Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A special time away

1 week ago I had the privilege of going away with my eldest daughter to Sydney to visit my sister. It was a big surprise for her, she knew her and I would be going away sometime (she thought next year!) but she didn't know ANY details, until the night before we left. None of our kids have been on an aeroplane that they can remember, so just going on a plane was a special event, and then to see her Aunty, and to have her all to myself for 5 days!

It truly was a joy and delight to be able to take her away and spend the time alone with her away from her siblings. To just hang out with her, away from the cooking, cleaning, washing and general busyness of life, it was a precious time and one that I hope and pray she will remember fondly. It has helped me appreciate and love her so much more. I hope to do that with each of my children every few years.

Here are some snaps from our little holiday!

I think she went up and down the steps of the Sydney Opera House about 10 times!

The best experience was feeding my all time favourite animal, a giraffe! They are so adorable close us, big beautiful brown eyes!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A tribute to my Mum

Today it has been 6 years since my mother passed away and ventured into her glorious home in Heaven. This time of the year brings back so many memories of my mother, her life, her sickness and her death.

Around Easter I am always reminded of Easter Saturday when my dad rang to tell us that it wouldn't be long before she left us. She had been in and out of hospital so many times during her life, but this would be the very last time she would be in there.

It was my birthday last week, my sister's birthday on the weekend and I can recall so many birthdays when she was in hospital, unable to celebrate at home with us. Then today, the 5th May she passed away, in the week before Mother's Day.

Although my days are mostly filled with gladness, there are countless moments when I am overcome with a desire for her presence still. I am so confident there will be a day when I will see her again and share my life in eternity with her, but life here on earth is often lonely without her.

So many people who knew my mum would agree that she was an amazing selfless woman of faith. Her personality was completely different to mine in almost every possible way, yet I inherited so many of her passions for animals, flowers, craft, sewing and gardening.
I miss her most for her steadfastness, her strength despite such immense pain and suffering throughout so much of her life. I used to question why she had to endure so much suffering, but I came to realise and see how God used so much of what she went through for HIS glory and for the edification of so many of His people and those who did not know Him. She spoke so boldly of her faith to doctors, nurses, patients, family, and friends. I saw that God gave her a life of suffering for His purpose and her faith in Him inspires me to keep hoping, and trusting in a God who kept her, and used her so much for His own glory.

During the first 8 months of her intense sickness around 18 years ago, my father was saved. She lived around 15 years of her Christian life without him knowing and loving God, and it was only through her sickness that he was saved. She testifies how she would go through it all again for his salvation.

It was only last week, that I realised how her suffering and pain brought me to Christ as well. One time when my mum was in hospital and I was about 18, I was heart broken over a guy. As my mum was in hospital experiencing her own pain, I felt I couldn't talk to her about what I was going through, and I didn't have the courage to talk to anyone else. So I turned to God, utterly and completely. As I prayed and read His word so much more, I was overcome with who He is and what He had done for me.

Suddenly everything I had learned as a child and teenager came together for me, and I began to make Jesus the Lord of my life! I grew in such intimacy with Him and His word restored, lifted and completely satisfied me.

I realised only last week (on my birthday in fact!) that had she been well and available for me at that time, I would not have turned to the only One who could truly heal me and help me and who has given me an amazingly glorious new life!

There are still days when I lament over her not being here on earth. I am saddened that she never got to hold 2 of my children, but yet ever so grateful that she was able to witness our marriage and hold our first two children, something we all thought she would never have the chance to do!

So today I praise God for my mother, she will live in my heart and soul forever, and I can't wait for the day when we are reunited again.