Friday, September 30, 2011


Phew. Had a marathon rehearsal today. Four straight hours.

Luckily my voice held up quite well.

And... I forgot my words.

So annoying, because the one song that I'd think I'd be able to remember is the one I'm forgetting. Now I have to find a way to remember the damned song because if I can't do it for an empty room, how on earth will I do it in a hall full of people?

*Takes a VERY deep breath* But, I will not panic. I know that I know the song. I'm just going to have to repeat the lyrics until they become second nature.

Just not right now.

My voice needs to recover.

What I'm trying to say, though: Tomorrow, at 8P.M. Johannesburg time, START PRAYING. ;-)

Please and thank you!

Anything you need me to pray for?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This just blew me away...

With my recent post about a dose of perspective in mind, I thought I'd post this video of Emmanuel Kelly's first audition to X Factor in Australia.

My mom showed it to me this morning and it had me bawling my eyes out. So consider this fair warning. I hardly ever cry for something I see on TV, so don't watch this if you're without tissues or if you don't want to ruin your make-up...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wow. That was... easy.

Thankfully, things are quiet at this end. After yesterday, I find myself oddly peaceful. Nothing's going wrong today.

The only slight stressors today would be the recital on Saturday (Come back for that on Friday.) and an economics project due on 5 October. 

Started with the required Data manipulation today, planning to do the graphs tomorrow. Should be done by Thursday. That leaves me with ample time to finish the 1500 word essay. 

So yeah... as grateful as I am, I can't help feeling a little weird. I mean, where's the anxiety? Where are the doldrums? Surely they can't just vanish overnight? 

And yet... here I am. 

Have you ever had your life turn around so drastically overnight that you have this lingering sense of unease? 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When the enemy attacks...

Some days are just rough.

Truth be told, it's probably my own fault. All day long I've been feeling this urging to read the Bible and to just be quiet with God.

But in the end, my mind just wouldn't stay still and by lunch, I stopped trying. Went to church, was great.

The moment I left the building, it was as if there was a firing squad arranged in front of me, waiting for the command to shoot. By the time I was in my car, despair washed over me. Doubts rose to my neck.

By the time I was home, my outlook was bleak, which prompted me to say something stupid about an inane comment my mom made.

Which led to a fight, which led to me feeling any worse, because I've practically been told that I over-react all the time (uhm... no), that I go out to make people angry (really? is that my other hobby when I'm not drowning babies?) and worst of all, the more I deny it, and get angry, the more these apparent weaknesses are rubbed in my nose, because aren't I over-reacting to what she said?

Seconds later I'm stewing in my own juices, because what's the point of externalizing my feelings when it will add another weakness to my list? And the moment I stew, it becomes a problem, because the fact is that I start wondering.

About myself... Am I really that bad? If I don't deny it to myself immediately, it starts a slippery decline down an incline I'm still climbing. See I used to be very cynical, and made things out to be much worse than they were. I used to alienate people by being angry and making people angry. But those days are over. Washed away by God's love and the passage of five years. But if I open myself up...

Fortunately, God gave me a chance to sit back and think. And see. This isn't me and my mother. This is me and Him and the enemy fighting to tear me down. I suddenly see it all....

1) Germinate the seeds of doubt...
2) Divide and conquer.
3) Plant more seeds.
4) Hit the poor idiot who briefly dropped her defenses with everything you have.
5) And then some. Including ALL of the old weaknesses that the fool thought she dealt with.
6) Rinse and repeat.
7) Hope she won't catch on too quick.

So... here I am. Feeling a little stupid that I fell for it YET AGAIN and really wishing that I managed to grind my teeth and shut up before reacting.

Recognize any of the above in your life? Don't let it go on too long. Fight it. Pray about it. Forgive (As impossible as that feels). Love (As more impossible as that feels). Don't be scared to take the enemy on on the Authority that God gave you as His child. And keep doing whatever it is you're doing, because the enemy only tries to nail you when you're doing something good. It's why he does it.

God bless.

Excuse me while I go evil bashing. Good night!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A little dose of perspective...

Today I'm feeling a little down, so I'm writing this post to remind me more than anyone else. Posting it because I'm sure there's someone out there in the same boat as me.

Sometimes we have to do things we don't like. Sometimes it's time to stop, other times it's time to knuckle down and get through it.

Those unliked things make us strong by teaching us dedication and perseverance. Also, they help us to appreciate how fortunate we are when we do get to do things we are passionate about.

Because the fact is, while I sit here complaining about studying a boring subject, there are people working at well below the minimum wage just to TRY feeding those they are responsible for. I still get time to do fun things. They get eighteen hour work days if they're fortunate.

Sometimes, we're just not as rich as we wish we were. Perhaps that's to teach us that material things aren't all that's important in life and to teach us empathy to those who have much much less than us. I heard somewhere that if you have one meal a day and a home whether rented or bought, we fall very high on the global income distribution. How high? 50%? No. 60%? No. Not seventy or eighty percent either. NINETY-SEVEN PERCENT of the world's population is poorer than we are. We just don't see them.

There are children living on trash heaps. Children left to die because no one's there to feed them. There's a food crisis in Somalia. Some countries in the world has an HIV infection rate well above 60% of the population with NO ARVs, NO financial support and NO welfare.

I get to pray about my situation. There are people lost any hope that their prayers will even be heard. Let alone answered.

I'm so thankful that I only have my problems, because they're pretty tiny in comparison. I only hope that God will one day give me the ability to help people who are so much more worse off than I am.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My first performance is two weeks away...

And I'm nervous.

Yeah, sure I'm used to singing in front of people, but there is a massive difference between a choir and singing solo. For one thing, there's safety in numbers. For another, if I screw up while solo, there's no one to cover it up.

I'm up there alone. In front of people. Lots of them. The concert will be for a good cause, so we're hoping for at least 100 people. Eep!

Still, I'm looking forward to it too, because that will be my first step in the direction of my performing dream.

Now I only hope and pray that it goes well...

Anything coming closer that you're nervous about?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Your will be done. Not my will, but Your will, be done.

Easy words to pray. Easy words to say. But do?

No. I think that more than anything, this is something most of us Christians struggle with. Everything goes well, even the way we want it. Why fix something that isn't broken?

And then God says: "Kiddo... I need you somewhere else."

Suddenly the vehicle of your life veers. "Somewhere else? I'm happy where I am. This is where You put me."
"Yes... but I need to put you somewhere else."
And then I remember my dreams. Everything that I want to do. Going somewhere else might make things so difficult. Even impossible. I mean, the commitment required. The people I've connected with... "Lord, are You sure?"
I think if I could see Him, He'd tilt his head as if saying no duh. 
"But..." And I go on listing all my issues. Then as if they get babies, I think of more to add. "I'm inexperienced. I'm afraid. People ignore me, leave me unutilized." and on and on. God listens silently.
Once I'm done, God sighs. "It's OK if you don't do it. I still love you, no matter what."

And then He stops. He doesn't leave to sulk. He just settles in, perhaps reading. Or listening to someone else's thoughts.... Giving me time. I go to church and suddenly my old prayer comes to me. One that I've repeated so many times that I forget how serious it is. What it means.

"Your will, Lord. Not mine. My life is yours, do with it what You will."

Now it took me years just to say those words. I guess because I always sensed their finality. That's a promise. And not the kind you back out with once you make it. You're basically giving your life to God, sort of becoming the passenger while letting Him steer.

All and all, it isn't a bad thing, I mean, who better to trust your happiness than your Heavenly Father? On the other hand, it also means that God sometimes sends little and huge curves on our road. He does this for many reasons. For me a big reason is that I sometimes put my hands on the steering wheel. Another is that I fall asleep in the passenger seat and miss some significant points. Sometimes He just really needs me to do something for Him.

Either way, when He asks me to go out on a limb for Him, He isn't (usually unless it's the second situation) do it to rattle me. It's not my job to know why He's doing it. My job is that I shut up and do what He's asking, because after He sent His Son to die for me, it's the least I can do.

So... Tomorrow I will be applying for a job as the Youth Leader in a nearby church and trusting Him to lead me where I need to be. My dreams are important, but if they stop me from doing His will, I don't want them.

Besides, I know from experience, life as God forms it is a million times better than I can possibly conceive on my own...

Does this happen to you too? What do you do? Do you leap at the chance? Do you sometimes drag your feet? Do you back away entirely, thinking that God couldn't possibly be serious about what He's asking?

If you're in the last group, and really don't want to be, feel free to let me know, leave your e-mail address and we can talk about it.

Have a blessed week!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Sometimes, great opportunities come along. Very great ones. Excellent ones. As in $3200 a month ones...

Except for one thing: They'll be dragging you away from your dream. What do you do?

It's a difficult choice that I was almost faced with, but one shot prayer up and it got sorted out with a small factor that makes it impossible for me to take the opportunity. Still, now I wonder. What if the next one doesn't make the decision for me?

Because yes, I love my life and knowing that I follow my dreams, but sometimes I get tired of watching money run out faster than I can bring it in. And that's the sad thing. I'm not poor. My family has a very nice income. But money just goes into food and survival. Leisure is pretty much thrown out. So's saving, come to that. It would be nice to have extra money to put away.

But at expense of my dreams?

Am I selfish to be thinking like this?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fact is, I wasn't alone...

I realize now that I never did get to my Sunday post. I feel really bad about it, but with my Tuesday Economics test coming up, I just couldn't sit down and think of something to write.

I actually still don't have a clue, except to say that I am so blessed to have a Father that's always there for me.

Seriously, on Monday I was on the brink of falling apart about my Economics again. It was Him that held be together until I could settle down.

He reminded me that I was made of sterner stuff than what I gave myself credit for and that I have more than enough intelligence to remember what I learnt. When I was terrified, He promised me that everything would be fine as long as I trusted Him. And then when the time came, He guided me through the test. Even giving me an answer when I thought I'd never remember. Heck, I was calculating my highest score possible without that question when He said: "Just write."

I wrote the word "The" and all the rest of the words ran through my mind...

Awesome, isn't it?

God do anything wonderful in your life recently?

And maybe this Sunday I will be posting something to do with my Challenge. It just feels like it's something I need to do, even if I don't know why...

Be blessed!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My First Book: Josh Groban sings Chess...

My First Book: Josh Groban sings Chess...: Hi all! I'm a bit busy to write a full second post today, so I thought I'd direct you to today's My First Book post. See you on Wednesday! X

Friday, September 9, 2011

Economics and life: A definite trade-off

Hello all! 

Funny how the smallest thing can derail the best laid plans. I was supposed to be finished studying today. Except I'm not. Because yesterday a headache forced me to stop early and because a quick check of the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony led to me sitting in front of the screen for three hours (and pitying the poor Tongans who had to face the All Blacks first thing). 

More hours slipped by with me running a few errands. 

And now its four in the afternoon and I haven't touched my work. 

BUT! I have managed to finish Part 9 of my book this morning. And I'm planning to do some book revisions now. (I have learned a hard lesson about me not revising at least five times a week.) So then I can use tomorrow morning to catch up. I'd love to say I'll spend Saturday afternoon on it, but it's my Gran's birthday, so I'm not even going to think about studying then. 

Some might say I could study this afternoon, but with economics, I rather study when I know I'll do it properly than cram in a few hours when I will in all likelihood have to do it again. I am not yet in the danger zone with my economics. 

Or at least I'm pretty sure I'm not. I have six sections left of fiscal, two more essay questions of monetary policy and possibly economic policy, although that's lowest priority, because I prefer to know 75% of the work as well as possible to 100% of it in patches. Learnt that the hard way as well. 

Hopefully this will be good enough, because I really don't want to have to do the rewrite. 

How are you doing? Facing any challenges? How are you dealing with them? 

P.S. I might be back on Sunday night(ish) to post about what I've found this past week during the Challenge...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Could I Leave You? The Miller's Son? Wait... I'll write you a letter...

Hello all! No real news to report, but I thought that since I'll be going to solo classes today, I will share the newest additions to my repertoire.

I've gotten two Sondheim numbers, although, alas, it isn't anything from Sweeney Todd.

The first is The Miller's Son from A Little Night Music. In case you were wondering: The quick bits are called patter and yes, they are in fact a pain in the ass to sing.

The other on is Could I Leave You? from Follies. I'm a bit young for it, but I love the wording and the absolute sarcasm oozing through. I tend to sing it with a bit more suppressed violence, though, because there's this idea in the back of my mind that the lady's in fact deciding between poison and a knife. Not that I'd blame her either way around. Her husband did propose to someone else while still married to her...

It's lots of fun to sing more shady characters after weeks of singing Tuptim from The King and I.

Sadly, as much as I have tried over the years, I never quite managed the doe-eyed vulnerable I'm a princess act. And sadly, Tuptim as written my Msrs. Rogers and Hammerstein is as close to a Mary Sue as I've ever  been forced to become...

Luckily I get to sing the Countess in Sull'aria from The Marriage of Figaro. In it, the Countess and her maidservant plot to catch her husband being unfaithful. They do this by writing a letter together, saying that the servants want to meet him in a forrest when night falls. Of course, it will be the countess that shows up wearing a veil. (Susana the servant is writing the letter.)

So that's me for today. Anyone else share my love for darker characters?

Friday, September 2, 2011

New Challenge!

Hello all!

Not much news today. Just came back from hanging out with the church youth, which was a lot of fun. It's great to get to know everyone a bit better. :-)

The youth leader gave us a challenge today, but one I've been doing almost every day. He wants us to read the entire Book of John by the end of November. So 21 chapters in 30 days.

At this stage I'm reading a chapter out of Genesis and Mark every day, as I want to get through both testaments as soon as possible. However, his challenge brought something home to me that I think that God has been trying to tell me for months now.

See, I need to cover a lot of ground in the Bible, but in doing so, I'm focusing on speed. Basically, Tian (the youth leader) told us to keep a journal of what we read.

I've done this before, and it was very fulfilling, but for some reason I fell out of it again.

This was the reminder that I have to stop promising tomorrow tomorrow and start doing it.

To be honest, I am so grateful for this challenge, as it gives me exactly the incentive I need to focus on my alone time with God. This can only be a wonderful thing.

What about you? Do you believe in God? (I still love you if you don't.) If yes, do you write down what you've read, or anything that you've experienced as God's child?

Also, since I'll be making a point of writing about it, would anyone be interested in reading some of my week's journal?