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

23 May 2012

Here's to TODAY

A friend and I were chatting yesterday about how we so often put off every-day happiness waiting until this grand elusive moment when we will either finally feel ready or have met some self-set criteria. Our feelings about ourselves and our lives are a big factor in this mindset. For some it is waiting until they meet the right person, for others it may be having children, or about being a certain weight / looking a certain way or it could be when they are debt free or financially independent etc. It's simply "that" something that is stopping us from enjoying abundant life each and every single day. It's not so much that setting goals for ourselves, or that any of the above desires are wrong - not at all! We all need goals that we are working towards, but it's when those goals that we set for ourselves become the only way we determine our happiness or allow us to fully live life in freedom, joy and peace. (Side note - clearly I am LOVING the various font sizes today - hee hee). 
This last year has taught me that my current circumstances do not have to determine my joy. Even in sadness and loss, God sustains us with a joy that goes beyond "feelings". This is something that my friend Belinda has learned and powerfully shares. She sent me her notes from a ladies talk she recently shared at and gave me permission to share it with anyone that I felt would be encouraged by it. Well I certainly was - so I know you will too :0). (If you would like me to send you her full talk, send me your email address). This is a brave mommy who carried her beautiful daughter full term only to discover at a routine gynae appointment days before her scheduled birth  that her precious baby girl had passed away within her due to a "true knot" in her umbilical cord. Little Jennifer and my Zac graduated within days of each other. Belinda shared the story below in talking about how God has faithfully helped her to move forward through the pain over these last 7 months ...
"I want to tell you about something that happened to me a few weeks ago while I was shopping at Pick 'n Pay. While I was walking down the aisle I overheard a conversation between two ladies doing their shopping. One of the ladies was visibly pregnant and she said to the other lady that she was standing with “I still have three months to go before my baby is due. At the moment I have to go to the gynae for a check up every month and soon I will have to start going every two weeks. I really can't wait for this all to end and for the baby to arrive so that I can start to get on with my life." I kept on walking down the aisle trying to make sense of what I had just heard. It really struck me that this lady felt that she wasn't really "getting on" with her life at the moment and that she would only start to do that in a few weeks time. 
I suppose I was a bit like that last year too just before we were expecting our daughter, and I think that so many of us are waiting for some big event or for something to change before we truly start living. It may be that we so desperately want to have a boyfriend, or get engaged or get a new job. We think that if only that could happen then we would really be happy. The problem is that we never really know what is going to happen in life and we can't spend our life just waiting for something that we think may bring us happiness.
So although Michael and I are hoping and trusting that God will bless us with more children, when that time comes, it will only be part of our ongoing story not the end of our story....
While there are still occasions when we are sad, the joy that we have found in the Lord throughout the last few weeks has been greater and more consistent than the joy we have ever felt before.
I can honestly say that I realise more than ever before what it says in Nehemiah 8v10 “The joy of the Lord is my strength” and that real joy can only be found in my relationship with the Lord."
I can totally relate to what Belinda shared! Even in heartache, God has faithfully been redeeming joy to us. It's been a process - good days and hard days, but that "heart peace" that God taught our family about has allowed us to heal and find joy amidst the storms that have raged. In it all He has stood present and because of that we can find reasons in His strength to throw our head back and laugh in the wind.
We all have a different set of circumstances that we are negotiating, but who is going to join me today??? Who else is tired of putting off true happiness and is willing to let go and CHOOSE LIFE today? We don't have to wait to be perfect or have just-the-right-set-of-circumstances to live in freedom and happiness. We don't have to jump through a certain set of hoops before we allow ourselves to receive the joy of the Lord that gives us strength. All we need to do is let go and open our arms wide to the love of God and let the Almighty do the rest. 
Here's to TODAY ... this very moment sweet friends! Cheers!!

All my love xxx


My name is Niqui, said...

I love the new lay out (^^,) it makes me smile.

What a wonderful post, my sweet sis, this has really touched my heart!

So wise....I love you dearly, My "little" sis, you teach me so much!


Tatum said...

Thanks for sharing that Janine, it's very encouraging. This is something I know I struggle with often. One of my constant prayers is "Lord help me to be content where I am and not wishing for the next thing in life." Because I don't want to wish away each phase of my life, but rather just really enjoy where I'm at in every moment. We can live such rich, full lives if we just take each day as it comes and enjoy it to the fullest. I love reading your blogs, I'm always so encouraged and inspired by your love for the Lord.
Sending all my love,

Carol F said...

I Agree with you my Queen - Life IS about enjoying every moment & living life every day that God has blessed us with.
Am so proud of you my Janni!

Love Always,
Mom xxxxx

Janine said...

Cheers my beautiful mom! Wish we were together to "clink" glasses. Sending you a smooch instead. Mwah xxx Your Queen
Ps - Love you more ;0)

Janine said...

Thank you for sharing Tates - I always love hearing your input. I so agree with your prayer and am making that mine too! There is something so special in every phase of life we go through. Sending lots of love straight back at you!

Janine said...

My beautiful sis - you are so kind - but I learn so much just watching you.
ps - remind me to tell you where to get a super stunning cupcake blogger template. It has your name written all over it!!!!