Start

I’m BIG on starting.

Because All GREAT things started with one tiny action.

Today is Day One of our #TakeBackMonday Campaign at Dream BIG.

Find out from the video below what it’s all about and how you can start living your BEST LIFE!

 

Wanna get Married? Say So!

I’ve been dreading writing this post- but after meeting far too many pining women wanting to get married- I just gotta say something!

A while ago I posted Tracy McMillan’s brilliant  and very popular, Why You’re not Married  article on my Facebook Page.

Some of my FB friends found Tracy a wee bit too harsh and rather crass- Others cyber high-fived her piece (especially single ladies).

I found Tracy’s article raw. It made me cringe a couple of times- but if I’m honest she shared some things I’ve observed to be pretty darn accurate.

I read the article to my husband and he said it was spot on! Coming from a guy that’s something worth considering!

Tracy’s article is definitely (!) worth a read and can be found here.

Tracy McMillan

The “getting married” subject has been on my mind for a long time.

I’ve come across lovely, beautiful, women who share with me what they don’t tell the men they love: That they want to get married!

Sometimes the guys are wonderful men who may just need a nudge- other times I want to shake some women and yell: “Run Girl Run! This guy’s going to destroy you!”

Oh boy how I’ve been putting off saying anything- but after (almost on a weekly basis- if not more) meeting women who so desperately wish their significant other would pop the question- oh well…

I don’t know much about the generics of getting a guy to marry you so I’ll share my own personal experience.

Phew!

Here goes!

I believe the number one reason women who want to get married don’t is because of what therapist Dr Robin Smith calls Lies At The Altar.

In the Book Dr Smith writes:

“Let me begin with the truth. I have known what it is to live a lie — to want so badly to keep a relationship that I made myself invisible. I have known the exhaustion of trying to hold up a facade that has no foundation… I would like to spare the pain of every woman who fears that she can have love only if she erases her needs and makes herself small. I would like to shout it from the rooftops and mountain peaks that truth is better, warmer, stronger. It is the only way to have a great marriage or a great relationship.”

I know I’m talking about being open with our significant others about wanting to get married- but I had to include another excerpt from Dr Smith. I include it because where does the hiding what you want and need stop?  Describing a toxic relationship she once had, Dr Smith writes:

“Being with this man almost killed me — almost crushed my bright and resilient spirit and tampered with my sturdy and robust mind. He wanted to rob me of my very essence, and for a long time I let him. Where was I in my life that I could have devoted so much time, energy, and effort to a man who neither honored nor valued me? How had I, a highly trained professional with what I thought were nearly flawless intuitive skills, become involved with such an impostor?”

Lies at the Altar book cover

I’ve been with men who made me feel worthless. I held onto them because I had some twisted belief that having them, no matter how rubbish it was, was better than having no one. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

Maybe I was  a little pushy about wanting to get married… looking back though I don’t regret playing open cards with my guy and being upfront about what I wanted.

I met a woman a few of weeks ago who’d been engaged to her man for a while. Their wedding date however was nowhere in sight.

Nosy me asked the chic: “Girl do you want to get married?”

“Yes!” she exclaimed wide-eyed.

“Then you gotta tell your guy!”

She looked at me as though I’d cussed.

There are times I get the sense from some women that it’s beneath them to tell their men that they want to be married- not just dating- not indefinitely engaged but married!

As this woman and I spoke it was evident that for her the engagement was not enough. From what she was sharing with me it seemed to be dragging on for too long.

Her and her man were working on having a baby- living together too but as for getting married, that did not seem to be a priority- well at least not for the guy.

But I didn’t blame him because she was not speaking up!

Why would folks plan to marry, do absolutely everything married people do, including start a family, but not actually get married?

It boggles the mind.

On one hand I blame the ridiculous idea that weddings should be grand and a family’s event of the generation… People are so hung up on having a “dream” wedding that they forfeit the incredible power of being part of, perhaps, the most potent force humans could tap into: the actual marriage.

Groom and Bride

I’m all for beautiful weddings. Getting married is  a big deal. It’s bliss to celebrate it with as much pizzazz as couples can afford- but it’s sad when the pursuit of glam and grand takes precedence over the importance of the actual being  married.

On other hand I blame the very warped and twisted culture that fails to value marriage as it should- and finally I blame the sometimes unfair expectations some families have when it comes to the “Lobola” tradition.

I’ve come across guys who want to marry their girl- but they battle to raise the money they need to pay for lobola.

This story, no matter how many times I hear it, baffles me every time.

At the risk of being burned at the stake I have to ask what message families send when they delay their children being properly married in order to fulfill tradition?

While the waiting is happening the young couple, madly in love live together- start breeding… it’s no wonder our marriages fall apart as quickly as they do- we’re sent the message that marriage doesn’t matter that much.

Perhaps the even more concerning question is what message are we sending our children?

What a tragedy that we’ve been taught that getting married is a “nice” thing to do- if we have the money!

That’s sad.

Wedding couple hand in hand

I tried living with my guy before we got married.

My mom flew in like a hawk and swore it’d be over her dead body that her daughter would live with a man she wasn’t married to!

I did want to get married. But I also didn’t. Because most of my life I’d seen the very ugly side of people’s married lives- I didn’t want to experience that kind of pain.

Heads-up to people who may think like I did: Not getting married does not prevent that kind of pain. Love hurts sometimes. No matter what package it comes in.

I knew my parents were right.

In my hearts of hearts I didn’t want to live with a man I wasn’t married to.

I didn’t want to send the message to the children we’d have that marriage didn’t really  matter.

Despite the terrible and unhappy marriages I’d seen- truth was I still wanted to give it a bash.

I wanted to be a Mrs.

I wanted my kids to know Mom and Dad were married. That was the kind of family and love I wanted for myself. It was the model I wanted to pass on to my babies. And I told my Guy so.

We’d been close friends for a long time. I knew enough to believe he was the  one I wanted to spend my life with. He was definitely the man I wanted to be the father of my children.

Here’s the point: My guy was not keen on getting married. At first he was- then he wasn’t…  I was having none of that. I told him if he didn’t “know me” after almost a year of being my friend- then when exactly was he going to? He proposed.

Then he wanted a long engagement- I was having none of that either!

I told him, “I’m not one for long engagements- if you want to marry me- marry me!”

And that was that.

I felt I was worth marrying. I needed him to honour that.

We dated a few months- were engaged for an even shorter time- the rest is, as they say, history.

Call it pushy but I got what my heart yearned for. And I got the family I wanted.

Marriage is hard. I’m yet to meet a person who thinks it’s a walk in the park.

It turns you inside out. At times it brings out monsters that give you nightmares!

But I’ve found marriage to be one of the most rewarding and amazing relationships that can happen between two people.

From my own experience I believe it’s perhaps the most powerful ingredient to living a fulfilled and purpose driven life. Especially if it’s centred on Jesus.

It saddens me the amount of women I meet who want their guy to marry them and yet they don’t voice this desire.

I can hear their desperate longing and anguish.

Ladies you have got to take responsibility for the delay- you cannot pin it on the guy alone.

I battle to understand how anyone can allow another person to dictate this most precious part of their lives?

If you want to get married why allow that to be kept from you?

My very strong sentiment is that we’ve got to stop living backwards.

We cannot begin building a life with someone- start procreating and yet leave out the most fundamental component of family: marriage between the two people starting the clan!

I’ve heard folks say a ring doesn’t mean commitment- OH Yeah it does!

There’s a huge difference between being a girlfriend, a fianceé and a wife. The fact that we’ve been led to believe that this is not true is such a shame.

Most women I’ve met want to get married. Few things tell a woman she’s loved more than marrying her.

So how do you get the love you want? You ask for it.

Being honest about what you want doesn’t make you needy or desperate. It makes you truthful.

I believe that a man whose intentions are honourable will marry the woman he loves. A man who does not want to get married, most probably, won’t no matter what the girl does.

We have to own that we often get what we ask for.

If we send the message that we “don’t mind” not being married- well guess what it’ll probably remain that way.

We cannot hide what we really want and then resent our significant other for not fulfilling the things we’re not saying!

Women, in particular, are taught that being open about their desire to get married scares guys off- yeah it will scare some guys off- the ones who don’t want to get married!

Kissing wedding couple resized

If you want to get married say so.

Often the reason we’re hurting is because we’re lying.

If you want to get married believe you’re wonderful and valuable enough for a man to make you his wife.

As long as you’re “okay” with just going along until “one day” someone decides  to marry you- chances are you’ll probably be waiting a long time.

 

Hannah Viviers is the Creator and Host of the Dream BIG TV Show.

A key secret to success

I know I’m not the only one who feels that being trustworthy is invaluable. 

This article from entrepreneur.com states that “ethical behavior can become your competitive advantage.”

I believe that’s not only true for business.

A while ago I watched The Hobbit  with my husband.

For days after I felt as though I were in a bubble- completely consumed by this beautiful, fantastical, world…

Try as I might I couldn’t understand what had captivated me so about this film.

And then one day I got it- The Hobbit  told of a world in which Honour meant something. In fact in “The Hobbit  World” honour was  everything.

Those that pledged their allegiance- even if the quest wasn’t theirs, gave everything they had- even if it meant their very lives, for the sake of keeping their Word.

The adventure was filled with characters willing to die for this incredible quality- OH! What girl wouldn’t want to live among such men!

Some of the Warriors from The Hobbit. Picture taken from: walls-world.com
Some of the Warriors fromThe Hobbit. Picture taken from: walls-world.com

Today we live in a broken world- with broken lives and shattered dreams because honour means far less than it should.

I may sound quite over the top but I believe many underestimate the value of keeping one’s word.

Here’s something I’ll never forget…

I was in my teens.

I’d promised to take the bus with a friend after school.

On that day it was compulsory we cleared our lockers.

I had tons of books- remember those massive high school text books? Yeah I had a few of those along with all my other workbooks, odds and ends.

After school it was a “no-brainer” for me- I was going to catch the bus!

My friend asked what I was doing- I tried to explain about my locker clearing situation- she stormed off while I took the bus.

I felt justified in taking the bus- but something in my heart sank deep. I had no idea why I felt so rubbish. I had good reason to go back on my Word!

As soon as I got home I dumped my books and rushed to find my friend so we could walk the rest of the way home together.

I’d seen how upset she’d been that I’d let her down. I knew I was in real trouble with her.

I did find my friend. Furious. And walking home- alone.
She would hardly look at me.

I tried again to explain my book situation- she stopped walking and said: “Had this been the olden days your family would’ve disowned you for dishonouring your word!”

I don’t know if there ever was a time when keeping one’s word was that big of a deal but I felt ashamed.

Never had I been confronted with the weight of keeping my word until then.

I knew that had the tables been turned my friend would’ve kept her word to me- no matter what- because for her honour was a BIG thing.

That sinking feeling I’d felt earlier was my own awareness that regardless of my reason, I had broken a promise- and that was not  OK!

Since then I’ve learned that sometimes the reason we don’t keep our promises is because it’s not always convenient to so; which is why I believe that delivering on what we say we’ll do means much.

There is something to be said about being a Keeper of our Word.

When we speak people should believe us; If for some reason we cannot keep our end of the bargain- by goodness I think we have to make the effort to ensure we find a way to make good on our word.

This is not a sermon- as I write I’m reminding myself of one of the most crucial lessons I’ve ever learned.

There are people who’ve earned my respect in business, and in life, just by keeping seemingly unimportant agreements. Then there are some who I once respected greatly and no longer do because they didn’t deliver on promises they’d made.

Thinking back on school and that day, I’ll never forget my friend’s disappointment and the look on her face that said: “I counted on you to not let me walk alone.”

The promises we make may not seem like a big deal to us…

Catching the bus that day didn’t seem like a big deal- I felt my reason to do so was solid- but I’ll never know what letting my friend down meant to her.

If it were super easy to keep our Word we’d all do it- but it’s not always so- which is why we need to consciously do everything we know how to keep the Worth of our Word valuable.

I believe this is the number one way to gain trust. With that trust comes many wonderful things.

I’m not saying all this because I’ve arrived in this area. But I do know this to be something that deeply matters to people.

Keeping our Word. I believe it’s one of the most crucial keys to success in any area of our lives.

 

Hannah Viviers is the Creator and Host of the Dream BIG TV Show

Are we teaching our kids to quit too soon?

I believe children are tenacious by nature- although that tenacity can be selective.

Often I see my own kids diligently persevere for things they want and yet they’ll give up at a drop of a hat when it’s a task they don’t enjoy.

Looking back on my life I’ve realised that it’s my responsibility as their mom to teach my kids to not quit just because things are hard.

In this incredible article family therapists Gary and Joy Lundberg write: “When parents protect their children from experiencing hard things in their lives, they are setting them up for failure.”

Girl playing chess
“Encouraging your children to do hard things will prepare them to successfully deal with the hard things they’ll face as adults.” – Gary and Joy Lundberg

I was 16 the first time I went to college.

Half way through the year I called my Dad and told him I was dropping “Politics” as a subject.

“OK,” he responded.

He went on to say there was no reason for me to take on something that was stressing me that much.

When I told my Politics Tutor I was dropping out she couldn’t understand why.

“I don’t get  the subject” I cried. “It’s hard! And I’m not very good at analysis which is what this subject is all about!”

“But you’re doing so well Hannah!” She answered.

I rolled my eyes and told her I’d decided. That was that.

Shortly after that I got my exam results for that semester- I’d made an “A”.

I couldn’t believe it because I’d thought I totally SUCKED at Politics!

I’d found questions difficult to answer in Tutorial and Discussion Groups…

My mouth would hang open when my peers answered. I’d marvel at how smart they were- and how stupid I looked in their presence- but then in the exam I got an “A”! And might I add that very few of us scored an “A” for that paper!

I still dropped out anyway- thinking the grade was sheer luck. Also I didn’t want to go through the grueling time I’d had with that subject again.

But. What I didn’t realise at the time was how much I’d need the analytical skills Politics taught for my career in Journalism.

When I started working, for a long time, I envied some of my peers who had insane analytical skills. They understood structures of politics that were crucial for our work. It took me a while to get up to speed- if only I’d stuck with the subject in college!

Since university I’ve had other tough times- most times I’ve just quit.

But then you get to a stage in life when the stakes for quitting are way too high.

I came to realise that my “quit” mechanism came from despising the ridicule and shame of failure.

I was bullied badly in school, so I never took part in anything. Even when there were things I enjoyed and was good at- any kind of ridicule led to me bowing out and never trying in that area again.

For years I lived that way; I know for sure it’s no way to live.

My (almost) three year old son is a bucket of fire works. He’s smart but gets terribly frustrated completing tasks he battles with. I push him.

I sit with him calmly encouraging, “Try again- you’ll get it but you have to try.”

At times I stop him- look into his frustrated eyes and say- “Breathe my boy- be calm- don’t get mad- but you’ve got to try again.”

I don’t do it to punish him. I do it because even this young I don’t want my boy giving up on things just because he deems them difficult.

There are times when we need to walk away from things because they’re not right for us- but to walk away because “its’ hard” often robs us of attaining things that may bless us in ways we never imagined- if only we pushed through.

I’ve been watching Gold Rush  on the Discovery Channel. My favourite mine operation owner is 19 year old Parker Schnabel. (Yeah all his staff are MUCH older than him!)

Paker Schnabel
Youngest Gold Rush Miner Parker Schnabel

No matter what this young man faces- he finds a way.

It seems whatever comes against Parker is a mere distraction from his goal.

Time and time again I’ve watched him trump the obstacles- no matter how seemingly insurmountable.

In the last season we watched no one had mined more gold than Parker- not only was he the sole miner in that season to reach his target, he surpassed it!

I think the reason he’s so amazing at it is because he finds ways around the obstacles- it could be, that, because of his youth he hasn’t learned “impossible” in mining yet- who knows…

What I’ve learned after all my years of quitting is that it achieves nothing.

I wouldn’t have so many “What Ifs” had I pushed a little harder- or at the very least had just stayed in the game!

My parents were great at many things- but they allowed me to quit way too often. I believe we do our children a grave injustice when we allow quitting to be their default option.

Of course it’s harder to fight and stay in the game- way harder.

The easy stuff is fluff. It melts away as easily as cotton candy- the hard stuff, that’s what lasts. It’s what makes life uber rewarding, splendid and worthwhile.

Sure it’s stressful at times. BUT. There is way to get it  done. Do not let the “difficult” in the equation deter you from the prize.

 

Before you go you’ve gotta watch one of the most amazing videos I’ve ever seen! Nothing could’ve put my point across better!

 

Hannah Viviers is the Creator and Host of the Dream BIG TV Show. 

 

“Easy” builds nothing

I’d been asking God, “Daddy but if You gave me this project and If You are in it then why is it so hard?
“Why can’t You just fling the doors open for me and get me there already?”

I had so many “WHYs”.

Then I felt Daddy say to me, “Because Hannah this is how you get stronger- this how you get built.
“If you do not face adversity and are just catapulted into success how will you know how to handle hardships and trials when they do come?
“If you don’t get this training now, you will fold when the tough times come-
“Now you know how to overcome this- and you’ll learn how to overcome that. 
There’ll come a time when no matter what comes you will be able to stand- because you’d have been made strong.

“Hannah My Love cannot let you just breeze through this because, if I do, you will never be able to replicate success.”

At another time I shared with a friend what I was going through and had also asked her “Why the hardships?”
She (her name is Mercy) said, “Because that is the testimony Hannah.
“You have got to be able to share with someone else “how” you did it.
“If you don’t go through it, step by step, how will you encourage someone else one day?”

So for all of you creating stuff that is meaningful and will bring about change- don’t allow the hardships to make you quit. Allow them to thicken your hide instead.

The greater the struggle the BIGGER the testimony.
Keep your eyes on the end goal!
WHOA!

If it was easy


Hannah Viviers is the Host and Creator of the Dream BIG TV Show.

A Letter To My Children

My darling babies,

What you both must know is how incredible you are.

Luke, my miracle baby, you’re about to turn three- oh My boy how fast time has flown!

My miracle baby Luke
My miracle baby Luke

I remember you being placed in my arms for the first time- a while after your birth I watched your Dad sitting in the corner- he’d wrapped you in his jacket, smitten! We knew we’d love you- but nothing could’ve prepared us for how mad we’d be about you! Or how crazy you’d drive us- you and your sister both!

Lula you’ve had a MASSIVE personality from the moment we saw you- it’s grown bigger with each passing moment.

You are BIG and you are Fearless- you’re inquisitive and brave- you ask a million questions and remember the answers so beautifully. You walk like a king- as though the earth is yours and the people in it are all your friends- sent to enrich your amazing heart- how proud I am of you when you acknowledge all beings, giving each one a bit of your brilliance as they touch paths with you.

My daughter Sky- you are my Wonder.

Sky looking into Camera in Mommy's Room

You have Presence and you are Fierce! You’re just over a year and already you have a bold ROAR of your own!

Don’t ever stop being that assertive and sure of how amazing you are.

Sky you are made of cheerful bubbles and wonderful giggles.

As a newborn you smiled wide and beautiful- there was something precious, delicate and yet so powerfully healing about you.

When you walk into a room- you light it up and everyone in it. You have a gorgeousness that radiates straight from the heavens- don’t ever stop finding joy in the little things Chaya- that’s one of the things that makes you incredible.

As your Dad would say my heart pumps paw paw juice and chocolates for you my cuddle baby!

So why is Mommy writing this for the both of you?

I’m writing this and all the other things I’ve recorded for you so that you would not be shaken when it comes to who you are.

Don’t ever believe lies about you- even if they come from the mouths of people you care about- because sometimes my babies the devil speaks from the mouths of those you love… It’s a clever tactic but I pray you’d be smarter and see the lie when it comes no matter how “helpful”, “playful”, “prayerful”, or “loving” it may seem.

My babies love builds- it never breaks down. It may not feel good all the time- but it never breaks down. Remember that. Gauge those who profess their love for you using this scale: do they build or do they break you?

The world is odd- but remember that it too is God’s creation. If you see it as evil then everything will be evil to you- so see it in the eyes of God instead- as a place that is home to beings God loves most in the world- your fellow humans. Treat it as such.

Often you will wonder if the cruelty you may face is because of where you were born, or your gender or even your race- sometimes that will be the reason and sometimes not- but what You must carry with you always is WHO YOU ARE: You are royalty, a Daughter and Son of the most High God. Nothing beats that!

Your Dad and I love you. We’re doing all we know to raise you into amazing human beings- but my babies your identity is in Jesus.

Remember always that you were created in His hands. He wove each of you in my womb- so fearfully and wonderfully- He had designed each day of your lives to be awesome.

Way before I as Your mom even came to know of your existence He had woven you into His being- He had written your names on the palms of His hands and He had already loved you with an everlasting love.

Do not  let people tell you who you are.

Do not allow labels to stick to you no matter how wonderful they may seem- for if people can give you an identity then my dear babies know that they can take it away too.

Both of you came into this world fighting and strong.

Lula you my baby were not only a miracle baby but a miracle delivery as well. Twice I almost lost you. Once when you were less than twelve weeks old in my womb- but you fought with Mommy to live- and then on the day of your birth- that was touch and go- But You made it! You were born with your head swollen but you made it! Don’t you ever forget the fight you have in you!

Luke's painted face from play group

Lula I see you climbing mountains simply because you dare- don’t ever stop daring sweetheart.

My baby Sky! At only six months in my belly you already wanted to come! My body was sick often but you held on. You wanted to be here!

At your delivery you came out screaming and mad that you’d been held back for so long! Thinking back on it now it really is funny!

Sky you have been forging your own path long before you could walk- don’t ever stop. Don’t ever follow the crowd because that has never been you. I see in you the strength to go places where others fear to tread- May God lead your beautiful feet my baby.

Luke you are wild! Who knows why! But don’t ever be tame my wild one! Keep being inquisitive and wondering why- always remember that one of the saddest things in this world is a lion in a cage-

There’s a reason you’re so unconventional- take it from Mommy, that is absolutely fine. It will serve you well for what lies before you.

Sky you are Loud! Don’t ever be silenced.

Sky at Tres Jolie close up

If you decide to sing- sing as loud as you can my baby girl. If not that too is absolutely fine. Decide for yourself how loud you’ll be. How many great voices were silenced into submission and never lived out what they were meant to be… I can’t wait to discover with you why you’ve been given this super voice. It is a gift- don’t let anyone quieten you and rob you of what you’ve been given.

My sweet children if people try and label you- shake their words off and repeat what you know to be true: That You. Are. Awesome. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.

In the course of your lives you will bump into some broken souls who have not yet healed- some will try to bruise you because it’s how they hide from their pain; I pray that you would have the courage to see their words for what they are and never ever take such attacks to heart.

Your Dad once told me that people who are bitter are unpleasant to everyone and everything- when they lash out at you it may seem as though the attack is personal- but it never is. You just happen to be in their way as they are flailing their arms- trying hard not to drown.

When faced with these seeking hearts, do one of two things- if you know in your heart they are not for you to handle then steer clear of them-

But should you feel you are to be used to restore them in some way- then obey The Voice inside- walk on the water with God but know that He alone is The  Saviour- never ever try to save the drowning alone- they will drown you too. God will show you who, when and how if you’re to embark on a rescue operation with Him. I pray you would have wisdom in this area.

So my babies- build everything  on Jesus’ love for you. He alone remains unshakable, certain and never changing.

You are both so very courageous. Inside of you has been placed the tenacity to overcome whatever adversity may come your way.

You are loved not because you do everything perfectly but because you are. Just be You- anything else is too exhausting.

I know with everything in me that surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your lives. I pray that You would dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

My babies- Everything  about who you both are was made that way for the purpose for which you were created. Revel in it and don’t ever let anyone tempt you to believe different.

Your number one purpose on this earth is to receive God’s immeasurable love for you- everything else will follow from you living in the truth of that.

Mommy Loves You- Forever!

 

Hannah Viviers is the Creator and Host of the  Dream BIG TV ShowShe’s also the very blessed mom of  two incredible dreamers, Luke and Syklar.