Free-for-All Friday: A New Place in Every Post

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a few links worth perusing around these world wide internets. But a couple of things I read this week made me think it was high time I shared a little more for your weekend reading pleasure.

Did you ever meet the LoveCarrots?

A sweet and funny friend of mine I’ve mentioned before has an alter-ego {named Mama A} that occasionally shows up on her blog to set people straight on issues concerning which they need, ahem, straightening. A recent topic was very timely, as I recently had a discussion elsewhere about the Biblical importance of modesty…but this pair of posts takes it in a whole new direction.

Please check out Skank you, Skank you very much and I see London, I see France.

Laugh, enjoy, thank me later.

You Americans in the crowd might enjoy an outsider’s perspective on N’awleans after Katrina. My favourite Zimbabwean galpal is working on having seen more of my home country than I have! Check out: [New Orleans, Louisiana] Edgelands

A very talented international photographer (from Canada) recently took a heckuva fall (I think near the leaning tower of Pisa) and has been writing about his recovery on his blog. This recent post, just after his homecoming, has some great thoughts about life and choosing happiness.

This adorably heart-felt project, which literally makes hearts out of felt, and a bunch of other cute stuff, is making a difference in the lives of women in one impoverished community in South Africa. Check out the Heartfelt Project — it’s adorable and inspiring!

How do you weigh up the value of time and the value of money? Is it worth a commute into the big city to be able to afford a big house in the ‘burbs? A recent study in Sweden found that Commuting Makes You Unhappy, and when I think about work, and time, and what I want to give my kids most, I find this good food for thought.

And last but not least, a very timely post for me, as I am working through the emotions of leaving this mission field to head home, Emily from Chatting at the Sky talks about how she’s working through the emotional challenges returning home from a visit to the Philippines with Compassion bloggers. Here’s the colorful mess of joy and grief.

Feel free to pray for yours truly as I work through a similar process right now! And enjoy your weekend!


Free for All Friday, with a Dash of Hope & a Slice of Sass

It’s been a while since I pointed you in a few different directions for a little extra weekend blog-reading enjoyment. Reading some good posts over the past few weeks that I wanted to share with you reminded me, so I decided to collect for a wee while so I’d have some words for you to peruse at your leisure. Plus, you’ll have some other sites to visit if I go into labour.

Hey, it could happen.

In the meantime, allow the Bear to demonstrate what waiting sometimes feels like.


I feel ya, Bear.

Happy weekend!

Thoughts on Hope:

The first post I want to share does feature yours truly in a tiny fashion — a friend of mine complements me well beyond what I deserve — but she goes on to share an encouraging message about the importance of taking care of our hearts. Extra-specially good, it’s Pam who shared with you during our week of {Thanks}giving! I was hoping she’d start writing more regularly!

The post is here.

{Thanks for the love, Pam — your friendship is an absolute treasure.}

For the Marrieds, whilst appropriate for others as well:

On Moving Past Autopilot-Vanilla


For Parents, and the rest of us:

On recognizing that sometimes the things that are least comfortable are most needed.

If you want to buy a gift for the baby:

Can I haz one of deez preez?

Donald Miller on:

the story your life tells.

And finally, I found a ton of great stuff when a friend sent me to GodFirstblog:

like some awesome posts about parenting

and some great encouragement about rest.

I hope you enjoy the weekend {and rest}! I’m planning on taking it easy and preparing for, ya know, the kind of big event that could happen round these parts sometime within the next two weeks. I almost feel prepared, besides the name. Actually, scratch that. If I’m honest, I still have a lot to get together. Can you believe week 38 starts today?

I need to get back to nesting!


Weekend Entertainment

Although it’s a bit belated if you’re in my time zone, I thought I might be able to provide a little entertainment to help you through the weekend with some fresh Friday Free-for-All links! There’s a ‘buzz phrase’ in South Africa at the moment, Local ‘n Lekker, which means local, and very nice, good, or cool, depending on the context I guess. (I’ve done my best to explain ‘lekker’ before: read it if you haven’t already right here.) It’s even on a chocolate bar I like to eat that has ‘Ouma’ {Grandma} Fudge inside. I thought, ya know, in the LnL spirit, I’d try to keep things Local ‘n Lekker for you this weekend.

Bear Swinging at a Park with Table Mountain in the Background: Local 'n Baie (Very) Lekker

Since a lot of you are new, I’ll send you on a bit of a very local treasure hunt, if I may, before we branch out a bit.

Friday:: May I share some thoughts about choosing the path of most resistance? They’re from a year ago, when I could still run for more than, uh, twenty paces or so.

Saturday:: Did I ever tell you about the time I made £5 at a Strip Club? How’s that for some Saturday night reading?

Stay in the neighbourhood by visiting an awesome homeschooling Mom of Seven + 1 kids over at se7en. (They also live near Cape Town!) I’m not linking to a specific post because I think being a Mom of seven, just about anything she has to say is worth reading! Poke around for a bit! Get some crafty ideas or bake something fabulously kid-tested and mother-approved.

And Sunday:: Stroll over to enjoy a brief moment with Alece at grit&GLORY? Be challenged to give forgiving yourself some fresh thought. Alece is an American with Africa in her heart like me. (She lived here for a long time too, so you can poke around over there to get more of her incredible backstory. It is truly one full of grit and glory.)

After you’ve enjoyed your treasure hunt, you can take a moment to say a prayer for the Bear who is absolutely LOVING having our guests around. The prayer is for next week, when they leave I think he is going to be GUTTED! We are having a blast and we saw whales, up close and personal in Hermanus today. It. Was. Amazing.

Enjoy the weekend! I hope it’s a Local ‘n Lekker one!


Good News, and More Good News

Happy Friday, guys and dolls! How’s it going? A horrible troll took residence in my chest for the past couple of days. He gave me a beastly trollish cough, and a sore throat from all his trollish larking about, but now that my voice is slowly disappearing, I think he is, too. And that’s the first slice of Good News!

In more good news, Samaritan’s Feet South Africa made the news! We’re featured at SA Good News today, so click here to check it out! And nevermind that I wrote the story and the editor of SA Good News is one of my best friends and was a bridesmaid in my wedding. We’re in the news!

And in other really good news, God is a God who answers prayers. My Dad and brother had offered a while ago to help with our tickets home, but we felt like we were lacking more than we wanted to ask for. Before we’d even chatted with my Dad about what we were lacking and what we thought we should do, he rallied to the cause and spoke with my brother and an elder in his church. With the generosity of my Dad, my brother and some folks from the church, it looks like we’ll have the rest of the cost covered in time to pay for the flights we’ve had reserved on Tuesday! And that’s good because Tuesday is the last day we can pay! We may have to put one flight on a credit card, which is not our favourite way of doing things, but we’re confident it will be paid off before we’ve exited American soil on our way back to SA at the end of our trip! Whooo-hooo!

{NB: I just have to pause here to say I haven’t seen my Dad in over a year, and it’s been a year and a half since I last saw my sister, and I’m gonna get to meet my niece for the first time! This is just such Good News!!}

For a few more slices of Good News to complete this Good News Edition of the Free-for-All Friday series, I thought I’d share the long overdue pregnancy update I’ve been promising you! Sorry I don’t have a picture for you…I’ll get on that soon. So here are some details, in no particular order, and as they come to mind in my pregnant brain.

  • I am baking like it’s going out of style. Banana Bread, Brownies, Chicken Pot Pie Crust, Muffins… pretty much if the recipe calls for sugar, I’m interested. The Bear has been standing on a chair in the kitchen, in front of the counter, and has learned to stir as I add ingredients. Sometimes I let him add the ingredients, but it gets a little wild.
  • I am not even in my thirties, and I am tinkling 3 to 5 times a night. Nevermind, this is supposed to be Good News.
  • Today marks the pregnancy halfway point! Can you believe that? I am exactly 20 weeks pregnant today!
  • I’m still ralphing on a weekly basis. From what I hear, that means the baby is very healthy, so we’ll treat that like Good News.
  • I might promise you a year’s worth of homebaked goodies if you could find a way to get me a few Bill’s Hot Dogs from Washington, NC. {The Good News: We’re heading to the Carolinas for the holidays, and Bill’s will be mine! I’m drooling already.}
  • We ARE going to find out the gender of this wee one on the way at our appointment next month! (Our doctor requested a minimum number of ultrasounds and since we would prefer to stick with her, we’re going to do them.) But, we’re going to ask the OBGYN to put the pictures and the diagnosis in an envelope and we’re going to open it at Thanksgiving when we’re at home with family and find out together! I’m really excited about that since they won’t be around for the baby’s arrival. While I won’t have any ultrasound pics for you in this space, because, well you know, we will at least have an announcement to share with you during the holidays! I think my sister and her husband did the envelope thing last year, and it sure does sound like fun!
  • I can still zip and close the button of some of my jeans and other trousers. That’s Good News. While it’s often more comfortable to loop a rubber band through instead, it makes me feel like I might not turn into the Mac Truck pregger I was with the Bear. Seriously, I was like an ambulance…I needed a warning siren to back up. Here’s hoping I do better this time!
  • It seems like the Bear is really looking forward to having a real, live playmate around the house. He’s already practicing:

So, folks, that’s the Good News! Pretty good, huh? Hope you enjoy your weekend!


Because of Your Faith :: The Friday Web Crawl

Happy Friday!!! Isn’t it glorious? This the most favouritest Friday I’ve had in a long time, because Hero Hubs flies back from Zimbabwe this evening. Whoo-hoo! I hope your week has been a good one, and I really appreciated those of you who took a moment to lift up mine. In the midst of challenges, grace and strength met me around every corner. And when I was ralphing in the bathroom and there was no one around who could make sure the Bear wasn’t up to mischief in the kitchen, the Lord had an eye on him. (I returned to discover my banana bread was slightly overdone, but the Bear was happily munching away at a bag of chips, and just fine.)

The Pure Life Conference is happening this weekend, and I sure do wish I wasn’t half a world away so that I could enjoy it! But I shared a post close to my heart on the Pure Life Blog yesterday that you can venture over to enjoy :: Because of Your Faith, It Will Happen. {Do you ever feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling? This might be an encouragement.}

I’d also love to pile another thought or two on your weekend reading list by directing you to the gypsy mama. She recently visited Guatemala with Compassion International and she has some amazingly heartwarming stories, some challenging thoughts and some beautiful photos to share. Please check out :: The Only Virus Worth Catching.

And Emily, over at Chatting at the Sky, has some always well-chosen, and inspirational words about enjoying life as it is at the moment :: Embracing the Now Normal.

As a last request before your weekend gets off, would you mind telling me…do you read this stuff? Do you click these links and visit these sites? Or is this something you’d rather I didn’t bother with in this space? This place is yours as much as it is mine, so help me arrange the furniture. 🙂