Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Big Cheese

So you must have picked up by now that I am a Clapper, Christian, Lordy lass.  At one point I was going to do a blog called The Confused Christian  and write about all the Lordy stuff I ponder over, struggle with etc.

My old blog had plenty Lordy debates and I am sure I will post about God stuff here too.  People tend to get a little scary when I post God stuff.  In fact some of you will probably stop reading this post before I can even get to The Big Cheese but stay a bit and listen to my intro.

Sister Nina is not Lordy, in fact none of my siblings are.   I have bought those rollerblading knee pads to protect my old knees for all the hours I spend on bended knee praying for them.  Kind of.  She is a big Glee fan and in one of the episodes a character saw Jesus in a cheese sandwich and called him The Lord Cheesus which is what Nina and I now call Him.   I mean no respect and The Lord Cheesus (TLC) I know has a good sense of humour and wouldn't be offended. 

I am not quite sure where I fit in in the churchy/world scale.  I am a little left for most churchy folk and a little right for non churchy folk.   Their is a scripture that talks about working out our salvation and that's what I do.  I grapple, I question, I read, I pray and I talk to TLC as well as other people.  The other day my 9 year old Rebeka was asking me about Harry Potter and if she could watch it.  I told her some people have a big issue with it like many things in life and she should trust the holy spirit that lives in her heart.   She told me she would watch and if she had a funny feeling in her tummy and she knew if was a God feeling, she would switch it off.  I felt so proud of her.  Discernment, knowing God's voice and obeying.  Trusting that He would guide her and speak to her.   I want my kids to love Him and know Him but I don't want them to do things or not do things because others are saying so.   When we look at history we see what awful things people did or didn't do because they just followed.  They did not question or debate or wrestle.

I have been a Christian for 13 years come this November and its been such a ride and continues to be.   I see TLC as God personified and when He was on earth he just loved people.  He never condemned, He never just listen to authority if He felt it clashed with His principles.  A rebel, a visionary, a lover of God and man.   He says to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and to love your neighbour as you love yourself.   The gay neighbour, the Muslim one, the Goth one, the one from Parow with plastic curlers who has now moved in next door, everyone who makes up our world.  One day I will stand before God as we all will and account for my life and I will always err on the side of love. I do believe my choices which many times will be the wrong ones, will be graced as God will know my heart.  When its just Jesus, without the politics and BS and religion and opinions, its pure addictive non judgmental unconditional love and grace and acceptance and the safest kindest place to be.  I am so grateful to have TLC in my life and the lives of my kids and Gary.

I leave you with one of my fave scriptures which explains love, aka TLC aka God.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 - Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Golden Goose

My most notorious blog post on my old Bosom Buddies blog was about dogs and why you want to get one.  What made you love them so much, post pics on your FB, spend thousands of rands on them etc.  I couldn't get how you could love something so smelly and annoying and how the hair and poop and crotch smelling didn't freak you out.  My money would always go into the Starving kids in Africa tin.

People got highly offended by this post and we had some fun doggy debates.   Fast forward a year or 2 later when Gary decided to bring a 6 week old rottie puppy home WITHOUT my permission.  Just for the weekend he says, if I don't like her we can send her back.  Yeah right.  WHAT-EVAH!  

By the end of the weekend the kids and I were crazy about her and Zara Novitzkas joined our family.  I love the name Zara and it would have been for one of my daughters.   I was totally maternal about her, she felt like my baby.  I got it, that love you have for your dog.  How they really do become part of your family.

Her first birthday on the 18th of April was celebrated down at the river where she loves to run and swim.   We had guests and cake and doggie treats.  We had gifts.   At that time I was negotiating with  Gary like crazy for another baby.  I was begging and praying and rationalizing.  I just so wanted another babe.  ( I was meant to be a mom of 4!)   Two days before D-day (had to do IVF due to vasectomy reversal etc) I called it off.   I didn't have peace about it and I knew deep down that it was just not right for us.  He didn't want a baby, he was only doing it for me.   In the early baby discussions he had told me I could get any dog I wanted if we didn't have a baby.  In hindsight the fact that I still tried to force the baby issue after that statement just shows how that baby want makes us so blind.   So after calling off the IVF I was very, very cross and very, very sad.   I took a while to recover and then off I went to buy Lucy.   Lucy the Goosie, Luce the Goose or mostly just The Goose.

I love The Goose.   I love walking with her, I love that she is hyper and a little crazy like us.   I also cannot believe that I am bringing her to Singapore.   The schlepp of the tests and paperwork etc is adding to my stress levels not to mention the small fortune I am spending to get there.  Who would have thought I would have been willing to spend R20 000 on my R450 dog?  That earlier this year we delayed our house fixing because Zara needed an expensive op.  I am a dog person.   Me, a real dog lover.  They are just so incredibly honest and sincere and their capacity for love enormous.  I still hate being licked, crotch sniffed, poop and hair.  That will never change.  But dogs in general, I just love them.  I am so glad we decided to bring The Goose with.  Parting with Zara will be so sad but knowing how happy she will be will help so much.   Love my woofles!
This is a pic of my youngest daughter Sofie (LHS) with The Goose and her doggie sister Lilly who was bought by Sofie's BF Dani.  Unfortunately the dog sisters don't get along but the girls do and Dani's mom is one of my bestest friends ever.   Will miss them so!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What do I do with my studies?

So this year was all planned.  I was going to study Social Work through UNISA and do 3 semester subjects this semester, and 3 next.  In addition I had my 2 year subjects so that made 8 of the 40 modules.   I was also going to continue my job as its part time and I work from home.  In fact I work in my beautiful study that is a result of the painful and costly renovations we did last year.  9 months and a ton of money and we have the perfect home.  Tra la laah, everything going well according to plan and everyone very happy in our new home.

Then came Singapore.   STOP.  Halt.  And change.  Change everything.   Schools, home, phones, medical aid, job, countries.  My carefully planned path no longer.   The problem is what do I do with my studies?   I am studying on-line so technically it is quite possible to continue studying through UNISA.   The move has me so distracted and I just googalize Singapore continuously.  Going overseas a month before exams is not the wisest move either.  I did minimal studying there and its taken the whole week to recover from my jetlag.   I write next Monday and Tuesday and then again on the 12th of June.  I am struggling a little.  To stay focused, to regain my initial enthusiasm.  I am supposed to register for the nest 3 subjects on the 18th of June.   So what to do?

I can register for them and carry on as per normal writing 5 subjects the end of the year.  The advantage is I have a focus and purpose in Singapore which I will need in the absence of work and friends.
Or I can just keep my 2 year module subjects and pick up new subjects next year.
Or I can finish them and give up studying all together (tempting!)
Or I can find a diploma/degree course to do there or even a shorter one.  The length of my current degree (6 years!) is what daunts me.  If I was doing a 2 year course it would be far less scary.

Oh what to do!  For now I am giving these exams my absolute best shot and I am in fact, hibernating next week completely.   I also see a UNISA counselor on the 23rd so I am hoping for some wisdom and insight before the 18th of June when I am meant to register.  What do you all think I should do?

PS, I want to get into infertility counseling and possibly adoptions when I am big.  Like age 46.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Home! Home?

I arrived yesterday after a very long and uncomfortable flight.   The cool thing is when you get to JHB you stay on the plane and half the people depart.  I cannot believe I lived in Pretoria for 2 years.  In SA we have to put up with horrendous crime like being the number 1 rape capital in the world and African bureaucracy and corruption. The pluses are the incredibly beauty we have of winelands and stunning mountains and our beaches and our colorful population.  This all mostly in Cape Town and other coastal towns so I do feel sorry for the Gautengers.  (yes I know your weather beats ours and your people are friendlier!)

So you know that horrible post holiday depro feeling you normally get when you come back from overseas?  Well I don't really have it so bad.  I feel very in-betwixt and between.  Like happy to be home but wanting to go back and get settled.  The whole house deal fell through BTW.  I was horribly disappointed as had done all the measuring and worked out who slept where and how my furniture would look.  I do know that when things like this happen, its always because God has something better up his sleeve/cloak.  (I met Gary a month after breaking up with the alcoholic ex I was bizarrely crazy about.  Story for another day!)  I also had to remind myself we originally only looked to get an idea of houses as our furniture would arrive the end of July.   We have since found a very nice affordable service apartment for the 1st month which takes the pressure off and we can extend the stay if need be.  It has a huge pool and close to Nina so they can come swim every day after school.

I have been up since 4.00am and its only 1.36pm now.   It will be hard to last till tonight but Gary only gets back next Friday so no parental napping shifts/turn taking.   The next 7 weeks will be crazy, 3 kids birthday parties, a farewell, a house to pack up, exams to write and a job to hand over.   Flip, forgot I had to study my anthro today.  Might just give myself off.  Tomorrow, I will study tomorrow. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Emigrating is not for sissies!

So it looks like we have narrowed everything down and we are close to formalizing the school application and the house.  It seems house hunting is a little like husband hunting.  If one could just combine all the good things from each one and mix it all together then perfection could exist.

My house is spacious and I even have my own study.  All bedrooms en suite and a large room upstairs we are already calling Mimi's room.  Its close to the Australian school with nice places to walk The Goose (my Jack Russel Lucy)  The kitchen is OK , not wonderful.   Outside area pretty nice and tiny garden quite pretty.  The only prob is we want a small pool so we are fighting disagreeing about losing the only bit of grass we have.  Gary happy to have zero grass and I want some lawn.   Tomorrow we meet the pool rental guy to see what is possible.  The first guy we saw today was useless.  I am very service focused and its always the decider for me.

Now I am off to dinner with Nina.  Jazz my HK friend has been excellent in finding me a whole bunch of potential Sing friends who I hope to connect with when we arrive in July.  I also met Helen a Singaporean local today who is a friend of Olliet's.    I know we will be happy here and eventually get settled but I feel really over whelmed with all their is to be done.  My exams are 3 weeks away and even though I trekked all my books here, they remain unopened.   Sh*t!  Must study, must!