Rebecca was one of the very first friends I made here in New Zealand. As soon as we met each other, it was clear that we shared a lot of the same passions and pastimes, so we instantly clicked. We bonded over our love for creative projects, furniture upcycling, baking, cooking, family time, good food, good wine, good laughs and simple pleasures.
Rebecca is one of the kindest, most thoughtful, caring, generous people I’ve ever met. She goes above and beyond to help those in need around her and makes a difference in so many people’s lives. As the pastor’s wife she plays an active role in the day to day running of the church, but she also volunteers her time to numerous causes and activities… Sunday School, PTA, Playgroup and Mainly Music, the school board, field trips and school camps, various community projects and making meals for people when they most need it. You could be forgiven for thinking she’s WonderWoman because she does it all and makes the juggling act - for the most part - seem so effortless! She is completely real and down-to-earth, but really is that Supermum who can do everything.
We hosted a cooking workshop together once that was all about resourceful recipes and making your family’s food go further. Rebecca is extremely creative and it was such a joy working with her on that project - we might have to revisit it together to bring you here…
For our first year or two in Hamilton, we saw each other regularly and spent a lot of time together as families. Rebecca and Philip invited us into their home and into their lives when we were struggling to find our feet and were desperately missing close friends and family. As is sadly the nature with having kids who are different ages, life just sometimes gets in the way and you drift apart… but you never forget those special people who truly make a difference in your lives. For the happy times we spent with the Renners, for the kindness they showed us and for all the Sundays we shared meals together, we will always be grateful.
Dear Rebecca, thank you for your thoughtfulness, for your friendship and for the many ways in which you have inspired me… x
Now over to you:
1. What does Lovelyness mean to you?
It is all the things and people that hold a beauty that appeals/speaks to my heart, mind or eyes.
2. When are you happiest? What brings you joy?
I am happiest when I am laughing out loud. I have one particular friend that brings the best out in me and we have the best fun together. One might say we are double trouble.
My family bring me the most joy (not all the time mind you, we have our moments). Dinner times have become a highlight over the years and have gone from chaos when the children were younger to now hearing about all the highlights of the day and things that matter to us all. It really brings me joy being together.
3. What are you most grateful for in your life?
I had a choice many years ago to make a decision to change the direction of my life. Because of the people in my life at the time, I chose a new direction and I am so grateful for so many of those people and the opportunities that came my way because of this decision.
4. What would you list as your top 3 priorities in life?
- Be Genuine.
- Listen, really listen to people and show you are present.
5. Who’s your current role model and why?
My daughter would have to be my current role model. When presented with situations that even adults find hard to deal with, she finds a way of showing she is growing into an amazing adult that is able to think outside the square. She doesn’t always get it right and she has bad days like us all, but she is learning to deal with life in the most beautiful way. I am loving that she shares it all with me.
6. Who do you see as being lovely and why? (Famous or not)
Mother Teresa because she was so selfless and abundantly generous. What an amazing Lovelyness to have.
7. What's your favourite type of food?
The kind you can make and give for others to enjoy.
8. What are your favourite pastimes?
I love hanging out at the Hamilton Gardens with my family, drinking coffee at Cafes, going for walks around the lake or beside the river and sharing a bottle of wine over dinner with friends.
9. Do you have a favourite quote?
10. Where’s your favourite place?
We have been blessed to be able to spend a few weeks every Christmas holidays for many years with lovely friends, eating lovely food and drinking lovely wine at lovely Matarangi Beach, creating lovely memories. Definitely my favourite place.
11. Which is your favourite season and why?
I love Summer, there is something about the smell of sunscreen on the beach and the feel of the sun on my skin and long lazy days reading that I just delight in.
12. Do you have a signature style?
Not really. I like what I like and finally, at 38, I’m ok with everything me.
13. Who was your biggest inspiration growing up and how have they shaped who you are today?
My husband has to be my biggest inspiration. I know it says growing up, but we have been together since I was 16 and I knew him years before we started going out. We really have done life together. He is an awesome guy and I am so lucky to have him. He has helped me to grow into the person I am today by supporting, encouraging and guiding me through life. He is definitely wise beyond his years and has a strong heart for God.
14. Which qualities do you value most from those closest to you?
Honesty would be high on the list. I just love it when my friends are real.
15. What are your best attributes? What are your worst?
I think my best attribute is that I care deeply about many things and people. I also think this is my worst attribute, as it leads me to worry too much about things that are out of my control. It can also snatch precious time in which I could be doing other constructive things.
16. How would you most like your friends to describe you?
I hope my friends would say I’m genuine and real. What you see is what you get. I also hope they would say I care and I’m loving.
17. If you could pick any place in the world to live, where would it be and why?
Right where I am. I love everything about life at the moment and I think I am so blessed to live in such a beautiful county. Most days I take it all for granted, but when you start thinking about all the opportunities little old Aotearoa has to offer, it really is a little slice of heaven.
18. What are your aspirations for the future?
I want to keep doing what I’m doing but love more, care more, be more generous and be the change I wish to see in the world. Maybe even write a book?
19. Can you recommend: a lovely song, a lovely movie, a lovely book?
- Book: The Bible has it all.
- Movie: A Wonderful Life. An oldie but a goodie, especially at Christmas time.
- Song: Jaime Lawson - “I wasn’t expecting that”. Sad but lovely.
20. Any Lovely Last Words?
I just want to say Thank you Holly for your amazing blog. You truly are a lovely person and I am so blessed to know you. And to everyone else “Fake it until you make it” is a mantra that will see you through. Be confident in all you do and really know who you are.