This Too Shall Pass
If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how dark the moment may be-
If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me-
If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too-
Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains
That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear-
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.
…Helen Steiner Rice
I do enjoy poetry I always have and ever so often I remember the ones which mean a lot to me.
I’m at a crossroad in my life and while I’m fighting personal battles I’m experiencing some really good things in my life. I guess that’s the balance needed to cope in difficult times.
I’m being forced to learn patience (not easy), show mercy (less easy) and to have faith that things will eventually work out (almost impossible).
So as I go through a somewhat difficult phase in my life I’m having to remind myself that this shall pass too! I’ve got to believe it.
So after much thought maybe way too much I eventually decided to buy a meat cleaver. I spent a very long time deciding if it would be safe in my kitchen. I kept telling myself how much I really needed it and the truth is I really did need it. After convincing myself that I’m only as good as my tools I took the plunge and bought it. After all if I see myself as chef material the least I can do is get a decent cleaver not just pretty aprons.
The cleaver is now a member of the cutlery staff but I have to admit it gets special treatment. No laying about in the kitchen oh no this piece of fierceness has a special place it goes to when not being used. At the moment I’m in a complicated relationship with the cleaver because while it’s really good at what it does I am afraid of its power. I fear that my cleaver has an appetite for fingers…my fingers. Nothing untoward has happened but I’m almost paralysed with fear when it’s in my hand. I find myself whispering that I can’t be too careful with this beast.
Like all new relationships I guess it will take some time to get to know each other. Learning our strengths and weaknesses to bring out the best in each of us. I now look forward to the day when our relationship will not be based on fear. I just hope my cleaver knows it cannot lord its power over me forever. Cheers to teamwork!
Though my girls are still really young I’m coming to the realisation that there is a fine line between letting them experience the world around them and keeping them safe. With my seemingly insatiable appetite for breaking news I now find myself going into mother hen overdrive. All the tragedy and heartbreak that I read has me constantly pulling myself back over the fence of paranoia and I realise that my duty is to look out for my girls not make them prisoners.
This past week I spoke to a friend with teenage kids and since we grew up in the same era we discussed our teen years and how different the world seemed to be then. We came to the conclusion that we’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes to raising our children. Unfortunately as a child danger is not something that’s high on the list of priorities. Having fun is the way to go and danger has no place in the fun arena.
As a parent I’m constantly reminding myself that I cannot and will not live in fear. The reality of life is that danger does exist and to pretend otherwise is quite foolish. I have every intention of giving my girls the best childhood possible and I’ve no doubt that they often feel that I’m there to spoil their fun especially when we’re out and about and I sound like a referee shouting instructions and giving warnings.
I’m generally a very laid back person a bit too laid back for some. I cannot judge somebody else’s parenting style only give my point of view when asked. At the end of the day I just have to believe that we all want the same things for our children…love and security!
Whilst having a conversation with a friend she remarked how the unexpected generosity of a relative stranger had a profound affect on her. Her only regret was that she had not really taken the time to get to know the individual. I guess we can blame that on being preoccupied with the people who we’ve built a rapport with. Truth is it’s hard to imagine that people need assistance when we’re comfortable.
It got me thinking of the opportunities we are often afforded to be an angel to somebody in need. There are many times where a little helping hand could make a world of difference if we’d just take the time out to care not just to people who’ll reward us for our kindness but also the randoms we encounter along the way. After our conversation I’ve decided not to just wait for opportunities to show kindness but to also look for them.
People across the world no matter what the state of their lives could do with an act of kindness. Will you be an angel to somebody in need?
Last night my daughter Charis had her very first sleepover. I must admit I thought long and hard about sending her to a friend albeit for just a night. She was so excited about getting away from us for a night and I was secretly proud of her boldness.
This morning we woke up to a rather quiet house and it was obvious who creates the buzz around here. She was positively missed. The conversation didn’t move much further than the questions about her return. Finally, she rocked up after lunch and all was as it should be. The bickering and complaints were as steady as rain you’d think they’d missed each other enough to give the rivalry a rest. Not a chance!
As for me I’m glad to have my three girls under one roof and I hope it will be some time before we reach another milestone. The more I travel on this journey of parenthood the more I realise it’s no easy feat. It’s not easy but it is rewarding and the cuddles are the best payment.
Yesterday I had what seemed like the umpteenth visit to the dentist in the smallest time scale. After much back and forth I’d come to a decision with the dentist to remove a tooth. Once the date had been decided I began feeling very nervous and began to expect the worst. This was highly unusual because I have no fear or anxiety when it comes to dental visits. Admittedly my trust in dentists came much later in life. These days a visit to the dentist is as casual as popping out for a coffee.
While lying in the chair staring at the light with my hands clasped I prayed under my breath that the extraction would be a walk in the park and it was. I let out a sigh of relief when the dentist announced “the beast is out”. For all the problems that molar gave me I think his description was spot on.
The highlight of my appointment was informing the dentist I wanted my extracted tooth. The shock and surprise was funny. Truth is I really wanted to take my chance with the tooth fairy. I quickly realised that I may not get my weight in enamel so I’ve decided to treat myself for my bravery.
In the meantime the relief is amazing. I hope now that I’ll have the regulated six month break before I have to waltz back in.
I think I’ve calmed down sufficiently to share my absolute joy of been given a ride on a beautiful Harley Davidson. I’ve had some pretty amazing moments in my life and after mulling over my over the top celebrations I’ve come to the conclusion that it was the surprise that got me so terribly excited. When I left home on Saturday morning to do a food collection from the local bikers club for the central Foodbank it did not cross my mind that I may get the ride of my life!
As a student nurse I developed this absolute fascination with motorbikes and my father was not too keen on me wanting to own one. Up until Saturday my only experience with motorbikes was a late night ride in Cape Town many moons ago with a dear friend.
I’m now convinced that all that love and appreciation of all things fast and shiny came back to me in a flood of euphoria when I heard the rumble which announced the impending arrival of those bikers. The moment I laid eyes on their wheels of steel I was in Harley Heaven.
We all have dreams and I figure if they’re attainable they’re just to do activities. One of my dreams came true and I have many more which seem out of reach at the moment but I’m certain now it’s not impossible. It can happen at any time we just need to be prepared!
My 7yr old daughter Charis ( though she constantly reminds me she’ll be 8 in about six weeks!). I then remind her that she’ll never be this young and free from responsibility again. With each passing year her responsibility will grow and there’ll be less opportunity to say she didn’t know. She is very wise for her years and we’re constantly butting heads over attitudes and utterances. She has now requested a diary and a promise from me not to snoop. Of course I’ll be snooping that’s what mothers do!
After a discussion about keeping secrets and the difference between good and bad secrets I may just leave her to it. I ask her if there’s anything she needs to know from me. Her response is a nothing really one but then slyly slides in a veiled request for details of my diary. Granted I was almost double her age when I kept one myself I’m left with no choice but to reinvent my diary entries. Truth is I was a sulky teen and no doubt there were numerous entries about annoying teachers, strict parents, selfish friends and perhaps a sighting of an interesting boy specimen to brighten an otherwise sour life.
She’s really excited to get started and I’m worried what I may find. Though I’m hoping the daily record keeping will improve her already creative writing skills. I’m really trying to see the positive side. I shall try my best not to snoop too much!
I’m always so encouraged by people who find a cause to support and do it with such commitment. I know a few of those people raising awareness about cancer, mental illness, childhood diseases and animal projects. The list is endless.
Recently I spoke to a young lady who lamented about the lack of interest of people when it comes to lending a helping hand. I understand how frustrating it is when you’re passionate about something and you’re met with what seems like disinterest. The truth is there are many paths to take and it can be quite bewildering choosing one but it certainly doesn’t exclude the ability to assist where you can. After all we can all help in some way.
I’m passionate about seeing the end to modern day slavery. While it appears to be impossible I’ve no doubt it can be done. What’s your interest? How can you help those who are in distress? There’s always something we can do and there is always somebody less fortunate. Will you lend a hand of hope?
A few days ago the world woke up to the news of 3 women along with a child born during their time in captivity had been rescued in Cleveland, Ohio after being held captive for about a decade. I can’t even begin to imagine what freedom feels like after being subjected to all kinds of cruel abuses. The joy, relief and then the fear of repeating their experiences to authorities, families and counsellors. Families too are feeling rescued after years of waiting and wondering about the fate of their daughters. Dead or alive there could surely be no peace with no closure. The journey back to a regular life will be a difficult one but with the right kind of support I’ve no doubt they will all adjust and live fulfilling lives.
This month also marked the 6th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann while on holiday in Portugal aged just three and no doubt it’s not just her parents who’s hope is renewed. If it can happen for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight surely it’s not impossible for all the missing to be found. My heart breaks a little every time I think of these victims and their families. Admittedly my paranoia also grows with each of these stories and then I remind myself that I cannot live in fear. I will not.
Bianca Couch ( a young South African missing since December 2011 ) when you eventually come home where you belong just know that the light of hope did not flicker or die. Your family and friends have just found a different kind of normal way to live. Hope still springs eternal!
Since arriving in Britain I don’t seem to recall a bank holiday weekend that lived up to the hype. Today I woke up to glorious sunshine as it should be on a bank holiday and my motivation and zest for life was at its optimum. After a few household chores (because some things never change) I got the girls into the car along with scooters, a buggy complete with doll and water bottles. We arrived at the park and I realised I obviously wasn’t the only one impressed with the promise of a beautiful day and the buzz was contagious. Parents with children, dog walkers, action on the tennis courts, crazy golf, cyclists and so much more activity. I wished I could bottle that moment as a reminder that seasons just have to change. After the compulsory ice cream from a vendor we were on our way. On my way to the exit I was glad for the early start because the crowd had swelled.
My daughters were in high spirits and just wanted to be out and about knowing all too well that there are no guarantees of heart warming sunshine tomorrow. An afternoon at the zoo was just what we needed and once again we weren’t the only ones who had this idea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a zoo that full of people. Sadly, I think most of the animals were taken by surprise with the unusual hot and sticky weather and all seemed to be exhausted. We strolled around and enjoyed the sights.
I’m winding down for the night and I’m taken aback by how the sun can make me feel so alive after an extended winter with far too much snow. It’s time to forget the way it was and enjoy the way it is. There is so much to be learned from the seasons. Dark days don’t last forever they just can’t. Here’s to a change a much needed one!
I’ve long been fascinated by prison escapes and never pass up an opportunity to catch up on stories chronicling such acts. Firstly, I can’t imagine being in prison and if I was then escaping would not be something I’d think of.
Shawshank redemption is still one of my favourite movies though I must admit I feel there must something fundamentally wrong with me for willing a man to escape from prison.
The real life accounts that I’ve watched are so fascinating even though it becomes apparent from the get go that they don’t get too far for too long. It always seems like such a waste of time and planning but its always clear that freedom no matter how short lived is worth it.
I’ve learnt more than enough now to know how to make it successfully on the outside. How you decide to leave is really just a matter of opportunity and in my opinion this is actually the easiest part because the planning has no deadline but once you jump that face, cut through it or jump from a roof from that moment you have no room for mistakes or second thoughts. From the moment you cross the line you go from prisoner to fugitive.
To avoid being recaptured you need good, trustworthy friends who’ll give assistance with little or no questions asked. Resources are your key to freedom because once you escape you need an airtight plan and this may mean travelling to a country where authorities may find you but will never be able to bring you back. Mexico always seems like the destination of choice. It may well be what movie producers would like us to believe. I imagine the hardest part will be severing all ties with family in order to start a new life.
Are escapees really free? It seems not because having restricted movement and constantly looking over your shoulder is really no way to live. Or perhaps it does beat being in the prison system.
Disclaimer: I have never assisted a prisoner to escape and have no knowledge of any escapees. I’m just guilty of having an over active imagination.
There are many good causes out there. Tonight I was fortunate enough to be part of the live recording of this track of which the proceeds will go to a worthy cause. We can all make a difference!
It seems like a lifetime ago that I’ve had anything to say about the beautiful game that is football. The last 24hrs have provided some interesting displays of skill, determination and of course the belief that nothing is impossible if you believe.
The sizzling Spanish have been put in their place by two very impressive German teams. Nice to see a shift in the leaders of the pack. No doubt the English are dreaming of their opportunity to turn European football on its head by taking on the might of Europe. Honestly, I don’t think that’s going to happen in my lifetime but then again nothing is impossible!
Social networks are abuzz with plans of how the English can up their game by working on development of young talent. Personally, I don’t think there’s a lack of development but rather a lack of integration into the premier league. The English premier league is filled to breaking point with foreign players who are making it the best league in the world. So it should come as no surprise when the English fail to achieve in major competitions because their team mates now become the opposition.
Unless Real Madrid and Barcelona come up with the ultimate comeback I think it pretty much looks like an all German final at Wembley. How exciting is that? Come on Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund you can do it!
Once I’ve managed to drag my sorry self to the kitchen to prepare supper I can count on my girls following me to ask what’s on the menu. It gets a laugh from me every time because the tone of their little voices changes to sound like that of masterchef judges. How will you be preparing that chef? What will you be serving that with chef? Finally, they wish me good luck.
I can’t blame them for developing this quizzing attitude when it comes to meal time. After all they’ve been subjected to watching the British, South African, New Zealand, Australian and even the Indian versions of masterchef. Though I must admit the Indian version was a bridge too far for my girls perhaps it was the subtitles that left them uninspired for me it was the lack of cooking and over dramatisation of every aspect.
The girls leave me to do my own thing occasionally popping in to ask “How’s it going chef? Think you going to manage to finish in time?” Of course Charis my 7year old is the ring leader. I must admit I find it very endearing. They love that I just play along. Wish I could say that their enthusiasm inspires me unfortunately unlike the baking bug cooking is just a task that never ends. Total drudgery!
After all the preparation I’m ready to be judged by little people. I suspect this is the part they enjoy the most. “Good effort chef!” I can’t help but feel that I have some potential food critics on my hands.
As a baking novice I’m usually quite dogmatic about preparing ingredients and meticulously measuring to within an inch of perfection. So tonight when I decided to treat my girls to some crunchies I took my eye off the ball just because it wasn’t a complicated recipe.
Oh no! Everything is now safely in my mixing bowl, ready for baking and I realise I’ve used baking powder instead of bicarbonate of soda. Why are the tins so similar? I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Fortunately it wasn’t a complete disaster.
My verdict and after consultation with my junior bakers we decided that there was something missing, not surprisingly. I had a baking brainwave and decided to convert them to chocolate crunchies. Oh no! That would mean melting chocolate and I’ve not had much luck in that department. I’m happy to report that the chocolate business worked out perfectly and I’ve smothered it over the crunchies and can’t wait to munch on them.
Here’s my recipe. It’s quick and fuss free but not free from mistakes!
2 cups oats
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup coconut
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1Tsp boiling water
Melt margarine and syrup
Add bicarbonate of soda to boiling water then add to melted ingredients
Combine all dry ingredients
Mix syrup to dry ingredients
Bake at 180 until golden brown
I think it’s official and I may never have to repeat this truth again. I am a documentary junkie not just any documentary but beautiful moving ones which make me look at my life differently and just be grateful for all that I have.
So once again I was moved by the account of two very different moms. One with a rare form of dwarfism and the other with no use of her legs and limited use of her arms. As I watched them doing the most basic chores for their children I realised that no matter what ability or disability we have we’re all just moms trying to do our best.
I think it would be naive to say that they’re not different because they are different they’re just not less. Those differences have drawn criticism and ridicule from various people both in their communities and even their loved ones. Our role as citizens of the world is to treat each other with respect and hopefully be treated the same.
The goal (hopefully!) of all moms is the same and that’s to raise well adapted children by doing the best we can. I watched as one of the moms struggled to cope not because of her disability but because of her unrealistic expectations and just wanting to get things right constantly. I suspect this wouldn’t have been the case if we didn’t live in a society where moms create this false ideal of how perfectly adapted their children are.
Whatever difficulty you’re facing today no matter how big or small share it with a realistic mom who understands that things are not always perfect. Then when you’re sailing smoothly try to remember how it felt when you were going through a struggle and show the same understanding to a mom facing a difficulty.
I cannot describe how heavy my heart feels as I watch footage from the explosions at the Boston marathon. Having said that I cannot imagine the fear, panic and sheer terror of all those people in the street participating and spectating. When a act so callous takes place it’s very hard not to feel overcome by crippling fear.
There are now fears over the safety at the London marathon this weekend. While the event may pass without incident no doubt people will have much trepidation. It seems rather unfair that a few cowardly, faceless individuals should hold us hostage by their erratic acts of terror.
Tonight many questions remain unanswered and that in itself further fuels the fear so many feel.
Condolences go out to the ones who didn’t and couldn’t get away and a speedy recovery to those hospitalised.
So on this Patriots’ day my hope is that the perpetrators are found swiftly and dealt with in the most severe way. Nobody should feel they have the right to use such force on any members of society. Why shouldn’t we have the right to live without fear?
Charis my 7yr old daughter did her grade 1 violin exam today. A large part of her Easter break was spent practising exam pieces, scales, sight reading and aural tests. There were days when she’d just huff and puff from sheer frustration and others when she’d just get on with her practice. We did make sure she got to do stuff she enjoys like craft, going to the movies, baking and attending a jazz session. I still think learning a musical instrument should be fun alas it appears it’s much more than that!
Last night she said she needed a early night so she could be fresh and prepared. She slept peacefully through the night while I was having restless dreams of waking up way too late for her to do the exam. Never mind the pressure of taking an exam I felt the pressure of being a mother and wanting her to do her best and letting her know it would be good enough. She described the practice room at her exam venue as a panic room because she felt scared. I do wish there was an easier way to grade the music. She’ll wait a while for her results but in the meantime we’ll all enjoy a break from the rigorous schedule.
Tonight I’m looking forward to a peaceful sleep filled with visions of daffodils!
We are all still enjoying our Easter holiday break. It seems weird considering that Easter has long gone. Being on holiday is a perfect opportunity to try out new treats to bake. That’s what I’ve been doing during our break the only thing I’ve been neglecting to do is to take pictures consistently of my handiwork.
As per usual cupcakes always feature after all they are the perfect bake for showcasing mini eggs in nests. I delighted my girls with a childhood favourite crunchies much like a flap jack just crunchier. Chocolate cake was next on the agenda and it was wonderful my girls are in charge of decorating and love overdoing the toppings whether it be sprinkles, icing, eggs or cute little sugar pieces. Step in double chocolate cherry muffins occasionally I bake something so sweet that even the children complain about the sugar content though they were more than happy to help preparing what seemed like mountains of chocolate pieces. My final bake was a Victoria sponge cake and though I was initially disappointed with its appearance once it was stacked it looked presentable and tasted moreish. So far the bakes have been successful and my motivation increases with every success!
I’ve not built up the courage to attempt bread…yet! The reason for this is partly because all of my recipes start with words like ‘this easy, no fuss, family favourite’ and that’s how I’ve been choosing my baking repertoire. It is a bit safe but I’m not a massive risk taker not yet anyway.
Mick Philpott and his wife Mairead have been found guilty of manslaughter following the death of their six children after they started a house fire and the children were overcome by smoke while they slept. I must admit I’m still trying to get my head around such an evil act. It seems it was done as a ploy to blame an ex lover who had dared to walk away with her five children from a very unnatural family set up which saw him sharing the house with his wife and his lover along with their eleven children. He planned to rescue the children and be hailed a hero then be granted custody of the other five. Sadly, that is not what happened.
I’ve long grappled with this very spiteful idea of parents who claim to love their children and then put them in harms way in an attempt to teach somebody a lesson. It is impossible to be a good parent and be selfish. Parenthood requires selflessness. As reports were made of each court appearance it became quite apparent that these parents thought only of themselves. That attitude was a recipe for disaster.
As they await sentencing along with their accomplice Paul Mosley I can’t help but feel absolute pity for these six children who lost their lives in a fatal plot which went totally wrong. Phil has been portrayed as a violent, selfish, lazy, layabout who had as many children as possible to live a comfortable life on benefits. At this point in time and following the tragic loss of innocent lives all I’d like to see is the longest prison sentence to ensure these lives were not cut short in vain.
Rest in peace Duwayne, Jade, John, Jessie, Jayden and Jack
For the most part I just get on with my life here in England where I’m blessed to have found some wonderful friends. Though it’s at times like this long Easter weekend that I miss my South African family the most. I miss hanging around at my parents home doing absolutely nothing in particular.
Family are an amazing gift and I’m thankful for the one I have. Having people to turn to in times of triumph and trouble is an amazing reassurance. Keeping up to date with everything that goes on in my absence makes me grateful for modern technology because relying on a telegram would make living abroad unbearable.
Sometimes in life there are some difficult choices to make and we’ve made one that has us miles away from our loved ones. Our decision has much to do with our future and that of our daughters. I don’t plan to be here forever and I realise now that the longer I stay the harder it will be to leave. Who would’ve thought that the circle of life would be so difficult?
The love of a family is a blessing. I’m blessed to belong to a family who cares about our well-being.
Oh my hat! Never mind the tooth fairy I’ve got some kind of tooth dragon hanging around and causing me the most intense pain. It’s funny when you’re experiencing any kind of pain it always seems to be the worst kind of pain. It’s been exactly seven days since my torment began and my dentist who’s ever so popular cannot see me for another ten days. Really? Step in my most dramatic telephone reaction ‘Are you serious? I’ll be dead by then!’
I’m thinking I can’t take this pain for much longer so step in the local pharmacist. Who would’ve thought that getting codeine would turn out to be a twenty questions marathon. After giving satisfactory answers I stepped away from that counter a step closer to having this pain under control. My plan is simple a trustworthy combination of ibuprofen, codeine and paracetamol…bang!
Amongst all of this dental drama I step up to a cashier and I’m informed I have a two drug limit. I think the look of shock on my suffering face let her know in no uncertain terms that I was walking away with all of my drugs by hook or by crook and I did. I couldn’t leave the store quick enough to start my regime and get back to some kind of normality. For the next ten days I’ll be figuring out just how to control the pain until I sit in that dreaded chair and possibly face the possibility of roof canal treatment.
Come on toothache give me a break already. Dentures seem like a pretty good idea right now!
This seems like a fitting poem for Easter seeing as it’s daffodil season! It also happens to be one of my favourite poems! Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.