February in South Africa is the peak of summer. Here in the Boland, temperatures climb to 40 degrees Celsius + and cooking becomes a bit of an ordeal in the heat!
We’ve been blessed with rain since yesterday and this morning the Guy asked for Cabbage Stew – a very traditional, simple meal out here – and definitely more of a winter dish, but as I said….we’ve had some rain!
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. ~ Mark Twain
The below recipe is how I make my stew – easy and hearty!
Cabbage stew ( Koolbredie)
What we need:
• ± 1kg of lamb ( I use neck, shank, shoulder and thick rib cuts)
• 1 whole cabbage – shredded
• 3 – 4 medium onions – sliced
• 10 medium potatoes – whole & peeled
• salt and pepper
• olive oil
• Worcester sauce
What we do:
• Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the sliced onions and meat immediately. You want the lamb browned but not cooked. Remember to use a wooden spoon to lift/scrape all the bit’s of brown meat and onion off the bottom and sides of the saucepan. It adds great flavour to the meal. Try a dash of Worcester Sauce with your meat – it’s lovely!
• The meat will brown fast and once done, add your whole, peeled potatoes and the shredded cabbage. You can dice the potatoes, but I keep mine whole….it’s preference only!
• After about 30 – 4 minutes of stewing, you can add salt and lots of black or white pepper. The secret is the pepper….believe you me!
• Once seasoned, stew for another hour or more – you want the meat really tender!
• Don’t forget to stir the pot occasionally.
We serve it on brown rice (yes….we do potatoes and rice in one meal) and that’s it!
As with all stews, this one tastes way better the next day.
What is your favourite stew?
Have you eaten cabbage stew before – and do you like it?
SHIFT – that was the word that took me through, over, under and apart in 2012! It was my third year of choosing my ONE WORD for the year and by October 2012 – I was sure it would be my last.
Don’t ask me what I expected of the word, please! Words to explain elude me still. What I can say is this: God took me, shook me, changed me, planted me and loved me straight through it! The very foundation of who I am, what I thought I deserved and needed….all of it changed – fast and hard!
At one stage I was convinced the word has become a disease…a terrible infection…altering everything I thought to be true, necessary and mine. I remember driving past the cemetery just outside of town in November and the word popped into my head like an oversized balloon! I wanted to dismiss all thoughts of “shift”…bury it right there in the cemetery…but then came the image of all the good things that is now part of who I am….because of a relentless God, who knew it was time for the shift in me and around me, to happen – He knew to cement new things into me, to open my eyes, to wake me up, to show me the more that to me looked like less!
Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua1:9 (AMP)
As the last days of 2012 came to an end…I found myself asking Him, cautiously about my word for 2013. I had some ideas of words I would like…I even mentioned them to God. Giving Him some ideas – I suppose! There was REST – because as I told Him I wouldn’t mind a quiet year. A year of just resting in Him…and maybe some more sleep and less rush! JOY was another. You know, finding my joy in Him, in life, in all the things around me. I wanted a word that felt easy to me!
No word settled in my heart – by the 4th of January I was convinced my word is STOP – I kept seeing the word as I approached a “stop sign” on my way to the beach in Kleinmond. It made sense too – STOP worrying, STOP fighting, STOP running so hard, STOP-STOP-STOP! I could change the look of STOP into REST and that would bring me JOY – right?
Nope – not!
Saturday, 5 January, I was having coffee on the balcony when my word dropped in my spirit on the wings of the wind!
One Word for 2013.
I was so shocked it took me more than a month to settle into the word, to embrace it and to move beyond the fear that comes with it.
Merriam-Webster define the word as follows:
• to expand (as a statement) by the use of detail or illustration or by closer analysis
• : to make larger or greater (as in amount, importance, or intensity)
• to increase the strength or amount of; especially : to make louder
• to cause (a gene or DNA sequence) to undergo amplification
Now don’t get me wrong, the word immediately amplified my fear. That’s all it did for a month. My fear of living the true me – out in the open – unmasked – amplified to the point where it felt as if I was spinning on a restaurant floor with 18 tables to serve and no notebook to take orders! I was filled with such trepidation I thought it would be best to can the One Word for this year!
A large part of my brokenness
is was rooted in being told I am too much, from a very young age. I didn’t know what to do with that – how do you turn being too much into less? How do you become less when your whole being just loves the “much-ness” of life? How do you explain that you don’t want to be less, you want to live hard and loud and laugh and cry and feel! How do you explain to people who do not care to understand that being too much is not equal to asking for too much! I never asked for a thing – I just wanted to live on a larger scale, it was part of my DNA, it’s how God made me….because He knew I would need to love much and maybe be too much for some – to survive much!
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. Isaiah 41:10 (AMP)
Through the month of January God pursued by heart…and rooted my ONE WORD in my soul. Through some books, scriptures, long conversations with my best girl friends and the Guy I get to do life with….God made me realize that through the SHIFTING of 2012, He set the stage for me to embrace a word in 2013 that would not have been possible any other way!
It might be February already – but surely it’s not too late to start embracing my word for this year! I hope you might have a chance to journey with me as I explore the “much-ness” of life…!
What is your word for 2013?
How does your word make you feel?
11 The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” ~ 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)
Other versions of God’s word refer to the whisper in verse 12 as a still small voice.
One of the definitions in Merriam-Webster for whisper is: : to speak softly with little or no vibration of the vocal cords especially to avoid being overheard
I have never thought (really thought) about God’s voice much. I’ve quoted the above scripture many times, I’ve asked God to whisper to my heart, I’ve heard it being preached more times than not…but for some reason whisper & small still voice have never settled in my soul. It’s never affected me or made much of an impression. On an intellectual level I get it…God was in that whisper…He is not necessarily in the noise (I’m inclined to look for Him there, in the noise – but that’s not the point now)…Elijah came out when He heard the whisper; the small still voice.
Yesterday, I finished reading Lisa Bevere’s book, Lioness Arising: Wake Up and Change Your World. From the beginning to the end her words captivated my heart. I could not put the book down. I wanted to highlight every paragraph, I wanted to call each girl and women in my life and
shout say…get the book! I kept thinking…it’s because the lioness is my favourite animal in the world; maybe it’s my African heart that sees her majestic movements dancing on the pages of this book – I get her; perhaps it’s her strength and her roar and her courage; or might it be her inclusive nature…!?
However, as I read the very last sentence of this book my heart knew why I was captivated, awestruck, drawn and mesmerized by this book! I have heard those words before…words birthed in me…deep in me…long ago…I heard the whisper in my history…it WAS a small still voice…!
Lioness, lift your voice.
Small still voice.
To avoid being overheard.
Lioness, lift your voice! Loiness.lift.your.voice.
It echoed in me through the night…it was (and is) as though a deep memory, long forgotten was stirred…awakened…whispered into the light! A deep knowledge, a definite YES! I know the Voice…but the big realization…my soul recognized the decree!
Lioness! Yes you and me! Lift your voice!
In order for lions or lionesses to roar effectively, they must first change their posture. The unleashing of such raw declaration of might requires a bow. Their powerful heads drop, and they expand their chests in order to fill their lungs with air. ~ Lisa Bevere from Lioness Arising
You know that feeling when you stay underwater for as long as possible? When you push for a couple of extra seconds and just before your toes go numb and it feels as though your body might burst, you push through the water’s surface and you breathe…like a newborn babe you expand your lungs and you inhale! Well that’s how I felt when the whisper reached my memory!
Lioness, lift your voice!
Imagine that. Lift your voice. Yes, yours!
Lift it…let it be heard. Inhale my friend…and lift your voice about the good, the grace, the wounding and the truth. Lift your voice against what is wrong, lift your voice for the brokenhearted! When you hear the whisper…lift your voice!
As Lisa reminded me again…we follow the Lion of Judah! We’re in the company of the King of Kings…let’s change our stance! Let’s remember who we are – because He is and we belong to Him. We are part of His tribe! We belong to a victorious God! Our God can shake the foundation of the earth and the foundation of our souls with a whisper! Don’t you just love that? We, His daughters, know His small still voice…even when we think we don’t!
Can you dream, see or imagine this:
Each sound starts with a whisper! As we take hands, as we unify, as we include, as we bow our heads together before our God; our collective whisper will roar through the earth bringing hope, truth, love, freedom and so much more to the dark spots of this world…yes, go ahead and own the though & lift your voice!
Maybe you’ve read the book or it’s on you “to read” list! Perhaps you’ve heard the whisper and your own whisper has turned into a roar! Like me, you might not have known that you’ve heard the whisper…the small still voice, but if you don’t mind do share your thoughts.
So my sweet lioness-sisters, what do you think lifting your voice will “look” like?
Love you more than eggs on toast!
“You are too easily influenced,” he said. “You sound like our President…‘what crisis, there is no crises’…”!
I glared at him across the dinner table…awkward silence, followed by a tense giggle from another around the table…and in that moment I had to choose!
A barrage of news headlines that make me shudder has filled the past couple of weeks [more like months]! It feels like a roller-coaster ride with no beginning or end. We’ve seen months of protected and unprotected industrial action, Marikana happened to the soul of this country. We read about an education system that’s buckling, a financial crises in almost every sector of this country. There’s overspending and underspending, there’s name calling and there’s Mangaung We read about dogs being shot with arrows and young children being raped…there’s not enough houses or jobs, the list feels endless.
During October [which was a big strike-month for me] I read almost anything I could lay my hands on. I reread our Constitution, I read about the psychological effects of poverty, jokes, human rights, trafficking, beautiful places, newspapers and books. Every morning I searched the web for “good news” – trying to fill my ravenous mind with substance.
In my search for substance – I forgot my bible!
The closest I got to substance was reading my online friend, Wendy’s timely posts over at I LOVE DEVOTIONALS! A link from Wendy on Twitter took me to this great article by Bob Goff, the author of Love Does.
And we have a Bible Doing. ~ Bob Goff
Gradually, over the past four days, I have woken up to the fact that too many negative words and conversations have left me feeling voiceless and despondent. I chose negativity and I did not speak the language of my heart. I surrendered to conversation and opinions that’s not part of my value system or belief!
So at the dinner table I changed the conversation. We need embrace what is positive, right! We cannot become people we’re not! We need to believe and build and be part of the solutions this country so desperately needs! So I shared all the positive stuff I came across during the day, good news, snippets of joy, the potholes the municipality fixed outside my office, just good stuff…and as I read this little piece of wisdom I found over at Leadership Online:
They say the road to democracy is a long one, and that the tree of democracy bares the fruit of patience.
BOOM #3 – hit me in my face like ice water on a winter night!
In that moment every single cell in my body trembled with hot anger. For a second I actually considered to hurl an empty plate at him. Old wounds burst open in a split second and I thought about getting up, I thought hard about it…but my bum was glued to that chair by an invisible force.
“You are…You sound…You are…You sound”
So I sat…and I glared…and my heart heard the words…
Do the Bible!
I choose to be easily influenced by God’s way, His Son and the Holy Spirit. ~ neritia
There’s something magical about good friendships between women.
You know that kind of friendship where you save the world over a glass of wine, fly dreams like kites on the back of the wind and sit through the emotional thunderstorm that rips though the heart, flattening hope and trust in a moment of disbelief.
Heads huddled together…bodies leaning into our friendships…deep laughter that shatters through the darkness of broken stories…hands that pass the coffee and the tissues serving each other medicine words.
It’s doing life with bits of your heart stretched across a city, a country and continents. Our stories heal us. We find common ground and hope in shared storytelling…there’s grace in sharing life. We women, we do life with all our senses wide-awake. We feel, taste, smell and hear life. Life happens to our hearts and our bodies – and if we don’t have the good friendships our stories become fragments of glass that shatter our souls.
Good friendships and stories shared are like flower bulbs bursting into a tapestry of colour along the highway of life, in spring!
Do you have friendships that stretch across borders?
What do you love most about your girl friendship?
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.~ Maya Angelou
So I bummed out as a 31Dayer…as in completely…I made it to DAY 4 and have three more posts of my HOMEtown I didn’t even finnish! Trust me – I started off with the best of intentions – but it just didn’t work out the way I thought it would. The guilt of this “failed commitment” is eating away at my heart and I felt like a failure for the best part of this month! As the month progressed, instead of facing the facts, I started to clothe myself with failure. I think I had a “failure face” too!
Look at Charlie Brown’s face. Would you please hold still a minute Charlie Brown? I want Linus to study your face. Now this is what you call a failure face, Linus. Notice how it has failure written all over it. Study it carefully Linus. You rarely see such a good example. Notice the deep lines, the dull vacant look in the eyes. Yes, I would say this is one of the finest examples of a failure face that your liable to see for a long while. ~ Charles M. Schulz
Time to come clean! Experience has taught me that I don’t have the time in my schedule to blog daily – so I decided to defy experience. I heard God’s whisper deep in my heart, telling me to go slow, to tread softly – so I decided to challenge Him. I rebelled and I lost! The details of how I got derailed is not important now, the lesson that I’ve learned is!
For me, it’s easy to lose my way in the world. When things get tough at work I slip from “8-5-Leader” to “5-8-Follower”. The problem with my “5-8-Follower” behavior is not that I follow…it’s who and what I follow that are problematic. I lose sight of who I am and even worse, I forget why I am! So I signed up for the 31 Days not because I knew deep in my heart that I should do it, or even wanted to do it…I signed up because of an arrogant spirit! I knew I wouldn’t have the time, but it all looked so impressive…and all the posts I read and am reading are magnificent! It’s just not what I can do at this point in my life. So I need to come clean because it’s eating at me and I don’t want people to feel I have wasted their time…or think this project unworthy! It’s a “me-and-God-thing” this!
Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility! Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate! Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness! ~ C. JoyBell C.
Clothing myself in failure didn’t make anything better…it made things worse! I’ve been chasing my tail and trying to suppress my thirst for God’s peace by drinking from the wrong fountains. You see, I followed the world’s way for many, many years – so I am familiar with the routes! I recognize the places and the faces along the way; it’s easy because they all carry the same haunted thirst! However, right from the start, even my worse days as one of His girls surpasses the best days of my old ways and the world’s ways!
Wearing my “failure face” has reminded me of God’s gracious forgiveness, when I am bold in admitting my failures and my lust for things that feed my ego – through repentance in the Name of His Son!