Heading South

Stolen moments and little getaways are so important. Family is important.

So couple of weeks ago we set on a weekend adventure to visit our bigger three.

First a flying trip down into what we call “exile” where offspring number four resides with her man and two little ones. Jumping in the car, hubby puts on his laid back vibes and we’re off  driving deep into the South.

 

Breathing in the cool forest air, playing with little ones amongst the trees and listening to the sound of birds singing makes us come alive. Creative souls inspired.

Our hearts fill with delight and we’re just a little sad we don’t get to do this often enough.

Cares of our city life can dampen our adventuring spirit – too quickly we find ourselves tired on a conveyer belt of life thats hard to stop.

When we do rewards are invaluable.

 

 

 

Creativity comes alive.

 

Time to breath.

 

Time to ponder.

 

Time to connect.

 

And precious memories are made.

Little hands Little feet.

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Experiencing the unexpected like Tulips in bloom.

 

 

 

We stay a night,  leaving early and set off  to visit offspring five and three not so far away.

 

 

 

 

 

Our first stop COFFEE

Sitting in Merchant n Maker watching our big boy do his thing.

He’s seamless in his ability to embrace the crowd and pump out copious amounts of coffee. We’re proud of his venture at Maker Espresso – roasting his own coffee.

 Order Great Coffee Here Sunday morning on the beach where papa bear, although sad not to be surfing with them anymore, was more than happy to photgraph them at his favourite old spots.SONY DSC

IMG_6628A final celebration that left us tummy and heart full knowing our next visit would be to see the soon expected arrival of grand bubba number three.IMG_6547  Time out to make memories with our little family in the South.

 

LIFE – Nothing like the brochure.

Life as we knew it changed in 2012.

Suddenly the road ahead became obscured, like looking through the windscreen when rain is pelting down. Everything blurred. Plans were undone, views became obscured and confusion came while I struggled with the ‘what now?’ and unwelcome feelings of abandonment. It wasn’t just my little cottage dream that was shattered.

Has God really let this happen to us?

I can’t answer that for you but I have to believe that God is good and he is kind and although, for us, things didn’t quite go as we’d planned and our “life, was nothing like the brochure”, I knew deep down He, God, could make good out of what seemed like a really bad situation.

So as we set off into the unknown, I had hope. I held tightly to words from the good book penned for our help. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

But to be honest, more than five years on, this season continues to be anything but ‘easy’ and after wading through painful goodbyes, leaving our ‘familiar’ some years agao, we look set to venture into the unknown yet again. All those feelings are rushing back like flood gates opening after long rains. I wish I could say it’s been smooth sailing, this season, and that I was ‘full of faith and triumph’ but I cannot.

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Days of faith have overshadowed by utter hardship and heaviness as I struggled to understand all that unfolded for us. This was like a bad knife add – you know the one I mean? The one where thay promise you a bonus deal with your purchase. Except this wasn’t the “extra blessing deal” – This was the “you’re getting the extra trial deal, another trip down the valley deal and why don’t we throw in a little walk through the fire deal too!”

“Consider it all joy” often spoken as if to comfort.by dear ones trying to understand. We learned quickly that it was best to smile and offer thanks. Lover and I would walk away and looking into eachothers eyes and through tears say “I see you, I see you.” It sounds very dramatic now, but this line from the movie “The Avatar”  became our ‘catch cry’, calming our inner tumoil and telling us “ it’s going to be ok”.

And so today I want to say “I see you”

“I SEE YOU”

Wherever you’re at, what ever you’re going through – I want you to know ‘you are seen’.  I’m throwing you a life line. Believe that God is good and although it might not seem like it when you’re wading through mud, stumbling through fire, he IS there with you. He’ll bring you through.

Can my words help you while you walk through your valley? I hope so.

I want to be brutally honest. To bare my heart and tell you I’ve struggled, really struggled but I’m still falling into Him. I want to say “it’s ok, you’ll get through this, even if it is on your knees. This may be your Valley of Baca – your Valley of Weeping.

Tears “out” will keep your heart soft and water the parched ground trying to take over your soul.

I’ve cried a thousand tears and still I cry but I’ll still keep looking to God. He’s been there too often to know that he wont show up again. The author and the finisher of my fatih. The beginning and the end. The Alpha and Omega. He’s got this. He’s got us.

My prayer is that the blessing of God will continue to flow over us and as tears fill our pools so will springs come up in our desert, in your desert. Watstlands can become a watered field, flowers can appear and singing can come. (read about it in Psalm 84 and Songs of Solomen 2:11-12)

I’ll leave you with a few words of a song I penned just yesterday

When the excitement fades

Recently I had the great privilege of spending a few weeks in Italy investing into a dream I’ve had for some time. Some years back I’d stumbled upon an Aussie girl living in Italy.  Lisa kept popping up on my FB feed and I soon realised there was much more to this lady than the  pretty pics she posted of her home in Florence.

I keenly read and followed threads like a regular social media stalker. Turns out this lady was the writer of a book I’d pulled off the library shelf years earlier, in my pursuit of all things Italian.  I would read any historical non fictional story I could get my hands on just to feel a little bit closer to a land I’d fallen in love with.

Death in the Mountains is the true story of the murder a peasant farmer in the mountains of Casentino, Tuscany, in the winter of 1907.  It’s an easy and interesting read, one full of history and most enjoyable.

All that aside, I also found Lisa Clifford, ran a writers retreat in Italy. Instantly, I began to dream of one day being able to attend such a wonderful experience. Two things I loved all rolled into one.  Italy and Writing.

Dreams do come true and if you read my previous blog you’ll know that yours truly got to go to Italy again and to The Writers Retreat. Pinch myself – it’s true.

It’s been almost 8 weeks and so much has happened, including a trip to New Zealand with two of my beautiful five for a very important family gathering. Impeccable timing. Sadly writing has ground to a halt and my book put aside.

So how does one gain momentum after such a slump. I came home filled with purpose and anticipation ready to swing into action. Pursuit of a daily writing routine foremost in my mind faded and gave way to family. Busy days spent with children and their offspring, extended family, The Long Table and did I mention dog sitting.

This is just what everyday life looks like when ‘the excitement fades’. If I am ever to arrive at completion what must happen now is plain hard work.

After the wonderful experience The Art of Writing produced I wrote up a storm. Admittedly I was alone in Italy and it was easy to write without the distractions of the daily grind.

I thought I would automatically slip into a new rhythm. My excitement and enthusiasm was palpable. Alas, as much as I love this writing, it’s going to take a lot of organisation and determination to get this baby back in the air and land it safely on the shore of ‘Completion’.

So my friend, even against the odds, fan your dream, into flame. It’s a gift to you and others.