30 September 2013

Dead or Alive

Two weeks ago, Christo and I went away, just the two of us, for the first time in 18 years. I thought the day would never come! 

Since CJ was born in 1994, we only went away once. It was the year after we moved to Cape Town, CJ was only 18 months old. Our business needed serious changes, and my Parents in Law offered to look after CJ, while we went brain storming in a nearby town. Sadly it was the time during which CJ was still suffering from the terrible side-effects of his 15month vaccination, and he become seriously ill during that weekend. Needless to say we decided to not go away ever again while our child, or children (God willing) were small and depending on us.

In 2010, the day of Michael’s birth, Christo won the Sevenpointfive Franchisee of the Year award, winning 7 days in Mauritius.  Three month old baby Michael accompanied us to Mauritius, while CJ (then 15years old), Heidi-Mari and our stunning babysitter, Surine (months before her own wedding) looked after our smaller children, then 5yrs, 4yrs and 21 months old. 

You can read more here and here, how the Lord blessed us during that 7 days. How CJ and Heidi-Mari were a blessing to their siblings, looking after them with the greatest care, and even being ‘virtual babysitters’ for Baby Michael in Mauritius, so Christo and I could have peaceful dinners, while Michael could sleep undisturbed in our room.

The past few months were quite stressful, me becoming more involved in our family business. Life was challenging, trying to balance raising Godly children and being a true Helpmeet to my husband. Then suddenly, out of the blue, everything just came together for Christo and I to go away for just one night to the beautiful Franschoek, just 45min from home!  It happened so quickly, since it was the only weekend in a series of weekends, during which the older four children were NOT having an archery competition and thus available to look after our Health shop and their four younger siblings! 

The weekend was beyond what I could have imagined. Being in my husband’s company for 36 hours, having conversations without interruption, I appreciated more than anything!  The scenery was awesome, the 5star hotel beautiful, the food outstanding and being with my best Friend and the love of my life, amazing!  

Walking through the streets of Franschoek, with everything from handmade chocolate and homemade jams to scarves; wine in dim lighted, damp cellars, others beautifully displayed in sun light rows; a unique shop selling olive oil and balsamic vinegar in all kinds of flavours; walking in the rain in purple lavender gardens and raindrops on sun ripe lemons, was the perfect recipe for a memory making day in my marriage.  

As I reflected on this very special time alone with my husband, feeling alive and loved, I noticed how easily one can get caught up in an overwhelming life full of challenges and emergency situations. The danger of finding a comfort zone in surviving mode, dumbfound, refusing to get fully involved in the moments, in the fear of getting hurt or defeated. 

For some time I did.

There is only one way to get alive when living emotionless. Allow the Lord to open your eyes for His beauty and the love He gave you in your life.

The next weekend we went back to Franschoek for a one day outing, with all our children (except CJ, who went for his first compound bow competition!). It was a beautiful spring day. 

Just the night before it was one of the coldest nights this winter, leaving the mountains  surrounding Cape Town, covered with snow.  We were surrounded with beauty! We again walked the streets of Franschoek, with our beautiful children. Appreciating the comeliness of the scenery, visiting the charming Franschoek Pancake house, delighting in mouthwatering pancakes, peeping into little curios shops, and ended up on the green grass around the Franschoek Memorial, before driving up the Franschoek pass, with it magnificent mountains.

And all the way I was consciously aware of the presence of the Lord in all these beautiful blessings. From my children to the mountains.

Ironically, the beauty was highlighted by the white topped mountains, which was only possible due to the icy cold night before. Then it dawned on me, my life is beautiful particularly due to challenging, stretching, hard and difficult moments. 

The secret is in what I choose to do with it. 

Will I allow it to push me down and make me living like a dead? Overwhelmed and dumbfounded?

Or will I overcome? My God promised He has already overcame! Walking in faith and the hope of the Lord is part of the heritage of the Children of God. In Hebrews God promises His rest, if we mix faith into the Word, so it can profit us.

After experiencing the beauty of the Lord, I choose to walk in victory, because I'm under God's umbrella of hope, faith and love!

What do you choose in your difficult situation?

With much love


Karyn said...

Oh Linnie, so beautiful - thank you! So special to be entering a new season - and also hard I'm sure as CJ starts to be there less. Lord bless your lovely family :0 love, Karyn

Christine Powell said...

Ah, wow! What a stunning holiday! And what a wait you had for it ;)

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