Friday, April 30, 2010


I've decided that once a month I am going to review a book. Sometimes it will be fiction, sometimes it will be life helps, etc. My life here is marked by (among other things)several books always open lying around the house. Lorraine follows me around and asks politely if I am currently reading this book as well as the three others by my bed.

This month I have just finished reading "Like Water For Elephants", a novel by Sara Gruen, set in Post-depression America, about the big top circus (NOT Ringling Brothers) in other words, the circus equivalent for "Off-Broadway". It is amazing, and I think many of you would enjoy.

We have a saying here "like water for an elephant" which means a useless gesture. Loosely translated, it means a that there is a certain uselessness to give someone who is VERY poor anything - for the very reason that it will never be enough. The elephants in the wild travel in herds and are usually the first to suck a water hole dry. The metaphor is complete implying the uselessness of bringing a thirsty elephant a bucket of water, or several, to quench its thirst.

As soon as I saw the big top cover I was even more interested. I read once that when circus elephants arrived in a town, many kids would gather and offer to bring water to the elephant so it could drink and they may be rewarded with free tickets. Maybe this was it?? The figure of a man entering a Big top from the side flap, only to see a figure looking in from the main door struck me as if it were something I was not supposed to see. This was the beginning of a mezmerizing journey....

In post-depression America, Jacob Jankowski, a bound-for-glory, then displaced graduate student who tragically loses his parents, home and future in the first breath of the story, is our 23 year old hero that we instantly like and feel sorry for. He impulsively, almost accidentally, joins a circus, instantly realizing how destitute he is. Hard work, hideous living conditions, a life on the rails, BUT food...becomes his reality. In the world that he (and we) is new to, he is forced to see and witness more than meets the normal spectator's eye. In no time we all face the reality of running a circus instead of watching one.

The screeching of brakes against rails; railcars stuffed with wild and exotic animals as well as straw, manure, closely knit sleeping quarters; townfolk (or Rubes) that come to the show; sensuality, sex, alcoholism; and Uncle Al, the Ringleader/owner/cheat/boss extrordinairre, are just for suckers! These are only the backdrop of a magnificent story. Interwoven is the love, the man, the compassion of caretakers. Jacob. Marlena. August.

I have to admit that I was surprised and pleased at the ending that the author gives many clues leading up to, but I never got. It is, as a matter of fact, what made me really love the book. The title is the bullhook of what will later prove to be useless information. The payoff at the end is worth it... and makes you want to research the whole history yourself.

A dramatic story with incredible insight and scene recreation, at times I would come to the end of a chapter, look around and remember that I was here, not there.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I remember the first days after I knew Jesus was real and personal. He wasn't just a historical figure, but a man who lived and still lives and now knows me personally and loves me, just as I am. I was completely bowled over by the incredible second chance I had in my life. I completely felt free and easy for days. It wasn't until my old self popped up that I started worrying...

Maybe I wasn't doing this right. Maybe the real Janet would eat the "new" Janet and I would once again be a selfish, hell-bent-on-destruction girl who could forget grace and Him, the new, unveiled saviour who died to set me free. I would become as large as the Stay-puft marshmallow man in Ghostbusters and destroy all the work that God was trying to do in me.

That was twenty three years ago. Yesterday.

As I turn over events in my head I can see the old and new vying for control of the Janet the world sees. It makes me sick. Janet should be completely surrendered, and if my own self-bludgeoning won't get me there maybe doing kind acts and worshipping will. I am a walking contradiction in the sight of this world.

But in the sight of my God, I am His. Whether I do bad or good, and whether they all balance eachother out, or one outweighs the other, it really is less important than this: I am His. I am His daughter, the adopted princess who is safe on base with her Father, who rules the World.

Adopted into the people, HIS PEOPLE, that He called His own. He even promised that His people would have a special part of their lineage that He called "The Righteous Branch" - the part of the family tree made perfect by one: JESUS. Because of this branch I am grafted in to God's family. It is my only hope to being called His. His daughter.

In the Bible (Jeremiah 23:6) the righteous branch is given a name: Jehovah Tsidkenu. God, Our Righteousness.

It was later (in 1993) that I got it. I came out of the shower and I was towelling off, thinking of a situation in church. One of the leaders of the Women's group had said something about me to someone else. It wasn't true, and I felt victimized. I told the person I had heard this news from an earful about said women's group leader. Most of it was true, but when it got back to her she called a meeting of all the women to talk about it. I was getting ready to go. I was fearful, knowing I had gossipped about her, but also mad because she had gossipped about me. It was all happening in church!! My goodness, it was really a mess. As I dressed I asked God for help. He spoke to my heart and asked me to ask the woman for forgiveness. It made sense, but I knew it would seem to her as an ommission of guilt... bleeding in front of a shark. He smiled (figuratively) and basically said, "So?" I just realized that I was guilty. I was wrong, but it didn't make God love me less.

And that thought brought the break in my belief that I had to be a good enough Christian to be deserving of that name. The truth was,all I had to be was humble. All I had to do was listen to Him. All I had to do was be real...and loooove, love, love.

Jehovah (GOD) Tsidkenu (MY Righteousness).

I have no other.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Some days are easier than others. Some days are beautiful and wonderful and nothing hurts. There are friends who love you and make you feel affirmed just by being alive. There's laughter that requires a bathroom and an inhaler; warnings to people to stop. You feel completely connected to a person who is energy giving and wonderful. Today is one of those days.

Some days are harder than others. There is rain, discontent about a variety of things that ache and hurt and don't fit. You feel overwhelmed by failure and separation from humankind; your significant other doesn't understand you or doesn't seem to try to. Everything you attempt seems to suck the life out of you. Today is one of those days.

The laughter and tears are usually not intermingled as much as this day: the day that has been so full and still so strange. At the end I should be able to say "See how alive I am!! How much I am capable of feeling!!" Instead, emotions have taken me on a roller coaster ride that upset my stomach and left me in no mood for anything else.

I have been loved and affirmed; laughed and cried; had words of encouragement and been the object of cruel disdain. I have eaten and feasted; grown sick and nauseous; been connected and stroked; felt separated and ashamed. One day of too much stuff in contrast is enough to drive you mad, wondering if you're making too much out of a dumb day like every other day.

Tomorrow is newness and another chance. Promise of renewal. Relationships could possibly be mended. Blessings to you all...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Monday, April 26, 2010


The memory of 2000 is quite clear. I was just about to begin working full-time for the first time in ten years; the world had experienced a threat from hell; the Alaskan pipeline was sending up a white flag; we were stock piling water in large tubs...and I was wondering if we shouldn't get our rack-loading shotgun out of storage. The name that the world gave it was Y-2K...or year two thousand. It was supposed to be the unknown entity that would ruin us all...If we were unprepared.

Because of old-age computers, it was supposed to send the world into a frenzy, causing card readers to not understand our user information; computers that dominated world trade would seize and desist the international markets; major companies and information banks would completely go belly up and squeal shamelessly before completely dying. It had thinking, educated people on the brink of panic.

The only thing that shielded us from panic was preparation.

Because we knew the world to be a sane place after initial panic, all we had to do was build up enough "panic supply" for a couple of weeks. At the most a month. Stockpiling every canned good and water filled thing, we and our friends had garages stuffed to the gills of supplies that betrayed our preparation. It was wise. It was good. In the end, it was completely unneccessary.

When the Y2K didn't erupt in world trauma we all relaxed, and we ate our canned goods, and nothing was wasted. It was a wonderful by-product of preparation. We were happy we were prepared and happy that we didn't need to be.

Preparation is a good thing in moderation. When it all comes down to it, you can't prepare for everything.

Tonight we finished a preparation course with a young professional, cute couple that is going to married in June. They are so cute.... I remember being that sweet and cute. I remember looking at Mario knowing he was my validation in this world, and still knowing that my marriage to him was my validation for years of not feeling worthy or likely to find a decent husband.

The couple we met with are perfect for each other and soon will tie the knot after not only years of compatability, but also a course designed to get them to think of every unseen circumstance, like the threat of Y2K. Our friends completed the course with an unlikely wisdom, usually found in sixty year olds. They realize that communicating with each other is tantamount to a successful marriage and still realize that they can't see everything coming at them.

I still see our own beginning. It was romantic and beautiful...clouded with children and child support and shared custody. It showed nothing of the years to come of addiction, sickness, death and lonliness inside of a covenant meant to protect you from all of these. My goodness, how unprepared we were!

Twenty three years later (and for most of you twenty three years is a long time) I see my husband as a Clysdale horse, slowly, methodically trudging through the muck of life and pulling me behind him. I can only be grateful that he decided to stay. I am grateful he still loves me, and I love him. For a love to last this long it can only come with an incredible respect and love that comes from God. I don't have it in me without God; he doesn't have it in him without God. I can only purr now and say I am grateful for what I don't deserve.

Preparation or not, we have endured. After our session tonight we said that we would see them both at the rehearsal dinner. We raised a glass to our young friends and wished the same future for them. The future that is marked only by faithfulness and love...and hope in a God that sees us all through.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Once every two or three months we try to type out an update to tell everyone what's been going on with us here in South Africa. Before I go on I should re-phrase what I just said so that you can get a truthful view of it: "Once every two or three months I type out an update for Mario to look at and approve or edit; and then send it off to a lot of you who read it ...and then the rest of our friends and family who just think it's a monster and never read a thing."

The update takes life out of me.

It takes life out of what we're doing here, and I end up feeling like I am justifying why I am away from our family, especially our kids, and our friends. Most of the time I feel like I am trying to prove the miracles by recreating them and it ends up a cheap Christmas card letter that loses so much in translation.

So, here I am trying to write an update letter and realizing that the process has almost no life in it. BUT...the blog is my new best friend. I am a writer and a reader...a student of people and watching a lot of what's going on. The blog helps me discipline myself to write a little each day...and I never feel like I'm justifying my life here. Still, since I am updating a generation very comfortable with the idea of blogging and another generation that barely has surrendered to email, I have to admit it is better than the mass-mailings of years ago that our friends on the mission field sent us.

I love hearing "Man, I would have read it, but I'm just so busy!"; or better yet: "It seems so impersonal, and since I know you're not writing JUST to me I don't really feel like reading it." Hmmmm. I guess I am reduced to shaking my head and wondering why I am not that interesting in print...? So vain, and so avid a reader (albeit a slow one) I cannot fathom NOT reading a letter from a friend or even a letter that is from an ancient Amish woman that has been mis-routed to me by accident (this has never happened). I love letters and snippets and windows into people's hearts, souls and business. Maybe that's why I am tempted by gossip....

So, that's a good ten minutes away from the task at hand, which is updating friends and family about how much God does through us here....

Can you see me heavy-sighing?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


My life (if I had to explain it in an essay) is a contrast of two lives, my life of selfishness and my life of surrender. I wish I could say it was split in half down the middle, but it's not. I am far too selfish to be be completely surrendered. As Miracle Max would say, I am only "mostly dead".

The way I can illustrate this is to tell you of a typical day in my life:
1. Wake up after I sleep in (even my dog has had a potty break and returned to her bed next to me)and find Mario to hug him or find a note from Mario to tell me where he is.
2. Go get coffee -- drink it
3. Check email/facebook/blogspot
4. Try to reach the kids...or connect on facebook or instant messenger
5. Get dressed in workout gear

This is where my two worlds collide -- on some days, after I am dressed I head off to a church meeting, a prayer meeting, a meeting with someone who needs to talk, etc. These things are usually pretty cool. I love all of the morning activities. Then- GYM!!

After gym, I return home, make lunch, eat in front of a TV program and then head out for afternoon activities (Diepsloot, Fourways, Church, etc.) -- or I cook for us later or I cook for someone else. Evening activites require preparation. Marriage enrichment classes, prayer meetings, City Ministry group... return home. Glass of water with ice, wine, and check emails. Now...I blog. Unwind in front of TV, then off to read in bed. MOST of the time. Anything can throw this into disorder. Someone gets sick, someone needs help, someone is crying...a romantic night with Mario or a fight with Mario...

In the middle of my days, I work out to relieve physical stress and to maintain the fitness that full-time ministry requires. On some days I see Natalie, my personal trainer. I hired Natalie to teach me how to make strength training a part of my life. That was two years ago.

I have to tell you now that Natalie is as close to physical perfection of anyone I have ever seen, and I'm from California. Standing barely five feet tall, Nats has a every area of her body in lean, muscular sinews that look like a Leonardo daVinci sketch. Her small frame is tan and clad in gym chic, long black hair and blue eyes that beam with hunger and innocence at the same time. Over time, I have gotten to know her and yearn for her life to become whole by knowing God and feeling His love and calling on her.

Tuesday Natalie called me and sounded panicked. Her friends' new husband was admitted into hospital with a mystery ailment. He was in ICU and very much in danger. She said "I need you to pray."

I asked if I could call other friends to pray as well. She said yes, and I did, knowing that God much I had been healed of!! ...and secretly hoping that this would be one of the times he would reach out and miraculously heal, not wait.

The Wednesday morning prayer group I am a part of is quite amazing. Led by a little granny (her own description of herself) that wields power and creativity in prayer, it is attended by close friends who are all prophetic, prayerful and have faith for anything. It is my favorite meeting of the week. We all pray for Dylan...and Natalie. In this room, our prayers are powerful, sincere....

The next day I saw Natalie, who said Dylan was doing much better, and she thanked me for praying. I told her that many of our friends had been praying non-stop. The life of a person in relationship with God is always ready to witness healing miracles. She genuinely thanked me and asked me not to stop. She also was arranging an internist to look in on her friend.

Going out on a limb, I asked Natalie if Mario and I could pray over Dylan and his family. Natalie thought awhile and finally said "I can ask, but you know no one can see him except for his wife. Even I can't go in there." I nodded, and told her that we would be happy to pray just with his wife if she wanted us to. She said she would ask, then assured me that Mario and I would be the best choice she could think of to pray over him. I don't know why, but she has grown to trust our "spirituality" not to be too extreme, too over the top.

Physical healing is awesome. But prayer, transcends the physical. The power of prayer lies in the reality that we as people can connect with God Almighty...our creator and the sovereign One who holds us in His hands. Something beautiful in it is knowing that God hears us...and He answers.

Tonight I pray for Alicia, as always for physical healing. I pray for her to know God as HER God, and to trust Him for everything. I pray for Vince...that he be able to have victory in his life and be connected with God in a Father/son way. I pray for Patty, Colleen, Steve, Shari... their kids. My sweet Harmony, that I trust God to keep close to me when I am far away. My parents, my friends... How full is my heart of prayer...? There are no oceans or planets that could fit all I pray for.

He knows every word I will speak before any one of them come to be.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Today truth is not defined in certain terms. It is more of an opinion than a concrete concept. Some things can be true but not in "The world is round". The truth of the world's shape is that it is globular, and orbiting a larger globe, and rotating on an axis that is tilted.

A flat circle on a paper is round.

Facts are undisputed pieces of information that altogether can come in conflict with truth. There are memorizable facts that are given to us to memorize. A good example is that even numbers are divisible by 2. Truth is that all numbers are divisible by two, but when you divide three by two you get a whole number and a fraction one.

Don Quixote says in Man of LaMancha that "Facts are the enemies of truth." Spoken like a man going out of his mind. Truth, and the pursuit of it can drive anyone crazy, unless you know where to look.

Truth is that no one is perfect. Everyone messes up. People are flawed and we all have so many flaws that we can't judge one another without seeing ourselves. Still, if I hear that a friend has hurt another one of my friends I grit my teeth and swear to tell her off. She should be a little more careful, a little more tactful. I can obsess about it for a few days to come, and then when I see her I can scowl and self-righteously condescend her so that if she doesn't see things my way, I still leave feeling superior. Better. More enlightened.

I am a mother to most of my friends, and most of my friends love me enough to love that part of me. But I wonder, as I protect my friends, and silently allow them into the ring of honour that is my friendship, if I am enabling them to gossip or become bitter. Today I became mother-friend-queen high and mighty, advocating for one friend while letting another know how powerful I if I am embracing truth. My own lenses are foggy and blurry with self-righteous reasoning that I usually call discernment. I am as flawed as the one who has hurt my friend. My friend is as flawed as I am...and all of us are piggies in a mud pool. But we all see another one as the dirty one, don't we?

So...I am looking at truth tonight. Truth is not easy. It splits things up into messy fractions and messes up our understanding of the world as we see it.

Then again, why am I saying "we"? Maybe you never struggle with this stuff...

In that case, nevermind.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


In "Ode to a Grecian Urn" John Keats wrote a classic poem that that has transformed the modern world. We, as University Freshmen, were meant to read and understand when we were 18. In English Literature, our professors read it with a faraway look in their eyes, procaliming it sublime and making us agree, out of an insecure desire to be as smart and enlightened as they were. The final lines of the poem ring still in my ears: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

Beauty is truth...
Truth is beauty...
That is all you know on earth, and all you need to know

Funny thought, Keats had, when he wrote it in the 18th century when all he had as a figure of beauty was a Grecian Urn with perfect figures of men and women frolicing about on it. Now there's TV. Porn. Movies. Dr. 90210. Today beauty is anything but truth. Beauty for a woman is a size zero and fake boobs -saline inside of impact-resistant teflon bags- that are surgically inserted into a woman's breast flesh while she sleeps under anesthesia. Or it is a young, taut stomach that has shown no signs of childbirth or white flour consumption. Beauty is not one even knows what truth is anymore.

But... here it is.

Truth is the thing that endures. It is a work of kindness in a world gone mad. Beauty is a man with little money buying food for a starving granny who no longer cares if she eats, but rather would ask for food for the four kids in her house. It is people who would rather do a good thing than attend a baseball game, a rugby match, a basketball game where divas called players throw punches at eachother.

Beauty is a truth that endures...a truth that proclaims there is a love so great it can transform any life, anywhere. It is a truth that says no matter how messed up we are, we have a Father that loves us and wants us back home with Him. It is a truth that sent a loving son to save tenderly affirm me. To boast about His transforming love that would later define me... and that is all I know here.

That is all I know here on earth.
That is all I need to know.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Before I got sick with a sore throat I was going a million miles an hour. In the RSA (the Republic of South Africa) it would be called a million km (kilometers) per hour.

The day before I got sick was a Saturday. I headed out to Diepsloot, via the 511 - that is a Joburg highway - and landed in Diepsloot extention 9. I drove to Portia's shack, since she is one of my best friends here in Joburg, I don't care if she lives in a township...and then expected to pick her up for a ladies meeting in extension 1.

Extension 1 of the township (called Diepsloot for the river next to it) is the most transient area of the township, hence the most rough area of the township. A shabeen (a bar in open air) is found once every ten meters and frequented from Friday tyo Sunday by men that are working and haven't found Jesus... which is most men in Diepsloot.

When I picked up Portia she was dressed all in white, looking like an out-of-place princess in a field of dirt...and she is so beautiful. Barely 29, Portia shines in the township. She lives an upright life, taking care of her two orphaned children, Darrell and Ebeniezer who are the most beautifully dressed and well-cared for kids around a six km radius. We climb into my red Volvo...can I say that agian? My red red Volvo...and head to extention 1 after I hear that her sister in law (another princess) Patricia is not coming, and that Magdalena (a professor and a Biblical scholar, placed in this township like a lily among thorns) will meet us there.

Ebby, Portia's son... (my favorite, if I am supposed to confess here) comes out of his shack and kisses the window, I smile, and then hand him ten rand for a sweetie to purchase while I am gone. Portia smiles, adding to her princess exterior... her children shine like she does.

At the meeting, Sis Bessie (as she is know in Diepsloot) welcomes 12 to 16 women into her one-room shack and we sing with the power and fervor of Mariah Carrey but with the hymns of Diepsloot women. We are led by Magdelena, never a woman out of breath....and we worship. OOhhh, if only women could worship like this around the world!!!

And now we open the Bible and read with great yearning for learning...and we are all sisters who love Jesus... and I am so happy I am here. We talk about the ancient that transcends time to now and breaks through to become wisdom TODAY!! We are happy, enthralled...enlightened.

The next morning I wake up with a baseball in my throat and I call Portia from my bed to tell her. She prays for me and tells me she will be alright because she will catch a taxi to get to church (I usually take her). I apologize profusely...she absolves me from any guilt, and explains she can still reach Max, our friend who arranges taxis from Diepsloot into the wealthy area of Dainfern, where our church is.

As I drift back to sleep I think of her (my poor friend who doesn't deserve to be poor) and her kids who will walk to the taxi rank to catch the taxi that will take her to church to welcome the princess that no one will recognize in this life...

And I wake up to see the clock, after my sweet husband has gone. I see that he has left me to recover, to sleep. Oh, Lord, bless my sweet husband who loves me and understands my need to recover from the world.

Here am I friends. I am better. The baseball has dislodged from my throat and I am here and typing madly, trying to make sense of the pain and hurt in this world. The poverty that knows no personal preferences, the love that knows no bounds...and I am confused by the desire to explain that I am a fluke.... a fluke in a world of hurt. I am cared for by a husband I don't deserve, a best friend I don't deserve and a God who finds His way to show me...the least deserving, a healing miracle.

Imagine that.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Good Friends

There's something pretty wonderful about chilling.

When you have friends that can talk about absolutely nothing and everything over the same dinner and still leave does something to boost your value. Tonight the table had four people: Lance and Saskia, our friends from Bryanston and Mario and I. A surprise dinner party for four... everyone else cancelled, making it a unique opportunity to "chill" with just the four of us.

We talked about heart issues; mainly our children. Lance and Sas have three under the age of eleven, we have four ...over the age of eleven. Our children took captive our hearts the day they were born and remain the only people that can shatter our happiness or make the world right with one word or gesture. When we look at the two of our friends, a young couple with three young kids...we can see ourselves a few years ago.

A few minutes ago.

The whole thing of our kids being kids went by so fast, like a a really fast drive through chinese dinner. Now we are watching from a distance as our kids grow and change and become themselves piece by piece. Lance told us today that he would like to see his kids more. We know exactly what he's saying... and he is far from an absent father.

Also we spoke about growing up ourselves. We laughed about the habits of our parents. We talked about people who were seeking God but were afraid of an organized church. Our pet peeves. Cake. Being real and vulnerable in this world.

So we parted, yawning and saying goodnight in a hemisphere that is welcoming winter. As they drove away, I was thankful. I am thankful for friendship, the delight of life no matter what stage of life you're in.

Friday, April 16, 2010

My First

This is my first blog, and today is the first post.

I really had never intended to blog until I left my diary in Charles' office. Charles is the new office manager at our church, and I used the church office to email him stuff I've already eamiled him and he asked for again in our meeting.

While I was there, I checked a few things in my diary (or pocket calendar, as I always called it before we moved to South Africa), and later realized I had left it there, via an email from Charles later. The subject line was "Janet's Diary". After reading it Mario said that the subject line sparked an idea: what if I did a daily blog about our lives here?

I smirked at him. What would I write? What would I say? Then I was filled with a flood of things to say... as in the things I can only think. The things I have learned all my life NOT to say. The things that are dying to come out like "King Midas has donkey ears". Especially here.

So, with my self-important soap box and my incredibly brazen title ("Janet's diary" was taken, so don't think I settled on this title easily) I begin a discipline of blogging. This place, this blogspot is so anonymous, so beautifully tucked away in cyberspace my secrets thoughts can remain relatively secret and my revelations and reflections can be shared when they matter.

So here's my confession: We moved here three years ago in June from California. Our hearts were set on following the calling of God on our lives before we got too old or too much time past away... we sold or gave away 95% of everything and came to South Africa to be part of a larger team that worked into all of Africa and helped churches spread the beautiful, freeing Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were sent off with a half-hearted blessing by people we loved and preffered us closeby... and we went. We practically left skid marks, we were so ready to go.

Three years later, I look back and the only thing still the same is the beautiful, freeing Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even so, it seems abridged here. I can say in print here what I say with my behaviour (see my "U"?)and my eye-rolling superiority that is heavily guarded and still comes out much too often: the society here leaves no opening for what I thought I would be coming to do-- be my husbands partner in ministry and unashamedly preach the Gospel that changed my life and now defines me.

Many times, I feel like asking people if they're serious. Are you really this sexist? Does all of this ecomomic inequality ever bother you? Can you ever expect good service in a country that has every right to demand it? Are you really satisfied with racism, sexism, culturalism, tribalism, and now and then the occasional breakthrough??

This land's reputation of an open heaven and people longing for the presence of God is well-deserved. It is only the days that I miss my family that the flood of emotion swells up in me and I fear that I will never be known here. I am a different Janet here.

With all of this said, I can show Mario and he'll say "I know this is how you feel!" as if he were not surprised. He is my sounding board here, a position he never asked for and probably regrets he has most times. So, he's heard all of what I've just written, and many times asks me if I am longing to go home to the States and be a grandma to our grandchildren and a mother to our kids and a daughter to my parents.

I think this question over and only have one way of answering it: where am I supposed to be? The best answer is "Next to Mario". Maybe there are better answers on different days. The truth is, I want to be both places, and when I am in one place I miss the other.

There (the USA) I am fed up with the Starbucks crowd living for themselves and never seeing past their own lives to the rest of the world; here (the RSA) I am pretty sure I am fed up with the slow service, the underlying racism, the sexism (even in the church) and the way no one remembers that I am separated from my kids and my family.

I have a heart in two worlds now. Both I love with all of my heart...both are absent of completion. And here I am blogging to say that I have no way of personally rectifying either. I just think I can sometimes.

So how was that? My first blog.