Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Well ok, I am exaggerating but as you will see, I never posted anything after that. Seriously. What in the world was I thinking?
To be completely honest, I can't even remember the date of when I changed the title of this blog. I obviously went through a point of crisis. I changed the title and then because it took so much courage to do that one task, I was exhausted and as you do, you close your laptop. Shot Pip, high five, work well done phuuuuu that was hard work. Hmmm - or maybe I just ran out of data. That tends to happen often here in Samoa where $20 worth of cash power lasts longer than $20 of credit. Anyways, I digress from my main point of being on here.
A few days ago, I had a friend ask me about why I had stopped blogging. And while it was nice for her to share some kind thoughts about my blog, I have to be honest in that while she was talking to me, in my head I was making a mental note to take it down: "Note to self: Delete Blog".
I signed back in not so long ago and then proceeded to read through all the content I created about my kids...and while I had intended to follow through, I just couldn't do it. Pathetic I know, but I can't help it I'm a softie at heart (heh heh).
To fill the void that has existed since my last entry...some 19 months ago...here is my first post back from the abyss of existence here in Samoa. I am alive and well. And well, who knows maybe I'll log in again later this week and share a nice wee story about what life here in Samoa is like for me and my family.
Or maybe I'll just log in, in another 19 months and write something similar, a short hello from the abyss hey its me, I've just popped up for air.
And as I can see that there is absolutely nobody reading this wee monologue, I'm sure no one will notice, which makes me laugh even more!!!
Yay! Stay blessed ;)
Monday, November 23, 2015
It's been almost a month since my family attended church (and even longer since I last updated my blog...useless!) Times have been busy as we farewell family and friends before our imminent departure. On top of the stresses of planning our move and packing, work continues to be moving at light speed with me travelling every week leaving Hele to hold the fort.
It is during busy times like these that I begin to stumble. My walk with Christ becoming a limp until finally I am crawling. And often the crawling is towards forgiveness because with every new day, a new challenge also awaits. Often these challenges catch me at my weakest point and I react as opposed to seeking His guidance. But even though I feel like such a weak fool seeking forgiveness for the 100th time for any particular week, I am still ever so grateful for my faith. Where would I be without it?!!
It was this thought that got the better of me today while at Church. During the third pese, staring up at the large cross set against stained glass above the altar...I wept. Tears of pure gratitude as I sang. I was completely overwhelmed by all the work God has completed in my life. Most of all I was in awe of the wonders our family has experienced since moving to Wellington. From building our small family, the addition of another child, to the abundance of love and friendships we have discovered during our time here. There is no other joy than having ones prayers answered. And for me, some of those prayers I was unable to verbalize, they were simply desires of my heart. And today I wept tears of joy knowing deep within me, that I served a God who truly knew me. A God who sees me.
Thank you Father for remembering our family. We are so undeserving. We will never be able to repay you. Ever. Thank you...that's all my heart sings...is thank you.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
|Josh and Jacob at the City Gallery|
|Malachi, Jacob and Josh hitting a few rounds of golf lol|
Monday, April 27, 2015
It still remains as a vivid memory to be honest. So much so that I could swear our move here to Wellington only happened a few days ago. We arrived on a Friday, late in the afternoon. Greeted by Hele's work colleagues at the airport, within an hour we were delivered to our empty and quiet house where we were going to be based for the next four years. It was hard to believe that only a few hours earlier we bid farewell to our family and the familiar heat, noises, dust and scents. Things I now wished that I could have bottled up for times like these. And all that now greeted us was the howling of the wind as it pressed itself up against the windows, checking to see if we were still alive. It was a hollowing feeling to say the least. The large white-walled lounge with its high ceilings swallowing our small family up. It wasn't long before it began to dawn on us that this was it. The two of us huddled together with our two small children tucked firmly between us, and whispered a quiet prayer of thanks. After a month of planning and packing, we had finally arrived. I'm not sure what was in my husband's mind, but at the time I was thinking/hoping/wishing that maybe when I opened my eyes the familiar things that I missed would somehow magically appear and we would be alright. It didn't, and reality sunk in. It was up to the four of us to make this new place our home, carrying this unspoken wedge-shaped hole in our family. That was until we met the Ulu's.
A few months after settling here we enrolled our children into a local Aoga Amata and it was here that a family reached out and invited us to dinner with some of their friends. I remember us both being slightly hesitant, maybe even a little shy (yes, it does happen lol). But a glance at our mattresses stacked in the lounge after over two month of arriving was probably a sign that it was high time to get out of the cabin and into the fresh air. And the fresh air was so satisfying. It is for this reason that the Ulu's will always hold a special place in our hearts. If it weren't for their love, understanding, grace and honesty, we probably would have carried along the path we were on. That's not to say we are hermits, but rather after healing the rawness that comes with farewells, we were unsure about whether to once again lay down roots in the knowledge that we would be doing it once again.
And yet here we are. After just over 3 years we have welcomed so many friends into our lives. Friends who have made us laugh so hard we've cried, and cry so hard its made us laugh. So no surprises then that our session of reminiscing was, or rather is, somewhat bittersweet. So much so that while sharing we get a knock at the door to find our neighbor holding out a carrot cake in one hand and a chocolate cake in the other. This is followed shortly after with another knock at the door to find one of Hele's marist brothers with crayfish, taro and luau. Bittersweet? Maybe more bitter than sweet.
So with only a matter of months before we depart, we have begun to say our farewells. Our philosophy has always been that gratitude is living in the moment. And because you never know when it is your time to leave we make the most of every opportunity. Whether over a simple cup of tea or en-route to a meeting we bolt through that window to express our gratitude to those who have given so much of themselves to our family. And it is with great humility and a sense of satisfaction that we are able to acknowledge that the wedge-shaped hole we felt when moving here has been filled to the brim with friends we have made in the school grounds, church pews, sports fields, workplaces, coffee houses...heck even in McDonalds. What is clear is that God's goodness knows no bounds. The friends we have made during our short time here we will carry with us into the next phase of our lives. They will live on in the stories we retell our children of our time here (and if you have ever had the privilege of hearing the two of us telling a good story, let me tell you, being a character in our tales however tall they may be is a highly sought after opportunity haha). And in retelling these stories we will relive them - smiling, laughing, crying, you name it. Our friends have become our family in a place where we were orphans. We will miss you all very dearly and ask that God abundantly bless each of you for everything you have given us.
Uo i aso uma, uso i aso vale.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
|And we're off...|
|In the zone|
|Ready to hung on the wall|
Monday, March 9, 2015
You see, the name Philippa is Greek for "Lover of Horses" or "Friend of horses". And I can tell you, that ain't me. My first experience of riding a horse was during our 7th form camp. Sad to say, that day so traumatic, it ended up being my first and last ride. You see, I was the one who drew the short straw that day and ended up being allocated a somewhat "possessed" horse. What should have been a nice, leisurely horse "walk" across Pakiri beach, turned into a bolt across the beach. Me holding on for dear life, and the horse instructor riding alongside on her horse, trying to yell some instruction at me like "pull the reins" or something to that effect. And my bulging eyes screaming at her saying "Woman! I'm Samoan, what the hell were you thinking putting me on here, what the hell are "reins", if you know what they are then you pull the damn thing, because this is your horse, and if I get hurt, my mum is going to kill you" all at the same time (I may not have rode a horse before, but my telepathic ability is pretty exceptional if you don't mind me saying ha!). Anyways, some kilometers down the beach, she somehow manages to grab hold of the reins and slow my horse down, halleluyah, and we are back at the start. She yells at me to get off and to wait there until everyone else comes back to camp. I thought, what a loser instructor she was, and vowed never to go near another horse in my life.
Well, as fate would have it, I gave birth to a daughter who is absolutely in love with horses (I tell you God sure has a sense of humor!). So when a friend of mine invited us to her newly built house in Makara to ride horses, I thought, why not.
As a mother standing and observing my daughter near these huge beasts, I can't help but admire her. She holds herself with such a regal peace that it is clear that these animals some how have an affinity to her. This little four year old of mine, after being introduced to "Chole" the horse, stood face to face with her, and stared back into Chole's big brown liquid eyes. They stood there holding each others gaze and Tapuitea lifted her hand seeking Chole's permission to stroke her. And there they stood. In front of one another. This four legged mammal and my four year old. And it was if time stood still.. The wind howling past them both, blowing their manes about as they got acquainted. Without even a word passing between them. It was almost something spiritual.
Soon after it was time to lead Chole back to her field. Her "Beau" waiting impatiently for her to return. My girl, climbing the fence overlooking the field, glowing and waving to Chole who was now busy eating.
What a magical day. Filled with priceless memories.