Saturday, January 28, 2012

Being Prayed For

Its always nice to know that you are being prayed for. God hears and works through our prayers.

Tonight, Awesome and I are babysitting our friend's gorgeous boys. We love hanging out with the boys, who are 6 and 2. We've been babysitting them a couple of times a year since Mr. 6 was 18 months old. As there are usually gaps between visits, we have the pleasure of seeing giant leaps in their development each time we see them.

Tonight was a fantastic night, lots of laughter, crashing things around (as boys are wont to do!) and just a little wheedling to try and get out of bedtime ;). We are always impressed with the boys behaviour, they are incredible, polite little guys who know their routine and are never any trouble (for us at least!).

The wedding picture Mr. 6 has on display
At bed time, Mr. 6 took pride in showing us his treasures collected since our last visit. On a pinboard was some flyers about mission work in Nepal and a photo of Awesome and I from our wedding.

"I've been praying for you." Mr. 6 said.

We didn't know what to say. The children I work with are mostly not from Christian homes. Awesome hasn't spent a great deal of time with young children in the last few years. That a 6 year old whom we love and love to hang out with, would be praying for us, well, it came as a bit of a delightful shock!

We give credit to his fantastic parents and the way they have really worked to instill a sense of caring for others in their boys. Its wonderful to know we hold such a special place in Mr. 6's life, just as he does in ours.

Praying for you too little buddy!

{Its currently 9:30pm and Mr. 6 has just got up for the second time, which hasn't happened before when we have visited. He's agreed to go to sleep now but we'll see. Starting to get an idea of the bedtime struggle that some parents deal with regularly!}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Dear Awesome,

Here is what I like about you:

  • You make me laugh even when I don't think your jokes are funny
  • Even though we look to others like we are annoyed with each other all the time, I know that has mainly to do with not enough coffee in your day and we are not like that all the time. 
  • You are a man of the Word and your faith sometimes holds mine up. 
  • You are cheeky. Just like, all the time. 
  • You are strong and can move many heavy things, but you are always gentle with me.
  • You are talented. Your brain works fast and you figure things out. 
  • You will dance with me at weddings. 
  • You hang up the bathroom floor mat every time. Sometimes when I still need it. Twice. 
  • You meet me out the back of the house to bring the shopping in so I don't hurt my back. 
  • You looooove to read. 
  • You can deal with my strange aversions to things like the feel of bananas, the feel of wool, the feel of soggy cereal... you were made to marry someone with sensory avoidance. 
  • You take out the garbage every single time. Without asking. 
  • You have completely changed the way you view your social time with others to meet my need to spend time with others. 
  • You think toast and peanut butter is a meal. 
  • You need 5 alarms to wake up in the morning, but it only takes me to say "Good Morning" and you wake up and look for me. 
  • You kiss me and tell me you love me everyday. Even when you're annoyed with me. 
  • You dream big and you take me along with you.
  • You trust God with our today and our future. 
Happy Third Anniversary my Love. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Embrace the camera: last week...

So my embrace the camera shot is from last week. Forgive me? Granny does :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Personal Mission Statement

The structure of the statement is based on this post by Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking, and from the material provided in Women of the Word, Fisherman Bible Study Guides "Becoming a Woman of Purpose", by Ruth Haley Barton. Thanks to these ladies for their wisdom.

My Mission Statement

1. To be a person of grace, committed to pursuing Jesus in every task, thought and word.
2. To be a wife of noble character, who serves her husband faithfully and well to affirm his leadership a partner with him in serving the Lord and others.
3. To manage a hospitable, peaceful home, and offer love and refreshment to the people who God brings in to our lives.
4. To live intentionally for God's Kingdom. To have clear, well-seasoned speech and prayer for others, to be influential in grace.
5. To be a worker of moral responsibility, set apart, a noticeable difference in my work and leadership.

My Goals and Disciplines

Relationship with God
Goal: Taking time each day to read God's Word, being faithful and consistent in prayer.
Discipline: Ensuring time every morning to read God's Word and to pray. Going to bed at a reasonable time each night to ensure this. Going to church and small group weekly.

Goal: Time to talk and reflect on how our marriage is going. Reflect on my conduct as a wife and supporter and grow in knowledge of how best to serve Awesome.
Discipline: One-on-one time to talk with Awesome every day. Date nights together twice a month. Read 4 books each year on being a Godly wife.

Goal: Gracious service of my staff and clients, going the extra mile, to be set apart in word and deed.
Discipline: Not engage in gossip, pray for work each work day, going the extra mile for each person, not swearing - letting my conversation be seasoned with salt.

Church and Community
Goal: To build intentional relationships with others, to be friendly and welcoming to others, to be faithful in prayer.
Disciplines: Seek out new comers. Take time to nurture relationships with others. To take prayer requests and offers seriously, write them down and follow through.

Physical Health and Well-being
Goal: To be well rested and physically able, to maintain a healthy weight and get adequate exercise.
Disciplines: Go to bed at a reasonable time, eat healthy and nourishing foods, exercise daily (15min+).

Home and Recreation
Goal: Well organised household, food and meals available to nourish our family, help others or feed visitors.
Disciplines: Menu plan where possible, manage finances to ensure extra giving is possible, have ingredients on hand to make food when needed.

Personal Development
Goal: Extend on my knowledge of God's love and the practicalities of being a Christian.
Disciplines: Read at least 10 Christian personal development books this year on a range of topics (eg. hospitality, prayer, being a Godly wife. Read at least 10 books on God's Word this year.

These are not a list of things I already do to show you what an awesome Christian I am and make you feel somehow inadequate if you don't tick all the boxes. This is a list of the things that I actually struggle with the most. Daily. This is what, in God's grace, I want to do about these things this year. And I will need to check in regularly to ensure that I have made these things a priority. Four years ago I wouldn't have thought it possible to do all these things at the same time, but God is slowly changing my heart to show me that it is possible when I intentionally rely on Him and make efforts towards change.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Year of Intentional

On a lot of the blogs I read regularly, I have noticed women picking a word for the year. Some pick something like saying 'yes' or 'no', a word like 'grace', or 'love'.  These are all good words when they motivate us to live more under God's authority.

I wan't really keen on the idea of picking a word for the year. I had instead started to work on a personal mission statement. The idea was born out of some posts I had read on similar topics and from the Bible study guide I have been doing this week "Becoming a Woman of Purpose" by Ruth Haley Barton (Highly recommended for its Biblical basis, no silly comprehension questions and emphasis on developing a personal mission statement that is based on doing the hard work to determine where your heart is at with God, before you write down your goals).

As I was writing out the purpose, goals and disciplines that I want to focus on in each area of my life, I realised one word was sticking in my head.


I want to be more intentional. Too often I'm swayed by the thing in front of me, the thing in the next room, the plan for another day, and I don't fulfill the things I need to do, or act the way I should act right now. I want to live each day purposefully, not just see what happens by accident. Days and years are wasted that way (ongoing weight loss battles anyone?). I want to take deliberate steps in my days, to ensure that the things that really matter are the things that are occupying my thoughts.

Rather than a definition of the word, I looked up the synonyms and antonyms for the word intentional.

Synonyms:advisedaforethought, calculatedconsidered,designed, designful, done on purpose, intended,
meant, meditated, plannedprearranged,premeditated, proposedpurposed, studied,unforced, 
voluntarywillful, willingwitting

 Those are all good words. Excellent words. I highlighted ones that particularly stood out to me. The antonyms stood out to me too - they perfectly describe so many of my 'bad days'. 

2012 will be a year of living intentionally. Of meaning to do things, planning to do things, and actually doing them. Of having purpose to my days instead of wasted time. Of wanting and being willing to do the hard stuff in life. 

I'll post my personal mission statement tomorrow (once Awesome has had a chance to read it over and vet it for grammatical and theological flaws!!). 

Do you have a word for 2012? 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Good Morning Girls Study Starts today!

This afternoon (Aussie time), will be posting their first posts of encouragement in a 12 week study on Ephesians. Its a daily study, using notes provided for free, downloadable on their website.

You can find all the info you need here. If you would like to join me in this 12 week study, simply let me know in the comments below and register on the GMG website.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Tied Black Rubbish Bag Isolated On White Background It was going to be 5minute blocks to sort a pile of papers to try and find my marriage certificate (I know, I know).  It turned into a 4 hour Declutterthon.

The rollerblades are gone. Ok, well they are going. Have taken photos for ebay etc etc. Also going is the dehydrator (yes, at some stage I thought that that was a good idea) and some PC games of Awesome's that he no longer wants. A big stack of craft stuff is going too.
An entire drawer in the filing cabinet is empty and all the remaining files are resorted. And its all thanks to the $19 Paper Shredder that I picked up from Kmart this afternoon. 

I didn't mean it to go on so long, but once I had the bug, I couldn't stop! Each area that I cleaned made the area next to it look like it needed a little work...

In the end I managed to cross a large number of jobs off the list that I hadn't actually put on the list yet...

... and I still didn't find the marriage certificate.

Ever taken on a job and had it turn into something else entirely? 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Decluttering Madness

I'm a little obsessed at the moment with decluttering.

Other people's decluttering.

I have been reading countless blogs on New Year's declutter resolutions, joined threads and linky parties on decluttering 5 minutes a day for a year, even downloaded a calendar with a declutter-mission-a-day.

So what's the obsession?

I like the idea of getting rid of stuff. I think it makes sense to live with less. A while back I quit junk mail so I could be less tempted with buying stuff I don't need. It works - I really shop for anything any more. We have pretty much everything we need to make life work easily already in our house. And then some!

There is still heaps of stuff here we don't use and could get rid of. My rollerblades could probably go. I haven't actually worn them since ... maybe 2005?

Here's the thing. I don't actually like rollerblading. I'm a bit terrified of rollerblading really. But its a bit like the 18 boxes of brand-new kitchen wear we were given for our wedding 3 years ago, that are still unopened. And that's not counting the 15 other boxes at my Mum's house. We just don't have room in our tiny kitchen for any of it. And will most likely continue to get along without it. But its beautiful and people who love us chose it for us...

So I haven't decluttered much. I've tidied. Re-sorted. Organised. Because throwing things away is hard. But addictive.
Even when you are just reading about it.

Tomorrow, I might declutter a little. Or maybe I'll just move some stuff around and make things look neater so it looks like I have less for a little while. We'll see.

Are you a chucker or a hoarder?

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Blessed to have this man.

This man who understands me. Sometimes more than I understand myself.



Fiercely strong, when needed.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Night Time Anxieties

Often at night, when I first lay down for sleep, I start to run through the entire day, recalling conversations and situations from the day. This is not the most helpful of things. Some of my anxiety centres on 'getting stuck' in a memory - usually not a positive one - and going over and over the details in my mind, twisting the words or actions to see if I can change the actual outcome. This is a process that keeps me awake, or sometimes leads to nightmares. Its not a helpful thing. Other times I remember in a feeling of shock, something I forgot to do and then I can't sleep as I worry I won't remember in the morning. Dumb brain.

I have tried a few different techniques. Nothing seems to work all the time, but these things have been successful at times.

  • Turn the pillow over so its cool and take the blanket off. My nightmares and panics are often because I'm too hot.
  • Get up and get a drink (keep the lights off so I can go back to sleep, just leave a plastic cup by the sink). 
  • Wash my face (its the too hot thing again) 
  • Bach Flower Rescue Remedy in my top drawer. My Grandma swears by the stuff. I'm sure its like 80% alcohol and that's what calms you!
  • Predictably, a notepad by my bed is helpful for midnight rememberings of things that should have been done the day before. 
  • No caffeinated drinks, ever. I find it sooooo hard to wind down with even one cola in my system. So I don't drink them. Not everyone has that reaction obviously, but I do, so its no caffeine for me. 
Most of the time I can do one of these things and get back to sleep. But not always. What are your go-to's for sleepless nights?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What Works For Me Wednesday

My Bible Study Table...

Here's what works for me (so far):

  1. My Bible. I love the ESV translation, but I also keep an NIV and The Message nearby for comparison. 
  2. A Pen. I am one of those people who can.not. write in my Bible so I always keep notes in (see 4.)
  3. The current study I'm working on: Cultivating Contentment by Luci Swindoll 
  4. My big note book lives at the study table. I use a 5 subject-notebook with a system similar to the one Courtney at Women Living Well shared. (check out her site today for a great Bible reading e-resource for free!). I am using it to record my answers to my study each day. I think better when I write. That's just how I roll :p 
  5. The Power of  Praying Wife by Stormie Omartin. I've written about this book before. I think God has really used this book as the inspiration for prayer that He has answered over the last two years, changing my heart towards my husband and the way i pray for others. I heart this book. (Don't worry - not more than I heart the Bible :p). I pray through one of the prayers in this book for Awesome each day). 
  6. The Daily Reading Bible: Volume One - I am reading this concurrently with some others in my church and finding it a great resource. It deserves to be studied on its own really. Maybe it will become my number 3 when I finish that one... right now I'm just reading through to keep up with the others. 
  7. My gratitude journal. Just a simple notebook where I just number the next line as I go and pour out some gratitude. God is so good. There is never a day where there is nothing to be grateful for, even though its hard to find things some times. 
  8. It's hard to see, but this tiny pocket calendar has room for some sticky dots I bought at the $2 shop to be tucked in the cover. I pop a dot on each day I complete my quiet time. It helps me stay on track. I'm a dangling carrot kinda gal sometimes... 
  9. I pull my diary out of my handbag after my quiet time, and sync my wall calendar, online calendar and diary before the day begins (yes, I need all three!)
  10. (not shown) I have started carrying a notebook in my handbag... its important. More on that one tomorrow ;) 

I had all this stuff at home. Including the pretty box for the pens and stickers. But before the pretty box was a plain cardboard one. That's ok too. You don't need to spend a fortune to get started. Just use what you have and what works!

It works for me. What works for you?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

366 Days...

I mentioned in my previous post that I want to capture every day of this year with a photo. My blog has finally gone live (I've been checking every few hours for days!!) and you can check it out if you are so inclined, just over here...

I do not profess to be a fantastic photographer or even a very good photographer, but I do want to spend more time paying attention each day this year and I want to capture just a little more of everything.

Taking photos got me thinking. Of the 366 days that will make up 2012, we have already expereinced almost 3 of them. Time moves on, whether we like it or not, and sometimes it is hard to remember that our days on earth are fleeting. We need to make them count.

As part of my goals for 2012, I have been spending 45mins-1hour in 'quiet time', reading the bible and reflecting on God's Word each day, for 5 days in a row.  I'm using a little pocket calendar and some stickers to mark each day. The study I am currently working on (which I started ... ahem... months ago...) is called "Cultivating Contentment" by Luci Swindoll. It looked a bit light on, a little kitchshy for my liking (I like my Bible study aides to look serious and studious you know!), but it was the right price ($5 in the bargain bin) so I grabbed it.

I have been enjoying the study, flicking around into passages I haven't delved into much before or rediscovering long-forgotten passages. It's not the kind of study I enjoy long term, but its nice for something different and in the name of thriftiness, its nice to actually get use out of something I already own!

The topic is holding me - contentment is something I have always struggled with, always wanting something more, the next step, looking ahead and making plans, complaining about where I am at right now. Its good to be reminded that my everything comes from God and that its only in Him that I can find my true contentment.

The study has helped me to focus on three areas I have been struggling in over the last few months;

  • Gossip - comparing and putting others down usually comes from a place in me that is disatisfied with my own circumstances or a need to feel more important or superior. I've been reminded to 'button up' and say nothing if i can't say something nice! 
  • Swearing - its something I never used to do, and never do at church or around certain friends - so its controable, but I have been swearing consistently at work and with my family (which is awful - these should be the areas I'm keeping clean!). Again I've been reminded to 'button up'.
  • Gratitude - I have so much. I have been blessed. I am being blessed everyday. I just need to concentrate on it to see it sometimes. I have returned to writing consistently in my gratitude journal and instead of making each day count, I am counting each day!
Sometimes it just takes the right tools for us to open up to God's Word and spend time in it.
What helps you to focus on the word? What is God teaching you right now? 

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Habits

As the New Year clicks over, most of us are aiming for something more. To improve in some way over the previous year. To pick apart the year that was, and focus on what could change and what could be different. 

For me, I am feeling pretty content about 2011. It was a hard year in some ways, particularly at the 'work' end of the work/life balance, but in other ways, it was pretty good. 

I worked harder on cleaning the house. I made (a little) progress in the weight loss department. I read some books. I spent less time on facebook. We saved some $$ and reached the savings goals we set last year. I completed my first mini-mini-mini-triathlon. Our marriage has continued to improve and flourish, through prayer and time together at home. Our relationships in our church community have continued to grow, and we have been intentional in the time we have spent with people. 

I didn't blitz every area of my goals like I thought I would this time last year. But I started. And I'm happy with my progress so far. 

For 2012, I'm keeping it simple, just a continuation of what I am working on.  

Read my Bible and pray everyday; I started a new and very simple system based on my previous systems. I'll post more about this later.

Keeping up with daily system of cleaning and time management (I use Flylady); I have been on-again, off-again throughout the year with this, but when I use the system the house and my organisation just flows. Consistency is the key for me. 

Complete a cert at TAFE to extend my skills; I've been wanting to do this for a while. Please don't point out that I'd be halfway through by now if I'd called that chick back about enrollment last year... 

Finish reading all the books I own that I have never read (continuation of last year's goal); I have about 20 books I have discovered in my book case during a recent tidy up that deserve a read. This will also save me money in not buying anything new until I have read what I have!

Take a photo a day; I'm started a year-long photo project to document my 2012. You can find it here, or hit the 2012:366 tab at the top of this page and follow the link. 

Save $15000; this is our projected savings if we don't touch our weekly savings at all this year. Anything extra on this would be a bonus. Too often we save for a couple of weeks only to have to raid the savings account to cover a large bill, undoing our savings efforts.  

Be intentional in our time spent in our church community; we have been working on spending time with different groups of people at church throughout 2011. This is an area of difficultly for us as Awesome and I have very different ideas of what it is to be involved in the community. We have worked long and hard at finding compromise that puts our marriage first and still helps to love others faithfully. We've had some gold moments this year, but also some failures. There is plenty to improve. One thing I would like to work further one is increasing our hospitality in our own home. 

Here's to a 2012 filled with just doing what we are already doing, but doing more of it! 

Lord Girl