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. 😉

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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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Photo-A-Day: Tiny

The present bane of my life is mice. Too many of them. Such tiny creatures that causes big problems. I had been hearing the noises in the walls and the little pitter-patter across the floor early in the morning — actually running under my chair while I was writing in the pre-dawn hours — for weeks. I set up traps to no avail. I shifted them several times, and still the little blighters managed to evade my ambush.

Until I found the hole. Then I placed a trap strategically, right in front of said hole, and another trap a few metres away. Needless to say, I have since caught several mice trying to invade my home. All that remains is to seal the gap they’ve gnawed through my skirting board and throw some bait up in the roof. Problem solved.

But, I am reminded of that verse which says “Catch for us the foxes,  the little foxes that ruin the vineyards,  our vineyards that are in bloom,” from Song of Solomon 2:15. Sometimes we allow little sins to run riot in our life. We might be sorry and try to change, but unless we get to the source, where the temptation lies and be honest with ourselves, we’re not really going to rout out those things and see a difference in our lives.

So, let’s get those little foxes and mice, and make our houses and hearts clean again. 🙂

Published in: on 5th April, 2012 at 6:53 pm  Comments (2)  
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Photo-A-Day: Someone Who Makes You Happy

My two boys. Granted, I cheated and took this photo on Sunday at church, but it was a moment that filled my heart with joy and I had to capture it then and there.

My son was one of those surprise gifts from God. I thought I was done having children, but He had other ideas — and I’m so glad He did. This little boy touches my heart in a way no-one else does. He opens doors like a little gentleman, brings me flowers from the garden, often gives me spontaneous kisses and cuddles, and is constantly helpful. He also has a good dose of mischief and a lovely sense of humour.

And my husband. He makes me laugh. I admire his passion — when he believes in something, he really believes in it — 100%. There is nothing two-faced about him, what you see is what you get. He also has a twisted sense of humour, and has written many a silly poem, and sung many a silly song. You never know what he’ll come out with next. I honour him now, too, because he has just come through six tortuous years of depression, and is now getting stronger every day as he presses into God.

So, this moment, when my son wanted to emulate his father as we worshipped, one small hand on top of his dad’s, joy welled up inside me. It was one of those moments that made me melt.

Do you have moments like that? Who brings joy to your life?

Published in: on 4th April, 2012 at 6:43 pm  Comments (6)  
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Photo-A-Day: Colour

“What’s your favourite colour?” I was asked this question soon after arriving at work this morning. A friend of mine, affectionately known as Uncle Foff, just returned from a missions trip to Cambodia — and he came bearing gifts. He held up a selection of these cute coin purses and offered me a choice.

It was an easy decision. I’ve always loved red — most of all deep wine red, or burgundy. It reminds me of royalty and richness. Pictures of plush velvet drapes flash through my mind, along with deep red roses, glamorous satin dresses, plump cherries, the red carpet that is saved for VIPs, and sparkling rubies.

But this deep red also reminds me of the blood that was shed for my sins upon a cross. Jesus. And with Easter only days away, it is appropriate once again to reflect on the life sacrifice He made in love for me. Yes, that red represents the colour of love to me.

So, today I am grateful for gifts in red, both small and great. What is your favourite colour, and what does it represent to you?

Published in: on 2nd April, 2012 at 7:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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