It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..

Merry Christmas! I hope whatever you are doing over the next few days brings great joy to your hearts.

It’s seems to be the time of the year when people either love Christmas or hate it. And a lot of that, I guess, has to do with what their previous experiences have been and how this year has unfolded.

Which leads me to this quote I love from Ann Voskamp ‘I want a Christmas that whispers Jesus’.

I’d tweak it to say “shouts” but that’s maybe because the world is SO noisy it’s hard to hear anything of value sometimes.

It’s so easy at this time of the year to be caught up in buying the perfect gift, cooking perfect meals and wanting perfect weather but while these things aren’t wrong in themselves; they are of lesser importance and dare I say no or little lasting value in the vastness of your decades of living.

So this year, as Christmas rolls into full swing remember that it’s a time we celebrate the birth of Jesus. The start of His journey on earth that would eventually lead to His death and resurrection. And the restoration which is available to all of us if we choose to enter into relationship with God.

So, look up from the myriad of tasks, wants and desires and instead love on someone who is doing it tough. Show interest is someone who may be difficult to connect with in a real conversation. Remember, that Christmas is better when it’s shared, and more fun when it includes others beyond our immediate network.

My favorite memories growing up included having others join us for Christmas, friends not traveling to family or tourists picking fruit as they traveled around Australia which we’d met at church. Sharing a meal and buying them pressies was fun. But laughing together, telling stories and enjoying getting to know each-other is the lasting memory.

Whatever Christmas brings you, I pray it is fun, joyful; and full of love and celebration for the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Until January sometime ……Happy Pondering

Love ya XX

Advertisements

…timely reminder 

So, I just came across this note. Actually totally unsure how my email found it considering I entered the inbox and it was from December 2016 and hiding in a folder 🤔 Another technology mystery 😉

So on this day- where I’ve not a lot to say (I know, I know – I always say that and then write a thesis) this little note seems to sum up perfectly what’s in my heart. 

Give got this

You can do this

It’s your time!

So here it is… a note from my inbox 


Who do you say I am?

Chosen by the beloved

Loved beyond measure

Forgiven for all eternity

Worthy to be called a son of God

Treasured in the Almighty’s heart

Beautiful beyond measure and loved more than the flower of the field and the bird of the air.

You are a child of God, chosen and created for a plan and purpose. 

Born into this very era, for this is your ‘now’ time. 

You are beautiful and chosen to represent me and my love to the world. A world crying to know the a love of the Father, the joy of the king.    

So rather than expand it, I’m going to let you ponder that thru, while I head to the park to celebrate a friend birthday. Hello Summer! 
Until next week, Happy Pondering xx

Remembrance Day

Well, it’s November 11th, and in Australia (and other commonwealth counties) that means it’s Remembrance Day. At 11am we have a moment of silence (usually a minute) to stop everything and remember those who died in the line of duty, during war. They sacrificing their lives for ours. 

Shrine of Remembrance- Melbourne June ‘17

Such a heavy price was paid- the lives of countless men and women. They paid the ultimate price, and sacrifice for us to live in freedom. (Always reminds me of a man who did the same for us – called Jesus. And the freedom which was availed to all who would receive. Not in our nations so much, although that too,  but our very bodies, souls and spirits).

For me, as we approach the 11am mark in just few hours, I’m reminded of other things that have taken place on this day in my world. Some I definitely don’t want to remember and others that leave me with awe and wonder at how things unfold. So no matter what’s going on today (and every day for that matter), steal that moment whether it be at 11am or 3:47pm and stop a moment. To be thankful for those that pathed a way in your world, the others that sacrificed so that you may enjoy something. And breathe. Breathe deeply in the goodness that life can hold. Yep….even in the middle of hay fever 😉, responsibilities, and chaos. 

So today, on Remembrance Day, I remember all those who sacrificed for me to have this life I live. 
I remember the freedom I have in the country I live in was brought at high cost. 

I remember, the relationship I have with Jesus was brought at high cost. 

I remember the ACL I had created from my body, was done only because a surgeon paid a high cost to learn those techniques and perfect them. 

I remember that the house I live in was brought at high cost( literally in Melbourne these days😉) and loaned to me on a month by month agreement, some might call it a rental. But I call it my home. 

I remember the little girl born on this day, who I taught in kids church,  who this week graduated from Police Academy👮(no- not the movies😂) and paid a high price to train to protect the freedom of others. 

Are they all of equal weight-no. Should I be grateful for it all- definitely! 

We generally don’t need to look to hard, to find someone, who did something, for our benefit. The world is crying out for us all to be more grateful and thankful for what we have and less entitled. There I said it (sorry, I don’t really pull those punches, as we just need to hear it straight sometimes. Trust me, I felt it connect in an ouch, as I typed it too).

So today, the challenge to both me and you, is to remember to be more thankful for what I have and who I am, than I was yesterday. 
Can I hear a ‘challenge accepted’! 

Until next time, happy Pondering 

Below are a few the other photos from my visit to Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance in June. 

Busy Haze…..

So last week I had this great thought while doing a country trip for work. You know the kind- brilliant but now you can’t remember. Yeah, it was one of them. And since it still escapes me, I’m using that as my excuse for not posting last week 😉

PhotoCred: asiaone.com

So, I’ve really not a lot to say but since I’m sitting in a hospital weighting room- I figure it’s the perfect time to write since I’ve been complaining about being busy. 
That word- Busy!

We all use it

We all complain about it

But we often don’t do anything about it.
We just keep on, keeping on. No changes to systems, processes, lifestyle, beliefs. And then we wonder why are we always so busy?
I think it’s due to a few things… hold tight…. I’m not going to pull any punches 😉😂😂

We might have a fear of missing out (FOMO) so we overcommit and sadly under deliver on our life’s to-do list in both the big and small things. 

We may be disorganized and pull others into the vortex of mess. Or others pull us into theirs. (Hate that!)

We may not know how to use the word ‘no’ and therefore say ‘yes’- when ‘no’ is the right, appropriate, and perfectly appropriate answer. 
We don’t know what we want, why we’re here and what to do; so we do a bit of everything. Thinking, the perfect ‘it’ will shine a light and bring an ‘ah ha‘ moment. So this is what I was born for.

What I’ve learnt is that in the busyness of life, we rarely find purpose. With purpose often comes purposeful activity, but busyiness is more a haze filled existence than a purposeful full life. Hope your tracking with me.

I believe God wants us to find our purpose in Him and from there live, the life He is calling us to and do the things He’s asking of us. 

For this we need to learn how to create margin around our life so that we have the space to lean into Him. To ask Him the big questions. To discover the answers big and small in a stillness. Not necessarily quite, no necessarily relaxing doing nothing, but a place of peace and calm within. While we accomplish all we need to. 

So sorry- you still need to go to work, do the dishes and the laundry. But you also need to drop out of your days and weeks some not importants so to find space for the vitals. Spending time with Him is a vital. And often is the first thing to go when we get busy. 

So I’m encouraging you and myself, to create margin, cut what need to go and implement what adding. 
Then maybe we’ll all feel less busy and more productive. 
Until next time

Happy Pondering xx

Daisy Chain

Earlier in the week I was walking up and down the street, when the little boy who lives opposite our place, who’s 5, gave me a few daisies. As I talked with his mum, Josie, Master 5 brought more and more flowers until I had a handful. 

Master 5 handful of flowers

Josie commented to me that she’d made his big sister- Miss 7 her first daisy chain on the weekend. Master 5 not wanting to miss out requested (or demanded😉) that mum make him one too.

Josie said they where amazed

Ahhh so funny, how something as simple as a daisy chain can appear to be a great wonder. 

And here is why I think it’s like that. Master 5 and Miss 7 still looks at the world with childlike wonder. And why wouldn’t they no jobs, bills or relationship dramas to deal with. But we, the old ones of this story , we get tainted with the grim of daily life. We forget our wonder, we forget to be in awe. We may have even lost all hope of looking at the world around us and seeing the good, the beautiful, the amazing and the unexplainably delightful. 

I’d like to propose that this is more because of how we choose (or default) to living each day. If we look for the negative we find it. If we look for the positive, we’ll see it. If we hunt for the wonderment we had when we here kids we’ll discover it. 
So what are you defaulting to today? Wonder and awe or despair and negativity. 
And my next big power question sequence is:

Are you happy with this?

Do you want it to change?

What you going to do about that?
And maybe the toughest when you going to start and how you going to keep yourself on track?
I’m not foolish enough to believe I can bring change to my world totally independent of help. I know, I have to make the choose and the buck stops with me, but I also know that sometimes you need to enlist a cheer squad, a coach and a water boy to keep you on the field of play. Cause as soon as you hit the bench for timeout and an breather; you going backwards. 

I don’t know about you- but my most loyal companion is God, I mean He is always there- me I can wander away, distance myself or forget to call on Him at times, not wanting to be a burden. But He is always there. And He sees it all so differently.


As it says in James- draw near to me and He’ll draw near. It not that He’s waiting for you to make the first move. Instead He is always calling to come closer, but will it grab you and demand you to. Instead He extends an invitation. So today, I encourage you accept it. Draw near to Him, let God show you the wonder that exists in Him and in the world around you. 

Until next time 

Happy Pondering xx

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 !!

RU OK?

It’s RU OK? day, and I’ve seen numerous people change there Facebook photos and post about it on there page. Posting famous quotes, like this one….

Which is great!

But I’ve a little extra challenge for you. Grab you phone and add a reminder in it everyday for the next month, at say 10am. Morning coffee time☕️

When the reminder goes off, ask yourself this question- ‘God, is there anyone you want me to contact today?‘, if you don’t have the same belief system, that’s ok. You can still do the challenge, just see who pops into your mind as the reminder goes off. 
When the remind goes off:

  • send a quick message to someone, ask how they are going if you know they are doing it rough. 
  • Say thanks to a friend you value. 
  • Find a corny meme (like this one I’m guilty of sending to a few people🙃)
Photo Cred: Lisa Slavid
  • Send a joke to someone who loves to laugh but has been low on giggles lately. 
  • Find a inspirational quote or verse and send it along. 
  • Or, ask God what it is He wants you to say, do or send to them. 

I’ve had a reminder set for everyday of the last 18 months. I don’t always do it (cause I’m slack😉) but I’m amazed how many times I’ve heard ‘it’s just what I’ve needed today’.

Let me know how it goes. I’d love to know. 
Until next time, Happy Pondering xx

Photo Cred: www. memes.doublie.com

unexpected preparation! 

Each week I sit down to write and often I’ve nothing to say until I open the note section of my phone. Or should I say, I don’t know what to share until this time🤔.

Like most people there are a myriad of things going on in life. A jumble of good, bad, common and unexpected. Things you want to talk about and things you don’t, can’t or won’t or shouldn’t.

I’ll leave you to ponder that, while I eat my aeroplane food. My currently flying home from Toowoomba, QLD and my ricotta lasagne is making my stomach grumble. So is the garlic bread. Oh no– too hot……so while it’s cooling here’s my thought. 

PhotoCred:Selfie of me and my mum June’17

My mum came to Melbourne a few weeks ago to drive me to and from work, while my sister was overseas enjoying her holiday. I’m healing a little slower than expected or desired and wasn’t cleared to drive until 9 weeks post knee surgery. (Seems never ending and so long at the moment, but progress is progress and that’s to be celebrated). 

The day after I was cleared to drive Mum came home and now two weeks later she went into hospital herself. This has me thinking 💭 

Before my surgery I had a lead up time, a time to prepare, a few weeks. Mum had a few days, but as I met mum’s room mate in hospital- she had no time to prepare. 


She was just working away on the farm when a piece of barbed wire decided to break free and wrap around her leg. Sounds painful I know- (I saw the photos😬 – so so gross). 

This has me thinking – how do we prepare for the unexpected. I mean how do you prepare for an accident, when the very nature means they are unplanned.


You can’t!!



Helpful- aren’t I 😉But what gets you through in these times is all you have founded your life on before hand. 

So my encouragement to you today is, don’t let a day pass you by without building into your life the qualities and character you desire to see in an emergency. Cause you never know when you may need to draw on that resource. The unexpected happens every day- it’s not something to be afraid of- rather inspired by. 

You may think that’s a strange concept- but I’ve learnt over the past few weeks, months, years that things can flip you on your head and leave you wondering why are you bobbing about in the ocean. Or things can flip you about and you feel like you land in the water with your floaties (floatation aid) already affixed. It’s not that the water is different and less turbulent but that your response is. 

And the reason it is- is because your able to pull on what you need, from your reserves, in that time of crisis. 
So what are the qualities you want in a crisis? 

Strength, wisdom, resilient, humour, positivity, optimism, thankfulness, peace, kindness, love, joy, patience and so on. 

What happened today that caused you to grow in one of those areas? 
Was someone horridly rude, but you remained kind. Did someone keep you waiting, but you remained patient. Did someone try to grump in your joy meter. Did someone pull you down but you remained strong in the knowledge of who you are?

These things happen everyday. We get to decide if we grow or shrink because of them. Grow, GRow, GROW! in there midst. Cause it’s the exact thing that is strengthening you for the next unexpected thing to cross the horizon of your life. 
As I said to the flight attendant- during my personalized emergency briefing this afternoon (gotta love flying with crutches lol ) you do whatever you need to in an emergency. But you know- you actually can’t pull on what you don’t have. Not in the natural, not in the spiritual and not in your character.
So build today. Don’t waste it. Take a step towards being the person you want to be in that next ‘what the‘ moment that crosses your life. 

While you can’t see an accident coming- you can be a better you, a stronger you, a more vibrant you each day. You’ve got this! 

Until next time, Happy Pondering 😀

Ok, I’m off to enjoy the rest of my flight. 👋🏻 

PhotoCred:Me 😉

Patiently…..

Or not so, as the waves of frustration have crashed on the shore of recovery. The one thing I’ve learnt, out of the hundreds of grrrr moments I’ve experienced lately- is that while you don’t necessarily get to choose the circumstances- you get to choose how you respond. So many stories I could tell. 

Ever been in a stage, season, wilderness of life where you just want it to let up. For something to go right. Me too. All to often thou I’ve become impatient with the goings on and forgotten that life is not so much about the destination but the journey (oh that word, just makes my skin crawl🤣). Because as annoying as it is, we will be traveling to the destination until the day we die. 

Life, may have many- stop and sit, camp and live here a moment moments 😉. But eventually we become restless for the next. Unfortunately, if we don’t learn to be patient and at peace in the discomfort of a transient life, we make it hard for ourselves and those who do this thing called life with us. 

Transient, I hear you ask. Yep, if your growing, your changing and if your changing you are learning new things, desiring new things and capable of new things. Growth leads to movement. Much growth lead to much movement, shift and change in attitudes, perspective and skill. This all leads to desiring change, new things, the next thing- the next stage. 

However, sometimes we have to wait for it to unfold. And that- is the place where patience must come and unfold in your thinking. Your believing and your decision making. Because even in the waiting, growth is happening. Dare, I even suggest that more growth comes in the waiting season, the apparent dormant season than any other. 

Think of an iceberg. Or a seed pushing thru the soil as it grows, we can’t see most of what’s going on beneath the surface. But that’s where the majority of growth comes. The root system pushes down, in preparation for the seed to climb up and break the soil. Da dah! It pushes thru and we celebrate the seen, not knowing or understanding the effort, growth and change that have occurred to see that moment unfold. It’s the Same with your life, precious one. God is wanting to grow something in you- firstly I believe a relationship with Him and from there where communication flows freely- purpose! Purpose for now, purpose for later, purpose that makes you believe that each day you live and breathe, your breath is vital, valuable and yep- purpose-FILLED!

Photo Cred: kevinadbulrahman.com

So I encourage you today- stay patient and connected to Him when it all seems ‘blar‘. He’s got you. He knows you and He understands. Talk to Him about it. 
Love you guys

Until next time- Happy Pondering xx

Storm Chillin 

Hand it over…. remember those words as a child. Your mum or dad or teacher 😬, asking you to hand them that thing which was distracting you, that you had taken without permission, that you where playing with when you where meant to be sleeping. Don’t remember- me neither 😉

Reminds me a little of Philippians 4:6-7(NJKV)

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Supplication, such an old fashioned word but, it is described as earnest or intense, extended prayer not because your request gains merit or worth with more words or time. Rather, that this is the process where the concern is transferred fully from your hands to His- to God’s. 

It takes time to hand things over, sometimes grabbing  them back a few times before they are fully given into His hands; timing and ways.

Photo Cred: Unknown

 It is in the handing over and prayer (chatting with God) that peace is found in a situation or circumstances. Ever had peace at a time when it doesn’t make sense; your world is seamly falling apart and yet inside you feel calm. That’s the kind of peace which is available when you talk with God about your life and hand your concerns to Him. The Bible describes it as ‘the peace of God which surpasses all understanding‘. I don’t know about you but I love it when life is going crazy (wait for it – that’s not the bit I love) and yet in spite of that I’m calm. At rest. At peace. Relaxed. Its amazing the clarity that comes when you are at peace in a storm that life is whipping up. 
So to your storm today – I say peace- be still! Lean in and chat to God about all that’s going on. Sometimes the storm lasts for a minute but the rainbow it produces for years.  Today – be chilling with Him! 

Ok…. until next time 

Happy Pondering x