Saturday, 8 June 2019

In pursuit of simple living.

 Happy Sunday lovely friends…
I hope your weekend has been a blessed one…

Today we are gathering together our belongings and packing our suitcases – Nancy and I fly out from Shanghai On Wednesday.
Please keep us in prayer as we travel home.

In my last post, I shared that I have been reading Caddie Woodlawn
This delightful book is based on the true stories the author’s grandmother told her as a child; stories about her life as a young pioneer girl growing up in Wisconsin.

I was captured by the tales of young Caddie, who loved nothing more than running about the countryside with her brothers, and enjoying the simple things in life…stories before bedtime…a home cooked meal, and traipsing through fields in search of the juiciest berries.

Throughout the pages of this beautifully written book, I was struck by the sweet simplicity their lives depicted.

If Caddie could but have caught a glimpse of the future…
I wonder what she would have thought had she seen the people of the 21st century, rushing about in a frenzy most of their lives, desperate to keep up with trends and fashions of modern society, while still endeavoring to look good and in control through pictures uploaded to social media on a daily basis.

Caddie’s story gave me a much needed reality check…

Having lived on a farm before and experienced the sweet joys of leading a simple, gentle life, I can attest to its blessings.
Now that I live in town and have grown older, I find I have to make a concerted effort to lead a quiet life and not become caught up in all the distractions on offer.

In our modern, technologically advanced world, where everything is a mere click away, it is so much more difficult to lead a simple life.

And while it is not possible to return to the time in which Caddie lived, we can still implement many of the same aspects of her pioneer life into ours.
I know that I am at my happiest when living gently and simply, pursuing what God has called me to.

Thus, I am purposing to slow down and live simply, embracing the beauty amidst the mundane and keeping a quiet heart.



Friday, 31 May 2019

stopping in to say hello.

Hello lovely readers…happy first of June!
It feels so good to be stopping in a bit more frequently.

How I have missed the sweet simplicity and joy of blogging and long to return to the good old days.
Can you believe that this April marked my tenth year of blogging? 

I just want to take a moment to thank each of you for your kind comments and emails after reading my previous post.
I am truly touched by your love and thoughtfulness and blessed to have friends like you!
I am sitting out on our teeny balcony watching my wild little sister, Sofia, cycle around the apartment block before she comes in to practice her reading and do her maths.

While I am pretty much housebound and unable to do basic chores like dishes and cooking, I am rather helping a couple of the younger children with their schoolwork.

And as I mentioned in my previous post, I have been able to catch up with so much reading over the past two weeks. 

I have never been much of a reader, always preferring to do something else like cooking up something wonderful in the kitchen or getting my hands dirty in the garden.

But I have loved delving into these delightful stories; living amongst the characters and sharing in on their wonderful adventures…
Currently I am busy with Caddie Woodlawn – dear friends, how is it possible that I am only reading this charming story now?

I have also been brainstorming ideas and doing some planning.
Putting pen to paper and actually turning my scrambled thoughts into words is the first step in taking action and living a life of purpose.

And as I have begun to pour my heart into the pages of my journal and scribble in my notebook in an attempt to organise the millions of ideas floating around in my brain, a sense of excitement has started to well up in my heart.

I am excited about the goals I have for new hobbies I want to try and others I want to improve…ideas for growing my little business and embracing this beautiful life the Lord has blessed me with.

What have you been reading lately?
Do you have anything new on the horizon?

Love and blessings!

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Finding Strength...

Hello dear friends…
It may be raining this Sunday morning and the sky dark and grey, but the warm, pressing humidity reminds me that it is summertime in China and feeling sticky and frazzled this early in the day is completely normal.

I have already had my first coffee of the day and am now partly typing, partly staring out at the rain-soaked building through my bedroom window and allowing my mind to drift back over the last two years of my life.
Never in a thousand years would I have guessed that I would be living in China for four months, or that I would be wearing a moonboot and tottering around on crutches just a few weeks before flying back to South Africa.

Almost two weeks ago I went ice skating with my sisters.  We had an absolutely wonderful time but just as I set out on a last (and obviously fateful) lap around the rink before calling it a day, I tripped and the tip of my blade got stuck in the ice and down I went.
Straight away I knew that I had seriously injured my ankle, plus the level of pain that hit, almost instantaneously, was insane.

I’ll fast forward past being carried off the ice (much to my mortification), my sister frantically calling my parents to come to the ice rink and landing up at the hospital.
It always amazes me how the Lord looks after us in ways we couldn’t even imagine.
One of the coaches at the ice rink just happened to be there that day and amazingly, he spoke almost perfect English.
He went with my dad and I to the hospital and acted as our guide and interpreter.
The whole process of seeing the doctor, getting an X-ray, seeing the doctor again and having my foot put in a cast and then getting a C.T. scan done took hours, but this kind young man stayed with us the whole time.
I don’t know what we would have done had we had the added stress of having to try and explain our situation through Google translate or find our way around the hospital by ourselves.

I was told that I had fractured my fibula and advised to have surgery, but I opted out of it for several reasons.
Instead, my dad bought me a moonboot and a good pair of crutches and I was ordered to rest as much as possible so as to give the bone the best chance of healing in the shortest amount of time.
I actually couldn’t get up for the first week and am only now able to be a bit more mobile.

To say that it has been a rough two weeks would be an understatement.
It has been extremely frustrating to have to lie flat on my back and know that any hopes for any more exploring or walking is completely out of the question now and that I probably will be off my feet for about three months.

But I am slowly learning to accept it and rather focus on what I can do.
It has been wonderful to catch up on some reading as well as sort and edit photographs that have been sitting in an unmarked folder for much too long.
Now that I am feeling stronger, I am able to help the younger children with their schoolwork and read stories to little Caleb.

I find that if I think too far ahead in time, even to tomorrow, I start stressing.
I have to take this day by day and sometimes moment by moment.

And I need to be thankful that this happened at the best time it possibly could…almost three months into our visit and a month out from going home.
The Lord is good and faithful even when I feel completely unable to trust Him.
And His grace is sufficient always.

Wishing each of you a wonderful week ahead!

Monday, 1 April 2019

Hello Springtime.

 Hello lovely friends and happy first day of April.

Ahh…how beautiful the world is at this time of year. 
I cannot help but think how magical it would be if we had springtime all year round…

Possibly my favourite thing about Spring are the delicate blush coloured blossoms that look like little pink marshmallows adorning the bare winter trees…

Their varied pink hues beautify the landscape, bleak and brown after an icy cold winter, and their sweet scent fills the air…

Lovely warm Spring weather means hours spent out of doors, breathing in fresh air and soaking up some delicious sunshine.

And what better time to do a spring inspired photo shoot of the five younger children…

Our Bethy girl, all grown up at almost fifteen…

The lovely Gabrielle at almost twelve years old…

Our Rebekah girl at nine years old…

Sweet Sofia at seven years old…

And the adorable little Caleb at almost three years old.

I can’t believe that Nancy and I have now been in China with our family for almost six weeks.
We had a whirlwind first month which is why you haven’t heard from me…

We have explored quite a bit too – we spent a whole day visiting an ancient town, we attended a paper making workshop held at a museum, walked around a beautiful garden…experienced a traditional Chinese meal and dressed up in traditional Chinese costume.

I am eagerly looking forward to sharing these experiences with you…
In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram where I regularly post photographs of our daily experiences.

Blessings and love…

Sunday, 3 March 2019

A Sunday stroll and the first signs of spring in China

On Sunday morning we decided to go for a walk at a park nearby.
This outing involved packing a snack, bundling into layers upon layers of warm clothing and a quick bus trip...

Here Caleb is riding the 102 bus to Shushan Park.

The trees are still bare and the scenery quite bleak…

 …But Spring is coming.

Such a pretty sister...

And another of my pretty little sisters...

How I love this little guy!

Of course Gabrielle had to bring her dolls along...

Little boots...aww.

 These two are delighted to be spending so much time together.

Little explorer...

After an hour or two of fresh, icy cold air we decided it would be a good idea to head home for a cup of hot chocolate.

 So it was time to catch the B2 bus back to the apartment.

Good thing we took this little guy along.  He’s an expert on travel in Hefei.  {{Smiles}}

I think we will be visiting Shushan park again soon…

Blessings to you, sweet friends.

P.S.  In case you are wondering...  Nancy and I are now in China!
I will stop by later this week with another post!