book which mentioned a “toy hospital” where one could take a favourite “over enthusiastically enjoyed ” toy to be repaired. The scars were a sign of a deep love…most people want new toys …they discard things as soon as they show signs of wear and tear.

The toys in the “toy hospital” were very precious but they had been discarded. The hospital staff  repaired them but signs of imperfection remained.   It took a very special person to recognise the value of these “previously loved” toys.

Today I see many people requiring repair in order to fulfill their dreams…but they are embarrassed by their own imperfections; which were often a result of “giving too much” or being “overused”.  They feel they have no more value as they lie broken and buckled in the trash bin of life.

I read that “givers have to have boundaries because takers don’t have any ” and I think it’s true.  A lot of people are broken from depositing way too much in emotional bank accounts that are being continually drawn from.  Eventually the bank accoubt is empty …the depositor is “burnt out” and society frowns upon their brokeness.

But we need to trust that God will love and restore us …His hospital is always open…yes it’s a huge risk …although He is perfect His staff are not.

Don’t give up …you are precious in His sight …slow down …rest …let Him restore you in His time and wear your scars proudly.

The really important people will recognise your value. Try to spend the majority of  your time with people who see your value and appreciate it.
Do not fear.

Reason to get out of bed 25 Jan 2017

 

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At about 3am this morning I noticed something extremely unusual… I realised that I was incredibly excited that it would soon be time to “get up” and start my day.  I have not had a full night’s sleep for more than 18 years, so my usual response at 3am is “Oh Lord…puh-leeeeeez can I get some sleep…just a little ….I REALLY need some sleep,  Lord!” But today was different! Today I was getting out of bed with absolutely NO IMMEDIATE RESPONSIBILITY!  Today I was going to be FREE – I had allocated 3 hours (cue 2016 “me” gasping in horror)…. 3 entire HOURS to “being alone on the beach”.

Being a mother is a wonderful gift … having an overactive sense of responsibility is not.  However, all the years of home schooling and prayer for wisdom are starting to pay off.  My teenagers are responsible and will rip themselves from their beds of their own accord.  They will feed and clothe themselves, brush their teeth and start their schooling without my assistance.  When I return to the home later in the morning they will be immersed in their studies – not because they fear discipline, but because they have their own goals and understand what they need to do in order to achieve them.  THIS IS A FABULOUS GIFT …because it means I really CAN take time off.  I CAN stop worrying…their father is in the house until the domestic worker arrives – there is ABSOLUETLY NO NEED for me to rush back to the house. The thought of being able to be FREE is intoxicating…I am ready …I can wait another few hours ….Freedom is just around the corner!

At about 7am I was down at the beach, grinning ear to ear and sporadically breaking out into exuberant “worship” as I began fetching buckets of water from the perfectly chilled ocean.  The great thing about hitting the beach early is that there are usually NO PEOPLE around!  Whoever would’ve thought that an entire town of people would be too busy to enjoy their chosen habitat?

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Gymnastics Journey – Part 1  – unlocking the heart

It has to be said … from my perspective right now …I am eternally grateful to the Lord for NOT showing me what I was letting myself in for when my 4 year old daughter brought our local newspaper to me about 10 years ago.

Vigourously punching at a picture of a few local gymnasts, she asked “What dat, Mom?” …I took a closer look …”Uh …gymnasts, Kayla”.  “What dey doing? Why dem wearing kopums?” (Translate “costumes”) ….”What dat ?” The questions were rapid and the answers slightly less so…but when I explained that the things hanging from their necks were “medals” the “hyper-focus” of my tiny little girl kicked in;  “Me also want metals, Mom!”

I forgot about the incident but whenever those few gymnasts appeared in the paper I was grilled on the subject of gymnastics and informed that she NEEDED to participate.  One afternoon, when she was about 5 and a half we saw the gymnasts training in a garden in our small coastal town.  There would be no further excuses …no more putting her off .  I had never been a gymnast (another story for another time), however  I had enjoyed acrobatic DANCING when I was young – and I was nervous of “putting my desires” onto my daughter. I wanted her to be free to be who God created her to be.

I set up a tryout for K and said I would return in an hour, however on my return she begged to stay and I returned after another hour …to be told that she did not want to go yet.  The coaches agreed to allow her to stay the full 3 hours. When I fetched her she would only leave when she was assured that EVERYBODY was going home and the classes were finished for the day.

The next morning I awoke to “Is today a gymnastics day Mom?”…which turned out to be the theme song for the next 9 years!

Why?

I live in a small coastal town in South Africa…surrounded by beauty. The  “flip side” is that it is not crime free.  During the early hours of Saturday morning somebody gained access to our rented home (buying a house is unaffordable) and stole the “work”  laptop.  The fact that this person felt it was completely fair to steal years of hard work as well as technology that will cost thousands of rands to replace, is obviously  ridiculous.  Yet I calmly and quietly accepted it.  I looked at “what else” we could do to ptotect ourselves from further misfortune. 

STOP! 

WHY?  Why do I think thieves  are  just a normal part of life?  The first time we were burgled was when we lived on a farm …they took the tv, clothing etc. The next time some sentimental jewellery, then one day we woke up to find ALL the Garden Sevice equipment was stolen …preventing us from making a living and providing employment. They relieved  us of a very old music system that evening, too. Of course many items were stolen intermittently by an unscrupulous domestic worker for a period of time. Each time we would adjust the way we did things to prevent further loss. The list of thing stolen continues:  cash wages; the replaced cellphones taken; more garden service equipment; vehicles;  cd’s; a gps; sunglasses (we only buy the really cheap ones, so that was a “miss” for the thieves!).  

Through all these events we have been unharmed, even when they stole from next to our heads as we slept!
I have woken up to find drops of human blood on the patio; screwdriver marks on the doors where thieves hurt themselves attempting to access the home my 13yo daughter and I were alone in that night. (We were fortunate that they did not fain accesd and left).

The list goes on and on …  I am told that I should be grateful that we were unharmed and I certainly am.  

The point is WHY should be it be acceptable for people to take from others that which is not freely given? I have to work extremely hard for every item we need in our home. I try to live a simple life  … to give when I can and to encourage others.
The things that are being stolen are the tools for feeding the family …each time the equipment is stolen we have to start from scratch …it really is incredibly challenging …sonetimes it feels as if you are climbing a steep mountain of slime…working hard but never getting to the top.

What gives these thieves the “right” to take our posessions?  

Personally, I think all criminals should be put on an island …let them live the way they want to with their own kind.  Not in prisons that we pay for …but on an island where they actually have to work hard to feed themselves or die. 

WHY?

Becayse that’s how life works for the rest of us.

41

 

41 …the age of a father, who was brutally murdered in Port Alfred, South Africa last week by a man who was also 41, apparently a tavern owner. Words fail me.

This is the country we live in – a country with deep roots of hatred fuelled by senseless consumption of alcohol. I have said it and I say it again … I cannot see the value of alcohol in any form at any time. If I could change something – it would be the desire for people to “get out of it”. Who we are is so much more than what we become. We are created to bring life and love …

Many people in our area desire to live peaceful lives – free of fear. Free of the criminals that selfishly drink and party through the night, enriching tavern owners and breweries. The selfish revellers have the freedom to drink and fall about loudly all night – but their “freedom” prevents kids from studying, from getting sleep, from improving their lives. Parents want their best for their kids, they work hard to provide for them, to give them the best education … why should the tavern owner’s right to enrich himself through the addictions of those he “poisons” override the peace others crave?

We become what we observe …too many kids in our town watch unspeakable horrors daily. How are they ever going to rise above that? My dream is to see those that want the freedom to destroy themselves and others – live in a separate area. A place where their freedom does not harm those who do not wish to live like that.

Imagine if the 41 year old tavern owner lived in an area far away from the 41 year old father he murdered. Better still, if he had never encountered alcohol. Imagine if he, as a child, was brought up free of the drinking culture that pervades. I do not know either of these men personally …but how I wish things could have been different.

Perhaps they can

Perhaps this senseless killing can be turned around for good – perhaps the rights of those who wish to live freely can be honoured above the selfishness that abounds.

Wouldn’t that be something?

The overflow of my heart – perfection is overrated