Saturday, January 26, 2013

Always again

Over at Lisa-Jo Baker's blog called Tales from a gypsy mama, she has a five minute challenge every Friday. Her topic this week is " again" Here goes..........

Those words again! That tone of voice used again! How I hate myself when I hear my voice and those words coming out of my mouth.

They are unkind, harsh, sarcastic, breaking down instead of building up. In the world outside my home those words would not be used and that tone of voice never heard. I seem to keep these specially for my family, these two beautiful children with gentle spirits, who are so easily bruised. A great husband who I should be thankful for and yet those words are used to break down and hurt and pick fights. Even the poor dog suffers on a bad day.

Why do I do this? I know better and each time I fail I feel more and more ashamed of myself.
This is when I turn to my Father, who knows the words come from feelings of inadequacy, fear, rejection and unsolved issues in my life. My Father holds out His loving arms and enfolds me as I sob into His chest, hearing as He has so many times before my regret at what I have said and done. He wipes my tears away, telling me He loves me and I am His child, made in His image, not yet perfect but a work in progress. And I can turn to those I love and ask forgiveness and start over  again...

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Joy Dare (week one)

I mentioned in a previous post that I have taken up the Joy Dare.  In the past week one of the days we were asked to think of a blue gift to be thankful for and I really battled to come up with something blue. Then I glanced down to my ring finger. I have a beautiful wedding ring made of a circle of diamonds surrounding a sapphire.
Ring from ringsbylauren

A ring that my husband and I searched for together, designed together.  A ring that held a promise as we made all our starry-eyed plans for the future. A ring that I waited eight years for my husband to place on my finger, binding me to him through our promise to God to stay together till death do us part.

Little did I know at the time the challenges that we would have to overcome to stay true to those vows. We both brought emotional baggage into our relationship that has caused many tears. Illness on my part, the loss of our first precious child, going through the process of adoption only to find out I was pregnant then our second baby coming eight weeks early and spending a month in NICU, a very unplanned pregnancy with baby number three, career changes, house moves, severe financial difficulties that nearly saw us losing all we had. In all this we have manged to stay together. I has not always been easy going and sometimes it has just seemed easier to give up.

Yet we are bound together by a ring and a promise, to each other and our Father, that this marriage would be until death us do part. This beautiful ring with it's pretty blue sapphire is a daily reminder of that promise and a reason for daily thanksgiving that God has heard our promise and is helping us to keep our marriage safe.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Year and a continuing race

I have just read a post on (in)courage with their Sunday scripture.

Therefore, since we are surrounded
by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,
let us strip off every weight that slows us down,
especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
Hebrews 12:1

As I go into this new year with a certain amount of trepidation for all it holds, this verse challenged  me again about this race of life I am running and what my rewards will be. God calls me to run the race faithfully. I do not have to be a world class athlete to complete the race , just run it faithfully until I cross the finish line.  

There is a poster at my gym that says

You have put on your shoes. The hard part is over.

 Isn't that what it's about? Just being here. Doing what needs to be done. Faithfully. Joyfully.Thankfully. Whether you are running on a bright, cloudless day with a cool breeze blowing or through a hot and scorching desert or running into a howling gale.Continuing to run no matter the circumstances. 

When the bills are coming in faster than the money. When the car breaks down. When your marriage is in trouble and you are hanging on by your nails. When your children are sick and you hold them in the early hours of the morning to bring them comfort. When the phone rings and the news it brings is something you do not want to hear. When a loved one dies. When your womb is empty and it seems that all your tears have been wasted. When the job you so desperately need goes to someone else.

That is when we are called to run the race with endurance.Our reward is not in the here and now.  A medal does not come at the beginning or in the middle of the race. It comes at the end, when you cross the finish line. When your Father welcomes you home with open arms, saying well done, good and FAITHFUL servant.

As we go into this new year, not knowing what it will bring, let us hold onto God's word and run this race with endurance

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Spaghetti with roasted tamato and pepper sauce

 What could be better? Family night with a good movie and some real comfort food. We had a cosy family evening at home, watching Toy Story 2, which is a current favouritein our home. Both children run around pretending to be Buzz Lightyear or sit in their spaceship ( read toybox) and go off on space missions into the galaxy.

I made a yummy pasta dish which was a big hit with both big and small family members. Here is the recipe.Eat and enjoy. Do you have any easy recipes for family nights? I would love to hear from you.

Spaghetti with roasted tomato and pepper sauce

1 packet spaghetti
6 tomatoes
2 red peppers
garlic to taste
tbsp mixed herbs
50 mls olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
pinch of salt
1 cup grated cheese

  • Cook spaghetti as per instructions on packet
  •  While the spaghetti is cooking, slice the tomatoes in half,cut the peppers into strips and place on a baking tray
  • Sprinkle garlic flakes ( or fresh chopped garlic), mixed herbs and some salt over the tomatoes and peppers.
  • Sprinkle some olive oil on the tomatoes and peppers and grill in oven until they are soft.
  • Once the tomatoes and peppers are cooked, put them into a blender, add a bit of extra olive oil and about 1 tablespoons of tomato paste and a tsp of sugar and blend until pureed.
  • Once spaghetti is done, drain and then mix in pureed tomato sauce.
  • Mix in the grated cheese ( I prefer cheddar) and serve

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A season of busyness

Don't you just lovely with beautiful nativity scene. God in human form, which is a concept I can never get my mind around.

I am so sorry not to have been here for such a long time but this has really been a season of busyness, both joyful and heart sore, this year. We have celebrated a third birthday party, been to a funeral of a very dear family friend who died of cancer a week before Christmas, had a family outing to van Gaalens cheese farm, celebrated Christmas with family and then danced the night away on New Years Eve to ABBA.

In the midst of this celebrating and grieving it has been difficult to focus on the reason for Christmas, as there have been so many other things vying for attention.this year. This year it has been too easy for me to have my heart turn away from Jesus and focus instead on the gifts and other celebrations. Maybe it is because it has been easier to focus on outward things than to remember the death of a family friend who I have know for nearly half my life or to focus too much on the fact that my first baby would have celebrated her sixth birthday this December. On top of that I managed to miss three Carol Services and a Christmas day service, so I do not feel as if Christmas really happened this year.

However, I am anticipating 2013 with a great deal of optimism and looking forward to all the year holds. I have decided to take the Joy Dare. I stumbled on Ann Voskamp's blog and it has really inspired me. I have decided to take her Joy Dare and make a list of all the things I am thankful for for the next year. I do this with some trepidation, as I am generally a cup half empty person. I tend to focus on what I do not have instead of being so thankful for I do have. So follow me over the next year as I add each day to my gratitude list. I will be blogging about the weeks list every Monday and I would love for you to share with me on this journey.

Next I want to get involved in the Birthday Project which was started by Robyn Bomar. She decided to do 38 random acts of kindness for her 38th birthday and I encourage you to visit her blog. It really is inspiring. I wanted to try something a little different and try for one act of random kindness a week. Watch this space as I will be blogging on this every Thursday evening.

I have just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and while I do not necessarily agree with all she says in her book, it has certainly given me food for thought as to what makes me happy and how I can increase this. I will be doing some thinking over this and will share with you as time passes. Two things that I have decided to do this year is complete one craft project a month and write a letter/ birthday card to all my penpals and family. This makes me feel good and I love receiving letters in the mail.

This year will hold challenges but that is life. When I started this blog in April 2011 it came from a need to put into words what life is like as a working mom. My life has changed over the past two years, as it should. I have grown and been stretched, sometimes very painfully but mostly I love this season of my life with all the challenges and joys it brings.

Happy 2013 and I look forward to having you on this journey with me