Our Story Our Song Day 21 – Day 26 – Settling In

Tuesday 2 March – Sunday 5 March

20170305_081801 20170305_121909 20170305_124836 20170302_085328The next few days were spent establishing some sort of routine and settling in a bit after almost a month on the road. Our 4 older children moved into our tent while the younger 2 and ourselves moved into our friend’s bush lapa. What a luxury this off road caravan is! We had our own fridge, freezer and gas stove! Our stay in the bush lapa was certainly one that we would recommend to others! Garden living took sometime to get used to but we soon managed to settle our normal routines into a very different setting.

One real joy and blessing of homeschooling is that the children can easily adapt to a new – very different – environment and just pick up with life from where we left off. I had a good smile though when after breakfast they all asked to please be excused from the mat!

It is however a beautiful thing to see what we read Charlotte Mason tell us about year ago being played out now. We read how she insisted it was very important to work on one habit at a time and to lay down firm rails into a child’s life so that these habits would be established throughout life. So we began. Teaching them to make their beds, fold washing, be kind, talk nicely, ask to be excused, how to sweep, how to wipe a table, to complete their work, read their bibles, pray every morning and so on and so on. So often I felt we were wasting our time and effort. Yet I hear my heavenly father utter the same words – “train up a child in the way he shall go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Yet here in a different time and space I am watching with awe as my children are actually doing these things on their own.

My heart sang

With us not all sleeping in the same space and there being so many garden and friend distractions we have found it difficult settling in and have family bible times. This was really concerning me and then we started chatting in the car and the children all began to tell me what they had read that morning on their own. Yay. My heart sang. Yes family bible time is so important and still a corner stone in our family. Yet here I’m seeing that I no longer need to hold their hands so tightly and be responsible for their spiritual growth. Those years of encouraging them to read on their own and valuing that in our home has now allowed them to begin to walk their spiritual growth with God themselves. And they don’t need to wait for me to bring them water to drink… they know how to go to the father on their own!

Divine provision

On Wednesday we realised that our car brakes had been making a funny noise. So Neil took the car in to sort those out and we found that they needed to be repaired immediately (eeekkk R1500 cash suddenly required) but we knew we had to have it done. The next hour Neil gets a call with someone wanting to give us R1000! How amazing is this God that we serve! Not having the car for a day was a blessing in itself as it meant we could all settle down and just gather ourselves.

We took time to visit the Castle – which we had been learning about in history, as well as the water front.20170303_114918
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We went for a Saturday morning walk along St James beach with friends and then spent the day on Fish Hoek beach. I honestly didn’t realise how much we love being at the beach!

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We visited a church on Sunday and had a picnic in Tokai forest with my cousin in the forest on Sunday afternoon before being treated with a roast for supper back at “home.”

A somewhat busy but yet calmer week in that we had a base to come back to each day. I must say that I’m constantly loving the how going on a trip such as this, and emerging yourselves into people’s everyday lives has really deepened and strengthened relationships and friendships – within our own family and with people we didn’t know that well before –  in such a forever way.

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Our Story Our Song Day 20 – We Go Camping

Wednesday 1 March 
So we woke early and packed up our trailer not having a clue where we would be sleeping tonight. We had a special time praying with the family we were staying with before we headed off to get our police clearance and be introduced to Living Hope. We’d hope to be able to work into the one area but as they had a gang shooting there last week no one can work there at the moment. I went off to the mom’s group with our 2 little people and Neil took the others to go and see the farm.

I loved being with the moms. However, it was fairly structured in that I didn’t get much time to chat to the moms. But it was good to meet them. At lunch time we needed to find some picnic bits and pieces which we enjoyed at Imhoff farm. We spent sometime looking around the farm stalls and estate agents. This gave us an opportunity to share our story and our song as we asked if anyone knew of a place for us to stay.

20170305_081458We had a quick play on Fish Hoek beach before settling that we are going to take up the offer of our friends to camp in their garden. This journey is crazy and not turning out how we expected. Camping in a garden! We are literally living in the moment, seeing God simply supply our daily needs. This having faith is hard work, I’m tired!

Parenting ain’t easy…

Being Mom on the road is hard work too. Everyone needs a piece of you all the time. With camping in the garden, routine is out the window. One little person in particular is taking strain with the lack of routine. The moaning and complaining and arguing wearies me to the bone. Why does every instruction I give result in her responding with…. “No – I have an idea actually.” Me saying “No” means nothing except providing a challenge for which she can rise to. Having no routine as such has lead to a downward spiral of “but, no, But I want to , I don’t want to , actually ……”

Yet Being Mom is something we become when our little people enter into our lives – not something we just do when we feel up to it. So even when the road is long and the days endless if we choose to stop. And ask. And listen. Our heavenly father whispers his wisdom and truth into every disagreement. He leads us on and upward as to how we should keep moving forwards.

This is Our Story This is Our Song Day 7

Wednesday 15 Feb
After this revitalising stop off  at this lovely little retreat in the middle of no where – we headed off for a few days of discovery as we peered over Storms River Bridge, followed the trail of the Knysna elephants and learned all about the wood cutters that had once lived, loved and died in these indigenous forests. We even walked along one of their old rail way tracks and were able to see the museum – up in the middle of the forest – that housed their old tools, and had frozen pieces of their lives behind glass cases.

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20170215_145157We then wound our way down into Knysna trying to think where to sleep for the night. We called a church to see if they knew of anyone – as our blow up mattresses had holes in them so we weren’t keen to sleep on those – but this phone call seemed way out of his depth. We then called a homeschool family we found online but the request for a mattress or knowing of a place to stay was again not something she could process. Finally we decided to go buy some more mattresses and headed up to the municipal camping ground. As a storm began to blow in from the sea we struggled to hastily put up our tent. Once our struggle was over and we were settled with one big family bed made up of an assortment of blown up and flat camping mattresses and duvets, the storm blew over and we were able to sit below a beautiful double rainbow watching the sun set and eating our single pot pasta mix.

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