Showing posts from December, 2013

The Gate

Recently a beautiful lady gave me a poem on a card that really encouraged me as DH and I look ahead to the New Year. Despite my love of history and literature and despite being well known in some circles (I think it's been made into a song and King George read it during his Christmas Eve address in 1939 which was when Britain as a nation faced the prospect of another world war) I had never heard of it before receiving the card.

The poem was written by Marie (some sources give her Christian name as Minnie) Louise Haskins who appears to have gone about her daily life without seeking fame. It seems she did not even hear the King read her now-famous poem! But her poem has touched hearts and lives ... mine included.

It's simply called God Knows.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you bette…

This Time

This time next week DH and I will have begun our journey that will see us visiting places that so far have been just names on a map (and some we - and our travel agent - didn't even know existed and still have not been able to locate on any maps at our disposal).

This time next week Son#4 will be travelling several hours away to attend a wedding. Knowing that he would need our car we took it in today for a service, emphasising that we wanted it to get our son safely to his destination. It comes at a price. The mechanic assured us that had Son#4 taken the car in its present state he may not have made it to the wedding by this time next week without breaking down and incurring inconvenience and perhaps irreparable damage. It was a cost we were not counting on but one that is necessary.

This time last week I could not sleep under a mosquito net without experiencing claustrophobic-induced panic attacks. I'm learning and hopefully by this time next week will not even be aware of its …


The Most Adorable Granddaughter in the World#1 turned seven! We had the opportunity to celebrate her life with all the family together (which was extra special since this wasn't possible this Christmas). Despite some rain the celebration ended with fireworks (which I missed having fallen asleep on the couch earlier - a sure sign that I am the grandmother of a big seven year old!).

Without further ado, here are the pics from the birthday celebration.


O come, let us adore Him!

I am the Alpha and the Omega,
The First and the Last,
The Beginning and the End.

I am both the source of David
and the heir to his throne.
I am the bright morning star.

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come."
Let anyone who hears this say, "Come."
Let anyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.

Come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

A Happy and Holy Christmas to you all!

(Scripture from Revelation 22.)

Great Joy

(Please take the time to listen to this beautiful carol sung by New Zealander David Lyle Morris. There are many renditions online, but I found that those sung bynon-Kiwis left a lot to be desired as far as pronunciation - and my family will tell you that that is really saying something given my poor and often incorrect pronunciation!)

As citizens of more recently discovered lands of the New World we borrow many of our traditions from the Old World. Now, sometimes this can be a good thing. But at Christmas, when movies and cards and stories and carols all feature wintry Christmas scenes, it can become something of a problem. Some of the traditions we borrow do not fit comfortably into summer, yet we often persevere. I can still remember my grandmother's horror when it was first suggested we ditch a hot Christmas dinner in favour of cold meats and salad. "It won't be Christmas," she protested. But, honestly, who wants to stand over a hot stove in 40 plus degree Celsius

Hand Made With Love

One thing that I've found as an early childhood teacher to be both humbling and a blessing is the number of families who make handmade gifts for their child’s teacher at this time of the year. That someone has poured their precious time and energy into a hand made gift for moi is a privilege that I cannot take lightly.
So why then do I feel like I'm opting out when I decide to make handmade gifts for those on my gift list? Is it because I feel that what I make doesn't ‘measure up’? Or is it because I know that in monetary terms it is not great? Yet isn't my time and energy as precious as those of others? Is it because I can't place a value on my time and energy that I deem my gift to be insignificant?
It’s interesting that I so often feel this way, so I guess it was with some trepidation and mixed feelings that I began making gifts this Christmas. After all, from past experience, it's likely that I'm going to end up feeling like a cheapskate - or worse. Yet e…

Christmas Traditions

Recently I've wondered if our adult children have endured our Christmas tradition of pudding making either out of respect for us or because they're hoping to stay in our good books in case we finally get it right this year and give them the presents they've been hoping for. (Not really. I don't think any of them are that mercenary and in fact, finding out what they do want for Christmas is worse than pulling teeth.)

It was encouraging then when Son#4 questioned a few days ago when we would be doing Christmas puddings as he only had the one weekend free before Christmas. But what was even more encouraging - and exciting - was when the family arrived to help with the Christmas puddings. The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2 walked into my kitchen and waited quietly (unusual!) until she gained my attention, and then, in a restrained yet excited manner, told me, "We're helping you make Christmas puddings like we did last year."

Her older sister (The Most Adorable…