About Me

South Africa
My husband, Brett and I live in beautiful South Africa and have been blessed with the most precious family. We have 2 very beautiful and brave daughters, Tianna and Angelee and a very precious little boy called Zac who touched our hearts forever in his 1 day here on earth. We never would have imagined that we would have to live this side of Heaven without our sweet boy who was born with half a heart, but every day Jesus carries us through and is teaching us more than ever how to live, laugh and love fully. A year and a half later, our faithful Great Restorer graciously blessed us once again with another son ... our beloved Gabriel ... a ray of sunshine in all our lives! This blog has been a place where I have been able to journal my journey through loss, hope and choosing to live a life rich in love.

Blog Archive

30 November 2010

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 heart and realize that she is still the same precious woman I have always known and loved. It is a privilege to be with those you love and see the Lord preparing them for their graduation. He is so  gentle and gracious. He gives to us the time that we need when we look to Him in trust. All He does is covered in purpose and love. Today I witnessed the extents to which He will go to bring a person peace of heart. I stand in awe of a God who cares so deeply about the condition of each of our hearts.

Some things are too personal for me to blog ... and my heart is in a place of processing so many deep emotions. What I will share is that I have seen God take any opportunity that we give Him to bring peace and reconciliation in our relationships. I had the honor of watching another person that I love dearly risking their heart to be obedient to God's prompting to show mercy where it was not always deserved. I am humbled by this. To see a person walk in the freedom that comes from risking their heart to love is inspiring. Knowing how much He loves us compels us to love even those who have hurt us. As I watched this act of love - a reaching out - my heart was restored. Even in the process of releasing someone I love so dearly, God has shown me how He has added into my life those whom I can celebrate life with. 

On a lighter note, tomorrow I have to share some pictures of my sweet nieces that I am staying with. Oh my goodness ... what a sweet time being with these precious ones who I don't get to see nearly enough of. I promise to share pictures soon. 

With a heart fully spent I am getting ready to go to sleep now. As I do that I can truly say that I am so thankful for the precious family He has placed in my life ... those who have been there from my beginnings ... and those that He has graciously added into my life over these past few years. 

All my love xxx

28 November 2010

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 to his disciples to prepare their hearts to "release him" to go to the Father. "You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you'. If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said 'I am going to the Father', for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you will believe." (verses 28-29).
I am flying out on Tuesday to go spend a week with her. I find myself having to cling to these words of peace when I think about the emotions I will be faced with this week. How do you say goodbye to someone you love so dearly? I am comforted that just as Jesus prepared his disciples for His ascension into glory, so he is preparing my dear granny for her graduation and so is He preparing each of our hearts in this season.
How tangible is His love! It is real and available to carry each of us through every season that we will ever face. My heart is comforted today to know that He has each of our hearts in His hands and He is aware of all the different things that we are facing. He thinks of us and makes His love available to us. May you also find comfort in His promise of peace today.
"How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand: When I awake, I am still with You." Psalm 139:17-18.
Just like me, may you be reminded today that your heart is in a very safe place when it is held by the One who loves you.
All my love,

26 November 2010

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

24 November 2010

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 morning with some running races and 3 legged races. They absolutely LOVED it!
Even the principle (in the orange top), teachers and volunteers got involved ... much to the delight and cheering of the kids. 
For the children, a total highlight were these chocolate medals that some of the moms from our church made. They were so proud of them! 
It almost broke my heart to see the appreciation of such a small little gift. 
Another highlight for us was to send off the graduating grade 7 students into high school with back packs filled with all the stationary they will need for next year. We also included a Bible and goal notepad so that they can keep setting goals for themselves as they enter high school. They were just bowled over by this gift.
Once again, their humble appreciation spoke such volumes to my heart. Imagine being so thankful over a practical gift like that.  
The best moment for me was being able to pray over these precious ones. Their hearts are so open to the Lord. We are so grateful to be working with a principle who currently is not even paid to do what she does. She does it out of her love for these children and her love for the Lord!
We also were able to bless the teachers with a little something for all their hard work. 
And in return we were blessed with the singing and dancing of the ones we came out to love. (It's so true what my mom has always taught me ... "you can never out-give God!").
After all the fun and celebration we handed out hotdogs, juices, crisps and lolypops to each of the children and teachers. 
I will never forget the beautiful faces of these thankful children ...
And these amazing teachers and helpers who sacrifice so much to sow good seeds into these little ones lives.
We are so very blessed. There is nothing like taking a few hours out to give back into areas of need in your community to really get in touch with God's heart. 
Happy Thanksgiving to you at this precious time of the year.
All my love,
Janine xxx

23 November 2010

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 meanings gazing into a tub of chocolates!!! I think I should keep coming back for more and more insight =)
Much love,
Janine xxx 

22 November 2010


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 sees. And He cares. 

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7

All my love,
Janine xxx

20 November 2010

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 was the fear of the unknown to me. Would I be able to control it? Was I going to get flipped or rolled off it? How rough would the rough trail actually be? So ... I sat on it. (hee hee =) That sounds so funny ... like I sat on fear! Yip ... I realized that it was a crazy fear that needed to be squashed!). 
I have to admit when this pic was taken my heart was beating so fast! I could hardly breathe. My instructor told me what to push to make it go and where to pull to make it stop. I gave it a go and realized that "I can do this". It felt completely unfamiliar though. The sensation of riding on such uneven surfaces makes you feel like you are going to topple over. The instructor took one look in my eyes and recognized how I was feeling. He told me that though my brain was telling me that I was going to fall off, this bike was made to handle the crazy surfaces we were about to tackle. In that moment peace started to come. Isn't that just like truth! When we allow truth to over ride our feelings the adventure begins!!! We did a quick loop to get the feel of the bikes and then headed out. Take a look at what greeted us when we went through the first gates into the bush.
We rode past graceful buck ... cows ...monkeys and even a very poisonous cobra which raised itself full height to "greet" us as we rode by!!! Talk about this city girl embracing the bush full on hey!!! There were some unbelievable moments on that ride. I have never seen more beautiful views as we climbed the mountain trails (and clung onto that bike for all I was worth). 

The climbs were super steep and bumpy, but the descents were the scariest of all. At one point I had to negotiate a huge "donga" ... South African for massive crevice in the middle of the path. The bike sloped so hectically into a steep slope and I felt myself sliding. I could see the instructor looking very nervous (not encouraging I tell you!!!). Here's where I thought my fear would kick in ... but graciously God gave me the instincts to negotiate my way out of rolling the bike. Fear was finally overcome when I realized that I had faced my worst fear of falling off and actually come through with nothing more than a very alive and fat beating heart =) The instructor told me that he was absolutely amazed that I never rolled the bike. And so with that little "adventure" tucked under my belt of survival tactics we stopped to rest and have a little snack. 
How beautiful is that river!  Below is picture of one of the mountains we road through to get to this quiet little spot. 
After a good laugh and rest we were off again. All of us a lot more confident for the last leg of the trail. 
The last stretch was the best for me. Because I left my fears in the "donga" I overcame, I was able to "put foot" and enjoy the rest of the ride. These last few pics of us being back at base camp looking out to the mountains we had ridden through. 
Dirt covered, stiff muscles and a heart that got a real good workout, I am pleased to say that through it all I never broke a nail (hee hee) .... and I had an amazing adventure! Thank you to my sweet man for pushing , I mean encouraging me to overcome fear and enjoy an adventure of a lifetime!
Next time you have a fear to face, remember that God's perfect love is with you to negotiate every rough, steep or bumpy "trail" with you and that as His scriptures promise, "His perfect love casts out all fear"!

All my love,

18 November 2010

"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 together. Teaching our children "truth" that will take root and anchor them throughout their lives. 

All my Love, 
Janine xxx

Ps - I would love to hear some of your ideas of how you invest in your children's lives? It is so encouraging to hear others ideas and perspectives. We have SO MUCH to learn from one another. 

17 November 2010

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,

16 November 2010

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 see the point of "pretending" any longer. I watched her encounter the heart of Jesus at this point of loss in her life. She wanted a marriage that her husband did not want to fight for. She shared with me tonight how even after the divorce she had been holding on as tight as she possibly could to what remained of their relationship ... but you can imagine the hurts, confusion and insecurity that she has faced through all this. Recently, Jesus drew her away and prompted her to finally "let go". For the first time she surrendered all the hurt, disappointment, broken dreams and longing for reconciliation at the feet of a faithful Saviour. In doing so she shared with me the transformation that has begun in her own heart and life. Not only is she seeing her ex-husband's heart beginning to soften and change, but she has been liberated from a life that though once "familiar" was filled with hurt, isolation and self-doubt. She is now encountering what it is like to "come alive" in who she is in God. Her confidence is growing. New friendships are blossoming. Her self esteem is being restored. Jesus has taken her once ordinary life and is making it extraordinary with such hope for the future (and for today). 

God is a God of redemption. It all starts at our point of "letting go" ... allowing those things that we cling to so desperately to fall at the feet of Jesus so that He can transform our lives into abundant, life-producing life!

Today I am choosing to "let go" of some familiar worries and patterns that I have learned to cling onto and to look into the face of the One whom I love and trust who is always faithful to redeem, restore and multiply in countless new ways. Isn't He amazing :)

All my love,
Janine xxx

15 November 2010

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 MAKE TIME for rest ...
Instead of cooking my usual Monday night supper we spontaneously decided to get fish and chips and headed down to the beach.
The girls got to dig in the sand, run as free as they desired and soak up the last few rays of sunshine before sunset.
I, on the other hand got to sit back and take in a cuddle from the best looking man around :) I so treasure these moments, because work and the routines of life certainly keeps my precious man busy.
As I looked out and breathed in the "rest" that God gives, I can honestly say that I now feel equipped and ready to tackle the rest of my week, and I am looking forward to discovering how to grab more moments like today.
I am praying that as you face your week, that you will breathe in all the refreshing that God desires you to receive so that you can tackle the rest of your week empowered by His love, strength, wisdom and grace!
All my love,
Janine xxx

PS - How do you find REST in your busy days?

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

14 November 2010

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

13 November 2010

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 much fun singing old favourites (and besides ... I'll take whatever occasion I can to have an excuse to wear some seriously high heels!)
My littlest wonder (Miss Angelee) had a tough week from cutting open her big toe ... TWICE ... falling on her head, scraping her shins ... sigh! She just totally was not in any mood for photos. Next week WILL be better :-)
Happy Saturday dear friends!
All my love,
Janine xxx

11 November 2010

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. 

09 November 2010

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 accept ourselves the way that He sees us. Not only does He call us "beloved" ... but He celebrates us! Remember when He made mankind, He stood back and looked at His handiwork and declared it to be "very good"! (See Genesis 1:31). As He made us, it says that He blessed us with every blessing we would ever need. His heart is for us to see that in His eyes ... we are worthy of His love and every good thing that He wants us to embrace.

In Matthew 17:23 Jesus prays to the Father in the garden of Gethsemane that we would know that the Father “has loved us even as You have loved Me.”.  This is truth from the mouth of Jesus, the Truth incarnate. Father God loves us with the same intensity of love that He loves Jesus. The disciple John got a revelation of this. He referred to himself as "the disciple that Jesus loved". How profoundly would it change our lives if we started to see ourselves this way too!

When our God looks at us He accepts and celebrates us completely. He doesn’t just see what we see (all the imperfections that we want to hide or run from) ... He sees everything that He has destined for us. He sees capabilities that we have not even comprehended in ourselves yet, which is why it is important to see the “true” reflection of who we truly are. 

Where does the “distorted” picture of ourself then come from? Often times we draw conclusions or place  limitations upon ourselves based on past experiences of hurt, pain, disappointment, failure, rejection, or peoples incorrect opinions or negative words spoken over us. What we have to do is take each of those words or experiences to Jesus, who is TRUTH and measure ourselves rather against what He sees in us. It’s what we do with those experiences / feelings that is either going to free us or keep us locked up in the limitations that we place upon ourselves. I am learning to look out for the ways that I might reinforce those negative thoughts and replace them with the picture of who Jesus says I am. We do this by looking into the mirror of the Word. "But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:22-25) Looking at ourselves through His Word brings the liberty to be all that He says that we are. We have to keep looking into His accurate picture of ourselves so that we don't forget and relapse into seeing ourselves the way the enemy wants us to see ourselves. When we begin to measure ourselves with the beautiful truths of how God sees us, we set ourselves free to really be all that He says we are and we release ourselves to do all the exciting things that He says that we are capable of doing. I am praying that as you look into the mirror today, you begin to see with a smile the beauty that so delights His heart! You are truly beautiful. Celebrate your uniqueness today.

      All my love, Janine xxx

"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 the dice :) Too funny!

Happy chores everyone :) 
Love Janine xxx 

08 November 2010

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 to give. Take the mercy, accept the help."
Accepting His truth above our feelings is where love is able to begin to work! His love will always lead to healing and freedom. So often it is us choosing to hold onto our feelings that keeps us trapped in our pain. I am speaking from my own personal experience. It is when we begin to trust Him with our limited perspectives and hurt feelings and in their place open up our hearts to His truth, that we begin to see the path through our pain. 
I read such an amazing post by a precious woman named Lysa TerKeurst this afternoon which spoke straight to my heart. I felt that it linked into this thought. It is so worth the read! She shares how our assumptions are not always the truth. What we 'feel' may feel like our reality ... but the truth Jesus leads us to brings clarity through the pain. 
May you be encouraged to take all your pain to Jesus. He is the one who so tenderly wipes every tear from our faces (Isaiah 25:8) and gives us beauty for ashes. He doesn't want to see us locked in pain. His truth ... not our feelings is what sets us free! "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free". (John 8:32) 
I would love to trust with you if you have any prayer needs. Know that this post is not written out of a place of my own strength, it is me handing over my pain to my precious Jesus. He is able to heal!
Love Janine xxx