You have my word

One word can change your life.

Tag: food

The places I have travelled, you

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You say: you are poetry.

I say: you have me undone in three words.

You say: I don’t know what to say.

I say: don’t say anything.

You say: I am in love with a writer.

I say: I am in love with the sunrise. I am awake.

Like a train frames the movement of a bride on her wedding day,

so the sun only sets to frame the trail you leave in the darkness for me to find my way.

Your eyes. Like fireflies. Vibrant. Alive. Bright.

On my bucket list there stands: see the Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis.

That was before there was an us.

I could look at you and feel like I’d seen the world – like I’d met everyone there was to meet, like I’d tasted India and walked Rome and surfed Fiji and climbed Everest and loved every land I let my feet shake hands with.

Your hands. Like oak tree branches. Strong. They know their place. Safe.

I’m that chocolate lad. Not sweet like you’d think; that was never me.

I am dark, through and through.

I am my darkest when I am with you.

Bitter to those who aren’t accustomed to the taste, but you have let me melt on your tongue,

you have let my tongue melt the creases of your waist, the small of your back…

relax into me. I will hold you safe.

I don’t have fancy words to make you stay.

I don’t have instructions for a bad day.

I don’t know any languages other than my eyes to ask you not to leave.

I’ve never even been overseas.

Right now in this instance, it feels like we’re oceans apart so maybe that counts for something?

So when people ask me where I’ve been and what I’ve seen?

I’ll simply tell them I’ve travelled your spine, and scaled your ribs and held handfuls of breast

that I’m sure even the monks would profess

the gods made just for me.

When coffee changes your opinion about love

I always used to think that love was a bit like black coffee: bitter. Until.

Lucky Bread Company

Lucky Bread Company is the Bread Gypsy + TriBeCa coffee company, and the fusion couldn’t be more appropriate.

I’ll admit that I don’t know all that much about coffee, but I hang around enough hipsters to be qualified as someone who at least knows a cup of instant from a decent pour over. That being said, I can’t even take too much credit for that. My uncle, however, is a vicious, uncompromising coffee critic (and a mighty fine barista while we’re at it) who gives ruthless scrutiny when ordering coffee from any establishment. Simply put: he pours McDonald’s coffee down the drain. So maybe the appreciation for a good pour or draw does run in my veins.

Needless to say that when I asked him if he knew of “any sneaky coffee shops that (a) are sneaky (b) have good coffee” in Pretoria, he suggested Lucky Bread Company. “Best coffee in Gauteng IMO at the moment.” Bold statement to make, I think. “Also, they have a variety of brew methods.” Coffee to me, at this point, is like a new appliance – you know it’s going to do amazing things but you’ve just got to program the damn thing first. So when he said there were a variety of brew methods I was more fascinated than anything else.

Their pour overs are sublime.” That’s like telling my amnesic great gran that she can fast-forward TV shows on a PVR. Wtf? He goes on: “Cappuccinos to boot. Best I’ve had in ages… Have the Ethiopian Yirga Cheffe pour over and try drink it black, no sugar. Subliiiiiiiiiime.”

Arm twisted. I traipse my way through a busy Friday-morning mall and plonk myself down at (what one of the waitresses described as) “a more interactive, friendly vibe” table. I take a moment to settle and then put in an order for the sublime. I’m a little sceptical because black isn’t normally my style, but I decided to write the day off (or on) as an adventure.

While I wait I revel in what my uncle puts as “sort of a pavement vibe in a mall so you can get lost but be part of the buzz.” I’m in my happy place. A short while later, served in a deep Smurf blue cup, Ethiopia – in all her coffee splendour – manifests on the surface in front of me. One minute to cool, one sip to decide.

And another sip, and another sip. Naturally, I was devastated when it finished all too quickly for my liking. Perfect; smooth; smoky; full-bodied; chocolaty; sublime. I’m not sure the human body was designed to handle so much goodness in one sitting so I stood up, spilled intentionally exaggerated compliments all over the barista, sat back down and near-demanded another one.

My uncle’s concluding words about Lucky Bread Company were this: “And now, I hope they live up to it…” Let me say this in conclusion: they didn’t just live up to it, they blew it right out of the water! Lucky Bread Company holds to the slogan: We are happy when you are feeling “lucky and satisfied”.

Dear Lucky Bread Company, you should be over the moon. Maybe love is a bit like black coffee after all… sublime.

12 things to think on while you’re alive | The Mayans fluffed it

Clearly the Mayans fluffed it because I’m still here writing this post and maybe I’m, what some would deem, taunting fate but to be perfectly clear I don’t believe in that either. So, here we are and while we’re alive and kicking (most of us, at least), here are 12 things to think on:

21km

  1. Sometimes loving someone is just showing up. Go watch that sports game, cheer from the sideline, attend that party even if you’re a fifth wheel, drop everything and take that call because it’ll be really important, grit your teeth through that movie you really hate. Just be there.
  2. Make time for people. They say you make time for the things that are important… well, people are important, ergo, make time for them.
  3. Be fully present. If you’re texting half way through a conversation, you’re not fully present. If you’re planning dinner in your mind at a parent-teacher meeting, you’re not fully present. If you’re sending emails during church, you’re not fully present. I’m guilty as charged. I get that some sermons aren’t enthralling, and that there are some meetings where you’d rather scratch out your ears than be present, and that inboxes fill up faster than a sinking ship but… there is value in the now.
  4. Laugh. Often. Loudly. Without reserve. Inappropriately. To yourself. Just laugh.
  5. Don’t write the year off till it’s over. In fact, don’t write anything off till it’s done. If you’ve set goals for yourself, there is still time. (Thanks to the Mayans fluffing it, you’ll actually get to the end of the year this time round.) Don’t write off friendships, or hobbies, or recovery programmes, or dreams.
  6. There are some foods that can be eaten at any time: ice-cream, cookies/crackers, cheese, yoghurt, nuts.
  7. Family is important. I’m not just talking about blood family, I’m talking about the people you do life with. Shane Koyczan says this: “In the unlikely event that you have no one, look again.”
  8. Be gracious to, and patient with, everyone you come across. You cannot know the struggles they have, you cannot know the influence your interaction will have.
  9. Realise that your life is not your own.We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” (Prov 16:9 NLT)
  10. Don’t settle for second-best. Life is too short to listen to bad music, too short to read average books and certainly too short to watch Twilight second-rate films. Find your jam, fill your mind with rich words and feast your eyes on well-crafted displays.
  11. Get involved where it matters. Find something worth pursuing and don’t stop. Person, cause, dream, healing, holiday – whatever it is, go for it.
  12. You are your own person. Take responsibility where it hurts. Enjoy the moments you’ve made. Keep your chin up and walk through when you’ve screwed things up – be humble enough to admit you have and work at righting the wrongs. Be bold. Don’t compromise. Know yourself. Have fun. Don’t be anyone else.

Grace: an undeserving, freely given gift from God | 500 Words on Grace

I don’t know if the grace been poured over my life can be summed up in 500 words. So lets just say that it has been an amazing (tough) journey that God has and still is taking me on. To look back and see where I have come from to where I am now, is all because of the grace of God. He has picked me up, and taken me out of those terrible situations and has shown his mercy and grace upon my husband and I.

Stephen and I are now in Georgia, Europe travelling and volunteering for a year. We’ve been here for four months now and as crazy and fun and breathtakingly beautiful this country is, it still has its challenges. We have been having some trouble at the place where we have been staying. When we talk to other volunteers about it, no one else is experiencing this or is having these difficulties and it always makes me wonder, “Why? Why me?” I used to joke with Shae, and say if I were to write a book it would be called “God’s First Pancake” because the first pancake you make always comes out a flop and it always seems to be me who has to have the difficult time out of everyone in the same situations. I was then reminded about Romans 5:1-11

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into his grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

This pretty much sums up grace for me. God puts things in our lives so that we can learn from them. He says we must rejoice in our sufferings because he has poured out his love into our hearts. He will deal with it. If we do our part, God can do his. Grace is an ever present remainder that my God is real, that he is alive and that he loves me so much that he was willing to give his one and only son, to die on the cross for me so that I will not perish but have eternal life.

He did this out of grace towards us. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God.” (Eph 2:8)

Grace: an undeserving, freely given gift from God.

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Carryn Hickman is a dear friend with a vigour for life to be rivalled with. I’ve found great joy in walking with her, and even worlds apart (in more ways than one) I know that our hearts are threaded. She carries wisdom beyond her years and lives courageously in trying times. Take a look at her and Stephen’s story here.

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