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Showing posts from March, 2009

When Life Throws You Lemons ... Make Lemonade

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Deb from One Single Moment recently awarded me The Lemonade Award.

I must admit I've been a little slow picking it up ... because I felt that I didn't deserve it. I haven't told my family ... they'd crack up laughing. I'm not exactly known for my ability to turn unpleasant situations into unforgettable happy moments. Hopefully I'm not a bitter old woman ... but attitude is something that I have to constantly work at. The right attitude that is.

Still, the thrill of being able to pass this award onto those more deserving, caused me to pop over to her blog and pick up the award.

This award is given to a blog that shows great attitude or gratitude. Since it's very similar to this award that I received not long ago, I'm deliberately choosing different blogs to last time.

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post (it's up there at the top as proud as proud can be);

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude …

Marching On

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:5-8, KJV).

After struggling to learn a long passage last month, I chose a shorter passage to memorise for March. I used to think that this passage was a kind of list that I had to work through to become a better Christian. And I struggled to get past the first one! There was a time when I would long for the day when I could get past the first few virtues and add patience to my character. Well I've since learnt that the easiest way to gain patience is to have all the kids leave home!

This passage is particularly pertinent to me tonight. I'm ashamed to admit it but DH and I had a litt…

What Am I Seeing?

I learnt today that some things are better done in private. Especially things that will destroy any illusions others might have of my possessing any form of feminine beauty.

This afternoon I decided to give my hair a henna treatment (I know, I know, I talked about letting those silvers shine through, but after two months, I'd already had enough of them and wanted them gone - well if not gone, at least not so obvious). In the past I've always done this when I had the house to myself, but recently that occurrence has become extremely rare.

I glooped the henna on, covered with a plastic cap, then put a particularly alluring (not!) heat cap over the top. This cap is made out of black towelling fabric and has a pocket into which is slipped something that looks very similar to those wheat bags that you heat up in the microwave. In fact, it is heated up in the microwave before going into the cap.

There I was with this thing on my head when DH arrived home. He made some comment on my sty…

A Long List of Rules

As a mother of five I've made lots of lists and rules in my time: Don't run inside; Don't talk with food in your mouth; Say 'please' and 'thank you'; No whining in this house; No calling names; Make your bed; Clean your teeth; Do the dishes; Keep your seat belt on; Ask before you help yourself to food; etc, etc.

I love rules. They keep the wheels of daily life turning smoothly. "Why?" "Because that's the rule in this house." Simple.

Rules change from family to family. And even from situation to situation. "At home you can run around with just your swimmers on but you have to get dressed when we go out."

Sometimes as Christians we love rules too. I'm not talking about the Ten Commandments or what Jesus called the greatest and second greatest commandments (Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and love thy neighbour as thyself).

No, I'm talking …

Friends Never Say Goodbye

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Today I finished work 45 minutes early so that I could farewell a good friend at the airport. This friend has been to me like the brother I never had. We've laughed together, cried together, even disagreed at times, but we've still remained friends.

We first welcomed Scott into our lives almost five years ago. We had no idea when we first met him that he would come to mean so much to our family - that despite background and culture he would become one of us.

It is with much sadness that we see him go. He came here on a Christian worker's visa and the government saw fit not to renew his visa. I have no idea if we'll ever see him again this side of heaven. But as Christians at least we have that comfort: we will meet again. As Christians we never say goodbye for the last time. I'm so glad that we know without the shadow of a doubt that one day we'll see each other again.

Meanwhile, thanks Scott for all you meant to us. For your friendship and your love and your ded…

Pat A Cake

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Pat a cake, Pat a cake, Baker's man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can;
Pat it and prick it and mark it with a 'B',
And put it in the oven for Baby and me.


Yesterday I made muffins. Over one hundred muffins.

Here's the tally:

Ham, Celery and Cheese Muffins 18
Mexican Muffins 24
Moro Muffins 29
Double Chocolate Chip Muffins 35
Total 106

I had wanted to make Blueberry Muffins as well but by the time I'd made those 106 muffins and cleaned up the kitchen I was tired. Very tired.

I've known for a few days that this was going to be a big weekend. I warned DH by telling him that I had a lot on and I didn't know how I was going to get it all done.

I thought he understood.

Saturday arrived and he and Son#1 spent all day building walls in the bathroom. Now, as you know, I can't wait to have my bathroom finished, but I didn't want it finished this weekend!

I started to feel resentful that I was struggling along all by myself. With no offers of help. Even Son#4 and Son#5 de…

Humbled (Yet Again)

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Elizabeth left this comment on a recent post: "I love your blog too. It has such a sweet spirit and is always so encouraging. I have nominated you for a blog award -- come on over and pick it up!"

I wasted no time in picking it up!

The award is to be given to those blogs that display great attitude or gratitude in their blog. I am deeply honoured and humbled that Elizabeth nominated me to be the recipient of this award.

While I appreciate Elizabeth saying that my blog has a sweet spirit and is always so encouraging, I'm not sure if that's always true. At times I've wondered what I've been trying to achieve with my blog. Is it to encourage others? Is it to speak the truth in love? Is it to engage in intellectual debate? Is it it be funny and humorous?

To always have a sweet spirit would be my goal, but I wonder how many times I fall short of that goal. If I were to come into your home, I would respect your views and opinions and refrain from argument until I knew …

Hair Photos

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I need a photo to send to my publisher. I was hoping that DH could take some photos yesterday - but we weren't able to borrow Son#1's camera. Our camera leaves a green line down the middle of every photo. I have enough flaws that I want to hide without having a green line down/across my face! But since we were in the mood for some photo taking, DH took some photos of my hair. I cried when I saw them. I had so hoped that my hair would look pretty - not all frizzy and uneven like it does here.

At least the photos give me an idea of how long my hair looks from the back (I rarely see it from this angle) and I don't think I look as fat as I sometimes think I am (see some good did come out of taking these photos after all) and my garden looks lovely and green and that skirt oh-so-pretty. But I can't promise that I'll not do what my friend Liliana did and take them down before the night is over.

Harvest

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Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.

For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.

The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.

Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.


(Psalm 128, KJV).

Men and Modesty

I'm going to go out on a limb here. This past week I've read and researched modesty in Christian women. I've gained some insights and I've been encouraged as I've seen younger women take this issue seriously (I'm a mother of boys - I want them to marry modest girls).

I know the focus of this week has been about modesty in women. But something has been troubling me for a few days. Is there anything about modesty in men?

I don't mean about men guarding their hearts and thoughts when around women whose dress is inappropriate. I do realise that both sexes have a responsibility here (women to ensure they don't wear clothing that could cause a brother to sin, and men to guard their thoughts and eyes). As my DH has pointed out, in today's world so often it's hard for the male to know exactly where to look, which is why there has been so much emphasis this past week on women being modest. What has been troubling me though is the lack of emphasis on the ma…

That Time of the Year

It's Autumn (March 1 was the official start date). Some days have been hot. Some cold. Some rainy. And some have had lots of wind.

I hate wind. Especially when I end up with a sinus infection.

Today I've had no energy; my head’s all blocked up; my nose is running (when it’s not blocked); my ears are itchy; my throat’s a little itchy; it hurts when I cough which isn’t too often thankfully; my back has been aching; and I'm tired of sneezing.

I stayed home from work. A day doing nothing sounded very appealing! Except when have I ever done ‘nothing’?

It's also that time of the year in another respect. Son#5 has just left home to go to hockey try-outs. Ah, bring on the winter sports. Sitting outside - at night - in the wind and the cold for an hour or two watching our sons (because Son#4 will be playing also - he just didn't have to attend the try-outs) running up and down a hockey turf. I can hardly wait!

Disclaimer: I actually enjoy watching my boys play hockey. I just don…

A Modest Week

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After having participated in the Titus 2 Blog Party I was ready to return to my little corner of the world and go on as before, except for the addition of some new neighbours from the recent party whose blogs I now visit.

But then I saw Modest Fashion Week over at SAHMissionary and it seemed so timely so I'm including it here for any of my readers who might be interested. There are already some inspiring posts and links to resources.

If asked, I would have said that I have always dressed modestly. But the above mentioned article has really challenged me. Do I dress the way I do because it reflects a heart focused on Christ, or is it because I'm trying to attract attention, or to look like some model on the front of a magazine cover, or to flaunt my body, or because I just don't care?

These questions are not new for me. About two years ago after reading several articles on dress and modestly I decided to wear skirts the majority of the time. I decided that when my pants wore o…

Keeper of the Home

It's ironic that the last topic for the blog party is one that over time I've done well and also one that I've done really badly. At the moment I'm doing it ... badly.

Yesterday morning, fifteen minutes before we were due to walk out the door, my sons informed me that there was no bread for lunches. Now I don't eat bread and my family is meant to inform me when it's getting low so that I can either make or buy more. However they didn't say anything and so I didn't do anything about it. BUT I had realised a few days earlier that it was getting low and should've ensured there was enough. But I didn't. I knew I'd let my family down and I felt bad. (DH said it was not my fault but I'm afraid this is one of those rare occasions where he's wrong: it was my fault and I should've done something about it, however eight o'clock on a school morning is not a good time to do something about it.)

I share this to show you that I'm human a…

Motherhood

Today's blog party is on motherhood. This is something that is dear to my heart - after all, I am a mother and I consider it the most worthwhile career I could ever have.

I was blessed that when our first son was born I was able to stay home and care for him full-time. Not until all five of my children were at school did I return to the workforce. Only then did I return to study, gained a three-year diploma of teaching in early childhood, followed by a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning, and employment in a Christian centre.

I work with babies and toddlers and while I love working with this age group, I struggle because I truly believe that these children should be at home with their mothers. However I realise that there are reasons (some valid and some not so valid) why this isn't always possible and I know that many of these children would be in care whether I cared for them or not, so at least where they are they are loved and prayed over. But it is something that I really do …

Being a Godly Wife

The second topic for the Titus 2 Blog Party is "Being a Godly Wife" (and I hope my regular readers enjoy these topics even if they've decided to give the party a miss - and my apologies for not being very good at sending out invites - I'm afraid I was a little late off the bat). We're instructed to list five things that we love about our husbands (and to tell him!) but before I do that I want to share a resource that has helped me grow as a wife (and please, please don't think I have it all together).

Several years ago when I was feeling a little blah about my marriage I picked up a wonderful study book called "Women Making a Difference in Marriage" by Lana Packer. It's designed to be used in a group situation but I used it in my own personal devotional time and found it ever so useful. When studying what the Word of God says and what our personal response should be there's no excuses. We're either obedient or we're not.

Surprisingly p…

An Unusual Interest?

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It seems that my comment that it was long hair that catapulted me into the blogging world has generated some interest amongst recent visitors to my blog. So I've decided that an explanation (and perhaps some advertising) is in order.

Almost three years ago I joined a long hair board. This is not a site for those with weird leanings but rather a source of encouragement and information for those wanting to grow their hair long. Healthy long hair isn't simply a matter of never cutting. There are a number of such forums online but the one that I prefer above all others is The Long Hair Loom. The owner is a lovely Christian lady and this is evident I think for all that visit her board. She works hard at ensuring no nastiness or inappropriate talk arises so if you or your daughters are interested in long hair this is a very safe place (there, that was my 'plug' for my friend Fox who owns 'The Loom').

One of the things I noticed about many of the ladies who had long hai…

Favourite Verse

The question for today's Titus 2 Blog Party (actually it was for Monday - which was yesterday here!) was "What is your favourite or life verse?"

I have several but the one I've chosen is the one that I've used as inspiration for my blog title:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

It was a verse that gave me strength as I faced final exams as a 17-year-old;

It's a verse that gives me strength today as I face life as a wife, and mother, and grandmother, and teacher;

It reminds me that I'm not alone when I struggle with health issues;

It reminds me that I don't have to do it all in my own strength;

It encourages me when I'm struggling with being the only female in a house of men (believe me, sometimes it's not a picnic!);

It's the inspiration for my next novel;

It gives me strength and hope;

It comforts …

Titus 2 Blog Party

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I'll be honest. I don't usually like parties. I don't 'do' small talk and I struggle with noise levels because of a hearing problem, but a blog party is right up my alley! So a very warm welcome from downunder to all!

Michelle from She Looketh Well is hosting the party and you're invited. And now let me introduce myself.

I'm Jules: Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, early childhood teacher, writer, and quilter.

That was me in a nutshell. Let me expand it a little (hopefully not too much to bore you all to death though):

I was born in Australia but now make my home in New Zealand with my DH of 25 years and our five sons. Our eldest son is married with one beautiful little girl (The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World) and with another special wee one due in June. Our second son has just moved back home after completing his degree in Medical Laboratory Science and is working at the local hospital. Our third son has just returned to University where he is…