A year…. how has that happened!

So 12 months ago today I said, ‘before we go to the water’s edge ; I want to go take a picture of that driftwood teepee on the beach‘. 

Photo Cred: me… 1 minute after my fall

Well I never made it to the water that day. And it’s hard to fathom that 12 months has gone past since. I have found that I have a strange gratitude what this season has brought. I mean when the MRI said I’d done my LCL, ACL, Meniscus and had a bakers cyst and something wrong with my patella. Firstly, I didn’t know what it all meant; thankful for my docs mini knee to show me thou. When your whole body head plants into the sand because everything from your left knee down stays firm; while the rest of your body falls without being able to brace yourself. Then your head and neck stop first before the rest of you …kinda whipped around and you sit up, going I heard something, grabbing your knee, expecting another wave of pain to hits which never lands. Then it’s strange to say you have gratitude. But I do. So therefore I’ll happily embrace the weirdness of it all. 

Let me say this straight.

I’m not happy I was hurt. I’m thankful it wasn’t worst. 

I’m not thankful it has been a slow slow slow recovery- I’m thankful I am recovering (115 days since surgery, not that I’m counting😉 , and I’m still using walking aids BUT each day there is improvement 😀and patience which grows🤔). 

I’m not thankful it hurts my brain to have to think so determinedly about each step; I’m thankful I still have capacity to do other things while this requires so much of me. 

I’m not thankful for all the times I felt like I’ve been doing this season alone; I’m thankful for those who celebrated my mini achievements as if I’d accomplished something world changing. 

I’m not thankful for the expenses associated with getting better (especially the month off without pay-ouch!); I’m thankful that I’m not financially stressed and have peace while I walk (😉)this though. 

I’m not thankful I had my first every overnight stay in hospital since being born; I’m thankful for our public health system which meant I could have my operation and the fabulous surgeon, doctors and nurses.  

I’m not thankful I had to have surgery; I’m thankful that God conquered a fearful situation in that operating room. 

I’m not thankful for having to face some major hurdles over the last 12 months; I’m thankful God carried me over each one of them. 

The strangest things is that doing my knee was just another things in a long list of  stuff that unfolds in life (we all have ups and downs hey!). But instead of finding myself in a pit of self pity- I found myself in a cacoon on contentment; when it make ab-so-lute-ly no sense. And I don’t recall making some big declaration to face it that way. When storms raged around and within- we can laugh when we might otherwise cry when we have an unshakable peace within us. For me that’s been Jesus.
So I’d be glossing over the hard times of the last 12 mths if I didn’t say that many times I just wanted to cry, give up and wallow. If I don’t say that I had many many challenges on all fronts to content with. That at times instead of being greeted with care, concern or even compassion, I was meet with contempt, judgement, condemnation and weighty expectations; which made me feel alone; really alone. 
But you know, I’ve been saying this off and on over the last 12 mths. We get to choose how we respond. And as my mentor said to be years ago. ‘Sometimes in life, the way people treat you, shows you who you don’t want to be‘. So there it is; the manure stinks but it gives nutritional value to the soil. So for all the poop that this year has brought, thank you for fertalizing my life. You wanted to bring stench to my world, but instead I’m better because of you. What was a tripping hazard- has instead propelled me into a new season. 
So while I’m not thankful that tree tripped me; I’m thankful for the awesome photo I have to mark the start of a season which had brought many unexpected things of value into my world. 
Thank you teepee, thank you left knee, thank you JC. ( sorry for my little rhyming). 
I have seen over this last little while this verse in action romans 8:28.


While they weren’t good on there own; they have been knotted into the fabric of my world and the pattern has been enhanced because of them. 

So….Happy Anniversary Knee- we are stronger than we were 12 months ago and we are going from strength to strength. Looking forward to many adventures over the coming days, years and decades. Here’s to being whole and healed! 
Thank you Lord, for always being with me, even when I tried to do it alone over this last season. You have been my everything. So thankful to do life with you xx

Until next time …. Happy Pondering !!

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…. granted 


This week the thinking space was drowned out by returning to work, part time hours after my recent knee surgery. What has amazed me over the past 6 weeks is how much we simply take for granted. 

Like having a shower, without needing a chair to sit on. Or standing up and taking a step without crutches. In fact doing pretty much anything at the moment to do with doors, steps, clothes, food, drink, walking, or sleeping 😂. A bit dramatic, but the point is; we often take for granted what we do and can do without thought, without issue.

When I was in PNG on a missions trip I remember having a moment where I was convicted of what I take for granted. In a tiny village called Medubur, we’d stayed in a hut built from a giant log that rolled in from the sea, palm leaf thatched roof and shade cloth material for windows. 


The story around this ministry hut on the beach is another story of what we can take for granted but I wanted to talk to you about the chicken. Yep, chicken 🐥 🍗 . 

You see growing up we seemed to eat a lot of chicken, compared to other meat, understandably it cost less. But, in my heart I wasn’t thankful when I saw it on the plate, instead I silently yearned for a steak. On the last day in this little beautiful village of Medubar, a chicken was walked up to the steps and presented to us before it was away to be turned into dinner. The sacrifice for this village was great because this was just one of 3 laying hens. It was their egg chook- a resource which just kept providing. They killed this animal and served it to the team as a way to honor the team and show appreciation us coming. It messed with me head then, and it still does today. 

Here I was whining in my heart in Australia when mum served chicken, yet fast forward years and I’m in PNG totally overwhelmed by the sacrifice made without murmur. 


What I took for granted was questioned by the reality in front of me – often what one is thankful for, others are not.

So today, why not grab a coffee, a pen and paper or a smart phone and write a list of all the little things your thankful for and maybe even so big ones, the things you often take for granted…. let me get you started…..

…….I’m thankful for a home with a heater (it’s winter in Melbourne), lovely soft blankets, ice packs to sooth my swollen knee, Monte Carlo biscuits to munch, wifi, someone cooking dinner 😉, transport when I’m unable to drive, someone to ask ‘is there anything you need’, literacy, clarity of thought and ……..

Until next time, Happy Pondering xx 
Photo Cred: Me 😉 in Medubar,PNG 2011 

Ruth: So it begins …..

Key Passage :Ruth 1:16-17

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I love this passage- the book really. I spend 6 months and 40000 words studying it in bible college and it taught me that every element of the bible has something for today. 
I remember when I got my first ever Bible study, it was on Ruth and I was 10; my mum was saying that you need to wait  for father to get home so he can help you. And me thinking  ‘no way I want to get this done’ ( i was super excited!) and this was part of the passage we were to study.   I first read it on that day,  and from that day till now I have loved it – it’s made me want to be a woman who is committed- beyond measure. 
I think back to the verse and think what an incredible woman- she gave up a family, her country,  friends etc to stick by her mother-in-law and the hope of a future.  Amazing sacrifice, so inspiring- Ruth what an amazing story shared in four little chapters.
Anyway, so I look at Ruth,and think I want to be that kind of person …someone who is loyal …faithful …courageous ….willing to try new things. So with that in mind I’m going to be chatting about this amazing woman’s story over the next few weeks. 
Check out this little video for an overview of the Book of Ruth- I loved it! 
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T5ks19z5q9w
Hope you enjoy the ride
Happy Pondering xx 

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…. greater love

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There I did it – I just used Wikipedia as my guide to history –please forgive me!  This week as we approached ANZAC DAY in Australia we remember the massive sacrifices which were made for us to live in the freedom we do – we are a very blessed nation, As a foodie, the famous biscuit crossed my mind.  You see them everywhere at this time of year, but we don’t always stop to ask why.
So here’s my Wikipedia bit….
Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in World War I. It has been claimed the biscuits were sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_biscuit).
I wanted to give you a little insight into the Famous ANZAC biscuit and prompt you to maybe bake a batch between now and next Tuesday and remember the sacrifice that the generations that have gone before have brought us.
‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  John 15:13
And by generations I don’t just mean the last few, but the countless generations who have been before us.  We live in a time of untold gratitude towards those who paved the way for the good, no great things, we have in our lives.  No matter where we live, no matter whether you had loved ones who went to war or not, we all know people who have make sacrifices for big and small for others, for us.  There the ones I feel prompted to say thanks too, along with being filled with gratitude for those made the ultimate sacrifices for freedom (this always reminded me of Jesus too – now amazing His sacrifice of love)
fresh vegetables on wooden tableOh, before I go, here’s a link to a ANZAC recipe (I prefer them on the chewy side, or straight from the freezer..yummm delicious!) http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/anzac-biscuits/cc4e2031-8b63-48e7-8eff-b2637f472180
Next week we have a guest blogger, who’ll be joining us.  I’m so looking forward to it…….
Until then, Happy Pondering x

 

the greatest love…..

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A few years ago my pa passed away at this time of the year. As we prepared for the funeral around Christmas celebrations I remember this strange juxtaposition of sorrow, joy, happy memories, laughs, tales from the years past, mixed with thankfulness for the goodness of God and a tinge of nervousness. 

I’d been asked to say a few words at the funeral, I remember thinking, ‘what do I say that will honour my pa and be what he’d want said’.  I’d heard from my cousins that my pa had told them to ‘choose your love and love your choice‘, while I’d never been fortunate enough to hear this advice from my pa directly (that’s what happens when you don’t take a love home to meet the man) its rings true, even to this day.

He’d have wanted his family and friends to know that Jesus was his first and greatest love. Sounds strange and even a little offensive to those who have different belief systems, but because of this love for Jesus, he was able to love my nana, his tribe of 7, their spouses and tribes and their tribes with a great love. It wasn’t sourced in his own strength, but it overflowed from love Himself – GOD. My pa would sit and listen and then into the conversation drop wisdom; calmly, consistently and lovinglywhat a sweet memory.

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As we approach another Christmas, it is with fond memories that I dedicate this post to my pa – a man who taught me a lot about great character and doing life well and to hunger after the things of God.  And like him I say ‘Choose your love‘, let it be Jesus.  As we celebrate Christmas it’s easy to be swallowed up by busy schedules, finding perfect gifts, function galore and food (we also swallow a lot of food at Christmas 🙂 ). But remember that this is a time to celebrate the greatest love story ever told, and one that is still unfolding to this day. It’s a time to remember that Jesus was born, to live and die as the ultimate loving gift to all humanity, throughout all time.  It’s put so well here. 

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again” John 3:16 The Message 

If you have chosen to love Jesus (fabulous, that delights my heart!); love your choice this Christmas.  Love Him, thanks Him, praise Him and make Him the number 1 priority in all that will happen around your Christmas. And from that place shower love on all you encounter.  


I wish you all a very joyful and loving Christmas, filled to overflowing with the goodness of God. 

Merry Christmas xx

 

 

 

the best, the beautiful

fairyHow easy it is to become side-tracked from the best and beautiful things of life.  And for this reason we are encouraged to actively fill our minds with such things.  We look around the world, our worlds and can easily be tripped up by the ugly, the worst, the vague, the confusing and the concerning.  All the while forgetting that there is much to be thankful for – especially for those of us who live in developed nations; we easily forget that while we wonder about what to wear, someone has nothing to wear.  Oh, while we complain about the cost of food, some have none to eat.  I’m not trying to trip you up and have you feel bad about living in a blessed society.  Merely, saying it’s way too easy to forget that life is good.  God is good. And even when our world or the world seems like it falling apart.  We are blessed to fall into the arms of Jesus for comfort, hope, joy, strength and love.

What in your world is beautiful today?  For me, it’s the gentle breeze in the trees on our first 30 degree day in 9 months. (yey!!!Summer is coming to Melbourne)

What’s the best in your world today? So much am I grateful for, but the best of today, is knowing God is totally at work in and around my world. (Love that realisation so much)

Ok, that’s all from me -over and out

Happy Pondering xx

Oh, feel free to comment below the best and beautiful of your day 🙂 

Oh happy day!

*sings* oh, happy day, oh happy day, ohhh happp-ie day-yyy, ohhh happy day.

A photo by Julia Caesar. unsplash.com/photos/DpoMKEARZe4It’s another cool spring morning in Melbourne – well its 16ºC, which based on our long winter is practically tropical.  The difference is there is blue sky, the wonderful fragrance of blooming rose bushes and birds singing to each other.    I seem to be on a happy spree at the moment in my writing.  Constant opportunity arise to steal our joy, our song, our peace, you just need to look at Facebook or the news and you’ll see a reason to frown, to stumble, to wonder ‘what’s going on?’

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I remember as a kid playing ‘obvious hide and seek’ with the girls in grade 5.  We’d hang off different play equipment in the playground, whoever got home to base before being sprung didn’t need to be ‘it’ next time.  Guaranteed when I was ‘it’ I’d miss the person standing about 5 feet away from me, because I was too busy looking for the mystery instead of the obvious.

This perfectly describes God at time in our lives. He is there to be found, in obvious ways, but sometimes we miss it, because we are trying too hard or think He’s lurking in the shadows, like I thought the girl were when we played.

So today, no matter what’s going on around you, position yourself in His joy and peace.  Eyes affixed to peace Himself.  Psalm 46:1 says ‘God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble’ (HCSB).  So today, as you go about all that you need, remember to look up past the circumstances into the kindness and goodness of God.  He isn’t playing a game of hide and seek, instead He says ‘seek me and you’ll find me’ (Jer 29:13) ‘draw near to me and I’ll draw near to you’ (James 4:8).  Now that’s a great reason to be happy!

Until next time, happy pondering

3 words

photo-1431207446535-a9296cf995b1Challenge accepted! Can you wrap your 2016 so far into only 3 words – this was the challenge laid out before me.  What! 3 words for a talker! Impossible! But when I took a deep breathe to ponder the challenge, what came was the best summary of all.

So, I’m not going to tell you mine…I know – not fair, but I’ve a great title for a book now 😉 The challenge is not so much for sharing, but personally taking stock of what’s been unfolding in the sheer, fast passed madness which is twenty16.  So, grab a coffee, and take 30 seconds to quiet yourself and ask the question ‘what’s my 3 word summary for this year’.  You might be amazed at what follows – I know I was!

Until next time,Happy pondering

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