Today we had an adventure! Mum, aunty Shirley and I were excited to go explore Inner national park! Haven and Brielle were less than excited! But as the above photo shows: we did get evidence of Brielle smiling- while she hitchhiked a ride in Haven’s pram!
Although the scenery was spectacular and the views were photo-worthy….I have to tell you something….
We were attacked!!! I was the primary target of the group. I was visiously attacked repeated by horse flies!!!! They looked sweet and innocent at the time: until they bit me!!
And not only did they bite, unprovoked I might add! They also chased us! Seriously! Aggressive, attacking horse flies! I was not impressed😐
I think mum enjoyed Today. It was a nice time together as a family. We feel refreshed.
My final note is funny. We got locked out of our holiday house! It just wouldn’t unlock! I tried. Aunty Shirley tried. Even mum gave it a go! No success! Finally- Brielle took things into her own hands! 😛
After all attempts failed: we had to contact the owner. Owner Brett saved the day! He brought his set of keys and they worked. After swapping the keys over, so we wouldn’t be locked out again- Mr Brett left, waving goodbye after a job well done!
In a few of my recent posts, I’ve shared that my mum is unwell. Stage 4 cancer. Primary bowel (which was treated and no longer detectable), and now secondary liver and lung cancer.
So mum has decided she wants to enjoy whatever time she has left!
I asked her a few weeks ago: “Mum, is there anything you’ve always wanted to do?”
Mum: “well actually I’ve always wanted to go to the York peninsula. There’s a beautiful park called Innes national park”. Then mum laughed and said: “It’s on my bucket list!!!” 😆
So here we are! My mum (Patricia) my aunty Shirley, Haven, Brielle and myself. ❤ girl’s trip!!!!
Looking at my mum- it is very deceiving. She looks happy and well! The first part is true, mum is courageous and has joy in the Lord. The well part is definitely not true. On the outside, you wouldn’t think that she’s sick. It’s all hidden on the inside. Plus, mum comes alive with company!
She loves all the people who have come to visit. It brings her joy, even though she is physically getting more tired and more uncomfortable.
Mum is determined to do a few more of these mini holidays! She loves anything that has natural beauty. She loves beautiful scenery.
Apparently, the cancer council may have a lovely place that patients can stay for a little getaway? We would love to do that, too!
So off we go!! To “seize the day!” Thank you Lord, for an opportunity to escape and enjoy a mini holiday.
We usually associate detours with inconvience. Detours change the direction we intended to go.
Yesterday, I was driving ‘Home’ to my mum’s house. There was a road block up ahead of me, and a sign saying “detour”. The detour sign made me laugh, because it lead me straight onto mum’s street. So I thought to myself: ‘How funny that the detour is actually taking me where I needed to go!”
God spoke to my heart in that moment!!! I felt like the Lord was saying: “I’m taking you to the place you need to go.”
Maybe the ‘Detours’ in our lives are God leading us where we need to go!?!
Mum’s cancer seems like a pretty horrible road black and definitely not where we intended to go as a family.
I know that God is good. You can’t convince me otherwise! Because I’ve experienced too much with Him, to blame God for anything.
I know God didn’t purposely give my mum cancer! I believe that mum HAS cancer, but that through this process…God can still work ‘all things together for good’ (Romans 8:28)
So each day I am trying to remind myself of this truth in God’s word.
So each day, my prayer is:
“God please lead me along the right path. Guide my steps. Lead me gently. Carry me in your arms. Give me faith and courage, especially when the road ahead looks too hard. Thank you Jesus, you’re not done with me yet.”
I wish I had more photos to illustrate the amazing group of friends and family that God has blessed us with!
Above is a cute pic of our friends Laura and Jordon. One of many people in Alice Springs helping with school pick ups and drop offs for our 2 oldest girls. Our friend kyah has also been doing school runs and looking after Ariella and Lylah while Will finishes at work. Thank you sooo much!!!!
The rest of our Alice Springs family has been loving on Will and my girls. Especially our living Hope church family. Thank you, everyone! ❤❤❤
In Adelaide, God has hidden some precious gems along this unknown journey.
I wouldn’t trade this time with my mum for anything in the world. It’s exhausting and emotionally draining at times, but this time together is something to cherish. My mum is so courageous & the best mum ever! (Although I may be a little bias! 😉)
And the meals!!!! I can’t even mention names, as I may miss someone out. But we have been tremendously grateful for the meals we have been blessed with.
And not only cooked meals-but food items that we need. Milk, bread and essentials.
Will’s parents (my in-laws): Cathy and Jeff, have been very good. From babysitting duties to organising a shopping delivery for mum- we are forever grateful for the way they have responded during this time.
All these things are making mum feel so uplifted! So loved! So remembered by God and by others.
Many people have visited my mum, but only a few people have helped during the boring bits! One of those people is my aunty Shirley. Aunty Shirley has come along to many appointments & patiently listened to our medical conversations. My mum is so thankful to have aunty Shirley ‘s friendship.
I’ve also been so loved! Some of my wonderful Adelaide friends havw volunteered to look after my girls, while I take a few hours rest. Friends like Catherine (katt), Debbie, Louise and Karen! Thank you girls!!!! They have done it so willingly, without asking anything in return!
So I just wanted to pause, & take a moment to remember that God is still good. In the midst of terminal cancer, God is still kind.
How do I know? Because God is moving the hearts of people to love on our family. God is moving people to support mum during a very vulnerable time. He is hiding sparkling gems of joy in the process of grieving. He is giving us the gift of friends who make you smile. ❤💋
Will and I used to have a game we played when we were dating- when we were driving in the car. Well, I had a game…& Will had to listen. I call it ‘the road rage game.
It went something like this:
Will: ‘ahh! What is that person doing??? They can’t do that!?!’ (Driver making silly choices or breaking basic common sense rules 😛)
Me: ‘oh, babee….did you know what that lady went through today?” (Dramatic empathetic face to get Will’s attention)
Will: ‘what?’ (Confused look. .or more likely *here we go again look*)
Me: ‘Her boyfriend just left her…or her kids are being challeging’. Maybe I’d say: “her house burnt down yesterday”! I’d try come up with possible stories to why the driver was not concentrating. My point: you never know what is causing that person to be distracted. Who knows what they are going through??
Hehe I should say..I sound like a good two shoes 😛 at this point. I’m not. And there are plenty of times I judge people and don’t stop to think about the story behind their actions! I can hold people to very high standards and be unwavering in my convictions. I cringe at some of my attitudes towards others…or harsh words that aren’t helpful.
However this week, I’ve heard a few people share their journey with me during conversations. It’s really been an eye opener for me; a powerful reminder that each of us face different challenges and heartache.
For our household – I miss my husband and 2 of my beautiful girls in Alice springs. Plus, walking through stage 4 terminal cancer with Mum, definitely puts things in perspective.
Some people’s struggles are more visible than other people’s. Hearing my friend’s and family’s stories recently helps me remember this.
Some people may look fine, but be struggling with anxiety and depression – each day may be a mental battle!
Some people may be going through a break up or relationship issues.
I met a lady today, who had a cute little 3 year old girl. The lady and I were chatting and she explained her daughter ‘Olivia’ had autism. You couldn’t tell by looking at Olivia that there was anything different about her, but I learned that she also couldn’t feel pain. So Olivia’s mum had a big job to keep her daughter from hurting herself unknowingly. Olivia’s autism also caused her to scream at strangers when she was 2 years old. Apparently, a high pitch scream. 😂
Who could have known that this mother and daughter had faced such struggles?
That’s my point: you never know what battles someone is going through. You never know the journey someone has walked, unless they tell you.
But Jesus knows. Jesus faced many heart aches in his life. Betrayal. Rejection. Pain. Accusations. He knows what we face and He cares for us.
We should also care about others. Be kind, when possible. Try to be patient. You never know how your kindness might help ease the pain of someone who is facing their own battle.
I know that I’ve appreciated the kindness of others, especially now. It makes a difference.
I didn’t really realise that there is a process to dying. I know it sounds strange, but I was only expecting a physical process of watching my mum get sicker. However, there seems to also be a process of preparing for death that is about getting your ‘affairs in order’.
This process isn’t fun. Mum is still alive and so brave. Yet, each day we have to prepare for her death. Literally- there are so many things to do.
Today, we at the housing trust. Finding out what happens after mum passes away. How long do we have to clean her house and return the keys? My mum has lived in her rental home for over 20 years. It is hard to imagine it not being “mum’s house”. We need power of attorney forms done to authorise this process.
Then we have centerlink appointments. Funeral arrangements. I need bank account details, bill direct debit dates and amounts needed to pay. I need to cancel so many things too. This process of dying isn’t fun or pleasant.
We need to make a will and get it signed by a JP. Yet, my mum feels sick and exhausted. She wants to enjoy each day, but there is still much to do!
Even this morning, we had to go to the doctors again. Get another scan. A week ago, mum got a litre of fluid drained from her right lung. Today, the scan revealed that her lung has refilled with fluid from the cancer. So, tomorrow we may have to prepare mum to go through the draining procedure again.
Another procedure. More scans. More pain. The thing Is- mum is feeling tired of the painful parts that need to be done. I guess, that’s one reason mum couldn’t even try for more chemo treatment.
After the last drain, she’s suffered from a painful allergic reaction to whatever they used to clean the area on her back before they drained her lungs. So, already there is a hesitation in my mum’s heart about tomorrow. Will they cause another reaction, by mistake?
Mum and I were chatting about these things. If mum’s lungs have refilled in 7 days, will this be an ongoing thing she has to do? The right lung is 50% full of fluid. It makes her breathless and uncomfortable. I struggle to see her like this.
All these things add up. It’s so draining. It’s horrible for me, but worse for mum.
It’s also a priveledge, a special time. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I get to be part of the moments that many people can’t see.
My mum would do the same for me.
Jesus, help us face each day. Thank you that you are carrying us through this time. Day by day.
Right now, I’m enjoying a coffee. Baby Haven is asleep in the pram…and I thought of you! I wanted to share a few things that are swirling around in my mind.
Brielle is at an indoor playground type thing, waving to me occassionaly and enjoying her abundant supply of childhood energy! 😂😆 whereas my energy comes in the form of caffeine!
Life is so interesting. A month ago, I arrived in Adelaide. I was excitedly awaiting for my brother’s first baby to arrive! I thought I would stay for a week or so, and then return to my home in Alice springs.
Within weeks, I’ve moved into my mum’s home and we now know that mum has limited time left. Maybe months. Her cancer has spread from primary bowel cancer, to liver and lungs. In the past 2 weeks, she has already gotten worse. But she is wonderfully brave!!! She loves God and knows that eternity in Heaven is better than a lifetime on Earth. Still- it’s hard.
I’m watching mum need to rest from her walk from her lounge chair to the front door. I can hear her in pain in the shower as the water puts pressure on her sore body.
How do you say goodbye to someone who is so amazing?? It doesn’t feel real.
But mum encouraged me this morning. She reminded me that we shouldn’t focus on the negative things. We must enjoy whatever time we have left. She reminded me of the verse Philippians 4:8.
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…think about these things.
Right now, people expressing their love and support for my mum is lovely. So we will think about that.
Right now, people covering us in prayer is lovely and good and praiseworthy.
The way the Lord is walking us through is each day is so sweet and kind and gentle. We will think on those things.
Although we are weak and fragile and teary. We are grieving some moments, and laughing at other times!
The only thing I cling to is that God will never leave me or forsake me. He loves my mum even more than I do. He won’t leave my mum to walk this journey alone.
I am the proud mum of 4 gorgeous girls: Ariella- 7. Lylah-5. Brielle-3. Haven-1.
I love them to pieces! They are all completely different in their personalities. I love watching them grow up and learning about their strengths and weaknesses.
Today I felt God speak to me through my little cutie pie: Brielle. (Although we call her Bree Bree!)
Brielle (like all my girls) brings my heart tremendous joy. She’s the funny one. She’s cheeky. Brave and fearless. She’s sweet and petite and kind.
But one thing about Brielle is that she’s always so busy, she doesn’t have time (apparently) to brush her hair out of her eyes! 😂😆 I always have to say: “where’s Brielle? I can’t see your eyes!”
And she doesn’t like to smile for photos in a normal manner. Each photo is of her pulling silly faces. She loves it! She’s hilarious and full of energy and joy! She doesn’t care about looking sensible or behaving “properly”. She’s a character!
Just watching her do life refreshes Me!
Today, my mum took me out for lunch. Miss Bree Bree was running around and laughing, as usual. But her hair looked wild and messy! I was thinking about how often she has crazy hair and how it definitely doesn’t highlight her cuteness. 😂🤣
And then I had a God moment!
I looked at my beautiful & sweet daughter . I Just took a moment to remember all the joy she brings me and our family. All the sweet things she does that others don’t get to witness. I smiled as I thought about her ability to climb obstacles that her 7 year old sister can climb!
I looked at Brielle and saw her through the lens of a mother..So precious and the greatest gift in the world! I wouldn’t trade her for anything- messy hair and all. Hehe 😉
Isn’t that how God chooses to see us? He’s our Heavenly Father, and He loves us with a passionate love!
In that moment of watching Brielle, I felt the Lord watching me with such love. When other people may see my messy hair, imperfections and mistakes- God sees my heart. When other people don’t understand me; it’s ok….because I am cherished by the One who created me. The One who created all of us. ❤❤❤
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of all of my children! I’m so grateful that you have trusted Will & I with 4 precious daughters.
Thank you that you adore your children, you delight in us..as imperfect as we are! Thank you for your forgiveness and unending grace! Thank you for the gift of salvation through Jesus dying on the cross.
I am undone by how much you love Me, and how you see me the way that no one else ever can!
I love how God uses simple illustrations to speak to my heart. ❤ simple things can be pretty powerful. (Hehe I’m Humming “I will rejoice in the simple gospel🎶)
Last week my father in law- Jeff had a surgery on his throat. I’m not sure the technical location, but in that general area. He is recovering well, but his body has been really sore! Jeff commented that he had no idea of how all of his muscles were affected by his surgery. They were all connected!!! A simple cut on his throat had made it hard to turn his neck. The cut on his throat affected the muscles in his chest. And the muscles in his chest affected Jeff bending over etc.
I laugh at this simple image in my mind! How true is the Bible- that we are all the body of Christ? That each of us are connected, working together to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
What’s my point? We each can uplift those around us!
I might hear a powerful message at church on loving my neighbour.
So then the Holy spirit uses that message to give me the courage to write a letter to someone who is having a bad week.
That person may feel loved and in turn van tell their friend about the goodness of God- & how God reminded them that He sees their lonely heart.
Who played the most valuable part in That? Was it the preacher? Nope! It was everyone! Maybe it was the neighbour who received the card and told their friend about the goodness of God?
Who knows what the flow on affect could be?
I know that I’m blessed by the unexpected acts of kindness from unlikely people.
Recently, my family from church have gathered around me and lifted us up while we are supporting my mum. I expected nothing, except for their prayers! Yet, they have each played a collective role to bless and support our household. From airport pick ups, financial support, words of encouragement and loving phone calls! I’m blown away by each person’s support!
Could one person do it on their own? Definitely not!
And then there are all the generous friends and family in Adelaide who have been amazing! Bringing meals for my mum. Giving me a roof over my head!
Giving my girls clothes to wear because I didn’t know I’d be here so long!
We are blessed to be part of the body of Christ! I love the verse where Jesus said: whatever you did to the least of these, you did for me!
So be encouraged, God sees the part you play. Be encouraged, the gifts God has given you contribute to the gifts He has placed in others!!
Last night, God encouraged my heart is the most simple way. Through a night light sensor. You see, I’m staying at my mum’s house. Just before bedtime, I asked mum how I would see during the night to find the bathroom. She showed me the hallway night light that turns on when someone walks past it.
During the night, my 3 year old daughter Brielle, needed the toilet. She was nervous because the house was so dark! I held Brielle’s hand, and I reassured her that the light would turn on soon! But our first few steps were in the pitch black of night.
In fact, I even began to doubt that the light would ever turn on!
All of a sudden, our miracle occurred! The light switched on! We could see!!!!! Hallelujah! I acted like I wasn’t suprised, and had been totally cofident all along! Hehe 😄
The thing that spoke to me, was that we had to step out in faith first. We had no torches, no backup plan….Just the sole hope that my mum’s instructions were trustworthy. And then the joy and relief, when the light did it’s job.
Isn’t that a timely reminder for me and my mum? We are blindly walking through an uncharted territory of my mum’s cancer diagnosis. Somedays I feel nervous and unsure of the future, and feel like there is no light to guide us through.
But then, God uses a simple illustration to remind me that He is the light of the world.
How great is our God!!!!
Even in the darkness of uncertainties and all the health issues, I am not alone . God knows what my mum is facing and He loves her so much.
Thank you Jesus, for showing me that you are our unfailing light in the darkness.