Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have a Wonderful Christmas Everyone

This is the song that was in my heart this morning when I awoke. Sing it aloud with me, you know you want to.

Silent Night Holy Night
God’s own son,
Was sent to light,
Up the World to which he came,
Saved us all, He took our shame.

Jesus King of my li…ife!
Jesus King of my life.

Silent Night, Holy Night,
Without hope,
But now I’m bright,
Shining with His warmth and love,
Pouring down from God above.

Jesus King of my li..ife!
Jesus King of my life.

Silent Night, Holy Night,
We love you Lord,
With all our might,
We wait to see you face to face,
Redeemed by love and saved by grace,

Jesus King of my li..ife,
Jesus King of my life.

Christmas always reminds me of God's promises to us.  It is my prayer for you that you would see his hand at work in you own life and praise him for it. 
We share fun times with family, we share and open gifts, we celebrate with festive feasts and we make memories.  When I look back on all that God has done with us in the last year, I cannot help by be in awe of his faithfulness.  He has looked after our health, he is helping me to raise to two wonderful little boys.  He has blessed our marriage with a deeper love and understanding of each other.  I cannot possibly list them all.

Wherever you are this Christmas season I pray and trust that you will find joy and someone to share it with.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Book Contract Signed

This week we have returned from a glorious week away, celebrating our anniversary in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.  The views from our little bungalow were magnificent.  A very special and wonderful time.

I am excited to share that I received and and accepted the contract for Sam's Heart (the book) from Even Before Publishing, an imprint of Wombat Books.  Even as the ink dries on the contract, I can not help but be amazed at the way God opens up all the doors needed to fulfil his purposes. 

Let me give you an example.  We needed to get a cover organised quite quickly because we need to be able to send it for promotion to Koorong etc.  As it turns out Koorong Christian Bookshop prepare their catalogues nearly six months in advance.  This meant that we need photos as soon as possible.  It just so happens that we were able to find a photographer to do a cover shoot only 9 days from now.  I thought this wold be very difficult because of Christmas, New Year, School Holidays and the like.  But nothing is too hard for God to organise.  How exciting!

I am so excited because the messages contained in the book are finally going to be out there for people to be touched by them.  Please pray that God will open doors to allow me to share this wonderful story of his grace and mercy.  I am so humbled that he would choose to use our times of great trial to glorify his name.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Ten Year Anniversay

December 16th, 2010, is an important day for our family.  Don and I will have been married for ten years.  I have penned a poem for the occasion and just wanted to share with you.

Ten years of marriage,
A tale of two souls,
Time to look back,
At the memories we hold.

Moments of great joy,
The birth of two sons,
Times of great sadness,
In this race we’ve run.

Love that has grown,
With each passing day,
Much closer together,
Through the battles and fray.

One cannot measure,
The blessings God planned,
From before time began,
We were held in his hand.

Ten years is short,
In the grand scheme of things,
We look forward to the future,
And the wonders it brings.

Yet, I can tell you,
We’ve treasured each year,
This God given love,
We will always hold dear.

So thank you my husband,
For being my rock,
My anchor, my love,
When the hard times do knock.

Thank you my God,
For preparing the way,
For drawing us closer,
Together each day.

For God gets the glory,
For all He has made,
A cord of three strands,
An eternal love braid.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple braided cord is not easily broken. (Ephesians 4:12)
Don, Nicole and Jesus-a triple braided cord

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yesterday Sick. Today Healed!

Yesterday we discovered that Jack had been suffering from a hand foot and mouth virus.  The virus makes you feel generally unwell, gives you ulcers in your mouth, and blisters on your hands and feet.  It is most common in children and is highly contagious.  Yesterday lunch time his case was confirmed when two blisters appeared on his hands along with many of other little red dots.  We knew what it was because another little boy we know has it too.  It was only a very mild dose but he had it.  Apparently when the blisters burst they are very contagious also and this process can take several days.

We worried-  About being stuck at home.  About spreading the sickness to Sam, How would this affect his heart?  Would the ulcers affect his eating.

We prayed and waited.  We went to bed.

This morning we awoke to discover Jack was completely healed. 

Not one ulcer in his mouth.

Not one angry looking blister on his hand.

Completely healed!

Thank you Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please keep praying for Sam, that God will also deliver him from this illness.  He has little red spots along the side of his mouth.  I believe he is already healed.  Will you believe with me?

And He healed every kind of disease and illness. (Matthew 4:23)

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's All in Your Head

We have felt a little under pressure of late.  December 10 is fast approaching and still there is no sale on our home.  The student agreement form is due, accepting Don's place on the course, and agreeing to pay the fees.    We prayed about it last night, as we do everyday, and left it with God once again.  I wonder if you do that; continually pick up your worries again, even after you have handed them over to God?  The mind can be a real battle zone can't it?  It is just so important to take each thought captive and control what we allow our selves to think about.  The bible puts it this way:

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death.  But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

The battle really is  in your head!

This morning we called the Melbourne School of Theology, where Don is to study. They told us that they didn't need the money to pay the fees until February,they are not worried.  And also if we are unable to sell our home and move before the course starts, then we are able to start mid year as well.  They offered us interim accommodation if we get stuck looking for a home for a week or so, and offered to help us in any way they can.  They told Don that we are not holding up anybody elses place in the course and that they are happy to wait on God with us and see what happens.

Can you believe it?  I can.  God can do anything.

Our doggy girls went to their new home yesterday.  Zoe is 13 and Rusty is 10, they have been with us for a long time.  We know they are happy though in their new home ad Don's parents place.  They are treated like princesses there.  It is strange not having them around.  Jack has been really good and understands why they had to leave.  I think he has had to deal with so much change in his short little life, that he has learned to process it and deal with it in his own way.  It is important to me that the changes encourage us all to grow, not fall.  God is faithful in looking after us all.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Singing in the Rain

This season the rain has been amazing. 

Yesterday as we entered the shopping centre the rain was coming down hard.  As we drove in to find a park we noticed that everyone was scurrying for shelter-heads down low, covering their faces, running or walking very fast, some cursing under their breath. 

Before the boys and I got out of the car,  we made a decision to be joyful in the rain.  As we got out of the car we praised God for the downpour.  And then we held hands and sang out loud with a smile on our faces-'Singing in the rain...Just singing in the rain...

Something happened.  People stopped rushing, they smiled, some even laughed.  Some probably scoffed and thought we were mad, but we didn't care.  It was only not so long ago that our country was in severe drought. 

I was reflecting this morning that our Christian lives are very much like that walk in the rain.  When we choose to live our lives deliberately giving glory to God, people are touched by the Holy Spirit.  Some stop, smile and reflect, others scoff and jeer.  But either way we make an impact on those around us.  But there is more...

One thing I didn't share was that my heart was bursting with joy as we sang, getting drenched in the rain.  I was delighted to share the joy in my heart with others.  I was delighted to teach my boys to be thankful and make others smile, despite the cost. 

The Bible puts it this way:

You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.  Instead a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Let God's light shine in you.  Do not count the cost.  The reward is seeing lives changed through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hearts in Need of Prayer

There is so much heartache at the moment, to do with Sam's little heart friends. 

Will you please pray for the children and their families.  It is almost unimaginable, the trials they now face.  I will not share their names, God knows who they are.  God knows what they need.  Only He can be their peace and comfort.

Thank you in advance.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Don's News

Don has been officially accepted to study at the Australian Centre for Mission Aviation, in conjunction with the Melbourne School of Theology.  He is very excited!

It is truly amazing to watch how everything just happens one step after another. 

The study year starts on February 15th February.  We still don't know if we will be there for this year or not.  We have to sign a student agreement to accept his place in the course by December 10.  Part of the agreement is that we will pay the course fees. 

We keep asking the Lord for his provision and we know he is faithful.  He wouldn't call us to something that he is not going to provide for.  He will either sell our home or a great sum of money will miraculously appear in our letterbox.  Perhaps that's why this home has such a big letterbox!  Hahaha. 

Either way, we will either start in 2011 or 2012.  All in God's timing for his glory!

"The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mummy Moments

We are having an open house tomorrow.  Apparently the market is very slow at the moment, but we believe God can do anything.  So can you please pray with us that God will send the right person to come and buy our home? 

I have some Mummy moments that I just need to share.
Jack, Sam and I have been doing some school work.  Jack had to do some pre-assessment for Prep next year for his school.  Jack loves having everything well organised for his school work and is very excited to be doing some work for his teacher.  I was very proud of his efforts.  Sam is just too cute, wanting to do everything that Jack does.
Yesterday Sam also started using the toilet and training pants.  He is improving each time.  Way to go Sam.  I am very much looking forward to the day when I can bypass the nappy isle at the grocery shop. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Book-an exciting development

Praise God in Heaven!

A publisher is interested in publishing Sam's Heart-the book.

I am extremely excited to the point that I am speechless.  Those of you who know me, this is  very rare.

He has made a way.

I ask you to praise God with me, for making a way. For opening the heart of the reader. For sending out this work, which was inspired by him. To touch the lives of others who need to hear words of encouragement and hope.  Pray to keep communications between the publisher and myself open anoint the whole process with his Holy Spirit.  Pray that the Lord will make time in the days ahead for me to complete this work while looking after two little boys.

What an amazing day.  I will celebrate today with singing and dancing.  And I will be busy preparing the book for it's next step.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Worship While You Wait

On the outside, it would seem like not much has been happening over the course of the last few weeks.  But inwardly God has been preparing us for what is ahead. 

As much as we try to be patient, we are not, and would like our home to be sold yesterday so that we could move on.  However this is not God's plan, so we must wait for his timing.

This last week I finished having a skin cancer removed from my chest and was cleared of any further problems.  So glory to God for that!  I asked God to use it to glorify his name.  And while the doctor and nurse performed the small surgical procedure, I had a captive audience for over 1/2 hour. They asked many questions about what we are doing in our lives, Sam's condition and God's plans for the future.  It just amazed me that God used this simple operation to glorify him and letting me share what God has done in our lives. 

We have had wonderful times with friends this week and have been so blessed by keeping our eyes focused on God and not the situations at hand.This brings me to the words that have been so dear to my heart this week:

Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for him to act (Psalm 37:7)

I will praise you Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all of the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name,
O Most High.  (Psalm 9:1-2)

It is a daily battle to keep my focus on God when everything else around me is calling out for attention, but with his help I can do it.  When I make a choice to worship him instead of being dragged down by the circumstances, the worries cease, and my heart is light and filled with hope.

Keep your eyes fixed on the author and finisher of your faith (God), keep wading through the waters and you will reach the place of rest and safety. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Step of Faith

The application for Don to start study at the Bible College of Victoria was sent today.  It was the closing date for applications and so we took a step of faith and posted it, believing that all will work out according to God's plan.  The Certificate IV in Ministry begins on February 7th 2011.  So to be able to start then we will have to sell our home by then. 

It is strange applying for a course knowing full well that we don't know if we will make it on time.  But it can be deferred and other options are also available for starting mid year if need be. 

Walking in faith is like walking along a narrow path up a mountain, with your eyes closed.

Each step is monumental in making sure that you stay on the track.  Instead of walking by what you see and hear, you  listen carefully for God's voice telling you where to tread..."this way to the right, a little to the left, watch that big rock!" 
Occasionally we open our eyes to look around and as we survey the distance we have come, we are astounded by the path behind us.  It is rough, full of potholes, prickles, loose gravel and there are often steep drops on each side.  But as we raise our eyes and look out over the panoramic view, the beauty takes our breath away.  And we know that if we'd taken the easy path, the view would have been much less spectacular.

As we ascend the mountain slowly but surely we can have great confidence that the God who leads us will not let us fall.  He is the only one that can see the hidden holes in the road and the other dangers on the path to come.  I wouldn't want to try and walk the road in this life alone.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, an he will help you.
(Psalm 37:5)

The Lord directs the steps of the godly,
He delights in every detaill of their lives,
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.
(Psalm 37:23)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Be Patient, Don't Worry

Look at the birds.  They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?  Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
(Matthew 6:26-27)
Photo captured in our garden, October 2010.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Statistics

Time since God called us to serve with MAF:  1 month 4 days

House on the market for:  9 days

Number of home inspections:  1

Percentage of house cleaned out and sorted:  75%

Size of coming garage sale:  HUGE!!

Bible college in Coldstream Victoria is due to begin on February 7th, 2011.  Whether we start then or later is up to God.  But we must sell our home first.

Trust in God:  100%...97%...100%...97%...100% (I'm being honest here)

Do we need your prayers:  Yes please!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Overwhelmed- A good thing?

This afternoon I was caught completely off guard.  The enemy had snuck in and had stolen my motivation, joy and ability to overcome.  Circumstances surrounding me that are completely out of my hands seemed monumental and the tasks ahead, simple things, like making dinner and folding washing just seemed too hard.  My heart was hurting and as a result the world seemed too big.  While washing up for the third time today, I come to the realisation that I was trying too hard.  I was trying too hard to be a friend to everybody, to clean up everyone's mess, to pray for everyone, to solve everyone's problems and keep my heart intact at the same time.  While I stood there with my hands in the hot water, God reminded me I was overwhelmed and he had allowed it.

 It is a good thing for me, because only when I come to the end of myself, do I realise that I need him. 

He reminded me that it is not my job to take on everyone's burdens, no even my own.  Sometimes it seems impossible to pray for everything that is going on inside your heart and head, but thankfully he already knows it all anyhow.  What I do need to take time to do, is just sit and soak in his presence.  Let him lift the weight of the world from my shoulders and give me his load to carry instead.  Because he promises:

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the buren I give you is light.  (Matthew 11:28-30)

To be able to take up his yoke, you cannot carry anything else in your hands.  Everything that burdens your heart and mind must be layed down first.  Only then will you find rest for your soul. 

Bring it on Jesus!  I need that rest!  Take all of this stuff that I have pent up through the day, only you have control over it anyway.  Forgive me for not seeing it earlier.  Love all of my family and friends even though I can't be there for them all, I know you are.  You know what they need Lord.  Thank you for your peace.  I love You.  Thankyou Father.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Yesterday was a day of searching.  As I sat down to try and work out some figures and budget the could be's, should be's and maybe's for our upcoming move and study, doubt began to encroach.  Will the funds made from our home be enough to cover the course costs, are we able to access Centrelink benefits to help us out, with the cost of the courses rising would Don still be able to complete both his engineering and flight components?  So many questions.  As I began to delve into a world of numbers and unanswered questions things began to look a little more grim.  As the course costs have risen quite considerably, I broke the news to Don that we may not be able to do both streams, but I was tormented in my spirit because we know in our hearts he is meant to do both. 

Wait a minute where do torment, insecurity, doubt and unbelief come from?  Yeah you know where!  Not from God hey!

So as Don wrapped his arms about me and prayed, we gave it all back to God and prayed that his grace would be enough and that he look after it all, it is too hard for us.  How do you plan for a course of action when you don't know how long you're going to be there, how much money you're going to need, where you're going to live and whether your house will sell in time to make it all work anyhow?  Do you really want  Don to do both courses Lord, we are unsure?

As we let it all go and rested back in the arms of Jesus, I quickly checked email before heading out the door and saw that we had received an email from the engineer manager at ACMA, the place where Don is to study.  In this email he went on to tell us that although MAF does encourage it's members only to do one or the other, both would be a great asset on the field and is something that may be used more in the future.  He encouraged us by telling Don how much they would love to have his skill at work down there while he studies and gave a brief course of direction for completing the course because of Don's previous experience.

You have to understand that this email was a gift from God.

God answered our concerns as we voiced then to him, even before we voiced them.  We know now without a doubt that Don must do both the engineering and flight components and we just have to trust that he will provided the funds needed for us to do it. 

I'm so glad that he holds the big picture in his hands, I would make such a mess of things if I painted the picture just by looking at the piece I hold in my hands.  It is so easy to get distracted by all of the things laying before us if I focus on them too much.  I know that things like working out the finances have to be done, but they must not overcome me.  When it all becomes too much I have to remember to back off and send it heavenwards. 

So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat?  What will we drink?  What will we wear?'  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything that you need. 
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring it's own worries.  Today's trouble is enough for today.
(Matthew 6 : 31-34)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

One Dearly Loved Home For Sale

As of yesterday, our home is for sale.  It's great how we have such a sense of peace about this and how every time a doubtful thought comes, it is quickly dismissed.  I find the times when doubts come is when we focus on the situation at hand and take our eyes off of God.

You can check it out on here.

One step at a time is the key I think.  It can be all too overwhelming if we look too far forward. Our first step is to sell our home.  While doing this we are in contact with the Bible College of Victoria and MAF to apply for the courses that Don needs to do.  If we are able, it would be good to start college at the beginning of next year (Early Feb).  However it is all in God's timing, as we need to sell our home to fund Don's training.  We know God has planned this timing and so now we just need to keep a listening ear open to him and take our cares and requests to him.

I wonder if you would pray with us for finding the right buyer for our home, the person God has picked out.  I wonder if you could pray that they will offer a fair price.  I wonder if you will pray with us that the application to the College will go smoothly and according to God's timetable.  Pray for our children and for us, as we deal with alot of change.

We are currently going through all of our belongings and selling and giving away many things we don't know need.  It is both an exhilarating and difficult process.  It is quite amazing they way God is using the things no longer need.  People who have real need are being bought to our attention and we know they are meant to have certain things.  It is really quite fun.  Because we will be moving interstate, we are trying to take only the important things with us.

We already have an inspection tomorrow morning, so who knows it could all happen much faster than we think. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

About the Book

For those who have been following our journey for a while, you would know that I have written a book about our little boy Sam and the way God has held our family in the palm of his hand. It includes the blog entries during this time as well as many personal prayers, reflections and the miracles that unfolded during that time. I have submitted it to a publisher without any success but will continue to submit it as God leads. I am now submitting it to another organisation and I am hopeful that God will do the rest. Thank you Sue and Jess for taking the time to read and edit the book and offer you most valuable advice. It was such a blessing to me that both of you offered your time on this.

Would you please pray with us that this work God asked me to write will be published to glorify His name? That the book may be out there to encourage someone who is in need of hope in a world that sometimes offers so little hope and encouragement.

We are not in denial. We know that Sam's journey with Hypoplastic Left Heart is far from over but we know that God could heal him any minute to bring glory to himself. Already we are seeing miraculous signs like Sam not needing so much of his medication to thin his blood. The dose should be increasing as he grows but remarkably it has decreased!

No he hasn't received his new heart yet. However, at this point in time we just have to close our eyes, trust him and hold on for the ride. The bible says:

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things, we cannot see. (Hebrews 1:11)

We may not yet see the evidence of Sam's new heart but we trust that the God who promised his healing, tells only the truth. How and when is up to God, not for us to decide. In the meantime we will do what he has called us to do and not worry. He had it all planned in the beginning anyway.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Calling

A boy with a dream...

A teen with a hope...

A man with a promise...

For as long as I have known my husband Don, he has had a dream of flying. It is not one of those come and go dreams but a steadfast promise buried deep within his heart, put there by God and nurtured throughout his life to date. As a young boy Don grew up around aircraft while his Dad mustered cattle in the Northern Territory. Memories like these never fade.

As a teenager he learned to fly before he could drive a car and was awarded a scholarship to achieve it. He worked hard and became an aircraft engineer to learn all that he could about the machines that had become his passion.

As life changed and the responsibilities that come with family became important, Don's dream to fly was smoldered. Finances were tight and many challenges have kept him grounded, while his heart yearned to soar. Don't misunderstand me, my husband is the kindest and most loving man I know and he would never put himself before God or his family. That is why I love him so.

Over the 10 years we have been married God had done mighty works in our hearts and lives. For so long we resisted his voice but three years ago we gave up the striving and gave everything we had to God. The affects of this radical obedience has been life changing. After the tumultuous last few years, God has bought us to a place of rest, a home called God's Rest, and here we have found the most amazing township, a loving church family, and Don has a very supportive team of workmates and a job he loves-maintaining Blackhawk helicopters. We are the most settled we have been in a very long time.

At this time God started to talk to me about homeschooling my 4 year old son Jack next year when he starts school. "Are you sure Lord?", "You've got to be kidding right?". We do after all live only 200m from the Primary School. Fortunately we have learned by now to just say yes, even if we can make no sense of it at the time. Homeschooling it is. Yes Lord.

While helping friends move house, Don and I both started getting itchy feet. Surely not, we say. We looked at each other and he says "What are you thinking?", and we both say MAF! At church on Sunday God spoke to us through the sermon about the dream that is buried deep within your heart, placed there by God and we knew he is confirming his call. MAF-is Mission Aviation Fellowship, supporting rural and isolated communities both in Australia and overseas. They train aircraft engineers and pilots to put them into service for God where needed. Ah, now I know why I need to homeschool.

For so many years Don has avoided MAF because his passion to fly was driven by his own wants and desires. And now here is God saying, it is the dream that I have placed in your heart, it will never go away because I want you to serve me! We want to burst with excitement! We know it is from God because we love where we live but now we have to give it all up and as Jesus says.."Come follow me..."

I wonder if you will join with us in our joy, nervousness, excitement, mayhem and thankfulness. I wonder if you will pray with us and encourage us on this new walk we are about to begin.

In the next few weeks we will be putting our home on the market and preparing for a new life. Here is the promise God has given us:

"And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life." (Matthew 19:29)
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