On loss on grieving and Hope

I watched my father lose close to 40kg in a matter of weeks, I watched how my real life superhero battled disease, pain and with his own emotions. He went from being a fully functioning adult male, to being restricted to a wheelchair. I watched how he laughed less and would gaze for long periods of time at nothing.

I remember feeling so conflicted, I was grateful he was alive, but I was secretly wishing he would escape the constant pain, even if it meant death. I never experienced my father like I did during those last few months of his life. He told me he loved me more than he ever had in my lifetime, he apologized for all he failed to be, he reassured me that I would survive whatever would come.

I thought because I saw him fade away in front of me, I’d take his death better, that I would be consoled by his lack of suffering. I was wrong. I grieved for my father for a long time, I wanted to see him restored to his usual self, I wanted to have him to give my future husband a hard time and later walk me down the aisle, I wanted him to see his grandkids and I deeply wanted to make him proud.

I would ask myself how long it would take for the pain to stop, how long would it would be until a day passed when I didn’t dream of being with him, how long Lord… how long? People came with words of encouragement they told me he was in a better place, they told me he was free from pain, but I couldn’t see past my own pain. I would be fine during the day, but in the dead of the night, when people were gone, I would be left to myself, free to replay the agonizing memories, of all that once was, of all that will never be.

I don’t know where this finds you dear friend, some of us mourn relationships of people who are still alive, some of us mourn in private too afraid to let someone in, some of us have fresh wounds and we’re still trying to navigate our way through, but there is a ONE who wasn’t a stranger to death, in fact he was constantly confronted with it, from every side, Jesus lost John, someone he loved dearly, the story goes like this:

Matthew 14:12

John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

Do you know that shattering feeling of being told someone you love dearly has passed? Do you know that everything comes to a halt and you have to remind yourself to breathe, because your body feels like a foreign place and you can’t move? Jesus got the news too. Here’s what happened next

Matthew 14:13

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place…

JESUS went to be alone, some pain cannot be processed within a crowd in needs silence and stillness and aloneness. Where you don’t have to explain, where you don’t have to act strong where you can completely shatter in your own presence. We’re not told if he cried there, like he did with Lazarus, we’re not told what he thought in that moment.

But what follows is what struck me last night as I read this passage…

Matthew 14:13

…hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw the large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. (Emphasis my own)

In his own grieving, in his attempt to self- isolate and deal with it in his own way. He was being hounded by a crowd, people who needed him to do the impossible, people who knew what loss he suffered but needed him anyway. He could have retaliated; he could have told them off for their lack on consideration for his feelings but what was his response:

Compassion… He showed compassion to people who were too selfish to consider him, in his time of grieving a loved one, where he could be justified if he were to be harsh and dismissive yet he was compassionate…

We serve a God who is ALWAYS compassionate towards us. He didn’t send them away he HEALED them.

I didn’t write this blog to criticize you in anyway friend, I wrote it to encourage you, as you navigate through the pain.

I hope you know you are loved and seen and deeply cared for, by me because I know loss, by Jesus who himself felt loss. He isn’t distant and he knows all of what you feel. And you never carry any weight on your own. I pray you run to him and lay all of what weighs your heart down and I know, trust me I’ve seen him heal me and carry me through the darkest of times. He says COME… he’s love and presence is a constant invitation for us, for us the broken, the weary, the cast out, he sees the heaviness and he responds with COME and in his invitation he also offers us something in exchange and that is REST this calming of everything this peace in this blazing storm…

Matthew 11:28

COME TO ME, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

I pray a day comes when you can finally remember your loved one and not shatter, but here in the in-between, I hope you know you are deeply embraced, by the one who loved you enough to DIE for you. He will sit with you in the dark until the light of day comes, he’ll stay when people have left and they shame you for what you’re going through. I know he will HEAL you as well. He’s healed me, I hope you live your life in a constant surrender, and I pray you find a way to praise like Job, who had lost everything and was in a very familiar pit but he responds and says:

Job 1:20

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and het LORD has taken way; may the name of the LORD be praised.

May the name of the LORD be praised. Even in this, even right where you are, even in that inexpicable loss. ALWAYS in everything in all things MAY THE NAME OF THE LORD BE PRAISED.

Life is Art.

Why you should visit LEGiT for your summer wardrobe

I live for specials, I always try to find the best deals, so I can do more shopping. So recently when I went to the mall and found we have finally got a LEGIT store and I was absolutely over the moon!

During my last shopping trip I stumbled upon a special where you buy TWO dresses for the price of one, I was looking for a bright colored DRESS and a more natural colored dress as well and this is what I found:

This was my “bright summer dress” which I can also rock in cooler weather because of the long sleeves.

I also got a bargain for shoes, which were also on mark down going for a ridiculous price of R150.00 per pair, they had so many different colors but I was looking for shoes that would compliment multiple looks and these were my favorite:

The heel is quite balanced and it has great support. I also decided to add a few accessories and some handbag essentials:

Next time you spot a LEGIT walk in and see what great specials you’ll find, I promise it’ll be worth your while, here are a few snaps from my recent shoot. Remember YOU ARE ART.

Check out their nearest stores and current offers here http://www.legit.co.za

Afro- Botanics Product Review

African hair comes in different hair types some people have fluffy cottony hair but some have very course and tightly coiled hair find out more about this here https://blacknaps.org/know-your-hair-type/

I have 4c Hair.

4C Hair is:

Tightly zig-zagged kinky coily strands

Densely packed hair

Coils are similar to a 4b, but has less definition and more shrinkage

Strand diameter ranges from super fine, thin and soft to wiry and coarse

This texture is very delicate

Up to approx. 75% more shrinkage than other curl textures.

Afro

Because of this hair type I often used to get so frustrated with keeping my hair moisturized and healthy but with the following products this is no longer a mission:

1. Black Pearl Hair Juice

This Hair Juice is a water-based, has highly nutritious spray formulated with Aloe juice and Shea Butter which is great for dry thirsty hair. It also contains pro-vitamin b5 and Vitamin E as well as naturally derived conditioning agents for healthy hair that grows and is less likely to break. It deeply moisturises and makes hair easy to detangle. This Hair Juice is pH balanced to close hair cuticles leaves hair soft. You can purchase this for R75.00 at https://clicks.co.za/afrobotanics_black-pearl-hair-juice-250ml/p/276344

2. Black Pearl Enhanced Moisture Hydrating Conditioner

This product helps to rebuild hair with a concentrated and super nourishing blend of ingredients such as: coconut oil, avocado oil and shea butter. It leaves the hair rehydrated, soft and more resilient to the damage styling causes.

You can purchase it for R99.99 here https://clicks.co.za/afrobotanics_black-pearl-hydrating-conditioner-500ml/p/276342

3. Moisturising LeaveIn Condition

This Leave-In Conditioner has a combination of aloe vera, coconut oil and vitamin E in a moisturising formulation that helps to condition and repair hair, and add shine. Also helps with detangling knots and it protects hair from UV and heat styling damage. You can purchase this product for R75.00 at https://clicks.co.za/afrobotanics_with-jamaican-black-castor-oil-250ml/p/276338

I have been using these products and I am very happy with how they have been treating my natural hair so far and would suggest that you try them as well, they are not too pricey and are a great value for money.

I would definitely recommend that you try the entire range of Afro-Botanics products and I can guarantee that they would be excellent for any hair type. Here’s to many beautiful Afro days and to being committed to loving and looking after your hair!❤️

Remember whatever your hair texture or hair type you are Art, the most beautiful kind.

How to shop without breaking the bank and why end of season sales are worth it

A woman can never have enough clothes! Well, that’s my opinion anyway. I have always loved different styles, I have a particularly interesting taste in vintage clothing but for the most part I love to spend as little as possible, while looking as classy as possible.

Here are tips on how to make the most of the little money you have:

1. Always go online and compare prices with various clothing shops before you make your purchase. This will prevent you from spending more at one place where you might find a similar item elsewhere.

2. Don’t only stick to a few shops, explore your options. I shop everywhere, I used to have this idea that I should actually stick to one shop but now I look everywhere and I’ve found some really beautiful items when I least expected it.

3. Combined pricey pieces with more expensive ones, your outfit does not have to expensive from head to toe, you can have a pricey pair of jeans and combine it with a cheaper T-shirt and a cheap belt, people rarely notice the difference if you put everything together well.

4. You do not have to shop every single month, some months just put money aside so that you can prevent yourself from having too little cash because you needed that one blazer that goes with everything!

5. Diversify your wardrobe, have dresses, jeans, shirts, coats and decide what you like the most but have a few items you can wear all year round.

6. WAIT FOR CHANGE OF SEASON SALES… shops usually have massive sales just before the end of a season, keep your eyes open so you know when your favorite item with be available at half the price, I really wanted this pink suit but was not going to pay close to R1000 rands for it so I waited and I am so glad I. In the end I only payed less than half the price!

7. Try thrifting a friend on mine usually pays R200-R500 for coats that would be quite costly and they always look really amazing. Second hand shops are not a bad idea if you have a great eye.

8. I have never had a clothing account, I was always too scared I’d get myself in serious debt trying to look good. So I never opened one at all and honestly I am not judging if you do, this was just my way of financial management, I would suggest that before spending large amounts of money make sure your accounts are relatively paid. I would suggest that you close them altogether but hey, I know that’s not a reality for everyone.

9. Find your inspiration, find someone who will inspire your outfits my favorite fashion blogger is Nifesimi Akingbe and I have followed her for YEARS she makes me look at clothes in different ways and she always dresses so well. She has her own blog and if you’d like to see what she has look over here http://www.nifeakingbe.com you won’t regret it!

10. Dress in clothing for you, people can be impressed and that’s great but ultimately wear what you’re most comfortable in and what you find most beautiful. FASHION HAS NO RULES.

And remember you are ART dress yourself like you’re displaying what you truly are… here are a few snaps from my recent shoot.

NILOTIQA product review

Last year I brought two Nilotiqa products which are :

The Nourishing Oil for Dry Scalp and Dandruff

The Nilotiqa Nourishing Hair & Scalp Oil is a lightweight oil that easily infiltrates the strands to seal in moisture.

 This oil contains large amounts of vitamin E and C and always nourishes my hair and gives it a beautiful shine.

It has a few excellent benefits because it is:

A Light weight oil

An oil with multiple vitamins and nutrients.

Hair Butter Cream for Natural Hair

Nilotiqa Deep Moisture Hair Butter is full of excellent moisturising properties and various nutrients which work exceptionally well for for dry, damaged hair. It restored my  hair to its beautiful healthy nourished state without being too heavy for the hair. It is perfect to use daily and my hair is not dried out.

It’s BENEFITS include how well it:

Deeply Moisturizes

Retains and locks in moisture

My hair is more manageable

It has a wonderful light cocoa scent and leaves your hair smelling fresh

I use both products for my LOC methods or my LCO methods

I WOULD 100% SUGGEST THAT YOU TRY BOTH PRODUCTS AND ALSO THEIR WIDE RANGE OF PRODUCTS AVAILABLE OF THEIR SITE:

https://www.nilotiqa.com/

THE GREAT NEWS IS THAT IT IS ALSO NOW AVAILABLE AT Pick ‘n Pay.

For those who are uncertain about what the LOC\ LCO method it:

LOC method:

Liquid Oil Cream Method:

“The Liquid Oil Cream Method or L.O.C. method is a technique for moisturizing hair. It consists of hydrating the hair with water or a water-based product which is your liquid, sealing in the moisture with oil and then applying a cream product to close the hair cuticle which prevents moisture loss.

It consists of hydrating the hair with water or a water-based product which is your liquid, sealing in the moisture with oil and then applying a cream product to close the hair cuticle which prevents moisture loss.”

LCO method:

Liquid Cream and Oil Methdod:

This method involves applying a liquid (leave in conditioner or moisturizing agent), followed with a cream (such as whipped shea butters, or styling creams), and finished off with an Oil (such as olive oil, or caster oil).

https://aseamaebeauty.com/blog/lco-vs-loc-method#:~:text=The%20LCO%20method%20stands%20for,lead%20to%20longer%20hair%20growth

Here’s to many days of happy, healthy, beautiful natural hair.

Your hair is a form of Art.

You are art.

On weight and why it’s okay to love your body

Statistics say that:

“Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. … In a survey, more than 40% of women and about 20% of men agreed they would consider cosmetic surgery in the future” http://www.dosomething.org

It could be that most of us are deeply unsatisfied with the way we look, if we’re honest we have all wanted to go to drastic measures to do something be it a diet, do extreme exercise routines and some form of diet pills. The problem is, what happens when we get to our dream body and we’re still unsatisfied?

The media has commercialized female bodies, they’ve limited them to a means to show case a product, be it clothing, make up or home decor, bodies are used as a means to generate income instead of what they were intended for, which was the safe keeping of our souls.

Walk into any mall and you’ll see, hundreds of women on windows displaying clothing with their small bodies and making people strive for the unattainable. Celebrities walk into the lime light embracing their full bodies and later succumb to pressure from people who care more about their appearances that what they have come to be known for which is their talents.

Who gets to define what beauty really is? Who gets to tell women that their bodies are enough, that they can give up on ideal bodies and work on their hearts, that external beauty is not the main focus no matter what we’ve been told.

I have no problem with striving to live a healthier, working out and trying to improve yourself. I think it’s commendable but I do not think that it is everything, there is more to beauty than being twig thin. There is more to beauty than having a perfect face. The bible says:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3 (emphasis my own)

Real beauty isn’t measured by outside appearance it is measured by gentleness, especially when you are surrounded with harshness, the world is harsh. It is a quiet beauty, not constantly fighting to be seen like the world, but listening deep and being kind.

Maybe after lock-down your body has changed and you’re being really hard on yourself and it seems everyone looks perfect and you’re tucking your stomach in, out of discomfort and you’re avoiding mirrors, taking photos and anything that reminds you of how far you are from your goal, this is for you:

Your body was made to house your soul, speak kindly to it. Your body was made beautifully especially if it has housed beautiful babies and has been their home, or if it has carried you through life, yes it may have changed over the years but it is beautiful none the less. Society uses bodies for commercial purposes, YOU are always more. More than any mirror or scale or photograph could say, you get to define beauty by being kind and gentle, especially with yourself. Work more on your internal beauty and see how externally things will start to change.

Your body was made to house your soul, speak kindly to it. Your body was made beautiful especially if it has housed beautiful babies and has been their home, or if it has carried you through life, yes it may have changed over the years but it is beautiful none the less

Life is art

Forget about what everyone wants you to look like and fall in love with yourself right where you are. No matter the size, body type or skin problem. Your are worth far more than rubies. You are a form of Art, the most beautiful kind. Always remind yourself of that.

You are Art

“For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]”

Eph 2:10