Unexplainable Sadness Became Supernatural Joy

2-14pm

It was  Friday 30th September 2011, three years ago today. I woke early and went downstairs to have my prayer time. But I was not happy. Overwhelmed by an unexplainable sadness, I just didn’t feel up to the day. I wasn’t sick. I felt well in my body but extremely melancholy in my spirit. Emotional, probably hormonal, I plonked myself down in my ‘prayer chair’ and thought of the day ahead. It was Friday. Fabulous, funfilled Friday! Every Friday was a good day. Usually, I would enthusiastically bounce off to work, a spring in my step and a smile on my face. With extra fanfare I would present the Rise and Shine show…after all it was Friday – the weekend!

But on this day, I couldn’t do it. There was nothing particular wrong. I was just miserable! “Oh! Lord,” I lamented. “I can’t do it! How can I go and do the show all happy and joyful when I’m feeling like this? I can’t do it! What am I to do? I’m feeling so terrible. I’m so miserable. I’m so unhappy. The last thing I feel is fabulous and funfilled. I can’t do it. Please help!”

And then something absolutely remarkable happened. I got a thought. It went through my head in a clear and concise manner. There was no doubting it. It was as clear as crystal “Go to the Psalm of your age.”

That was strange…the Psalm of my age. Just over a month later, I would turn 47, so I started paging in my Bible to Psalm 47. There was the ‘thought’  again – “No, you are not 47. You are 46. Go to Psalm 46″.

Go to Psalm 46. Ah, “Be still and know that I am God.” That verse is in Psalm 46. I thought that was where I was headed. I got to Psalm 46 and I started reading…it’s a wonderful psalm. Starting with “God is our refuge and strength,  an ever-present help in trouble”, I carefully read each sentence, wondering which one God had for me.

I got to verse 5 (I’m born on the 5th) and what I read made me dissolve into tears.

“God is within her – she will not fall – God will help her at the break of day.”

Never before and not since, have I had God speak to me so clearly. His Holy Spirit whispered in my mind and gave this verse to me at the moment I needed it most. I dissolved into tears, but instead of tears of sadness or frustration, they were tears of wonder and of joy. Thank you Jesus. I was at my lowest and with this promise, just knowing You are with me and that You will help me, I know that I can leap into today and it will be the most fabulous, fun-filled Friday ever!

God is faithful. When you are in need, call to Him and He will answer you.

That became a wonderful ‘stone of remembrance.”

Memorial stone - God is within her

It was a spectacular moment in time when the Holy Spirit came to comfort and reassure me. He is always with each of us. He longs to comfort us. He rises to show us compassion. The stone stands to remind me of God’s unfailing love for me. I wallow in His love. The same love He has for me, He has for you.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…David returned from his  road trip late last night and spent the night at home. It was such a treat to be able to cook breakfast for him this morning…..

Davids breakfast

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I’m Not A Natural Housewife!

12-34pm

It is true. I’m not a natural housewife. I’d far rather be out socialising; and doing stuff I like – like spending time outdoors – maybe walking up a mountain or on the beach – and writing and  reading. I’d far rather have coffee with a friend than clean the house. I’d far rather do the blog than clean the house. I can find myself wasting time on Facebook, instead of housework. Cleaning the house is so far down my list of priorities that I have to make a concerted effort to bump it up to the top to get it done. If I were at school and housework was ‘homework’, I would probably fail. There would be some form of penalty like ‘lines’. Did you ever get ‘lines?’  I did. Well, if I were the teacher and I was giving the poor, negligent housewife ‘lines,’  they would have to write 100 x (alternating) “if it is to be, it is up to me” and “just do it.”  (I’d also probably throw in some ‘it is what it is!’) When it comes to housework, those are a few of the things I mumble under my breath.

DishesThere are always going to be things we DON’T like doing. Eventually, even the things I love doing, could become a bit monotonous. I worked hard to try and prevent the Rise and Shine show from becoming monotonous. If it was monotonous for me, imagine what it was like for the listening audience?! I was always trying to be creative in thinking up new stuff. When I couldn’t think up anything more, my time was up! But you can’t walk away from  some responsibilities. Fortunately, housework is not a radio show and I don’t have 1000s of people waiting for me to do it. If I did, I guess I’d be a bit quicker about getting on with it. But there are some lessons I have learned when it comes to doing the mundane household chores that just have to be done.

1. The hardest part is the first 5 minutes. I just have to begin. Surprisingly, once I’ve taken that first step, I find myself regularly doing a lot more than I intended.

2. There is a great deal of satisfaction in getting my space clean and tidy. Clearing away clutter, throwing out stuff, getting rid of rubbish, putting things in their right place, altogether is very fulfilling. It’s freeing. In our bedroom, we have a table and two chairs. They are the collectors of clothes and clutter. It takes about 5 minutes to put everything that accumulates on them, away. For the rest of the day, I can enjoy order…

Table and chairs

3. It rubs off on others. I have discovered that as soon as I make the effort to really clean up and keep order, others follow suit. When the kitchen is left messy, other occupants of my home tend to not bother washing up anything they have used. They don’t need to. The kitchen is already a mess, so they just add what they have used to the mess. But, when the kitchen is sparkling, their dirty dishes stand out, so they wash them up! :-D (Of course, this didn’t really apply to my children when they were younger! But it does apply to them now that they are adults!)

4. I feel in control. When my space is organised, I feel far more organised. Empowered.

Just do it!

Make a start, you’ll feel so glad you did!

Now here’s something interesting. It came from a blog I found online:

1 John 5:4

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 


Nike coined the phrase “just do it” and emphasized it with the swoosh that is displayed on their athletic shoes. But did you know that the word NIKE is actually a Biblical word? Nike is the Greek word used in 1 John 5:4 for victory. It is pronounced nee’-kay and is used only one time in the Bible and that is in this verse where it means conquest; the means of success; –victory. From the root word of Nike comes the word nikao which means to subdue; conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory. It is through our faith that we learn to press through to the victory; to overcome and experience the conquest of success; to prevail until the battle is won and the victory is ours! Faith overcomes! ” 

(That came from here.)

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…I was so glad I got to see what was so unusual about this picture. When you see it, you won’t be able to unsee it! Nothing to do with the cows in the background…(it’s probably photoshopped, but clever none the less)…

Cow pictureIt didn’t just jump out at me, as with some other people. I had to stare a while!

 

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Golf & Grace

3-30pm

As Mike & I enjoyed the great outdoors this morning, I was reminded of something I had seen online…

FishingThis is true, but it’s best to be sitting in church thinking about God!

Today, Mike & I spent more than 4 hours on the golf course. You take your faith with you wherever you go, including playing golf. It’s  uncommon for us to have ‘spiritual’ discussions with anyone while on the course. No testimonies are shared. No great breakthroughs happen. It’s a time of enjoying the outdoors, admiring the magnificent view,

Mountain and sea - Simonstown

….and trying to get that darned little ball into a cup in the least number of shots as possible. After 9 holes, we order a big breakfast  and we will say grace before we eat. Now this could prove a little awkward, but I just can’t bring myself not to. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 2:5-6) Praying before a meal is my way of acknowledging God. And so we pray. Trusting, leaning, acknowledging. If those at our table do or don’t, it makes no difference. We do. As Stacey said, saying grace is a testimony in itself. Playing golf on a Sunday is a whole new mission field! I’m not sure it will happen all that often, but it was good for today!

We came home, well exercised and Mike made coffee. A few years ago, we were able to buy Starbucks coffee in Cape Town supermarkets, but I haven’t seen it for ages. When Riana returned from the States a few months ago, she bought us some and that was demolished in a matter of weeks. I asked Dustin if he could squeeze in a bag for us and he managed to. We are so enjoying it. If you see it in Cape Town, let me know!

Starbucks

 

I’m already wondering if there is another American coming soon who can bring the next packet!

And so the weekend gently ticks to a close. Mike has taken tomorrow off, which is great! He’s got work to do and so do I, but it will be good to have him around.

Isaiah 54:10 sprang out of my Bible reading this morning. Lap up these words…

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you!

Love & Peace.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…these dirty windows of mine are a wonderful reminder that all the cottage panes have been taken out, the old half-fallen-out putty removed and the glass put back in again with fresh putty….it was a big job that has waited a long time to be done…the putty is almost dry, so we can get the windows clean soon…

Dirty windows

I never knew I’d be grateful for dirty windows!

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Riana’s (Banting) Lemon & Coconut Mug Muffin

2-21pm

These take 1 and a half minutes in the microwave. I have clever friends. Riana is one of them. As she doesn’t eat chocolate, she experimented with the  Banting Chocolate cake in a mug recipe and came up with this one. This is such a simple recipe. Here’s what I wrote down:

RecipeEasy peasy….break an egg into a regular size mug and give it a good whisk using a fork. When nicely beaten, add the rest of the ingredients…

IngredientsSo that’s 2 tablespoons of almond flour and 2 tablespoons of dessicated coconut. Add half a teaspoon of baking powder and a tablespoon of oil. Riana and I both used macadamia oil.

Macadamia oilWhen it came to the lemon, I put in about half a teaspoon of grated lemon rind, but I didn’t think it was enough. You can play around with it or substitute it with orange if you’d prefer. Next time, I will definitely make it a teaspoon of lemon rind. Riana had some lemon oil, which she put in hers. I forgot the xylitol. It doesn’t need a lot, but it definitely needed some…maybe start with half a teaspoon and if that isn’t enough increase to a teaspoon with the next one.  Just ‘gooi’  all the ingredients on top of the beaten egg….

Dry ingredients added to the egg

And mix it all up…once it’s well blended, it’s ready for the microwave….

Ready for the microwave90 seconds! That’s all. 1 and a half minutes and out it comes looking like this…

90 seconds laterRun a knife around the edges, knock the bottom of the mug on the counter top to persuade the bottom of the cake to loosen and tip it out…decorate with a strawberry and a bit of cream and voila…

Lemon and coconut mug cake

Another recipe to add to your Banting collection! Thanks Riana!

1 Corinthians 13:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….Dustin arrived safe and sound and is now settling in…such a nice guy…

Dustin has arrived

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If Only You Had Paid Attention…

Yesterday afternoon, Mike & I headed down to Simonstown for a quick 9 holes of golf. Remember, I don’t play. I’m the caddy!  The day was beautiful and overcast and in the bay there were a couple of whales, frolicking and breaching. It was hard to keep my eye on my golfer the view was so good!

View on Simonstown golf courseMike played BRILLIANTLY. It was actually his best score on this golf course. I had nearly not gone with him, but he has not played any golf in recent years without me. I have been with him every time. He said, ‘you don’t have to come.’ I replied, ‘what if you get a hole in one and no one is there to see it?’ I was so pleased I went. Of 9 holes, he got 5 pars and a birdie. Not bad for a 2o handicap!

Mikes score card

On the 6th, he fluffed his first shot and so took a ‘mulligan’. If we had counted that, instead of his first shot, he would have got a 6th par. It was fabulous to watch. I must remember to video every time he has a birdie chance. He had one on the 4th. I videoed and he missed. I didn’t video the 9th and it went it! Go figure!

The caddy gets sushi after the golf! :-D

Sushi

Right now, Dustin is on his way here. Dustin, our new tenant, plays golf! I’m hoping he’ll be able to play with Mike sometime. I’m not sure if he’s bringing his clubs. Coming from the US, he’s joining the Living Hope team in bring hope and healing to the lives of extremely disadvantaged children. Pray for Dustin as he settles in…

DustinAnd one final golf comment, is that this weekend is the Ryder Cup. It’s the USA verses Europe. Exciting stuff to watch. A lot of hoopla around it. Being played in Scotland, so very time-friendly for us. We will be following its progress in the hope of a European win, but if it goes the way of US, I won’t be devastated. They haven’t won for a long time are far from home and are sort of the underdogs. There’s already a lot of fist-pumping and hollering and it’s only the first hole of the first day!

Ryder CupExciting stuff. Each shot, each drive, each pitch, each putt, the players have to pay attention. They have to try and shut out the distractions. They have to put aside the uncertainties and concentrate on the job at hand. They have to put into practice all that they have learned. And so do we.

Isaiah 48:18

“If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

I could do with peace like a river. It comes from paying attention to God’s commands.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…good friend Heidi is home after months away…H2

Heidi and I

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One Of My New Jobs…

1-53pm

It’s been overcast and drizzly in Cape Town. It was not enough to put me back in boots. Today has been a busy day for me. I had gym from 8-30 to 9-30am. I left 10 minutes CT TVearly, bolted home, showered and dressed and then headed for Observatory to Cape Town TV for a 10-30am meeting. I’m project managing their Telethon which is 4 weeks away! Eek. When you support  Cape Town TV, you support Cape Town! Since I’ve been doing this, I’ve been watching CTV. Last night, I watched a programme on Lupus -Susan van der Walt pioneered treatment for Lupus in South Africa. After being diagnosed with Lupus , she went to the USA for treatment and received a drug called Benlysta. Not available in this country, she fought for it to be allowed in SA. It was such an inspirational story. You can read more at www.eaglesflightministry.co.za. It’s that kind of feel good – bringing hope story that needs financial support. They need to raise money to help run the station. TV is more expensive than radio. Their Telethon is from 21st to 26th October! 

That kept me busy for the morning. I then drove to Christian Book Discounters and picked up Beth Moore CDs. To get there, I had to pass this amazing building…

RBPrepRondebosch Boys Preparatory school – in existence since 1897. A beautiful building.

Mike took today off and so we had coffee on my return. My friend, Debbie (mentioned in yesterday’s pic) phoned to say hello. That was cool. After the blog, I’ve got some Odesk work lined up and then Mike wants to go and play 9 holes of golf. So I hope to get on that boat too!

My Bible verses of choice from this morning’s reading, come from Isaiah 46:9-10

“Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”

We stand poised in a moment of time – from ancient times to 6000 years from now. As God knows what is behind, He knows what is ahead. Will you trust Him with your moment?

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…there have not been many avos that I have sliced open recently,that have been both ripe and perfect…I appreciated this one…

Avo

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Untraditional Heritage Day

2-32pm

There was not a whiff of braai anywhere….no flames to be seen….no wors or chops….we had other priorities for today!

To start with David came and great negotiations took place in the lounge. It was all to do with the car he drives. It’s done more than 300 000km and is beginning to need a few things done to it. Officially belonging to his Dad, David has driven it for years, but not needed to take care of the costs of insurance or maintenance. Now Mike doesn’t want the cost of it. He feels we should sell it and find another option for David. David has become quite fond of the old blue crock and so we offered to sell it to him. Stacey was also consulted. A fine financial deal was decided upon, one that will suit David, suit Stacey and suit us. Mike & David shook on it…

Mike and David shaking on the car dealSmiles all round, I tell you! The next event on this Heritage Day was David leaving for a road trip. David is the new guitarist for Paige Mac  and they are off to the White Mountain Festival in Drakensberg, stopping in Knysna, PE and EL on the way.

White mountain tourThey picked David up from our house…

Paige Mac and the bandWishing them a wonderful, blessed trip.

I had been up early getting stuck in (again) to the cottage. There were a few more things I had to do before the next tenant arrives & time is running out. Dustin arrives on Friday. I cleaned and I scrubbed. I stripped the linen off the bed and washed it…

Dustins linen out

….and, with the wind, it soon dried so I could get it back on the bed…

Dustins linen back on the bedYou can come now, Dustin, we are ready for you! It’s not a big place but it’s functional! I hope you will be very happy here!

Lunch needed to be made. I cooked some veggies and we had leftover  sirloin…

SA sirloin

That’ was pretty good and very South African, even if it didn’t come off a braai.

When I woke up this morning, I remarked to Mike how enjoyable it was not needing to even think about radio on this public holiday. In years gone by if I hadn’t recorded the programme, I would have to be in to do a live show. I savoured the pleasure of not needing to worry. What a wonderful 10 years of early mornings it was. The season is over. A new one has begun. I was reminded of that this morning when I read Isaiah 43:18-19

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

Yes! I am excited. I’m not sure what’s ahead, but in my spirit I am stirred at what God will do.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…Whenever I look at this daisy bush, I am reminded of my longest standing friend, Debbie. On 22nd December 2012, she visited me in Cape Town and hacked it back to a few pathetic stalks…

Daisy bush cut back on 22nd Dec 2012

Now look at it….

DaisiesDebbie had a serious horse riding accident in late January 2013 and, like the daisy bush, she was badly broken. Last Saturday, she turned 50 and, I promise you, she’s like the daisy bush today…flourishing. God has been gracious. Love you Debs!

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Facebook & Faith

2-18pm

We live in a world divided by race, religion and culture. There’s no getting away from that and it’s unlikely to change this side of eternity. Since the arrival of Facebook just over 10 years ago, we see each other far more than ever before.  Facebook has a unifying element. When we get to know someone, albeit through their personal FB life, we may begin to understand how similar we all are. Of course, the divisive & ugly FB element will always be there. But it’s difficult to find another forum upon which people of the world can peek into their foreign neighbours’ homes and lives,  and see the world, unobtrusively, through another set of eyes.

Facebook

As I write this blog on a daily basis, I am  aware of the variety of different people that will stop by for a visit. Many will be of the same faith as me, and others not. When it comes to the blog, I remind myself of a couple of things – this is my blog. It’s my view of the world and I began it really only to see if I could be disciplined enough to write it every day. It is a collection of my thoughts, my beliefs, my ideals, all captured to remind me of my true north – living my life, almost like an open book. I don’t want to have anything to hide.

Talking of having nothing to hide, one of the things that keeps me on the straight and narrow is my daily guide. The Bible is divided in two, with the law dominating the first part (Old Testament) and grace the second (New Testament). In reading the Bible, I came to understand that I can never be good enough. The only way to heaven is to accept what the Bible says. The message of the Cross unites. Jesus came to unify.

These thoughts all came to the fore this morning as I read Ephesians 2

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

SThe Crosso, whatever I do, whatever I write, wherever I go, it is all through the filter of the Bible. What God wants. What the Bible says. That’s my moral code. It gives me a foundation that is firm and trustworthy. I need not fear, because I know the Bible is true. It’s by grace – God’s grace. It’s by faith, in Him. It’s belief – in Christ.

And that’s the miracle of the Cross and the Bible – no matter who you are, where you come from, culture, race or religion. The truth of the Bible is open to you. Words written thousands of years ago still impact our lives on a daily basis. From the World Guinness website, comes this:

Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the worlds best-selling and most widely distributed book. A survey by the Bible Society concluded that around 2.5 billion copies were printed between 1815 and 1975, but more recent estimates put the number at more than 5 billion.”

To get the impact, you’ve got to read it! For me, starting in the New Testament, with the Gospel of John always excited me. I’ve experienced the Bible as a life-changing book, one that influences me every day. I’m amazed that I can read it year after year and still benefit day after day. It stirs me. Like life, there are things within its pages that I don’t understand. I probably never will. Those things, I set to one side. I eat the fish and leave the bones.

I enjoy Facebook – I love seeing people’s lives unfolding. I enjoy my Faith – I love seeing my life unfold. They have another similarity: Facebook will end when I die. And, my faith will end when I die. Because when I die, I will no longer need faith. I will SEE Jesus. Yeah!

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…spring has sprung, the sun is shining and summer is almost here…

Spring

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Sugar vs Cocaine

3-52pm

How addictive is sugar? From my experience, pretty addictive. When I start, it’s hard to stop.

Many people have said that sugar has the same addictive qualities as drugs. I see it in myself that once I start eating sugar-laden treats, I find it difficult to stop. One article I Sugar cubesread came from Paul van der Velpen, the head of Amsterdam’s health services. The story was published a year ago on www.telegraph.co.uk. Here is an excerpt:

“Mr Van der Velpen cites research claiming that sugar, unlike fat or other foods, interferes with the body’s appetite creating an insatiable desire to carry on eating, an effect he accuses the food industry of using to increase consumption of their products. “Sugar upsets that mechanism. Whoever uses sugar wants more and more, even when they are no longer hungry. Give someone eggs and he’ll stop eating at any given time. Give him cookies and he eats on even though his stomach is painful,” he argued.”

That’s pretty much been my experience. In scouring the internet, I discovered this visual which makes the similarities between the response between sugar and cocaine more clear, even if it is in labrats.

Sugar Vs Cocaine

One of the things that shocked me about this visual is the dependence issue – 94% of the rats that are addicted to cocaine, chose sugar over cocaine.

What got me started on this blog was that last night Mike went and bought me a packet of liquorice. Knowing how much I love it and that I would not stop until I had eaten the whole packet, he gave a small amount to me. I wanted more! So he gave me a few more pieces. I wanted more, but I was already feeling ‘sugary’, so I didn’t ask him. (I don’t know where he has hidden the packet!!) But, I can tell you right now, that left alone with the liquorice, I would have polished it all off.

Sugar is addictive. Once I start, I find it hard to stop. Today, I was back to my regular eating habits and am feeling much better for it.

One of my biggest regrets is raising my children on a diet laden with way too much sugar. When you know better, you do better. This is our opportunity to do better!

Even the Bible has something to say about sweet stuff…

Proverbs 25:16 “Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!”

Yup!

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….beautiful lambs at Imhoff this morning -

Lambs

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Eccentric Dutch Guy!

2-50pm

In July 2006, Mike & I took Stacey and David to Montague for a short break. On the way home, we saw a sign to a (hedge) maze just outside Robertson. Thinking this would be something the children would enjoy, we followed the sign to a small-holding close to the road. There were met by an older man of Dutch origin. What his name was, I have no idea, but what followed was nothing less that strange! He began his tour by taking us into an unusual roofless rondavel like structure – on the round walls were child-like sketchings and he tried to entertain us by getting us to guess what was going on with each picture. He was a jolly fellow, but he made us feel pretty uncomfortable. What he was saying didn’t make too much sense. We were left with the feeling of being a bit ignorant – never a happy kind of feeling. After seeing the pictures, he led us through a garden filled with cacti, down to the maze. Again, it wasn’t straight forward, but rather tales of heroes and people we’d never heard of were explained. Eventually, he left us alone and we enjoyed working our way through the maze until we succeeded in finding our way to the end and out again. I took a photo of Stacey & David back to back and it became one of my favourite photos of them. We wandered back to the entrance and were keen to leave, but it was not to be. He concluded our tour by asking us to close our eyes and put out our hands. He had not endeared himself to us and not a single one of us were brave enough to close our eyes. All four kept our eyes open, but we did put out our hands! He put in some little knick-knack as a reminder of our visit. Let me tell you, we didn’t need the item. We would never forget this strange encounter of the weirdest kind.

Fast forward 8 years to Saturday 20th September 2014. Our friends planned a surprise night away. They told us to set aside the night, but we had no idea where were going. We headed along the N1 through the tunnel and stopped at  the Van Loveren wine farm not too far from Robertson, where we had a leisurely lunch. Not long after our midday meal, we arrived at our destination….Mo & Rose at Soekershof…

M and RoseMike didn’t say anything initially, but he very quickly had a hint of recognition. I suspected nothing! We walked in and were shown to our suite. After putting our bags down, we walked to where our friends’ room was. Mike turned to me and said, ‘we’ve been here before.’ I said, ‘No we haven’t.’  Mike continued, ‘if not here, then next door.’ I looked at him and then looked around where I was standing and a dawning of familiarity came over me…..”OH MY WORD! Eccentric Dutch guy!”  I thought. Saying nothing to our friends, I suggested a little walk and determinedly marched towards where we would have gone to get to the maze. But we hit a ‘no through road’  sign and turned off to where the swimming pool is. We sat and chatted and I told my friend the story of the maze. I told her what I recognised and as I did, I became more and more convinced that this was the place. Going back to our room, we read the brochure and to my amusement, saw the pictures that were in the rondavel 8 years ago…

Crazy picsThe farm had become a sanctuary for cacti and the many we had seen 8 years ago were still there, only larger…the gardens had been developed by the new owners and are now absolutely spectacular…

CactiIt has been developed into a personal boutique guesthouse by the owners Axel and Monika. Our room is in one of the oldest buildings in the area. It’s a small lounge with mezzanine bedroom…

Doorway from the stairwayThe bathroom is spacious and very tastefully modernized…

Spacious lovely bathroomThe bed is kingsize and very comfortable…

Kingsize bedThis is looking over the rail of the bedroom…

Looking over the rail of the bedroomBet if those beams could talk, they would have some stories to tell. The lounge from the staircase…

Mike in the loungeAfter an amazing dinner, we returned to our suite. We lit the fire and it warmed up the whole place. The bedroom above was so snug when we tucked ourselves in quite close to midnight on Saturday night. We had sucked the marrow out of the day.

This morning before breakfast, we decided to go and see if we could find the maze. It would mean ‘breaking the hotel rule’ and hopping over the ‘no entry’ sign. We were up to it! The maze has fallen into complete disrepair. Sadly, most of the trees have died and there’s very little left of it except the sign…

All that is left of the mazeMost of the trees needed water and with it being scarce in the area, it would have been difficult to maintain unless it was financially viable. Our friends could have picked any one of hundreds of places in western part of the Western Cape. It was significant that we came back here. Why? I don’t know! It was such a weird experience 8 years ago, why would God want us to return here. The only thing I could think of is the faithfulness of God. No matter what happens, whether life gets weird or wonderful, hard or happy, uncertain or secure, there is one thing that will always be: Isaiah 54:10

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you,  and My covenant of peace shall not be removed,”  says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

And it was for that reminder, that I believe the Lord took us back to a place that had a very strange history for us. Things do change. Often times, they change for the better. This farm has certainly done that. God is faithful through it all.

We had a wonderful, leisurely breakfast this morning and then had a good drive home. Thank-you Friends for a wonderful weekend!

One night away

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…This morning, we had coffee on our stoep. I put the timer on the camera and when I do that, you never quite know what you’re going to get…this is what came out…happy times.

Early morning coffee

 

 

 

 

 

 

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