Tuesday, November 08, 2011


For the past few years, I've taken the time around my birthday to look back on some of the things I've been blessed to do in my life.

This year, I'm not doing it for the mere fact that I don't think I have anything significant to add to the list. I could, of course, add that I had run off the edge of a mountain. Been in a boat that almost capsized in a storm. I had quit my well-paying job to be a full-time student. I've read countless books. Filled hundreds of pages with words. I've had more job interviews than I ever thought I'd want. I've prayed, believed, and still watched doors close to opportunities I thought were certain. I've sold even more stuff so I'd travel lighter.

I've served. Learned. Changed. Moved. Waited. Worked. I've shed some pounds. In a way, it feels like I've been spending time in autumn!

It's been a year of not only loss but also gain, though at this stage of the journey, it's hard to verbalize all I've gained.

My dissertation is moving along. Two friends with Ph.D.s in different fields recently told me on separate occasions: "The dissertation journey is a lonely journey." They spoke from experience. I can attest to the fact that working on a dissertation is possibly one of the hardest things I've done in my life.

Along the way, I've gone round and round about what I want to do with my dissertation. For a while, I thought I would want to work at a university and teach full-time. But the more I interviewed with tertiary institutes, the more I realized the activator in me would die a slow death in their mazes of bureaucracy. I could never just talk (or write) about things that need to be done. I have to be part of doing, of bringing about change in the world we live in.

And so, on the brink of another birthday, I shall continue to push in, wait, surrender, push some more, and walk believing that God is weaving something far more beautiful than I could ever hope to forge myself.

I certainly look forward to looking back from the vantage point of my 44th birthday. In the meantime, I'll do my best to enjoy this current season of seeking, shedding, changing, learning, writing, rewriting, asking, discerning & growing, knowing that even once I've completed my degree, these verbs will continue being central to my life.

Hopefully I'll have a job by then again, though, a place to call home. A place to hang my reticulated giraffe.


  1. I love this Adele!!!! Wonderful and lovely and inspiring. God will reveal one step at a time. He is so faithful! Glad to be a part of your journey in some small way. But when can we travel together again and where?!?

  2. Thanks, Laura. Well, if you're back in Africa in December or January, you can always come visit me!

  3. Post-surgery now, sis. Missing you multiple times and over and over again, dear... How is it possible that we haven't even known each other for a year yet!! You are my highlight for 2011 or my 46th year!! And you know I'm not just saying that... Wishing for a cup of chai together anywhere in the world!! I continue to wear your wonderful black wrap with the embroidered flowers in purple and maroon on the ends!! Almost every time I do someone comments on how wonderful it is...and I get to tell them about my dear sis who gave it to me that is even more lovely! When's a good time next week to skype?! Are you back in SA now or en-route somewhere?! Lots of love, Sharon : )

  4. I like the idea of helping others which you are doing. Excellent post. I didn't understood all of it though as I don't have technical background, but wonderfully written. I will come back on this site to read more posts for sure. good job. keep it up and God bless you.