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Looking to the Future

Looking to the Future. After much reflection, there is a bright bright joy that beckons!

Looking to the Future.

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. Heb 11:1-2 (MSG)

It has been awhile, my friend, since you and I shared a Cuppa. Much has happened in my home, heart and life and presume the same is true for you? I will start this conversation by sharing my part – feel free to join and share your stories.

This year has been tougher than others in its own unique way. I have been struggling with severe headaches that left me weak and often confined me to bed for days on end. Nobody could make sense of it. We prayed. I saw many doctors. It was quite an epic little drama in my little family. Add to that, my husband had been asked to travel for work and he spent more and more time away from home and in another city. Our home felt empty without him. I battled to cope alone and our 5 year old Super Star was taking strain. But God has remained so good to us.

He was our strength when there was none left. Always providing, always caring. We never lacked. I (we) have been blessed beyond reckoning and understanding during this year! This has become the year during which I have realised just how grateful I oughto be for all we have (not only in earthly possessions!) in friends, family and in the Heavenly Father who loves us beyond comprehension and understanding!

I have purchased the 1000 Gifts book by Ann Voskamp and I have downloaded the App for my iPad. It’s has been amazingly refreshing to sit down and take stock of what you have to be grateful for, especially when days seem confused and rush past. It has been a wonderful testimony of my journey and my family’s through the past couple of months to remind us of His ever present Grace and Love and Watchfulness (made-up word?) in our day to day lives.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. PS 130:1 (NLT)

We have since, amongst the many doctors and neurologists and specialists, found a doctor who suggested a diagnoses and treatment that seems to work for me.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness. Ps 115:1 (NLT)

My SAMM is home now which is great because his company offered him a FANTASTIC position in Cape Town (the city he was previously traveling to) – one of the most beautiful places in South Africa and we are frantically packing boxes getting ready for the move in 4 weeks time!

So what do I know now that I didn’t know at the start of this year and journey?

  1. Trust the Holy Spirit when He leads you – He sees a far bigger picture than you can even imagine.
  2. Invest in your relationship with your husband when the pressure is low and the love is high. Learn to respect him NOW, support him NOW so that when the pressure cooker starts to boil and you’re reserves are running low you can trust in that partnership-relationship. (Look our for a post on this soon).
  3. Make time for a Cuppa with God as often as you can – when nothing else satisfies or feeds, He gives strength and sustenance.

So, we’re almost caught up. I would love to hear from you. Leave a note and let me know how you have been. I look forward to another Cuppa with you soon.

Single digit marriage wisdom

Our single digit story begins

My SAMM and I have been married for 7 years. We are still celebrating our single-digit achievements and in many ways we are still working out the kinks, hang-ups and stick-ups of being married. Neither one of us would be willing to claim that we have a perfect marriage. Neither one of us would even be willing to declare it idyllic or picture-perfect. There are probably wiser, more experienced, more successful couples out there who could give sage advice, but we have learnt so much in our time together that I fear I might explode if I do not share with you the joys, trials, woes and the wonderfuls of what being married is to me (and us).

Some history

Just as I met with teenage angst, anger and attitude; my mother was met with the trials and challenges of being a single parent after a divorce. Despite a good relationship with my father, I have very few recollections of ‘happy marriage‘ in our home. I do, however, have a very well defined understanding of what happens when marriage doesn’t work. I know from early on that I DEFINITELY did not want a broken marriage but I had no understanding of how to put a successful marriage together.

And then I met my SAMM. His parents are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year. For him there was (and is) no question – marriage was designed to last.

Married couple walking off into the sunset.

Us! Walking off towards the reception on the day we got married.

So here’s what happened…

He pursued me and I established parameters of independence and self-reliance. He tried to lead and protect and I tried to prove that I could do it all on my own. We fought wars of territory, testosterone and self-righteousness. We were apparently determined to be two strong-willed, independent people linked by bank accounts and a marriage certificate.

I was led around my myths from the big screen, personal assumptions and gross ignorance. I knew nothing of successful relationships yet never even tried to read a book or question a friend about growing, nurturing and sustaining my marriage. Until a friend (older, married, mother) shook all my preconceptions out of a stale-heart that was in desperate need of a reawakening. (You can catch up on this story here.)

So what now?

I finally realised that:

  • We (woman) are designed to be pursued, romanced and adored. We aren’t brainwashed into these feelings by Hollywood and fairy tales – NO! Our Father created us with these qualities and longings in our hearts. That still is great news for me. This simple truth set me free to shake off the burden of self-reliance, self-protection and self-preservation. I could finally admit that I wanted to be loved, adored and protected BY MY HUSBAND. This desire didn’t make me weak, it made me ‘woman’ as God designed me to be.
  • We can’t be two separate people in one marriage. We needed to be two complimentary people committed to the same marriage. We needed to find a routine, a dance, that allowed both of us to add our strengths and capabilities to the pot of our marriage to give it an opportunity to become the relationship God offers us. This meant that I need to relinquish my attempts at leadership to concentrate on other areas like supporting, honouring and loving MY HUSBAND. In turn, he has stepped up as a strong, reliable and wise leader for our family.
  • Honour, respect and support is not archaic or out-dated. The concept is foreign because it isn’t often modeled in the relationships around us or encourage by a world focused on self-gratification, self-reliance, self-destruction. If our marriages are to be successful then we need to make RADICAL changes, we need to implement UNCONVENTIONAL strategies and pursue INNOVATIVE techniques that will strengthen our marriages and our partners while disarming the enemy at EVERY opportunity.
  • Love is more than butterflies. I suppose I am lucky in a sense because my SAMM still gets my motor racing but our marriage cannot be built on the assumption that the butterflies have enough wing-power to carry us the distance. We needed to learn that love is about putting the needs and desires of your partner ahead of your own selfish ‘wants’. Not because love needs to be pathetic or wimpy in any way but because LOVE IS POWERFUL ENOUGH to facilitate change. Change in our hearts, change in our lives and change in our world.

Here’s what I know for sure

Marriage isn’t for weaklings or wimps. We need to fight for this beautiful institution that allows us to bring honour and glory to God as we pool the balance of our separate selves to become what He called us to be. Man and woman | husband and wife.

Being married might at times take work and commitment but it is a RICH blessing that continues to give much more than it demands. It gives us opportunity to find a true sense of self and belonging, it is an opportunity for a life-time friendship, a chance to love and serve not because you have to but because you WANT to. It is an opportunity for us (ladies) to be open our hearts to romance and passion and intimacy.

My SAMM and I aren’t experts by any stretch of the imagination. But we ARE convinced of the value and joy of marriage. We ARE committed to succeed more than we fail. We ARE ready to encourage other single-digit couples to pursue God, prioritise each other and commit to a marriage that is MORE, DEEPER and STRONGER than any story ever told on the big screen.

My single digit perspective

“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. ” Prov 31:10 (MSG)

I want to be a GOOD woman. I will remember that I AM worth more than diamonds because my Father says it is SO. I want to be a BLESSING to my husband and my daughter. I want to be GENEROUS, KIND and TRUSTWORTHY. I really simply want to be all these things and more because I resolutely believe that God wants this for you and me.

Single-digit-novice, double-digit-expert or triple-digit-sage; learn where you are now. Change what you can now. Be all that you can be now.

We really don’t have the perfect marriage. But we do have a WONDERFUL, BLESSED marriage because God opened our eyes and hearts to the possibility of love and relationship beyond ourselves.

Thank goodness.

Fix your coffee, take a breather, mull over it and let me know what you thought of this Cuppa!

I would love to hear your thoughts on marriage, relationships, romance and God’s design.
Peaceful Wife

Become Empowered, Healed, and Confident in Christ

With a Cuppa Coffee

Hearty chats for women about this, that and whatnot.