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Showing posts from November, 2011

Advent ... Caesar's Census

Caesar Augustus. He's overlooked in Nativity plays: he hardly appears to be a key figure, and there are so many other important characters that it's easy to forget his role. After all, what did he do except to issue a decree that all those in the known world should be registered?

But it was that very decree that forced Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem where Mary gave birth to Jesus, thus fulfilling one of the prophecies about his birth:

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.
Micah 5:2, NKJV.

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. Luke 2:1, NKJV

Despite this, I somehow don't think he's going to feature in any future plays.

Advent ... Birth

B is for Babe born in Bethlehem.

Born of a virgin.

God in the manger.

Love so amazing, so inconceivable.

The wonder of Christmas.

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23, NKJV

Advent ... Angels

Today marks the beginning of Advent: the season when we remember Christ's coming. As someone who has not been a huge fan of Christmas and its trappings I've decided to spend the time from now until Christmas exploring the meaning of the season. Not the spirit of the season or the commercialism of the season but the true meaning of Christmas.

And what better way to do it than in a series of alphabet posts? (And you thought I'd done with ABCs! Actually there are probably better ways to do it but this is how I'm doing it).

So A is for Advent but it's also for Angels. And angels play a huge part in the Christmas story. It was the angel Gabriel who visited Zacharias and told him that his wife Elizabeth was to have a child - a child who would become known as John the Baptist; Gabriel also visited Mary and told her what must have seemed inconceivable - that a virgin was to be with child - and that she had been chosen above all women; Joseph, betrothed to Mary, was told by a…

Privilege

"Nana, when are you going to go vote?" The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#1 asked me a short while ago.

"Are your uncles ready to go vote?" I asked in reply. (DH - wise man - had voted earlier in the week and so could continue with his tiling of the laundry floor.)

"I'll go see," she said.

They were. So we went. And The Most Adorable Granddaughters#1 & #2 came home with stickers claiming they had voted!

I'll admit that I'm not sure why The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 was keen for us to go vote (surely nothing to do with the playground at the school?) but I certainly didn't want her to get the idea that voting was irksome - even if I had to put aside my sewing so that we could go.

At the voting booth she seemed a little in awe of all that was happening. I remember as a child waiting outside in the car while my parents voted and conjuring up various scenarios of what 'voting' looked like (all of which turned out to be far…

Thanksgiving

Years ago when we had an American boarder in our house she and her American boyfriend introduced us to Thanksgiving. For a number of years we kept the tradition going but it has become harder and harder with the family getting older and moving away. Perhaps if Thanksgiving was a holiday here it would be easier but it's not.

Son#5 will still be in the middle of exams this coming Thanksgiving, Son#1 will have classes, I haven't even checked to see if Son#2 is working or not but I will be (until 6.30 that night anyway), and Son#3 may or may not be home.

So it's not looking as if it's going to happen this year. However, I still think it's a good idea to pause and think of all the things we are thankful for. So here begins my list (I may add to it as the week goes on):

I'm thankful for this country's national anthem which is really a prayer. It's made me wonder about the original writer/s of the anthem and what they believed. I'll be certainly searching tha…

Laugh ... Don't Cry

Today was one of those days: a day when you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Crying would definitely be easier, but laughing usually yields better results.
So what was there to laugh about?

Five minutes into session time and a teacher had to be sent home sick. No problem. Get a reliever. It's standard practice and usually someone is willing to work. Except that today no one seemed to be answering their phones. Thankfully a teacher arrived to do something else and was willing to fill in.

About an hour later, a child dropped a glass jar and a teacher, not realising that it had broken, picked it up and slashed her finger open. At the time I was in the bathroom assisting children to wash their hands. I herded them out to the table and got them sitting down and we started singing songs - anything to keep them away from the broken glass that was now being cleaned up. At this stage I didn't realise a teacher had been injured.

After the children had been fed and watered, I had a …

Rainbows

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Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them. John Shirley

And this particular rainbow is about to disappear (one of the disadvantages of living in a country that is ahead time-wise of almost every other inhabited piece of land on this earth).

But this rainbow (as have many previous rainbows) brought with it little rays of sunshine:









And that gives me reason to look forward to the next rainbow ... and the next ...

You Said?

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It seems lately that any decision we've made (that is DH and I) about the finer details of our renovation project have been met with scorn, suspicion, doubt or disbelief from the rest of the family. Son#5 even went so far as to suggest that it's only DH and I who have to be happy with the final outcome since after February next year we'll be the only two living here.

I take that as an: I absolutely hate it but if I say so you probably won't cook any more meals for me or do my laundry until I leave home so I'll try and be diplomatic and keep everyone happy. (Didn't work! I'm on to him.)

So far:

At least one son had suggested that our dining area wouldn't be big enough.

It is. (Although we haven't yet moved all our furniture back in but we're confident it will fit.)

The family didn't like the colour of our new deck.

I love it.

The family - apart from DIL#1 - didn't like the colour of the laundry.

I like it. I think.

The family - or was it just one …

The Price of Freedom

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Today is Armistice Day, and as of years of late, it seems to be forgotten by many - that is if they even knew its significance in the beginning. When I posted about Armistice Day last year, I was reminded by a reader that freedom isn't free. Many who enjoy freedom forget that someone had to pay for it - in this instance with their lives, with their injuries, with their grief. The mothers and wives and sisters who let their men go paid the price just as much as those who died on the battlefields. The soldiers who returned with broken bodies and broken minds, paid the price. Those that were blessed to return whole, also paid the price - they witnessed friends die beside them, they gave up careers and study opportunities and families to fight. Everyone who was affected in some way, paid for our freedom. Let us never forget that freedom has a price - and that not many are prepared to pay it.

At the eleventh hour ... of the eleventh day ... of the eleventh month ... let us remember.

In…

It's Hard to Believe

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But my 'baby' has now finished school. As of last night, he no longer has to attend school apart from sitting - and hopefully passing - his exams.

He's growing up and soon he'll leave the nest to begin life on his own. I'll admit that I'm in denial. Where is the chubby son that used to climb into my lap every night for a cuddle? It's hard to believe those days are well and truly behind us.

I'm also finding it hard to believe that not only has he finished with school life and everything that goes with it but DH and I have also. Since Son#1 began school almost twenty-two years ago we're always had at least one child at school and at least one prize-giving ceremony to attend each year. I think the record number of such ceremonies we attended in one year was four. We deserved a medal that year!

Prize giving: agonising ceremonies that go on and on (three hours last night and not a chance to stand up between the teacher processional at the beginning and the …

Z is for ... Zzzzzzzz

And a sleeping baby in my arms. Her Daddy said she'd have a bath at 5.45 pm, followed by a bottle and two short stories, and then bed at 6.30 pm. He got it right for the most part. Bath, bottle, stories, yes. Bed, no. Well kind of no. She did go to sleep in my arms at 6.40 pm but when I tried to put her down, she woke and cried.

Now if she'd been one of my babies I probably would've let her cry herself to sleep but this is my grandchild we're talking about. I can't let The Most Adorable Granddaughter#4 cry herself to sleep. It breaks my heart.

Funny how things change when you're the grandparent.

Zzzzzzzz is also for the swarm of bees we've had in our woodshed. When we rang to find out about having them removed we were told to put a cup of petrol in the woodshed. I don't know whether the fumes killed them or just drove them away but as of today we have only seen one bee. And one bee a swarm does not make.

When you have two sons allergic to bees and four pre…

Y is for ... You

My faithful reader/s who have managed to get this far through my alphabet posts. Even if You haven't, I still appreciate You.

I'm not sure what I hoped to achieve by blogging for twenty-six days in a row. It's almost over (one letter to go!) but for me it's been a lot of fun and certainly the discipline of having to write every day has been good for me.

Today I finished - or at least I think I did - my latest novel. Due to renovations and changes and life, I've not worked on my writing for months. Today that changed and it was possibly in part due to my habit of daily writing that has developed over the last twenty-five days. Once I got into it, I didn't want to stop. Forget about cooking dinner or doing housework, even my music lesson (almost), all I could think about was writing. I was totally engrossed and didn't want to be distracted.

And so it's finished. Of course there's editing to do and touching and tightening and whatever else it needs to get…

X is for ...Xaminations

Son#2 sat his examination on Tuesday. This time - unlike the last time when he sat an exam with thoughts of his wife due to go into labour at any second on his mind (she was already overdue) - his exam paper was at the examination venue and he didn't have to fret and wait until a copy could be made.

Son#4 began his exams yesterday and Son#3 is about to begin his. He had a major presentation today which apparently went "okay".

Saturday week Son#5 begins his exams. Before that, he will have his school prizegiving. His final prizegiving. The very last time that DH and I have to sit through a prizegiving (unless the grandchildren ever-so-kindly invite us to one in a few years time).

I'm in denial. I can't believe that my "baby" is about to finish with school forever. It's happened too soon. I am so not ready for this.

W is for ... Wisdom

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy (James 3:17, NKJV)

There are times when I really need wisdom ... and it's usually when dealing in human relationships. Whether it's my own family or the kids I teach in Bible Class or my colleagues at work, there are times I really really need wisdom.

Wisdom is not usually thought of in these terms: pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, and without partiality or hypocrisy. In fact, we're more apt to associate wisdom with knowledge or knowing how to handle a situation or making the right decision.

This verse paints a different picture of wisdom ... one that I'm going to need to think on for a while. But while I'm at it, let's not forget that this month we have elections and that we will all need wisdom - and lots of it - in knowing how to vote.

V is for ... Visit

I'm expecting a visit tomorrow from my SIL. I'm not sure when I last caught up with her - perhaps at Son#2's wedding almost two years ago.

I was friends with DH's eldest sister for a number of years before I met DH. I had no idea that time when she showed me photos of her family that one day I would belong to the family. I didn't even give a second glance to the brother with the long hair in the photo.

By the time I met him styles had changed and he was wearing his hair short. This time I stole a second look!

DH decided to do his big OE (overseas experience) by using his sister and brother-in-law's home as a base from which to explore the length and breadth of Australia. But he met a girl and the rest - as they say - is history. He did manage to get up north and years later was able to say that he'd at least sat in an airport down south but he never got across that wide continent.

My SIL moved back to New Zealand with her husband and two children shortly after…