Welcome to my blog

My blog is about talking – sharing thoughts, even things that have shaped me. I was never one for saying much. So I still feel as though I’m climbing a mountain when I’m trying to express myself.

Some of us had it tough growing up – especially the quiet, shy, withdrawn types, or felt neglected ones, or maybe just different. Silence was safer.

Bullies are attracted to those. They get a perverse thrill ridiculing others’ in public. Bullies need an audience. Being dumped on over and over again, piles up inside our heads and pushes out all hope and reason, until we believe it. Even if it’s not true! We feel no one is on our side, because no one ever cares enough to tell us anything different.

That cuts deep down, because it rips out trust and replaces it with a shocking realisation (in our minds) that we’re unacceptable, just for being the way we are.

Sometimes we want to change ourselves, be someone else, just to be accepted, anything, not to be noticed or picked on. Maybe even run away, or harm our bodies, because that must be what they all hate, so we hate it too. Or even worse, we think of ending it all, because living with those feelings on your own, makes us feel like outcasts.

Someone once said, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I was terrified of being punished or laughed at – never allowed to make mistakes (or learn) so I avoided people and talking.

In my solitude I analysed everything, and wondered why it was all happening. Then I recognised pain in others and wanted to help, but fear and unworthiness, held me back.  

My life drifted along aimlessly, like a dead twig on a stream. Each time I hit something I changed direction…

I went all over the place – unaware that I had a Guardian Angel watching over me through it all. The Lord Jesus Christ.

Here are some of my experiences I wrote down many years ago, but wasn’t sure how to tell it. Some from when I didn’t know Him as The Lord God, and some when I did. He was in control anyway. How privileged was I to have been graciously drawn in, albeit decades later? But there was much I had to learn through painful suffering first, because I just wasn’t listening.

All pictures by Pixabay unless otherwise stated.

THE JOY OF LIGHT

These past few years have been so turbulent I didn’t know which way was up.  I was lonely, depressed and often suicidal thoughts came – more like – I may as well not be here and would I be missed at all? Then my mom died in Cape Town. I left the church I was attending, Covid happened, Sciatica pains bore down incessantly, telephonic assessments from doctors, anti-social behaviour from a neighbour for eighteen months, with little sleep, allowed me to move home to a lovely peaceful area, which helped me with staying in because of covid. My new flat is half the size of the old one so masses of stuff went off to charity including furniture as I had no space for it.  Now I can’t find anything because it’s either stored in a storage basket or tucked away in drawers out of sight, so I can’t remember or see what’s in them. Plus, a single bed again like a child. Finding a new church is never easy. Finding a new doctor is terribly frustrating, especially over the phone. Compassion never seems to be part of the deal. One of them told me I had Osteoporosis after initially telling me there was nothing wrong with me and to keep taking the pain killers. Strong ones that played havoc with my existing digestive ailments. More X-rays and scans at the hospital during covid. I found a new doctor who said I had Osteoarthritis. After struggling to walk for nearly two years finally there was some clue where the pain was coming from. An ambulance took me to hospital early one Sunday morning with chest pains which was actually a hiatus hernia. After waiting twelve hours I got a taxi home. It’s safe to say that I had a hard time dealing with it all on my own. Yup depression came knocking too. I just recently, suffered the worst flu I’ve ever had in my life, completely flat out like a zombie I was. One quickly realises who your friends are – or not.

I so wanted to write and to blog but I just couldn’t. Things have been whirling around in my head for many years but it’s all muddled up.

My mind went back many years to a beach similar to the above gorgeous pic from PIXABY.  I was on a beach in Cape Town, called Llandudno. It had huge rocks to nestle up to and sink down on a towel.  At that time, it was often empty of crowds and one could soak up the sun in solitude. I love the sun and the joy of lying on a beach with only the sound of the gulls and now and again a loud crash of the waves dumping down on the sand.

Once I’d soaked up enough heat, I strolled over to the freezing Atlantic. I soon got used to the cold and thoroughly enjoyed the sea and relaxed.  Then suddenly, the biggest wave I’ve ever seen loomed threateningly above and astonishingly realised at the same time, I could not swim away as I felt myself being sucked in. As this huge wave appeared I also felt the ground disappear and realised there was a ridge in the sand beneath my feet at that very moment with a sudden drop down to much deeper level; like a cliff edge. The monster wave pounded down tons of water with an almighty crash on top of me. I was deafened and swirling around in a major panic! It was noisy and fierce and rough and very, very dark and terrifying. I like swimming so was not scared of the water but this was something way off the chart! I thank God I held my breath. I allowed myself to be chucked about with the sea until I knew which way was up.  I was so happy to see the light of the sun way up there somewhere, so I dragged my way up to it with every ounce of strength I had left. What absolute joy and gratitude I felt coming to the light and fresh air!

I meandered drunkenly to my towel and collapsed heavily on it and just lay there under that magnificent blue sky, hearing the sea and birds, feeling the presence of the towering Apostle mountains behind me, standing strong and silent. My body soaked up the warmth again as I thought how great it was to be alive.  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” Psalm 19: 1-2.

Thank you, Jesus, for being my Light of the world and for getting me through all this. I know you are sovereign and in control. The joy of the Lord is my strength and indeed you are. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and I will.

It was as though my whole life of feeling abandoned, pain, abuse, struggles, trials, derision, fears, rejection, divorce and various illnesses, near death experiences and unacceptableness everywhere I went, has just been dumped down on me from a dizzy height, and sapped the life out of me.

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped; therefore, my heart exalts, and with my song I shall thank him.

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression. But a good word makes it glad.

Sadly, there was no word forthcoming, but I was aware of Satan’s isolation tricks. So, I prayed on my own and called on him daily. He kept reminding me to trust not in man, they let you down, but also pray for your enemies, so I ran to him every time. During covid of course I didn’t see my daughter and her husband but I, on the other hand have never liked speaking of my issues.

Despite it all Father, you cause all things to work together for good to those who love you. I pray I am able to be a good witness for you. I’m determined now to walk away from all things past and believe in your plan for me. Yes, there have been many who’d rather I was drowned and crushed along the way but it’s you who’s in control so they have no chance. Onwards and upwards. Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war… it is indeed a war. Put your armour on and keep marching. With the cross of Jesus going on before!

Reaping and Sowing

Walking behind a young couple, with a little kiddie walking in the middle, when suddenly, dad dashed into a driveway, near the entrance and began uprooting a plant. I wasn’t close enough to see much – but they walked off with a small plant.

Saddened and shocked, I pondered on this seemingly insignificant incident – to them.

But that’s just it. It isn’t insignificant at all.

Mum must surely have felt embarrassed, or perhaps she was used to that sort of thing. The child – well he/she just had a lesson in how to steal. Dad – well he thinks he’s got away with it because no one saw him.

Sad state of affairs, don’t you think?

One could say they’ve never been told its wrong to take what’s not yours, and in todays world its probably true.

But once again the bible, or ‘the good book’, or the Word of God, says ‘You shall not steal’ Exodus 20:15. And not knowing isn’t an excuse, as God gave everyone a conscience to warn us of wrong doing or going against Gods word. We instinctively know. Even a child will lie and say “no it wasn’t me” when caught. Or something similar. We’ve all done it.

So if the law of the land doesn’t catch you out, reaping and sowing does still happen. Or, what goes around comes around. They’ll get their comeuppance. When we steal from others, someone will steal from us. The theft is bad seed. Only negative results will come about, and it may not be in the way of theft even. We don’t know.

God sees everything.

What you do to others will be done to you.

So somewhere down the line someone will steal from you. Maybe not a plant either, but anything belonging to you or your family even. What a risk.

Ignorance of Gods word is allowing sin to to rule all our lives.

And to think – there are even churches (?) – who won’t mention sin in case it offends someone. They are in fact preventing people from knowing the truth and how they can be freed from sin and its power and its consequences. They’re supposed to be preaching the Word of God who loves people and doesn’t want any to perish. Makes you wonder who’s their god.

The blessed Lord Jesus died to save us from it all because he loves us, even though we were sinners – born in sin – he went to the cross to save us from the power of sin over us. God knew we would sin and gave us Jesus, to save us from it. Only One who is sinless could save us.

But for centuries people reject his offer of salvation because they choose to live the way they do. Their pride won’t allow them to admit they are wrong. So they deny him. But that’s no excuse.

Sadly they will still pay for it, according to the word of God.

By the way, I’ve made dozens – no hundreds – no thousands of mistakes, so I know how it feels.

As a single parent I lied to get a job. I was broken and desperate. I just wanted a job to start again. To try and pick myself up from the derision I’d suffered. I knew I’d lied. But years later when I looked back, I thought to myself what an idiot I was to give it up. Then my conscience kicked in, wham – nothing good can happen when you break the Ten Commandments. When we lie we sin. It was only natural that the job didn’t last. You can’t build on sand.

Everything has consequences.

But God is merciful and doesn’t want anyone to perish. When we genuinely seek him and his forgiveness, he will make a way for you to come to him. Just like the thief on the cross…

Luke 23: 41-43. And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

What a gift!

I was a squashed cabbage leaf when I came to Jesus, and he made me brand new.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

That’s why I was saddened by what I witnessed that day with that young couple. I knew the risk. All I could do was pray for them.

Picture by Pixabay

I BLAME ALL GOVERNMENTS

Image by Sergei Tokmakov Terms.Law from Pixabay 

Huh! Don’t be daft I hear you say. Why blame the government?

Whilst queuing in a post office one day and watching a dad at a loss with his young son, who was pulling leaflets off a stand nearby and throwing them on the floor. The child of course took no notice of being told to pick them up. This went on for some time as poor dad begged and tried to assert authority but to no avail.

I imagine dad was very aware of all eyes on him, wondering what he was going to do. And, knowing full well, that someone would most likely report him if he gave the child a smack and showed any kind of authority.

The dad continued to beg the child to pick up the leaflets with no result, then the child turned round and said no! you pick them up! And so dad did as he was told.

The fifth commandment says – Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. Exodus 20:12

“The key to societal stability is reverence and respect for parents and their authority…..” notes from my John MacArthur study bible.

So yeah I do blame governments who have put laws in place that forbid scriptural teaching in schools and penalise parents for disciplining their children.

What do adults do if they have a hysterical person losing their grip – they slap them across the face to shake them out of it. A quick smack on the bottom of a child does the same thing and lets them know that you are in charge. Doing nothing lets the devil know he can use them to do his work, because the parents are not in charge.

No one is saying beat them up or use uncontrolled vicious angry outbursts. That should never happen. But loving parents do not do that. By teaching them right from wrong is however the most loving thing you can do for them.

Its glaringly obvious that people the world over refuse point blank to do as they are told, which would never have happened if they knew that their actions have consequences.

I doubt if many in government know the bible nor understand it. But they’re quick to agree with anti-Christs in order to win votes.

Now they end up with spending millions to pick up everywhere and cleanse the sea.

NO LAW CAN FIX THIS

This Photo
by Unknown Author is licensed under
CC BY-SA-NC

Yup annoying isn’t it?

Just think what a difference it would make if personnel only made some connection with you – like

Eye contact – a smile – a greeting …dare I say…

Some acknowledgement you’re actually visible.

Imagine if a few seconds were spent saying – hi – good day – won’t be long – we’re just a bit busy – take a seat…

Drs surgeries and pharmacists and indeed all people dealing with the public, would not suffer abuse I’m sure – if they showed some compassion. That means putting oneself in another’s shoes – meaning, imagining how the customer/patient feels. Here’s the thing… if they are in a medical environment, they most likely are unwell…that’s why they are there.

If people are just plain rudely ignored, and not given an option, but to wait, let’s be honest, it is annoying! And, makes one more ill.

Golden Rule – Jesus said treat people the way you would like to be treated.

I agree staff members have certain roles and it may not be their job to attend to everyone, but hey the public don’t know that – they see you standing there and talking most likely – and NOT attending to them. Whereas you could have saved the whole situation by just saying hello – we’ll be with you shortly.

Laws don’t change people’s hearts. No matter how many signs you stick on the wall. Only Jesus can. He teaches how to love thy neighbour (golden rule). When you love others, you automatically treat them kindly.  

Feeling Exposed

I’ve so many thoughts pinging in my head, and making me dizzy …but where to touch down?

“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” Maya Angelou.

Those crippling memories of my first book flop, haunt my mind relentlessly. But I mustn’t dither now, just get on with it, and start again…a small voice prompts…

It was with great difficulty that I tried to cope with my frequent illnesses, over the past few years…finally someone listened. The X-ray called for more checks; osteoarthritis in the lower back. Now that I’m able to walk again with the aid of more amazing pills, I’m going to push through my melancholic/phlegmatic nature – which so easily takes hold – and get up.

I miss my mom. Heaven awaits.

God is sovereign, keep tuning in…

Remembering times of being useful helped too.  So here goes.

I’m thinking of my very first job working behind a counter. Ouch what a come down from my cosmetic buyer role in an office. Now, after my divorce, I was on full display to the public. Completely out of my comfort zone. But it was a job.

The position was in a large departmental store in Cape Town. In the quiet, men’s department. The counter was small with two people handling the whole show. The delightful young man working for a huge American corporation, which sold gorgeous men’s fragrances and treatments. The first company I think to introduce men’s facial and body creams and potions. The very same company I was a buyer for in Johannesburg, so I was familiar with the products. I think also, he was the first man to hold such a role. The other half of the counter was where I came in, selling all local and international fine fragrances for men.

We were a great team. He taught me everything and was super kind to me; treated me like a mom actually. He lovingly hovered around me when customers approached and asked for things I’d not heard of, I gratefully allowed him to discuss the product for me. He was very protective, and always stood up for me. His half of the counter was flourishing, due to his excellent sales pitch. Something I knew nothing of. This young man was talented and loved fashion, and knew what was new and hot off the press, so to speak. He was a gay fellow, who lived with his mom. She taught him to sew, which encouraged him to make his own clothes, a natural for glamour and fashion. He used to help her as a youngster, with all her sewing orders, fitting everything. He was lovely and tall and well built, with a sharp wit and a hilarious sense of humour.

I was so fond of that caring young man. He showed immense maturity and compassion for my lowly situation, that of a single parent with tremendous hardships. And my being an early Christian, I was yet to learn that the trials and sufferings on our journey through life, always teach us something. And, we learn the most at those times. We are focussed yes, but also anxious to overcome it. And with Gods help we do. Provided we stay tuned in to Him who is sovereign, and has allowed the trial to happen especially to conform us to his Son Jesus Christ. My new friend with his genuine care helped build me up again, and was a blessing to me.

Just what I needed.

There were many young black men coming to the counter, who were also keen to try new things. And like me, hadn’t heard of the men’s perfume names.  

I became acutely aware of their shyness and hesitation of how to go about things. New fragrances were coming out weekly and they wanted to be in the know too.

But how could they? If they didn’t even know how to ask for it. I’d notice them standing at a distance trying to read (if they could) the name – or even just to point to the bottles. My heart broke for them, knowing exactly what they were going through. Feeling embarrassed about not knowing something, and never daring to ask, to avoid being mocked or laughed at for not knowing.

I started putting a few testers on the counter, for them to come and pick up a bottle and try it out. Which was a start. Until the managers complained about leaving them out in case of theft.

Then I came up with another idea. I went out and bought a small, colourful tin tray to put on top of the counter, and displayed a few popular and new fragrance testers on it. The customers flocked around gathering information, enjoying the opportunity of trying new products. They soon learned how to pronounce them with confidence and the word spread. We were off!

My sales rocketed to the amazement of all the clients I dealt with. The big cheeses from Chanel came down from Johannesburg to see for themselves. The tiny counter that was beating sales all over the country!  But the colourful tin tray simply did not do! Chanel replaced it with a lovely silver one. So ever since then tester trays became the greatest tools in the Fragrance world.

My ability to sell wasn’t the issue. It’s how you treat people that garners sales.

Jesus taught me. He turned all my pain and humiliation of my past into a many good uses. I recognized suffering in others and wanted to fix it.

Matthew 7:12. …treat people the same way you want them to treat you… I yearned for people to be patient with me as a child, and teach me things I couldn’t understand. But I learned never to ask.

The popular saying, that only clever people ask questions, never rang true with me. 

Growing up in South Africa, of course there was racism. But after becoming a Christian I learned man was made in God’s image. We’re all the same, but many wrongs were committed.

I understood that my prospective customers, had walked for miles, hours even, to get to work. Out of necessity, due to the locations they were placed. Miles away from anything. Public transport was pitiful if not non-existent.  Their home life was nothing like most whites. There might have been a tin bath with cold water, and then have to share with many others in the early hours of a dark morning.

After hours of walking – often running, brought on massive perspiration for which they were often mocked. Their jobs probably demanded being on their feet most of the day doing heavy work, and on an empty stomach.

I was an anxious person growing up, suffering with tension headaches and frightened of everything. I perspired terribly which was most embarrassing, with hideous dark patches under the arms on my clothes. When I started work at fifteen years of age, I soon learned about anti-perspirants and cheaper scents, in the beginning. As soon as I could afford the best quality, that became a ‘must have’.  I understood.

It was only natural my customers wanted a nice fragrance or deodorant. I made sure they had plenty to choose from. They were so proud when they were able to buy something special that made them feel good.

2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Glory be to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

There isn’t a human experience that Jesus doesn’t know about.

Kindness is like a passport; you’re welcome anywhere.

Picture by Pixabay

LONELINESS

Indifference numbs

like an arctic wind

disinterested eyes divide

Minds torn

Wasted seeds underfoot

crush hope

solitude welcomes

hurt distances

tears wash away

unsaid words 

care slips

down invisible walls

haughtiness crowns itself

pride can’t receive

nay, won’t receive

refuses to need

ingratitude lies

jealousy weaves; entraps

to deceive

manipulate

compassion forgives

loneliness returns

hope is forlorn

yet ever expectant

Photo by Belle Co on Pexels.com

Trudy Smith©

BRAND NEW

All what we see in the world today …

Hatred, rudeness, unkindness, selfishness, arrogant pride, haughtiness, discrimination against any nation = racism, disrespect for one another, dishonouring of parents and elderly, lack of obedience to parents, ingratitude to the generosity and help offered by others, and especially by those in the emergency and medical services, refusing to be told or taught by parents and teachers and all in authority, spitting, mocking, vile language, rage, killings, raping, kidnapping, intimate relations with anyone outside of biblical marriage, bullying, cruelty to all animals, abusing animals for money, taking what’s not yours, not telling the truth, destroying property or someone else’s possessions…

Is all evidence of how sinful we are born – with evil hearts – no one taught us this way, it’s the natural progression of Adams disobedience to God. (Yes, Eve sinned too, but she was lovingly put under his protection, and chose to move out of it and fell – taking all mankind with, in the Fall). But we’re not all the same in our sinfulness, but nevertheless, sinful.

When we engage in any of those sinful behaviours, things inevitably go wrong.

Jesus came down into the world to teach us the correct way, the righteous way, but people still wanted their way to be right, they chose darkness.

But God – Jesus – loved the world so much, he took all the world’s sins in his own body, and died on the cross to save us, from eternal depravity, darkness and suffering in hell, so that believing in Him we can become brand new, born again, free from the power of sin.

Nations that have denied parents and schools, teaching about Jesus and disciplining their children to live godly clean lives, to bring honour to them and worship God, have rejected Gods love and protection and grace, and bring on themselves worldly disasters without his help.

Guess what? They blame God! It’s what they choose.

People who love God, love Jesus, love the bible – the Word of God, love their neighbour, and want to help others and be kind and loving. Its natural. It shows we belong to a higher realm, because we honour God who made us and we desire to obey.

Yes, we Christians, still make mistakes in our sinful earthly flesh, daily sometimes even, but we have a Father in heaven who loves us and by His grace he protects us and brings us back to him for repentance, so we can live in rest and peace now, even when things go wrong and we get sick, and even after we die here on earth. We’ll always be in rest and peace with Him for all eternity.

Rejoice in the birth of Christ! There’s no greater Gift!

Ps…for the first time in 7 decades, I have felt free to speak…

Never forget! Bullying and derision is a sin.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Pray for Men and Boys

I’ve always been fascinated by the physical strength of men. They’re just so strong… I mean very simply they can pick up heavy things without the slightest sign of a struggle.

I love to see their natural instincts – irrespective of their age – to rush and help where they see a need. When I’ve taken a taxi – in the good old days – they’d hop out and rush to lift your heavy suitcase into the cab, as if it was filled with tissue paper. Meanwhile, I needed two hands to drag it to that point with great struggle and pain. They like to be helpful, because they can, without effort. There’s been many a time, when my heavy suitcase was lifted to the top or bottom of a bridge on train stations in my travels.

And then you get stupid women saying ‘I don’t need a man to help me’… one old lady told me she hit a taxi drivers’ hand when he opened the door… cussing rudely – “I don’t need your help”!

Getting them to stop doing that is like trying to get a cat to bark. It’s in their blood.

I’ve often stopped at building sites to gaze in wonder at men carrying out really heavy work. They actually enjoy it! It’s like a major work out. I’m not keen on Mr Universe though.

Then there’s the male ballet and ballroom dancers; no matter how slightly built they are, lifting the ladies up over their heads as if they’re dolls! Absolutely incredible.

Men are strong. They are made that way. Their bones are longer, bigger; their skin is thicker too, and hairier. All to equip them for their heavy work, and life. They don’t feel the bumps and scratches like women do.

Watch them skate on their knees on the sports fields after scoring a point. My stomach flips just watching.

Even their bladder and stomachs are larger.

Men are strong.

God made them that way.

But – their one weakness is their eyes.

How do you know?  I hear you say…

  • Have you ever seen a guy walk into a lamp post while his head is turned towards a pretty girl walking past?
  • Driving in a car and the driver can’t bring his eyes back onto the road – same reason?
  • Girls in the office who don’t dress appropriately are always noticed, particularly by the men.
  • Many a wife have caught their men with their mouths open as they say – with their eyes glued, seemingly, to an attractive female passing by. 
  • Coming home on the tube one day – a very young girl standing with her older sister – I assumed – in the section between two carriages – she was wearing dark tights with quite tight, very short, shorts over them, and a pretty top…she was a young teenager. I surreptitiously glanced up and down the carriage, which was one of those new tubes where the seats were opposite each other, so I could see quite clearly that every male person for as far as I could see, had their eyes on this young girl, and not on her face either.

I prayed for every boy and man who couldn’t take their eyes off that girl that day. For almighty God to intercede in their thoughts and cut them off from it and forget about it.

The devil roams around like a roaring lion to see whom he can devour.  1 Peter 5:7

The trouble is, when the scenery changes, those thoughts of what they saw, stay in their minds, if they dwell on it, it can arouse further feelings, ending up in lust. (Strong sexual desire – even uncontrolled).

Now the best example of all is King David of the bible. He looked down over his balcony one night, and saw Bathsheba bathing.  He had to have her, and he did, and the rest is history.

For those of you who don’t know the history. King David naturally had many guards and soldiers surrounding him, willing to do whatever he asked. He arranged for her to be brought to his quarters and ended up having sex with her. When she later told him she was pregnant he arranged for her husband to be killed in battle so he could take her as his wife. A baby boy was born but later died.

She was sexually assaulted, had to mourn the death of her husband whom she loved, then loses her baby.

The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23   

Read the story – 2 Samuel 11:2 – 12:23

He wrote Psalm 51 after that.

God is merciful and sovereign.

What of the desires of men, as they go about their daily living? If they don’t know the bible, they won’t have heard of praying for help, or even knowing of self-control. They may continue with those thoughts and turn to the internet, where they can look at anything in secret to fulfil their lust. They may go to the pub and try having a drink to forget it. They will never discuss it, (men are strong – and that is a sign of weakness – in their eyes), so they believe that they are on their own, and also, that they are the only one to go through those feelings.  It’s not unknown that they may even know the bible, but they feel ashamed and won’t tell.

If you’re a Christian, please pray for all men and boys.

To be continued…

Just be You

After the crushing effects of divorce, all the wheels fell off. I moved around in a blurry atmosphere most of the time. I couldn’t go for an interview without having a panic attack. I took on various temping jobs, eventually I found myself working behind cosmetic counters. Anyway, here I was in a beautiful department store in Cape Town, working behind an equally beautiful counter, watching a shopper browsing languidly through many items of clothes hanging on the walls, whilst baby in the pram was crying non stop.

It tore my heart up till I couldn’t stand it anymore. The store was dead quiet being early morning still. I left my equally quiet counter and walked up to the pram, asking mum if I could hold the baby. “Oh yes she said – its been fed so its not hungry”. I picked up the tiny bundle and placed her comfortably on my chest / shoulder area and held her tight, rubbing her back as I rocked her. Pretty soon out popped a huge burp. Mom turned around and sheepishly came toward us and apologised.

Oh, don’t worry I said, I know exactly how you feel. No one to help you, you’re at the end of your rope and feel like a floor rag, no doubt you’ve been up half the night, right? She nodded tearfully. No wonder you want a nice dress to perk you up. Lack of sleep makes the best of us ratty and impatient. Our nerves don’t connect and the whole body is out of whack.

Try find someone to help you sometimes I suggested, you need some – me time – to recharge the battery. Don’t be afraid to ask, sometimes people think you’ve got it all under control, and don’t like to ‘interfere’. Forget pride, baby’s life is at stake. You are all she knows and wants, she can’t talk, so how else is she going to let you know she’s in pain, they don’t usually cry for nothing.

I know it’s hard losing your independence, but having babies is when we come second – to everything. Our needs don’t count anymore, especially if you’re on your own. And, the shock horror truth of it all, is, that, that’s the deal for the next 18 years at least. It’s important to just love her and keep the lines open between you, that way she’ll know you’ll always be there for her. She was most grateful and hugged her baby tight.

When you come to faith in Jesus, acknowledge and repent of your sins, know he died for you and rose again, he lives in you, you become a new person. You’re born of his Spirit who leads you to help others, wherever you are. No matter the situation, you’ll just have wisdom and strength to be there. Bearing fruit for Jesus glorifies God.

I used to think I had to know how to speak to people about the bible, I knew I couldn’t be like pastors who know what to say. And especially with fears of being stupid always plaguing my mind, but compassion always won. So I just did what came naturally.

Me and Jesse in happy times.

PEACE

MOJO – huh?

Where does that word come from even? A magic charm or spell, power or influence. Probably Africa origin – witchcraft. Oxford English Dictionary.

No way! God created me in his image before the world began. He didn’t leave me to roam around in darkness unaided. Even if I didn’t know it, he was always in charge. When I believed his word, his Holy Spirit guides me. Because he loves me, and protects me from evil forces that do not love at all, but destroy and deceive for their purposes.

John 15:4 ..abide in me and I in you. Apart from me you can do nothing..

Whatever was going on in my life – the circumstances, the upsetting issues, the hardships, the loneliness, the aches and many pains, were all conforming me to his image. I’m to therefore submit and grow with and through it all.

Isaiah 48:17 I am the Lord your God who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.

When lockdown first happened in February/March 2020 – a back tooth in the upper jaw – broke off and part of the filing with it. Whatever remained felt like blades. Just then all 70+s was deemed vulnerable and had to stay put.

No dental help was forthcoming. As the months dragged on, it chipped away. I probably swallowed most of it!

God blessed me with a new flat within 6 months of my requesting a transfer due to neighbour noise.

So, February 2021 I moved into a tiny little flat with the view of green trees out of all my windows from the first floor. At first, I resisted as didn’t know the area and was afraid that I knew no one.

But what a change from the blaring radios from parked cars outside my window, loud horrible voices on mobile phones, blokes punching each other and falling through the fence, and of course noisy traffic. I had no friends in the building and also no church friends nearby.

God knows I love trees and birds and little creatures, so that’s what I gaze at every day now. Foxes playing together, lots of birds, a family of magpies growing up, blue tits dashing about, parakeets with their beautiful green feathers, lots of crows, a blue crane appeared once, a woodpecker tapping away at a tree stump, tiny robins I love. Plenty of squirrels and fat pigeons nibbling at everything on the trees. And wonderful neighbours who gave me greeting cards when I first moved in. Even the manager of the building gave me a ‘New Home’ card. Little ladies popped by my door to say hello – masks and all. A Christian lady loaned me her ladder to reach the high cupboards in the kitchen. So many lovely changes – I was in awe. God knows best.

It all helped me settle, despite the lack of cupboards in the bedroom and bathroom. And my having to part with a few pieces of furniture because there was no space, and many huge bags of clothes and bric-a-brac. All went to charity who were delighted with everything.

My tooth, after a whole year had finally parted company with the filling that was left and the pain kicked in. I stuck half a pain killer in the hole often. The soonest date I could get to see a dentist was the end of April. Bearing in mind I was a new patient in the area so no rush there. I wasn’t a priority.

A week after I moved in, I had a colonoscopy at St Georges hospital in Tooting. A massive hospital with plenty of restrictions. I was tested of course and had had my first jab. Prep for the op was done at home – thankfully – 24 hours in the loo. My daughter fetched and carried and brought me home. All was well, wonderful medical staff all round. Of course, I had to sign on with new doctors in the area.

Before my dental appointment I let him know how painful it was and suspected infection. He prescribed antibiotics which helped a bit but I needed a second batch to do the job.

The tooth came out with great difficulty – ouch – lovely dentist, so I trusted him. Two injections helped. I was numb right to the throat. It had a long root which entailed a lot of tugging. He asked the nurse for a blade. What? The tooth had merged with the jaw bone. He sent me home with a script for painkillers advising me to keep on top of the pain, also giving me cotton plugs for the bleeding.

At home the injection wore off and the bleeding started – blimey – he also said no rinsing at all – nothing in the mouth for 24 hours.

My new Christian friend offered to buy me some smoothies – I couldn’t put a teaspoon of yogurt in my mouth even, my jaw was so tight. Thankfully I had straws – what a life saver! Isn’t God good.

I lay on my bed after handling the bleeding, worrying whether I’d get blood on my lovely new single bed and linen my ex paid for and my daughter bought on his behalf.

Funny what one thinks of.

I lay on my bed crying – regretting not opting for hospitalization.

I was saying sorry to Jesus – I can’t do this. You hung on the cross bleeding for hours, every bone in your body in agony and your skin and muscles stripped away with cruel whips embedded with bits of bone and metal to rip it open. Holes in your hands and feet – not forgetting the spitting in your beautiful face, and the depraved cries of wicked, jealous, vile people, whom you came to save… and I can’t even handle a toothache!

Please help me I don’t know what to do Lord it’s so sore.

Then I felt my jaw move and I heard the sound of bones creaking, like knitting together – and sudden pain for a second, I was scared at first – then nothing – no pain – then peace surrounded me as I lay there quietly.

Jesus still loved me and was with me …I didn’t mind who didn’t love me or want me, as long as Jesus loved me.

It took a while to return to normal but I could handle it as I waited. This pic, weeks after the extraction, looks weird but not at all painful. You should have seen me with half my face, double in size with various colours of bruising! It looked like I’d been in a punch up. At least my face returned to normal size! I was grateful for masks if anyone came to my door!

Jesus is in control.

Peace picture Pixaby