My two wonderfully creative boys age 9 and 11 have their own army-club at home. Their members (total 5) are sworn to be loyal to the club. They have a book with finger prints, photographs and maps. They have protocols and secret hide outs (that are not really all that secret). All of this excitement about their army-club and imaginary battles; made me realise that I am also a soldier standing against an enemy that wants to destroy.
For me the battleground is my mind, and the enemy the lies and doubts snuck in under camouflage as the truth. Our minds the tool we all use to allow the good the bad and sometimes the unimaginable into. The lies and doubts accepted by our minds can run us down to a pile of rubble that takes time to rebuild. This is why I have decided to become more aware of what is allowed into and agreed to by my brain as my reality and spoken as words. There must be a defensive strategy in place to make sure Fort Abundance is protected.
Our words start at the power source – our minds, where we agree to it and speaking it gives it real power. Step one for me would be to look at what comes into my mind before it gets out of my mouth. Difficult step for a blubber mouth, but necessary to realise I am what I speak, because I speak what I think I am. But it does not stop there, thoughts and words drip down into our hearts. In short words can be abundant or cause destruction, and we get to choose every one of them. By choice I will start to be aware of the thoughts I accept into my mind and the words I speak. I will no longer say I cannot or I failed, but instead say that I will look at alternative approaches and avenues. I can only fail if I agree to it and give up – this is not an option for a life of abundance.
The second point of impact is the words spoken to or over us by others. If we receive it and our brain agrees to it, it also drips down to our hearts and breaks down or builds up our life. The defense against other people’s words are to know that their words reflect their mind and their hearts. We can still choose to make it personal or to cut it off as untrue. Making assumptions often turns to misunderstanding and drama and is one example of how people speak untruths into your life. Even if we cannot choose another person’s words we can choose if it is a truth or a lie.
In short, we should become aware of our thoughts and of our words. We need to appreciate the power of words and practice to make our words count to build up and not to break down. It is well put together in one sentence from Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Let your words create abundance and you eat that fruit.
I am finding myself in a moment in time where I am troubled and powerless even though I am not the problem or the cause of it. Where I have no control over the result. Where I have to be a heart broken spectator of the ineffectiveness and brokenness of the world around me. My only explanation is that this is a motionless, lonely and sad place to be. But there is always HOPE.
HOPE in a hopeless world feels impossible right now. But I realise it is because I am acting like the victim even though I am not. While taking on the role of victim that does not belong to me in this instance; I am angered and reminded of small facts that does not resolve or bring solution to the situation. It only brings more tears and heartache in my heart for the beautiful and precious victim of this situation. I know I have to choose whether I want to continue to sit numbed by all of this or if I choose to pick myself up. I eventually dried off my tears and chose to move instead of being pitiful and broken in what seems to be an impossible situation. Is there really a choice? It might not feel like it, but we always have choices. It is time to move away from victim mode even if this hurts me to the core and I wish I could be the solution, but I am not. I have to move into the reality of HOPE.
I am reminded of the picture used in a recent parenting course of a garden. The garden starts at a beautiful watering well. It continues to thorn bushes, then a bench and over a bridge into the rest of the garden. I am sure I do not have to spend too much time convincing anyone that I find myself between the thorns right now! It is not a good place to be. There is not a lot of space for HOPE in this space. The only way to get out of the thorn bush is to get up (despite the hurt), dust off the victim mode and move forward out of the thorn bushes. Go sit on the bench and evaluate the situation and your role in it. In my situation I could shake off the victim mode and start looking for HOPE. Even if it is not the ideal situation, it does not mean that it cannot change. I have to start looking at how to share HOPE with the other people affected by this and keep moving forward. Being unresponsive to the situation will result in remaining in the thorn bushes where nothing fruitful will grow.
The bench has space for more than one person and is a good place for communication and resolutions that will bring hope and not despair. A place where we can share and be open to listen and learn. I know that I will grow stronger and a little wiser from my experience in the thorn bush – not even the difficult times are a waste of time. We just need to make sure not to remain there, but choose to move onto a place where we can find HOPE for today and to cross the bridge into the rest of the garden.
The cross over the bridge to me signifies Jesus opening a whole new beautiful garden that I can enjoy. Once we have Jesus we can overcome our past and our present difficulties and we can look forward to crossing the bridge into a future where there are plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future. I choose to anchor myself in HOPE and move forward into more than thorn bushes and hurt. I am crossing that bridge and choose to be hopeful and forever in faith that there is HOPE for all of us despite our current situations. We just need to keep moving forward and stay anchored in HOPE instead of despair.
I have been reflecting on my life and the course it has taken. How every new season has shaped me into the person I have become. I often have to stop and check in with myself to keep track of my …
Source: Abundance – in Passion
I often tell my boys to be a part of the solution and not the problem when they can not get something done or struggle. It is much easier for all of us to complain than to think about the solutions. I realised that they will not learn from my words how to be part of the solution because talk is cheap if not followed by action. So I have another mission lined up to show them through my actions and advice, how to be a part of the solution and not the problem. So lets shrug off the idea that there is a problem and change it to; where is the opportunity to be part of the solution. Sometimes the smallest step of action is to ask for help or advice rather than complain. No abundance comes from complaining about what we can not do.
Firstly taking action will silence the lies in our heads that we can not do or be something. Secondly small acts could change the course and leave us with more than we expect. How does my youngest son conquer not having many friends while his older brother seems to make friends everywhere we go? First we stop the lie in our heads that nobody wants to be our friend and we look at the facts, then we change our course of action. Personalities differ and we would never want our boys to be alike. But we need to look at how one son opens up and talks to other people and imitate that. He greets them and asks them how they are doing and even tries to tell them something complimentary like: “I like your hairstyle”. Taking the first step in communicating makes it look like people like him more and that could be the small change needed. After this discussion, to my surprise my youngest son would walk up to people, greet them and ask them how they are and even pay them a compliment. To his surprise people responded kindly and he no longer feels like people only like his brother. He learnt that sometimes he needs to take the first step in connecting with people.
It did not take rocket science just some advice and a change in action. He now feels positive about his interactions with people all because he has overcome a lie and took action. What felt like a huge problem to him, turned into a tool he can use as a solution. He has not become the world’s number once social grasshopper (because that is not who he is), but he has overcome a lie that people don’t like him. So much abundance for him now that he has become part of the solution.
In the spirit of solutions one of the problems I face is how to preserve herbs from my garden (or store-bought) to have in abundance and enjoy later. Well let me be a part of the solution if you are having the same problem. Consider preserving in oil / water/ stock and freeze.
Preserving herbs in oil / water / stock in the freezer:
The options are endless, gather empty ice-cube trays or egg cup trays or any small containers suitable for freezing – even zip-lock bags will do the trick.
- Wash and dry the herbs, then pick through the leaves to freeze as individual leaves.
- Place herbs in ice-cube tray and fill with your choice of oil for frying purposes or with room temperature stock/water for use in stews and soups.
- Freeze and store in containers or zip-lock bags for use when needed
- If you like to use herb butters or herb-infused oils for bread dipping, you can freeze them in butter (softened or melted over very low heat and cooled a bit) or in extra virgin olive oil, to pull out of the freezer later and enjoy at room temperature.
Solutions empower become abundance,
We all know the saying when life hands you lemons you make lemonade. But what to do with those sour moments in life when it seems impossible to turn it into sweet lemonade. What if you have run out of sugar and spice and the rest of the things that make it nice.
I often have those moments where I don’t know how to move forward and just do not have the tools to turn things around into a positive. I think it is the pressure of modern day living that we always have to be super-moms and super-dads and super co-workers and super likable and super-super successful. Then we get burnt out and tired and a little lost. Left with only lemons and no more ade.
Perhaps we should take some time to simplify instead of superfying everything. The more super things get the more things need to be superfied to superness. It is an endless maze. Simplify, and do with what you have available to you. There is always an abundance around us to be discovered. Just change your focus from what you don’t have to what it is that you do have. When you are constantly looking around you to see where you measure up, you will always feel lacking. That is because everyone has their own portion to fill and it is not a one size fits all.
I am trying to practice this lesson myself and to be happy with what life hands me and if it is lemons and no sugar then I could make scented bath salts and soaps, or pot-pourri bags for drawers. Even lemon preserves only need salt added. There sure is an abundance from these citrus fruits.
If life adds a bit of vinegar, I will make a vinegar and citrus cleaner. That simple! Soak the citrus peels in vinegar for 5 days in a glass jar for a great cleaner of practically all surfaces and smells fresh. This recipe is good for all citrus peels. make sure all the peels are covered by vinegar so they don’t get mouldy. After 5 days transfer the vinegar (without peels) into a spray bottle and you are ready to wipe down all kitchen surfaces and have streak free appliances. It is a good oven cleaner, pour baking soda on tough stains and spray with citrus vinegar. Watch it fizzle and loosen the dirt (soak 10-20 minutes and repeat if necessary).
Simplifying has its own rewards, we just have to keep moving forward and focus on your own abundance.
Are you a thermostat or are you a thermometer? This is the question a very wise friend raised at a presentation for Moms. This week I realised that I sometimes act more like a thermometer than a thermostat. Don’t we all when it has just been one of those hectic days or weeks! When you drive yourself to survive the day or the week until things stabilise, or at least you have a faint hope that it will get better.
A thermostat establishes the temperature like an aircon or fridge and changes it to the required temperature. Where as a thermometer only measures the temperature but can not change or regulate it. So the question then relates to us as individuals and if we have the ability to reflect and react to situations. Can we assess the situation and adapt our response to regulate the situation and our position. A very powerful concept if you think about it. It has a great impact on how we respond to our spouses, children, friends,
My boys (8 and 10) asked a question at the lunch table about what exactly women has accomplished over time. Over time for them is the time line from ancient to medieval times and maybe even considering modern days (they just finished ancient history and started with medieval history full of knights and samurai’s). I felt my thermometer rise as my youngest continued to explain that men are strong and could become knights and warriors that battle and defend and are much stronger than women. What exactly do women do? My head was spinning to find a defensive answer of some great female heroes to add. Then I realised that my son is not the enemy and his statement should not be a threat or reason for defense. I chose to be a thermostat this time – completely in control.
I told him that I am glad that men are strong and brave like their own dad who protects us and like they will be. That men have an important role to play in life and that women have their own specific role to play. One of those wonderful things was giving birth to them and that is only something women can do. They smiled and I continued with the secret that I now hold close to my heart, that not only did I give birth to them, but I also sculpt them. I teach them and train them and prepare them for their live as brothers, husbands and fathers. I am contributing to a work that will continue in their lives and in their children’s lives. I hope being a thermostat will regulate more of these important questions that we are not in a battle of the fittest but that we are all unique and purposefully made – male and female.
I will end this week with one important piece of advise by Mother Theresa: “If you want to change the world go home and love your family.”
Go home and grow the seed of love abundantly in your family.
I have been filling my days and pages with small little NEW adventures. New things that I have been wanting to do but never got around to doing. I call it adventures, because I have come to stand up against a mediocre existence and that is an adventure in itself. No longer just filling my days with a to do list from which I do not always feel the reward. Instead I would like to change that to living excited and expectantly, just like the life I know we all dream about.
Reality is we have to face the daily tasks and to do list, BUT (never used to like the word but until now – Better Utilisation of Time), we can add some small adventures to every day. Add the little things to your day that you have put off and that excites you. This is how we will stop mediocrity? We know what needs to be done BUT have to become aware of what adds good value and energy to our lives – if not it will become mediocre and we will be tired and unmotivated. This new awareness has brought new interests and possibilities into my life. One of those interests include growing things (just like my life of abundance is growing). Why? Because it is fun and easy and an adventure to more abundance.
My new adventure for this week: planting ginger. No I am not kidding you! Ginger, it has been used for many centuries in many countries for its medicinal qualities and restoring health, for speeding up metabolism and detoxification of the body. It improves memory, it acts as a mild aphrodisiac, reduces nausea during pregnancy and when driving (hello ginger cookies). It is an antiseptic and is used against exhaustion and fatigue because it raises the energy in the body. Now add this abundance to your life.
Grow your own Ginger:
First select a healthy firm and fleshy root from your grocery store with green points forming at the end of the fingers (if you leave it on your kitchen counter for a couple of days it will show growth of green points). If you prefer, cut the ginger into separate pieces with at least one green tip per segment and allow to dry for a few days.
Secondly soak it in warm water to to stimulate growth and rinse off any chemicals. Next day, remove from the water and put the ginger into a plastic bag for a few hours.
Lastly plant the roots in breathable soil or Sphagnum Moss (or coconut fiber), so that the top of the root is visible with the green growing tips pointing up. Make sure your container is wide enough to accommodate the root ( as it grows sideways). Keep the soil moist and place in sun. It even makes a good house plant I am told and grows to an averange of 60-100cm in height.
Get to the root of much abundance.
Every day is a choice of where and how to fill a brand new page. After a difficult week with high levels of negativity and half measured attempts to get through each day, it is refreshing t…
Source: New day – abundance
Every day is a choice of where and how to fill a brand new page. After a difficult week with high levels of negativity and half measured attempts to get through each day, it is refreshing to look at my present day through new eyes and see great possibilities. This day started as a blank page and with a good cup of coffee.
It is empowering to know that I get to fill this page every day. I choose if I will fill it with old thoughts or with new ambitions. If I stumble through this process there will be space for a new paragraph or a new sentence with commas and other punctuation. Always a new page to fill with good intent and endless possibilities.I just can’t help myself, I have to be a little nostalgic at times, and this is one of those “cardies” moments. I realized this morning that every sunrise presents a new beginning. A clean page filled with new possibilities.
Perhaps this could be the year where I live with purpose and share the good fruits and seeds from my life with others…… or bean sprouts from seeds. Why? Because it is fun and it is yummy and its something you can grow without any hassle. Add some sprouts to your wholesome lifestyle and in your next salad or sandwich. Not to mention how the kids would love to see and learn how these sprouts grow into something they can eat.
There are two methods of doing this. First the Mason/Glass Jar Method and second the flat tray method.
Mason Jar Method
- Mason Jar
- Cheesecloth or muslin fabric
- Big rubber band or screw lid for mason jars
Put the seeds (lentil/mung bean/chickpeas/alfalfa), in the mason jar, add enough water to cover the seeds. Secure the muslin or cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar with a rubber band of screw part of the mason jar lid. Let the seeds soak overnight.
In the morning, drain the water (the cloth will keep the seeds in). Now remove the cloth and add some water to rinse the seeds. Put the cloth back in place and drain. At this point, you don’t want the sprouts soaking in water anymore. Keep the seeds moist by rinsing a couple of times a day for a period of about 5 days. Some seeds rinse easily and some need more aggressive rinsing like lentils.
For the first maybe 3 days, you want to keep the jar in a shaded area to give the sprouts a chance to pop up, but around day 4, you’ll want to have them produce a little chlorophyll for you by putting them in a sunny window.
Flat Tray Method
- Flat plastic or cardboard tray (with holes in the bottom for drainage)
- Plastic wrap
- WaterYou get a flat tray like the ones from buying bedding plants or recycled from what you have. Rinse and soak your beans/seeds overnight in a bowl or jar.Now you just add dampened soil to the tray about 3cm thick. Next add your soaked seeds over the soil in the tray. Dampen your newspaper (about 3-4 layers) and then lay it on top of the seeds. Cover container with plastic wrap, to keep the seeds moist. Keep out of the sun for now. After 3 days take off the plastic and newspaper and set your sprout tray in a sunny window so they turn green. You can harvest your sprouts for salads, sandwiches, stir-fry in about 8-10 days.
Everything you grow yourself is fresher, tastier and more cost effective. Not to mention the feeling of living in abundance. Remember you can not reap today what you did not sow yesterday.