Tuesday, November 9, 2010

the final weeks.

I honestly have to say I can hardly believe I am writing this, still pregnant, at 34 weeks...or 8 1/2 months... it feels so surreal. like... totally surreal.

All my heart keeps whispering throughout my last weeks & months over and over is 'God is so good'... and there is this soft refrain that keeps singing 'victory', and a beautiful knowing that the enemy is defeated by the power of our mighty God. The enemy was always defeated, even before this victory of a little girl growing healthy in my tum... but to see the outworking of such a victory...it brings that glorious defeat to the forefront of my mind constantly. It is a constant reminder that all those things I know are so wonderfully true are playing out in a story of life right in front of my eyes.

It has certainly been an adventure, a ride of wild curves and swerves as we've made our way through the last months. I spent about a week in hospital at 29 weeks after our little maizey made an attempt at escaping a little early... and all was well after some precautions were taken... and again God was faithful and Maizey was healthy and happy with a bit of encouagement to stay put. Then, this past Sunday, we gathered together as a church family to record the 2011 Hillsong Live Album marking another year since losing our Max and marking a huge miracle victory as I had the privilage of standing and singing while carrying our healthy baby girl in my womb.

It seems as I type all of this, that I'm again overwhelmed by the simple fact that the story is just that... its the facts belonging to such a greater picture. Important? Absolutely! Our stories are so vitally important... but as I think about the story that is our (matty and my) lives together, I see so clearly that they only frame the substance which really matters and is true no matter what the up or down of the story is at the moment. The truth and the substance that is the constant, that makes up the fabric of who we are in every season is Jesus... the JOY of that washes me over. He will never change... No matter what comes in life... He will always be the center of our lives... and as the story frames the substance of us... we always live with the same truth and hope.

Maybe its just my pregnant brain as I type this all out, but I feel like there's a revelation in my heart today. I'm so beyond thankful for this beautiful baby that will be in my arms soon. Lord knows, she's been prayed for and so long awaited... but i'm also very aware that there are so many of you that are still in the waiting season... waiting for your promise... waiting for the answer you've been crying out for... and I feel like God's saying so clearly to let Him be your substance and to let him frame your life with a story that will glorify the substance that makes you up. He will never stop being faithful and true... and in the waiting He will be glorified as the constant in your heart and life.

i'll leave you with a little photo of late. the 34 week equator shot ... its getting harder and harder to take these simply out of vanity! ha!

As well a little update on Haylee (if you don't recall, she was our foster daughter for a little over a year)... she's doing great! She is about to be fully restored to her dad, so we are praying for him every day, believing he is going to be the very best dad she could have ever had... believing for his absolutely success in life and the next few years learning how to parent a toddler. We saw Haylee for what will most likely be the last time a couple weeks ago and she was BEAUTIFUL of course, walking and chatting and being the absolute treasure she always is...


Sunday, September 12, 2010


well... i'm still growing! yay! and at our scan of 25 wks last week so was our little one.
she does cheekily keep trying to make early appearances... i'm hoping that she's getting her wild side out of the way while she is 'womb-bound' ... then the perfect little angel that i know she is can be forever present from when shes born... over ambitious??? ha!

here's a blurry one.
and a bit of chubby cheeks on that face of hers...

i'm in love.


in other news...

After a few weeks of no computer internet access *just phone* ...
we are back online.
moved in to our new place thanks to our amazing friends.
& SOOOOOO happy here.

i can't wait to sit and write again... for now though.. a sunday afternoon sleep is in order...



Thursday, August 26, 2010

and so we propose a toast.

The best thing about yesterday was sitting on a park bench in bondi beach and 12:05 pm... my best friend Karalee by my side... with sparkling parkers organic juices... toasting. We toasted max kingston and how precious his life was when it entered the world at that point in my pregnancy last time... and in effect toasted the little victories that God has given to get me and matty to this point... and we toasted our little girl.. still in my tummy... still growing... and staying put.

I realised again, that sometimes in life its the little victories in the every day that make the big ones seem so much closer.

Oh victory, in Jesus
My Saviour
He sought me
& bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me 'ere
I knew Him
And all my love
Is due Him
He plunged me
To victory
Beneath the cleansing flood.
{words and music E.M. Bartlett}

Sunday, August 22, 2010

alarm clock.

It would seem my body already has some sort of internal alarm set to prepare me for this baby. 4:45am and i was WIDE awake... i tossed and turned for a while... tried to think about nothing... thought about everything... even tried a trick a friend taught me ages ago, where you picture a roll of toilet paper right up close to your nose, and watch it roll around over and over.... (this of course must be a white roll.. no fancy decorative rolls... its totally the new counting sheep?? Ha!)... however, this didn't bring the sleep I was so desperately after. After a good hour of fighting my 'awakeness'... I got up... fumbled around for my contacts... put on the kettle... and now I'm sitting computer side with my cup of 'sydney breakfast' tea from T2 (FAVORITE-thx mia fieldes) and rambling off my early Sunday thoughts to you. I feel like I should apologize now... or maybe just hold down the delete button and start again????

We are moving in exactly a week.
I say we, but I actually won't be participating aside from maybe directing a little. When we worked out that this would be the time we needed to move, part of me thought... umm... perfect... this is gonna be an easy one for me... considering I'm not allowed to actually move anything! That is totally selfish... I know... but I try to be a teller of truths. Considering we only moved into our current place about 4 months ago, another move is daunting.... not only for us... but probably more so for our amazing and generous friends who always come show up with willing hands to speed up the process. or just make it possible!

Turns out tho, I'm WAY more of a control freak than I previously thought.

Surely, we all battle the 'control everything' side of our human nature.... or maybe some the opposite 'couldn't care less side'... but being high risk pregnant, with a side of surgery, and moving on the week which coincidentally was the week we lost our little max on (we are 23 wks
yesterday and max came at 23wks and 5 days)... means that I won't be doing much of anything. I'm going crazy. I think my mind runs at a bazillion miles per hour with what we need to pack, how we need to pack it, how we can make moving the least complicated for the actual move and when it comes to unpacking, what and when we should move which items... am I sounding crazy to you??? Even as I write it, I shudder to think what my husband must think of this crazy woman he married! ha! I mean, seriously friends, I have plans to draw a diagram of the house to place on each box and mark where in what rooms the boxes go... and even contemplated colour coordinating boxes to items which I can't pack on my own. ?!

Its not that there's anything wrong with any of these things... being organized is great... its a good quality... but what I'm finding God is teaching me ... is to LET GO. These are NOT the things that need to be keeping me up, mind racing. I have decided that I'm going to consciously choose and let God make this side of my personality work as my greatest asset and not a hindrance. If I am going to be kept awake by something, the absolute truest reality, is that I would hope that it would WAY more often being children without mothers, women in captivity, people oppressed and needing hope... not how many boxes still need my new home diagram on them. The stark contrast of putting those things even side by side in the same sentence only reiterates my point to myself. PERSPECTIVE MCCLOGHRY. perspective.

seriously. perspective...it changes everything.

Its is so much easier to focus controlling the things that are small and in our grasp(obviously!)...its easier to think on those things...to let them quietly become the things that consume us... maybe its easier because we can see the problem and the solution all at once. I suppose the challenge we face is understanding and knowing (not just in our heads but really knowing in our hearts) that even the biggest problems on the earth can contain both the problem and solution in the same view... and His name is Jesus. It is much harder to face the mountains, stand in faith, believing for the impossible and trusting in the unseen... speaking things are not yet as though they were and actually and truly resting in the confidence that He is the answer and He will come thru... and with the biggest things we see or know are happening, that though the solution might not right now be in our head, in our heart or in our hands... each step with the Saviour of the world... each obedience... each small or large practical God placed step... puts us hand in hand with THE SOLUTION... as we walk out the steps to heavens answer...

I'm not sure how discernible this post is going to be when my brain is actually functioning with all cylinders firing (wait...not sure that happens ever? haha)... but hoping something good and life giving comes your way from it... xxx jilly

Friday, August 20, 2010

home is where.


Home is where the heart is.

short and sweet... but as a girl thousands of miles from my family... i just was loving that thought today.


oh and you seriously leave the most wonderful ...lovely... encouraging comments. some at the most appropriate of times. pretty amazing. so thanks!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

i can feel it.

Change... It's past, present and future.

I can see it as I think about the last year of our lives...
I can feel it right now stirring in my heart...
I am full of expectation for what the future is going to hold, as it takes its hold on whatever part of our lives that it is meant to.

I don't fear it...as a matter of fact...I love it. It always costs something, and always brings best out of everything that I am...well... eventually. ha! Sometimes that's a process that takes a lot longer than I would like. Sometimes its messy... sometimes its not pretty... but somehow... I know its worth it.

The obvious change is upon me as our little girl is growing bit by bit. I know that every day is a miracle and I'm so thankful for every moment that my little girl stays in my tummy...

Just wanted to do a quick post and share this photo. 22 wks today & counting.

{{and tell you that i LOVE your comments. and i will definitely be addressing some of them specifically soon. }}


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the biggest little treasure.

meet our little girl.
She even waves. Its like southern hospitality is woven into her involuntarily!

She is the biggest little treasure. I can't believe that after such a long wait for her.. so many prayers... tears... hopes... she is FINALLY in my tummy growing and thriving... THANK YOU JESUS!

Its always easier to sit on this side of the journey and talk about how Gods timing is perfect and how you can all of the sudden see how He had a plan and purpose for all the waiting. To that I would say, well, of course it feels better with the joy of my heart in my womb... but I don't understand the waiting any more than I did before. I am, however, just as sure now as ever, if not more, certain that God has perfect timing... and whatever His reason or plan might be... I am for it... on board... will choose to lay my life and dreams down... for His cause and His purpose. Is that the easy choice?... absolutely not... but its the one that leaves me with joy in my heart and hope in my hands... no matter what He has granted so far.
That is what I have resolved.

A couple weeks ago I went in for an ultrasound (I have these more frequently than normal as I am 'classified' now as high risk pregnancy).. these are for the purpose of making sure its all going the right way etc etc... we walked in thinking it was going to be fine as usual. We have walked in to this pregnancy full of faith for a healthy baby... aware of, but not dwelling, or expecting complications. We left that ultrasound with heart stopping news. There was a problem with an area of the ultrasound requiring that I have surgery as soon as possible to combat my body from continuing down the road it seemingly was on to another premature labour.
Talk about shock.
I'm sitting there thinking... this can't be happening again... God, WHERE ARE YOU???
Is my little girl going to be ok... i can't believe i thought this was all going to be normal...
(I'm just being brutally honest here). I felt like someone shot me in the chest.

These are all normal reactions. The problem becomes letting these thoughts take you captive. The solution... TAKING these thoughts captive.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

SO... as the enemy began his attack on my heart... Gracious Jesus stepped in with truth that is sewn in to the fabric of who I am... and truth began spilling on every doubt.

I.E. ::: This is not history repeating itself. God IS doing a new thing. Where is God?... RIGHT HERE... in this room with me...in my heart... in my everything...He IS in control... He IS right now knitting our little girl together in my womb part by part, every piece of who she is... and it is going to be OK.

I made a choice right then to not entertain thoughts that are contrary to what God says about my situation. He is mighty and great... and has us right in the palm of His hand. That is always the safest place to be.

{it's also helping to have things like this on my wall}
So now, surgery complete... home staying off my feet... and lots of time on my hands... I've been able to think about PLENTY. One thing I know is whatever God does in these next months... I am going to trust Him. I'm believing completely and am full of faith for a perfectly healthy baby... born at just the right time. I have also resolved that whatever happens... I will be ok with it. I don't claim to know what God is doing... I just know that everything is going to be ok... whatever everything ends up looking like... its going to be ok. God will never be out of control of what is happening... and His ways will always be higher than mine... His thoughts higher than mine....and no matter what, I won't stop praising Him... and let me tell you... when this baby girl is in my arms for the first time... healthy and perfect... you might here the celebrations of heaven and earth in that room from where your reading this. It is going to be a HAPPY day... :)

I would ask you to pray for our little girl as she keeps growing... there's quite a few milestones for us to pass in the coming months before she arrives... and prayer changes things... so we would love yours. I'll be 22 weeks on Saturday praise God... and plenty more of those week celebrations to come!

In other news... my husband is amazing and becoming quite the cook.. laundry man... general house duties man... grocery shopper and plenty more{AND} I have the best friends in the world. They frequently pop by with meals... groceries... to clean my house... bring flowers...take our dog for a walk...& the list goes on and on. Isn't it amazing how the family of God shines so beautiful in these moments. There are SO many beautiful things about where we are at this very moment... and to many things to count that I'm praising God for.



OH. and thought i'd throw in these photos for a little glimpse at my amazing hubs coping with hospital stay life.... glad we weren't there long... ha!

{he can sleep anywhere}
{they tagged me}
{beautiful flowers from my mom and dad}
{sleeping arrangements for the night}

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

::time.... is on my side::

The wild thing about having a one year old little princess wildly running around the house, is that it seemingly leaves no time for much else in the day.
Ok, thats probably an exaggeration... she's not actually even walking yet... just this wildly speedy crab crawl that leaves one leg constantly underneath and one half walking... and time, well... there is minimal... enough to take showers, wash dishes, do the laundry and grocery shopping and every once and a while duck up to the cafe for a much needed cuppa.
In the last months we've also moved... which was an adventure that has us in a beautiful flat offering much more space than the old one... as well as heating that comes with the touch of a button and the speed of a rocket and leaves my american toes toasty warm.
We've had an amazing Hillsong Conference, where I was again left speechless at the glory and strength of a mighty and wonderful God. I also got to spend precious days and moments with one of my closest friends, Christy, who was here to be a guest at conference... If you've ever lived in a place far from what you always knew, you would completely understand how much a visit from a close friend is like jumping in a freshwater spring on a hot day... AMAZING.
I got to spend some time in the studio doing vocals on some of the most beautiful and worshipful songs my heart has sung... the boys working hard on the new Hillsong United album have pushed the limits and the Holy creativity God is bringing through their gifts has left my heart anticipating and expecting...

So... thats a little catch up on the happenings of us mccloghrys for the past few months :)

To catch you up on our hearts and our little girl... the last night of Hillsong Conference, just before we were ready to go and lead the the amazing church that had gathered in worship, I got a phone call. We have been waiting to hear whether or not our precious girl would be able to stay with us permanently or would be restored to her father. I have to say so that you have our hearts perspective and desire, that we wanted her to stay more than I could express because of our deep love for her... but... more than that, we wanted Gods very best for her life. On top of that, God has put in our hearts a love for her father... he is loved by God as much as everyONE and i know God is after his precious heart. So there is a lot stirring beneath this phone call. I answered and was given the news that the courts decided Haylee would be returned to her father.
Crushing to my heart that loves her so much... there's a real grief that comes along with the news when youve have a beautiful girl for the first year of her life and love her much more than the most delicious of tim tams. (if you know how much i love tim tams you will understand the how much i mean)
Crushing because I know that God is in it and weaving together His perfect plan and it is all going to be ok.
And here's where we reverse...
NOT CRUSHING. because the Word says...
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Once again i found myself facing a situation that, if i allowed it could wildly change who i thought God is...How, in my small mindedness, somehow i feel that if i just "pray really hard" that God will give me what i want... somehow, the mighty God of the universe, creator of everything, gets reduced in my head to wishing on a star. Ridiculous comparison, trust me, i know it is... but do you see where i'm coming from? What is it in us that takes "ask and you shall receive" to mean writing a christmas list to santa claus. I'm not going to go theological here... i'm not the person to do it... there are plenty of others who've done that with this exact verse, and done it unbelievably well... but i hope you hear my heart...
I believe that prayer changes things. I believe that we can come against the tactics of the enemy as he is out to steal-kill & destroy... and that we have authority in Jesus name to stand against what he has set out to accomplish and bind him in the Name and by the Power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe me i wholeheartedly do that.
I know God loves me. I know that He wants to give me the desires of my heart. I also know He loves me to much to tick of my santa claus list with things that aren't His best. I know that He is so vast, His thoughts so much higher than my thoughts...His ways SO much higher than my ways... that it would be utterly ridiculous for me to assume I know what He is up to. Which is where believing for His kingdom to come, and His will be done in every situation is where i know my heart must lie.
When the decision for where my heart has so tenderly been, comes...when all my seeking, praying, believing and trusting reach the culmination of that phone call... and the choice is again in front of me... who will i trust? I know in my heart that God has had the victory. That He is never untrustworthy. He is hope and salvation. That in this decision there is hope for a beautiful little girl who will be with her dad like God intended...that God is so in love with her dad and after his heart to mend and heal him.. and that my role was always to pray for him and believe in him and have a heart that wants to see his life restored and our little girls life to be right with his...AHHH... isn't it amazing how when God perspective reaches our hearts... when we see through the eyes of Jesus... that everything changes. Does it still hurt... oh my gosh... it HURTS.. but it hurts with a joy that lifts that hurt from the ashes and fills it with life. When you know who holds the future... the future always looks beautiful.

So the chaos in our house has quieted for the moment... and there is a lot of time. To sit, to dream, to write... this time is gold and so precious... and i'm so thankful for every moment.

I hope that helps you in some way... i feel like we are all on this wild journey of life... and the discovering of our amazing God and how He is SO much more vast than we ever could imagine... and sometimes its rocky... and it hurts... but there is always beauty for ashes... no matter how big or small the bump in the road might seem to you. We are all on a journey... and its ok to feel how you feel... just remember that God isn't scared of your feelings... and the best place for them is in his hands. He is a safe place.

I've typed a novel here... so i'll save what else i was going to write for the next entry...


Thursday, March 18, 2010

hackett to my soul.

what a week.

all i can say at this point is that an amazing worship cd will get you through times of joy and times of brokeness and if you're looking for one try this one:::


Laura Hackett.

i can't turn it off... or even down...

phew.... LOVING IT.

she sings to my soul. the Spirit of God was so present and full as this blasted thru my house.

i've been soaking up the Nov 2009 album, some favorites::: Beautiful Mercy & There's a Gap.

hope you enjoy xx

Friday, March 5, 2010

{ happy 2nd birthday baby boy }

I couldn't have imagined what it would feel like to wake up Saturday morning and realise that it somehow had been 2 years since Max and come & gone. I was so angry. Angry that it happened, angry that it has been 2 years and we are still waiting to see two lines on a pregnancy test, angry that life seemed to move on like nothing ever happened for everyone else ... and yet we still feel this huge hole. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like this every day. In fact, these days...most days, I feel completly normal. I have an amazing life, amazing husband, beautiful baby girl and much more & I think about Max every day... but usually its not so painful... its a beautiful happy memory... so I suppose I was a little suprised to feel this way.

Here's the thing though...

Something in me knew that I couldn't stay in bed all day. As much as I wanted to recluse... I knew, with everything in me, that I needed to get up and face the day.

And we did.

We spent the day in Palm Beach, NSW (about an hour from our house), on the beach, with a picnic/my brother and sister in law/our haylee and a big bunch of blue balloons to celebrate Max::: then that night we went to dinner at a beautiful restaurant by the Opera House and let our balloons rise to the sky as matty whispered a little "happy birthday Maxy"... and it was beautiful.

It was a beautiful day : to remember a beautiful boy : who changed our lives forever.

The more the day went on, the more I realised how much Max is a part of my life. I realised that the person that I have become is so much in part to what happened when Max was born, and what happened when he died. Living that day and seeing the things we saw and the way we wept isn't easy... but the fact that we are more in love, that we love God more than I could have ever imagined, and that our capacity as people and servants in the kingdom is so much greater/different makes me see that somehow its a beautiful thing. I would do anything to have a little two year old boy called Max playing with his trucks on the floor as I blog... but at the same time, I wouldn't change anything about the last two years because somehow the place God has brought us to makes it all worth it. Like the Word says... HIS LOVE is BETTER than life. ::: I know this verse so differently now. And He always reminds me of his loving-kindness... and faithfulness. He is our Sustainer... Comforter... closest Friend.


I learned...

:that its ok for moments/days/trials to get to you...
:its ok to deal with the emotions that we naturally have...
:its ok to suprise yourself...
:its not ok to wallow in a pool of self-pity because you throw chains all over yourself and miss the ability God has to make all things beautiful...
:that God is in EVERYTHING::but if you shut off, there's a good chance you'll miss Him and accuse Him of being absent...

This blog has always been about being open about where I am with this whole loss/life/moving on thing... so i hope that its serving its purpose... i'm just on a journey... and i know its heaven focused ... and the Holy Spirit has a lot to teach me still on the walk... but i'm gonna keep walking:::

thats all for now x x x x