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The value of torn veils

Sometimes there are situations, conversation and even movies that remind us how far we have come, but they also remind us of how fractured we still are on the inside.

2018 has been such a year for me. I have encountered a series of moments where I was reminded that behind the well practiced wall of “togetherness” that my ducks are squirrels and my row is a rave. Behind the pride of wanting to shine there is still a huge amount of chaos. I am learning that, that too is okay. I am savoring the moments where at least two or three squirrels tend to line dance according to my choreography, while the rest are still doing their own thing… I am learning the difference between important and urgent… and that not everything that is urgent for someone else should be both important and urgent on your schedule.

I am learning that between black and white is a whole spectrum of beautiful Grace. It is in those colourful moments where authentic relationships are forged and strengthened, where you transition from clinging to everything and everyone in fear to trusting Love enough to open your hand and letting things go and letting people be.

I have come to realise that we are raising a culture of people who too easily hold onto things and they too easily let people go. I am all for releasing toxic people, but not everyone who is different from you is toxic. Not everyone who sees things differently is against you. Not everybody who disagrees with you is out to get you. Increase always comes through relationship and when we are so quick to cut people loose or to shrug off a broken relationship, then maybe we too are walking away from increase and from moving forward.

I am starting to learn that as our view of ourselves is magnified, we tend to only look at the veil of togetherness, self claimed holiness and self righteousness and we measure the worthiness of others against that veil. We so easily cut into others because they do not meet our standard and expectations because we focus on their fractures and overlook and disregard our own.

More than anything, in 2018, I have learned the value of torn veils and evident fractures as the cornerstone of authentic relationships that will truly impact lives.

 

 

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To my husband on our 7th Wedding Anniversary

To my person, my favourite Human. The one I can not wait to see when I open my eyes and the one that I do not want to miss when I close my eyes to sleep….

Thank you

Thank you for the first 7 years of this amazing adventure called marriage and thank you for the honour of being the keeper of your heart for the last 15 years.

Thank you for not giving up when things got hard, thank you for not walking away when it looked like we had no future… and thank you for patiently waiting for me to learn how to cook something other than “boerekos”.

We have lived a thousand lifetimes during this amazingly giant love affair. We have loved, we have lost, we have won and we have grown. If I had to do it all over again, I would still choose this life, I would still choose you and our never ending one night stand. 🙂

Side by side, shoulder to shoulder we are better together. May our children look at our love for one another as say: “I want to love like they do!”

My most precious gift

You have given me the most precious gift… three gorgeous children who know your voice, who honour up and down. They serve and love others the way you do, they laugh at the most inappropriate times, like you do. They drive me crazy, like you do. They love jokes and pranks, fun and laughter, like you do. They make my day, every single day, just like you do.

They work hard, like we do. They play hard, like we do. They are not perfect, like we are not perfect… but they are the product of a home where perfect Love drives out all fear.

We did not take the easy road. But the toughest, rockiest, steepest trails (and trials) lead to the most beautiful of views.

You make me brave

You make me brave, you encourage me to face my fears and chase my dreams. You help me dig deeper, you push me to go higher, you motivate me to be better, to love harder and forgive quicker, always.

You remind me to stop and appreciate the moon, the tiny ant lion and the beauty of the clouds.

You see God’s hand in everything around you. You remind me to not lose my sense of wonder, you remind me to use my “new eyes” every morning.

You are still the one

Your kisses still make my knees go weak. And after all this time, just one look can send all my butterflies into a frenzy. You are still the only one who can sweep me off my feet with a single embrace.

Every single kiss still tastes as sweet as the first, every touch of our hands still makes me feel like I can do anything as long as I have you by my side. Every time you look at me, I still feel like I am the center of your universe.

You are my safe place, with you I can be me, I can be vulnerable. I can leave my strong face outside the door and you will still love me all the same!

You are my greatest blessing and I can not wait to dig deeper into your soul and to fall even deeper in love with you.

I can not wait to see what the next 7 years will hold. I am excited to see where the Lord is taking you and what He has planned for you.

I can not wait to see more of your dreams come true and the desires of your heart being placed in the palm of your hand. I can not wait to be counted as the wife of a man who changes the lives of many.

Today I celebrate you!

Here is to a million more smiles and twice as many breath-taking kisses. To a thousand more adventures and another couple of more life times of magic and wonder.

To hours of laughter and joy. To a love that grows stronger every time our hearts beat and to an unbreakable unity in mind, body and spirit.

To countless more celebrations of love and life and God’s unfailing love! To many, many more magical date nights and sweet stolen kisses.

To dreams we have not yet dreamed and victories we do not yet know will come. To houses we have not built, but that we will be blessed with, to vineyards we did not plant but that we harvest from, to blessings we can not explain but will be most eager to share.

Here is to you, the man of my dreams and the love of my life!

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To My Daughter on Her 8th Bithday

Today is your 8th birthday Miachlan Izan Welsh.

You are my reminder to not initiate things in my own strength and to not try and answer my prayers myself. You are my reminder that true healing comes only when we acknowledge that we have finally hit the Rock at our rock bottom…. You remind me daily that God’s power is the only power that I want at work in my life.

You are starting to outgrow your obsession with pink.. but now you are torn between purple and red.

You are still a hard-core princess, but now you have a love for opera, hard rock, acrobatic dancing, and contemporary dancing.

Your next BIGGEST dream right now is to do horse riding and own your own horse. So that is the new goal that we are all working towards.

Today your birthday card said: Everyday you sparkle, but today you rule. Our prayer is that from this day forward that you will rule over the territory that the Lord has allocated to you, even before you were born. May you rule like a true queen Ester, with the heart of a servant.

You LOVE loving on people, you love GIVING even if it means you have less than you need. Sometimes your compassion is bigger than you are.

My heart melted when you spent your birthday morning serving in our Dad’s house… watching your prep communion with the hostesses was one of the most humbling sights.

In the afternoon we ate your favourite lunch (spiral chips on a stick) and then we watched a movie at your favourite cinema and you even got a special birthday wish from Claire-Bear whom you have grown so fond of.

When we came home you made your first vile of homemade perfume… I am convinced that this is one of those days we need to take note of because it will be significant in the narrative of your BIG story.

Happy birthday, princess, you are loved, blessed and highly favoured.

Ps. I know at the moment you hate being called small, you are annoyed when people say you look too short or too small for your age… but I want you to remember that it is not how big you are on the outside that matters, it is how big you are on the inside. Remember always how strong ants are, and that their strength is multiplied by their ability to function as a unit.

P.p.s Today you witnessed one of my most epic parent fails…. I wrapped your birthday card up with your presents without writing in it. *Face Palm* It made sure we started your birthday laughing. Thank you for loving me in spite of these epic fails.

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The Disesease of the Perpetual Monologue

Sitting down with beloved friends and family over the holiday season, I noticed something that not only seems to be becoming more prevalent in our own family but in most families and even during friendly conversations… we are consistently interrupting each other.

It was not until I listened to my (much needed) morning podcast, that I gained some understanding. Bishop TD Jakes was mentioned how hard it is to counsel people whose marriages are in trouble because when you tell them to communicate, they end up fussing at one another. He defined fussing as follows:

 

Fussing is when you just waiting for me to shut up so you can get your point in because you are not interested in what I said… so we never really have communication, we have turns at monologue.

 

This made so much sense. We are all suffering from the disease of the perpetual monologue.

So with my new insight at hand, I reviewed the discussions of the last few weeks. We were all just engaging in a group monologue (thankfully)  around the same theme. I realized that instead of hearing what the other person had to say, we hear a small part and then our attention is divided between checking that they don’t say what I wanted to say and compiling my response so that I will be the next one who is ready to speak.

A symptom of the information age?

Sitting back, I wonder how much more meaningful each conversation would have been, had we each listened to the other with the intent of hearing what they had to say, instead of listening so that we can respond. In the age of digital interaction and microwave relationships, are we so used to just spewing out / regurgitating information that we have forgotten that information is only truly useful once we take it in, process it and then only respond to it in an appropriate way?

It spreads to every area of your life!

On deeper introspection, I realised that I do exactly the same with my time that I spend with the Lord. I read one small passage, and instead of hearing the passage I am already looking how to respond, what I need to do to change, what I need to do to respond appropriately…

I can not help but ask myself why I am still so focused on dead works, when Jesus already did all that needs to be done?  Imagine what depths of God’s heart and His love for me and for others will I not be able to delve into if I just took the time to listen instead of to respond instantaneously?

Imagine the possibilities!

Similarly, imagine what our marriages, families, friendships and workplaces will look like if we stopped interacting through endless monologues. What would happen if we were more focused on hearing the other person and what is going on in their heart, instead of being focused on how what they are saying affects me, how it makes me look and feel.

Now on to the next challenge… finding a cure that will cure the crazy Welsh family of this disease. If you have had any success please leave some ideas in the comments section.