{We have news!} A story of wonder and grace

Once there was a girl.

She had always dreamed of a big family. A house full of love and laughter. 4 or 5 kids, she told anyone who asked. 

That girl had no idea how difficult it would prove to have even one child. After being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, she embarked on a year of fertility treatment. It was a heartbreaking and emotional process, a year of hopes raised and then dashed. Over, and over, and over again.

The treatment didn't work. 

The girl dreaded Mother's Day, a day of almost unbearable longing, when everyone else's joy and fulfilment would be paraded before her. Motherhood seemed like some sort of club, satisfied women banded together tight, while she craned and nudged to enter the closed circle, to no avail.

At church one Sunday, a visiting speaker - a stranger - called the girl and her husband to the front. The words that came from the woman's lips fell like a thunderbolt to the girl's heart. "Do not fear," the speaker said, "For God will bring great fruitfulness to your family. And your son will teach you about the father heart of God."

The specialist gave the fertility treatment one last ditch try. A double-strength dose. If that didn't work, he told her, the next option would be surgery. 

The night before the girl's appointment to get her results, she had a dream. She was driving a car up a steep mountain road, and lost control. The car went over the edge. In the endless downward plummet through still air, she felt God speak to her. "Just keep praising me, and everything will turn out fine." 

So she praised. With terror in her heart and tears pouring down her face, she lifted her hands to her Lord and gave thanks. 

The car landed safely. 

A miracle. Heart still thumping out of her chest, the girl wanted to tell everyone she knew about how God had saved her. So she gathered her friends and family and took them up the mountain. But no matter how she searched, she couldn't find the place where the car had gone over the edge, and no one believed her story. 

She woke up with a jolt, and the awful sensation that something terrible was about to happen. She was about to drive off the edge of a mountain. In her fear, quiet words whispered through her heart. "No one will believe God's grace toward you unless they see the place from which you fell."

In that moment, she knew her worst fear would be realised. The results she was about to get that day would be bad. The last-ditch treatment had not worked.

And yet... all would not be lost. God had a purpose, even in this.

All treatment stopped. The doctors scheduled her in for surgery. But before that day came, after a year of unsuccessful fertility treatment, an entire year in which she had not ovulated even once, the girl fell pregnant naturally.  

A miracle.

Oh, the wonder. Oh, the grace.

She gave birth to a son.

A second child followed quickly. 

And then a third.

Life was full - happy, stressful, chaotic, busy. After three kids in three years, the girl and her husband put on the brakes. By this stage, the girl wasn't sure she could handle a fourth child. Often she struggled to manage just with three. 

But a little niggling in her heart would not die. That old cherished dream, to have a big family. A house full of love and laughter.

So they started trying for number 4. 

Nothing happened. 

After a year and a half, the girl began to lose hope. She was getting older. They'd left it too late. She'd thought her fertility issues behind her, but here she was again, back in the same old cycle of hopes raised and dashed, negative pregnancy tests stuffed in the bin, daydreams and wistful longing.

She struggled with depression.

There came a point when she knew they had to draw a line in the sand. She'd be 36 soon and still not even pregnant yet, and she'd always planned to be done with having kids by 35. 

When the girl's river house finally sold, she went to clear it out and lingered a few moments in her daughter's nursery. Her resolve hardened. It was time to give up on a dead dream. She dragged all the baby gear out into the garage - the cot, the change table, the boxes of baby clothes: piled it all up ready for the garage sale they were planning the following week.

Four days later, it occurred to her that her period was a few days late. So she took a test. 

Oh, the wonder.

Oh, the grace.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Praise him for the hard times, because without them, there would be no room for grace.

No room for wonder.

No need for miracles.

Here I am... now 19 weeks pregnant. Here I am...  my heart full of thankfulness and wonder.

Thank you, dear friends, for sharing my joy.


How to decorate a sweet high tea table with fresh flowers

This post has been kindly sponsored by Fresh Flowers.

There are certain occasions that call for a feminine decorating touch at the table. Maybe you're throwing a bridal shower or getting the girls together for high tea. Perhaps there's a special birthday you'd like to celebrate, or you just want to spoil your Mum.

It's fun to think pink and layer in some pretty touches for a special occasion. And it doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. 

To create this table setting, I started with a length of cheesecloth laid out as a simple table runner, with twine gathering each end. I love the softness of the fabric.

Next, I added flowers. Fresh flowers really bring something special to any occasion. I wanted to create a soft and pretty spring feel, so I chose flowers in pink, green and white - pink and green carnations, green bud chrysanthemums and pink and white roses.

I have to admit that I'm fussy about my flowers. While a bunch of assorted gerberas and baby's breath from the supermarket will elicit sincere thanks from me (after all, it's the thought that counts), secretly I long for a beautifully arranged bouquet that I can display in my home as a piece of art. 

For the best decorating impact, look for single-flower arrangements, or flowers that are tastefully selected according to a specific, restrained colour palette. Fresh Flowers is an online florist that nails both of these. They deliver in Brisbane, other metropolitan and some regional areas Australia-wide. 

With the flowers arranged in a simple round bouquet in a glass vase, I then cut a strip of hessian (burlap) and used double-sided tape to adhere it to the vase. This hid the stems and added a rustic, pretty touch.

I laid the table with dusty pink lace-edged linen place-mats - exactly the pretty, slightly vintage look I was after.

Next, the dinnerware. To capture a sweet and feminine feel, choose plates with scalloped edges or embossing. The look you're going for is a little bit traditional and a little bit provincial. I love the soft cream colour of these plates, and the square shape adds a modern twist to a traditional style.

The butterfly napkin rings add an extra touch of feminine grace. These were a simple DIY project, made from air-dry clay on a wooden ring. You can see the easy tutorial here.

No high tea table would be complete without a pretty tea set. Fine quality tea sets are expensive, though - if you don't have your own, why not ask around and see if you can borrow one for the occasion? Or perhaps you're lucky enough to have a family heirloom tea set passed down from a previous generation. Time to put it to good use. There's nothing like sipping a cup of tea from elegant fine bone china.

Let your guests know where to sit and make them feel special with a simple chalkboard place-marker displayed in a miniature glass milk bottle of water.

A sprig of flowers cut from a garden shrub adds homely elegance.

For a traditional high tea, serve elegant classics like melting moments and coconut jam drops. If you want to get a little bit fancy, macaroons, individually iced cupcakes and dainty sandwiches are perfect choices as well.

Now all that's left to do is brew a pot of tea, sit back and enjoy!

A very big thank you to Fresh Flowers, supplier of beautiful flowers for special occasions, for sponsoring this post so I can bring some sweet prettiness to my readers!

Let's chat: Are you fussy about your flowers? Do you ever use them to decorate with? What are your favourite blooms? 

Place mats and napkins - Pillow Talk
Dinner plates - Marie Claire Provence, sourced from Robin's Kitchen
Chalkboard place markers - Spotlight


Easy DIY filigree butterfly napkin rings

I have a sweet little spring DIY for you today - these pretty filigree butterfly napkin rings. Perfect for decorating the table for a girl's tea party, bridal shower, or spring luncheon.

Aren't they sweet?! Best of all, they're super easy to make. You'll need:

- Wooden napkin rings (I repurposed some old ones that needed a refresh)
- White spray paint
- Airdry clay (I purchased mine at Spotlight)
- Rolling pin
- Butterfly cutter
- Wooden skewer and toothpick
- Plastic mat
- Hot glue gun


On your plastic mat, roll out the clay to about 3mm thick. Cut out your butterfly shapes.


Use the wooden skewer to poke holes in a teardrop shape that follows the outline of each wing.


Use the toothpick to create a more delicate outline inside the first. Finish with a final skewer hole in the centre.

Prop the butterflies on folded cardboard to dry. This will ensure the wings dry and harden in the correct position.


Spray paint both the napkin rings and clay butterflies white. Once dry, use the hot glue gun to attach the butterflies to the rings.

The finished product!

Aren't they pretty?!

More photos coming up soon of this sweet high tea table setting! It was so much fun doing something purely girly, with lots of pink!

If you're on Pinterest, here's a special tutorial pin just for you so you can save the inspiration for later.

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