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.

Blog Archive

21 May 2015

Just one more bite ...

I've been having one of this weeks where I'm not feeling 100% (getting over a head cold), and when I'm like this ... just one little piece of chocolate is most definitely not enough ;0) It's cold, I'm at home and all I can think of is the cookie jar and sweetie tin which is safely housed in my sweetie cupboard. Yes you heard me right ... in this house we most definitely have a sweetie cupboard. It was the first cupboard that was created and filled on my first grocery shop 18 years ago when I got married. I wish I could have captured Brett's face on camera that first shop. The man was shell shocked as he stood by and watched me put chocolate after chocolate into the cart. (I had not informed him about the sweetie cupboard quite yet). Here he was panicking that his petite little bride had big time plans on doubling in size. (hee hee) I calmly assured him that of course I planned on sharing :0) I have continued to explain to him over the years that the sweetie cupboard is simply my love language of blessing the precious guests and family who happen to stroll through the house (and if that happens to be me too on stressful, tiring days, well hey ... calories shared surely must be calories halved?!). I'm sure none of you can relate ... but for the odd one who can, this post is for you and me :0)

On Tuesday's I facilitate a wonderful course called Woman of Peace, and as it happened, as I opened to the session that we had to work through, it was all about where, what or who we turn to when we are stressed, tired or down, especially when it comes to our eating. As I was planning on working through a special slab of hazelnut chocolate later that afternoon, I had to become accountable to what God had prepared for me to share (I just can't shake the feeling that my hubby must have been praying and God was already giggling). So here is what stood out to me and is helping me today when I feel like running to that beloved cupboard ...

"Where is the man who fears the Lord? God will teach him how to choose the best. He shall live within the circle of blessing." 
Psalm 25:12-13 (Living Bible)

It touches my heart so deeply that God cares SO much about EVERY DETAIL concerning our lives. Even in our eating, He wants to lead us into BLESSING. This promise encompasses every area of our lives, including our eating. When we battle with self discipline or we have a rough day that makes us want to binge ... here is a promises that God will teach us to "choose the best". Don't miss this ... we don't have to struggle alone through our issues. It clearly says "God will teach us". He will show us how to choose the best. It's a precious partnership. He doesn't force us, criticise or bully us. No ... in love & with infinite grace He teaches us. In every area of our lives, God so desires to teach us how to choose best (make wise decisions) that will allow us to live in the circle of blessing. Maybe chocolate isn't your struggle ... maybe it's anger, a relationship you are struggling with, feelings of self doubt, shame through bad decisions, a cycle of pain ... whatever it may be, God is so desiring to teach and show you how to choose best and begin to truly live in blessing and freedom. That is His heart for every single one of us. 

Today ... just because you ate 2 biscuits and a row or two of that hazelnut chocolate (yip, you guessed right ... I'm talking to myself over here) ... it doesn't mean that the rest of the day has to be a write off of bad choices until we wait for a more-perfect-tomorrow. Nope ... I for one am marching off to stare that sweetie cupboard down to remind it and myself that I am the boss of it! I get to choose the best for me! I get to dance off those calories in the circle of blessing today and every day! And when I do choose to open that cupboard for the odd treat ... there is peace and freedom in knowing that 1 chocolate doesn't have to turn into a binge. Now am I going to allow my husband to read this post quite yet, you may be wondering??? ... Are you crazy!!!!! Accountability between me and Jesus suits me just fine for today (hee hee) .... And so the sweetie cupboard lives another day :0)


Lots of love xxx

Janine

  

06 May 2015

Go on ... give yourself a hug ;0)

I don't know about you, but for me one of the giants that I tackle every now and then is self-doubt. Its that inner wrestle of how I could have or should have handled certain moments better than I did. Or the inner chiding that I should be doing more than what I am already doing ... or sometimes rather the fear that maybe I am not the best person for the job that has been given to me. Camp long enough in that headspace and you can really start to feel down. I was having one of those melancholy moments yesterday when the gem-of-a-husband that I have gave me a 2 minute pep talk and a big hug and all of a sudden the dark cloud above my head began to clear. Encouraging words and a heartfelt hug always bring hope and perspective back to the heart.

As I was mulling over my feelings from yesterday I just had it on my heart to encourage you today. When is the last time you took a moment to appreciate and accept the gift that God made you to be? It sounds a funny thing to say, but how many of us really go there? It's so much easier to acknowledge the gifts in others than it is to see them in ourselves. It's always easier to see how much more we need to grow than it is to stop, acknowledge and embrace where we are right now on our journey. Im only sharing with you what I am reminding myself of today. Through my wrestling with God, He reminded me that He ALWAYS graces us for what we have to deal with. He equips us with everything we will ever need to thrive in who we are called to be and what we are called to do. Isn't that a comfort when we are finding relationships, parenting or difficult situations tough and self-doubt rises up to tell us otherwise. I loose sight of that sometimes when fear or frustration rises up. But this morning as I drove in traffic I made myself say out loud to myself that I accept myself because He accepts me. In fact I choose to celebrate in who He sees I am and what He tells me that I am capable of. This isn't  out of pride, but from a place of knowing that I am hidden in Him and that He is committed to the journey of growth as I yield to Him and there is joy in embracing and enjoying the process. Just because I don't get it all right every time doesn't mean that I should loose my confidence. After that little pep talk in the car I kind of felt like I had given my own heart a tender hug ... so now it's your turn. Go on ... give yourself a hug. There is grace for the day and season that you find yourself in. As you embrace and accept how God sees you, there comes a peace and ease in the path you walk.

Much love xxx

Janine  

  

01 May 2015

Dusting off the cobwebs ... and embracing the season

Oh my goodness ... why this feels like a familiar place ;)  It's been absolute ages since I have blogged and yet somehow this little corner of blog-land feels like home. I may not get here very often, but when I do, I feel my heart begin to smile as thoughts start to flow from my heart.

When I started thinking of all the many explanations and excuses I could make for my lack of postings here on my blog, I finally just stopped as one word in particular stood out in my mind ... the word "Seasons". I had the opportunity almost 2 years ago to sit in a talk by a woman of God that I greatly admire. Her name is Sally. She and her husband have lived as missionaries for over 40 years and are amongst the most humble people I have met. They have been willing to go to places that I would never have dared to go to show love and share the goodness of God to those who are searching. The little talk she shared was simply her sharing her heart with a room full of ladies some of the life lessons she has learned that have guided her through life. The last point she shared so impacted me. She simply passed on to us what her mother taught her ... "live fully in each season, because each season is only for a time." Her urging was to be fully present in each season instead of wishing ahead for what's next or looking back with longing for what was. Isn't that so true of how we sometimes live ... we can so easily miss the blessings in the here and now. 

Here in South Africa we are shifting into Autumn. I am soooooo  a Summer girl, so I can hardly believe that another Summer has come and gone. As I have been mulling that over, I look at my children and am shocked at their growth! We no longer have babies! We now have a toddler, tween and teen!!! Though I have missed my time blogging, I can honestly look back over my shoulder and be grateful for the season I have taken to really be present with the kids over these last 3 1/2 years. From needing to heal and process with the family after Zac's passing, to the gift of our rainbow baby Gabriel, planting a very precious church family in our home called "Redeeming Hope"... life has been full and precious. I have even had the joy of welcoming my precious mom back home with us after 8 years in the US. All of these have been incredible seasons that God has graciously guided us through with His redeeming hope and grace. Now with Gabe starting play school a few mornings a week I am hoping to start writing a little more regularly. 

All of the above to say "It's good to be back!". Trusting that whatever season you are in, you will see the beauty and gifts that are unfolding before your eyes.

Much love xxx

Janine