Posts Tagged ‘trusting god’

#003: People that are hard to please

There are some people in your life you will always struggle to please. Not that you constantly seek their approval, but their opinion matters to you so much that you would like them to acknowledge when you have made good efforts. It may be people that we admire/respect, that their congratulatory note will be a massive vote of confidence or it may be people we want to extend our caring emotion towards. Hard to please people come in different shapes and sizes;

Genuine: This person never seems satisfied with whatever stride you have made. They always believe that you can do better. These people actually have a genuine belief in your capabilities and always want to stretch you. Funny enough they will tell you when you have done well, BUT instantly remind you that you can do better. These are usually mentors, teachers, role models, etc… and they often mean well.

Own standards:  Then, there are those people (especially parents), who refuse to honour you until you achieve something greater than they did. You can come back home with 10 CAF stars and they will remind you that they got their 9h star when they were half your age. So this means you must achieve more than that to please them. The thing is; with this type of a hard pleaser is, the goal posts are always shifting. It is now not the fact that you got a 10th star that matters (more than theirs), but it’s the fact that they got their starts quicker than you. With this type you are highly unlikely to win. In some instances they want to live out the dreams they left behind through you. We all have one life to live, be careful when someone wants a second dose of youth at your expense.Confidence

Pull you down:  This is the most dangerous of all the impossible pleasers. This person will make sure that they don’t acknowledge your achievement, purely because they don’t want you to realise how good you are. If you give them too much airtime, they will make sure your self confidence takes the first available train to Mars. Basically these people are just jealous of you and will discourage you, to make themselves feel good about their own lives. RUN.

Insecure: This type of hard pleasers usually occurs in romantic relationships. No matter how much you make an effort to show this person how special they are to you, they will always find something to complain about. You eventually feel like you are not good enough for this person or you are just incapable of loving someone as they deserve. The problem here is not the pink roses or cheap chocolate, the problem is that you are loving someone who doesn’t love themselves. Hence you are being made to fill a void that even the owner doesn’t know how to fill. Ps: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.

Don’t know how to: This person may be proud of you, but they will never show it. Not because they think it will get to your head, but because they don’t know how to. People were raised in different environments and unfortunately for some -affirmation was never part of their upbringing. And in most cases people cannot give what they don’t have. If you recognise your impossible pleaser to be this type, you need to teach them. Congratulate them and affirm them, don’t demand that they reciprocate it, but if you’re consistent enough, they will learn. Remember: you teach people how to treat you.

I have mentioned quite a few types of people that are impossible to please, I’m pretty sure there are whole of others out there. I only have one solution to dealing with such people: Celebrate yourself!

Don’t always seek the affirmation of others, set your own standards and beat them. Ask yourself: “what would I have to do/get to for me to feel satisfied/proud of my achievement? Don’t matter what anybody says, as long as I get “there” I’m happy”. And when you do reach that point, stop and celebrate. Give yourself a pat on the back so that even if someone else doesn’t celebrate you- you are proud of YOU.

Yes, it is always good to have people affirm and encourage you, but their definition of excellence must never be absolute to you. At the end of the day, they are people with their own imperfections. You do need people to look up to and we all have people whose negative/frank opinions have bettered our lives, but don’t let them define you.

I am a firm believer that: “It doesn’t matter what people think of you, or even what you think about yourself. But what matters the most is what God thinks of you”. Aim to please Him and you can never go wrong!

Remember:  No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Act

Unconditional Love!!! (memoirs of an Earth day)

So 2 Saturdays ago (12 October) it was my birthday, and for the first time ever I had a birthday party I didn’t organise. It was really a blessed and joyous one for me. This day taught me one thing: Whatever energy you give out to the universe it will echo back to you. In Christian terms it simply means that the Lord who sees what you do in secret will reward you publicly. I give thanks for being loved by HIM.

Cake

The Lord just showered me with so much love through our friends.

Ton and Dora

Meet Dora and Ton. This couple organised such a beautiful birthday for me when I went to visit them at their farm Douglas. I had only met with them twice ever in my life and they took the time to love on me and make me feel special on my special day.

They invited all their friends around the farm to come share this day with me. *Blessed love* Oh before I tell you more about Ton and Dora. Now meet Ethel

Me and sista

So this lovely, radiant, woman of God shares a birthday with me! When I was told they will host a party for me in Douglas and I could bring a friend or two, naturally the first person I thought of was a co-miss party!!!  Mrs Ethel runs an orphanage for abounded kids in Soweto(http://www.innerheights.co.za/inner-heights-foundation/hope-for-the-helpless-childrens-home); she really needed the break especially on her birthday weekend and boy was it special!

They even had special birthday chairs for us. She was turning 76 and I was turning 26, but she’s one of the best friends I have ever had!

Birthday chairs

We spent the day with new friends

New friends

And old ones.

old frnds

Mom and Zan

And special friends…

Special

We had the youth choir sing for us…

youth choir

…and the men’s choir

Mens chpir

It was undoubtedly the best birthday of my life! I could tangibly feel the genuine love all around me. I was blessed with new parents, brothers and sisters, children, etc. At the end of the day my heart could not contain or express the joy and contentment I felt inside. I felt like expanding my being, reaching out beyond the universe and shouting: JESUS IS LORD!!!!!!!!! Blessed loving thanks!

party time

Befday gals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday, we all enjoyed fellowship together with all of our party friends…

Church sign

And then we went to visit Sarah and Andries at their home;

Andries and Sarah

Ton and Dora are busy on a project to renovate their outside rooms for the ministry Sarah and Andries are partaking on. You see Sarah gave birth to a disabled child and from that the coupled was inspired to start looking after severely disabled children in the area. It is not an easy mission, but it seems the Lord is fuelling them with enough love and blessing to go on.

This is some of the work that has been done so far.

school room right

Inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier I promised to tell you more about Ton and Dora. They are from Holland and are founders of a charity foundation called Eye for others (www.eyeforothers.nl) and their basic mission is to make a difference for children. They have worked for my years with many people to raise funds and build a secure future for children in poverty stricken areas. They have conducted projects mainly in the North West and Northern cape.

This is a nursery school they built from scratch for the children in Douglas

outreach

skul projektrffic circle

When we went to see it I was fortunate to interact with the little ones in the area, and luckily I had sweets in the car so I was miss popular :). I especially fell in love with the little boy in the orange jersey, I think purely because he was the youngest *ncooah*

 Douglas kids

My special one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We ended off our birthday weekend by going to watch the sunset by the Vaal river mouth (the Vaal becomes the Orange river heading to the ocean). It was another time of worshiping and marveling at the splendor of the Lords creation.

Me and patus all Us

Sunset

We drove back to Jozi on Monday morning with joy in our hearts and love in our lives.

PS: Last week, Sarah and Andries unfortunately lost their grandchild from a brief illness;  May her soul rest in peace and may the Lord heal their hearts.

Here’s a piece Zandra wrote on the weekend we had together: http://iamzandrahabana.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/we-need-to-act/. We all have the ability to change the world.

Ps:  If you enjoyed this picture blog, you might like following www.fabby101.wordpress.com. This lady has a gift of telling stories through pictures. Enjoy 🙂

If you were married, I would understand…

So where was this girl when all of this happened??Differences

“She was there in the room with us”

What? You mean to tell me, this man beat you up in his room with some chick watching the whole show? He most probably met her that very night at a pub and now he comes and upholds her more than you, and you are okay with it?

I somehow felt judgmental when I said this, it’s her business, but then again something sounds very wrong about this picture. It is a random girl after all, maybe if it was the new lady in his life one would understand, but iseqamgwaqo nje sasetshwaleni? Hai no, zero nje! Clearly Ephraim was trying to impress this silly girl when he beat up my best friend; this surely put a stamp on him getting “some” that night.

I could see the shame in Lydia’s eyes when I asked her if she’s okay with it. She kept on zooming her eyes up, and down keeping a small gaze in the middle. Up, gaze, down…, and she didn’t even once look me in the eyes.  And after a few of those, she eventually responded…

“Ok! Before you start giving me a long lecture on morality and the difference between right and wrong, I know a man only respects a woman that respects herself. I shouldn’t have gone to his place that night without letting him know. Yes I was drunk and probably said a lot of things I shouldn’t have said, but I needed to speak to him desperately. He tried to break things off when I confronted him about his cheating 2 weeks ago, but we have been talking via wats app since then, so I thought….”

…you thought what exactly Lydia? That you’re going to rock up one night and things fall into place? Listen here my friend; if a man wants you nothing can keep him away and if he doesn’t want you, nothing will make him stay. You need to stop making excuses for his behaviour and start smelling the coffee. Your relationship is basically non-existent at this stage. If he refuses to change his cheating ways and suggests a break up instead;  you’re still gonna run after him?  And you’re very right about self respect, your baby is barely 6 months old and here you are getting drunk at some tavern at night and running after men!

And the mere fact that you just gave birth to his child should at least warrant you a certain level of respect from him, don’t you think?

“Everything I do, I’m doing for my child can’t you see?  I refuse to allow my baby to be raised by one parent. We will make this work; we have to make this work Tselane. And yes I do realise that our relationship is practically over, but my heart still yearns for him. My love for him is so strong, I’m willing to overlook his mistakes as long as he loves me back and we get things to how they used to be. I know deep down inside he loves me more than anything in this world, I think him having a car now is making him go wild and girls throw themselves at him”

(Silence)

“But in all honesty I do regret that night. I shouldn’t  have went to his house unannounced”

I rolled my eyes. By now I realised this conversation is not getting anywhere, because now fresh excuses are being made for Ephraim. I had to ask decisive questions, just to understand where Lydia’s judgment stood about this beating. What bothers me the most are not her excuses, but her compromised dignity. We live in a very small township and everyone knew she’s been in a relationship with Ephraim for close to 6 years now. This girl that was with them the night of the beating is probably laughing it off somewhere over magwinya and atchaar with Lydia’s haters. It’s bad enough that Ephraim doesn’t respect her, now half of Itsoseng won’t too!  I kept these thoughts to myself. But I had to probe to her “regret”.

Oh, so you say you regret that night? What exactly do you regret? Going to his house drunk, unannounced and saying whatever or do you regret him beating you up infront of another woman? And if it’s for the beating are you going to open a case of assault against him?

“Yho! Tselane nawe you’re taking this issue way too seriously, gosh! I told you I still want to make things work between me and Ephraim, sending him to jail would totally ruin things, plus I don’t need that kind of drama in my life. Besides, he didn’t hit me with his fists and stuff, he used a belt. My body is green all over but my face doesn’t even hint of what happened. It was the first time my man laid a hand on me and punishing him over that one mistake would be cruel nje. I know Ephraim is not the aggressive type.”

I cringed.

Lydia, I would understand overlooking his “one mistake” if you guys were married! But you cannot compromise yourself so much over a paper-less agreement. He is merely a boyfriend, not your husband! Anyway, I can see you’ve already made up your mind about this whole situation and I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise. Do what you think is best for you and your little family. I’ll stay out of it.

End.

 

Do you think Tselani is right about Lydia having the obligation to forgive/overlook  the beating if she was married to Ephraim? And how often should a woman allow physical abuse before she reports it to the police? Maybe Lydia is being too objective about her friend’s situation. Do you think if she was to get a beating from the man she truly loves, she would have seen this situation differently? Lastly do you think Lydia is actually protecting her little girl with her choices?

The bible does call for women to be submissive to their husbands, but in the very same sentence it says: “Husbands love your wives! And from what I know Love doesn’t hurt you. It is kind, does not boast, keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil and does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. It never fails!

What’s your take?

not loveGet help: www.powa.co.za

And HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY 🙂

 

#Ayashisamateki: New Beginnings

So lately my weekends have been spent up and about jozi streets, looking for worthy children to benefit from the Ayashisamateki project. By worthy I mean: they are younger than 20, are not completely drowning in drugs and they can show me where they stay and tell me a bit more about themselves. I’ve spent time with street children (and adults) in Berea, Hilbrow, Braamfontein, Jozi.

I have, however, developed a special bond with the young boys living under the Mandela Bridge. Mostly because they are the first group I was introduced to by my friend Alex who visits them regularly and they have the youngest age group living there (as young as 11). So I’ve grown to know some of them personally, and when I get left-over food donations around town I take it to them. Engaging with these young men has taught me something very important about life: If something is meant to happen, it will happen. And, you can only help people that want to be helped- you cannot force your compassion on other.

So when I first saw the 11 year old boys at the bridge, I collected their names for shoe sizes with the rest of the group. However they were so tiny that my heart didn’t allow me to leave them behind so I arranged to take them to the orphanage in Mofolo that I have I have been supporting for the past year. We begged the little boys to come with me so they can be fed and warm and we were already making plans to get them to school. One was very reluctant, but *Tom (not his real name) who is from Limpopo wanted to go to the shelter and was excited to leave the street. They spent 2 days at the orphanage and on the 3rd day they stole money (R50) and ran away-back to the street. About a week later, I went to collect Tom again who admitted he was influenced by the other boy and wants to go back to the home. When we got there he was so happy to see the Gogo and hugged her like she was his mother. I felt our mission was accomplished and a young child will get to be taken care of, go to school and find his family. A day later I got a call from the older guys at the bridge telling me Tom was back. I was sad. But oh well, I tried.

At the same bridge I had met another young man (Boyza), however he was 21 years old and wasn’t my primary concern really as the little ones had captured all my attention. Boyza only had 1 request: He wanted to go back home to Qwaqwa. He came to Joburg with his mother when he was young. At age 9, his mom left where they were visiting as though to go to the shops nearby and she never came back for him. So at that tender age he was forced raise himself and live on the street. With that said, when you come across him today you can never tell he lives under a bridge. He washes and gets piece jobs washing and parking cars to have some decent clothes.

I had given my number to an elder boy Lebo, to contact me as he was helping me move around jozi to find beneficiaries (esp girls) and it helps to walk the streets with a street wise person. So about a week after Boyza asked me for money to go home, he took my number from Lebo and called me to remind me about his request. I told him I will make a plan after we distribute the shoes (as he might also get a pair). My biggest worry about this was that; what if he gets the money and doesn’t go home? Or if he does get to Qwaqwa and finds no one home or he can’t even remember his way there. After all I was there to buy them shoes, not to be a social worker. This was just tricky.

On Sunday morning, Boyza called me again, this time almost in tears. He told me he got stabbed the previous night and he is tired of the street life, he desperately wants to go home. He is not even willing to wait for his new pair of shoes from Ayashisamateki. He wanted to go. I think he called me 6 times that day. So my friend Alex agreed to accompany me to see them on Tuesday evening. And Boyza showed me his scars (not too bad) and he was still on that going home tip. He assured us that he remembers his way back and will try his best to get his life together. He said he realises that if he keeps moving with the street motions he will either end up dead or be like the dirty old men that eat from dustbins and he didn’t want that.

I gave in eventually and Alex was willing to accompany him to the taxi the following day. I agreed to help save his life from danger only of he allows me to tell him how his soul can also be saved. I introduced him to Jesus Christ and he was delighted to meet Him. He told me he loves going to church but was never sure if he’s saved. This was a brand new start for him, and He now had the Lord of all on his side to face this new chapter. I was beyond happy. We started planning how he’s gonna start a vegetable garden at home while he looks for work. He asked that I organise him a small bag for his clothes so he doesn’t get home with plastic bags and maybe an extra pair of shoes to see him through the next months as the ones he had were almost finished. Again, I said i’ll make a plan and we parted. What happened from here on was both out of this world and humbling.Bye Boyza

At home I managed to find him a small bag my brother didn’t use anymore. In it I packed him some oranges for the trip, a motivational Christian book and a t-shirt. On Wednesday morning I went to the storage where we keep the Ayashisamateki donations to get him some socks and possibly shoes. To my surprise, I found a fresh pair of Puma sneakers (donated recently as it was sitting on top of a packed pile), and they were exactly his size! Brother Alex came to collect the bag and transport money (obtained from the shoe donations- thank you guys). His fare was R 170 and I gave him an extra R50 for pocket money.

Alex walked him to the taxi rank. Got him onto the taxi, paid the driver and wrote Boyza’s details down and they said their goodbyes. Just make sure he was indeed serious about going back, Alex waited by a corner somewhere for 10 mins and afters seeing that Boyza didn’t run of, he went back for the final, final goodbye. To his surprise when he got to the taxi he found another man sitting next to and talking to Boyza. This man thanked Alex for paying this young man’s fare to go to Qwaqwa. I turned out the guys is Boyza’s uncle and they have been looking for him years on end. And there he was in the same taxi, going to the same house with him. Immediately he called home and told them he was coming home with a special somebody. If this is not a miracle, I don’t know what is.

Alex had this to say about Boyza’s trip: “I have never seen Boyza take such bold strides. He is walking tall, confident, smiling with no clue what to expect when he gets to a place he calls home. The streets are all the love he has ever known. They; embraced him, Hugged him, Protected him, Abused him, Yet comforted him.”

All along I have been trying to help kids that don’t want to be helped (or don’t know any better), while there was someone who needed the help and was ready to receive it. Yes, Alex and I happened to be at the right place at the right time to help Boyza, but already His help had been prepared by the Lord. For many are the plans in a man’s heart, but only God’s will prevails. I don’t believe any of this is coincidence, it was pre-destined and God had set His eyes on Boyza’s life way before we came into the picture. He is indeed sovereign.

As for Tom, I’ve sort of given up on him; he’ll find help when he’s ready. Even though I’m a person that looks at world through my heart, I haven’t got time for games; I honestly have way better things to do with my love. I want to thank Brother Alex for introducing me to guys and walking this journey with me. To Sis Mpume Myeza; thanks for creating the atmosphere for Boyza to share his request and a bigger thank you to everyone that donated to the project which ultimately help give Boyza a new beginning. As for me, everyone says the Lord will bless me for reaching out to the destitute, I say: I am already blessed with the honour of being God’s hands and feet. That He entrusts me with His children and He gives me so much love that it overflows.

#Ayashisamateki clearly isn’t about shoes, but lives.

Blessings!

 

PS: I got a call from Boyza on Thursday morning telling me he arrived safely. He told me he was on his was to get information at a local FET to learn welding. It will definitely take a while for him re-integrate to his community. But he will never spend another night on the street. Mission accomplished!

#Ayashis’mateki: Thank you!

“AYASHIS’AMATEKI”

 

On behalf of Standard Bank CIB Graduates 2013 and the Innerheights foundation, we would like to; Thank you all very much for the support we have received for the #Ayashis’Amateki initiative!

Today marks the end of our collection period for 2013, and from your generous donations we have managed to collect:

 

  • R 12,340 in cash
  • 30 pairs of Adult sneakers
  • 20 Formal shoes
  • 20 pairs of kiddies shoes
  • 2 pairs of new school shoes
  • A lot of socks!

 

We are also proud to announce that Skye distribution, has volunteered to be our official supplier for the purchase of shoes. The agreement is that they will supply us with Dickies Pro sneakers at cost price, which will make our cash donations go a long way and we can afford brand new shoes for a majority of the children. Overall 96 kids will benefit ( age range: 3 years- 19yrs) from the project, and they are based in the following areas:

 

  1. Braamfontein under the Mandela Bridge (21)
  2. Yeoville by the recreation centre (17)
  3. Joubert Park (18)
  4. Slum house in Hilbrow (12)
  5. Slum house in Becker street, Yoeville (8)
  6. Hope for the helpless Orphanage in Mofolo (21)

 

Distribution

 

Saturday, 13 July 2013, is the official date the shoes will be distributed to the children. This is to allow our supplier time to process the #Ayashis’Amateki order as the sizes required vary. If you would like to be present on the day of the distribution please respond to this e-mail and will forward you the necessary details. The groups will be split, so you will only be required to assist in one venue.

 

With the remaining cash donations we are hoping to give out a cup of soup (and a roll) to the children on the day of distribution. This will give a warm fuzzy feeling (inside and out) to our beneficiaries and make the day even more joyful. And maybe we can throw in an orange for nutrition, compliments of the Bag of oranges Campaign (see on Facebook: The Bag of Oranges Campaign). The formal shoes collections will be donated to the CIDA campus to assist disadvantaged students with Interview gear (further details to follow). Extra shoe collections will be donated to deserving adults living on the streets, that are seeking employment.

 

Once again, thank you for your donations. Love is the strongest force on earth, and we hope our act of love will make a positive impact in these children’s lives.

 

Pictures of the day will be posted on our gallery (www.innerheights.co.za)

 

THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN! TOGETHER WE DID ITJ

 

Warm regards,

#AYASHIS’AMATEKI TEAM

#Ayashis’Mateki

old sIt is really fascinating how in life so much emphasis is placed on things. What car one drives, the house you live in, the clothes you wear, even what kind of food we eat and yet so little focus is placed on people!

A herd of lions will not walk past a lost cub, they would take it in and look after it because even though they don’t know the cub’s parents it is still one of their own. It therefore fascinates me how we walk past abandoned kids on the streets and not even give the smallest care.  As Innerheights, we believe it’s time to start caring for these children because we don’t know their stories hence it is not our place to judge, but to love.

AyashisaMateki is the first of many projects aimed at making “street life” better for these kids, with the ultimate goal being to get them off the streets as much as is possible.  Young girls and boys are getting lost (and used) on the daily, something needs to be done. But first, we start with the basics: SHOES!

mateki

A lot of children that live on the street have probably owned one pair of shoes their whole life. Some don’t even have shoes at all and those that do; the pairs are WORN OUT and DIRTY and some DON’T even FIT anymore!

Please join us in a quest to collect 100 pairs of shoes (and socks) to alleviate this problem. Winter is upon us and such a gesture will go a very long way. This is initiative is in partnership with Standard bank CIB graduates so all collection points will be based around Simmonds street.

Here are 3 simple steps on how you can help:

  • Donate 100 towards the purchase of shoes
  • Donate a pair of old sneakers (in decent condition)
  • Drop off donations at collection points

We have met with the children and managed to obtain most of their shoe sizes. We anticipate distributing the shoes on the 29th and 30th June. Our key areas of focus are kids (between the age of 8 and 18) that live in:

  • Braaamfontein (by the Mandela Bridge, Pick n Pay)
  • Joubert Park
  • Small Street near Shoprite
  • Yoevile and
  • Hilbrow

If you would like to participate in the project in any way or would like to assist on the day of distribution, please send me an e-mail: noluthando@innerheights.co.za

Keep watch for our weekly barometer that will track progress on how many shoes we’ve collected so far!

Thanks a million :):):)

Innerheights Foundation

So I came to Joburg…

It is called the City of Gold, but where you find gold, there is always rubble nearby. Here are 2 ladies who both came to joburg for different reasons, yet they are somewhat faced with the same reality.

Let me tell you their stories. Both are fictional, but have volumes to speak about what the real world offers women out there.

Story 1:

At age 6, both her parents were deceased, left to be raised by 2 older sisters, age 18 and 26 but useless. She struggled growing up (raising herself) and ultimately when she was 17 she decided to go to Jozi for a better chance at life. Here she met Sis Girly the pimp, who gave her a place to stay, taught her how to be a woman and how you need to sell your “thing” to get all you need. For a while life was comfortable being caught up with the money and the bling. At age 20 she was still pretty but her value had diminished that even for 40 bucks any man could get a ride.

At age 25 she eventually died of Aids, leaving 2 fatherless less kids, aged 2 and 6. About six weeks later there were heavy-cold rains and the kids couldn’t survive the cold in the pipe they were sleeping in (with no blankets). That night the 2 year old died, and a week later municipal workers discovered the body. Now here’s this 6 year old wandering the streets of Jozi with no clue how she will make ends meet. She learnt that sniffing glue keeps you warm and makes you forget the hunger, so that becomes her daily hustle because in this place, no one gives a care. Written by Mbongeni Khanyile

I’m sure you’ve come across a news headline that talks about a baby (dead or alive) being found abandoned in a bin somewhere. Now you know where they come from!

Story 2:

A teenager (Thandeka) comes to Jozi for the first time to study Law at wits and she is welcomed by an old friend from back home (KZN). This friend highlights to her that here in the city the “razor cut” weave makes you look rural and they don’t wear jeans and sneakers to the clubs, but freakums. Thandeka is quickly introduced to her home-girl’s boyfriend who drives the fanciest car she has ever seen. At the club they are treated like royalty and she receives R5000 as an apology coz her friend’s boyfriend touched her ass by mistake;  Which she reluctantly accepts.

This story goes into detail on the day to day decisions Thandeka has to make, and unfortunately her sense of morals is weak and she gets herself into all sorts of drama. After her home-girl dies (car-accident), she assumes the role of being the new girlfriend to Mr 5000. This is a well off girl, mind you. She lives in a fully furnished flat that is owned by her uncle and she shares it with some girl. So she really doesn’t need Mr 5000’s money, but for some reason it constantly lands up on her hands.  She later finds out that her new roomate is actually her uncle’s sugar baby… Written by Mike Maphotho (for the full story go to: http://diaryofazulugirl.co.za

There’s an urban dynamic that occurs in cities, that unfortunately consumes young women in a tragic way. But also there is an element of choice. Without judging; Thandeka is rather well off, and the lady in the 1st story is not entirely a victim because not all orphaned kids have to end up in prostitution. All it takes is for these women to have a sense of pride in themselves are and know their value. Ladies: it is important to know who you are and being content with what you have. Yes, Joburg offers incredible opportunities, but if things don’t work out well, it will not kill you to go back home. Unless you want get there dead already. And here, there are so many ways to die.

“In life (and love) there are no guarantees. That is why it is important to love yourself first”

girl-all-alone

Unfortunately in big cities such stories have become a norm and street kids are just part of the ecosystem. We have somehow chosen to look the other way because these “things” are just pests! But unfortunately, street kids are just that, kids! Behind those naughty faces are children who have no one ask them how there are, let alone provide for their daily needs.

These children are very close to my heart because I believe it’s not fair for any child to miss out on their childhood. I am personally planning a few projects to make a difference in their lives. If you would like to be informed/be a part of this work, you can send me an e-mail at noluthando@innerheights.co.za and we can get cracking. It is getting colder outside, so our efforts must be swift.

 

“For evil to triumph, all it takes is for good men to sit and do nothing”

http://www.innerheights.co.za/inner-heights-foundation

You too can make it happen. Why not?

We thought it would never happen, or something will go wrong, or our planning would just not be enough. But it did happen and everything was beyond perfect. I could have been at home watching cartoons (like I do most Saturday mornings), but last week Saturday was something special and I was glad to be a part of it.

Together with the Project Hope ladies, we organized a special lunch for teenage girls from Hope for the Helpless orphanage in Mofolo. You see since Project Hope was incepted, the orphanage has been our beneficiary in terms of donating groceries every month. However we know that a child is not only raised on food, they need love and knowledge that someone actually cares about them. So this was basically to spend some quality time with the girls, to get to know them better, while encouraging them to dream beyond their circumstances. That is why the theme for the lunch was: Living your dream. We tried to make the event as special as possible, from delivering handmade invites with their names on them to giving each one a rose when they entered the event venue.

We were prayerful on the weeks leading up to the event that God prepares the young ladies hearts to receive something and grow from it. Well our guest for the day, made sure of that. We had Thendo (Mpho’s sister) come share her life story with the girls and how she managed to escape rape and death situations to be where she is today. Born of a preacher mother, she was one rebellious teenager and got herself into all sorts of trouble which exposed herself to many horrible things, some of which she is still dealing with right now. But by God’s grace she is now a blooming woman, who has just written her own book and is focusing her life into Social entrepreneurship and living for the Lord. She said, she wishes at her age she had someone caring enough to host an event like that for her and warn her of what life carries ahead.

The girls were encouraged, and I hope they understood that by them growing up in an orphanage might just be a blessing in disguise and God actually cares for them more than they think. We had fun sessions with the young ladies when they shared a bit more about their dreams and what defines them. And let me tell you, those kids are one joyful bunch, some even sang for us! We obviously didn’t have money to finance the entire event, we got young professional ladies to sponsor a girl for lunch. These ladies also brought knowledge to the girls in the various fields, which added more value to the afternoon. I recall Sandra (a medical doctor), saying: “We are encouraging you to be the best you can be, so we can have a coffee break with other black sister doctors”. Yes our desire is make the most out of these ladies and see them thrive and be successful so we can grow our young black professional landscape.

Obviously the event was a once off treat for the girls, as the main concern over their lives right now is food, clothes and decent schooling. But this one thing can remind them how special they are. Knowing that the next time they go to school without lunch money, they know they have a provider who does exceedingly and above than what they can imagine. Even if it’s just once or twice a year.

Sharing on this event is not to place glory on anyone, but God. Yes, I honor the ladies for working relentlessly to make the event a success, but ultimately this showed me that when God gives you a vision, He will bring it to pass. There were so many things to worry about, from the weather to the finances, but He took care of everything. This shows that you don’t need to accomplish xy or z to help someone out. Just heed God’s call inside of you to reach out, and trust Him to do the rest. To think those “special invites” were printed in color on a normal A4 page and wrapped in ribbons that cost R2.50 each. Because we had the heart to make it special, the almighty made a way for it to be.

You just need to desire to help someone out, it may be through kind words, financial assistance or even going to visit the less fortunate. Nothing you do can ever be too little.

A big thank you to project Hope, the ladies who sponsored the lunch, my brother for providing us with transport, the venue people for hosting us, and God for holding up the weather, providing  goodie bags, trusting us with his little ones and giving us the vision.

You too can bless someone, with something. Remember, we are blessed to be a blessing. You are not where you are because you deserve to be, your opportunities could have easily been granted to someone else. And you don’t have to be a millionaire before you can help others. Maybe driving around with a packet of oranges and giving it to the beggars you come across on your way to work could be a start OR you can come together on a monthly basis with colleagues and donate say R100 each and decided how you’re going to help someone out. Just think of a way and you will find it.

If you want to know about Project Hope, or the Orphanage, please go to our new page: From God with Love. I have also profiled a few other initiatives that serve to make a difference in other people’s lives and you can get involved with them if you like.

Izandla ziyagezana.

Life is short…

Not a single one of us is guaranteed another day on this earth. Our days were apportioned to us before we were even born albeit, there’s a time for everything; to live, to die, to grow, to cry, to laugh, to hurt and to love. These times should be treasured (and accepted), living each moment as our last, because we don’t know what tomorrow holds. These are people who have been part of life somehow. Our paths in life crossed and some point and a part of me was shared with them and so was theirs. Let me tell you a few stories…

We used to call my brother in law’s granddad, Da (father). He was a vital element in my life somehow. This year, when everybody was celebrating Mandela day, our family wasn’t in a jolly mood. You, see 2 days before we had lost our Madiba. Da was also born in 1910, we were looking forward to his 92 birthday in November. An old man who was strong and had so much love, all of a sudden fell sick after a few weeks passed on. We were sad, but also grateful that we shared in his life.

Shortly after Da’s passing, his grandson had an annoying headache. End July he was admitted into hospital and after a week or so he died. We buried him on top of his wife who passed away in a car accident a couple of years ago. They leave 4 kids, the youngest being 8. God will keep the children, but unfortunately life had to happen for him. May his soul rest in peace.

Then there’s Ntombana. A chick we grew up with, we lived in the same neighborhood in Dobsonville. She went missing on the 23rd of September. Her body was then found by cops in a nearby cemetery 5 days later, she had been raped and stabbed to death. I still can’t get over how horrible her last moments might have been. She was openly lesbian and has been ever since I knew her. Yes, everyone has their time to die, but no one can judge another. Farewell Ntombana, a very sweet somebody who is the only person I know who has a smile on every single picture. Laid to rest 4 Thursdays ago a few days before Gay Pride. Here’s her story http://www.citypress.co.za/SouthAfrica/News/Lesbians-family-begs-for-justice-20121006 (There is only one lawgiver who is able to save and destroy. Who are you to judge another? –James 4vs12).

On the same day I went to see Ntombana’s mother, I started in Braamficherville on the news that Mr Norman had passed away. I know him through Golden Ark senior citizens, a food project, to feed the community. I remember when I last spoke to him he said: My child; “by the time the first rains come this year we need to be ready to plant our crops”. He was the Chairperson of Golden Ark and was passionate about the agricultural project. Gogo Angie told me that the previous Sunday, he woke up like any other day. He just fell on his way to the door and that was the end of him. Death is indeed a thief.

A colleague of mine was telling me about a tragedy that befell her relatives. That morning she had been so tired because they had to identify bodies in Mpumalanga. A recently married couple, went to Swaziland with the groom’s dad and brother to introduce the wife to their relatives there. While travelling back, the family got involved in an accident with a truck and another car. Everyone died on the spot, all 5 of them. Turned out the young bride was pregnant. May their souls rest in peace.

Nathi’s older brother is engaged to my cousin, we were all so fond of him. Born in 1995, he was shaping up to be fine young man. He loves cars, his father owns taxis so he learned driving at a young age. He is the one that picks up my little cousins when they are invited to a party somewhere. On the 13th, he was driving his father’s BMW with a few friends, something went wrong and they were involved in a car accident. http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/cops-blamed-for-teen-s-fatal-crash-1.1408390. Out of the 4 people that were in the car, 2 died and 2 were critically injured. It was Nathi’s funeral 2 Saturday’s ago.

About 5 weeks ago, Pana came to my place with Mom to help us move in some stuff. He is an old family friend who visits every other weekend. Pana was no trouble at all; he just loved watching tv and smoking his cigarettes. Last week Sunday, he was taking a walk to a spaza in the neighborhood. A taxi sped past and knocked him over. He sustained head injuries and a broken leg. 3 days later he passed away in hospital. By the way, the driver of the taxi is a young teenage girl who was playing around with her boyfriend’s company car. Her life has changed, forever, just like how Pana is gone forever. I’m still sad.

The previous Sunday we woke to the news that some guys from my hometown (Nquthu) were missing. Funny enough, I know all of them and my step mom is related to some of them. They were driving in a low lying bridge from Magogo (Northern KZN). Apparently there was a heavy storm on Saturday night and their car was swept away, 2 managed to get out the car and stand on the roof of it. The other 3 got washed away in it. Follow the link to read their story http://www.thepost.co.za/woman-watches-teachers-drown-1.1408922. Their bodies were only last week Friday (http://www.thepost.co.za/teacher-s-body-found-others-still-missing-1.1411997) more than 30km’s from where they drowned. Imindeni yakwaNgobese, kwaSikhakhane nakwa Buthelezi iduduzeke.

Life is short guys. I’m reciting these tragedies as though fables, but that is the reality of the earth we live in. I am beyond sad, these experiences have just taught me to accept things as they are and move on. Life brings us new turns every day, and we never know what can happen next. Maybe you’re sitting there and your last day is a few months away? Will you be grateful for your time here, or are you going to wish you had made much out of your time? We must get off the paradigm that there’s always tomorrow to do this or that. Tomorrow’s not guaranteed.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell ad make a profit.” Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a small vapor that appears for a little while and vanishes away. Instead you ought to say,”if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that. But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin__James 4 vs 13-17

If you’ve been meaning to tell someone how wonderful they are, do it today, not tomorrow. Mend that relationship, send that gift, go visit that relative, buy that house, open that business, write that book, go for that audition, make that suggestion. If you have a dream, start living it, or least start finding a way on how to. Our lives are but a mist that appears in the morning and disappears by day. That is how short your life is. Start living for today, let go of the past because it will keep you there and prevent you from loving the here and now. The people you just read about are ordinary people, as special as you are, nothing different about them. If it happened to them, it can surely happen to you.

With the understanding that life is short, it is wise to start planning for eternity. Start serving the author of time and you will understand that death is not the end. But the beginning of another, beautiful, worry free life with our Father. If you’ve been meaning to surrender your life to Christ, do it now, today, don’t postpone it much longer because we don’t know what tomorrow holds. Choose life.

All flesh is as grass. And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers. And it’s flower falls away. But the word of the Lord endures forever__1 Peter 1 vs 24

Sweetest Revenge

When people deliberately hurt us, our natural reaction is to seek justice. We may forgive them but deep down inside, we wish that something equally bad happens to them so they can feel how we felt.

Here’s a piece of advice: If someone hurts you, please don’t spend your life waiting to see their downfall because it will never come! You just need to deal with the negative energy they enforced upon you, learn from it and move right along. Their whole life should not perish just coz they did you wrong. God loves them as much as He loves you and if you don’t perish from your wrongs, they won’t too.

If someone doesn’t love you/rejects you it doesn’t mean they are bad people altogether. You are not money, not everyone will have the burning desire to want to have you. Don’t hate for not being loved, rather respect other people’s choices to choose who they want in their lives and who they don’t. Their decision to dislike/ disrespect you is based on their perceptions, and has no reflection on you whatsoever. So other people’s actions towards you should not define your character and dictate who you are.

You see when someone does something bad to you. By trying to “sort them out” or “teach them a lesson”, actually means that you are now stooping to their level. And trust me; it drains so much of your energy. You should obviously express your hurt and tell them what they did is not right, but beyond that there isn’t much you can do. Instead continue being who you were toward them. I know it’s hard, but treating your enemies with kindness is the worst thing you could ever do to them. Guard yourself in prayer so you never lose your peace. You are exercising power with gentleness, the bible calls it meekness and it has such positive fruit on your character.

Allow God to deal the injustice you have suffered the best way He can, it is not up to you to decide on someone else’s fate. Think of all the people you have wronged, deliberately or otherwise, would it be fair for God to let them have a say as to how your life should end up? You see we want to settle scores and see that people get what they deserve and yet God does not give us what we deserve in our transgressions. This, my friend is what forgiveness is about. It is not just simply saying: “I’m sorry”

Yes you forgive and let go of the hurt, but seeing the person prosper, sort of hurts. Not in a jealous kind of way, but in a “you don’t deserve to be this happy” kind of way. You see we take the act/hurt and define the person by it. We brand the person as our heart ache defines them. It’s like saying an entire bank is useless because you were once issued a faulty card and you couldn’t access money to pay for a meal you just ate or something.

Sometimes people will not realize their fault towards you, at that very time you want them to see it. You may express your anger as forcefully as you want, but if they chose not to realize it, they just won’t. That’s why it sometimes helps to put the shut to the up. Yes, just shut up and let it go. Maybe you might even have to apologize even if you were wronged. Simply do it and move right along. It is not a sign of weakness; it just shows that you choose which battles to fight.

You cannot afford to lose your peace of mind, just because someone decided to be rude today. Sometimes you just need to let people drown in their stupidity so they can learn the valuable lessons life has to offer. You just walk on in faith, believing that the Lord knows best how to deal with them. Just cast it all on Him and best believe He will heal your hurt in the process. Focus on your own journey in life, learn your lessons and keep to your lane.

Let God be the ultimate judge, because your definition of noble is not absolute.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint- Isaiah 40:31

As I lay still…

I lay still in your tummy

 And you never knew I was there.

I gave you sleepless nights

And morning sickness’s

Yet still you never knew i was there.

Funny cravings and mood swings

Seemed rather usual to you

I gave up trying

All I cud do was lay still in the only home I knew.

I took a small percentage of everything you consumed

Whether gud or bad I had no choice

Finally!

You noticed me

But i heard u say “this can’t be, this baby is a mistake”

But it was too late for you to terminate me.

I shared all your emotions gud and bad

When you cried, I cried

 When you laughed, I laughed.

I kicked and moved in circles hoping you would rub me

But u didn’t.

I grew strong as the thought of me sickened you.

The more u hated me, the more i loved u.

I could move nor kick any further

The time had cum for me to meet you.

I heard him say “push u almost there”

As u screamed your smoke filled lungs out.

I was welcomed by a bright light

And two cold objects holding me on either side.

I cried for i did not know what was happening.

I felt the life line bonding us together being cut off

After being wrapped I was placed in your arms,

For some reason I stopped crying.

This felt right, it felt more like home

But much safer and warmer

I felt your lips on my cheeck and a warm drop of water on my forehead

 All i cud do was blush.

I drank some warm liquid coming from you and slept the whole day next to u.

I felt closer to u than ever.

I drank that warm stuff again

As night approached u laid me right beside u

You spent half the night looking at me,

So did I

But when morning came i was no more.

I had to leave I hope u understand

For now I lay still in your soul

 And still u never knew i was there

By Ntobeko Gaju

Loosing a child is the greatest pain any woman could ever go through. Either the child dies after birth, born still, dies a toddler, or is miscarried. No one bears the pain more than the woman who had that soul growing inside of them. I believe that no one should ever have to go through something like that, but then again, life happens and everything has a reason to it. This type of pain only God can heal because only He can comprehend your hurt, no one else.

If it has happened to you and you ask “why me?” well….why not you? Who do you know that deserves that kind of pain? It’s harsh, I know, but we all have to bear different burdens. I can talk about the pain of a woman who was gang raped or molested several times as a child by different men. Would you have rather had that?

You see when such painful episodes occur, we need to look deep within to find the strength that God has instilled in us as women. We are the apple of His eye and what hurts us, hurts Him. We should never blame Him for the bad things because only goodness can come from Him and He is always there to carry us when we cannot carry ourselves.

A woman’s heart can bury the deepest of pain and yet that same woman will bring joy to all around her. You see our DNA is different from men, we are built with so much strength and gentleness. Only we have the honor to bring life into this earth. Through a very long, difficult and yet sophisticated fashion. To think the lady in the poem, didn’t want the pregnancy and even continued smoking through it. Yet when the child was there, she loved it more than anything in those few hours she had with it. That is a natural quality in us to love our offspring and no man could understand that.

This poem was written by my male cousin , who is a paramedic. Once they helped a young girl of 16 years deliver her baby in the ambulance. Just after giving birth, this girl stood up and said “I don’t want this baby” and she walked away. It will take a very long time for this young girl to heal from those wounds, but at least she gave her baby life. By Ntobeko writing such a poem, it made me realize that men also feel the pain of losing a child. So if you’re going through loss right now, don’t shut yourself out to your partner. He wants to make you feel better while dealing with his own pain as well.

Just know this: Only God can give and take life, you have nothing to do with that. And rest assured that your little one is back in heaven where they belong. Look forward to more blessings in your life and allow God to redeem all that has been lost. Life goes on, that’s what it does.

This woman’s month, let us celebrate the inner strength that we all posses as women.  We are precious and so valuable; we carry so much in our hearts. If you were to ask your mother to share the hurts she has had to stomach in her lifetime you will be depressed for the rest of the year. But she is as happy as happy can be for we have a healer. Only God can heal the pain others can’t reach:  “He leads me beside quiet waters,  He refreshes my soul” (Psalm 23 vs3)

As we celebrate Women’s day, dear woman go search your heart of all the pain undealt with over the years. Bring it to the Lord and ask him to soothe and whiten your spirit. Draw more strength from Him and let go of all the hurt. We know you can handle it, but just not alone.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised-Proverbs 31 vs 30

 

I love my family. But…

We all love our families and for those of us with siblings, we wish them every success in life as much as we do for ourselves. The reality though is that, not all of us will be blessed financially, intellectually and with equal wisdom within our families. So, you will work very hard to either finish school/varsity, or find employment or volunteer (with the hope to get employed) so you can make something of your life. Eventually you do find success and secure stable, decent income to start living your dreams.

Obviously once you’ve “made it” you will first go home and help out to make life better for the rest of the family. But what happens when everyone starts demanding that you HAVE to help out, and now all of a sudden people stop trying because they know you will help. They would not be making such demands explicitly, but you somehow feel the expectation and the burden growing. Remember, you have only just started working and perhaps you still want to study further, buy your own house, a car, get married or even just go on holiday. But then how do you prioritize those needs over the “expectations” at home. Yes you are willing to help as much as you can, but when will you then start helping you?

Here’s an extract written by a friend, who took an analysis on the importance of having limits to the sacrifices we make to our families. Here are her thoughts….

“Family seems to always be our first priority, we are constantly compromising ourselves to protect and support them. So when family emergencies come up, we make hasty decisions that we regret later.

I guess its so sad that instead of sleeping, I’m awake at this hour. And I need to be up in the next three hours for a hectic day at the office. Do I start a pity party and blame everyone and everything around me or do I just go back to bed and stop overreacting?

The selfishness I have to deal with on the regular just drains me. I hate the internal family battles, and unnecessary issues that arise. The constant pressure on me to be better than what I am to survive also takes away a lot of my peace. They all seem like petty things but they have such a major effect mentally.

Don’t get me wrong I have been blessed and yes every family has its own issues but if you come home and then all of a sudden lose your own peace of mind, it’s unhealthy. All because you felt at that time your family needed you most, it’s ok for peace to be lost. If this is the price you have to pay. I’m confused.

I need peace of mind. I want to be able to go home and relax. It is HOME after all. I want to feel like I have made the right decision to be here instead of on my own.

Oh here is the issue. WE ALWAYS DO FOR OTHERS WHAT WE KNOW IS NOT POSSIBLE AND MIGHT STRAIN US MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY BUT DO IT ANYWAY.

We need to learn that:

  1. Your family needs you but their don’t own you
  2. Your don’t necessarily have to put your life on hold for anyone
  3. Support can be given from a distance
  4. Stop the pity parties and deal with the situation at hand
  5. Avoid making unrealistic commitments which might mean suffocating yourself
  6. When you help make sure you are not compromoside
  7. Share your ill feelings, discomfort with someone. It will make you feel better
  8. If you not happy change your situation
  9. Learn to say NO
  10. Learn to love and value your freedom and space.

Your family loves you irrespective, so its mind over matter”

By Zandra Habana

 Such powerful and yet true insights, hey. If only our families can realize if they give you space for a few years, you’d be able to grow yourself/ career enough to be able to over cater for any need. Just one thing I need to add to the advice Zandra gave:

  1. Remind yourself that you are a child, not a parent in the household!

Sometimes the responsibility bestowed upon you is overwhelming that you are left with sole responsibility to provide for the family. You should rightfully assume that responsibility when you have your own family. You cannot buy your family’s affection, they love you anyways.

I understand that some of us come from very different situations, where you might just be rejected or called selfish for giving less than what is expected. Those are painful, real situations we live in, unfortunately. But continue doing good regardless, because you are fortunate to have a family in the first place. Someone out there can only wish to have a sibling to fight with. Always, remember…

LOVE yourself, trust God and lean not in your own understanding.

 

PS: Zandra is the founder and President of Mokgotsi Women. Mokgotsi is empowerment initiative to help grow young professional women, financially, socially and spiritually. Go to www.mokgotsi.co.za

More to a Woman….

God gave the woman’s womb the secret of life, only it can turn a few cells into a full human being. Whichever woman you meet has that blessing and there is always more to her. Think about how you know that your mother is much more stronger than the tribulations she faces, you always know there’s more to her. In that same light you should view every woman you see, from the girl that braids people’s hair on the side of the road, to the one that serves you chips at KFC, the one who sleeps around nalo odlala ama-card all day ekasi. There is always more to them.

The poem below was sent to me by my dear friend Eddie who has always eminated so much respect for me and held me in high regard (which sometimes baffled me but it also encouraged me to value myself more). I remember when we used to go to the Bat Centre, every Thursday while in varsity to listen to poetry and hip-hop rhymes. At that time it was all amusement to me, but God was cultivating the gift he has given to my friend. I consider this as one of his best pieces and I admire the eyes in which a woman is looked at in this poem. And I hope all women see themselves in this light (me included). Enjoy……

There is more to a woman

Some stereotypical ancient writers

From the traditional old-fashioned school of thought

Claimed beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder

But what if the beholder was blind

The truth is beyond that raw attractive body

There is always more to a woman

All that junk sexual illusions

And sexual immorality coupled with the feelings of lustiness aside

There is great individual with rare separate divine qualities

To unify the diverse interest of this junk monetary driven society

From the very street kid and prostitute on the street corner

There is a strong goddess who is just a victim of a dysfunctional community

And paradox of sexual abuse

Yes from birth were given an unjust mode

Of treating and dealing with our sisters

This evil world could mould and shape people according to its unrealistic

Production standards

From the very same shebeen queen

There is a divine goddess from within

A pure African diamond with a heart of gold

Yes there is always more to a woman

This junk evil society was built upon a solid blue-print of prejudice and stereotypes

Yes it is a male dominated society but to all my black sisters

It might be hard to reminisce about the future

Where shadows of ignorance and anxiety are the standard feature of this unethical monetary driven society

There is always more to a woman

You might in hospital losing a battle against hiv-aids or tuberculosis remember there is always more to a woman

She might be a domestic worker but through her great spirits and divine wisdom she could bond

Disjointed families like a social worker she is a domestic worker with a knowledge

To send kids to college

There is always more to a woman…..

Shooo, profound ne? If only everyman could look at the women in their lives in such a manner a lot of things would be different, hey. Most importantly IF ALL WOMEN would see THEMSELVES this way, they’d be brave enough to demand the respect they deserve from the male counterparts they interact with. So lady, remember that you are Goddess and there is a lot more to you than meets the eye!

Do not Bite the Hand that Feeds you

A few days ago I met guy wearing a wet suit outside my workplace. It was still drizzling and I was just dragging myself home coz I was tired from gym. Out of all the people that were there, this guy just chose to approach me and he greeted with such a smile.

He wasn’t charming me or asking for money, he said “Can you please help me find a job”. You see this guy had a Bsc Honors Degree in IT and has been unable to find work for the past 7 years. He’s from the Free State and he recently came here to Joziburg to find employment. At that time I was talking to him he was completely wet from the rain because he was coming from Sandton on foot. He had a job interview there, he managed to hussle for money to get there  but none for coming back. And he still had to find a way to get to Thokoza in the East Rand.

He said “Ousi waka Gauteng hothata awusina motho ometsebang mona” (Sister, Joburg can be cruel when you don’t know anyone here). He was lucky to find a woman who gave him shelter but they were struggling even for food, it was his second day now going on an empty stomach. We are talking while we’re walking to the parking lot and that conversation was less than 15mins long, I mean the guy was a stranger after all. But I got to know so much about him in such a short time, to me that showed he was genuine.

He gave me his email address that I may forward him IT related posts if I come across any. But I also helped him out with taxi money and a bit more, enough for them to buy a little of food in the house. I believe the Lord fulfilled a promise to provide for him through him approaching me instead off all the people that were there. Funny enough, I had been trusting God for a financial breakthrough that very same day. And the Lord provided for me! I was so joyful when He did, and as I thanked him for the finances, I promised Him that I will use it wisely because I knew that it came from Him. Yes He gave it to me, I asked and trusted and He provided

If this guy had approached me any other day, I was probably going to offer him empathy and not practical relief. But since I was given, I had no reason to deny another person in need. He gave, so I could give. We indeed serve a mighty God whose ways are much higher than ours. We should always give him our best.

Malachi 1 vs 7 “You offer defiled food on My Altar…” we often never realize that when we give to the Lord it’s rarely our best. You know, when you go to church and the offering basket passes by and you check in your wallet for money “you can sort of do without”. Ja, just throw in a few notes, that shouldn’t get you off budget for the month. Isn’t this the same as offering defiled food? Giving Him, that which we do not need. What makes us believe that we are merely helping God with the spare money in our wallets? God is in heaven he doesn’t need money to get by.

Ok, if He doesn’t need money though, then why does he say we should offer our tithes to him?… Well there answer to this I only realized when I freely gave to that guy on the street. I gave him much more than he expected or even needed, but I was cheerful in giving to him because I consciously knew that the money was not mine, but a gift from God. If the Lord didn’t bring a financial break through that day, I would have thought twice about helping the poor dude because I wouldn’t have had enough for myself to get by. So seeing I was blessed financially what was then stopping from blessing someone else. You see, probably he had been praying for a financial miracle himself and God answered that prayer through me. Well, a thought did cross my mind that what if the guy was making the story up. Even if that was the case, the most I’ll lose is money and in any case it wasn’t mine to begin with. The Lord gave it to me and I’m blessing one of his sons with it. There’s a saying that goes: “When you give to the poor, you are lending to God”

Whatever wealth/assets we have, it is not a measure of our talent of cleverness. It is in fact a measure of God’s grace over our lives. I mean this guy is more qualified than I am, and here we are, me blessing him. It could have easily been the other way round, but because of grace it isn’t and I need to thank God for that. All good things come from Him and so does provision. We need to understand and honor the fact that all we have is a gift from Him, we don’t owe our income, (no matter how big or small) to ourselves, but to His grace. Shouldn’t we then give it back to Him, as He commands us? It was so easy for me to give that guy sufficiently because I knew and acknowledge that it was from God. But then where do I think my monthly salary comes from? It surely doesn’t come from my talent if there are more qualified people begging on the side of the road. This realization brought me to a very humble place and taught me that I should be showing God gratitude for every penny he gives me.

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,

That there may be food in my house

And try Me now on this

Says the Lord of hosts

If I will not open for you the windows of heaven

And pour out for you such blessing

That there will be no room to receive it (Malachi 3vs 10)

Yes we know that His grace is sufficient, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work towards your righteousness. God loves you unconditionally, but He notices your efforts and your faith. These activate his grace. Carelessness doesn’t lead to abundance. When you joyfully and gratefully offer your tithes, you’re showing God that you understand that He’s provided. He’s given you stewardship over the money with which he entrusted you and for you to give Him glory-not for the things He’s given you. He’s the one your heart’s in love with, not the wealth. That’s all He wants and when He’s certain you are clear about that, He’ll entrust you with more and more of His blessings. Secure in the knowledge that they won’t take His place in your heart and life.

When you chose obedience as part of your lifestyle, it offers you peace, protection and promise. Having so much money that you don’t know what to do with it is a welcome problem! So go ahead-test Him. He said so. Just remember that: God is your first love and He’s crazy about you. When you ask for a fish, He won’t give you a snake. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Give joyfully. Ask knowing you have already received. You’ll be blessed for it. Things work in God’s time, not yours, so do what you need to do- and get out of His way so He can do His thing!

“Where your treasure is, so is your heart also”