Tuesday, June 28, 2011

He's My Rock!

So I am still reading through Romans in the Message, and I am really enjoying it! Yesterday I read this passage from Chapter 9:

How can we sum it up? All those people who didn't seem interested in what God was doing actually embraced what God was doing as He straightened out their lives. And Israel, who seemed so interested in reading and talking about what God was doing missed it. How could they miss it? Because instead of trusting God, they took over. They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were to absorbed in their "God projects" that they didn't notice God right in front of them. Like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into Him and went sprawling. Isaiah (again!) gives us the metaphor for pulling this together:
Careful! I've put a huge stone on the road to Mount Zion,
a stone you can't get around.
But the stone is Me! If you are looking for me,
you'll find Me on the way.

I have really been meditating on this passage for the last two days now.

Have you ever gone through a season in your life, when you feel like you are going round and round the mountain? I seem to be in that season at the moment. I think that I have the victory, and then the next moment...SPLAT... I'm on the ground, and not marching anymore. The first thing that I usually do, is rebuke the devil, and his minions, and declare that I have the victory, and I am a champion...blah blah blah....

 I do whole heartily believe that we have authority over the Devil, and his posse. The Word tells me that I must rebuke him and he has to flee. I also think that far too often we are too quick to blame him when somethings goes wrong instead of just stopping for a moment and assessing the situation.

So this brings me back to my journey round the mountain... Often times we view our lives by the glasses we wear. Like perhaps things that have been said over us, or situations that have happened to us. I am learning to take those 'glasses' off and see who I am from God's perspective. Through His truth.

That's why this passage has kinda stopped me in my tracks!! If I'm honest with myself, I generally get up and start walking again, but haven't changed any of my behaviors. My Mom always says " You can't do the same thing and expect different results" she's a wise woman!

I have had a light bulb moment!! It's not the enemy that I keep bumping into, it's my Heavenly Father!! Oh my word!! Thank goodness that He is patient with me! I've been bumping into Him for a good many trips round this mountain now. I have been trying to do things in my own strength, and there is only so much I can do without running out of steam. He is telling me that He is my strength, He doesn't want me doing anything without Him 100% involved in my life.

The same is for you, 'coz you know that he doesn't have any favourites! It's time to hand the reigns over to Him, He loves us so much, that He wants to take control. Hand it over to Him. He is strong enough to carry whatever it is that is bearing you down!

It's time to walk in His freedom.

Chat soon

Niqui xx

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Yay yay, it's Friday!

Boy am I glad that the working week is over!! Yay no school, homework or rushing for tomorrow.
What better way to end off a busy week, than to spend it with a special friend!

Amanda and I have been friends for quite a while now. We met at a Moms & Babes workshop when Ashlynn and Kelsey ( Mands' Princess) were about 3 months old. After completing the program, I kinda checked out of the social scene for a season. I was diagnosed with post natal depression.... (another story for another time)

When it was time for school, we chose a school, that unbeknown to us was the same one. The girls were in the same Grade 0 class, and half way through the year they found each other and started to develop a very firm relationship. Kelsey left the school a year later, Ash was quite devastated! But Mands and I had also developed a firm friendship as well (^^,).

So long story short, we have stayed in touch. In fact, Mands is one of my very special friends. Whom I love, trust and respect. She is a treasure to me. And we also share a very deep love of coffee...sigh...

Here is Ash and her Bestie, Kelsey...

I have loved to watch these two little poppets. They have such a sweet friendship! They are so alike, it is uncanny. They even look alike. Too sweet!!

So after spending the arvie with my friend, I have gotten home feeling revived and refreshed, as we can only feel when we've spent time with a special girl friend!

I am so thankful to Precious Jesus, for the people who He has placed in my life. Friends like these don't come along often, I am grateful for Amanda.

Thinking about our long chats, over many, many cups of coffee, makes my heart very happy.

Have a wonderful week-end, friends. I hope that you have the time to connect with the special people in your lives too!

I'd love to hear about them (^^,)

Chat soon

Niqui xx

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Word of Encouragement for Today

From Romans 8 in the Message

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would even point a finger? The One who died for us - who was raised to life for us! - is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
Non of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I am absolutely convinced that nothing - nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable - absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Have an awesome day

Chat soon

Niqui xx

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Knock, Knock... Housekeeping

I so wanted to blog this yesterday, and start the Week off on a positive note. But alas, my day past by in a blur... Ash had remedial, and supper (roast chicken and veggies) took a whopping 3 hours to cook!! My oven chose last night to give me a hard time! Oh and  I cleaned house like a mad woman possessed! Why is it that after the week-end the house looks like a tip?! Me thinks I need to call a very serious family meeting! And on that not let me start my post.... (^^,)

So one of my job descriptions is The Maid. I clean house. But I have an agreement with the girls that they are responsible for their bedrooms, and their playroom. Of late though, cleaning of the bedrooms has been abandoned. So on Thursday (the start to our long week end) I layed down the law! Bedrooms had to be cleaned by Sunday, or else!!!

Eventually on Saturday, I jumped in to help Ash out. Not that I have control issues!! No ways! I could see that she was totally overwhelmed! I would have been too,( her room could have given the Clean House crew a good run for their money), but I am the Mom and have to face such matters. So I bravely took a deep breath....

Ash very, bravely said I could publish the first pic!! Shame look at her hanging her head in shame!! LOL
Good thing Kenz didn't get lost in there

Well two hours later the room was tidied up, 2 rubbish bags full to the brim with rubbish, and 4 loads of washing!!! Yes you read it correctly

Then on Sunday, it was Janique's turn... She however would not let me even take a pic! LOL Also the same amount of rubbish, but thankfully only 3 loads of washing!! So when I said to her, "Oh my word!! More washing, I don't think I'll get it all done today!!" she calmly looks at me and says sweetly " Don't worry mom, you have tomorrow as well to do it" Ha!! I did the grown up thing, and walked away!

It has been amazing to see the change in the girls, they are allot calmer, and not as argumentative with each other, and this has gotten me thinking....

During my quiet time yesterday, I decided to pick up The Message Bible. It's written in contemporary language. I enjoy reading it, because it is like reading the most wonderful story book. Eugene Petersen took 10 years to write it, and it is a wonderful accompaniment to The NKJ that I usually read.
I am an ordered and structured person, I like things to be neat and tidy. When I start reading I always start at the beginning. So in my true style I stated in Genesis... then I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to go to Romans! ( big step... not even the start to the New testament LOL).

I got to thinking, I thought about the girl's rooms, and of all the clutter and junk that had started to pile up, and eventually take over their spaces. And then I thought of our spiritual walk, and how it is supposed to be a walk, of freedom, and walking in close relationship with our Father. But how often do we loose perspective, and seem to veer off the path, or even stop walking for a season?

I think it may have something to do with the clutter that we pick up... Things like how we see ourselves, our past, our current circumstances, offenses, being too tired or just plain lazy, being too busy... The list could go on.

How do we clean up?

Well I believe that it is up to us to take the first step. Jesus has done it all for us already.

Here are a few passages that jumped out at me, from Romans. ( I read the first 6 chapters, he doesn't list the verse numbers...)

Chapter 2
If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you're from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attend. But is you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up.

God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up His own mind.

Chapter 3
God sacrificed Jesus on the alter of the world to clear the world of sin, having faith in Him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public - to set the world in the clear with Himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it's now - this is current history. God sets things right. he also makes it possible for us to live in His rightness.

Chapter 5
By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us - sets us right with Him, makes us fit for Him - we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us! We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

Chapter 6
Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the Cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life - no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this : if we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in His life-saving resurrection. We know that Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with Him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin, and alive to God. That's what Jesus did.

So be encouraged today, as you start cleaning up, and getting rid of the clutter. Jesus has already done it! All we have to do is line up with His thinking and His way of doing things. Difficult I know, but life is a marathon, not a sprint, and we need to take it one step at a time! But we have the advantage! Precious Jesus and the Holy Spirit are walking with us!!!

Happy Cleaning (^^,)

Chat soon

Niqui xx

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's day, and we decided that we would all go to Moyo Zoo Lake for a buffet breakfast.

Moyo is a fab restaurant, with a wonderful African flavour. It's location is also wonderful, as it's view is Zoo Lake

The food is fabulous of course.
But food always tastes better when you share it with very special people.
This morning we feasted and celebrated with Ian's family, as my Dad, Nisha and Shazia had already made other plans for the day. Let me introduce you to the rest of my special family.

These are my other parents. And boy do I love them. Bill is the most amazing man! His name means Resolute Protector, and the Spiritual meaning is Noble Spirit. This man loves his family fiercely, and loves his Grand Children lavishly. My girls love their Gramps very, very much. My love for him also runs very deep. I am so blessed to have two amazing Dads in my life. Felicity is the sweetest soul. Her name mean Joyful, and the Spiritual meaning is Content. There is nothing that she will not do for her family. She has so much energy, and runs circles around me. She is an inspiring woman, and when you spend time with her, you cannot help but fall in love with her. She is a very caring woman. And as my Momma lives in the States, It is wonderful that I Felicity close.

One of the cool things they do at Moyo, is the face paint (^^,). So all the girls in the family got painted!

Family time is the best time!

This is Ian and I with his brother Dennis and his wife Minette. Minette and I have this long standing banter between the two of us. I always tell her that I got the good looking brother to which she retaliates, "As If!!!"
All in good fun, of course (^^,)

These Dad's are celebrated every day, for the roles that they play in their children's lives, and in my life. But today, it was wonderful to be able to spoil them, on their day!

So to the precious men in my life, Happy Father's day. Thank you for the love, stability, protection, encouragement and faithfulness that you show towards me and my girlies.

Thank you Abba, for these wonderful me, Ian, Vic, Bill and Dennis. Bless them today and always. Thank you for putting us all together, and making us a family!

Chat soon

Niqui xx

Friday, June 17, 2011

Picnic at The Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Yesterday was a public holiday, and the schools decided to close today. So we have a wonderful long week-end!! Hip hip hooray!! No early school mornings for the last two days!! It's been wonderful (^^,)

So this morning, after Janique put in some study time, we decided to go on a spur of the moment picnic to the Botanical Gardens.

We packed our lunch, and we were off!!

Once we found our spot, we unpacked and ate our yummy food!

It was so wonderful that Dawn was able to spend the afternoon with us!! The girls love this Auntie very much. As Dawn is still believing for a Godly husband. I have agreed to share my girls with her, until she has her own babies. (^^,)

After our lunch we set off for a walk to the waterfall. At the top of the waterfall they have a pair of breeding Black Eagles. We were so blessed to see one of them in flight!! Such majestic birds.

After spending time at the waterfall, Dawn took the three girls for a mini hike.
And I stayed behind to looked after all the stuff...

The sound of running water is always therapeutic for me. I sat on the bench and just exhaled! Whenever I hear the sound of running water I always think of the Holy Spirit, and the river of mercy. When ever I have an issue or something bothering me or pain in my heart, I say to the Holy Spirit, "well, I can't deal with this right now. I know that there is nothing that I can do about it in my own strength so I give it You and place in the river of mercy! I release mercy to the person, or whatever is bothering me." And I always feel a peace when I know that I have handed over the baggage that I have been carrying, over to my Abba! He love us so much!

After those few quiet moments, the girls and Dawn got back, and our little Miss Mackenzie let us know that she was tired and wanted to get moving. She wanted to go home!

After our short little break, we all got home, feeling calmer and more peaceful!

It's amazing what a bit of fresh air, and quality time with Abba can do!

Have a fabulous week-end, sweet friends.

Chat soon

Niqui xx

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fun with Angel

As you know I am a stay at home mom, a housewife.

There are moments (rare ones, but they do come) when I think, that I am not achieving my true potential. Maybe I should study, or start up a business or something that won't be a drain on Ian, Pay my way....

But then I have moments like these:

Where I have the time to take in these special moments 

And make special memories. It's in these times that The Holy Spirit reminds me, that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing in this season of my life. I am also reminded of the tremendous honour, and great responsibility I have to the Father to make sure that His girls are trained in His ways.

This makes my heart smile (^^,)

Chat soon

Niqui xx

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Breathtaking Adventure in the Underberg

This past week-end my very dearest friend, Dawn, invited me to join her and two of her friends to go on a trip to the Underberg, which is in the lower region of the Drakensberg Mountain range in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The primary purpose of the trip was to collect a horse for Heather (Dawn's friend).

This is my special friend
Dawn and I have been friends for 18 years now. I am married to her brother, so not only are we really close friends, but we are sisters too!! How cool is that.
Dawn works in the horse industry, she is the senior lecturer for an Equine Diploma offered at one of our Universities, she is also a Bitting Analyst (one the only ones in South Africa) and because she isn't busy enough, she runs a livery yard, oh and she competes in Dressage and has also taken on Horse Endurance riding. Her last race was 160 Kilometers. She came first in one of the divisions. She is truly on of the most inspiring women you will ever meet!! I love her dearly.

So that is why Dawn was asked to help fetch Heather's new little baby :)

Our adventure began on Friday, when we left at 11 am on the dot. Our first stop was Petermaritzberg, where Dawn had to do some bitting business. We arrived at Midmar Resort later that evening. I don't have any pic's 'coz it was dark when we got there, and even darker when we left the following morning at 5h45.

On Saturday, The Father blessed us with the most magnificent day!!

Today was the day that we had arranged to go up the Sani Pass.

Here's a little History lesson (*^,)
The Pass originated in the late 1800's when traders would come over the mountains to trade with the folk of KZN. The pass was only narrow enough for one donkey/horse/mule to travel on it at one time, so no overtaking! Then in the 1920's the pass was then widened to be able to have two animals and the traders pass each other, as there had been so much loss of life. Then in the 1960's the old pass was abandoned, and a new pass forged, where a land rover would be able to drive on the road. That is is very same road that we were going to travel on. The Pass is strictly only 4X4 vehicles only, and one has to be very experienced to drive it. So as we did not qualify on either of the requirements, we booked a tour with Major Adventures,

Our guide's name was Steve Smith. And he was absolutely fabulous. I wish I could retell my story about a death defying driver, having my prayer life strengthened because of the danger, but alas no....he was a superb driver. I will however say that at times the road we travelled on was a bit bone jarring. But the views were so worth it!

It is so cold closer to the top and in the shadows that the waterfalls freeze

Once we reached the top at 2873 meters above sea level (9400ft) the view was spectacular. And it was chilly at the top. Minus 1 degree Celsius!

We were also taken to a traditional Basothu Village to see how the local people live. The top on the Sani Pass crosses over the South African border and into Lesotho. Meeting the local people was such a privilege. The lady we met, lives a very simple life. She makes bread and a home made beer, which she sells to the shepherds. She was wonderful. I haven't posted pic's of her, because I didn't get her permission...oops!!

These are the houses that they stay in. No windows, only a door, because it is so freezing there. The home was so cosy and warm inside.

This is her view. Breathtaking!

After meeting Meh Belina we were then taken to have lunch at the Highest pub in Africa. The food was fab.

And then we started our 2 hour decent.

What an amazing day!

We spent Saturday evening at the Penwarn Country Lodge situated on the Waterford Farm. The accommodation was lovely. This is where we were going to pick up Heather's horse on Sunday morning.

We woke to a very misty Sunday morning.

 Waterford Farm is set on 3500 ha. In the foothills of the Drakensberg. The farmer Pete, runs a dairy that produces 25 000 litres of milk a day, and he breeds horses. He also has a love for the Shire draft horse. And over time he has imported a herd.

These are my most favourite horses, and when I found out he had a herd of them, that really sealed the deal for me to come away for the week end.

So just just after 7h30 we went to meet Iron Man (the stallion) and his herd of mares and a 5 month old foal.

So after a loving kiss on his nose....
 he spat on me!!!

Oh gross!!

But all is forgiven! Such a gentle giant. I will never forget him! 

This is the 'little' foal only 5 months old, and looks like a full grown horse. She was very curious. But did not want any cuddles!!

After spending time with the Shires, we left them to go and load up Heather's new baby.

This is Zambuck and he is 1 year and 8 months old. Such a sweet boy! He's dun in colour, and will grow up to be a very handsome horse.

After loading up our precious cargo it was time to say good-bye to Waterford Farm.

 This is most definitely a place that I would love to come back to.

And if you are ever in the area I would highly recommend the lodge. And Major Adventures.

The Underberg is so very beautiful. The views are breath taking!!

Have a wonderful week

Chat soon

Niqui xx