The Past Week

I know when friends of mine live overseas it can be hard to really picture what their life must look like. So here is a little snippet of some of the things that have happened in the past week for me.

I organised vaccinations for Annelise. I had been putting this off as I needed to work out the difference between Australia and Japan, and let’s face it – my vocab skills surrounding vaccinations are not exactly strong. I was brave and called a clinic, collected a schedule and made a booking for first her vaccination on Monday.

Did final birthday preparations for Pippa, and enjoyed celebrating her birthday on Tuesday. We went to Playgroup (run through Heidi’s kinder), enjoyed lunch at JLCC (OMF language school), had dinner at home with Caity, Skyped with Grandparents, and enjoyed cake.

We had an OMF members meeting on Thursday until 3pm, with sessions by our Hokkaido Leader, and National Director. We also broke into small groups, and enjoyed lunch together. After that I went to one of Heidi’s friends apartments. Along with 5 other mums and a bunch of little girls, we chatted and enjoyed afternoon tea together. We then walked home in the dark at around 5pm.

Heidi was sick one night (vomiting), so Paul helped her during one night. In the morning I had to call the Kinder to let them know she wouldn’t come, so please don’t wait for us at the bus stop etc. Another night Annie didn’t get to sleep until 2 and was then up at 6, so I spent a night on the couch, feeding her and bouncing her in the bouncy chair.

Paul and I had a whole day booked to go and get our licences. We don’t need to sit a test, just do the paperwork. And about half an hour into it (after driving for 45 mins to get there) we were told there was one piece of information that we didn’t have, so we will have to go back another time. So we enjoyed a day together (with Annelise) and Paul did much needed clothes shopping, we met with the Training Sector OMF leader for a catch up, I got my text books for starting classes next week, and I bought a jacket with an extra zip section for Annie to be able to fit in while I carry her in the baby carrier to and from class (in the cold!)

We went to Costco today, then to the batting centre and a park. I also went to the Post Office to post a form to the Australian Consulate here in Sapporo so we can finally finish Annie’s passport application. We danced, played and read books this afternoon.

And of course, we did all of those other normal life things like go to classes and study Japanese, keep three young children alive and loved, talked with each other, checked emails and facebook, got up lots at night with babies and kids, wrote a prayer letter, made a continued attempt at making an updated video for our home church, read new books on the Kindle, organised a Koorong order… and I’m sure there was more but that’s all I can think of!

**Sorry for the superficial nature of this blog, but I really wanted to stick to my goal of writing at least once a month, and I haven’t written yet in October AND I need to feed Annelise… so time was of the essence also!! :)**

My Other Blog

It has been a loooong time since blogging here!

This year we have lived in Singapore (1 month) and in Japan (8 months), welcomed a new baby girl and done a whole lot of other stuff too!

That also includes my new blog over at

I’m currently only writing once a month, but a new baby will do that! I’m hoping to write more frequently about our life in Japan once baby sleeps a little more.

I would love it if you could take a look and follow me if you like!

Thanks for reading,


Pippa’s Joke


Warning: This post contains information about *poo* by a small child. Reader discretion required.

I sat on the couch and saw 21 month old Pippa standing in front of me, clearly pushing something out into her nappy.

“Poos” Pippa stated.

“Do you want to go on the toilet?” I asked.

“No” she replied.

“Do you want to go on the Potty?” I asked again.

“No” she again replied.

Pippa looked at me with a sly look on her face.

“Carpet” she said mischievously. She then added, “Funny girl.”

I laughed.

It didn’t take long for my not quite 2 year old to grasp onto the fact that toilet humour gets easy laughs. I hate to admit it, but it’s true.

Partnership Development: The Highs and Lows

Japan Jesus

What a week. I’m so glad that it’s Monday and a new week had begun. Let me explain.

As many friends and family will know, at the start of the year we began what we call “Partnership Development” (PD). PD is the process of trusting to God to raise up prayer supporters, long term individual and church gospel partnerships, and financial partners to enable us to serve long term with OMF as missionaries in Japan. Phew – even that sentence feels exhausting!

So we have embarked on this process that feels sometimes like we run our own business, in the sense of always having more work that we could do! It also feels like we need to promote ourselves and impress people at times. But what this experience mostly feels like is being on an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows as we battle moments of discouragement paired with moments of great encouragement.

When we began PD I was definitely anticipating the hectic, intense nature of it. But I wasn’t anticipating it being such an emotional process. I can have one day of being so encouraged and thankful to God, feeling like “Yes! We are going to get there?”, and then the very next day I can wallow in doubt, wondering “Is it even possible?” And it’s a tiring process.

We have had a discouraging few weeks. Nothing in particular happened to cause us to be a bit down about PD, but we have just been feeling a bit weary. And in that state of weariness and discouragement we were not particularly looking forward to more busy-ness.

Paul’s major essay was due.
We were speaking at MST (Melbourne School of Theology) Chapel, where Paul studies.
We had to put together a 3 minute clip about Japan.
We were speaking at Valley Presy in Doreen: I was doing the Kid’s talk and Paul was preaching.
So, I needed to write a Kid’s talk and Paul needed to prepare a sermon.
We also were sharing at our own Growth Group on Sunday afternoon.
Plus LIFE with two young children and everything else. So we were feeling weary.

And yet, every. single. time. the same thing happens. We are weary, and we come before God and say “We can’t do this in our own strength. We can’t do this at all! Please help us Lord. May we glorify you.” And each time, we get there. We share, and we serve, and we are blown away with encouragement.

After sharing at MST we both had conversations that we came away encouraged by. It’s such a privilege to share with people on their journey to discernment for the future, and as they wrestle with the cost of discipleship. We felt like God really used us to convict people of the need for the gospel to go out to the nations. And for that we were thankful!

Yesterday we shared at Valley Presy, and felt absolutely privileged to be able to have almost a whole service to again share about the need for the gospel in Japan. Never had we felt so encouraged by a church that seemed eager to form a long term partnership with us, because of their vision and passion for Jesus Christ.

After that we shared at our Growth Group and had such a lovely dinner together, of delicious home-made Okonomiyaki.

It was a great day, and we continue to be flabbergasted at the ways that God uses His people to encourage us at just the right times, and in just the right ways.

Father’s Day Reflections

The first Sunday in September is the day for celebrating Fathers here in Australia. So yesterday the girls excitedly gave Daddy their handmade cards and crafts, while he received them with smiles. I tried to do a “Let’s talk about the things we love about Daddy” kind of thing, but let’s just say that at 3 and 1 years of age, that didn’t go super well. We enjoyed a lovely morning at Church, followed by a long, leisurely family lunch in the sunshine. I called my Dad later that night and had a nice chat too.

It was a great day, but I didn’t really do anything for Paul. He’s not big on presents (that’s an understatement) and Father’s Day isn’t a big deal for him. But I was reflecting on what to blog about tonight, and I want to write this post for him. To say thank you for all of the ways that he is a wonderful father to our girls.


1. I love the squeals, laughter and pure delight that erupts every time you come home. Daddy coming home is the highlight of the day some days and it’s beautiful to watch.

2. I love that even though you grew up in a household of boys, you now love your household of girls, and wouldn’t want it any other way. You may not have had sisters growing up, but that doesn’t stop you from being a big softie who is happy to sit and have a cup of tea, comment on a cute hairstyle, or join in a ballet dance. You’re man enough for that.

3. I love that you are so capable, even though it sometimes makes me feel insecure! I have no hesitations whatsoever when you have the girls by yourself.

4. I love the way that even though you are a serious guy, you light up and joke, play and get some good silly going on with the girls, because you love them.

5. I love the way that you enjoy the time in the mornings when it’s often just you and Heidi up. A special quiet time in the morning with your daughter, and rather than seeing her as an interruption you cherish that time together. That’s beautiful.

I could go on. But you are waiting to chat with me, so this must come to a close. You are a great Daddy, a great Husband and my very best friend. I love you Paulie.

Writing Again

The problem with not writing for a long time is that it becomes overwhelming to start again. It’s impossible to fill in all of the gaps, but surely I have to say something about what happened in the midst of the blogging-abyss? I didn’t mean it. I didn’t intentionally stop blogging – I just wasn’t sure whether I should keep writing. I read books about blogging and being professional and writing the most awesome blogs ever and making billions of dollars on blogs and became crippled with indecision and inability. I couldn’t decide what (or perhaps more accurately, who) my blog was for. I couldn’t dedicate time and money to it so that it would become the worlds absolutely best blog in the world. And so I stopped. And once I stopped it was hard to start again. But lately I’ve wanted to have something slightly productive to do with some time that I have. Blogging came back up as an option, and even though I haven’t actually worked anything else out about why I’m writing, and how I will do it, here I am again. It feels good!

<<Insert Obligatory Update Here>>

Well… We are currently Candidates/Appointees with OMF International, aiming to leave for Japan in January 2015 (4/5 months away!) and have been doing Partnership Development since the start of this year roughly. Of course, Paul continues to study full time, and is in his last Semester of his Masters of Divinity. Heidi now goes to 3 year old Kinder twice a week (a total of 5 hours) and I continue to look after the girls full time. Pippa is almost 2 chronologically, but most definitely almost 2 in terms of the developmental challenges that parents face with 2 year olds. Enough said!

As I sit here writing, I realise I have a lot more to say about things, but just want to keep this post short. So, thanks for tuning in – I look forward to getting back into blogging a bit more!

Parenting and Humility


Once when riding a train in Japan with my husband, 15 month old daughter and my 6 month pregnant belly, I was on the receiving end of that delightful thing called judgement. My daughter was exhausted, and while we had a little pram for her, she had been in it for most of the day, so we let her out of it while we were on the train. She was really tired and despite our best efforts, she was inconsolable. So Paul was trying to calm her down by holding her, rocking her, whatever he could do. I would normally have done this for a while too, but it had been a long day, and my body was tired. There were two non English speakers (clearly not Japanese people either) sitting across from us on the train, and while I couldn’t understand all they said, I did catch some Japanese words that they used. More importantly though, I caught the glances, the hushed whispers and the darting looks of judgement across the train. They offered me some food (a small packet of small crunchy things!) for Heidi, which I refused up to 4 times before giving in, and smiling politely, received it from them. Very reluctantly I let Heidi have some. Let me say, we did have food for her, but knew she wasn’t hungry, but just exceptionally tired. After an initial interest, Heidi then spat it all out. As horrible as it sounds,  I did a little internal jig! We may have only been sitting across from them for 15 minutes, but the way they were suggesting to one another, “Why doesn’t she do this? Why is the Father holding her? Surely the Mother should comfort the baby?”, I was quietly seething with rage. And let me just say, I don’t anger too easily. I often have to think for quite some time to remember the last time I was angry. So for me this was big. Let’s just say that when we got off the train, Paul was concerned that he had done something really wrong. I’m pretty sure he sighed with relief when he learned my anger was directed elsewhere.

Somehow parenting has become one of the most keenly debated topics of society today. Dummies, bottles, ‘breast is best’, slings, prams, cloth vs disposable, sleeping through, control crying – the list goes on! There are  many contentious issues regarding parenting that it can be hard to find your way and when books contradict one another, different parents experience different things, and everyone else seems to know what is right, unfortunately judgement is rife. Add in cross cultural differences, generation gaps and linguistic barriers, and it’s any wonder those ladies on the train in Japan had something to say to my apparently horrendous parenting skills!

In some ways judgement is understandable. If parents are making informed, considered decisions on the way they raise their children, many times parents have chosen one option over another. And let’s face it, as human beings, our default position is that our choice is the right choice. Of course I think it’s right to (insert parenting issue here), otherwise I wouldn’t have chosen it! But does my ‘right’ choice mean that your choice is, in fact, ‘wrong’? Why has parenting become a matter of right and wrong? Of course, there are some things which should have no grey areas. Child abuse, be it physical, emotional or sexual, is always wrong. But for the most part, parents judging other parents is not about a huge concern for a child (although that can happen) but is primarily about feeling better about your own parenting decisions! Judging others can lead to an ego boost – “Look how poorly they are doing” translates as “Wow, I must really have it together!”

Like most sin, judging others is easy to justify, explain and permit. It makes us feel good while making others feel bad. It lifts ourselves up, while dragging others down (even if just in our own minds). Judgement on others and how they parent is not living by the fruit of the Spirit. Yes, discernment of our own parenting styles is important. Yes, we will be different to others. And yes, we should be concerned about the welfare of others. But as Philippians chapter 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Christ has shown us the ultimate example of humility, and it is that kind of humility that we are to imitate. False humility is no good. I can’t pretend to think others are better than me, that’s just plain old patronising. We are to truly consider others better than ourselves. It’s not easy, and I by no means do this as I should. But it is what we must strive for. Judgement is also damaging because most of the time we don’t have the full picture. We’ve all done things in moments of pain or desperation that we would never normally do. But if that’s the only snippet that someone sees of you, what kind of judgement might be made? We don’t know of sicknesses, extended family worries, marriage struggles, work issues, LIFE issues – there is so much going on for everyone and often we can assume all is well when people are doing it tough. Instead of offering a listening ear and an understanding heart, we make a quick judgement based on an external thing like clothes or appearance or whether the child has a dummy or is eating a hot chip. It’s just not right.

Parenting is an ever changing, constantly evolving thing. Just as you think you have things figured out ‘for now’, everything changes again. None of us have it worked out completely. And we are all human and don’t know everything, all the time. But we can collaborate with one another, as parents, and share with each other, encourage one another and really understand one another. We are simply trying to do our best in a big, busy world where thankfully we have an even bigger, much more capable God who we can trust on and look to for help. Instead of judging one another, let’s remind one another of the humility and sacrifice of Christ, and of the work He has done. Let’s try and follow his example, and give sacrificially to those around us – humility and love are a great place to start as we discuss parenting in a godly way

Next time someone shares with me the struggles they are having with their children sleeping, instead of offering unsolicited advice, I might just offer to look after said bub while Mum has a sleep herself.

I love to hear from those of you who read my blog, so if you have a moment, please feel free to comment and share some ideas of how we could encourage (and practically help) one another in this difficult parenting game? Or perhaps you have experienced judgement in regards to your parenting: If so, what is something helpful that the ‘judger’ could have done instead? Thanks again to everyone who reads my posts – it’s very encouraging to me and I love being able to share some thoughts with you all!