Relationships

red rose, lost love, snow

HOW DO I SAY GOODBYE: A TRIBUTE TO NADIA GOETHAM

How do you say goodbye to the person who changed your life forever? I have been forced to find an answer to that question- unprepared and unequipped- on Sunday afternoon upon hearing the news that my publisher and friend, Nadia Goetham, has passed away. Even as I write this tribute, I am still grasping at straws, lost and unable to give you an answer.

NADIA; MORE THAN A FRIEND

Nadia was a journalist, a production manager, a publishing powerhouse, a friend, a sister and a mentor. If I had to use one word to describe Nadia; it would be “beloved”. She crept into your heart and stayed there. Nadia was loved by almost everyone she met. Her charisma and kindness always shone through with every interaction you would have with her. She gave of herself freely expecting nothing in return.

Nadia was also the catalyst behind many dreams coming true. I would know this because there would be no Terry-Ann Adams without Nadia Goetham. My first interaction with Nadia was a life changing email sent very early on a Saturday morning. “We loved your manuscript and I would like to have a chat about it.” I couldn’t believe what I had read. I had given up on my manuscript after rejection and imposter syndrome kicked my ass. When I met with Nadia, we spoke about everything: growing up coloured, living in Joburg, my pregnancy and my manuscript. From that meeting on, we were not just author and publisher but friends- mentor and mentee.

Image
Terry-Ann Adams (author ) and publisher / friend Nadia Goetham

TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM

The rest is history. My life was changed forever when the world was introduced to Those Who Lived In Cages. Nadia was my biggest cheerleader. She believed in me when I did not believe in myself. She vouched for me, for my work. And the amazing thing is that she did that with all her authors. When she believed in you, she would ride for you like four flat tires.

The literary landscape has lost one of its most valuable members. I weep for the authors that she was yet to discover and for those who loved her. I weep because I don’t know how I will write another story knowing that Nadia will never read it.

She recently tweetedTell them you love them, Tell them you love them today.” 

My heart goes out to her family, friends and fellow members of the South African literary industry.

You can buy Terry-Ann’s Novel here : Jacana Media

Twitter: Terry-Ann Adams

flower, rose, love

DEAR MOTHER

I often think of the days that I use to perch on your lap
And grab you around your neck
And kiss your aging cheeks.


I often wonder if I will ever be able to do that again.
The chasm between us seems to have become so relentless
That I often wonder if we’ll ever be able to cross it.


Mother, ma as I know you,
I sometimes think back to when we use to be
Best friends, I was the envy of my siblings
As you always had my back.
Now I look back and see the strays of memories
We have left behind.


I see you, you’re getting older.
You have a limp
And the 60 years that our Father has granted you
Is starting to show.


I remember watching you sit
At the window in our small flat
Writing down random numbers;
Maybe it was the dates of the births of all your children,
Even the ones you never saw growing up.
Or maybe how many times your heart was broken.
Or was it the number of times you cried?


Now you don’t count anymore,
You just stare ahead, waiting for the
End of each day.
Maybe the dates and numbers and opportunities
That you never had have all lost their meaning.


You turned into a sad and helpless creature
Right before my eyes
It made me feel sad and helpless for
Not knowing how to reach out.


Dear mother,
My arrogance and pride has prevented me
From coming to you and telling you
That I miss your bear-like embrace.
It has put a wall up in the
Middle of our home
As we pass one another
During the day
Like strangers at night.


We hardly say a word to another
And when we do, its
Laced with irritations and criticism.


Mother, I am sorry
For being too big for my shoes and
Forgetting that you too
Are leaving shoes that no one
Will ever be able to fill.

marriage, kingdom marriage, vows, God

PURSUING A KINGDOM MARRIAGE

PART 1 – THE ROLE OF A MOTHER AND WIFE

As I’m writing this, my husband and myself have only been married for a month and a half. I know many people will probably read this post and think, what does she know but you’d be surprised what you can learn in a short space of time when you pay attention. The following post below is what God has put in my spirit during this month and a half that I’ve been married and has helped me understand what it means to have a kingdom marriage. I hope it speaks to you in some way too.

FIGHTING AND ARGUING IS INEVITABLE IN A MARRIAGE

Arguing, fighting and having disagreements don’t suddenly disappear when you get married. In fact, it might even increase. Something I’ve learned during this short time that I’ve been married is that prayer is powerful. You can pray through your problems, When your marriage is centered around Christ, He can help you through the difficult and uncomfortable times.

When you get married, the dynamics of your relationship changes. You feel it the moment you say your vows. There is a shift and you realise that the level of commitment has changed. You always need to remember the vows you took before God when you got married. I know I always do.

Marriage is from God and when you realise that, you know and understand how important it is.

marriage, kingdom, God,
An extract from a Devotional by Dr. Tony Evans

Something else that is vitally important to the life of your marriage is communication. You cannot disregard your spouse’s feelings in your marriage. You need to talk about it and find out why they are feeling the way they do. Communication is everything. I don’t believe the silent treatment works in a marriage. In fact, it could build up a wall in your home that will eventually be impossible to get over.

Seek God’s wisdom and guidance in your marriage. Refer to scriptures and pray with your spouse.

The world and social media shows us that you can get married and divorced on a whim but imagine if God married and divorced you on a whim? How would you feel if God just left you because He no longer felt like being in this relationship with you? Because that is what we have with God once we accept Him into our lives. We enter into a marriage with Him. A covenant. A relationship.

PURSUING A KINGDOM MARRIAGE

Through discussions, Jared and I realised that we want a Kingdom marriage. A definition shared by Dr. Tony Evans describes a Kingdom marriage as follows:

“a covenantal union between a man and a woman who commit themselves to function in unison under divine authority in order to replicate God’s image and expand His rule in the world through both their individual and joint callings”

So basically, you come together as a couple and you vow to expand God’s kingdom through what He has called you to do. You work on replicating the image of God in and through the world.

marriage, kingdom marriage, vows, God
Our wedding day on the 13th of March 2021

You are setting an example and a precedent for your children and all your future generations when you decide to enter into a marriage. It doesn’t matter if you come from a background where marriages didn’t work out, what matters is what you do going forward.

marriage, kingdom marriage, vows

YOUR ROLE AS A WIFE AND MOTHER

As a woman. mother and wife, you have a God-given power to pray your family to prosperity. You have a gift to carry your family through trying and troubling times. As women, we sometimes forget how dear we are to God’s heart.

God made Eve for Adam because He saw that Adam needed someone. God saw that Adam needed strength and help and encouragement that only a woman can provide. You might be asking yourself; but why should I do all the work? Why should I be the one to create a space for my husband and children to grow and succeed?

marriage, kingdom marriage

The reason for that is because God gave you that power. God gave you that responsibility. Your family draws strength from you. Your nurturing spirit and your unlimited love and your ability to comfort. They draw from your determination to always do more and be more and to succeed.

As you draw strength from God, your family draws from you and by doing that, your family draws closer to God because they see how you pray and how you carry yourself and because you make God the centre of all that you love and cherish.

BE PATIENT

You will grow into your role, whatever that may be. You will never be a perfect woman, mother or wife but you can be a good one.

Follow the five-day reading plan for a Kingdom marriage here : Kingdom Marriage

TOXIC MASCULINITY – DEFINITION OF A MAN

Is it how we conduct ourselves in the presence of women and children, or how we go above and beyond to support and protect our family?

Is it determined by our physical strengths and toughness? Or how much respect we get from our peers?

What is toxic masculinity?

Over the years I started seeing the term “Toxic Masculinity” float around but I didn’t think much of it. I knew it was a negative connotation so maybe that’s why I distanced myself from it. I actually thought it was a derogatory term by feminists against men for no reason other than being born as a man. However, I couldn’t be further from the truth.

Toxic Masculinity is a defined set of attributes, behaviour and roles associated with boys and men. In essence, it’s a profile of males who judge anyone as weak if they don’t abide by their image. They have a culture, albeit a dying one, of living with a “men don’t cry” motto. If you show signs of weakness through emotion then you lose your identity of what it means to be a “real man”. I find the whole concept very damaging and divisive. I don’t need any factual evidence to prove this has a detrimental effect on men’s mental health.

Alpha male is another term I read quite often about nowadays. I place it as a sub-category under the toxic masculinity umbrella. It’s men who have power, money and influence which they gained through mostly intimidation. Alpha men tend to prowess a combination of characteristics that propels them up the social hierarchy. However, I don’t view their values to be any better than mine or men they perceive to be below them. I don’t need to be labelled as any specific type of man – I’m me and that’s enough. You’re not better than me just because of the size of your wallet or how you might have more success in attracting females than I do.

silhouettes, father and son, sunset

Dealing with insecurities

These types of men maintain a fake image due to their insecurities. The fear of being judged by so-called better men. A competitive internal battle that destroys a man’s soul without him ever admitting his struggles because he refuses to ask for help.

Insecurities can lead to aggressive behaviour such as domestic abuse. It’s dangerous how many men are bottling up their emotions and yet could explode at any moment. True masculinity is leadership, strength, courage and ambition. All vital attributes that can take any man as far as he wants in life if he chooses to use them wisely.

What does it mean to be a man?

Men who prowess these skills think about themselves and the people who matter the most to them such as family. He focuses on his dreams rather than pleasing others.

He doesn’t care about negativity and isn’t afraid to show signs of frailty.

He combines moments of doubt and sadness into positive outcomes through rational decisions and learns from experience.

Eradicating toxic masculinity probably won’t ever happen, however we can limit the damage it causes to vulnerable men and boys. It starts with the education system. Young boys need to learn that it’s okay to feel different to others. No question should be left unanswered and boys should be encouraged to express their emotions without being labelled as weak.

The second is to confront potential harmful behaviour. For example, some guys need to be spoken to regarding their misogynist bullying towards women. We can’t continue to remain silent and let insults slide under the carpet. Intervention is key to any progressive society.

The third, although not the final as there are many avenues, is being the best role model to yourself. All actions have consequences, but they can also be used for a greater cause. Be a man who is known in his local community as someone who respects, love and inspires everyone around him. Be an example for young boys to look up to.

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You can follow Joey here:

Blog: Concealed Voices

Linktree: Social Media

poppies, field, sunset, bloom, seasons

SEASONS.

We are all in different seasons of our lives. It might not be the season you want to be in but right now, it is your season.

It’s the one you need.

Winter doesn’t shy away after the warm months have gone when it’s her turn to wrap us in a cold cocoon.

Autumn doesn’t become sad when the leaves turn from green to yellow to brown.

Spring patiently waits her turn to release her cherry blossoms after months of being in hiding.

This is your time to grow, to plant seeds for the next season.

To sow and to harvest.

You cannot skip it or avoid it.

You can’t get to the next season without getting through your current season.

There is a time for everything.

You cannot watch others bloom when it is their time and be upset because the same thing is not happening to you at that very moment.

Nothing in nature works that way; no flower keeps watch over another flower.

It simply blooms.

When its time has come, its petals fall to the ground and it does so with grace and elegance.

Its petals do not force their way back onto the stem.

Bloom when it is your time.

A flower grows where it is planted, where it is born, between weeds or between concrete.

It makes its surroundings beautiful.

Make your surroundings beautiful.

You have a purpose now, right where you are. No matter the season.

Whether your current season is five days, ten weeks, or 15 years, you need to submit and commit yourself to it.

If you believe God placed you here, know that it was with a purpose in mind.

Everything happens for a reason.

The hard part is being patient.

Kimberly Fray

Kimberly is a writer, blogger and poet. She is married to musician Jared Fray and they live in Johannesburg, South Africa with their two children.
Kimberly has had several of her poems published in poetry journals and also works as a news producer.