It’s ok … 

What a week, fortnight really! It’s gone past at the speed of light- so quick I never wrote last week. Honestly, the temptation is there to skip another week. But we all know how that goes. One turns to two and two turns to 3 years. Well, slight exaggeration but only slight😉

Photo Cred: Calveryfw

I really wanted to leave you with something earth shattering, life changing, history making but I’ve got nothing. 

Photo Cred:sacredmargins

That’s the truth of it really- it’s not so much the big ‘wow’ days that make your life remarkable but the way you do the day after day, through the good, bad, triumphant, and devastating. In the days that follow sleepless nights and diets blowouts. 

So I just want to say ‘you’re going great!, don’t give up and don’t allow circumstances and other people actions determine your character and your responses. After all great character is forged in the muck of life. Unfortunately, it’s in the testing that what lies beneath is revealed. 

Today- what lies beneath is a very tired 😴 girl longing to sleep through the night, walk without crutches and honor her God will her response to all that 2017 is throwing at her. 


What’s your 2017 revealing



Mine- glad you asked 😉. It’s revealing, yet again, that God is always at work, even when things don’t go to plan, when the unexpected becomes reality. That He’s faithful and good, even then things try to scream otherwise. I take it this way- if I wake up breathing again, this new day- I’ve been given had a purpose; and so do I – in it. Not only that, yesterdays stuff doesn’t have to ruin today’s. Sure there might be some stuff and junk to work through, but don’t allow yesterday to ruin your tomorrow- that’s how life is stolen. 
So breathe on …..have a fabulous day! If needed, in spite of what is going on. Cause- life’s worth living and I plan on enjoying it! Hope you do too. 

That’s all from me …. 👋🏻

…we’ve got this 

Love this!

So often we can go through the grind of life; feeling that we’re barely keeping our heads above water. It never even crosses our mind, that we might also be inspiring people around us with how you handle the in’s, out’s, up’s, down’s, mysteries and adventures which each day unfolds. 

When you read the quote above, you may have thought – “Be Strong”- how? You’ve no idea, what’s life’s unfolding. Yep, correct! I don’t! 

But, I know that “strong” doesn’t mean that that you’re superman or superwoman- it means that when things knock you down, you get back up. Whether it takes 5 minutes or 5 years. The determining factor  for strength is not in denying that life has ebb and flow, but the attitude to which you face the challenge and trials of life.

  As I have often said this year-“God, we’ve got this, well I don’t know that I do. God you got this, and that’s all I need“.  So keep inspiring people and stay strong. You got this!

Until next time,

Happy Pondering 

…. 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 

There and Back….

So not much for me to say today, I’m writing this a few days early in anticipation for not feeling like writing in a few days 😀You see I had knee surgery  yesterday and today (being the day I post my blog, not the day I’m writing it 😉) I get out of hospital. I won’t go into all the details today – maybe in a few weeks when I’ve more to report – i’ll see who I can gross out🤔


But today I wanted to acknowledge   the reason I’m here.  Yep, its this photo, of the amazing driftwood pyramid on an Inverloch beach. This is taken while I’m still figuring out if I can get up after my amazing head plant backwards into the beach. Where I heard a little something which turned out to be my ACL and Meniscus saying see-ya later, we’ve got nothing more to give you, were outta here.  In fact, my sister, threw my camera at me and said ‘while your down there, take the shot, your probably at the right angle now’ 🤣

Whilst trying to capture this photo, lead to a injury; which in the natural can only be fixed with surgery.  I was praying for a miracle, a supernatural fix, where God does what only He can.  You know – I was like ‘God, here’s your time to shine and let everyone know how great you are‘.  But here’s the thing…. He doesn’t need me to tell Him what to do or what would be the correct answer to a problem. In fact, during the 9 months-ish since this happened, He has used the process and prep for surgery to deal with some rubbish that never would have been touched on except for this process.  When I was going ‘hey, God do it this way’, He was saying “no, – girl I want to see you free from this instead”.  So here I am, in time travel mode, as I write from today forward a few days, thankful for what I might not be in a few day when I’m in pain.

So, I want to leave you with this….. God may not be doing what you think He should be doing, on your timeline, schedule or in your way; BUT He is doing something! If you’ll lean in and let Him lead you, you might discover, I’m 100% sure you will discover, it was way better than your plan and solution you had in mind.  What He is doing is good…..Just like Him.

Happy Pondering xx

cropped-cropped-image1.jpeg

Ruth: The Faithful One

763263a20cb9bc09787c7d625424bb5f

 

In Ruth Chapter four we see the full circle moment for Ruth, from married to widow to married again.  A lot has transpired during the 4 small chapters and there is much to dig into along the way.  We’ve actually not delved into the ocean of Ruth, any more than sticking our big toe in, but I’m hoping you’ve enjoyed that little dip into this OT book –which often gets skipped over.

One of the many things I love about this chapter is that once Ruth remarries and has a bub, that many women of the community tell Naomi (Ruth’s mother in law) how blessed she is to have Ruth in her life.  ‘For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons’ (Ruth 4:15).  Now in today’s thinking we would be questioning the equality of such a statement and many would be offended, thinking, ‘how dare we be compared to males or made to feel less then’.  BUT – culturally and historically this is a MASSIVE compliment which Ruth is given.  Time after time in this book – her character is brought to the forefront, praised and acknowledged.  What’s even more impressive is that at the time, she was from another land (Moab) and I’m guessing that often compliments where not bestowed on those with a different upbringing or nationality.

So as we journey out of this book – I want to encourage you that character in hardship never goes out of fashion.  It is always stylist. Ruth had every opportunity to whinge, mourn, complain and throw a tantrum as life dealt her an unfair blow.  But, instead she was seen to be a women of character – faithful, honored, virtuous.  So to can we be men and women who when hardship and trials come knocking – show our character, in not just skin deep ways but pumping thru our veins manners. Sure, we might have a moment where we get it wrong (we all do – a least I know I do and massively sometimes ) but, we get to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and journey forward.   And really that’s how great character is formed – in the mud of life, when its easy to let things slide.

 

Until next week

Happy Pondering xx

48552a659b509fa2e9231e726bab0c79

The Year of Inclusivity

Today we are joined by a guest blogger, they’ve asked to remain anonymous. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read – I did!
16708_52073
We’re on the downhill slide to the end of April and so this question might seem a little out of place but I have to ask. How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? In years past, I’d be excited about the fresh start that a new year offers. I would nearly always have a handful of resolutions, wholehearted convictions to write more letters, start running walking, eat less junk .A list of new habits to form to create a new me, a list which, usually by the end of Jan, I would part ways with, never to be reunited again…until the 31st of December. So this year, my resolution was to not make any resolutions.
It’s working well so far. Sort of.
Early in Jan I was reading one of my favorite blogs, and the topic was – you guessed it – New Year’s resolutions. The blogger asked her community of readers what their thoughts were on resolutions. Many said that they didn’t bother with resolutions anymore. Interestingly, many talked about the concept of choosing one word by which they would attempt to define their lives, for the year. The one word could be something as simple as ‘nature’, and for one person it could be just a reminder to get outside and enjoy nature as much as possible. Another reader had decided on ‘creativity’ as their word for the year, and signed up to attend different art and craft classes through the year. So it’s basically up to you to decide on what the word is and how you would apply it through your year.
onewordMy word for the year is inclusivity. I didn’t quite choose it arbitrarily, nor did it come to me in a blinding flash. It came about like this. We were attending Christmas Eve service at church, and a skit had been prepared for the children. The lead character was carefully preparing a gift for the coming King, and happily accepted the help of friends to make this gift perfect. All that is, except for this one friend, who was messy and had dirty hands and made a mess of everything he touched. The lead character was horrified to discover that the messy friend had gotten hold of his carefully prepared gift and basically messed up the whole thing. Distraught, he began to try to explain to the messy one that this was a SPECIAL gift for the King, who would not appreciate grimy hand-prints on his gift, or any sort of imperfection. Messy people and their messy gifts were unwanted by the King, he said. Thankfully the lead character was brought to realise that gifts, not matter how imperfect or messy, as well as the gift giver, were dearly, dearly loved by the King.
I clearly recall feeling horribly uncomfortable in my seat as I watched the skit unfold. You see, I had come so very close, that very night, to behaving like the lead character, who had carefully prepared his gift, and was happy to exclude and reject a friend, just to have things his way, to have his gift spotless. I too had prepared a gift, and I also had a messy friend who could mess up my careful preparations.
A few days before, I had sent out invitations to a Christmas Eve supper at our house. It was to take place after our church service. I had carefully planned a cosy evening in our decorated home. I conjured up visions of relaxed conversation, eating and drinking and just being merry .Life had been busy up to that point, as it usually is leading up to Christmas. This would be the perfect occasion to relax and enjoy myself.
I’m not proud to admit that I had decided to not invite a particular family to my party. This family is dearly loved by our family. But they’re known to arrive way too early, or too late, or forget to turn up at all, sometimes it would be just the one member who would attend, or all. They would bring a lovely and generous dish but forget the main ingredient and think nothing of dashing off to pick it up. In short…they were unpredictable and added an element of uncertainty to my careful plans. I had no intentions of being made to bear with the discomfort of unpredictability.
But then, day or so before Christmas Eve, I suddenly decided to invite them. I knew that they were going through tough times and that they would love a chance to socialise. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did, because after sitting through that skit at church that evening, i was mortified to discover how much I’m like that lead character in the skit. Intent on my own ease and pleasure, I came so very close to rejecting and excluding the people who needed friends and support most, simply because I didn’t want to be uncomfortable.
4e093053214b1728312cf93bf34fecc4That night I learned how important inclusivity is but more than that, I also learned how so very easy it is to pass it by. It’s pretty uncomfortable to be inclusive, but oh so very comfortable to just do your own thing, have things your way, just how you like it.
But then there’s this. God’s master plan for humanity, which we witness at the cross, is inclusivity at its ultimate. It was also pain at its ultimate. Through this He has made a place for us in this world, and in the one to come. You, I – we are invited, included, expected, accepted, warmly and lovingly welcome beyond what we can imagine, to come to the Father and just be. It is an example that I’ve been challenged to follow.
The definition of inclusivity is to intentionally include marginalized people, such as people with disabilities or who are part of a racial minority. I’ve decided that inclusivity in my definition would be to include everyone – because so many people feel alone, lonely, left out. I can’t fill all the gaps for all the people I know, but for an afternoon, or for half an hour – I can give someone my time and my attention and hope that they feel very much included in, and are a part of my life.
Thank to my anonymous guest blogger  – I’ll be back next week
Until then, Happy Ponderings xx

sac.ri.fice

058161_355e798968d542f08bce2a6b491118f9

Sacrifice – groan…. I can almost hear it audibly as I type.  What’s she gonna tell me I have to give up now… groan.

 

Nuh, it’s not like that at all. Sure, there is an element of giving up something, it’s even in the definition 😉 , but look at what follows … ‘for the sake of something regarded as MORE important or worthy’.  In simple terms is it really a sacrifice to give up the last Tim Tam Biscuit (yumm… I’m on a no chocolate or coffee self-imposed thing, at the moment, and each time I type about them, it’s like I can remember the fabulousness of them.  Anyway, focus ER!) As I was saying before, I licked my lips, is giving up the last Tim Tam biscuit really a sacrifice when the person you’re giving it to means so much more to you.  Ok, bad example for all the chocolate lovers out there who are screaming at me – Yes!

 

But the key thing in sacrifice is that the thing you are giving up, is of lesser value than the ‘who’ you are giving it too.  Where it gets harder to comprehend, is that people have sacrificed their own lives, for the freedom and safety of others.  That’s where love enters the equation of sacrifice. We see it time and time again, when people lay themselves down as a sacrifice, whether it be a teacher giving a kidney to a student (saw that on the new the other week – amazing !!). A mate in war, giving there life for another; or someone intervening in a fight they wander past on the street.   We hear it said in news reports all the time, it’s what anyone would have done.  Deep down we know its no though. And this is where the challenge lies.

I consider it a case of preferring another to yourself. And here’s where the challenge is applicable every day.  Do I prefer Bob more than the last Tim Tam, do I prefer the red car merging in before me, more than I do my own driving agenda. Do I prefer my friends and family, and therefore compromise my wants for the benefit of them.

So whilst sacrifice is about giving up things, it’s also about loving others first.

Until next week

Happy Pondering

image

4 L’s _ Part 1

the-new-you
Grinding to a halt. Very fast the end of the summer (truth be told in Melbourne, summer never truly arrived) and first few month of twenty 17 has came, with full stop will marking its end . With that in mind let’s look over what it is in life that frames your days, as we move more into this year . While this is not set in stone for me; here’s a list I’ve been holding near during the last 18 months or so.   A motto so to speak.
Live. Love. Laugh. Learn
Live: life is for living, not just tolerating. All to often we can stumble through the routine of life and be caught in the ‘busy’ cycle. And forget that life is for enjoying. Make it a goal to enjoy  loved ones, friends, the work you do, go to new countries, new restaurants, go to your favorite places, your favorite coffee spot.
Love: God loves us immeasurably and in this we learn to love others. Sometimes the harder part is not loving others, but ourselves. Allowing ourselves to look in the mirror and see what God sees and says about you.(Hint – you are fearfully and wonderfully made Ps 139). 
Laugh: many times in life we are faced with laugh or cry circumstances, desire to live life as someone who laughs in the face of adversity. (And smile everyday 🙂 )
And finally 
Learn: there’s always a way to extend ourselves thru being pliable and not immovable in life. Look to grow from trials, mistakes and challenges. And let the things your passionate about drive you to more understanding, knowledge and wisdom. 
There a heap more that can be said about these, and was until I just deleted it 😉 . Because sometimes extra words are just that.  Besides plans are in motion to cover them in more depth over the month of March.
Before I go- I’ve some news. I’ve created a Facebook page for Sozotalk, here I’ll be posting a few extra things during the week(well that’s the plan- here’s to being disciplined 😬). So free free to also join me there https://m.facebook.com/sozotalkAUS/
Happy Pondering  x

cropped-image1.jpeg

quote lover!

I love quotes… words on a page that elicit a brain and heart jolt. It can be on a myriad of topics- in fact- they usually are rangeing from leadership inspiration to travel, changing the world and keeping our thinking on track. Simply, these formed word groupings seem to bounce around, bringing inspiration, challenge, growth, and pleasant memories. Not all create the same reaction but some stay a little longer- maybe for a month, year or decades. What are you favourites, I’d love to know… but in the meantime here’s my Top 10 (for this week anyway) Enjoy!
quote-love-looks-like-something-heidi-baker-58-75-261.Heidi Baker, oh, she nailed us. Love looks like something! Argh so true, it’s easy to be deceived, but there’s actually a few things  written about it by God and if it don’t measure up- it ain’t love!

20b8677aba855c7f39efee684a01de6c

2.  Christine Caine – wow – what a powerhouse! i jumped into a podcast of her’s the other week about this, she was talking about her knee injury, surgery and recovery – but the principle applies to loads of things.

04b3ec5b2c33157b4bf780fc135aa48b

3. This has been a fav for years. Yep, He’s at work, I especially see it when I look back 🙂
all-progress-takes-place-outside-the-comfort-zone 4. Admiral Mc Craven: from a 15 minute YouTube speak this grabbed me. It just stirred something within me- a sense at even in our biggest trials, there’s more we can bring to the table.
careerlesson_explainitto6yearold5. Oh the need to be clear! This is challenging but reaps its reward in both communicating and in solidify what you already know.
3697 6. God’s got you and this challenge it might just be the making of you!
416ae50d40ce325ab628cd845881f5de7. There’s always something to be grateful for in life.

d5d93767591d87ae5a42a60d6c0d7dc9

8.I love me some travel (time to plan another trip me thinks) 

a86a63420e8ffbd557e08fd0d200c750

9. Leadership- I could have picked any one of a 100 from my Pinterest boards but this one sings loud today 🙂

dva_website_quote

10.You’ve got something to bring to this time in history, don’t sit back, rather be the you- you are destined and created to be for this week, month, year and decade. You can be the someone that did something 

bncfuemcqaawtrp

11.I know I know I said 10- but there are SO many I haven’t included, so just one more. This one challenges me in the way I conduct life both when at home and when away- whether that be overseas or down the road.
  I’d love to know what some of your favourite quotes are, feel free to leave them in the comment section
Seeya next week,
Happy Pondering xx
P.S I know some of you may be thinking she didnt include any Bible verse as her favourite quotes – nup – not today, instead  I’ll be featuring them during the year as I  write a few series on some of them  🙂 

stronger…..

Today… well it’s a pictorial mini blog 🙂 

img_8347-jpg

Actually this picture says most of what is bouncing around this brain. There’s always more to add, but rather than add more words for more words sake I’d rather go deeper. So I’ve this question to ask- when life gets tough, where to do go; inward, outward or upward? I’ve an immediate definition for each of those word- but as you decipher them in your way, take a little time to ponder the answer that comes.
 Remember you are much loved by God, and He’ll stand with you and help you thru anything.  So lean into Him today
Until next time,Happy Pondering 
Oh, before you go… I wanted to remind you of the sozoTALK Facebook page launch on March  2nd…. well actually- it’s been sitting there in the background while I disciplined myself to write weekly. So it everything I’ve posted from the last 6 months already to visit. Look forward to seeing you there soon