He is a Father…

time

The biggest buzz at this moment in the South African Christian world is that the very controversial pastor from America, Steven Anderson, was banned from coming to South Africa.I followed the story, but quickly got bored with all bickering and went on with my day.

Today marked the day that my boy started to walk confidently. I posted about this event just two weeks ago, but a week after David took his first steps, he just stopped. I could not fathom why and google was at a loss with all my endless questions as to why he stopped walking. Finally, I just gave up and let him be, and what do you know, he starts walking confidently all by himself.

While I was outside with my boy walking away, I suddenly felt the presence of God. Peace came around me and mister waddle in front of me. Through all the giggles of my little who is discovering the world at an alarmingly fast pace, I was vaguely aware of His Presence. It was as if God was walking with me and both Him and I were astonished at the beauty of this boy and his innocence.

I took note of this and went of with my day.

I hurt my Achilles tendon through who knows what and was on my way to the physiotherapist this afternoon when I sensed God again. This time, just riding with me in my car, soaking up the glorious sunshine. My upcoming trip to Israel is two weeks away and the timing of this injury is just not ideal. I chatted to Him about it, but just received a calm reassurance that all will be ok.

As I pulled up at the practice, I heard Him say: “You are a beautiful woman.”  As He said it, I was right at the door of the practice that had a mirror in . I looked at my reflection and saw the bandage around my ankle and my very sweaty face, but I felt His adoration and lifted my head in confidence.

This evening we went to the beach and once again God came with. My dogs actually behaved themselves and allowed a little boy to pat them without jumping up against him. My husband was processing his day with me and again, I heard God’s voice: ” He is My beloved son.”

Only now, it dawned on me, I think Mr Steven Anderson has not tasted the love of this Father yet. He knows God but missed the heart of the Father. Only orphan thinking would wish doom on a country when he has been banned from it. Only orphans will point fingers filled with wrath at how lost our nation is .  A true son will take responsibility and step up to the plate. Like the One true Son did so many years ago. The One that was without sin, became sin for us to walk free. My prayer now for this man is that he will receive such a revelation of God’s Father heart.

He is a Father in our everyday lives and He is absolutely besotted with us. He is not ashamed to be seen with us. His Love is proud to be seen with me. He does not give His heart in pieces, He gave it wholly. His Love is a fire burning bright for me. His love is not passive and it is never disengaged. His love hangs on every word He says.

 

love

 

Selah.

 

Fruit of an unsatisfied life

It is not often that you come to a place where you have to face facts: This life is just not turning out as you dreamed it to be. That hopeless feeling of just never catching a break, just never reaching that place in your business, just never being able to breathe and just be.

We have become a culture addicted to travel. Why? Because it helps us to escape. We have become wanderlusts.

Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

All is good to go on holiday,but something seriously wrong if it is our means of escape from reality and responsibility.

I was THE wanderlust. Since a little child, I wanted to travel and explore. I am a number 7 on the Enneagram personality test. A 7 is scared that life will not be an adventure. So I chased adventure, whether it was to have a nice cup of coffee with my mac on my table, music in my ears and staring across the sea, or planning the next trip to somewhere.

I always say it is much easier to go and explore outside and than to sit still and look inside of yourself. When we minister we often ask people to talk to God about what we are ministering on, as soon as we ask them to be vulnerable and share, they start preaching. They tell us what they learned, not what they were feeling.

The first sign of living an unsatisfied life is not being able to be vulnerable.

What does it mean to be vulnerable? It means you open up the you that is the most difficult to defend. Scary right? Yet, we have become so accustomed to not share that one part of ourselves out of fear that we ourselves don’t even go there. Instead we wander and explore spiritually and physically, hoping that this experience will numb the numbness inside ourselves.

Second sign of an unsatisfied life and it goes hand in hand with being vulnerable is to be able to connect. Intimacy is starting to decline in this society due to us not being able to show ourselves. A great definition of intimacy is by Danny Silk: Into me you see. It is coming to that place where you show the true you to someone that you love and feel safe with and allowing that person to connect with you.

Third sign is anxiety. To me anxiety is a feeling of being out of control. It is that feeling of not being able to meet the standard. Yesterday I had to renew my license and part of the process is to do an eye test. I can see, I am a photographer,but still the word “test” made my hands sweat and I held my breath  as I did the test. Finally when the official said that I have past the test, I relaxed. You see, my brain registered that there is a standard that I need to fulfil and immediately I started to perform to reach that standard. {Look at me being vulnerable here}.

Being an anxious person means that you believe a lie that you are not enough. Or if you do show the true you, you are too much to handle. The key is here, you. You are not satisfied with yourself.

We have so many coping meganisms just to get through this life. Some smoke, drink lots of coffee or alcohol , do drugs, travel, exercise excessively, become spiritualists, even go to church often, all in the process to help us cope.

But here is the thing, we were not created to cope, we were created to thrive and rule and reign on this earth.

This is my story: I was very unsatisfied with myself. My father one day looked at me when I was just a teenager and said: Make peace with who you are. I tried. I took on so many persona’s just to be able to define myself. I became the traveller,the christian, the preacher, the prophet, the writer and the photographer.Later I became the wife and seven years later, the mother. With every journey I found a piece of me, but still there was a longing and a hardness in my heart that just did not settle.

I am married to one incredible man, who was on a similar journey earlier in his life and did find what he was looking for. One night, he asked me: What about this? And it hit me. I have been carrying a pain that happened so many years ago that I can’t even remember the details.. but when it happened, I started to believe that God doesn’t care about me. I looked into myself and saw the confusion and pain that this situation caused,and instead of hiding it again, I took it to the One who I believed have failed me.

And a wonderful thing happened. He cried. Pappa God cried over my pain. Not because He felt guilty that I had to experience it, no, because He never intended it to happen to me. He didn’t cause it to happen, yet it did and it defined my life. Finally, I came to Him for redemption. And I met an incredible,beautiful and loving Father.

I cannot describe what I have been going through since. I lost 12kg, I started running, I cook {miracle in itself}, I celebrate my two beautiful men and furballs, I started to have compassion on people. I stopped performing for work.Judgement stopped in my life and I started to thrive.

I found peace and became satisfied in this life!

When I dealt with that pain, my perspective changed. Previously I was focused on me and what I can get out of God, but now, I became a son of God. I see Him for who He is and fell in love all over again. My heart became that of a blessing and I want to celebrate and worship Him in all His glory. My trust was restored in Him and I can walk with my head held high, knowing that My Daddy got this.

Be blessed!

Living a life without regret

This past week, I was on this mission to find a nice pair of jeans. Poor David has to tag along as I power walk from one shop to the next. In Woolworths, I was just on my way out of the changing rooms, disappointed that I yet have to find the right fit, when I past a elderly gentleman. He stopped me with his crooked finger and pointed at my boy:

“May I look at him?” He asked.

Any mom with such a handsome baby will never pass the opportunity to receive praise with regards to her boy. “Sure!” I said , paused and waited for the praise songs to begin. {Have you seen him lately? Stunner!}

“I wish I was that young again.” He said and looked at me with a sparkle in his eye and off he went with his walking stick and left me puzzled.

That was a first. Normally, the elderly folk oooh and aah around my boy and his hair. I started walking again and thought about the old man’s comment.

That comment was loaded and could mean one of two things. Either he had a very bad life and was full of regret and wanted a second chance to this game of life, or he had a fantastic one and wanted it all over again.

My guess was number two. Just the sparkle in his eyes and his smile made me realise that this Oupa lived.

This made me ponder my own life. Am I ready to say I will do it all over again? No regrets?

How do we live a life without regret? Do we go after every adventure to make sure we never miss a thing? Travel the world, start countless businesses, become famous? How do we determine when we made a mistake and can put it in the bucket of regret?

My life danced before my eyes, and I tried to find regret in it. Yes, here and there is something that I wish didn’t happen. Like me being unkind to a friend or being so self absorbed that I missed my husband’s tired eyes. But even with those events, I take it as a learning curve  rather than a regretful event.

But I remember a young Linda, maybe 21, I remember how full of regret I was. At  a very young age, I made a lot mistakes that really made me wish I never made them. The pain that came with it was not worth it.

Today, I struggle to find mistakes and put them in the regret bin. I do make mistakes, yes, but I come to learn that it is more opportunities to grow.

This change of mind came when I really got to know Jesus. Not only believe in Him as my Saviour, but got to know Him as my friend.

Through His eyes, I started to see myself and my life. Even when I go through a difficult patch, I am reminded of his goodness.

The other day, Stoffel and I chatted about where we are at. We are so incredibly blessed. We have seen and experienced stuff that we would have never experienced if it wasn’t for Jesus and His guidance.

I come alive just by thinking of Him. He is the biggest adventure that I ever embarked on. Him, His heart for the nations and His Kingdom.

I am so thankful for His love that set my heart free to live as one that is unconditionally loved.

And to me that is living a life without regret: To know that you are loved and free.

 

Enjoy your day!

November 12, 2015Linda Fourie Photography

When being vulnerable becomes the enemy

I am back from a delicious two week holiday with my hub hub. This post is not about what we experienced but more about what I learned. So, don’t worry, I won’t bore you with the boring details of a leopard kill we saw while in the Kruger. 🙂

Our car radio didn’t work, so in the 3000 + km that we drove, we chatted. This is what I love about being married to my man, he can talk and he can listen. We processed so much of this past year. TB was the main subject . About a year ago, my active journey started with this disease. I was sick since November 2012, but did not know it. {Side note: If you cough for longer than a week, please get tested.}

Anyway, the person I am today and the person I was a year ago is so vastly different. I sort of lost sight of the new me a couple a weeks before my holiday. Especially with regards to my business. I started to perform in my business. To get acknowledged was vital to me for the success of my business. I started chasing opportunities at the cost of others and mostly myself. Worst of all, I started to micro manage my life and everything in it.

This is completely the opposite of the value I learned during my TB journey.

Let me explain:

This past holiday I noticed something that is a fruit of fear. When circumstances overwhelms us we start to perform. We try everything in our power to prevent us from getting hurt by that very same overwhelming circumstances. We make decisions out of fear and let our emotions lead us. This we all do because we have become aware of our human vulnerability. The moment we became aware of how fragile we are, we start to perform to protect our fragileness.

Some signs that we placed ourselves in that position:

  • Selfish decisions
  • Underlying anger
  • expecting the worse to happen
  • frustration
  • disconnect with close friends and family
  • anxiety

This is just a few, but I sort of know when I am sliding in that position of self protect,it is when I lose my peace or leave my sweet spot.

This past holiday I noticed that pattern in my own life, but it was mostly in my approach to my photography business . I did whack stuff that almost cost me dear relationships!

The truth is you are always vulnerable. Those overwhelming  circumstances are always around the corner of your life. Or you are already in it. How you go though difficult circumstances and handle it depends on your perspective.

This is what TB taught me. When I heard for the first time I had TB, I started to cry. When I saw my dad’s face when he heard that I have TB, my heart stopped. I was in the middle of a sea of doubt that was threatening my life and I had no life-line or get out of jail free card. I had to go through this even though I was scared beyond myself.

That is when God came in.

He lifted my eyes of my very vulnerable state and forced me to look at Him. During the biggest battle of my life for my life, I felt a sense of deep trust and knowing that I will be ok. He was there. If I turned out not being ok, He will comfort those I love. All will be well. That didn’t mean that I wasn’t scared, but my trust wasn’t placed in myself to overcome, but in Him.

This holiday , I realised that the biggest thing that cripple people is to trust themselves to get out of a difficult situation. We just can’t do that. To take responsibility for something so overwhelming that has the potential to ruin your life is a very scary place. God never intended us to lean on ourselves when dark times come. Like a good Father, He wants us to come to Him and trust Him with whatever steals our joy. He knows how to comfort.

I realised that my trust regarding my business started to slide more in my direction than in God’s direction. So last week Monday I woke up, had a walk on the beach and had a chat with my Marketing Manager of my business. I needed two weddings for the next season to break even, so I asked Him. That afternoon, while on holiday, wedding number one came in and the next day wedding number two came in. Oh, I learned my lesson!It is so much easier to trust Him for break through than to work for it myself.

We are vulnerable human beings, so delicate, yet very strong. Trust Him and believe in Him to make your path straight.

God speaks

I remember a couple of years ago a  very dear friend of ours asked me how do I hear God’s voice? I just looked at him not understanding the question. I wanted to reply that I hear God the same way speak as I hear you now. I could see that he really wanted to know. I couldn’t explain to him how I hear God because I just hear Him?

Ever since then my friend discovered his own way of hearing God and his life was transformed. He knew who his wife is through a chit chat with God and listening to His Papa, he is today a happily married man to the woman who God nudged him to pursue.

This past week, I thought about that question again. My husband needs solitude to speak to God. He wakes up early mornings before his chatterbox wife, and speaks to God and listen. Stoffel receives God’s direction through numerous ways, one of his favourite ways is through the Word of God. { I guess Word Of God is a clear indiction of God speaking! }

Me, well, I am a chatterbox so I guess Papa chats with me. It just happens. I can sense Him and we go through the day chatting. The whole day. I work home alone and as a people’s person this can be very frustrating. I think Jesus decided to keep me company, knowing my desperate need to have constant conversation.

I like to share with you this weeks conversation. Once in a while, Jesus wants to teach me a kingdom principle. I am a eager listener, but not a eager learner. Never really liked school, so Jesus is extremely creative with His way of transforming my mind.

On Tuesday I  had to drive through to Cape Town for work. I don’t like driving, but through my work I have to do it often. Our CD player in our car is broken so I can’t  listen to my music and have to depend on the radio for entertainment. BUT.. There is one stretch just outside of Hermanus on the way to N2 where my radio doesn’t want to tune in to the station I want to listen to. By now, I know of this curve ball and switch my radio off before the white noise irritates me.

This is God’s section. He uses this opportunity to speak without me consciously deciding to speak to Him. He just starts dropping thoughts into my mind. This week, while driving that section of the road, I started thinking of my prophetic words I have received. {By the way, this is one way of God speaking, random thoughts popping up in your mind.}

Prophetic words are another way of God speaking to us. I LOVE prophetic words. I have seen in my own life how people’s lives were transformed by me giving a prophetic word to them. Anyway , on Tuesday I started thinking of mine. I have HUGE prophetic words over my life and by now, made peace with the fact that God is the only one being able to fulfil them. But my mind kept going back to one word that was repeated over the years by numerous people, exactly these words in this order:

” Your words carry a lot of power.”

Clearly, God is saying something. I mean if numerous people on different continents said the exact same thing over and over, it must mean something. I can make my own conclusions and I do, but my favourite game is to see what does the word mean and it’s impact.

This is what I do then, I speak over people’s lives. I call out what I see, trusting in my words that they carry power to see the shift happen. Sometimes I am not there to see it happen, but still, it brings so much joy to do it regardless.

There I was driving, thinking of these words,when  I realised that it stretches far beyond me blessing people, but also it impacts my own life. When I had TB, I spoke to the TB and told it to die. I spoke life into my body and my mind. I kept on releasing life and powerful words over me and my husband til the end. Even now, I speak health over my body.

I do it in my work as well. Yesterday, I posted on Facebook of the three women that came to me for a shoot , each one of them on different occasions . They all struggled for years to fall pregnant, even after medical help. They came to me to celebrate life and say Goodbye to the dream of having a baby. During these shoots, I chat a lot to my clients, so all three their stories were told in-between smiling at my camera. As they all turned back to the car after the shoot, I release it.” You will fall pregnant during the next year” One actually heard me. Today, two of them are pregnant and one already had her baby. Power in words. There are so much power even with the words of the hundreds of people who prayed for them to fall pregnant.

When I shoot weddings, I release peace over my couple as I am driving to the wedding.During my goodbyes after I shot the wedding, I say to the couple,: ” You will have a blessed marriage filled with love and happiness!” When my brides email me after the big day to say thank you, all of them have said this: ” In a very busy and stressful time before I walked down to my husband to be, you made me feel relaxed.”

On Tuesday after I met with my clients, I walked back to my car. The dear car guard came up to me to receive his payment. I then realised I had no money on me! I apologised to him and he just smiled and said,” It is ok, madam, you can give me a blessing.” I got so excited! Did I give it to that man! I believe with my all my heart it will come true. How else, after a whole day of God chatting to me about the power of my words?

This morning, I opened my email and I received a beautiful mail from one of my favourite prophets, Connie Bennot,

This is what she said:

Hello, just felt like praying a blessing over you today.

May the Lord bless you with a season of supernatural increase, divine acceleration and growth in the heavenly realm as well as the resources you need to fulfill His purposes.

May the Lord bless you with super-abundant blessings. May he pour Himself out upon your households as a fragrant healing oil.

May the Lord bless you with a new season, a season of unfulfilled dreams being fulfilled– the very dreams you have been treasuring in your hearts.

I am off to have one very blessed day and I speak a blessing over your day as well!

Let us speak into existence love and the Life Jesus died for us to lead!