Script Frenzy

December 12th, 2013

Hi there.

Script Frenzy is not the clever title of this weeks episode of The Thursday Blog but it is the state of being I have found my life in. I go on holidays in 6 days and for the last 6 days, every night until 1am I have been up writing scripts with Dave Wakerley. This is because a few weeks when I get back we are going to film this new curriculum which is both awesome and scary at the same time.

So now I sit at 11:34pm, rather early on the most part but after a week on 5 hours sleep a night has caught up to me and I still have to clean up after having the cast over for a table read. So on that note I bid you adieu, as I am done like a dinner and just have to get through the next 6 days.

I will talk to you next week, until then please endevour to do what I will make sure I will go in this hectic season….

Have Fun

Dan.

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Procrastination

December 5th, 2013

Hi all and welcome to another episode of The Thursday Blog.

So we are on the home stretch for the year. I have only 13 days left until I go on holidays yet for some reason there are 167 days worth of things to accomplish. Now my mother used to say to me “If i’ve have told you once, i’ve told you a thousand times STOP EXAGGERATING”’, so I will admit that is not really 167 days worth, but maybe 164.

At the end of the day I just have to just sit down and do it. I have to stop procrastinating and just get down to business. This is easier said than done. In fact my mind has the ability to interrupt any work with a thought like “YOU MUST CHECK EBAY TO SEE IF THEY HAVE THAT BOOK YOU ARE AFTER” and the next thing I know it is 30 mins later and I am on my third forum on the best quality socks in the market. Sure I learnt what thread count is but it is still not productive.

I find this especially hard at work. Though I am not on Ebay a lot I have the constant balance between working on business building projects and staff development and reacting to the demands of the customer that walk, call or email into our door. So I could be working and then someone needs help with something because some guy from another branch did something so a now a customer has been charged a sum of money. There goes 45 mins and another 10-15mins getting back into what I was doing.

At home it is not any easier as we have a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old. Both of which are an abundant source of joy in my life and both are completely unpredictable. Amazingly awesome but still mind-boggling unpredictable. They could be doing something they have done 100 times without an issue and then change it up when we least expect it. Things such as: Eating, Sleeping, Playing, Sharing, Fighting, Talking, Screaming, and Listening; cannot be taken for granted because at any time they can forget years of training and shock Daddy probably for the fun of it. This means getting things done can be hard, a lot of fun but certainly hard. I still don’t know how my Princess manages to keep up with them during the day and do so much. When I look after them by myself she will come home, the house is a mess and I am in the corner being jumped on by laughing kids.

With so many distractions in life how in the world can anyone get things done?

2 Timothy 1:7
New King James Version (NKJV)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Some translations of this scripture replace the sound mind with “self control”. Now this is hard because right now I searched for this scripture on a new tab and ask.com came up instead of google. I searched and not a single scripture came up just a bunch of ads for the Spirit of Tasmania (a boat). I finally realised that the searches were over half-way down the page. So I had to disable this but there is nowhere to find the instructions on how to do it – and when I google “change Chrome new tab page”, there were a million hits on how to change it from the new tab page in the latest update to the older style…and the next thing I knew it was 30 mins later and I was booking in a free photography shoot for my family. For my Princess who is now reading this I am only joking……. the photo shoot cost $1400.

During all of these challenges it is really great to know that a sound mind and self control is not something I have to find but it has been placed inside my by God. Sure I have to work on using it more in my life but I don’t have to obtain it because God has already given it to me. This is very very encouraging to me and I hope it is to you too.

Now I better make a start on this blog otherwise it will never get it done, I don’t even have a title!!!

Have Fun.

Dan

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The Gift of Thanks

November 28th, 2013

Hello everybody. Happy Thanksgiving!!!! I hope you enjoy today’s episode called

The Gift of Thanks

 

What a freaking ________ (insert any descriptive word) year it has been. Literally put any word in there and this year has been like it. Let me give you a few

Heart Wrenching – As I held my 3 year old Little Princess as she fought against the anesthetic that would put her asleep so they could remove her gall bladder. As we mourned the passing of 3 friends and families miscarriages and the death of a friends stillborn baby.

Stretching – As we juggled responsibility of a promotion at work, moving to a much busier branch an extra 30 mins away with the greater responsibility of being loving and caring husband and wife as well as good parents to our two little girls. As we faced the health challenges in my family with my brother and sister both hospitalised and in my wife’s family as her only brother, only grandmother and only (of course) mother all spend time in hospital. Her dad is fine, thanks for asking.

Tiring – As I handled the extra travel, extra responsibilities all while trying to make health a priority and commit to exercising regularly. As My Princess handled the two children’s growing up, running, playing, asking questions, being stubborn, not listening. As we became pregnant with our third and My Princess going back to work a day a week as a nurse which means at least twice a month working overnight and then having a full day awake with the kids until I get home that night.

Full of blessing – As my work starting reaping rewards quarter after quarter (something not many managers do). As I celebrated my 30th birthday in style with a road trip to remember. As we saw friends get married and other friends share their news about being pregnant. As our dream came true and My Princess became pregnant with our third world changer.

Full of his presence – As we listened to God’s leadership through a tough season but came out the other side better off. As our relationship with God became closer as we allowed him to carry us during the tough times. As the right resource, person or thought would come at the right time to set us up for the days and weeks to come. As God did a work behind the scenes and revealed his finished work and deliverance.

Full of friendships – As I struggled with the thoughts of if I really have any friends or just people who in general like me like they like the evening news – they find it interesting. but God highlighted those who really care. As new friendships were formed and cemented and ones in the pipeline for years finally blossomed as we got a chance to met face to face and not just stalk each other online.

No here is the thing. I have named 3 fairly hard descriptions of our year and three ultra positive ones. So the point of the story has to be forget about the first three and be thankful for the last 3 but that is not it at all. I wouldn’t change anything that has happened this year. When I moved workplace and I had no idea what to do I experienced God’s leadership and guidance in a way I never had before. When I was home with the kids out of my element as my wife was at hospital looking after her mother who just gave a kidney to her brother,, and the tiredness and exhaustion hit I experienced a strength that I hadn’t needed before. When I held my Grace as the gas caused her body to convulse and cry I experienced the anguish of a father and understood God just a little bit more.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

This has been an amazing year and I give my sincere Thanks to my God whom I love.

Have Fun

Dan.

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Grace’s Grace

November 21st, 2013

Hi everybody and welcome back.

Today’s episode is called:

Grace’s Grace

It was My Little Princess’ 4th birthday on Monday. For those who don’t know my family, my oldest daughter Grace is My Little Princess, my youngest daughter Mya is My Little Beauty, and my wife Jasmine who I started all of this with is My Princess. Now I know that you are all thinking shouldn’t Jasmine be My Queen but she believes she is not old enough to be called that and will review her decision when she feels fit. Until then I can’t take my proper place, so I am left singing that classic Disney song “I just can’t wait to be king”.

We had a family gathering on the Saturday which was fun. My Princess had bought a giant inflatable birthday cake – this things was huge and the candles stuck up so you could play a ring toss game (quoits) with the rings provided. I got to experience a milestone in being a father: doing a crazy impossible task just to make your kids happy. I had to blow that sucker up using only my mouth and it took me an hour!!! At one point our itunes playlist was on shuffle and the song came on “I’m so dizzy, my head is spinning”.

At the end of the gathering our family gave My Little Princess her gifts. I am starting to think her love language is gifts as she really appreciated it. Then all presents had been given except for her Uncle’s, who presented her with her very own goldfish. Everyone cheered and clapped as they welcomed our very first pet, but my analytical brain was wizzing. We now have a fish but absolutely no way or knowledge to care for it. Oh well I thought, at least we can teach Grace about death. I invited everyone back in a couple of weeks for a memorial service, but 9 hours later “Goldilocks” passed away.

Turns out fish die in water, because they need water but not that water, the other water the type of water the fish likes. And we unintentionally gave it the water that it didn’t like…and she protested and died. This put us in a very interesting position as parents. I had heard stories of people’s goldfish’s living for 10 years only to find out later it was 1 goldfish and 15 doppelgangers over the years. Do we tell Grace or just replace?

When we thought about it the choice was clear, move to Mexico. Then we had a cup of tea and the choice really was clear. We needed to let Grace go through her first experience of loss and guide her through. The next morning we sat her down and told her that everything on this earth lives for awhile then dies. We humans live for a long time (120 years for my family), but goldfish don’t normally live long (especially when their owners don’t know what in the world pH levels are?) and so Goldilocks had died. Then I witnessed something truly beautiful. She began to cry.

No I am not a sicko that enjoys others’ pain, but I got to be apart of this just-turned-4 year old’s life when she was first processing grief. We hugged her and let her know that we loved her very much and that something amazing happens when we go through hard times like this. God gives us a special gift to help us through. I asked her if she knew what it was.

‘No’ said Grace.

“It is His Grace” I said with a smile.

She paused for a moment then smiled herself and said “That’s me”.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

To share with my daughter the lesson that God loves her so much that He will be right with her during her time of hurt is something that I will never forget. She was given the opportunity to experience God’s comfort and I know she did.

We went to the pet store the next day and got ourselves a complete set up – proper tank, stuff to make the water into the water the fish like, a live plant, and two new fish, one for each of the girls. We were finally set up for a win………….. I hoped. However yesterday after 3 days our youngest daughter’s fish died. How are the girls taking it? Really great. My Little Beauty is too young to understand but My Little Princess Grace offered her some encouraging words:

“Mya, your fish died, and my fish is alive……. but one day it will die”.

Have Fun.

Dan

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Britney’s Song

November 14th, 2013

Hello everybody, welcome back.

Today’s episode is called”

“Britney’s Song”

Now I know that sounds like a really hipster kind of blog title where I now tell a story about a girl called Britney who lived a tragic life, and found solace in writing a song that will touch all of you when you read the lyrics. I wish!!! In fact the Britney I am talking about is Britney Spears, which does fit the first part; but the song is “Oops I did it again” whose lyrics should never be read intentionally.

I bring this up because I was faced with a situation and a challenge that I have faced in some way or form before, and yet I still reacted in a way that I really really didn’t want to do but I still did. I worried :(

Now to my credit I didn’t worry at the start, but when 2 weeks had passed and I was supposed to have a resolution with a dealing with a third party in 5 days; I started to get a little bit ancy. Another week later with no updates the heat was turned up. The worst part was my contact wasn’t returning any of my calls and when he did I missed it and then he wouldn’t answer for the next 3 days. Finally I was told a resolution would be sorted in 5 days. 10 days later I am ready to explode. I am ready to complain, go over my contacts head and demand a resolution. I worry everything has gone wrong and I won’t be able to find a solution but I really have no other option as they have wasted 5 weeks of my time. Just at the point where I am about to lose it I get a call and all is finalised and sorted. Oh.

Matthew 6:25-27

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Worry is such a stupid past time but still it is like trying to kick an addiction. It takes time, patience and many failed attempts where you get a little bit better each time. To tell the truth I did get better this time. I generally wasn’t worried at the start or even after a few weeks. A lot of the time I stopped myself worrying reminding myself that God is in control and he loves me more than birds. Sure the worry came back and I wasted time with that, checking and rechecking my emails hoping for any updates in the last 1.16 seconds.

So I am getting better and I am striving to get myself to a place where I am 100% confident God is in control no matter what life throws my way. How long will that take me? I am not sure…… but I am not worried about that.

Have Fun

Dan.

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The one thing that matters

November 7th, 2013

Hello everyone, i’m so very very happy. Why? Because I got audited. All will be explained in today’s episode:

The one thing that matters

So for those who don’t know I am a Bank Manager. Pause for effect. No, I am not a full-time kids comedian who works for David Wakerley. I remember my friend Michael Chanley sent me a message once saying “Hey, I had a chat to your boss the other day” to which I asked “How do you know Russell?”

Now the biggest challenge of my job is to balance the constant push for building the business at the same time keeping the branch in line with 100’s of the banks’ policies, procedures and government regulations. The former is the protagonist to earning a bonus. We have a large number of KPI (Key Performance Indicators) which put me in bonus territory if they are achieved. The latter is a gatekeeper which means no matter how well you go if you don’t meet your compliance expectations then no bonus for you. But the catch 22 is it is hard to build your business and keep up compliance because compliance takes so much time. Soooooo much time. I mean I have spent the last 4 months preparing for this audit.

Now I have been audited 4 times since starting at my bank 2 years ago and most managers fail their first one. But I picked up very quickly that if I fail, then all the hard work week in week out, month in month out, counted for nothing when it came to bonus time. Now work is not all about bonuses but if they are there to be earned, why not go for it. So many managers came into the business, worked their socks off, got their branch to be one of the best in the country and then had it all come crumbling down when they failed audit. They didn’t want to focus on the one thing that actually counted. They ran hard but didn’t realise they had a poor start and faulted at the beginning.

It is funny in life that that is a bit like how we often are. We focus on all the stuff that brings the success, the accolades, the time in the sun; yet we miss what really matters.

Mark 8:36
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

You know what, it would be better for those managers to have achieved half or even a quarter of their success in sales, if it meant a pass in audit. Similarly it really doesn’t matter what we achieve in life – if we keep our relationship with God healthy then we are always better off.

The best news is that currently my branch is one of the best in our region for sales and today we were audited and got the best result this financial year in the country. So you really can have the best of both worlds; but if you have to choose one make sure you choose the one thing that counts.

Have Fun

Dan

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You just never know

November 1st, 2013

Hello everyone and welcome back. You look nice.

Today’s episode is called:

You just never know

I got an email 4 months ago from a ticketing company telling me that the kids cartoon Peppa Pig had a live show and I could be a part of the pre-sale as I was such a valued customer (along with 10,000,000 other people). I thought to myself “Great, that would make a perfect birthday present for my daughter because it is her favourite show. I will wait 4-6 weeks until I do something about it”. I didn’t think the last part but that is what I did. By the time I decided that it is really was a great idea and I really wanted those tickets the event had completely sold out.

I went into damage control, working out all my options, including flying to another state to get tickets but it was sold out everywhere. I then made a timetable to regularly kick myself. But in the midst of my despair I realised that I was a Christian and I could pray so I did. I was confident that it would work out.

Now when I said sold out that was not entirely true, there was about 1-2 tickets left for a few shows but not together. I then kept looking and I found my answer to prayer. 2 tickets in the same section but not together. I would just leave one seat and have my daughter sit on my lap. I wanted to check with the venue to see if that was ok but it was late Saturday night and I had to wait until Monday. So I bought them there and then, so I now had a way into the show at least. Or so I thought.

A quick call to the Sydney Opera House on Monday revealed that under no circumstance was I allowed to do this. My 3 year old daughter would have to sit by herself and I would have to sit 6 rows back, 31 seats across. Something to do with emergency exits that had been assigned were different blah blah blah. Now I know that some of you are thinking “who cares, I would of just done it” but even our entrance door was different. I don’t know how I could get her in my door, or me in her door, without drawing attention to the fact that our seats were so far apart. I was advised to check the website regularly as they could change my tickets if seats came available (which just so happened today sir, you just missed out) but no refunds allowed.

I think I checked the website too often. My average was 4 times a day with a record of 10. I had to open all 16 performances to see if seats were available so it was a 5 minute effort. So much for the man of faith. Then 2 weeks later I was granted a second chance. Another email from the ticketing agent said that a new venue had just been announced and was on sale now. I got tickets for my daughter and I, 2nd row from the front, dead centre. My problem was sorted.

Except now I had a new problem. One, I had two tickets (not together) that I was not using but the other problem was I was confused. I was so sure that the tickets I originally got were an answer to prayer, yet it is obvious that the second tickets were the answer. I thought I was acting in faith getting the tickets believing it would work out, when maybe I should of had faith that God would make a way. I concluded that the latter was correct and I should be careful not to jump the gun in the future. Until now.

I tried to sell the tickets with no luck. I reduced the price after awhile, now to the point where I was losing about $20 but no one was interested in two tickets that weren’t together. Then on gumtree I found 2 individual people that just wanted single tickets because they had under 2’s and they can sit on your lap for free. I contacted them both and I sold them the tickets for what I paid for them and they were both very grateful. I got an email from one of them saying thanks again, they are really happy I had the ticket because every single ticket in the country is gone. I emailed them back saying that someone must be looking after them, because I just so happened to have the ticket and had come across her “wanted” ad. I finished with a “God Bless” to try and reference who the “someone” was. Her response blew me away.

“Yeah that makes sense… I actually wanted it for my daughters’ father to take her, they haven’t seen each other for a year and the show is on his last day here visiting on his two week trip so it will be really nice memory for them.”

My ticket was for the 2nd day of a 6 day run and it just so happened to be the last day a father is in town who hasn’t seen his own daughter in a year. And I just so happened not to be able to use it, not be able to sell it, and to find her ad and provide her with the ticket. I don’t know if she is a Christian but she definitely acknowledges that a higher power has an interest in her. You never know what impact that may have had in her life.

I thought I had jumped the gun, and not acted in faith when I bought those tickets, but you never know what God has planned for you to be a part of.

Ecclesiastes 1:5 – As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.

So if you are in a difficult situation, a challenge at work or family, or you too are checking for tickets every 30 mins you never know what God has in plan for you and how this will work out, not only for you but to impact others.

Have Fun

Dan.

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Making friends with an old enemy

October 24th, 2013

Hi everybody. Welcome to another amazing episode of The Thursday Blog. Today’s episode is called:

Making friends with an old enemy

When I was younger I loved “Kids Praise Kids” with none other than Psalty the Singing SongBook. It was basically a bunch of praise songs for kids with a loose-fitting storyline between the songs. My parents had borrowed the tapes from our school and made copies so I never saw the albums sleeves and never really got what the character of Psalty was about. I remember getting to a certain age, maybe 8 where I thought “he is a book????”.

Book or not the character was awesome and it really helped give me a strong foundation of at least praising God. And whenever I was bored I could just think “Happy thoughts about Jesus” and the songs would play (after I hit the button, I didn’t have a magic song book). Well one album, kids praise 7, Psalty invented a ‘“Magnificent Multiphasic Take Your Time Machine” – an amazing device that allowed you to basically stop time so you can take as much time as you wanted to do certain things. Unfortunately it turned out to be a regular run of the mill, cheaper by the dozen time machine, and they went back into history and visited historic heroes of songwriting. But I remember thinking at a small age, I would love that machine, not the time machine itself; but the idea of the “take your time” machine.

My life would be fixed. This is a bold statement coming from a 10 year old. I would think about all the things I could do where time wasn’t an issue. The funny thing is now 20 years later I still have to fight against the same feeling “wouldn’t it be great to have more time”.

Time and I have never been close. Growing up it was impossible to catch in the morning, very hard to hold at night; yet during the day especially during geography it would sit around and look at me and say “What’s up”?

Yet I had a conversation with a very close friend today about some of the struggles he has been having with a lull in his life, and depression is knocking on the door. I remember back to a time 7 years ago where my whole life hit rock bottom. I couldn’t sleep, I would eat junk food constantly, and I put on 14kgs (30 pounds) in a month. I was skinny all my life and boom, I was overweight in a matter of weeks. I even had stretch marks…. terrible.

I went to share with my friend what helped me get out of such a dark place. However it is hard to put my finger on exactly what helped. It was a mixture of friends and family, faith and prayer, serving and volunteering at church, and my beautiful girlfriend who ended up a year later married to some amazing stud…… ME. In saying that I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly helped except for one thing….. time.

You see one of the things that got me to my lowest point was my fight against time. I wanted to be the youngest Youth Pastor at my church and I worked against the clock to try and make that happen. This came crumbling down as I got older and opportunity wasn’t happening and yet that inconsiderate time still decided to tick. But when I hit rock bottom and God very graciously closed the “becoming a pastor” door in my face, time was no longer an issue. I was allowed to simply be, I was allowed to rest, I was allowed to heal. Looking back I don’t know when my healing happened, it was so gradual that I didn’t even notice and it left no scars.

Ecclesiastes 3 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace

Learn to enjoy the time you are in, regardless of what it looks like. Time is simply doing what it is created to do and it wants to be your friend.

Have Fun

Dan.

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Rough Edges

October 17th, 2013

Hello everyone. I hope you are ready for this. Today’s episode will include an audio visual presentation. We are stepping things up here on The Thursday Blog. This and more and maybe a monkey in todays episode called:

Rough Edges

Kidshaper is the Kids Ministry organistion – Kids R Us National conference. Kids R Us is a fantastic not for profit organisation that exists to champion the cause of the local kids ministry around Australia. Run by our good friend Andy Kirk and his wife Christy, this organization and the yearly conference is one of our highlights of the year.

The team from my church have been going for years and I was joined along for the ride for the last 5. During that time I have managed to do everything from doing the announcements using flannelgraph, to starting a very intimate relationship with Pastor Steve Adams by jumping on his lap while dancing to eye of the tiger (such a long story – ask Steve next time you see him). Every year it is seems we are pushed out of our comfort zone and try something we have never tried before, so far without flopping. Mind you it is honestly the best audience you could ask for. 800 or so adults who have dedicated their lives to serving their kids ministry……… insane people are really fun.

So this year after much deliberating we decided to go with an idea that Barry Newton (aka Squirt the Clown) had last year. It turned out he has been pitching the idea for 7 years but no one listened. It was a omarge to Monty Pythons ‘4 Yorkshire Men’. For those who haven’t seen it, it is basically a skit about 4 men trying to top each other about how bad they had it in the day. We decided to do the same but for Kids Ministry.

Now you remember I said push out of our comfort zone, this fit that category to a tee. I was working with the one and only Dave Wakerley who is famous for pasting his scripts on objects when we film so he can secretly read it. Also there is Squirt who has never used a script in his life, let alone has a terrible speech impediment which is one of the reasons he doesn’t use a script so he can dance around it. Finally there was Dylan…. who was perfect but for the point of the story lets just say he sold life insurance.

We practiced……………. ok, we are all from different states besides Dave and I so we our first run through was on stage during the soundcheck. We prayed….. oh boy did we pray and then we got on stage to perform.

Was the performance perfectly polished.? Not at all.
Did the script get followed to a tee? Not even close.
Did anyone forget their lines? They sure did.
Did everyone love it? You better believe it.

There were some hairy moments. Like when Dave forgot that he was supposed to stick up for himself as we were teasing him out for having a building. Instead he joined in a started to tease someone else for it. On when Dylan stalled and when I looked at him he was shaking in fear due to not knowing the lines. I even called a Gold Fish a Cold Fish but no one seemed to mind, in fact they were some of the best bits.

You see we had honestly tried our best. We couldn’t actually put in more rehearsal time in but we all very busy with helping out at the conference. We did the best we could with what we had and left the rest to God.

‘God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV’

In life you will have a lot of chances to beat yourself up about not being perfect. Stop it! You never know, your rough edges might be all apart of your design.

Have Fun

Dan.

monkey

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Your next breath

October 11th, 2013

Hello there.

It’s Thursday.

Let’s do this.

“Your next breath”

This week has been nothing short of ……………I can’t find the word. Feel free to read the episode and then comment/tweet/email me an appropriate word to fit the space. The week has had an amazing high and a terrible low and involves the journeys of 2 families.

Journey 1 – There once was a handsome man, we are not talking small town handsome, but so handsome he could be a part time model but doesn’t have the time because he does things like spend time with his family and volunteers at church which in turns shows a deep sense of moral priorities which makes him even more handsome. There also was a woman who if I tried to describe how pretty she was it I would still be writing by next thursday. They fell in love and got married. She became my Princess Jasmine and I became her Aladdin. You can awwww now. Now you realize that I am the handsome man who so humbly described himself downplaying his handsomeness. You can laugh now.

Now Husband and Wife dreamt of having a family and that dream started to come true when a year later after spending their one year anniversary in Paris, we became pregnant. We were over the moon. Then one day our life changed when the doctor said he had concerns and sent us for a scan at only 8 weeks. The scan couldn’t pick up a heartbeat so we waited another week. We prayed and fasted and pleaded for our child to live but no improvement a week later. We still held on praying and believing but by 12 weeks a scan showed our child had gone. The whole story was one of my first blogs called My Son. We say my son because I felt God told me quite clearly that it was a boy at 5 weeks. We named him Samuel.

Fast foward until this week and we are celebrating an incredible high. We not only have 2 indescribably amazing daughters, but we had our 12 week scan to show our newest baby on its way is healthy and strong. As much as we are people of faith, ask any parent to know there is a sigh of relief at your first scan. The first 12 weeks are so critical and I don’t even want to look up the statistics on the number that don’t make it. Ours is healthy and strong and it has 6 more months plus 120 years to live of its world changing life.

Journey 2

Man meets Woman and yes they are both very attractive….. they are friends of ours, of course they are attractive. They get married and have dreams of becoming parents. That dream is delayed as falling pregnant is taking some time. Isn’t it amazing you hear of people getting pregant after a one night stand and have to think if they want to go through with the pregnancy; and yet we have amazing parents that keep trying and trying. They feel led to stop trying for a while and apply to be long term foster parents. What happens next, I can’t explain and I have heard the story 10 times. Something happens with something and while they are waiting to foster a child they end up fostering two young brothers and then shortly after a young baby boy. So they went from married with no kids to married with 3 kids under 5 in a matter of months. I think they got them on Ebay.

Now to top off this amazing family who always seem to be able to adapt to any challenge without fuss, their original dream comes true and they get pregnant. Hey they bought a 8 seater car the more the merrier. They get past their first scan with held breath and all is well. They are having a boy….. to match the 3 boys they already have. They do all the checkups, go to all the birthing classes. There are a lot of good stories of first time parents in the class freaking out about nappies/diaper changes or installing car seats and they are laughing at them. The baby is growing, now it is 34 weeks and their dream is coming true. But this week everything changed.

For no apparent reason their precious child stops moving in the womb. They call the hospital who didn’t seem concerned but brought her in for a checkup. After she was seen they called in her husband and the doctor told them that their child had passed away.

I can’t imagine the pain of carrying the dream for so long and then finding out this news. Then having to go through the experience of giving birth to your child that has already gone to heaven is incomprehensible. All I know is their strong faith in their loving Father is what has got them through this week.

They gave birth to a beautiful, amazing, cherished baby boy that they named Samuel.

I talked to my friend this week. There are so many questions and not many answers, but I will never forget what he said to me: “You can never take this life for granted. I put the boys to bed tonight, did our normal routine and stopped myself getting frustrated with the little things, because even though they were playing up as usual there was 3 human miracles in front of me”.

Isaiah 42:5 “God the LORD created the heavens, and stretched them out.  He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath and life to everyone in all the world”.

As much as I don’t understand why we don’t have our Sam with us, or why my friend doesn’t have his Sam in his arms I need to understand that every second or everyday is a gift from God and I can’t take any breath for granted.

Sam’s funeral is tomorrow and I want to honour his parents. When we shared on instragram about our baby on the way, my friend Nick was one of the first to comment on our account congratulating us. No bitterness, no jealousy, but just a couple that love to celebrate life and are thankful for every breath God grants them.

Nick, Alana, Mikey, Zack and Cody – We love you very much. Thank you for your example of faith and your belief in love. See you tomorrow.

All my love.

Dan, Jas, Grace, Mya and Bala (Grace’s name for baby)

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