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From Fractious to Sleeping...So much Sleeping


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Not long after the man-child was brought into this world thirteen and a half years ago--rather unceremoniously with forceps and a great deal of tugging--he grew fractious.

Fractious.

It's a word known to mothers world-wide.  Fractious.  I am sure every language has a word to describe the same condition:  inconsolable, crying, not sleeping, crying, red-in-the-face, crying, tight-fisted, crying baby.  All summarised in a single word:  fractious.

It's a word that still raises the hair on the back of my neck.

Because not long after my bonny newborn 9 pound boy was deemed "fractious," he was whisked away from me and taken to the neonatal unit.  I was told he had a fever and a fever meant infection and in a newborn, a fever that meant infection meant danger very quickly. There was a lot of action in my little 2 x 2 room that night leading up to the moment of the whisking away.  And there was a lot of me protesting, "he's just hot; it's hot in here."

So they took him to the neonatal unit, my giant among pre-term infants, and performed a number of tests including a lumbar puncture, to discover the cause of the infection.  But in the meantime he was administered a drip and broad spectrum antibiotics.  The nurse called me down four-hourly to feed him.  Other than that, I was not needed.  In fact, in that I also was not needed since he was being fed by drip anyway.  I was left to blubber away my two day blues (who said it was three?) without my baby back in my 2 x 2 very hot room.

Lucky I wasn't a blogger back then.  

Turns out, he was dehydrated.  No infection, no disease, no illness.  Just plain ol' dehydrated because my milk didn't come in quickly enough for his big baby needs.  And within three days my boy was back in my arms.  But in that time of separation, one thing became very clear to both his parents:  our boy was no ordinary child.

And I was not wrong.  That boy with those eyes; those eyes that looked and saw so much.

Fast forward.

The man-child is thirteen but going on twenty according to his height.  He stands and looks down on me, ever-so-slightly.

If fractious means "does not sleep," then he is definitely not fractious.  He is sleeping.

He is sleeping too much.  And has been, off and on for six months.

What we initially thought was an emotional response to bullying and unhappiness at school half a year ago no longer fits.  The fatigue overtook him even when he was happy and safe at the small school we attended at the end of last year.  He couldn't fully attend his own end-of-year concert except to accept a gift from his teacher and a speech of gratitude. Then we moved and went away on holiday and remarkably he came right again for awhile. We had a fabulous summer full of adventures, which set us all up for a fantastic start to a new house, new city and new schools in the new year.

And it was wonderful.  It absolutely was.  Our man-child went off to high school with his head held high and he approached the challenges he faced (because let's face it, high school is a challenge for EVERYBODY) with courage and conviction and positivity.  We were so proud of him and even just a little bit amazed.

Until the fatigue overtook him again mid-February.  It hasn't eased this time, but has grown steadily worse as the weeks have passed.

He sleeps.  He sleeps a lot.

So now the man-child and our family are on a journey.  It's a journey which involves specialists and hospital visits and tests and ruling out rather than finding answers.  A journey which cannot and does not plan anything except wait and see.  A journey which celebrates each laugh and joke together at the dinner table and which savours the couch-cuddles in front of Doctor Who, but which also understands the laying down of the head and rest. This is definitely a journey of rest.

And ultimately, it's a journey of faith.  Because a journey without faith isn't much of a journey at all; it's more of an aimless wandering.  Or a stab in the dark.  


Using the Cheat Code


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I was happily washing the dishes the other day, thinking about autumn layers and what goes with what while the man-child sat playing Minecraft on the laptop. It is not a silent thing, this boy playing with virtual worlds and I usually let him alone with his self-talk, tuning in only when something in particular was directed at me. Suddenly I heard the word "cheat."

Suds on dishes, I stopped and said, "what did you just say?" Because this family does not cheat.  Ever.

"Well it's not like I'm trying to win or anything," he explained.  "I'm just going to cheat with a code to turn the storm off."

In my mind this was still cheating. Clearly the storm is there for a purpose in the game. It's supposed to challenge the player, get him or her to learn to problem-solve.  The teacher in me knows this is a good thing.

So I probed and asked, "What's wrong with a storm?"

In an instant, the man-child said, "storms cause fires and they hurt people."

Storms cause fires and they hurt people.

Yes. Yes they do.

My family has weathered a few storms recently. In the scheme of things, we endured some heavy wind. Maybe a bit of hail and the odd thunderstorm thrown in. At the time scary enough but probably because we didn't know if the storm would ease or in fact increase in intensity. The storm challenged us and we learned to problem-solve. In fact, we learned to batten down the hatches and grew stronger for it.

But sometimes, storms cause fire and they hurt people.

I wonder how many of us would like to know the cheat code to stop the storms?

I get it, dear man-child of mine.  Carry on.

On Privacy and Vulnerability


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I am acutely aware of how much I have not posted lately.  By that I mean there's been plenty to post and plenty which hasn't seen the light of day.  So I am writing today and my plan is to be vulnerable about why I am being so private.

A conundrum.  A catch 22.  A paradox. I am not a Doctor Who fan for nothing you know.

The crux of the situation is that for most of my blogging past, I have written knowing that anyone could read it.  And that was okay because I would never really know who my readers are and I wasn't actually writing to be read in the first place.  Quite simply, I have always written because the words needed to be expressed.

If you're a writer, you'll know what I mean.  The words that start to form themselves somewhere in your heart and begin to swell and well up so that by the time they get to your head they have already found ways to escape through your fingertips.  Whether anyone actually reads the words is secondary.

Since my last post I have had those welling up of words experiences but I have held on to them.  I have refused to let them escape.

Some bloggers whom I follow and admire have written on this.  They have written about the right and in fact responsibility to keep some things sacred, especially when it involves family members.  That made me think about myself and my natural instinct which is to let it all out anyway.  If you want a definition of "wears her heart on her sleeve" follow me around for a day.  Honestly, if you meet me for the first time and we have coffee, you'll probably hear MY LIFE STORY in a nutshell.  If we meet again, you'll get the expanded version.  But we probably won't meet again because my intense vulnerability can be a little off-putting.  Just a little.  Okay, a lot.  But I get this now.  Twenty years as a Canadian living in New Zealand (where the people are a tiny bit reserved) and I finally get this.

So now it will be at last our third coffee together before I start to embark on MY LIFE STORY.  That's a promise.

But as far as blogging, I struggle to know where the line is between being vulnerable and keeping things private.

You see I have a friend who went on a very dark journey and she took her Facebook friends on that journey with her.  Oh it hurt.  It was crushing but I was glad to have felt even a fraction of what she went through.  Glad to think that I was walking the journey with her alongside so many others.  Glad for her sake that she was not alone, not for one second.  I admired her vulnerability and I championed her for it.

But am not sure I could do the same.

I love that you anonymous people come back to this place and I know without hearing that the words on these pages can inspire, encourage, motivate, challenge or even just make you laugh.  

The problem is, you're not all anonymous anymore.  The problem is someone reads this, not to be inspired, encouraged, motivated or challenged;  someone reads this with the intention to hurt me.  

So quite naturally, I do not want that person to know anything about me.  Nothing at all. Nada.  My vulnerability has been exploited and I have been violated.  I guess it's a bit like having your house broken into.  And discovering they've gone through your drawers.  

Ew.

Until that moment you were quite trusting and often went out without even shutting the doors. Now it's lock-down.  Keypad entry.  Alarms wired.  Because now you know for sure there are some very ugly people out there.

Someone ugly has gone through my drawers.  And I am in lock-down.

That is the risk we take when we blog and write.  We put ourselves out there.  But I am working through it at the moment, to decide whether or not I can ignore the invasion and carry on, or do I in fact need to find a different way.

Please be patient as I figure this out.

Embracing Change Through the Fear of it--a lesson from my children


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When Paul and I were engaged, we submitted ourselves to pre-marriage counselling.  I had no problem with the idea coming from the framework that all one-on-one or one-on-two sessions with a professional can only be good and also because it was like a forced date for the two of us.  Since we had had an unconventional courtship (ie, long-distance letter-writing), dates were good. 

Paul submitted because he had no choice.  Not quite gun to his head, but I think you get the picture.

However, Paul very quickly leaned towards my framework for such things and to this day, we treasure that time we had with Pastor Travis.  He gave us the building blocks for a great marriage and a wonderful life together.

In those sessions, I remember Pastor Travis warning us that "change" is one of the biggest factors which puts stress on a relationship.  He was warning us because he knew our plan was to move from Canada to New Zealand straight after our wedding and he wanted us to be prepared.

We were young.  We had few ties and responsibilities but much adventure in our spirit. We feared nothing.  What's another country between friends?  What's moving half-way around the world away from friends and family?  Mere trifles surely in the scheme of things.

And I suppose, looking back at all that adventure in our spirit, the change was just a trifle.  We were in the right place, doing the right thing and having a lot of fun as we explored new things, new careers and new people.  There was little stress on our relationship.  Travis was not wrong in warning us; it just meant we had to be certain of our bond, certain of our direction and certain of our faith.  And in all of those things, we were very certain.

Fast-forward several years and four children.  The adventurous spirit long gone in the whirlwind of soiled nappies, grocery bills, heating costs, committees, jobs, cleaning, laundry health and education.  All summed up by one word:  responsibility.

Somewhere in our thirteen years of parenthood we lost sight of the balance between responsibility and adventure.  We assumed we were doing the right thing, giving our children all those things we thought they needed:  roots, stability, consistency, predictability....  There wasn't much room for adventure in this new life as RESPONSIBLE PARENTS so we pushed that little spark of adventure into a corner of our spirit labelled "not now."

So when we came to a point when that tiny adventurous spark inside of us was crying out and pleading for help before finally becoming extinguished FOREVER (and thus a big part of us dying too), we stopped.

We assessed.

We looked back and we looked ahead.

We realised.

And we grabbed hold of each other and looked one another in the eye with fright as we said the words, "how close did we come?"

Too close. 

Something had to change.  

But the kids?

What about roots, stability, consistency, predictability...?

Yes, but something had to change.  They'll be fine.  We'll help them through it.

Remembering that "change is one of the biggest factors to put stress on a relationship" (and we had six times six relationships to consider), we braced ourselves and embarked.

We sold our house.

We sold a lot of things.  Because things are only things after all.

We sold a car.

We put stuff into storage.

We left our community of 18 years.

We left our friends.

We travelled through the country, living out of our van for 3 1/2 weeks, not always knowing where the road would take us from one day to the next or where we would lay our heads.

We moved to a new city.

We moved into a new house.

We bought new things.  Because things are only things after all.

We started at new schools.

We made new friends.

I guess you could say, on the change scale, we were right up the danger end.  At any point we expected our relationships to blow to oblivion under the stress of it all.  And we were ready, arms wide to console our children on the loss of those things they needed:  roots, stability, consistency, predictability.

But it never happened.

One of our daughters had half a day of sadness in the new house which wasn't the old house but that vanished by the time we had hopped on our bikes to explore the new neighbourhood.  In actual fact, it was our children who reached out to us with wide arms, glowing eyes, and smiling faces to console us.  To reassure us.  To help us through the loss of roots, stability, consistency, predictability.

Those things they never actually needed.

And neither did we.

Because quite simply, all any of the six of us actually need is each other and our faith.  Our children have faith in us and know that we love them and love God so are making the right decisions and changes for them.  That's all they need to know and so they have embraced the changes in our lives.  They are secure and that's all that matters.

And we have faith in God to know these changes are not for the sake of change itself.  We are not just getting out of the proverbial rut.  The changes in our lives have come because we have listened to His quiet (and sometimes not so quiet!) voice in our ear and so we know we will all be okay no matter how scary (and uprooted, unstable, inconsistent and unpredictable) it becomes.  Because just as we provide love and security to our children, so does our Father God provide these things for us.  Every step of the way.

But here's the thing:  none of us is just okay.  We're thriving in the change.  The six of us have always been a tight unit but we're closer than ever.  Our relationships are stronger and we're happier and more joyful and more relaxed and more at peace than we've been in a very long time.  

When unpacking all of this with a friend recently, someone who has modelled adventurous parenting, she said that she's convinced most change is never a bad thing. Please note there are changes outside of our control which involve deep loss and pain and grief and I would never over-simplify that pain by saying tritely that there must still be some good in that.  I am referring to change which occurs out of choices we have to make.  We put it off and put it off until we finally have no choice and then we look back and wonder why we waited so long.  Yes.  That's it exactly.  Every time.  

Because every time we do exactly the same thing again.

But really, why do we put off what's good for us?  Because we're human.  How long exactly did the Israelites wander around in the desert before they finally went into the promised land?  Forty years.

Forty years.

I am thankful at this moment we didn't wait forty years to claim the promises of God.

A New Year and a New Word


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My word for 2014 was Wolf.  After a mammoth 2013, fighting some battles and walking away from others, I was still in defence mode.  It was a learned response and a difficult one from which to disengage.  I sat amongst the safety of friends and family in Canada writing my New Year's post and I knew that when we hit the ground back in New Zealand I would be prepared to fight again.  Nothing and no one would harm my family. 

Just let them try.

And they did try.  They tried, and we wrapped our strong wolf arms around each other and defended ourselves again and so they failed to harm us.  It was exhausting.

But through all of our “wolf” year, another word weaved itself into our lives.  The word was limbo.

Wait.

Wilderness.

2014 became the year of promise for us, the promise of new things, but the year in which we would have to wait for those promises to be fulfilled.  We knew that certain changes needed to be made and we embraced those changes whole-heartedly.  Yet, they did not come as we would have hoped.

So we waited and we prayed and we followed God’s direction and we waited some more, knowing that we were in His favour and that eventually the waiting would end.

December 19th  2014, the waiting ended.

We sold the house we had built six years earlier, the house full of memories both beautiful and painful, and we moved out of it forever.  As you would expect, I felt some sadness but no regret.

I was too relieved to feel any regret.

Relieved and excited.

Tremendously excited.

Because finally, the waiting was over and from that day living in limbo, living in the wilderness, was over too.  From that day, we began to launch. 

A few days before moving, two elderly wise friends who had cried and prayed with us through the battles and the hurt of the year past, came to say good-bye and to pray once more.  This time, the tears we shared together were tears of joy.  And as Margaret held my hand between her ancient ones while we affirmed her for the word she’d given us months ago, that we were to “launch out into the deep and let down our nets” (Luke 5:4), she smiled with her eyes and spoke to our hearts:

“And what happened when Peter launched into the deep water?  He caught so many fish, the nets started to break.”  There was a twinkle in her eye as she said it.

And so my word for 2015 is launch.  My family is launching out into the deep and we are wriggling from the excitement of it.  We do not know what it looks like yet, but will embrace each step and each adventure.

At the moment it means we are homeless and on the trip of a lifetime, exploring the South Island of New Zealand.  It means we wake up and check the weather, look at the map and decide what to do or where to go next.  There is no return plan yet. It means taking in the sites and wonders of this amazing part of the world and pinching ourselves daily.  It means clambering through grassy hills with friends, swimming under waterfalls, watching the sun rise over mountains geocaching along rivers, sneezing in the Canterbury Nor’wester and sharing our stories together as a family.  The memories we are creating on this trip alone are already starting to strain the nets.

Although we do not know what fish there are to catch, we do know that what lies ahead for us is plentiful. 

And beautiful.

And golden.

An abundant life.

Because it has been promised us by God.


Happy New Year my dear reader.  May your nets fill to bursting this year too.










From Dust to Restart


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"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness."  John Keats


We sold our house exactly one week ago.  We expertly packed everything we hadn’t already sold into a storage container while all essential items went into the Granvia for our Big Adventure. 
  
Thankfully we spent two days recovering with a friend in her house before we wiped the dust off our feet for the very last time (Matthew 10:14), got on the road and headed south.  Our first stop was Wellington to visit some much-missed friends who had moved away earlier in the year.  Next stop was the Interisland Ferry at 7:30 on a misty Sunday morning.  The ferry journey was pleasant and a good chance to finally stop.  We stopped and sat for three hours, reminiscing, looking forward and enjoying the view.

The ferry docked in Picton and we began the 2 ½ hour drive to Kaikoura.  I could not peel my eyes from the vineyards and the dry golden hills of Marlborough, pointing out things of interest to the children.  With each kilometre our oohs and ahhs and “look at that!” became more frequent and more passionate especially when the crystal water of the Kaikoura Coast came into view.  Each new thing we spied was like a nugget of soul-food.  Upon arriving at our home-away-from-home (except we don’t have one anymore so does that really apply?) my thirteen-year old son exclaimed, “wow, that was the best car trip ever.”

“Because it was so short?”  I asked, since normally it takes at least four hours for us to get anywhere.

“No, because there was so much to look at.  So much that was new.” 

My Mama-heart swelled.  This Mama was grateful and blessed and rested and hope-filled and just plain ol’ happy. 

And fitting too because “so much that is new” could just about be our motto for 2015.  And we all are embracing the fact that “new” means the same as “very very good.” 

Our eldest’s words and the trip south seemed to have set us up for a magical three days in Kaikoura.  It’s always been a place we by-passed enroute to our destination (cue the line from Cars).  This time we planned a recoup.  Recoup and recovery for our family after a move and a pretty crazy year.  Again. 

If there is a Paradise on earth, it is Kaikoura.  I’ve been to some beautiful places and I have been awed and overwhelmed by landscape but never before like I was in Kaikoura.  The colours and the contrast in this amazing place are worth every artist’s attention and every poet’s contemplation.  I am not a poet but I studied the Romantics back in university and I understood exactly how Keats and Shelley must have felt, hiking in the mountains, inspired by nature to put pen to paper what they felt and saw.  As we walked along the cliffs above the sea amongst golden grass, purple lupines, white cliffs, rugged reefs, green flax and the blue blue blue of the Pacific, I cried.






I actually cried from the beauty of it, with a permanent joyous smile under the tears. Not just tears in my eyes, but tears welling up and overflowing while I furiously blinked and wiped not because I was embarrassed by the tears but because they blocked my view and all I wanted to do was to see.  Just to see.

To see and to absorb and to feel and to hope.

I did not want to leave and since we are homeless anyway, the thought crossed my mind that we could make this our home.

But we did have to leave because our next stop was Christchurch for a family Christmas with the Kiwi grandparents and cousins from Canada.  Yes, there is another Susan Dominikovich from Canada married into this Kiwi family but that is another story altogether.

Christchurch is about family but it is also about memories since this is the city in which my husband was born, broke his leg, grew up, went to school, studied, made friends, lost friends, drank for the first time, went out with his first girlfriend, and played cricket.

The city in which he lived for twenty-two years.

The city that will never be the same again.

Today our family walked through the city centre of Christchurch, the area worst hit by the devastating earthquake of 2011 which brought tall buildings to the ground and took the lives of 185 people.  Nearly four years later and the area still resembles a war-zone.

We wandered through deserted streets of condemned buildings and rubble.









We sat in the Square and stared at what remains of Christchurch Cathedral.  This time it was my husband who wiped away tears but for very different reasons.  Sites cordoned off and nature reclaiming what once was man’s domain is difficult to fathom.  My heart sank at the brokenness of the Arts Centre, one of my favourite places and where Paul bought for me my koru, new beginnings, nearly twenty years ago.  The words, “just bricks and mortar” came to mind, but still, there once was beauty in those bricks and mortar.  And we stared dumb-struck at ami Stadium, deserted, the field over-run by weeds, the Hadlee Stand gone. Silent with just a whisper of wind reminding us of the glory days of its past.  Long gone.




And then we came across a spark of energy in the middle of the devastation.  A hive of activity, buskers, shoppers and coffee-drinkers.  Mothers hanging on to the sweaty hands of their children while they line up for a sausage roll or sushi, girls in short skirts comparing the contents of their shopping bags, and young couples in white shirts and sunglasses laughing together over their lattes.  The shops and businesses on Cashel Mall have been revived and rebuilt in bright containers, bringing vibrancy and colour into the concrete wasteland which was once the business centre.  It is now called Re:Start Mall.




Restart.

I get that.

I so get that.

A city ravaged and destroyed by an earthquake and a people determined to import what beauty they can into the rubble and the ugly.

Restart.

When we get back to Taranaki and settle into our new home, it will be a Restart for us too.  A restart because we will never be able to look at the small town we lived in with the same naïve beauty-seeing eyes again.  A restart because we do not want to waste one more second in the dust when there is so much beauty around the corner.

We wiped the dust off our feet.

Restart.

So much that is new.

Well done Christchurch.  You are not sitting in the rubble, pining for what was lost.  You have moved on.  You have created something new, something wild, something ingenious.
Something beautiful.

And so will we.


We can restart together.

In the Waiting: Advent and Believing the promises of God


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"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,  "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)



Advent.

The season of waiting.  Anticipating.  Hoping.  

Waiting.

I know a thing or two about that.

The people of Israel were promised a King.  It wasn't just a whisper in the wind sort of promise.  It was a shout it from the rooftops sort of promise.  God spoke through his prophets time and time again that

"Out of the stump of David's family will grow a shoot--
   yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him--
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding
   the Spirit of counsel and might,
   the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord..."  (Isaiah 1-2 NLT)


The Israelites were promised a saviour who would deliver them from decades of slavery and persecution.  Expectation ran high for generations.  And as each generation endured the continuation of that slavery but with various masters and the promise left unfulfilled, there would have been doubt, bitterness, taking up the sword and fighting for themselves. Fighting for freedom.

Because while they were in the waiting, there would have been many who doubted the promise was even such a thing at all.  Perhaps it was just a rumour.  Manipulation.  A movement. Someone's clever idea to achieve unity.  Or even just wishful thinking.

I know a thing or two about that too.

My family has been in the waiting recently and we have been in the waiting before.  Each time I heard God's promise and each time I clung to that promise with every ounce of hope I had my heart and little finger tips.  And each times, God fulfilled that promise.

I am married to a promise.  Nearly 19 years of a promise fulfilled.

And I have recently celebrated the birthdays of two other promises.  Any woman who struggles with infertility knows the waiting all too well.  The hope, the fear, the pain and anguish in the waiting.  But I heard God's promise clear as anything that he was "doing a new thing" in me.  I took that promise and I believed and now my baby boy is thirteen, my baby girl is 10 and two little surprises that came not long after were like the icing on the cake of that original promise.  

With cherries on top.  

So two years ago when I was in the midst of grief and sadness and fear over the thought of losing my community, the church family I'd known and loved for several years, and I heard God's whisper saying, "I will give you community elsewhere,"  I believed Him.  I exhaled all of that fear and sadness and grief and I inhaled deeply of gratitude.  The relief and peace I felt was immediate and overwhelming.  And I also knew that God had already begun to fulfil that promise in my life and by now He has given me so much more of true community than I ever imagined I'd had before.

And then this year.  We arrived back from a trip to Canada in January asking questions.  I was tremendously unsettled.  I gave myself some time to get over the feelings of disequilibrium and homesickness (my true north strong and free!), but the unsettledness did not go away.  By March, the questions we had been asking ourselves began to lead us in a very clear direction.

1.  Who are we?

2.  Where are we going?

3.  How are we going to get there?

It hit us like a tonne of bricks that we were in the wrong place.  Literally.  We were not supposed to be here anymore. And once we began to entertain the possibility that we should move, all the reasons why we should became glaringly obvious.  It was just the how and the when and the what that was unclear.

We began to look at houses in a new area and we had great fun imagining ourselves living there.  But eventually we came across a piece of land in a unique but perfect situation.  I had sworn up and down that I wouldn't build again.  Dont get me wrong:  I loved building.  But it was the landscaping and transforming mud and rocks into a garden and a yard that I couldn't fathom again.  Could we?  Should we?

So Paul went for a walk to the shops and on his way back home and elderly friend of ours was in her front garden and she stopped him, grabbed his hands, looked him straight in the eye and said, "launch out into the deep."  Her words came from some verses in the Bible she had been meditating on, where Jesus tells Peter to stop fishing in the shallow water and launch out into the deep.  

And those five words became the promise that we we were waiting for.  The promise that that we could and we should and that in fact, we must.  

In May we put our house up for sale but immediately upon signing the authorisation, I heard god's whisper in my ear.  It was a promise that there was a perfect time for our house to sale but it was not yet.  That perfect time would be at the end of the year and that we had to be patient in the waiting.  We would sell in the perfect time and it would mean that we could go to the South Island for Christmas and be with family there.  It would  mean a fresh start in January with a new house to rent and new schools.  

Through the winter we did not actively market our property, but picked up the reigns in September.  As September flew into October I had to clamp down on those oh-so-human doubts that our house would ever sell.  I would literally shush myself when mind wandered towards thinking that perhaps we had mis-heard the promises in the first place.  Perhaps it was just our own wishful thinking after all.

Thankfully my dearly beloved was there with me. He never doubted and was always on hand to remind me of how God has worked in our lives, starting with that very first most wonderful promise, our union together.

Our house did sell and the settlement date that was agreed upon was the 19th of December.

We will put our things into storage and head to Wellington the next day and get on a ferry to the South Island the day after that.  

I know!

I know what you're thinking...or you should be thinking.

God is so cool!

There are still a lot of uncertainties and questions about what lies ahead as we continue to launch out into the deep but it is tremendously exciting because we are resting on God's promise in it all and we have a lot of hope in that promise.  And we know we can rest on that promise, because we've done it before.  

We don't need to know exactly what that promise will look like, just as the Israelites did not know to expect the person of Jesus as their promised saviour.  Many had built up that promise into something God had never intended and so did not recognise the fulfilment when He was right there in front of them.  But those who chose to believe in Jesus soon learnt that he had come to give them life to the full (John 10:10).



And so as Paul and I and our family launch out into the deep, we know that we are in fact launching into life as well.

The life that God has promised us.  

Life to the full.