Divorce, Grief, LEARNING JOURNEYS, SOCIAL JUSTICE, SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL WOUNDING, TRANSFORMATION, Transitions, TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS, Widowhood

JESUS LISTENED TO WOMEN ABUSED BY THE PATRIARCHIAL SYSTEM

woman turning around on green fields
Photo by Jackson David on Pexels.com

WOMEN HE REDEEMED

Jesus must have known and understood the abuse, lack of value and respect as well as the generational trauma that women had to endure, that was the result of the old system when he sought out the women whose stories are told in the New Testament. In his book “The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels, “ Frank Viola gives voice to these women’s stories from their perspective of living in the cultural context of that time. Although the stories have been fictionalized the context was thoroughly researched.

THE ADULTRESS

person s shadow so as not to identify the woman
Photo by Nadi Lindsay on Pexels.com

The woman ‘caught’ in adultery, had a back story too. Abused by her husband she was vulnerable to the plans of others. Nowhere do we hear of the man, because Jesus knew this was a ‘set-up’ job to trip him up. When you read this story, do you take then words at face value and not think about the person behind the words? Everyone has a back story, but women’s voices were silenced in the system they lived in, and they were vulnerable to the abuse of others.

THE SINFUL WOMAN

woman looking at mirror while applying lipstick
Photo by Svetlana🎞 on Pexels.com

“The ‘sinful woman (prostitute)’ who had entered into Simon the Pharisee’s house uninvited, while he was entertaining Jesus. She stood behind Jesus and broke open her alabaster jar of perfume anointing him, and with her tears and hair washed Jesus’ feet. What was her back story? As a rejected, abused, or single woman she had little choice in earning her living, but Jesus never condemned her he used her as an example of love and compassion to the hard-hearted, legalist Pharisees who had not washed his feet when he entered their house. When do we hold the shield of propriety and the Law as a shield to prevent people from encountering Jesus?

THE SAMARITAN WOMAN

brown and red wooden beads
Photo by Athena on Pexels.com

The Samaritan woman was yet another example of how a woman who had had unfortunate marital experiences was forced into further difficulties by the patriarchal system, that used women for their own ends. In using her back story Jesus was able to not only redeem her but use her to bring others to Him, a missionary to the Samaritans. Even his disciples were aghast that he should be sitting talking to a Samaritan woman alone. Jesus was willing to risk his reputation in front of his best friends to bring redemption to this woman.

THE WOMAN WITH THE ISSUE OF BLOOD

depressed patient against window in light hospital
Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

The woman with blood issues fell afoul of the purification laws that kept her isolated from others and in a poor and weak state of health. Her desperation led her to reach out to touch this Jesus she had heard about to help her when she was untouchable by anyone else in her society. I was so touched at the compassion of Jesus for this woman who was desperate. So many women live in desperate situations, which force them to act in ways that they would not need too if the laws and the judgements of others had compassion for their situation and helped them instead of isolating them.

MARY OF BETHANY

photo of woman wearing white dress
Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

Mary of Bethany’s story opened me to a completely new perspective on her. I had always considered her to be the ‘saint’ in the story as I had been told it. Her backstory was one of poor self-image and comparison to her siblings. Martha, her older sister was blessed with the gift of hospitality, as was her late mother. Lazarus, her brother, was a handsome and gregarious young man, and her father a man full of faith and goodness whom Jesus had healed of leprosy. Mary never felt she was enough, she felt an outsider, a thinker, the different one, only fit to mull over matters of the heart, with no gifts or talents that were useful or apparent. She broke convention sitting at Jesus feet as a woman, yet Jesus commended her as he could read her heart and knew she was near the Kingdom he was teaching the others about. She later generously used up her jar of spikenard perfume to anoint Jesus and was accused of being ‘wasteful’ by one of the disciples. For someone who had found their self-worth restored by Jesus, that was very hurtful.

three women smiling
Photo by Radomir Jordanovic on Pexels.com

The different backstories on each of these women, that have been researched and brought into context of the times they were living in, although fictionalized still point to the very character of God and Jesus as being a supporter of the widows, the orphans, the aliens, oppressed and underprivileged. These women if they lived today would still more than likely be marginalized because of the systems that kept them in their circumstances, often play out into lives of women today. What systems can you think of that would affect these women today? Do you know of any women who have been unjustly treated because of their circumstances or the things that have been done to them? How can we be like Jesus to them?

These women if they had lived today would still more than likely be marginalized because of the systems that kept them in their circumstances, often play out into the lives of women today”

I have really enjoyed reading these books and listening to the sermons that have highlighted God’s compassionate redeeming love for abused and marginalized women. I have written reviews for both the books I have researched, if you wanted to read them for yourself. “Women of the Bible Speak Out” by Marlo Schalesky and “The Day I Met Jesus” by Frank Viola and Mary DeMuth.  The Sermons can be found on YouTube Christ City Church.

If you have not yet read the first part of this story it can be found here Jesus Listened to Women

Home » Divorce

Divorce, Grief, LANDSCAPES OF LIFE, LEARNING JOURNEYS, SOCIAL JUSTICE, SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL WOUNDING, TRANSFORMATION, Transitions, TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS, Widowhood

JESUS LISTENED TO THE WOMEN’S VOICES OF THOSE IN HIS GENEALOGY

women sitting on a wooden bench
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

The sermon series run in our church during Advent highlighted the women in Jesus’ genealogy.  This is probably the first time I have heard these women being honored as part of Jesus genealogy. As I sat and listened to their stories, I wondered why I had not heard their point of view before. As an explorer of ideas and concepts, it struck me that preachers were generally male, the times the stories were written in were times of the patriarchal order and systems when women were not considered important other than to be breeders of children to carry on the male line. Being barren was the worst fate to befall a woman in those days. Women’s voices in general had been shut down or downplayed. Yet they carried the inner scars in the cells in their bodies and carried their generational trauma forward to the next generation.

a hijab woman leaning on the wall
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

I then read a book on five women’s encounters with Jesus where their stories were told. Tears filled my eyes as I read of the compassion, lack of judgement and redemption for each of these women. At the same time, I felt He was redeeming the stories of the women in his genealogy, healing the generational trauma in their bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits. Jesus heard their cries for someone to listen to their story.

I will give a brief outline to the stories of the women in Jesus’ genealogy in this blog post and the stories of the five women that Jesus brought wholeness to in the following blog post as I want you to have time to think about these women and their back stories, how you viewed them in the past and what you may feel about them now you have viewed them from a different perspective.

BEFORE JESUS WAS BORN – HIS GENEALOGY

Tamar

a woman standing beside the coffin
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Tamar was a Canaanite woman that Judah married to first one son then another. When both sons died without progeny, Judah did not do what was demanded of him by the same custom as he married his sons to Tamar, to marry her to another son or find her a husband. She felt rejected and discarded, and her dignity stripped when Judah told her to go to her parents’ house and live as a widow. She used her own initiative with the only possibility open to her, that of a prostitute. Judah went to the prostitute and slept with her. The child born from that encounter was Perez, part of the genealogy of Jesus. I have never heard a sermon explain why Judah went to a prostitute! But he said, “She is more righteous than I,” eventually giving her the recognition that he should have done at first. Read the laws in Deuteronomy 25:5 and 26:12, Judah had broken both those laws as the Tamar was also a ‘stranger’ in the land.

Rahab

sexy ethnic prostitute in bdsm collar lying on bed and biting red strap
Photo by Kamaji Ogino on Pexels.com

Joshua sent two spies out to,” Go, look out the land,” They ended up in Jericho at a prostitute’s house! Now that part of the story was explained to me in the past: what were they doing there instead of looking out at the land! Yet, Rahab is part of the genealogy of Jesus she was the mother of Boaz. James said, “was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?” By preserving the lives of the spies, for whatever reason she was a prostitute or that they were visiting her, she and her families’ lives were saved and she was considered righteous.

Ruth

woman wearing brown headdress
Photo by Ogo on Pexels.com

Ruth was a Moabitess, immigrant foreigner. She was faithful to her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi. As widows they were destitute in the patriarchal system where only men could provide a living for a woman. Through her faithfulness to Naomi, they took the initiative, took an enormous risk to Ruth’s reputation to ask for marriage for Ruth to Boaz, calling on the same Deuteronomic laws of protection for widows. Yet, she found favor in both God and Boaz eyes, who took her as his wife. The women encouraged Naomi, “For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him [Obed] birth.” Obed became the grandfather of Kind David.

Bathsheba

woman holding flowers in hands in water
Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

An innocent woman, taking her purification bath in her courtyard where she thought she had some privacy, was unaware of the lustful stare of King David whose palace overlooked her rooftop. She had no say in refusing the King when he sent for her. She was taken to his palace where he used her as he would. To hide his sin King David had her husband Uriah killed. Not only was Bathsheba raped, but her husband was also killed, and now she was a pregnant widow, probably the worst position a women could be in.

When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. Once the time of mourning was over, David tried to rectify his sin and brough her to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son.”

When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. Once the time of mourning was over, David tried to rectify his sin and brought her to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord, and although he repented, his family life was dysfunctional as a consequence. When David was dying his son Adonijah placed himself on the throne. Bathsheba went into King David to remind him he had sworn to her that Solomon his son will be king after him. She reminded him that she and Solomon would be treated as criminals once David died. David rectified the matter and placed Solomon on the throne. When Solomon acceded to the throne, he had a throne brought for his mother and Bathsheba sat as his right hand, in a position of power. God upheld her dignity in the terrible circumstances she was forced into.

women working together
Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

When you look at these women’s stories from a completely different perspective, you hear their cries for justice in a patriarchal system that marginalized them as human beings made in the image of God. You see the hand of God moving to vindicate them and bring them into a place where they are given justice and the honor of being part of the genealogy of Jesus.

Jesus must have known and understood this when he sought out the women whose stories I will share in my next blog. [ to be continued…..] 

I would love to have your comments on this perspective. You can respond in the What are Your Thought box.

If you are interested to hear the sermon series, it can be found on You Tube Christ City Church. The two books I have read and used as reference as well are “The Day I met Jesus” by Frank Viola and “Women of the Bible Speak out” by Marlo Schalesky

Divorce, LANDSCAPES OF LIFE, Seasons of Life, SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL WOUNDING, TRANSFORMATION, Transitions, TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS, Uncategorized, Widowhood

HAVE YOU MET GOD THE MOTHER HEN?

As part of the Welcome to My World challenge, I am first answering this week’s question:

Q: What do you see as you look out of your window?

A: I look out of the window of my soul at the world of the past, the present, and the future. The past makes sense of the past, the present is part of the journey and the future is healed in God’s hands

This is probably one of the most difficult blogs I have ever written, but it is also part of my own healing journey. In my travels, I have come across so many spiritually and emotionally wounded women in the last decade, and like me, they are only now finding the courage to talk about it.

The remnants of a patriarchal mindset in the church and abuse of power have wounded so many women. When the Church should have been a refuge, it became the instrument of abuse using Scriptures as a weapon to beat women into submission in what today is named domestic abuse. I am writing this from a woman’s perspective as that is who I am, but I am sure that many men could also claim those wounds.

“Trauma is a deep wound of the heart and mind that takes a long time to heal. It hurts every part of us: our relationships, our bodies, our thoughts, and our faith.”

I am a great student of social history, especially the French Revolution, Napoleonic Wars, American Revolution, and British Colonialism, as they are all interrelated in one way or another and have influenced my own family history and so many others. The British legal and parliamentary system they brought with them made laws that disadvantaged women and others not belonging to the ‘system.’ British law stated that in marriage, a man and a woman were one person – the legal existence of a woman was suspended during the marriage as she was meant to be under his protection and cover. He could take all her dowry to spend as he liked. According to their dowries, women were ‘traded,’ father’s marrying off their daughters to their own political or financial advantage. Women were not able to vote to change the ‘system,’ and it took Emily Pankhurst (the suffragette movement was the Woman’s Revolution) and others more than fifty years to finally get the right to vote in 1920.

Photo Annie Spratt from Unsplash

Domestic Violence

This controlling role of men was also practiced in the Church by interpreting the Scriptures through their lens and insisting on their womenfolk submitting, by domestic violence or any other means at their disposal, including the church disciplinary systems. When this teaching has been instilled at an incredibly young age, a girl is brainwashed into thinking that they are an inferior person, subject to temptation (the Eve metaphor) or the temptress (the Bathsheba metaphor) but not the blessed woman (Jael). How many teachings have you ever received on Jael? Unrealistic standards set by the application of the example of the Proverbs 31 woman can lay the foundation for systemic shame and never being good enough. This teaching on the place of women at home, the church, and society when not applied with the second half of the teaching, the way that Jesus treated women, the Samaritan woman, Mary Magdalene, and his own mother Mary, failed women in giving them an earthly role model of Father. The teaching as God the Father, angry, punitive, and ready to judge and cast you into hell, reinforced this belief, disconnecting woman from a loving God, one who was their Creator, protector, provider, and friend.

It has taken me most of my life to reconnect with this Father, the Creator, the Good Shepherd, the mother hen God who shelters and protects in the shadow of His wings. It has taken time to deconstruct the angry God and reconstruct the loving God, who protects, provides, and is the lover of my soul. How have I been able to do this?

It has taken me most of my life to reconnect with this Father, the Creator, the Good Shepherd, the mother hen God who shelters and protects in the shadow of His wings. It has taken time to deconstruct the angry God and reconstruct the loving God, who protects, provides, and is the lover of my soul. How have I been able to do this?

Mother hen with chicks photo by K Kannan Unsplash

It has been a long journey of questioning everything I was taught and reviewing it in contemplative prayer, and revisiting ancient and modern teachers and historical contexts. It is by checking against Scripture, and if it is not clear, referring to how Jesus would have seen it and dealt with it. There are only two Commandments, “you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31.

The Golden Rule….

In other words, treat people how you yourself would like to be treated. Just as important, was to sit quietly with God in nature and in Art Galleries, letting Him reveal Himself and His truth to me. It was learning to hear His voice, the voice of the Good Shepherd, as He called my name. I was never taught how to listen for my name. The system had taught me I was nameless, always referred to as my father’s daughter. I was called my nicknames but not often my given name, Deryn. When I found out its meaning of ‘little bird’, it was a liberation. I was able to fly out of the cage in which I had been entrapped for so long. I could sit on a branch and observe for myself, think for myself, and I could sing my new song.

Sketched in an Art Gallery

Reading good books has helped in reconstructing the image of a loving Father God and the research that Laurel Thatcher Ulrich put into her book “Good Wives- Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England 1650-1750,” helped to clarify the patriarchal thinking of the church in their era which has filtered down through the centuries. A modern book by Carol Howard Merritt on her journey from the teaching at Moody Bible College to her liberation from the spiritual woundedness caused by domestic violence in her family, “Healing Spiritual Wounds,” confirmed the importance of Creator God, creativity in the arts, and reconnecting with a loving God through Contemplative prayer.

Listen to Keynote speaker DrDiane Langberg who is a practicing psychologist whose clinical expertise includes 35 years of working with trauma survivors and clergy. She speaks at an international Conference Church as a Refuge in June.

It is my desire to be a sounding board for those who struggle in this arena of patriarchy and spiritual abuse both as domestic violence and in the church, so they can find their way to peace under the soft feathers of the wings of their loving Father God. If this resonates with you, please contact me via the Contact button.

Divorce, Grief, Seasons of Life, Transitions, TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS

Interview With Keabecoe Choene Ex-Pastor’s Wife

koebe1

When we get married, we have the starry-eyed dream of ‘happily ever after,’ and especially if we were to marry another Christian.  That would make it just perfect or would it? I would like to introduce you to new author, Keabecoe Choene, who has just written a book on her emotional journey through divorce, “When Life, not Death do Us Part.” I asked her whether she would like to share a little bit about herself and why she wrote it with my readers.

Deryn-Tell me a bit about yourself, Keabecoe.

Keabocoe –I am a servant of the Lord. I grew up in Bloemfontein, one of the major cities in South Africa. My mother was a single parent trying to raise four children (two brothers, my younger sister, and I) with my grandmother’s help. In South Africa, grandmothers often helped raise children where parents were separated either by work or relationship difficulties.

I am also a mom to an eight-year-old and an aunt to my two nieces and nephew, my brother’s children.

Deryn-Did you grow up in a Christian environment?

Keabocoe –Yes and no, my family considered themselves Christians like so many South African families, we attended church weekly, but that is the only time we thought about God. I come from a semi-traditional background that worshipped ancestors and yet went to church. Growing up, I considered that the norm. I was ‘born again’ when I was nineteen when I turned fully and totally to Christ alone. I have been a child of God, servant, and follower of Jesus Christ since, and now I am thirty-nine years old.

Deryn-Your perception of marriage was viewed through your home experience with absent fathers? 

Keabocoe –Yes, I never knew my biological father, I only met him when I turned 30, and he passed on two years later. I grew up in a household of very strong women. My grandmother took care of us until I was 12 when my mom fetched me and took over. My mom got married to my stepdad; it was a short marriage, though. My stepdad was absent most of the time that my mom was married to him, or maybe he seemed absent to me because I was in boarding school. When I was on school break, I went to my grandmother to visit. I must mention that I did not grow up with my mom in the same house until I was 12. I stayed with my grandmother, who had 11 other grandkids.

Deryn-Did your experience with your parent’s marriage influence your expectations of marriage?

Keabocoe –I had no expectations of marriage growing up. My mom and stepfather divorced because he physically abused us. I did not want to get married. I saw no need for it, strong women raised me, and I knew how capable I could be as a woman; I never wanted to be a mom at all. I did not even imagine it. But my idea of marriage changed when I was born again. For some weird reason, after getting born again, I toyed with the idea of getting married and having children.

Deryn- What part did your culture and tradition play in your expectations of marriage when you met your husband, who was the pastor at your church?

Keabocoe –In my culture and tradition, the male (husband) pays the Lobola (the bride price) to the girl’s family. My ex-husband had to pay lobola for me. Since we were both Christians, him being a pastor, I expected a great marriage. My silent meditation going into this marriage with a man that knew God so profoundly was that my husband would hear from HIm regarding me; by virtue of us both being Christians, I thought that the marriage will work.

Deryn-Your husband also was a Ghanaian and not a South African did you find that even though you were both Africans, the customs of his culture and his expectations were different from yours?

Keabocoe –My ex-husband grew up completely different from how I grew up. He was born in a foreign country; the only thing we had in common was the love we both had for the Lord; I had never in my life seen such deep devotion to God’s work. He was a giver and loved people tremendously, and I was attracted to that. I could look at him, and his heartbeat was just echoing and serving God. We shared that passion; that passion fueled us. Early in my marriage, I soon found out that we needed more than a passion for God to make this marriage work.

His expectation of a wife was not my reality. My demand of him stepping up as a husband was construed as opposition from him. Neither of us was prepared to put in the work our marriage demanded. There were too many people speaking loudly into our marriage, and those same voices drowned us. Our relationship fell apart, and although we kept going, we went our separate ways in marriage. When our son was born, I could not even remember how to laugh out loud.

Deryn-The voices in your marriage, who were they?

Keabocoe –They were Church members and his friends. My ex-husband listened to so many other people more than he ever listened to me. The church and the people drowned any passion I thought I had for ministry. I needed to go back to the Lord, who had called me. I did not have a voice or the will to fight anymore.

One day I looked at myself in the mirror, and I could not see myself; I saw someone who looked like me. I had poured myself out for everyone, and I had not received the same fuel back. I kept fighting everyone who was a threat to my marriage that I neglected managing myself; the more I tried to address these things, the more things got out of control. I had to compete with the church for my husband’s attention, and I could not stand being third place. I knew I had to walk away. And I did.

Deryn-That must have been hard for you?

Keabocoe –That was extremely hard, and I wish the voice of the Lord was much louder. The sad part about getting a divorce as a pastor’s wife is that you have no pulpit to explain yourself to anyone. My ex-husband did his PR and told everyone what he wanted to tell them and what he told them was further from the truth. The only truth he told was I was the one who filed. And because I filed, the church hated me for it. And they were not ashamed to say and show it.

Deryn-What was the Church’s response to you?

Keabocoe –I ceased from being his wife, and I became their enemy; I became the person against his success in ministry. The story he preached not only on that day but continuously, was that I was against his success in ministry. That so many people believed that narrative always baffled me, firstly if I had been against his ministry why would I leave my job and join him to build the same ministry? Secondly, any wife’s joy comes when her man succeeds, his wins were my wins; if he lost, I was counted right there beside him. Why will I want to lose? Any sane wife wants their man to succeed, I wanted him to make it, I prayed that he would, yet I could not watch him in the ministry and fail as a husband and father.

Deryn-What was the reality of being a pastor’s wife in your situation?

Keabocoe –I knew he would be applauded for his ministry, but he failed dismally as a husband and father. He was hardly home. We never went anywhere as a family unless it was ministry-related, and even when we went for ministry, there were too many people with us. We went places alright, but it was work, not family. I got so tired of traveling; I wanted him home. We had no family life, he knocked off late and left early, and when questioned, I was labeled as an “unsupportive wife.”

The church could not wait to get rid of me. When the time for the divorce came, some people were delighted that it was happening. Yet others branded me evil and backslidden. It is too distressing to write all the things that were said to me during that time. I was shattered, discarded, and dismissed.

Deryn-What happened when you left the marital home?

Keabocoe –When I left my marital home to go back home to my mother, my older brother came to pick me up. I packed my clothes and my son’s clothes and left the house. My ex-husband was not home then, and he was out of the province. When he returned, he found me gone and asked me where I was, I told him that I had left, and he said okay. His aunt called me and asked me why I left. I told her I was tired, and I cannot live like that anymore. She told me that in their culture, if a wife goes, the husband does not fetch her; she must either come back, herself or her family must fetch her. I told the aunt that in my culture, a wife needed to be fetched from her family. He never came to fetch me, and I never went back, it was just wrapped around in the culture. I was super disappointed when he did not fetch me because he truly did not want me or loved me.

Deryn-How did I come to the point of peace?

Keabocoe –When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus answered him, and he said, you shall worship the Lord your God, and only Him shall you worship. The divorce for me was the lowest moment of my life, yet it was a time that God brought me back to worship Him and Him alone. When I thought I had lost it all, my all to me was my husband, position, and material things, yet I had to realize that I had it all along. I had put the Lord on the back burner.

You can’t serve Him effectively without worshipping Him in Spirit and in truth. I had lost my way. Yes, I was serving Him but was I worshiping Him? Worshipping Him is not singing songs to Him about Him. And before I lost my husband, I had turned lukewarm. Like David said before I was afflicted I went astray. My heart was hardened by many other things I did not give to Him. I had carried a lot. In my time of true worship, I stripped it all off and laid bare before Him, I had no desires for anything else, I had reached my crossroad, I had come to the end of me, I was utterly broken. I found my peace when the Lord said in your broken self you are good for me to work with. I could not believe such love, forgiveness, I had to repent of my sins, of getting a divorce, and in that time, the Lord was setting a foundation that no man can shut.

Divorce was hard, painful, and life-transforming for me. I did not see the green pasture everyone raved about after getting divorced. I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I did not want to live, yet today all I live for is Him,” In Him, I move, live and have my being”. Without Jesus Christ, I am truly nothing.

Deryn-What is your book about and what do you hope your readers will gain from it?

Keabocoe –The book is an emotional journey of my divorce; it covers subjects such as anger, guilt, pain, hurt.  I documented how God took me through all those phases and eventually led to my healing. It was tough being a child of God and going through a divorce; I faced a lot, including many Christians rejecting me.

I hope that my story will be an eye-opener for many other married people. I pray that it brings healing and salvation to other people who are divorced, going through a divorce, or thinking about divorce.  I hope that it also serves as a warning that serving God is great but putting Him first is greater. And after Him, it must be your family, and then working for God can take its rightful place.

Thank you so much Keabecoe Choene…………….

If readers would like a copy of your book where can they obtain it?

When Life Not Death Do us Part

Links for the book

Barnes & Noble

Kobu  Scribd Vivlio

24 Symbols

 

Divorce, Retirement, Seasons of Life, TRANSFORMATION, Transitions, Uncategorized

MY SEVEN-DAY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!!

How often we dread the turning of the clock as the years tick by and we reach a certain milestone. Denise Mclaughlan shares how she celebrated her coming of age of three score years and ten as a single person! (This was 5 years ago)

In an effort to accept and make sense of this ageing matter, I had this sudden inspiration to embrace the fact that I was turning 70 in that month of May… so, rather than to fear it or make it go away I decided to embrace it…and that after several years of not easily admitting to my 60-plus status!

The fact is that I feel so much younger…. healthy and with more energy and exuberance than a lot of younger people. I realised that there is no getting away from the years… thus why not go big? Hence the week-long festivities, A 7-day celebration for the 7 decades.

I set about it by creating a Powerpoint invitation of several slides in which I set out the plans I had for doing pleasurable activities every day for a week…with whatever friends cared to join in.

I took great pleasure in designing the page and writing the rhyme/verse playing with the words starting with S as in the heading SASSY SENSUOUS AND A SHARP SEVENTY which is how I tend to see myself… never mind the odd grey hair, the slight stiffness when getting up ; at least I had kept up with the modern world of technology and had refrained from getting narrow in outlook!

On the following slides I set out plans like….a morning tea party at my house (for the older folk who are not working ) … a Pyjamas and Popcorn movie evening for my church cell group on the one evening…a movie and coffee outing with three other friends – who share my interest in movies ( and did we enjoy “Far from the Madding Crowd”!

There was also the Sunday with my little family at home with cake and champagne… and the joy of having two of my three grandchildren with me!   However the piece de resistance was a good old-fashioned Soiree (which for those who don’t know) is an elegant get-together at a home with live music and a dinner. This was in the end held at a very close friend’s house and as a gift she provided her lovely dining-room, most of the dinner and the table decorations which had a vintage theme…and her cook who did the delicious meal. To fit in with the soiree theme, I hired a professional saxophone/clarinet/flute player to do the honours. We were 12 people and I must say they did me proud… a real highlight of my festivities!

On my actual birthday and after the six days of enjoyment, seven friends and I went for a very fine breakfast at Nitida Wine farm near Durbanville where I simply loved the view of a dam , the vineyards in their autumn colours , the fynbos and the Boland mountains in the distance.

This was the most blessed and fun-filled birthday and I actually enjoyed reaching this milestone of birthdays…. here is an excerpt from the speech I made at the dinner on the night of the soiree. 

Seventy years of a good life

……….And so now I am seventy and rather than fear old age I shall embrace the years to come. I will work on my bucket list and I will live life to the full with the help of my Lord in heaven. I am grateful for the blessing of good health and a zest for living … so watch this space!!