Today I am grateful for…

We survived one week of lock-down, it’s almost Monday and we have almost reached our 14 days of self-isolation. On Monday we can declare ourselves safe!

I could hear how people asked me; “how are you feeling?” and they didn’t mean how I was feeling about the weather or lock-down or work from home thing. They really wanted to know if I was in the slightest bit sick. Then they always asked about hubby, how is he feeling? Is he also OK?

I was always too scared to mention that sometimes I had a cough. That’s the thing nowadays you can’t cough or sneeze without getting some kind of panicked reaction….nope it’s not always corona.

We are fine, we really are! I am so grateful for God’s protection so many airports, places, things and people that we touched.

One week of lock-down and I am grateful for our holiday even when everything was shutting down behind us or ahead of us. I am grateful that we managed to get on a flight back home before all airlines parked their planes on runways, and airports became large creepy empty spaces.

Grateful for my family, the comfort of my home, that I was able to stay home and work in my PJ’s and slippers. That I can take a break to make lunch (not just eat at my desk) well actually the kitchen might be a problem, I spend way too much time there and I fear I’ll get out of this fatter than I came in! Just this week I baked two cakes (one flopped) I made bread and my own pizza from scratch!! See what I mean? Fat!

But I am grateful for the comforts and freedom of working from home and having a salary at the end of the month.

I am grateful for nature, the joy of the birds and the loud hadeda, that inspire love in some and hate in others. Has anyone noticed that they are louder now that we are home? Maybe I hear them as louder because I am not rushing to do something or to go somewhere. Grateful for the slow days, no traffic, no crowds, no business. Grateful for the generous amount of rain we have had, it has reminded me of Ireland and also, no one wants water restrictions in winter.

Grateful for the gift of prayer, we can all pray and I have been praying and thinking of my family spread all over the world, if we need to comfort one another we are so far even for that…I miss them so much it hurts.

And then I have to say I am grateful for technology – for this nonsense called Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, because although it is not always a good distraction, and it consumes us, and teaches our children things we don’t like if we did not have this crazy distraction and connection right now how would we “talk” to each other when we are on lock-down and social distancing?

You know that I am friends with my cousins’ children that I had never met in real life. But because of this thing called Instagram, we connect and chat to each other occasionally and we stay in touch. If it wasn’t for that we would be complete strangers, but I arrived in Portugal and meeting and hugging them for real for the first time was like ♥ I don’t know how to explain it, it was magical and wonderful and emotional and all things fuzzy and warm.

As churches are closed all over the country and in other parts of the world I see pastors of our churches posting videos of themselves doing devotionals. Little messages of encouragement from others, as they learn to use their cell phones and become more and more comfortable with the camera and posting their videos. I love them and they have brought me peace over the past week.

My sister and her family have been locked up and cooped up in a two bedroom apartment for much much longer than us, oh Itlay ☹ your numbers are still so high. I hear the pain in her voice sometimes.

So tonight when everything was silent and the rain was softly falling we received a special message from our own pastor on WhatsApp.

We can’t go to church tomorrow but no one and nothing is stopping us from worshiping together. And so we received his message; something inspirational and uplifting as some of us will be fasting tomorrow and praying. Yip worshiping with our phones in our hands, who would’ve thought this could ever happen!?

Ah I am grateful that this technology can keep us connected for now. And I am especially grateful for the soft confident voice saying that we are to put our complete trust in Him. He will give us courage to face this crisis, Be still and put your trust in Him.

Happy Sabbath all ♥

Lasagna for the working girl

There’s nothing quick about lasagna. I need a pot for my home-made tomato sauce. Another for the white sauce. And one more for the filling. Then layers of lasagna pasta and lots of working space and with a bit of a mess your lunch is ready to go into the oven. It’s the type of thing I reserve for a Sunday.

But its Friday afternoon I have to rush home and try to prepare a Sabbath meal for us and visitors. Yup I invited people over for lunch, I promised lasagna and I have not prepped anything. The clever thing would be to make the sauces the night before (Thursday) then on Friday it’s easy to just put it together, but that didn’t happen. I have to do the whole lot in one go and be ready before sunset, ha ha. What a laugh.

Well I did it, I managed to pull it off. There is nothing vegan in this recipe. The sauces are shop bought. It’s a lazy, quick and easy lasagna for the working girl. I insist this is healthy. And I love it.

Chickpea and veggie mince lasagna

Two carrots and about four small baby marrows grated. Tinned chickpeas. Veggie mince; (rinse and let it rest with a generous amount of lemon juice a few minutes before introducing into the pot) Put everything into the pot and cook with a good tomato/pasta sauce. Add all your favorite spices now and let it all cook together for a few minutes.

Once that is ready start the layers in your dish. One layer of lasagna sheets, cover with your filling and add the sauces. Oh yes the woolies tomato & herb is delicious. the cheese sauce is even better (bit over the top and rich) but this is lasagna, you need this cheese sauce 🙂

Continue until you have the desired amount of layers. I only do two layers, it just stays moist if it’s less layers. Finish off with more cheese sauce and then a bit of the tomato pasta sauce. And there you go it’s ready for the oven.

Salad. Roast veggies. Olive bread.  

That is my Sabbath lunch…..and I’m done in the kitchen. Time to tidy up and relax. I love quick meals and the friends and good times around our dinner table!

Misty Sabbath

The weather in Joburg today was overcast misty and a bit chilly. But I love those misty days. It was a beautiful Sabbath. Spring is here and most trees are green and they just look so bright against that overcast and misty morning sky.

I sat in church and I was watching my boy (with his long scruffy hair – my opinion not his) but still looking so smart next to the deacons he was serving the bread and wine at communion. He looked so grown up, and just then I caught a glimpse of one daddy giving his little boy of piece of the bread. It made me smile and brought a tear to my eye as I remembered doing that for my boys too when they were small. Soon that little eleven year old will be in his suit with the deacons, why do our little ones grow up so fast?

*sigh*

Wish they could stay smaller for longer and wish Sabbath could last a little longer too

Sabbath is over, it was a perfect beautiful day

Take Time to be Holy

A very wise person once wrote:

“If you want to read a book about mystery, murder and deceit then take your bible out of the drawer. Forget about those novels and bad movies, you don’t need them. If you want to discover secret codes and treasures and you really want to read a good love story then again, pick up your bible.” 

Such a clever writer and he is so right with that statement. The bible really is the book that has a bit everything in it. Everything you need is in there. We can find such beautiful songs and poems too. Today, I’d like to share a hymn with you, one that is also a poem and a sermon all in one. The inspiration behind this hymn is 1 Peter 15-16.

I love this hymn and the words really touch and bring tears to my eyes every time I read them. 

May you have a happy and restful Sabbath!

Take Time to Be Holy

Take time to be holy,
Speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in him always,
And feed on his word.
Make friends of God’s children,
Help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing
His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy,
The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret
With Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus,
Like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct
His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy,
Let Him be thy guide,
And run not before Him,
Whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow,
Still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus,
Still trust in His word.

Take time to be holy,
Be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive
Beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit
To fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted
For service above.

 

_Hymn 500

Delightful Sabbath

Happy Sabbath to you all, with much love from me

May the grace of the Sabbath arise,
as the One who ordained it is good,
and be a delight in our eyes,
His creatures obey Him, they should.

As the toils of this life do consume,
For rest is but an illusion for many,
But the one who ordained it is gracious,
For His grace abounds aplenty.

Those who are weary and heavy laden,
When trials and tribulation doth test,
May find in Christ such sweet solace
For in Him alone is true rest

The commotions of this life doth abound
Of sweet peace there is a great dearth
But dear Lord, I pray to experience it now,
And that the glory of your Sabbath not be blotted out from your earth

– Author unknown –