Tag Archive: family


What a powerful end to 2015!

At the end of most normal years, if there is such a thing, i imagine tbV and i would have tried to find a few days off to just chill and recover from what has been a busy, crazy, challenging, great and difficult year. But this year we decided to finish strong. And that has made all the difference. Continue reading


Okay, so WELCOME to my new ongoing series where i ask a WHAT IF question and invite you to respond, and possibly say a few things myself, or not.

Today’s question and the first of the series is WHAT IF CHRISTMAS WAS NOT ALL ABOUT ME?  Continue reading


I never fully realised what an impact one little girl could have on a community, just by being herself.

Adoption has always been on my heart. I can remember asking my parents, repeatedly, for years, for a baby sister for Christmas. Preferably adopted. It’s obviously something that I’m meant to be involved in. I got my baby sister when I was thirteen. And then a baby brother when I was nineteen. And there have been a string of safety placement babies through my parents house ever since. Continue reading


When I was young, I always dreamed of being married & having children.

Today I am a proud wife & mother of 2 beautiful boys. Its is only by the grace of God that we are now able to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary on the 1st May 2014.

As with any marriage, there are many challenges and yes most of them not easy, but even though we were caught up in our problems at those times, GOD was ever present.

We believe that things happen for a reason and so many times we look back and say to each other: “Wow, so that’s why that happened!”

When our beautiful sons were born we thought goodness this is what we always wanted but the scary part is that we thought that we didn’t have to keep learning things and school was over for us, but we were wrong! It only just began…haha. From ABC to projects…how nerve-wrecking, challenging and yet exciting to see the joy on their faces.

A wedding takes time to prepare, cost a pretty penny and only lasts for a day. A marriage however requires patience, love, kindness, forgiveness and best of all lasts a lifetime! And on the plus side it is so much more rewarding to have GOD in the centre of it ALL!

So this is to the partner God has picked out just for me; amazing, kind, loving & the best father our sons could ever ask for! Thank you for travelling this journey with me, I’m having the time of my life on this rollercoaster…yeah!

[For the next post in this series on Marriage through the years with Richard and Wendy Sumner, click here]

[To return to the start of this series and take a look at Marriage through many years, click here]

ah what a softie at heart.

Stephan Pastis shows his true colours in this rare deeply moving Pearls before Swine cartoon strip, proving his range and diversity as well as his ability to make an audience go, ‘Awwwwwwww…’



[For a Pearls before Swine strip on the frustrating phenomenon of losing a call with someone and both trying to phone back at the same time, click here]

[For the Pearls before Swine strip that introduced the word ‘Winnery’ click here]

so there was this email, and by now i think we’re all up to speed with that – this was part of it:

Brett-boy, you need to rethink how you spend your energy.
And here I’m speaking in particular about the humor side of your energy. To take an example: Brett, let’s be honest: your youtube videos suck. Big time. And I don’t even see the purpose in it. Will you really stand before the Jesus one day and when He asks you “So how did you spend your valuable time?” answer “Well, there are these youtube videos I made.”
Humor is good. But it must be part of the bigger mission.
You do many good things. Focus on that. You have limited time. You have limited energy. You have a (God-graciously-given) large audience. Use it well.

Dangerous Things You Can Least Expect

so there was kind of an almost question in there of ‘why do i make silly you tube videos?’ [and if you are completely unaware as to which you tube videos we are discussing here it is the mildly popular ‘Dangerous Things You Can Least Expect’ series of Brad Fish warning clips and i would recommend starting with the remade Paper one, or else Punctuation or the latest, and in my opinion funniest, on Violins.

there are actually a couple of reasons why i have continued to make the DTYCLE videos, altho it may have started with a lot less:

i think firstly, i want to make people laugh. i know – guilty as charged. i just think for a lot of people life is often quite tough and challenging and that a good [or even a medium] laugh is something that can help lift peoples spirits. listening to my buddy Mark laugh himself silly while watching the violins one with me just the other day was proof enough for me that the whole series has been worthwhile.

secondly, as with a lot of stuff i do, it is intentionally about building an audience. i feel like i have a message of life to the fullness that everyone in the world could do with hearing – it is the message of how living a Jesus-following life will revolutionise your life and the lives of people around you. i believe that with all my heart and desperately want others to experience the same. and so i tend to find myself doing some things that are not overtly spiritual in feel or look that might attract people towards the direction of where i will be sharing some more about that. if you enjoy a DTYCLE video then at some point you may say to yourself, ‘let’s see what else this dude has going on’ and might end up at a blog or a podcast or thought or on my facebook page. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church, says this – ‘I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.’ [1 Corinthians 9.21b-23] i am completely not ashamed of the ‘devious intentions’ aspect of my humour posts – if it wasn’t the best life imaginable, then maybe i’d need to think a little longer and harder about it, but i’m convinced.

so making people laugh and introducing them indirectly to the kingdom. those are probably the primary two reasons. but some more emerged as the series progressed.

family. this is not one i planned, but was a happy accident that happened along the way. my mom is from England and so although she has a brother there who had four kids [i hope i’m not forgetting anyone – David, Julie, Mark and Andrew, right?] they live so far away that we have never been in huge contact. it’s not that we don’t like them – it’s just that we never got a chance to really know them. enter DTYCLE… and for some reason my cousin David somehow got to watch one and enjoyed it and the rest is history – we have connected in far greater ways than DTYCLE and i have also gotten to connect with some of his kids through the same medium and so we have shared laughs and grown that into greater discussions and resource sharings [David is a muso and gives away his songs for free] and better opportunity to virtually get to know each other better – for that reason alone DTYCLE has been completely worth it.

education. this was definitely not planned and probably more a sense of ‘what not to do’ than the other way around, but i am aware of at least three schools [and one whole english department within one school] that used my DTYCLE Punctuation video in their English classes in an educational manner of some type. [weirdos!]

Dangerous Bacon You Can Least Expect

sanity. this was more a discovered one then a planned one, but towards the end of our time at The Simple Way i found that sometimes it was just good for me to do something ridiculously silly [as the DTYCLE videos are] just simply for my sanity. they provided me with an avenue to be alone for a few minutes [a completed video takes less than 20 minutes to make – three takes tops cos then i get bored] and just go a little bit lady gaga. and that was good.


so those are some of the main reasons that come to mind.

i guess i should end off with a word about the spiritual/secular divide cos i guess this plays into that. there has been a tendency in the church at times to divide life into those two areas – so attending a prayer meeting or singing worship is seen as ‘spiritual’ whereas having a braai with some mates or watching a movie or recording a you tube video will be seen as ‘secular’. i don’t think that’s good theology at all. Jesus calls us to follow Him with our whole lives, and when we really ‘get’ that we realise that actually everything is spiritual – a lot of christians seem to miss that one and so there can be a disconnect between calling yourself a christian and the way that you spend your time or the things you choose to post/support on facebook or the kinds of music you listen to or the way you spend your money and so on… but when we truly understand what following Jesus means in terms of denying yourself, taking up your cross daily and following Him [luke 9.23] then we realise that everything we do becomes a part of our Christ-following life.

the key is inviting God to be a part of everything you do which will mean being motivated by Love and Grace and promoting life-to-the-fullness and so i encourage you to look at different areas of your own life and see if they line up with this.

Laura Anderson Markle

my cousin Laura died two days ago.

she was 30. recently married. then cancer reared its ugly head. absolute tragedy.

just before she went into hospital i did get to send her an email and let her know that i loved her and was praying for her and her family and hoping for a miracle from God [which sadly never happened, not how i was hoping anyways]

so it was really sad, but there was also a strong sense of love and support of friends and family surrounding her in the months leading up to her death.

last nite i went onto facebook and saw message after message, from a whole variety of unlinked friends of mine across the country, mourning the death of Burry Stander, aged 25, a South African olympian mountain biker who was killed on Thursday while training after being hit by a minibus taxi

Absa Cape Epic 2012 Stage 5 Caledon to Elgin Valley

i didn’t know Burry, but a lot of my friends clearly did [either personally or just as fans and supporters]

i doubt any of them got to send him an email before he died.

for the most part, we just don’t know when we are going to die. or when those around us are.


i have a love hate relationship with funerals.

i know they happen because someone died and so they are meant to be times of sadness, but for the most part i have enjoyed the ones i have been to… when they have been celebrations of the person’s life, rather than simply testaments to the fact that someone has died. i especially love the open mic. time when it happens when friends and family are invited to come forward and share a story about the person they love who has passed on.

but i am also always pretty bummed that the one person who really should be hearing the stories is not officially around to hear them. so one of my big dreams in life [and i guess some might think it’s a pretty sick one] is to come back to life once my funeral has started [open casket] and be able to eavesdrop on what people are saying [and let’s be honest to be able to shout “that’s a load of crap” if someone gets up and starts eulogising me who never had much good to say about me when i was alive. [with dreams like that, maybe it’s a good thing i don’t sleep more?]

the point of today’s scribing is this – how much more amazing would it be if we got to tell people just how much we love them and how much they mean to us, while they are still around to appreciate it?

i want to invite you, to challenge you, to do that! just for one person [for now at least and then maybe someone else tomorrow or next week] who you really care for and who maybe you haven’t told recently [or at all] how much you love them.

but i also want you to share with me who you do it to [i want to hear relationship so not the person’s name but simply a label of friend, family member, work colleague, girlfriend… whoever they are to you] and i want you to pass this challenge on to three other people [and i want to know their names] to encourage them to do the same…

so decide on one person in your life who you want to encourage [verbally, by email, by handwritten note, carrier pigeon?] and three people who you want to send this challenge on and in the comments section of this blog write it down like this:

encourage: my cousin
challenge: Ted, Bill, Napoleon

and then go and do it.

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