Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell 2011, Hello 2012!

This year will undoubtedly go down as the year of The Trip, our beloved and much dreamed about trip to the USA.

When we weren't actually in America we were either planning it or reminiscing about it. This entire year for me is based around our adventure.

While we had the absolute high of planning and executing the USA trip, we have also had a tough last few months. Pressures because of work have caused both Dave and I strain and struggle as we have dealt with that.

God has definitely been doing something in our lives over the last year, and I have no doubt the journey we are on will continue to play out in the new year. I am a totally impatient person so I hope He gives us some very clear signs as to where and how He wants us to be serving Him. I hate not knowing!

Isaiah 43 

1 But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
3 “For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your place.
4 “Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
5 “Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
And gather you from the west.
6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring My sons from afar
And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
7 Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”  
8 Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes,
And the deaf, even though they have ears.
9 All the nations have gathered together
So that the peoples may be assembled.
Who among them can declare this
And proclaim to us the former things?
Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified,
Or let them hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
11 “I, even I, am the LORD,
And there is no savior besides Me.
12 “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,
And there was no strange god among you;
So you are My witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“And I am God.
13 “Even from eternity I am He,
And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;
I act and who can reverse it?”
14 Thus says the LORD your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,
“For your sake I have sent to Babylon,
And will bring them all down as fugitives,
[c]Even the Chaldeans, into the ships in which they rejoice.
15 “I am the LORD, your Holy One,
The Creator of Israel, your King.”
16 Thus says the LORD,
Who makes a way through the sea
And a path through the mighty waters,
17 Who brings forth the chariot and the horse,
The army and the mighty man
(They will lie down together and not rise again;
They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick):
18Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
19 “Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
“The beasts of the field will glorify Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have given waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people.
21 “The people whom I formed for Myself
Will declare My praise.

2012 is a new year, and Our God is a God of new beginnings. Amen!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

We had a beautiful Christmas Day this year at my uncle's house in Queensland.

After church and before lunch, we did a little of this:

During lunch:

We had a quiz to decide who would do the dishes!!

After lunch we did this:

And a little more of this:

Boxing day was spent in much the same way; eating, sleeping, swimming, eating again.

I don't remember being this relaxed on Christmas Day for years. I think I could do Christmas in Queensland every year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Links

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
(Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV)

On this eve, before the day we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, I thought I would put up a few links for some Christmas blog posts that I have loved reading over the last few weeks.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Jen Hatmaker - The Christmas Conundrum

Living Proof Ministries Blog - The Mystery of the Incarnation

A Holy Experience - When Christmas Gets Radical

A Holy Experience - The One Thing Your Christmas Can't Afford to Be Without

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Way

I watched a video today put out by an adoption agency, and as usual cried my eyes out.
I realised something as I did. I cry because my heart breaks for these precious children of God. I cry because I believe it’s a burden that God has laid on my heart.
And I cry because I feel stuck.
I feel powerless.
Powerless to begin the adoption process. Powerless to be the change that I want to be. Powerless to be the family that a child so desperately wants and needs.
As much as these children are stuck and powerless in a country caught in the poverty cycle, I am stuck and powerless in a country whose government makes it nearly impossible for couples to adopt.  
And so I cry gut wrenching sobs when no one can see me because I wonder how God is going to make a way, because I don’t see a way.
I don’t see Australia’s laws changing anytime soon. I don’t see international adoption laws in Victoria changing. I don’t see a sign of hope that we might be able to adopt any time in the near future. I don’t see how God is going to make a way.
But as I typed these words, I realised that we are in the season leading up to celebrate that God has already made a way.
He has made the way.
And surely the God who would so humble Himself that He would take on our humanly form, be born in a stable, be raised by human parents, face and experience everything we do, all so that He could give His life in exchange for ours – surely that God can make a way.
Surely the God who has conquered sin and death can make a way for us in this.
Oh, but I wish I could have a peek at the future to see a little of how the story unfolds.
If like me, you aren’t in a position to give a child a home and family this Christmas, might you consider fighting for children in another way?
Sponsor a child or give gifts that target and fight poverty at the ground level, and will help a family stay together. Compassion and World Vision both have gift catalogues where you can find plenty of ideas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Gifts

I love to give something little to our friends for Christmas each year, but the cost can add up so quickly! For the last couple of years I have given homemade baked goodies, and this year I simplified it even more.

Chocolate coated pretzels!

Melt some chocolate

Throw in some pretzels. Coat them in the chocolate - I used some toothpicks for this part. Then decorate!

Then I put them in a cute jar, added a little ribbon to them, and all I have to do now is attach a tag! Cute and so easy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

3rd Anniversary

Yesterday Dave and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary!

We celebrated by going out to the movies at Gold Class (thanks mum and dad!). We saw the latest Twilight film, ate a little food and were home in bed by 10:45!

I am so incredibly blessed to be able to share my life with my best friend.

Thank you for loving me, for taking care of me, for encouraging me and making me a better person. I'm so blessed to be your wife, Dave!!

I love you xxx

Monday, December 12, 2011



The past weekend looked a little like this:
Friday night: My work Christmas party
Saturday morning: a wedding in the bush
Saturday afternoon: my cousin's wedding - isn't his bride stunning?!
Sunday afternoon: a baby shower
Sunday night: Carols in the Hills followed by fireworks

I'm tired. So very, very tired.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our Christmas Tree is Up!

On Saturday we put up some of our Christmas decorations, including our tree!

When we were in America we purchased ornaments from some of our favourite places, and it was so nice to be able to hang them on the tree and remember our time there. I love that every year they will be a reminder of our holiday and the country that touched our hearts.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dolly Parton!

On Thursday night my lovely friend Lydia and I had ourselves a girls night in Melbourne.

We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant at Federation square and then made our way to Rod Laver Arena for the main event - Dolly Parton!

She was so fabulous! We had a great night, and were so surprised at how much she talked about her faith - it was incredible. All those Melbournians at the show wouldn't have known what hit them. That lady was preachn' it!

We had a really great night. Thanks for inviting me Lyd! xx