Photo-A-Day: Hair

Before my hair cut

When I was a little girl, I remember watching those shampoo ads where the model’s hair was so shiny, shimmering like satin, and wished my hair would look like that. I loved my long blonde locks, even though they were dead straight. My mum, on the other hand, always wished we had curls – she had a thing for curls – but her hair is naturally straight, too.

The ill-fated lock of hair from that day.

As I mentioned I enjoyed having long hair. But, when Dad took us for a three-month journey around Australia, Mum decided it would be easier if we all had short hair. So, off my lengthy strands came. I was twelve. I hated my new short hair. I thought I looked like a boy. I kept a lock of my hair that day, and I still have it, tucked away in the back of a photo album.

My daughter's gorgeous hair today.

Many years have passed, but I still love long, shiny hair. One of my daughters has strawberry-blonde hair with lighter streaks through it. It feels like silk and shimmers in the light. A few months ago it was almost down to her waist. Can you imagine how I felt when she expressed a wish to cut it short? I think I relived my horror hair cut for a moment. Thankfully, she only wanted a few inches off.

But, it all made me realise how much little things in our past can trigger an emotional response in our present lives. Do you have a childhood memory that still affects you today?

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Published in: on 18th April, 2012 at 1:18 pm  Comments (2)  
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Photo-A-Day: Flower

Just as I mentioned about sunsets displaying God’s glory yesterday, I think flowers do also. In fact, so much of creation sings His praise, it’s hard to miss it. I only had to go out into my garden to find some very pretty samples of the beauty of flowers.

Of course, being a patriotic Australian, I do love our Aussie natives. This Purple Cloud Callistemon or “bottle brush” was specially picked by one of our daughters who loves everything pink and feminine. The flowers do have a magical colour and this plant has flourished in our back yard.

Then, my hubby pointed out his chillies. The flower of that plant is quite striking if you look closely, he told me. And yes, it is rather pretty and purple (and only the size of your thumb nail), even if it produces tongue-burning fruit which I cannot see reason to eat. Well, each to his own I guess.

These blooms are only part of the beauty that surrounds our home. If only it were July or August, then I would have taken photos of acacia flowers, “wattle,” in their canary-yellow, downy splendour. Can you tell they’re my favourite? When a flower blooms it is like God blowing a kiss from heaven, He is rather romantic like that. 🙂

Do you have a favourite flower? What makes it special to you?

Published in: on 16th April, 2012 at 7:20 pm  Comments (4)  
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Photo-A-Day: Sunset

I was looking forward to this photo topic. Sunrises and sunsets are my favourite times of the day. Today’s sunset was not overly exciting, but over the years I have seen some pretty spectacular skyscapes. It is always a household tradition, if one of us (usually hubby) sees a great sunset or sunrise, to call everyone out for a look and a snapshot.

Then there are those kind of sunsets you wait around for, such as a sunset on Uluru. Nothing quite like it, with the red glow seemingly emanating from the rock. Or, the sunset on the beach at the Mindil Beach markets, or even in Broome. Watching the sun dip below the horizon while the golden rays reflect off the ocean is hard to beat.

To me, sunsets and sunrises are like God’s living artwork. Forever changing in their colours and shapes. No two sunsets are ever the same. So, I sit and say, “What are you going to paint me today, Lord?” He never lets me down. Kind of like a love letter in the sky. No-one can do it better. Creation displays His glory in living colour. How can one doubt that He is real when you see that incomparable artwork splashed across the heavens?

“The heavens declare the glory of God;  the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” [Psalm 19:1 NIV]

Published in: on 15th April, 2012 at 6:46 pm  Comments (4)  
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Photo-A-Day: How You Feel Today

How do I feel today?

Part of me feels like a wilted rose — I have caught the current bug that is being passed around my circle of friends and family. I really am quite looking forward to lying down and drifting off to sleep tonight, and hopefully the coughing doesn’t keep me awake.

The other part of me feels like this fresh rose. We went to see some prospective homes today, and the possibilities are kind of exciting. That, along with a few other things seem to be falling into place at the moment and the future looks like it might hold some pleasant surprises.

So with my two sides, happy but under-the-weather, I will press on and hope that they both are aligned with each other again tomorrow. The age-old saying comes to mind — “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” I know that verse usually relates to temptations we face, but it seems to fit well with how I feel right now. Inside I think I might even be doing a happy dance. On the outside I am slouching in my chair and yearning for my bed.

Am I the only one who ever has this problem? I doubt it.

PS My apologies for missing my post yesterday. We currently have only one computer connected to the internet, which makes slotting time in difficult, especially when the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak. 😉

Published in: on 14th April, 2012 at 9:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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Photo-A-Day: Stairs

The only stairs I came across today were the stairs leading up to the Sunday School rooms at church where I was working today. The walls on these stairs are quite inviting for children, though. On one side are photos of various children with their happy smiles on, while the other side is decorated with colourful, three-dimensional art. I’m sure a little princess would love to reach out and touch those butterflies, and a little man would wish he could drive the racing car. Our children’s ministry workers have done a wonderful job with this otherwise very plain staircase.

But, I confess, today I am dreaming about another set of stairs — the kind that come with a new house. Yes, we are dreaming about moving into the hills amidst the gum trees and ferns, a place we have always yearned to live. The fact that it might even be possible has made us feel rather excited. So today I have stars … er … stairs in my eyes — pardon the pun.

Now, stair-dreaming makes me think of Jacob. He fell asleep on the ground and dreamed of a stairway going up to heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it. From the top of the stairway, the Lord spoke to him and gave him a promise. “I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.” [Genesis 28:10-15]

Hmm … I wonder if I can take that promise for my own stair dream …

Do you have a stair dream?

Published in: on 12th April, 2012 at 8:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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Photo-A-Day: Where You Ate Breakfast

Every morning I eat my breakfast in front of my computer. Very occasionally I eat somewhere else, but most days this is my time for catching up on things.

While I spoon mouthfuls of cereal into my mouth, I read all my emails for the past twelve hours or so and try to reply to some of them – the important ones anyway. While I crunch on a sweet, juicy apple, I read my favourite blogs. Some of these have information on new book releases (oh goody!), some have writer relevant knowledge to impart, and some have a spiritual input – a devotional of sorts.

Then, as I sip my nice hot coffee (not! – it’s been sitting there too long by now), I check out what everyone is up to on Facebook, perhaps leaving a comment here and a like there. Maybe I’ll even update my status – currently it bemoans the fact that my laptop hard drive has refused to function any longer.

Half an hour later, loaded with fresh information and having enjoyed a little on-line social activity, it is time to bundle my kiddies in the car for the school rounds. Ok, so as you can probably tell from this post, I am a creature of routine. This is how my day progresses most days and I am content with it.

How do you do breakfast? On the run? Out? Slow and methodical over a good book?

Published in: on 11th April, 2012 at 2:56 pm  Comments (2)  
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Photo-A-Day: Cold

Today is a cold day. Well, for those people who live in places where the temperature reaches sub-zero levels, this day might be considered balmy. But, to us Melburnians, it’s cold. The mercury is currently sitting at around 14°C (57°F). We have our heaters on if we are indoors, and if outside, it is woolen jacket weather.

I am a summer girl. I love the heat waves and sunshine. I lived in the tropics for five years and loved that climate. Even so, I did miss the cooler months – just a little. I missed being able to wear long sleeves and long pants without perspiring heavily in them. I missed cool nights where sleep comes much easier. But most of all I missed being able to snuggle beneath a warm blanket with a hot chocolate and a cozy love story. That, my friends, it the ultimate winter escape. Especially if there is a crackling log fire nearby.

So, I will not complain about my numb toes, my frozen and stiff fingers (which make it hard to type), or the chill draft which sneaks in – particularly when certain children leave the door open. I will instead, enjoy burying myself in a romance novel, hibernate if you will, and wait for the warmth of spring to thaw my cold bones again.

Are you a summer or a winter person? What is your favourite thing to do in cold weather?

Published in: on 10th April, 2012 at 3:43 pm  Comments (2)  
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Photo-A-Day: Inside Your Wallet

People keep all sorts of things inside their purses and wallets, but I don’t think I really have anything out of the ordinary. I have receipts, a few coins, frequent shoppers’ cards, credit cards, ID cards of various kinds, membership cards and a few business cards. Nothing to really write home about, indeed nothing stellar to even blog about.

But, they are all, or mostly anyway, necessary. If I was caught without my driver’s licence for instance, that could mean a fine. If I did not carry my credit/debit card, I would not be able to bring my purchases home. If I did not keep my frequent shopper cards on me, I might miss out on a bargain. Without my business cards, it would be more difficult to leave my contact details with a prospective client.

One thing I do carry, which is for my own benefit alone and not really necessary for daily living, but which I would not go without, is my family photos. I love to look at their faces staring back from pride of place in the window slot usually reserved for a licence (I tuck that unattractive card somewhere else). Of course they do come in handy when I meet a new friend and we want to share our family stories. But even without that, I love to know that I have them with me wherever I go.

What treasures do you keep in your purse or wallet?

Published in: on 8th April, 2012 at 8:55 pm  Comments (2)  
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Photo-A-Day: Shadow

I have been out most of the day, and keeping an eye out for shadows that looked interesting, but to no avail, and since I just got home at 10:30pm, this will have to do. I do like the shadow of trees against the moonlit sky though, especially when it’s cloudy.

Looking for shadows though, made me realise something. You can’t have shadows unless there is some light. If there is no light, there is only darkness. Then even with the smallest pinprick of light, a shadow is cast. And the brighter the light, the more stark the shadow is.

So it is with God, the Light of Life. If we let even the smallest ray in, the darkness in our soul begins to disperse. At first, as His light shines on all that we have horded in our hearts, lurid shadows are cast, showing up the worst in us. It leads us to remove those things which cause the shadows, until we are completely filled with light.

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” [John 12:46 NIV]

Published in: on 7th April, 2012 at 11:03 pm  Comments (2)  
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Photo-A-Day: Lunch

This one was easy. It’s Good Friday here in Australia and that means traditional hot cross buns for lunch. These I made fresh this morning and we enjoyed them for our midday meal. Yum.

This morning my little boy asked me why it is Good Friday. Although he knows the Easter story, I still had to remind him that Friday was the day Jesus died on a cross. I’m sure on that day, those two thousand years ago, it didn’t seem like a good Friday at all. In fact, I would say, for the disciples and others who loved Jesus deeply, it was probably the worst day of their lives.

Imagine watching someone you cared about go through that — the beating, the mockery, the nailing, the displaying for the world to see. When I watch the movie Passion of the Christ, I am right with Mary as she falls to the ground, grips handfuls of gravel and squeezes till her knuckles go white. Sheer agony.

But, they didn’t know then what we know now — even though He’d promised to return. Who comes back from the dead? They would have thought it was all over. Yet, He rose again on the Sunday.

So, now we can look at that bleak Friday and call it Good. God did a good thing for humanity that day, even though it is coloured in blood. Thank you Lord for going to the cross.

Published in: on 6th April, 2012 at 2:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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