Bright Eyes and Tight Thighs

I recently read a surprising statistic: The average supermodel weighs 28% less than the average woman.

As women, we often compare ourselves to the women on tv, in movies, and on the covers of magazines. But if we take the time to remember the photoshop magic used to make those eyes bigger and brighter and those thighs tighter, we might be a little less hard on ourselves.

We’re often tempted to compare our children with other people’s children…our homes with other folks’ homes…but if we don’t compare with everyone else, how do we tell if we measure up?


I’m over at Signposts today, talking about the temptation of comparing oneself with others, and how difficult it is to avoid as a parent.

Care to click over and share your thoughts?

We’re enjoying our last day in Scotland today, taking the train down south to London again tomorrow. And we’re NOT stopping at Sainsburys on the way there. In case you were wondering. Can you believe we’ll be in the Carolinas on Saturday afternoon? And our sweet little six month old will meet his G.C. and Gpa for the first time!


{Guest Post} All in His Good Timing

Hi friends! As I mentioned already, I have some guest posts lined up here and there, during our travels over the next ten days. My dear friend Amanda {who writes over at Seriously.} is sharing today. I think the topic suggestion had something to do with home or transition or moving or whatever anyone fancied talking about (who knows what I’m saying these days?) but Amanda blessed me with a good story that I wasn’t even aware I was a part of.

Friendship…such a gift from the Lord. Enjoy!


I’m so excited about posting here today while my friend makes her long journey through the UK and then back to North Carolina! We’re praying for the Collies—safe travels, happy babies (and parents), and an easy trip! We can’t wait to see you guys!!!

Caroline and I have a long history. We met while we were at East Carolina together about. . . well, 10ish years ago? Is that right?!?!

Shoo whee, Caro, we’re turning into old ladies!

And, in all actuality, we weren’t close friends while we were at ECU together. We attended the same campus ministry, had many friends in common, shared some meals together, and my sister was even her roommate at one point.


But, it wasn’t until the past year or so that we’ve really reconnected via blogging, emails, Christmas visits, and the occasional phone call. However, she has become one of my most trusted friends and I DELIGHT in the fact that she will be returning to the area in a mere few weeks.

Caroline came back into my world just in the nick of time. I was preparing (as much as one can prepare for such things) to lose another friend to ALS. Not only was this person near and dear to me, she was also my spiritual confident and mentor. She was the one person that I could be strangely and comfortably vulnerable and transparent with. Losing that friend was a major blow.

Around that time I was also feeling some tugging on the heartstrings (and most definitely from the Lord) that I needed to invest more in my relationship with Caroline. For some reason, the Lord laid it very heavy on my heart to contact her about support for their ministry in South Africa. I began praying for her, her family, and their ministry. She and I began exchanging emails on a more regular basis, and our friendship flourished this past year.

I am so thankful that I’ve had Caroline to “chat” with via the web this past year or so. It’s been such a blessing to discuss life, family, and spiritual matters with a lady I respect so much. I delight in her humor and in her sweet spirit. There were many days that I wish we could have had chats over a strong cup of coffee, and I look forward to those when she’s back in good ol’ eastern NC! She was a breath of fresh air during a very difficult time.

Sometimes the Lord puts people in your way because He knows you’re going to need them.   And it’s always interesting when He puts people back in your way decades down the road. My mama always said to be nice to everyone because you just never know when your paths will cross again in the future.

I’ve recently started a new teaching position in Washington, NC (the same place sweet Caroline is headed! WHOO!!!) It’s not my first year of teaching, but I feel like I’m starting all over again. It’s so hard going to a new place. Whether it’s a new job or an actual move, it’s hard having to make acquaintances and new work friends, and figuring out the routines, procedures, and locations. It’s very intimidating and overwhelming, and somewhat lonely as well.

Unbeknownst to me, another old friend from my college days, Kathryn, also works at the school and she and I have shared lunch a few times. It’s been such a relief and a blessing to have a familiar face in the workplace!   

I love it when God reveals pieces of His plans for us—even when they are revealed decades later. Caroline and I certainly had no clue that He would bring our lives back together when we were sharing college experiences. We were too busy Painting It Purple* in our pre-baby bodies!

But I am so thankful that the Master of all things does all things in His time.

I’m a scheduled and routine driven person, and there are many times I’m ready for God to open His Big Book of Life and let me in on all the secrets and paths I’m going to take. I’m one to try to rush Him and try to persuade Him that little ol’ me has got it all figured out.


A blip on the radar.

A vapor.

I approach life with an urgency of what if?, then what?, and how? Caroline has reminded us time and time again that life is not an emergency. I love it when He shows me that He’s going to handle it in His own sweet time.

So, whatever life is throwing your way this moment—a new job, a difficult conversation, a season of joy, a season of discomfort, or a transcontinental move—just keep reminding yourself that He’s in control of the clocks, the plans, the conversations, and the paths. He works all things together for our good.

I didn’t know that I would need Caroline’s friendship. But He did.

I didn’t know I would work one day with Kathryn. But He did.

I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

But He does.


Amanda, thank you so much for sharing with us today. I wasn’t expecting to be such an integral part of the story but it blesses my soul! Your friendship means heaps to me!

Happy Thursday, guys and gals…hopefully we’ve landed in London by now!


*Note from CC: Our alma mater’s school colours are Purple and Gold. At the end of sports matches, especially football games, the announcers often close off at a winning game by saying “You can paint this one purple!” Probably my Dad’s most favourite sentence to hear, more than any other.

I Hear Voices

The Hubs’ folks lost a dear friend on Wednesday. We’ve made a spur-of-the-moment decision to travel down to the coast with them so that they can attend the funeral. They’ve found holiday accommodation near Knysna (pronounced Neyes-nuh — as in that first syllable rhymes with “eyes”) where we’ll enjoy one last holiday together before we depart these shores on the 7th.

(Which is like, twelve days from now? Has anybody seen the Tank’s passport?)

Funny enough, before leaving Gordon’s Bay, HH and I were sorry that we didn’t get to visit Knysna just one more time before leaving. It’s one of our favourite places in SA and holds a lot of special memories for us. Here we are at the last minute, looking forward to one more hurrah!

Life has a way of suddenly throwing a lot onto your to-do list all at once. It can take you from having a few things in mind for the weeks ahead to suddenly rushing to catch up on laundry and shop for a new pacifier (you know, to replace the one the monkey stole) and pack a few suitcases and make a shopping list and plan a few meals all at once.


And it’s when life feels busy like this that I often struggle to find those green pastures and still waters where I hear the voice that speaks peace to my soul.

Care to join me over at Signposts today, where I’m talking about listening for the voice of the Shepherd?


P.S. Did I share with you that I’m now the behind the scenes website manager over at Signposts Ministries? What a privilege…score! It’s three hours a week that I am enjoying immensely! I’ve been slowly making changes to the site and as a team we have some exciting plans for the future — I’d love your thoughts about how things look so far! (Especially if you’d visited the site before the makeover!)

Se7en + 1 for my Beloved SA

My sweet friend over at Se7en is hosting a blogaversary, and she asked me to share a post on her site in celebration of the special event. Privileged, I am!

{In case you haven’t been around here when I’ve mentioned Se7en before, she is the spectacular crafting, blogging, homeschooling Mom of Se7en + 1 (yes, eight) wonderful kids and lives in Cape Town. I shared about her and even did a home tour on a Travelling Tuesday right here! If she wanted to, she could rename her website thebomb dot com, she’s just that super.}

A wee little post featuring the Se7en + 1 Things I’ll Miss the Most from SA was featured on her brilliant site just yesterday. I thought I’d let ya know so you can hop on over there if you’d like to see the list!

But here’s one more thing I forgot that I’m really going to miss!


First one to remember what these delightful creatures are called, and name their closest relative gets a clever badge! Whoo-hooo!


Life is Not an Emergency

Do you ever realise you’ve needed to go to the bathroom for several hours, but you’ve been too busy to stop, just so you could go? Ever feel like you’re running at a ridiculous pace, and wonder when the race is going to stop?


Join me at Signposts today, where I’m sharing about a maxim that is helping me slow down, and make some quality life decisions.

But, ya know, maybe you should take a break and go to the bathroom first.


Pray For Me Next Wednesday

O ne day back in the late 80s, the Lord was in an especially good mood, and He created my dear friend Agnes. He had it in mind to bless a lot of people with joy, sunshine, some good laughs, a sweet friend and a listening ear among other things. And one of the folks blessed with the gift of Agnes was me!

When my feet landed for a good stay on Scottish soil six years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Agnes. We began meeting up over coffee, and talking about God and life and faith, over tasty Scottish treats with occasionally anxious waitresses. I was especially thankful for her friendship when a lot of the friends I’d made on the church plant team started heading on to new adventures after the first year or two in Edinburgh.

Look, here we are, hanging out when I was pregnant with the Bear!


When Agnes touched base with the idea of coming to visit for a wee while here in SA, I was delighted. And when she shared the dates she had in mind and I realised I’d be giving birth while she was here, I was ecstatic. If she hadn’t been here this labour story would be very different.

Next Wednesday, we’ll be taking Agnes to the airport, and she’ll be making her way back to our beloved Scotland. It has been an incredible joy and pleasure to have her here — and there will be many tears when we have to say goodbye! I asked Agnes if she’d like to share a little something with you dear friends and readers in summation of her time here in Mama Africa, and I’m so glad I did. Without further ado, I turn it over to the Bear’s new BFF!


Hey, this is Agnes here. I’m the Scottish/Danish girl who has had the honour of living with the Collies for the last three months and had a few appearances in the past few blogs of Caroline’s. You could say that I am blog shy. Instead of writing a huge post, I have opted for a short list of the Top Ten moments during my time here in SA while sharing life for the last three months with the Collie Clan.

My Top Ten Moments in SA

1. BLAKE DARROW COLLIE – Allowing me to witness and hold a pure miracle by God. You may have been overdue, but my boy, you were fast!


2. Directly after that- Learning that baby poo is a luminous yellow the first few weeks. (Changing that nappy put me off my favourite dish- Honey Mustard Chicken! Thanks for noting that Caroline!)

3. Learning the SA motto- TIA (This is Africa), that never fails when you find yourself in an unexplainable/crazy/ hilarious situation….pretty much an everyday occurrence

4. That after 16 years in Scotland/Britain, I’d be lucky if my skin got burnt or even a slight pale roasted chicken coloured tone to it.

5. Hearing Asher sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, after just a few minutes of teaching him! And hearing him spell “stop” the right way after months of correcting him saying P.O.P = Stop.

6. Asher- Although stinky, cleaning up Asher’s poopy after a wee toilet disaster!


7. Realising that God is God wherever you are travelling. Even when I doubt Him and His goodness — He is always good and never has doubts about me.

8. The many bright, intense and fluffy, marshmallowy sunsets reflecting on to the waters surface.

9. Watching the movie “Faith Like Potatoes” and the next week having dinner with the lead lady and her husband at the Collie Household- Awesome and fun!

10. Abseiling 200ft down Table Mountain with Alan and puking up on the hike back. I’d recommend it to anyone, not the puking up part but the abseil is a great way to put a real scare in to your boots and see an awesome view!

So there you have it.

The most amazing part of my three month journey, is that it actually happened! Before I landed in Cape Town I promised God to be a blessing to Caroline and her family, in whatever way I could.

Turns out I am not a blessing — God is.

DSC_1961He sent me to the Collie Clan and showered me with time and sun. Probably the two most needed things in everyone’s lives, I know it was for me.

I would have to say that when Caroline asked if I would write for her blog, it was a sweet enough request but still quite daunting as I know the skill and talent which she has for writing. She is in that respect the complete opposite from me, I find writing a challenge and at times it frustrates me to be unable to put in words the moment or thoughts I have. However in the kindness of friendship I have found to ASK.

Let others help and always ASK. Ask about everything, for learning is the sweetest blessing there is.
I would really like to end this with a request for you. Join me in praying for this full-hearted, quirky, kind family, for blessing to be a continuing cover for them to walk under in this next season. Ta, Love Agnes x


How delightful is she?

Dear Agnes, this is most definitely my most favourite guest post ever. Thank you so much for your kind words and your wonderful heart! You have been an INCREDIBLE blessing from God to us as we’ve transitioned from a family of three to a family of four. The next time I see two little lines on a stick I might be calling you again! 😉 In all seriousness, it has been an overwhelming blessing to have you in our home. “Thank you” seems insufficient, but Thank You! We love you and look forward to being together again somewhere around this big wide world soon. You are absolutely one-of-a-kind!

Now does anybody know another sweet Danish/Scottish dancing lassie who’s great with kids that can come stay with us for a while? I kid. But pray for me next Wednesday.