Thursday, 25 February 2016

Thankful Thursday

It has not been the best of weeks and yet I see so much to be grateful for. 

  • The opportunity to share with and encourage other mums of young children to notice goodness in their lives at MOPS. I know what a difference this practice makes for me (especially in the really tough first year of my daughter's life). Sharing tools and tips to help build this habit meant a lot to me.
  • A husband who is willing to take carers leave to look after our sick daughter so I can go to work. It makes me feel valued and that he values the work that I do as well. He is an amazing dad.
  • Supernatural energy that got me through a full day of work and an event I had been looking forward to after only two hours of sleep thanks to a vomiting daughter.
  • The effort to drive through peak hour traffic to take my daughter to a concert of one of her favourite singers was so worth it. Her delight was abundantly evident to all around her. I love that she can enjoy music while getting solid truth about Jesus. Colin Buchanan was excellent.

So blurry but loved the natural smile in this picture.

  • Finding a delicious, easy to make and healthy dairy free "yoghurt" recipe. I miss yoghurt and this has been a true treat.

  • Watching my daughter discover new skills and enjoying creative pursuits.

Making herself a handbag from a kids sewing kit.

Attempting to create her own loom band creation. This was her chosen quiet time activity. Rubber bands everywhere!

What good things do you see in your life today? Be intentional in looking for the big and small blessings that surround you. Join me in the comments or the link up below.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Lent for kids: A Sense of the Resurrection

If you read any of my blog in December, you know that engaging my daughter in activities that focus on the true meaning of Christmas is important to me. I want to do the same with Easter but focusing on a celebration that also includes torture, death and sin is not so easy. I have the added concern of having a very sensitive little girl who takes heavy issues on board. Having done Truth in the Tinsel, it was a natural progression to try Sense of the Resurrection since it is written by the same author. I did some of the activities with Isabel last year (read about that here) and she did start to grasp the concepts. This year she is so much more capable of understanding and open to the truth of Jesus' love. Seeing her love for memorising Scripture and her spontaneous prayers and praise sessions has blessed my heart in recent times. I can only provide the opportunities for her to hear the truth then step back and allow the Spirit to work.

Lent may be well past begun but it is not too late to start this year. I love that there are only 12 experiences in this book. It feels so manageable in the midst of a full season. We started late last week:

Day 1

Day 2 has been started but not yet completed so photos still to come.

If you'd like to join me in these hands on activities to help kids engage with the Easter story, click on the image below (affiliate link- at no extra cost to you, your purchase helps to support me)

Click here to view more details

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Thankful Thursday

It has taken a huge portion of willpower to sit and write this week. I have been caught between the desire to write, the fullness of my brain and time with other matters and being ill. With all of that, this list is needed even more.

  • Spending time with God both on my own and in the midst of life. I have loved the new insights and the peace undergirding my days. 


  • Finding DELICIOUS drinks that are healthy and help me with my new better eating journey.

  • My daughter loving school so much, even if we are dealing with a very tired, cranky little girl more often than usual.

  • Delighting in my daughter's joy and sense of humour. So many moments in the day where she cracks me up and makes my heart burst. I especially loved watching her revel in her first soccer lesson- the only girl in the class but held her own.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Thankful Thursday

Another week of the year has passed. Another week of life, full of tiredness, busyness, delight, giggles and frustration. Another opportunity to stop and be thankful for the big and small, frivolous and deep.

  • Cool, quiet early mornings in the midst of a record heatwave. To sit in the morning air, listening to the birds and connecting with God has been a restoring joy.

  • Netflix putting up more seasons of Heartland. I love having a show that doesn't have bad language, innuendo and has heartwarming stories to lose yourself in. Now to work on reducing my binge watching!

  • My little cheerleader. After a frustrating afternoon where she had pulled on a cable and smashed a bright pink glitter lava lamp over her carpet, cushion, teddy bear and numerous toys, I was using our carpet cleaner to attempt to reduce the stain. She stood at the door literally cheering for me and telling me what a great job I was doing. Encouragement pours out of this kid and touches my heart.

  • Sticking to my fitness and healthy eating goals despite wanting to give up at times.

  • My Lent devotional arriving the day before Lent starts. Such perfect timing and a beautiful book by the Naptime Diaries. It is still available digitally if you want to get a little later start.

  • If:gathering 2016. The availability of the broadcast over the weekend was such a blessing. God messed me up in deep ways that I am still figuring out. 

  • Taking delight in my daughter this week. There have been some tough moments with her this week but the unbridled joy that bubbles out of her is infectious.

I love hearing what you are thankful for. Join me in the link up or in the comments.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Thankful Thursday

What a week this has been! I am feeling pretty spent right at this moment from the mental and emotional energy required for new routines, seeing my daughter starting school and swimming lessons and getting back into work. Grateful for this opportunity to stop and notice all the good this week.

  • An amazing school for my daughter- other than a small case of nerves and upset at the realisation of not seeing her daycare friends anymore, she LOVED her first day. The staff there are incredible. They even sent a letter to her the week before school talking about what they would do and how much they were looking forward to seeing her. I am fully convinced that this is exactly the right place for her this year.

  • My personal on-call tech support- I love being married to an IT guy and being able to call him to sort out issues when needed. He is also great for setting up all sorts of fun tech at home that makes me look good when running MOPS training and can send videos from my phone to our TV. Makes my life so much easier.
  • Having a date for surgery for my wisdom teeth removal- knowing that the end is in sight for dealing with the annoying discomfort is great (even if it is still a wait and the anticipation of surgery is not pleasant!)
  • Not being on crutches anymore- my stress fracture is recovering and I don't need the crutches to get around. I do have to be careful not to overdo it now!
  • The evening stillness after a full day
What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, 1 February 2016

What I learned in January

The first month of the year is finished! It may not have been quite as I planned and it now seems like a whirlwind, but it was a good start to 2016 overall. I learned a few things along the way:

  • Anticipation can be torturous! My headspace was often full of what February was bringing- my daughter starting school, being back at work with adjusted work hours, MOPS launching for 2016 with me in my new role. Plenty to wrap my head around. The anticipation filled my mind with so many what ifs and trying to work out logistics. It got to the point of just needing it to begin so that it could get out of my head and be worked out practically.
  • New flooring can change the way you feel in a house. Our lounge was never fully restful for me because the carpet always looked so awful with its stains. There was always an element of embarrassment when people came into my house as it was the first thing you saw walking in the door. The carpet is gone!! While there may be some adjustments needed with a different type of flooring, it has made my whole house feel more elegant and put together. These photos don't do it justice!

  • My body is not made for running. Developing a stress fracture only a few weeks into a running program (following recommendations) is a good indication that running may not be the exercise form for me. 
  • Resting a stress fracture is very frustrating, especially when you have a four year old to care for, a house to clean and run and a full schedule of preparation activities for the start of the school term. I keep overdoing it. 
  • I am able to give up sugar! I have been making baby steps towards switching over to the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. I have a sweet tooth and have strongly resisted giving up sugar previously but have been very successful so far this year. I am noticing small changes already and look forward to even greater health and body improvements over time.
  • I am reminded anew of how the days can be long while the years are short. I feel like my daughter has switched into a new phase without me noticing the change taking place. 
  • God is really wanting me to get the message of taking care of my heart and soul. Every area of input seems to be impressing this on me. I feel in a really good place right now but know that it can all change so quickly if I am not intentional with pursuing soul restoration. Might need some processing and writing on that!
In many ways I don't feel ready to process through all that January contained. It felt full and weighty in ways that I can't quite distinguish right now. So this will be my list.

What did you learn in January?

Linking up with Emily P. Freeman on her blog.