Monday, 11 November 2013

A Little Pause

Hello all! I have some news ... we are moving house! So, for the next two to three weeks, maybe longer, this little space will be on 'pause'. We are going from renting an eight bedroom home to renting a four bedroom, so we will be busy ... and I'm very excited about it all! I'm looking forward to setting up our new home just before Christmas! Feel free to read my past posts and leave your comments and I'll look forward to reading them upon my return! See you all soon!

Friday, 8 November 2013

FTF: Grief Covered In Grace (Part Two)

A Short re-cap from last week ...
It was only a short period of about five and a half months that we shared together as nine-teen and twenty year old ‘newly-weds’ before our first child, a son, was born (2002). I instantly fell in love with him and his squidgy baby cheeks, long dangly legs and arms and sweet nature. I fell in love with motherhood. I had found my purpose.
The continuing story ...
However, being so young, I was unsure in many ways as to how to raise a child apart from feeding and keeping him safe and clean. I knew very little about teaching morals and standards, values and beliefs into a child (even though we had been raised well in these areas).

We committed to a parenting course run by two of our (still to this day) closest friends, who mentored, guided and sometimes (actually most times) dragged us through the early years of parenting and marriage! Our parents and extended families continued to be an amazing support and encouragement and this blessed us immensely. Through the parenting course I began to love teaching my son. Showing him skills, sharing values and morals to him, connecting with his heart.

Our second child was born, our first girl, app. 2 years and 7 months after our son (2004), and we both fell in love with this beautiful little bundle that looked like a porcelain doll with red rose bud lips. She was divine (she really was even though I am ridiculously biased!) And so my heart filled with more love and more purpose and more satisfaction.

Even after horrendous times of struggling with post-natal depression after each birth, I was ecstatic to find out our third child, another girl, was on her way! (2007) Right from the start this little miss has been determined, delicate, sweet and stunning. Another heart to love.

Travel a few hundred kilometres to a new town in the country, our first home away from parents, and we experience a miscarriage at the ten week mark. I was devastated. It just didn’t seem like it was reality. I thought that that was it; there would be no more children for us.

God is amazingly patient, faithful, compassionate and loving towards his children. He healed our hearts over time and helped us move forward. It was the most precious, beautiful and wonderful moment when we found out (after a massive snot-sobbing prayer to God asking him for one more child, and if he could please let it be a boy with brown eyes like me! Not too hard right?!), that I was expecting our fourth child. Little did I know that I was already pregnant with our last boy, as I sobbed that night (2009). And yes, his eyes are brown! Four little people to love, mould and raise in the knowledge and ways of the Lord. To nurture, enjoy and live life with. He has been so very good to us.

So needless to say I have spent the better part of almost 12 years having, feeding and raising our four babies. So, in that doctors surgery that day I began to panic. And I entered into a very long hard period of denial and grief not long after this point. How could it be finished so fast? How could my time growing babies, nurturing babies and little people have wizzed by so incredibly fast? Surely we should have two more? After all, I have their names picked and everything!

I spent the next four years in a state of confusion, grief and a lot of the time, unbearable pain. I still cannot believe how much it hurt to know that I was not going to be having any more children of my own. I felt as if someone had cut off my arms and legs and expected me to function as normal. What was normal? I didn't know anything outside of high school except the incredible pleasure of motherhood.

I struggled with thinking, "You're being so ungrateful and so discontented. Be satisfied with what God's given you". I am thankful beyond words! I am not so naïve to not know that there are countless amounts of incredible women out there who cannot have children of their own after so many attempts at conception. I am completely aware that there are also mothers out there who are lacking in the care and provision they give to their growing amount of children.

I would say to my husband, "I know I'm still a mother. I know I am blessed. I can see God's hand of blessing abundantly in my life but I just can't not have any more kids!" I would become angry and bitter with my husband when he would tell me he was completely at peace with the decision. How can he be so content with his life going on all happy as usual while my life is continual pain?

To people looking on the outside, I appeared as normal. I was happy, fun, encouraging, loving; but on the inside I felt near dead. It's so much easier to put on a face, then it is to let down your guard and confess the truth to others of what's really going on inside.

So, what was the truth?
To be continued ...

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

FFW: Sloth Home

For the past two weeks, our family has been battling a horrible case of the flu. Yuck! Between the constant noise of sniffling, the never-ending reminders to 'blow your nose', razor sore throats and the sleepless nights of coughing, we are just about had it.
The kids stayed home from school yesterday and despite the sickness, it's was actually a lovely day. They played beautifully together. The whole house was completely covered in Lego, marble runs, cars, blocks, scrap booking, dinosaurs, John Deere farm trucks and Tonka trucks, barbies and believe it or not, wood shavings (in the kitchen - my eldest tried his hand at wood carving, with only two slips needing band aids, not too bad!). The house looked like a family of sloths inhabited it ... but it didn't take long to put it back in order, so what's the harm?!
I was coughing so hard that I spilt my tea all over myself ... and the lounge ... several times. The washing wasn't thought of, the beds weren't made, the kitchen -  well, I just ignored that, the kids stayed in their pyjamas all day, the music was playing, and I enjoyed reading books and perusing some lovely new blogs while trying to recover.
My sweet man kindly said that he would do a quick grocery shop on the way home from work, as I didn't think the general public would be quite so considerate of our wheezing and spluttering everywhere; best hibernate a little longer.
And so, today's post is about nothing in particular, just a quick stop in to write about a nice day spent with my children, watching and listening to them play and enjoy each others company ... amongst the ever growing pile of wadded tissues.

Today, I've managed to do some washing, some Bible study and bake two batches of blueberry muffins ... I must be on the mend ... but I'm still ignoring the rest of the housework!

Monday, 4 November 2013

BIM: Re-organised and Loving It!


I have been in a scrapbooking rut lately. For too long now. A huge rut. You know the ones I mean? Where you really want to scrapbook, but you've got no time. Or you've got time, but no inspiration?! Viscous cycle!
I had a friend visit from Ipswich the other weekend, such a lovely lady she is. She stayed the weekend and pre-warned me that she would be 'giving me a kick up the bottom' so that I would get into gear with my scrapbooking again. I'm so thankful that she did!

Not only did I get some pages started and almost finished, I also was able to re-arrange and 'pretty-up' my desk area. I got ultra-organised! Ribbons all tied together, containers sorted out and re-filled. Trust me- it did not look like this before I stared! The ribbons were a giant tangled mess, there was containers stuffed with who knows what, and it was boring and ugly!

Now, I love it! I really enjoyed making my 'inspiration wall'. It serves many purposes. One being to hide the ugly walls and holes, two because it lets me express my style (that won't be everyone else's!), three it's a cheap way to decorate, and four it gives me inspiration when needed.

It is so good to be organised. Since then, I have been trying to scrapbook as often as possible. But, you know what that's like at times. By the time you help kids with homework, bath times, cook dinner, do the washing, do grocery shopping, fill in school forms, feed the dogs, kiss your hubbie, pay bills, stop kids squabbles, entertain a very active four year old, call mum, run errands ... oh, I'll stop now, too much to think about!

I'm glad Kasia came and gave me that good kicking. It's amazing how great you feel when you are re-organised and have everything at hand. It makes me be much more productive! I can enjoy scrapbooking again!

I'm looking forward to filling that entire wall with different inspiring things ... good thing it's in my craft room that is closed off from the rest of the house! My family is very gracious and accepting of my 'artiness', but I think this wall would be too much for them if it was in the lounge room! 

Are you doing any organising this week?

Friday, 1 November 2013

FTF: Grief Covered In Grace (Part One)

Don’t do it! Don’t do it! God you’re going to have to give me something right here right now to stop me from jumping up in the middle of this Doctors surgery and screaming out "STOP!" at the top of my lungs!

I was reading ‘A Wife after God’s Own Heart’, by the amazing Elizabeth George, and I needed a confirmation verse that what was just about to happen was the right decision to make. I opened the book to page 49, and my eyes immediately fell on the words that read, ‘and the Lord had closed her womb’.

My husband was getting a Vasectomy.

We had discussed and wrestled and argued and prayed and came to the conclusion that our four blessings were the amount that we were to receive from God. I thought I was o.k. with all of this; logically thinking, four was a ‘big’ number to be responsible for and provide for financially, emotionally, individually etc. And after that confirmation verse, I thought that I probably shouldn’t argue with Gods direct answer to my desperate plea!
And everything went along smoothly and she lived happily and sanely ever after …
… yeah right!
Let’s backtrack a tad shall we? Before motherhood (B.M.), I was not long out of high school and had no clue at all what it is I wanted to ‘do’ with my life in terms of further study or career. I held a few part-time jobs; Woolworth's check-out chick, working at a Jewellers, Domino’s Pizza, then there was also a discount store where I worked for a while as a service cashier.
As you can see, my jobs were extremely glamorous and full of creative potential. They certainly were not going to give me a sense of long-term purpose, that’s for sure. I momentarily entertained the thought of studying teaching, but then I met a guy. The guy. After our dating days were beautifully concluded by our official engagement days commencing, we decided we would take matters into our own hands and begin being intimate with each other before we were wed. And I fell pregnant.
Why am I sharing this? To heap condemnation on myself and my husband again for past sins? No, I know we are, I am, he is, forgiven. And praise be to God that He really makes all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
We asked for forgiveness (from many people we had disappointed as well as God), bought our wedding date forward, and decided then and there together, it was God’s way or no way. We were forgiven, but we now had bigger things to think of and the responsibility of parenting came much quicker than what we had foreseen. Opportunities for any extra study or career finding were now the last things on our minds. The options were gone.
It was only a short period of about five and a half months that we shared together as nine-teen and twenty year old ‘newly-weds’ before our first child, a son, was born (2002). I instantly fell in love with him and his squidgy baby cheeks, long dangly legs and arms and sweet nature. I fell in love with motherhood. I had found my purpose.
To be continued ...
I'll be posting the rest of my story in the next few weeks of 'Faith Talk Friday'. I was going to put it all in one post, but it's just way too long. For me, there was no point in telling of the goodness of God in my life in this situation, if I had to condense it and leave out parts that are most important.
I hope you'll join me next week. I hope that in sharing this story, you'll be encouraged with any situation that seems helpless in your life.

(I am linking up with Michelle DeRusha in her 'Hear it on Sunday, Use it one Monday' posts, where you will find a community of women who share their lessons from the Lord ... be encouraged!) 

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