2017

Spring? Is that you?

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It is said there are flowers that bloom only once in a hundred years. Why should there not be some that bloom once in a thousand, in ten thousand years? Perhaps we never know about them simply because this “once in a thousand years” has come today.
(Yevgeny Zamyatin)

Spring has come and some trees are still bare. There’s not one leaf, not one fruit, not one flower… Just dryness. What happens when spring comes but I’m not blossoming? Come on now I’m on a deadline. I have to be in full bloom by the age of 25. Or I have to have a boyfriend because what the actual heck is wrong with me if I don’t? All my friends have boyfriends. I don’t think trees look at the trees next to them and judge themselves wondering oh my actual word why don’t I have apples? Honey you’re not an apple tree that’s why you don’t have apples.

I am guilty of putting pressures on myself and deadlines that fit in my mind set of life. “Get all A’s” “Get a full bursary” “Get a degree by 21” “Get a license” “Buy a car” “Get a boyfriend” “Buy a house” “Get engaged” “Get married ” “have two kids by 35”. I used to put my entire life on a time line. I had a five year plan. Heck I had every second planned. The pressure of continuous planning is that when winds come to sway your branches you get upset because the plan didn’t include the wind. The set back. The drama. The break up. The tears. The plan only includes what we want to happen… It doesn’t include the reality and misfortunes of life. We get so frustrated with ourselves and when someone comes along and breaks our heart we get upset because it wasn’t part of the plan and it was unexpected… We put our internal pressures onto the external and try and force all the trees to grow in this way. Not every tree bears fruit in the same season… We were all planted at different times and some need to establish roots before they can bear fruit and provide shade and shelter. Is the tree dead? No. The tree is in full swing and it’s important that the tree has a good root system so it can withstand future storms.

 

 

So… Now the fact that we aren’t currently blossoming and that we feel like we are in a whirlwind of storms… Well you see pruning is important to a tree – when we hold onto the dead and give no space for the new. We hold onto that thing that happened to us and put it into every pain we have because letting go feels like we are saying that we are okay that that bit of our life is gone and let’s be honest if you loved your friend or boyfriend or girlfriend so dearly just letting go isn’t the simplest task? We refuse to let go because then we are accepting and moving ahead and eventually the chapter closes and we start writing a new one and “rather the hurt we know than the one to come” right? No no. Prune. Cut those dead things because this encourages growth. “How will cutting things off me make me grow?” Well you see pruning is actually beneficial to a tree because it helps it grow in the way it was supposed to grow. The hurts and pains are all important to our growth but holding onto our rotten fruit just brings flies and who wants flies?…

 

You don’t need to be blossoming and thriving right now. You can take your time. Do your pruning and take yourself to the true vine… The ultimate Gardener. God will prune you and develop you and bring the sweetest fruit out of you. Don’t put a deadline on yourself. Take the pressures away and R E S T in Him and trust him.

No it’s not easy. It hurts. Telling yourself that everything is a okay isn’t easy when you keep seeing the blossoms around you and you look at your feet and all you see is dead leaves… But the wilderness is a sign of the promise land coming. Be easy on yourself but be strict at the same time. You’re growing so allow yourself the time to grow but encourage growth and not setbacks. Trees don’t pick up dead leaves because they know there’s no life. They let it blow away in the wind… Let the hurts, distractions and worries blow away in the wind of resting in Him.

You don’t have to remind a flower when its time to bloom is near; it has been preparing for it all of its life.
(Matshona Dhliwayo)

Prepare yourself.

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2017, Uncategorized

I think my head might explode.

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“but there was nothing I could do to dim the supernovae exploding inside my brain, an endless chain of intra cranial firecrackers”
John Green

Hi my name is Katelyn and I am an overthinker.

Hi Katelyn”

 John Green described it best and maybe that is why I didn’t write for a while… because there is a supernovae exploding inside my brain. Overwhelmed, anxious, scared. I don’t know.

Have you ever been at a point where there is so much happening in your life that you actually cannot keep up so you just sit and absorb it all and feel permanently tired. I am understanding that feeling a bit more lately. Friends leave- I know that Life gets busy- I know that. Disappointments happen- I know that. So why am I allowing myself to be defeated by all that is happening instead of confronting it?

“I had some terrific experiences in the wilderness since I wrote you last – overpowering, overwhelming,” he gushed to his friend Cornel Tengel. “But since then I am always being overwhelmed. I require it to sustain life.

Everett Ruess”
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

The controlling bit of me cannot understand why I am allowing myself to spiral. Not spiral as in I am having a meltdown and shaving my head and doing things I would not normally do. Spiralling to the point where I feel I have no voice. If you know me personally you would be shocked because if there is anything I use a lot it is my voice and my opinions. I think that me being overwhelmed is a sign that I am not looking to the Author and Perfector of  my faith. We are told to cast all our anxieties unto Him and to speak to our soul but honestly do we even do that? Prayer starts to become a habit and reading our Bible gets brushed off. We become overwhelmed when we internalise the world and not His Word. I am guilty of being so busy that I am all about me. You did that to ME. You hurt ME. This is hurting ME. Blaming and finger pointing is just like unforgiveness. A bitter pill that we choke on.

“If you are too busy to pray, you are busier than God wants you to be.”
Wanda E. Brunstetter, Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Cookbook: Desserts

Before you shut down and stop reading my blog I want you to know that this is not a blog post to bring pity or for me to sit here and ask for loving and kind messages. This is a blog post about seeking The One who calms the storms and to speak to your innermost self. I have been obsessed with the song “It is well”- By Bethel Music for the longest time and I did not realise why it was so intune with my soul until I started writing this blog post again. We are not supposed to internalise the pain but to speak about it and understand it. Stress causes many health issues because we keep it inside and make dramatic grunts instead of figuring out a way to minimise our stress and prioritise what really matters.

“Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.”
Wanda E. Brunstetter, Love Finds a Home: 3 Historical Romances Make Falling in Love Simple and Sweet

You can either decide to let life happen to you and sit back and feel overwhelmed or you can let life come with all its might but you are ready for the fight that is about to come. Rest in knowing that God is still in control and that you have a lot more within you that you do not realise. Grow through what you go through. Writing this blogpost did not immediately stop me from overthinking and bring a sense of calmness to my soul. You need to realise that peace is something we have to work on daily. We need to stop the seeds of thought  before it  grows into a tree and has a lot of ripe fruits of negativity. It is a daily process. A work out regime and diet for your soul if you wish.

These thoughts and feelings of isolation came make us feel rejected but I found this amazing quote that brought some comfort to me.

“Rejection is an opportunity for your selection.”
Bernard Branson

“The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” –Billy Graham

“Endure. In enduring, grow strong.”

Chris Avellone

The walk is not easy but it is filled with rewards in forms our mind cannot comprehend. Trusting that things will get better and allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a daily walk.

Through it all, through it all. My eyes are on You.

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2016, Uncategorized

The drought of 2016

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

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I would like to think of myself as a fierce  woman and this could be true but I have one huge flaw- when the going gets tough I pack up my bags and seek a new adventure. I lack the endurance to go through with things. If I see that there is a chance that I could fail – I won’t bother with the thing for too long. I have avoided opportunities, friendships and many things simply because I feared disappointment – I do not fear hard work but I fear failure.

“We have been living through a time of sorrow. Our seed remains seed. Our nostrils are dusty.”
Warren Eyster, The Goblins of Eros

I am the kind of person who would not plant a seed if I did not know for sure that within a certain time frame that this seed would blossom into the most extravagant tree- actually I would not care whether it blossoms as long as there is some sign of life. 2016 has been a year I would describe as a drought. Whatever I planted simply would not grow. Perhaps I did not take into account that some things take a bit longer to grow or maybe that there is a lesson in the drought? I did not realise that there were different kinds of droughts:

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  1. Meteorological droughts: Basically when a land goes without rain for a certain period of time.

Now you are probably wondering what point am I trying to make? Well it is quite simple. You cannot expect to grow if you do not stand in the rain or find a way to get some sort of moisture. I discovered that during a drought a cactus reduces the amount of leaves it produces in order to remain alive and to fight through the drought and I think that sometimes we need to do that. We cannot keep stretching ourselves to reach a target or to force things when our spiritual and mental health has a chance of deteriorating. Some days I would get so busy that I would not have time to read my Bible or sit and listen to a word of encouragement and then wonder why am I remaining a seed? Well it is actually quite simple… When it rained with encouragement I took it for granted and complained that it is going to ruin my perfectly blow dried hair.  Now what? The drought came and there is not an influx of people pouring encouragement over every little thing you do?  The seed remained a seed because the encouragement given before fell into overgrazed soil. You cannot rely on others to keep giving you encouragement and to keep you keeping on. There will be a season where there is no rain coming but that does not mean the seed cannot grow.

2. Agricultural droughts.  This is when there is a lack of moisture in the soil where the crop grows.

We take for granted the encouragement we receive. I cannot remember who said this but the quote went something like this ” You need to prepare for the season in which you are not yet in” We do not think of storing up for when there is a season of lack until the season of lack comes.

“Only miss the sun when it starts to snow”- Passenger

That song by Passenger represents the point I am trying to make. We do not appreciate the  moment we are in, the people we have, the food we eating or even the show we are watching until it is gone. We need to accept the season we in and that the rain is not currently falling but that does not mean we are going to sit and cry and wonder when the rain will come and when will people encourage us again. There is a method to growing plants in the middle of a drought and it is called companion planting- this is basically when you plant plants together that can reap different benefits from each other. You see the point I am trying to make? You do not need to be alone in order to survive a drought… Alone might actually be the biggest hindrance to you. Surround yourself with people of different qualities and nutrients and help each other survive the drought.

       3. Hydrological drought. This happens when reservoirs and lakes dry up.

As the year is coming to an end you possibly feel like this is the drought you are in. There is no energy left, how are you even going to make it to next week? Your leave seems so far away but the rain will come again.

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Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Endurance and I do not go together. I would love to say that I am patient and that when the going gets tough that I do not get going but unfortunately that is not the case. I get frustrated and I get fed up but that is why I am glad the drought of 2016 came because I got to see how far I could go without having rainfall, how far I could go without having a growth that is open to the whole world. The seed still has small victories that the world does not know about. The seed is gaining strong roots and I hope you realise that you are too.

“At the end of the day it’s about how much you can bear, how much you can endure. Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves.”
Tabitha Suzuma, Forbidden

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.- Galatians 6:9

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2016, Uncategorized

You don’t know what you are missing

“But to cry in front of you, That’s the worst thing I could do.”-Rizzo,Grease.

“How dare you show any sort of emotional connection to anyone?! This is not what we spoke about. Keep it together.” These are the words I told myself whenever someone said something mean. I was not always like this. When I was much younger than I am now I was a victim of bullying. Social media was not a very popular thing when I was in primary school which I am so grateful for. I never saw flaws in myself (I am not saying that because I believed I was perfect and a gift sent from the Heavens). When I say I never saw flaws in myself I mean that I did not think being skinny was wrong, being short was unattractive, growing up with a single parent was wrong… I never thought that being a late bloomer was in any way wrong or not enough until one day…

I remember the day as if it was yesterday… I was leaning over to talk to a little child and someone walked past me and said no wonder you do not have a father, no wonder he left you… I would have left you too. I stood up and was so overwhelmed by emotions that I did not react, did not say a word… I just stood there and told myself you better not cry. Before this moment I was told that it was not attractive to have a thigh gap, or to be skinny or to be short or to be clever or to be an achiever (I am a bit of an over achiever and have no shame about it). What I am trying to get at is that I did not see fault or see lack until someone else pointed it out to me. I was fully satisfied with who I was and I adore my family and I would not have changed it for the world.

I need to set one thing clear:My dad did not leave, he was simply just not any way part of my life. I do not have any childhood memories of him and I have no sort of hatred or disgust towards him. Having a child is not an easy task especially if you want to give your child the best of everything. He was not ready or capable of that and my mom stepped up and raised me with such love and grace and I would not trade her for the world.

Anyway back to my story. I did not see an issue with emotions or expressing feelings or anything until people made me believe that it is weak. I felt a rage build up within me and anger became my natural reaction to everything. You called me ugly? Okay here is some anger and sarcasm. You back-stabbed me and spread rumours about me? Oh here is some anger with a touch of insult and bad words. Anger was comfortable for me because I believed it made me look strong and as if I have everything in control. I never told my family about the bullying and torment and because crying is weak I never shed a tear about these issues so how would the have known something was wrong?

My mom is my biggest role model and she is my biggest supporter. I failed to recognise her sacrifices and her love through the years because I was listening to what the little kids said…saying I need a dad and because I do not have one I am not enough. You see I did not see myself as a beautiful creation for so many years and I did not see myself as worth anyone’s time. I did not see myself as a blessing I believed I was a curse and that I needed to have curves and all those things that made a girl worth anyone’s time.

Here is something I should have told myself instead of do not cry: You are enough. You are allowed to feel any emotion you choose to feel. You deserve love. This is not your fault. Recognise what is in your life currently and stop focusing on what you are missing out on.This is not called settling it is recognising that this is who I am and this is what I plan to do to improve myself and not try to be someone else. The featured image is an image of my latest tattoo. The inspiration behind it is instead of being  a Barbie that was “Made in China” I am a child of God “Made in His Image”.

 

“A rose can never be a sunflower and a sunflower can never be a rose All flowers are beautiful in their own way, and that’s like women too.”-Miranda Kerr

 

 

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