Mom's Mosiac

Mom's Mosiac

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Well, it’s been a pretty crazy month!  I have made a commitment to attend as many as possible of the children’s extra murals as I can.  It keeps coming up that the kids feel I have seriously lacked in this area in the past.  So I am trying to make amends.  When I manage to get there, I truly enjoy it!  It’s just getting away from all the chaos here at TLC that makes it rather challenging.  But it is worth the effort.

Happy Birthday Dominique!
We started out this month with three birthdays.  There was Dominique on the 28th February.  She turned 12.  (And I know I told somebody that she turned 10, but that was a mistake.  I got mixed up with Murphy!)  Dominique really enjoyed her day, and Pippa took her to the Boma for her birthday outing.  Actually we combined this outing to celebrate both Murphy and Dominique's birthday.  It was a special request from both of them!  They all really enjoyed themselves and came home with bloated tummies, because there you can eat as much as you like for a cover charge.  But it cost Pippa a bomb, and so we won’t repeat that offer in a hurry!

Happy 12th Birthday Dominique!
Then there was Murphy on the 5th of March.  She turned 10.  She followed me around for about a whole week beforehand, to make sure that I didn’t forget.  It was such a hectic week, that it is just as well she did, or it might, indeed, have slipped my mind!  The day before her birthday Pippa and I managed to slip out for a couple of hours and grab some gifts for her.  On the actual birthday she was absolutely delighted, especially with her clothes!  She is such a clothes
junkie! :-)

Happy 10th Birthday Murphy!
Next was Erin’s birthday.  He turned 13 this year so it’s his “Brotherhood” birthday which is a special one.   He was therefore allowed to go out with Mommy for lunch.  After that we had a good time together, spending money!  He was allowed to choose a number of clothes for himself, including shoes, which is always a huge treat!

He had been nagging me for a PSP, which of course was rather out of my budget range, even for a 13th birthday.  But then when we got to the shop, would you believe it, there was a PSP that had been a demo model and they were selling it cheaply.  I was very worried that there might have been something wrong with it, but it was fine and it even included TWO GAMES!  It WAS missing the earphones, though.  But that was very easy to fix. When we got home with that treasure, Erin was the most popular boy in the family for about two weeks!
Heidi and Christian left us earlier this month.  We were all very sad, especially the two boys, Kieran and Benjamin.  But many of us were very mournful after they left.  It is really one of the greater downsides to TLC.  Losing people you love, one after the other!  The kids really take strain on that one.

Pippa graduated from her Social Entrepreneurial Course with Gibs.  Joanna and I went along to celebrate the evening with her.  It was a really lovely evening, meeting all her friends that we’d never met  before and enjoying the magnificent spread of food and drink that they put on for us all.  It was a very special and memorable event for all of us.

Congratulations Pippa!  You are now a Social Entrepreneur
I have been trying to get lots of pictures of the kids so that I can put them up around the house.   But look at this adorable picture I managed to snap of Reuel.  We were kind of squabbling about the camera and taking the picture, when all of a sudden he started to giggle ... and went all kind of soft and mushy and just look at this lovely expression.  I will really treasure this one!

We also received our new mattresses for the lion’s beds.  I am so relieved about that because it was beginning to bother me horribly.  Now I have a couple of people making fitted sheets and under-sheets for them, and hopefully by the time winter comes the beds will be looking gorgeous ... the way they did when MY kids were toddlers.  And now I need to find some time to get that little room painted again.


One of my really big highlights this month was a visit from our wonderful Xenex (now Karl).  I wonder how many of you remember what an incredible little boy he was when he was at TLC.  Well, I have news for you!  He is even MORE incredible and gorgeous now!  He speaks English which is such a big bonus.  We could actually sit down and have a proper conversation and he could tell me all about his life.  He has been staying in New York for a while, and that is why his English is so fluent.  He really made my day!  Thank you Karl!

Karl with Mama Thea and his Daddy, Klaus
Last Saturday Carlton, Brett and I went to watch Joshua play Rugby.  He is in the First Team now.  I was very sad when I learned that Reuel was also playing, but he is in Second Team and he played just before Joshua did.  AND WE MISSED IT!  That was so tragic.  Sorry boy ... I will make it up to you, I promise!  There will be many more games before this season is done, so I will get many more opportunities, I am sure.

Joshua - St. Davids against St. Albans
Here is a picture of Joshua.  Doesn’t he look scary?  He played really well.   I think he must be very intimidating for his opponents because he is getting so big!  Just as the second half started, the rain poured down in buckets.  But we were all brave and sat through the whole thing.  Joshua’s school, (St. David’s) played against St. Albans from Pretoria.  Unfortunately we lost ... 18-20 but it was a great, nail-biting game and very exciting.
Amy getting ready for her race
Then St. Katharines also had their school gala in that same week.  It was lovely to see the girls and how well they are doing with their swimming.  They won quite a few of their races and their little faces shone with happiness when they saw me sitting there amongst the spectators, watching them.  I was a very proud mommy!  Here are some of the pictures I took:

Amy the victor!  Wins her race

Amy swam so well!  She has an interesting style, but never mind ... it gets her to the other side before anybody else ... so who's complaining!

Khensi getting ready for her race
Khensi did well too.  She swims really well and you can see she really enjoys it.  It's so wonderful to see these girls doing so well.  She came second in this particular race.  But it was very, very close.  I think there were just a couple of second in it.

Girls discussing the race
Yes, you are right!  I saved the best for last.  My little Theresa.  Oh my goodness, I giggled my heart out watching her.  Can that kid SWIM!  She beat them all by far and she's smaller than all of them.  It was such fun to see that little thing fight for her place.

Theresa getting ready for her race
Just look at that little pixie!  Look at that ear!  Ha ha.  She's just oozing confidence.  And then she gets on that springboard and watch this ... have you ever in your life seen SUCH a fantastic diving technique?

In she dives!
And there she goes ... swimming her little heart out and winning first place.  What a star!  I was so proud of her!

And off she swims ... like a little mermaid!

Then I also attended St. Katharine’s musical morning, where Amy did a drum solo.  My goodness, that little girl does have talent on those drums.  I was so surprised!   She really gave it stick and you could see she her audience were completely delighted with her performance.  Afterwards, she also joined the rock band and looked very cool up there on the stage.

Drumming Amy delighting her audience!
Amy in the Rock Band
Unfortunately the academics are sliding again, so we have to start doing something about that.  But ... we will do our best to get her back on track again.   It’s hard for the ones (like me) who weren’t born “clever”.  But you find out later in life that God does not leave anybody without a gift ... not a single one.  I would never have guessed that I would end up doing such a wonderful and fulfilling job that made me wake up every morning with a big smile on my face!

It’s funny, I often remember all the days of my youth when I was really angry with God for not making me stunningly beautiful.  Now, with the wisdom of hindsight I can see exactly what a terrible curse that would have been.  I would have missed God’s best ... his very, very best.  I am so grateful he just made me, me.  Exactly the way I am.  And he made you YOU too.  Absolutely perfect and equipped for his faultless will and plan for your life.  You just need to relax and allow God to mould and shape you, so that you can fit perfectly into his divine design.

Last week I was very privileged to have a really sumptuous day at Postinia and it actually ended up being TWO NIGHTS!  It was really fantastic.  The only downside was that there is STILL no water so I was back to using the bucket, for dishes and stuff.  But never mind.  It was all good.  There’s nothing in the world like waking up NATURALLY.  No slamming doors, no creaking footsteps on the floor above you ... no yelling voices ... nobody emptying the night’s leftover formula out into the pig-slop bucket outside my bathroom window. 

None of that!  Just sliding out of sleep and slowly surfacing into consciousness ... with the far-away moo of a calf or a little peep of a bird just outside the window.  What luxury!  And then there’s no leaping out of bed and rush-rush-rush ... quick bath ... quick dress ... quick breakfast ... and quick-everything for the rest of the day.  No! No!  You can just go with the flow ... take it all slow and in silence.  I don’t even like to put on music or anything.  It’s so nice to NOT HEAR anything.  Just silence.  I’m going to try to get back there this coming week.

Jerome's birthday picture with Mommy

On the 24th we had Jerome’s birthday.  He had a whale of a time.  Everything we do with Jerome is always great fun because he enters into all celebrations with such gusto and such high spirits.  It infects everybody.  He is my lovable, adorable boy!  He is just so special.  So we all started by singing Happy Birthday to him, in both song and sign.  He loved it and was grinning from ear to ear.

Monster Rhys stealing all the chippies!
Then it was time to tuck into the food and cut the cake and everybody was so excited.  Jerome let us all know in no uncertain terms that HE was to be thanked for this great occasion and would not let any of us forget it.  HE was boss of the day!

So, here is Monster Rhys, stealing a whole bunch of chippies and Jerome was not impressed and made no bones about his displeasure!  That didn’t stop Rhys from taking yet ANOTHER handful, just to make Jerome extra cross.  But he DID put them all back afterwards, and Jerome was mightily relieved about that.

Pippa explains how his hot water bottle is going to keep him real warm!
Then of course came the most exciting part of every birthday ... THE PRESENTS.  And Jerome was so happy.  We can’t afford wrapping paper, so we put the presents into pillow cases.  This was Pippa’s ingenious plan last year and we have been doing it ever since.  It is also a great time saver, because we don’t have to wrap all those gifts!

The favourite present.  A fire engine!
Jerome got a beautiful set of finger puppets from his favourite aunty in England (Helen Carter) and he was absolutely thrilled with these.  But his most favourite gift ever was the magnificent fire engine he got from his Mommy Pippa.  He wouldn’t let any of this brothers come near that one.  He kept pushing them away and even knocking them down when they came too close.

Finger Puppets from Helen Carter
On Saturday we had the greatest fun ever!  We had signing classes.  And this grandma was the happiest grandma on planet earth.  I have longed for signing classes since Jerome was just a teeny weeny little boy.  It broke my heart when he would have long, signed conversations with me and I had no idea what he was trying to tell me.  At other times he would be upset about something and would be sobbing and signing at the same time and I would feel awfully guilty.  I would think ... “Oh I WISH I could sign!”

Our First Signing Lesson - See Jerome on the left
Leaping up and down with pure joy!

Then Pippa and I thought about asking St. Vincent’s (Jerome’s school) if we could bring the whole family to do signing lessons there once a week, or once a month.  Very suddenly, God answered our prayers. 

We had to queue for our test and got a reward if we were right

Pippa went to Paul’s Open Day at Frances Vorwerg, and there she met a signing teacher that she learned to sign with.  She asked her if she would be willing to teach us and she said YES!  She had been thinking about it for a long time.  Not only that, but she will come to TLC which makes life SO much easier.

Christian munching his reward
So, she came on Saturday.  We had such a lot of fun.  The children loved it.  Carol (Nicholas’ mother) also joined us and the children were absolutely thrilled to have her there and she just joined in all the fun too.

And then right in the middle of everything,  Joanna and Pippa started bullying Zoe!  Ag shame man ... they should pick on their own age!  :-)

(Only joking ~~ Joanna wanted to rob her of a kiss!)


The teacher made a party and we learned all about party things.  We learned our  colours in sign, we learned to count.  We learned everybody’s name.  THAT was fun!  And then we all had to line up and she tested us, and if you got everything right ... you got a BIG piece of cake.  Even Ruthi passed her test, legitimately!  She is such a sharp little sausage! J No flies on her, that’s for sure!

Even Ruthi passed her test and got her reward!
Then, lastly, on the 28th I had the enormous pleasure of going to see the St. Katharine’s girls concert.  It was absolutely magnificent.  And Amy had another chance to play the drums, which was really lovely.  The only one sad thing was that most of the pictures I took of Amy and Khensi were a flop because the background and the lighting was so dark you couldn’t see their faces.  I managed to fiddle with one of the pictures and they are okay.  So here it is:

Amy back row, Khensi front row.  A really beautiful show!
And then Theresa was absolutely stunning and she danced beautifully.  I was so proud of her.  This is the first time she actually performed on stage.  Before, whenever she went on stage she seemed to get stage fright and stood there like a lifeless statue!  But today she participated in everything perfectly and I was so happy and so proud of my little girl.

Theresa in orange as a butterfly

We are still waiting for our Lotto funding to come through.  Please, PLEASE pray that it comes through because we are getting a little tight again, and I can’t bear the thought of going through another bottom-scraping period like last year.  It’s just too scary to contemplate.  It’s just sitting there, but for some reason it’s not coming through.   I know that prayers will bring it out.

So, I know we have another two or three days to go before the month is over, but I am going to publish this post now and if anything incredible happens in the next three days of March, I will be sure to add it in at the beginning of April.

Big, big hugs to you all and lots and lots of love!


Monday, March 14, 2011


This was a speech made by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Anna Quintile
at the graduation ceremony of an American university where she was
awarded an Honorary PhD.

"I'm a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know.

Don't ever confuse the two; your life and your work. You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree: there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living.

But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk or your life on a bus or in a car or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank accounts but also your soul.

People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter's night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've received your test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children.

I have tried never to let my work stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the centre of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I am a good friend to my friends and them to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cut out. But I call them on the phone and I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten, at best mediocre, at my job if those other things were not true.

You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are. So here's what I wanted to tell you today:

Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted.

Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beer and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough.

It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, and our minutes.  It is so easy to take for granted the colour of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again.

It is so easy to exist instead of to live.

I learned to live many years ago. I learned to love the journey, not the destination.
I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get.
I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly.

And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this: Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear.

Read in the back yard with the sun on your face.

Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived".


Maybe it has something to do with the tremendous human tragedy in Japan.  The sheer horror of the images on TV ... Last week this time, their lives were 'business as usual'; just like ours are today.  I feel profoundly changed by what has confronted us since last friday, the 11th March, 2011.

At the same time, this little speech by Anna Quintile also touched me deeply when I read it this morning.  It showed me my failures ... and made me want to do better.  I always say this ... "God is in the details!"  I always try to fill the tiny details of my life with all the things Anna has mentioned.  But in spite of my most valiant efforts I often fail.  It's not so easy swimming against the tide every second of every day.  The tide of constant demands and pressures.  There will inevitably be failures because, apart from our own weaknesses, we are affected by other people's choices.  The more people in your life, the more choices there are, that affect you. 

Nevertheless, and in spite of all ... I resolve to do better today - and for the rest of my tomorrows!

See you soon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


For the past three months we have enjoyed the company and amazing services of a volunteer couple who have been really, absolutely amazing.  There are no words to describe how much in love everybody at TLC is with this amazing pair.

They leave tomorrow morning.  They take with them our hearts ... they will never be forgotten.  They have left indelible fingerprints of love and care; and precious memories.

As a parting gift to us they gave Pippa and I each a stunning collage of each of our children.  The pictures are current and up-to-date.  You can see them on their website at:


All my Love,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Included are some wierd and wonderful pictures

of the world around TLC

and some of my favourite sights.


Our African Dawn


A lot of this post was written while I was down at the coast in October.  I don't believe it was really intended as a blogpost, but rather as a kind of 'muse' or journal entry.  It so often intrigues me how our lives and those with whom we have relationships are folded into each other so closely that even someone who lives 8000 kilometres away, might sometimes go through an identical experience as mine.

Often I get letters and I think ... "Oh, I know that feeling!"  or, "Gosh, I have just had to deal with that myself."  And if there is any good reason why we need to endure hardships, I feel sure it is for this reason.  That we are able to give comfort and counseling where needed.  Not theoretical, but experiencial.

So, with this in mind, then, I am going to upload this post.  It's quite unique as a blogpost.  But I really feel that somewhere out there, somebody needs it and will be greatly helped by it.


Having first arrived and settled down in my little seaside cottage in Ramsgate, in October last year, the foremost problem I encountered was the serious matter of having forgotten my bible at home.  This created a dilemma for me because a large part of my enthusiasm for going down there was to spend time in prayer and reflection which, as you would expect, requires a bible.  Or so I thought.  Quite naturally, I firmly believed (and still do) that the very best way to hear God’s voice is through reading his Sacred Word.

Our African Sunset
So now, here I was – three weeks of peace and quiet ahead of me and no bible!  Of course it would be a short answer to go and buy a new bible.  But that would not be my bible!  ‘My old friend’, as I like to call it.  Fully practising Christians will relate to what I am saying.
So therefore, I did not consider it a co-incidence in the least that on my second night there (when maintenance man, Chris, had already fixed my TV) that I watched a movie called ... something like “Healing Hands”.  It was a beautiful and true story about a poor, black boy in the USA who, against all the odds, becomes a famous neurosurgeon.   That aside, somewhere in the story the boy’s mother tells him robustly ... “You don’t need the book!  You have the book within you!”  And right there, God takes those words – shapes them to fit my need of a bible – and delivers them directly into my heart!

Bronkhorstfontein Area where we live
Actually, what liberty I gained from this!  Of course, I always knew that “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee”, and that God's Word does, indeed, do its mighty work right there inside our hearts, and from there translates itself into our lives every single day.  That’s not to say that it was time to throw away my bible.  No!  By no means; but I now fully realised, more than ever before, that I didn't need that material book as the answer to my every need, for I do have that living word inside of me.

A double rainbow over volunteer cottages
So then, what did occupy my mind in that time of solitude?

The answer would have to be, without hesitation, that it was the subject of ‘humility’.  Yes, I agree ~ a hefty subject, indeed, and you often find the most inappropriate people trying to deal with it.

Therefore, I touch the very subject with fear and trembling, lest I am judged inappropriate myself!  At the same time, I am reminded of my dear friend, Fr. Gregory, who once shared with me this deep truth:  “You need to be wary of your fellow Christians, for when they sense the slightest humbleness in you they will immediately set about fashioning a badge, so that you may be proud of your humility!” J

Nevertheless, I felt that if I did not deal with the subject that had so thoroughly been my contemplation and meditation in at least two of my last three weeks at Ramsgate then I should have ceased writing immediately because there would have been very little left to say! J
Our first and last snow fall in 2003

Only now, 4 months later, have I plucked up the courage to re-read this piece, edit it and actually post it on the blog.

So, how did it happen that I should stumble upon ‘humility’ as the source and subject of my preoccupation?  Well, it happened like this:
For the past seven years I have carried around with me an unceasing, enduring and agonising pain in my heart.  People have given it a whole litany of names and many have gone to great pains to explain its origin (such as heredity, etc.) and how to deal with it to affect a sure cure.

A beautiful snow picture
But still, in spite of all, I lumber on through life with this excruciating pain in the depths of my being.  I have come to believe and finally accept that I will take it to my grave.  That I have somehow acquired a love, so extraordinarily strong, that once it takes possession of someone or something, I simply cannot let go, no matter what.

As tragic as this sounds, and even more tragic as it is to accept – acceptance, indeed, seems the only hope of exercising any kind of mastering over it.  I am speaking of course, about the failure of my marriage.

In my exercise of pondering humility, some clues began to present themselves, not only as possible explanations for my present condition but also its cure.  Could it be that this detestable, agonising pain had found its perfect seat in the pride of my heart?  What a big question!
A Watery Sunset
The reality that the situation occurred and that it was unavoidable is, of course, a settled matter.  But what is unrealistic and unnecessary is the fact that it is being dragged along with me like Christian’s (of Pilgrim’s Progress) oversized burden, as if it were a crippling penance.

In retyping my book, (before I decided to relinquish the task), I came across this paragraph:

‘I was deeply aware that the big “I” had managed to become much smaller and more insignificant, and Jesus was able to take up much more of the slack.  I was able to place every new day of my life into my Saviour’s hands.  I could say, with all my heart, “Take it, Lord, and make it yours.”’

I clearly remember that day at Bible School when the massive revelation first hit me ... that humility was the only means by which to honour and serve God.  Indeed, humility was the only path and door by which we can even discover God in order to commune with him.  Humility!  ‘The ability to make yourself small and insignificant’.  Completely emptied of self.   Completely emptied of self.   I became convinced, this was the key.

Neighbouring Squatter houses (Since been removed)

As the lecturer who brought the message stood in the lectern that day and preached, I marvelled at the receptacle; the bearer of this message.  For here was a man not given to humility by any manner or means.  In fact, Humility was a subject little preached in that church as a general rule. 

But clearly, in a Bible College, the subject needs to be covered as part of the syllabus, even if it is not actively practised by any of its hierarchy.   I have realised since then, that we should never judge the messenger ... and this man was merely a messenger.  When our hearts open freely to the Spirit; like a flower opens effortlessly to the call of nature; in acknowledgement that a message is inspired by God, we will know it is safe to receive from that message whatever gift and grace God wishes to bestow.  "I am the Good Shepherd.  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" John 10.27"
One of my favourite sights : A well attended local church in the veld
The funny story is often told about how God once used a donkey through which he spoke to a man called Balaam.  Balaam is what we call a “seer”, a pagan prophet for profit, hired out by Balak, the king of the Moabites. He was a very influential sorcerer who, although aware of the true God, made his services available on a freelance basis.  Very interesting, isn’t it?  More to that than meets the eye particularly in view of my experiences in Rhema which was so much a part of my book.
Nevertheless, the point I am trying to make is that the ears of our hearts should be ever listening for that still, small voice with which God so often speaks through any vessel.  Sometimes the most surprising, unpredictable and seemingly inappropriate.  Many times little children!  (“Out of the mouths of babes and infants I have ordained my praise”) Psalm 8.2

Another TLC Sunset
I think I have often mentioned to my blog friends, that I don’t simply type up my message on the blog and post it immediately.  No, no!  Would that it were that simple!  There is a lot of reflection, deliberation and editing that goes into this process.  And God, too, must have his say.

For instance, I have an old A4 diary from yesteryear that I carry around with me and I write all the little things that God speaks to me on a daily basis, in there.  Sometimes these are just small insights.  It could be a great personal revelation, which, to someone else, might be a “ho-hum” fact!    They could be useful lessons I have learned through another person.  There might be wise sayings I received from any source; a homily, an inspirational quotation, something from the TV or radio ... just about anything that touches my mind or heart that I deem significant.

A Bronkhorstfontein Dawn
I don’t always write them in that diary directly.  Sometimes I jot them down on paper, and pop them in the book when I’m tidying up, clearing out my handbag, or whatever.  I just think it is important for you to envisage how all this occurs and gets put together.

When I am immersed in serious thought and writing, I very, very seldom type something directly onto my computer as a first draft.  For some reason, God seems to speak to me much more clearly and eloquently through the written word.  So I write my first draft out by hand and my most successful time for doing this is nearly always first thing in the morning, before anything has been able to turn my mind to worldly things, however insignificant.
I usually write it into that very same old diary.  When that diary gets filled up, I find another old diary.  (It’s really funny because I buy a diary every year with good intentions, but I rarely use them for their real purpose, past January.)
Then, like fixing together a jigsaw puzzle, I start to assemble the work making use of many of these small bits and pieces. The jotted down verses, paragraphs, quotes, parts of homilies, etc. that pertain to my subject.  God somehow never fails to make something valuable come out of all that.  (Well, I hope it’s valuable).  It seems to me at least ... usually, to have great value.

A wierd, UFO-Looking thing behind the outside fridge taken from our kitchen
So, in the course of this process I have come to see humility again, through fresh eyes.  What both life and study have taught me about humility so far, is simply this:

It is the sense that only through our smallness; no, actually, through our entire nothingness, we are able to come to see how completely God, as our creator, is all and everything.  This realisation of our nothingness is the state of being that enables us to give way so completely that it makes God free to be all.

In the life of sincere Christians ... of those who pursue and profess holiness ... humility ought to be the chief mark of their uprightness.  Sadly my dear friends, in my experience, that is too often not the case.  Yet there should not be a single reason why, in the teaching and the example of the church, humility does not have that place of supreme importance.

Farm labourers' accommodation
3M X 3M rooms that accommodate
whole families with no running water
It is owing to the neglect of this truth ... that as strong as sin is a barrier against humility ... there is a motive of still wider and mightier influence.  It is that motive that makes the angels; that made Jesus; and that makes the holiest of the saints in heaven so humble; it is that first and chief mark of their relationship to God ... which is also the secret of our blessedness.  Our humility and nothingness, that leaves God free to be all.

The driving force that led me out of the “Faith Movement” and back into the Catholic Church was the discomfort I experienced with the lack of meekness and lowliness of heart, which are subjects scarcely touched upon in that environment.  In fact, they are almost scorned.  I have to admit that pride and arrogance are not preached either, but they are certainly practiced.

Our famous Willow Tree
Yet, what, as a child, I had imbibed from my Catholic upbringing was that meekness and humility of heart were expected to be the distinguishing feature of the disciple, as they were in the life of Jesus.  Still more importantly, I learned there that this humility is not a ‘something’ of itself to be easily possessed, but that it had to be made the object of special desire and prayer and faith and practice.

Even as we diligently studied the Word of God in Bible College, we saw for ourselves in God's Word not only the clear model of Jesus’ life of humility, but also the very distinct and often repeated instructions Jesus gave his disciples on this point.  Yet, I frequently marvelled that in spite of seeing how slow Jesus’ disciples were in understanding him, so too, my fellow classmates and even the lecturers and hierarchy of the church seemed incapable of translating these clear messages of humility, into practice.  

At that stage of my life I was searching, you see, for a role model.  A living example.  Someone I could emulate.  In the Catholic Church we have these examples in the lives of the saints (albeit that they are historical examples).  But in the Rhema environment there were no such examples.

Sunset through the bluegum trees
So I came to realise that human souls were not the answer.  Maybe they were never meant to be the answer.  For I learned that only when we diligently study the character of Christ until our souls are so filled and infused with love and admiration of Jesus’ lowliness, will we come to fully comprehend his message.  When we have become completely broken down in the sense of our own self importance and pride and our own inability to cast it out, only then will Jesus Christ himself come in to impart this grace too, as part of his wondrous life within us.

The Lane Across from our Road
When we realise that this is our true nobility and can sense it enough to make every sacrifice to allow it to take root, then it can become, combined with our will, our mind and our affections ... the very form, or the vessel, in which the full life and glory of God will work and manifest in our beings.  Then we will also see clearly that humility is simply acknowledging the truth of our position as creature and yielding to God his place.  Not only this, but the most beautiful realisation is that Jesus, as true God, was, in his true humanity; humility personified.

Only a fool would ever assume that attaining this true nobility is a simple task.  Or even one that, having once possessed it, it is yours forever.  No, I wish it were that simple, but if it were, then it would not be so precious!  It is this fact of the pain in my heart that I mentioned before, and the likelihood of it’s having found a seat in the pride of my heart, that makes me once again attentive to the constant aggressing factor of pride at work in our lives at all times.

It also clarifies, once again, how little we understand humility even to conclude that it would have been a simple case to have emptied myself of my “self” much earlier.   No, what we need to realise and admit is that there is nothing as natural to man, nothing as insidious and hidden from our sight, nothing as difficult and dangerous as pride.   If we can only fully realise that nothing but a very determined and persevering waiting on God and Christ will reveal how lacking we are in the grace of humility and how impotent we are to either obtain or defend it without our constant perseverance and waiting on God and Christ as our daily act of worship.

My prayer is this ... that God may grant light to this little message on humility so that, if there are any of you reading it who have gained some useful insight, he may bless you and hasten your deliverance and healing, as he does mine.  And as I persevere in my pursuit of the peace that is the fruit of humility, I will attempt to bring you some of the lessons I am learning along the way in the hope that they may encourage you on your journey also.

God bless you all!                                                           
With all my love,