If you have children of your own or have a little one on the way, you have probably been asked at some point if they were a surprise or planned. We used to say, “if you knew our circumstances, you wouldn’t think we planned very well!”
We discovered we were expecting our daughter Heidi whilst working as seasonal outdoor instructors. At the time we were living in temporary accommodation and our contracts were due to finish two months later. Just a few weeks before finding out I was pregnant, we had booked flights to go traveling in South Africa for three months after an intense season.
Our baby announcement photo – pretty cheesy hey?
I was 30 weeks pregnant when we flew back from SA. We had no work to go to and no permanent place to live. When Heidi was born, we were living with my parents whilst my husband Berno looked for work. My family were incredibly generous passing on baby clothes and various items they had saved for us, and we were so grateful to my parents for letting us stay with them. It turned out they really enjoyed having a new baby around!
Many would think our situation looked a bit bleak, or certainly not ideal for bringing a baby into the world. Although I didn’t feel particularly anxious, at times I found the uncertainty of our situation really difficult. In those moments these verses were a great source of hope and comfort that things would work out:
Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him
and he will make straight your paths.
Matthew 6: 25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them…
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Heidi at six weeks old
Just two weeks after Heidi was born, Berno had an interview that changed everything and when Heidi was six weeks old we relocated. We still didn’t have a permanent place to live, but a lovely couple took us in until we found a place to rent. We had no furniture and having used a large chunk of our earnings during our time in South Africa, we had just enough for a deposit and agency fees. We were pretty gobsmacked when we discovered that Berno’s new employer would be paying those costs for us. This meant we had some money to help tie us over and to put towards some furniture. We found some great buys on Gumtree, and then not long after moving, people very generously started asking if we needed certain items that they just happened to be getting rid of. In most cases, those items they ‘just happened to be getting rid of’ were exactly what we needed. We’ve both experienced God’s provision before, but were still amazed at the timing and way in which our needs were met.
We were also blessed with items that we didn’t need, but hoped to buy at some point to make the house more homely. For example, I was dreaming about a rug for our lounge. The carpets in the dining room & lounge have what look like cigarette burns on them, and after looking for ideas on Pinterest, I had my mind set on something pink & teal, and that would be big enough to cover most of the floor. I had a look on Gumtree, but there wasn’t anything suitable available. It felt a bit trivial to pray about, but knowing God cares about the small things too we gave it a shot. Later that week, out of the blue, a couple from our church emailed us to say they had a few items they wondered if we might like. We went to their house the following Saturday and what should they be getting rid of? A huge rug, with pink and teal in it. I was so amazed.
Enjoying some family time just after relocating
Looking back, it’s crazy how dramatically our lives changed in such a short space of time. We became parents, relocated, Berno started a new job and we moved again before Heidi was even six months old. It might not have been the ideal way to start a family, but it was actually a really blessed time. Certainly not always easy, but our faith was strengthened and we were blown away by people’s generosity and God’s timing and provision for us as a family.
We certainly can’t say we had it all sorted before we started extending our family, but we can say that we had more than enough, not thanks to our own efforts, but only because of God looking out for us and people being willing to bless us.