Wednesday, 30 October 2013

FFW: Some Inspiring Quotes

A Christian home should be a place of peace,
and there can be no peace where there is no self-denial.
- Elisabeth Elliot
You are as much serving God in looking after your own children,
and training them up in God's fear,
and minding the house,
and making your household a Church for God,
as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.
- C.H. Spurgeon
I can interact with the members of my family in a constant state of dependence and prayer, asking God to work in me and through me,
and resting in the fact that He will accomplish His will in spite of me.
My life is an on-going story that my children are reading everyday.
What kind of story am I?
God has entrusted us to prepare the hearts of our children for the Saviour.
We are tools used by God to whittle away the calluses of the heart,
keeping the heart tender and inclined to obedience.
Have a beautiful week resting in His grace.
(All photographs are property of Sufficient Grace please do not copy in any way, thank you)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Letter To My Beautiful Readers

Dear Beautiful Reader,
My best friend was reading through my blog the other day and she constructively commented that "If I didn't know you and I read your blog, I would think 'here's a woman who's got it all together'".
Let me clarify.
I definitely do not have it all together.
I apologise if I've given that impression because actually, the reality is, I am wanting this space to be a place where we learn to rely on His Sufficient Grace in our imperfections.
It was just yesterday that I was yelling at my kids, I had a small argument with my man who I love to pieces, I didn't do any house-work and the house looks like a scene out of world war three. I didn't have quiet time with God and I didn't really pray about much either.
I gave in to my selfish nature and said things that needed forgiveness. My attitude can sometimes really stink.
I'm not perfect here. I stuff up all the time.
The beautiful thing about His Sufficient Grace in my life is that it is extended freely to me when I fall short, and that is often. It's extended to you too.
It is extended to me when I fall on my knees in those times where I just don't think I am the person for the job; how can I mother these four children? How can I always be a wife that looks out for his interests and lovingly supports and encourages him too?
My life sometimes gets overwhelming.

The role of wife and mother (and all of our other roles too) has a way of bringing out things in us that we would just as soon not face. Life does actually.
I desire this place to be real, I don't want to give you false pictures of beds of roses and everything being 'peachy keen'.
I simply try to choose to see things through His Sufficient Grace and keep my eyes on His beauty and the good moments. I struggle with my personal thoughts being out on the world wide web as it makes me vulnerable; it scares me, to be honest. Especially when I write about my family. Being vulnerable is something I've never liked.
I desire this blog to be more than 'writing practise'. I desire this blog to connect with you, to meet you in a real way and inspire you ... even if that means being more of an 'open book' and admitting that I'm still learning about everything and failing along the way.
 So again, I apologise, I hope from now on I can have a bit more courage in being more real, yet still be drawn to the beauty of His Sufficient Grace in my life.
Thank you for 'showing up' and reading what I share. Your being here makes it all worthwhile.
Love in Christ,

Friday, 25 October 2013

FTF: String and A Bag Full of Rocks

I don't usually post two posts in one day.
But, today, I think there is someone out there who needs to hear what I've been learning along the way. We aren't that separated, even though by distance, we are still made of the same essence; our issues in life are common. 
I hope what you read here today gives hope to your heart.
Lord, sometimes there are so many distractions going through my mind.
Distractions that can consume my thoughts and cloud my vision.
I see string; mixed up, knotted together, becoming useless for the purpose for which it was made. This knotted string hinders.
Hinders me from the here and now. From moving forward.
Distracts from the laughing; the way the warmth of his manly skin soothes me in his embrace; to look into the eyes of four little blessings and really see.
I can lay in bed at night thinking through all this tangled mess and trying to see how it all fits together. Try to separate it all out. I can think on these things until they become a strangling rock-filled sack around my heart; weight too cumbersome to move forward.
What do you really want me to see?

What is it that will make all these tunnel-visioned distractions move aside to see what's really important and necessary to life?
You want me to see You.
You want me to see that You are the only One who will take that hindrance mess and smooth it out; untangle the strands.

You are the only one to take that burden bag and empty it right out; scattering its contents, till it's hold on my heart is released.

My focus needs to be You. For by focussing on You and You alone, everything else becomes clearer. Everything is noticed. Everything is cause to give thanks. To rest in knowing that by You and through You and for You all things hold together.
Even string.
Your grace and Your beauty is seen in every second of the day.
Eyes looking at you means eyes are free to really see.
Free to see truth, the things of real value and worth, the steps to take, the path to navigate.
Take the string and the bag Lord and do with it what You will.
(All photographs are the property of Sufficient Grace please do not copy in any way, thanks)

FTF: Cynthia Heald Study Number Three

Well our small study group is on to our third of Cynthia Heald's studies for the year! I think it's very safe to say that we enjoy her teaching very much! We are now going through, "Becoming a Woman of Freedom". If you haven't tried one of her studies yet and you want to, then get started! You won't be disappointed!
We are up to chapter four next week. So far, chapters one to three have been amazing. Full of Biblical truth, encouragement and opportunity for growth. I've really enjoyed being in a group while doing all these studies as it's so amazing to hear what God is doing in the lives of my friends and also to hear their perspective and what God's been teaching them. The fellowship of discussing and answering the questions together has really drawn more out of this study for all of us.
Here are the topics covered in this study:
  • Laying Aside Hindrances: Running with Freedom
  • Laying Aside the Old Self: Running with the New Self
  • Laying Aside the Past: Running with an Eternal Perspective
  • Laying Aside Pleasing People: Running with Fellowship
  • Laying Aside Bitterness: Running with Forgiveness
  • Laying Aside Busyness: Running with Rest
  • Laying Aside Anxiety: Running with Peace
  • Laying Aside Doubt and Fear: Running with Faith and Trust
  • Laying Aside the Flesh: Running with the Spirit
I am really enjoying getting deeper into the Word through this study. It has revealed areas in my life that are still needing God's gracious work in, and I'm thankful that He brings these things to my attention lovingly and tenderly and He then helps me learn the lessons.

If you are wanting a really beautiful, Biblically accurate and challenging study, then any of Cynthia's would be great for you. Her studies are so good for getting to know our amazing God and Saviour even more deeply.
Be sure to let me know if you've started one of her studies and what you think about them!
 (Linking up with 'A Wise Woman Builds Her Home' for more encouragement for you!)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

BIM: Reflecting on Impressionism

 I love painting. But I don't get to paint often. I've not taken any lessons (other than school), so I haven't learnt any of the amazing techniques that painters know. I just paint how I paint!
 During the holidays, I was able to have a few hours to create a new painting! It was so good to have hands covered in paint again (that's half the fun right?!)
I discovered a few things along the way about my style of painting and what I love to paint with. I must have texture. I like ... no, love, using pallet knives and this whole painting has been made using one.
 I'm not really an attention to fine detail painter.
I am with sketching, but not so much painting.
I like to paint in a 'free-er' style.
As I was creating this image, I was reflecting on my high school art lessons and how much we explored the era of Impressionism.
I found myself realising just how much artists of that period such as Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh have really inspired my painting.
I know that this painting is no where near up to the amazing quality of these Impressionist Artists, but I love it just the same.
I know it's probably lacking in technique and it's not everyone's taste, but I still love it.
I love that I look at it and see my love of Impressionist Art.
Anyway ... here's the final artwork that I have named, "Reflecting on Impressionism"...

 I am looking forward to creating another piece, maybe with some preliminary sketches before hand ... whenever I can find more time for painting!
(All images on this blog are property of Sufficient Grace, please don't copy in any way)

FFW: Busy Little Hands

One of my favourite things to do as a mummy is to watch little hands being busy at work and play. Watching little minds grow and develop to learn new skills and accomplish new feats. Seeing the smiles on their faces when they have learnt something new. It's all just so precious.
As I type this I am watching my Little Mr R playing beautifully with a set of stacking marble tracks. He's not been able to put it together on his own before ... but today he did!
  He's jumping happily around the room, then watching as the marbles slide down and around the loops of the tracks.
Watching our children discover new things (no matter how small) is a beautiful part of being their mummy. It's also a beautiful opportunity to build confidence and self-worth into the hearts of our children through praising their efforts and accomplishments. We can teach them to persevere when something's tricky and they're getting frustrated at themselves. We can teach them to be kind and helpful to others by helping them. I just love it!
Little Mr R has really begun to enjoy drawing lately as well. I love the drawings that are typical to this age with legs and arms sticking out from the head! Little fingers grasping pencils and becoming aware of the world of colours and art.

Our whole family has been receiving these lovely little artworks almost on a daily basis, and my mummy box is filling up fast! I'm really loving this stage of my children's lives (reality check ... there are still times of stress in this home, we are a real family, it's not all bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils!)


This season of my mothering won't last forever. Soon, there won't be little fingers and hands eager to explore and discover. So, for now, I'll cherish these small moments, taking it all in and making the most of the precious little people in my life.
 (All images on this blog are the property of Sufficient Grace, please do not copy in any way, thanks)
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