29 January 2010
22 January 2010
I haven't posted for a little while. It's been a full start to the year. After we got back from our holiday in Johannesburg with all my family, my mom came to stay for 9 days. What a sweet time. My girls got their "Lala" all to themselves - ok - they had to try share with my time with her too ;) She is now landed safe and sound back in the U.S. and I miss her. But it is a "good" missing, because I know that she is right where God has placed her and she has an important role to play where she is.
After special times like we just shared, I realise how blessed I am to have such a special family where the love goes so deep. God continues to whisper to my heart to be more mindful of the these "moments of delight", joy and laughter ... than to harp on more heavy matters that can clutter our thinking. So in celebrating the joy of my family, I am posting a pic of all of us together from our holiday in December / January.
My mom and granny in the middle surrounded by my sis and my families.
09 January 2010
This morning I read a post from e-Lisa over at Extravagant Grace which spoke straight to my mommy heart. She shared about being a mother and home-maker who fulfills her calling overshadowed by God's contagious joy. It is so worth the read. As a mommy of 2 sweet girls ... so often when I finally get into bed and replay the events of the day, I wish I had handled situations with more joy and ease! When I read e-Lisa's post this morning, I was reminded of that little verse that says "The joy of the Lord is your strength". The key to this amazing joy will always be found in our times with our precious Jesus. Psalm 16:11 is my encouragement for today ... "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Tapping into His beautiful, approachable presence throughout the day leaves us with the wisdom that we need for each moment raising our treasures and gives us all the unspeakable, overflowing joy that we need which makes for the most precious memories and lasting lessons for our children. May you be blessed by the joy of His Presence today!
06 January 2010
Something that you may not know about me is that I absolutely LOVE collecting Bibles. I have so many different translations. I realise what a privilege that is for us South Africans. There are places around the world where they are strictly forbidden. I can hardly wrap my brain around that!! Two years ago I sat in a lounge with a couple from China who are pastors of the underground church. All I could do was weep as they shared of the persecuction taking place of Christians standing up for their faith. The amazing thing they shared was that the more oppression and persecution - the greater the amount of people surrendering their hearts to Christ! Wow!! I have to remind myself not to take our openly shared / celebrated faith for granted. I remember them sharing how they smuggle chapters of the Bible in at a time, tear sections of the Bible out and share it amongst the hungry believers! How many of our Bibles are dusty?! I am totally preaching to myself today.
Back to my beginning ... at the start of this year I added to my collection by buying a lovely "One Year New Testament Bible for Busy Moms" to work through. I am loving it. There is just enough in each day to really speak to my heart. Last night I read the account of Jesus calling apart the first disciples ... "One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers - Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew - throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out out to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!". And they left their nets at once and followed him. A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called to them, too. They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. " (Matthew 4:18-22)
There is so much that I just LOVE in these words. I love how Jesus' words call out to us today as they did to Simon & Andrew so many years ago ... He wants to teach us how to fish for people. This last year I realised again how many people are just waiting for someone to show them, in love, that the hunger and need inside of them is for Jesus ... the Saviour! I want to be bolder in this area this year.
I also love their response to Jesus ... they left their nets AT ONCE and followed Jesus! James and John had the same response to His call ... IMMEDIATELY they followed Him, leaving behind all that would try to hold them back.
Here's what grabs my heart ... what do I need to leave behind in order to move on towards the exciting adventure that Jesus is calling me to? Sometimes there are things that hold us back. If I really look at what James and John left behind ... it must have seemed ludicrous to their family. To walk away from your income and the comfort of your everyday life?! Oh, but the treasures that they reaped, not merely on earth, but for all eternity. We are reaping from their obedience to learn from and follow Jesus. I have learned that what seems like a loss or sacrifice, God always uses to bring even more freedom, beauty and life. I am searching my heart today to see what I may need to leave behind - even if it may seem like such a normal part of my everyday life. Hmmm ... lots to think about tonight.
05 January 2010
My family and I got away to Johannesburg for Christmas and New Years to spend time with my wonderful family. We all squashed into my sisters house and had such a blast! Our girls are similar ages so they just played from morning till pass out time :) My mom is also out from the US so it was so awesome all being together again. We played scrabble, went out to movies (saw Avatar in 3D -WOW!), lazed around the pool, went out for coffee and ate so much delicious food! Over and above that, we laughed and touched hearts and caught up for all the days we had been apart. The funniest moment for me was all of us trying out my sisters new Christmas pressie - WII fit. You start by doing their assessment where they rate your fitness and age you. Everyone had a HUGE laugh when I, the youngest amongst the family was rated the oldest!!!!! 43 = 11 year older than my age!! Oh my word - seriously back to gym for me now that I am home!!! ha ha ... I'm still wondering if everyone was laughing WITH me or AT me :)
Anyway - I am so excited that we are now officially in 2010!!! This is a very big year for my country, South Africa and the buzz is already contagious! With the Soccer World Cup around the corner, things are getting exciting here.
My word for this year is "exceptional". I am choosing to have an exceptional year - which means that each day has the potential to be exceptional. I am starting by taking hold of my thoughts/outlooks/perspective and re-evaluating where some shifts need to take place. One thing is for sure - doubt, fear and unbelief are definitely getting the boot!!! My focus once again is on my Saviour, Jesus Christ and His exceptional love for us. With this in mind - I want to learn to love my husband, children, family, friends and those around me with His exceptional love. May you come to experience His exceptional love in a deeper dimension too this year.