I've always quite liked the story of Hansel and Gretel and their unique way of making sure they didn't get lost in the forest by dropping crumbs along the path as they meandered around. Although their original intention was to follow the crumbs back home themselves, in fact those crumbs became the means by which Hansel and Gretel's rescuers could find where they were being held captive by the wicked witch.
Over the last few weeks, I have felt a little like Hansel and Gretel; not laying crumbs behind me, but rather following a trail that has already been laid. Each crumb leads a few steps further, until I find another crumb to lead me further still. At every step along the path, God's leading and planning has been evident.
So what, specifically, are some of the crumbs I've found?
After the ladies tea I spoke at in June, I was invited to a similar event being held at another church in Durban. It was a lovely afternoon, with about 80 ladies present. The church team had created stunning table decorations and gifts from old books and pages, and even had a craft planned for us. We had a delicious tea and then I spoke for about 20 minutes or so about how we can choose to listen to God's voice through the His creation around us. Click on the 'Shine' picture to read more or listen to the talk itself.
In July, I was given a 10-minute slot to speak at Caragh's school's Moms and Daughters fun evening, and an opportunity to present 'Outskirts' there. It was a real privilege, and responsibility, as the school isn't specifically Christian and there were moms and girls from a variety of backgrounds attending. I trust that the small seeds I'm able to sow would land on good soil and be watered by the Holy Spirit in upcoming weeks and months.
August being Women's Month, there are a couple of ladies' teas I'll be participating in, one with our old church in Tongaat and the other at the Anglican church we are involved with. Again, I'm trusting that God would use me to inspire others to learn to listen to His voice as He speaks through the wonders of creation.
Perhaps most surprising of all, to me at any rate, has been my continued involvement with local Christian radio station, Highway Radio. I now have a weekly slot where I go through to the studio and chat about various topics, often of my choosing, with the lunchtime presenter, Malungi. Its a really enjoyable half an hour.
I have become a little braver about sharing my writing with others after receiving positive feedback by people who are currently reading 'Outskirts'. This has led me to join a few on-line writing communities where I can submit poems and short articles. It's quite a challenge, and a discipline, to seek God for His words on a regular basis, and then apply my mind and fingers to getting those words onto the computer. I have to say, I'm loving it!
'Deeply Rooted & Redeemed' is a ministry started by a young mom from Alabama who has a passion for the Bible. A few writers contribute devotional or inspirational content on a regular basis on topics of our choosing / the Holy Spirit's leading.
'Christian Writers of Southern Africa' is exactly what it says it is - a group of Christian writers living in or inspired by Southern Africa. It's wonderful for me to find other writers here in South Africa that I can learn from and network with.
'12 Poems in 12 Months' is a poetry challenge with a different topic provided each month. I thoroughly enjoy both the discipline and the creative exercise this brings.
'20 Years and Ex-pat' is my own personal story of life lived away from the land of my birth. Although I don't get to add to this too often at the moment, I did squeeze in an update on the anniversary of my arrival in South Africa, now 22 years ago.
Jesus says He will give streams of living water that will well up in us to eternal life, refreshing both ourselves and those around us (John 4). The more I find myself being given the chance to either speak or write, the more I realise how much it is the living water from Jesus that we are all thirsty for; not my clever words or concepts.