Awesome, Rachel. Awesome!

I could smell the chlorine before I’d even heard the splashing. Moisture ran down the tile walls in intricate patterns. The excitement in that small room was deafening.

Every parent understands the urgency for swimming lessons, especially when you live by the sea. We invest in the skill, practice with them regularly, and happily sit for hours in a steamy room, completely ruining our hair-do for the day.

This was that season for me. Even though Jeffreys Bay was a small town, we were still privileged to find a swimming teacher who passionately taught lessons in the 10x10m pool at the local Policlinic.

When I entered, Rachel was halfway across the pool and swimming fiercely. Front crawl. No, she wasn’t traveling fast but, man, were her arms moving.    Read more

Five Minute Friday – CONTROL

Welcome back, dear friends! The radio silence is over, and I’m getting back on my feet after 5 weeks of international living. Our son, Joshua, is safely settled into his bachelor pad downstairs at my parents’ place in Canada. What a whirlwind of activity and emotion! He’s now the proud owner of snow boots, a down-filled jacket, and an Alberta Health Care Card.

We’re still trusting for a job for him (he’s an excellent barista if anyone knows of openings in the South Edmonton area) and acceptance into his program of choice at MacEwan University this coming fall.

Goodbyes don’t get easier, do they? You’d think that I’d be good at this by now. No, it’s still terrible to say ‘goodbye’ to people you love. But I’ll write about that more once my dreadful jet lag has worn off.

Today is FRIDAY! Whoop whoop! Every Friday, I join an inspiring group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. (Missed you guys.) No editing. No revising. Just WRITE.

This week, the prompt word is CONTROL. (oh great… seriously?)

// indicates the start and stop of the timer.

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// Let’s face it… there are sooo many things out of my control.

I can’t control Home Affairs or getting the appropriate visas for my family. I couldn’t control Joshua’s ability to get a longer visa and stay in the country with us.

I can’t control the admissions boards at universities to ensure that my brilliant child captures a place among their new students.

I can’t control bureaucracy and the inefficiency of different nations to communicate with each other.

I can’t control potential employers and their decision-making abilities. “My kid is awesome; why aren’t you hiring him?”

I can’t control mortality or the health of the human body. So many of our precious friends are in a death-defying battle with disease right now.

Let’s face it; I can’t even control my ability to have an enjoyable flight overseas. I did my part… I chose a reputable airline. I chose a convenient seat. But all it takes is one rude person with bad gas to ruin a perfectly good flight. (Watch this space for a proper rant about rude people in international airfare.).    Read more

Anniversary of a Christmas Miracle

It was exactly one year today when God saved the life of our son, David! Those who know us will recall the events surrounding last Christmas. What started as a family holiday in sunny South Africa quickly turned into a nightmare.

Join me for a moment as we praise God for His miraculous intervention in the Blaak family! These are the events as they happened…

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The ceiling stared back at me in silent horror. Afraid to sleep, afraid to speak, barely able to breathe.

“Why doesn’t the phone ring? What is taking so long?”

It was a parent’s worst nightmare. Unexplainable illness, uncontrollable vomiting, unconscious child. As the seconds painfully tick by, we lay there, fully clothed, bags packed, ready to jump into the car as soon as the insurance company says “go.” 10pm… 11pm… 12am… 1am… 2am… It was enough to drive anyone stark raving mad.

“Oh God, help! Save our boy! Please, Jesus! Don’t let him die.”

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