Lost my journal

Ramblings about my life as a wife, mama, Christ-follower and medical doctor…

Belius, Bedee, Bee, ..

It was only fair that we got to name her a few,

as she always nicknamed us –

Paddee, Lainee, mrs P and for me it was Lodee.

In 1940, a day before Valentine’s in Dale Street, she came to be.

Number 2 of 6 Foutens,

But Ouma Heuvel’s number 1 most definitely.

Although Mummy’s oldest sister she came to be,

she was more of another mother to me.

More Obedient a lady you never would find.

A tough mans ultimate quest,

she turned them all away on ouma’s request.

She was stunning and tall,

with beauty that attracted them all

Not a wrinkle to see,

And always dressed to the tee.

On a Saturday should would “sleep in”, waking up at 5am to start with the clean

And then to the hairdresser to get her hair pristine.

She was our family’s alarm clock

and many pigeon race victories daddy would see,

only because B woke him up to toss his birds at 3.

For 22 years her daily routine would be collecting Wilma dear,

And on the train to St Georges mall they would steer.

Any time spent in Town at Cape watchmakers would end.

Then off to Clicks with smiles and glee

When from B we received niknaks and a Cadbury.

And that’s just a taster of her spoiling me.

A more loyal friend could never be found.

As tales of Koepie, Erica, Wilma and later of Patty -she would sound.

Her blood was colored with green and gold.

About her love for her Proteas and Springboks she was bold.

Glued to her radio she would be,

when Supersport we weren’t able to see.

In a family where music was compulsory,

she opted for something more unique you see:

Her accordion she played with style,

Triple tasking with it since she was a child.

The only Aunty willing to teach me underwater tricks,

She was the official Montagu Springs bikini chick.

When with my Afro I emerged -natural was the way she encouraged me to be.

The first one to say “leave it like that Loddee, don’t blow your hair dry”,

Long before the media’s curly hair cry.

Aunty Bridget always told me I was unique, to this day

– those words stick.

Her days of work she sacrificially gave up

And cheerfully cared for ma Lulu even when it was tough.

A quiet spirit but with strength that roared.

Her words her whole life would be “Jesus and me”,

in sadness and in glee.

She was generous with all she earned,

never expecting anything in return.

Yet always thankful she was, at a gesture so small,

even if another thought it a waste of time to call.

And so all that she sowed in service and love,

harvested back in her last few months with us.

Her sisters so dear, gave her their all,

In dignity they kept her standing tall.

While in the home stretch, she said to them,

“Isn’t it beautiful, can’t you hear them sing? It is “Going home” that the choirs sing.”

Even when in immense pain, resilient she was,

not a murmur did she utter.

Instead she quietly sang:

A heartache here is but a stepping stone.

Along a path that’s winding always upward.

This troubled world is not my final home.

But until then my heart will go on singing.

Until then with joy I’ll carry on.

Until the day my eyes behold my Saviour.

Until the day God calls me home

I am the proud mother of the cutest, busiest little 20 month old toddler. Judah is super energetic from the time he wakes up which ranges between 6-7am regardless of when he went to sleep.

 

So Judah is discovering his will and unfortunately also recently discovered the word “Nee”. It was the cutest thing when he imitated papa with a “No man” when he didn’t feel like doing something. This has now developed into an irritating “Nee-eee” which screeches up an octave (taught to him recently by another toddler friend). 

 

Today was an interesting morning at the Pick ‘n Pay! My little guy loves the R5 electric toy cars outside the shop and was adamant about sitting in the car for the entire morning. Even the coercion of a treat couldn’t sway him! I needed to move onto shopping (and Hosea wasn’t enjoying this sunny spot either) and so Judah’s play session came to an unwanted end. Upon being forced into the trolley entering the shop, Judah’s sirens of “Nee’s” and screams erupted whilst he stood in the trolley -threatening to jump out. This was the first of his public displays of determination and ended in a spanking to help him understand that his will was subject to mine:) Many thoughts crossed my mind in this split second. The stares of the judgerige bystanders, the possibility of him falling out of the trolley etc. I stood my ground and did what I believed right. I decided that Judah’s good character and discipline was more important than the opinions of those surrounding me. Judah quickly realised his shouts was not going to get him what he wanted and settled down. A few seconds after that he brightened up and asked about going in the electric car again later. 

 

It was quite entertaining seeing people’s response to this scene. I understand that many people believe spanking to be wrong and I don’t judge them for their opinion. My husband and I are the result of loving occasional corporal discipline and feel that we benefitted from it. More importantly we choose not to “spare the rod and spoil the child” according to our biblical guidelines. 

There was an elderly lady who stood in shock and went out of her way to come see what I was doing while shaking her head the whole time. Another lady came to me and said that I shouldn’t give him a hiding in public. A third lady (the packer) told me that my son was naughty. She went on to tell me how children that age are the “stoutste dinge en hoe hulle net erger raak”. I dont think she was prepared for the mouthful coming her way. I disagreed with her telling her that he might have momentarily done something which was “naughty”, and most definitely age appropriate, but that he was not naughty. Labelling a child as “naughty” and telling them that it is what they are; shapes them into exactly that. It instills shame for who they are instead of guilt for an action they did. I suggested that if she continually call her Children “stout” that that is what they’ll become. Funny thing is, I don’t think one can truly understand this moment unless you live it out. I didn’t. I always secretly thought parents needed to discipline their “naughty” children better at home so this sort of scene didn’t happen in public.

 

A shop can easily become any parents nightmare! It is the perfect testing grounds in a little child’s wonderland of electric cars, sweets and toys. I will continue shopping and bringing my sons with me and chances are this scene might be re-enacted. So, if you see me doing my thang in Pick n Pay, just smile and wave. I believe small moments of discipline can prevent a life time of disaster. 

Judah at 7 months: A time when shopping was a breeze

So myself and  3 girlfriends decided to make some home made smears -Hummus and red pepper/ Sundried tomatoe pesto was the agenda for the day. Being a “home-girl” (stay at home mom) I now have time for these glorious challenges. 

So my Homemade Hummus challenge was inspired by the fact that:

1. I live in Ceres. There is no Woolies. Our little Supermarkets are often out of stock. 
2. I admire women who can whip up master meals from scratch.
3. Working off a one-man budget, I have to keep the budget tight and still impress Dwain with my amazing meals.

So, Dwain and I are in month 3 of our Vegan (or more accurately -Plant based) diet: a story for another day. We’ve cut out butter, cheese, ham and many of the normal goodies we used to put on our sandwiches. Dwain loves bread so finding alternatives was imperative.

For the sake of this post, I’ll share the Hummus recipe (will share other smears some other time). Turns out making it oneself is like 10 times cheaper than shop Hummus and just as good if not better! 

“Tell her to put that camera away!” Ilze: the inspiration behind this gathering

Ingredients:

Makes enough for a very large pot 
(half the recipe if it’s too much for your family or else impress a friend by sharing some:)

2 cans chickpeas
2 lemons juice (and some zest)
1 clove garlic
1 heaped tsp cumin (ground)
Salt/ pepper
3 tbs nut butter (or Tahini)
Olive oil/ water (add to reach your ideal consistency -go slow)
Optional: paprika to garnish 

Instructions:

Chuck everything in a food processor and blend!

Add olive oil or water based on texture/ liquidity. Add salt to taste.

NB. Go slow with the tahini and olive oil-can make the Humus taste bitter. I didn’t have tahini or almond butter and so used peanut butter (3 tablespoons) and it’s just as good!

NBB. A food processor/blender is a must for your kitchen! Wish I knew this earlier. Picked one up on gumtree 2 weeks ago for only R400. Just too much that can be made!

Us proud of our final product

Bon appetite! 

The Perils and Pleasures of a life in Medicine has probably given you a good idea as to my current feelings concerning being a doctor. This blog post is the aftermath of those thoughts and feelings .
Our second precious little boy -Hosea William– was born on 27 September 2018. Soon after his birth I realized I would not be able to return back to work (and studies). I felt the exact same way with Judah but financially staying at home was not a possibility. There was also the added stress of having started a Master’s program and feeling pressure not to quit half way (pressure mostly put on me by myself).
This left me feeling trapped and on an emotional roller coaster every other day. I honestly think that if I worked a 8-5pm job I would’ve been able to pull through. But my work contract and speciality training requirements were the full overtime package (240 hours p/ month) excluding after hour University projects and studies. All or nothing. Dwain really felt my pain and was often left alone to struggle it out by himself (with a baby who refused to drink a bottle and insisted only on his mama’s breast). 

Big brother Judah and Little brother Hosea

Soon after my maternity leave with Judah we set out on a mission (which we are still pursuing) to financial freedom. This journey started with being introduced to Dave Ramsey  and his baby steps https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OC_6WqXA1ps. We had to stay jet focused, as a gazelle fleeing from the hunters hand (Prov 6:3-5) especially in our approach to debt. It is not without sacrifice (especially from my beloved Dwain), that I am now able to spend this precious time with the family. I’m not too sure for how long this season will last but for now I am so happy for it. As Ecclesiastes 3 puts it:  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. 

In our happy place

I savor every moment of being with my little one’s. I thank The Lord for His grace and for allowing us to stay focused and frugal in reaching one of our goals. We now live with “less” yet have so much more. 

Daily family walkee talkee

 Being a medical doctor is more than a career. It becomes your life. In excess of 240 hours a month: it sneaks into every quiet moment, family occasion and early morning hour. 

It’s your day always being seen as pre, on or post call. It’s the impending doom, even when on leave, that the overtime “catch up” chase starts when you return to work. It’s the underlying fear that you didn’t do enough, or in rare cases -did too much. It’s lying in your bed after 30 hours of being awake and not being able to switch off. It’s the replays of the night before. It’s the paranoia of “should I have” and “did I?”. It’s the weighty burden of being responsible for another’s life. It’s the awesome fear (and not in the modern funky but rather fearful sense of the word) that you are a gatekeeper at life and deaths door. It’s the holy privilege of seeing someone knocking at heavens door: heart beat disappear. Dead. And then in the blinking of an eyelid return with a sudden gasping back to life. It’s the tear in a mothers eye speaking appreciation no words can explain. It’s love and endurance pushing beyond what the human body and it’s mental restraints should allow. 

In the last 18 months, Medicine has transitioned into something much more sinister. it’s become the tears in my Judah’s eyes when I’m called out to work in the middle of the night. The anger in my husband’s heart at a system that won’t allow his wife to rest. The long hours away from home, and the short tired returns.

There is so much honor in being a doctor and rightfully so. I always shied away from and perhaps denied the honorable ideas of what others thought doctors were. I think at that stage in my career, I did not yet perceive the price paid. Doctors, I.e the true public servants, especially those who remain in the cruel state system, deserve honor. They walk a road that demands a lifetime of selflessness and sacrifice, often unbeknown to the naive dreamy medical student who starts their career “to help” the world. 

Since childhood I’ve believed the misconception that doctors are rich. It was probably the fancy cars parked outside Dr Kaskar and Dr Kirsten’s practices. This was not the motivation behind my decision to pursue Medicine but definitely not a deterrent. The compensation is by no means adequate. Then again, regardless of the amount earned, it never could be. 

Time is a priceless commodity and Medicine demands all of it.

Tata mama

Tata mama

We miss you but we’re ok

Immunisation drive in Nduli 12 days before Judah’s birth

There was a saying I saw on Facebook the other day: “Every coloured family has a Titi”.

On the 29th October 2018 we lost ours.

Although her health had been on a decline, her death came as a shock to us all.

Titi was the life of the party. She was also the one who arranged the party. And then also the one who kept the party going. Titi provided days of laughter with dramatic imitations of family members, accents, koortjie Engels. With Titi there was always something to laugh about. Titi always made sure to make mama secretly smile and Judah juig by “putting in the note” to end our evenings together in worship. “Roep sy naam”, “Die genade van Die Heer is genoeg vir my” are songs I’ll never be able to sing without memories of our Titi.

Her passing came so fast and has left our family in pain and our hearts in pieces. There are just too many reminders of her. Her life was so large, her laughter-loud, and her love and legacy -lasting.

I’m so glad for the last cup of tea Dwain and I were able to have with Titi and Uncle Joey. It was an intentional date. We’ve made it a family value to spend intentional time with individuals who are important to us and to let them know that they are precious to us.

I still wish there was another cup of tea to share though. A few more questions I could ask, a few more hugs I could give.

I am more motivated than ever, to keep drinking tea with loved ones. To ask those questions. Give those hugs. In fact, in future, I would like to share from the wealth of wisdom that comes from my celebrities and hero’s and make sure they are famous in my world.

“Ons moet aanhou elke Sondag saam mekaar tee drink, sommige families kan nie eers ‘n koppie water saam mekaar drink nie”.

In honor of Titi.. sal ons aanhou teetjies drink♥️

I am Lauren Joy. So who am I?

I suppose I am many things but would hope that my defining characteristic be Christ.

I am married to Dwain. We’ve been happily (for the most part) trotting along for 7 years on 26 Dec 2018 Dv. Dwain has taught me much about love and more about myself than anyone else.

I’m a mom squared to the 2 most beautiful boys on the planet (yes I know all moms believe that but really:). Judah is 20 months and Hosea 2 months old and yes the age gap is tight.

IMG_4806

I’m a doctor who hasn’t quite found my feet as to exactly where my place in Medicine is, especially in the light of the awesomeness of motherhood. I’ve had an adventurous journey in my career thus far. Taking me to strange and interesting places and has finally settled me into what is now home -Ceres. I agree that “home is where the heart is” and that is indeed where my family is but there a peace and settled-ness that’s come with being in this little “platteland dorpie”.

I am passionate about my family, food (making but mostly eating it), traveling with an emphasis on exploring, creating things, finding bargains and helping make others lives a little better. This sometimes happens through work (kinda my job description) but it is even more rewarding -outside of it.

So I used to enjoy writing and being creative, allowing it to take me to places that surprised even me. Pretty and economic personalised Christmas gifts, poems and humorous obituaries etc. Yes, it’s not good that it takes such occasions to unlock my creativity and emotions but the busyness of life has always made writing feel less important. On the few occasions I have journaled it’s been in random books/ diaries. Because of my “Los-kop” scatter brainedness I can never quite find these when the opportunity calls for it. Unlike a diary, a blog is always findable:)

So I’ve decided on journaling “on line” to:

  1. Help me stop and reflect more
  2. Keep a record of important thoughts/ events in my life
  3. Grow in my writing “skills”

For those who took the time to read, thanks for sharing in my life and my journey of journaling.