20 April 2018

The days are long...


There's been a well used phrase going around for the last couple of years, often quoted to parents with young children... especially during those gruelling early years filled with sleepless nights, tears (both the children and the adults), tantrums and the chaos that comes with raising youngsters.




"The days are long but the years are short." 

Its one of those phrases that is so full of wisdom, but often holds no value to the sleep deprived parent holding a screaming baby... Until they look back a few years ahead and then it's a phrase worth it's weight in gold.




Tonight I found my youngest sprawled out on our living room couch browsing through the old photograph albums. I joined her and all the memories of those years with little ones came flooding back, the loudness, the tiredness, the adventures, those cute little squishy faces and the fun. 




I'm so glad I took so many photos (and actually bothered to print some out), and I'm so glad we tried to embrace the chaos and have a bit of fun despite those years being a lot of hard work!!

The days were so long (and sometimes painfully exhausting) but looking back now, the years truly have flown by.




Three out of our four children are now in their teens, and I can honestly say I am thoroughly enjoying the teenage years. These kids are so funny, gorgeous and have such sweet hearts... But I do miss their little mini toddler versions sometimes. Those little chubby hands and cheeks, the needing to be picked up (although I still do that a lot but with the car rather than my arms 😂)  and the excited squeals when mummy or daddy arrive home after being out for a few hours (like we've arrived home from a 3 month trip in Alaska).



So here's to those helpful (or not so helpful) little sayings that people often grace you with when you're up to your elbows in 'real life' - may we remember to embrace the phase or season of life we are in, whether we are young or old, married or single, have children or not... Each season has something little in it that is precious and I don't want to miss these moments for anything.

The days are long, but believe me when I say that the years are truly short.








10 April 2018

Lately...

It's time for a quick update on life lately!   With life there is always ups and downs and I've found a key to keeping my heart right in life is keeping a thankful heart, focussing on the good stuff God is doing in my life and the people and things I'm thankful for.  

So here we go!


I'm so thankful for celebrating Easter with my family - even if it's almost impossible to get a nice Easter family photo!  Check out my Easter post here if you missed it.








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Loving friends and all the adventures that come along with each of them!







Loving this girl's creative makings...




Loving dressing up, whenever we get the chance (this was for a Star Wars themed event - so of course someone had to dress as a Star Trek character)... 




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So thankful for celebrating 22 years married to my favourite guy in the world this past weekend!  We were blessed enough to be able to go away for a few nights (thanks Mum & Dad for having the kids, and to my Aunty & Uncle for letting us stay at their amazing beach house!).

Us as newly weds (babies at 18 & 21 years old!)...


We loved our time away - so relaxing!




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Loving that we are finally getting back into renovations again (and when I say 'we', that really means Symon doing all the work while I dream up decor ideas and wait for my turn to paint).  This time we are working on our ensuite bathroom, and it has turned out to be quite a major job with a lot of rotten wood behind the walls!





Loving my hometown of Whangarei in New Zealand.  I love that you can drive for a few minutes and be in the bush, or the countryside with rolling hills and farmland, or at the beach, or sitting at a cafe next to the waters edge.  Such a beautiful place to live - so thankful!













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So much to be thankful for!


For more Loving/Lately/Thankful posts, click here.

30 March 2018

Jesus and the Easter Bunny



When I think of Easter, so many wonderful images and memories come to mind.  I think of chocolate, bunny rabbits, Jesus, the Cross, yellow fluffy chickens, going to church and who can forget the annual arrival of hot crossed buns to the supermarket bakery section!  I also have a few other not so great memories that come to mind, in particular, the fact that around Easter time every year as a child, I was usually too sick with asthma to be allowed to eat chocolate, so instead (much to my dismay) I was given carob as a chocolate substitute.  Carob never did quite match up.

When I was young, most people knew that Easter was a time where we remembered the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and enjoyed a few chocolate eggs on the side.  Today though, Jesus has become more known as a swear word than one of the most revolutionary and life changing people to impact humanity.  

Jesus was not just an ordinary man, He was God in human flesh, and He came to earth with a very special purpose.

From the very beginning of time there has been a fight, and right up until Jesus came to earth there was no way to find permanent freedom from sin and shame.  There were many laws and religious observances that were temporary attempts to cover over, but there was no permanent solution… our efforts to find forgiveness as humans were hopeless to say the least.

Then something amazing happened… God being the genius that He is, totally took the world by surprise with one of the most mind-blowing and sacrificial acts… He sent His very own Son to earth to live and show His heart of love (reveal who God really is to the world) and then to die a shameful death that He did not deserve (He lived a sinless life), to take our shame and sin upon Him and conquer death, rising again and providing a way for us to get back to God.

That was an act of pure love – and shows us how keen God is to make a way for humanity to find hope and freedom.

So this Easter, while children get excited at the generosity of the Easter Bunny bringing baskets of chocolate eggs for them to devour, I’m going to be totally overwhelmed and thankful at the most loving and generous God who gave more than we could ever ask, so that He could purchase freedom for us – not only freedom from eternal suffering (because God wants no one to perish) but freedom from shame, freedom from sin, freedom from fear, freedom from addictions, freedom from depression & anxiety, freedom from hopelessness and so much more. 

The awesome thing is that salvation is a free gift – you can’t pay for it and you can’t earn it by being good – all you have to do is come before God as you are, acknowledge you need forgiveness and receive the free gift that Jesus purchased for you.  You no longer need to carry the burden of guilt and shame.  Through what Jesus accomplished on the Cross, you are washed clean from all shame, regret and sin and are given a fresh chance.

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16


Whangarei has so many amazing churches - why don’t you find a church near where you live and celebrate along with me this Easter?


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