That’s life | Oct 2013

The world is a huge place! At any given moment, we are in contact with people in many different cities, provinces and countries at the same time  Having relocated twice in the past 3 years, we are often asked what’s happening in our lives – which makes us feel really loved! But, it also makes us feel bad because we often don’t have time to connect with everyone one on one, and share the sometimes boring, sometimes exciting things happening in our lives.

SO – here’s “That’s Life” – my solution to the “what’s news” question. I’ll do my best to have a monthly “here’s my life” post, sharing a bit of what’s been happening in our lives, newsletter style.  If you want to receive these posts, via email, all you have to do, is fill this in:

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THAT’S LIFE – Looking back at the last few weeks

It’s been one of those seasons in our lives.  They happen from time to time, and thankfully we know that, like many things, “this too shall pass”.  By “those seasons”, I mean the ‘hi, how was your day, great, I’m on my way out, see you later, k bye’ seasons – a busy one.

Tam has been back at school since the beginning of the 3rd term (4th of September, to be precise) and has had a

Tam and Seth at the coffee shop where we were 3 years to the day when Tam got her first JHB job offer.

Tam and Seth at the coffee shop where we were 3 years to the day when Tam got her first JHB job offer.

whirlwind term of concerts, interviewing new parents, planning the nativity for the end of the year, reports, reports and more reports – all while trying to get used to not having Seth with her all day every day. Naturally, the first few weeks were particularly difficult, but I think it has become easier with time (this morning, not withstanding).  Ruth, Seth’s nanny, is amazing with him and has been such a blessing.  He is comfortable with her, laughs all the time, and she manages to keep a fairly strict routine with him (much needed in our non-routine lifestyles).

Unathi

Mark & Unathi in the Idols dressing room

September also brought with it the new season of South African idols. This year, I am doing interviews for Eastern Cape radio station “Wild Coast FM”, a station I confess I know very little about, and judging by what I see on the website, probably not one I would listen to, but fun none the less.  These interviews are also on my youtube channel, where I have interviewed all the top 10 contestants, as well as Loyiso Bala, Unathi Msengana and Khaya Mthethwa.  I’ve always loved the Idols concept and production, but have found the volume levels ridiculous this year. The crowd is much bigger (between 6000 & 7000 in the audience every week), and the constant cheering, screaming and dancing is just a little much for me. I will likely say good bye to the Idols part of my life for good after the 26th of November. Initially, the plan was for Seth to join Tam and I at the shows, and for Tam to sit in the mothers room with him (Idols is filmed in a church) but week 1 proved to be a disaster.  The music, lights and screaming crowds proved far too much for him and we had a terrible night.  So we’ve decided that Tam will join me every 2nd week, and we have been very grateful to have friends like Duncan & Tanya, Ezra & Tyrel and John & Dene who are very willing to look after Seth on the Friday’s when Tam joins me.

CuanOur social calendar has seemed to calm down a lot since “growing up” (ie, having Seth around, taking on new responsibilities at work etc). We used to have braais etc at our home all the time, which hasn’t been the norm lately (I think Tam is grateful for the break!)  It has been awesome having Cuan in Pretoria though. He has moved up from Durban and living just 2km away, so Tam and I have been able to see him and Karin at least once a week for the past few months, which has been really great! And, for whatever reason (jokes) Seth really loves him!

During the past month, I have  connected with an amazing organization based in Australia and SA – RedFrogs. You should check out their website at www.redfrogs.co.za. Long story short, I will be leading this organization in Pretoria next year, through our Hatfield student church.  I’ll be taking a group of 13 young adults to Ballito for Matric Rage this year, where we will join a few other RedFrogs teams and be part of serving in Ballito.  While the young adults are serving, I will be spending time with some of the national leaders, getting to grips with the way the organization functions so that we can be effective when we get back to Pretoria.

redfrogs

Staying with ministry, I was really encouraged last Sunday when we had an amazing turn out at our Sunday evening service. I preached on Halloween (you can listen to that sermon here) and was really encouraged by the responses of people who never knew the history of this horrible day.

Family wise, it’s been an eventful month.  My mom turned 50 on the 22nd of October, and we spent the following Saturday celebrating with her.  She loves animals, and so we spent the morning at the Pretoria zoo, before having a great lunch at Tashas.  Tam’s brother Orrin and his (rather large) family said goodbye to miserable weather, crowded streets and all things grey last Friday after about 12 years in London, and have returned to East London.

Seth at a Kitchen Tea with Tam this past Saturday.

Seth at a Kitchen Tea with Tam this past Saturday.

Seth has been teething, so the abundance of gob, sorry, saliva, has been a ever present reality on, well, everything, and I preached with a nice wet patch a few weeks ago.  The teething has naturally made him a little miserable at times, but generally he is still the happy, laughing, face pulling blessing he has always been.  I have kept a beard lately, and his new thing is lying on his side next to me stroking my beard while he falls asleep. It breaks my heart when Tam tells me that, when I am not home, he does the same to her looking for me, and gets upset when I’m not around.

That pretty much sums up where we’re at.  The month ahead promises to be another busy one, with a few end of year events, the Idols finale and a lot of planning for the beginning of 2014, but our leadership have been amazing in giving me time off in December (I took a month off when Seth was born, so I have very little leave left), provided I am at Sunday services.  So we will be spending time with family from the 9th to 22nd December in EL (my great friend Edwin will be joining us for part of this trip, and I’m keen to show him what…cough… EL has to offer (mainly, horse riding at Inkwenkwezi, Dinner at Michaelas and possibly some time on the Ballyhoo, provided all those things still exist). I will be preaching at QBC on the 15th at 6pm (if my flight lands back in EL on time, that is) so if you’re around, pull in. It should be fun!

Have a great rest of November.

Mark

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