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Most of you probably know that my family and I live on a ship!

Currently, our ship is in Durban, South Africa and has just come out of dry-dock. Dry-dock is a part of shipyard maintenance whereby ships are literally removed from the water or the water is removed from around the ship. Our process was the latter and for the last month our ship has been high and dry on blocks in the Dormac Shipyard. This provided us with a wonderful opportunity to take some time and head home to Australia for a month, which was great and such a blessing to do. On our return, the ship was still in dry dock and unfortunately, as in the case of some major ship repairs and maintenance there are delays and things don’t always go as planned.


Dry-dock photos (above) courtesy of Walter Pretorius

A chance to look hard and find some good and positive things while feeling stuck as the girls were on holidays and we had no easy way of getting off the ship. We were also still living in a home that is was longer floating and was also looking more like a construction zone (complete with closed in shoes and hard hats!)

“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.”

One of the great things about being stuck in South Africa is that we have been able to find some creative ways to get off the ship and do some exploring even if it meant a short drive to a fun local cafe, or an early morning “shuttle” to the beach for a walk or a run (Dave even managed to squeeze in some surfs!)

One highlight, other than the local cafe with great coffee, was taking a drive inland to the “Midlands Meander” and visiting the Nelson Mandela Capture site. A great place to visit from a historical point of view, but also great because there is this fabulous sculpture installed there.  It consists of black metal “sticks” that poke up out of the ground. Up close that is all it is, although they do have some cool sculpture cut away details in each individual piece. Step away from the “sticks” and head up the hill and suddenly, in one specific sweet spot, the profile of Nelson Mandela is clearly visible.

It is quite stunning.

It got me thinking about something that applies to many situations in life whether it is a challenge, a setback or a scrapbook page! Sometimes we are just too close or are spending too much time looking at and analysing all the details at close range. Sometimes it’s better to step back to get some clarity. Look at the big picture of what gets done by this ship over a year or five years and this “setback” of a delay is really nothing. Walk away from a scrapbook page that you have been working on for hours and just can’t seem to make work. Look at it from the other side of the room or distance yourself from it for a period of time. Come back in 5 minutes or the next day and quite often it all just falls into place.

Sometimes we just need to move away from something to see more clearly what is actually going on …



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8 Responses to Blog: Step back and take a better look

  1. Corene says:

    That lesson so reminds me of God’s plans in my life…sometimes, I only see the sticks, but He sees the picture clearly. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Cheryl says:

    This is amazing! I’ve never seen this piece of art before. What a talented individual to create such a magnificent piece. Thanks for the reminder of needing to keep things in perspective. We can relieve a lot of stress if we remember this.

  3. Deanna Emmert says:

    Love this blog post, Justine!!

  4. Cindy Rold says:

    What a wonderful lesson you have learned. Perspective is everything, and stepping away often makes a big difference. Any chance of going on a safari while you’re “stuck” in South Africa?

    • Justine says:

      We did a day trip to Tala Game Reserve and to Natal Lions Park, Cindy – just a small trip but lots of fun! Got to see elephants, lions, wildebeest and a single giraffe!

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