Wednesday, 25 December 2013

How to Have A Merry Little Christmas

  1. Finish up the school year frazzled and well and truly ready for it all to Just. Go. Away.
  1. Spend the next week getting woefully behind on your to-do list whilst procrastinating every day and generally just relaxing because, well, you desperately need to.
  1. The weekend before the big day decide you had really better get organised. Go shopping to grab last few things. Don’t end up getting all of them because car decides to break down.
  1. Once you finally make it home, spend the afternoon getting very sticky making Christmas treats with the kids while hubby stays with the car and organises a tow truck.
  1. You really, really need to clear out the rumpus for the renovating. So spend the next day washing like a mad woman to clear that pile (hint: this requires 5 loads). In between, sort and fold like your life depends on it. The Mt Foldmore range will miraculously diminish before your very eyes. Also, take note how cute the five year old is helping carry pile after pile of clean towels to the linen cupboard.
  1. Flop into bed at the end of the day satisfied but utterly worn out.
  1. Wake the next day not sure that you feel one hundred percent. Soon realise it’s because you seem to have gained a UTI overnight.
  1. Try to carry on as normal because after all, this is Christmas Eve now and there is much still to do. Like decorating and rediscovering the lounge room floor. Do not even look in the kitchen.
  1. Do not panic either - just imagine your perfect children helping clear it all away in a matter of minutes.
  1. Get a stronger grip on reality.
  1. Come to the understanding that your pounding headache might need some attention. Take your temperature and realise it is slightly higher than is considered normal.
  1. Ask online friends for prayer. Thank God for such amazing women.
  1. Take next round of medication. Put yourself to bed and rest. Thank God for hubby willing to take children out for a while to make this possible.
  1. Scan the scene and concede it is just not gonna happen how you had planned.
  1. Have brilliant idea. Glean ideas from favourite magazine. Release the stress.
  1. Feed and bathe children. Put them to bed. Relax with husband and a movie.
  1. Go to bed.
  1. Wake up Christmas morning. Have a lazy breakfast with family. Put roast on. Put dishes on.
  1. Choose to ignore horrid mess of a house. Gather simple yet beautiful things, from around your home, that you love. Take these outside to gazebo hubby and kids are putting up in the back yard.
  1. Lose yourself in a moment of creativity as you arrange them wistfully.

21. Invite the family to join you. Acknowledge that really this is all you need. 

22. And have yourself a Merry little Christmas!



Wishing you

Hope in our Saviour

Peace in your heart

and Joy in the little things

Happy Christmas!


Friday, 6 December 2013

Four and a Half Years

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Reflect.

 

(Go)


Four and a half years ago a tired Mama dropped her second grader at school for the day. Babe in arms she decided to stay for the school assembly. She was trying to find her way in a new community. A place she now called home but barely knew.

It had been a rushed morning and breakfast had been little more than a mouthful; just to put something in her stomach and keep it quiet until she returned home. In the hurry and fluster she had quite forgotten the new playgroup starting up that day. Until the kind teacher asked if she was planning to stay. Her first thought was breakfast and that maybe next week would be better. But something inside made her stay…

Today, at home time, three of those babes linked arms and smiled for their last ever photograph at playgroup. The final three to graduate from the original group.

Thank you for the memories boys. The smiling faces each week. We have watched you grow from chuck cloths, wipes, and bottles. We have steadied your first wobbly steps and together you’ve learned to play and share. Because of you we got to spend some ‘mummy time’ and find ourselves in others.

This season has come to a close. It is time to move on. As I look back, I cannot help but be grateful.

(Stop)

Now, your turn…


Friday, 1 November 2013

On Eating An Elephant

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Grace.


(Go)



The piles pile up.

The mess gathers round.

I am tired – at the most inconvenient of times.

The pinching nerves in my shoulders keep a steady stream of ache in my arms.

I feel like I have been served more than I can chew some days.

And yet…

This is all part of His plan.

He has allowed these things.

He has blessed me with these things.

I do not mean to complain.

I want to enjoy what I have.

To live.

Fully alive.

My kind of adventure is probably not the same as yours.

Neither are my victories.

Life has taught me to celebrate the little things;

To see, and to seek, the beauty in each day.

And as I learn to love myself and others where we are at-

To extend grace to each moment.

I am grasping just how

To eat an elephant,

One small bite at a time.


(Stop)

Now, your turn…




Friday, 18 October 2013

I Have Piles - How About You?

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Laundry.


Confession: My brain is off with the fairies - but I had a go at FMF anyway. I started out with deep thoughts. I really did. But no editing right??!

(Go)

What a relevant topic right now. Which angle would you like me to take? From the top of Mt Foldmore or the peak of Mt Washless?

Actually Foldmore is more of a mountain range. There are five of us and so very conveniently five seats on the lounge next to the washing machine. (No my laundry isn’t that fancy – just situated in one end of the rumpus).

But just like those dirty dishes, the laundry piles are a constant reminder of our blessings. We have enough clothes for there to be a dirty clothes pile. We have enough clothes for there to be a clean pile too. We have enough that we have these piles simultaneously.

We are blessed.

Who’d have thought that having piles was so good?

That’s laundry piles folks.

Piles of blessings.


Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

-Johnson Oatman, Jr


(Stop)

Now, your turn…


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Nifty Notion #10: Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes

Today's Nifty Notion is brought to us by the lovely Rebekah at We Live Inspired. Thanks for coming over and helping me out today! If you haven't yet visited her pages of inspired living be sure to do so. You will find lots of great tips, money saving ideas, amazing poems, and stories that will warm your heart. 

Without further ado, here she is to teach us a new recipe...


I am happy to be here at my dear friend Lizzy's blog today! The way we met was one of those serendipitous things where we both happened to be in the same place at the same time in an online forum. We were both brand new bloggers at the time, and we have so much in common that we became fast friends! I am blessed beyond measure to have Lizzy as a friend, as she is one of those true blue people you can count on. You may already have gathered this from reading her wonderful blog posts that are filled with so much heart :).   

  Today I am sharing a garden fresh healthy recipe that is easy to throw together for those days where you just can't be bothered (as Lizzy often puts it). Our new neighbor has a vegetable garden and he was kind enough to give us some fresh ripe tomatoes right off the vine. We only had 2 large tomatoes, (a perfect dinner for 2) , so this was the perfect way to use them! My mom made these for us during the summers when I was growing up.    


Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes   

Ingredients:
  1. 1-4 tomatoes (depending on size you will be able to stuff up to 4 tomatoes with this recipe) - 1 tomato per person you are feeding :)
  2. 1 can of flaked tuna fish (I like the kind packed in water instead of oil)
  3. 2-3 Tablespoons of salad dressing or mayonnaise. (I use a salad dressing called Miracle Whip-it's popular in the USA) If you are on a health conscious diet , use lowfat.
  4. chopped onion-however much you like. I typically throw in a couple of Tablespoons. Any variety of onion works well (even green onion), but I used a regular onion for this recipe.
  5. Chopped celery
  6. coarsely ground black pepper- I like using a pepper mill with pepper corns in it, but any pepper will do.
  7. Parmesan Cheese ( I used the pre grated powder like Parmesan cheese, but you can use any kind you like)- I add about 1 Tablespoon.
  8. Shredded cheese of choice-I used colby jack
  9. lettuce or fresh spinach leaves-optional
It is so simple! All we are essentially doing is stuffing fresh tomatoes with tuna salad. If you REALLY can't be bothered ;) , you can make your tuna salad very basic (no chopping needed) and just use the tuna, mayo/dressing, and salt and pepper to season if you like.   

Directions: With a knife, carve a circle off the top of each tomato and remove. (Think of when you carve a pumpkin to make a jack o' lantern and are carving the top off to take the filling out.) Scoop out the core and seeds. Set aside.

  002  

Making the tuna salad- Drain can of tuna. In a small bowl add the tuna, chopped onion and celery, mayo/salad dressing, pepper and parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined. Fill tomatoes to overflowing with the tuna mixture. While I didn't use lettuce today, it makes a nice presentation to serve the stuffed tomatoes on a bed of lettuce or baby spinach leaves! Top each tomato with shredded cheese. Now it's ready to eat! I find it to be pretty filling and will eat this dish by itself. Surprisingly, my meat and potatoes guy even liked it! You can't normally get him to eat tomatoes unless they are on a hamburger :D.  

  008       006     
What is your favorite way to use garden fresh tomatoes?




Wednesday, 25 September 2013

In His Time

Lately it seems I'm back on the road of learning (again, and again, and again) the need to go easy on myself and rest in God's good timing; 

the fact that he holds the bigger picture; 

that he knows where I'm at; 

that he's okay with that.







Friday, 20 September 2013

She

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: She.

 

(Go)


She is tea cups and lace.
She is plain paper plates.

She is softly spoken words.
She can yell to the herds.

She is quiet and serene.
She’s not afraid of a scene.

Pink apricot sunsets will lift her emotion.
Under the moonlight, she’s as deep as the ocean.

She daintily dances to a classical tune.
She let’s rock ‘n’ roll move her all over the room.

She likes meals presented with an arty touch.
Or if it sustains her, then that is enough.

She sews and makes the most fabulous craft.
She revels in hiking and rowing a raft.

She is unique; she is playing her part –
Doing what God has placed in her heart.

(Stop)


Now, your turn…



Dear New Mother Me

Dear New Mother Me,

I've traveled the road you’re on right now. The one you’re just beginning. It’s a crazy journey with some high highs and low lows - mixed with cherished moments in between. Oh you may not recognise them all for what they are at first, but eventually you will be able to look back and smile.


The beginning had its terrifying moments. Going through that little process called labour. The pain, the tears, the discovering how much you really can bear. And then the exhilaration, the relief, the first snuggle – so precious.

Exhaustion sets in and the body longs for rest but you can’t have it. Not yet anyway. Holding this crying bundle, not knowing how to make it calm. Desperate, desperate for some peace and quiet to be able to rest. If only the nurses would understand that and stop trying to make baby feed – again!! Somewhere in the blur you find yourself wondering how long it will take for things to return to normal. What if this is the new normal? Heaven forbid! Then at last a nurse has a heart and takes baby for a couple of hours. Sleep, precious sleep.

The third day blues arrive. Oh the third day blues – hormonal rivers pouring down your cheeks for no apparent reason. It’s the day they’ll send you home too. Home to a comfy bed and a proper meal that’s actually appetising. Home to do it all on your own. You’ll be engulfed in overwhelm.

Bed time arrives and baby’s little bed is set up at the side of your own. But after an hours inconsolable crying (his and yours!) you’ll bundle him up and move the bassinet to his room just a few feet up the hall.

You wake the next day in a pool of milk. Eventually your creative self will find a solution. (Hint: it involves a singlet and a cloth nappy).  It’s your first day at home and you’re not convinced you want to spend it on your own while hubby goes to work. You’ll gather your belongings and what you think you’ll need for baby and head off to visit your parents. They’ll know what they’re doing and can offer some sound advice. You nearly cry with relief at hearing mother’s advice on feeding. A great weight is lifted from your shoulders.

How to explain though to the excited Aunt that no, she can’t pick baby up from his carrier. Despite her pleas you remain firm as you experience the first glimmer of connecting as you adore his perfect little face calm and quiet and asleep. This is not something you have words for right now. You've looked forward to meeting the little chap yet find yourself battling the emotions swirling about within. He’s your child and for that you love him dearly. Right now, that is more of a decision than a mushy feeling.

You’ll long to bond with him. And feel somehow broken for not being able to. Be patient with yourself. You've been through a lot this past nine months. An unexpected pregnancy so soon after marriage. You had antenatal depression, though you won’t find this out for several years. The guilt for the feelings toward the unborn child within you - that lasts until almost his sixth birthday. The knowing that it wasn't right to feel this way but too ashamed to tell anyone.  This too shall pass my dear and you will have a precious moment at Jesus feet when he lifts this heavy burden from your shoulders. Don’t give up hoping and praying and looking to Him for your answers.

Perhaps the picture painted so far seems a rather dismal one. Although you will find things overwhelming at first, things do eventually settle into a routine. Believe it or not baby will learn to sleep through the night and you’ll laugh at the memory of waking in a panic and checking on baby (imagining the worst) only to find him sleeping peacefully in his cozy blankets.

When you’re up to it, go out. Maybe it won’t be for very long at first but it’s so important to have community. Despite the novelty for others of meeting your precious new addition they’ll eventually settle down. It can even be nice to hand him over to a friend and take a break for a few minutes…

Be kind to yourself. Loving this child will grow your patience, your temperament, your wisdom, your resourcefulness, your trust, faith and hope.

Some moments will be doozies. Learn to forgive yourself, look for the lesson, and leave the rest in the past where it belongs.

Some moments will be dazzlers. Celebrate these. The big, the bold ones – make just as loud a noise. There’ll be quieter ones too (though no less shiny), that only a Mama’s soul will understand.   Tuck them into your heart for the quiet later with a simple ‘thank you’ offered upward. For heaven sees and is cheering you on.  

Lizzy xx

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If you could write a letter to your past self – what would you say?


Friday, 13 September 2013

Five Minute Mercy

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Mercy.

 

(Go)


So I did something the other day I shouldn’t have. I read a blog post. Yup. Guilty as charged. It was in fact a very good article - about how this particular lady organises her afternoons.

I won’t say who she is or provide a link for you. Not because I don’t want you to read it. (There were lots of great tips) But rather that it just wasn’t a good choice for me. I generally avoid conversations about housework and what others can achieve in a given timeframe as I just can’t. I find it disheartening to know that what would be considered a good week for me, is somebody else’s afternoon. Not even a whole day!

It really didn’t help. It was the final shove I didn’t need to push this exhausted, inadequate Mama over the edge and into depression. I have no-one to blame but myself. And I have spent a good chunk of the week battling those inner voices and struggling to smile much. So I let myself be sad. My eyes persistently leaking as I once again mourned what doesn’t belong to me; deciding that I might as well embrace my feelings and acknowledge them instead of wishing them away.

The beautiful thing in all of this? He met me there. Held my hand. Let me cry for a while. Then a bit more. Gently lifting my chin He offered to take my pain, my frustrations, my shortcomings. Reminded me that it’s okay not to be perfect… That I am loved in spite of me.


Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (NIV)


(Stop)

Now, your turn…


Thursday, 5 September 2013

To Start Over

Here is a story I wrote earlier this year. Some parts are based on reality. Other parts are exactly as they happened. All of it is true. 
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Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” - Mary Anne Radmacher

The shrilling alarm pierces through her. Dazed she fishes around on the bedside table until the stop button mercifully comes out of hiding. Lingering in the quiet a few moments, she knows the day must eventually be faced.

Bones creak and limbs ache as she makes her way to the refrigerator. Bending to retrieve the juice from the bottom shelf, something odd on the tile beneath catches her eye. At first glance it looks like a dirty mark. She makes a mental note that the floors are overdue for a mopping. Slowly the realisation dawns on her that most tiles bear the same peculiar little smudge. On closer inspection the spots are not dirt. They are, in fact, lead pencil.

The guilty party is stood trial and given a chance to explain. Because goodness knows she is baffled and requires an explanation. His rationale reveals the observation of small white flecks that do not belong in the chocolate brown. It was urgent that he remedy, what to him was, a grand issue. Thus the day begins, not with juice, but a lesson in scrubbing the floor – and why one must not draw on it. 

The situation would almost be comical if it were a one off. But it is not. This is far from the first time such a lesson has needed to be taught. Most likely it will not be the last. She is weary of going through these motions day after day; trying desperately to get through to a child who does not understand. Not because he means to be difficult, but rather is ignorant of the fact that he is. To him these actions make perfect sense. The puzzle is hers.

With bladder demanding attention, she retreats to the serenity that is a small room with a locked door. Or rather it would be if the floor underneath were not victim to a large puddle. The growing aroma does little for relaxation either. Semi-resigned to the facts she takes a long strand of paper and begins the clean up. At floor level another test awaits. Scrunched up, peeking out from behind the toilet bowl, two pieces of soiled paper announce their presence. He cannot see the problem with this picture. Her composure is beginning to evaporate.  

With breakfast over, the next challenge comes into view. Pushing down growing resentment, she arms herself with his toothpaste and brush. Left to him, the paste would soon be discarded down the plughole. Bristles and enamel would remain strangers. There is little satisfaction to be had in watching him squirm and cry out at pain the majority of folk would not even feel. Some things just need to be done whether appreciated or not. His yellow teeth are neither attractive nor healthy. This is no time to let emotions rule.

Grateful to be done with that exercise, she busies herself with the day’s tasks. Withdrawing to the bookshelf in the corner of the room, he is content to sit and take notes about his favourite vehicles. The book already has a contents page but not nearly as detailed as the one he is constructing. For now calm is back on the throne. Perhaps today will be better.

The illusion of peace is shattered upon stripping his bed.  Hidden in the pillowcase is a conglomeration of all sorts; toy cars, strange messages scribbled to who knows who, bits of junk, and in the middle of it all a twenty dollar note. She wants to be sick. Her skin crawls to think that her own flesh and blood is capable of such sneaky theft. Every time something has gone missing lately - he has stolen it. Only two days ago he had vehemently denied knowing anything about the mystery of the missing money from her purse. She had pressed him and provided ample opportunity to confess. Though she suspected guilt, there was little choice but to offer the benefit of the doubt.

Fighting the urge to slap, she hands him a wooden rolling pin - to be held out, at arms length, for five minutes. Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensue. Two minutes later he is begging to be granted reprieve from the consequence. What is this for?  His mind genuinely cannot fathom how the penalty will prevent a repeat offence. Weary from all the drama she reminds him that stealing is wrong, desperately hoping that maybe this time he will comprehend. He wants to argue and insist that she does not love him. He would be better off dead. Hope is at an all time low.  

Emotions twisted like an unsolved Rubik’s cube she feeds him a sandwich and sends him outside to play. He stubs a toe on the door frame, crying out in angry pain. Rushing to help and offer sympathy, she is rewarded with a low growl. Shoved away to be the helpless witness of self injury and hurtful, degrading words turned inwards. The irony of how one so needing help can fail to see the love extended to him. A riddle she has no answers for.

Trapped in a cruel maze without an exit, will she ever be able to relate to this foreigner who is her own flesh and blood? The question grates at her very core. This does not belong in dreams of motherhood.

An hour passes. It is time to come in. The strong scent of urine enters the kitchen before he does. Surely not again!

Good emotions, like patience and love, are all but used up. She takes a deliberate breath, in and out, big and deep. Mustering up the strength to make what little is left last until bedtime. Putting it out there, it is spread incredibly thin - painfully full of holes and so very fragile.

The child is sent for a shower. A check up, ten minutes later, finds him naked, unwashed, and perched atop the bathroom basin.

Eyes wild, voice strained, the tension tumbles out at frightening speed. She knows she is saying these things; it is her voice doing the screaming. Able to hear it all but so powerless to make it stop. Eyes stinging with backed up moisture she runs away. Anywhere will do. Crouching down in the solitude with her back against the cool metal of the laundry tub, the salty torrent pushes through the dam wall around her heart. It comes so quickly, the intensity catches her off guard. She presses her face into her knees in a futile attempt to stifle the hacking sobs. At last she must come up for air or be suffocated by the sheer emotion.

Quieter now, breathing steady, the tears slow to a trickle as she offers heaven a desperate prayer. Finally able to admit out loud that she does not even like this child called her son; much less herself for her seeming inability to love him. Another wave hits hard…

Looking up a silent figure stands watching. How long has he been there?

“I love you Mum,” he says. “I don’t know what’s making you cry or why you’re so upset.”

The blank expression on his face confirms this fact. And then he is handing her a piece of roughly folded paper.

“To write what’s troubling you down. When you are finished you can give it to me and I’ll help you.”

In a rare moment he comes and snuggles in close. Offers his favourite cuddly friend; the keeper of his secrets with threadbare patches to prove it. It is the most loving gesture he knows.  These moments are rare treasures. They are precious pearls to be tucked away in the heart for later - for the gaping of the in between.


Singed emotions melt. Hope sprouts in a bruised spirit. This mess called motherhood is worth the struggle after all. It matters little that she does not yet possess all the answers. Glory waits patiently for those wading through the mud. For now grace is enough. Tomorrow will bring a fresh sunrise. A chance to start over - to begin again. Taking each day moment by moment, if necessary, she will triumph. Just as the child deserves a hundred second chances, so does she.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

On Standing and Staring

We took a little detour on our way home this morning and ended up at the nursery. I often day dream of growing a Jacaranda tree. There is an empty spot up the back of the yard that would suit one perfectly.

We meandered around taking in all the plants. Fruits trees with exotic sounding names that were new to us. Old favourites that might one day come to reside happily in our garden. Eventually we found what we were there for; a scruffy little plant that will someday be majestic.



I wandered over to inspect the stands of flower punnets. To see what might catch my eye and ask kindly to be brought home. Hoping to inspire a spot of weeding and general TLC out the front.

Along the way some daffodils smiled at me. Tucked in with them were some beauties I had not previously met. Jonquils. The name was familiar but that is really all I knew. Drawn in by the beauty I breathed in their perfume, ultimately concluding that these would be coming home too.



I have needed dearly lately to stop and take care of me. Overwhelmed by life and feeling so completely inadequate. Not much writing has been happening. Sometimes I feel bad about that. Really though? It’s okay.  My back is thanking me for finally getting around to booking that physio appointment. I trust that with better rest and just taking each day as it comes (because can we really do anything else?) that the little bit I am able to accomplish each day will eventually reduce the mountain to a manageable mole hill.

Instead of living in a mindset of constant exhaustion I am giving myself permission to be still and know.

To stand and stare.

Jacarandas and Jonquils help.





WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

‘Leisure’ – W. H. Davies

Friday, 16 August 2013

Missing Small

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Small.


(Go)


Whoever said that ‘small things amuse small minds’ clearly never studied small…


Never got up close to dew drops on the rose leaves


Never went looking for teeny tiny sea shells


Never noticed how furry a tomato stalk can be


Never saw the beauty in an onion flower


Never watched a flower unfurl


Never enjoyed the lavender glittering in the sun


Never knew what shapes make up the middle of a daisy


Never counted the veins on a pea plant


Never really admired a lady bug



Whoever said that? Missed a lot!


(Stop)

Now, your turn…


Monday, 5 August 2013

What's In A Year?


A lot can happen in a year. A lot has happened. What a year it has been!

365 days since I finally got brave. Decided it was time to act upon that quiet voice getting louder.  Decided it was now or never and hit that ‘publish’ button. Then took a great big breath and watched with anticipation to see what would come of it.

Writing is about sharing my story - especially the everyday ordinary treasures I have encountered along the way. In the hope that somebody out there will be encouraged; that it might just brighten a day.

Reading back through a years worth of posts I see struggles, dreams, sweet moments and realisations. Most of all? I see God at work. At the end of a long day (with an extra dose of long) it did my heart good to be reminded of all this.

Thank you to everybody who ever read a post. I am truly blessed by your comments. Or if you decided not to, that’s okay too. Because this blogging thing? It’s not so much about me. It’s about Him...

So pass the popcorn please while we take a little trip down memory lane…

Here's a few of my favourites:


Did I miss any? What has your favourite post been?


Friday, 2 August 2013

A Little Piece of Story

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Story.

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(Go)

If there’s one thing we all share in this house - it’s an appreciation for a good book.

Books and I go way back. I remember gathering around Mum as she read us bedtime stories by ‘Uncle Arthur’. The morals of which have stayed with me. I loved listening to her read to us. I still do.

Another fond memory from childhood is that of my third grade teacher putting on different voices for each character as we progressively made our way through the adventures of ‘The Muddle Headed Wombat.’ The stories are endearing enough. The way she told them made them all the more so.

You don’t hear about that fuddled fellow so much these days. So when a big book of tales appeared in the local bookshop, you can be sure I hung the expense and bought it anyway.

As my children and I laugh our way through Wombat, Mouse, and Tabby Cat’s escapades - I can’t help but feel that a little piece of my story is becoming a part of theirs… in its own special way.


(Stop)

Now, your turn…


Friday, 26 July 2013

A Bruised Reed

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Broken.

 

(Go)

Some days I feel so useless. With everything that’s been going on around here lately I’ve reached a brick wall. And crashed right into it. My body has been refusing to cooperate.

This morning I got up. That was an achievement folks. The fact that it was the same time as playgroup began didn’t matter. We still got ready and went anyway – for the last half. And I’m so glad we did. Just to get away from ourselves. To do something instead of staying home and being reminded of how useless and broken I feel. I’ve had several of those days lately. Too many.

My situation is right up in my face. Getting up my nose. Frustrating me. And I know that ‘when I am weak, He is strong.’ I know all that but some days I just want more. I don’t want to be this weak. This broken.

That’s when He gently whispers…

A bruised reed He shall not break, and a smoking wick He shall not quench… (Isaiah 42:3)

And I realise - it’s not so much about being broken. He just hasn’t finished working on me yet.

(Stop)


Now, your turn…

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Dandelion Wuv

I WUV dandelions!” he announces to the world, as he runs outside to pick a bunch.

Watching from the doorway I think, “…and I wuv you!”

He will not always make such bold declarations. Or bring me handfuls of bright yellow sunshine. He is beautiful to watch. I must record this in my mind for later.

For now, I had better find a jar…







Friday, 19 July 2013

Where I Belong

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Belong.


(Go)

I’ve been doing a lot of burden carrying of late. I have to remind myself all the time what God’s word tells us to do with them. Take them and put them where they belong. In His hands. At his feet.

And then there’s the constant urge to run away. To forget reality. To go eat ice cream or cake or chocolate. Or all three. To go shopping. To get to the beach. Just away from this house. This mess. These children. Who I really do love but Mama just wants a break. Yeah? Yeah!

But I belong here. In the midst of all this. It’s what God has called me to. In this season. It’s my right now and thankfully not forever. I am blessed to be here (if I stop and really think about it). So I will stay… And just eat a bit of cake every now and then.


When you're dull from all that glitters,
when you're thoughts have a hollow ring,
and you can't escape from the feeling
you're getting it wrong...

All your foolproof plans seem foolish,
all your status is status quo,
all you really need to know
is where you belong.

[Chorus]
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow
strangely dim in the light
of His glory and grace.

 (Newsboys)

(Stop)


Now, your turn…

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Nifty Notion #9: Hand-Towel Mop

There’s been a lot going on here lately. I am utterly exhausted from it all. Seems like an appropriate time to share another cleaning tip.

This one is a brilliant ‘quickie’ to sooth your frazzled cleaning soul, and potentially decreases the amount of pride that needs to be swallowed when the next unexpected (or even expected) visitor pops in.

You will need:
1 case of exhaustion
1 dose of desire for a cleaner floor
1 floor that needs mopping
1 old hand towel (it will never be the same again - so please don’t use a good one)

How to:
  1. Completely wet towel in the sink.
  2. Wring out until just damp.
  3. Drop it on the floor.
  4. Using your foot, rub the damp towel over the area that needs mopping.
  5. Toss the, now dirty, hand towel into the laundry tub for later.
  6. Enjoy the cleaner look and feel.
  7. If you so desire - on a day you have regained some ‘oomph’, come back and do it properly with the mop and detergent.
You're welcome!


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