You are the boss of you

The Doom. The Doom… Those thoughts that come in the night, when there’s nobody to talk to and no distractions. “What if it all goes wrong and we don’t get visas, what if we screw up our kids, what am I going to DO in Bloem? Oh, and are you allowed to pack herbs and spices in a container, and should I pack that lampshade or give it to my friend….? “ On and on and on until I’m boring myself back to sleep.

If you turn to face waves full-on and try to surf them, it’s more fun. ‘Daily grace’, we christian-types call it, meaning that we’re trusting God for each day, and by the way, we’re not supposed to be living somewhere in the middle of next week anyway. “Just try and enjoy today”, I tell Fin, our man who likes a plan. It’s surprisingly counter-cultural to live like that here. I feel weird but then I feel exhilarated – we’re “off grid” for a few weeks or months, and it could be really interesting if we can live one day at a time. This is a nightmare, no it’s fabulous; well it’s a bit of a pain, or is it an opportunity? It’s a complete skive-off, no it’s emotionally gruelling; it’s great having the kids off school, no they’re horrendous, I need some space…. I honestly believe we can choose what to think, and therefore how to feel. “You are the boss of you, and those fears aren’t the boss so don’t let them in to you, you can beat them up”. (Dr. Fin’s wise counsel to his little brother when they were small. I think Isaac was too scared to go into the ‘Kidz Klub’ (!) at Butlins or something.)

The thing I churn over most is our home. Back in June, we saw a house that we really liked in Bloemfontein, and I have thought about it every day since. I believe God’s going to give us that house. I might be wrong, but I won’t mind sharing my wrongness with you. This last few weeks when things have stalled and become so bleuuuuugh, I’ve started to get a feeling of impending doom about it though, because time is running out to buy it. I presume we’d do a second pack which would have to include everything we need to live in a rented place until we properly unpack our container somewhere? I don’t really know, I’m just speculating. These are my exact words in my diary on the matter a few weeks ago:

“Dear Lord.


DON’T make me rent!!! No no no. Just no. This crosses a line.”

I’m sure upon reading this, God was wringing his hands in panic: Aaaarrghh, He totally forgot … He hadn’t thought…? How could He have dropped this ball….? Why had nobody reminded Him….? Not. I have to call to mind that God gets times and places right. “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” (Acts 17 v26)

I’ve felt a lot less uptight about the situation this last week as I’ve been the boss of me. The SA estate agent didn’t write back, and our friends out there didn’t hear from her either. Everything went quiet….. boo hoo…. but it was OK. Then yesterday I heard that the Bandars are viewing ‘our’ house for us tomorrow!! Squeeeeak! Also, all of a sudden, our UK house had its survey. Everything might be working out perfectly! But then again it might not be. And both those scenarios are OK. (See scripture above.)


The surveyor came after an 8 week wait, and was gone within twelve minutes. After a few hours of draining family nothingness, we went for a bike ride and blew the cobwebs away: the day became easy to enjoy. Just look what is at the end of our road for goodness sake! What a setting to bring up kids…. we will miss it hugely, and it was very special to be free and able to appreciate it on an unexpectedly sunny day. One day enjoyed: tick.