When things don’t go to plan…

Last weekend I attended the Global Leadership Summit here in Canberra. This was my fourth year attending this conference and as always it was a time to challenge myself, my thinking and be taught by some of the world’s top church and business leaders and innovators.

This year was no different, I was challenged in my thinking and behaviour, I learnt new things about leadership and met some great people. This was the first year I attended without being in a formal church leadership role, in fact the first time that I havent been in any formal leadership role and as such I was approaching this Summit with a fresh perspective and new eyes.

I had a list of things I wanted to “get out” of the Summit this year, particularly in relation to a new business venture I’ve started (more on that soon) and was eager to see things from this new perspective. What I discovered was something more powerful than I could have prepared myself for.

As it often happens, I had a set of goals and plans for the Summit and God also had a set of goals and plan for me too. They aligned in some places but in others I was taken completely by surprise by the things God was revealing in my life.

As many of you know, the last 2-3 years have been difficult for me in relation to my employment, service and attendance at a church. In short I left the church I was attending and havent been going anywhere regularly since. I thought I was fine with it, I’d moved on, but in reality I havent and it’s something God made really clear to me.

I had my plans for the Summit but God had his plans for my life. 

I’m grieving for a loss in my life – a loss for what might have been. I had to walk away from things that I had invested huge amounts of time and energy into, where there was promise for growth and empowerment of others and a chance to make a real difference – because the support systems that were promised never materialised. I was challenged to my core and found that I could no longer continue to pursue that path with integrity and needed to walk away. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I was naive to think that it would be easy to move on without a need for healing.

To be honest I was really surprised to find that I had these issues and so was Sam when I told her about them. I don’t think its going to be an easy process, in fact I’m not really sure where to start but I’m really grateful that God took the time to reveal these to me, because they are things that will only hold me back and I don’t want anything to get in the way of what God has for my future.

Often we complain when things don’t go to plan in our lives, but often, if we look under the surface we’ll see that it’s for the greater good, that there’s always something to learn from it and the opportunity to become a better, stronger person for it.

I’d appreciate your prayers as I walk this path to healing and would love to hear any advice you may have. Have you travelled a similar path, what helped you get through it?

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Like Daddy, like Daughter

The other Sunday we decided to go visit Uncle Sean and Aunty Kym at the Equestrian Centre they manage. It was a beautiful day, blue skies as far as we could see and finally it was getting warmer after our cold winter.

Anabelle LOVES it at the horses, all that room to run and play, dogs and cats and of course horses! Anabelle’s not too keen yet to sit on one (although she did sit on one just before we went home) she loves to feed them and chat to them. You can hear her saying “hi horsey” as she walks past – so cute!

Uncle Sean has a music room down at the house where he has his drum kit set up. This made me happy because my kit is packed away in the garage and its been a long time since I’ve had opportunity to play so I jumped right on and bashed out some tunes. Anabelle’s face lit up when she saw me playing and asked “me too?” – how could I resist that! So I showed her – once – how to do a simple fill and drum roll and then let her loose. To my amazement she immediately began to copy me perfectly and then went nuts having a ball, she’s a natural!!

Needless to say I’m one happy daddy 🙂

Now I need to find space to set up my kit at home – maybe in the garage… if Sam says it’s ok, of course 😉

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Family Time

Our newly made family of four is adjusting well to having a newborn in the house again. Sleep is still a rare and valuable commodity, we’re attempting to grab a few Zzzz’s whenever we get the chance. We’ve seemed to have found a good routine now balancing the needs of all our family members. We’ve all been to Playgroup twice now and Anabelle’s loving her weekly gymnastics class. We’ve even ventured out to the shops on a few occasions and both children have been amazing!

As expected we’ve had the camera on constant standby and have captured some really great memories! We’re amazed at how much Anabelle has taken to Levi, she’s always ready with a kiss and a hug and asks if she can “have a hold” and for a two-year old is surprisingly gentle. She regularly walks around the house calling for “E-bi” (she has trouble with the L and the V – so cute! :)) and giggles with delight anytime she gets to touch him and he reacts with a little squeak or by moving his arms or legs.

As with Anabelle, I can’t remember life now without two children. It’s a beautiful place to be and I’m so grateful for the time I’ve got off work – still another three weeks to go!

Levi had his first real bath yesterday and seemed to love the water. He’s so different to his big sister, her first bath was a scream-fest she didn’t appreciate it at all!

We had a visit from the MAC nurse last Friday to check that everything was going well post hospital. Levi is an eating machine!! In the five days since he’s been home he’s back to his birth weight and grown 3.5cm – he’s doing so well.

Thanks again for all your love and kind wishes, we really do appreciate them and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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Photos of our Family

Sam and Levi came home from the hospital on Saturday so now our family is all under the same roof. Caring for a newborn is all coming back to me and so are the memories of when Anabelle was this young. Levi is totally different to Anabelle, at the moment he loves to sleep – this was not something Anabelle valued at all and is still strong today with her 5am wake up calls 🙂

At the moment I’m feeling like I’m on a 24/7 Youth Camp – tons of things to do and very little sleep ;). It’s all good though, before I know it these days will be long gone and we’ll be wondering what happened to our “little boy”.

Anabelle has taken to Levi right away and really enjoys looking, touching and telling him everything will be ok when he’s crying, it’s so beautiful to watch.

Thanks for all the love, support and well wishes, our family greatly appreciates it!

(please note all photos are © and should not be reproduced or reused without permission – thanks!)

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome Levi Quinn Edwards!!

Hi World, meet Levi!!

At 8:30am, Monday 2 August 2010 Sam, Anabelle and I were blessed with the safe arrival of our son, Levi Quinn! He was 4.18kgs (9.2 lbs) and 50cm long.

That makes him slightly smaller than Anabelle, which was a surprise because Sam was really big and everyone, including our doctors, thought he was going to be a big one. Anabelle did however spend an extra two weeks “cooking” so Levi had the potential to be bigger than her but not the opportunity I guess. Either way what’s important is that he’s finally here!!

Sam and Levi are doing well after a planned caesarean birth, which after the 10 hours of labor and emergency caesarean with Anabelle seemed like such a relaxed birth. Sam is recovering well from the surgery and Levi is sleeping and feeding really well.

Anabelle loves him dearly, she spent many moments tapping Sam’s tummy saying “hello baby brother” and her reaction to finally seeing him “on the outside” was priceless. Anabelle climbed up on the bed next to his crib, leant over and said “c’mon, wake up!” “let’s play!” She then proceeded to tap him and say “good boy”. I think these two are going to be as thick as thieves and certainly give Sam and I a run for our money – totally awesome!!

I think Levi looks a lot like my late grandfather, he certainly has his head shape and just quietly I’m really loving that I see Grandpa in him. If Levi grows up to be half the man my grandfather was he’ll be one amazing man!

The family will come home together on Saturday and from tonight (Thursday) I’ll be at home after staying at the hospital. Anabelle and I are having some daddy-daughter time and it’s great!

So enough from me, here are some photos from one proud dad!

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Birthday Reflections

Last week I turned 31, I’m officially in my thirties now because, as I see it, the last year I was simply “thirty” 🙂

Each year around my birthday I like to take some time to reflect on the previous year, to remind myself of what’s happened in my life, to look at what I’ve learnt, achieved, failed at and where I’ve grown, learned new things and improved.

The last twelve months have been full of ups and downs – I’ve certainly learnt a lot about myself, my character and who I want to be and what I’ d like to be known for. I think the biggest insight over the last twelve months has been a redefining of who I want to be as a man, husband, father and follower of God. My life has been twisted, shaped, honed and reworked this last year; it’s been painful in places and joyful in others. Life is all about growth, we’re either moving forward or going backwards – there’s no standing still.

Some highlights from the last year include:

  • moving to a new work area and gaining a permanent promotion
  • growing as a father as I watched and ‘grew’ with my daughter
  • preparing to be a father for the second time – its really soon now August 2nd!
  • realising how little I know about life and that my greatest advances in knowledge always come as a result of my failures. Ironic but I love how it works!
  • That I need to watch what I say because my 2 year old picks up everything!
  • Going back to study, completing a unit and realising that I need to change focus slightly
  • Starting a Tithe Journey and learning a lot from God about how He wants us to manage our finances and our giving
  • Following a long held dream to launch a new business helping people build margin into their lives and pursue their dreams – more to come on this shortly
  • Learning that what defines me as a Christ-follower isn’t “where I go to church” but how committed I am to actively pursuing God with my entire life
  • Re-discovering that God wants me to be his witness no matter where I am – the opportunities He’s opened for me to minister at work have been truly amazing
  • Truly understanding Romans 8:28 in a fresh light “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Life hasn’t been peachy – far from it but in all the ups and downs, God is constant and I can see Him leading me and shaping my life through the good and the bad – Amazing!

One of the highlights of my birthday was a card I got from my brother Dan. Growing up as kids we were never into the same things but as we’ve become adults the bond between us has gone from strength to strength and I love him dearly.

Dan has a great sense of humour and his card to me is a great example. It was your average birthday card for a guy, with planes and cards on the front and a nice birthday verse inside. However Dan had decided that I needed an extra piece of advice, some wisdom from someone older and wiser than the both of us:

“It’s not easy to juggle a pregnant wife and a young child, but somehow I still managed to fit in eight hours of TV a day” 

Do you make regular time to look back over the past year and learn from it? What have you learnt about yourself in the past year?

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Happy Birthday Anabelle!!

Dear Anabelle

Today is your 2nd Birthday!! It feels like only yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital – so tiny, so precious – and yet it also feels like a lifetime has passed as we’ve watched you learn and grow.

We wanted to do something special for you today to give you a surprise when you woke up so mum and I decorated the lounge after you went to bed. We hung the balloons and wrapped your presents hoping that in the morning you’d be surprised when you ran into the lounge.

It worked perfectly! You ran to the door and stopped in your tracks, asking “what’s this?” as mum and I shouted “Surprise! Happy Birthday!!” You ran straight for the balloons you LOVED them and we loved watching you squeal with delight.

       

Then, as if you had somehow read the script, you saw your presents and began to unwrap them –

    

a cash register

and a shopping cart – how awesome!!

Then it was back to playing with the balloons – can’t wait for your party on Saturday!!

Mum and I love you more than you will ever know, you have brought so much joy and love to our lives, these last two years have been such a blessing and we look forward to many more happy times to come.

We thank God every day for you our beautiful little girl, may you know His love, mercy and grace all the days of your life.

God bless you Anabelle

Love Dad and Mum xoxoxo

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