The Garden of Your Heart

Just to keep track of the Care Africa movement project I am continuing with the concept of Care Gardens.  The main focus of the project is to encourage people, especially in Africa, where there is so much poverty, to plant a care garden in their yards as a means to combat poverty.   By not only providing food there is much to learn from the science of nature, from the soil, the seed and the benefits of good nutrition.   For instance, to produce a good healthy crop of vegetable plants that flowers e.g. tomatoes, brinjals, strawberries etc. you may add to the soil the following : Half a cup of Ammonia mixed with 2 cups water,  300 ml beer, and 1 cup Epsom Salts.  Mix well and add 30 ml of this mixture to 5 litres of water, and use to feed fruiting plants.  This is a recipe that a Virologist gave me, I tried it and had the tastiest tomatoes ever. Go ahead try it. Get practical and Happy Gardening!

All gardens need to be cultivated, those in yards, and those in hearts.  Just as the soil needs to be nourished, so too does the soul need to be nourished.   Take a little time out and do an exercise in solitude, in nature if you can.  Quietly take note of what you feel, see, hear, touch, smell and  taste, then say thank you – say thank you for all the blessings that are just lingering there for you.  Be sure to add value to your soul by listening to uplifting music, reading good books, reading the Bible everyday will be like medicine for your soul for it is full of wisdom, strength and comfort whenever your soul needs it.  I take it everyday, I call it my “Gos pills”! My soul can’t do without them.

When tending to your soul be on the look out for poisonous plants, especially in the Garden of Despair.   Some deep seated seed grow deep roots in dark places, in fact thrive on and feed off the dark and negative thoughts.  Watch out for these.  They are toxic, dangerous and poison to the soul – and will effect those in proximity to your garden!   Call your Gardener at once.   Toxic thoughts come from bad memories, and can pop up at any time.  Recognise them, look for the roots from where they have grown so that He can pull them out – roots and all.    Then apply the good ointment of Forgiveness.  This is essential, as Forgiveness is a antiseptic, antibacterial anti viril and essential for cleaning out the wound in the soul.  Sprinkle the wound with a dusting of thanks too as this accelerates the healing.  Be constantly on the look out for other pathogens like Jealousy, this is an ugly plant,  Anger that can quickly turn to Hatred – quite potent,  Disappointment – often camouflaged in full sight, and the trailing Resentment that can entangle a choke other healthy plants in your garden.

Tend to your soul, its the essence of you.   Happy Gardening!

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Shades of Self

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “This Is Your Song.”

Knowing me, Knowing you is a song often sung.
But do I know me?
In solitude I am so fine.  And am always right!
Can climb the highest mountain, reach the heights.
Yet in conversations with you, my halo dims, the varnish shifts, my layers thin.
And if I look into the mirror I see some shades of me I never knew.
So I’ve gathered them together, my collectables if you like, to share with you. Straight from the shelf.
Not all good looking, these shades of self.
There is the Wannabee, the Lookatme, the Knowitall and the Toldyouso.
The ever present Babbler, and lest I forget these waiting in the wings  the Mender, the Bender, the Defender, often times the Pretender, the Spender and the ever ready Opinionator too.
Now, herein lie some stories, characters in tact.
Weave the threads together, bring in the gold.
Let it perhaps show, your shades of self, in your song sung too.

The Mind

I once heard it playfully said, of all the things I’ve lost its my mind I miss the most !!

What a wonderful thing a sound mind is. Not until you have rubbed shoulders with mental illness, whether it be anxiety, depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia or other related mind issues, will you ever truly know how wonderful a sound mind is.  It is our most treasured possession.

I once was in the company of people who worked in caring organisations.   One man, who worked for the Disabled in our community, said this of broken humanity (those who have disabilities and afflictions) – “It is the cracked ones who let the light shine through”  I understood what he meant, and have tucked that saying away in my heart to remind me of the value that people with disabilities give to those of us who are “normal”.   And yes that begs the question – what is normal ?  Whatever the answer is to that I thank God for “normal” – for that is the place where we all have to return and resort to from time to time.  Normal is good.

I have also heard it said, that the mind is an extension of oneself,  and that the environment is an extension of the mind.  These are large thoughts.   And speaking of thoughts, which unfold in the brain, should we not inquire into the anatomy of the brain to learn more?  Thoughts, like words are very very powerful ! We need to know and to guard our thoughts.  To recognise negative thoughts that can be toxic and do damage to ourselves and to others (often through our words), – and change their direction into positive thoughts, which is good mental health.

In my observations on the mind, and mental health, I would so agree that  it is the cracked ones who let the light shine through, for it is this light that reflects into our own hearts to reveal what is there.  Often I see a turning away in awkwardness, and I can understand that, sometimes it is a scoffer with no heart at all, and I want to despise that, and there are those so full of pride  and have no time for the weak, the sick and the afflicted, and that is sad.  But then you get those who are timid, yet kind, and reach out in whatever small gesture to “the broken ones”, –  that fills my heart for then I know that love reigns there.   Yes in their way, the broken ones are light bringers, and we should be mindful of them for they have much to teach us.

Sitting gazing over the ocean one clear sunny day, I heard the Lord say in my heart :
Do you see the ocean before you?  Yes I said, well those are all the tears I cry for the disabled and afflicted ones.   How wide, how deep His love goes.

My Dream Reader/s

I hope to attract not only one, but many dream readers. In my mind’s eye I have arranged signature reading spaces into which they may gather to read the writings of my mind, and if liked, will respond with curiosity, reflection and integrity.
The Mindful Reading Space :  Readers who like to think on life and life-matters.   Readers with good mental health – and those who minister to the mind, even those who may have a battle of the mind. Observers, Students and Researchers – especially into schizophrenia , neuroscience and brain functions.
Readers who like to inquire into the things of the mind, especially the mind of God, and the Bible, which is the mind of God.

The Health and Wholeness Reading Space : Readers who have insight and knowledge on health, healing and wholeness –
especially on nutrition.

Caring Reading Space:  Caring people who care about others and their communities.  Readers who have compassion, and tell of the expression of their faith and their compassion viz. Community Co-hearts.

Faraway Friends Space : in eager expectation I would like to hear from my Faraway Friends whom I have corresponded with over the last few years through my CareSA Chronicles newsletter.

Family Space :  Last, but not least, my family so dear to my heart, who I know will bring me to the base line of simplicity, honesty and normality.

The General Reading Space :  there awaits, I am sure, a number of readers who will bring me a glimpse into their own
wonderful worlds and fascinating minds, where I will see faith, hope and love in action.

These roomy spaces are open, friendly, hopefully comfortable – and waiting for your arrival.

Welcome to my mind –  I mean Blog at CareSA Foundation.

The Garden of my Heart

The Garden of my Heart As one of my projects in the CareSA Foundation is the Care Africa Movement, – which includes Care Gardens, with the catch phrase ”Plant a garden in your yard, Plant a garden in your heart” – I thought I’d tell you of the garden in my own heart. Planting a garden in your yard or on a window-sill or in an old car tyre is the easiest of the two gardens required to take the Care Africa movement forward. It is easy when the Will is motivated to do this. Take good seeds plant them in good soil, water, nourish well and weed occasionally. Then harvest the fruit of your labors with fresh food from your garden for your table. All good, all physical. But on the spiritual side – for that is where the “heart” is – planting a garden in your heart may not be so easy to do. First of all, you will need a good gardener. I am in a season in life where it’s hard for me to do things for myself. So I need help. But I have a good gardener that helps me on a regular basis. He knows everything there is to know, and I mean everything, about nature, the environment, and the garden – from what is in the soil to the sky, weather patterns and pathogens. It is strange how the memory works in the garden of one’s heart. When I was a little girl I remember looking up into a black velvet sky and seeing the stars suspended like tiny diamonds in an African sky. The overwhelming feeling of awe. It was so very very beautiful. Still is ! I remember, as a young women travelling on a tourist boat in an Aegean sea, feeling the wind on my face, and an aloneness not felt before, but also the flood of a thankfulness of just being there, and “seeing” the sea the colour of dark blue ink, with the ripple of splashy white waves, lapping at the boat. Divine moments of being able to ”see” and appreciate the world around me. When you begin to “see” the world, and its created beauty around you, something comes alive in your heart. Look around you, what do You “see” ? I had a brief encounter with my gardener when I was young. I thought he looked very serious, even a little stern. But I had heard that he was an intently caring person, which made me feel comfortable. It was only much later in my life when he invited me to “come to the garden” that I got to know him a little better. In fact it was in those years that I had to tend, what I now call, the garden of my tears. It was a hard time then. But I believe the tears helped to soften the hard ground intended for the planting of some good seed. He did a splendid job, and I had to work with him alot to root out strong weeds and undesirables that were growing unchecked. It did not happen all at once, and took a long time to get the basic foundation of my garden laid. In fact there is always on-going maintenance, and a clearing away for new expansion. My gardener loves new ground and new growth. He has been my live-in gardener ever since, and I would not trade him for any other. I highly recommend you to make him the gardener of your heart too. He’s name is Jesus Christ. Only you can appoint Him as the Gardener of your heart. It will not take a letter of appointment, only a prayer of faith to invite Him into your heart. He will root out all your weeds, plant beautiful seeds of destiny and purpose, and can grow you from a sapling tree to a forest. He not only is your Gardener, but that of many. He is the Divine Intelligence of creation that has created everything, I mean everything, from cosmic dust to the minerals of the earth, from microbes of fungi, virus and bacteria to soil, seed, rain and stars. He knows about things, big and small. And He knows about me, and He knows about you, and cares for the whole earth and the whole human race ! Most beautifully, He is known as the Redeemer of the human soul – and therein lies the more story to tell – but for another time. When I look into the garden of my heart, I can only say this : “He makes everything beautiful in His time.” What does the garden of your heart look like ? Ready for some gardening ? Ready for some transformation ? – then join the Care Africa movement, and plant your Care Gardens “ in your yard and in your heart.”

Introduction to CareSA

The CareSA Foundation

CareSA has grown from the concept Care South Africa : The Christian Resource Centre for Poverty Alleviation in 2001 to the CareSA Foundation in the coming 2015. The original vision was to encourage Christians to participate in community service through initiated campaigns, – and to seek out a national Christian strategy for poverty alleviation. This vision was housed and honed from CareSA Books, a Christian bookshop on the East Rand in Gauteng in South Africa.

Annual winter campaigns were initiated to appeal to the wider community for blankets and food for the poor, and to create an awareness of poverty in communities.

The Care Bag – a food parcel with vegetable seeds to plant food gardens, to encourage self-help projects.

In 2004 CareSA Foods saw the light of day with a focus on health, and creating income, that complimented the mindset to reach for wholeness in body soul and spirit, fuelled by a CareSA Newsletter to grow a network for health and wealth, as a means to combat poverty. Unfortunately it did not reach its potential., but the concept of a newsletter remained, probably the inception of this blog.

CareSA’s Let’s Talk was a community meeting, to discuss related social and emotional issues in the search for emotional healing, human development and wholeness.

CareSA Craft Project – generated micro incomes from the painting on shopping bags, developed into a sustainable sales project for more than two years.

New concepts began to form. And a CareSA fund for community service was initiated in 2006.

The need to network and find a wider reach saw a name change to CareSA Community Network, with a presence on the Internet., and with a newsletter called CareSA Chronicles to connect with community co-hearts.

1,000 Little Deeds of Kindness – a knitting project, with the knitting of squares to be sewn into blankets and distributed to the vulnerable and the frail in community, was a project that had a ripple effect in community, and endured far beyond expectation.

This campaign was a forerunner for
The Red Beanie Kindness Brigade – that focused on knitting beanies for children in needy areas, usually knitted by the Elderly folk in community.

This project spilled over into Care Lesotho and Care Botswana. Knitted beanies sent, with seeds for vegetable gardens, to contact caring persons in these two countries. So the seeds of a new vision were sown – Care Africa.

As hunger is the pivotal place for poverty alleviation it is necessary to encourage those in need to sustain themselves by planting their own food, and to begin to change the mindset from poverty to progress.

And so the seeds of the new vision began to grow : the Care Africa Movement project through Care Gardens, with the slogan : Plant a care garden in your yard, Plant a care garden in your heart.

CareSA Designs is a personal project, born out of the new trend in poverty alleviation and a developing new South Africa e.g. Entrepreneurship, creating a micro enterprise into a small business, using what is at hand, and what God-given talents are available.

As the new South Africa developed, and a sense of futility began to set in, new concepts with new writings began to form e.g. NEWSAS – the New South African Society, and SOCX, a vision for Social Caring, that are still incubating. blogging may bring constructive comment, and with faith hope and love these visions will grow and become a reality in South Africa, and indeed the African continent.

In 2011 CareSA relocated to Umhlanga in Kwa Zulu Natal, and the time had come to revamp the website, and a name change to that of the CareSA Foundation that incorporates past history and new concepts for a wider field of influence and exposure on the Internet – with a blog.

The website is being revamped, and may contain vision and other concept documents on social and human development in South Africa, when it is ready early in 2015.

The CareSA Foundation remains true to the original vision of community caring, and stands as a witness to the faithfulness of God that initiated this faith adventure from Ephesians 3:20,21   Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

CareSA
28 December 2014