Friday, February 26, 2010



transitive verb

  • to regard as similar, to liken
  • to examine in order to observe or discover similarities or differences

intransitive verb

  • to be worthy of comparison with
  • to be regarded as similar or equal
  • to make comparisons
  • to stand in comparison; measure up

etymology: Latin comparare com- with parare- to make equal


Often it can be very helpful to compare. It is a useful skill that has resulted in improvements, invetions and advancements in all fields of life throughout history. When we arrive in a new situation we compare it to what we know already in order to decide how best to deal with the unknown. Comparisons allow us to get the best deals and make the better choices. We can learn much when we compare one thing to another.

As long as comparison is limited to inanimate objects it is safe and helpful; but as soon as you start comparing human beings then it becomes more complicated. Comparison has inspired and motivated discoverers to explore new lands, sports people to push performance boundaries; academics to excell, and innovators to invent. yet it is a double edged sword - there is always one person who walks away feeling motivated and superior, whilst the other is left defeated, demotivated and inferior. And the darker side of comparison is what drives much of our materialistic economy - the desire to be better than one's neighbour - to have the better clothers, car, house, watches, cell phones, body, hair, appearance etc. is all rooted in me comparing myself to you.

Comparing children, is not however, a complicated matter. It is never helpful, useful or beneficial. It should be avoided at all costs. Yet so many of us fall into this trap, including myself. When I slip into measuring Matt up to another child, he and I inevitably end up feeling defeated, demotivated and inferior. I start focusing on all the things he can't do, rather than celebrating all the things that he can, and all the things that he is. Yet that is not really how I view Matt, nor do I wish him to view himself in this light.

Given how prevalent comparison is in our lives and society, I have decided that the only way to prevent myself from falling in its trap is to be ruthless about eliminating comparison from my life.

I am committing myself to being intentional about celebrating each child for who she is, for the unique gifts and personality he may have and for the personal achievements she has reached. I want to actively war against comparision by speaking blessing and encouragement over Matt and also over every child of my friends, seeking out the special think that God is doing in them.

Will you join me in finding the good and unique thing in every child?

Friday, February 19, 2010


There has been plenty of excitement in the Tooke household recently. We were thrilled to find out that we were pregnant again, and then completely blown away when we went for our 7 week scan to check that all was progressing well. I was just hoping to see a heartbeat, and nothing could have prepared me for us finding 2 heartbeats, within 2 beautiful little beans. Our gynaecologist told us not to get our hopes us as often the one doesn't make it. She said if they were both still there at our 9 week scan then there was an excellent chance that we will have twins!!!!

At first we were quite overwhelmed and fearful, but soon filled with peace and excitement. We realised that Matt has taught us a good few life lessons that has built resilience in us and will equip us to handle the challenges that twins might bring.

Lesson One: We have learnt to ask for help. We have no pride when it comes to saying we need a hand.

Lesson Two: We have learnt to take it one day at a time, and not let tomorrow, next month or next year stress us out today. We have learnt that God provides all we need in the present.

Lesson Three: We have learnt there are seasons. There are hard times and there are good times. Each season comes to an end, which is good news when times are challenging.

We also looked back on the first year of his life...Matt taking an hour to feed, then I would express for another 20 min, giving me less than 1hour 40min sleep at a time during the first 6 months. And Matt would vomit and vomit. Not to mention the emotional stress of coming to terms with having a kids with special needs. And the reflux, constipation, pneumonia and lots of medical appointments. Surely having twins will not be worse, might even be easier?

After a long two weeks of waiting. We finally had our 9 week scan, and they are still there!!! Both have heart beats. Both have grown well. Our gynae is happy with their progress. Of course getting to 12 weeks will bring much relief, but we were told we were over the biggest hurdle.

Already I can feel my heart has grown. I have such love for the two little beans, and this love hasn't in anyway lessened my love for Matt. It would seem I have somehow been given a bigger capacity to love.

So Matt is going to be an older brother. How exciting is that?

What a mighty God we serve!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A signing party

For my birthday party this year we decided to have a SIGNING PARTY. After a lovely braai (barbecue), Lloyd and I ran a mini workship teaching our friends Matt's signs. We shared over 50 signs with them, and then we played a few word games with the signs to ensure everyone remembered them. In between the laughter and fun, our friends did so well. We were impressed with the speed at which they learnt the signs. We were so blessed they were enthusiastic about this, because we know Matt is just going to love having loads more people who understand him. It will also re-inforce the signs so he learns more. So we were just so thankful that the evening was such a success.