Author Archives: Fuzzy Panda Barista

About Fuzzy Panda Barista

I am a wife, a mother, a Grandmother, a Christian and a writer. My mission is to achieve my full potential and to enable others to achieve theirs. I am interested in Girl Guides, the environment, parenting, inspiration and books. I believe that God has a plan for my life.

Crying in my cappuccino

When I had placed my order, I took out my cell phone.

Today I treated myself to breakfast at Mugg and Bean after dropping my granddaughter at Brownies. Drinking my cappuccino, I decided to send a whats app to my youngest son. He left for Russia a week and a half ago.

It’s a great opportunity for him and I know that God has a wonderful plan for his life. When we Skyped last week he was happy, in a great apartment and very excited about the future.

Nevertheless, I found myself crying in my cappuccino as I sent the message. Two weeks ago, I would have invited him to join me. We often have breakfast together. It’s one of the things I shall miss.

Then I got to thinking.  How many other every day happenings will I miss? Ten pin bowling on a Tuesday? Having supper together? The help of a strong man when unpacking groceries or moving furniture? Somebody to fix recalcitrant electronic devices by being “Young at them?”

It made me realise again that I should enjoy life to the full everyday. Today’s everyday occurrences might become tomorrow’s poignant memories. Like taking my granddaughter to Brownies, helping my daughter with the three kids at the school Spring Festival, cooking soup for my wonderful husband.

I know I’m suffering from empty nest syndrome and it happens to all mothers everywhere and there will be times when I cry into my cappuccino. But meanwhile, let me enjoy the little things of life that make life good. Jesus said, “I have come to give you life and life  in all its fullness.” (John 10:10)  Let me not allow my life and the fullness of it to pass me by while I am too busy to notice the little things that might make me cry into my cappuccino in five year’s time.20170826_0910231.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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What are we doing today, Dad?

I am working through the book “The workbook of Abiding in Christ” by Maxie Dunnam. Today’s quote that struck me was:

“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a chidlike “What’s next, Papa?”

We live on the same property as our daughter and son-in-law and three grandchildren. The kids love the weekends when their Dad is home.  They love most of all to be with him,  helping him with the things he is involved with. If he’s feeding the birds, they want to come into the aviary with him, if he’s repairing something, they want to knock in a nail or two, hold his tools, whatever he gives them to do. If he needs to go shopping to buy more fish to replace the ones that died, or scoop out the baby fish before they become another fish’s lunch, they are there, asking questions, eager to be involved.

Imagine if my walk with my heavenly Father could be like that! “Hey Dad, what are we doing today?  Will you come with me to the places I need to be and the things I need to do? Can I help you with what you are doing? I might not be able to fix something but I can hold nails! Pleeease.” Imagine how exciting life could be!.

 

 

Flash fiction

As an experiment I’m posting a story on my blog.

Windows

300 words

I flop down in the train compartment, grateful that it’s empty. I am pooped! At 65 I no longer have the energy I need for a morning in the city. I close my eyes.

“Hello. What’s your name?”

Where did he come from? I open one eye a slit. A freckle faced boy of about eight is sitting opposite me.

I sigh. Should I pretend to be asleep? I open my eyes reluctantly. “You can call me Granny.” I don’t know where that comes from. It’s not even technically true. My only grandchild died in a car accident eight years ago when my daughter Helen, her husband, Nick, and baby Sebastian were all killed in a head on collision.

I feel the familiar tightening of my throat.

“Aren’t you a bit young to be travelling on the train by yourself?” Really, some parents these days! Anything can happen on a train.

“My Mom doesn’t know I’m here.” He lowers his voice and gives me a conspiratorial grin.

“Are you running away?” I hope my voice doesn’t betray my agitation. I reach into my bag for my cell phone. I need to send a message.

“No. I just want to visit my Granny. She lives in another place.” He looks out the window wistfully.

I must keep him with me until we get to Irene station. I smile. “Tell me about yourself.” I fold my hands in my lap and give him my full attention. “What do you like doing?”

His blue eyes light up. “I love climbing trees and playing soccer with Dad and helping Mom bake brownies -”

A new voice cuts in. I gasp with recognition. “Sebastian, how many times have I told you not to climb through the windows!”

I hear a window shut. I am alone.

 

Soapy Exit

 

When I poured shampoo into the kitchen sink, the squid blew bubbles. By the time the foam cleared, he was gone. I never saw him again.

squid

I am trying to do two challenges with this post. The first is Grammar Ghoul Press’ Shapefitting challenge where we are challenged to write a story in 26 words including the words “kitchen”,”squid” and “shampoo.”

The next is Linda G Hill’s One liner Wednesday. I hope neither of the challenge hosts objects to my trying to kill two birds with one stone (or two squids with one wash).

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C’m On, Grow Up!

This week I have been reading in Ephesians. What struck me in Ephesians 4:12 was that God wanted me to attain to mature womanhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that I may no longer be a child, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, I am to grow up in every way…..

What does that mean? What am I to do? I can’t do vague. So I decided to make a comparison like we were taught to do at school.

  • Child:   Spends all her pocket money on sweets and toys on the first day.
  • Adult:   Budgets money to pay for commitments and makes sure there is enough to last the month.
  • Child:   Gets distracted from tasks easily .
  • Adult:   Finishes tasks
  • Child:   Gets upset easily about small hurts and disappointments. Throws a tantrum if she doesn’t get her way.
  • Adult:  Moves beyond temporary feelings and impulses.
  • Child:   Assumes adults know everything and believes what she is told.
  • Adult:   Makes own decisions based on reason and research rather that the popular opinion of others.
  • Child:   Govered by the feeling of the moment.
  • Adult:   governed by values and understanding of the right thing to do.

I could probably add a lot to this list but just these five points make me realize yes, I haven’t grown up properly. I still do what I feel like and regard my hard earned money as mine to spend as I wish.   I tried to remember how I justified my purchase of a tablet just because everybody else had one. Now its main purpose is as an alarm to wake me in the mornings.

So, I have a long way to go. Only with God’s help can I outgrow my childish tendencies and grow into the maturity he desires.

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Just when I thought I was off the hook!

I have been taking it easy lately. I haven’t blogged for ages, I haven’t written anything for the writers circle and my book is sitting at chapter four where it has been since June.

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I felt called to write after a Christian writers’ retreat. A couple of months ago I contacted Valerie who is involved in  a project called “Books in Homes Africa” Their mission is to produce affordable books so every home can buy them thus bringing literacy to South Africa.  Val was excited about some of my children’s books, including “The Saddest Little Sugar Bowl in the World.” The upshot is I have donated my children’s stories to the project.

I thought that was it. I thought that was what the call was about. I enjoyed the freedom of not having to look after my blog, not having to try to find time in my busy day to write. I deleted without reading all the e mails from writers’ blogs I had subscribed to.

I might need to rethink! An interesting set of co-incidences happened this last weekend.

  • First I got an e mail advising me that there was a pingback on one of my blog posts. When I went to check it out, I saw it was the one about the writers retreat and how I had felt called to write, “Waking the Dragon”
  • Then I also got an e mail from Val after months. I hadn’t worried or followed up at all because I had released my books to the wider world and what happened to them was none of my concern. However her e mail encouraged me and I thought maybe I could write more stories for beginner readers.
  • We were on a motorhome rally at a lovely resort in Vereniging over the weekend and I had brought my Kindle to do some reading. My cheaper version shows adverts for books from Amazon as the sleep screen and as I took up my Kindle on Saturday to continue reading “The Girl on the Train”, this is what I sawSo now I am going to have to get more disciplined again and go back to my novel. I’ll have to read the first three chapters again just o see what’s happening. I am just going to have to believe that whom God calls, he equips (Hebrews 13:21) because I certainly don’t have the  perseverance to do it on my own. I can’t even stick to a diet for a week!