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!

30 June 2012

9 months

Precious Zac,
9 months ago you were born into our waiting arms. It still seems so surreal that we were chosen to carry you for 9 months and to be able to hold you for a day. The memories of every one of those hours are a gift beyond words ever expressing. You continue to shape our hearts and lives sweet boy. Today I find myself weighing so much up. There is the sadness of missing you being in our everyday world so much, but I am also mindful of the privilege of being entrusted with your story. I don't understand it all, but a day will come when you will sit on my lap in Heaven as Father God unpacks it all for this mommy''s heart to finally see in full. For now I will hold onto the promise that God handpicked your life and every moment that you lived. We stand amazed that your story continues to touch peoples lives with God's love and tenderness. It shows me that while you may be in Heaven, you are very much alive and never separated from the love in our hearts to share with you. What a gift of love the Father gave us through salvation and eternal life. While we live a world apart, I glimpse in my heart just how close Heaven truly is. Father is using your life beautifully and I am allowing that truth to protect my heart today as I miss you so very much. The same way He is watching over you, He is watching over our hearts as we heal.
Today daddy reminded me of something that brings us so much comfort. Before we ever knew about your broken heart while I was carrying you, God sent someone that daddy had never met to give him a word from God to hold on to. The man said that God had shown him a picture of an aloe (daddy LOVES aloes). Then the man said that he saw a leaf of that aloe being picked off and being re-planted into another garden and God would tell him that daddy was not to worry about this person, because God was re-planting that person and much growth and blessing would come after that. God then showed him a picture of a big aloe plant completely surrounded by many little aloes symbolizing abundance. At the time, we thought it applied to a certain relationship which had caused us some disappointment, but the amazing thing is that when we came back from Cape Town and began to plan your "birthday party" (we couldn't bare to call it a funeral), so many beautiful flowers began to arrive at the house. On a particularly tough day the doorbell rang to drop off a delivery from out of town. In the midst of this hamper of food and blessings was a pot with an aloe in it completely surrounded by baby aloes! It was the EXACT picture the man had described in detail, but the gift was sent from somebody else who had no idea what the Lord had shared with us. That aloe is growing beautifully on our veranda. It brings your daddy so much joy. It's grown so much that he has already had to re-pot it. That makes me smile as I imagine your growth and how you are fulfilling your Heavenly calling. Baby boy, by God's grace we are growing too, and this gift of a brother or sister for you and your big sisters growing inside of me is just another gift of amazing grace from our gracious Jesus. 
(This is what it looked like then ... it's now 3 times the size and ready for another new pot!)
Today, as always, know that you are a special smile in your mommy and daddy's hearts. We love you and anticipate eternity with you. As Jesus holds you, give him a smile and giggle from me. 
All my love forever,
Mommy xoxox

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27 June 2012

Urgent prayers for families in Colorado

Family of God, if you have not been following the news, especially us here in South Africa, please, please, PLEASE stand in prayer for the Lord to send an outpouring of rain to stop the fires raging in Colorado. I've read it's the worst they have ever seen. So many thousands of families have been evacuated from their homes. Our dear friends Anthony & Adeye Salem and their 7 precious children have just been told to evacuate too. There are countless families in need! My friend Adeye is always lifting others up in prayer. Please can we pray that the Lord spare their home and the lives of all the precious people in their community being affected. Send the rain Lord and encourage those brave fire fighters who have been fighting this fire for days. 
Praying!!!!!
Janine

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Those small acts are a BIG deal

This week I keep noticing something beautiful happening around me. I told you in my last post how 2 weeks ago I woke up hearing the phrase "expect blessing" loud and clear in my mind. Since hearing that, my eyes have been open and I keep seeing how little things (small acts of kindness) actually land up speaking volumes to the ones receiving such acts of love and blessing. In the little things lies the power of love. Let me share some of the things I've seen and experienced. 
Since sharing that we are expecting our precious rainbow baby, I have been overwhelmed by how caring and tender people have been towards us. Words of love and genuine joy and happiness for us have shown us how shared this little love is going to be. So many people prayed and trusted with us with all that we went through with Zac, that we realize how this little one is a gift of healing and joy to so many beyond merely his or her family. That in itself is such a tremendous healing balm to my heart. 
The day I shared our exciting news, a friend popped over with a box of pregnancy nausea suckers. It was a free sample she saw in a chemist, but the fact that she saw it, thought of me and drove all the way over to hug me, spoke so deeply to my heart. Something that cost nothing, was worth its weight in gold and rubies for the love it expressed to me. I've also received random bunches of flowers. Those precious people will never know how their bunches of flowers redeemed a painful place in my heart, replacing the painful memory of receiving beautiful cards and flowers due to the death of our son, to now be able to celebrate life again.
You all know how crazy morning sick and tired I've been. Seriously - just looking at certain foods sends me running. There isn't much that I crave except nasty, sugary fizzy drinks! Seriously!!! I never drink the stuff. Now ... I HAVE to have a Dry Lemon Schweppes every day!!! So yesterday I was lazing in bed, having a lazy little sleep in. On Tuesdays I am so blessed to have the help of an amazing domestic worker who is more like family than cleaner to me. Precious Cynthia has been with our family for 15 years. I so respect the amazing strong provider she is to her family. Anyway, the kids begged her to make them porridge for breakfast (she makes the BEST). Next thing, she knocks on my door and walks in with a tray of breakfast for me. I was so humbled and touched. I hadn't asked her - it was totally her way of expressing love. She just walked in and told me I deserved some breakfast in bed. I could have cried my eyes out. That simple act of love still humbles my heart and shows me the compassion of Christ. 
Last night I fetched a friend from the airport. As we were driving back to my house for her to fetch her car she was telling me how sick she was feeling and how she really didn't feel up to stopping at the shops to pick up some food for home. What she didn't know was that a mutual friend had messaged me earlier in the day to ask if she could meet at my house to give this precious family a meal, bread and milk. To see the true appreciation on my friends face when we arrived at my house and be handed a packet full of all the things she needed showed me how God delights to see to every one of our needs. She looked so truly blessed with this precious, unprompted act of love. As both my friends drove off, my heart wanted to weep at how this precious friends packet of food was an act of God expressing His love to one of His daughters. 
Tonight my doorbell rang. A friend delivered a tray of supper for our family. Again - I lift my eyes and I glimpse God's grin from ear to ear. He is showing me over and over again how He delights to bless us as His children. That tray of supper holds so many blessings on it for me and my family (including Dry Lemon Schweppes I tell you!!!), but the biggest blessing of all is the fact that once again God saw exactly how I was feeling and prompted someone so spontaneously to meet my need. Oh man!!!! He sees everything and He WANTS to lavish His love on us.
All of these shared stories show me that everyday He is able to use each of us, in a simple way, to express His profound love to somebody around us. What you may think is a small gesture may just be God's arms embracing one of His children's heart. 
Dear Jesus, I am so humbled by all your outpourings of love. Thank you for what you have shown me through each of these acts of kindness and may I have ears listening to yours whispered thoughts of who I can bless around me each day. 
All my love xxx
Janine

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25 June 2012

She surfaces ;0)

It's been a while, I know. Sorry for the quiet, but this girl is truly going through 1st trimester pregnancy nausea and tiredness - all day, every day! All a good sign of a healthy pregnancy, but intense none the less. I am SO THANKFUL the girls have just started a 3 week holiday. Such a wonderful excuse to laze in the mornings. And oh the bliss of no homework!!! I can do a dance of joy for that!!! hee hee
I am 8 weeks along and trying not to wish for that 12 week mark. I really want to soak in the joy of this precious gift of pregnancy. The Lord has dropped the phrase "expect blessing" into my heart. Instead of allowing fear to wrap around my thoughts I am choosing to "expect blessing" through each phase of this pregnancy. I still stand in awe that the Father has entrusted 4 precious children to me, even if He gets to raise one of them ;0) Being 35 and this being my 4th c-section I'm pretty sure this is my final pregnancy. So there is something special about this little one. Already this child is a channel of such healing and joy. I want to soak that in, especially when I feel so green.
Thank you for your grace and patience with me if I am a little slow in writing. My energy and sense of humor is bound to make a return one of these days :) For right now, my girls and amazing husband are holding on tight to the roller-coaster ride of having an emotional pregnant woman in the house yet again! hee hee
All my love xxx
Janine

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07 June 2012

"GREEN" ... What's Your Colour today?

A friend and I were chatting earlier this week about seeing life and emotions in colours. Certain words just seem to have appropriate matching colours Right now my colour is definitely GREEN ... I feel 100% nauseous most of the day and yet also so peaceful, blessed and prosperous in my heart and soul. The moment Brett and I suspected this pregnancy (which happened to be very, very early ... the smell of butter frying in a pan sent me running!!!! That day we looked at each other and KNEW! It was too early to take a test, but our hearts knew beyond a shadow of a doubt. God had added to us!) Joy and peace descended upon my heart immediately. I just KNEW that God's timing and plan for our family is perfect. That truth is guarding my heart so protectively. I feel it like a beautiful green lush hedge all around us. Having so many amazing people praying and rejoicing with us just adds to this blessing! 
Don't get me wrong - the enemy hasn't let up in trying to sow fear into our minds ... but the Love of God is so real and tangible to me right now, not allowing those seeds anywhere near this gift of life and beauty that God has sown. One of the first things people ask me (which I totally understand!) is how hard it must be to not be afraid after what we just walked through with our precious son. Fear is a very real feeling, but I have come to learn that it always accompanies a CHOICE. Just because it feels real, doesn't mean I need to choose it. God is so graciously teaching me how to CHOOSE joy and peace every day and not to tolerate fear or worry from stealing even one moment of this precious time growing a precious baby. It's a moment by moment choice. The temptation to give in is huge at times, but I want to be able to look back and see the way we celebrated with joy every moment of this journey. That is something I thank God for with all my heart about our time with Zac. Fear wasn't an option for us. I finally "got" that verse which declares "Perfect love casts out fear". Only choosing God's love keeps fear from tormenting our lives. We wanted our sweet boy to know peace and joy. Every moment of his time with us was surrounded with God's supernatural peace. Only He alone took us through all that. Now as God is so lovingly restoring to us again, I am choosing to allow His peace to grin through the nausea and expect GOODNESS every moment of this blessed pregnancy. I am choosing to savor every day and enjoy it to the max. 
I am discovering just how huge God's capacity is within each of us to love. I have so much love for each of my children and am already head over heels in love with this little joy-bean. It amazes me the depth of emotion we are able to live with. In the same moment of longing for my son in Heaven I am giddy with love and anticipation of this rainbow baby. How amazing to live with sadness and extreme joy all rolled into one. This is the depth of love that God has made us capable of. This is where I am at in my journey. Embracing a myriad of emotions and being fine with it. I am accepting that life is always going to be an adventure in faith. Every day is a choice to trust and allow His love to define my living. 
So that's me in a jumbled up nutshell today. Excuse the roller coaster ride, but I'm as green as they come at the moment ;0) 
Do share ... what colour are you feeling right now? 
I just asked my girls what colour they feel today. Here's what they say:
Angelee: Green like the plants, "because they are fresh when they grow". (Clearly mommy's girl xxx)
Tianna: Turquoise, "because it's soft, cuddly and loving". (Aaaaahhhhh ... that's my little bear!).
Sending you a bright pink fluffy heart full of love xxx
Janine

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05 June 2012

"The Sun is Rising" ... Hope for those Hurting

Since sharing my journey through my blog, I have met so many people who have been willing to share their stories with me. Everyone has a story to tell. Not all of us have the same story, but many can relate to having negotiated some hard paths along the way. I write this post today to those who feel weighed down or swallowed up in hurt or despair. I want to remind your heavy heart today that that God reaches out to you with "healing in His wings". Here is a beautiful promise for you to hold onto  ...
"But unto you who revere and worshipfully fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise
with healing in His wings and His beams,
and you shall go forth and gambol
like calves (released) from the stall 
and leap for joy."
Malachi 4:2
This is a beautiful picture to me. On those really tough days when we just do not know how to possibly make it through, God paints us a picture of Himself reaching out healing in His wings to us. Why wings you might ponder? It's because He simply wants to carry us through the pain, hurt, disappointment, heartache or whatever the source of your pain might be. He never meant for one moment for us to make it through on our own. His wings are mighty and strong to carry us through to the other side and as we allow Him to carry us, He holds us close to is heart. 
Oh how He loves us!
He promises us that His healing and light WILL cause us to leap from joy! What a beautiful promise to hold Him to. 
Allow Him to carry you close today. And I promise you ... no matter how dark it seems right now, He WILL cause the sun to rise again! 
All my love xxx
Janine
ps - This is one of my favourite songs at the moment. Play it straight to your heart. I'm sending you a great big hug!

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