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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Repeat

I was noticing the other day on FB memories how often it seems to be that I go through similar things at similar times of year.  Sometimes it may be a few years apart, but similar incidents tend to recur or repeat themselves through the years.  The strange thing is that it isn't only linked to our planets physical seasons.

Well that is because spiritual and emotional seasons are also a reality of life.  I wish God had told us more about why this happens but perhaps it is due to our own unique identities and that we all have particular issues that we need to deal with as our own "thorn in the side" that Paul spoke of. 

I think the quicker we accept that this is real the easier it is for us to work through these issues.  I think we need to learn to be grateful that God cares enough about us to give us these wonderful opportunities to grow and learn to flow with the Holy Spirit as He works in our lives. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A naughty reminder

Last night was Topaz first night in mommy and Ginger's bedroom.  The power had been out earlier in the evening and the two kitties had played up a storm.   I remember Honey and Ginger doing the same thing.  Seeing as they were getting along better I thought it would be a good time to bring her upstairs. 

Boy was she naughty. 

She didn't want to settle down, she kept pouncing on Ginger's bed and eventually the only option was to tuck her into bed with me.  There were a number of movements throughout the night by her and Ginger and I did not get a good nights sleep.  Dealing with all this naughtiness reminded of Honey and Ginger's kitten time and that brought with it some grief today as I thought about Honey and how much I still miss him.  

Tonight however I am reminded that I cannot punish her for being a hyperactive kitten, that is the way God made her, just the same way that God made Honey with his heart and lung condition.  I have struggled to deal with his loss but I was reminded of a story one of my bible school lecturer's told us.  He was an American and felt the call to come to South Africa but had a new young child, when querying God about this call, he clearly heard God say to him, "Don't for one minute think you love your child more than I do."  

I take comfort knowing that God created Honey the same way He created me and therefore his illness and death is as painful for God as it is for me and Honey is safe back in the arms of His creator.  
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A crazy few months

The last few months have been rough in various ways.  My regular domestic worker went on maternity leave, leaving me back to square one with little help but that was partly my fault.  Honey's passing in June hit me really hard and now introducing Topaz to my home has been stressful as well, but the right thing to do.  There have been other pressure points as well.

Stress and pressure really force us to evaluate our priorities and see what is important to us and make decisions accordingly.  Topaz was one such decision.  For me the joy of having cats is watching them play together. 

Finding our source of joy is not just an emotional journey but a spiritual one as well.  Joy is supernatural, it carries us when nothing else can and pulls us through.  

Scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength.  To me the joy of Lord is knowing that I am living in His will and doing what He wants me to do, for the season he wants me to do it for.

What is your source of joy?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Kitten's first week

Well I must admit the first 2 days of baby Topaz arrival left me wondering if I had made the biggest mistake of my life.  Ginger treated the little thing like a total abomination.  From day 3 however I started seeing small glimpses of a change in Ginger's attitude and behaviour.  Thankfully a good work colleague sent me a mail (Thanks Eldorette) that helped me really understand what was going on in Ginger's mind and that really helped.  She said that it was all about trust and that Ginger needed learn that he could trust the baby's presence.  By day 5 mutual play times were starting to form and he is now far more comfortable, although developing affection for her still will take time. 

That really makes me think.  We do exactly the same thing in an office environment and even a strong social circle.  All new people are treated at arms length.  I remember learning about the forming, storming, norming and performing phenominon so animal behaviour is much like our own. 

Do we do that in our relationship with God though?  That would be hard for me to say as I have walked with God since childhood, so I have never learned what it means to have God be a "new" part of my life.  I do however know what if feels like to feel like you are being forced to go to church...and no, not by my parents, by myself and my own church attendance habits.  I think I have finally found a balance that makes me feel that my own needs are met as well as God's. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cat guardians

Well I'm supposed to be on leave but I've never been so stressed before. Trying to settle in a new kitty and especially a shelter cat is proving to be an enormous challenge and I'm exhausted. My biggest fear right now is that I might have done Ginger a disservice but from what other people are telling me it is going to take time, which is a commodity I just don't have. It would have been easier to get to new kittens again at the same time....sigh! But my new baby Topaz is really beautiful and somewhere deep down I know I've made the right choice, I just have to find a way to make it work.

I don't for a second regret getting Honey and Ginger when I did and now that Honey has passed I know I needed a new kitty that was as affectionate as he was and Topaz certainly is affectionate. One of the reasons that I am so in love with Cats though is that once they get to know you they really understand what you need emotionally and often physically too.

The other day I had a now rare migraine after eating some potato salad that must have been made with some form of dairy. I came home and immediately crashed into bed. Ginger came and slept with me through the whole ordeal. When I woke up I could see he was actually just lying quietly next to me waiting for me to resurface. Cats are amazing guardians and it does not surprise me that the Egyptians believed them to be the guardians of the afterlife.

As Christians we have other amazing guardians as well. Firstly our angels and they are more present with us than we realize. Then there's the Holy Spirit who stands guard over our spirit as we navigate through life. We could not be blessed with better care than the Angels and Spirit of God himself, so we should never fear what tomorrow holds.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Rushed pruning

On voting day, 3 August, I was walking through the garden when I spotted some buds on the blackberry.  I decided that some rushed pruning needed to be done.   Normally I prune in late autumn but last spring I didn't get a good crop so figured I would try pruning in late winter and see what works best. 

Pruning is such a necessary part of the gardening process and if it isn't done each year plants will actually die off or not grow to their full potential.  Interestingly enough it is sometimes not only dead branches that need to be pruned but live growing branches as well.

If used correctly the live cut branches can be used as slips and planted directly into the ground to grow new plants. 

Cutting away the dead parts of our spiritual lives is necessary as well but often we need to cut from our living spiritual matter to give life elsewhere.  We may feel that we don't want to do that but in later years we will certainly see the benefits of that life that we gave when mature Christians around us can attribute their own growth directly to our gift of life.

I encourage you to give life today!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Preparations

Well preparations for the new baby's arrival are now well under way and part of that got me thinking that it won't be fair for Ginger to have a nice burger bed and not Topaz. I headed back to the store and to my disappointment they were sold out (and I checked two branches).  I did however see another bed I liked that had a wider opening but higher roof.  I figured the opening could be closed by draping a small blankie over it and that should work.  Well I was right, Ginger took one look at this and was delighted.  I think he likes the "stretching" room it allows him.

So Princess Topaz will be getting the burger bed and bunch of other nice goodies to settle her in so I should be able to start preparing the "baby room" soon.  I am hoping that I won't need to keep her confined for too long but we'll have to take things at her pace.

Sometimes things don't work out the way we want them too but  rather better than expected.  In our faith that is no different so when things don't work out quite the way you planned it might be a good idea to go with the flow and allow God to direct you to the solution He wants for your life.