Petting Zoo With Our Little Monkey

Ira is starting to really notice animals so we took him to the petting zoo to see how he would react to all the furry little creatures. A couple of weeks ago he started "barking" every time he heard a dog outside. Now every time he sees an animal he goes, "Ra!" Even if its a cartoon in the pages of a book he points and makes sure to let you know he sees it. We think it's the cutest. Of all the cute little animals he pointed the most at the turtles haha but I also think he liked the bunnies and was pretty happy to get to touch them. The bunnies were my favourite too. There we a lot of babies and babies of almost any animal are cute and I just want to keep them all. They wouldn't have noticed if I snuck one out in my pocket, right? 

We have been on break for a little over 2 weeks and it has been wonderful. In Cape Town everything shuts down over the holiday because it is summer break as well as Christmas. There are people everywhere here because Muizenberg is such a holiday destination and they have all come for their own little piece of sand and sun. We have been using the time to tackle the to do list of things that get pushed aside when we get busy with work and parenting. Lots of little projects and extra cleaning and walks with Ira. I have cleaned out and reorganized drawers and binders and notes and all the things that were getting cluttered and hectic and my brain feels so much better now. It has definitely helped me feel like I am ready to enter the new year where as a few weeks ago I felt like there was so much to do and so much in my head just swirling around. Needless to say the break has been oh so good and we still have a few weeks left of it. My parents get here a week from today which is the most exciting thing and then we will get to do many of the beautiful touristy things around Cape Town. It is going to be so good! 

Merry Christmas! 

Prophetic Art Workshop

On Saturday, November 12th I had the privilege of running my first ever prophetic art workshop with Bethesda House. A former staff had been running them for a few years but she recently moved to Scotland and is working there as a missionary. I have taken on her role and am responsible for a lot of the art related things that go on at Bethesda House. I am so thankful. I always knew I would have a large involvement in my life with art but I was never sure what it would look like because of choosing to travel and go on the mission field rather than art school after graduating. In the past few years God has been bringing both passions together but in an even better way than I thought possible. Now art and encouraging, life changing ministry are the same thing. It is no longer a side project but a focus. 

Anyway, so Saturday....

We had 10 students and a full day of teaching. There were lessons on what is prophetic art, imagination, colour, imagery in the Bible, art as a tool for healing, and art evangelism. All of which had a practical hands on creative aspect. Most of the day was spent using one medium or another to experiment and create with God and communicate what He was speaking through creativity. 

It is so amazing to see people start the day with many reservations and then end the day full of life and freedom in their creativity. There is something that happens in each person as they realize that we are all creative! I wish this was a truth that all people knew deeply as part of who they are. God is the most creative one and we are made in His image, therefore, we are all creative! I don't think it has to look a certain way or even pertain to artwork but I do think that creativity should flow through all of us in whatever we are called to. You can be creative with math and problem solving and cooking and medicine and language and dealing with people and farming etc. In everything. God is not limited and neither are we. 

The day is not only full of teaching and art but there is also a lot of prayer and ministry that happens for the students. We spend time at the end praying for each one and prophesying encouragement and truth into who they are. As we ended off the day and I prayed for one girl she started crying and said, "I didn't expect to get this today!" That was the best for me. If people leave feeling like they had fun and learned a lot thats good but how much better is it when they meet God in the process and leave overwhelmed at His goodness and love for them! I think people left with a lot more than they expected and their hearts were full and encouraged. 

In art evangelism we teach that prophetic art is a means to an end. The picture you create is great and beautiful but it is about the message that goes with it. The end goal is an encounter with Jesus. God loves to speak to people and one of those ways is through art. I have seen more people truly encounter God through painting a small picture for them that God gave me than any other evangelism I have done. Art passes through barriers and touches people deeply. It is beautiful. The workshop itself is like that. It is a means to an end. The teaching, the artwork, it is all to ultimately encounter and grow in relationship with Jesus and then enable them to go and do the same for other people. 

Watch out world. There is a generation of creatives rising up to stand tall and use their gift to proclaim the glory of God. 

October 30th / 40 weeks & 1 day of Ira Gray

I am a few weeks late in sharing this but it was such a sweet day for me as a mother that I thought I would share it still. (pretend with me I am posting this at the right time) I am sure for many people it isn't a big deal but I marked this special day on my calendar a long time ago. Sunday, October 30th, the day Ira would be 40 weeks and one day old. He was in my belly for 40 weeks and one day and now has been in my arms for the same. I can't express it with words but it makes my heart feel so many emotions. I never knew the love you could have for a single person could cause your heart to feel so much pain. It hurts to love so hard yet to even imagine life without that pain is far worse than the pain itself. It's like a constant ache but sharper and grows slowly stronger with every beat. Sometimes it feels as if your heart will come right out of your chest but then, really, it already has in the form of a 21lb joyful crawling little munchkin. Other times it feels like it can't get any bigger or hold any more love and then you blink and your boy is bigger and your heart keeps stretching still to fit him all in. 

And she loved a little boy, very very much - even more than she loved herself. -Shel Silverstein

9 Months & Full of Joy

This little joy is 9 months old today! I think every parent says it about every child but they grow so fast! I can't believe it has been 9 months already. It feels like mere weeks since I had him placed on my chest only seconds old. We are savouring every moment with this boy and enjoying all the little things because it is something new everyday. These days its pointing at everything, trying his hardest to crawl, saying dada and mama and baba, and drinking from cups and playing in every way. He loves kisses, and hats, and eating food, and playing his papa's keyboard, and he thinks coughing and sneezing are the funniest. He is so much fun and we love him to the moon and back a million times.

August 24th: Our Last AWAKE

On August 24th we had the last AWAKE night in our Bethesda Building. It's another story that you can read here but the short of it is that our landlord told us we had to meet a much higher rent or be out by the end of August. We had to move and are currently on the look out for the new building we know God has for us. He has clearly been telling us as Bethesda House for a long time that He had a new and better suited facility, we just didn't expect to be kicked out of the one we had before we had a new one. We are hopeful though. Truly and deeply hopeful. God is faithful to us always and we are expectant for something wonderful. 

Here are a few pictures I snapped during the last night of our beloved outreach. We changed things up a bit and instead of the usual ministry stalls we had a time of testimonies and worship. With many of our loved ones from around Muizenberg we worshipped God for all the things He had done in and through Bethesda House and for all the things He is going to do in the future. It was amazing!

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