18 March 2015

Drawing Pictures with your Mind

In February I attended a Valentine’s Ladies’ Conference at a local church with my two daughters. Somewhere during the teaching, the Guest Speaker, visiting South Africa from Germany, mentioned the peace she experienced when walked into the local church’s Pastor’s beautiful study room. I immediately felt a tuck at my heart. My personal little corner I use for Bible study and working on my computer, fervently came to mind… To my shame I has to admit it is currently in such a mess, I cannot find space to open my Bible or computer.

The Guest Speaker continue her message from Song of Solomon 2. The message, “Come away with me, my Beloved!” was beautifully illustrated with a DVD clip of a young woman following her Beloved hand on hand, through green vines. I experienced the touch of the Spirit when she started to talk about looking with eyes of faith and using my imagination to see things to come, promised to me, by my Beloved.

During the past few months the Lord constantly spoke to me about the word “imagination”. 

In the physical realm, nothing can come into existence unless someone ‘saw’ it in their imagination. After receiving a picture in the mind about something, people run to the drawing board, and from their nothing can stop physical manifestation, of the image.

While listening to the inspiring message that Saturday morning, I saw a picture in my mind of my little corner. Images came to life and I got all excited about things I could change and do, to make it an inspiring, beautiful place where I can fellowship with my Beloved. 

That same afternoon I shared my vision with my husband, especially about something I wanted him to make for me. I also shared with a friend, to keep me accountable. I committed  to change my corner into a place of peace and refreshment, before my birthday, only days after. One important point though, I had a shoestring budget to make it happen, thus making it even more exciting to make use of things I already have. 

Now I’m going to interrupt myself for a moment. I’ll come back to My-corner-make-over just now.

As the Lord revealed to me the beauty of imagination and the manifestation thereof, over the past few months, I experienced an increased hunger to know the Lord through His Word, and meditate on His word. A few years ago I tried memorising scripture through Scripture Typer. I did it on my computer and though I longed to make a commitment to diligently memorise scripture, I didn’t persevere.

As I hungered to meditate on God’s Word, I came to understand the connection between meditating on the word, the renewing of your mind by the Word and memorising the Word. 
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rom 12:2
I came to realise as I memorised and meditated on the Word of God, I allowed Him to draw pictures in my mind of His will for my life, according to his Word and then it can come into manifestation!

Danika our youngest daughter is a very artistic little girl. She started painting on canvass two years ago and at the beginning of this year advanced to oil painting. I’m constantly amazed at how she is gifted to paint pictures with a brush. She just have a feeling for colours and lines.

In the same way I’m amazed how the Lord can paint pictures in my mind with His Word, as I memorise His Word. Pictures of His goodness and truth, mercy and grace, faith and love. Pictures that make me act in faith and truth. Inspired that I can overcome the world with all its trials and tribulations through the Power of Jesus Christ, my Saviour, who died for me and know lives in me. 

So as I seek ways to memorise Scripture, in order to have more colours to paint pictures of God’s goodness in my mind and I remembered Scripture Typer. I downloaded the Scripture Typer App on my iPhone and seriously started to memorise scripture. This time not because others memorise scripture, but because I need the scriptures in my mind to draw pictures of victory! 

We read in Proverbs 27:3, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” 

Every where you go, the world is pressing to fill us with worldly believes, mostly contrary to the Word. If one doesn’t deliberately fill one’s mind with God’s Word, the world will fill it with ease.  Since I started memorising Scripture I’m amazed how my mind is in the process of being renewed, and how I’m experiencing peace and victory over my thoughts.

Now to come back to My-corner-make-over.  As part of renewing my mind, memorising scripture, I also wanted to surround myself with His Words.  One of the first pictures that came to my mind was to have beautifully decorated words against the wall. I want to see them when I wake up in the morning; I want to meditate on them during the day and I want to be reminded by them when the enemy wants to blind me with chaos in my home. I also want pictures of my family for when I give thanks to the Lord and pray for their protection and walk with the Lord.

So two weekends later I accomplished my goal. My husband made a beautiful frame for my year schedule. I had a ball decorating the words, “Believe” and “Faith”, diving into Heidi-Mari’s inexhaustible source of scrapbook supplies! I also collected photo frames, all had pictures of at least two years ago, from everywhere in the house and replaced them with resent pictures. I hung a rusty cross from the last letter of “Believe”, which I got as a present a year or two ago for my birthday. For this birthday, my oldest daughter gave me a beautiful, inspired word picture on my birthstone, the Amethyst - symbolising royalty and encouraging me in my walk as the daughter of the King. I added a beautiful painting by Danika of bright yellow daffodils, with the cross in the background. And my husband patiently put brackets in the wall and hung my carefully chosen treasures. 

What a delight to now work in this lovely, inspiring place, reminding me of the power of imagination and then acting on those images. 

We all have an imagination…. Who is inspiriting your imagination? Do you allow Godly inspiration to come to life, do you act on them with God’s power in you?

Do you want to join me in memorising the Word? 

It is always easier to persevere when you have others joining you. I’ve created two memorising groups at Scripture Typer. Join me in memorising Proverbs 31 and/or Psalm 37.

Remember: “As he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

This posting is linked to :

With much love


09 January 2015

The Year of Delight

The year 2014, Rest, was a challenging year!   It was my heart’s desire to get to a point of total trust in the Lord’s grace and love, resting in His provision, and it was exactly what the Lord provided.  I’m in total awe off the journey I’m with the Lord, since I started Naming the Years. 

In 2012 it was the Year of Eucharisteo. Through heartbreaking and joyful events the Lord taught me about thankfulness and walking in thankfulness.  

2013  was Grace… Wow, the Lord overshadowed me with His grace in situations I couldn’t possibly have imagined. 

Then in 2014 I longed to take the next step after experiencing the fruit of thankfulness and tasting the unconditional grace of God - I wanted to rest in Him. I thought with my knowledge of giving thanks in every situation and remembering how the Lord extended His grace, I would be able to enter true rest.

I knew it will be no easy road. From my previous two years’ experience, I knew that if this word - “Rest” - is from the Lord, He is going to take me on a journey that will teach me how to rest… I will have to prevail through some serious trials and tribulation. 

And so it happened within 6 weeks after I committed myself to “Rest”. Heidi-Mari and I was on our way to the USA middle July and I had to trust the Lord with all the logistics of making it happen. 

I had to rest in Him for finances; for taking care of my family, some small boys staying behind; our family business while I’m away for 19 days; Heidi-Mari and my health while in the USA; and most of all my daughter’s performance at the Archery World Championships and All Star Archery Championships.

During the exact time we were invited to the USA, CJ had to prepare and write his GED exam

We thought he had a couple of months to prepare, but due to circumstances he had to write within 5 weeks. I wish I could say I passed the test of resting in the Lord…. I didn’t.  It was once again the Lord’s grace that amazingly let CJ pass His GED exam in the high 90th percentile.  

By now Lord had set the stage for quite an amazing learning curve…  He had my full attention and I was living in the constant consciousness that the Lord is teaching me about rest.  While preparing for the USA, numerous miracles happened, but also a lot of heartache were experienced.  The Lord provided amazingly in certain areas, while things went wrong big time in other. I failed some serious tests of faith. So much so, that when I came back from the USA, end of July, I was filled with questions I never asked before.

Why would some of my prayers be answered beyond what I could ask for or imagine, and others not at all? I was working so hard in praying and doing all the right things. Pressing froward to trust the Lord and constantly reminding myself to rest.  But understanding true rest was still eluding me.

It was only in September, when I was at my wits end, that I was ready for God’s answer.  Christo received a book from a trusted friend and we were introduced to Andrew Womack ministries. Within weeks I read numerous of his books. I seldom finish a book, but this message was different. I finished every single one I picked up.  It changed my life dramatically and the truth set me free!  I received the truth about His grace, the truth of His love for me, the truth of His power in me through Faith!  I thought I have to earn the rest, but I came to understand the rest was already accomplished at Calvary and I only have to receive it.  

It is all about me receiving it!  God already gave it to me, but I wasn’t ‘there’ to receive it.  I had to renew my mind big time, and am still doing so daily! The results are amazing!  And I can through God’s grace proclaim, I came to know true rest in the Lord! I’m at the verge of trusting the Lord for big things!

And so by the 11th month of 2014, a peace settled in my heart.  The Name of my Year, REST, was an awesome learning experience and I’m in expectation for how the Lord is going to take it from here. 

So I started to pray about the Name of 2015… I knew it would expand on the previous names, so I started seeking the Lord to reveal it to me.  It was early one morning, while reading Psalm 37, my absolute favourite Psalm in the Bible, that the word jumped out from the pages… For days I was playing with the word in my mind… weighing it as it grew on me… 

This year will be the Year of Delight!  

It is my heart’s desire to delight myself in the Lord. I want to get rid of everything that entangles me in the world and my flesh, my thoughts and my shortsighted plans. I want to delight myself in the Lord and walk more in the Spirit.  But I also want to delight myself in my husband and my children, in homeschooling my children and playing with numbers when taking care of our business finances.  

I want to take thankfulness, experiencing His grace and receiving His rest, as experienced the past three years, to a next level - I have an awesome God, who loves me more than I can imagine. Who paid a price and accomplished everything I will ever need and I want to delight myself in that knowledge.  

In this year of 2015 I’m going to delight myself in the One who is Love, Grace and Rest.  Through Faith in His love, grace and rest, I’m going to please my God and get a little closer to His purpose for my life - bringing Him joy!

With love

Ps. What is the name of your year? Please share in the comments below.

09 April 2014

Homeschooling CJ - The End of A Season

He was only 3 or 4 years old when his Dad suggested we homeschool him. I thought he was out of his mind! Why would any parent in his/her right mind even consider homeschooling? I’m not a qualified teacher, although it was my first choice of occupation, but I was convinced I would mess up my child’s life forever! History now proved that I didn’t mess up his life although the general public, family and friends, may still believe I did.

When CJ was 5 years old Christo and I attended a Walk Thru the Bible conference. By the end of the first day, I had breakfast, lunch and supper with 3 total different parents who homeschool their children… this was weird! We talk about the year 1999. During that time there were only a few hundred homeschooling families in South Africa. What were the chances to meet 3 families - total strangers who homeschool their children, at a “Non-homeschooling conference”?

That evening, while quietly reflecting on the day, in a dormitory with 3 other couples, I had to confess to Christo, and God, I’m NOT at the conference to receive training in presenting the Walk Thru the New Testament Seminar for Children… No, I was here so the Lord could get my attention about Homeschooling…

Four months later, while I was past my due date with Baby Josua, CJ decided he was not going back to his Preschool. He needed to check on his mother when she was going into labour and after all, he was going to be homeschooled, why bother going back to a classroom, and missing out on real life!

As the saying goes: “The rest is history.” The week his brother Josua was born, we started homeschooling…. The first week was awesome. I would nurse baby Josua to sleep, while CJ was doing simple maths and then we would gather on the sofa, reading books. I could do it…

The “homeschool-honeymoon” was over within weeks. Baby Josua became more attentive and demanding, Heidi-Mari (only 3years old) needed stimulation too and I didn’t know how to do this homeschooling thing.  

It was during that time that Martie du Plessis, from Dynamis and her, then 13year old daughter Chamonix, visited Cape Town and the Lord miraculously worked behind the scenes that they stayed with us for a few days, before visiting the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. What I learned about my child and myself during those few days was amazing and we were more on track with homeschooling. 

The next year brought a heap of challenges. We moved into a small two bedroom house, the garage our storeroom, as well as homeschool room. There was no money for resources, I was isolated and very insecure. It was the year 2000, and I haven’t heard of the internet, let alone google or supporting homeschool Facebook groups…

Over the next decade our family grew from 5 to 10 and we moved another two times.

My life was dominated with pregnancies and nursing babies. Not an easy task for someone who didn’t plan this kind of life for as long as she could remember. Never in my life had I imagined having a larger family and homeschool them.  My extended family didn’t approve either and I was all by myself. 

Over the years there was a pattern of ups and downs, success and failures, victory and disappointments. By God’s grace, as my children grew up, I grew up too. There were countless sleepless nights and chaotic days filled with exhaustion, insecurity and doubt in my ability to make homeschooling work.  BUT there were also the times when the Lord encouraged me and graciously gave me a peep into the future. The future He was busy bringing together. Often I would fall in a pitt of despair, fearing that I was messing up my children’s lives.  Each and every time my dear husband would observe and speak words of peace and confidence, “Everything is going fine; they will be fine.”

There were the times when CJ won the World Wide Apologia Science Question of the Week Competition (twice) at the age of 14. Another when he started to do horse riding stunts for movies at the age of 16. All of these brought into his life by God’s invention.

As you can imagine many homeschooling curriculums came and had gone over the past 14 years, as homeschooling was becoming more popular. It became quite a maize to decide which curriculum is the ‘best’. It was necessary to be focused; to have a philosophy; to measure the homeschooling currents accordingly and make decisions that would correspond with and support  our goals in raising our Children. For us, homeschooling was a learning lifestyle, based on gaining life skills and searching for the calling on each child’s life.  Everything else was secondary to this one goal: to guide each child in finding their God-given dream, their purpose in life, and allowing God to show the way to fulfil that purpose.

Not much changed over the 14 years we homeschooled CJ. He was our visual learner, and the way we started out homeschooling him in 2000, was the way we homeschooled till the end.

As CJ grew older we were bombarded with questions about high school and what we were going to do for matric - THAT piece of paper you need, to move on to the next level of education.  When CJ was 13 years old we earnestly prayed about his future and whether we should pursue a more formal education to receive a matric qualification. Surprisingly the Lord was clear. It was not his will for CJ’s life to change his way of learning up to that point. We gladly accepted the Lord’s guidance and CJ continued with Maths-U-See, LLATL and Science, while participating in real life. 

Often his studies would be interrupted by periods of being on set for a movie;

Helping out in Dad’s health shop; pursuing a new interest like archery 

or just supporting his larger family in every day life, days of bad health, or the arrival of a new baby.

CJ gradually came to find his purpose and his future was taking shape. Then at the age of 17 we went through a time of doubt and we considered doing Cambridge. All possibilities was taken in account, but just a few months later, we strongly experienced the Lord calling it off. Again we gladly  submitted to the Lord’s will and just went on doing what we were used to. Waiting on the Lord’s next step.

This continued until CJ turned 19 years old in August 2013. He was still working on Algebra 2 and Pre Calculus, Apologia’s Physics and Gold LLATL, but I could sense in CJ a restlessness and lack in motivation. Christo and my prayers became more intense. “Please Lord, show the way, open the doors. CJ needs to move on now.” It was December 2013, when one evening, I went to my son and asked him, “If money was no option, what would you do with your life in 2014?” Without hesitation he answered, “I will start my Private Pilot License!”  CJ wanted to be a pilot, but for some reason he held back to pursue his dream.  He needed something to push him into the right direction.

Only days after that evening, somewhere between Christmas and New year I woke up with an intense knowing CJ must do GED. Oh, I was following the GED Yahoo groups and some friends’ children was doing it, but why in the world would we consider it? But that morning I woke up with another perspective, why not? As I was pondering the possibility, one thing was clear, I would NOT push my son in doing GED. I will give him the option and all my support, but it would be his decision. That morning at the breakfast table I brought up the subject and asked him if he would consider doing it. To my biggest surprise, his face lit up and without thinking twice he decided to do it!

Instantaneous CJ’s mood and attitude changed! There was new spark in his eyes, he was focused. It was almost like he waited for this all his life and he couldn’t wait to make it happen. 

January 2014 we registered with GED testing services and enrolled in the GED online tutoring. I also downloaded a Free Master the GED pdf file of more than 880 pages. I foresaw him doing the test the end of 2014, giving the year to prepare.  CJ was more adventurous and wanted to write the exam middle 2014. He started the second week of January, beginning with the Diagnostic tests in Master the GED. To our surprise CJ scored over 80% in Maths, and Science, 70% in English writing and reading, but just passed the Social Study section.  

CJ was motivated and excited! He now wanted to write in April. I outwardly approved, not wanting to discourage him, but seriously, he needed to be realistic and give himself enough time to prepare… 

During January and the first two weeks of February, CJ diligently worked a few hours a week on his GED, while continuing with his LLATL, Apologia and Maths-U-See. Then on the 10th of February I got a message from a friend, “Did you hear? The GED test facility in Cape Town is closing down permanently on the 21st of March?” It was such a shock, I first went into denial. For a few hours I just refused to think about it, to investigate or think about the implications… By the time I went to bed, I was in a panic. I couldn’t breathe and I was calling out to God, “What were we going to do!?” 

The next morning we faced the facts. CJ could still write the exams in Johannesburg, whenever he feels ready. Johannesburg is 1,500 km from here, we could book into a hotel for a week and write the 5 papers over 5 days, and it would cost us quite a few thousand rands! Or, we could bring forward his exams, write it in Cape Town before the 21st of March, giving us less than a month for final preparations, and see how it goes.  The latter option where the logical decision, after all we couldn’t lose anything, except the $50 for each paper, should he fail!

I was in total confusion! Dear Lord, why is this happening now? Why this pressure? But then, the name of my year is Soul Rest, the Lord knows how I’m prone to delay things under the excuse of perfecting it. Was this just yet another way the Lord is directing CJ’s steps, in spite of the human failures of his Mother? I knew the Lord was up to something big, but oh, my sinful nature threatened to overwhelmed me. 

For the next 2 and a half weeks CJ studied 5hours plus a day on the five subjects - Maths, Science, Language reading, Language writing and Social Studies. I will lie if I said it was smooth sailing. It was an extreme testing time for me. CJ was focused and enjoyed his learning; I was stressed and panicking. GED is a general knowledge exam. It fits perfectly in our philosophy of homeschooling, it sure would give an exact picture of what we did over the past 14 years and if our approach had worked.  

By the 1st of March I was a wreck, but CJ was confident he could do it. Dad took over from here, and would accompany CJ with every paper, driving him two hours in rush hour traffic and wait for him while he wrote the exams. By now I realised I couldn’t do this on my own. I frantically memorised scripture, wrote them on the walls and gathered an amazing group of Prayer Warrior Lady Friends to pray with me. 

His first paper was Language Reading and I almost lost it when I got the message he passed on the 86 percentile. I went down on my knees and could only praise the Lord over and over again. In spite all my stress, so much so that I became ill for 24hours on one of the days he wrote, the results came in one by one, with scores in the 96 and 98 percentiles for Science and Maths. The final subject was Social Studies. Though I thought by now I would get the message, the Lord is in control, He is doing a mighty work, it has nothing to do with me, I was more than nervous! 

There are no words to explain the relief, joy and praises when CJ passed Social Studies in the 90th percentile too. It was over and done!  CJ was officially finished with his homeschooling era and a new season was waiting on him! 

The Lord called us to homeschool him 14 years ago. We obediently did it, in total ignorance, full of doubt and fears, so much aware of our incompetence to make a success of it in ourselves. And this is the beauty of it all to me… This was God’s will for CJ’s life. It was the training CJ needed. It didn’t make sense in our human minds and I can now testify that most of the things CJ learned over the years, the Lord taught to him in his sleep - since that was what I prayed all the months I was exhausted from pregnancy or taking care of babies. 

The results of his GED exam too wasn’t out of our effort. CJ literally studied for a month. It was all the Lord’s working -  all that years of homeschooling- because we were walking in His will for CJ’s life. The Lord was our eyes when we could not see for 14 years! He gave us a dream, He directed our paths and He brought it all to pass for His glory. 

The next Sunday CJ celebrated the end of one season and the beginning of another by doing paragliding for the first time. 

As my son took off and glided into air, with the wind behind him, I praised the Lord for what He is going to do in my son’s life. The world was waiting on him, a dangerous world, with mountains and deep blue seas. But with the Holy Spirit as the wind to guide Him and the Lord’s wisdom to direct his choices, He will bring God glory! God already proved He is trustworthy with the future of my son!

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us,
to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus
to all generations, forever and ever."
Eph. 3:20-21

With much love


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