Surrendered does not mean defeated.

As Christians, there are deep truths etched into our hearts and hidden deep in our spirit. These truths we learn from the Bible, or from solid Christian teachers or role models. Sometimes the knowledge of these things also come from the Holy Spirit, and from experiencing them personally.

For example: I know that although I may plan my future, it is God who guides my steps. My future is in God’s hands. I cling to the knowledge that God is good, even when things are hard.

Recently, my mum decided that after Christmas she would come live with my family in Alice Springs.

I have been blessed with the role of her carer as she lives with terminal cancer. I say blessed, yet it is hard. I say blessed, although her illness and disease is not a blessing in itself.

The blessing is that I have witnessed my mum’s faith growing. I have sat with my mum for 11 weeks and seen every trial, and every victory! I have learnt things that are only taught by the firey trials that life sometimes throws at you! I have been blessed by the compassion and love of many people who have uplifted us during this time.

I’ve been living with my mum for a few months now in Adelaide, but soon my children must go back to commense school in the new year. My husband has to return to work, too.

We had a rough plan. After Christmas, we would all travel to Alice Springs. We would enjoy Christmas in Adelaide, and have a few weeks to get organised for the journey home. It was a good plan.

All of that changed today.

Mum’s palliative care team advised us to speed up our plans. They are concerned that mum’s feelings of wellbeing may be short-lived.

We are praising God that mum has felt much stronger this past week! My mum believes that God is extending her time. I agree. It is a miracle that mum is still alive today, especially when Christmas seemed impossible!

Unfortunately, the palliative care team credit mum’s new strength to the steroids working, and masking the battle within her body.

Either way, we are grateful for each day that my mum feels well and in good spirits.

Either way, we are grateful for the medication helping to relieve some of the symptoms of the disease.

Either way, we thank God for the wonderful palliative care team who have loved my mum so well during the past few months. In particular, our palliative care nurse Practitioner called Wendy. She has been such an incredible gift to our family.

Even though our hearts are still hopeful for our miracle, we have decided to follow the recommendations of the palliative care team.

Our plans have changed so quickly! We must now book a flight for my mum to travel to Alice Springs. Meanwhile, my family will pack our car and drive home with our 4 daughters. We have 3 days to prepare.

With all of the uncertainties of the past few months, I’ve dealt with mixed emotions: hope and faith mixed with hopelessness and fear.

This is when the deep truths of God kick in! This is when my spirit cries out within me: “God isn’t finished!”.

You see, the Bible reminds me that God is in control. That He is a miracle-working God. That His plans are to prosper me, and not to harm me! His plans are to give me a hope and a future!

This is when the deep truths of my heart flow back through my mind: a life surrendered to God can never be defeated!

In the past, every season that I have willingly surrendered my life and future to God- I have felt the most peaceful.

You see, I believe that a life surrendered to God is not a passive or weak life! It is an empowered life! A life of faith and trust! It takes a determination to continue to say to the Lord, “I trust that your version of my life is the best version”.

In human terms, surrender is a weak sign. Surrender equals defeat.

Spiritual surrender is the opposite: it fills us with joy! I’ve experienced it.

I need to decide again to surrender my plans to God. To declare “God, I trust you are in control!”

And most relevant in my current circumstances: “God, please give me the grace to do the things you have planned for me to do!”

“Lord, give me courage to face the unknowns. Give me comfort when all hope seems lost. Give me the capacity to encourage my mum when she is sad. Please, help me!!!!”

Love always Kelly xx

Thank you.

Psalm 57:7 The passion translation (TPT).

My heart, O God, is quiet and confident. Now I can sing with passion your wonderful praises!

Awake, O my soul, with the music of his splendor song!

Arise, my soul, and sing his praises!

My worship will awaken the dawn, greeting the daybreak with songs of light!

Wherever I go I will Thank you, my God. Among all the nation’s they will hear my praise songs to you.

Your love is so extravagant it reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness so astonishing it stretches to the sky!

Lord God, be exalted as you soar throughout the heavens.

May your shining glory be shown in the skies! Let it be seen high above all the earth.

Love always Kelly xx

Switchy switchy

Have you ever felt like you were constantly switching gears? Or have you walked through a season where you changed your normal role, for something slightly different?

I was chatting with my bestie Katt, yesterday who can relate! She’s a mum. Partner. She works and studies. She runs a household and cares for her friends! Sometimes we feel like we are switching our roles a lot! Sometimes we do it automatically…sometimes we feel pulled in a million directions!

Since September 28th, my life entered a new season. I have been living with my champion of a mum, instead of my amazing husband. I’ve been looking after mum and my 2 youngest girls. So, a taste of solo parenting…except that I’m happily married.

Maybe this is what some families do when the husband works away? It’s like switching gears. You have to learn to make decisions alone and parent as best as you can. You learn to plan your day or week without any other input, and even little choices are made alone.

But once you reunite, you have to learn to co-parent again. You have to make choices as a family again. You have to communicate what you’re thinking and discuss plans. Negotiate to include each person’s priorities Hehe It’s been such an eye opener!!!

So yesterday my husband Will laughed at me. I picked him up from the Adelaide airport, with my oldest girls. I asked Will If he wanted to use “my card” to pay for parking. “Your card?” He teased. “Like your pocket money card?” He was enjoying this moment.

“Like my money, that you get to spend? I put the money on there and you get to keep it?” “That card, you mean?” He was actually saying it in a pretty amusing and adorable way. The kind of joking that you get to do when you’ve been together so long. When you love each other, not accusing each other. Just in case you were worried 😉

I laughed. We have the same joint accounts. Our money is “our money”. But for almost 9 weeks now, the grocery money card has been “My Adelaide card”. So, my card 😉 I guess now we are back as a complete family…it will be our card again. It just takes some adjusting.

I’ve switched roles from wife and mum of 4 girls. From a Christian woman who is part of a wonderful church family in Alice springs, to a woman living back in my childhood home. It’s a mixed bag of blessings and sadness.

Who would have thought my roles would have changed so much in 8 weeks?

Yesterday was another one of those odd kind of days. Mum had to go to hospital. They are trying to relieve some of the pressure her body is fighting against. Like fluid on her lungs, legs and tummy. Then, hopefully in a few days she will return home.

I thought I’d enjoy a little rest. Especially when it was just yesterday that I reunited with my husband and kids again. Perfect timing, huh? Night with the Knott family Mob. Mum is being cared for in hospital. Winner winner chicken dinner!

Except that my heart was with mum still. Was she ok? Was she lonely? Did the nurses know her routine? Is she being woken up for repeat obs at night? Do they know she needs to rest? Is she scared that she may not return home? Are they giving her too much medicine?

A fierce protectiveness came upon me. I look after mum. I know mum. I know that each morning She wants her banana milkshake and 2 tablets. One for pain. One for appetite. I know that I have sit next to her to make sure she doesn’t drop the cup- a result of medication and weakened arm strength. I know that she likes her slippers on. She likes to get ready for the day, but then needs to nap again. I know that she likes a cup of tea, but you can’t have it too hot anymore, because if it spills…she will be burnt.

I’ve been in “training” for 8 weeks. Learnt her routine. So now, for 2-3 days it’s hard to surrender that. To trust others to fill in my role.

I’m sure many others would have already felt the same. You become a carer, and then you have to eventually stop. Or maybe you raise your children, but then have to let them begin to make wise choices on their own. It’s harder than I imagined!

Actually, a few weeks ago I was texting a dear friend Nadia, from Alice Spring. reminded me that I sensed God had been preparing me for something new. Growing my capacity in some way.

I had totally forgotten this conversation! But Nadia reminded me. I did tell her I felt like God was preparing me for something. Nadia’ s text comforted me. God had already begun to prepare me…Even though it was just a subtle sense in my spirit.

Isaiah 54:2-3 talks about “stretching your tent pegs” and lengthening your cords. I’m not sure specifically what it means…but in my heart, in this time in my life I feel like God is preparing to stretch my capacity. Maybe my capacity to empathise with others? Maybe my capacity to care for the sick or broken or grieving? Maybe something entirely different. lol

Love always Kelly xx

10,000 reasons.

i know lots of people who don’t believe in God. But I think there are more people who know God exists, but think He’s not good. Our lives are full of pain at times…And the world can be a horrible place.

How can we process a heart that grieves things like murder or miscarriage? Divorce and diseases? Why do some people struggle to get pregnant, while others have multiple abortions?

I have no answers. No arguments to soothe your heart or take away such pain.

I myself have had pain. We all have. But that is not my story to tell. We can spend our whole lives trying to understand why there is such immense pain and sorrow in this earthly life. But that is not my song to sing. All I can tell you is that in my life, God is good. Through every trial and all of the pain.

This morning I was reading my journal from the past 7 weeks since mum found out that she’s got terminal cancer. Through the pages I can see the sadness and sense of loss. It is real and raw. But what shines brighter than the grief- is how God has turned our sadness into joy.

Do you know that God goes before us, to make it possible to walk through the hardest times?

Let me tell you one of my stories. Last week I got to return to my home in Alice springs. I hadn’t seen my amazing husband in about 5-6 weeks. I also hadn’t seen my 2 oldest daughter’s…who aren’t really old at all! They are only 5 years old and 7. Still so tiny and needing their mummy.

I got to be with them for 6 full days. A complete family of 6 again! My husband and I: and our 4 daughters.

Then I had to come back to Adelaide, to hold my mum’s hand as she walks through terminal cancer.

On Monday morning, I dropped two of my girls at school. Then the tears started flowing…I could feel the grief and exhaustion return from the weight of these past few weeks. I was tired. Not prepared to say goodbye to my kids again. Not prepared to see my mum get sicker.

Then I realised, God knew. God knew that Monday was going to be “one of those days”. Because I had already planned on spending Monday morning with some of the greatest friends in Alice springs. (& I have so many worthy of that title!!!) These women are the kind who will laugh with you and celebrate the great times! But they are also prayer warriors who will pray for you when you are too weak to pray for yourself.

So God had gone before me, and pre-organised that catch up…before I knew I needed it that day. Plus, these ladies are just fun to be around.

Later that day, my friend Claire text me. I told her to come around if she was free. I love Claire! She’s incredible.

When I text her, I was fine…Happy after my little girls had napped for an hour. Claire was 10 minutes away!

Then I got a text from my brother James. He wanted me to prepare to see mum in a few days. She’s getting weaker, he said. She’s lost more weight. She’s dropping things. My heart felt frozen inside my chest. The grief threatened to seize me once again.

When Claire arrived she told me that she had been praying for me and my mum that morning. She said that she felt God told her to visit me and pray for me. I told her about the text from James. I started to cry. “Claire, I’m so sad” I admitted.

Claire prayed for me. I felt such peace and comfort coming over me as she prayed. When she left, I felt so loved. So cared for.

I knew that God had gone before me that day. He knew my heart would be fragile and weak. That I couldn’t face the day alone. That I needed my friends to love me. To pray for our family. To laugh with me and cry with me. I needed hugs. I needed friendship.

I even needed my brother to warn me about mum. I needed a sibling to grieve with me.

So this is my new song to God. It is a song of loss and raw emotions and questions. It is not a perfect song. But woven into the tapestry of my heart is a song of praise. I have 10,000 reasons to be grateful to God. He has never left me. He goes before me and comforts my heart.

Have you ever felt like God has taken care of you, even if it still hurt?

Have you ever thought: “That was such good timing when..”

Have you ever thought “That was a miracle when…”

Have you ever noticed that God gave you enough courage to get through a particularly hard situation?

Maybe God has been working in your life, before you even wondered if He was even real or not?

Will you let Him comfort your heart, too?

Love always Kelly xx

The value of something priceless❤

These past 7 weeks with mum have been priceless.

I’ve been very emotional these past few days…so emotional and teary, in fact, that there is no point putting on makeup. Mascara is no longer my friend, but something that attacks my eyes after my tears encourage it to smudge all over my face! Ladies, you would understand!

Mascara also seems to prey on vulnerable women. After crying anything more than a sweet and innocent tear, mascara quickly turns my face into a war zone. So, for now…my eyes are naked and only accompanied with eye shadow at best. 😆

Foundation isn’t much better. After my tears erupt, my foundation disappears! With one wipe of my hand to get rid of stray tears…my foundation abandons me! Right when I need it most!

So alas, this morning I stood crying at my daughter’s school. Tears flowing, and foundation gone! Red eyes, and red face. I said goodbye to my baby girls- only 7 days after reuniting with them, after 6 weeks apart.

But this time we can count down the weeks! 3 weeks till we can be a whole family again.

But as I’ve been packing my suitcase this morning, I’ve been thinking about my beautiful mother. She’s getting sicker and weaker. I’ve been thinking about life without her. How empty life might feel without my mum.

What a devoted nanna and mum xx

No more phone calls. No more hugs. No more visits. I’ll miss her so much. She’s been the BEST Mum! She’s such a blessing.

This made me think. What do I love most about Mum??? What gives her such value in my heart.

I would say it’s because she’s my mum. But not everyone has a close relationship with their mum. And some mum’s are broken people…or just barely cope with their role as mum. After all, mum’s are just ordinary people, with every day challenges too.

My mum is pricess. She is valuable and a tremendous gift in my life. When my dad left me at a few days old, my mum raised my brother and I as a single mum. When I was sick, mum picked me up from school.

When mum received the phone call to say my dad had taken his own life, it was mum who watched me helplessly break down on the floor crying. It was mum who held me as I screamed in shock and despair. As a mum of 4 girls myself, I now realize how painful it must have been for her to watch her children go through such pain.

It was my mum who forgave me when I was a nasty teenager, and who held her tongue when she could have lashed out in response to my disrespectful behaviour.

It was my mum who kept praying for me when I was an 18 year old. It was mum who tirelessly told me I needed Jesus. Even when I told her off for telling me so often!

It was my mum who has been the constant in my life. And it was mum who showed me that God will be the One I can cling to, even after she dies.

So my question is: what is the value of something priceless??

A mum is priceless. Her worth is far above rubies. Can anything replace a loving parent? Or a child?

Have you had to say goodbye to someone who is priceless?

And what legacy did that person leave for you to cling to?

My mum has no earthly treasures to leave us. No money or home to sell. No car or items that have anything other than sentimental value.

But what she’s given us is a million times better. She’s given us love. She’s given her time. She’s created memories. She’s led us by example. She’s prayed for us children, even now- when she’s fragile and exhausted.

I’ve prayed with her. Heard her praying for others. She still prays for healing for people who are unwell- not discouraged at all by her own condition!!!

She prays for others to come to know her Heavenly Father. She prays for God to bless and comfort those who mourn, when she’s in Heaven.

Her faith is what I will treasure most.

Maybe you’re reading this and you don’t share our faith. That’s ok. Because God loves you, even if you haven’t discovered Him yet.

Just like a mother loves her unborn baby with a fierce protective love….God loves you as His child.

An unborn baby doesn’t know the mum or dad yet, but eventually they feel it. So we feel God’s love in a million ways. The kindness of strangers. The generosity of friends. The beauty of nature.

Maybe you aren’t there yet. But knowing God is the gift my mum gave me. And it’s the best inheritance I could ask for. Especially as we face loosing her. How could you walk through such grief and heartache without God’s comfort? It’s all I’ve got to cling to…..

So I praise God for my mum. For her life and her loving mother’s heart. It reminds me of the value of something priceless.

Love always Kelly xx

There’s something about Jubilee❤

Hello again, how are You?

Today, I want to tell you about the name Jubilee❤ Hopefully, you’ve read my posts about the name Ruby; and how we feel God has placed that name on our hearts.

Today, I want to share with you about the name “Jubilee”, and how it is connected with Ruby. Or at least, our interpretation of it’s meaning.

Maybe God is quietly amused as we try to connect the dots- dots that He alone can connect?

Let’s be honest….and I think God has the best sense of humour. He’s so sneaky at times, and so wonderful through it all.

In August this year, we went to an Iris ministries church conference in Brisbane. It was such a special time. God refreshed our family & we felt so encouraged in many ways!

I assumed that the conference sessions would encourage us the most, however it was actually our host family who did all of the encouraging!!!

We stayed with the most amazing family. A family who had 4 children, who were pre-teenagers or teenage age. A South African family called the Van Rensburgs. Each member of their family is a tremendous gift!!!

I cannot praise them enough, or thank them enough for how they poured out their love over our family during the 7 night’s we stayed with them. And it was watching the way they ministered to others as a family, that inspired Will & I the most!!!

Ok, back to Jubilee 😄

Mariza (the mum of the house) showed me a “prophetic” painting that her friend had created for her. It was a picture of a city. In the city I noticed in tiny print, was the word ‘Jubilee’.

I instantly felt drawn to it, as I know the Duggar family in America (you know, 19 kids and counting TV show?) Had a daughter called Jubilee. Sadly, they lost their 20th baby at 20 weeks. But I love the Duggar family, and their conservative faith.

Later that afternoon, Will and I were driving back to church. I asked Will what He thought about the name ‘Jubilee’, you know …I guess for the baby after Ruby 🤣😂😉

Will responded the way I had assumed he would: “Meh. Hmm…It’s a little unusual!”

I kinda agreed. I love unusual girls names, but Jubilee may be too much for poor Will 😂 So, I dismissed it. We moved onto other topics.

We soon arrived at the Riverlife Baptist church, parked the car and headed inside the auditorium. As we walked inside though, the first thing we heard was a lady call put: “Jubilee!”- as she tried to capture the attention of her young daughter.

I went over and chatted to the missionary mum. I asked her, “Is your daughter’s name really Jubilee?” Yes, our 3rd daughter she confirmed. I was amazed.

Again, it wasn’t that someone had a daughter with that name- but the timing itself that had us shaking our heads in wonder!

Will and I started wondering: Is Jubilee the middle name for Ruby? Ruby Jubilee Knott. Or will we have twins? Ruby and Jubilee? We feel more like the first version is more likely.

During the following weeks, I asked God about these two names. “Lord , what is it about Ruby? Why have you given us this name? Lord, what is it about Jubilee that now feels so right?”

A thought popped into my head. Maybe it was the answer to my prayer?

Ruby is something valuable. Something special. Rubies are beautiful and hold value.

Jubilee is a celebration. Usually a 25th or 50th anniversary celebration. In the bible, the year of Jubilee also holds a significance. Land could be returned to it’s original owners. Slaves could be set free. The land was allowed to rest, with no sowing or reaping.

So my heart cried out: Ruby Jubilee is a celebration of something valuable!!!!!

Instinctively, I knew it wasn’t a celebration of the things that the world values. I felt the Lord impress on my heart that He celebrates the simple things, that have great eternal signigicance!

Things like, the faith of my dear mum as she praises her saviour while in Palliative care.

Things like the daily life of parenting, and sacrificing to raise your children. Especially, when each day seems like you have done nothing of value.

I felt like God was celebrating the value of kindness, of honesty and of loving others. Of trusting God, when your circumstances are unpredictable or out of your comfort zone.

Ruby Jubilee. My heart is filled with joy, just putting those two names together. What am I doing today that God celebrates?

What could I be focusing on?

Thank you Jesus, for these names. I don’t know if Ruby is our future daughter or a name that reflects your heart.

Will I return to my home in Alice, and Ruby will be added to our family in an unusual way? This child we love already!!!

The next part of this story almost has me in tears. I was blown away by what happened next. In fact, it happened this week while in Walleroo with my family. I love it! I can’t wait to share it with you.

Like you are watching the unfolding of a story…and how God is bringing us joy, during a season of unknowns.

Love always Kelly xx

Crying at Optus.

How much effort does a trip to Optus usually take? Not a lot.

Well, maybe of you have children… or if your elderly. Or really pregnant 🤣😗🤔

Normally paying a bill or finalising an account isn’t a big deal. However, my mum is dying. It sounds dramatic, especially as she looks ok.

Little cutie pie xx

Yesterday, we had a lovely visit from aunty Cheryl S. Aunty Cheryl helped mum by only visiting briefly, but also by shopping for mum. Little blessings are big helps!

By 3pm though, we were exhaisted: mum & I. My 3 year old was screaming….although she declared that she “wasn’t tired!!!” 🤣😂

We couldn’t leave it another day, it had to be today! Time when mum is able to do these things may be limited. Who knows what tomorrow will hold?

We told ouselves: “We need to get this done!” Mum needed to pay her plan outright, to go ‘prepaid’. Because we need to make things simpler, less accounts to close when we are grieving later. It sounds horrible, and with every thing we do, it reminds us that mum is sick.

Mum gets tired quickly. A short walk is a real effort. She uses a walker to sit down and recover, before walking further.

After getting my two girls out of the car, and watching mum struggle to walk all the way into Optus: we arrive!

Victory! We made It! “We can finally tick this job off our list!” We think to ourselves.

But no. Apparently, we must wait until November 24th. Mum explains, “she’s terminal”, she gingerly says “I might not be here by November 24th!””, while a tear trickles down her face.

The staff tell us there is nothing they can do. We can pay the “payout” amount, and the final bill will be sent once they calculate her usage after the 24th.

Can’t someone calculate it for us, now? We ask. Feeling overwhelmed, at this point. Tears threatening to spill out into public view.

We are advisesd to call customer service. Maybe they can help? Mum and I glance at each other, we are so fragile emotionally. The thought of one more business phone call or enquiry seems impossibly hard to bare.

Have you ever felt like that? When the simple, feels impossible?

Then we try another option: Could Optus give me permission to act on mum’s behalf? Could mum sign something to tell Optus that I can pay her bills etc?

“Unfortunately, we can’t do that in store”, they reply.

You see, those Optus guys don’t know what it took for us to get there. They don’t understand how many “affairs” we have already had to organise. It’s not their fault. But this cancer, is hard work!

It’s exhausting to tell strangers that mum is dying. It’s exhausting finding paperwork in mum’s draws to quote another customer reference number. 🤣😂

We left Optus, Brielle still mid-tantrum. Mum saying “I’m so over all of this!!! She looked so weary, and so frustrated.

We are just trying to do the right thing. Pay bills. Finalise direct debits. Cancel subscriptions.

Little things are hard to process:

Will mum really appreciate her new dentures she had fitted a few months ago, but aren’t ready to collect yet?

Even mum’s garden, which we water every day…soon there will be no one to tend to it. This won’t be our property snymore.

And then we think about mum’s dog: Rosie. Who will love an old, dying puppy after mum passes away? A 2 day drive up to Alice Springs seems unlikely. But what is the alternative?

By the end of the night, we were ok again. Some days are good, and others hold moments like our Optus trip.

“Lord, we are tired. Physically and emotionally. Yet, our hearts still whisper: ‘Will you carry us through this?’

Lord, you see our raw and vulnerable hearts. ‘Please give us enough grace to walk this season with courage and faith’.

Thank you that you say that your mercies are new every morning…

Thank you that today, we go on a little holiday!!!! You knew that we would need one right now. Thank you that you go before us, even when we are too tired to see everything you are doing on our behalf.

Thank you that we don’t have to pretend to be strong, you let us come to you: weary, broken and vulnerable. But you never leave us alone that way…

Love always Kelly xx