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South Africa
My husband, Brett and I live in beautiful South Africa and have been blessed with the most precious family. We have 2 very beautiful and brave daughters, Tianna (12) and Angelee (9) and a very precious little boy called Zac who touched our hearts forever in his 1 day here on earth. We never would have imagined that we would have to live this side of Heaven without our sweet boy who was born with half a heart, but every day Jesus carries us through and is teaching us more than ever how to live, laugh and love fully. Our faithful Great Restorer has graciously blessed us with one more son, Gabriel, who has just recently made his grand entry into this big wide world of wonder. We are all so in love with him already! "Love in Action" is our journey as a family to love the way Jesus is teaching us to love and live.

About the Journey

Life is certainly a remarkable adventure! You just never quite know what's around that next corner! I am a 36 year old wife and mommy to 4 amazing children. When I started this blog a few years ago I had no idea just how much I would learn about the depths of God's love in the years ahead! Back then I was a mommy of two little girls. In September 2011 we were given the greatest privilege to become proud parents to a very special little boy called Zac, our "lion heart". We were entrusted to carry him in pregnancy in an amazing walk of faith, because he would only be ours this side of Heaven for 21 and a half hours after birth. Our precious heart baby has taught us more about the reality of Heaven and the truly important matters of the heart in his short journey in our lives than a lifespan of living could have taught us. He continues to be our pointer to Jesus in remarkable ways. "Love in Action" has become our incredible journey through grief to live lives filled with grace, strength, increasing joy and purpose as we continue to heal and grow in God's amazing love as a family. Just a few weeks ago we welcomed our second son, Gabriel into this amazing big-wide-world-of-wonder! We are overcome with joy as the Great Restorer is faithfully at work in our lives! Please come and join me on my adventure. I'm one of those people who wears my heart on my sleeve. I'm a firm believer of living my life out in the open as I continue to pursue a life lived in truth and freedom. I am exploring the depths of God's personal love for us, and I have to say that life is far more colourful lived in His love. I would like to live my life having experienced rich friendships - both new and old and most certainly having loved and laughed my way through most of it. I welcome you to share your thoughts and comments with me. At the end of each blog entry, click on "comments" to add your thoughts. I can't wait to hear from you! Here's to life God's way ... RICH and FULL in Jesus Christ's overflowing love for us!

11 May 2014

"Beloved" ... a simple little word with a whole lot of love

It's late, but I can't sleep. I've been tossing and turning for ages. Finally, I've crawled out of bed and found a cozy little corner in my lounge, wrapped up in my warmest gown. (Shew but it's quiet when everyone is asleep!) There is a word stuck in my heart that I need to explore with you tonight. "Beloved". Short and sweet. Simple, yet deeply profound in turning our lives around. Here's what's rolling around in my heart ...
It all started with a greeting I read in the book of 3 John 1:2. "Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers." That simple little verse has arrested my heart on and off for weeks now. Lately, God has been dealing with me graciously (and p-a-t-i-e-n-t-l-y) about "decluttering" my heart and everyday life from things that are stealing my time and drawing away my focus from where it needs to be in order for me to thrive and prosper (like this verse talks about). 
I always know that I have some heart issues to deal with, when I am not prospering in my health or soul. (Our soul speaks of our mind, will and emotions). This came as a big revelation to me a few weeks ago. I had been feeling quite irritable, discontent and missioning with stress symptoms in my body when I first read this verse and realised that my body was trying to get my attention to show me that I had some heart matters to take care of. Here was my big light-bulb revelation ... if my health and soul aren't prospering, somewhere along the way I have a love-lack in my revelation or acceptance of how much God loves me. In other words, somewhere, I am carrying a heart wound. I say this because this very verse starts with the word "BELOVED". Unless we are living in an active revelation of being the beloved of God ... (actively BEING loved by Love Himself) ... we cannot prosper in all the fullness and freedom that Christ has created us to live and thrive in. We either start striving in our own ability or seek out love or acceptance in other places that never fully satisfy and lead us into stress and anxiety. Stress, we know, is one of the biggest causes of sickness in our bodies. The fact is that our body and soul cannot prosper, if our hearts aren't prospering in love. It is only God's full and accepting love that releases us to truly thrive in joy, peace and freedom. I see it so clearly in my own life. I have always known that my precious Jesus loves me, but when I get distracted and caught up with the cares and stresses of life and shift my focus from drawing my love and acceptance from Him on a regular, fresh & living basis, before I realise it I find myself back in old patterns of striving or hiding. (How easy it is for us to stuff our pain away and try to ignore it. Sadly though, it will always keep resurfacing until we finally deal with it). It has been so powerful for me to see the incredible connection between my heart, soul and body and that my heart issues manifest in my body and soul. 
When I read that word "beloved", God broke it down to me this way ... "Be.Loved." The whisper through my soul was "Janni ... be loved my girl. You don't have to strive, earn, work for, deserve or any other laboursome-effort. Simply BE loved by Me. On the merit of what my heart is towards you ... BE loved. Not on any merit of what you think you've worked for or deserved." 
I have been a Christian for 32 years, yet God continues to bowl me over with how vast His amazing love is and how small my revelation is in accepting that bigness into my heart and life. Why we wrestle against it, I do not know. We can be so very hard on ourselves and stubborn beyond belief, yet He gets us and He just continually draws us back to the basics in order to lead us into freedom. That freedom will always be rooted in His love and truth. No matter how stubborn or far away from that love we push, He NEVER stops reaching out to us in love .... calling each of our names and carrying on from where we left off with Him. He has the amazing capacity to take hold of any moment we give Him and reveal Himself to us through His Word when we simply come and see Him standing in the midst of our every day lives. 
This one little verse ... a simple greeting, has been my precious Jesus speaking so deeply into my heart, showing me places of avoidance and pain in my own heart and leading me into heart healing and freedom yet again. He understands our complicated hearts.
What is He speaking into your heart today? Whatever He navigates and helps you to see in your own heart right now, know with an unshakeable peace that He is drawing you into a broader place of freedom and joy unspeakable. Heart healing always leads our soul and body into prosperity. That after all, has always been His heart for us ... the promise of "ABUNDANT life" in Him, because we are His precious "beloved". Today, my prayer for you is that you will take this moment to stop and "BE loved" by Love Himself.
All my love xxx
Janine
ps - Yay! I think that I am finally ready to go to sleep with a settled heart! Happy dance!!!

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24 February 2014

One of those "Pear Shaped" days ...

Oy!!! I don't know when last I had one of these whoppers of a day like I've been having today! You know those ones where half way through you are wondering why in the blue blazers you decided to get up?! Yip. It's been one of those for me. Just to give you a taste ...
1) I went out to breakfast with a friend. Each breakfast choice I picked, apparently they weren't able to make for me. So when I finally found something they could make for me, imagine my shock-horror when my plate of scrambled eggs arrived with a pile of lettuce on it to "replace" the other foods that they had unfortunately just realised they had run out of! LETTUCE!!! With eggs?! I kid you not!!! Mwah ha ha. Funny now, but I cannot say that I was giggling at the time! I promptly removed those crazy greens off my breakfast plate :0)
2) As I got home (in the rain) I realise that I was parked outside of my own gate! My darling hubby had arranged for the fumigators to come today and they parked me out ... so now I had to park outside and run up the long driveway in the rain in my highest of heels! (What was I even thinking when I put heels on today!) So I get inside feeling mildly irritated (ok - maybe not so mild ... maybe a dash or so more) and the house is dripping in whatever they just sprayed. That's the moment I realise that they sprayed all our beds too! So now I'm looking at the weather and wondering what we are going to sleep on tonight because there isn't a ray of sunshine in sight to dry the beds in time, so I go into my room to put the fan on as an attempt to dry it out. That's the same moment the fumigating gentleman breaks the news to me that he has accidentally broken my plug trying to get the fan on! What the heck??? How is that even possible?! He managed to somehow snap off one of the pins on the plug?! I didn't even know that could happen! Well ... I wish I could tell you that I was kind, compassion, understanding and a whole host of other Jesus-charactersitics that I really do aspire to. Instead I glared at him and asked how on earth he managed to do that? Poor man didn't have a word to say. So I let him go with a mumble under my breath. (And yes I do still feel really bad for being such a grumpy old dragon to the incredible-hulk who managed to break the plug).
3) After finally buying a new plug, having it replaced and fetching the girls I came home hungry!!! So I decided to make a shake. Yip. I know you are probably thinking ... "No!!! Not one of those blender disasters!". Yip!!!! My kids will testify to the joyous moment when I poured the milk into the jug, only for all of us to watch it run right out of the bottom of the jug and all over the counter and floor. Some dear person (who shall remain nameless) never screwed it on properly!!! Oh man! Everyone around me took a step back and watched to see if this mount-mamma was about to blow. Let's just say that my face was a lot redder and the steam was building, but I managed to keep my not-too-nice thoughts in my head. It was touch and go whether they were going to come tumbling out when one of the girls asked why I was in such a bad mood!
This was the moment that I decided to take a step back and go back to the last thing that God spoke to my heart. "BE STILL and know that I am God".  (Yes - I am STILL on that and very much having to learn how to do this "still" thing ;0) But here I am ... sitting back and breathing deep and just allowing  myself to find the humour in all those little "foxes" that have been trying to steal my joy today. Looking back ... they just give me a funny story to tell and an opportunity to see some places that need a little more growth in my life. So awesome how when we do allow ourselves to be still with God, He is able to shift our perspective. 
Today I am choosing to pick myself up off the 'feeling-sorry-for-myself' floor ... receive forgiveness and grace for my ugly attitudes, say a little sorry to my girls for being grumpy and choose to surrender to God to take hold of a better afternoon ;0) 
Here's hoping that you are having an even more fun day than mine so far <3
Janine xxx
ps - OH MY WORD!!! Just as I was about to post this, I pushed the wrong button and lost half my post! I just sat there and chose to laugh!!!!!!! And then I discovered that our puppy chewed up a vital piece of my vacuum cleaner! I'm not laughing just yet ;0) All this in just one priceless day. Just another opportunity to turn this pear shaped day into something I can laugh at for days to come! Forget about turning lemons into lemonade ... I'm transforming bottom-up pears into pear pudding!!!!    

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