My beautiful family (taken at my eldest daughter’s Sarah’s wedding on 27th March 2010) Back – My sons, Ben (now 20) & Daniel (22). Front – Bec (19), me, Sarah (27), Oscar (Sarah’s husband), and my wonderful parents.
Grateful to God for:
1. My oldest daughter, who loves the Lord and who is so beautiful, talented, kind, loving, and giving. She has battled through adversity (family breakdown & rejection). However, she excelled in the athletic arena, achieved academically, set goals, dreamed dreams and persevered and trusted God for them to come to pass. Her patience in waiting for God’s timing, not hers, has also led her to be happily married to an amazing young man of God.
2. My oldest “prodigal son”, who is strong, intelligent, loving, caring, and who has so much to offer others. He is gifted academically, musically & as an athlete; he struggled severely through family breakdown & rejection, and his inner demons drove him into the downward spiral of drug addiction. He desperately needs to accept the love of his family & God’s unending love for him; and come “home” to the arms of his forgiving Mum who loves him more than he knows or understands.
3. My youngest son, who is the peacemaker, loves life and lives it to the fullest, intelligent, loyal, loving, caring and affectionate. In spite of the trauma of family breakdown & rejection he experienced from a young age, he has achieved excellence in the academic and sporting arenas. He highly values family & friends and stands up for what he believes in. I am praying and believing that he will turn back to God.
4. My youngest daughter who is beautiful, strong, amazing, talented, loving, compassionate, thoughtful and gentle. She has struggled through the trauma of family breakdown, rejection and is battling anorexia – the demon who seeks to destroy her. She has excelled in the academic, sporting and arts arenas. She has a heart for God and others. I am praying that she will see herself as God sees her, as everyone else sees her.
5. For my husband who is kind, loving, gentle, supportive, compassionate, selfless, thoughtful; who has not been too proud to work on his weaknesses in order to become a better father to his girls. I am grateful to have a man who truly loves me, just the way I am, to journey through life and grow old with.
6. For wonderful parents who have been an incredible source of wisdom, inspiration, encouragement, support and love throughout my life. Even though 2000km separates us, they have always been there for me. Without their example, encouragement, listening ear, advice and support I would not have been able to parent my children alone.
7. For my best friend Natalie who, even though she has suffered enough adversity of her own, is always there to listen, encourage and support. She is beautiful inside and out, wise, thoughtful, caring, genuine and honest. She possibly understands me better than anyone I know; is always there no matter what the circumstances – always loving, never judging and willing to speak with wisdom and truth.
8. For my beautiful grandson, who I hardly know. I cherish the 5 short weeks I had with him. Praying for reconciliation with his parents so that one day the rest of the family and I can be part of his life again.
9. For the promise of each new day brings blessing and thankfulness to God for all that is in store.
10. For breath in my body and a heart to hold those I love so dear.
11. For the way God weaves people and situations into our lives; sometimes in ways we can’t make sense of, and sometimes in ways we can step back and see very clearly.
12. For the gift of friends & family who love, care and support – who are there through the laughter & tears, the best times & worst times – always loving, never judging and willing to speak the truth.
13. For opportunities to capture the beauty of God’s creation with my camera.
14. For the ability to capture joyous moments with family and friends – to allow us to keep a visual reminder of treasured memories and to enjoy them over and over again.
15. For beautiful sunsets at the end of cold winter days.
16. For the warmth of the sun streaming in the window on a cold winter’s day.
17. For the gift of hearing to enjoy the beautiful sounds of children’s laughter, birds singing, worship music…
18. For visits from loved ones & long chats about life.
19. For the gift of laughter, even when struggling through trials and suffering.
20. For the trials & suffering which serve to build character, faith, and strengthen the soul.
21. For the warmth of spring days.
22. For late night visits from adult children.
23. For the knowledge that although all seems hopeless, my hope is in Him.
24. For the prayers of others when we need it most.
25. For the gift of music to soothe the soul.
26. For fellow bloggers who inspire.
27. For peace & rest when I need it most.
28. For hope when all seems hopeless.
29. For tears that flow, to allow the built up heartache to overflow…
30. For long, warm hugs from loved ones.
31. For the gift of life.
32. For cool iced tea on a warm day.
33. For warm banana bread straight from the oven.
34. For the abundance of flowers in Spring.
35. For phone calls from family who live far away.
36. For best friends who listen to what you say, but also to what you don’t say.
37. For the blessing of new found friendships.
38. For beauty all around.
39. For drives in the mountains.
40. For laughter.
41. For reconciliation with loved ones.
42. For new beginnings.
43. For forgiveness.
44. For His love, patience, grace and faithfulness even though we don’t deserve it.
45. For rain to soak the dry earth.
46. For rainbows after the rain, signalling His promise.
47. For joy.
48. For 5 more daughters to love.
49. For time to breathe.
50. For time to love.
51. For time to laugh.
52. For time to cry.
53. For time to live fully in Him.
54. For blessings in time of need.
55. Holidays on the Mornington Peninsula with my parents
58. Life to live
59. Love to give
62. Nieces & nephews
63. Roast dinners
64. Fresh fruit salads
65. Warm Summer days
66. Time to give thanks.
67. Time to enjoy His gifts.
68. Time with friends.
69. Long deep breaths to calm in stress.
70. Hugs & good night kisses from the “man-child”.
71. The celebration of Christmas & remembering the reason for the season.
73. Christmas pudding.
74. Laughter and stories around the dinner table.
75. Grandchildren and the hope of seeing them one day.
76. Drives in the country.
77. New challenges in my photography
78. The increasing ability to see beauty in even the simplest things
79. Creativity I never knew I had
80. Books to broaden my knowledge
82. My new computer
83. Doctors with the gift to diagnose & heal
84. My daughter’s cooking
85. Summer salads
86. Tomato plants, once thought dead, brought back to life by rain
87. Safety from the flood waters – again
88. Phone calls from my Sarah just to see how I am
89. Breakfast in bed
90. His Word – truth, light, love
91. Wisdom from lessons & adversity
92. His voice in the quiet
93. His strength in our weakness
94. Finding gratitude in the hard stuff
95. The man I love – his humility and willingness to get it right
96. God’s patience as I walk, stumble, learn and grow
97. Finding calm in the storms
98. Grace abounding
99. “The Love Dare”
100. “Courageous” & “Fireproof” – the movies that changed our lives
101. Large hot mugs of Green Mint tea
102. Day trips to beautiful beaches
103. Waves crashing on rocks
104. Sun, sand & the fresh sea air
105. Red roses from my husband, just because
106. The ability to find beauty in the ordinary
107. Abundance of colour in our world
108. Sweet treats
109. Beautiful sunsets over mountains in the country
110. Insects to photograph and marvel at the intricate details by the Creator
111. Birds of the air
112. Ducks on ponds
113. Storm clouds bringing rain
114. Spectacular sunsets after Summer storms
115. Raindrops on roses
116. A husband who can play piano every night & write songs
117. Living in the “River City”
118. Quality time with my husband
119. Sunset reflections on lakes
120. Resting on the grass by the lake
121. Sunrays through clouds
122. Waterlily reflections on the pond
123. The beauty of flowers – all so different
124. The wonder of capturing a bee in flight
125. Cloudless blue skies after weeks of rain
126. Peace restored to our home after months without it
127. My oldest daughter’s graduation from Interior Design college & a surprise award for excellence in academic & design
128. My youngest daughter starting a nursing degree at University & a new job
129. My youngest step-daughter’s more relaxed, joyful & at peace
130. My husband who says everyday, “I love coming home to you!”
141. Someone to love & hold me when brokenness overwhelms me.
142. The closeness of family.
143. Photo albums to look through with my children & memories to cherish.
144. Phone calls from adult children – just because.
145. The comfort of Romans 8:28
146. The promise of Jeremiah 29:11
147. Chai Latte dates with loved ones.
148. Turkish Delight
149. Blue skies & fluffy clouds on Winter days.
150. Drives to the waterfront.