Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Two Little Smiles From My Week


‘It takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow’ – I’m sure you have heard that one before. But did you know it takes sunshine and rain to grow roses? I mean, seriously, I did know that. But I was so focused on the individual elements that I couldn't see them working together – in my own front garden.

We had sun, so much sun. The plants we wanted to grow in our garden were really struggling. Only the weeds seemed to thrive. Then we had rain, so much rain. And when that got done drowning everything, all I could see were those thriving weeds.

The sun came out again. It was hot and humid. So I stayed indoors with the fan.

Now it’s raining again. A lot.

We were getting ready to go out. I was almost at the front gate when they waved at me. Two most perfect little rose buds. I looked up at the dark clouds looming overhead and ran inside to grab the scissors. The rain was not going to ruin these. We would enjoy them inside instead.

Apparently my eyes have not been working so well. The more I looked, the more I saw. Initially, I had planned on collecting just two rose buds to enjoy. I came back inside with a handful numbering twenty one!


That friends, right there, is heart medicine. The kind God prescribes.

Here’s another dose…

Six years ago, I sat and bawled my eyes out to the Newsboys singing ‘Blessed Be Your Name’. My (then) four year old looked at me worriedly and told me not to cry. He was too young to understand that Mummy and Daddy so desperately wanted him to have a little sister or brother (ok, we were leaning very heavily on the sister side). It wasn't happening as easily as we had hoped.

I took some pictures a few days ago. Despite the blurriness, they are too good not to share.

Here is my (now) four year old dancing his little heart out to the Newsboys singing ‘Blessed Be Your Name’. 


 He doesn't understand why Mummy has a tear in her eye either.


Got a moment of blessing you'd like to share? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Mum's the Word


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: What Mama did - in honour of our mothers.


(Go)

Mama did words.

Mama did funny, crazy poems and sayings that got stuck in her brain from childhood and the English text books of her past.

‘Let me sew you to your sheet.’
‘Nothin’ but boxes of birdseed.’

Not to mention the family gatherings that finished with sore cheeks from laughing hard at poems she’d recite (complete with pommy accent) all about that poor Albert bloke.

Mama did scripture; a verse for every action. Good or bad.

‘Be sure your sins will find you out.’
‘How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.’

Mama did ‘language school’ in preparation for possible overseas missionary work. Then Mama was my sole truly interested audience, years later, when I learned the difference between a fricative and a bilabial flap. And all about the Great Vowel Shift. No Mama, not bowel!

Mama did words – and Mama still does. Capturing moments in beautiful poems; that we may laugh, or cry, be healed, or just remember…

(Stop)

Now, your turn…


Monday, 18 February 2013

Liebster Award


Have you heard about the Liebster Award?

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I had never heard of until I was nominated this past week. Twice!

It turns out it’s an award bloggers give to one another to help spread word of newer or little known blogs. To get one means the person who gave it to you appreciates the work you do.  So, I especially want to thank Rebekah at We Live Inspired for nominating me.  

What is a Liebster?  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. (Thank you again to Rebekah for this info).

Each award comes with instructions that vary somewhat. My instructions are as follows:

  1. List 5 facts about yourself
  2. Answer 5 questions given to you from your nominator
  3. Create 5 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award
  4. Choose 5 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate
  5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award
  6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog

Here goes…

Five random things about me:

  1. Hi, my name is Lizzy and I’m an antique-aholic... For years I dreamed of renovating an old house. God has blessed us with just that. We are up to our elbows in it and loving nursing our 130ish year old house back to beautiful. This also has provided a handy excuse to spend all our pocket money on vintage furniture (most of which needs some love too) to go in it.

  1. As a child I took Physical Culture (often called Physie) classes. A kind of dance.

  1. I finished high-school and subsequently began university at age sixteen. Not because I’m particularly smart, but because my family moved states partway through the school year (grade 3) and I got moved up a grade to keep in line with the number of years I’d been at school.

  1. I have a degree in Languages and Applied Linguistics. Which when translated means I spent three years learning to talk, or analyse it, or something. Seriously though, I majored in Spanish and Linguistics with Italian as my elective.

  1. I asked my hubby what else I should add… He wants you to know that he’s tall, dark, and handsome. Oh and that we have five dining tables. Don’t worry they’re spread around the house; one in the dining room, one in the rumpus room, one in the guestroom kitchenette, and two in my craft/sewing room.


Now to answer the five questions:

  1. Why did you start your blog and what is the meaning behind your blog name?
 I have wanted to write ever since I was a child. At the tender age of ten or eleven I decided I was going to write a novel and set out to do just that. I think I got about three or four A4 pages in before the novelty wore off. I was still pretty impressed with myself. That was a lot of writing for a kid. The dream has always been there tucked away just waiting for something to write about. The last couple of years have seen me writing a few short stories for my own children.
Last year though the urge was getting stronger again and God was stirring some dreams in my heart. The name ‘Peculiar Treasure’ had been rattling around my head for a few months. Eventually I decided it was time to follow the prompting. Peculiar Treasure is both the way God sees us as well as a description for the things I like to write about; moments with meaning that are treasures because of what they can teach us -  and because we choose to see them that way.

  1. Besides blogging, what do you like to do for fun?
 I love to read - books make great company. I love to create. I design and hand sew teddy bears. I finally learnt to use a sewing machine a couple of years ago so I’ve been experimenting with a few other designs as well. I also love to garden and cook desserts.

  1. Name an annoying little habit about yourself or something sort of odd that you do.
 I cut my own hair; saves a heap instead of going to the hairdresser every month. But then I’m always running my fingers through making sure it’s even. 

  1. If you had to eat the same food for dinner every night , what would it be?
 Roast lamb and veggies (pototo, pumpkin, carrot, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic) with homemade gravy. Yummmmmm…(getting hungry just thinking about it).

  1. What is your favorite animal and why?
 Guinea pigs. They’re on the smaller side of life (did I mention I love miniatures), they’re cute and cuddly, you can interact with them. They have personality. They don’t take up too much space.


5 new questions:

What or who is your greatest inspiration for blogging?
What is your earliest memory?
Do you collect anything? If so, what?
What do you like most about yourself?
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?


And the nominees are:


Take a moment to read what they have to say. I certainly enjoy following their journeys. 

PS - The other Liebster award I was nominated for is a category about my special needs son…I’ll answer those questions for you soon!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Bare Bear


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: Bare.


I wasn't sure I even wanted to publish this - my mind was that blank and uninspired (hey I've spent the last 24 hours cleaning up puke). But in the spirit of FMF and today’s word, I’m going to bare it all and share anyway…

(Go)

Kind of funny really that this should be today’s word. Just yesterday I was getting all excited about plans to go to a bear show later this year. A friend just couldn't help herself and was checking that it wasn't a bare show. All in the name of protecting my spotless reputation she said! Hmm…

What if I really were to bare it all? Now before your mind goes crazy – I mean my soul! If you peel away all the layers, what is left? God is the artist. We start out as a blank, bare canvas. In his wisdom he allows life to happen to us. Light and shade, sunshine and rain all add colour and depth to who we really are. The way we choose to react to a situation contributing to the beauty (or lack thereof). But without Him, we are nothing…

(Stop)

Now, your turn…


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Praise From The Valley


We did not lose our house. Unlike so many others we did not lose any possessions. Unlike so many others we only had an hour without electricity. The supermarket shelves are quite bare in places but we still have food on our plates and in our bellies. We have each other. We are blessed.

Why then is my soul so heavy?  Why have I found myself weeping in the quiet at night?

In the lead up to Christmas I felt so utterly overwhelmed. I needed a holiday from life. Instead we hosted my family Christmas at our house and by the time we were done partying, we had spent three days straight either hosting or attending family functions. It was good but exhausting. New Years came and went in a rather nondescript fashion as we threw ourselves into the renovating like tomorrow may never show up.  

All too quickly time came for my husband to return to work. The renovating is far from finished. So much of the house is waiting patiently to have items returned to where they ought to be - or installed for the very first time. I have surrendered to the plasterboard dust trekked throughout the place. Quite simply, it is an uphill battle that can only really be won when the final lick of fresh paint is clinging to the new walls…

Bush fires on the news. Smoke catching in our throats at night. Desperate prayers for rain…

Floods. So much water. Such a mess. All a vivid portrait of my messy feelings. It is one thing to feel overwhelmed. It is another to have it unwittingly played out before you, like a bizarre production, making it so horribly real.

On Tuesday I stood on the hilltop by the swollen river and gazed in awe at what was still visible of two buildings. I was grateful for my sunglasses to hide the emotion welling up. I was not alone. Many others had come to see too. Nobody spoke. We just looked and looked some more. Not quite believing and yet knowing that this was nothing compared to what other towns were experiencing.

Yes, that is a hill I'm standing on. The roof to the rear belongs to a two storey building.

Insomnia has returned in all its glory. I have not felt much like praising lately. Sitting here waiting to be sleepy, it occurs to me I have not bathed my soul in music for a while. Solo acoustic piano hymns are my medicine of choice.

The music speaks to my heart; whispers to my soul that all will be well. It points me to my Saviour; all the wonders He has done. The heavy boggy mud drowning my heart shifts and hope draws a shaky breath. More tears slowly begin to wash the tension away. My spirit knows full well that the song I am humming along to must be sung; truly believed and with gusto.


 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him;
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
Joachim Neander, 1665

PS – Since writing this post I have discovered that I am not alone in having been personally spared loss -yet feeling numb and teary around the edges. Please continue to pray for the people affected by the natural disasters. There is much healing to be done. Thank you. 

Friday, 1 February 2013

Wings On My Back


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: Afraid.

 

(Go)

I didn't grow up like the other children. I didn't wear the designer brand clothes. Heck, I was lucky to have new clothes that weren't my sisters’ hand-me-downs. I didn't watch all the popular television shows. For a while there we didn't even have a TV. From ages three through eight I didn't live in suburbia. Instead I lived in a very padded little habitat. I attended a Christian school during the week, went to Church on Sundays and lived on a Bible College and Missionary Training campus. My only outings into the ‘real’ world involved a tight grip on my mother’s hand at the supermarket.  In truth, my na├»ve childish mind was terrified of the public school just up the road.

So when Dad was diagnosed with leukaemia and we were sent ‘home’ to recoup it was like entering another world. Culture shock would be a very appropriate term here.

Although I am naturally an introvert, I often wonder if I’m still getting over it. Still learning how to fit in. For years I doubted my worth and was afraid to be myself lest it offend someone and they should think I was foolish.

But God did a wonderful thing. He moved my new little family one thousand kilometres away to a country town where nobody knew my past. Nobody had any preconceived notions of who I was. He placed my feet among a group of Godly women who loved me for me. They pointed out the wings on my back and then encouraged me to fly.

I am eternally grateful for those years. Though I may still be nervous (and I suspect I always will be) in new situations or with folk I do not know so well - I know that God made me special. I have no need to fear who I am.

(Stop)

Now, your turn…


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