Saturday, March 29, 2014

29th March 2014

Since my last BLOG entry, Victoria has been on a 2 night Camp Quality Junior Camp at the The Great Aussie Bush Camp and had a fantastic time. Here she is at the end of the camp, with her beautiful companion Naida. We thank God for Camp Quality and all the opportunities they have given Victoria to have fun and try new things. They have made a huge difference to her life and confidence.

We have just had the blessing of 5 days away at Darlington Beach holiday park, about 30kms north of Coffs Harbour, courtesy of the Starlight Children's Foundation and NRMA.

Whilst we were away God reminded me of the importance of being specific with prayer. On Thursday morning, I wrote the following prayer in my journal, 'please help me today to teach our children more about you'. And what ensued during the day was exactly that.

In the morning we drove into Coffs Harbour to do some exploring. We went to a Christian bookshop as I wanted to buy a gift for someone, no other purchases were planned. Whilst in the bookshop two of our children asked if they could have a new bible. We purchased the bibles and they have been reading them reverently since then. One read aloud in the car to us as we were travelling. One has been asking multiple questions about Jesus and the pharisees! Wow, what an answer to prayer! But wait, there is more ....

We asked the children to pick a place that they would like to visit at Coffs Harbour. One child asked to go to the library! No problems, off to the Coffs Harbour library we went. Next to the library is the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, so we had a sticky beck in there too. And what did we find .... an exhibition called 'Prayers of a mother'.  If you haven't heard of this exhibition or seen it, please click on this link to find out a bit more about it  'Prayers of a mother - MCA info' This exhibition so resonated with me. It was fascintating to listen to the mother talk about the prayers she offered up for her children and family. And even more fascinating to see the responses in her 8 children's faces as they listened to her!

Accompanying the exhibition was a prayer request table with a difference. A sheer white curtain was hanging on the wall. On the table was a bowl with dried autumn leaves, another bowl with sewing pins, and a couple of pens. We were given the opportunity to write prayer requests on the leaves and pin them to the curtain. 

On May 1st some people from the Coffs Harbour community are going to gather and pray for all these needs. Needless to say, the children and I all wrote on the leaves with various requests and pinned them to the curtain.  Again, this was something that I certainly did not plan for our day!

I thank God for the way He answered such a specific prayer, and that indeed our children were able to learn more about God in two specific ways in one day. Maybe, just maybe the answer came so swiftly because the prayer was about God, not our needs? 

Some of you reading this may think that yes, he answered that prayer, but what about the specific prayer we have been praying for Victoria's healing. Where is the answer to that specific prayer? Good question. Maybe, just maybe, the answer to my holiday prayer came so swiftly because the prayer was about God, not our needs.

I believe that the manifestation of Victoria's healing is on it's way, and what is equally important to God is what is happening during the 'waiting' for the manifestation. 

Three plus years of 'waiting'. Three plus year of learning patience. Three plus years of learning how to trust God more deeply. Three plus years of blessings that can only be found in difficult circumstances. Three plus year of learning of God's unconditional love for us. Three plus years of learning to love God for who He is, not for what we want Him to do. And that is only some of what has happened during the 'waiting'.

Please be encouraged that God is on the job. He is in control. Thank you for continuing to stand with us in prayer.

Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 (AMP)

Here are some more photos from our holiday. 

Marshall testing out the skate park at Nabiac.

Three sweaty girls after having fun on the jumping pillow

Grey kangaroo and joey

Fun in the pool

Holland Downunder at Coffs Harbour

More Holland Downunder

And more Holland Downunder. A big thank you to Starlight Children's foundation and NRMA for giving us another very memorable break away from the everyday challenges of life.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

12th March 2014

Our home became 'movie central' yesterday afternoon as the Starlight Children's Foundation visited us to make a DVD for some upcoming national fundraising events. 

Victoria wasn't phased by the cameras and microphones. She answered all the questions about her hospital experiences, the benefits of the Starlight Express room, and her Wish at the snow, like a pro.

Outside there was continual fiddling with the lighting screens as the sun and wind weren't always co-operative.

Charlotte and Alexandra took turns at taking photos too.

The afternoon of filming finished with
 a concert in the garden.

It was a fun afternoon, and hopefully we gave them enough material to help make a very successful fundraising event. Apparently last year these events raised over 4 million dollars, hence enabling many many children with serious illnesses to have their 'wish' come true.

This morning however reality came rushing through the door. Victoria started crying when she woke up and realized it was sport day today! Her words to me were, "I hate sport day, I always get tipped first. Someone called me 'slow poke' ". 

I stared out the window, holding back the tears, I asked God for wisdom with my words. Thankfully He was quick on the job. My response was something like, 'yes, running fast may not be your gift, but God has given you many other gifts. Do you know anyone else who has had a DVD made about them?'  For a while that placated her, however by the time it was time to get in the car to go to school, the tears had returned.

We have been using the time in the car to learn scripture verses, including this one ...

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what other have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Message.

We spent the 15 minute car ride discussing each sentence of this verse. We talked about how at least Victoria can run and join in the games, where as someone in a wheelchair would not be able to join in that way. We talked about the fact that God has put the character inside her to help her face disappointment. We talked about the truth that Jesus is out there on the playing field with her, helping her. She is not alone. I pray that this truth will penetrate deep into her beautiful sweet heart.

Thank you again for standing with us in prayer for Victoria's health and well-being. We would appreciate prayer for her emotions too. It is becoming more and more apparent to us that as she goes through these school years the emotional battle will be just as (if not more) challenging for her. She is more than equipped for it, we know that. She is a conqueror in Jesus Name.