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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Jo’s AMAZING Banting Seed Loaf

8-05am

Let me pre-empt this by saying that Jo did not have a dream and wake up one morning with this recipe in her head. When I asked her where she got it, she said, ‘one of the banting sites.’  There are so many of them now, that you collect a stack of information and recipes from a variety of places and in the end where exactly becomes a bit blurry. So if this is your original recipe and you are horrified that I’m calling it Jo’s, please let me know and I’ll give you the final credit!

Seed bread sliced

This is the BEST Banting Bread I have yet to see or taste, so give it a try, at least once:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour (Jo uses 1 packet of 100g ground almonds which is close enough to a cup)
  • 1 cup mixed seeds – (you can crush for a finer consistency – Jo doesn’t!)
  • 60ml Psyllium husks (get at health stores or at any regular store eg. Clicks/PnP)
  • 10ml baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (maybe a little less as the seeds and psyllium are both quite salty)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of Greek Yoghurt

Seeds for sprinkling on top. This is what you are aiming at:

Banting seed bread loaf

It makes  a beautiful loaf.

Method:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients.
  • Add 6 eggs and mix well.
  • Add the yoghurt and mix together.
  • Line a regular loaf tin with waxed baking paper.
  • Pour in the mixture.
  • At this point, Jo sprinkles seeds on top & lightly presses them down.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for 55 minutes.

Enjoy!

Matthew 4:4 But He answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Banting seed bread close up

 

Thanks Jo!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic: The garage doors have been varnished….the house is beginning to looking good again…

Garages

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Hovering Between Helping the Poor and Personal Safety

1-51pm

This morning something happened that got me thinking! I was doing my Bible reading when the doorbell rang. It was 7-17am. I was still in my pajamas (of course!). The person rang the doorbell again. My bedroom overlooks the driveway and the doorbell. There was a gap in the curtain, so I got out of bed to see if perhaps it was our workers arriving early. Nope, there was no car in the road or the driveway. As I looked through the gap in the curtain, I saw a man standing on the road and another at the doorbell. He rang it again. This was now annoying! I went to the internal phone that communicates with the front gate and said, “hello” but the person didn’t answer. While I had the phone in my hand, he rang again! That was really irritating. I opened the balcony door and the man on the street told the guy at the gate where I was. I look down and it was one of Mike’s ‘regular’ visitors who come when they need something. I told him I couldn’t help him and he buoyantly and happily walked off with his companion.

What was that all about? What should my response have been? I felt guilty for not helping someone who asks, but at the same time, wisdom is needed as to the motive of the men who approached the house at 7-17am. Was he  persistent in his ringing because he wanted to find out if anyone was home? Was one left on the street to keep an eye out for someone coming?

Unsettled, I went back to my Bible reading to have this as part of it…

Isaiah 32:7 says,

“The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just.”

The devil loves to make us feel guilty. The Bible is laden with verses that promote helping the poor and needy. Yes, we must do that. But we live in a society that is, let’s just say it as it is, crime-ridden. While there is crime & mischief the world over, we in South Africa have high levels of unemployment, which drives up criminal activity. I continued with my Bible reading and read Galatians 5:1

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.”

Good deeds are not going to get us to  heaven, but we cannot ignore the plight of the poor. We need to do what the Bible says and help the poor but we need to be wise when it comes to our personal safety. We do the best that we can at the time. I know for sure, God does not want me living in a haze of guilt over the desire I have to protect myself against danger. The devil, on the other hand, would love for me to live in a guilt-laden cage. I need to find the balance.  Galatians 5:6b

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” 

One way we can formally support the poor is to give to an organisation that has a ministry to the poor. Cape Town’s Living Hope is one such organisation. By financially supporting them, you are supporting a number of ministries to the less fortunate. Visit them at  www.livinghope.co.za to learn how to donate.

Living hope

That’s my formal support of the poor. Informally, we help where we can, but giving money at traffic lights and to beggars on the street is probably not the wisest way to help them. We do give food to those who come to the door. Sometimes, Mike will pay them to wash his car.  But we have to be careful. After this morning’s little episode, I was left thinking. This well-dressed youngster that Mike has helped multiple times may have been after a handout, or he may have been ‘casing the joint’ – just checking to see if anyone was home with an ulterior motive in mind. I just can’t be sure. “The poor you will have with you always.” – Words of Jesus in Matthew 26:11. This problem won’t be going away here, there or anywhere. We may as well adjust, support a ministry that helps the poor and evaluate any other need or opportunity based on the wisdom God gives you. We do the best we can at the time.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….today I will reap another strawberry ‘harvest’….last time it was two – ha! We are growing…

Strawberry harvest 2

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Freedom!

1-45pm

It’s been a process adjusting to life as a work- from- home wife and freelancer. My time is now so flexible compared to the rigidity of clock-watching required in the world of radio. Time waits for no man! In my radio life, a life that I loved so much, time ruled my world. I was always aware of the time…throughout my waking hours, I always knew where I was in the course of time. While on air, the time frame was more acute. Seconds counted…”you’ve got 10 seconds,” I would say, as the frazzled newsreader bolted into the studio. Ten seconds to compose yourself before the world hears what you have to say! That’s stress. Hindsight is 20/20 and as I peer over my shoulder at my life in those days, this is the little picture I see…

Lady on a hamster wheelThere I was, in a cage, on a wheel, treading, walking, pacing, moving, focused, ALL the time. My calm exterior belied internal busy-ness that was unbeknownst to me was both exhausting and stressful. Now that I’m no longer there,  I’ve regularly thought back and seen the Rise and Shine show as my massive elephant-like companion – it accompanied me everywhere I went. 24 hours a day, it was there, beside me, sometimes pushing out other thoughts, demanding ongoing attention; crying ‘feed me’ multiple times a day! It regularly squashed itself between Mike & I on the couch, in the bed, at the dinner table. Relentlessly, I carried this  giant around. Although heavy and cumbersome, I loved it. Sometimes, it was like an enthusiastic puppy, bounding ahead with me attached by a rope and hanging on for dear life…laughing as I went amazed at its energy. Other times, I dragged it, with its heels dug in , I tugged and pulled and pleaded and sweating profusely, I heaved it uphill. I loved it, but I carried a lot of the load on my own. The only way I did it was through the grace of God. I couldn’t. He did.  It was the best of times; it was the hardest of times. As I got to the end of my season, I was petrified of getting off the hamster wheel for ever. I had climbed off it for periods of time, but this would be permanently. How would I cope?

Now that 3 1/2 months have passed, I have a pretty good idea of how I coped! I jumped off that hamster wheel and hung around the cage a bit. Eventually, I edged towards the door of the cage and gingerly pushed it open. It’s in recent weeks, that I have thrown it right back, leaped joyously from the entrance and cried FREEDOM!!

On the day, I handed in my resignation, I was bewildered. I was confused and stunned at what I had done. I felt this was how God was leading me, but I didn’t know for sure. Probably, one of the phrases I used hundreds of times during this season is “it’s time.”  I just felt, it was time to lay down my headphones. In hindsight, I can clearly see that it was time. That endless clock had to stop ticking – my Rise and Shine clock stopped!

It’s been a process getting to where I am today. After 10 years of taking care of Rise and Shine, freedom was never going to happen overnight. Sometimes, you have to be very patient with yourself and let the process take its course. I’m blessed that it’s only taken 3 months.

And I’m just so grateful that I survived letting it go. It was a leap of faith to leave. Now it’s a leap of joy that I was obedient.

1048783-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Couple-Swing-DancingI loved working at CCFm. I loved presenting Rise and Shine but there is a season for everything and, almost unexpectedly, my season ended at the end of May.

Ecclesiastes 3:

There is a time for everything,  and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Each of us are on a journey, in a season. Whichever season you are in, know God wants you to be happy. He wants you to live in freedom. If the season seems bleak, a better one is coming.

Hang in there. Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic….winter’s day in Cape Town…

View from the balcony

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Being at Peace With EVERYONE?!

3-54pm

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” It comes from Romans 12:18.

How is this possible?

There have been a few people in my life with whom peace-keeping has been difficult!  To be honest, in the end, I’d rather just let them be and not get involved in their lives.

But living at peace with everyone is not a sweet ideal – it’s a Biblical instruction. Paul lived and worked with people too. They weren’t easy. Several times in Paul’s letters, he refers to conflict and how to resolve it. No wonder he says, ‘If it is possible’; I can imagine that at times, it was not. You cannot control others. When you are at odds with someone else, you can only control yourself and your own response to them. You cannot control what they say or do. So if it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live at peace with them. That’s controlling your response to them….make it a peaceful response.

Sometimes, these things take time. If there has been a breakdown in a relationship and there is no peace between two people,  the passing of time may be required to soften the hearts of those involved, to allow acceptance, forgiveness and the fruit of peace.

I have been interested in what God has done for me, when I have had awkward relationships that have not exactly been fluffy and peaceful. Tense and uncomfortable are more accurate descriptions. Yet,after a while,  at the perfect time, God has led these people to cross my path aGod brings peacegain and in doing so, I have found my heart to be softened towards them. In fact after being hurt badly by someone, when I next encountered this person, my heart was no longer a heart of stone. I dug deep to see what had happened to the resentment I once harboured  - I looked for bitterness and anger, but it was gone. I was almost shocked. God removed it. He does the work.

There will always be difficult people. God does not rush. Sometimes, these things take time, so be patient. Keep praying. God will do the work. Living at peace with everyone is possible with God.

Today has been quite busy. Leonard and Saka fought with the sliding door. There is still some work to be done, but the battle will be won. Look at the before photo ….

Door before

 

Yay! My house is on the mend! Tomorrow, they probably won’t come as rain is forecast…

Weather

…but look at that sunny weekend…which reminds me, Mike & I are joining  friends for one night away on Saturday night. :D   Where? I actually don’t know!   I’m looking forward to that.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…I am feeling so so much better….the only cold is the weather and for that reason, I’ve got butternut/sweet potato soup on the stove…

Butternut and sweet potato soup

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Best Address/Worst Address

12-55

I was always interested in the diversity of the audience who listened to me when I was the Rise and Shine presenter. I once had a very unexpected experience in this regard. I had a friend who had an acquaintance who lived in a very exclusive part of Cape Town and during conversation it was mentioned that this person listened to Rise and Shine every day. Exclusive homeI imagined the upmarket listener going about their morning routine in their  expansive home with my voice bubbling across the airwaves as their company. On the same day, I stopped at a security point at the entrance to a housing estate and the security guard came to check me in. He looked down at my CCfm sticker and asked me if I worked there. When I said ‘yes’, he asked me who I was. When I told him, he jubilantly replied that he listened to me every day. I asked him where he lived. Masiphumulele. I imagined this person going about their morning routine in their tiny shack with my voice bubbling across the airwaves as their company.

Masi on a sunny dayI was humbled by the thought. Imagine that?! That’s the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether you live in a palace or a prison, God’s love for you is the same.

Taking of mansions,  I saw a house the other day that was pretty much just that….a magnificent home, overlooking the ocean. I imagined living there. In my mind’s eye, I thought about standing in this home, going about my daily routine in this palatial place. I felt exclusive. I felt superior. I was a cut about the rest. Then I knew, unless there was a lot of work on my soul, I could not live there. It is very difficult for a rich man to remain humble. Wealth is relative. You can have a bankful of money and be very unhappy. You can live at an exclusive address, but there will always be someone who has more than you. My  home is a mansion to the shack dwellers nearby, but my home is a shack to those who live  at the top addresses of Cape Town. Judge neither.

Front garden

Regardless of whether we live with a lot or a little, God wants us to remain humble.  This morning, I read Isaiah 23. Verse 9

The Lord Almighty planned it, to bring low the pride of all glory and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.

Remain humble!

Leonard and Saka are hard at work. Yesterday, they finished the bay window in the kitchen and now they are working on replacing all the putty from the cottage panes in the main lounge window…

Lounge windowIt is a HUGE job. Getting all the old putty out, carefully removing the panes of glass, sanding it all down, oiling it all up and putting the glass back with fresh putty. We’ll see how they get on today. Leonard is the man I used to pick up on my way to CCFm early in the morning. I gave him a lift to the station every morning for years. He retired many months ago and now is available for skilled work.  He’s a hard worker, entirely honest and a strong Christian. A little while ago as I passed by, it was good to hear them discussing the Bible. I’m so happy to have them sorting out our woodwork! #feelingblessed!

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic…I have had the mother of all colds! Yesterday I went through 90 tissues (half a box) – that is a seriously runny nose! Today, I’m grateful to be feeling a little less snotty! Last night, Mike took care of dinner and bought me flowers!….

Flowers

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The Power of a Cappuccino on a Dull Monday Morning!

11-59pm

Maybe my motive wasn’t entirely pure, but I have to say it was partially good. Today, Leonard and his handlanger arrived at my house to sort out the woodwork of the front windows. I promise you, just the fact that this long standing job is finally getting done makes me feel excited!  If I was still formally working, it would be tricky to co-ordinate, which is the reason it was neglected for so long. At 8am, they arrived and got stuck in. They have to take out the old putty, then the glass panes, sandpaper down the wood, put on the oil and put the panes back with fresh putty. Understandably,there would be a couple of broken panes of glass. Leonard bought a few sheets of old glass from his house and I took them down to Fish Hoek (Glass place on 1st  Ave – behind PnP) to have them cut up. One of my biggest weakness is that I’m not assertive enough. The man behind the counter Cappuccinotook the glass and my order and instead of me pre-empting it by saying, ‘can I wait for it to be done?’  I stupidly asked ‘when will it be ready?’  To which he replied, ‘later this afternoon!’ Oh boy! I was hoping to wait, but I said nothing.  I went a did some shopping (with my nose streaming – I have a terrible cold right now!). I picked up tissues and milk and then stopped at the coffee shop on the way out and bought a nice cappuccino. As I left the mall, I thought I should really go back to the glass shop and give the guy behind the counter my cappuccino. I didn’t want to. I started walking to my car. But again, I was prompted. “Go give the cappuccino to the Glassman.”  So I did. He laughed and accepted it and that was that.

It was an interesting social exercise. Let me see if he phones me later this afternoon to pick up the glass or if my cappuccino gift would prompt him to get it done a little earlier.

I got home and was just settling into bed when my cell phone rang (just after 10am!). Yip! It was the Glassman. Glass was ready! So I got up, put my shoes on and beetled back to the shop. And that was when I got my surprise: he did it for free!

The power of a cappuccino on a dull Monday morning!

We are all the same. We all want appreciation and affirmation. It’s also one of the ‘standards’ of the Bible. Galatians 2:6,

“As for those who seemed to be important – whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearances.” 

Great wealth does not impress God. Bling doesn’t do it for Him. Being of great importance to the world does not mean you are extra important to God. I believe God is looking at your attitude to what you have. Live life with palms wide open.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic… the men at work on our wood!

Windows being done

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Elsie’s Peak Hike

2-54pm

Yesterday afternoon we walked up Elsie’s Peak. The last time I did it was a year ago. We parked a little below the start of the path and Riana came with Julian and I. They set off up the stairs, setting a determined pace…

Julian and RianaIt was warm – we took our time and stopped from time to time to enjoy the amazing view… this is Fish Hoek Beach side…we were about a third of the way up….

Fish Hoek from half way up Elsies Peak

All sorts of interesting creatures…I was feeling ‘sluggish’…

Slug on the way…but we soon got to the  mast…

Mast at the top of Elsies PeakIt was then just a short scramble up the rocks to the top…what a fabulous view…

Top of Elsies PeakThere was only one thing to do after that. Go out for tea and cake!  We ended up at Ellie’s Deli where they have Banting Chocolate Cake…

Banting Chocolate cake at Ellies Deli

It was ridiculously rich and filling. I would never have said it didn’t contain sugar or wheat. Served with fresh cream, I couldn’t quite finish mine. This was the picturesque view from our table…

Ellies DeliA lovely place to recover from a warm mountain walk!

Beautiful spring weather we’re having. This morning, after church, I made lunch and David and Julian have just left for the airport…Julian’s quick visit over already!

This morning, I started reading Galatians. Paul writes (Galatians 1:11)

“I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something  that man made up.”

The Gospel is what it is. It is God’s story. Matthew Henry says “Paul would not attempt to alter the doctrine of Christ, either to gain their favour, or to avoid their fury. In so important a matter we must not fear the frowns of men, nor seek their favour….”

The truth of the Bible provides a foundation that is rock solid in providing security for everyday life. When things are at their worst, I live in the knowledge that it’s not all about here and now. This life, with its trials and torments will pass. One day we will step over the great divide between our time-bound mortal life and the eternal one to come. I’m enjoying my life here on earth, but the life ahead is going to be a gazillion times better!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

Gratitude Pic… another view of the fairest Cape in all the world…Glencairn Beach in the foreground…Simonstown in the distance.

Magnificent view

 

 

 

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Saturday Morning Cleanup

11-27am

The cottage is going to be occupied by a more permanent tenant in 2 weeks time. It has become a high priority to clean up a disastrous area of rubbish that had accumulated next to the cottage….it was just a convenient place to dump stuff. Check it out…

Before from the topThe peeps that cleared the back garden a month ago were supposed to take all this junk away, but they didn’t. So it was left up to us. Mike bought a massive piece of black plastic, put the seats down at the back of his car, got our gardener to come in this morning and we got stuck in….well they got stuck in! All I did was pull out all the overgrown grass that you can see in this picture and sweep the place out when the first load was being taken. The result was dramatic…

What a difference

It only took a couple of hours. As I was doing my bit, I said to Mike, ‘let us never let it get into this state again.’ It comes back down to it not being a priority in our lives. Our focus was on other more important things. Now, the house has our attention! :-) It feels great! It makes me feel we are taking control. In years gone by, we enjoyed looking at houses for sale and were always a little more interested in the houses that ‘needed a little work’ or were described as ‘fixer uppers.’ Well guess what? We are living in our own ‘fixer upper’ & I’m happy  to say our progress is going along in leaps and bounds. On Monday, Leonard arrives and he will get stuck into the cottage pane windows that need all the putty taken out of them, the panes put back in and then they need varnishing. Mike was trying to wait for retirement, but you know what? When he retires, there will be other maintenance to do. Maintenance never goes away!

Meantime, inside the cottage it is almost ready for new tenant Dustin…

New cottage cushions

It’s a beautiful overcast day here in Cape Town. Julian arrived last night from Jo’burg. He is doing some work this morning and then this afternoon we plan on walking up Elsies Peak. Good to get out and enjoy the mountain on a glorious spring day….

Elsies Peak signLooking forward to that.

I found this fabulous quote from Amy Carmichael…

 “A day or two ago I was thinking rather sadly of the past—so many sins and failures and lapses of every kind. I was reading Isaiah 43, and in verse 24 I saw myself: ‘You have wearied me with your iniquities.’ And then for the first time I noticed that there is no space between verse 24 and verse 25:

‘I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.’”

God blots out our transgressions for our own sake!  I’ve never noticed that before!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :)

Gratitude Pic….ahhhhh, I love after pics…

Next to the cottage after now that we have cleaned it

 

 

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