Coffee along the way

Coffee along the way
Coffee along the way

June 27, 2011

Humbled

Today will be a busy one! We have guests arriving tomorrow and the house needs an overhaul. The dusty season has started and i can write my name and many other things on all the surfaces that i pass......hmmm

Then i realise that tonight is also a through-the-night song and dance festival in our village! And it’s right on our front step! And they use MegaPhones so that Everyone in the district will be able to hear the chantings, readings and songs!! Yikes – that means we will not sleep a wink!! And to top it all the whole thing is so useless, so utterly shallow....

Honouring a man who has been dead for centuries, a man who does not deserve any praises. And thinking along these lines, i think i became a bit cross and even, a bit proud.....

Well, it says “The Lord tears down the proud man’s house” or woman for that matter, for as i opened the bible, it said.....

“it is by Grace that you have been saved” Grace, not my very nice little life, or good works or even the nice little (now ex)-christian country that i was born in...grace and grace alone!

And so i pray that God in His Grace will save them too, will open their eyes and change their lives, just as He changed mine. So tonight instead of grumbling, i will pray and i will praise and think upon that day that they will do the same!

Bella, humbled.


June 22, 2011

A cup of tea.....

Sitting on my veranda, enjoying the African sunset and thinking about tea. :)

I just had a cup. Actually a friend who has been visiting for nearly three weeks was making coffee for himself and A, and as i wanted tea, had to make it myself, because he didn’t know how i liked mine.......i wonder how many people know how to make me a cup of tea? I mean with the milk and sugar all in and ready to drink?? I think i can count on one hand, no, make that one finger.

Recently i was talking to a lady and had quite a nice conversation, but then i had the uneasy feeling that when i go on my way again, she will have forgotten all about me. Some people make you feel safe and you open up, never to ask again about what you shared. Some really don’t care at all! Some people take more time to get to know and trust and some - the rare ones -are the ones with which you just “click”. The ones who will know how you like your tea.

Most friends are definitely seasonal – they come and go, just as spring follows winter and summer comes before autumn. The rare ones are for life – ones you get to see maybe once in two years, but you can just fall in where you left off – you are somehow connected. Well, as i said, those are the rare ones. But then there is Jesus – the ultimimate, intimate, dearest friend, who not only knows how i like my tea, but knows every little thing about me. Jesus. I don’t have to worry that nearly nobody knows how i like my tea, because i will always have Him!

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with confidence!!

Bella, friend of Jesus.

June 15, 2011

Numbers...

Yesterday my aunt wrote out of the blue to ask for my identity number back in the ol’ country....she needed it to put on her will – not my name, but my number.....and i had to think a bit! I never use that number here! But i am that number in certain parts of the world. I also have a passport number, a bank account number, a work permit number and another number which you need on every other form, but i’m not sure where it comes from or what it is,but it's important to someone... and so it goes. I am a number! And to thicken the plot in this day and age i am also an email address, a facebook address, a blog.....To some i am a cell number, a tax number, an organization’s number! I used to be a phyiso and i had a number to prove it!! :)

My clothes have numbers, my shoes have numbers! Ok, my house doesn’t have a number, but that’s understandable if you know where we live! :) (It does baffle the authorities, though!) I am a number, even if i have to make it up sometimes!

But each of these “numbers” only represent part of who i am – not one captures me as a Person! Who i am may be linked to a whole lot of numbers, but that’s not what makes me,...well, me! To most people i may be just that number that works for them, but to God??

Well, He made me, He knows me and to Him i am a person......the whole me! He knows my name - my name is written in His Book! 
And also........
See, I have engraved you in the palms of My hand!! Not my number, but me, i’m engraved in His Hand......wow.

Bella, known by God!


June 13, 2011

about roots, anthems and so on.....

We have not lived in our own country now since 2004 - i know that's not very long compared to others who have given up homes and families to live abroad, but nevertheless, it's been 7 years......

In our school this morning we started our studies on Russia and as a result looked up the Russian Anthem.  I nearly burst into tears when i heard it!!  It was really beautiful and strong and sung with such emotion - a song about their country, the plains, the forests, the mountains....really beautiful and touching!

And i know that this earth is not our real home, but for a moment i felt so sad, because sometimes with this Job comes huge sacrifices that you don't even consider or know about actually until it's way too late.....
Take belonging and keeping on belonging, for example!!  A National Anthem in our house does not exisit  (true, taken into considiration that our passpart country has had it's fair share of troubles and change-overs which hasn't helped!), but i think if you still lived in your (changed) country you will have times when you feel you still belong, you will feel kinship!  Unity!  Etc!  :)  We don't have those times!

We will always be outsiders here but at the same time we are also loosing touch with home base - and yes, sometimes it is at the fault of Home Base that we do loose touch and sometimes the fault lies at our own rootless feet.  Our world is just so different and the things we experience so foreign (no pun intended!) that people do not understand and so we keep quiet....and share that which would be understood.....and in doing so we slowly loosen our roots and our ways and become a changed people.

But on the positive side - i actually am more like a Narnian tree who has been waiting to Wake Up and now finally has - with loose roots, but still a tree and able to Walk!!  How great is that?  We might not have an anthem to sing with gusto, but we have a Home waiting for us and it will be Grand!!  I can't wait to sing Praises and Anthems of Worship to my only true King!

bella, the walking tree....

June 12, 2011

Without a song....

Songless.....
Saturday morning i woke up dreaming about a song – a song i didn’t have and couldn’t remember. Not a good way to start the day! Those of you who know me in real life, know how important music is to me, so this was indeed worrying!! No song?

I kind of forgot about the dream, but then i put on a CD which we recently got – and one of the first songs was a well-known, but badly Translated song! Horrors of horrors! I do not like translated songs!! Why not just write your own song in the language you love?? In any case, the day wore on without a song in my heart, which had me very worried by now!

I tried thinking of a song i would like to play on my guitar – and couldn’t think of one! This might be due to the fact that i have a stupid cold accompanied with a sore throat and a splitting cold-headache! But nevertheless, i needed a song! I tried some different CD’s, but none worked for me and then the day got too busy to dwell on matters of the heart!

And i guess that’s just it! My life, although at times very boring out here in this distant corner of the earth, can sometimes be filled with so many things! Things that keep my heart from never quieting down enough to sort through stuff. Stuff that in the end blocks my ears! Things that go around in my mind like an endless washing cycle – just turning over and over without getting anywhere.

Today, still songless, i realize that i need to sit down somewhere and stop the washing machine – stop and look at all the worries, the analyzing, the thoughts and whatnots that are keeping me busy without getting me anywhere......cluttering out my songs.

Do not be anxious about anything.....
Take every thought captive in Christ......
Be still and know that I AM God.........
Create in me in clean heart, oh God........

bella, hopeful for a HeartSong!


June 07, 2011

invisibility.....

Funny how challenges come in all kinds of different forms!!  Mine came this morning in the form of our fallen down storehouse........
A storehouse needs to be sturdy, right?  And if it falls down you build a new one, right?  Well, this is just where the challenge comes in!!

To build a new storehouse you need bricks (see post below about "complications" for That Challenge), you need workers to help you, you need to bring in sand, cement and more workers......

So there i was as normal as could be, hanging the washing on the line, when i felt a few "newer" sets of eyes on me!  It is sometimes hard being the arungu here, but with time you get kind of used to it!  Our own workers are so used to me now, doing all my strange things that they do not even glance up when i go about my silly ways, ....... but not today!

Here i was hanging up all the small carpets i washed after a house full of people left only their footprints....and feeling extremely stupid.  More eyes on me as now i'm seen through the window doing something in the house - i mean, being in the house during daytime is already quite strange!

I have so much washing to do, but i catch myself wonderling what would be more appropriate to wash this morning for all to see??  Kids clothes?  Sheets?  What??  Defintely not my clothes!!  Man, even if i try my hardest to blend in, there are times when i don't and i don't like it one bit!!  God made us to be part of the "herd" and i'm mostly the albino elephant in a herd of small antelope trying to make myself invisible, but not succeeding!!

I like National Geographic - i like pictures where the antropologist sits there with notebook, walking shoes and trousers - a picture of not blending in at all and quite accepting of the fact!  The problem comes when you try to look local and do not succeed!! I want to blend in - i live here - but i still stick out like a giraffe in a skirt!!  haha  Never a dull moment!!   I hear the washing machine (strange, i know!!) calling to me that the washing is done...ah well, Out i Go....

bella, trying to face my challenges without being seen!!

June 06, 2011

unworthy

This morning i looked at the laundry basket (which was really quite an overflowing mess) and wondered how on earth i was going to get rid of all those dirty clothes!!  And then i had a brilliant thought!!  I could just stuff all the dirty clothes really tightly into the small basket and press a bit more down and squeeze some smaller items in between and then ...voila!  the lid would actually be able to go on!!  Best of all, i won't SEE any dirty clothes!!  And it won't include any real hard work!!  Nicely out of sight......and that made me think of my heart....let me explain.

Sometimes, my heart is full of sin - thoughts, deeds, all manner of things that affect my relationship with God badly.  And sometimes i just want to stuff it all down very deeply - get a lid on it all, so to speak!  So i stuff and i squeeze until it all "looks" good......but nothing has actually changed - all the dirty laundry is still right there under the lid.....all mouldy and smelly.  I don't want to go to the trouble to look closely, to tip out my "basket" and deal with the stuff inside!  My heart, just like my laundry basket needs Cleaning.  And the Best soap powder is called Holy Spirit Soap (respectfully said)!!

I read this weekend a verse that said "and may you be worthy of His calling" and at that moment i felt so unworthy and in depserate need of some Good Soap!!  And i guess that is just it - God is so loving, so kind, He opens His arms wide and takes me in again and again.  I love Him and i feel so glad that He can cleanse my heart and keeps on loving me even though He knows exactly what going in even the darkest places!

bella, forgiven!