Friday, 27 May 2016

Who is cheering you on to become the best you?

Today in MOPS we looked at friendship. I was quite emotional watching the DVD and talking through what that looks like in our lives. Friendship, true deep, soul-connecting friendship has always been really difficult for me for reasons that I feel I am only now beginning to understand. I am blessed to have a few really close friends now who are my "home team" as Shauna Niequist puts it. This has taken a really long time for me to develop. These are the women who cheer me on and encourage me to take the steps of faith and development that I have over the past few years. They have cheered me on in dark times when I wasn't sure I would make it. They have cheered me on in my writing and my vulnerability, which is hard for me. 
I want to be a friend who cheers others on too. I want to be a writer who cheers others I have never met to live out authentic faith and pursue who God has created them to be. Who is in my life right now that needs that? Who is in your life that may need that cheering on? Instead of getting caught in comparison, let's be the ones who champion others on.

Inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt "cheer" where I'm linking up.

Thankful Thursday is still open. Click here to go to that post and link up.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Thankful Thursday

Time to hard stop and have eyes to see the good things in my life this week. We have reached the final Thankful Thursday in May and life feels as if it is running on fast forward right now. I am taking these moments to allow my soul to breathe as I push the pause button.

  • A sick daughter may seem an unusual thing to be thankful for (and I'm certainly not too grateful for the very little sleep!) It did allow me to have an extra day at home with her this week with divine cuddles on the couch while watching a movie together. I was reminded again how short this time when she fits in my arms will be. 
  • I had the opportunity to speak at the Subiaco MOPS group about messy play. I love that I now get to visit other groups and share things that I am passionate about. The messy play talk certainly takes significant preparation but I get the added bonus of being a fun mum while I do what has to be done. My daughter loves helping me make up and test the messy play recipes. She helped me with the clean up too!

  • For several days my daughter had been asking me if we could paint our nails. A lazy Saturday morning was the perfect opportunity to have some mother-daughter time with pretty, sparkly nail polish. I am also very thankful that it is cold and wet here requiring closed shoes after the pedicure she gave me!

  • Opportunities to write in the cracks of my days. Many of the words may never be viewed by others, some have been published elsewhere and some are in progress for future. I am learning how to pursue this desire in the midst of my life as it feeds my soul. 
My greatest desire from these posts is to inspire others to stop and take notice of what is good in their daily lives. What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Thankful Thursday

  • The gratitude that takes centre stage for me this week is for the life and health of my daughter. One evening this week, we were in our back room tidying up before bed when a wasp got stuck under her t-shirt and stung her seven times before I could get her top off. She was in excruciating pain and I was so worried that she may be allergic as she had never been stung before. A tense evening of monitoring her closely and applying first aid ensued. We got her to bed later covered in welts but drowsy from antihistamines and pain killers. We fully expected her to be up during the night in discomfort and possibly through the next day. She slept through the night (amazing in its own right with my girl!) and was in no pain at all the next morning. The bites were barely visible red dots. I was so grateful for answered prayers for healing. My emotions may have taken longer to recover however! 

  • I am also so incredibly grateful for the outpouring of caring and concern from friends on Facebook and through messages checking up on her the next day. I am truly blessed to be in the community of friends that I find myself surrounded by. A special mention also goes to my husband for going to the shops to buy me my favourite sugar- free chocolate bar as a balm to frayed nerves without compromising my healthier eating.

  • Sunrises have always had a soothing and centring effect on my soul. The morning after the wasp incident, this greeted me out of my kitchen window. There was a flock of birds flying back and forth across this vista (the tiny black dots in this picture). What a blessing!

  • Trying to sum up all that I am thankful for from the Better Mums Conference on the weekend is proving too much for a little blurb here. Thankfully I have been given the opportunity to write a whole post about it for them to process through the day. A highlight for me was getting to meet Kelly Burstow from Be a Fun Mum, who has long been an inspiration and encouragement to me in my mothering journey. I was shocked to discover that she had remembered me from interactions we've had on social media. Don't you love it when people you admire turn out to be just as lovely in person?! My full write up of the conference will be up on the Better Mums Facebook page at some point in the next week. 

  • The first blooms of my favourite plant in our garden appeared this week. I think it is called a wedding bush.

  • My daughter spontaneously singing her own praise songs with arms raised. I love seeing her little heart bursting forth with gratitude. 
"Thank you God for healing my toe. You are amazing grace. Thank you God for healing. You are amazing grace."
"God you are glorious. I love you. You are strong. You help me sleep. You haven't given me fear but love and mind"

This has been a dense week of things to be thankful for. There are deeper revelations and awakenings that I am still processing too. I love hearing what you are thankful for in the comments or through your own posts in the link up.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Thankful Thursday

This week has been full and, at times, has felt overwhelming (or maybe it was only my expectations of myself that were overwhelming).

I have many things to be grateful for this week:
  • The decision that has been looming over me and constantly playing in the back of my mind has been made. I may have felt a little ill as I said yes but have a peace that it is the right call. Unfortunately, my cruelty must be ongoing as details cannot be shared as yet.
  • The encouragement of colleagues on a bad day. I love the company I work for and the people I get to work with. The conversation I had with them brought clarity and a realisation of part of my make up that I had never seen before. More pondering and searching is needed now to understand what this means for me.
  • Working for a company that allows us to stop and pray in our day. As part of that conversation, we got to stop and pray. I felt so blessed and refreshed by this. There aren't many places that would allow that.
  • Mother's day celebrations despite not all going to plan- I still felt loved by my daughter and appreciated by my husband. I choose to focus on that.

  • Sharing a new experience of an orchestral concert with my daughter, watching her so enthralled and excited to play an instrument one day. What really warmed my heart was when she spontaneously rushed over for a hug and said, "Thank you so much for bringing me here, Mummy!" and gave me a kiss. 

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Thankful Thursday

It's that time of the week again. Time to stop and reflect back on all the little and big moments that I am thankful for in my week. 

  • As happens so often, our sermons at church have been linking in beautifully with what we have been looking at in MOPS this year. The current series on "The Table" has contained so many of the same truths and encouragement to celebrate, to be relational in the way we seek to share the gospel and to rest. You can listen to the podcasts here.
  • The spontaneous moments when my daughter makes up songs about how much she loves talking to God or prays. She is starting to use some of the verses I use in prayers over her (albeit a little mixed up at times). It warms my heart to see her on her own faith journey.
  • I have been humbled this week at the support from friends and family and even those I don't know as my first article was published for an online magazine. Sitting in front of a computer screen, baring my soul through my words is a little like being in a bubble. I have no idea of the response. It was such a wonderful experience and has spurred me on to keep writing. You can read more about this and the article here. 

  • My first school Mother's Day pampering session. I was so thankful to be in a job that is flexible enough to allow me to go. My heart broke thinking about how devastated Isabel would have been if I couldn't (and then thinking of those kids without a mother this Mother's Day). Such a precious time of connecting with my daughter and making memories.

  • Walking outside to our back room for my quiet time in the early morning and being captured by the stars in the sky. 
  • A breakthrough with a student- I was actually able to have a proper conversation with him! (This may not make sense unless you understand the nature of the kids I teach at Alta-1 College. They have severe anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions that prevent them from attending school. A conversation can be a major achievement.)
  • Getting back into a work out habit. I feel so much better when I am taking care of myself and I need to take care of myself to be the best mother, wife, friend, MOPS leader etc that I can.
I would love to hear what you are thankful for this week. Please join me in the comments or through the link up. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Most Important Part of Parenting

"Have you ever had those moments when you are suddenly and acutely aware that those little eyes are taking in everything that you do and say, both what you want them to absorb and what you don’t?"

I had the privilege of writing an article for the Growing Faith online magazine which seeks to encourage and equip Christian parents. The thought above starts off my reflections on why your faith as a parent matters to helping your child grow in their faith journey. This is the most important part of parenting, in my opinion, as it has eternal implications. I am in no way a perfect parent (as I share in the article) but love sharing my heart on this.

Interested in reading more? Click here to read the full article.