Posted in Amber Haines, Emily Wierenga, Imperfect Prose, Spirituality, Suffering, The Love of God, Walking with God

Message in A Bottle


God’s Thoughts to Me

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. We love each other, because He loved us first (1 John 4:18-19, NLT ).

S … O … S

Yesterday I listened to an old song by Police, “Message in A Bottle” on the radio. For the first time I truly heard the words and could relate to the heartbreaking plea, “Sending out a S.O.S to the World”.


It painted a vivid picture of how lost and lonely the people of this world are, with hearts craving for unconditional love, with hearts screaming a silent S.O.S. For a long, long time I was also caught in the trap where love and acceptance were weighed on the same worldly scales of profit.

My soul was like a bottle floating on the murky seas of a world, lost in the chaos and darkness … an orphaned world … a world imprisoned by the fallen prince of darkness.

My heart silently screamed, pleading to be rescued from a world where love is dispensed only to the rich, the beautiful and successful, the go-getters and performers, the healthy and the wealthy, etc.


Like the rest of humanity who doesn’t know their Creator, I was co-dependent on this incredible sadness and frantic striving to be part of the “IN” crowd.

The Afrikaner culture which I got in with my mother’s milk, taught me from my earliest memories that children were seen and not heard.

You respect your parents, elders, grandparents, pastors, church leaders and leaders in general. Thinking for yourself and asking questions were a sure sign of rebellion.


But the human race at large has forgotten that these positions of authority just bind us in chains of fool’s gold. We are quite a power hungry sort of species.

Any position of authority in life without our Pappa God as the source of love, strength and wisdom, usually feeds that hungry power monster in our souls which will show its ugly head at some stage.

Even loving our children can be out of a selfish motive when we want them to fill that empty space in our hearts only our Pappa can fill or to achieve the dreams we could not. I don’t think any parent is truly innocent of this crime.


This mindset is a foolproof recipe for disaster for brewing a poisonous brew in the hearts of innocent young ones.

Psychology tells us that bottling-up our emotions of hurt, abuse, sadness, rejection and the like cause a fermentation process that, in turn, can cause a lot of disfunction later in life.

I can witness to this truth. For too long, I laboured under the lie that those in a position of authority over me, could use and abuse me to their heart’s delight. Love and acceptance were commodities to be earned.

It is a lie that has fermented into a truly deadly teaching; even in our organized churches. Oh, we know the silent laws and by-laws:


Wives, submit to your husband even if it kills you. By all means, stay under the spiritual covering of your religious leaders. But the umbrella of their seniority is but a feeble protection against the storms of life.

Respect and obey your church leaders over and above your parents. Follow their example, whether their conduct speak of a life dependent on our Lord Jesus or not.


A different opinion is immediately seen as back-chat and/or insubordination. Non-compliance is met with an ice cold shoulder.

Children honor your parents and grandparents at all cost. It does not matter if they abuse you or run you down.

Yet, what I found shining in its absence, was our Lord Jesus’ teaching that to be a leader in His economy, you have to kneel down in the dirt and wash the feet of those who are under your care, becoming a slave to all.


After a steady liquid diet of this fermented concoction, a concoction that had been brewing for many years from the bitter ingredients of abuse, rejection, shame, incompetence, hurt, sexual abuse, condemnation and fault finding, brought me to the brink of my sanity.

I was never taught assertiveness and how to always speak the truth in love. I needed to just shut my trap and allow the bottle of my soul to be filled to the brim with all the dirt and rubbish of pain and abuse. Until one day, the lid burst off completely.

Once at a family gathering  a few months after my dad passed away, the bottle of my heart could not accommodate any more abuse, mistreatment or sorrow and exploded with a nasty, noisy, heart-breaking BAM.


All the ugliness, bitterness, rejection and resentment boiled over … and over … and over, until there was nothing left.

The bottle of my heart was now empty. I was now able to dare to love myself and wrote a love letter to my Pappa God, sealing it tightly with my kisses, sending it out in another bottle, asking Him to save me from myself and the world we live in.

This bottle was floating on the seas of my prayers and was found almost as soon as I had sent it off. It was found by none other than our Lord Jesus Himself!

My Pappa read this message of His girl wanting to come home with tears of joy running down His face and was constantly looking down the road to see if He could see His daughter approaching.


While I was still far off, He recognized His child. He hitched up His robes and ran down the road to receive me home.

His love is so complete and unconditional and the two of us had to work hard to annihilate the ingrained dirt roads of lies that were imbedded in my mind. We still do.

He washed me as white as snow with the blood of the Lamb and dressed me in the royal purple robe of Jesus’ righteousness. He slaughtered the fattened calf to celebrate my homecoming.


There is no other place on this earth that I would now rather be than in my Pappa’s house where He tucks me in when I go to sleep at night … where His generous smile is my delight … where I can safely rest in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx


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Posted in Emily Wierenga, The Love of God

Heaven’s Launderer


God’s Thoughts to Me

Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there,”Take off his filthy clothes”. And turning to Jeshua he said,”See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” (Zecharaiah 3:3-4, NLT).

For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10, NIV).

A Royal Wedding Dress

I am the mother of two robust young men who have both spread their wings and flown off into the wild, wide world. Both are students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolotian University in Port Elizabeth.


My first-born, Simon, is doing his Masters Degree in Architecture, and my baby, Andreas, has just started mechanical engineering. They are their mother’s pride and joy.

Bringing them up, taught me the fine art of laundering and removing those strubborn stains that were part of just being normal mudplaying young boys.

If any stain survived my vigourous war against them, they were meant to be there, sort of adding an extra bit of chatacter and flavor.


I am a master of the bleach method, the blue laundry soap method, the liquid hairspray method, the insect repellent spray method, the elbow-grease method and so the list of my expertise goes on.

If clothes could talk, I am sure I would have received a lot of moaning, protest and back-chat from all the laundry that went through my holy laundry sanctification process.


We are so blessed to have a Pappa God who is the Master Launderer from eternity to eternity. His laundry detergent consists of nothing less than the blood of His Son, our beloved Lord Jesus.

We have an enemy who delights in pointing out all the stains and grime marring Pappa’s children, but our Heavenly King has no time for gossip and detests the slandering of His precious children.

Whenever Satan accuses us before our Pappa’s throne of grace, we have a High Priest in whom we stand who was accused as a criminal on our behalf.

Willingly, He has paid the price for our freedom and washes everyone who comes to Him from the guilt and condemnation of their sin and makes us part of His Royal Priesthood.


He takes away our filthy rags of sin, self-effort and independence and clothes us with His beautiful robe of forgiveness and mercy.

When we come to Him, exhausted of all our own useless spiritual laundry efforts, He clothes us with the squeaky clean garment of His salvation and dresses us in the most beautiful robe of His righteousness.

He prepares a royal wedding dress for the Bride of the Lamb, and clothes the Lady Ekklesia so tenderly with this breathtaking garment of love as He prepares her for the wedding feast of the Lamb.


He adorns us with the precious, costly jewels of our Lord Jesus; the pearl necklace of His suffering and the ruby ring of His spilled blood.

After He has adpoted us as children into His Kingdom of Light and Love, like any good parent, He starts cleaning our inmost hearts of all the ingrained filth, the stubborn spots and meticiously mends our broken hearts that have been ripped and torn apart through suffering, rejection and abuse, using a needle of tender love and the finest silk as cotton.


The world has left some stubborn stains on the garments of life. There are stains of shame, condemnation, guilt, all-over corruption, self-effort, religion, etc, etc, etc! But it poses no laundry blues to our Pappa! He is an expert in stain removal.

He uses trials, suffering and tribulations as He washes us clean from all the dirt and grime we have aquired from playing in the mud of the world.

The washboard He uses for His laundering at first seems to be very relentless, but we soon begin to realise how merciful He is by making sure that not a spot remains to mar the beauty of His Son’s bride.

We often wonder why He uses such a rough corrugated surface, instead of something more smooth and suitable to our delicate, feeble hearts!


Our moaning, groaning and protesting leave no doubt to our unwillingness to suffer the cleaning process and He seems so hard of hearing when it comes to paying attention to our feeble, cowardly cries.

We squirm and squeal, and like any normal child, try everything to get our Pappa to stop washing behind the ears and between the toes. But we soon find out that He loves us too much to leave us the way He has found us.

Mercifully, we aquire wisdom along the way that makes us realize that surrendering to our Launderer from Heaven, is the best way we can show love and respect towards ourselves.

The honesty and courage to dare to be seen in my brokenness and need, brings tremendous freedom to allow Pappa to paint a masterful piece of artwork on the dirty canvass of my heart.


Where the heavenly Photographer captures and reveals the hidden beauty only His master eyes can see, to create a picture of His mercy and grace, framed in the golden frame of His love.

When He is satisfied, He hangs us on a laundry line to dry in the sunshine of His smile which adds a delicious, sweet-smelling fragrance to the ordeal.

As we bask and soak up all the warmth and love of His Son, we realize why we had to be laundered so vigorously and why we need to be cleaned-up again and again.


In the cool of the evening after laundry day, we can go to our Pappa, spick-and-span, all dressed up in clean garments and crawl onto His lap, assured of His love, resting in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx


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Posted in Amber Haines, Suffering, The Love of God

God’s Instrument of Suffering


God’s Thoughts to Me

Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18, NLT).

It is being tested as fire tests gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold (1 Peter 1:7, NLT).

I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather I have refined you in the furnace of suffering (Isaiah 48:10, NLT).

Growing in Grace : The Refiner’s Fire


My black South African countrymen are all born musicians. Music and rhythm are an integral part of their DNA- structure.

When they sing together, their voices become an orchestra, playing the most melodious music. Adding any other musical instrument will just scar a perfect symphony, for their voices are all the instruments they need.

It reminds me so much of the slaves of the 18th century in America, singing together while working on the fields of the rich landowners before slavery was abolished.


Daniel Day Lewis has just won the Oscar for the best actor in the movie, Lincoln. It tells the story of his untiring, relentless efforts to abolish such a detestable practice.

I am reminded of their labouring together under a sweltering sun, singing to their Pappa their songs of lament, yet trusting in His goodness, love and provision.

Who can forget that symphony of their voices as they sang the beautiful song of the once slave-trader-turned-saint, John Newton’s, Amazing Grace.


Yet, those poor people knew suffering, but also that their Pappa was in their midst like He promised,” For He has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned His back on them, but has listened to their cries for help (Psalm 22:24)”.

I am again reminded how our Pappa uses suffering and adversity as the instruments to discipline His beloved children and will use even the worst suffering the enemy inflicts upon us to our advantage and good when we come to Him.


Nature often tells us the story of how grass and vegetation are the most luscious in the heart of the valleys.

In the same manner, our faith and trust flourishes in the Valley of Weeping. Our weeping becomes the instrument our Pappa uses to lead us to a place of refreshing springs where the autumn rains will clothe us with His blessings (Psalm 84:6).

We see how gold and silver are refined in a furnace, how abrasion polishes metal, how a pearl is formed in the seclusion of an oyster from a single grain of sand.


We see how heat strengthens and tempers steel and even how boiling water brings out the flavor of tea (Dr Rick Ferguson, The Sermon Index).

But we also see how the once barren trees are clothed in the most beautiful royal robes of splendor once the winter has passed.

And once we have gone through the refiner’s fire of suffering, we emerge like a butterfly arrayed in the colors of His love … His life … His glory. We are stripped of our old nature to be clothed in the splendor of His righteousness.


Then, and only then, are we released from the slavery of this world of darkness to live in the beauty and liberty of His eternal Kingdom of Light … to live in His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx


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Posted in Amber Haines, God's Father Heart, Jesus Christ, Our Saviour God, Relationship vs Religion, Spirituality, The Love of God, The Truth, The Way

The Narrow Path to Life


God’s Thoughts to Me

There is a way which seems right to man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12, NIV).

For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18, NLT).

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and the gate is wide for the many who chose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:13-14, NLT).

Enemies of The Cross


A few years ago I was struck by this verse in Philippians like a fist between the eyes. I was filled with fear and dread, but didn’t realize this time it was the good kind … the kind of fear that is the beginning of wisdom (Proberbs 9:10), a gift of grace!

I knew I seriously had to make it my serious business to find out what Paul meant by being an enemy of the cross. I remember pleading with my husband, just like Paul did, for I realized we were not on the narrow path that leads to life.


That fear brought me to another Man; the Man who is God. Yes, this Man is our Lord Jesus … the one who repeatedly told us that He is telling us the truth. Actually, this incredible God-man is Truth Himself.

He was teaching us about two gates and two roads: the narrow gate vs the wide gate and, the narrow road vs the highway to hell! And I knew the Truth was telling me truth I couldn’t ignore.


Today I admire our Pappa’s sense of humor for allowing this illness in my life to physically bring me to that place where I was so weak and totally unable to do what I was so very skilled at: trying to earn everybody’s love … including Pappa’s.

For I was the personification of a religious busy bee, serving in as many ministries as I was able to. I craved love and would do anything to be accepted by God’s people!

Until the day arrived when I realized that there was only one man who ever was and ever will be able to live the righteous life our Pappa required, our magnificent Lord Jesus.

Just before He gave His spirit into His Pappa’s safekeeping, He uttered His famous words, “It is finished (John 19:30)”. Everything is done and dusted and there is nothing we can add to His sacrifice, the one He has made once, for everyone through all the ages of time.


We can only come to Him and abide in Him, moment by moment, with receptive hearts, which, by the way, is also a gift from His generous hand.

This is not an easy concept for a performance driven society. Oh, and what sounds more noble than working and serving, all for the cause of His Kingdom.

He did everything that was necessary to reconcile our Pappa to His creation and was inviting all with ears to listen and to hear to enter into His resurrected life, fully pardoned and reconciled to Him.


This illness brought me to a place where I was finally able to make a drastic u-turn on that dreaded highway to destruction, the beautifully paved path of religion and return to my Pappa’s house.

I was truly crying by the Rivers of Babylon where I was sitting down at the time. I was unable to sing the Lord’s song in that strange land, lost in the streets of the great harlot, Mystery Babylon. (Psalm 137:1).


But I could hear my Pappa’s still, small voice calling me,”Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins (Revelation 18:4)”.

Our Lord was telling us through the illustration of the two paths, the complete dichotomy between the narrow path of grace vs the broad way of religion.. He explicitly told us that He and He ALONE is the only Way … the only Truth … the only Life!

Actually, truth be told, Christianity is Christ! “Christ IN me, my hope of glory” (Colssians 1:27).


And it filled me with wonder to know that our Lord who was crucified and raised to life again, was now living in me! What an amazing, incredible privilege!

I have come to realize that the most inviting of these two gates is definitely the gate of religion. It appeals to the sensuous pride of man. Oh, we are so fond of trying to earn everything in life! We need the humbleness of our Lord to overcome that great monster called Pride.

It makes us feel so important and in control. But this is just a false security, a shaky foundation on which to build. It takes only one storm to demolish the house of religion. And then you have to start building all over again … and again … and again!


I knew I had to make a choice! I had to choose between the narrow gate and the wide gate … the narrow road and the wide path, God or Satan, Christianity or religion.

Only as I live in my Lord Jesus and He in me, will I ever be able to partake of His blood that was spilled for us and His body that was broken on the cross.

Trying to earn this wine and bread was the different way Paul spoke of when he warned the Galatians. I have come to realize this different way, the one that is socially much more acceptable, is a deception straight from the evil one.


This is the way that makes us enemies of the cross, for everytime we try to earn His favor, everytime we succumb to the temptation to place ourselves under any law again, we are cut off from Jesus … cut off from grace.

We are then isolated from the Fountain of Life, still trapped in the lie that we are able to determine independently what good and evil are!

We are unknowingly and unintentionally nullifying the power of the cross. We are fooled by those who twist the truth of Christ. We are listening to a different gospel that is not the Gospel at all!

It is a lie that robs us of the joy of living daily nestled in His Loving Embrace!

Much love xx


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Posted in Amber Haines

The Scales of Life


God’s Thoughts to Me

The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but He delights in accurate weights (Proverbs 11:1, NLT).

Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and He regained His sight (Acts 9:18, NLT).

Dishonest Scales

imageMy husband is a master mimicker and has brought us endless entertainment and many tears of belly-aching laughter through the years, mimicking the guides at the snake park in Port Elizabeth. My precious, black fellow countrymen speak English and Afrikaans VERY dramatically! Priceless!

Everytime he is compelled by someone’s nagging to do his snake-park-guide act once more, I enjoy myself all over again as if it is the first time that I am part of his audience. This time I am expectantly waiting for all my favorite cliches and funny twists!

A closer look at this magnificent species, gave me a new appreciation of how they tell us much more about the human race than what we would care to believe.

After all, this is the creature that baptized the whole human race into destruction and death! Or was it now Eve’s or Adam’s fault? Oh, well, we all have this tendency to blame everyone and everything around us for our faults and flaws, even if it just lies dormant!


We all enter this world with the propensity towards sin and shame like the scales of a baby snake, which are all already in place, yet undeveloped.

Our undeveloped, innocent frame of reference is soon raised and fed on the lie telling us that richer, bigger, better, stronger, more talented or intelligent, prettier, slimmer, etc, etc, etc, are the ingredients for a life of success, acceptance, love and respect.


We soon realize that the scales the world uses to measure a person’s worth requires a lot of self-effort and weight from our side to balance the scale. And the majority of our poor souls just do not have what it takes. Add to this mixture a chronic debilitating disease like Fm/ME , and you are heading towards becoming a monstrous, disastrous  failure!

So, we protect our hearts with layer after layer of scales … scales hiding us from the intensity of the fire of shame … scales to hide the incredible pain of rejection … scales to replace our unworthiness with pretense.

A snake’s scales protect its body … aid in locomotion … allow moisture to be retained … and acts as camouflage against the predators of this world.


In the same manner, we soon learn how to hide behind the beauty of scales which we present to the world as the truth to protect ourselves, to help us along on this Road called Life, to retain just the measure of sanity that we think we still possess. But all to no avail. Life catches up with us all.

Sooner or later we all meet the end of ourselves when we take a serious, thorough inventory of our hearts. Usually, what we find is not pleasing to us or our Pappa God.


The song of our life is sung on the scales of falsehood and despondency. When we reach this crossroad of life and cry out to our Heavenly Father, He is finally able, like Saul, to remove the scales from our eyes.

Oh, and then … yes, then, there is the One who waits for us at the end of our Road called Life … the One who does not condemn … the One who forgives … transforms … heals … loves unconditionally … measures with balanced scales and accepts us with wide open arms into His Loving Embrace.

Much love xx


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Posted in Amber Haines, Garden of Eden, Garden of my Heart, Girl Meets Paper, Jesus Christ, Marriage, Monday Morning Meditations, Our Heavenly Bridegroom, Prince of Peace, Relationship vs Religion, Shulamite, Spirituality, Suffering, The Bride of Christ, The Love of God, The Peace of God, Women from the Bible

Cinnamon, The Fragrance of Love and Peace


God’s Thoughts to Me

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18, NLT)

You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon. (Song of Songs 4:12-14, NIV)

The merchants of the world will weep and mourn for her, for there is no one left to buy their goods. (Revelation 18:11 , NLT)

Cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men. (Revelation 18:13, NIV)

My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses. (Proverbs 7:15-18, NLT)

The Scent of a Woman

A while ago a South African artist released a song about the scent of women. The love of his life is captured in the fragrance of a naartjie …. his grandmother hides in the memories of cinnamon ….. the aroma of aniseed searches for lost dreams …. In every fragrance, a woman waits to be discovered.

And I recall the most beautiful Ode to Love ever written, the Song of Songs, with the Composer, none other that the Lover of our hearts, our Heavenly Bridegroom. The words He whispers to His Beloved is beautiful to behold and cherish.

Yes, our Heavenly Bridegroom sings a song of love to His Bride …. His Shulamite …. His Lady Ekklesia. He compares her heart to their private garden filled with the most exquisite and delicate aromas of love, the aroma of costly spices: henna, nard, saffron, sweet smelling calamus and cinnamon. All the odours associated with an intimate love relationship …. their intimate spiritual love relationship …. a mingling of hearts in quiet love and peace. Cinnamon is the symbol of His Beloved’s sheer delightfulness. (Song of Songs 4:12-14)

But there is another love affair, another woman, a seductress …. the great harlot. She is called Babylon The Great. She was introduced to the apostle John as being drunk with the blood of God’s holy people …. the Shulamites, all those being witnesses for and who stayed true to our Lord Jesus. (Revelation 17:5-6).

She bought and traded in the worldly commodities of religion and its counterfeit love. We see that the inventory of her purchases included the most costly spices, including cinnamon. Even more frightening is the fact that she traded in the souls of men. Through her counterfeit love, false acceptance and false security, she deceived many dear souls into her commodity of religion!!! (Revelation 18:11)

This woman was beautifully dressed in all the finest purple and scarlet linen of this world. She seemed immortal and eternal for she already started her deception in the Garden of Eden.

We find her in the streets of Proverbs where she seductively seduces those without common sense and discernment into her house. She uses the counterfeit fragrance of love, sprinkling her bedding of Egyptian linen with costly spices and cinnamon. She uses all her wiles to make her proposal appealing to the senses of seeing and feeling, provoking lust, drawing them into her deadly religious embrace. (Proverbs 7:16-17).

This woman is proud, blaspheming against the Most High God. She forms alliances with kings of the world … the political, economical and religious kings. Those who commited adultery with her, grew rich because of her extravagant, luxurious lifestyle!

But we hear His still, small voice calling us, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins.” (Revelation 18:4, NIV).

This woman is not immortal …. she will be destroyed. The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over the destruction of religion, because no one will then be able to profit any longer from her profanities. (Revelation 18:11)

Coming out of her is a spiritual exodus, an exodus from our slavery to the spiritual Egypt. This is a spiritual journey to Canaan, a journey into the life of our Lord Jesus … a journey into the bedchamber of our King … a journey into His Loving Embrace.

Much love to you XX


I am honored to link up again at the Run- a -Muck where I join Amber and the other ladies from the December Abstractions Community. We write about truth using the abstract. This is a challenge I enjoy so much. We would be glad for you to join us at . Thank you, Amber!


I am glad to be linking up with Jane at Girl Meets Paper and the all the ladies at Monday Morning Meditations. Thanks Jane. Join us at
Monday Morning Meditation

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Posted in Amber Haines, Childlikeness, Our Saviour God, Spirituality, Suffering, The Love of God

An Ornament from Russia, with Love

pop 2

God’s Thoughts to Me

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has annointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. ( Isaiah 61:1-2, NIV)

A Broken Matryoshka Heart

Before my beloved pappa was promoted to heaven about 8 years ago to meet His Saviour face-to-face, my wanderlust parents explored the beauty of Mother Russia.
They blessed me with a beautiful Russian lady-doll dressed in the traditional shapeless peasant jumper dress, a Matryoshka, or better known by her common name; a Babushka.

These ornaments date back to 1890 when they were the artistic brain child of a Russian folk crafts painter, Sergev Malyutin, and crafted by Vasily Zvyozdochkin.


As I was contemplating the theme for this week, “the ornament”, this silent lady uttered a silent cry of despair.. Peeking through her big, blue lifeless eyes, the windows of her soul, I discovered an enigma…a metaphor within a metaphor. Her pearly pink rosebud mouth uttered a silent cry, a sigh of abuse…pain….neglect….rejection….and, tremendous suffering.

Her untold life story begged to be released as the hidden metaphor of her confinement within herself longed for freedom. Freedom for all the silent ones hiding within her…each telling their own stories, the age-old story of the craving for love. The craving to become a subject of affection and grace; to be released from the stigma of dead, nameless objectivity.


A craving to become the recipient of words softly and tenderly spoken in love, instead of a heart being bruised and battered by harsh ruthless shouting. The craving of a body longing to be fondeled and held in a caressing embrace instead of the absence of loving arms. A craving to be wanted, desired instead of feeling endured with cruel indeference. A craving to be reminded of happiness and joy, instead of crying tears without words….silent tears of pain and abandonment.

Until the Master Craftsman opened her up, whispering sweet love filled caresses to the hearts of all the girls hiding inside. With determination He released all the broken ones within her soul from the prison of lies that have chained them in the dark prison cells of unworthiness, unlovable-ness, self-loathing, despondency and utter loneliness.

freeThey were cowering in the darkest corners of her heart when His Light ushered them out into a Kingdom not of this world…a Kindom of Light and Love and tenderly nursed them all back to life, eternal life….a life lived in Him….a life lived daily in His Loving Embrace.

That doll is me.

Much love to you


I am linking up today at The Run-a-Muck. Thank you Amber for allowing us to unchain our hearts. Come and join us at

FCB Member

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Posted in Amber Haines, Childlikeness, Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Faith of a Child, Fibromyalgia, Frost, God's Father Heart, Grace, Holy Spirit, Insomnia, Jesus Christ, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Snowflakes, Spirituality, Suffering, Sunflowers, The Love of God, Walking with God

Frost and Sunflowers

God’s Thoughts to Me

He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down His hail like pebbles. Who can withstand His icy blast? He sends His word and melts them; He stirs up His breezes, and the waters flow. (Psalm 147:16-18, NIV)

Thawing in His Love

Oh, the beauty and joy of frolicking in the snow with complete abandon, creating snow angels and building big, chubby, potbellied snowmen with carrot noses, is truly a delightful gift from the storehouse of heaven.

Yet, another good heavenly gift I reluctantly accept and endure, is the beautiful flowers of feathery frost. Somehow I seem unable to see and appreciate their other-worldly, ethereal beauty!

While snow and frost are both formed from atmospheric vapor, snow crystals form on suspended dust particles high in the air, and frost, near the ground on just any flat surface like windowpanes and blades of grass. Their microscopic anatomy brings glory to our Heavenly Father’s attention to individuality and detail, for every single crystal, snow and frost, has a different shape and form; sort of their fingerprints from a Pappa of diversity.

Just like our Pappa truly has no favorites (James 2:1) and honors our individuality by giving each one of His children their own set of fingerprints, He also honors His creation. It’s diversity and beauty speak of a God who never overlooks a leper, a prostitute, a drunkard or glutton, or even a naked man possesed by a legion of demons, His children enveloped by the coldest winter frost of life.

Frost can be a killer by destroying whole crops during a severe winter season. I always contributed this to the extreme cold. Not so! The edges of frost crystals are needle-sharp. It destroys and damages any surface it settles on by cutting, slicing and stabbing like a knife. Truly, any surface, including my heart!

Ice crystals following the veining of a dead leaf

Before I walked with our Pappa God, I used to deal with the frosty winters of life in a very wordly, fleshly kind of way. Whenever the frost crystals of dissappointment, heart ache and sorrow, the pain of unfulfilled dreams and the whole enchilada settled on the surface of my fleshly, ground-dwelling soul, I would groan and moan, sulk and mope, indignantly blaming everything and everybody for my uncomfortable indisposition. So completely human! Truth be told, I even had the audacity to blame our Pappa at times!!

I am ashamed to admit that I even praised Him profusely, thanking Him for my discomfort and suffering. Yet, my heart, full of hypocrisy, seethed inside, frostbitten by anger and resentment, bemoaning the unfairness of life. Secretly, I kept both my eyes on heaven, fully expecting our Pappa to reward my valiant efforts of praising Him amidst my hard circumstances by making all the bad stuff dissapear. Of course, that never happened! Our Pappa in His wisdom, blessed me with even harder trials and tribulations, for He cannot be manipulated! So, the blame-game kept marching on, keeping me imprisoned and chained to that monstrous jailer, self-pity.

I am grateful to our Pappa for bringing me to the end of myself by allowing Fm/ME to stop me right in my tracks.

I vividly recall one morning in the early morning hours. I was suffering from insomnia (a Fm/ME symptomn) and this was the fifth day without sleeping a wink! Totally exhausted and with a body wracked with pain, I was at the end of my tether and endurace. I raised my voice one more time and, with an honest, sincere heart, I praised my Pappa, telling Him that I trust Him, regardless; no strings attached.

Our heavenly Father immediately reached down and gathered me into His Loving Embrace. For a few hours my heart was soaring high in the sky where the snowflakes dwell. The Spirit of our Lord Jesus was the wind beneath my wings.

Our Pappa taught me a valuable lesson. When my heart is imprisoned by the feathery fingers of frost, I must look at sunflowers and learn. A sunflower’s eyes always follow the sun. It basks in its warmth and care, praising our Pappa with it’s incredible beauty.

I have learned to never take the eyes of my heart off Jesus, the Son of all comfort, warmth and love. I have learned to look full in His wonderous face, assured that the warmth of His love will melt all those frozen tears in my heart and transform them into a bubbling stream of joy and delight, to the glory and praise of our Pappa.

Dear Ones, I am fully aware that at times it seems as if the frost-filled winters of life never seem to end. They seem to transform our weary hearts into flowers of cold, feathery frost. But at times like these we need to keep our spiritual eyes fixed on the Son, basking in the warmth of His never-ending love. This also has come to pass, not to stay!

Much love, blessings and peace to you!


I’m linking up with Amber Haines again with gratitude and joy. Other “abstractions-on-the-frost” can be found at

Posted in Amber Haines, Chronic Ilness, Constant Fatigue Syndrome, Faith of a Child, Fibromyalgia, Garden of Eden, God's Father Heart, God's Favor, Grace, Holy Spirit, Invisible Illness, Jesus Christ, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Puzzles, Spirituality, Suffering, Walking with God

A Sweating, Striving Sweater

God’s Thoughts to Me

But as I looked at everything I had worked to accomplish, it was all so meaningless – like chasing the wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:11, NLT)

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless! What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3, NLT)

The Futility of Striving

Solomon was a great man of divine wisdom. His words in Ecclesiastes show the depth of his wisdom when he acknowleded that all his striving and sweating caused him a severe case of burnout. A burnout caused by his relentless efforts in building his search for fulfillment, meaning and happiness on the wrong foundations: the shaky foundations of the world’s riches, values and ways.

Another foundation, much more subtle and dangerous, I have found myself building on, trying to find meaning in life, was religion. The etymology of the word “religion” shows that it is derived from the Latin word “religare”, a word aligned to the root word “religio”, meaning “to tie back” or “to bind up”.

During Paul’s visit to Athens, he noticed their numerous idols. Not to offend any god, they even had an idol to “an unknown god”. He told them,”Men of Athens, I notice that you are very RELIGIOUS in every way…” (Acts 17:22) The Greek word he used was “deisidaimon”, “deisi” meaning “to fear or respect” and “daimon”, demon!! Paul was actually likening religion to the worshipping of and paying respect to demons! To be totally honest, that frightened me to such a degree that I knew I was standing at the crossroads of my life and I knew I had to choose.

I realized I was swallowing all the lies the father of religion was feeding me, like Eve did in the Garden of Eden. Our Pappa gently showed me that my mind was veiled, darkened and wandering far from the abundant life our Lord Jesus longed to give me, free of charge! Before my Pappa gave sight to my blind spiritual eyes, I was striving and sweating, trying to cover my spiritual cold and nakedness with the fig leaves of religion.

I was knitting a sweater with a wide variety of religious knitting yarn: church attendance, giving to the poor, serving, Bible reading, praying and some more. My sweater closely resembled Joseph’s colorful coat. Instead of providing spiritual warmth and life, this sweater only birthed another sweater, me!! I was perspiring profusely trying to earn everything in life, especially love, worth and acceptance.

My late father once remarked that I always seemed to be chasing after love and he was spot-on with his words. I was completely baffled and left in the dark, for I had no idea why I acted this way. Was it because my earthly father’s love was the only love I had ever experienced without any strings attached or because my biological mother passed away when I was only 3 years old?

I suppose I will never know the answer, but I do know that from a young age the sweet Holy Spirit has been drawing me into the source of all love, compassion, grace, kindness and mercy, the abundant Life of our Lord Jesus.

What joy the day when our Lord Jesus started to free me from all the chains that were keeping me captive. He also revealed to me the true meaning of His words,”I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), because to me it meant something along these lines, “For I came that you might have religion and have it more abundantly, to practise it more faithfully and committedly, defending it with all your might and behaving more morally!”.

What joy when our Lord took me by the hand and showed me a better way, a long walk to freedom, freedom from all this striving, sweating; freedom from the dark, futile road of self-effort and fear. Our Pappa promises us that there is no fear in love for His perfect love casts out all fear. ( 1 John 4:18).

I want to pay tribute to all those dear saints from the past who in the face of extreme opposition and persecution  refused to accept another gospel which was not a gospel at all (Galatians 1:6-7). Saints like Paul and many others who preferred to be beaten with rods, to be shipwrecked, fed to lions, to go hungry, cold and without sleep, rather than to bow the knee before the idol of religion.

Thank you, Amber, and all you dear Ones for allowing me to share the freedom, love, joy and abundant life of our Lord Jesus with you for a short while along my journey of life.

Hugs and blessings


I’m linking up with Amber Haines again with gratitude and joy. Other  “abstracts on the sweater” can be found here