Friday, August 12, 2011

The family grows....

Over the last 10 years we have often discussed what it would be like if we lived close to family. 
Birthdays, anniversaries, Easter and Christmas spent with more than the four of us around the table. 
With family members scattered all across the country I occasionally find myself saddened by how small the world has become. Planes, trains, good as these things can be they have also been instrumental in breaking up the close family units of a century or more ago by offering job and lifestyle opportunities far away from the family members we grew up surrounded by.
But then, God always has a hand in reconciling loved ones.
On Monday ny beautiful eldest daughter Kezzie, her man Bert, and their boys, Cal & Dee, moved to town. We have only seen each other three times in ten years, but this week we have shared numerous coffees, meals, discussions, shopping trips, laughter, hugs, Bible discussions and love! Blossom has had the joy (and morning-after stiffness!) of a two hour wrestling match with her nephews and BIL; Cal and Pop have struck up discussions on various games and dinosaur facts; and I have enjoyed every moment with all of them. 
Last night we had a belated 32nd birthday dinner for Kezzie (only 1 month and 1 day late). We had been holding off until she arrived...
I made a passionfruit cheesecake for her, and her siblings graciously scraped off their passionfruit to add to her plate because she loves it so much. :-)
Today we headed off to my favourite cafe, the one Bloss and I always go to. This time I sat with my other girl and her hubby sharing lattes and cappuccinos while the kids had hot chocolate and milkshakes. They love the way our barista, Jeremy, makes pretty swirls on top. 
What a wonderful blessing to have them here!!!
Kezzie and Bert became Christians last year and their topic of conversation inevitably leads to the Bible and how their lives are changing day by day. Their children love the Lord and have a hunger to know Him more and more. They constantly inspire Mr E, Blossom and I in our own Christian walk, and we know we are inspiring them. Having us all together is a prayer answered by all. 
But sadly too many people look at them and make a negative judgement. They assume they must be hard people, drug users, or drinkers. That couldn't be further from the truth. They are gentle, giving, kind-hearted, loving, wonderful parents, and beautiful 'children' to Mr E and I. But most importantly they have strong Christ-centred hearts and are never ashamed to share the Gospel and the message of salvation. 
I am so proud of them. 
I'm sharing this because I too have made judgements on people based on their appearance in years passed, and God had to wake me up. Did you know Mr E had hair to his waist and long daggers hanging from his ears when we married? On our first date he took me to church. Who would have thought? :-)
Already Kezzie is planning Mr E's birthday next month, and just thinking of having eight around the table instead of four feels like an instant party! \o/
I am not getting much sewing done this week, but I know you'll forgive me for that. I did finally finish this cushion for Kezzie's birthday, though!
The stitchery was completed months ago but the sashing and finishing was done yesterday. Kezzie loved it, and is eager to learn how to embroider so we may have another Elefantz girl on the books soon! :-)
(the design is a colouring page of Karla Dornacher's - she's amazing!)
God bless you and YOUR family today, wherever they are, and whatever they are doing. May you each feel love from the other, and be blessed with time together soon if you are far apart...
I'll leave you with pics of some flowers Kezzie bought me last night - Chrysanthemums - and the beautiful HOPE vase she gave me. I also popped the extra flowers in a small milk jug she bought me many years ago.


Jo in TAS said...

One of the great lessons in life "Don't judge a book by it's cover!" So lovely to have more of your family around you. My family is split all over Australia too, Xmases and special occassions are rarely spent in one place but I think of them often and we speak on the phone or email when we can.
Enjoy your time together

Fee said...

It is so wonderful that you have your loved ones closer. I know how much it means to you. And now I can put a face to the names that I have heard so much about over the many months. Did you save me a piece of cheesecake? I love cheesecake XXXXXX

kathyros said...

How wonderful to have your daughter and her family back in your arms reach again. My two daughters live on the mainland, one in Sydney and the other in far north Kimberley WA, so i can really share in your joy. How beautiful for you all.

Mireille said...

Hello Jenny,
Thank you for sharing this moment of your life. It must be great to have them next to you if you had saw them only about 3 times in 10 years. It must also be a big changement in their lives.
Yes it is so sad that there are judgements, i hope they don't care.
Mmmmmm your cheesecake is looking great. It is only 7am here but when I saw the picture, I already had water in my mouth :-)


Fiona said...

How wonderful to have the family close by.... I love the cushion you made ....just think... lots and lots of those good times to enjoy...

Allie said...

WHAT A BLESSING! Kezzie, you are a beautiful woman, Happy Birthday to you!!! I'm so glad that you're all close to each other now, and pray that the Lord will continue to bless you all. I love the pillow you made for her, Jenny, and the vase she brought you, and am delighted to hear that she wants to learn to embroider!!! Love you sweetie!

Maria said...

How wonderful to have ALL your family together Jenny.
What joy for you all.
Happy belated Birthday Kazzie and nice to meet you and your family.
How good to have another Elefantz girl!!!

Quiltin' Sandy said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures and your joy at having your Family around you, Jenny. I don't see my daughters very often, in fact one is estranged from everyone, I don't even know where she is. The other one lives in Sydney and although we talk on the phone or email, she has had a lot of illness and doesn't get to visit much. My eldest GS married an American girl and lives in California, we miss him so much.
I have been guilty in the past of judging a book by it's cover but life has taught me otherwise, and it is the heart and soul of a person that is REALLY important.
I am so happy for you, you have so much to look forward to, and another daughter to teach embroidery to. The cushion pattern is absolutely gorgeous, and obviously made with much love. Hugs to you all, and belated birthday wishes to your beautiful daughter! Hugs, Sandy. :)

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

How wonderful for you all to be close together now!
Lots of teaparties coming up :-)
I think Kezzie's tattoos are smashing!
Enjoy every moment together and don't let other peoples narrow-mindedness bother you.

Anneke Potgieter said...

I'm so glad your family is with you, enjoy every moment with them. May the Lord bless you all, with love from my heart to yours. Many Blessings

Bluebell said...

Hi Jenny, how lovely to have all your family together you must be so happy. I too have judged people by their look in the past but, I have got older and wiser and realise goodness comes in lots of different packages. Kezzie is very like you, and Blossom must be overjoyed to have the children close by, enjoy all of them every minute of every day they are so precious.
Love Jillxx

Jeanette said...

Ohh Jenny it is so wonderful to read of your happiness/delight at having your family close by now. Thank you for including us in your happiness. I think all of as at one time or another have been guilty of judging others. Love the cushion you made Kezzie. The cheesecake looked yummy. Hugs,

Heather said...

Lovely to read about your family, enjoy the fun times ahead. My kids are far away, so maybe there's hope they'll come back too.
The cushion is beautiful, beautiful - gorgeous gift.

Sue from Cyprus said...

Jenny, what a lovely post. And you are such a lovely person. It's true, we do sometimes judge a book by it's cover... and it's wrong. Enjoy your family gatherings. You deserve it! No-one should really be apart from their families. Thank you for our honesty.
Hugs, Sue from Cyprus x x x

Anonymous said...

Jenny, I had tears and my eyes and joy in my heart reading your lovely family post. I love Kezzies Tatts, in fact at 54 "I want one too"! lol.
And, I know the looks for being different, my hubby has long hair, beard and tatts, and is the most beautiful person inside and out!

Angela said...

It is so lovely to feel the joy and happiness in you when you tell all of us about your family comming together. That is wonderful.I am really blessed as our four children, daughters, live very close around us, and I see them, and six grandchildren, every week, and for that I am truely thankful.

Fee said...

Soooo excited for you Jen - that finally you have your dear ones close by.
God has really been challenging me lately about loving EVERYONE, no matter what. How quick we are to judge and to hold back because people "aren't like us". A great reminder - thank you.
Love and hugs,
Fee x

Jocelyn said...

Jenny, how wonderful to have your family close to you. Sharing the family unit is such a blessing from the Lord. And how amazing that the Lord can use not only you but your daughter and her family to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. May the Lord bless each one of you with a hunger for His Word and a desire to share about His saving Grace. Have a very blessed weekend!

Shakerwood said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Belinda said...

What a kind loving person you are Jenny. Yes, most folks would judge them by how they look. I have learned that just because someone dresses a bit differently, that doesn't mean they are "bad" people. A very strong Christian woman I know has tattoos over much of her body. Some of them are Christian in nature. Thank you for sharing this post and opening our eyes to the possibilities.

Susan said...

I am rejoicing with you in having your family close again. I have been too far away from mine for 20 years and we have finally moved back to our hometown..... It is glorious to see family members often and to share meals and good times together.

Knowing that Jesus came from a poor family I often wonder how many people made judgements about him because of that......

You can't tell a book by its cover and you can't tell about a person by their appearance.

drMolly, the BeanQueen said...

What a joy! to have family around is one of my greatest pleasures & here, too, it doesn't happen enough. The states are so big, too & people can go so far away.

Goodness, passionfruit cheesecake, who would have thought?

I have, all my life, wondered why folks can't look past appearances and find out about the real people behind??

Deborah said...

God looks at our heart--I am learning to do that too! (sometimes I am a slow learner!)

How wonderful for you to have your family close. I am praying for that too as jobs take family members to distant places.

Have fun together.

Alice said...

Wow--I know you are floating around on a cloud now. Stitching can wait, besides like you said you will have an extra pair of hands soon to keep you motivated. I was just thinking how much she looked like you and it is her wonderful smile.
I know there is a hand in it all because when we were moving back to the states from Australia, hubby's company offered him a position here in Virginia near my mom instead of sending us back to Florida.
Love the get togethers.

Robin in New Jersey said...

Jenny! This is a beautiful post. So full of love and answered prayers. :)

Kezzie looks just like you!

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

And then tell us about your grandsons!

vernagrace said...

Have you ever felt that your heart just wanted to bust open with happiness? Reading this post did that for me!
So glad you have family close to you, and Kezzie does have your smile. God bless you all!

Janice said...

How wonderful to have Kezzie and her family close by. She looks so much like you. It will be such a joy to spend time together and for you to really get to know your grandsons. I bet they will be very spoilt.

RobynLouise said...

Great that you are all living close to each other again
Lol, I think it's the tattoos that people judge them by and in NSW, at least, that seems to be a hang over from about 30 years ago and the gang wars they had in Western Sydney. Only 'bad' people had tattoos then !?
Hopefully tattoos aren't a rebellious thing now though and are accepted as another art form. My son had his second one done last week - a scorpion and the Scorpio sign as that is what he was born under.

Susan said...

Wonderful Jenny!!
I've prayed for you and your family as you shared a long time back. I don't make regular contact, but I always read your latest post.

I know what it as like living away from family for over 10 years while inter-state for church ministry, but thankful to be back where we can catch up more often.

I think of our ancestors that left the shores of England and loved ones, and pioneered here in Australia. The loneliness they must have felt and the things they missed and left behind to come to a place where they had to start from the very basics.

I think each generation sufferes from this in one form or another. Our present generation - the fly-in and fly-out work of the mining industry.

Any much blessings to you all.


Meredith said...

chratNone of my family live close - nearest is around 600km away, and only son is on the other side of Australia in WA! So enjoy having your loved ones close by!
And ignore those who cannot see that what we are has nothing to do with outer appearance - my work colleagues and I endured a painful few years with a psychopathic boss who was extremely well dressed and elegantly groomed!!!

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

Oh Jenny! I'm so happy for you and your entire family! That cheesecake looks scrumptious and one day I would love to have a latte with you!
It's sad to me when people judge with their eyes. If they just lived by their "heart," there would be no judging at all. Personally, I love people for all the things that make them unique. So much fun! :)
xx, shell

Sharon said...

Yes, the Lord has dealt with me too about judging people by how they look. My baby sister was married to a clean-cut, handsome guy and years later we found out that he was physically abusing her. She finally divorced him, started going to church and living for the Lord and met a wonderful guy at church whose heart is to help others and serve the Lord. Know what he looks like? Long hair in a pony tail, tattoos and earrings. He is gentle as a lamb and is the best thing that has ever happened (besides the Lord) to my sister. Her two little girls love him and he is being a wonderful dad to them.
I know you will enjoy having them close to you now! Thank you for sharing with us!

PDTE said...

Hi Jenny,
How wonderful for you to have your family around you. I know my Mum would love for us to be closer. It is nice to see the faces of your loved ones on your blog, it does sort of make all the pieces fall into place.

I can only imagine where your creativity will go now you have so much family on hand to inspire you.

Carrie P. said...

Oh, I am so happy for you and your family. My DIL family judged my son before they got to know him and he asked them to please get to him before they said that their daughter could not go out with him. Well, they did and now they are married a year now. We just need to give people a chance. Hugs,carrie p.

Beverly said...

I enjoy your designs very much. It was nice reading about your daughter and family moving near you, and what a blessing that is for all of you. I am a believer in the Gospel as well, and was delighted to hear of the change in your daughter and family's lives, and their desire to live for the Lord! So, Jenny, we are "sisters" in Christ and will meet one day in our eternal home. : ) May God bless you and your family in a special way.
Beverly in USA