(I originally named this post “Spring Inspiration”, but thought that my hubby would not let me get away with not merging the two words and coming up with a fab new one!)Yes, Spring is in full bloom in Holland. I had forgotten how good the sun felt on my face! We are really loving the sunshine and try to sit outside with a book as much as we can.
The Spring has brought with it a whole lot of inspiration in this Durban Diva’s life. I have been doing a lot of soul searching and have really learnt a lot about myself. Ok let’s start at the beginning…
I went on retreat.
Matt and I had just finished hosting the Alpha course at our church and I felt that I needed some “alone” time with God. So Matt tracked down a really wonderful retreat centre, called De Spil, where I could go. It is in a little place called Maarssenbroek and is about two hours via public transport from The Hague. I traveled ALL BY MYSELF and was very very proud!
When I arrived, it felt as though I belonged. The people were so kind and Maarssenbroek is just breathtakingly beautiful. I went for walks and prayed and read a lot. I felt renewed and refreshed after my time.
But something really significant happened. A while back my very considerate Matt gave me a book by Mary Sutherland called “Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry – success and survival for every woman who serves God”. So, I took it along on retreat and started to read… It blew my mind! It is all written by women who are in ministry, and the one chapter had specific focus on Pastor’s wives. A lady called Kelly Searcy tells her story and I could totally relate. In it she said something very important. She said that you needed to list the things that you are good at, and then list the things that you love doing. And then, here comes the tricky bit, you should fill your time with the things that appear on BOTH lists. So for instance, if you are very good at sewing, but absolutely hate to sew, do NOT volunteer to sew the outfits for the Nativity Play.
It was like a complete revelation to me! Nobody had ever said that to me before! Thank you Kelly!
Anyway so I started thinking about the things that I do love, and was absolutely blown away by inspiration and excitement! So these are the things I am trying to fill my time with…
“If you are afraid of butter, use cream!”
As you know, Matt and I are complete foodies. And if you love cooking, you will know who said these famous words….yes…. Julia Child! I finally watched the movie “Julie & Julia” with Meryl Streep and LOVED it! It is based on the life of Julia Child and a blogger who tried to cook all her recipes out of the bestselling cookbook, “Mastering the art of French cooking” in ONE YEAR! I was so inspired that I immediately ordered not only volume one, but also volume two. Now, I am not saying that I am going to cook all the recipes in a year… I wasn’t that inspired! But I have started cooking some. Well, one to be exact, but I have decided to share it with you! Here it goes, the poached egg! This is Poached eggs on Toasted Baguette with Goat cheese, and black pepper vinaigrette. (Only the poached eggs are from the cookbook, the rest are from The Food Network)
I had to, of course, try it out on my guinea pig. He loved it! Then cried when it was finished! I couldn’t even taste one bite, because I was down with stomach flu, but I really enjoyed cooking it and only ruined one egg in the process!
I bought my first painting!
I went to a women’s morning at our church and they had art on display from female artists in the congregation. My head being so filled with cooking and also the new book I am reading, “Bella Tuscany, The sweet life in Italy” By Frances Mayes, I walked into the hall and my eyes fell on this beauty (see above). All of a sudden I could feel the Tuscan sun on my face, smell the garlic and the basil and taste the sweet wine on my lips. I love this painting! Doesn’t it remind you of Italy?? Matt says it reminds him of France, but that’s great too, because it fits in with my new French cookbooks. Anyway, the painting was painted by the late Pearl Marx. And I would like to think that she painted this from memories of an old garden she visited on one of her many travels to Italy…. Maybe.
I Painted my first…thing!
I have always loved the idea of painting. I have always loved creating something from nothing. And believe me, I have tried to paint and to create, but I am more a preschool-teacher -art -kind -of -gal than an artist. But, being so inspired by doing what I love, I painted! I talked before about the Women’s Morning? Well, I painted little gift easels with a scripture on it for each woman. I REALLY LOVED DOING IT! I just slapped on some different coloured water paints and Bob’s your uncle! I felt really inspired and peaceful and just loved every second of it. I prayed over the easels as I painted each one and imagined who would take them home…
I have decided that from now on, I will paint and create even if it is just for myself! It felt so good!
In other news…
Matt and I celebrated 5 years of marriage on the 21st of March. Best five years ever! We also had the best day. Lunch in the garden, pizza and wine in the evening, and Matt treated me to tickets to watch the Lion King Musical. Am I lucky, or what?!
Jackson is doing well. He is loving the sun and loves going for long walks with his mummy and daddy. I love my two boys!
Well, that is all my news! Thank you for all the lovely comments. I have been hearing from some people who are either going through the immigration process, or who are already in Holland, which has been really encouraging.