He sings…

 

pexels-photo-586415.jpegI recently came across this powerful quote by Oswald Chambers, which I have held onto over the past three weeks.  The quote is this:

“He does not give us overcoming life.

He gives us life to overcome.”

 Two of the past three weeks have been spent at the Hillcrest Hospital.  Our two-year-old Layah had viral meningitis, and last week Mila, who is six years old, was in hospital with a bacterial infection known as “chlamydia pneumonia”.  Please don’t be alarmed.  This form of pneumonia is by no means linked to the sexually transmitted disease.  Please don’t go and google this either…  I warned you. 

Anyway, Dylan has been sick for over a month and I was then bitten by a spider last week! But, the Cherry on the top, is that little Samuel has an enormous red boil… on his little four year old BUM!

Ok, I am aware that this was a complete “overshare”.  Sorry Mila and Samuel, hopefully they will never find out that I shared this information.  But the honest truth is that I have been going through a winter season- a season of stretching, a season of warfare against the enemy, a season of learning to overcome.

I was asked to speak at a woman’s conference at Rec Road Church in Toti on Saturday and as a result of the place I have been in lately, I prepared a message for these women that was more of a call for us to be strong, resilient “Warrior Women”.  I envisioned sharing about how we are called to grip tightly onto the sword of the spirit and thrust the word of God against the onslaught of the enemy, who the bible says is “like a thief that comes to rob, steel kill and destroy, a roaring Lion who constantly seeks whom he will devour.”

But on Friday evening, the first night of the conference, something incredible happened during our worship.  As we repeatedly sang about the “Beautiful Name of Jesus,” I realised that as our praises rose, something powerful was happening in the heavenly realm.

It became so clear to me that as we were singing about His Beautiful Name, He began to respond with songs about ours…

 In Zephaniah 3:17 it says this…
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

On Friday night, as our voices merged with the voices of angels, declaring the magnificent beauty of our Jesus’ name, He responded with songs of delight.  Songs that echoed each one of our names.   Our Mighty Warrior triumphed our battles as He sung our names repeatedly.  He sang our names and rejoiced in the love we poured out to Him.  The Lord was pleased with His daughters, His chosen, beautiful ones.

Then as I drove home this scripture from Song of Songs 4:7 began to resound in my head.  The scripture reads:

“All beautiful you are my love, there is no flaw in you.”

As my Warrior King sang my name on Friday night, He sang the names of every woman in that room.  He sang songs of approval, songs calling us to more. He sang songs of destiny, songs of deliverance. He sang the words “all beautiful you are my darling, there is NO Flaw you.”

And so my message to these ladies changed completely. I sat up until 2am on Friday night, preparing a new message, a word derived from the song that I believe our Father sings over every one of us.  The song He is singing, day after day, month after month, year after year, struggle after struggle, victory after victory.

I have not written a blog post for over a year now, but as this revelation burned on my heart, I felt very strongly that this was something I needed to share.  I really believe that God wants us to become aware of the incredible depths of His love that make up the lyrics of His songs which He is singing over you and me.

I believe there are many types of songs that God sings over us, but there are three that I think are important for us to be aware of right now. 

He sings songs of approval

He sings your name

He sings songs that commission

  1. He sings songs of approval…

In John 15: 16 it says: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

I believe that the song on Gods heart for you at the moment is a song of approval.  So often we are driven by an unspoken need for the approval of man. Instagram is testament to this vain pursuit.  Farcical lives portrayed on the screen of a mobile device, lives that hanker after comments and likes that are no reflection of authenticity.  Man’s approval is a lie and cannot and will not ever sustain the soul. 

Social media aside, what about the way we were brought up?  What about the approval we sought to receive from our parents and teachers that altered the career decisions we made?  What about the approval you long for from your spouse, your children, your employers, your friends?  The approval of man is a vain pursuit.

God has a master plan for our lives and as we “double-tap” OUT of the need for human acceptance and stay still for a moment to hear the sound that resounds from heaven, you will hear the lyrics of a song He sings that say, “you are enough”. 

I remember hearing a story by Kayle Mumby about when he went into nature to wait on and hear God.  God spoke to Kayle about the call on his life and was beckoning him to make a commitment to a life of uncomfortable sacrifice, specifically when it came to his incredible prophetic gift.  Kayle believed God say to him that He would confirm His words to Kayle “like no man ever could”.  At that moment, an enormous owl flew out of nowhere and perched itself on Kayle’s head.  He completely freaked out and eventually the owl flew off. 

The next day, Kayle was speaking to a friend and he relayed the story.  In complete awe, the friend went silent and then began to explain to Kayle how his dad, a pastor at their church, had been preparing to speak that Sunday on how the owl is a sign of the next generation of prophets.

I believe God approves of us and that although we may not all have an angelic or owl encounter, God wants us to listen to the sound of heaven that resounds with the words “I have chosen you, you are enough”.  Press into God and be bold enough to ask him to give you an assurance of His approval through His word, through signs, wonders and spiritual gifts. 

In Galatians, it speaks about how our Faith is credited to us as righteousness, and so we have to believe that God approves of us, even when we don’t approve of ourselves. The reality is that God doesn’t need us to approve of ourselves in order for Him to approve of us.  We don’t influence God’s approval of us.  Your negative self-esteem does not stop Him approving.

But if you want change to happen and you desire to walk into the fullness of what God has called you to, your approval of yourself needs to align with His.  You need to see yourself the way He sees you. 

“All beautiful you are my darling, there is no flaw in you.”

He sings2. He sings your name…

I also believe that God sings your name, in Isaiah 45:2-3 it says:

“He will give you treasures hidden in the darkness- secret riches. He will do this so you may know that He is the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”

When I was pregnant with Layah, before I knew that she was a girl, I prayed for God to tell me exactly what her name ought to be. I knew that He had her destiny marked out for her and that His plans for her would be far greater than what I could ever begin to imagine. Therefore, I did not want us to be the ones to name her. Dylan and I had no name, but we knew Her creator God had one. I was pondering this in the shower one evening and in my mind, I pictured the word “Layah” (I saw this exact spelling) and was intrigued, as I had never seen or heard this name before. I launched out of the shower, simultaneously grabbing my towel and phone so that I could Google the meaning of the name. The name meant “the first flowers of spring”. What was even more awesome was that the very next day was the 1st of September, the day that marks the beginning of Spring. My heart leapt with excitement, I was convinced I was pregnant with a girl. We discovered a few weeks later that she was a girl and so she was immediately named “Layah Joy”.

When Layah was born a friend of my mom’s told me that the ALMOND TREE in the Bible would always produce “the first flowers of spring”. The almond tree produces magnificent blossoms in winter, just before Spring comes and the leaves form. The flowers are white with a delicate pink tinge, soft and fragrant, they break through the bark and cut through a thick wooded seal. In the face of adversity, they break barriers, they push through… they bloom. When I think of this picture I smile, as only an awe-inspiring God, who formed this child in my womb and dreamed about how He wanted her character to be, before time began, knew that she would need to be a boundary breaker! And she is just that… even at the tender age of 2! She is our fire 🔥, our strong-willed child, our fierce one that puts the little boys to shame. She is called to be a flower that breaks through the bark of this world and blooms in a way that is tender, soft and graceful yet undeniably strong.

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God knows your name.

God sings your name.

God loves your name.

Do you know the meaning of your name?

If the meaning of your name is not a positive meaning, then don’t you worry… your name is not yours anyway. You see, if you have given your life to Jesus He adopts you as His own.  You belong to Him and therefore you are given a new name.  That name is “Christian” which means: “Little Christ”, “anointed one”.  Your name is His name.  His name is yours.  Your name is a beautiful name, there is no flaw in it.

3. He sings songs that commission…

I believe that God sings songs that commission us. In Isaiah 42:6-7 he says:

“I am the LORD; I have called youb in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.

As you close your eyes, hear the sound of heaven erupt as the Father sings songs that call and commission you to a life that is beyond yourself.  To a life that sings songs of deliverance over the depressed. To a life that shines bright as it sings of freedom-  not only personal freedom but freedom for the people you will set free as you walk in forgiveness. It is time to join with heaven and sing songs of deliverance over those that are unaware of the song God is singing over them.

It is time to sing songs on behalf of those that have lost their voices or who have not yet found them.  For the orphans, little children, the destitute, the broken.  May your life song respond to the song of God that declares that “there is no flaw in you” and commissions to catch the wind of his Holy Spirit and drive freedom and breakthrough for others. 

You may be full of flaws, riddled with self-esteem issues as a result of past hurts and lies believed by the enemy?  Maybe your emotional state is like the Cherry family’s past physical state?  Or maybe you are addicted to the dopamine high of social media, on a permanent Instagram search for mans approval?  Maybe it isn’t Instagram, maybe it’s the lengths you will go to be noticed by a man, or a woman, or your boss?  Maybe you have allowed self-hate or even pride to seep in like a meningeal virus or a chlamydia pneumonia?  Or you are holding onto offence; offences that are sitting like a boil on your bum and it’s hard to sit.

No matter what the state of your life and heart is today, God does not look at your mess. Your sickness. Your boils.  When he looks on you he sees the sacrifice of Jesus and His blood shed on the cross to cleanse us from the mess.  He sees the finished work of Jesus Christ that makes you pure and blameless, flawless and beautiful, before the lover of your soul.

Song of Songs 4: 9 & 10 go onto say the following…

9You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes.
10How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!

 

The wonder of almond milk

About four months ago I became fed up with the way Samuel (my 22 month old son), was in a permanent state of “snottiness”.  He had become accustomed to living with two green stripes protruding from his nostrils and a chest that sounded like it was about to take off.  He had been to the doctor a number of times for an infected chest and at 18 months he was admitted to hospital with bronchial pneumonia and told that he had “chronic rhinitis” (an allergy to dust mites).

It is common knowledge that dairy products are mucous forming but I think that we have become so accustomed to eating dairy that the thought of removing it completely seems far too mammoth a task.  I decided that it was time and I have never looked back.

I have called this blog post “the wonder of almond milk” as I’ve discovered something that has literally performed wonders.  After only one day of taking Samuel off cows milk and placing him on the delicious home made almond milk, my little man is totally snot free.  The recipe (see below) is super easy and fuss free.  It is full of nutrients and digestive enzymes that help one digest the milk properly.  The most rewarding part is that he loves it as it is creamy and delicious.

Lactose intolerance occurs when your small intestine doesn’t produce enough of an enzyme (lactase) to digest milk sugar (lactose).  Normally, lactase turns milk sugar into two simple sugars — glucose and galactose — which are absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal lining.  If you’re lactase deficient, lactose in your food moves into the colon instead of being processed and absorbed. In the colon, normal bacteria interact with undigested lactose, causing the signs and symptoms” like the one’s Sam was experiencing.

One of my best friends has a little boy who is extremely lactose intolerant and would, as a result of his allergy, suffer from extreme stomach cramps.  She referred me to an amazing blog.  This tasteful and aesthetically appealing food blog is called “shades of cinnamon” and is where I found my almond milk answers.  I highly recommend that you follow this beautiful food blog!

The post that has helped me was a post called “a guide to soaking and activating nuts and seeds”.

Please see our newly adopted, delicious almond milk recipe below:

 

ALMOND RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of raw, unsalted almonds

5 cups of filtered water

A clean stocking or nut bag

A large jug and high speed blender

1 tsp of salt

1 tablespoon of raw honey (or more if you want a little more sweetness)

METHOD:

Soak one cup of rinsed almonds with the salt, overnight in a jug of water (4-5 cups will suffice).  In the morning blend the almonds with the water in a high speed blender.  Pour the blended almonds through a stocking into a large glass jug.  I place the stocking over the lip of the jug.  The milk left in the jug is your milk which you can sweeten with honey if you wish.  It is creamy and delicious and will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.

I take the pulp in the stocking and dehydrate it in the oven at 50 degrees for about two hours (it’s important not to go over 50 degrees as the nutrients will be destroyed).  I then take the dehydrated almond pulp and put it through my kenwood “mini mill” to make almond flour.  I have made some awesome almond flour pancakes with this flour but of coarse, the flour can be used for making breads, biscuits and more.

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I am of the belief that one should experiment with ones health, in order to find answers that work.  We are all completely unique and so what works for one may not work for another.  It’s about finding what works for you.  If you, or your children are battling with sinus problems and chest infections, why not give this a try?  There’s nothing to loose.

If for some reason you have run out of almond milk and need it before your almonds have soaked overnight, I can recommend a product called “Koko”.  It’s a delicious coconut milk drink found at Dischem and is naturally sweetened.  It is quite pricey and so I only resort to this, or woolies oat milk in emergency situations.  Be warned -the almond milk from woolworths is expensive and tastes horrendous!  It also only contains a minuscule amount of “almond pulp” and a bunch of other nonsense ingredients.

To read more on the health benefits of almonds, click here.  You will be amazed at the incredible health benefits of this “wonder” food.

Enjoy!

A delicious green smoothie recipe, for two (and a half)…

I’ve been asked by a few people to help when it comes to information on healthy eating as a result of the journey I’ve been on, as well as the “searching” I have done.  In response, I’ve decided to share some of the little healthy lifestyle choices I have adopted, on this blog.  To those who have asked, I have a long way to go in terms of being really healthy but anyway, hopefully I can help?

I was recently given the privilege to work on the development of an exciting new health brand, know as Harmonie (which in German means “balance”).  Working with this client has been inspirational.  They have taught me an enormous amount, especially in our time spent unpacking the meaning, purpose and vision of their business in preparation for establishing a name and identity.

In one of our meetings, I asked the question “what do you eat for breakfast?”.  With eloquence and grace, Liesel rattled off a list of green smoothie ingredients that she thought was perhaps “over the top” in terms of quantity but highly beneficial in terms of nutrient value.  This is the kind of smoothie she “throws” together for her family in the mornings.

I retained the information and quickly ran home to give the recipe a try… it was delicious!  I have now adopted this smoothie recipe, along with a few other favourite smoothie recipe’s (I will share them soon), as a part of my morning routine.

After having this smoothie I am left full and satisfied.  I also know that I am giving my growing baby girl (I’m 21 weeks pregnant) all of the nutrients she needs as well.  Oh, and Mila ( four years old) and Samuel (two years old) both love this smoothie too.

In a high-speed blender mix together the following ingredients.  I will mention the benefits of each of these ingredients below the recipe.

SUPER GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

(Serves two – in my case it’s two and a half)

1 teaspoon of barley grass powder

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

2 bananas

1 Avocado

3 dates

1 teaspoon of raw honey

1 kiwi fruit

1 handful of spinach ( mine is freshly picked from my herb garden)

roughly half a cup of filtered water or coconut water (great for adding electrolytes)

Ice (as much as you like)

 

 

THE BENEFITS:

  • Dates: Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. It’s a good source of energy, sugar and fiber. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates. It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.  (taken from Organic Facts Blog).
  • Raw Honey: Has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections.
  • Fresh, raw spinach:   A super food loaded with tons of nutrients. Dark leafy greens like spinach are important for skin and hair, bone health, and provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.
  • Coconut oil: The Lauric acid in coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, helping to stave off infection.  Coconut oil can increase your energy expenditure, helping you to burn more fat.  The fatty acids in coconut oil can boost brain function in alzheimer’s patients.  Coconut oil is known to curb hunger and help you lose weight.
  • Avocado: Avocado’s are incredibly nutritious; they contain high levels of potassium; they are loaded with heart-healthy fats and can lower ones cholesterol; they have loads of fibre;  the fat in the avocado helps one to absorb nutrients from plant foods, they contain powerful antioxidants and are a force against cancer.  Believe it or not, they can also aid in weight loss.
  • Banana’s: An amazing source of vitamins, minerals as well as fibre.  They are rich in potassium and great for those doing sport.
  • Kiwi Fruit:  Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as a very good source of copper and dietary fibre. It is also a good source of vitamin E, potassium, folate, and manganese.
  • Coconut water (or filtered water) Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes (taken from Web MD blog).

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When I start to ponder on the powerful effects of food on our bodies, I cannot help but want to make adjustments to include more goodness in my diet.  The pace of life as a working mother makes it really hard though and so I slip up as a result of poor planning.  I find when I plan well, I eat well and therefore feel well.  I’m sure most people feel the same way?

 

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”- Hypocrites