Divorce Is Not An Option

I once wrote a book! I titled it “52 Ways to a Happier Marriage” with the thought that readers could spend a week reading each chapter and thinking about it. I wrote it, but I never looked to having it published. I am sure there were many flaws in it and in the end I decided that I’d written it for my own benefit, to remind myself of what God has done in and through my marriage. One of the chapters is one of the core values that I wrote about last week: Divorce is not an option.

Here’s that brief chapter:

If your marriage is to be long, divorce cannot be an option. Too often and too easy is the state of divorce today. People marry with an escape clause. You don’t have to look far to find the enormous impact divorce has on the confidence and self-esteem of an individual. In most cases, the rejection felt is overwhelming. The road to recovery following a divorce is often more painful than coping with the death of a spouse, mainly because the huge sense of failure and rejection is so dominant. To find total closure is more difficult because many times the ex is seen on a regular basis, particularly if there are children involved. There’s even more pain if the divorce is as a direct result of an extra marital affair.

Cracked marriage egg

I was interested to read the book “I want a divorce?” by divorce lawyer Simone E. Katenzberg. She outlines 7 emotional stages of divorce and goes onto say divorce or separation should never be a first option. The reason for this is because those seven stages are so painful. Here is a lawyer who specializes in divorce and yet she still says divorce should never be a first option. She has seen the enormous hurt and pain that divorce has caused. Just the seven emotional stages of divorce are enough to put anyone off. They are breakdown, shock, anger, pain, hatred, grief and finally acceptance. No one wants to purposefully put themselves through those emotions.

I didn’t think too much about divorce when I walked down the aisle. I was young, starry eyed and in love. As I continued along the path of marital bliss, it crossed my mind from time to time. Eventually, I realized that it was a choice to be made and if it had anything to do with me, the choice would be never to divorce my husband. But whenever I thought Mike and Ithose words, (I never spoke them out loud), I was immediately transported back to a young 6 year old standing in the kitchen hearing my mother talking to a friend. They were talking about a couple who, way back in around about 1970 were getting a divorce. It wasn’t really accepted in those days and my Mom said words, which I never forgot: “I will never get divorced,” she said. Well, it was just a few short years later that the harmony of my home was shattered and replaced with argument and unpleasantness that eventually resulted in a long-term separation followed eventually by divorce. “How could it happen?” I asked myself. People change, I understood, but as I have walked the road, the hills and valleys of the 28+ years of marriage, I came to acknowledge that each individual in the marriage has to be responsible for staying together.

You cannot control people. The only person in the marriage you can control is yourself.

It takes two to make up the partnership and you can only be responsible for your own actions. Your spouse has to be responsible for his/hers. If both work hard, consistently and permanently on the premise that they will never get divorced, it won’t happen. But they have to be in the boat together paddling the same way, facing the same direction. “Statistics indicate that divorce is more likely if you marry younger than 21; if your parents divorced, if you live together before marriage or if one or both of you is in a second marriage” (Katzenberg: 6). The excitement of an illicit relationship soon dims and after a year or two you’re still waking up to “same old, same old”. This is the real world and with it comes a degree of mundaneness no matter how happily married you have been or for how long.

For a better marriage the permanency of it must be depended upon. It all has to do with right thinking. If you want a happy marriage, put divorce out of your way of thoughts. If it is not an option for each of you, you will find yourself more focussed on making your marriage work.

5 Tips for Instilling “Divorce is not an option”

  • Talk about your commitment to each other on a regular basis.
  • When in conflict, NEVER EVER mention the word divorce as an option for a solution.
  • Remind one another that this is until death you do part.
  • Make a list of all the reasons you loved your partner at the start of your relationship and in rocky patches read the list and remind yourself of all his/her good points.
  • Store up in your own heart the commitment you have to your partner to never consider divorce as an option.

God speaks about divorce in Malachi 2:16

“For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.”

God knows the pain it brings. I know there are many legitimate reasons for a divorce, one of them being adultery, another, abuse. There are those who have weathered the storm of a straying spouse and pushed through the pain and journey to forgiveness and healing, to find it was worth it. With God all things are possible.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx :)

Here’s another Marriage Reminder

From www.awesomequotes4u.com

From www.awesomequotes4u.com

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The Meaning Of Life Uncovered!

“What is the meaning of life?” There are 384 million results on Google! A lot of people are keen to know the answer to this question. Here’s mine:

In my mind, the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes is almost 12 chapters of debate and dialogue, contemplation and questioning, observation and agonising over a life not necessarily well lived. While Solomon had it all from the moment of birth to the moment of death, he discovered that all that he had did not give his life meaning. He had it all. CrownHe had a royal heritage, no lack of money or prestige. He lived his entire life in the extreme comfort of a palace with any number of servants. As an adult, he had hundreds of wives, many concubines and an unknown number of children. Through it all, he tried to find the significance of his life and at the end of it, when it is believed he penned the words of Ecclesiastes, he ticks off all his achievements and finds all of it ‘meaningless.’

Solomon did not follow God all his life. He strayed from God’s way. He was believed to be the wisest man on earth, yet he made some foolish choices and had to pay the consequences – finding little satisfaction in the decisions he made.

After writing a lengthy pessimistic diatribe, Solomon ends with 2 verses of what he really knew to be true.  I believe this is a synopsis of the meaning of life:

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments,for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

In short, what I believe the meaning of life to be is to fear (revere) God and live a Bible-based life.

That’s from the Old Testament.

In the New Testament, Jesus confirms this meaning of life with the following words:

Matthew 6:33

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

This belief system, which I try and embrace, strips away layers and layers of the skins we wear to get to the real core of why we exist. Regardless of what we own – the amount of money in the bank, the size of the houses in Gold brickswhich we live, the prestige of our positions in life, whether we are presidents or paupers – all of that, at the end of our lives, truth be told, will account for nothing.

It is an amazing thing that when our lives are over and we breath our last, the most important thing that we could ever have done during our fleeting time on earth is to revere God, seek Him first, follow His commandments.

Everything else takes place ‘under the sun.’ When we tap into our spiritual side and connect with our Creator, those activities take us to a realm outside of under the sun – to an eternal place where we will continue to thrive once our earthly life is over.

Our relationship with God is never-ending.

It’s not about here and now.

The best is yet to come.

Trust is a must. Put God first. Enjoy life.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

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Finding the Low Carb/Banting Balance

I think you can be too extreme when it comes to the Banting/Low Carb lifestyle.

I’m not talking about diabetics, who have to be serious about what they eat. I’m not talking about the morbidly obese who need a serious change of lifestyle in order to prolong their life.

I’m talking about everyday people like me. I fall into the slightly above normal weight (I range between 70 &72kg).

Fat vss Fat. We have been raised on ‘bad fats’. I remember years ago making chicken curry and finding myself feeling guilty for putting coconut cream in it. Loaded with saturated fat (74g per cup), I was led to believe it was going to clog arteries and cause heart disease.  A tiny part of me wondered why a natural plant fat could be so bad. When you know better, you do better. Now we are beginning to know better.

Good fat vss bad fatIn all of these things, two things come to mind. One is to try and figure out the ‘Biblical view’ if there is one and the other is to find the balance. In Acts 11,  Peter has a vision of a tablecloth laden with (previously) forbidden food. (Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) God tells him to “kill and eat.” Peter is horrified. He responds “Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.” God replies, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 11:5-10).

And so it became more of a common practice for previously forbidden food such as pork to be eaten. As far as food for today is concerned,  it needs to be borne in mind that the industrial process of growing and getting to market involves more chemical enhancement of fruit and veggies. That results, I am told, in a fraction of the nutritional value than years gone buy. The hormone treatment of chickens and beef is known to have some negative consequences, so the drive for organic produce is on the up!

Finding the balance of the food we eat has to start with cutting sugar and carbs, while maintaining some enjoyment of life. This year, I have been particularly vigilant in cutting sugar, all refined carbohydrates and I’ve been eating unafraid!  The only thing that rocked my foundation was the fact that with this nicely high fat diet, my cholesterol rose to 8 and I’ve not felt very comfortable having it there, so have been cutting back on eggs (now only about 1 a day!) and have a little less cream…that’s a hard one! To compensate, because I’ve been Banting for so long, I’ve added some ‘orange list‘ fruit and – today I had half an apple. I had this for breakfast the other day…

Tuesday fruit

Berries have always been a favourite, but due to their acidity, I’ve recently cut back a bit on those too.

However you want to eat, just find the balance, eat the best quality you are able to, eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. Don’t binge. Avoid refined food. The fresher the better. As Job said

Job 14:5

A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.

Enjoy each day and don’t make food a big thing. Eat to live and don’t live to eat!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

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Marli van Breda Out & About

The South African You Magazine dated 21st May 2015 covered Marli van Breda first shopping and then heading for her school to watch her boyfriend play rugby.

She went with her boyfriends, mother, simply referred to as Christelle. The two of them were seen leaving a supermarket before heading to Somerset College for the annual rugby derby.

Marli in the You magazine


Marli looks well. Debbie Wybrow is Marli’s legal representative and also accompanied her to the rugby, telling You Magazine reporters (Joanie Bergh & Almari Wessels) that the rugby outing was part of the recovery process. Marli did not sit with the rest of the teenage  supporters. Rather a small group of white plastic chairs were set up for her and the adults who accompanied her. Some of the Somerset College teachers were also said to sit with her. While Marli didn’t cheer and clap at her teams success, at times, she did  look quite concerned about what was going on on the field…

Marli watching rugbyLouise Buikman is an advocate appointed to assist with deciding on Marli’s future. This cannot be an easy task. Bludgeoned in the same attack that killed her parents & oldest sibling on the night of the 26th/27th January 2015, exactly what will happen to Marli is the future is unknown. While she can remember some of what happened prior to the attack, and after, she cannot remember the attack itself and to that end has not been able to assist police with their investigation.

The other survivor of the attack was Henri, her 20 year old brother who had minor (reportedly, self-inflicted) injuries and who has had no contact with Marli since the murders.

Over the weekend I re- read a Daily Mail article published in March which detailed the inheritance Marli and Henri will receive. There were two paragraphs that jumped out at me. This was the first…Forensic evidence is enough


This was more than 2 months ago. If state prosecutors believe they have enough material to make an arrest, it implies they have someone in mind.

The other paragraph was also telling…SA law about inheritanceI’ve read between the lines, but won’t comment further on what I’ve read.

People across the world are watching and waiting for events related to this case to unfold.

How it will be resolved, right now, only God knows.

Jeremiah 17:10

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”


God bless you.

In His Grip,



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Betty’s Bay Weekend 15th to 17th May 2015


This is the first time that load-shedding has interrupted my blog preparation. I have 23 minutes to get this posted AND make coffee before the power goes out! So here goes. We had a fabulous weekend away at Betty’s Bay. Just some of the pics…this is the early morning sea view looking towards Kleinmond…

Morning viewThe view from the deck towards Pringle Bay…

Bettys Bay beachOn the other side of the house we stayed in, there’s a lake…

Lake view With a spectacular mountain…

Mountain viewBeautiful blue skies overhead with a model aeroplane…

Model aircraft overheadWe had a wonderful rest. Home safe and sound – very chilled!

I started reading Isaiah.

Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

God wants us clean. Only He can sort that out.  We just need to ask.

Off to make the coffee!

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

Helga xx :-)

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Banting Superfood Breakfast Ball

Sonja made three Banting snacks and this was the third. All three are under LCHF Recipes. This recipe originated with Ron Gabriel. Don’t be afraid of the unfamiliarity of some of the ingredients. Just ask for them at a health store. I have not costed this recipe, as Sonja made them and I haven’t yet.  From the directions, the look very easy to make.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Superfood Breakfast Ball

Breakfast Balls


  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts/pecans
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite super green powder (optional)


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor.
  • If the mixture is not moist enough to make balls out of, add 2-3 tablespoons of water and continue mixing.
  • Scoop out mixture with tablespoon and mold into balls. Eat right away, or refrigerate. Lasts several days in the refrigerator.

Tip: Keep some in the refrigerator for days when you don’t have time to make breakfast. You’ll have a fast, nutritious breakfast that will keep you going.

 Thanks Mary who introduced me to Sonja. If you are struggling on your Banting journey and would like to contact Sonja, her email address is: sonja@restore2health.co.za.

Eating God’s way is good.

Genesis 9:3

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.

Keep the smile going!

God Bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

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Monkey Bite!

Today is 15/5/15!

I went to bed last night feeling thoroughly privileged. From yesterday onwards, I can say, “I was once bitten by a monkey!”

To be truthful, it was just a little nip, but it drew (a very little) blood and I have the (ever so small) mark to show…

Monkey biteBut I can say I got bitten by a (cute, adorable) monkey.

It all began when Riana and I gave Sue a lift home from gym and we decided to pop in to say hello to Prince the Marmoset monkey. His is EVER SO CUTE, but very defensive and protective. He came out to greet us, keeping an eye on Sue to make sure she was okay…

Sue and monkeySue walked into the house, and I followed. Monkey leapt onto my shoulder, headed for my left ear and took a determined nip. He then went to my right shoulder and I was expecting a matching nibble, but it didn’t come. Before he could re-consider Sue grabbed him and he was marched away to the naughty corner (actually just to another room!).

He is the cutest pet, but needs specialised attention which Sue and her family dish out liberally. He has appeared on this blog before, when he was little…on Sue’s shoulder…

On Sues shoulderand helping her with her tea…

Sue out the pool - Prince next to the mugHe’s a lot bigger now and just so absolutely adorable…

Prince Monkey


You wouldn’t mind being nipped by him either!

Proverbs 12:10

The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

We are spending the weekend in Betty’s Bay. Glad that Truffles will be well looked after! She’s getting her winter coat on!

Hello TrufflesYay for weekends!

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip

Helga xx :-)

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The “Non-Negotiables” In Our Marriage

When Mike & I married we didn’t really realise it but we had 5 core values that made up the none-negotiables of our marriage. Regardless of where you are in your life – you may be single, newly wed, long time married, single again. If you are single and looking, these are good none-negotiables to have in mind. If you have been married a long time, it’s always good to look back and reflect on what made your marriage work in the first place.

  1. When we married, we made the second most important decision of our lives, the first being our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. Wedding invitation inside

    Since we have married, we have always come back to Christ. He is the only One that can fix our issues. With Him first, we find ourselves submitting to one another and humbling ourselves because we want to honour God first.

  2. Divorce is not an option. I haven’t got much to say about this, except to say, we don’t ever imagine ourselves divorced. It’s painful and upsetting and devastating, so it’s not an option – for both of us.

  3. Our love is unconditional. Good times, bad times, happy times, sad time, we love each other when we wake up in the morning and when we go to bed at night. There is a chemistry between Mike & I that began when we met and continues to this very day. Mike and Helga kissing in Paris

  4. Respect at all times. There is no mud-slinging, harsh accusational words or furious outbursts between us. Does that mean we agree on everything? Absolutely not! Does it mean we don’t get angry with one another? No. But our irritation doesn’t overflow into a burning volcanic eruption. Instead of going that way, we simmer down and soon we are trying to see the others point of view. There is something to be said about backing down and letting the other get their way. Someone has to be the hero. We both have had to take that option.  

  5. Trust at all times. Integrity is an essential part of any marriage relationship. I trust Mike. I trust that he wants what’s best for us. If I knew back in 1985 what I know now about Mike van Niekerk, I would have said, ‘let’s get married!’ and rushed him down the aisle. This guy is a keeper. He has proven his trust. 

    Genesis 2:18

    The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.

I’m so glad I became Mike’s suitable helper.

Keep the smile going!

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :)

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Jayde’s Husband to Apply for Bail

I picked up on one of the news media sites that Jayde’s husband Christopher Panayiotou is to apply for bail tomorrow. After two weeks in jail, I can imagine that he is pushing his lawyer to get him out as soon as possible. The case was remanded until 19th June when Christopher and his 2 accomplices will appear in court. All three have been charged with several offences including murder, kidnapping, robberywith aggravating circumstances and conspiracy to commit murder. jayde's husband Chrisopher Panayiutou

I really hope that this guy doesn’t get bail. From what I’ve read, he is a threat to society, he is a flight risk and according to some reports, he has been on ‘suicide watch.’  Letting him out, regardless of the conditions, gives him freedom, something he (allegedly) viciously snatched from his wife.

There are always two sides to every story, but this one seems to have cut and dried evidence. I’m glad to hear the NPA have said they will deny bail.

Port Elizabeth is alive with anger. They are a community outraged at the events that led up to Jayde’s death. Banking on the high crime rate in South Africa, it appears that Christopher Panayiotou believed the same strategy that got Shrien Dewani off, would work for him. Arrange a hit on your wife, set it up to look like a violent South African tragedy. If you get caught, hopefully the police will bungle the investigation and you will get off. Put up with the interim incarceration – stick it out – you will soon be a free man.

It is nothing less than inhumane to think that someone could actually plot something like this.

But if Panayiotou is guilty and does get off, he will still be in shackles. He will know what he has done. It will haunt him.

Proverbs 28:17 comes to mind:

A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.

On previous occasions when I have let wrath flow across the page of my blog, I have been (albeit kindly and lovingly) reprimanded by some. They have reminded me that, as Bible believing followers of Christ, our aim in life should be to glorify God and desire for all people to come to a knowledge of Him.

The guilty murderers of this life need a Saviour as much as I do.

While it is a big pill to swallow, it is true.

My heart bleeds for Jayde’s family. It also bleeds for Christopher’s.

This is not how it was supposed to be.

In the end, justice will be done.

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven….”

God will have the final say.


In His Grip,


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Standing in the Corner With My Hands Behind My Back

The wall was just millimetres from my nose. Both my palms were flat against it, as if I was putting my hands in the air for a police arrest. “Push your elbows down onto the wall,” came the command. While my personal trainer, Melanie shouted instructions, my mind wandered back 40 years. It was the closeness of the wall that did it. Another voice entered my head – that of my Dad:

“Go straight to the corner, put your hands behind your back and stay there.”

This was my Dad’s disciplinary action. I remember being told to leave the table, after some bad behaviour  and being sent to the corner. Why our hands had to be behind our back, I don’t know, but all my siblings at one stage, suffered this punishment after we irritated my father. My mother’s discipline was a little more forceful. She whacked us with a slipper. A good old hiding, my Mom was not afraid to give.

As I related the discipline memory to my gym-mates, one remarked, “Ha ha you felt like you were in the naughty corner! Your Dad was way ahead of his time.”

And he was. Not a man given to violence of any sort, he refused to strike us. Hidings were my Mom’s domain. For my Dad, while he didn’t call it the ‘naughty corner,’ that was where he sent us.

The illustration is from Little Folks and Little Friends by Oscar Pletsch, circa 1880. www.olddesignshop.com

(The illustration is from Little Folks and Little Friends by Oscar Pletsch, circa 1880. www.olddesignshop.com)

It worked. While pain-free, it had the effect of distracting us from our misbehaviour and putting us back on track. I can’t ever remember disobeying my Dad.

Obedience is such an interesting thing. From our earliest years, we are being told by our parents “no”, “careful”, “don’t do”, “watch out,” “you’re not allowed”, “mind that”. We see the dangers they don’t see. We have to teach them to obey us, so that when they are older, they see the dangers on their own and, and having walked in obedience, know how to handle them. Obedience is a sign of servant-hood and humility.

The Bible holds the key to true obedience.

Obey/obeyed appears 206 times in the Bible in various ways, both Old and New Testaments. Some of them:

~ Obey these instructions
~ Obey what I command you today.
~ Obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees
~ Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them
~ Be careful to obey so that it may go well with you
~ The Lord commanded us to obey
~ Children, obey your parents
~ Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.
~ But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them.

Obedience appears another 38 times

“Walk in obedience to God” is scattered liberally throughout the Bible, ending in 2 John 1:6

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.

Obeying God is the safest obedience of all. Hebrews 5:9

Once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him

Reading the Bible will change your life forever. Therein lies the way to the source of eternal salvation and that’s what we all want.

Happy obedience!

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx :-)

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