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 (15) and Angelee (12) 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. 3 years ago our faithful Great Restorer graciously blessed us once again with another son ... our beloved Gabriel ... a ray of sunshine in all our lives! "Love in Action" is our journey as a family to love the way Jesus is teaching us to love and live.

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04 December 2013

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree ... how lovely are your branches ;0)

Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. Even as a little girl my parents would entrust my sister and I with the privilege of decorating the tree. (Hats off to my sweet mom! I think I may just have a tad-little-ity-bittie control issues when it comes to the final look of the tree - I have to make myself step back and allow the girls artistic license on the tree ... but when they are no longer looking I confess that I can't help a little rearranging! It just HAS to look balanced, or I can't sleep peacefully! ha ha). Anyway - back to my non-controlling amazing mom who let us decorate the tree without fixing it ... I remember how my sis and I would spend hours going through those little boxes of ornaments, playing with the sweet figurines. There weren't a whole lot of them, and I don't remember us often adding to the collection, but that in itself made it such a sweet memory. Each of those little ornaments carried precious memories with them. I remember a glass fairy that my sister and I would have to take turns on who got to place her because she was both of our favourite. When my sister would leave the room, I would take her off the tree and play make believe games and eventually find my own special place for her :0) (Whoops ... there are those control issues again - hee hee). 
To this day, nothing brings that special Christmas-is-near feeling to my heart like sitting in the quietened lounge when everyone has gone to sleep, with the lights dimmed low, watching the  colourful lights flick on and off. Just me, the tree and my many thoughts. Back then I would try imagine what kinds of pressies would be waiting under that tree come Christmas day. Now, the fun is dreaming up what I am going place underneath that tree and the joy on all of my beloveds faces when they come running through on Christmas morning. Watching their joy and anticipation building reminds me of the wonder of seeing life through a child's eyes.
Yesterday the girls and I put the tree up while Gabriel crawled after all the baubles on the floor. It was a simple, sweet, happy, redeeming memory for me. I say redeeming, because the last 2 Christmas' haven't been too easy on my heart. While they still hold very precious memories, knowing that we are one little boy short of decorating the tree with and wrapping a present for makes my heart ache for my son. Sometimes it's the small things that make your heart ache. It's that constant feeling as a parent that just one more of your children should be in your arms for a cuddle. So this year we decided to sponsor a Christmas present for the Santa-shoebox charity for a little boy who is 2 years old. It was quite a mixture of emotions going out and choosing things that I imagined Zac may have enjoyed. Somehow putting it all together brought a peace to my heart, even in the longing, knowing that Zac would be honoured by the simple joy that this little box of surprises will bring to a very precious child in need. 
Tonight I am reminding myself in the glow of my little Christmas tree that my heart has such a deep capacity to live, laugh and love even in the missing. I am thankful that the Lord has graced us to laugh and find life and joy as a family even though we still so miss and long for our precious Zaccie. To me that is my Christmas miracle. Finding a balance between the joy and sorrow. Only His peace has allowed us to find this place. We glimpse him in his growing baby brother. We honour him in the deep bond of love that we share with each other as a family as together we walk out the journey of loss and life. And so even in the tears that roll from a mother's longing heart ... my heart has learned to also make room for heartfelt belly laughs, giggles and tickles with my 3 living children this side of Heaven. Watching my girls decorate the tree ... seeing Gabriel's joy in those plastic baubles ... cozying up onto the couch and eating popcorn and gingerbread men while watching a movie together (after fixing the tree when the girls weren't watching - hee hee)... giggling at my hubbies face when he came home to find decorations dangling from the chandelier once again, all make me smile and redeem the simple joys of festive Christmas cheer that was a little harder to find for a little while. Only Jesus. Only His grace. This mommy is smiling even in the teary-eyed missing of one very special little boy who continues to grow my heart. 

3 comments:

Lori said...

Hello dear Janine, I've been thinking of you lately and decided to come check and see if you'd posted in the past several days. Always a blessing to read your heartfelt words so I'm glad I checked! I'm sorry your sweet Zac isn't there with you right now but am so thankful Jesus is the great Comforter! Will write soon! Love, Lori

Kim van Vuuren said...

So lovely how we are given opportunities to remember in special ways. Love that you sponsored a santa shoe box for a 2 year old. Gives me some ideas for Asher's 1st "birthday" coming in April. Thank you for sharing your story, it is a great encouragement. xx

Denise Malafaia Cerqueira said...

Hello, dear sister!
How long, longing to come here and be able to read something about you.
Don't think I forgot about you and your family.
Always remember with lots of love.What a beautiful view which are always together throughout time, glory to God!
He does everything always good!
Gabriel grew up and is now a boy, what a blessing!
Even already being almost the end of January, I wish that this year of 2014 is full of blessings of God and that throughout time there is peace in the heart of you.
Kisses and a big hug!