Thursday, 28 January 2016

Modern Day Samaritan Woman

Are you a Samaritan Woman?

Sisterhood – Different Directive

The following are excerpts from one of my previous posts. I’m including them here so that you, my special reader don’t have to jump from page to page to understand what I’m trying to say in this post (Its very annoying for me when I am directed all over the place, trying to follow the gist of a post; therefore I do not want to do the same to you. However if you do want to read the whole post please click here.

Why I hear you ask do you call yourself a modern day Samaritan Woman?

While driving to work one day (several years ago), the Lord spoke to me so clearly and said “Do you realize that you are a modern day Samaritan Woman?” 

Me, a Samaritan Woman? No, never!!! Wasn’t she a ‘bad woman’? A questionable lady with a number of men? We all heard that story in Sunday School and Church Sermons and we all know she was the example of who NOT to be.

I thought about it the whole day and couldn’t wait to get home from work to read her story in John 4. Interestingly, her name is never mentioned. Neither is there any mention of her character, children, parents, siblings or her life, except from the fact that she had, had several husbands and the man she was living with at the time was not her husband.
I related to her story. I never had several husbands, but I had known three men and the one I was living with was NOT my husband. This started a journey of honest reflection and serious thought about this mysterious lady that Jesus had taken the time to speak with, just as he had done with me in my car that morning.

Was she really a “bad” woman? I didn’t believe I was a “bad” woman.

Was it her lifelong dream to have several husbands / lovers?

It wasn’t mine. At sweet sixteen, I never dreamed of knowing three men. I wanted the same as all young girls. My own husband to love “forever and ever after”.

However, regardless of what I had dreamed as a young girl, a series of circumstances and bad decisions had brought me to this place. Forty something, divorced, living with a man and yet I dared to call myself a Christian. 

·         Could it be that the Samaritan Woman had not merely jumped from man to man at random, but perhaps life, circumstances and bad decisions had also brought her to the place she was in when she met Jesus? 

·         Could we suppose that she may have been widowed by one of her five husbands (surely not her doing)?

·         Could we suppose that one of the five had perhaps committed adultery and abandoned her (or perhaps she had fallen into an affair – making a huge mistake)?

·         Could we suppose that one of them may have abused her, forcing her to have to leave for her own survival?

·         Perhaps her step children could not accept her.

·         Could we suppose that by the time she had reached number five she was so worn out, tired of struggle and disappointment and desperately longing for true companionship?

·         Could we suppose that despite the disapproval of those around her that she just moved in obstinately with man number five, and ignored the voices of reason in her own mind?

We will never know, because the bible is silent regarding the circumstances that brought her to the place where she was. I don’t want to insinuate she was totally innocent, as we are all sinners and make wrong choices; however I am more inclined to understand her and empathise. I am more inclined to grant her grace and mercy in spite of what she may have done or failed to do. Why? Because I related to her on so many levels that I could have been her. I almost wish I could stretch back through the ages and give her a huge hug. When I close my eyes and listen closely I can hear her say “This too shall pass!!!”

I started paying attention and realized that there are many unnamed Samaritan Women’s voices echoing through the ages. Their stories untold and unknown. There were and are still many women just like me and that dear woman at the well.  Broken, weary, abandoned woman can be found in-between lives, jobs and even men. Seeking, always seeking for that place of “absolute belonging”. Yes you know what I mean. If like me, you have had it and lost it you never stop searching for it. You are always aware that you don’t have it. It drives you to do desperate things that you ordinarily would never have done.
If this is you and you can also relate then I want to say to you:

“This too shall pass”

Those of you who have been following my blog will know that although I did remarry, it didn’t work out and I found myself back on the dusty road, clutching my belongings…back again between lives…abandoned, abused and discarded. It sounds dramatic I know; but this truly how I felt…its how I still feel.

However, on the bright side, my Maker, my Saviour met me at the well “AGAIN” and this time He has given me a very different directive.

Different in that instead of reluctantly walking away from this life into my new life, I was challenged to stand in the gap for my husband and my marriage.

Risky? Definitely, my husband has already written me and our marriage off, broken off all meaningful communication and informed me to make a decision fast, as he intended to find someone else.

Lonely? Very lonely, but this loneliness drives me into Father lap every night, where I can spend as long as I want, being comforted and strengthened.

Foolhardy? Maybe? But I have to ask myself. How badly do I want to have a successful marriage? How sincere were my vows in the first place? How pure and deep was my love for my husband?…no buts allowed here. (This is not about what he brought or didn’t bring to the marriage.) This is solely about me.

The choice if mine of course. I could close this chapter, move on… perhaps even meet someone new…Husband number three…At this rate I’m catching up to my former Samaritan Woman fast.

Or I could stop being a passive victim of circumstances and life and I could actively take this battle up a notch or two and conduct some strategic, definite and very deliberate warfare on behalf of my husband, my step children and our marriage.

So, dear sister, if you have read this far, I have decided to take the hugest risk of my life.

I have decided to stand in for my husband and my marriage.

I have decided to place my trust completely in my Father in Heaven and follow as He directs. I have chosen to place my husband and step children in his care and to dedicate all of my spare time and passion to prayer and supplication on his behalf.

I have no idea what my husband is doing or where he is. I have no idea what his thoughts are and whether he even thinks of my or our marriage at all. Communication is sporadic at best or non-existent at worst.

I have no idea what the ultimate outcome of this is going to be. Truly, I am in the dark here…This is truly the impossible…

But I do know….My Jesus…His word is Truth…

My Father… is unchanging and He is I AM…

My Holy Spirit…comforter, counsellor and prayer partner, praying on my behalf when words fail me, when hope eludes me,….when despair threatens to overwhelm me.

I have spoken of my faith and love of God frequently in this blog but the time has come for me to put my faith where my mouth is.

 I love my husband…so

I proclaim publically that I intend to wait and win my beloved husband back… not by might or by power…but by the power of the Spirit… (And before someone thinks I have ulterior motives. I don’t. There is no emotional abuse involved towards my husband…He has never read my blog posts, so I hardly expect him to start now. Despite placing this blog post on a public forum he will never see it so will be unaware of my challenge. I prefer it that way).

During the past few weeks I have become very aware of the fact that marriages are breaking up at an alarming rate and that there are hundreds of woman just like me. Alone, abandoned, lonely and distraught…If this is you please feel free to join me on Face Book “Samaritan Woman” Sisterhood, for encouragement, updates and fellowship with other like-minded women.

On my next blog post I intend to write out the practical steps I have taken regarding my abovementioned decision. Perhaps you are also praying for your marriage, husband, loved one…and would like to share how you remain strong, how you get up in the morning and function, while waiting for the answer to prayer. 

Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from all my Samaritan Sisters.

*Hugs* till next time


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Modern Day Samaritan Woman

What is a Step Mother?

This is a difficult question to answer. The internet is full of cute quotes attempting to define her… or pin her down;  but I haven’t found anything that has resonated with me as “that’s it”…”that’s me”…”I can relate to this”

Being a step mother was and remains such an alien concept to me that I never fully comprehend what it would entail and how many “land mines” I would inadvertently activate while attempting to build the foundation of my home and marriage…

I never realized at the onset how much I would have to depend on my husband to circumvent the landmines and to back me up when the hostility towards me set in…and I never once expected him to abandon me to my fate…

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines her as

“a woman that your father marries after his marriage to or relationship with your mother has ended”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines her as

“the woman who is ​married to someone's ​father but who is not ​their ​real mother(Emphasis my own)

Technically, the above statements are clinically correct, but they hardly describe who a step mother actually is or even closely describe the role that she is supposed to play. As the woman of the house she is automatically assigned the role of mother and expected to perform all the mother related tasks…

I can be defined as a “failed” step mother.

Does this mean that my adult step children “failed” as well?

After all a relationship requires two people…

Why is the step mother always automatically blamed for failure?

And more importantly why does she and society naturally assume that she is to blame for the break down?

I believe that when a woman gives birth, she sheds her status as free agent and steps into the skin of a mother. Once she has done this there is no stepping back to that free agent status. Her heart is now on her sleeve and she operates as a mother from then on, even in the absence of her children.

Like a caterpillar metamorphosis’s into a butterfly and can’t go back to being a caterpillar, so too does a woman transform into mother… 

I wore my mom skin for so many years that I effortlessly put on the step mother skin fully confident and believing that I would be a successful step mother. I didn’t expect my step children to do anything other than to merely respect that I have married their father and am therefore legally entitled to move into the home and make it my own.

I didn’t expect them to like me and I certainly did not expect them to automatically love me…I knew that this would have to be earned.

I intended to learn to love my new family, guard over them and nurture them just as I had my previous one.

I built my home on mutual respect and personal discipline and just as my own biological children were expected to comply to the general house rules, so too did I expect my step children to.

After all, at the age of fifty I am quite established in my housewifery. I know what works and what doesn’t. I know how to run my home efficiently, to the benefit of the entire family.

Yet, little more than a year later, I am a failed step mother…and having morphed into a step-mom skin, I simply don’t know how to morph back to just being a mom again.

Reflecting on what went wrong I have found the following things to have played a role in the break down that we as a blended family experienced.

  I, as the step mother should have defined my personal boundaries from the onset and maintained them.

   I, as the step mother should have insisted that the house rules be adhered to, 
and not been so flexible, because well…. 
“These are my step children so we are adjusting…” In bending my own house rules I inadvertently created a situation where the house rules would eventually be discarded altogether by my step children, creating undue friction between my husband and I.

 I, as the step mother should never have permitted my husband to push me into the 
role of enforcer of the rules…Being the outsider, I neither had the authority or the responsibility to enforce discipline within the home.

I, as the step mother should have commanded more respect. Being the step mother, third wife didn’t make me an inferior woman and wife. Somehow, the lines became blurred at some point and it became “ok” to treat me as inferior…

Reflecting on how things changed so drastically and what I could or should have done differently, I started to realize that the hostility I experienced prior to moving out of the home was not something I had generated from within, or even deserved. The hostility I encountered was a result of my step children’s own thoughts, feelings and animosity that were being reflected onto me, as if I were the one that had those thoughts and feelings.

I couldn’t understand why I was being accused of these things when most of the accusations were unwarranted. I had wanted to save my marriage and my relationship with my step children, so I closely guarded my own thoughts and focused on the incorrect behaviour versus breaking down the character of my step children.

With hindsight I realized that had I known that what I was experiencing were their thoughts, projected as mine, while still in the home perhaps my reaction to the hostility might have been handled differently.

Sadly, my relationship with my husband was broken as a result of this. He naturally felt the need to side with his biological children, regardless of their behaviour towards me, and I could not permit the behaviour to continue. We had reached an impasse.

Becoming a step mother was a gradual process, as I got to know the family, dated their father, visited, eventually married and moved into the home, 

BUT, the end of my step mothering was brutally abrupt.

One day I was a step mother and the next I was a childless step mother…

But, a step mother none the less…I had now morphed into the skin of step mother, I didn’t know how to morph back and with time I have come to realise that I didn’t really want to morph back.

Step mothering for me was an honour…Almost a do over, a gift from God above, after my own children had grown up and left my “nest”.

Despite the problems I encountered, I did grow to love my step children and I did have high hopes of growing our family into a successful blended family.

Like any mother and step mother, I miss my step children, I worry about them, I am concerned for their safety and their futures… I simply don’t know where the “off” switch is….

So, I turn instead to prayer and pray for my step family…

I trust my Father in Heaven to work a miracle, although I am at a loss to explain what this miracle would or should entail. In this respect I rely heavily on precious Holy Spirit in knowing the desires of my heart, that I am unable to articulate into words… and interceding on my behalf, as I intercede on their behalf…

Have you experienced a similar situation in your blended family? How did you manage the endless landmines?

 *Hugs* till next time.


Friday, 15 January 2016

Modern Day Samaritan Woman



When time permits I join a group of writers for Five Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Motaung. Every week we write for five minutes after receiving a one word prompt. No editing or over thinking involved….Just writing for the love of writing. For more information please visit Kate Motaung at Heading Home.

 The word for this week is:


Time is the one thing that moves on with or without our consent. 
Whether we are ready or not time ticks by second by second and like the sands of the hour glass very soon it will be used up…

As the second hand clock ticks around the clock and we like soldiers march to the consistent rhyme …

Are we paying attention?

Do we live with intention?

Are we aware of the words we are spreading?

Do we share the good tidings or merely echo media findings?

Do we take up the challenge to share our personal talent?

Do we encourage those we love to live large and look above?

Do we pour “generously” of ourselves or do we just sit on shelves?

Do our lives honour our Maker?

Are we takers or sharers?

The clock is still ticking…

May we end well without quitting!!!


*Hugs* till next time.


Thursday, 14 January 2016

Modern Day Samaritan Woman
Housekeeping / Time to Declutter

The time has come to perform some serious housekeeping. The end of one season, bringing on the beginning of a brand new season so it’s time to throw out the old and bring in the new. Time to clean up and declutter the soul and as I gather my Holy Ghost Vacuum Cleaner, The Word Polish, My Forgiveness Dusters and other necessary items I am preparing to dig in and do some serious housekeeping. 

I start in the bedroom of my soul. The place that is sacred and private and usually not seen by anyone bar my very closest loved ones. As I begin the task of cleaning, moving furniture and vacuuming, I discover plenty of things that must be discarded.  Words that were carelessly uttered that left a dusty layer on the floor. Hardly visible but when a slight breeze blows; the words return to mind and hurt all over again sometimes long after the utterer of those words has departed and forgotten the incident.

In another corner of the room words and actions that were uttered in anger and committed in indifference, are found concealed in the corner. Why do we insist on hoarding these things? The Forgiveness Dusters have work to do.

Wiping down walls I find faint shadows of pain and heartbreak, the causes thereof no longer so well-defined yet, as I trace my fingers over their contours, I can remember the devastation and hopelessness that accompanied them.

As I dust the paintings, a smile lingers on my lips, as the smiling faces of precious, irreplaceable loved ones stare back at me reminding me that life is beautiful and that my connection with them is eternal, regardless of time and space and distance.

Moving now to the drawers I find snippets of broken dreams and plans scattered all around. Loyalty, abandonment, joy, disappointment, pleasure, hopelessness, forgiveness, failure, accomplishment, all jammed into the drawer vying for space among the other necessities like self-esteem, competency, ability and strength. I sit on the bed as I sift through these things. Keeping the good and discarding the rest. Some bringing a small smile to my face, as I remember the warmth or the love that accompanied an almost forgotten failure. The loving hugs that accompanied disappointments and tears. Others releasing sharp pangs pain that are quickly discard into the bag of garbage at my feet. No use fretting about things that cannot be changed.

Finally, I polish the ornaments and oddities on display. Those quirky, eccentric items that make my personality my own.  The love of animals and plants. The irrational fear of heights. The instance of gathering and collecting every single small pebble I happen to see.
The mess I am cleaning up is not all my own. 

As I have permitted people into my heart and life, they moved in and left their marks within my soul. That’s what living is. Opening up to others and being vulnerable.

“Permitting people access to the deepest recesses of the soul, knowing they will sometimes leave more than footprints and fingerprints behind.”

Some of these people remained in my heart and soul, but so many others have long since moved on.

I linger for a time at my dressing table polishing my jewellery box, picking up and admiring the contents. Shaped like a treasure chest, it contains my most treasured and valuable memories. The birth of my two children, emotional and exquisite, (who could have known that one person could love another tiny person so very much), the poignant memory of the warmth and reassurance of my husband’s hand as he loving placed it on my shoulder. The piercing blue eyes, that stared at mine when we said “I do”…containing a promise larger than life…The spontaneous laughs and jokes shared between my step son and I…

I run my fingers over the unbreakable shiny chains that bind my heart to so many others…priceless and beautiful… requiring real living and loving to obtain.

My treasure chest is filled with beautiful things but I have no time to tarry here. There is work to be done and I have only just begun, so closing my jewellery box I move on to the bathroom.

This is the part that needs serious attention. The room where cleansing and grooming is performed. In the shower, I wipe down my toiletries and read the labels as I do, FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY, and I recall how these toiletries have served me well. Cleansing me of self-doubt, hopelessness and selfishness, after the enemy of my soul had tried everything to corrupt my soul. 

Sometimes these toiletries have been all I have had to free me from unbelief and hopelessness, so these will be remain my brand forever. No changing of brands for me. I will purchase my toiletries where purchases cannot be made with cash.

Every single mirror must be polished well, so that my reflection will be clear, reflecting the Lover of my soul from within me. Reflecting the light of the Word…Only the fruit of the spirit, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control must reflect from these mirrors of mine.

As I sweep and mop the floor of my bathroom and scoop up the remnants of discouragement and discard them, I am ready to move into my kitchen.

In my kitchen I stop a while to ponder my pantry. I study the food that nourishes versus the food the merely fills. I decide to discard that which merely fills and stock up on the food that nourishes my spirit and strengthens my resolve. I wipe the counters clear of the crumbs of quick compromises and easy solutions. I sweep up distractions and scraps of irrelevance and they too are thrown into the garbage.

The stove is polished clean and ready to prepare wholesome meals to sustain the soul through famine and drought.

With cupboards tidy and kitchen sparkling I move into my living room. This is the room that my invited guests are brought into. As I lift cushions from settees, I find crumpled papers of discontentment and irritation. How did they end up there? I look up and notice that I am not alone. The Lover of my Soul, my Comforter is right here with me, sleeves rolled up and helping me clean up house. Glancing at me and smiling, reassuring me that between us we will do a good job, and be done in no time at all.

We barely speak as we work and dust and move furniture; but every now and then we smile at one another and His eyes draw me closer and the warmth of unconditional love and acceptance wash through my soul.

My living room is soon hospitable and tidy and all discarded papers, scraps of lint and dust are soon cleared. My Holy Spirit vacuum cleaner quickly vacuums all the traces of dusty intrusive footprints and unwelcome advances of the enemy.

There is now only one more task to perform and my housekeeping will be done. This is left for last because this is the dreaded dirty laundry… With my beloved Comforter at my side we face the piles of laundry together.

“How did the piles get so high?” I wonder aloud.

Garments of judgement “So many of them”

Disappointment and Gossip. “When did I wear them?”

Slander and Anger. “Why did I put them on?”

Failures…”too many to wash…”

As we near the bottom of the piles of laundry my Comforter, hands me my Garment of Praise “Oh this is where it was…”

I laugh when we come across my garments of salvation and robe of righteousness “When last did I wear these?” and “oh they fit so perfectly, how could I have forgotten them?” I clearly remember how much I loved them.

We have reached the end of the pile and most of the garments are discarded into the huge garbage bag. Not even fit for charity, they will be burned.

As I twirl around delighted at finding my beautiful garments discovered from the ashes of past failures my eyes fall on the armour of God, hanging unused on the hook behind the door of my laundry. “How on earth did I expect to stand up to the enemy without my “belt of truth, blouse of righteousness, shield of faith and shoes of preparation to spread the Gospel of Peace? Not to mention my Hat of Salvation.”
My trusty Sword of the Spirit standing ever ready in the corner.

In the corner of the laundry is one more laundry basket containing the repairs. The garments that mean too much to me to just discard because they require repairs.

My “loving wife garments”, my step mom hat, my dreams and hopes for the future were all packed in there tattered, unravelling and in need of repairs.

The Comforter takes the basket lovingly from my hands and tells me…
”I will handle this pile for you…I will make the necessary repairs… the broken zips and buttons… The unravelling hems …Trust Me!!!
Nothing is impossible for Me”

My housekeeping completed for now. All the dust and dirt that held me back discarded, my soul is at rest and my future secure in the loving Hands of My Jesus…My Saviour…

We sit down and share a piping hot cup of tea together, tired but comfortable in the silence that follows knowing that we will perform these tasks over and over again until it’s time for me to join Him, in the house He has prepared for me.

John 14: 1- 3

 “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently]in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and]believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” (AMP)

When last did you do housekeeping? There is no time like the present…

*Hugs* till next time.


Friday, 8 January 2016

Modern Day Samaritan Woman

Here’s to Walking on Water in 2016!!!

As 2015 faded away and the New Year dawned I received many encouraging, funny and even serious good wishes for the year to come; but my cousin sent me a message that didn’t only ring true to me; it stuck in my memory and mind and I have been pondering its implications ever since.

My cousin’s message simply said “His plan for our lives once realised is quite an adventure. Like we’re walking on water and don’t even realise it.”

The more I thought about it the more I realised that 2015 was an extraordinarily difficult year for me, as well as so many others. During this year my faith was tested in ways never before experienced in my life. Tests and trails were almost a daily occurrence and I truly felt as if I could relate to Paul when he said in 

2 Corinthians 1:1

We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. (MSG) Emphasis my own

Not only was my personal faith tested and stretched; but my Christianity and character were attacked and under fire, by those who were the closest to me and who should have known better than most whether I was sincere or not. These mind numbing attacks would occur randomly without warning. I couldn’t understand where this was coming from or why. I wanted to retaliate but didn’t.

These onslaughts from all avenues were emotionally very painful and difficult to accept and I often wondered whether I would make it at all. I didn’t believe that I deserved them, yet I chose to submit in silence to these false accusations, instead of retaliation. Have you felt like that? 

Bombarded from all sides! Perhaps you do still feel like that? 

Wondering whether you are going to make it.

While reflecting on the tenacity it took stand firm, stable and grounded on the gospel during the year, regardless of the events occurring, my cousin’s message rang true to me, because while my focus was on survival and problem solving,
I was walking on water and not even realising it.  

Maybe you are too… Maybe that’s precisely why this has been a hard year…
Our stories are an extension of the Book of Acts…the Bible stories we love and cling to are not all finished…Our stories are still being recorded….

I shouldn’t have survived this past year…I really shouldn’t have... yet I did. 
Just as Peter should not have been able to walk on water…yet he did…

Just like the people in the bible couldn’t take credit for surviving and overcoming at great odds, so too can’t I…were it up to me I would have crawled into a hole and perished long ago, but the supernatural power of God that permitted Peter to be able to work on the water, was the same supernatural power that sustained me and carried me through a difficult year.

I was indeed walking on water and not realising it.

But isn’t this precisely what we have come to know about our faith???

Things are not always as they seem and we need to discern what is going on around us. 

Our faith is one of opposing opposites…refining and renewing our very thinking…

To live abundantly, we have to lay down our lives voluntarily,

To have plenty we must give all…

We have to love those who hate us…

Obedience to God doesn’t always appear to be the right thing in the eyes of the world…

Submission appears weak...yet actually requires tremendous courage and strength…

Forgiving others just as we have been forgiven…

I believe that the spirit realm and the battle we are all facing has slipped up a notch or two and that is why the pressure is on…

I believe that we will have to prepare to face this brand new year, fully armoured and ready to fight the good fight…

Ephesians 6:10-18
The Armor of God
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.(AMP) Emphasis my own.
So here’s to walking on water in 2016… With Jesus, prayer and faith…His Will will be done and we, His children will overcome the trials to come…

*Hugs* till next time.