C O L E T T E VA N D Y K E
F R A N I TA K N U D S E N
#11 CONTENTS P O W E R N O T E 0 1
- Edna Els THROUGH THE DISAPPOINTMENT
- Colette van Dyk F E AT U R E S T O R Y
-Jeanie Els B O U N D A R I E S I N F R I E N D S H I P
-Franita Knudsen M Y S T O R Y
- Elmien G eldenhuys HOW IS YOUR HEART?
G O D I S FA I T H F U L
- Kara Nothnagel -Claudia Thorpe W E A R & E AT
Â© This publication is produced by Victory Media for m e 2 M e n t o r i n g J e ff re y s B a y. A l l a rt i c l e s a re w r i tt e n b y members of Victory Church unless otherwise stated. Th i s m a g a z i n e i s n o t f o r s a l e . Fo r f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n o n any of the articles, do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Issue 11 - April 2018 me2mentoring.com // victorychurch.org.za
Hi, dear Friends!
WELL, GIRLS. LET’S GET ON WITH IT. IT’S TIME TO GET RID OF THOSE THINGS THAT TRIP US UP.
“Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree. “Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once---and everywhere you look, blessings!” (Amos 9:13-15 MSG) In the following pages, as you read these powerful stories from God’s beautiful girls, I encourage you to look for this golden thread… It’s a Time of Acceleration! Acceleration is the act or process of SPEEDING UP to increase, rise, advance, surge, leap forward, etc. I don’t know about you, but during the process of speeding up, we’re bound to get tripped up somewhere, despite the clear word from God to accelerate! It’s then that the ‘weight’ starts pressing on us, and instead of accelerating, we feel as though we are running on a treadmill, stuck in slowmotion reality. Weighed down, entangled, discouraged. Perplexed by sin, guilt, shame, and condemnation in whatever form and shape it deftly masquerades in our lives. Slowing us down, distracting us, and ultimately leading to exhaustion and giving up. Well, girls. Let’s get on with it. It’s time to get rid of those things that trip us up. “Let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence
the appointed course of the race that is set
along with feelings of ‘never being enough.’
Before you know it, pride kicks in, and we cover up our insecurity and pain by distancing our
“Looking away from all that will distract to Jesus,
hearts from God and isolating ourselves from
Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith
giving the first incentive for our belief and is also its Finisher bringing it to maturity and perfection.
Sound familiar? Haven’t we all experienced the
He, for the joy of obtaining the prize that was set
fear that people will see through our façade,
before Him, endured the cross, DESPISING AND
causing us to hide in plain sight, naked and
IGNORING THE SHAME, and is now seated at the
ashamed, just like Adam and Eve did all those
right hand of the throne of God.
years ago in the garden?
“Just think of Him Who endured from sinners
And yet, in the midst of our struggles, God speaks
such grievous opposition and bitter hostility
encouragement and freedom to our weary souls.
against Himself reckon up and consider it all
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame. Don’t
in comparison with your trials, so that you may
be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you.
not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and
You will no longer remember the shame of your
relaxing and fainting in your minds” (Hebrews
youth” (Isaiah 54:6 NLT).
12:1-3 AMPC). I love the fact that “He endured the cross, Regardless of how long we’ve been saved or
despising and ignoring the shame.”
how hard we try, we all miss the mark at times. Thankfully, sin, guilt, shame, and condemnation
According to Hebrew scholars, to ‘despise’
[literally defined as ‘not fit for use’] were dealt
something means to disesteem it, to look down
with on the cross. Thank You, Jesus!
on it with contempt and scorn, to disdain it, or to regard it as unworthy of your attention.
But the enemy continually lies to us, which is why it’s vital that we make a clear distinction between
That’s awesome! Jesus dealt with our pain and
guilt and shame.
shame! He looked down on it and now invites us
• Guilt = “I’ve DONE something bad.”
to see it from His perspective. It’s a done deal.
• Shame = “I AM bad.”
Then God goes even further. Not only has your shame been cancelled, but
That’s why shame makes us feel worthless and unloved. It flourishes in secrecy, judgement,
“Instead of shame and dishonour, you will enjoy
and silence, and causes us to fall into the trap of
a double share of honour” (Isaiah 61:7 NLT).
perfectionism and performance. We grow hypercritical of ourselves and judgemental of others. Then, anger and frustration become houseguests,
Need I say more? You are WORTHY and LOVED!
AND YET, IN THE MIDST OF OUR STRUGGLES, GOD SPEAKS ENCOURAGEMENT AND FREEDOM TO OUR WEARY SOULS.
COLETTE VAN DYK Photography: Anne Galloway
PROVERBS 30:15-16 SPEAKS OF A FEW THINGS THAT
Jesus and showed me the way through the Word
ARE NEVER SATISFIED… “THE GRAVE, THE BARREN
of God; naturally, but also very intentionally. What
WOMB, LAND WHICH IS NEVER SATISFIED WITH
a privilege to have been mentored and discipled
WATER, AND FIRE WHICH NEVER SAYS, ‘ENOUGH!’” I
by Godly people in my Victory Church family.
AVOIDED THAT WORD ‘BARREN’ FOR SO LONG. WHO WOULD EVER WANT TO BE KNOWN AS BARREN?
These crucial years allowed me to discover for myself who God is and who I am in Him. It
steadied my insecure heart and filled me with
Some of my most favourite childhood memories
strength and purpose. I was whole-heartedly in
are of my friends and me, then about seven years
love with Jesus. He became not only my Saviour
old, each picking branches from the magnificent
but the Lord of my life, and my paths became
trees behind our boarding school playground.
directed by Him more and more. The love that
These branches would transform into play-homes
God has for me as a person, as well as part of His
for long afternoons of fun and imagination.
church, His bride, was undeniable.
I completely immersed myself into being a ‘mommy’ to my baby Santi.
FINDING LOVE Jesus was the only love of my life for the next
Only a few years later, still very young, I heard
eight years until just before my 31st birthday. I
of a young lady somewhere in the world who
was not an easy woman to woo. After all, I had
learned that she would never be able to bear
been mentored by men and women with strong
children. My immediate thought was that “This is
character, and I knew exactly what kind of man
the worst news one could ever receive.” But at
I wanted. When I met Jurie, I quickly recognised
this point in my young life, my dream of being a
that he was ‘the one,’ and love soon followed.
mommy was still alive and well in my heart. If you would’ve asked me then what I wanted most in
When we set our wedding date, I already
life, I would’ve answered, “I want to be a mom”
imagined that I could be pregnant by our first
(and a wife, of course). Fifteen years later, my
Christmas as man and wife. What a beautiful
answer would be unchanged.
season this was for a young bride. I had no other dream but to be a bride and a mom. This was it.
BEING MENTORED WAS CRUCIAL
I imagined all the exciting ways that I could tell
As a young adult and young-in-the-Lord, I had
Jurie he was going to be a father. The excitement
people around me who modelled life through
of the possibility was like beautiful fireworks
exploding in my heart. Standing in front of the
BROKEN BUT BREAKING THROUGH
mirror and protruding my stomach in the reflection
Over the next few years, menopause symptoms
was a private, almost daily delight in anticipation.
were becoming more and more evident. With each missed period, hope stirred, but eventually,
this ‘hope deferred made my heart sick.’
From a young age, I had visited the gynaecologist annually but never experienced anything out
One specific day, a random doctor’s visit ended
of the ordinary. Just after our first anniversary,
up in an emotional disaster. He suspected that I
not pregnant yet, it was time for another visit. I
could be pregnant and left the room to get the
asked the doctor to do the necessary checks on
test results. I started crying for I already knew the
both of us to make sure all was in order. Those
negative outcome. He found me sobbing upon
tests revealed a growth outside of my womb
that needed to be removed, a minor issue that was quickly resolved with a two-day stay in the
Once home, my husband found me with my heart
in pieces. He told me that this cry was different from all the other times of sadness. I then told
With our doctor’s help, we planned the next
him about a distant family member who had
steps toward parenthood and started with
committed suicide several years earlier when
hormone treatments to assist with ovulation. The
she learned that she would never be able to
rollercoaster of emotions and the physically
have children. In her final letter, she said that ‘her
taxing procedures that followed gave me insight
husband deserved a family.’ I was not suicidal,
into true bravery. Several months later, after
but I understood the desperation. I also realized
having spent thousands of rands, the dearest of
that my heart was breaking for Jurie too.
doctors explained to me that my latest blood work indicated ‘early menopause.’ He admitted
I will never forget that precious afternoon. Jurie
that it was a rare condition at my age—I could not
took me in his arms, the sincere man that he is,
hold back the tears. We did not expect this at all.
and he told me how much he loved ME. He said that if he had to choose, he would always choose
The days that followed were filled with heart-
ME. He declared to my broken heart that he did
wrenching tears and every wave of emotion
not marry me for anything other than ME. He told
possible. Life became a bit of a blur. After many
me that it was ME he wanted more than anything.
discussions and prayerful considerations, Jurie
and I knew that, as for medical intervention, this
Looking back, this was a breakthrough moment
was as far as we were willing and able to go.
for me. God used Jurie’s words to speak so clearly
WHEN WE SET OUR WEDDING DATE, I ALREADY IMAGINED THAT I COULD BE PREGNANT BY OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS AS MAN AND WIFE. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL SEASON THIS WAS FOR A YOUNG BRIDE.
that this was also His heart for me. He chooses ME!
you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women,
He loves ME!
the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’”
He is a good God, always! I love that this Scripture is in the Bible because THE HEART OF THE MATTER
it shows me that I have other blessings to enjoy,
Throughout this journey, the questions were never
‘why?’ Knowing who God IS settles it, still. Not
• Our nephews and nieces. We love them, and
having babies is not a bad thing happening to
they adore us.
me. Despite my circumstances, I came to the
• We enjoy the children of our friends, and we
profound realisation that God is always full of
enjoy returning them to their parents after a
goodness and kindness. That is who He is, and He chose me.
sleepover or visit. • Working at a primary school keeps my motherheart filled. I get to nurse scratched knees and
Physical barrenness is something I can now acknowledge because I have the wisdom of knowing that • Being loved and being intimate with God causes fruitfulness in the spirit, without fail. • Life is worth living. • Being who He created me to be is enough, and I am just what the world around me needs. • I am wanted and needed, and I have a purpose.
sad hearts, as well as share in the joys of their victories. • Having young women to mentor as my spiritualdaughters, children of promise, is such an honour (Galatians 4:28). • Mothering and caring for my pets is an absolute joy. • We really value and enjoy the simplicity of our lives. And sleep :-) • Perhaps the greatest blessing is honouring God who granted me the gift of living purposefully
This was the ultimate outcome.
and intentionally, although a broken vessel,
There were many moments of doubt and what-ifs.
as His bride.
Experiencing doubt and being insecure (and all
There are many more blessings in our journey,
the other traps we might fall into) is very much
and we are so grateful to all our friends and family
part of the journey that brings us to the outcome
who have loved us unconditionally throughout.
God has planned. No one’s story is the same, but the journey with God is what brings glory to Him
RANDOM THOUGHTS FOR OTHERS WHO ARE
and hope to others.
SUFFERING Get the elephant out of the room. For many women
Luke 23:9 says, “For the time will come when
walking this road, often the hardest part is facing
DESPITE MY CIRCUMSTANCES, I CAME TO THE PROFOUND REALISATION THAT GOD IS ALWAYS FULL OF GOODNESS AND KINDNESS. THAT IS WHO HE IS, AND HE CHOSE ME.
the world, our families, and our friends in our
align at just the right moment for it to be anything
‘condition,’ or lack thereof. Everyone looks forward
short of a miracle.
to hearing ‘baby news,’ but as time passes, the question is obviously on everyone’s minds.
Deal ruthlessly with jealousy and shame. I once ran into a friend-of-a-friend at the supermarket
Expect people not to understand and even
who had a trolley full of children. I kept the
be insensitive. We often call their questions
conversation noticeably short because I was
‘insensitive,’ or think that the matter is ‘private’
suddenly overwhelmed with emotion, wishing it
and ‘none of their concern.’ And yet, I believe it
was my trolley. That day, God helped me deal
is so important to trust God to overcome the fear
with the shame of not having children. Shame is
and shame of barrenness.
NEVER His heart for us. Today, I can hold my head high and enjoy a trolley full of babies passing by,
Talk to the important people in your life about
and be grateful that mine is full of groceries.
what you are going through. If you want, ask them to help you share insight with the rest of the family
And finally, find reasons to laugh along the
or friends. It will make it easier for everyone and
journey. You will eventually become stronger and
‘get the elephant out the room.’ Not only will it
feel less emotional, and a good laugh goes a long
give an opportunity for much-needed love and
way towards healing and wholeness. Whenever
support, but it will also provide you the space you
we see a toddler tantrum anywhere, Jurie and I
need to process.
always joke that ‘We missed that bullet.’ Having a sense of humour in the middle of the trial is always
Acknowledge what you feel. Be sad and be
a good dose of medicine to the heart. n
angry, but also be quick to take it to God and your loved ones. Try to verbalize what you need when sad or angry, and let those closest to you know. Having a mentor or spiritual mom to whom you can be accountable is a safe place we all need, whatever stage of life we are in. Trust God to help you celebrate when someone is pregnant before you are, and don’t feel guilty when it’s hard. Trust God for ways to appreciate and celebrate the incredible miracle of pregnancy. Learning about fertility helped me understand the magnitude of this miracle. It doesn’t ‘just happen.’ Too many variables need to
Flowers of your faithfulness are blooming on the earth. Righteousness shines down from the sky.
“HOW CAN YOU BE ALIVE AND LIVING AND NOT BE ‘ACTIVELY’ PARTICIPATING?” I find it humorous how God works. When God shifts, moves, or speaks in my life, I often do this thing where it’s hard to tell whether I am laughing or crying hysterically. But either way, I know it’s always going to be good! That is, if I listen and obey [insert nervous laughter]. We know that when God speaks, it’s not necessarily going to be an easy or fun task. Often it seems unsettling. I know my palms start to sweat, my heart rate usually shoots through the roof, and worst of all, insecurities and doubts creep in from all directions. Am I right? ACTIVE PARTICIPATION. This has been something I’ve been working through with God over the last several years. If you Google these words, you’ll find the following definitions: • Active: engaging or ready to engage [in physically energetic pursuits]. • Participation: to take part in. God has been challenging me to actively participate in and contribute to my own life experience. Does that seem strange? You’re probably asking the same question my husband asked when I told him about
this, “How can you be alive and living and NOT be
my heart started to harden and shut off. My coping
mechanisms began to develop and inevitably played a significant role in moulding me into the
I don’t think there was any one moment, thing, or
young women I was to become.
experience that lead me to take a passive stance in life. I once heard someone say, “You aren’t born
LET’S FAST FORWARD A FEW YEARS. In my last
a certain way. A series of steps, whether positive or
semester of high school, I finally overcame my fear
negative, got you where you are today.”
of sleeping, only to have my mom diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer. The survival rate statistics
Let me clarify. By no means do I have a compliant
given by doctors were: “a 5% chance of living past
or passive personality. I come from a long line of
five years of the diagnosis.” [Cue eye roll.]
strong-willed (A.K.A. stubborn), dynamic women with huge hearts. I like to believe that I am well-rounded.
Standing firm on my ‘fortress of coping mechanisms,’
However, I found myself in a state of being where
I took one look at my dad and asked him: “Is she
I’m not always intentional with how I live my life. In a
going to die soon?”
way, I just let life ‘happen’ to me.
He said, “No.” I said, “Okay.”
LET’S WIND BACK AND START AT THE BEGINNING. I was born in Pretoria, South Africa, into a loving
I decided, then and there, to not occupy my life
family. We attended church on Sundays, loved God,
with worrying. I would continue living life as though
and practiced Christian values. In 2002, my family
nothing had changed. This wasn’t a decision made
immigrated to North Battleford, Canada, or as I
from of a place of great faith, by the way. This was
like to refer to it, The Middle of Nowhere, Canada.
me ‘taking a pass’ on dealing with anything that
As an 11-year-old, I did not adapt easily to this
could potentially disrupt the ‘fortress of coping
big change. A month before the move, I started
mechanisms’ securing my heart.
having trouble sleeping. Fear manifested, rooted in a deep sense of uncertainty. I became afraid of
VARSITY WAS NEXT. Overachiever in high school,
the darkness. This continued for several years, and I
most unmotivated individual in varsity, attending a
found myself a seasoned teenager sleeping on my
program my mom had to sign me up for. Student life,
parents’ bedroom floor.
hardened heart, one bad decision leading to the next. To be honest, it was probably one of the worst
With such a massive cultural change, it wasn’t
years of my life, but a necessary turning point that
surprising that I also had difficulty fitting in at my
led me towards the path I’m on today. I was only
new school. I struggled to connect with my new
nineteen years old and in a near state of depression,
peers and soon became a victim of bullying. As you
to the point where my parents were suggesting
can imagine, mixed in with crippling little-girl fear,
therapy. I recognized I needed a saving grace.
MY COPING MECHANISMS BEGAN TO DEVELOP AND INEVITABLY PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN MOULDING ME INTO THE YOUNG WOMEN I WAS TO BECOME.
I COULDN’T GO BACK TO THE ‘ME’ BEFORE MY REAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS, BUT I ALSO COULDN’T FIND MY WAY THROUGH TO A LIFE LIVED IN VICTORY. I WANTED MORE.
Two of my cousins had done Victory Gap Year, and
THE NEXT FEW YEARS WERE INTERESTING. The best way
their youngest brother was enrolled for the new
to describe them would be that I was stuck in the
year. Long story short, I saw this opportunity to go
in-between. I couldn’t go back to the ‘me’ before my
to South Africa as my saving grace. To be honest,
real encounter with Jesus, but I also couldn’t find my
I wasn’t going for the experience to serve God for
way through to a life lived in victory. I wanted more. I
a year, but I told God that I wouldn’t complain and
wanted to be more. I wanted to live in my God-given
I’d compliantly participate in any required VGY
potential. God’s Word says “He came so that we may
activities. Anything to get away—I needed
have life and have it in abundance—but the enemy
comes to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
BACKSTORY: Up until my gap year, I had always
Community is so important! Without people to
gone to church with my parents, but I didn’t really
encourage and hold me accountable or a place
get anything out of it. I sang the songs and sat
to grow spiritually, I withdrew once again and ‘flew
through the sermon, but I never walked away with
under the radar.’ I was sitting back and letting things
that feeling that I’d just encountered Jesus. I was
happen to me, not fully persuaded this is ‘life.’
a passive church attendee. It was almost like I put church on the shelf; I wasn’t ready for it.
God often places people around you that help to shape you. [Cue eye-roll again.] He may use friends,
I even decided a few years earlier not to participate
mentors, or even family members. However, since
in communion anymore, not because I didn’t believe
He is the Creator of all things, and He made me and
what the Bible told me about the meaning of it, but
knows my thoughts and actions before I know them,
because I just knew that the value and meaning
He crafted up an extra-special Jeanie-proof plan.
behind it was far too great for it to be a perfunctory [superficial, apathetic] activity. I decided I would
In December 2013, I found myself back in Jeffreys
wait until I was ready. I couldn’t tell you whether I
Bay on a family holiday. Little did I know I’d be
knew what ‘ready’ would look like. I just knew in my
leaving a few weeks later having stumbled into my
heart that when that day arrived, God would shift
future husband. God had exactly the right person in
something and I would know.
mind for me. Someone who wouldn’t take nonsense [no, I don’t have nonsense, but hypothetically, if
By the end of the gap year, ‘I knew that I knew that
someone did, he wouldn’t take it], someone who
I knew’ that something had shifted in my heart. I
would encourage me not to melt away into the walls,
decided it was time to get baptized and start taking
and someone who would continue to love me so
communion again. So, on November 6th, 2011, I
unconditionally it hurts!
was fully persuaded, confident, and excited, and I decided to give my life back to Jesus. [I know what
THEN CAME MARRIAGE. Louis and I got married in
you’re thinking… VGY started in January. Let’s just say
December of 2015 in St. Francis Bay, South Africa.
I had a very thorough ‘thinking-through-this’ period.]
We spent our first two years of marriage in Canada
where I was completing my Master’s in Physical
we often don’t experience real change without
Therapy. God opened miraculous doors to allow
taking an active step of faith. That faith step allows
him to work and stay in Canada with me. God has
God to transform our hearts so that we can change
used Louis in so many different ways to highlight the
areas in my life where passivity has been ruling and, in that, God has used my husband to reveal who He
It’s reassuring and encouraging when I look back
created me to be.
on my own story, and how evidently I can see God’s hand in every little thing I went through. My sleeping
God intended for us all to dream about our futures,
issues resolved, I started making friends, and it’s
to experience and work through each emotion—
now been almost eight years since my mom was
good and bad. He wanted us to be present, to fully
diagnosed. She’s healthy, fit, and 1-year cancer free!
experience even the most menial of everyday
I’ve learned to become vulnerable and share my
things. He wanted us to share our hearts and lives
heart. It’s incredible to see what God can do when
with people, and most importantly, to diligently seek
we allow Him to work in us!
intimacy with Him. IT’S A NEW SEASON. Louis and I moved back to South Active participation is unique to my journey. It is
Africa in December last year. I closed off my 16-
something I’ve been wrestling with daily and, girl,
year Canadian season and stepped into a new and
let me tell you—IT IS HARD to change. The way I
exciting one here in South Africa! And I finished my
think and respond to different situations has been
Master’s in Physical Therapy!
established and programmed into my mind since I was a little girl. Changing these thought patterns and
I am so excited for the adventure and acceleration
learning to deal with my emotions wasn’t easy. I had
that lies ahead in 2018! Even though I’m not always
to deliberately become aware of what I was thinking,
entirely sure what it is going to look like, or where
taking every thought captive. I had to purposefully
exactly God is taking me, I know that God always
pay attention to what I was learning or what I was
has a far better plan than one I could ever think up
engaged in. I had to force myself to express an
opinion, or even to have an opinion at all. I had to, and continue to challenge myself on a daily basis,
In the same way, I know that it is my privilege and
not to settle for less and remind myself that “I am
honour to be an active contributor to whatever God
fearfully & wonderfully made” (Psalm 139).
lays before me and to not be afraid to step out when He asks me to. He wants me to work hard, invest in
One of the hardest things for me to change was
and love His people, and to fully enjoy the life He has
sharing my heart in my friendships and my marriage.
designed for me! n
Opening up and becoming vulnerable was not easy for me. Overcoming the fear of even the potential of being hurt was a massive challenge. But I’ve realized
Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepe You remain close to me and lead me through it all th The comfort of your love take
est darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! he way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. es away my fear. Psalm 23:4
F R A N I TA K N U D S E N BOUNDARIES IN FRIENDSHIP
NOT ALL KIDS HAVE A SOFT BED TO SLEEP IN,
baby elephant grows up, he is unaware that the
or warm hands to tuck them in at night, or a kiss
rope can’t really hold him down anymore. He
on the forehead to wake them up in the morning
thinks it can because that is what he believed as
a young elephant. Meanwhile, one little tug on that rope and he will be free.
When you are a child, the circumstances you are brought up in often become your ‘normal.’ To me,
As a little girl, I was tied down by such a rope.
my life was very normal. That is, until becoming
Only seeing my parents once a week made me
a mom of three, happily married and surrounded
a soft target—there was no one there to protect
with so many God-loving people, highlighted the
me against the enemy’s schemes. I discovered
unmet needs of my childhood.
that the daughter of some family friends was also in the hostel (a year older than me), and I
I went to hostel straight after my sixth birthday
was so grateful to have someone that I knew.
in December. I remember the smell of the long,
She became my safe place. My every breath
polished floors, something weird in the kitchen,
depended on her. She was all that I had to keep
and many people looking like giants. The
payphone seemed like it was touching the roof. But then the “games” started. She would Even being on my tippy toes did not get my 5¢
manipulate me to study stuff for our “School-
into the money slot. The bells always rang at the
school game”, instead of my schoolwork. She
same time. The shoe polish on our hands was like
would tell me who I could and could not play with
waterproof paint. I remember the grass green
each day. Some days, I was the one who was
bathroom walls and evidence of the lack of toilet
pushed aside. Those days broke me. It made me
paper. The enormous PAO sheets never seemed
feel unsafe and vulnerable. I would do anything
to find their way evenly over the narrow bed
to stay in her ‘good books,’ and right there the
and always ended being pulled off by the Hostel
enemy trapped me. He made me believe that my
Matron, whose long red hair regularly made their
safe place was with a person, that my happiness
appearance in our food. I remember the wet
depended on a person, and that I could only go
pyjama pants that I hid in my cupboard until Friday.
as far as what a person would allow me to go.
And I remember the very long and lonely nights.
I became co-dependant. Life at school was one big co-dependant mess.
It was at this point that I was most vulnerable to the enemy’s schemes for my life. The enemy traps
A few years after school, I found myself in
us by putting certain limitations on us when we
very much the same position. We moved from
are children, almost like the baby elephant tied
Bloemfontein to Cape Town where I knew nobody,
to a rope. Do you remember the story? When that
and I again found myself in a co-dependant
G OD WANTS US TO HAVE HE A LTH Y A N D HON EST R ELAT IONSHI PS. I F THE RE I S ON E T H I N G I K N OW, YOU CANNOT DO LI FE A LONE ! W E N EED F RI EN DS, WE N EE D OUR SI STE RS!
relationship. This time, however, I had given my
boundaries in our friendships. God wants us to
life to Jesus and He started showing me that I
have healthy and honest relationships. If there is
wasn’t powerless—I was big enough to pull the
one thing I know, you cannot do life alone! We
elephant’s rope right out of the ground.
need friends—we need our sisters!
Despite it being one of the hardest seasons of my
Stop pretending. Be real with the people around
life, Jesus began to open my eyes, and I started
you. Allow God to show you how you can shift
hearing His voice. I stood up and say “No!” for
that boundary to His perfect place.
the first time. My whole world turned around when that rope snapped. God sent me real friends,
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant
not manipulative ones. Things were going well
places; Surely I have a delightful inheritance”
and my life was beautiful… until that familiar
feeling returned. My ‘safe-spot’ was still under construction and it left me feeling vulnerable,
I am so thankful for God’s Word—His plan for our
alone, and rejected.
lives as His children. He is the plumb line, and He shows us how to DO life. His ‘normal’ is perfect.
Only THIS TIME,
He has warm hands and a soft kiss.
•God showed me that it’s not fair to put pressure for your happiness on another human being.
He will never let you down when you are
Other people also go through ‘stuff,’ and their
stuff cannot determine your happiness. • He showed me not to be presumptuous.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you,
•H e showed me that other people also have
for my power is made perfect in weakness.’
limitations that were set when they were young
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about
and vulnerable. They too can be tied to their
my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may
rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in
Those limitations can only be exposed when we
persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak,
TALK, when we are open and honest with our
then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). n
friends. And when we lay our cards on the table instead of covering things up, our friends can finally understand the lies we’ve been believing, and we can finally understand theirs. In that way, we can remove the enemy’s limitations, pull up the ropes, and set healthy
FA R AWAY
C O M E AWAY, M Y LOV E R . C O M E W I T H ME
W I L L R U N AWAY TO G E T H E R TO T H E
F O R G OT T E N P L AC E S A N D S H O W T H E M R E D E E M I N G LOV E .
S O N G O F S O N G S 7: 1 1
Photography: Sherah Krause
SO I THOUGHT MY LIFE WAS PERFECT.
I never was the girl to plan a ‘perfect’ future, but I tried my best to make life as perfect as it could be. I married the man that God had for me and we had a good marriage. We had our ups and downs like all couples do; we travelled a bit, and lost one parent. Pretty much an average story. HEARTACHE About five years into our marriage, we decided to have a baby. We fell pregnant very easily, but then my whole world fell apart. I picked up that my husband was withdrawing from me emotionally, but I easily dismissed the symptoms as “this is just new to him,” or “many new dads struggle in the beginning.” Late in the pregnancy, he confessed to me that he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to do this, that he was sorry we decided to fall pregnant, that he wanted to keep his life the way it was, and that he didn’t want any kids. That night, I experienced my first anxiety attack ever. I sat on the floor, trying to catch my breath, and felt so vulnerable and unsure of what the future held. When our son was born, my husband didn’t bond with him, and I saw our relationship shattering before my eyes. He told me that he was really struggling with this daddy thing. We had a big fight and I can still remember feeling waves of rejection and emotional abandonment. I remember sobbing in the bathroom and struggling to breathe, and feeling so very alone. This person in front of me should have been my safe place, but he just stared at me blankly and said he has nothing more to give. I’d lost my teammate. That day, I experienced my second anxiety attack.
At that point, I still didn’t understand the
our first reconciliation. Sadly, only five days later,
magnitude of what was going on, but the Lord was
he decided that he didn’t want to reconcile
preparing my heart. A few days later while I was
anymore, so he moved out and reunited with the
home with our baby, my husband popped in to
lady with whom was having the affair. Thus started
give me a letter stating that he doesn’t love me
my desert season.
anymore and cannot see our future together. I confronted him and argued that our marriage
THE DESERT SEASON
is worth the fight, that we won’t just give up. I
From the beginning, a godly woman from
asked him if he was seeing someone else, and
my church became my personal mentor and
he looked me in the eye and said, “No.”
counselled me to keep my dignity. There were days I wanted to throw all my husband’s clothes
He agreed to go for counselling, so we contacted
into the street, or shout to the hills what he’s done,
a mature couple in our church who were willing to
but her godly counsel helped me to not make a
meet with us. We talked and cried, repented and
fool of myself.
prayed, and got so many things on the table. One significant thing I remember was that this couple
I continued to hope that our marriage would
prayed that the “Holy Spirit would come and put
survive, but we walked through so many ups and
all facts on the table, to open up everything and
downs. There were times when we were complete
expose all lies.” The Lord already showed this man
strangers, and times when we again tried to
what was going on, but because he was sensitive
reconcile. We drew up divorce papers, then
to the Spirit, he did not confront my husband there
pushed them aside. We talked, then ignored each
and then, but rather stepped back and allowed
other. He never moved back home but stayed
the Holy Spirit to slowly break things open. I left
in several places, sometimes with his ‘girlfriend,’
their house relieved and expectant, thinking we’d
other times alone.
just taken the first step to recovery. Little did I know that a bomb was just about to explode.
I saw how the enemy pulls a veil over someone’s face, and I learnt to trust the gentle nudges of the
Exactly one week later, I found out that my
Holy Spirit. I learnt who my true friends were, who
husband was indeed having an affair which had
the prayer warriors in my life were, and I found
started at the end of my pregnancy. The truth
love and support in my mentor, my mentoring
really does set you free, because in the midst of
group, and my pastors.
the deepest pain ever, just knowing what was
going on was a relief. Our son was now about 2
The next months were long and incredibly painful.
months old, and I had so much trust that the Lord
Sorting, purging, letting go, both physically and
would restore our marriage. I bullied him into
emotionally. I prayed to God for accelerated
giving our marriage a chance, begging him to not
healing, but I didn’t want to take any shortcuts—
throw away five years of marriage and ten years
I was determined to face every emotion. My
of togetherness. He agreed and we attempted
life had to go on as ‘normal,’ even though all I
“I prayed to God for accelerated healing, but I didn’t want to take any shortcuts, I wanted to face every emotion.”
wanted was for the world to stop. At night, I would
not commit to me or a relationship with me.
lie in bed not having enough strength even to pray, so I would just repeat “God is good, God
The day when this reality dawned on me was one
is good” as a mantra over and over. I just didn’t
of the few times in my life where I heard God’s
have any other words available.
voice audibly. I cried out to God that, “I can’t hurt like this anymore. I can’t live my life like this.” I
heard God reply that He “releases me from this
We officially got divorced (in court) when our son
marriage.” Up until that moment, I continually
was about 16 months old. I still find it interesting
fought for my marriage, both physically and
that I measured events by the age of our son
spiritually. That day, for the first time, I turned
and not by the calendar. Even after this official
my heart away from my ex-husband. That day,
divorce, I continued believing that we will get
I got divorced in my heart. And even though I
through this; even though our marriage was over
mourned, I was also relieved. Our son was 22
in the natural, I still held on to it in my heart.
We attempted one final reconciliation in the
months after the divorce, and even went to see a
Again, I praise God for my accelerated healing.
trusted psychologist to help us. This was significant
Two months later, I sat in prayer and made a list of
to me as I can look back today and honestly say
things I would like in my future husband. Not only
that “I did my best.” One day, I want to be able to
was I brave enough to trust again, I asked God
look into the eyes of a young man when he starts
for a new helpmate. I also prayed that God would
asking questions, and tell him that mommy did
take me to a place of wholeness where I wouldn’t
what she could.
‘need’ a mate to fill the gap in my life, but where I could enjoy someone who could complement my
This final attempt at reconciling with my
wholeness. I was cheeky enough to tell God that,
ex-husband taught me the most valuable
“I think I am ready, but I’m happy to wait until You
lessons of all.
send my new husband.”
•W e cannot control another person or choose for them, even if we believe we know best. •O ther people’s choices can hurt us, but we cannot allow ourselves to be a victim. •W e can choose how we react to what happens to us. •W e all have broken pieces and we all make wrong decisions.
My favourite chapter in this story began on my son’s 2nd birthday. I was 1200km from home, celebrating with family, when the Lord crossed my path with Louis, the man who would become my new husband. We had known each other back in school, and attended the same church youth group. Back then, we’d enjoyed each other’s company and had even gone out for a few
I saw that my ex-husband really tried this time
coffees and movies together before both leaving
around, and that helped me. Even still, he could
“I also prayed that God would take me to a place of wholeness where I wouldn’t ‘need’ a mate to fill the gap in my life, but where I could enjoy someone who could complement my wholeness.”
In that moment, I knew that this was the man that
one of our biggest challenges, but the Lord has
the Lord had picked for me. But the sceptic in me
stretched my tent pegs wider and increased my
couldn’t see how this relationship would work.
capacity more than I ever dreamed possible.
He was also just recovering from the trauma of a painful divorce, and he and his two sons were
I still don’t like the fact that this is my story, or that
happily settled in Roodepoort. And I liked my life
it’s so broken. I never wanted to be a 33-year-
in Jeffreys Bay too much to move there.
old stepmom in a second marriage. But this IS my story, and this IS ME. And above all else, I will
To make a long story short, we connected on
never trade in who I’ve become, who God has
Skype and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know
helped me grow into through this journey. Some
each other again. The Lord was so faithful and
days are harder than others, but we are thriving in
patient, and He continued to show me that
everything because He gives us the strength.
Louis was the one. I began to understand how precious I was to God, and that He cared for what
Coming out of previous marriages and the
I care for. He gave me everything I asked for in
wounds that we carry is certainly a challenge
a man (according to the list I prayed) but also so
when building a new marriage. The enemy is so
good at playing our previous pain up into this relationship. We have to be vigilant and prayerful
Five months after re-meeting, the Lord told Louis
every second of the day. By grace and only by
to move to Jeffreys Bay, and we got engaged.
grace is it possible!
Four months after that, we got married and became one beautiful family with three sons.
I was recently asked, if I had the choice to allow
And since then, the golden thread of God’s
my ex-husband to erase all the wrong decisions
accelerated blessing on our lives has been
he made, would I take it? My answer was a
evident. We’ve walked through things that I
resounding, “No, definitely not.” If it wasn’t for
am convinced takes other couples years to
this journey, I wouldn’t have all that I now have:
• Three beautiful sons to whom I get to be
BUILDING A NEW LIFE TOGETHER
• An amazing husband who seeks the heart
‘mommy,’ I wish I could say that we ‘lived happily ever after,’ but it’s just not that simple. Yes, we are
of the Lord first, and loves me more than he loves himself,
happy, but being a combined family requires a
• And I get to love this husband back with
lot of extra logistical administration. Becoming
everything I am, broken and beautiful
a mommy of a 9-year-old without knowing what
years 1-8 were like for this little human is a big challenge. The same goes for the 5-year-old.
God has truly made everything work together
Guiding three little men through their struggles is
because I love Him! n
L ET T H E DAW N I N G DAY B R I N G M E R E V E L AT I O N O F YOU R T E N D E R , U N FA I L I N G LOV E . G I V E M E L I G HT F O R M Y PAT H A N D T E AC H M E , F O R I T RU ST I N YOU.
P SA L M 1 4 3 : 8
Photography: Sherah Krause
How is your heart?
DEAREST FRIEND, When sitting down to write this article, all I could think about was writing a letter to a friend. A friend who is tired, worn out and feels at the end of themselves. Or perhaps a friend who has their make-up on and is smiling brilliantly but falling apart on the inside. Perhaps the reason I feel like writing this way is because at the end of last year, my dear friend, that was me. At the end of last year, I was finished and completely crashed. Emotionally, spiritually, physically—I didn’t have any more to give. I was exhausted but couldn’t sleep, emotional but didn’t want to see people, hungry for life but with no appetite for living. When I finally realised the state I was in, I had to do the hard work of learning what had led me to that place, and more importantly, decide what I would do and what I would put in place to make sure that it didn’t happen again. And, no, I’m not talking about quick fixes to treat surface symptoms. I’m talking about deep core changes that needed to be made so that I changed from the inside out.
I have learned so much and so I’m writing to
That’s what being brave is. Even if you feel the
you, with the hope that you will be blessed and
fear, you do it anyway.
encouraged with hope for your own life. I think so often too many of us are either full of In this life, we are constantly bombarded with
faith and nailing it at life, or we are slumped over,
information and messages. What I have noticed
worn out and stagnant because we are overcome
recently is lot of the messages that we receive
with emotion and overwhelmed by life. However,
on social media, in self-help books, and even
I believe real faith means being truly in touch with
sometimes in church sermons are “get up, make-
who you are, how you feel, where you are hurting
up, show up,” “fake it until you make it,” we are
but then bringing those things into the light… and
told we need to press though, keep calm and
then making the decision not to stay there but
to carry on. That’s brave. That’s true faith. That’s what it means to be truly in touch with your heart.
And, in part, I agree with that, because I know the
Because, darling one, you have to stay in touch
journey of life is not easy, and we aren’t entitled
with what is going on in your internal world for it
to having it easy. So yes, we must push through…
governs how you respond to the external world.
but… not in ignorance. Not by ignore-ance. We cannot ignore how we feel and call it “having
That is where my work started and has stayed. I
faith”, because it isn’t. Having true faith means we
had to acknowledge that I had lost touch with my
face the facts; we face how we actually feel. But,
heart and decide to find it, feel it, and fight for it
in spite of feelings, we carry on because there is a
again. Even if it hurt—which it did. But, that was
truth that is more real than how we feel.
ok. It was more than ok. It was worth it!
There was one afternoon at the beginning of the
We have to know what is going on inside
year when my son fell while jumping from couch
to couch. He cried and said he didn’t want to
• out of the heart the mouth speaks,
jump anymore because now he was scared. I
• out of the heart flows rivers of joy,
comforted him and said, “You’re my brave boy.
• as a man thinks in his heart so is he,
You can do it.” He then replied to me, “But I wasn’t
• and most importantly, God lives there.
brave, because I cried.” My heart broke, and I got down on my knees so I was eye level with
So, we have to know how to tend to our hearts
him, and told him this truth,
and cultivate life there, because as we tend to our hearts so we tend to the rest of our being. Melissa
“Being brave doesn’t mean you don’t cry. Being
Hessler said this, “Be fully in touch with your heart.
brave means you know it hurts, you know you’re
Fully feel, fully understand the power of lament,
scared, and you feel sad, but you go back and
grief, the full spectrum of emotion—without
you do it anyway.”
If you are anything like me, you probably wear
There may be many different things for you. The
many hats—wife, mom, sister, friend, employee,
most important thing is that you know what they
mentor, business owner, creative. So, time is often
are and you plan them in so that you don’t lose
an issue. I realised that I had to make time to
touch with your heart. Because when you lose
assess how my heart was, and then make time
touch with your heart, you lose touch with who
for the self-care I needed so that I could wear
my many hats with peace, grace and authentic enthusiasm. I had to learn to be intentional about
So, dear friend, I’m asking… How are you? How is
releasing time so that I was living from a place of
your heart? Do you know?
overflow, rather than running on empty. Maybe you’re like I was and you don’t know I feel like this is something that is particularly
that you’re running on empty. Can I lovingly
challenging for Christians, because sometimes
encourage you to slow down and get in touch
when we talk about self-care, we fear becoming
with your heart so that you don’t crash? Or maybe
selfish, conceited, or full of self-pity. But that is
you are fully aware of how you feel but are too
certainly not something I am advocating—in fact,
scared to say. Sweet friend, know that it will be
that is something that I can’t stand. Context is
ok. Stopping and getting in touch with where you
everything. What I am talking about is maturely
are at and bringing it into the light is the very best
recognising your legitimate needs as a person
thing you can do, both for you and for the people
with a view of being able to serve those in your
you are serving.
sphere of influence more effectively. I’m sharing this with you so that you don’t feel I am a wife and a Mum and both of those roles
alone, or like you’re the only one, or worse yet
are wonderful. But they require my very best, and
that you have failed. Because you haven’t. You
if I am strung out, overworked, undernourished,
just need to find your heart. And as you do, you
unfit and miserable, I don’t serve my family well.
will find your life again.
True, healthy self-care is about identifying what makes you feel rested, refreshed and alive. It is
Lastly, please know this… You are precious,
about investing in the things that make you feel
valuable, and worth it.
like you again. Some of these things for me are • having coffee with a trusted friend,
With all my love,
•h aving a mini spa time at home followed by
clean PJs and a good glass of wine, • going for a run, •b eing alone and uninterrupted, just me, God and no demands, •o r shopping for groceries at my favourite store.
H OW B E AU T I F U L O N T H E M O U N TA I N S A R E T H E S A N DA L E D FEET OF THIS ONE B R I N G I N G S UC H G O O D N E W S. YO U A R E T R U LY R OYA LT Y ! T H E WAY YO U WA L K S O G R AC E F U L LY I N M Y WAYS D I S P L AYS S U C H D I G N I T Y. YO U A R E T R U LY T H E PO E T RY O F G O D รณ H I S V E RY H A N D I WO R K . SONG OF SONGS 7:1
Photography: Sherah Krause
LIFE HAS NOT BEEN EASY FOR ME.
Everything changed. One moment I was ok, and
There have been ‘ups’ and ‘downs.’ We all have
the next, I had no feeling on the right side of my
them; that is life. My ups and downs (which are
body, from the top of my head down to my little
mostly health-related) eventually ended in a
toe. I could not speak, I could not write, I could
not do anything for myself. One day, I was a strong woman, and the next, I had to let my family
At the age of four, I had meningitis. At six, I
and friends take care of me. That was scary.
suffered from epileptic seizures. This meant that I spent a lot of my time in hospitals, having tests
But through it all, I knew I would be ok—I would
and seeing doctors, not playing outside like other
survive. While I was in the hospital and every time
children. This was part of me, and I accepted it.
I closed my eyes, I saw the MOST MOST MOST
So, because I couldn’t play outside, I chose rather
beautiful cloud. So white, so pure, untouched.
to do ballet.
On that cloud sat Jesus, and He was telling me— telling ME—that I would be ok. Over and over
Besides my ill-health, my life was normal. As
again, He told me nothing other than I would be
a child, my parents were there for us. When
ok. I smiled and laughed with Jesus.
I became an adult, I got married, had three beautiful daughters, but then sadly got divorced.
The doctors had to do many tests to find out why
However, I wasn’t the kind of person to stay
I had a stroke. According to them, there was no
down, so I tried my best to make a new life; I met
reason for me to have had a stroke, but I did.
someone, got engaged, and life was fine again.
When the tests came back, they discovered that I have Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS), an
At that time, I was strong and could do everything
autoimmune disease that provokes blood clots
myself. I created a life that I enjoyed and said,
in the body. It is dangerous but treatable. After a
“I will be happy again.” But even though I tried,
week in the hospital, they sent me home.
life had a go at me. Every time I got on my feet, I got knocked down—again and again and again.
My fiancé at the time was a sales representative,
Then I would go and sit in a ‘corner,’ pull my
and he was on the road from Monday to Friday,
messed-up life together, and try again.
and only home on weekends. I was unable to look after myself during this time which meant
Around my 40th birthday, I accepted Jesus
that the tables were turned. My daughters had
and gave my life to our Saviour. I signed up
to teach me, help me, and be there for me. They
immediately for Bible School, got baptized, and
became the ‘Mom.’ I was angry.
served in the church. I was on fire—I still am. On the 14th May 2013, at the age of 41, I had a
For two years after my stroke, I stayed home
as I couldn’t work. I tried to get back to being
Photography: Esthea Martini and unsplash.com
the old Claudia, the person before the stroke.
speak. My self-confidence grew in spades which
Sadly, the relationship between my fiancé and
gave me the ability to take on more responsibility.
I deteriorated. Our lives were not the same anymore. The more I ran to Jesus, the more my
Before long, I was interviewed and promoted from
fiancé pulled away from me until he eventually
Receptionist to Credit Controller. Since then, God
also told me to start studying. Long story short, I have now been accepted at a University and
And yet, God has always been there for me. I
am studying to become an Accountant. WOW,
didn’t always recognize this because I thought I
how great is God! He took me with my health
was in control of my life. But even when I was in
problems, learning difficulties, and ultimately
a cold, dark, pit with no light, I experienced His
making a mess of my life, and He turned my life
nearness. He was there for me.
around for HIS glory. All I had to do was surrender to Him and keep my eyes on Him.
The first thing He taught me was that in every storm, there is peace. A tornado has an eye in
It does not matter what your storm is—never ever
the middle where there is no wind or rain, just
give up. Meet God in the eye of your storm and
calmness. The same is true of the storms in our
give Him your life!
lives. When you stand in the eye of your storm, cast your eyes up to God, and He will give you
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
peace in the middle of it all. He will calm you.
I have come that they may have life and have it
The second thing He taught me was to surrender
to the full” (John 10:10 NIV). n
my life to Him. I was living in George and didn’t want to live there anymore. I was so unhappy. I decided to move to Cape Town, make a fresh start and surrender my life completely to God. The more I surrendered, the more He opened heaven’s doors for me. God provided me with a job as a Receptionist with a national company in Paarl. I was so anxious about it because I knew I had a speech impediment; I would forget words and struggle with big words, especially when I was stressed. The people at this company have been so good to me. Nobody has ever commented on the way I
WEAR BY NICOLE HONEYWILL
C U LO T T E S Wide leg is back and as the worldâ€™s biggest advocate for a good pair of skinny jeans, I was apprehensive. Culottes are made to imitate the flow and movement of a skirt, you can buy them high waisted or low rise if thats more your style! They are an incredibly versatile item of clothing that show off movement in a very flattering way. But the best part? They are so comfortable. Culottes were made for heels! Go find yourself a nice pair of mules and own the sidewalk! Wear them with a T-shirt for a laid back, relaxed look or change them out for a button up shirt. Go get yourself a pair and join the trend that has finally got wide leg right! n
COCONUT CURRY BUTTERNUT SOUP
B Y A N N E G A L LO WAY
There’s nothing more comforting than a yummy bowl of butternut soup. This recipe spices it up with an indian twist. Not to mention that the coconut milk replacement for the cream is healthier for our bodies. This is also delicious chilled as a starter to any meal. INGREDIENTS: (8-12 (IT’S DECADENT!)
1 medium butternut, split seeds removed
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped carrot
1 tin coconut milk
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons curry powder
Heat oven to 180°C. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on butternut squash and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Place cut side down on cookie sheet. Roast for 30 - 45 minutes (depending on size) or until tender.
Drizzle soup pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add carrots and onion to pot with 1 teaspoon salt. Saute until tender. Add coconut milk and vegetable stock. Add curry powder, garam masala and cumin. Add roasted butternut squash.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, while breaking up roasted butternut squash for 15 - 20 minutes, or fragrant. Use a submersible blender to smooth soup or add to a blender to smooth.
Garnish with some coriander
Photography: Unsplash Photography: unsplash.com