It’s Here!

My new website is here!

This blog will remain but no new posts will be added.

Come to GracefulGirlsBraveBoys.com for lots of new posts and look out for our:

Hope to see you over there!

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” – Isaiah 55 v 12-13

Advertisements

Business to Babies – Our Life’s Puzzle Part 2

When my husband and I were living in the USA for about a year, we used to take long walks on the beach and talk about what we wanted out of life.

I wanted to start my own business using the things I loved: computers, photography and multimedia and make an impact on people’s lives through that. My hubby wanted to support me in that and develop his career in a whole different direction to what it is today. “Church” wise we wanted to get more involved in church media. Its funny how much we have changed!

We met some homeschoolers at a big church picnic in the park and thought that the concept of homeschooling was totally weird! We met some special families who encouraged us to have many children as they were such a blessing! “Hmmm,”, we thought, “maybe one day”.

Our Farewell Party (My goodness – we look strange!)

We came back from the USA in 2001 and carried out our new plans to a T. We bought a house, set up my multimedia business and hired some friends to work with me. We got involved in church media. It was wonderful – and I loved being able to work with great people and make multimedia to impact people’s emotions (and hopefully their lives).

The “Office”

Though life was busy and full and felt good; some things felt really out of place. I spent the whole day running operations and never had the time or space to do the actual multimedia – so that had to happen after hours. My husband was terribly patient and supportive but I didn’t have much time to spend with him.

I also found that the competitive drive that you need to make a business work, I just didn’t have! I really didn’t care much about the rich executives from “insert company name here” who wanted to impress their head office with fancy multimedia. The whole business world felt so empty to me. I cared about the NGO’s that we did work for as they really were a blessing to others but most of the work felt empty and purposeless. I realised that the things I had dreamed about and wanted for so long were leaving me empty and were taking me away from my wonderful husband. I wasn’t able to help him at all – he was so busy helping me!

Everything felt upside down. I wasn’t making an impact where it counted! There wasn’t much that was of eternal value that I was spending my time on. God was working in me – he had to shout rather loudly for quite a long time before I started to even be aware of His voice. Eventually I realised that this wasn’t how He wanted our lives to be.

We had built up so much and it was hard to know how to begin to break it down – and how to change. My hubby and I made the decision together to close my business and get ready to have children as I knew there was no way I could do both. (The friend who worked with me the longest is also now a stay-at-home Mom.)

Those months were filled with such incredible peace! I knew we had made the right decision and that I had listened to God’s voice in my heart. I fell pregnant a few months after that and we were so overjoyed! I wanted this little child so much!! Most of our friends already had children – but we had been more interested in “other” things in life – now we were so excited.

I don’t think I had ever seen a baby under 3 months old and certainly didn’t have much idea what to do with one but I knew I was following God’s direction in my life and that He would show me. I used to have such a fear of childbirth and of everything surrounding it – I really hate hospitals and hated the way that pregnant women seem to be treated like sick patients. I also hated how everyone said how awful childbirth was and that the only good thing they could find to say was that “you forget!” Not much comfort in that! I asked God to give me a testimony that would be a blessing to expecting Moms and an encouragement to girls looking to have children later.

In the year preceding the pregnancy I had read and researched and learnt lots and I spent many months preparing my body for childbirth. Our little girl was born at home 3 weeks early (or so we thought – we still didn’t have the whole date thing properly figured out!) and God so answered my prayer for a positive testimony. My main memories are walking around the house peacefully listening to some worship music at about 2am and resting through each contraction. My hubby was asleep and the midwife slept in the spare room. I woke them a bit later 🙂 The birth was HARD WORK but I wasn’t out of control and I wasn’t overwhelmed. I could cope! Our natural endorphins really do help so much! My husband was a wonderful support to me. My very first thought when my little girl was born was literally “oh my word – a real baby!” Then – “what beautiful tiny fingernails”. How blessed we were! I also remember my hubby and I sitting on our bed with this incredible new baby in my arms; eating fruit salad that the midwife had made for us.

Baby Dedication

God has added four blessings to our family and we hope he will keep adding more. I’d much rather spend my nights feeding a precious little one than doing multimedia 🙂

We wasted seven years and all those years on the pill mean that I don’t fall pregnant easily. But God knows and we trust Him!

I now spend my days enjoying and serving our little family and running our little homeschool and loving it!

Its hard work, there are times every day when I wonder if I am doing it “right” or “doing enough” or “giving them what they need” but I know that God has led us each step of the way and that if we continue to faithfully pray for our children he will direct our paths. I love spending my days on what is of eternal value!

We love learning to know God together and my husband teaches our children from the Bible – we love to see how keen they are to learn. We are now learning what “church” things we should really be involved in – being a blessing to the body of Christ in whatever way He calls us to. That is something that doesn’t come easily to me – its so much easier to hide behind the camera or the computer screen and call it ministry – but I am learning. I am also learning to be my husband’s helper rather than the other way around. It is such a rich fulfilling role that God has for us and I can see my husband loving it! I so want our children to learn God’s way!

I am so glad that God is so patient with us and never gives up on us and I am so blessed with the life He has led us to!

Part 1

“Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. ” Psalm 25v5

A Wonderful Day in Jonkershoek

We had such a special day in Jonkershoek – a beautiful picnic site nature reserve.

Those trees are just amazingly beautiful – so tall and majestic. And those beautiful children – so small and precious!

Setting up the tent together…

Going for a walk.

A reading break in the tent.

Watching the world go by…

Discovering… the snake we found turned out to be a baby lizard!

By the stream…

Collecting acorns and seeds.

… and stones

Stones to stand on, trees to climb, grass to run through and rocks to hide under…

…places to dig and draw in the sand.

Endless things to explore and enjoy!!


Oh, the awesome beauty of God’s creation!

“Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” Psalm 96v11-13

The Beginning – Our Life’s Puzzle Part 1

I would like to tell you some of the story of our lives thus far – our adventures, travels, joys, struggles and our learning and growing together – the puzzle of our lives, piece by piece….

I hope you enjoy the journey!

Handsome hubby and I met almost 15 years ago at a lively student church where we were both starting to learn about the Bible – what it really said – and to read it for ourselves. We are still on that journey of learning to know God – reading, learning, adjusting our thinking and renewing our minds.

We had lots of special times together with friends, at cell group and in our church’s music ministry.

Hubby and I sought God about our relationship and He confirmed it for us. We got engaged about 8 months after we met, and we were married in May 1997 on a wonderful special day that began the story of us…

We are so aware of how God led us and blessed us in bringing us together and how he continues to lead us and teach us every day of our lives.

The thing I remember most about our wedding was walking down the line of people greeting us as we left the reception to our car – hugging each of them and saying goodbye – and being so aware of LEAVING to go and start our life together.

I also loved the ‘family’ness of our wedding. My Mom made my dress, did the catering and made the cake!!!

My friends plus hubby and I made the invitations, order of service and tiny wedding cakes for each guest. My aunt did the flowers. My younger brother and his friends were our waiters and waitresses and my sister in law played the violin. A good friend did the sound mixing for the band – which was made up of church friends! A lot of really special people gave so much to make our wedding wonderful! We were so blessed. I also loved the ringing of the huge church bell to announce that we were married!

Yay! Let the adventures begin…

In our first year together we lived for six months in a little house and then in an upstairs flat in Newlands in the Western Cape of South Africa. We enjoyed the close proximity to the forest, university and church. It was so wonderful to be able to be together all the time – we were like two kids playing house. We learnt about each other, about how to talk to each other – and how not to! I had lots to learn about respect and serving my hubby and he had lots to learn about understanding his wife emotionally. We grew in love.

Hubby worked in IT and I trained little old ladies in how to use the computer. We spent hours talking and talking…

We loved to go for walks on the beach,

… visits to the dam,

… and to have friends over for a meal.

We were both really immature in our knowledge of a marriage relationship – me of being a helpmeet and a homemaker… but God blessed me with the most incredible husband – who has loved me wholeheartedly and unconditionally through it all. He is my hero.

I am amazed as I look back how much I have changed (very thankful for that!!!) Although we had such special times together and good times with friends, we wasted a lot of precious time in frivolous pursuits and mindless entertainment – many, many movies, eating out, walking the shopping malls. We had no idea about the richness of family life and community – of having many wonderful precious children, of serving God with our family and our lives. We had only seen the commercial version. But God was at work – he hadn’t given up on us!

I am sad over the wasted years and over the frivolous way we spent our first years together, but I am so thankful to our wonderful Lord for the work he has done in us, the way he is changing us and all he has taught us through our lives together, through his word and through our precious children.

Sometimes we can be blind to what God is working in us and doing in our lives – but when we look at our life’s journey we see the threads of his grace woven throughout and His mysteries unfolding.

We spent a year overseas in Mountain View, California – the heart of Silicon Valley and we met some wonderful people there who sewed seeds in our lives and hearts which were to bear fruit much later.


See Part 2 of Our Life’s Puzzle here

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” Psalm 139 v14,15

Rondevlei Nature Reserve

Cape Town is really such a GREAT place to live!

We are surrounded by such beauty – the mountains, the passes, the oceans, the forests, the wildlife – there is just so much of God’s amazing creation to enjoy and appreciate!

I had never been to Rondevlei Bird Sanctuary but it took a fellow Capetonian from Se7en to highlight it for us. Check out the article on their wonderful blog here.

Last weekend on a cool overcast autumn day, we took our four little ones to Rondevlei. We also took Grandad along – he and our oldest daughter are very keen bird-watchers.

You would never know standing outside the nature reserve what is within – it looks small and rather ordinary – but as soon as you get inside you are in another world! There are beautiful little pathways, hidey holes, places to explore and wonderful towers to climb to look out over the world (while Mommy’s heart is in her throat)!

 

We discovered the bird hides! – anything with the word “hide” in it promises great and exciting adventures.

 

We discovered birds like the Purple Gallinul – very exciting…

 

We looked them up in the bird book.

 

We sat and watched the serene waters and the graceful birds.

 

We looked through binoculars.

 

We listened to the bird calls

 

…and enjoyed a picnic lunch

 

Then looked some more.

 

Such a special place, a wonderful outing and the perfect weather.

Thanks Se7en for helping us appreciate Cape Town!

 

“They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.” Genesis 7v14