Feb 12, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again!

I cannot believe how very fast my first furlough has passed by! I had the BEST time loving on my family, hanging out with friends, traveling to a few fun spots and sharing all about my hopeful adventure thus far. Although I missed my babies and Aunties something fierce, I am so thankful for my time in the US.

For a few months now I’ve been feeling led to really keep my eyes open for all of the ways that the Father is choosing to bless me. Since I’m His kiddo, He has promised to bless me just like He has showered blessings on all of His kids in millions of and millions of ways since the beginning of Creation. However there have been times where I have been guilty of focusing on what He hasn’t chosen to bless me with rather than with what He has (can I get a shout out from the single ladies on this one?)! I’ve been doing a word study on blessing since October and feel like the Father is reminding me to acknowledge His blessings in all the ways they come including the not-so-pleasant ones. So in view of His glorious blessings here are a few of the blessing highlights of the past 8 weeks:

-        I love my family! I am continually encouraged to get to know my fabulous parents, watch my siblings grow into men and women of faith and influence and get to experience the specific joy of being an Auntie to 4 of the most beautiful and charming boys around! I am beyond grateful to share faith with my family as well as lots of traveling adventures, hysterical everyday laughter and opportunities to partner in ministry alongside such amazing people!

-         I love my friends! It has been such an honor to share life with so many wonderful people who love Jesus and love me so well! I loved getting to catch up with so many precious friends face to face while I was in the US. I praise Jesus for the stories He is crafting in each of my friends’ lives. I know it is difficult to be friends with someone who lives on the other side of the world but I am grateful that these cherished ones continued to share their hearts with me while I was in town. Thank you for caring for me so well… for investing your hearts, time, prayers and finances in my adventures here in South Africa!

-      I love Valley Bible Church and the family that the Lord has called to serve and love together in Pleasanton, CA! I know it sounds trite, but it feels like I never left (other than the awesome remodeling in the foyer and the beautiful new sanctuary additions). I loved having the opportunity to be apart of a congregation that I have loved for so long in familiar ways like singing on Sunday mornings or sitting in on a staff meeting. I am humbled and blessed by the generosity of giving, love, support and genuine interest in my hopeful adventure. Thank you for the words of encouragement and the beautiful confirmation on the Lord’s calling on this season of my life!

-         I am humbled by the Lord’s provision and favor in brining me back! I received so many donations for my babies (as well as an extra bag of tap shoes for another missionary who is loving on the orphans at Refiwe by teaching dance lessons here in South Africa) that by the time I checked in on Sunday night I had one extra and two overweight bags. As we began to chat with the lovely lady checking us in she informed me that I was looking at paying $400.00 per bag! Thankfully, as I explained why my bags were so large and so many the woman standing next to us said that sometimes United will waive said fees for people doing the kind of volunteer work that I do. Long story short, I was able to check all three bags and did not pay one single fee!!! These lovely ladies were also able to check me in for my connecting flight and print me out a boarding pass that kept me from paying any fees with the other airline. I was able to sleep all the way to New York and once I boarded the airplane headed for Jo-berg I was given the special treat of an entire row to myself so I was able to lay down almost the whole way here! Talk about special blessing! I made it through Customs without a hitch and sat and enjoyed a Coke Light while waiting for my friend Lisa to come fetch me!
    Jackson happily celebrated his birthday with 2 other boys from his house and was placed with his beautiful family on Monday. I will have to write a WHOLE blog just about his placement and me processing our goodbye. But until then, here are a few fun pictures to share: 

JJ on his birthday!

Baby A checking out his birthday card!

One of our newbies who arrived this past weekend!

My brother Robert (or my sister-in-law Karina) took this beautiful picture!
 I miss you, my dear ones! Please know that you are on my mind and in my prayers even while we are far apart. May the light of Christ be evident as it shines on you today!


  1. Nicole, we are so proud of you! Brought tears to my eyes seeing how you have grown up to be such a sweet loving compassionate young woman. Really no surprise though, since you were this way as a little girl too!!! What an amazing place God has brought you to. We will add you and your babies to our prayer list.
    Debbie and Jack

    1. Hi Debbie and Jack! So wonderful to hear from you! Thank you for the encouraging words. Thank you for praying for us! Please give your precious family my love... hugs! ~ nicole


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