Can you remember that girl? Part 1

I had a specific flavor about me in the years before family life took hold of me. My zest for life was overwhelming. My dreams of the future, limitless.

Creativity has always been just beside me in everything I did. It ranged from having a different routine every day to always making a birthday card, never buying one. I don’t think that I ever, up until now, understood myself in such a way to just accept myself for who I am,and  not making excuses for what comes naturally.

Resigning from my Corporate Communications position to study Performing Arts: Dance full-time, helped me. At the age of 24 my cash-strapped-student-life helped me stay in a bubble.  In this bubble I could explore the creative side of me, for three years constantly.

My bubble-life changed, when I got married and became a mother. The responsibilities in my life changed and the girl in the bubble had less and less time to express the bubble-life. Please understand, I didn’t become unhappy, in contrary I became more and more fulfilled with living my dream. I am a wife and a mother. I prayed, no begged the Lord, that I would be in this privileged position, since I was a teenager.

Thing is, I just realized, and have been for a while, that I need to give expression to the idealistic me. I cannot look back on this life and say “I never had time to be me”. It just feels that now, because I understand myself better, I am actually realizing what I have been missing for most of my life.

Therefore, the challenge is on. I am holding myself accountable to…myself, and a few people near to me.  I must stop acting how I feel I should act (pleasing everyone around me…), and start acting as I know to be true to my own identity. Please note: This is trickier than I thought. To combine true identity with wisdom and love most definitely needs guidance from above.

All of this said: I am still a wife and a mommy. I feel much more liberated, and very excited about what lies ahead. I pray that there would be Grace for us to parent our children into wise authentic human beings, loving themselves, if only a few understand them. I need to live freely for them to be free.

In the light of our parenting challenges, is this not maybe our relief? I have never heard anyone say: “To become a mother you need to change your personality”. Our character automatically change, but look after your personality, stay who you are. If the true you are hiding in the forest of everyday living, look for her. She is waiting for you to find her. If you’ve never known who she is, I urge you to find out.

What am I actually doing different? Well, you won’t believe this, but I rarely choose clothes in shops I REALLY like. I always choose what other suggest or what I think others find acceptable. Now, I am not allowed to buy something unless I absolutely love it, and I actually have a very clear idea of what is beautiful to me. I tried to color my hair today, it came out lighter than I wanted, but its fine…baby steps. Next time it will be a bit brighter. Another important step I want to take, I have literally mulled over for years. You will have to wait for the end result of this one. I’ll keep you posted.

Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes says in her book : Women who run with the Wolves that “ Wolves and women have been tarred with the same brush …but the aspect of the wolf that the wild women relies on; is the idea of freedom. The idea of being unspoiled, to have rhythms that are uninterrupted by over doses of the intellect.”

Embrace your womanhood, embrace your strengths and weaknesses, and celebrate your uniqueness!

To be continued …

Written by Johanni Meiring

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

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

If you would like to book a Life Coaching Session with Johanni click HERE

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What If… Your Special Parenting Journey is Your Highest Qualification for This Life?

Each one of us is traveling through this life with a certain mountaintop in mind. We have dreams which can come true and other dreams that most probably never will.  The important thing to remember about this journey is that the most significant parts are invisible.

Parent Reality Journey 2

 

In a world where achievement and success win everything, invisible seems ridiculous.  It is simply unproductive to focus on the invisible.  Our emotions are invisible, so is our spirit, prayers and thoughts and yet these are the most important drivers in making the invisible…visible.

One morning, a few years ago, as I was leaving Emma’s school after a teacher chat (we all know those…😉).  I had a heart-to-heart with moment with God. I honestly asked: “Is she never going to grow up like the others, is she always going to stay a child?” And he answered me with this verse: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:2-4

How bittersweet is that?

I had to realise that this world’s ideals and God’s ideals are VERY different.

I also just have to tell you that Emma’s prayers are quickly and significantly answered, even the ones the parents thought not to be such a good idea.  She has absolute faith like a child.

Most of our special needs children have delays in some or the other way, which forces us back to simplicity and childhood. We have to communicate with them where they are and set aside all the wonderful expectations we had for success in their lives.  In the process of us trying to help them grow, we have the opportunity to grab hold of the invisible “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”.

Your journey through Special Needs Parenting have incredible significance my friend, you are being taught secrets in dark places. BUT you always have a choice to revel in the pain or to dance in the victories and beauty of the unseen.

My prayer for you today is that your eyes will be opened to everything God sees in your child, and that this picture will stay put in your mind.

Parent Reality Journey 3

Victory and freedom aren’t just achieved in rising above the obstacles in your life, but often as you grasp the significance of our pain and suffering.

Your life is a marathon, not a sprint. Stop to enjoy the scenery.

Written by Johanni Meiring

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

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

If you would like to book a Life Coaching Session with Johanni click HERE

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Dear Parent, Burnout Can Do More Harm Than Frequent Breaks Ever Will

I can remember so clearly the early years of parenthood, those times when I was on the brink of breaking down. I could very faintly feel the exhaustion setting in more and more, my patience very thin with the kids and emotions flying everywhere about the smallest issues. It was then when I knew that I was in the danger zone; I needed a break.

What to do?  My husband, obviously, also got very tired juggling work and family, we usually had so little time to schedule any “down time”.  In spite of all the pressure It was as if Gideon could sense that this mode of mine could go very wrong, very fast.  He would quickly agree to baby sitting when I asked for a few hours alone time, or coffee with a friend. No big weekends away, just a few hours to re-collect.  These small breaks really helped me then, and they still do now.

johanni meiring blog

Taking breaks have always required some specific intentions from my side.  Intentions such as scheduling time for myself, eating humble pie by asking for help and giving myself permission to rest a bit.

It was during one of those coffee breaks that a very dear friend of mine said the following: “You do not have the luxury to let yourself break down, because when you break down your whole family goes with you.” I did not want to hear those words then, because honestly, I really just wanted to lie down and not get up again.  But what she said was true then and remains true now.

BURNOUT is a state of chronic stress that leads to:

  • Physical and emotional exhaustion
  • Cynicism and detachment
  • Feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment

-Psychology Today

Using time wisely remains a constant struggle for me, always to little time and too much to do.  During my quiet time as I, once again, prayed about time and surviving in the hustle-and-bustle of each day, God spoke clearly and surely.

He said “… for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”

(Heb 4: 10-11, NIV)

By not intentionally resting I am actually being disobedient as the Israelites were in the desert.  God’s rest has a lot to do with faith and trusting Him.  This chapter focuses on the sabbath rest and sabbath is taken from the verb Shabbat which means to rest or stop from your work. There will always be more work to be done, more goals to conquer, and something else to do for your child, but rest contributes to not just work but being equipped for the work of our hands.

One practical way of grabbing hold of the craziness of life is PLANNING.  I have a slight hunch that putting more consideration in what we are planning to do than just being part of a lot of busywork, can change everything.  In our franticness we usually battle with boundaries.  We commit to appointments, line up to-do lists and overpromise easily without thought or consideration.  When our brains constantly keep on thinking about unfinished tasks our subconscious minds exhaust us much more than any session at the gym ever can.  Extreme tiredness (or, Burnout) very seldom results from physical exertion but more often from mental and emotional stress.

You are what you think …. and too many tasks and commitments exhaust our minds.

Taking all of this in consideration your task as a parent, special needs or not, is demanding.  Most of the time parenting is not your only responsibility you have to divide yourself in a million different pieces every day.  Rest, usually, does not fall high on the priority list.

johanni meiring blog burnout reading

If you cannot imagine a life with regular pit stops, why not start small and change your everyday life paradigms a bit?  Small pit stops can be:

  • Starting your day with God, yes get up earlier and go to bed earlier (He keeps you afloat and wants to give you supernatural strength), Matt 6:33
  • Planning a longer bath or shower session every other day (don’t just rush through it, enjoy the moment),
  • Doing a bit of exercise at home (even if it’s only 20 min a day, it builds self-confidence and physical health),
  • Buying that book you thought you would never get to reading and read it for 20 min in bed before you fall asleep (dump Facebook, scrolling through other people’s lives aren’t relaxing at all),
  • Scheduling in that date night, even if its once a month, way in advance (make every effort to organise help with the kids), and
  • Very importantly: speak positively into your own life, words such as: “don’t give up”, “you are doing well” or “you are doing the best you can” will go a long way!

Believe that you are precious in God’s sight!

He says:

“I have told you these things, so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)

Written by Johanni Meiring

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

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

If you would like to book a Life Coaching Session with Johanni click HERE

If you want to read more blogs click HERE

How writing has always grounded me

On the best and worst of my days my head is almost always buzzing with a peculiar mixture of activity.  The activity entertains ideas, to-do lists, impressions, emotions, words, songs and strategies.

Reading that explanation of my mind activities here, is a bit disturbing, but I have realized that much of what I, or any one of us, experience in one single day will actually just pass by without it being pinned down or given a name. There is so much that happens in a day, in the spaces around us and inside our hearts and minds.

I remember a day where I was explaining to my life coach how I process, and him actually being shocked at how normal I deemed it.  He was surprised that my normal entailed thinking about- and figuring out many levels of people’s actions, interactions, non-verbal ques and messages – ALL THE TIME.  My empathy level is also very high.  It feels very normal for me to put myself in someone else’s shoes without reservation, but this very act can be seriously exhausting.

Writing has always been a way to calm down my thoughts and emotions.

How does your thoughts look and feel, can you catch them or make sense of them?

Thinking back, I started journaling early in my teenage years.  Way back then we had a trend at school to compile small diaries with collages of magazine pictures pasted in them of all our favourite things, we then brought it to school and bragged with our newest creations every day (this technique, by the way, are still very successfully used today to help people discover their dreams and goals).  I just loved that outlet. A seriously emotional teenage girl definitely needed this place to make a bit of sense out of all the thoughts and emotions in her being.  From there the diaries developed into journals, and I have never stopped writing since.

When I journal, there are days where my hand can’t keep up with my thoughts and then there are days when only two sentences will do. I ALWAYS carry pen and paper around with me. It helps me feel safe. I know that if all else fails, I can always write or draw.

Drake Baer writes: “…research into writing shows, the act of tracing your thoughts across a page can make you more productive, more emotionally aware, and a less irrational decision maker.”

I have found that writing makes an enormous impact on my rational and irrational thoughts; it brings into being which otherwise possibly would never have been seen or heard. It centers the wonder of my thinking and reasoning.

The written word is the oldest solid form of communication that exists, and the purest simplest form of education.

God even told the prophets in the Bible to WRITE DOWN what He told them, since the important information He shared with them had to be kept safe and sacred. God knew that would be the only way we would remember His words, if it were written down. How profound!

Writing has always also been the tool for me to pray in the best way. I’ve always felt that if my prayers aren’t written down, I forget what I have prayed and miss how God answers me.

In the deepest and darkest places of my despair words have always made it better.  Without putting my emotions into words there is no beginning and no end, and I usually feel as if I’m drowning. I thoroughly believe that we are meant to express our emotions into something tangible in order to process or realities better.

Journaling and writing blogs have very different outlets. Journaling is very personal and usually a tool to vent, I may or may not read it again but is definitely for my eyes only. Blogs have a different purpose here I share my thoughts and feelings with other in the hope that it would resonate or even help someone else on any level or with certain questions.  Both of these processions have wonderful internal rewards in them which is hard to explain to someone who have not experienced it. In my life writing gives relief.

I would definitely encourage anyone to try writing down a few words about your thoughts and feelings every day. Your insights can change, your mood can change, your heart can change, and you will simply feel better.

Try it! Sometimes those floating thoughts just need a place to come to rest. Let it!

Written by Johanni Meiring

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

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY website click HERE

If you would like to book a Life Coaching Session with Johanni click HERE

If you want to read more blogs click HERE

Special Needs Parent you have nothing to be ashamed of

This past week was a week of wrestling for me.  I wrestled with the big bad Wolf of Approval.

This topic isn’t new, I have thought and wrestled with this many times before.  But, I realized that I was just a bit naive to think that this important element of my character has been dealt with and put in its place, unfortunately, when the test came, I failed utterly ….

From the day we are born this need of approval starts to play a very significant role in our lives. Any child growing up without approval and love, consequently, suffer significant problems as they develop into adulthood.  Rejection become an element of humanity to avoid at all cost and a trigger to the absolute fear of disapproval between people.

Even if you were raised with ample love and affection, somewhere in your life you might still experience rejection.  Rejection between friends, in a love relationship, between siblings … the disapproval landmines are everywhere.

Our biggest enemy rejected God’s love and authority, this was his plan right in the beginning and it hasn’t changed. Deception and rejection.

As I was struggling through these thoughts of pleasing people to gain their approval and questioning the consequences of rejection between people, we had a public meltdown situation with our daughter on holiday.  In these moments it’s hard to be the calm one, because you actually just want to grab your child and run for the nearest exit.  When she was small, this was an option, but now … no such luck. I had to stay calm and ride it out and pray for mercy.

While trying to negotiate with her, calm her and basically just get to point of LEAVING the store, I suddenly clearly heard my own thoughts, and the main theme of the reason why I wanted her to stop acting crazy and just do what I say.  The reason was: “They’re all looking at us, please stop, what must they be thinking of us.”

Even after the whole scene I was SO ANGRY, not at Autism but about the fact that I was left so vulnerable and humiliated. People don’t understand over stimulation and a young emotional age. All they see is a mother not in control of her undisciplined child. Well, this was what played in my head.

After a few days of wrestling with the Approval Wolf the Lord started opening up to me how vulnerable I have been, not to a growth point, something I need to change in what I do, but the lies I am being fed. Such a terrible lies, cleverly disguised between pieces of my life.

The lies I was believing said: “You are not good enough. You are a disappointment to others AND you are not trying hard enough to teach your child.”

These lies left me defenseless.

I know I am not the only one who have heard these words in their hearts and minds.

As I started seeing this struggle for what it is, the Lord reminded me again of how my identity in Christ works.  It’s simple, yet hard to accept.  We want to many explanations and too much understanding.

My Identity in Christ says:

I am fully loved and accepted because Christ died for me and I accepted Him as my Savior. The End.

This is THE TRUTH!  No special needs parenting situation, person’s opinion or criticizing word can change that. I have nothing to be ashamed of, and when I make a mistake, because we all do, I ask for forgiveness, turn away from my error and move on.

My word to you today dear Special Needs Parent is this:

You are good enough! More than that, You are fantastic!

The special need of your child is not your fault, doing the best you can with what you have is enough. Walk with your head up high, because when you are saved no one person or situation can take that truth away from you.

God sees every detail of your life and heart.

Written by Johanni Meiring

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

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY website click HERE

If you would like to book a Life Coaching Session with Johanni click HERE

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Non verbal…not stupid

How many times do we not subconsciously, or consciously, make the assumption that someone’s reply equals their thoughts?

What if you just do not have the words to describe what you are thinking?

We all have those frustrating moments where in mid conversation you would like to describe a thought, feeling or remember a name, but in that moment the word is gone. The frustration …the agony…until you can remember.

Does that mean you are stupid?

Then it dawned on me why my child needs the therapy. Is this what she experiences? It’s a more constant state of a loss of words. Her brain did not allow her to absorb the words as normal children would, therefore when she opens the drawer in her brain to get the word out, there is either; no word, or the wrong word. Words are only the vehicle of the thought, not the thought itself.

In my varsity years I once traveled to Italy with a precious friend of mine. This was a dream come true. My first trip overseas. The preparation was very diligent and precise. Part of the preparation was language classes. Italian. Another dream come true; I always wanted to speak Italian.

We attended our classes week after week, writing and speaking. Difficult, very difficult. See, we wanted to prepare for getting to know people, talking, and socializing. My friend was a few steps ahead of me, since her father is Italian and they heard the language and spoke bits of it at home. Yet, her home language was not Italian and the family we were planning to visit ONLY spoke Italian, in a southern accent. We were taught the pure Italian. With this we had to make it up as we go.

I never lost courage during the six months of learning the language. I had a dream and it was on the verge of becoming true. I was excited!

The trip turned out well for us, considering we had no Whatts Apps to send, wink wink. Just the good old pay phone with calls home every other day.
After we arrived in the home town of my friend’s family, Praia A Mare, we settled and thoroughly enjoyed the cultural experience.

One specific evening I can remember clearly: This evening we all had dinner and was just having fun being together. I loved being there. Listening, laughing and eating. Only thing was, I couldn’t join in the conversation. I could understand well what everyone was talking about…
But I couldn’t respond, answer quick enough or give any insightful input.

And then I heard my own thought loud and clear: “They must think you’re stupid, and they’ll never know the real you, because you can’t speak Italian…”

I was trapped, frustrated. For the rest of the trip I had to force myself to speak, to just put words out there. I had to say the words even if they were wrong or crazy …. I just had to keep talking. Why did I keep on trying? Because I discovered that if you don’t talk, people forget about you. They forget that you are in the room.

I obviously enjoyed the trip. It was so amazing and magical. But today I am thankful that I experienced being non-verbal. How else would it ever make sense? The logical assumption is: If there is no words there must be no thoughts. My thoughts were plenty that evening, but they had nowhere to go.

Now my daughter’s words are stuck most days, for us the grace over her was plenty, since she could have therapy from two years of age, and her speech improved. The screaming slowly, but surely, started turning into words and the relief was tremendous. For her and us. Her thoughts had somewhere to go and did not remain bottled up and unheard.

At eight years of age she doesn’t even closely have all the words she needs,
to express all her thoughts and emotions. But sometimes in the midst of the rush of the day she would say something that would stop me in my tracks. Her thoughts: Unexpected, profound and beautiful. Other days the emotions and thoughts just does not connect with her language, and the frustrations build.

Bottom line? Keep reminding yourself that there is thoughts even if the words are few.

The input, emotion and knowledge didn’t disappear, but the words might have. Encourage communication creatively.
Everyone deserves to be heard …

Written by Johanni Meiring

How you can support your Special Needs Parent friend

Have you ever wondered if there is a way how you can meaningfully support a Special Needs Parent friend or family member?

There definitely is! And it’s much simpler than you thought.

Since our Parent Reality meetings started in 2014 the biggest, most evident benefit our parents receive is understanding.

To be a Special Needs Parent means that; from the day your child is born you start searching for answers.  I would describe us to be walking encyclopedias relating to our children’s circumstances or diagnosis.  We have spoken to doctors, therapists, family members, teachers, schools, Google, have read books and have subscribed to anyone who seems to know what they are talking about, in regard to the development or improvement of our kids.

That being said, it would make sense then to not try to comfort or support us by means of solutions.  Makes sense, right?

When attending our support meetings one of the most heart-warming experiences is how these parents instinctively just listen to each other in support.  These parent’s children are not diagnosed the same, yet their journeys made them wise in the art of just being present and helping when asked.

You might not be a Special Needs Parent, but could be related to, or a friend to someone with a Special Needs child.

If you would like to support them your best bet will be:

  • To listen and not advise.
  • When asked for advice give it …em-pathetically
  • Ask them what you can do to help
  • When you agree to support, commit to your involvement

Our world is so revolved around fixing problems fast. That is why it would seem much better to just try to find a quick resolve to your friend’s problems.  Truth is, here in this situation, there are no quick fixes, if there were …. trust me …. that parent would have found it.

The definition of empathy is:

The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

This my friend is the key to you giving your support.

You will never know how much empathy means to the Special Needs Parent in your world.

Thank you for wanting to help! We appreciate you!

 

Written by Johanni Meiring

 

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

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY website click HERE

If you want to read more blogs click HERE

Dear Special Needs Parent: Welcome to Holland …

Explaining your experience as a Special Needs Parent is gut wrenching on the best of days.

The last couple of weeks I have been trying to figure out how I would explain my experience to someone who has never lived with a Special Needs Child or with any child, for that matter. Where do I start and where do I end?  What is the best way?

Then I remembered the Holland story.

The Holland story is famous throughout the special needs environment.  You might have heard it from a therapist, a doctor or a teacher.  This story is usually used trying to explain what happens to you when you become a special parent.

The basic version of the story is as I remember it:  You and your husband have a dream to live in Australia, after many years of planning and preparing the day finally arrives.  You board the plane.  You travel and look forward to your arrival in Australia when, over the head speaker, they announce: “Welcome to Holland…”

You are not prepared for – or excited about Holland, but you have arrived, and there is no turning back.

I am not sure if a specialist or parent came up with the story.  I would imagine that if it was a parent, there might have been a bit more emotion involved for example the plane crashing in Holland?  Giggle giggle…just wondering.

Gut wrenchingness aside… it can only be good to communicate our experiences to the people around us, those who are ignorant and who hurt us without even knowing, and those who judge us.

Then I thought what if I expanded the Holland story from the parent’s view?  The purpose: To try to explain how it is, living in my Holland … here goes…

____

Dear Friend

I am excited to write you a letter fresh from Holland.  We haven’t spoken for a while, I guess I had to take some time to adjust to everything here.  Us just arriving here was so unexpected and everything is so different from how I imagined our life abroad.

Anyway, it has been 10 years since we first arrived.  I can’t believe how time flies! 

My description of Holland is that  it’s small, different, beautiful, merciless and life changing. All at once.

We had to adjust our whole way of doing things.  We had specific ways, but everything, as we imagined it would be in Australia, had to change.  We had to replace our wardrobes for the wet weather. We sold the car, since there are no use for that here.  Both of us also changed, you almost don’t have a choice,” Adapt or Die”…if you know what I mean.

Soon we “kind of” adjusted the best we could.  The language … a whole other ballgame.  You have to hear it to believe it.  It takes a while to be on the same page as everyone else here.

The thing that surprised me most about Holland is that you never really know everything there is to know about the neighborhood you live in.  Just when you think things are settling, someone decides to change a traffic rule or your rates and taxes bill gets pushed up, A LOT.

We have learned to love Holland, even though it was not our choice destination.  We love the flowers, the quint houses and magnificent food.  We made our own little house beautiful, although it is very small, and there is no options to expand on the property.  You even, eventually, understand and speak the language fluently.

I still mourn our dream of living in Australia, but the pain is changing day by day into living this new dream.  After all, crying is good for us, it cleanses the soul.

The other day a friend, from our family back home, came to visit.  She was so excited and we enjoyed having her here for a visit.  She discovered many things about Holland and were so inquisitive.  One of the days she insisted to visit one of the cities alone, we let her go, and unfortunately she had to face some doors closed in her face, and unfriendly people, after quite a few hours of travelling.  Holland can be ruthless when it comes to rules.  You only learn all the different ways when you live here, and even then, something might still catch you off guard.

Well that’s my letter to you for now, a lot more to tell, but we will keep that for another day.

Hope you will visit soon, will love to show you all the interesting and unique things in Holland.

Kind regards

Your Special Holland Friend!

_____

 I am sure these words don’t even begin to describe your emotional experience or the crazy situations you had to play out over the years.  Maybe Holland can be a soft starting point of conversation when you have to stomach the “Only the strong people get these kids” comment or when someone offer to have an easy solution to your child’s temper tantrums and delayed toilet training.

I salute you dear person now living in Holland!

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Written by Johanni Meiring

Thank you for sharing in my journey!

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It will be a privilege to spend time with you!

Thankfully 2019

Blessed new year greetings to you dear friend! May you experience enormous hope and love in this year and even today!

I usually try to write my blog before the end of the previous year, reviewing the old and planning the new.  Honestly speaking, along with that rounding-up and planning process is anticipation, a bit of excitement …some fear.

Afraid? Of what? Maybe of the fact that some of my expectations might not be met this year.  That most of my ideal plans most definitely will change, and that what I think now, to be the perfect approach to my challenges, has big potential to not be successful.

It sounds less hopeful, I know, but haven’t you felt it too?

These thoughts led me to how our faith constantly has the play-off between living up to perfect Christian value laws versus embracing the freedom Christ Jesus has given us by His Grace.  So often as Christians we get tangled up in the effort of living up to the standard of righteousness, just to fail again utterly in our quest of being perfect and judging others who aren’t.  Time and time again He reminds us that: BY GRACE WE ARE SAVED. Running into His arms and finding refuge in Him is the only plan that successfully and truly pans out, always. We simply cannot do or plan out this life by ourselves.

Running around in circles with the same approach year after year just does not feel right. We’re suppose to move forward in our spiritual lives, we are running a race towards the finish line. Our great reward is waiting!!

Can we do it different in 2019?

There must be a new year’s resolution that changes our momentum.  An intention that almost slows us down and in the slower momentum super naturally moves us forward with leaps and bounds.

Bearing all of this in mind, I thought of this resolution in 2019:

– To not try to do it on our own, but to take refuge in Him. 

– That even before we make plans in 2019, to hide under His wings and draw from all the life He has for us to live, and only then listen to where He wants to lead us.

 – That the only prize worth living for is the one waiting after this life is complete, and that we’ll remind ourselves of this over and over again.

Please note: I know that this resolution is not natural for us.  Our own plans usually steal the show, we do the full circle of trying it on our own, just to end up in His arms again many times over.  With careful intention we can choose to change this course to rather pursue peace and trust instead of success and prosperity. He is willingly help, I know this because His heart yearns to be our only source and comfort. He sacrificed everything he had for us, He gave us His life.

In all the complexities our lives seem to have become, the simplicity of the gospel is almost impossibly contradictory:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and love your neighbour as yourself.

Yesterday (31 December) I watched a movie that is so richly impactfulPaul, Apostle of Christ gives a visual experience of the early Christians under severe persecution in Rome, and Paul in prison.  A movie that does not have a happy ending, not in this life, but an extremely rewarding ever after with Jesus.  A hard movie to process, but while watching it you just know …. this is rock solid and real, true life, no Hollywood.

Maybe if we focus more on the reality of the reward promised to us, the non-Hollywood outcomes in our lives won’t be such a frustration and disappointment? We have so much to be thankful for.

Today and tomorrow is just a gift to us.  Nobody has guaranteed us a 2019.  We take our life years for granted, even though we have all seen how easily it can be taken away.

Thankfulness is your key to enjoying today. Find things to be thankful for every day, even if it’s the same things every day.  Difficult circumstances become less intimidating when we find something to be thankful for in the midst of the pain and confusion.

He changes your perspective on everything, if you worship Him with your Thank You’s. 

May your walk into 2019 underneath His wing and with a song in Your heart.

 

Thank you for sharing in my journey!

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Net ‘n gedig vir Desember 2018

Dis Desember

Die groen wys lewe, en die stilte … vrede

En ek dink

 

Hierdie tyd bring oordenking, of jy wil of nie

Oor die jaar, oor jou lewe, oor jou

 

Mense het oorwinnings, en ander het swaar

Ek? Fokus net op dankie sê, vir alles en nog wat

Dit help my perpsektief kry, perspektief hou, perspektief verander

Dit help my

 

Wat ‘n wonder dat ons almal verskil, en dat jou Desemer joune is.

Net een Desember 2018

Moet hom nie mis nie ….

 

Geskryf deur: Johanni Meiring

Thank you for sharing in my journey!

Do you want info about a life coaching session? 

Click Here

To inquire about public speaking please

 Click Here

For more info about Parent Reality:

Click Here

It will be a privilege to spend time with you!