Hasn't it been ages since we've had tea together?
I've been so busy with life and extra little things that are important to us and I have been thinking of you and wanting to say hello but have just had to be patient and wait for time, energy and inspiration to come my way.
But come in, its beautiful and sunny inside as well as outside of our home today. I can seen all the colors of autumn from where I'm sitting at the dining table. Do mind the hydrangeas on your way in. Actually they are not in the way, I just want you to notice them as I adore them and am just a bit proud. You'll smell my vegetables and quinoa lunch cooking away on the stovetop (there is plenty if you'd like some). I'll turn it down and pop the kettle on instead for now and we'll have tea out on the deck in the sun.
I've been sipping peppermint, lemongrass and ginger or rose hip lately, no caffeine for me for reasons I may explain, if you can stomach it! But you have chai or green or black tea if you like, whatever you fancy.
So we've had an eighth birthday since we spoke last and on the same weekend we had church at our place with dinner afterwards as usual. It was wonderful to open up our home to new and old friends and learn and pray and sing and share a meal together and have so many helping hands to serve and clean up afterwards. It is a challenge for me and I hope to be continually challenged to have our home, our family space open to others in this way. I find large groups of people intimidating and extremely tiring. I would rather keep 'my space' private and calm and under my control. But being willing and excited to join this church plant where living as missional communities is key to knowing Jesus and making him known means being stretched and nudged out of my comfort zone. Eeeek. So preparing for and recovering from that weekend was intense but absolutely worth it.
We set off camping again last Friday, this time with friends, two other families but I have to admit that we hired a cabin this time and I'm so glad we did. It was cold in the Otways National Park and having a real bed and a little heater made all the difference. I hate to say it out loud or put it in writing but honestly, I MAY be nearing the end of my tenting escapades, many and varied as they've been!
I've been reading some lovely books lately. The Enchanted April and Madame Bovary most recently, the language and setting of both books was just dreamy I think, though don't read the latter if you don't like tragic and depressing tales. I'm now reading Anna Karenina again. I've been following along with 1 and 2 Peter podcasts from our established sister church in Melbourne, and in our small group on mondays we've started 1 Kings which is totally different to Peter, the former being a narative style and the latter personal instruction and encouragement but both have so much relevance to our lives. Its exciting to be able to see how two books from the bible that are so different and so far apart in history tell the same message of love and grace and hope.
I've given up sugar again. I've been pretty much sugarless for 2 - 3 years now. But then came Easter and adventures in Melbourne and eventually poor diet and doing too much caused a sharp decline a my health. Blah! My reliance on dark chocolate blew out a fair bit after Easter and the caffeine and sugar addiction began to mess with my sleep and blood sugar levels and I was just feeling wound up all the time. Soooooo I gave it up three weeks ago and grudgingly took up the coffee enemas again. Yeeeeees, I take organic coffee beans, grind them up and boil them with filtered water in a saucepan. I then get to enjoy a fresh brew most mornings through the opposite end from where you'd normally enjoy a quality cuppa (if you were a coffee person). All I can say is it helps. You may research into it further if you'd like to. :)
I've still been crocheting and baking cakes (though less frequently). We've started lighting the fire again and gathering around it to read before bed - its the oldest and best place in the house to be in these colder months. We finally got Blake's old piano back from storage and he plays and the girls practice or pretend and I'm so glad we kept it for so long waiting for the day when we'd have room for it.
Have I gone on too long? Of course if you were here I'd have been asking you where you've been lately, what you've been reading or doing and what you are enjoying most right now. Do you enjoy camping? have a piano? Feel free to tell me if you like. Or have 'tea with me' through Em's linkup. How gorgeous was her video post!?