Treasures tucked away....

These silverware spoons have been in the cupboard unused for many years. In fact, I can hardly remember my mother ever getting them out - not even for special visitors!

When my parents packed up their belongs to move into the retirement village (God's waiting room as it is affectionately know by many),  their things were tossed out, cashed in at the metal recyclers (the garage - Dad's stuff) or passed on to my brother and I. 

The spoons made it to my place. They were in need of some polishing up. A bit of elbow grease made them very sparkly indeed. I love to get them out, I like to use them as often as I can. They are treasures. People always admire them, hopefully they feel like special visitors because I have gotten the 'good' stuff out.



Moving on...

A couple of years ago we decided it was time to move.

Well, two out of three of us thought is was a good idea.

The timing was clearly wrong for our son, but as it turns out, it wasn't right for us either.

Now we are thankful to him, as opposed to the feelings we had two years prior!

 

Now, at this right time, God has gone before us and smoothed out the pathway of our selling and buying.

There were a couple of things in the move I wasn't exactly expecting - junk and pain!

 

The junk.

Oh dear, how embarrassing, so much of our life ended up on the grass verge near the curb for council pick up.

All those things we 'saved' because one day they might be useful!

The real estate agent for our purchase gave us some great advice, I was going with 'if you haven't used it in the last year out it goes', but Shena said, "if you have to turn it over in your hand to decide - toss it".

 

And toss we did.

Ruthless we were. (does that sound like Yoda?)

 

The pain.

My full speed ahead excited attitude gave me a couple of shake ups.

 

 

After packing many boxes, I was happily shredding all the documents from some twenty years of a great filing system (I know, why did I still have those bills, receipts etc??). Then I stood up. My back 'went'. I could hardly walk and it was hello to the heat pack, pain killers and rest.

 

 

With a couple of days of rest being necessary a trickle of nervousness started to creep into my thoughts, OK an avalanche of nervousness. There was still so much to pack and only 11 sleeps till moving. But Paul, the calm, came to the rescue, reminding me of how good we were actually going and so panic didn't set in.

 

Well, my back got better then I fell over backwards in the kitchen.

 

Did you know if you 'have a fall' it is a sign of being an old person? Fortunately for me I fell over backwards, proving to myself - I am not old!

(Although quite sore from landing heavily and hitting my head!)

 

Thankfully the junk is gone along with the pain, leaving me: 

 

VERY EXCITED TO BE MOVING ON......

 

I'll keep you posted on how it all goes - 5 sleeps!



I can see clearly now...

...the judgement has gone.

 

I have been pondering how we look at each other.

 

When I see others, I don't know what is going on in their head, heart and home life.

 

The perfect family, the best marriage and the amazing work colleague...are they really or is it just what I see, and somehow envy?

 

 

As I walk through life with others I have found my vision cleared from judgement...not necessarily bad judgement, but more my perception of others lives...and the envy seems to evaporate.

 

Everyone has their 'hard' place, whether or not anyone else sees it.

 

Maybe the perfect marriage I see has been through some deep waters to get to where I see them.

 

Perhaps the perfect family has times behind them, I haven't seen, to get them to where they are in my vision.

 

 

A few years ago, the young pastor, AB, preached some sermons that God used to bring to my attention how judgemental I was.

 

As the rule-following-queen, I could not quite understand why people didn't see what the Bible said and 'Just do it'.

 

And here is what I learned, God is not about who follows rules best.  

 

God is about love, mercy and grace.  

 

Unlike myself....my old self.

 

I have learned how to see others with eyes of love. To look deeper rather than just what is in my line of vision.

 

I don't know what is going on for others, what is in their head, heart or home life, but I do know this....

 

I can see clearly now...the judgement has gone.

 

What about you how are you seeing others?



Song in my heart

I have been shopping in the same local supermarket for thirty two years.  The shop has had several name changes and numerous staff but the characters I have found in the aisles have taught me many things.

One guy, in his 50's, always shopping with his father and always on for a chat has taught me one of life's great lessons.  Mostly he cheerily trailed his father along the aisles, one day when I asked him how he was, he replied 'I don't have a song in my heart today'.  He went on to explain he was remembering his mother who had passed away.

 

Clearly it was a song-less day.

 

Sometimes we don't have a song in our hearts, do we?

 

Rend Collective are an amazing band.  

They have a song called JOY.  

The words are wonderful reminders of how the Lord is at work in our lives to bring JOY, even when we are song-less.

As we 'cast aside our shadows, Trust you with our sorrows, You're the song, You're the song, of our hearts.

The dark is just a canvas, For your grace and brightness, You're the song, You're the song, of our hearts.'

 

If you don't have a song in your heart today 'run into God's arms of love', you will find He takes the opportunity to be the ever-present joy giver and mender of brokenness. 



Scrabble....

 

 

On the scrabble board these two words would attract the same score value - 7 points each, but, depending on where they were placed could make all the difference.  A 'double letter score' or a 'triple word score' could change everything.

 

Same as our attitude towards a situation.

 

I was in the shower, where I do a lot of good thinking, and was mapping out a little speech for a certain person.

 

Then the revelation came, the inspiration, the idea that the lecture was supposed to be for me.....not anyone else!

 

I love God's work don't you?

 

There I was building a great speech to direct someone onto the paths of righteousness - you know where I was walking, only to find I had well and truly fallen off the pathway.

 

Currently I am moving 'scrabble tiles' around in my mind and heart.  

Trying to find the best place for love.

Love to overcome the hate.  

 

I'm confident of a winning score because I know it is God doing the work, not me!



Palmolive Gold?

   

For the past few months, I have in my travels, often experienced a perfume, not to my liking. 

 

It would be rude of me to stop one of the lady’s wafting past me wearing the not to my liking perfume to ask what they are wearing.  After all, how could I say “Eeuw, what is the name of that perfume you are wearing?”.

 

But I got my chance, the perfume wafted into where I work and I was able to ask, in a tactful way….really!

 

I was surprised, in days gone by I have worn the perfume. 

But what has changed? 

The recipe they use now?  Or me and my nose?

 

Our sense of smell can be sensitive and a prompt for remembering things from the long gone past.

 

The trees along my high school fence line have the most gorgeous perfume and little white blossom in summer time.  Walking past a tree like that now, makes me want to look down, I almost expect to be wearing my school uniform (hmmm not a chance, I can’t understand why my mother let me wear my uniform so short!).

 

The shampoo we are currently using (I bought it because it was on special!) has a lingering aroma reminding me of my grandparents bathroom. 

The soap, Nana bought, was always Palmolive Gold. 

I loved my grandmother and spent many hours at her home, but the strong smell of soap in her very old bathroom leaves me with mixed feelings. 

Glad of the memories of Nana, but the thoughts of the old bathroom, built in the 1930’s leaves me a bit cold. 

Nana was funny, kind, generous and messy.  She would rather talk (hmmm guess she passed this character trait to me), read, sew, crochet or do almost anything else rather than clean. (And that’s where we differ, I like clean). 

Oh how sweet though to be sent back in my memory to a time when I could pop in and see Nan, chat with her; be advised on a craft mishap or just sit on the front verandah and while away the time doing nothing in particular but watch people go by.

 

What about you?

Who or what pops into your mind when an aroma wafts past your nose?

 

What aroma do you leave when your presence is so gone, something sweet for people to remember you by? 

 

The apostle Paul puts it well about our fragrance, in 2 Corinthians 2: 15 he says:

 

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

 

Think I will change our shampoo next shop, might need to spend a little more and get something without a Palmolive Gold fragrance.

 

And yet maybe it is a good reminder to me of the fragrance the apostle Paul speaks of, 'whenever God's servant is faithful and is an influence for the gospel, God is pleased'.



Cooking class

When the Adult Learning magazine arrived in our letterbox, I decided it was just what I needed!

A class of some description to get me out of the well worn path I was treading - called my life!

Flipping through the pages the first time, my eye was drawn to the Healthy Cooking class.

As I mostly cook pretty healthy stuff, I moved on to find something better to enroll in.

Belly dancing...nah!

 

Sewing....nah!

 

A language...nah!

 

So I enrolled in the Healthy Cooking class.

 

Four Monday nights in a row, an easy way to get myself out into the arena of something different, without feeling like the sign up was too much of a commitment....just perfect!

 

Bet you can't imagine I was nervous?

The walk from the car to the front door of the evening school had my mind doing gymnastics

....what was I doing? 

....what if I mess something up?

...pull yourself together Dianne, it's a cooking class, not heart surgery lessons(which I would never of signed up for, I don't like blood) nor is it rocket science (I'm not one for flying much either)

The teacher was lovely, so sweet.

The other 'students' seemed quiet, like me, through nerves, because, usually I am not quiet!

We had to 'pair up' to cook.....what if no one wants to pair up with me? (stomach lurch can be inserted here for those of you who feel my pain)

Well I didn't need to worry....the teacher suggested someone, Mr No Idea About Cooking and I teamed up.

I am a naturally friendly person, so I introduced myself to Mr No Idea, and he gave me a friendly enough sort of grunt in return.  

He then seemed to warm to me quickly, thinking I was his mother, because he kept asking me what I wanted him to do!

I wanted to say, "Love you to take some responsibility for yourself", was a bit harsh I thought for only having just met someone.

So I suggested he wash the lettuce for the Chicken Caesar Salad we were to prepare.

Little did I realise how lacking he was in culinary skills......he washed the lettuce in hot water!

Apparently he was hungry; he ate every other piece he washed! 

So the limp lettuce he hadn't eaten sat on the sink and Mr No Idea looked lost.  

I am a forward thinker and decided the barbeque chicken wasn't safe with Mr No Idea, so I suggested he make the dressing while I salvaged the lettuce and chopped the chicken.

This seemed to work well, but I did notice instead of helping clean up the bench to get ready for serving, my companion wandered around the kitchen looking at everyone else cleaning up.

It was a frenzied clean up in the end, but the food looked amazing and tasted just as good when we sat down together to eat.

My companion sat at another table, think I might have ended up being too much 'the mother' for his liking! 

And the night was done!

Leftovers were quickly packed into contains to take home and I was on my way back to the car.

It was a great night, learnt lots and I was happy with the morsels I had in my container to take home to my boys!

 

And Mr No Idea has no idea how much I enjoyed being part of a class with him, will be talking about my adventure in this class for weeks to come!

 



Wow......50 years!

I can hardly believe it - The Seekers celebrate 50 years!

 

 

Hmmmm I am going to admit it, just to you, my close friend, I wanted to grow up to be Judith Durham!

 

 

Her voice, her hair and those songs!

 

What made The Seekers so popular?

 

So popular that they knocked The Beatles and the Rolling Stones off number 1 in the charts.

 

I think perhaps their appeal had a greater age range in audience.

 

Everyone has a "I know I'll never find another you" experience in their life....regardless of what music genre they prefer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take Georgy Girl for instance, it is such a 'catchy' song.

But apart from Georgy 'swinging down the street so fancy free', some of the words to the song have such a true and deep meaning

....if you are looking for it

....like I guess I am!

 

 

  • Life is a reality - you can't always run away
  • Don't be so scared of changing and re arranging yourself
  • Bring out all the love you hide and Oh what a change there'd be - the world would see - a new Georgy Girl.

 

This year the curve ball thrown us made me want to run away.

 

We really begged God to change some things.

And He was faithful - He did make changes - He changed us instead of our circumstance.

 

As old as I get, I never really get 'I'm not in charge'.  I still think my plans are better than God's.

 

I've got stuff all neatly packaged in my mind of how things should work out....neatly packaged, no curve balls!

 

And yet changing under God's direction doesn't turn out to be so scary after all.  

 

So this year, yet again, I have re arranged my thinking!

 

Just when I thought I was empty....desperately empty, I found love hidden, deep inside, put there by God!

 

And.........I do believe I have shed some dowdy feathers of doubt and fear, to fly into wherever God takes me!

 

(And I am soooooo hoping that includes going to The Seekers concert next May!!)



Skipcha...scripture 2012

Last year was a test of stamina for any committed Scripture (or as it sounds when the children say it Skipcha) teacher.  With 32, Year three and four students, and twelve of them being of the rascal persuasion, I soldiered on wondering if God still called me to share His love in this way.

 

The Scripture coordinator took pity on me and this year,  only eighteen Year 3 students have been in my care with the Gospel message each Thursday morning.

With little Miss Stephanie telling me I am pretty and Mr Tom hanging off every word ....mostly so he can ask a question, it has definitely been the best part of the week for me!

 

When I was telling my little lovelies how much God loves each one of them, Miss Stephanie put her hand up and bubbled over with, "Mrs Riley I love you.  I want to take you home with me forever.  I wish I could put you in my backpack."

 

Before I could get a swollen head about such devotion, when it was time to go to their seats, Mr Tom felt he needed to clear up a few things between him and me.

"Mrs Riley I don't want to upset you, but, I don't actually love you, I like you a lot but just as a friend".

I assured him I was ok with this.

 

Scripture is such an important opportunity to share God's love.

The children love the love connection......

 

.....like when Jake says he can't possibly do the bookwork because it is boring, it is a sure sign he wants some one on one attention and after a few moments of chatting with him, he would pick up his pen and do a marvelous job.  

He is a hard hearted little fellow and often rolling his eyes at what the others said, but his little heart is wanting to be loved.  

 

One lesson I announced we were going to be doing some Origami, Jake called out "I hate Origami!",  small pause, "What is it again?"

 

This little boy makes me want to laugh and cry and hug him (don't worry I have done the working with Children course and I don't hug him, only in my heart and prayers!).

 

 

 

Bet you can tell, I can't wait to get back there next year....



BWC @ GBC

Last Saturday morning I swiped on some lippy early, in readiness for a day out with two gorgeous girlfriends from my youth group days.

 

The wonderful connection we can have with some, means, no matter how long its been, instantly, with a warm embrace, no time stands between you and them.

 

That's how my day started.

 

We were headed to the Baptist Women's Conference (BWC) at Gymea Baptist Church (GBC).

With no idea what to expect, I quickly found I was enjoying everything.

 

The first thing I happened on was a couple of lovelies from my own church!

 

Then I discovered a bunch of other wonderful women I knew!

 

Thankfully I wasn't too distracted with envy when the program started with songs of worship.

I have longed for, over the years, to be gifted with singing and the ability to play an instrument....well (as opposed to badly).

I can carry a tune, in the shower is best, but if anyone starts singing while I am playing the piano,  it is a disaster!

God knew what He was doing when He gave me other gifts, it alleviates me wrestling with pride amongst other things!

 

Anyway.....

 

Our hostess for the day proved to be a delightful lady with a snazzy hair-cut, wonderful sense of humour, great ability to chat and a passion for following Jesus.

 

Then came the speakers!

 

I wanted to take notes, like the ladies at the other tables, but I knew I would miss out on some other pearl if I tried to write anything down.  

So, I contented myself to just listen.  

I heard three lovely hearts sharing stories of struggles covered with God's finger prints of compassion and love.

 

I want to share with you the seeds of inspiration sown into my heart.

 

Have you ever heard your self say "I'm living for God"? 

 

One of the speakers remarked a few times of 'living from God'.

Mulling this over brought me to a conclusion, when I say I live for God, my mind makes that into a little bargaining tool.

 

"I'm living for you God, therefore......"

An expectation rider claims some space in my head, and I can find myself telling God what He should do for me, as I live for Him!

 

Well then, what does it look like to live from God?

 

To me it is obedience.  

Reading God's word, being teachable and responding to the leading of the Holy Spirit - making it all about God and not about me!

 

As a reformed legalistic follower of Jesus, God challenged me again by some words the other speakers shared.

We don't know what it is like to walk in another's shoes, therefore, I have no platform to judge (besides, God really doesn't need my help or opinion).

Instead I need to lean into God and listen to what He might call me to do when I see the plight of others.  

 

Like cook a meal, buy some flowers, pick-up, drop-off, ring.....give - time and or money.

 

And finally I heard, in the chaos of life's curly situations, stick to God's ways and He will smooth out your pathway.

Compromising God's ways will not lead to real and lasting joy.  

It  might give a quick fix but the long term consequences may be far more painful.

 

By the time I got home my emotional tank was full and my brain was beginning to mull over the things I had heard, things I needed to work on.

 

It was a grand day out at GBC for the BWC.

 

Oops and I almost forgot to tell you about this part of the day.......

There were the best mini muffins, tastiest wraps, tea and coffee, all washed down with a healthy dash of conversation!

 

Got to love that!



The Voice

I have been following  'The Voice' - I so wish I could sing!

 

I am very much looking forward to hearing and seeing Britt this Tuesday night!

 

                                                                            You should hear me in the shower....I do a very nice rendition of many songs!

 

Just ask me - I think I am good!

 

Well I think I am good - until I hear some of the brave people on 'The Voice'.  

 

But I just can't imagine how heartbreaking it must be to not have one of the 'coaches' turn around.

 

Giving their all

 

                      Doing their best

 

                                                   And no one turns around.

 

Maybe because none of the coaches think they can take the contestant somewhere - or maybe (as Seal says) they just don't have that 'something' to make a coach turn.

 

I listen to a lot of Christian music

 

It encourages me

 

It puts a song in my heart

 

It makes me want to sing

 

And sing I do

 

 

I bring my song to God, in a different way to those who bring their song to the coaches on 'The Voice'

 

Caedmon's Call sing "Hands of the Potter"

 

The chorus says 'And Lord when you listen for the song of my life - let it be a song so sweet'.

 

                                                 The song of my life is sung as I follow Jesus.

 

As I follow Jesus as Paul's wife, Josh's Mum, Joannie & Subbo's daughter, Col's sister and at work or in the classroom at scripture, when I am doing the groceries.

 

God heard my first song  - there was something in my tone or maybe it was my sincerity, as I prayed my first prayer.

 

It made the Lord turn around, so He could be my coach and take me on the journey to Eternal Life.  

 

God reckons I've got that 'something' - its my faith, its My Voice.

 

 

 


 



Where is dead?

If you have no hope of eternal life - where is dead?

 

Recently I went to a funeral, a family friend - he was only 64.

 

The event was managed by a Master of Ceremonies, not a minister or celebrant.  It was unusual.

 

There were plenty of laughs amongst the eulogies, but the comment 'wherever you are now' resounded through each.

 

Along with this wondering of where he was, came the assurance, wherever the place was, he would present himself as the intelligent and arrogant man he had always been in this life.

 

All of this left questions in my mind, where is dead for these people who don't know where their friend is?

 

And, what makes people say what they do, when someone is 'gone'?

 

Intelligent and arrogant, not the choice of adjectives I would want someone to use when remembering me - ok intelligent is good, but not the most important attribute to sum up the total of one's life.

 

Believing, like I do, God created the world and everything in it seems logical to me.

 

It is logical we were designed - just look at where our ears are - perfect for wearing glasses.  That could not have 'just happened.

 

The hope of the Bible is eternal life, in heaven, with Jesus and God.

 

So, today, Good Friday has so much meaning, I know where my dead is - fully alive with Jesus and God.

 

My hope is, as I make my way toward eternal life, I will reflect the hope I have and words like loving, joyful,peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled will be used to remember me

 

- oh and intelligent!



Church - not on Sunday

Yesterday I spent time with some gorgeous girls.

 

It made me subscribe to the thought again, doing coffee is definitely a gift from God!  

 

And it can be doing church, but not on a Sunday in a particular building.

 

The five of us sat around the table tossing ideas and subjects into the arena with great ease.

 

Topics were often punctuated with a verse or 'God showed me....'.

 

All of us have own faith story.

We go to different churches.

Our season in life varies.

 

The wealth of God Stuff was amazing as we vied for an opportunity to share our gem, our acknowledgement of how God leads us in all the steps we take in the valley and on the high places.

 

We are all GOOD chatters and so there wasn't really a moment free of talking

We laughed with each other, had tears in our eyes over a story or two.

 

And we couldn't believe three hours had slipped past.

 

We felt uplifted, encouraged and spurred on as we parted with hugs and hopes of getting together again soon.

 

Yes, we had church on Saturday in a coffee shop - no singing, but five gorgeous girls sharing what the Lord had done.

 

I love God's blessing of friends - doing coffee and having church, but not on Sunday.



And God's light will find us....

And God's light will find us

                                              and all we have done.

 

I love those words.

 

They are inspiring and thought provoking and comforting.

 

God's light will find us

 

When I was surfing thru Facebook this morning I found a YouTube link on a friend's status.  

 

It was a song my friend's sister had posted to cheer her up.

 

With nothing much else on my schedule for today I decided to take a look and listen.

 

It cheered me up!

 

God's light will find us

 

...no matter where we are

...no matter how far into the darkness we have gone

 

But the thought provoking part of these lyrics is

 

                                                            ... and all we have done.

 

When God's light finds us in the darkness it highlights what drew us there.

 

There is comfort in these lyrics because it reminds me

 

                                                           ... God's light repels the darkness.

 

 

 

 

And God's light will find us (you and me)

 

I feel cheered by those simple lines from a song.  What about you?  

 

Let me know what you think

....make friends with me on Facebook and look out for Dianne's Books page.



Winnie the Pooh days

Winnie the Pooh days are long gone in our home.

 

And it was sad to say good bye to them - I loved those little animals!

 

It's Piglet  who I totally relate  to,  the way he blames everything on 'society' and how his little knees shake when his words stutter out.  But all the other characters have their appeal don't they?

 

Tigger, now what a character he is.   I love his zest for life and adventure, talk about a throw caution to the wind sort of guy!

 

And while, often, Tigger ended up disappointed or disillusioned, he always bounced back from there and quickly jumped into another adventure - hmm there are some life lessons for me!

 

Too often the Eeyore character rises up in me when I hit a snag in life.  

With my feet firmly planted on the start line, I refuse to move, just in case there is another fall ahead.  

Much safer to stay on the start line in life and lament the disappointments of days gone by.

 

Even Winnie himself has an appeal, he blunders thru life with a simple uncomplicated view on everything.  

As I over analyze my thoughts and actions I can drive myself (and those around me) crazy.  

Maybe I should consider taking a more uncomplicated view on things.

 

When I think of Rabbit, the picture that comes to my mind is of him with his pencil and list.

Rabbit is always right, always 'ticking boxes' and following the rules.  

Often his way of life leaves him unpopular and frustrated.  

Gee there is another character trait of mine that is challenged by the furry little friends from the Hundred Acre wood.

 

Don't get me wrong, I am glad God has made me the person I am, but the storybook characters from A.A. Milne remind me how God is refining me.

 

God is developing my good qualities and helping me to shed those traits that stop me from partaking in life with the enthusiasm of Tigger and the peacefulness of Winnie.

 

(Maybe Winnie the Pooh days aren't quite over at our place!)



Our dog - Jess

There has to be a lesson somewhere in this...

 

 

It's Saturday, 43.8 degrees in the shade, our dog - Jess, is sitting in the laundry panting like crazy.

 

Being the great dog owner that I am, I feel sorry for the poor old girl.

 

I doused her with water then offered her one of those delightful, raw hide, chewy things that the package says is good for her AND  will clean her teeth.

 

And man, does she need some fresh breath? ....ABSOLUTELY!!

 

Feeling good with myself I retreat to the air conditioned house.

 

I was expecting Jess would be happily chomping on her raw hide chewy thing in the laundry -  but no.

 

Looking out the window I see our dog - Jess, wandering around the yard in the 43.8 degree heat, with the bone shaped chewy thing....

 

The determined look in her eye clearly showed she was LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO BURY her raw hide chewy bone!!!!  Argh!!!!!

 

There are other more important things to do - REALLY - but I decide to stand by the window and watch her.

 

First she tried to bury it underneath the tree with an odd bending, thin trunk, in the back corner of our yard.

 

But after settling the raw hide bone in the shallow hole she had dug, Jess decided it wasn't quite the appropriate spot she was looking for.

 

Three metres away is my Agapanthus garden....and yes, our dog - Jess, waded through the garden looking for the best position possible for her raw hide chewy thing.

 

Thankfully the Agapanthus have finished blooming or I would have been out there in the 43.8 degree heat moving her on!

 

Three holes she dug - our dog Jess, and not one of them apparently was just right....after about the fourth nose full of dirt shoveled on top of the chewy thing, she decides the hole has inferior qualities to it.

 

I wasn't keen on another hole being dug in my Agapanthus garden so I knocked on the window and sheepishly she grabbed the raw hide bone and slunk off to the laundry.

 

Victory!

 

Well maybe not, there is no way our dog - Jess, could have chomped through that raw hide chewy bone in a few minutes.  

(I just snuck out there for a minute, I was hoping the chewy thing was doing marvelous things for her teeth and breath)

 

But alas she has buried it somewhere else....away from my prying eyes....in case I find it?...to take it from her? 

 

Funny how we like to bury things too....away from those who might find out or take it from us.



Solve this equation

What does 30 Wilberforce area Anglican Ladies + 1 Caringbah Baptist Lady @ Stanwell Tops equal?

 

Answer: a Wonderful group of companions sharing lots of laughs and the love of our Great God!

 

 

I arrived at Stanwell Tops on Friday night to be greeted by my dear friend Karen and my new dear friend Rosemary.

 

(It was clear to me within a few moments of meeting Rosemary she was going to be a Kindred Spirit)

 

We found a fabulous little gift bag on our beds when we arrived.

 

The bags were filled with treats, that the gals who put the weekend together had packed.

 

The most precious treat was the pair of 'slippers' Rosemary's mother had faithfully knitted for all of us.

 

 Nice don't you think........

 

The wide age range of the girls that gathered didn't matter for one minute over the weekend.

 

We managed to take a serious look at Hebrews, eat plenty of yummy food, go to the beach or a coffee shop, play crazy card games, wear our slippers and chat and talk and laugh and chat and laugh!

 

What great companions we were for the whole weekend!

 

Hebrews 10 v 19- 25 encourages us to be great companions.  

To spur one another on to love and good works, to exhort one another as the day of Jesus return draws near.

 

To exhort each other means to encourage, comfort, strengthen and to warn.

 

And the only way to be effective in being a great companion in this journey towards eternal life is to 'draw near' to God, our great High Priest.  

 

We can do this boldly because of Jesus sacrifice for us.

 

I want to spend my life being a good companion....what about you?



The Gift - a short story

 

The Gift.

 

After tossing her handbag on the bed, Suzie sat down to take off her sandals.  They were killing her!  With the Hen’s night over all she had left to endure was the wedding.  How she was ever going to get through that in these stupid sandals was beyond her. She yanked on the strap again but it still wouldn’t release.  The argument of nobody being able to see their sandals under the long skirts had been lost on Leonie, everything had to match.

Leonie was driving her nuts.

On and on the negative thoughts stacked up in her mind about her sister’s wedding.  If she was to voice them she would immediately be accused of being jealous. 

And she wasn’t! 

Was she? 

The thought of marrying Brett, let alone someone like him, sent a shiver down her spine.  But a whisper of admission to wanting to be married nudged at her heart and mind. It didn't help Leonie was three years younger.  And  why did people feel it was their duty to remind her?  Did they think she couldn't work out  her younger sister was getting married first?  Finally the sandal strap released and she was able to wiggle some blood back into the toes that had been unhappily squashed together for the past few hours.

 

The wedding day arrived and it was glorious.  After what seemed like hours of assault by the hairdresser and the makeup artist they were finally ready for the photographer.  Leonie was a beautiful bride.  Her blonde hair was caught up on the top of her head by the tiara her mother and grandmother had worn.  The flowing veil, the crystal encrusted bodice and swirling Cinderella skirt completed the perfect picture.  Tears welled up in Suzie’s eyes.

“Don’t cry you’ll wreck our makeup,” Leonie caught Suzie’s weak moment.

“It’s your fault you look so beautiful,” Suzie thought her comment covered her feelings well.

Leonie pulled her into a hug, “You’ll get your turn,” she whispered.

Suzie swallowed the lump in her throat and tried to blink back the rest of the tears that were gathering.

 

“Pastor Andrew is sick in bed,” the older pastor announced after he smiled at the Bride and Groom before him, who already knew this news.

In an effort to tune out the pain Suzie entertained herself during the service with thoughts of this definitely being her last time as a bridesmaid.  She had heard enough wedding sermons to last a life time.  So she made a promise to herself that unless it was her wedding she would never be standing up the front of a church like this again.  The legal part of the ceremony was done and the pastor had started his talk. 

Cautiously she moved her head to see if she could see the clock.

“And I firmly believe,” the pastor said loudly, jolting Suzie from trying to find out how much long it might be till the ceremony was over, “That marriage is a gift from God.”

Not my gift.

“Today, my encouragement is to recognise all of life is a gift from God.  Leonie and Brett will spend the rest of their life sharing that gift.  And we pray God’s blessing will be on them to raise a godly family.  But Leonie and Brett you are going to have to guard that gift.  There may come a time when a situation will arise to snatch it away from you.  Make sure you glorify God for your marriage.  As you serve Him with your marriage He will bless you for it, and walk with you through the difficult times.  The journey of life does bring us all different paths to travel, as we also receive different gifts from the Lord.”  He leaned forward a little for emphasis to say, “Make sure you listen to this bit,” and then stood erect again. “The real secret is being thankful for your gift.  Wanting something that someone else has will leave you feeling empty and disappointed.”

Suzie was listening just as the pastor suggested, but she didn’t hear another word he said after the part about wanting someone else’s gift.  She was lost in her thoughts. 

Is that is Lord?She asked in her heart.  Is that why I feel so empty?  I’m not thankful for what you have given me.  I do want a different gift, she confessed.

The sudden movement and laughter from those around her brought her out of her revelation.  She would have run out of there in a heartbeat if she could have. 

The questions that rose up in her heart and mind made her want to run and hide.  And just be with God.  Shaking the well hair sprayed tendrils that were framing her face gave her the opportunity to blink back her tears.  She had felt the hardness of her heart crack.   Later she would she meet with God to look for her gift and thank Him for it.  For now she would celebrate with her sister that she had found her gift in life.  When the Pastor said Amen she quietly agreed, so be it.



eBook

The experience of publishing my first book was amazing! 

Publish-Me!'s Lucie was a fantastic help.  While I was on the journey Publish-Me! were running a competition.

 

All I had to do to enter was write in 50 words or less why my book was important to me.

 

This is what I submitted:

 

We all want to be loved and accepted.  The opportunity to share the story of finding my significance is no longer a dream but a reality through writing and publishing this book. I believe many will find a connection, inspiration and encouragement as they read about my journey.

 

I won!

The prizes were a Kindle eReader and my book being made into an eBook!  So good and so exciting!

 

Take a look at this link....

 

www.smashwords.com/books/view/23880



Look what I made!

It's our friend Crystal's 21st birthday the day before my 50th...ah Spring..what a great time to celebrate one's birthday!

 

Josh went to her birthday party so I cranked up the sewing machine and made this cute little purse!  Just enough room for her keys, card and lippy!

 



Good night out

Last Saturday night I went to Sutherland Pressie's Ladies coffee night.

 

What a lovely group of ladies.

 

We sat around chatting with deliciously hot tea and coffee served with marvelous mini muffins.

 

I was invited to share a little devotion.  

What a blessing to share my book writing journey, and also a reminder we need to lift our eyes toward heaven.  

Whether we are skipping through the green pastures of life or travelling though valleys of pain, keeping our eyes on Jesus is what we all need to do.



A Crafty Girl

I was about 8 when I started knitting.

I remember well the scarves...everyone makes a scarf to start with don't they?

Then I moved into the big time.  I made a 'v' neck jumper.  It was a very ugly green, but it was wool Mum had in the cupboard and not being one to waste anything, my mother thought I would look very nice in an ugly green jumper!  

 

Between my grandmother and great grandmother crocheting was my next skill to learn at their knees.  Interestingly I apparently hold the crochet hook just like my great great grandmother...to the marvel of the 'girls' that were trying to teach me.

 

My Barbie dolls had numerous home made crocheted outfits.  My favourites being the bikinis I made for them.  My mother stayed up long into the night at my birthday and Christmas time to make outfits for my dolls too.  Left over fabric from her own outfits often but on the rare occasion Barbie was glamorous is a glittering number from where Mum had bought some leftover pieces of fabric from the store.

 

I also watched my Mum make toys.  Over the years I have knitted and crocheted many toys too.  My favourite being the cute little teddy bears on my home page.  It takes me just one and half hours to make one.  Since 1987 many babies across Australia and the world have had one of these little guys as a gift from me.



Seniors Talk

When my mum first asked me to do a talk at her seniors group...I really didn't think I qualified.

Firstly I didn't think I had anything to say and secondly...I AM TOO YOUNG!  

But then I realised September 14th is my 50th birthday and suddenly I qualify as a senior!

 

I grew up at Mum's church.  Being a regular attender of Sunday School, Youth Group, Church and a Netball team member, my Christian foundations were built solidly there. 

 

I had a sojourn at another church for a few years, where I developed many skills and then returned to be the primary aged Sunday School leader.  

Paul and I married there and became the Youth group leaders.  We are still in contact with some of those 'teenagers', which is a total blessing to see them going on in their faith.

 

So In October I'm off to Mum's church to chat with the Seniors!  (and by then I will have been one for a whole month!!)



Birthdays

I love my birthday!  I start counting down in June.  

 

As soon as June 14th arrives I ask everyone "Do you know what today is?"  And they never do know until I tell them..."three months till my birthday".

 

After seven years with the same boss he was kicking himself every year when he fell for it!  (We haven't worked together for three years but  his dear wife never misses sending me a card now!)

 

When I was a child my mother always decorated our birthday cakes with 'Smarties'.

And when she let us help...

I think more Smarties got eaten than landed on the cake!

 

The tradition has passed down through the ages and now another generation of children have had the joy of Nana's Smarties cakes.

 

Not sure I will keep it going for myself this year...I'm fifty and thinking I need something a little more dignified....really?

I guess not....but I'm only having a Smartie cake if I can help decorate it!



Nana Naps

Sunday afternoons are the perfect time for a Nana nap.

Having been to church and enjoyed singing, the message and friendship resting in the afternoon is a perfect way to recharge  the batteries for the week ahead.



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