About Me

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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 (13) and Angelee (10) 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. Last year our faithful Great Restorer graciously blessed us once again with another son ... our beloved Gabriel. We are all so in love with him! "Love in Action" is our journey as a family to love the way Jesus is teaching us to love and live.

About the Journey

Life is certainly a remarkable adventure! You just never quite know what's around that next corner! I am a 36 year old wife and mommy to 4 amazing children. When I started this blog a few years ago I had no idea just how much I would learn about the depths of God's love in the years ahead! Back then I was a mommy of two little girls. In September 2011 we were given the greatest privilege to become proud parents to a very special little boy called Zac, our "lion heart". We were entrusted to carry him in pregnancy in an amazing walk of faith, because he would only be ours this side of Heaven for 21 and a half hours after birth. Our precious heart baby has taught us more about the reality of Heaven and the truly important matters of the heart in his short journey in our lives than a lifespan of living could have taught us. He continues to be our pointer to Jesus in remarkable ways. "Love in Action" has become our incredible journey through grief to live lives filled with grace, strength, increasing joy and purpose as we continue to heal and grow in God's amazing love as a family. Just a few weeks ago we welcomed our second son, Gabriel into this amazing big-wide-world-of-wonder! We are overcome with joy as the Great Restorer is faithfully at work in our lives! Please come and join me on my adventure. I'm one of those people who wears my heart on my sleeve. I'm a firm believer of living my life out in the open as I continue to pursue a life lived in truth and freedom. I am exploring the depths of God's personal love for us, and I have to say that life is far more colourful lived in His love. I would like to live my life having experienced rich friendships - both new and old and most certainly having loved and laughed my way through most of it. I welcome you to share your thoughts and comments with me. At the end of each blog entry, click on "comments" to add your thoughts. I can't wait to hear from you! Here's to life God's way ... RICH and FULL in Jesus Christ's overflowing love for us!

28 June 2010

Valuable and Precious time :)

I don't have a "Makeover Monday" post for you today as I have 4 extra specials staying with me for 2 weeks which means no spare time for any make-overs, but I can say that my heart is so full from having special time with my beautiful big sis and my very precious 3 nieces.  Having moved away from all my family when I got married means that any amount of time given with the ones I love is valuable and precious time to me. I so love seeing my girls playing from the moment they wake up to the very last moment that their eyes can possibly stay open until. Family. Such a precious gift!!!

All my love,
Jan 

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24 June 2010

One of "THOSE" moments ...

If you are new to my blog, I just want to let you know that if I am going to blog - it's going to be honest! It's going to be true and real to where I am at. So ... having been warned, I'm kinda just blogging away after negotiating one of "THOSE" moments with my eldest. It's holidays here and we have family staying with us which we are loving. But that also means that it is super late and  everyone is over-tired. Now taking into account that this is a female dominated house at the moment (it's my hubby and with our family guests including me and my kids ... there are 7 females in this house!!!) which means there are a WHOLE LOT of emotions that are bound to erupt! My daughter and I just did the erupting and now that she is fast asleep and the volcanic ashes have settled, my heart feels heavy. On top of that, my cat is attacking the front door with a vengeance to come inside which is annoying me beyond words (and if you are wondering why I have not let her in, it's because I have FINALLY put my feet up and got comfortable under the blankets!). Sigh!!!! Breathe in ... breathe out. Ok - back to the point (don't worry about the cat - my ever merciful husband just let her in - hee hee). Now what was I saying ... oh yes, the guilt! Does any other mom out there also have the tendency to get into bed and reflect on everything she could have handled better? I really battle this one, because if I let my mind go there I can get so down. There is always a friend who seems to be raising her children with more patience or wisdom or creativity etc, etc. I really want to enter that place of peace and rest where I can relax in who God has made me to be as a mother to my girls and not always be comparing myself to this ideal locked up in my mind of what the perfect mother looks like. It is such a taunting mindset. What does settle my heart is that after our little 'eruption' tonight - kisses and cuddles were given and all was settled. My child sleeps peacefully knowing that her mommy loves her and wants her best. Now "the mommy" needs to release her emotions to her Father God and accept His acceptance of her that He chose wisely when He made me "mother" to my sweet girls. I may not be perfect, but I sure am open to all His leading, shaping and guidance!!!  I guess this post is mainly for me tonight, but even in typing this I feel His Presence. He is always with me and for that I am so grateful. 

Janine

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21 June 2010

We're in the World Cup Baby!

Handsome hubby and I got to share such an amazing memory together today - we went to watch the world cup live in our city. I am not much of a sporty girl, but patriotism for the land that I love has won me over to support the soccer and what fun to share the adventure with my gorgeous hubby! The game was Switzerland vs Chile. Everywhere we looked we saw die-hard fans all dressed in red. We shared our corner of the stadium with some wild Chile fans ... and their team certainly did not let them down! We took our vuvuzela's and added our cheers to an amazing crowd. Here are some pics from this special memory we shared today. 
All excited outside the stadium with our family. A friendly policeman took our pic :) 
The stadium starting to fill up while waiting for the game to start. So cool seeing everyone's excitement and patriotism. 
As we festively say in South Africa "Ki Nako" ... "it is here" and I am so stoked to have been able to see some of it live!
Opening ceremony. I love the hands over the heart. 
What a buzz!
Chile fans going all out because ...
They finally won! So very cool.

Tonight I go to sleep with a heart very full and a smile from ear to ear. Beautiful, beautiful memories. Keep us South Africans in your prayers tomorrow afternoon as we play our next match against France to see whether we get to go through to the next level or strike out of the tournament. 

All my love,
Jan

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20 June 2010

Daddy loves his Little Girls!

The girls have been so excited about Fathers Day (and so has my man!!!!!) We have been making cards, transforming biscuits into cars, baking, baking and more baking, cooking and shopping for daddy. My dad lives in another city, so I don't get to see him today :( But it was such a joy to watch my girls loving on their daddy today. I always think that there is such an amazing bond between a daddy and his daughter and it is one of my biggest joys to watch my children and the love of my life grow and develop this amazing bond. 
The girls give daddy all their art pieces and pressies.
Best pressie of all is the kisses though. Look at that proud daddy's smile :)
Yup ... silly time is always fun time!
Leelee recons these winter slippers double up as great ear warmers too!
Tianna hasn't outgrown a good game of "peekaboo" quite yet ;)

I am so thankful for my precious husband who is such a wonderful father. I love that I can see so many of his traits, characteristics, quirks and strengths in my sweet girls. They already know how blessed they are to have a daddy who loves them and loves their mommy with all his heart and best of all is 100% given over to Jesus Christ. Life is so sweet and I am so thankful.

Janine

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19 June 2010

Two new favorite mags to read

I have found two new favorite mags to read in my few minutes of quiet (you know those rare moments for a mommy when you are finished reading all your "supposed-to-be read" parenting / spiritual growth / devotional and teaching books) :) They are local and "lekker" (Afrikaans word meaning "great / good / wonderful / fantastic" ) as we say here in S.A. 
"Plum" is a new recipe magazine which is inexpensive (about R21-95) and is filled with gorgeous, easy recipes with the most beautiful pictures. How yummy does that chocolate pudding look! I was soooo surprised to read that it is a chocolate rice pudding. Anyone ever tried that? Please leave your comment if you have. I would love to hear. Hmmm ... never imagined mixing chocolate with rice pudding?! If I brave it, I will let you know :)  I just love the cover of this edition - the turquoise and pink look so lovely together. They don't seem to have a website yet where I could look for some pics to show you. When I choose one of their recipes, I'll take some pics and let you know the family's response. Maybe I will let the picture be my kiddies faces upon taste! hee hee - My girls do DRAMATIC really well. The face either screams delight or is scrunched up in disgust :)  

My other new favorite is "Home". Their slogan is "your practical guide to beautiful living". I love the handy DIY tips and everything featured is beautiful, yet affordable. They also have a gardening section which is so do-able and helpful! I'm one of those gals that needs serious help in the garden! And they have a wonderful recipe section too (such a well rounded mag!) and I just discovered their website where you can find some wonderful tips. Find it here.

Hope you get a chance to pour yourself a cup of tea like me and find some peaceful reading time. Happy Saturday everyone.

All my Love,
Jan 

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18 June 2010

The reward after a loooooong week ...

It's been a very full week of kiddies sleeping over, playdays, craft making for the kiddies to keep them occupied through the holidays ... and of course late nights every night watching the World Cup soccer matches taking place around our country. This princess is finally all tuckered out. The only appropriate way to end of a busy, cold wintry week is to fall asleep next to this sizzling away in our bedroom ...
Our pretty little fireplace being put to good use!
Night, night all ... hope you've had a beautiful week!

Much love,
Jan

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15 June 2010

Tweaking this & that

It's been a day of tweaking my blog a bit. I labelled all my old posts, tried out a new Blogger design (hmmm ... still getting used to the new template designs). I must admit to feeling quite intimidated by so many of the beautiful bloggs that I follow. I have yet to find a friend here who is a fellow blogger, so I am kind of learning as I go.  One of the most helpful blogs I can always turn to when I feel stuck is Sneaky Momma Blog Design. If you are new at blogging, or like me, a bit on the technically challenged side ;) this is the most helpful blog! I am a firm follower and grateful fan. If you haven't checked it out yet, it is so worth the helpful tips! Anyway - that's it from this bloggy girl who is all blogged out for one day. I think I am going to follow in my baby girls example and curl up for the night.
Sweet dreams!!!
Love Jan 

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14 June 2010

Make-over Mondays ... Finally! A room re-do :)

My sweet little princesses have finally had their room made over! Yippee!! This is the only pic I could find as a "before". The room was emptied out and the ceiling re-sprayed white before I had a chance to take a "before" pic. It's a cute one anyway of my little girls and their precious couzies having a sleep over. As you can see, we had a pine bunk-bed and yellow walls in there. We originally painted the walls yellow to add the illusion of warmth. Our beautiful old house has HIGH ceilings and wooden floors and is soooo cold. Well, after years of really wanting to do a girly room for them, I gave into the "pink" that every girl should at least have once in her life.
Look at my dashing, helpful hubby tending to those high walls :) Sigh!!! Even in old baggy paint clothes (note I am NOT showing you me in mine! hee hee), he makes my heart beat faster :) Ok ... back to my post. I want you to take note of the GLAMOROUS light in there (not!!!!), coz it got a make-over too! Yay!!!
I absolutely LOVE these hand-made letters a friend of mine made for me as a commission. Aren't the colours gorgeous - it gives me options when I want to re-decorate bedding etc. I also love these dear little shelves which my sister-in-love (we don't do "in-laws" in our family!) who is a dear friend to me found at a absolute steal sometime last year. They have patiently been waiting for their big debut in the kids room :) They look so happy underneath those letters! The girls are having so much fun hanging their coats and umbrellas up on them. 

I couldn't fit the whole room into one shot, so here is the view as you walk into the room. My hubby makes the most gorgeous acoustic panels (which are a MUST in any busy kiddies room - especially with our high ceilings and the girls high pitched squeals!!! - the sounds bounces around that room), so he is going to make me a beautiful pictured panel to go on the big space next to the kiddies names. I will post a pic when it finally gets made.
Next up are our beautifully painted bunk beds! We decided to put them ontop of one another to free up more playing space in the room. I love how crisp and colourful it all comes together. Soft, yet playful. Yippee!!!
In the corner their shelves designate a sweet play place. Hours are spent playing shop / shop, reading stories, or playing barbies etc. All the other toys are neatly packed away under their beds
Even the teddies found their own cozy basket to snuggle up in.
To keep the room light, I found a gorgeous voile curtain. They have a block out blind which works wonders - so we are keeping it airy with this little "veil". My little one loves pretending to be a bride underneath it. So cute. 
And last but not least ... a new light! 
Well ... that's one room down! Better give hubby a little break before I get him to help me tackle the next space :) 

Lots of Love, 
Jan

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13 June 2010

Proudly South African Weekend

It's been a beautiful weekend of soccer mania this weekend. (Sorry no pics - blogger wouldn't upload for me tonight??). I am not a huge sports fan, but the World Cup being hosted in our country has inspired such patriotism that it's hard not to get excited and involved. Almost every car has mirror socks and flags flying out their windows ... you can hear vuvusellas blowing throughout the day and night. What a beautiful vibe. Families and friends are being drawn from all corners to come together to celebrate! It's been a fun filled weekend shouting at the t.v. and yes - our boys did us proud with the first goal of the tournament. Go Bafana Bafana!!! My highlight was watching my little girls cheering their team on with cries of "God is with you ... you can do it!" hee hee!!! You go girls!!! Well - it's bed time for this patriotic princess. Till tomorrow ...
Jan

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11 June 2010

Yay South Africa!!!

It's here people!!! The World Cup has arrived and the buzz in S.A. is fantastic!!!!!  Everyone is blowing their vuvuzella's and I say, if you can't beat them, you may as well join them!!! 
As I am typing this, the opening ceremony is playing and our braai is simmering outside. I have never felt so proud to be a South African. What a colourful nation we are ... vibrant and alive with hope and unity. Viva South Africa!!!! 

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08 June 2010

Jesus loves His children!!! Read what He is doing for Memory and more families like her today!

In my last post I shared some of Memory's story. Wow!!! God is working mighty miracles for her and her children and a few more families alongside her. Around about 2 weeks ago God led my precious big sister, Velanique (how beautiful is that name!!! I can never figure out why people call her Niqui for short.) to a Zimbabwian woman in need. She was sitting at the traffic lights begging for any bit of money. Her hope - to get enough money to feed her 2 little children and somehow save up enough to get back to the country that she left illigally in the hope of finding her husband and the father of her children. After all she dared and sacrificed to get here to S.A., after months of searching she discovered that her husband had abandoned them to start another family! As I shared, she has been living in dire circumstances in a building without any water and electricity trying to look after her children. She cannot work legally in this country which is why her only resort has been to beg at the traffic lights. In the midst of all her heartache, she told my sister that she knows God and trusts Him. Friends - Jesus takes our trust seriously! His love acts with practicality! The day before my sister met Memory she prayed a brave prayer ... "Jesus, please use me. Show me what I can do to help". The very next day, our precious Jesus led her and Memory's path to meet!!! 

Today, through my sister making others aware of these precious peoples needs, she has been able to raise enough money to send Memory, her 4 year old son Pride and her 1 year old daughter back home on a bus to Zimbabwe with enough to start their lives over. Not only has Jesus arranged her passage home, but she has connected my sister with 3 other families who will be joining Memory and her children on the long bus ride home. Memory's room mate, also named Memory has been blessed with the means to go home. They live in the same village! How precious of Jesus to lead these woman together and in each other, find a friend who truly understands! 

Through this journey (and I am begging my sis to start a blog about all this!!! You have to hear the adventures she has had over these last 2 weeks! She is one brave daughter of God!!!) she has met a precious man named Trust who has a little 1 year old daughter called Precious. His wife left him and her baby. He too is in this country illegally (you must understand how hopeless many Zimbabwians have been over recent years - they thought they would find a better life in South Africa, but it is not all rosy on this side for them. I'm sure you have heard of the Zenephobia attacks against them as many South Africans have been fearful of losing job opportunities to all the illegals crossing our borders). Trust has an unbelievably sad story too. His little girl has been deathly ill and had to spend 1 month in hospital. She is on the mend now but my sister says her little body is so frail. He spent the entire month at her side in the hospital and when she was finally released to go home, he discovered that everything he had owned had been stolen while he was away. He has been living in a squatter camp and only owns the outfit he wore at the hospital and the baby grow that Precious had on! Satan never fights fair .... BUT GOD!!!! He is so much mightier!!! God has moved on people's hearts and he has been blessed with some new clothes for him and Precious, bottles and formula and 2 tickets on the same bus that leaves today!!!! Thank you Jesus!!! 

The last couple that God has also put on this bus to make sure that they are all well taken care of is Pastor David and his amazing wife Fortunate. God led my sister to this amazing couple who have such a heart for the Zimbawians. They have helped many Zimbabwians to get back home. They run a church in the squatter camp where Trust lives and Fortunate runs a soup kitchen from home and a nursery school as a ministry to help many, many people in this community. They are going on the bus to make sure that these precious families are treated fairly. Because they have come into the country illegally, they are "fined" (actually bribed!) at the border to get back into their country. They also have to pay for their luggage to cross back into the country. Please pray that God gives them miraculous favour with regards to the finances needed for the luggage. I know He will, because He has supernaturally worked miracles so far for them to be able to get this far! My sister is seeing them all off today and buying the last of the bus tickets and paying for the luggage fees. She will be taking pics for me to show you, so watch this space!!! Please keep these precious families in your prayers and if God moves on your heart to sow towards this amazing mission field, contact me so that I can put you in contact with my sister. There are so many more desperate people in the same position with the same hope of simply going home. I hope that you have been stirred up by what God is doing today for these precious families. Be encouraged to know that He takes your needs seriously and loves you with an everlasting love and His arms always take action!

All my love,

Janine

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01 June 2010

Memory's Journey

Last week my sister met a lady called Memory. She drove past her in heavy traffic on the way to fetch her daughter from school. Memory is just one of the many women begging on the side of our roads here in South Africa. Memory stood out to my sister, because like her, she has a little baby girl. As my sister drove past her, her heart was drawn to her. After fetching her oldest daughter from school, she past the same traffic lights and there mommy and baby still sat. She could not stop the car but decided to drive back that same way again after taking her daughter to ballet. As it happened, she caught her just in time to hear her story.

Memory comes from Zimbabwe. She risked all that she had to come over here with her 4 year old son and 1 year old daughter to try and find her husband who had come over earlier to find work in South Africa. After searching for him  she eventually discovered that her husband has deserted her and their children for another woman. She is stuck here in South Africa with no family, no work and is staying in a very hostile environment (which has no running water or electricity). My sister knows this for a fact because she drove her back to her "home" which is a deserted building with hundreds of other Zimbabwians staying there due to the Zenaphobia which hit crisis stations earlier this year.  As my sister shared this story with me I was struck with the fact that we hear about these stories on the news, but all of a sudden we all have to question what our role can be in being part of a greater solution when you actually meet somebody in the middle of that situation. It's all too easy to say a quick prayer for that person and pray that God sends "someone" to help them on their way - but did Jesus not share the parable of the Good Samaritan for us to visually picture His ache for us to be His hands and feet to those in desperate need? My sister took the time to ask Memory what her needs are. She looked at my sister and said "I want to go home". Ever since then, my sister has been raising money to help Memory get herself, her little children and her friend back to their home in Zimbabwe. I decided to post this today, to ask anyone who reads this post to pray for Memory as the Lord is making a practical way for her to get back home and re-start her life. Jesus went about not only meeting spiritual needs, but physically helping the practical needs too. If you feel led to sow into getting Memory back home, I will put you in touch with my sister. So far over R2,100-00 has been raised. We have our faith out for R5,000-00 to get both these women and Memory's little children back home. 

If anything - ask the Lord to show you who He would like you to minister to this week. My sister could have been like any one of the other thousands of people in their cars that drove straight past Memory simply seeing her as a beggar ... but Jesus sees the person in their helplessness and longs to meet them with His tangible love. He has the capacity to multiply even the little that we have to give to become God-sized and able to change a life in a beautiful way.

Love, Janine  


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