This is in fact just a small fraction of the entire story, but it is a great insight into how God has destined him to lead, encourage, care and challenge others.
Last night I overheard him explain to a few ladies a bit more of the puzzle of how he ended up in the Reid’s home. One of his sisters watched the service online from the North Coast of NSW and rang him straight after. She added another layer of insight to his story.
She explained that their Mum and Dad had fostered other children before Richie and his little brother Rodney arrived. He actually always knew this, but what he didn’t know is that his parents had desperately tried through Queensland Family Services to have a pair of young brothers live with them on a permanent basis. They were devastated when told that the kids had to move on to another home.
How many times do we become upset, or even angry, about our circumstances?
God had the bigger picture. He always does. I am 100% confident that the Reid’s prayed and prayed, and agonised over this decision. But God had a bigger and better plan.
This afternoon on Facebook my status update read: “Today has been seriously off the charts magnificent”. This was a total understatement.
Today our close friends Mark and Erica (well pretty much Erica…) gave birth to Richie and my newest little mate… Hugh Charles Aitken.
I ran out of a training meeting this morning when Mark rang me to share the news. “Oh my goodness! What’s going on?” “I’m a father.” I just burst our crying with total joy when he said those words. “Oh Mate, that is amazing. Oh my goodness, I’m so happy. I can’t stop myself. I’m crying like a baby! That’s fantastic news!” I actually had no idea if it was a boy or girl for few minutes until I think I asked “Hang on what is it?” I was in such a state of excitement for them. He told me again that it was a boy and at that point I confessed that on Sunday night I dreamt they had a boy. I found out today that both my sister and my mum dreamt they had a boy too. Random! Anyway, Richie was away in Kempsey today speaking at a school Chapel for NAIDOC week, and kinda missed out a little bit of the excitement but Mark rang him to share the news and hopefully we’ll be able to go over and hang out on Sunday.
So Huey, HC, Ninja, Ninj, Ginger Ninja, Sarge, (these are just a little selection of nicknames for him and his parents don’t actually know yet :) – except Clare suggested Huey which I think is awesome) you are an absolute miracle and like I told you today, God has big plans for you my little mate. Can’t wait to watch you grow into the boy, and eventually the man, that God has destined you to be. You’re Aunty Bec was smashed with tears of joy today for you little buddy. Especially when you were thrown at me by your super-cool Mum for a cuddle: ”Hi Aunty Bec, I’m Hugh!”
Richie and I hope and trust your Christmas Day was filled with love, joy and a sense of peace. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the presents and the Christmas lunch or dinner, and forget why we celebrate this day. It’s the most profound gift ever given to humankind. The promise of salvation, forgiveness, freedom, grace and mercy. A new life and a new hope.
Jesus is the reason. Period.
How silently the wondrous gift is given. Let earth receive her King! New life, new hope, new joy He brings.
Radiant beams from thy holy face with the dawn of redeeming grace. His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Joyful, joyful! Come and worship, come and worship! All glory be to God on high and to the earth be peace.
Let all within us praise His holy name. Glory to the newborn King!
Words all taken from Oh Holy Night, Silent Night, O little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World, Away in a Manager, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, Angels from the Realms of Glory, While Shepherds watched, Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child.
Joy to the World graphic made in InstaQuote by me. Original Babuble picture taken somewhere from Pinterest :)
While Richie relaxed and unpacked from our house-sitting gig, I went to work and sold a property – Love it! Best of all, we had a fantastic Date Night down at Bondi. He is going away next week to a Summer Camp down south to preach so it was awesome to spend some quality time together eating Thaina Box.
P.S. We actually had 2 Date Nights in a row this week. I failed to mention that! The first one on Wednesday night was waffles and a movie. Go see War Horse – it is incredible. There is Oscar buzz surrounding this one, but I wasn’t all that impressed with the end scene.
Last year, we celebrated our anniversary (big time !!!) with a Second Honeymoon to New Zealand. But this year, it is has been much more low-key, but by no-means less important, as we have just returned from a weekend in Brisbane at another fantastic wedding.
This morning I drove Richie to school and we able to have breakfast together at our new favourite haunt.
Our anniversary dates are all blurred and we still can’t remember when our wedding date was. We often say it is the 12th, because that was our dog-eared date for the majority of our relationship moments… i.e. When we made it official, when he proposed etc… The 13th really did put a spanner in the works and confused us. SO! This year, we have strategically decided to adopt the 12th, 13th and 14th (for good measure) and just celebrate right through until Christmas. We will then be prepared for next year when we go away again… eh, Babe ;)
Richie sent this photo to me a few hours ago from Coffs Harbour. He is on his way home with the SAC kids from their “Year 10 Safari”. He got to see his Mum and give her a hug and a kiss on the way through.
Today is Richie’s birthday and unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend it with him. He left around 5:30am, this morning, to go on a school camp.We got to celebrate last night where we saw Mary Poppins – Richie was in his element!
Flicking through a few old photos today, I found these from past November 20′s…
Circa 2007 – Tarago Reving Toolies on the Gold Coast. Party number 1 for his 30th Birthday.
Circa 2007 – The was the 2nd b’day party Richie had for that year. It was the night Richie turned 30 and the year John Howard lost the election.
Circa 1982 – For the record, Richie wasn’t turning 8. He just wanted a racing car cake from the Women’s Day Cake cook book.
Circa 2010 – Our friend Clare made this cake at Richie’s request.
Circa 2011 – Yesterday, Clare again was in charge of the cake baking.
One of the highlights of visiting Perth was seeing where Richie went to Bible college. As a young man, he flew to “the West” to attend Mamarapha College not knowing a single soul. It was arranged that he would be picked up from the airport by John Beck, a fellow student, and dropped off at a home where he would board. On the road below, he told me the full story and said that it was one of the toughest things he has ever done in his life.
Mamarapha College is a tertiary level Bible college that aims to help Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women grow and develop in all dimensions of life.
Richie attended Mamarapha straight after his one year stint at Avondale College. His campus was located on the school grounds of Carmel Adventist College. Mamrapha has since moved to this new property - an old public school in the Perth Hills.
Even though moving across the country was scary, he ended up making friends with people who, to this day, stand as some of his best mates. Like Darren… remember Darren?
Darren and Richie hit it off straight away at college. Can you tell?
If you know anyone of indigenous background, encourage them to look into attending. It changed Richie’s life forever.
For more infomation on the amazing college go here.
On the day of the 2nd, we drove around some of the most beautiful spots on the island and Mum ended up climbing most of the way up the highest mountain on Madeira Island. It was pretty cool considering mountain climbing/trekking isn’t her cup-of-tea.
That night we headed out to a restaurant with traditional dancers for espatada to celebrate. It was a really fun night and we enjoyed the best espatada in Madeira. In all honesty though, I still think Marcus makes better espatada. The dancers ended up getting Mum out on the dance floor and we all sang Happy Birthday – she was loving it!
Afterwards we shot home and had cake and ice-cream to finish the evening.
It was a super fun 60th which I reckon she’ll never forget!
Remind me to fill you in on the Edinburgh Tatoo which we took her to as her present. That yarn is a whole nutha blog post altogether…