Saving Graces

new mercies each and every day

When I get married…


…besides a having a blue and ivory wedding… and after I have kids…. I want a house with a schoolroom. Why? coz I intend on homeschooling… it’s always been on my mind but I get more and more convicted of it. The reasons are too wide and varied bit I come closer and closer to the fact that this is what I desire.Aand not just to be counter culture of course… although that is always a pro with me 😀

My duty


Wow this post by Carrien as well as Jen’s post which she refers to just speak to me.. on every level. What is my duty, how do I do it? Now to internalise and for it to translate to change in the way I act or react. Like actually doing my work, the stuff I’m supposed to do first before the stuff I enjoy, which can be done whenever i.e. blogging etc. 🙂

Food glorious food! Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani!


Wow! had a fantab weekend and fantab weekends have fantab food to go with them!! ‘Twas a long weekend here with Women’s day and it was a very good long weekend at that! I had catechism formation on Saturday morning and lamb biryani for dinner! Yum yum, I didn’t have time to make my own masala or measure spices and the like so what I did was use a biryani pre-pack. Pre-measured and mixed spices in 5 separate sachets and you use them at the appropriate time etc. I used real ginger garlic paste and real saffron… again divine just thinking about that saffron scent… such a wonderful, beautiful scent. I thought nothing beat cinnamon in the kitchen but that saffron. Makes sense why they use it in perfumes!

So below is the modified recipe I used. as I said modified because I actually didn’t have the recipe in front of me so I did what I remembered from various vids on youtube. I’ve embedded what I think the most perfect biryani cooking is… it’s from Vahchef @ He is fabulous!

The making of it was a family affair. With me kinda conducting so continuous stirring was done by one, whilst another chopped and the like. Here is an account with what people i.e. Ven, Tend, Mo and Fa did 😀

Fa and Mo concentrated on making the equally fabulous sauce we had on the side. Lots of mushrooms yum yum! (Yum yum reminds me of girl guides grace, – Thank you for the food we eat yum yum…)

For the Rice:

  • 3 – 4 cups basmati rice
  • salt
  • lots of water for the rice
  • whatever herbs or spices you want to flavour your rice, like mint, cardamom etc

For the Meat:

  • 1.5 kg. lamb or mutton leg/shoulder cut into bite size pieces, washed and drained
  • 4-5 tbs. oil or ghee
  • 3 large potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • 4 large cardamoms*,
  • 6 green cardamoms*
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon*
  • 4 bay leaves*
  • 8-10 black peppercorns*
  • 6-8 cloves*
  • 2- 2 1/2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup thick yoghurt
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch of coriander leaves, chopped (didn’t have any)
  • 1 small bunch of mint leaves, chopped (didn’t have any)
  • A few strands of saffron soaked in ¼ cup of hot water (*All my spices were measured for me as I used the pre-pack sachets I bought)


First I marinated my lamb in half the yoghurt and half the spices and salt for a couple of hours. Ven thinly sliced the onions and Tend fried them in some oil until it was quite dark brown. I then added all whole spices (*cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, black peppers, bay leaves). I added the ginger and garlic paste and fried for a couple of minutes I then added the meat pieces, salt, chilli powder. Tend stir fried until meat is nicely browned on all sides. Then I added my potato cubes in. I added the rest of the yoghurt. Fa chopped the tomatoes and added them in, (mint and coriander would have been great… but I didn’t have any)Then Tend continued stirring frequently, until the meat was half done and the gravy made by the yoghurt had reduced.

Fa boiled the water for the rice, and I added a bit of cardamom (mint and coriander would have been great here too… still didn’t have any). We added rice to the water and boiled it briskly for 5-7 min, with lid off, until half done (feels a bit grainy when squashed between fingers). I drained the water off in a large sieve and poured cold water over it to stop it cooking I then put all the meat in a large thick based pot with a tight lid. Then I layered the rice on top of the meat in the pot. I drizzled my saffron water on top as well as some leftover spices and a bit of masala. The saffron smelled divine!!! I dotted a bit of butter on top of the rice I then covered the pot with a tight lid. And on a very low stove top cooked for about 30 min. We served it with a mix of sour cream and yoghurt with basil and oregano in it and lemon juice. I know a bit odd but it went down well!


Hidden in Christ


Our household has embarked on saying a novena, for our future spouses no less and it’s been 11 days. I know 11 is more than 9 but we skipped a day in between and hence started over. What I find striking is that when we started it I was doing because I know I am to pray for my future spouse and all, though not necessarily wanting one at the moment. But as the week has progressed I’ve begun to wish for the vocation marriage more… mmm.

And then i received this from a friends email… and the first line was what I found fascinating. I thus plan on hiding myself in Christ and the devout catholic man I desire will find me!

‘A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.’

When I say…. ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not shouting ‘I’m clean living,’
I’m whispering ‘I was lost, Now I’m found and forgiven.’

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide..

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say.. ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not bragging of success
I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I still feel the sting of pain…
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner Who received God’s good grace, somehow!

Pretty is as Pretty does… But beautiful is just plain beautiful!

Doogie is getting married!!!!!!


My lil’ brother Doogie is getting married! I know shock horror right! Haha, no I’m happy for him because he seems to have found a good catholic girl. That sounds so condescending… 😀 what more can we want?!?! It’s not the wedding or anything like that, it’s the traditional customary wedding, where the roora (lobola or bride price) is paid

And I’m missing it being down here with no permit hope to see her and get to know her proper like soon, till then there is Facebook!

It makes me realise that I’m happy I’m not gallivanting around the dating circles and affirms for me that marriage is a sacred covenant of which I hope to be a part of one day, but I’m not letting anyone get me worried on the when and to whom, coz the Lord’s timing is perfect! Also whoever I get married to has to have enough money to pay for over 20 cows for roora… so I’m giving him time to find the mula!

On Modesty


So I seem to be getting these cosmic hints for lack of a better word, to look more into what being modest means and for me to dress and act more modestly. Mmmm-hmmm this to a person who so does love the stage of life. Dressinmodestlyty won’t be too difficult what with me having gained weight I cover it all up already!

On another front, I do feel “called” to wear a head covering at church now. Guess who is going bandana/ mantilla hunting soon… I hope I actually find something I like, Lord only knows where, before next Sunday 😀

The question now would be on my trousers. What can I say they are practical. The one thing I have avoided though is wearing them to church so again not a problem there. When married I’d probably not wear them much if at all. I have no problem with not wearing trousers, the thing is they are so convenient at times they seem like the only option. But hey that’s more for me to discern so I know were my line should be, draw it, then not step over it 😀

Early to bed, early to rise….


…makes a man (or woman) healthy, wealthy and wise. I wonder when I’ll learn that…? When I sleep late I wake up late and grouchy the day does not go well and I don’t’ ‘have’ time to read my bible or say my prayers coz I am harried and the day just goes down the drain… I know this! But guess what time I went to sleep the other day? 3:30 am… when I need to be at work by 8:30 and it takes 1 hour at least for me to get there…. whoever said human beings are creatures of habit had it spot on. Because all I wanted to do was finish my novel and the rest would take care of itself. Now if I had the same attitude towards my quiet time I could probably move mountains coz when I am in tune with the Lord I am in tune with me and what I need to get done, I am literally superwoman.

There have been a couple of good breakthroughs though, I decided for advent to say the Joyous mysteries and I’ve actually been doing it twice a day and loving it as well as the Divine Mercy chaplet. I was busy googling devotions I came across it and though I hadn’t done it in a while when it was actually one of my favourites so depending on how I’m feeling rosary first then Divine Mercy chaplet or vice versa and because the Angelus is so centred around the birth of Jesus I’m doing it too. I tend to miss at least one of the times either midday or 6pm but ’tis early days yet, I’ll have it down pat by next week, easy peasy.

Now to sort out my sleep patterns.

Dating and being a 21st century christian


date photoSo here I am, worried… yes worried about people close to me, well about their love lives. None of my business? I don’t think so, it is my business to try and make sure my loved ones and neighbours (whom if I love are also my loved ones :D) don’t get off the straight and narrow. Truth be told there ain’t much I can actually do to get them to change their minds but I can try ha?

So sent an email along this gist… just hoping they actually read all this… or any of it… so I told them I was praying that the Lord leads and guides them… and to get a copy of Playing God by Michelle McKinney Hammond… what can I say, it’s real………

Don’t fall into missionary dating, it just ain’t the way to go. wait on the Lord 😀

Why now? Why bring this up now whenI’vee never really said anything before well I have but not along these lines and ’tis not like I have the best track record… lets says have been convicted by the HS to do so… and I’ve been reading a lot on dating and courtship and lets just say I wish the dating morals of people would go back a couple of centuries, well not all of them but most…

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”2.Cor:6.14-18.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain” (Psalm 127:1)

The thing you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you (Matthew 6:33).

It may seem sometimes that you are alone. You are not! Keep your Faith in Christ and the Power of the Cross. Even though as a human we want to try to fix things by self. You can’t. 1 Peter 4;12-13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when His Glory shall be revealed you may be glad also with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are you for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests upon you.

So what’s wrong with missionary dating? Read this, do read it please, else I’ll come bonk you on the head with a wok!

Letter to my future husband


So I found this letter to a future husband at which I though apt.. and then I tweaked it a tad for me 😀

To my future husband,

It is important for me to write to you now, even before we know each other, because there is still time for both of us to think about our future and to make wise decisions. There are so many things I want to tell you. I want to share my dreams with you. I want to trust you to listen and to care about what I say, to be interested in me as I am in you, for me to matter to you as you do to me. When I think about getting married, I think about much more than just the wedding dress, bridesmaids, flowers, invitations and parties, though I do that a lot so I hope you’ll like blue…

To me, getting married means sharing the rest of my life with you. Growing old together – ’til death do us part – with a lot of living in between! It means growing and changing and living through the good times as well as the bad. It means loving each other when it is difficult. I look forward to a happy life with you and our children, but I’m not so unrealistic that I think we won’t have any problems or difficulties (especially considering the number of kids we want to have… cheaper by the dozen won’t have anything on us!). Those will be the growing times when our love and commitment will be tested, and we will emerge stronger, wiser and more deeply in love. I know that we need each other to be holy and to become the man and woman God created us to be. God has already chosen us for each other. That is so awesome to me! I can hardly wait to meet you, but I know I have to be patient because it will only happen when it is God’s time for us to come together.

Until then, I can think about you and pray for you and hope that you are thinking about me and praying for me, too. I hope so much that you are waiting for me just as I am waiting for you. I want both of us to do what is right. I want to respect you, and I want you to respect me. I want us to be able to recognize the goodness in each other. I want you to touch my heart with your goodness. A friend told me once that it is necessary to know what is important to me and to have some “major” requirements when it comes to selecting my spouse. That way it will be easier for me to recognize you when we meet.

The “majors” are basically those few character traits that are absolutely essential to me; traits that I just could not compromise on for any reason. I know the most important “major” is that my husband will have to know God, to love Him and to be willing to keep Him first in our lives. I have seen so much joy and happiness in families where God is the center, and now that I am older, I realize how important God is. I want our family to be happy too, and I know we cannot do it without God. I need you to be the head of the household, to be our family priest so please keep yourself centered in God.

The next “Major” would be unselfishness. I’m not perfect in this area either, but I want both of us to be unselfish. We cannot go through life thinking only of ourselves. We have to be willing to make sacrifices for each other and for our children. We have to be willing to love. That’s not always easy, but unless we are committed to a lifetime of loving unselfishly, our marriage will never succeed. We have to be honest too. No marriage can survive without honesty and trust. I know we will spend many hours just talking and learning about each other by sharing our thoughts and our feelings, our hopes, our dreams and our fears. I want us to be very comfortable with each other. I want so much to love you.

And, I want you to love me. I want to be cherished, to be the most important person in your life, to be your most intimate friend. I want to be your wife. I want you tenderness and affection, your kindness and you strength. I want to be there for you when you feel happy and on top of the world, and I want to be there when your spirit is crushed. I want to feel protected and secure in your love and to trust you at all times. I want you to feel safe with me and never to be ashamed to talk about your fears and weaknesses. I want to encourage you to stand up for your beliefs and always to do what is right. I want to stand beside you as we go through life together.

Remember, I said the wedding dress is not all that important? Well, the most important thing about the wedding dress is what it represents. The beauty of the white fabric symbolizes the purity of the bride. I want my dress to be that symbol to you. I want to cherish my virginity so that my gift of myself to you will be pure and holy. I want so much for you to do the same for me. The world has cheapened and trivialized our beautiful gift of sexuality. It has ignored its awesome power to unite a man and a woman in marriage and to be the source of their greatest blessings, their children. I don’t want us ever to lose that sense of awe and reverence for this wonderful gift God designed for married couples.

The power of our sexuality is so sacred. It is important to me that you believe that, too. It’s a “major”. We don’t have to make all the mistakes many of our older friends have made. We can have God’s best if we do it His way. So, why in the world am I telling you all of this? Because it’s on my mind. I do think about you a lot. I hope and pray that we will be strong enough to combat the lies the world has told us. The things we do and say today can affect the rest of our lives. We do have to think and to care about the way we live today. You are so important to me. Our future is important to me. Our marriage and our children are important to me. That’s why all of this matters. I want to be your wife, and I want you to be my husband.

Neither of us will ever be the perfect spouse, but we can strive to please God and to do His will. By doing that now and after we are married, I know we will have the grace we need to help each other and our children get to Heaven. And, after all, that’s really all that matters in the end. So, future husband, I hope this letter makes a difference to you.

I really do exist. Please wait for me. I am waiting for you.