Sunday, September 30, 2012

Four Years of Victory

We are celebrating today. Sam is seriously so excited  that I don't think I have seen him sit still yet.  As I watch him run and sing and dance and play, I am overwhelmed with a thankful heart.  Thankful for all God has done for Sam and for us as a family.  Jack and Sam are very good mates and I love watching them grow and learn together, through the fun and not so fun. Jack protects Sam and includes him in all of his games, no matter who else is near.  Sam looks up to Jack and strives to be just like him. 

I remember vividly when we were asked to take Sam's life, when everything was out of my control and the world seemed so big. The time when Sam was nestled softly in the safety of my womb. It was then God reminded me that He was bigger and Sam was His, though he was trusted to us.

And then this day four years ago I laid my eyes upon our son and a new note of love was played in the world for the first time. Sam David Watson, came into the world, and forever changed mine.
And now I look at him and I marvel at his exuberance for life, his belief in the goodness of others and his love that reaches out to all around.  I am in awe of God and his love for us. 

This past week we received a letter with the enclosed passage taken from "Australian Stories of Life". An expression of God's promise to Sam.
"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"
"Goliath? Who cares! My God is bigger than you!  You may be massive.  Your strength might overwhelm me if I were alone. BUT you have no dominion over me.  I am God's.  This will be messy.  Blood will be spilt.  But when God and I are finished, I will hold your head high as a symbol of your failure to ruin my life.  I will show you off to others and they will celebrate with me.  You will not prevail! God will not allow it!" 
And so as we head into the next year, our faith is renewed and we are reminded of the triumph that is to come.  This year may be one of surgery and hospitals but our eyes and hearts are not fixed there. Life is to be lived with passion, void of fear and doubt. 
Happy birthday little Sam.  We love you. xx

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Enjoying My Family

The last few weeks I have been re-learning how to love and appreciate my family, my home and making new friends. The last 12 months have been a whirlwind of activity and busyness, we are well overdue for a change.  I had to learn the hard way many years ago that living a simple life does not make you lazy or idle, or without goals.  Even here I have been asked when I will return to teaching, encouraged to put Sam in care and return to work.  It may shock some to hear me say that I may never return to full time work, in the way the world sees it.  In the time I have been at home with the boys I have learned that I have hobbies and skills I would never have learned if I had been at work.  I have learned how to be happy with my own company and not rely on others for entertainment, even though I still love to get together with family and friends.  I have learned that I love to be a wife and mother and do all that involves on a day to day basis. I have written and had a book published, spoken at conferences, had another book accept my work in it's publication, and I have almost finished writing my first novel.

Life is not boring when you choose to stay at home.  In fact it is rich and fulfilling and I get the pleasure of being able to be there for my family whenever they need me, even for the small things. In light of the refreshing revelation I have been given this week, I thought I would share some special moments with you.

Making soap again was so much fun and I forgot how good it makes the house smell.

Longreach celebrated it's 125th anniversary this week and we went along to the street parade.  It was fantastic and they even threw lollies and new water bottles out for the kids.

The vintage cars and fire engines were a highlight.

Checking out the Cobb & Co display at the Station Stop, in Longreach.

Going rock collecting down near the river.

We saw a mother emu and her chicks while were there.

And of course Bear just loves going exploring.

The paddle steamer cruises the river every afternoon.  We took this snap on one of our four-wheel driving adventures.

This bearded dragon was on the road and of course he needed saving.  Of course Don and Jack jumped at the chance.

Sunsets like these are a favourite part of our afternoons.
The back yard is beginning to green up now.  It was dry and dead when we moved in.  We are starting on the gardens now also.  This load of sand was delivered this afternoon for Sam's new sandpit-his birthday present (yes, it's a little early)

Ahh it's finished and all ready for playing tomorrow.
Yes, my days are full and I am content and happy with what each day brings.  That is enough for me.
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. (Phil 1:3)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Almost Four!

It has been a while since I have reviewed Sam and his funky heart.  Today seems like a good day to do so.

Sam will be four years old in 9 days on he 30th of September.  This means it has been almost five years since Sam was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and five years since God gave us His promise for Sam.

"He will live and have life in abundance.  He will testify to the nations of his healing."

It is an honour to say that we live and walk in that place of promise.  That Sam does indeed live a life of abundance and he had and does continue to share about God's healing and sustaining power.

We were told by some that Sam's life was not worth much and it would be best to 'terminate' him.

Today Sam walks, runs, bounces and swings.  He converses at a level well above his age and laughs with an infectious giggle that melts even the most serious of hearts.  He is strong in will and resolved in his decisions.  When he sets his mind to something he will not be swayed.  He faces his fears head on and although he is scared, courage wins. He is more than just a part of our family, Sam has touched many other lives, many we will not know about this side of Heaven.

Sam last review was in May where he was cleared of the increased regurgitation in one of his heart valves.  His next appointment in on November 7th in Brisbane.  This means that we will need to fly to Brisbane to see Dr Gooi (Sam's cardiologist) and he will have the regular check ups (echo, ECG etc).  We have been told that the plan is to have a heart catheter early in the new year and that Fontan surgery will follow this in the few months after. 
I won't pretend to tell you that I am not afraid.  I am terrified, but I will not allow those thought to plague me.  Through Jesus I have the ability to take those thoughts captive and beat them back.  I choose to believe God's promise for Sam, no matter what it looks like on the outside, or in Sam's case the inside. 
I wonder if I can ask you to do something special for us.  Can you pray and ask God for some words for Sam from the Bible?  Can you send them to us?  I want to create a book of encouragment for Sam as a part of our 5 year celebration of God's promise to us.  Five years is a long time to hang onto such a promise and your encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
Before I sign off, Sam would like to say, "I'm going to have my birthday cake at my birthday.  Gonna be a shocolate(Chocolate) one. We moved to our new house in Yongreach (Longreach). I'm gonna be a big boy now."
Yes, you are Sam, and there is much to look forward to in the years ahead.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Wild West

This week has been wild. We have seen some funny things, done some funny things and loved every moment of it.  Here are some we'd love to share with you.

This truck pulled up one afternoon to stay at the caravan park across the road and I couldn't help but take a snap.  You can read more about their adventures on their website.  These guys ride their postie bikes all over Australia.  It's awesome!  Check out the cartoon on the side of the truck.

Stopping at the IGA to get groceries, this pretty car caught my eye.

We attended the annual Spring Dance at Jack's school on Friday night, the theme was Outer Space and let me tell you the costumes that night were nothing short of extraordinary.

Sam and his new little friend were inseperable all night. So cute!

Yesterday afternoon after church we (the church) all went down to the river and had some fun. Jack is in the red hat in the clump of trees near the water (yes, he is wearing a life jacket), and Don is getting ready to kayak out into.  He got about two meters out and rolled over.  It is difficult to learn to balance.  He lost his sunglasses for the effort but had fun anyway. 
Sam, Bear and I also went for a paddle.

 Jack and Bear went on their own adventure.  Jack is growing up so fast.  It is great to watch his confidence grow.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our First Week in Longreach

On our way through from the coast we were able to stay a few night with our family at Biloela, and then drove straight out to Longreach.

The drive out west was beautiful, there was more to see than I thought there would be.  There were quite a few hills on the way and the landscape slowly opened up and panned out as we neared Longreach. I guess it was the big blue sky and the warmth that struck us the most.  So beautiful.



On Tuesday, the day after arriving we discovered that we were able to move into our new home early and so we jumped in with both feet, forgetting our weariness and plugged along with unpacking, thankful to have help from two apprentices from Don's new workshop.  Only later that night did we realise how tired we were.  We also had to quickly adjust to the warmer temperatures 30C days after 15C days in Vic. 

The boys wait in the car for the shipping container to be moved to our home.

Sam was all tuckered out after playing outside and fell asleep eating his snack and holding his hat.

We had many visitors popping by including our new pastor and his wife, other church members helping us out to move things about and Don's new boss.  A day later we had our first visitor stay for four nights.  Janet was on her way through from Halls Creek and joined us for the weekend.  Don and Jack both started work and school on Monday.  We actually get to have breakfast together now that Don's work hours are reasonable.

Jack is loving his new school and we are just so blessed by our new home.  It truly is more than we could have asked for in so many ways.  It's like God just saw all of the desires of our hearts and just said, "Here you go, enjoy." It is cool and airy and has lots of built in storage.  It is air-conditioned, has a great backyard with raised garden beds. There are 5 bedrooms and it even has a shed with power.  Yes, it it going to be hot.  Yes, there are flies and mosquitoes.  Yes, it is dry and there are big patches of prickles.  But we are making our home our oasis and all of the challenges seem to add to the charm somehow, at least for the time being.

Don is very happy with his new job.  The workshop is efficeint and well organised, and the people great to work with.  Some of his first flying may be to take our Pastor out to some of the outlying areas for ministry.  Isn't God so cool?  His plan is ALWAYS so much better than ours.

We have already been to a BBQ at church and have met some amazing people.  We are so excited about what God has in store for us in this new place. We have new visitors arriving tonight for two nights.  Friends from MAF who are heading up to Nhulunby.  I feel like my my body is struggling and my mind is trying to catch up, but my soul is breathing a big sigh ahhhhhh.  This is a place of new promise for us. 
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