Four-tee and Loved

One minute you're 18 and feeling like life is too big and overwhelming, and the next you're 30 and worried that it's passing by way too quick.
I'm happy to report that 40 feels great!
I finally feel like an adult.  I suspect this has little to do with my age however, and more to do with the fact that I've had the blessed opportunity to deal with some of my 'brown stuff' as Mick D would say.  But I do!  I feel growed up.  And this is the best gift I could have asked for.
To all you Mums with young as kids who feel like life is never going to free up enough to let you 'live', it happens.  Hang in there!  I was starting to feel like all I ever did was look backwards and the fast disappearing freedom of my twenties and that my only purpose was to feed and clean small boys.  Larry-Boy starts school at the end of Jan, and that sees me with ONE month of me-time!  Ok, not totally me-time, cos I'll still be working at church, but still!  It'll be great!  And then at the end of Feb I begin the Pastoral Leadership track at Carey Bible College.  Talk about a new chapter!  And it has been one heck of a year discerning if that was the way ahead for me.
At this point in my life, I'm loving that I get to spend time on the things I love, yet still have busy years ahead of me filled with things I have to do.  I have a bucket list I'll never get through (hoping to tick one off in Jan though - stay tuned!).
Another major advantage of 40 is that I actually like myself.  Doesn't' mean there's not things I want to change, but I do in fact, like who God made me to be. I like how I look, but so much more than that, I love who God has moulded me into.  Maybe I should say 'is moulding me into'?  And this is honestly the best place to be.  To be at peace in one's own skin.  Imagine what I'll be saying at 60?!  Well lets hope it's just even better than this!

At this stage in my life, there are so many things I love, like the moment you sink you below the waves and into the wonderland that is the ocean hearing nothing but seaweed, and fish and crays clicking.  I love watching the majesty of a hawk as it rides the thermals, and waiting for the moment a gannet folds it's wings to dive for the hunt.  I love noticing the way nature has formed itself into an interesting line (like a grove of trees), and seeing the intricacies of the smallest weed of a flower.  I love the feeling of the world being centered in on only what I can see through my lens.  I love that moment of reading some words and having a great idea or truth suddenly unfold before me.  I love it that each of my children are so much like me, yet at the same time so very very different from me.  I love a good book, and a great sci-fi movie. I have seen Lions, Elephants, Civets, Zebra, Hippos, Panthers all in their own habitat and been impressed with the majesty and diversity of God's creation.  I've seen two babies be birthed and in that moment witness the utter miracle that God allowed us to be part of 'creation'!  And I've experienced a little of that journey that we are all on where God is chasing us and wooing us.  Like Paul says, for now we see through a glass darkly, but the day will come when the clouds will part and we will truly 'see' Him!!

I'll leave you with these quotes that I love (see this 'post' for context):
"It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant  by the offer of a holiday by the sea.  We are far too easily pleased." ~ C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses

"'Safe?' said Mr Beaver; 'don't you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe?  Course he isn't safe. But he's GOOD.  He's the KING I tell you!'" ~ C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Colossions 1 - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

My counted blessings:
I have 3 kids who both test me to the point of crazy and also thrill me to the point of wondering how they came from me!
I have a husband who doesn't blink at my behaviour when I've decided to enjoy the crazy and who still only has eyes for me and tells me I'm beautiful EVERY day.  I know right?!  Could a girl ask for more?  No.
I have my parents alive and well and in complete control of their faculties and are fighting
fit.  Better yet, they have both journeyed with Yaweh for years and years now, and their wisdom offered to me is priceless!  In our family we have begun a tradition of every one saying one positive/encouraging thing to the birthday person.  I recently told my mum that I love that she sees value in the scumbags (read 'us').  Even at our worst, she (much like her heavenly father) can see the good that might be sitting below the behaviour/attitudes needing changing.  My Dad incredibly models the Father's love.  I see his delight in his kids, his grandkids and in humanity in general - only specific humanity though.  The generic people he doesn't rub shoulders with?  Well he says he likes pigs more.  :D
I have parents in law who have ALWAYS welcomed me open-armed and open-hearted and made me feel like a Lee.  I love that they do this.  They are the most supportive people a girl could want to marry in to being whanau with.
Quite possibly my fav family photo
Siblings - well you guys are great an all, but I'm moving on to just say - I am genuinely proud of each of you (blood and in-laws).  Each of you grab life by the horns and live it and I love being your sister.
Can you believe I still have my father's parents too?!  Also amazing people.
Just for you Jo:  My 'persons'.  I am very lucky to have a few persons.  They are truly God's gift to me and I love all of you!  (You all know who you are!)
I belong to a community in South Auckland that I adore!  (MBC - you rock!).
I have the privilege to study too.
I adore my camera - of course I'd love to upgrade it, but it's still serving me very well!


  1. Happy birthday Monique you are truly one extraordinary women who will leave a mark in this world. Your honesty is so refreshing be blessed today. x

  2. Thank you, Janice! What a lovely encouraging message! x


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