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Showing posts from November, 2010

About Me

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Janine Claire Robinson
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Welcome to my little writing corner. I count my many blessings to be a cherished wife and an ever-learning-loving-growing mother to 3 amazing children this side of Heaven and a precious little boy in Heaven. Together as a family we pastor a precious church community called Redeeming Hope Church. I've had the privilege of loving and following Jesus Christ since my earliest memories as a child. No matter what I've gone through in life, He has always been so present. At heart, I'm an encourager ... so this is a place where I get to wear my heart on my sleeve and share my journey of learning to live a life of love in action.

Redeeming Love

Today's post bears no pictures ... but certainly words spoken straight from my heart.
Today I took an early morning flight into my birth city, Johannesburg. It was such a wonderful feeling to see the familiar sights after a long year away from where I grew up as a child. Most of my family still lives here which is why I love to keep coming back as often as possible. This visit is different from any other visit I have ever come home for. This visit holds certain painful goodbyes for me ... but because God is who He is ... LOVE incarnate ... it has also unfolded some incredible new beginnings and loved expressed in rich and healing ways.
I don't remember having felt so many different contrasting emotions all bundled into one day. Today I looked into the eyes of a mother figure who has always been a part of my life and realized that my time with her is short and so very precious. My amazing God helped me to see past the pain of seeing her body so wasted away and to look into her he…

Preparing my heart in the face of loss

I got some heart-sore news this weekend that my precious 88 year old Granny is not doing very well. The diagnosis is not good at all and yet when I speak to her, I can hear that she has peace. This can only be because she truly knows her God. It is such an encouragement to me at this time as we face her mortality to be comforted by the peace that carries her. That's the thing about Jesus ... His peace is tangible. Today His words bathe my heart.
"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
In my Bible this whole passage from verse 25-31 is marked as "The gift of His peace". This is how I know the reality of Jesus Christ being alive and present. His words spoken thousands of years ago are still relevant to what I am facing today. His Words and promises bring me comfort and encouragement. The very verses after the one I quoted above are a preparation …

Friday's Blog Hop

I was just looking back at my very first post. I cannot believe that I started blogging over 2 years ago already. To be honest ... I have only really been dedicating time to it over the last few months and it has been such an amazing journey as I look back.  I am not the most techno girl out there (thank GOODNESS for my clever gorgeousness). Learning how the whole blogging world goes has been a little slow for me. Just lately I discovered my first "Friday's Blog Hop". Lise over at  Baby Bottom Line and Nicole at Mama to 4 Blessings sure seem clued up when it comes to linking people up through blog hops.  It is such a fun way to get to know other people through their blogging adventures. I am still searching for other South African blogs ... but I have made some of the sweetest friends with people all over the world.  Happy blogging to all of you my sweet bloggy friends. Have a Fabulous Friday! Love Janine xxx

So very Thankful

I had the BEST day today ... just in time to get into the true spirit of what Thanksgiving is all about. I had the privilege of being part of giving back to those who so desperately need to receive God's blessings, and I can honestly say that we are the richer for it! As a church family we have been supporting a local farm school in our community. It is a little school tucked away out of every ones notice, but boy-oh-boy is God pouring out His love on these precious children. These precious children come from very poor families who have so little, but God is ever mindful of those in need and He led us to this little school almost 2 years ago. We have been working with them to upgrade practical areas in the school and also just to spend time with the kids once every second week planting seeds of truth into their hearts. Today we organized a mini sports-day and Christmas party for them. Just take a look at these precious faces. Aren't they beautiful!!!  So we kicked off the morni…

Lessons from a tub of chocolates =)

I'm busy tucking into a tub full of mixed sweeties as I write tonight. (I don't know about you but I CANNOT just have one boring sweet - I love options ... so I buy a whole different stash and pour them into a big container and wait for the different taste sensations to hit).  Usually I feel a little guilty about tucking into my stash (I have a whole sweetie cupboard happening in the kitchen - I know ... how naughty is that!). Tonight, there is no guilt ... I am just reveling in the bright happy colours ... and the delightful variety. And as I ponder that ... I can't help but smile when I think about the mix of us humans all walking around living our little lives here on earth. How God must truly smile as He looks at us all and celebrates our differences. It makes me look at my little family with new eyes. Instead of trying to clone my little ones into "mini-me's" ... I want to revel and delight in their colourful uniqueness! Who knew you could find deeper mean…


It's drizzling over here tonight. How therapeutic to watch the gentle raindrops falling and bringing a wonderful refreshing to a drought that has lingered for over a year now here in Port Elizabeth. Listening to the gentle rain falling outside I am reminded of the faithfulness of a God that draws close. As I look back on the really dry times in my life, I can see glimpses of His Presence as He faithfully saw me through. Did He feel close at the time? Not always. But when I take a closer look, I see more clearly His fingerprints as He carried me, or strengthened me ... or just loved me through it all.
Are you going through a particularly dry time? I encourage you to watch out for the amazing ways that He wants to brings His gentle refreshing to you. It might be through the arms of a loved one ... or a gentle word from a stranger ... or even in the beauty that surrounds you. He is longing to refresh your heart today with His gentle reminder that you are cherished and that He cares. He…

I faced fear square in the eye balls and actually had an adventure!

So this week was quite a challenge for me. On Monday my gorgeousness hit me with the news that for our business year end function he was taking all of his staff on an outdoor adventure trail for two hours into the mountains. Sound exciting? Yes! But then he told me that we would each have to ride quad bikes up and down those rough mountain trails. For this city girl ... ummm ... I wasn't so excited any more. All these crazy fears started welling up in my mind. (That's the thing with fear. It's always irrational. Never based on truth. But it FEELS SO REAL!!!!!).  Not once did he give me the option of not going. He kept encouraging me that he knew that I could do this and that it would be an amazing adventure to share together. The more he encouraged me, the more sore my stomach got! I realized that I would have to look fear straight in the eye balls and choose to overcome. So yesterday I faced the machine ... Now I know it doesn't "look" that scary ... but it w…

"Treasure Box"

My gorgeousness started something with the girls last year called "treasure box". This is one of the precious daddy-daughter times that he invests into them. They LOVE it and beg him for "treasure box". Their little eyes light up and they delight in knowing that they have daddy all to themselves :-) He chooses a verse, reads it to them, asks them questions about it, explains and answers any questions around it and then they learn it together. If time allows, either him or "little bear" writes it out and then little miss Leelee draws a picture on the card before filing it into our treasure chest (in our case a little red box that seriously needs some decorating). They usually do this before bed time if time hasn't run away with us. What a rich deposit is sown in those few short moments.  I am learning that it is often these small little moments of sowing that can reap the most beautiful harvests in our children's lives. The gift of time spent togeth…

When Love Transforms and Redeems

Today I am celebrating as I witness what the power of love looks like. Do you remember when I asked you all to pray for my sweet friend Adeye's adopted daughter Hailee (see here) ... well, today Adeye posted recent pics and an update about how God has transformed this sweet little ones life by the power of His love! Honestly, taking a look at her blog today will literally show you the amazing capacity that God has to change lives through His love. As you read Hailee's story, you will see the faithfulness of a loving God who always offers hope. May you be as encouraged as I am today!! THANK YOU JESUS!!! My heart is overwhelmed with Your love and goodness. (Just look at mommy and daughter! Two peas in a pod :-) BEAUTIFUL!) All my love, Janine

When it's Time to "Let-Go"

"Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more that a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds onto life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal." The words of Jesus Christ in John 12:24-25 (The Message Bible) I was chatting with a friend at church tonight who has shown me what this scripture looks like in every day life. A few years ago she encountered the love of Jesus Christ and her heart began an exciting journey of surrender, healing and the road to freedom. As most of us know all too well, along our journey called life we experience pain and in our pain we tend to either push away or fight back. Caught in the cross fire of her pain was a marriage that had been pushed to the point of a divorce that neither party really wanted, but neither could they …

Taking a moment to just BREATHE!

I have to admit that Mondays are usually hit-the-road-running days for me. This Monday morning I just could not get out of bed early to do all the usuals. Little bear and my Leelee both felt sick last night, so I simply scrapped the usual Monday morning rush and kept them at home with me. I cannot tell you how many moments throughout the day I felt myself getting stressed that I was not getting through my usual Monday morning run around errands .... finally I heard the whispers of my Heavenly Father reminding me to simply "breathe" and to find "rest" even in the busy moments of the day. Rest??? But how when you have so much to get done??? This is a journey of discovery that I am embarking on with the Lord at the moment and something that I will probably keep posting on as I practically learn His principles of rest in my every day life. I truly believe that the promises found in scripture are not only spiritual but also practical. Here is how God showed me today to …

That Little Cookie Recipe as Promised

Okay, okay ... as promised, here is the recipe for those little yummy square biscuits "little bear" and I made last week. Seriously!! It is the easiest recipe and always makes a good amount on cookies.  Jan’s Glitzy Glam, Super-Easy Shortbread 250g softened butter or baking margarine (they say butter always tastes better, but I always use the baking margarine) 1 cup caster sugar 3 cups flour Pinch of salt ♥Mix butter and caster sugar ♥Add flour and salt (can add choc chips too) ♥Press into lined baking tin ♥Prick with a fork (to give it that short bread look) ♥Sprinkle with extra caster sugar and edible glitter (just because we love bling and we can!) ♥Bake at 180 deg C for 17 minutes
As soon as the are out the oven I cut them into squares. Enjoy with a cup of tea (or make me jealous and have a Starbucks for me) and know that I am sending you a hug!
Much love, Janine xxx

Sunday Afternoon Fun

Family. The best way to spend Sunday afternoons. These are some of our precious moments shared between cousins.  
Angelee, Caylah, Nathan and Tianna all on the couch. Angelee and Caylah. There is only a month between these two and I am loving watching their bond develop.  Nathan and Tianna having some play time.  Sweet little twinnies, Benjamin and Matthew. These two two-year-olds keep us all smiling.
Thank you Lord Jesus for precious moments with family and the memories that we can create when we have an open heart.
Happy Sunday sweet friends.
All my love, Janine xxx

Looking back on this week in pictures

Just a few snap shots from my week.
"Little bear" (Tianna) had an Afrikaans oral this week on something she likes to make in the kitchen, so we got busy with a quick-easy favourite (nothing beats the smell, feel, taste and look of raw, fresh cookie dough ready to be cooked) ... I will have to post you this recipe sometime soon ... just look at the lovely batch it makes ... And look at Tianna (and hammy's) delighted face ... This week my precious hubby also preached up a storm on Faith & Praise and how they compliment each other and release such life into our every-day living. We have found such life and release in the two church plants the Lord has called us to be a part of and lead. Yay Jubilee Life Church!!! You guys are our family!! (Side note - HOW HANDSOME IS MY MAN!!!!!)
 Talking about the handsomeness of my man ... last night he took me to watch a Bon Jovi concert showing at the movies (seeing as their latest concert was only being held in New Jersey). It was so mu…

Hidden Treasures

"Each day comes bearing its own gifts.  Untie the ribbons." Ruth Ann Schabacker May you unwrap priceless hidden treasures today, even in your what-may-seem-like ordinary, run-around, busy day.  Love Janine xxx

ps - I would love to hear some of the "gifts" you discovered hidden amongst all the busy-ness today.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Every Wednesday morning I look so forward to Bible study with a precious group of women. We call it "Power Hour". I have been preparing my heart for power hour all day. This question has been ringing in my heart since I woke up this morning ... "What do you see when you look in the mirror?"   How do you see yourself? Do you embrace and celebrate what you see? If not, why not? I too am asking myself these questions, because I am realising how important it is to see the true picture of who I really am. 
Do you look in the mirror and see only the scars of pain, abuse, rejection, and shame that you have endured; or do you maybe see the things that other people have told you that they see in you. Maybe when you look you only seem to see the flaws of all the things that you still want to change; or perhaps when you look you see how far you have come and truly celebrate and embrace that you are beautiful in you uniqueness. This is God's heart for us ... to celebrate and…

"Chore Dice"

A little while ago I discovered a very fun little game to get my two little princesses (who sometimes think that doing chores is waaaayyyyyyyy beneath their princess reality) to find fun in the challenge of keeping our home more tidy. Here is my little secret weapon ...  Thanks to this little dice my girls wake up begging me to do things like this ... (I know ... can you actually believe that they WANT to vacume?!)  Cooking with mommy is just the best (even if it is scary looking chicken soup - hee hee)!!!
So how do I get the girls to help out ... well together we choose 6 chores (I think it is a good idea to rotate them and keep adding new ones to keep it fresh). We number them 1 - 6 and print them out to remember which number represents each chore. They then take a turn each day to roll the dice. Number 6 is the favourite in our house - helping to make supper. I can honestly say that since "chore dice" the kids LOVE doing their chores. They even rope their cousins into rolling…

When pain is evoked ... and love moves beyond feelings

These last few weeks I have been so aware of how none of us are exempt from facing pain. We all face it in different ways. Some deal with it through physical pain in their bodies .... some face it through disappointment ... others are confronted with it through betrayal ... while others meet it through loss. There are so many different avenues that can evoke our pain.  Jesus Himself faced these feelings. There is nothing that we face that He cannot identify with. He is truth and wants to give us His perspective of truth so that we can move from being trapped in our pain into the freedom that His love offers. Hebrews 4:14-16 beautifully says "Now that we know what we have - Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God - let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all - all but the sin. So let's walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready …