Posts tagged ‘My Faith’

Grace like Rain

Yesterday, South African’s enjoyed the first rain of the season.

(For those of you not well aquainted with geography (Scoman) the rainy season in SA is in the summer time.)

Rain is a beautiful thing.

I was born in Seattle, home of Starbucks, Nirvana and 240 days a year of rain. Rain holds a special place in my heart.

Kissing in the rain reminds lovers of their passion. Rain cleases. It brings forth life. It reminds us of our incredible ability to be alive.

So few songs remind me so strongly how thankful I am for the rain. The promise of redemption is so strong.

I have one tattoo. The word Grace is written on my ankle as a remembrance of the ‘Grace like rain’ that cleased me and renewed my passion.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found- Was blind but now I see so clearly.

Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me, Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear. And grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear. The hour I first believed…

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun. We’ve no less days to sing Your praise Than when we first begun

Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me, Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away. (by Todd Agnew).


August 2, 2009 at 8:09 am 4 comments

With Love

Today my thoughts are not on me. They are with those in Mozambique.

Last year this time, I was packing up from my trip to Panhame, a small village in the middle of Mozambique. I pulled out my album and took some time to think and pray for those I met.

Being an ex-Portuguese colony, there are cultural differences beyond white and black, wealthy and poor. They appreciated the stuff we brought, but the true joy they expressed was not in the toothpaste, medical supplies or blankets we gave, but in our message.

Someone in this world loves you and not only do we love you, but the Creator of the ground you walk on loves you more than you could ever imagine.

They wished more than anything to hear the hope we brought them. AIDS is ripping apart their country. The life expectancy and infanct mortality rates are the worst in the world. They didn’t want our blankets as much as they wanted hope.

And they found it in Jesus Christ.

I learned more about true joy in a little dusty village in the middle of nowhere than in my own life.

This isn’t the first time I’ve posted about this trip. I posted about it a week after returning home. and still couldn’t shake what I saw there. I posted again on the first of January 2009.

Definitive Moments– 1 January 2009

I have had several moments in my life that I place in my definitive category. Some I will never find words to express. Some are so deeply entwined in my core that to remove them, analyze them, and reveal them would strip them of their power.

But some of them only have power when stripped open. Some moments yearn to be shared. These have no shame. Like the beggar at the traffic light, they cry out to me. Sobs of fear, regret and desperation are met only by my own heartache and incompetence.

I had another dream about her. Her name was Sali and I first wrote about her here. Lately, she has been invading my subconscious, crying out to be shared.

I met her July of 2008 in a small village in Mozambique called Panhame. Her lifestyle is what you see on National Geographic with little comfort and even less guarantee of tomorrow.

Yet, she aroused no pity from me.

Sympathy, sure. “Man, somebody’s gotta do something” sure. Pity? No.

This does not mean that I am immune to the sadness of seeing impoverished people. I felt no pity because she felt no pity.

This was her life. She is 4 or 5 years old and herded her family’s goats. She helped her mother with the only meal of the day. She would probably never get an education or learn where babies come from before she was married. This was her life and, at her age, she seemed to accept her life in all its entirety.

I am no photographer but here she is:

And these are my words:

To the girl who aided my heart recovery:


The great expanse of dust packed still
By bare feet trampling
The shadows pool beneath Marula tree
And dusty rocks, undisturbed, watch

Sali toddle across the plain
Heavy laden, haunting eyes
And the beads and bracelets clanking

And she tumbles
Embracing shrouds
The dust- scarlet and steaming

Tear neglected she leapt
To chase the goat
And fade into the blackness.

I would love to share some photos with you of some of the beautiful children that have engraved themselves on my heart. My friends are in Panhame today, packing up their tents and saying goodbyes. Oh how I wish I could see how these kids have grown!

The Local Church Bell

The Local Church Bell

This bell would be rung everyday that there would be something happening in the village, usually in the morning. Several hours later the event (church, town meetings etc) would begin. Talk about African Time!

Local Transportation

Local Transportation

The local ladies still carry their heavy objects on their heads. But if something was too heavy for even a strong lady to carry, it would go onto this cart strapped to two donkeys.

The Local Church Building

The Local Church Building

I promised you pictures of cutie pies. Look closely and look at that little darling walking through the dust in the distance. She was absolutely stunning, but was so hard to pin down for a picture.

but there were plenty who enjoyed playing models for me!

She was so excited to see her photo after I took it!

She was so excited to see her photo after I took it!

She loved to mimic the younger girls on our team.

Don't let the warm clothes fool you. It pushed 45 degress in the daytime in winter!

Don't let the warm clothes fool you. It pushed 45 degress in the daytime in winter!

She is such a sweetheart.

She is such a sweetheart.

So beautiful.

Such Joy!

Such Joy!

With Love to those stunning kiddos in Panhame. With Love.

July 10, 2009 at 10:37 am 4 comments

Happy Easter White Ninja Style

I don’t feel like I need to share my faith with you today. How cliched! Instead I am giving you a treat- a break from the piousness that easter brings. Enjoy.


Happy Easter!

April 12, 2009 at 4:30 am 7 comments

Stood up for Love

I saw this quote from one of my new favourite blogs in South Africa. I can actually read an entire post in one sitting! So go check it out ya’ll.

Today she posted this quote: “Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”- Erica Jong

Emotion may play a large role in my life because, often, my emotions are more stable than my logic skills. However, by my very nature I am not an ooshy gooshy person. Things are cut and dry, black, white or grey.

I used to be a cynic. I used to never believe love would or could happen to me.

But I was wrong.

The best things that have ever happened to be were due to love. Whether it is God’s love, the Fi’s love or the love of my friends and family, love has permanently revolutionised this love cynic into a hopeless romantic. A hopeless romantic who is about to marry her best friend and soulmate.

I stood up for true love this Valentine’s Weekend. Suck on that cynics.

February 13, 2009 at 11:31 am 14 comments

Things that make me blush…

The Fi and I are currently undergoing pre-wedding counselling with our pastor. It has been a very enriching experience as we look at the biblical view of marriage. The Fi and I have chosen to align our marriage as closely as we can with the biblical standard. Not that I will be pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen though! I have chosen to allow him to be the responsible party for our family and household, and I will take the position of assistant and helper role in the management of our home.

We are old fashioned about marriage and have also decided to keep various other special things only for marriage.

Our pastor has given us an assignment whereby we have to purchase items that the other person would normally purchase. merrr.

Just thinking of buying these are making me blush. I don’t blush easily but when the impending post-nuptials are concerned I light up like a freakin’ stoplight.

Hello, my name is Elizabeth and I am scared of the impending humiliation.

I’d rather share my personal life with 10,00 strangers than walk into the store right now.

January 5, 2009 at 7:20 am 4 comments

The New Year has left me Baffled.

This morning family from Dubai arrived for part 2 of their visit. Our home is bustling with new year fever- resolutions that already have been broken and breakfast dishes that need to be washed.

Daily life has continued despite the changing of the calender, as it always does.

I make resolutions differently than most people. I make goals. I use today to define how I wish to live my life this new year. I use it as guidelines. Although I fail to succeed in the ‘resolution’ completely, every year I grow further into the person I desire myself to be.

This year I will be doing the same thing.

I have a stronger desire to grow this year than last. 2007 and 2008 were years of waiting, of growing in the big P (patience) 2009 is a year of new marriages, new families, new homes, new cities, new jobs, new opportunities. This year will define my character and my virtue.

I have stepped out of most of my ‘humanitarian’ work (I use that word loosely, as I dislike the connotations of humanitarian workers) in an effort to concentrate on my education (I was too stressed last year with the youth projects and Mozambique outreaches) and my marriage.

All these new things demand my attention and I have to focus on these before I can focus on others.

Proverbs 31 is the guidelines I want to work towards.

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight. She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar. She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household and portions to her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it; from her earnings she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She senses that her gain is good
Her lamp does not go out at night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff,And her hands grasp the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies belts to the tradesmen. Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates.

These words reflect the type of woman I want to become: Rare, Precious, Trustworthy, Kind, Diligent, Joyful, Disciplined, Giving, Prudent, Energetic, Elegant, Helpful, Industrious, Poised, Wise, Praiseworthy, Distinguished, God- Fearing, and eventually Honoured.

Tall order? Yes. Not through me but through Christ.

January 1, 2009 at 8:25 am 7 comments

The Naked Truth

Prompted by Hillbilly’s contest I have been thinking a lot about my expression of truth.

It really baffled me. How do I express truth? When has truth been best expressed to me? What is truth? How do I know that it is true? And worst of all how the heck am I going to communicate this to a gaggle of strangers?

And so I thought. A lot. And I worked out clearly what I know truth is NOT.

I really don’t buy into relativism. The thought that truth is transient doesn’t fit well with me. I am transient. I am fleeting. My mortality encourages my search for truth that is steadfast, unwavering, and strong.

My closest experience to Truth was when I was taking a picnic in the Pilansburg Mountains. I wandered off by myself exploring and found a spot on a gigantic rock overlooking a scene much like this one.

I looked out. The wind picked up and threatened to throw me over. The jutting dead trees littering the ground deep below me offered little comfort. For a brief moment,vertigo gripped me fiercely.

I panicked.

I was going to fall.

In my panic I looked to my feet. They were firmly planted. The rock had been my support and I was, in fact, in no danger. I sat there for a while because, despite being on a cliff overlooking a kilometer plummet, I was completely secure. I was not going to fall.

Truth to me has inherent religious connotations. I have no shame in saying I put my trust and my hope in Jesus Christ. This is rock solid. This is stable. This has found me completely secure in my situation. Much like how I felt on that rock in the Pilansburg, despite the immediate danger I am facing, I am safe. The truth is that when the wind dies down and the sun beats upon my face once again, my feet will remain firmly planted in truth and I will not fall.

December 9, 2008 at 8:08 am 11 comments

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