Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brushing toofas

first I put the toothbrush to my (sweet little) mouth.....

then I open up wider....

then I brush, am I doing it right Momma?

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Monday, June 29, 2009


Moari legend says that when a loved one dies, the gods grieve along with you. Rain comes.

We of course, do not believe in the power of gods but in God Almighty. And we know that He feels our pain. Yesterday He wept with us and the clouds opened up as we planted my Da's kauri tree.

My Da had always talked about his ashes being scattered at the top of the hill behind the bach. (We know that Maori tradition does not allow for cremation however this was no ordinary Maori man!) We planted a kauri tree at the top of the hill and one day when the family is ready his ashes will be scattered there and a seat will be built next to the kauri.

The spot that we picked looks out over the Kaipara harbour. We think our Da would have liked it there.

It was a good time. A little fantail bird met us at the top of the track and fluttered around us constantly as we planted the tree. God was near.

It was a good time to remember a good man. Thank you God. And I think a new normal is being established for our family. That is good too.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

The camels

Our women's conference has been amazing. Again. God moved and spoke and lives were forever changed. I am amazed at what He does for His women.

I loved every minute. I got to host one of the Equippers pastors who is also a good friend and it was such a privilege. Loved it!

This year's conference was another first. My first as a Mommy. One advantage of having a journey that is so "freakish" in a good way, is how people have owned our victory. They don't mind seeing the 300th photo of My Small Man! And I can talk about him to my heart's content!

Last years conference was very different. We were reeling from my Da's death (it was held later in the year last year) and starting to grapple with a possible adoption. Round the conference the young birth mum was considering us as an option. We were one of two couples. I remember standing during worship just overwhelmed at what we were facing and unsure that I had the emotional capacity to cope with it.

God spoke. He said so clearly. "They do not choose you, I choose them". Such simple words that filled me with a certainty. Certainty that He was in control and He was for us.

That's all I needed. That word. This year's conference was about One Word. My word is promise. This year I have the promise. I have the breakthough. This year was so sweet. I am so grateful for the sweetness before we face tomorrow and our pilgrimage up to the bach to remember my Da.

Vicki Simpson was the speaker. She came to our church 5 years ago and prophesied over the girls waiting for babies. There were 7 of us that came to the front and ALL 7 of us are Mommy's now. Praise God.

She is a prophet and knows what it's like to wait. She waited 22 years for her husband and her promise. I was given a CD of hers called "The Camels are Coming" about Abraham sending camels off to get Isaac's bride. All about waiting. The message was life changing for me.

So! I would love you to get a Word too! If anyone would like a copy of Vicki's message, email me before next Wed (1 July) and I will send you a copy. Anywhere. I promise it will help and inspire and encourage you.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Freak show girl

I love the passage in Daniel 3 when the 3 friends (names toooo long to write out!) defy the King (again loooong name) and get thrown in the fiery furnace. It's been a key scripture for me. A visiting pastor did a brilliant sermon on it years ago that impacted me hugely. The "even if" sermon. Even if God does not come through ( and we know He can) we will still love and honour and serve Him.

God spoke to me after that sermon about the end part. Where the 3 friends leave the furnace without even the smell of the fire on them. God said I would end this trial without the smell of smoke. And I have. I am not bitter, angry, resentful or fearful about what we have walked through. I carry none of it.

But I am changed. We are different in so many ways. God used this journey to forever alter the way we think and act. It's a good change.

So it comes as a bit of a shock when you find out that others view your journey as less than perfect! As a bit yucky. Well, as something to be run from (screaming into the hills) in fact. A life journey they would do anything to avoid...

Infertility is hard but I didn't think it was that ugly. It makes me feel a bit like a freak. Like I have grown two heads in a way.

I think there is a beauty in what we and others have gone through. A different beauty and in some ways a terrible beauty but it's still beautiful. And I know who thinks it's beautiful. Him. Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder, it's true.

Life should change us and often what changes us is the hard times. So maybe I should take pride in being a freak show girl. One that God Himself has moulded and changed. So what if I have two heads? I can have two different hair styles and two different hair colours. That's got to be a good thing!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

My Da

Bit sad today, well really sad. This is June and last June our world imploded. My Da passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. My beloved father-in-law went to be with Jesus. It was the worst night of my life, the worst week of my life followed by the worst month of my life and so on.

He was incomparable. A man of integrity and filled to the brim with love. He welcomed a homesick little South African into his family and made me his own. I desperately wanted to be loved for me not as his beloved son's wife, and I was.

I can't believe that it's nearly a year. How have we managed to live without him? Only by the grace of God. I am not sure if anyone can relate but it was like the centre was ripped out of our family. I did not realise how much the family was built around this quiet, strong and loving man.

The agony we felt over his death was that it was too soon. We were devastated that this man would not hold our children. He was a Koro (grandfather) like no other. He loved children and was more involved in his grand children's lives than any other grand parent I have known. We "outed" ourselves in terms of the struggle we had with infertility at the funeral- in front of 500 people as we did not have the strength to hide and cover up. While this gave the extended family permission to talk to and support us, one of the people that made this ok and believed with everything he had for our children, was not there anymore.

My Da was adopted and he had promised to help us with making it ok. When we were raw and hurting from the failed adoption at the end of 2007 he soothed us. He told us that it would be ok. And suddenly he wasn't there any more.

It has been such a bittersweet year for My Big Man. He has missed his father so much, the gaping hole is still there. I see it in his eyes. His dream has come true and he is a Daddy but he has lost his Dad. There is such sweetness but such pain too.

And yet, this, our darkest hour, was truly before the dawn. My Small Man's birth mother was 5 months pregnant when my Da died. It seems impossible that 12 months later there is a baby almost 8 months old. God's timing is perfect, we have to hold onto that. But I have to say that it kills me that my Da will never hold My Small Man.

The day he died he sat in his armchair and said to my mother-in-law that he could not wait to cuddle our child. And then less than 12 hours later he was gone. My mother-in-law had a vision that night. She was beside herself with grief and she relates how she suddenly saw her beloved husband. She said he was holding our son in his arms just like he wanted to. And the knowledge that he was in heaven and had held our son gave her the strength to carry on through the days that followed.

So you can imagine her face when we told her that the little child we were adopting was a boy. I believe my Da has held My Small Man. He held him before he was born and he knows him. But I really wish he was here with us to see My Small Man. We miss him at every event and I really mourn the loss of this man.

On the 29 June 2009 it will be one year. The joy of having My Small Man around is undeniable, but I miss my Da so very much. We are going to the bach (beach house) this coming Sunday to plant a Kauri tree for him. No-one is anywhere near ready to scatter his ashes. That will have to wait.

I miss my Da. I miss him so much.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009


This place here where we stand has such an intensity of joy. I am reminded again and again how blessed we are to be here. How God broke through for us and made our dreams come true.

Events and situations remind me that right now we are standing in a clear sun drenched meadow where I can see for miles. After walking through a dark forest valley for 6 years, this place is amazing. I can see the sky! Make no mistake, God was in the valley with us. He carried us and comforted us and sustained us. We learnt so much about the person of Jesus and we are forever grateful and changed. But breakthrough is so sweet. And I am reminded how sweet when I see the valleys that our loved ones are walking through.

My Big Man's cousin has entered a valley. He's just left his wife of 18 years. The questions around this and allocation of blame are not for us to even think about. The effects of the valley experience were visible today when we talked to him at a family birthday. The pain in his eyes and voice was hard to see. My heart just broke for him and his sweet wife. We would do anything to spare them pain but it is their valley to walk through.

As we drove home I felt almost lightheaded with relief at being out of our valley. There will be more valleys for us and possibly deeper and darker ones where we use the lessons God has taught us so well. But for now we are standing clear. I must admit I sometimes thought we would never be here. But God came through.

It is different here to where I imagined we would be. Breakthrough is different. We are parents of a little boy and we may only have one child. This meadow is different. But it is so good. The plans God has for us are better than we could have imagined or dreamed of. My Small Man is an "us". We are 3 now and it's so good sometimes I could scream with joy. Joy that come from a heart captured by God, not happiness based on circumstance.

I will probably never be pregnant and that's ok. We are starting the process of using our frozen embies but the outcome is unimportant. I probably won't be blogging about it. Our joy is complete now*. Despite circumstance it is complete now. Adoption has been hard and open adotion especially so. But we have reached a place where our joy is complete. We would not change a thing. My Small Man was worth every tear, and man, there were a lot! Buckets of tears!

So yes. I am slightly grateful! I love here and now with the sun on my head, clear view for miles standing with My Big Man at my side and My Small Man in my arms. Thank you God. Thank you so very much.

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* I mean that our joy in this experience is complete. Total joy will only be complete when we see Jesus face to face.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Anyone for ordinary?

Ordinary life? What's that???? This has been one crazy week...

I am not sure if I mentioned (I am sure I have at some point) but I am a commercial interior designer. I specialise in office fitout. I love what I do but was happy to walk away and try something new after My Small Man came along. I danced off into the sunset happily dreaming of hand-made baby items....(insert sound of God snickering)

About a month ago I was cornered and then strong armed into starting a small design business by a friend. He owns a contracting company. At that stage I thought well, ok. Very reluctantly I might add. I have skills (and talent!) and we need dosh to get my other little business off the ground, so why not. I imagined choosing paint colours for the odd lift lobby and dabbling in little projects from time to time...(again insert the sound of God snickering)

As word has got out that I have set up with a friend, God has been orchestrating things and amazing things have happened. Clients have been calling US!! Unheard of in the industry and in a recession! We were planning on going really slowly but we already have a small project PLUS a big project for 1800sqm for an amazing client! This is a very good size project and any of the big companies would love to have it. So this week has been nuts. We have had meetings for the mini project plus client meetings for the big one!

It's wonderful and I am so grateful but again this does not fit with my plans (insert sound of God having a belly laugh) I never wanted a design company as the ethics in the industry are dismal but now we get to choose how we do business and who we do it with. Crazy.

It's complicated though. Having My Small Man at home means working out who can look after him and taking him places and getting him set up. A meeting now takes the better part of a day. It's tiring but that's part of being a Mommy. This week has been nuts with My Small Man being sick and starting separation anxiety. I thought he had the swine flu of course (never one to stay away from the dramatic) but it's just a bad cold. Still awful to see and he's got a cough! Those little baby lungs even sound cute coughing......:-)

So now that we have our deadline out the way and can put off the rest of the work until Monday, it's family time. We are off to the beach this afternoon to look at sand and maybe suck some shells...

Ordinary? What's that?

Certainly not this Small Man...

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Random weekend goodness

New BFF Mr Leeu (Mr Lion)
Little boy socks drying in a row

Coffee in my favourite mug with a good book

Stash of new yummy cloth nappies

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mommy-hood bliss

My Small Man is 7 months and 1 week old and I have been a Mommy for 7 whole months! When he was 7 days old I got to take him into my arms and care for him. That was the day my heart dared to believe that this could be true.

So here I am 7 months later still counting each moment I have with him. Marvelling over his little feet and fat little fingers. I have to pinch myself sometimes!

Now that we are settling into living in this answered prayer I find myself beginning to figure out what kind of Mommy I will be. I want to be what My Small Man needs me to be and I am learning that.

But some things I know. I am a Mommy like her, and her, but not really like her (even though there are aspects of her that inspire me). I admire all sorts of Mommies but who I am as a Mommy is unique and fits around my personality and what God calls me to do. I am a Work-at-Home-Mommy and I love that. It requires incredible organisation and planning and keeping My Small Man at the top of the list.

So even though yesterday morning was blocked out for work, My Small Man was feeling unwell. Work flew out the window and long periods of cuddles and loving were called for. Plus the new experience of talking a baby's temperature under their arm. I knew I should have held out for that (expensive) thermometer that you place against their forehead! The drama!

So what I know so far is that flexibility, planning and organisation are called for, in my life anyway. I love every moment of this. This dream. I am so blessed.

Thank you Jesus!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

River banks

I love how sermons continue to impact us time after time. It's like the truths that are within the words spoken penetrate deep into you soul and pop out week, months and years later.

I have been crazy busy. With two little businesses, My Small Man and trying to be a loving wife, daughter and friend I am running myself into the ground. I am the type of person who is quite focused and tends to be drive myself so I was getting more and more tired. I couldn't work out what to do. Then the concept of a sermon I heard (possibly) years ago came to mind. God reminded me.

The sermon talked about our lives as a river. Sometimes there's a time of drought and the river level is low and sometimes it floods. We need to build flood banks on the sides of our life-river for our protection. Restraints I guess is another word for it. Banks that control and bring direction and vision to our lives.

So I have built restraints, flood banks. I work 4 mornings a week from 9am to 1.30pm-ish, until My Small Man wakes up from his lunchtime nap. In that time hes only awake for about 2 hours and he eats in that time. So when he's not eating, he plays next to me in the study for a short time. It means that when I am finished work, I am finished!

It also gives us a day in the week that is just about us. We went to a music class yesterday morning and hung out with My Small Man's cousin in the afternoon. Bliss! And I didn't worry about work at all!

Breaking out the tambourine with Nana!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What the???

My Big Man and I are doing a 3 week counselling course at church. It's run by the pastor I idolise (in-a-good-way-realising-she-is-human-way-and-we-really-only-idolise-Him-way!!!!) and anything she does or puts on I try to get myself to. I am fortunate enought to be in her connect group so I get my J-fix every 2 weeks at least!

Anyway, we went along to learn how we can adequately help those people who come to us and "want to talk". You know, some basic tools.

Funny thing was we learned so much about our messy selves and all we could talk about on the way home was how much WE needed counselling and sorting out and general fixing! Was hilarious!

Go God! Love how He sorts my conceited little self out!

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Sunday, June 7, 2009


I am captivated by this thought that I want to be haunted by God...

It's from an email I subscribe to. I can't recommend it enough. I am crazy about Studylight.org and use a lot of their resources in my study of God's word.

The book "My utmost for His highest" by Oswald Chambers is such a goodie and this email subscription sends you a thought from the book every day.

What are you haunted by? You will say - By nothing, but we are all haunted by something, generally by ourselves, or, if we are Christians, by our experience. The Psalmist says we are to be haunted by God. The abiding consciousness of the life is to be God, not thinking about Him. The whole of our life inside and out is to be absolutely haunted by the presence of God.

A child's consciousness is so mother-haunted that although the child is not consciously thinking of its mother, yet when calamity arises, the relationship that abides is that of the mother. So we are to live and move and have our being in God, to look at everything in relation to God,because the abiding consciousness of God pushes itself to the front all the time. If we are haunted by God, nothing else can get in, no cares, no tribulation, no anxieties.

We see now why Our Lord so emphasized the sin of worry. How can we dare be so utterly unbelieving when God is roundabout us? To be haunted by God is to have an effective barricade against all the onslaughts of the enemy.

From 'My Utmost For His Highest' devotional for June 2 2009

I long to be haunted by God. To be unable to live without Him, to be so captured by Him that I can think of nothing else. To be completely and utterly smitten by Him so that all I long for is His presence.

So much of what we are looking for in this world is actually God Himself. Listen to the songs that are written and you hear the longing of the lost for God himself. Underneath the words and melodies is an aching for Someone, Something to love them completely. It's God that we call for. He is the Answer, the Knight in shining armour, the Soul mate we search for.

I want to know that in my haunting I am showing my unsaved friends this God who will be everything they dream of. I am so convicted and motivated.....and haunted.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009


I went with my lovely friend M to see Cats today. We joined the day trip her Mum and auntie had organised. They all travelled up from Tauranga (3 hours away) and collected us in Auckland on their way through.

It was HILARIOUS! M's family are such fun!

To get on the bus you had to wear an item of clothing with a cat print. M and I went to town and got our faces painted too. We looked like "catty" ladies of the night!

The bus (a.k.a mini van!) was packed with felines and we attracted plenty of attention. We were given ears and a tail and this totally completed my outfit..... We had a lady taking our photo from her car plus a crowd gathered around us when we got off the bus, snapping photos. We did a roaring trade starring in "Auckland's attractions" for the asian tourist market. M and I cowered at the back of the crowd trying not to make eye contact with anyone.

Inside it wasn't much better. The kiddies loved us and thought we were part of the cast. Well, the grown ups did too, asking one of our crowd who was starring in the afternoon's production. When we got into the theatre, the call went out to flick our tails over the back of the seat. The boy next to me got plenty of attention from the tails of the cats behind me and after his ear was tickled numerous times, he failed to come back to his seat after intermission!

The show was amazing and we feasted on kitty treats (chocolate). Afterall you can't let a bunch of cats get hungry- who knows what would happen!

M and I- purrfect!

2 foxy felines!

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Friday, June 5, 2009


I am just so happy to be starting a new blog! If you have followed me over from my old one- thank you for coming along with me.

We have seasons in life and this is a new one for us. One with a baby boy and home based business(es!!) Life is crazy busy but oh, so good.

And it's Friday! One of my closest friends has got tickets for the show Cats for us tomorrow. She is treating me! We are dressing like cats (meow!) and going along with her mother and friends. Can't wait.

Anyway, the blog design will take shape as I figure things out. HMTL (or is it HTML???) code? What the? It's been fun figuring it out and I am determined to make it puurty!

Thanks for coming along!

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