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Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Fragrance of Love

The sense of smell is such a formidable phenomenon. It conjures up memories, both good and bad, it reminds us of certain people or places and can even evoke certain emotions.
I have a finely tuned olfactory system that delights in the smell of most things. I associate the smell of suntan lotion and the sea with Summer; aromatic curry and the burning wood of an indoor fire burning with Winter. Although wonderful, the smell of blossoms and flowers in Spring play havoc with my sinuses and put me into allergy alert! No matter where I may find myself in the world one day, the smell of cakes and biscuits being baked will always remind me of home. And as for the smell of roasted coffee beans – oh boy, lets not even go there! Have you ever driven along Russell Road whilst James Masterton is roasting exotic coffee beans from faraway places? It virtually transports me to another realm! Talking about faraway places, my nose thoroughly approves of the fragrance of fine French perfumes. Okay, so I have expensive taste! (you may wish to pass this info along to Santa as a teeny bottle of a Chanel, a Guerlain or a Givenchy would fit rather snugly into my Christmas stocking haha just saying). The smell in a Dentist’s room is enough to make me break out into a sweat long before the drill and needles even appear. Do you remember the smell of textbooks, wooden school desks and plastic lunchboxes to which the smell of sandwiches linger long after they have been devoured?
When something gives off a fragrance, it sets a tone in the air. If a flower is blossoming it will let off a sweet nectar smell that attracts bees and butterflies. If something is past its sell by date it will give off a rotten penicillin type odour and repel. Have you ever wondered what sort of fragrance your life gives off? (not speaking literally here, of course)
With things in full swing regarding the upcoming court case, I met with the advocate earlier this week to prepare for what lies ahead. Knowing that this is a very tough time, my friends arranged a surprise tea party the night before the meeting. Yes, you may have noticed that my friends have all been an incredible support. Having said that, they have been somewhat sneaky at orchestrating functions without my knowledge! I have always thought I put Nancy Drew to shame with my ability to find stuff out but somehow they have managed to pull off surprise parties without me suspecting a thing! Incredible! So, on Thursday, I yet again walked unsuspectingly into the apartment of a close friend and was met by a room of friendly and familiar faces all there to surprise me and remind me that I am loved and not alone. The friend who hosted the party is a newly qualified Textile Designer (well almost, as she finishes her studies this week). She designed and screen-printed Matryoshka dolls on fabric from which she made beautiful bunting with which to decorate the room. I was given a Matryoshka doll by a special cousin (she beat Santa to it). See a previous post on Matryoshka Dolls to know how very much this meant to me.
These precious people blessed me with their presence, presents, prayers and hugs. What a sweet and beautiful aroma that gave off…now thats what I call the fragrance of love!
The next day after all the tough and gritty legal prepping was completed, I arrived home to a beautiful bouquet of flowers in my favourite colours of yellow and purple. A generous gesture from special family friends to surround my life with beauty and a sweet fragrance, especially at this time. Wow!
And there was more to follow – a letter and beautiful brooch sent all the way from Sweden from a very dear friend who is currently studying there! My heart was so carried and held tightly under Gods feathery and comforting ‘eagles wings’.
Yesterday, a longstanding family friend who owns the Arum health and beauty hydro treated my mom and I to a neck and back massage. She has graciously and generously and gently pampered my body with so many treats over the last three years. Guess what the aromatherapy oil that she used was called??? ‘A Better Day’, I kid you not! And by the end of all that wonderful pampering and the exquisite smell of the oils, we were both having a MUCH better day! A glass of vino followed and we did a ‘ching-ching’ to life! (that’s our thing).
Lets be mindful of what fragrance our lives emit. Be sure to surround yourself with beautiful scents both literally and figuratively.
As TD Jakes says, ‘You must be wise. If not, you will create a cold war that will leave you alone with bitterness and sad memories. Hostility will cause you to be left with thanksgiving turkeys to eat all by yourself. It is not worth it. The fragrance of love is sweet. With wisdom and grace and prayer, you can enjoy it all the days of your life.’
Right now, the smell of freshly roasted coffee is beckoning me.

With grace in my heart and flowers in my hair

I sat down and wrote this post late last night. I finished it and as I was fiddling with the finishing touches … poooooof it vanished! Clearly my computer thought it would make a yummy midnight snack! Agghhhhhhh how frustrating to have it vanish before my eyes! After a soothing cup of tea, I put my weary self to bed and decided to tackle it afresh today.

This past week has been a momentous one! It has been filled with celebration and reflection. Several friends have asked me how my ‘life day’ celebration went so I thought I would share my stories with you. But before I do that, I am going to digress for a moment and tell you where the ‘life day’ idea originated…

I still clearly remember sitting in a Counsellors office (she has since become one of my dearest and closest confidantes). On that specific day she had invited another Counsellor who has extensive experience in dealing with Trauma Survivors to join and impart into my life. I was approaching the first anniversary of the hijack and rape and wasn’t quite sure how best to approach and handle the associations, triggers and emotions that always arise at the time of an anniversary. My ideas ranged from lying under the duvet all day, crying and eating copious amounts of chocolate, to going into denial and trying to pretend it was just another day. Who was I kidding! Clearly these plans weren’t going to work! She gave me the suggestion that I should celebrate it, just like I would celebrate any other special occasion such as a birthday or Christmas.

At the time I was so totally taken aback at the idea of celebrating a trauma!!! At first, I thought she had lost the plot! I couldn’t quite connect having cupcakes and crying???!! But then it dawned on me… That is exactly what I would do! What a great way to celebrate the vastness of life and the victory of overcoming! She suggested that I do it every year, and that one day my husband and then even my children should know what ‘life day’ is and join me in celebrating it! As I reflect back to that session, I am reminded too of the beautiful prayers that went up.

This past week I celebrated my 3rd life day… and wow, what a celebration it was! My nearest and dearest circled around me and showered me with words of love, affirmation and kindness. I was given pressies, cards and beautifully handcrafted notes (I even got a slab of Lindt chocolate so perhaps I should have that duvet day and eat chocolate after all ). My heart felt so very blessed, acknowledged and loved! This life day was definitely one for the books. It wasn’t without pain or tears. (The idea of celebrating life day isn’t to diminish or sweep the past traumas under the carpet.) Life day acknowledges the pain but celebrates in the victory of life. Thank you to those who have journeyed with me, especially the past 3 years and even more so the past year. Your love and kindness are what contribute to my healing and restoration.

The road ahead is somewhat hazy as I don’t know exactly what it entails. I do know that I have a court case coming up that starts on the 29th of October. It’s due to last two weeks, and I am to appear in front of the accused (hopefully only once) and the high court judge. Up until now I have not seen the faces of the accused as I made a point of not looking at them (I was told that I would be shot if I did) So, they have been nameless and faceless but that is all about to change …Sjoe… I can’t say I am looking forward to it as it is a very frightening thing to go through and face. I really would appreciate your prayers and support.

I am wanting to have it behind me and have this chapter in my story finished so that God can start writing the next marvellous chapter. I am looking forward to seeing how God is going to glorify Himself in and through this, and I also look forward to seeing how beauty will come from this.

I have found a new band, Gungor. Oh how I love discovering new bands. I get a kick from it- I feel like Christopher Columbus probably felt when he ‘discovered’ America! Anyway, they sing a song called ‘Beautiful Things’ and I have it on repeat! The lyrics go something like this, “You make beautiful things out of the dust, You make beautiful things out of us”

One of my favourite bands, Mumford and Sons sing a song called, ‘After the Storm’ ,
“And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears
And love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears
Get over your hill and see what you find there
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair”

Martin Luther once said, “This life, therefore, is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness; not health, but healing; not being, but becoming; not rest but exercise. We are not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the road. All does not gleam in glory, but all is being purified” I think this perfectly sums it all up for me! It is a process and it is a journey.

I look forward to sharing it with you!