Thursday, January 24, 2013

Being present, in chaos.

::Being in this moment, in this place. Finding beauty in today instead of waiting for some other, better moment to come.  Being still and savouring thoughts and pictures. Having clear images and feelings  in my mind to pour over in reflection::

 January is flying by. Our grateful jar is half full. We are distracted with moving dates and renovation deadlines and plans for the girls for each day. We are anticipating our ‘new’ home and the new school and kindy year..  I’m excited about tomorrow’s hot weather and another chance to swim in the pool with friends.  And about Blake getting home tonight to debrief on today and plan tomorrow.  There is so much happening and lots of things are about to happen….

But I don’t want to miss January 2013. I don’t want it to disappear too quickly. I make sure we enjoy where we are right now even though we are in limbo a little and are waiting, and living out of suitcases and have left a trail of belongings around different places. We are together and we are on an adventure.

{Books I planned to read and only just scratched the surface of.}

 I've had very little time to reflect and write as the school holidays draw to a close. I'm glad that its been that way. I'm glad we've been busy at the beach and in the pool and spending time with friends and collapsing with exhaustion at the end of most days.  I'll have plenty of time to reflect when the girls are back in routine. And there'll be no regrets.

But I just wanted to tell you I'm still here! And next post I plan to give you a sneak peak into our almost-finished (will it ever REALLY be finished though?) cottage renovation...... Eeeek! :)


"Each today, well-lived, makes yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope."

 -- Sanskrit poem

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Recovering from all the ‘getting’

Our seven year old daughter is tired. She is still getting over a big fourth term of grade 2, an ear infection and the excitement of Christmas.  So I’ve been gracious with her moods and lack luster attitude. I’ve been somewhat patient with her competitiveness with her sister and unwillingness to be kind for kind’s sake. And we have been waiting patiently for both girls to settle into the holiday routine and be friends again.  

But enough is enough.

We have four weeks of school holidays to go and with the magic of Christmas behind us, the wonderful distraction of Jesus’ birthday month all but forgotten for another year, I’m sensing the need for a new focus.

So while we continue to move from place to place for another month or so we are going to spend each day being grateful.

All four of us will write down on a piece of paper something we are thankful for each evening and put the folded strips into our ‘Grateful Jar’. Each morning we’ll have turns at reaching in for a piece to leave on the bench so we can all aim to be thankful for that one thing for the day.  At some point during the day we’ll read a verse or passage from the bible that will help us along the journey and ultimately to remind us where to direct our gratitude because..

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

I’m hoping that by changing the focus from what they got or what they might still get these holidays to what they already have, they might be far more content.

There are loads of beautiful quotes out there to encourage us all to give thanks. But I feel that only the bible can teach true gratitude.  What I mean is that if my family were taken from me, my home, car and possessions stripped away and I had no friends left in the world and NOTHING to be thankful for on earth (not even a bent crochet hook or a pretty tree to look at), I would still be grateful, despite being miserable.  Only because of Jesus, my only eternal gift.

It is actually pretty easy to be grateful for family and things and beauty. I hope our family can learn to live more gratefully. I hope our jar can be filled to the brim by the time school starts again.

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?  
 -G.K Chesterton


'Start each day with a grateful heart' - [source]

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thoughts for a New Year

Each year between Christmas and New Year I end up in a bit of a funk, a post-christmas haze.  Its more than being unwell as I recover from the the long intense lead up to the 25th. It’s a definite lingering gloomy feeling, almost of dread.  I’m absolutely certain its not a prolonged hangover, …….I don’t drink.

Its worse this year as we are not off camping as usual and we are still living out of suitcases.  To top things off Blake is back at work already.  The school holidays seem to loom ahead of us like the second half of a long winter.  My energy levels are at an all time low and I wonder how we’ll get through. lonely crochet ball...

Thankfully, although it seems endless, the funk doesn’t last . I do eventually feel better  with sleep and rest and consequently my mood lifts in time for the start of a new year.  Physical and mental health are so closely linked.  It takes a huge amount of courage to keep going when you are faced with either one letting you down, though I wonder if poor mental health isn’t harder to bear in the end? 

 For us the 2013 is full of HOPE, as every year is.  We will have one little one in grade 3 and one at Kindy, my last year with her at my side. I’ll teach RE for one more year and Blake has some big building contracts lined up (once our own abode is habitable!).  I’ll probably mention wanting another child for a few days each month and Blake will shake his head and remind me how sick pregnancy makes me and it’ll get easier each time to forget about and instead be grateful for our beautiful girls, as I am daily. 

We’ll open our home up again to the kids who walk past with our 7 year old before and after school or the ones who live nearby. There’ll be more room to play inside and our girls will be even more ‘free-range’ than last year as they grow in confidence and I loosen the already fairly lax constraints.  

Apart from having a ‘new home’ to finish and move into this coming year we’ll also be heading off on an adventure with a new church plant.  A small number of us have been waiting for this for at least two years. Its finally beginning. Its exciting and scary. And totally in God’s hands.


Blake and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage in May, and we plan to celebrate in style! I’ll be sure to share details.

...his and mine...

There’ll be a new bunch of kids born at the farm, we’ll go camping and possibly fly to Cairns for our annual visit.  I’ll consider finishing my School Chaplaincy study and probably leave it until the littlest is at school, we will make new friends and spend time with old ones.

And another year will fly by.

If I can stop often enough and for long enough to reflect and plan and mostly just ‘be’ I know it will go a teeny bit slower :)

Happy New Year my friends!