A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh

Today is a pretty special day… well tonight really… tonight is a really special night, because tonight Dave and I dedicated Isaac back to Jesus.

For those unfamiliar with what a dedication is, it is similar to a child being baptised of christened in other churches. In the Salvos we have babies dedicated and it is actually a ceremony more about the parents than the child. Tonight Dave and I had the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the miracle that Isaac is and God’s provision and guidance through our journey so far. And we promised to do our best by Jesus and Isaac in how we raise him.

For me, tonight was also the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. When Josh died, we had some of the elements of the dedication included in his funeral. Which is tricky because lots of the parts that we weren’t able to include were promises for the future which was a constant reminder of what we weren’t going to be able to do for him. We know that he is with Jesus, but having lived through losing him, for much of Isaac’s first 7 weeks, and even every now and then, still, I fear that we won’t get to keep Isaac earth side either. Isaac is thriving and doing all the right things, but in the back of my mind there is still a chance we might not get to keep him despite the prophecy that he is our keeper. I know that I will probably have some anxiety around this for a long time to come, and I think some of it is just because I am a mum… and mums worry… but it is something that I need to keep under control… something that I need to learn to trust with… and I think that tonight is the starting point.

Tonight’s dedication, being able to celebrate his life and to hope and make promises about his future in some strange way feels like we made it. We made it past the point we made with Josh. Which I know we did ages ago in an earthly, he’s alive, sense… but it feels like the scary chapter of ‘will he or won’t he’ is finally finished and a new chapter of parenting and Isaac growing has begun. That now we are back on the normal path and doing what we should have always been able to do. It almost feels like a fresh start. I think this has been helped by the fact that we are slowly reducing the amount of appointments we have to attend and the oxygen seems to be the last hurdle to jump… and even that hurdle is different and feels achievable with time, but there is also a real peace to this new season…

During the dedication Bram used a passage from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 which says:

There is a time for everything,
 and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
 a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
 a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
 a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
 a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
 a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
 a time for war and a time for peace.

For us, Joshua was our time to weep and our time to mourn, and I truly believe that Isaac is our time to laugh and our time to dance… after all laughter is in his name.

So tonight was not only special… but a time to start over, to claim the promises we have been given and a time to rejoice and hope for what’s to come.

Dear Joshua

Dear Joshua,

I don’t really know how to write this blog/letter… It’s been a month since we met you and had to leave you… and I still don’t know how we even start to say goodbye?

Well I guess we start by saying this isn’t the end… mummy and daddy will be with you again one day.  Time will go so fast for you, partying up in heaven, but we will need to wait a little longer.  Either way we will be together again one day.  I will be able to hold you again and kiss your nose.  Daddy will be able to tuck you in and tell you how good you are, and we will both be able to tell you how much we love you.

Even though we didn’t get to meet you in person we are so proud of you.  Of your cheeky and defiant nature that we saw at your scans.  Of your perfect little body with your beautiful face and perfectly long hands and feet just like your dads.  And of your appetite… Turkish Delight milkshakes and pink donuts won’t be the same now that you are gone.

You were so strong and courageous, you held on for so long, right up until daddy told you it was ok, that if you needed to go to heaven without us, you could go.  Thank you for being so brave and making that tough decision for us.  We aren’t surprised that you chose heaven, I have heard it’s pretty incredible, but I really wish you had have stayed.  Earth could have been pretty fun too.

Daddy and I are so sad that you aren’t going to be staying with us.  This isn’t what we wanted, but we are so glad that we got to meet you just for a moment.  I am heartbroken that I never got to hear you cry or laugh or watch you fall sleep, but I loved every moment I spent with you, holding you and soaking it all in.

Life is really hard now that we have known you and had to say goodbye.  Our house feels empty without you and I feel like I have lost part of my purpose.  For the 24weeks I carried you, my life was all about you, keeping you safe and growing you to be strong, but now you are gone. We are trusting that Jesus has saved both you and us from something even more devastating, but right now, not having you here really stinks.  Even though I only knew you for a short time, part of me feels like I have known you my whole life and losing you has left a pretty big hole in my heart.

My precious and perfect Joshua, be strong and courageous, don’t be afraid, don’t be discouraged.  Remember the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  We will try and be strong and courageous without you, we probably won’t be as convincing as you, but we will try.

Please know how much we love you and cherish you.  You are the best and most perfect thing your dad and I have ever created, or ever had the privilege of calling ours and we are so proud of you, every inch, every kick and every minute we had with you.

Thank you for making me a mummy,

I love you my sweet one.

Rest well,


2015… Here is Your List!

Happy New Year!

It’s 2015 and it’s List time… This is my 6th list… which I think is pretty impressive!  While sitting in an Otaki Motel the other night I started to watch the Movie ‘Julie and Julia’ which I had seen before and even blogged about here… but the same sentiments from when I blogged about it then struck me again.  It reminded me why I like to blog, and in fact why I make my lists… not because I want to become a super famous blogger, but because it gives me drive, something to look forward to, some thing to aim for… 100 little goals, some silly, some hard, some fun, some serious and some that just seemed like a good idea at the time, but all things that will shape my year and move me forward when I need a little nudge.  If you wanted to catch up on the the journey so far you can check out my old ‘lists’ by clicking the year 2006, 20072010, 2012, 2013 or 2014.

The more lists I do, the more I love them and I am really excited about this year’s list because there are some super fun things on it.  In fact, I think the 2015 list is one of my most adventurous lists yet as I am taking advantage of the fact that I am starting this year off in the extreme sport capital of the world… New Zealand… not that I am really doing that much extreme sport… just some more adventurous things than I would probably attempt at home. So here is my 2015 list of 100 things that I would like to do/achieve in the coming year.

Just like all the lists that have come before the list is a mix of all kinds of things, some of them are things that I have done previously and just wanted to do again, others are things I have attempted and not quite achieved yet, so they are back on the list again and some a brand new this year.  I think there is a nice mix of weird and wonderful, thanks to everyone that helped me put the list together… and as things are better when we do them together if you see something that you might like to attempt with me… sing out!

Hopefully this year I will be a little more efficient at blogging about things are they get crossed off, but we will just have to wait and see… but enough rambling… here is the 2015 list:

  1. Visit Hobbiton
  2. Make my own dumplings
  3. Do another Pinterest craft
  4. Make my own hot cross buns
  5. Follow through with the 2015 date box again
  6. Paint Something
  7. Eat something I have planted
  8. Buy lunch at work no more than twice a week
  9. Go to two weddings
  10. Order fish at a restaurant
  11. Try again to embrace home cooking
  12. Have a weekend away
  13. Go to some carols by candlelight
  14. Work as a classroom teacher
  15. Make the most of my gym membership
  16. Run 5km without walking
  17. Do some trivia
  18. Learn another song on guitar
  19. Have a picnic in the backyard
  20. Start collecting and sorting photos of Dave and I’s family history
  21. See some black sand
  22. Put some new photos up around the house
  23. Blow some giant bubbles
  24. Ride a rollercoaster
  25. Play mini golf
  26. See a movie at the drive-in
  27. Build a sandcastle
  28. Buy an ice cream from an ice cream truck
  29. Take a selfie with the selfie stick fully extended
  30. Go to the beach at least 5 times
  31. Stargaze while lying on the grass
  32. Watch the sunset from a beach
  33. Rent a bike and go on an adventure
  34. Stay at the Langham
  35. Go Hiking
  36. Take a last minute road trip
  37. Make a playlist for each season
  38. Bake a cake for someone
  39. Buy a stranger dinner (e.g. pay for someone else meal at a restaurant)
  40. Learn a greeting in a language I haven’t spoken before
  41. Give a heartfelt surprise to someone
  42. Dance in the rain
  43. Plant a tree
  44. Knit a scarf
  45. Read a book on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose
  46. Fly a kite
  47. Write and email/call a company from which I received excellent service
  48. Go on a romantic getaway
  49. Help someone in need
  50. Learn something in sign language
  51. Wear fancy dress to something
  52. See two oceans meet
  53. Go in a sea vessel… kayak, canoe, paddle boat, regular boat… whatever
  54. Play a board game with friends
  55. Write at least 3 letters to my prayer pal
  56. Go fruit picking
  57. Swim 20km across the year
  58. Do another boot camp
  59. Do another fun run
  60. Walk/run 400km across the year
  61. Go camping
  62. Walk 10,000 steps more often than I don’t
  63. See some fireworks
  64. Eat a Fijoa
  65. Go on a luge
  66. Swim in a thermal pool
  67. Cook all meals at home for a fortnight (no going out or lazy take away)
  68. Take a photo everyday
  69. Play Super Mario Bros
  70. See a Musical
  71. Read 15 books
  72. Try four more local cafes in search of our new breakfast spot
  73. Try Inverloch’s ‘Red Cup’ equivalent
  74. Have a mocktail
  75. Finish unpacking the last boxes
  76. Visit a country town I haven’t been to before
  77. Put up some outside lights for christmas
  78. Keep getting closer
  79. See Big Hero6
  80. Use a remote control toy
  81. See a live music concert… or 4
  82. Do some colouring
  83. Go to a live sporting event
  84. Have a hot jam donut
  85. Have High Tea
  86. Cook something from each of my Donna Hay Mags
  87. Learn a new skill
  88. Make a photo book of our New Zealand Adventure
  89. Have at least 5 different groups of people over for dinner
  90. Ride a push bike without tears
  91. Complete my sentence a day book for 2015
  92. Make a teepee or blanket fort and watch a movie in it
  93. Go to a farmers market
  94. Go through the alphabet of foods/restaurants/cuisines
  95. Do something handy at home
  96. Walk the dog once a week
  97. Set up our outdoor furniture and eat at it
  98. Actually read through the New Testament
  99. See a wild swimming animal
  100. Touch a volcano

And that’s it… that’s the list… here we go…


Christmas in New Zealand

So Christmas has come and gone and I missed posting something about it because it turns out just like costal towns in Australia, the costal towns in New Zealand don’t always have the best Internet reception… So here it is a little late, but here all the same!

Christmas is a time to celebrate joy and love with those you love, and while for Dave and I it has steadily gotten harder for us to see all the people we love on Christmas Day, for the last 10years, while we have been together, I have been pretty blessed in that at Christmas. I have been able to see and spend time with my family, if not on Christmas Day then on the surrounding days. But this year it’s a little different, this year I am away for Christmas, still with family, but with different family than the last 10 Christmases… In fact different from the last 27 Christmases… This year it’s Christmas with the George’s… Well the extended Georges… Kind of, and its been really nice.

I have to admit there were lots of things I missed from home, the biggest ones being seeing my brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles on Christmas morning… And carols by candlelight… I really struggled not being able to enjoy the carols of Dennis Walter and Sylvie or being able to laugh at David Hobson, while secretly enjoying they fact that someone has sung Holy City! But thanks to the marvel that is the mobile phone (after a wrong number to some poor random in New Zealand) I was able to speak to home, and then celebrate in a slightly different fashion.

It is an odd feeling being a random at Christmas, but it was actually a great day. Dave and I were warmly welcomed and included in a delicious summer Christmas feast. We also walked on the black sand of the Otaki beach and enjoyed the surprisingly good New Zealand weather.

It turns out that even with family that we don’t spend a whole lot of time with, Christmas is still the same! Love and joy are celebrated and embraced and shared and it is still wonderful! It’s a day, I know not for all, but at least for me, I get to experience heaven on earth in the love that Christ came to bring.  I can witness joy on the face of Dave’s grandma as she laughs at a corny Christmas joke. I get to be part of the excitement as Dave’s Dad creates the wonder of Santa with a $5 warehouse scavenger hunt. And I get to be thankful for all that I have… I am truly blessed.