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Showing posts from February, 2009

February is for ... Love

I've only just managed to squeeze this in: tomorrow will be too late. This past month I have worked at memorising 1 Corinthians 13. Why I chose to do that many verses I don't know. I'll know better next month.

I think I pretty much know it - with a few verses getting muddled as I move from one translation to another. There's certainly something to be said for only ever reading one translation. At least with less well-known passages I shouldn't have this problem.

Anyway, here goes (and thank you to BibleGateway) :

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and i…

Screechings

I don't expect miracles.

I don't even expect to be perfect.

But after half an hour's practice, surely I can expect to get one note in fifty sounding right?

I knew it was going to be hard work learning the flute. I thought I was prepared for that. But what I wasn't prepared for was the discouragement.

In a few moments I'll get it out again and frighten all the neighbourhood pets with my screeching.

And to think that I trembled at the thought of listening to Son#2 learning the violin! What he produces is nothing to what I can do!

I Can't Make It Better

The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World really has a way with her uncles. "Come on guys," she says when she wants them to do something (usually go outside and see our Border Collie). The other day when they didn't immediately do her bidding, she walked around behind them (they were sitting on the floor), threw her arms around their necks and said, "Please Uncle#4. Please Uncle#5." Now who could resist that?

Last week she visited me at work and told me "Oh I've missed you." At that moment she could've asked me for just about anything and I would've given it to her had it been in my power to do so.

When she looks up at me with her big dark eyes, my heart melts. Her daddy used to be able to use his eyes to effect too! And I suspect he still does since my lovely DIL claims The Most Adorable Granddaughter learnt from her daddy!

Sadly, such skills aren't going to get him what he wants now: work. Son#1 is down to working 4-day weeks. He has…

Call Me Silly

Call me silly if you like - but I can't help it. In fact I don't want to help it. Son#3 has just left to return to Uni and I'm dripping like a tap! I miss him already. This is his second year at Uni and I think I'm finding it harder now than I did this time last year. Perhaps there's a few reasons for that.

Last year, Son#2 was also going to be in the same town for the first half of the year. I felt better knowing that the brother Son#3 is closest to would be near by. I also knew they would look out for each other. This year Son#2 is back home.

Last year, Son#3 was staying in a Christian hostel. I knew he'd have lots of company and plenty of good food - and I was right. This year he's in a flat (apartment for my US friends) with 3 others. It is behind the Christian hostel so it's not an entirely new environment for him, but flatting will certainly be a new experience. And this week I've realised that I probably should have spent more time teaching him…

Celebration

Today DH, Son#3 and I attended the funeral of a dear lady who, had she lived, would have celebrated her 89th birthday today. It was a lovely funeral that celebrated her life and the fact that she is now with her Lord whom she has loved so dearly for so many years.

During her lingering illness she planned her funeral. When she asked someone to sing at her funeral and then mentioned that she also wanted the group he was a member of to also sing, he asked, "You don't want a concert, do you?"

That's exactly what she did want! In a letter that she'd written to her family and friends to be read at her funeral she reminded them that she was now in a far better place and had a lot more reason to celebrate than they could imagine.

Perhaps then it's so fitting that the family chose today for her funeral and the opportunity to celebrate her life and her promotion to heaven.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, t…

Am I Going Insane?

I wonder, have I taken too much on? Wanting to keep up to date with housework, to learn the flute, to write another novel, to memorise Scripture, to workout several times a week, all the while fulfilling my responsibilities as a wife and mother and part-time teacher ... I think something has to give and it seems to be me.

I know when there's too much stress in my life - I start to feel overwhelmed and as if I can't cope. If I ignore these warning signs - and I usually do - then weird physical symptoms start appearing.

Some people get hives.

Or indigestion.

Or ulcers.

Some people pull their hair out.

Or develop nervous tics.

Not me. Instead I feel as if I have hairs caught in the back of my throat, that the whole of the inside of my mouth has been burnt, and that my tongue is swelling up. These are not pleasant sensations. And the more I concentrate on them the worse they get.

So I have to ignore them.

And deal with the stress.

Thing is, that's easier said that done. And in the meant…

A Record

I spent this morning up at the Accident and Medical Department of the Hospital with Son#4. Last night while at Youth Group he stood on a nail which a leader had to yank out of his foot for him. We cleaned it up when he got home, but this morning it was red and painful to walk on and when we rang the Medical Hotline they said to get it seen to as, at the very least, he would require a tetanus shot.

So that's where we've been while the rest of the family went off to church. Later we'll go to the local pharmacy to pick up his antibiotics. I must say that I am extremely thankful for our health system where such visits cost us nothing.

I'm beginning to wonder if Son#4, unable to wrangle an overnight stay in hospital to date, has decided to set the family record for the number of visits to the emergency department. I think the last three visits have all been on account of him.

Son#2 is still proud of his clean record - no visits or overnight stays in hospital. But he works in o…

A Little Valentine

St Valentine's Day was never a big thing when I was growing up. What I knew about it came from books - usually American books. Even though this custom has now been adopted by the country I live in, it tends to focus on romantic attachments only. Friends don't send one another valentines - in fact, I don't think cards feature that greatly in most people's celebrations. Roses, yes; chocolates, definitely; dinner, perhaps; written expressions of love, not so much.

Perhaps it has something to do with our British heritage - a heritage that is suspicious of any outward expression of one's emotions. Certainly, I still feel a little strange when I receive a valentine from an online friend - but don't let that stop you from sending them if that's what you want to do! Just realise that while I do appreciate your friendship, I may not be able to respond appropriately to a valentine message.

You've probably guessed that St Valentine's Day is not 'big' in …

Commitment

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We have Internet filter software on our computer that is meant to block all the 'nasty' sites. It does a good job although at times it can be a little frustrating. We can - or rather I can since I'm the only one who knows the password - override the filter and view sites that it deems unsuitable.

Perhaps surprisingly, a lot of the blogs I visit are considered 'unsuitable'. Before anyone starts jumping to conclusions, let me explain further. These blogs are 'unsuitable' because they fall into the category of hate/violence because they speak against same-sex marriage, divorce, abortion, or sex outside of marriage. I'm just waiting for the day it blocks me from visiting my own blog.

Because I have a problem with same-sex marriage.

I have a problem with abortion.

I have a problem with the high rate of divorce.

I have a problem with society endorsing fornication and adultery (and if you don't believe me, just watch an hour or so of prime-time television and …

Award

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Julie from The Surrendered Scribe awarded me the "Lovely Blog Award". I've never received a blog award before and I have to admit that I'm not too sure what to do with it.

I think I'm meant to now pass it on (I'd hate to commit some blogging faux pas so please correct me if I'm wrong). The amazing thing about this award is that I had no idea that Julie had ever visited my blog, let alone read a single line. I'd added a blog roll because I wanted to see if I was getting any traffic (apart from my few very loyal friends) but it didn't tell me who my readers were. I've deleted it now. I didn't like feeling like "Big Brother" even though I know that's not how it worked.

I would love to give this award to all the blogs that I visit. If I didn't enjoy them I wouldn't visit. Some are comfortable places to visit during a brief pause in my daily activities; some inspire me; some challenge; some are places of refuge; some insig…

Mercy

The death toll continues to rise as the fires rage across Victoria, Australia. Over 120 people are now confirmed dead. Yesterday it was 40 - this morning 93 - now it's at 124 and still rising - and is expected to continue to rise.

I can't bear to watch the devastation. The heartache. The tragedies.

Suffice to say it breaks my heart.

Australia needs prayer.

For the fires to be controlled.

For the scorching temperatures and winds to drop.

For rain.

For mercy.

Oh may God have mercy on the land of my birth.

Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt (Psalm 123:3, KJV).

Deadly Serious

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I received this photo in an email just a few days ago:


That's one way to cool down!

While the photo is cute, what is happening in Australia at the moment is serious - deadly serious.

Some states are experiencing scorching temperatures of 44 degrees Celsius or more (some places have reported temperatures as high as 48 - that's almost 119 in Fahrenheit) as they experience one of the country's worst heatwaves.

It's estimated that almost 40 people are dead and there are fears that the death toll will rise as the high temperatures and winds present an even greater fire danger than Ash Wednesday which was Australia's worst bushfire tragedy, occurring 25 years ago and claiming the lives of 76 people.

I can still remember the bushfires of 1993/94. I was pregnant with Son#5, DH was away working, and I went to sleep at night with the smell of smoke in the air. By the front door was a basket packed with essentials: a change of clothes each, my Bible, a few photos (wedding and baby…

Ramblings

The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World slept-over again last night. This morning I found her Daddy's first Bible and gave it to her to take to Church. She was so proud to have a Bible to carry and I heard her say several times before we had to leave, "Taking Bible to Church."

DH and Son#4 were responsible for The Most Adorable Granddaughter in Church as the rest of us were involved with music this morning. Despite being tired, The Most Adorable Granddaughter did really well: sitting up, singing, looking at the pictures in her Bible, and not making much noise at all.

This afternoon we visited my MIL. DH's youngest brother, his beautiful Japanese wife and their darling daughter, are visiting from China. Their daughter is exactly three months older than The Most Adorable Granddaughter. The two little girls had a lovely time together, despite not having seen each other for eight months! I'm worn out though from taking them for walks ("Run," they told me…

Composing

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It's been said of Lucy Maud Montgomery (author of the "Anne" novels) that she would often be seen hurrying down the street muttering dialogue for her books under her breath. While I am definitely not in the same league as L. M. Montgomery I do understand about composing dialogue (or at least scenes) while busy doing something else.

Today while sitting on the beach I had some fantastic ideas for scenes in my new novel. The only problem was, I had no pen or paper and by the time I got home could hardly remember a single line.

Sigh. At least I remembered the camera and can share some photos.















Sleep-Over

Tonight The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World gets to sleep over at our house. If there’s something guaranteed to bring the boys out of their rooms it’s the arrival of The Most Adorable Granddaughter! I wish I had half her appeal.

The Most Adorable Granddaughter’s Mummy and Daddy have gone out to celebrate their wedding anniversary. On the card that I gave them I wanted to include a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer that had helped me as a young bride. Reading it I was once again struck by the picture of marriage it paints. In a world that has little understanding of marriage we can all learn from his insight:

Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher power, for it is God's holy ordinance, through which he wills to perpetuate the human race until the end of time. In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his ki…

A Series of Firsts

One: Today I played the piano in church for the first time this year. In fact, for the first time in over a year. It was so good to be playing again. I knew I'd missed it - I just didn't realise how much. I learnt afterwards that for most of the time I couldn't be heard - but that's okay. I still enjoyed worshipping the Lord through my playing and being a part of calling His people to worship. And I'm playing again next week!

Two: Again for the first time this year, and probably the first time this summer (if my memory serves me correctly) I went out in the kayaks. I'd promised Son#5 that we'd paddle up a nearby creek on his birthday but circumstances prevented it happening and so I said we'd try to squeeze it in before he went back to school. Well school goes back this coming week so despite it being windy today and even gusty, we packed the kayaks on to the trailer and went to have a look at the creek. It was windy, but once we got around the first ben…

Scalp Washing

I've often referred long hair friends to my longer post on hair care just for the scalp washing instructions that I've finally decided to post them separately. Here are my two preferred methods for doing a scalp wash. This is just what is sounds like: washing the scalp only. It's the scalp that gets oily and dirty quickest - the length stays relatively clean.

Method 1: My preferred method when showering (works great in the bath whether using a hand held shower attachment of a jug to distribute the water). In fact, this is my preferred method period. Take an old sports sock (one that’s not too thin and has a bit of ‘stretch’) and cut the toe out. Roll up to form a ring. Pull hair into a pony tail (you can use a scrunchi or hair-safe elastic but it’s not necessary) and place the sock ring over the pony. Wrap hair as for a bun and place on top of the sock. Cover with a shower cap (the disposable ones that come in colour kits or are in motels work well – just don’t dispose of t…