Wanting what we have in 2021

My experience of this new year, as for many of us, is different.

Every year when the clock turns from the old year to the new, I am compelled to write and put my thoughts, aspirations, and expectations into words.  Each new year is a clean canvas to discover with new plans, experiences, and people.

Where I usually am motivated with aspirations and changes, this time I have this strong sense of just staying where I am, sitting still and properly looking around.  This mindset is particularly hard for me, since moving around comes much more naturally, but God specialises in teaching me the uncomfortable lessons until they seem comfortable.

Thinking about the words and ideas for this blog, a confirmation came directly towards me in the quotation on the first day of my new 2021 diary:

“Happiness is not about getting all you want; it’s about enjoying all you have” – Unknown

I could feel the peace streaming out of this “unknown” person’s words.

It takes my thoughts to a vision of someone sitting on a chair, the chair of 2020, the person is ready to get up and move on, but a loving hand pushes him back gently into the chair, to sit there a bit longer.  There is nothing else for him to do than to stay and look around. His energy of moving out has been stopped and forced to be limited to the moment of just staying where he is. If he accepts the status quo it is much easier to tolerate being where he is and paves the way to peace, but if he resists this moment it causes an unbearable uneasiness from within.

In some way I wonder if the frustration of 2020, lockdowns, and the pandemic has impacted us in this way. We just want to move on, away from this chair, but we are forced to stay and look around. The resistance to sit and deal with our realities will indeed make this season unbearable.

But there is another way …

It’s when:

  • we choose not to resist our status quo and stop focusing on our limitations,
  • we intentionally open our eyes to what we already have,
  • we exercise gratefulness, and
  • we intentionally let these habits guide us towards wanting what we already have and not just merely live with the brew of indignation in our hearts.

We have all experienced the traumatic loss of freedom during this time, none of us can even remember previous years where this has happened before.

The fact remains we do not choose our circumstances, but we do determine our response.

Can you find joy and peace in your here and now? In 2021?

There might be more freedom in acceptance than you ever could imagine.

As for me, I am moving diligently towards wanting what I have and expecting great treasures in this uncomfortable place of sitting down.

May your 2021 bring peace, maybe more than you planned on having.

I end with these verses from God’s heart:

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Written by Johanni Meiring

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Even 2020 has to end …

Do you enjoy small spaces of breathing? Do you enjoy moments of sitting under a tree, or listening to the rain? Do you enjoy moments of celebrating the end of a year lived?

We lived through a pandemic year. Lot’s of surprises but time carries on regardless.

Your 2020 is ending and your experience can be ANY in a range of MANY.  Whatever that experience was, I want to salute you, because you are here to tell your story.  You lived, fought, laughed or cried through it. And still…We are here, we are here, we are here….” (From: Horton hears a Who!)

How do we enter a new year, if we’re not even sure how to end this one? There are still so many uncertainties ahead…

In the midst of all these questions the re-assurance of 2 Corinthians 12:10 (The Message) keeps me grounded and these words: “My grace is enough, it’s all you need.  My strength comes into its own in your weakness”, help me breathe.

It reminds me that my efforts are good efforts, but not all I have.  That He sees my dedication, my passion and my will to succeed, but that is not the only outcome that determines my destiny.  Not today, not next year.  Sometimes I will succeed, and other times I won’t, and that’s ok.

How can that be ok?

Because He promises me that He is my hope and my salvation.  No matter how hard I try, I cannot save myself.  Only He can, and He wants to.

I believe salvation comes in many forms.  Yes, Jesus saved us from our sins our eternal gift.  Salvation is also applicable in many parts of my life.  He gives me salvation every day in my role as a mother, as a wife, as a friend or family member.  Only He can save me and carry me, and protect me, sometimes even from myself.

Dear reader I want to remind you that You really are special.  There is a purpose for you!  There is salvation for you in your moment of weakness.  Salute yourself at times. Count and celebrate the achievements others don’t see or understand.

We only have today.  Make it count, and be gentle on yourself.

The thought I want to leave with you is mercy.  If not for mercy, where would we be?  Have mercy on others, but also yourself.  This is the foundation of our salvation.

Find closure about 2020, it will help you move forward.

Written by Johanni Meiring

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Balance – The Proof Is In the Fruit

BALANCE. Such an extremely complex little word and concept.

If we draw balance back to us, and the way we live and raise our precious children, we are challenged. Well, I am definitely and completely challenged. To me it seems that having a strong, one sided opinion or approach to parenting, marriage, finances, medical treatment etc. is easier than to regard the other side of the coin…continuously.

Living a balanced life is hard work.

If I want to have balance I have to re-think my own opinions, regard others opinions, or any opposing facts to my opinions with open arms, and then I can make a balanced decision.

Only then can I say I have a balanced approach to life.

Interestingly, according to Adam Cash (psychologist and writer), the scientific method of proving that a theory is true; is to actually try to disprove the opposite of the theory. If I succeed in the last mentioned, the theory can be proved as the truth, if not, no truly proved theory.

How many theories do we live by on only hearsay basis and little experiential knowledge? Truth is, I cannot just blindly follow someone else’s opinion, I have to balance it out with either some kind of experience or considering the opposite end of this opinion.

After talking and praying and asking, this logical description opened up to me

Balance in life can only be identified in its fruit, or consequences. A well-balanced life often bear positive fruit of love and peace. For an un-balanced life, the opposite is usually true.

Our lives are made up out of different sections such as: our friends, careers or purpose, money, family, faith and many more. All of these sections represent a part of our functioning. As soon as one of these areas receive a significant, unhealthy increase of attention , a human challenge starts to develop. The fruit of our functioning starts to change. The fruit seems to have a negative influence on yourself, or on the people around you, or both.

If I work too hard, my family relationships will start to suffer and conflict or distance will result. If I spend too much family time and have no commitment towards work, I can lose my job and have no financial provision.
If my whole life revolves around my disabled child, my relationship with the other members of the family will suffer and create dysfunction. If none of my time are spent with my disabled child and all of the focus falls on the rest of the family, his unhappiness or malfunction will affect everyone in the family intensely.
If I find socializing as a means of escaping reality, my home environment will lose its value and fall apart. If I never socialize, and hide behind my home responsibilities I stand the chance of losing myself to such an extent that it will be difficult to find myself again.
The examples are endless.

I don’t think any person can think and behave balanced all of the time. Each person functions out of a unique mindset and approach to these different facets that make up our lives.
In my experience the human race has an inclination to function out of balance.

We aren’t robots. We learn, we feel, we win and we fight.

BUT if the red lights of negative fruits start flashing lets re-group and consider BALANCE.

Written by Johanni Meiring

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Perspectives

What is your expectation of a new day? Excitement or dread? Are you planning or avoiding?

I have a special feeling towards blank canvases, new pages and new beginnings. This stirs excitement in my soul an indescribable expectation for the new. There is also this nagging fear of disappointment, unfortunately. The combination of these two feelings results in a pause. Here I want to stay, not starting with the new so that I cannot be disappointed, but ending off the old to experience closure.

During our time at the coast, one holiday, the Lord spoke to me about my perspective on life. I hope your spirit will recognize this metaphor.

My life experiences and happenings can be compared with the sea. The water, waves and tides; is ever changing. The sea changes from hour to hour. It changes color, in movement and in depth, as my life does in every season, with every happening, circumstance and from hour to hour. The rocks on the beach and the rocks in the sea is a symbol of His continuous presence. The rock stands, immovable, undeniable. If the rock disappears beneath the tides and waves, the difficulties and challenges in my life, it still exists and stands, even if I fail to see it. He is always present, He never changes, His promises stand. The Rock of all Ages.

Beach sand has a different characteristic, it gets in everywhere, like our sinful nature always creeping in, finding ways to stick to us. The sand (sinful nature) sticks to us especially when we are wet with the sea water (the vulnerable state of living this life with its challenges). The sand can disappear with one spurt of clean water away from the beach. We can be washed, and it will be as if there wasn’t any sand or sin ever. Jesus redeems us fully and thoroughly. He is the Water we yearn for. The relief we have to look for to be washed clean, time and time again. The Water is available to us now.

This perspective gives me hope and security, a new look at my relationship with Him.

On holiday, we were between new people. These people do not know Emma’s story and it presented the usual challenges as we expected it would. Lots of kids around, the boys playing to their hearts content. Emma pulling away, not knowing how to play, and if she does, it only lasts a few minutes. The result frustration, boredom and hours of her just sitting without the motivation to do anything.

My default reaction on her limited social ability is worry. I worry about her future friends, or lack of. Her relationships, the non-activeness, and the list goes on.
Then the Spirit reminded me again: “Enjoy her, for her, imagine life without her, the gap you’ll have. I created her, as is. She’s your gift”. And my perspective changes.

I think about exercise and how I battle to exercise enough. The limited time, the lack of motivation many times. Then I remember: What if my body was lacking in ability and I could not exercise? The struggle I’ll have…and my perspective changes.

I’ve learned that in the big things and in the small things, our perspective changes everything. My perspective can condemn or bring life, it can bring hope or disappoint. I want to re-think my perspectives and look for the hope where I have been missing it.

New perspectives might bring relief in the most unexpected places, on this blank canvas called TODAY.

Written by Johanni Meiring

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

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A Special Needs Mom’s Prayer

Lord I come before you today
You know my limits, those I forget about
You know my strengths, those I use to cope, and also forget about

Please help me remember WHO You made me to be
Especially on those days when my arms feels like lead next to my body
On those days when it’s hard to find hope

Thank you for my children, I cannot imagine my life without them
But show me how to still be me and not just their arms and legs
Help me live free in my heart and soul
Help me live the joy that is hard for them to understand

Thank you that there will be a day when our bodies won’t matter!

Amen

Written by Johanni Meiring

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

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His Complete Love

If only we could grasp God’s profound love for each one of His children.  Saved or not.

We constantly battle with the voices of the enemy and the world.  Voices that scream: “You are not good enough, you are judged, you are guilty….”

God’s voice which softly whispers songs of pure love towards you, longs for you to find Him.  A gloriously complete Person who yearns for an authentic, deep, and unconditional relationship with imperfect you. A magnificent Father who longs for His child. An indescribable bridegroom aching for His bride.

We battle to believe what is not seen, to accept what we have not experienced. 

__________________________________________________________________________________

God,

You are none of what we’ve known. 

You are above our past and more than we can think or imagine for the future.

Our complete solution for eternity.

Help us understand how You love us day after day.

Help us live and breathe in THAT LOVE

because in that love everything changes…

Written by Johanni Meiring

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‘n Skoon Kanaal

Dis Sondag en ons sukkel al vir ‘n hele paar dae met een van die pype in ons huis wat net eenvoudig verstop bly. Gister het die probleem egter ‘n hoogtepunt bereik, en vanoggend staan die skottelgoed dak hoogte. Geen water wat ons intap loop teen die regte spoed deur die probleempyp na buite nie.

So sukkel ons om die pyp skoon te kry met ‘n gekrap en uitgespoelery, maar die verstopping bly.  Ons weet wat sal werk om die pyp skoon te spoel, maar ons kon nog nie winkel toe ry om die apparaat te kry nie, so intussen karring ons voort. Dis ‘n morsige affêre.

Ek kon toe uiteindelik vanoggend by die winkel uitkom en ons oplossingsapparaat aanskaf.  In my gedagtes het ek bly wonder of dit gaan werk, en as dit nie werk nie hoeveel geld dit nou weer gaan kos om die probleem op te los (ons huis is nou op daardie ouderdom waar daar ‘n klomp dinge aflos speel om vervang, of reggemaak te word, sug …). Ten einde laas gebruik ons toe die towerapparaat en tot ons groot verligting stroom die verstoppende elemente uit die pyp, en die water kanaal na buite is weer skoon.

Met hierdie hele proses herinner die Heilige Gees my dat ons ook mos maar kanale is, wat die Lewende Water dra na buite en na ander om ons.  Net soos die pyp kan ons, stadig maar seker, verstop raak en al hoe minder water na buite kanaliseer.  Ons het baie tipes water wat elke dag deur ons vloei en elke nou en dan bly daar ‘n stukkie vuiheid agter wat ons nie noodwendig opmerk nie.  “Dis net ‘n klein stukkie, nie noodwendig iets om oor bekommerd te wees nie “, is wat ons dink.  Ongelukkig word hierdie klein stukkies net meer oor tyd, voor ons kan keer wil die pyp nie meer water uitlaat nie en alles om ons voel skielik uitplek en ongemaklik.

Die sukses van die apparaat wat ons gebruik het is die druk wat toegepas word in ‘n beperkte area, te same met die stof wat saam met die druk in die pyp ingespuit word. Die resep werk. Dit blaas vasgeslaande vuilheid vinnig uit aan die ander kant van ‘n pyp, en feitlik onmiddelik, na die episode, loop daar weer skoon water deur die pyp na buite.

Werk dit nie ook maar so met ons nie? Druk van buite is keer op keer nodig om ons skoon te spoel. Ons weet dat die ware karakter van ‘n mens vinnig wys sodra daar druk op ons toegepas word.  Druk so voor die hand liggend soos: Korona Virus finansiële uitdagings, ‘n werk sperdatum of ‘n geliefde wat siek is.  Druk toets ons reaksies, ons geloof en ons ingesteldheid. Wat ons fokuspunte ookal is, sal vinnig aan die ander kant van die pyp uitgespoeg word.  Dan sien ons ook baie keer self wat besig wat om op te bou in ons harte, sonder dat ons dit eintlik self besef het.

Toegepasde druk en ‘n skoon gespuitery is baie ongemaklik, maar die verligting om van ‘n klomp vuilgoed ontslae te raak is defnitief die moeite werd. Dit kan die swaar las op jou skouers verlig en jou vrymaak om weer asem te haal.  Met vryheid om te beweeg is daar meer plek in ons lewens vir ander se behoeftes, ‘n groter hand om oop te maak.

Kom ons kyk dalk na ons druk omstandighede deur ‘n ander bril.  ‘n Bril wat glo dat God ALLES ten goede laat meewerk vir die wat Hom liefhet, en dat Hy ‘n Vader is wat baie geïntereseerd is in ons karakter.

Kom ons vertrou dat Hy ons kan help om skoon kanale te word, al verstaan ons nie hoe alles in mekaar pas nie.

Kom ons sien uit na die ervaring om ‘n kanaal te wees waardeur Lewende Water lig en vrylik vloei.

Geskryf deur Johanni Meiring

Heaven is Real

Have you ever seen a dog trying to lie down comfortably on a blanket? It usually involves scratching and turning, and more scratching and turning. At some stage he would lie down for a while, but then get up again to repeat the process over and over. He is usually frustrated with his need to settle. Only when human hands get involved the dog can really get comfortable, with help the blanket gets straightened and can cover him up, to get settled and fall asleep.

This image reminds me of so many of us trying to find our place in this world, a perfect spot of significance to make sense of this life.  The perfect spot to lie down and be content and peaceful. It is very unlikely to find any person on this earth who is not searching for some level of significance.  The big problem is that we, like the dog, do not have all the skills and knowledge to get there ourselves.  We find moments and glances of clarity and relief, when we just know: “Right here is where I need to be.” At times we might see that place clearly, but to get settled in and find our peace on that spot seems almost impossible.

I would like to encourage you today by testifying that I have seen and experienced how the all-capable hands of God comes and settle His people in their spot.  Definite scratching and turning is always involved, but when someone live near God, He really wants to settle and cover his child up.  Just like the human, who loves his dog and wants to help him.

The heading for this blog might have intrigued you in some way, right?  You might ask what dogs and blankets have to do with heaven?

Well, since the absolute uncertainty of the pandemic, I can’t stop wondering about those who have not found their spot.  Those who do not have the loving hands covering them up to assure them that everything is going to be OK…

Living with no hope, or in absolute fear is utterly exhausting.

Many do find peace under their blankets and it is because of absolute knowing that this life is not the end all and the be all. Heaven is real, there is gloriousness awaiting.  God’s eternal promise gives peace and hope, and even joy in the most unnerving times.

Are you the one who found your spot but persist to scratch? Let the loving hands of our Godly Father cover you.  He will, He wants to …

Are you the one utterly against the idea of eternity and refuse to be subject to false hope? My friend you have nothing to lose, just think about it. Explore Jesus and everything He stands for. Just understanding what He did on earth might clear up so many things for you.

He has cleared up so many things for me in my life.  He is my eternity, it’s not just an idea.

Today I pray that your peace and significance may come swiftly and help you settle.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Written by Johanni Meiring 

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

If you would like to find out more about Life Coaching  with Johanni click HERE

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You are Enough

I wish I had adequate words, pictures or sounds to describe what this phrase: “You are enough” has meant to me in the last couple of months since lock down started. The mere mention of the words sends shivers of excitement and deep understanding down my spine. The excitement speaks of not just what the phrase brought into my life, but what it can bring for so many others.

I have such an excitement of what these words can mean to you …

For the first time in history, we are all experiencing a similar challenge. We can maybe even call it a type of trauma: “A deeply distressing experience”.  The COVID_19 global disaster.  It has naturally sent all of us into crisis management, – questioning so many things and simply derived us from the control we thought we had over our lives. As we still find ourselves in this state of waiting, trying to make sense … trying to survive, more than ever before we are questioning ourselves, and our place in this world.

During this process, my life-spotlight has also changed its focus, from “life as I knew it” to … well … ME. The spotlight is set, and I cannot hide away anymore; I must face it.  God is leading me on a new path, a path I was longing for and praying for, for so many years.  By His grace, many circumstances are starting to align.

In the beginning of lock down, as these changes of events started to unfold, I purposefully, started to walk on this path towards dreams and destiny, BUT I could clearly feel that something misaligned. When something is misaligned, try as you may you just cannot draw the strings together, there is a constant mismatch, an uncomfortable grip.  There was a huge gap between my personal new normal and where I found myself, the place where I need to start this new adventure.

Hard as it was, I had to accept that this gap is the truth of what I believe about myself.

What did it sound like? “Just hang on, you might just make it.  With lots of grace and mercy God will pull you through.  You have some strengths, but don’t you think this will just fall in your lap.  Remember life is hard and we very seldom receive what we dream about. You are just a small part of a big whole …” and so on…and so on.

You know those words right, I’m sure you have very unique ones of your own…?

Well as it turns out, these beliefs have been accompanying me for years. There are lots of reasons and experiences where they could have taken route.  Fact is if you are human, at some stage there will be, or has been, negative self-beliefs torturing you on one level or another.  There is not one person who has not experienced this, no matter how secure or how famous.  Each one of us must intentionally fight the instinct to not talk down on ourselves or express little self-confidence.

As I started to become aware of this gap in my truth it was as if everything just started to make sense.

The sense? The next step is, and constantly will be, up to me.

I need to find and believe the truth, the truth about me. If I carried on trying to just bridge the gap, I will not move forward, I will just work extremely hard to not fall into an abyss of failure and broken dreams.  As I continued through my coaching training, wrestling and battling to understand how dreams become reality… I heard, really heard, those words again …

YOU ARE ENOUGH… at that moment the confusion clicked into place.

A random coaching trainer, someone who does not know me at all, have no idea what I have lived through or what I am capable of was an instrument in highlighting God’s infinite knowledge about me.

I AM ENOUGH. ACTUALLY … MORE THAN THAT … I AM LOVED.

I am deeply loved by the Creator of Heaven and earth, and I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. THAT IS MY TRUTH.

Why do we struggle so much to just be positive about ourselves? To believe what God sees in us?

The only sensible reason for this, I believe, is that the enemy is out to kill and destroy. If we are what we think, how easy it is to just start there?  Therefore, if you want to destroy someone just give them destructive thoughts to believe about themselves and Bobs you uncle! Problem solved! That person will self-destruct. It’s a given.

Destructive thoughts lead to low self-esteem which leads to passivity, depression and even aggressive behavior towards others.

The perfect recipe for destruction to happen from the inside out is to constantly believe destructive thoughts.

It is a full proof plan … EXCEPT ….

If the person who have the thoughts, starts questioning their thoughts and set out to discover the truth.

Those truths spoken in love; those are the words which could be trusted.  God is love and that is how He works, in love.

So, I am wondering … what could have happened in your life by now if you honestly believed sound truth?

That you are enough as a mother

That you are enough as a friend

That you are enough as an employee

That you are enough as a husband

That you are LOVED by the CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

 

The next step is yours…. what will you believe?

Written by Johanni Meiring 

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

If you would like to find out more about Life Coaching  with Johanni click HERE

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Click Here to Buy: Special Needs Special Life – 3 Keys to Conquer and Experience Peace while Parenting Special Needs Kids

 “I distinctly remember one evening, Emma was about three months old, I was taking a bath with one hand on my baby’s crib next to me on the floor, to regain some sanity. By then I was in a serious sleep deprived and defeated state. Nothing seemed to help to calm her down. She was still screaming loudly and painfully as she’s been doing for the last hour without resolve. The thought suddenly crossed my mind:” I wonder if she’s not autistic?”. – Autism – a frightening concept I read about for the first time in a magazine a few weeks earlier. I was shocked at my thought and rebuked myself for thinking such things about my beautiful daughter … still crying.”

On that day when diagnosis is received … you are also diagnosed, not only your child.

Sharing her own story, Johanni Meiring, a Special Needs Parent, Life Coach and Co-Founder of Parent Reality, provides useful tips and advice in caring for a special needs child.

To purchase your copy of this book visit these links:

https://www.amazon.com          OR        https://books2read.com/u/mKzp2Z 

Enjoy the read!