For those of you who love reading my deep, incredibly profound and insightful ponderings (!), this is not the blog post for you. I wanted to give some of my readers a more traditional this-is-my-life update – for those not living in Cape Town.
June marked the start of a new season for me in Cape Town. I had the privilege of spending a three month sabbatical from my work/life in Cape Town and travelling to visit cool new places, family and old friends. It was an absolute treat to spend that time travelling with Lloyd, to have space to think, and to have a longer time with all my friends and family than I’ve had since I left in 2011. The 3 months were a bit of an emotional rollercoaster following the loss of our first baby but to be able to totally veg out in Thailand and then arrive home to be looked after by my parents was exactly the space I needed to grieve and process properly.
On arriving back in Cape Town, I have re-entered into a fairly significant transition for Tree of Life (our church family) and Fusion (the organisation I’ve been working with) and so the last couple of months have been filled with figuring out what that will look like, where I fit and what God is calling our family to in this next season. More on this another time! What that means for me though is a much more diverse role in leadership of Tree of Life with a bunch of awesome people, a more pastoral role rather than solely operations and the space to start thinking about what a home for girls could look like in Manenberg with my partner in dreaming, Leigh. Again, there will DEFINITELY be more on this later! Already, I am loving this new season and so thankful for my community who have given me the space to really push into where my heart comes alive. I have learnt so much in the last 3 years, and have grown more than I knew possible, honestly, not through lots of fun and easy-riding but through being stretched beyond what I thought my capacity was. I have grown in skills, in grace (I hope) and have learnt how to do things that I don’t love with excellence and letting go of the entitlement of always doing what I feel I want to do!
Lloyd is still rocking the solo architect/designer vibes, although he would love to be a little less solo at times…Spatial Studio is doing well, but as with any start-up, has its ebbs and flows. He has had a few exciting projects that get his creative juices buzzing, a stint of teaching at the university where his studies began, and then a good measure of the more mundane (but good for the bank account) house extensions. In the next couple of years, the dream is to see Spatial Studio grow to house a few more people, and potentially to have a space where designers/creatives/architects etc, can come and share ideas and resources. Lloyd has a real passion to see the design world open up in Cape Town to more than just those who can afford to study and print pretty things, but that’s his story, maybe he’ll write it for you one day.
In terms of our family life, Lloyd and I have felt held in a somewhat suspended state, wanting to grow our family but having the door for adoption temporarily closed, and then losing our first baby. We have also felt, for the last two years, an invitation to move into Manenberg and set down our roots there amongst our family, but again, financially and practically, no doors have opened up to us for this and so we have been [patiently-not-patiently] waiting for a shift. We gave up our flat, in faith, just before going on sabbatical and so have been living with Leigh in her flat. This has been super fun, and [I think] we are all enjoying the richness of community living, it’s certainly given me a lot to think about in terms of how we carve out our family life set-up in the future.
Good news: the suspension is lifting!…or dropping, or whatever suspension does when it’s not suspension anymore.
While on sabbatical we discovered that we were pregnant again and so are due to give birth in December! Happy Christmas to us! We are so excited with a healthy measure of what-have-we-done thrown in, but please pray with us as we prepare and look forward to meeting our little snowflake*. The other news is that doors seem to be opening for us to move into Manenberg and so we are currently looking at putting an offer on what might be our future home. I have no idea why the timing hasn’t been right for the last 2 years for either of these things, or why we seem to be looking at giving birth and moving house around the same time (just to keep things chilled, right?) but we are riding this wave with God, and trusting the faithfulness we have experienced throughout our waiting.
So there you go. The Pretorii’s adventure continues!
* Straight up, falling pregnant so soon after miscarrying was hard on my heart and soul. I battled with anxiety and not being totally sure I was ready to be pregnant again. Lloyd was awesome (obviously) and was able to carry the joy of this wee life, and then we named our bump Snowflake to help build a bond between us, which really helped me connect with this little baba. I felt totally free, at the same time, to grieve and be where I was until I was ready to fully celebrate and I knew that this little one was so loved and celebrated by family at the same time. I woke up one day on sabbatical feeling totally peaceful about Snowflake and excited to be a mum…although we still think a lot about Acorn and are planning on how to keep her story alive in our family story.