Friday, March 14, 2014

You are beautiful

I had a rare moment this morning. My husband was up before me, getting ready to go off to an exam. Audrey was up at 6 but back in bed at 8:30, by this time Chris had left for his exam. No one else was up and I had no housework. All of this is rare and I painted my toe nails and finger nails (also rare for me) just because I lacked something better to do! The sun was streaming in and my heart swelled with love as I mused over all the facts of my life. Today is a great day.

In my usual way, I started to chat with Holy Spirit. Then I listened. Holy Spirit is always quiet chatty, given half a chance. The words "you are beautiful" were pressed into my heart, like a stamp, leaving an impression. With those words came this, everyone has been created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:27) and God is beautiful.

Why would people spend millions of dollars on plastic surgery, make up, the gym, their hair, clothing and weight loss pills? Because they want to feel beautiful, they want others to believe they are beautiful. Very few of them actually know they are beautiful. You are beautiful! All of you! You are because God, your Father, said you are! He should know, He made you.

My skin is bumpy and splotchy, moley and freckly, stretched out and starting to get wrinkly (so each of my children have commented over the last few months!). I have always had problems accepting my nose, my butt, my huge barrel chest and feeling like my legs are too short. If I stand in front of the mirror too long the list becomes a novel. Despite this, I am and always will be, beautiful. I had a sneaking suspicion, despite the evil voices that told me otherwise, that I am beautiful, but slowly God has been removing all doubt and I think he has totally convinced me now!

This isn't some trivial issue, in our society people (mostly young girls) mutilate their bodies, suicide, become promiscuous and live in depression or have other mental health problems stemming from this one lie those evil voices tell and they have believed. Even worse, this is getting passed down generation from generation, becoming such a sick stronghold that many don't even know it is a problem as it's all they know. So, beauty is obviously important. What is beauty?

  1. 1.
    a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.

I believe it is true, beauty really is in the senses of the beholder. 

Why can God look at us and see and feel beauty but we can look 

at ourselves or others and only see flaws? It is all about 


When God looks at us He sees himself, because He is looking for 

Himself in us. He probably sees more of Himself in some of us than 

others but if you are alive, think, create, enjoy, rest, plan, dance, 

forgive, give or are anything else that God is or does then you are 

like God. He is in you, whether you like it or not. Just like you 

have attributes of your earthly parents, you have attributes of your 

Heavenly family.

I see some people work their way through the evil voices that say 

"you are ugly and you always will be", "you are fat", "you are 

worthless", "you are....." and a lot of people come to a point of 

indifference. "Oh well, I am the way I am and there isn't much I 

can do about it." No! You are beautiful! It is very very important 

that you know you aren't just 'okay' but you are amazing! It isn't 

just the inside that counts! Although it is most important to be 

beautiful on the inside it is still important on the outside. Matt 

23:26 says you must clean the inside of the cup and the outside will 

be clean also. This is talking about the hearts of people being clean 

and beautiful so that the actions and appearance on the outside will 

be likewise. People! Listen! You are so very appealing on the 

outside! If you want to look better on the outside, you must invest 

on the inside.

There are some people who believe they are beautiful but turn up 

there noses at others. If this is you, you are missing the point. Yes, 

you are beautiful, but why are you beautiful? If you think it is 

because your body doesn't have an ounce of fat, your have perfect 

hair and your big blue eyes make heads turn, I'm sorry, that's not 

why. You are because your maker, your daddy, and Holy Spirit 

look at you, their daughter/son and say, "oh, they look just like us! 

Inside and out!" They gave us this shell for a reason! Because it 

gave them pleasure to see you express yourself.

I have 6 kids. They are all different and all beautiful and nothing 

makes me as happy as watching them smile and laugh and love 

each other. I am sure God is even more filled with joy with looking 

at us. But when I see them abuse the gift of life and self expression 

by pinching their sister, sitting in self pity with a screwed up face 

or refusing to forgive someone for some trivial misdemeanor it 

saddens me. Still, I look through their behavior and I have hope, I 

have faith that they will turn things around. I believe that even the 

most soured heart can soften in a moment with love. Love always 

hopes, always endures, it never fails.

I guess what I am trying to say is this, the outside and inside are 

two sides to the same coin. Your fears and insecurities, your 

favorable attributes, your love and attitudes are displayed through 

every inch of your outward appearance. Your looks matter, just not 

the way you expect. Does it matter that you have red hair and 

freckles? Does it matter that your legs are really short for your 

body? Does it matter that you have scars on your face? Or pimples, 

or cellulite, or saggy bits??? NO! They do not disqualify you from 

being beautiful! You were made beautifully in your mother's womb 

and nothing can ever revoke that gift (see Romans 11:29)! But it 

does matter that you know God loves you, accepts you and is well 

pleased with you, inside and out, who are you to argue with God? 

I pray you will see yourself as God sees you, and you can 

encourage others to see the beauty they are also.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A day in the life of

Everyday, in our house, begins too soon and ends too late!

We home school, my husband studies at uni and is constantly ill, my mum, who is disabled, lives with us and we have 6 kids. Chaos is often the most apt word for describing our home. Happiness is another.

We fight, a lot. I don't think this is a problem. Mess ebbs and flows, especially in the kitchen and laundry. We have good days, and bad days. Most of all, we love each other and love God and that means everything ends up working out in the end, sometimes miraculously!

I thought I would write what we did today, just a typical day in the life of, well, me.

9:00 I woke up to a snuggle with Toby (3) and his request for lemon toast and a drink of milk. Audrey (8 months), who usually wakes me up at 7 was still asleep, awesome!

9:15 I remember Eljay (11) came in at 8 and said she felt sick so I told her to go back to bed. I checked Eljay, she was asleep. Also awesome.

9:30 I check the sounds I hear coming from Lochie's (8) bedroom, I can hear him reading Ali Barba and the Forty thieves. I walked in to find he was very sweetly reading it to his little sister Bella (4), again, awesome! It was at this point that I realised this was going to be a great day! I walked away saying "Oh thank you God!" My heart was so bursting with joy that I actually did a little danced as I walked.

10:00 At this point most children were fed and clothed and the dishes done. It is weird but even when I get up at 7 this seems to be the time we are actually ready for the day to begin!

10:15 I set Molly (7) to a writing task which was begun the day before and involved her having a complete melt down because she doesn't think she can spell (which she can't but really doesn't matter, she just needs to keep trying) but today no melt down. Lochie was also to continue his writing task which he also had a melt down over the day before and again no melt down! Thank you Jesus!

10:30 I decide that I can't put off having a shower any longer and today is the day I must have a shower! Yes, I hadn't had a shower in about 5 days! I am not going to even tell you how long my kids go with out baths sometimes!

11:00 I decide it is time for my husband to get out of bed, so I sweetly wake him. Awhile later he is awake and watching tv in bed. Sometimes I wonder if sickness is actually nicer than health?

11:30 I have no idea where the kids are or what they are doing but I am on Gumtree looking at beds for Molly because since my mum moved in a month ago Molly has been sleeping on the couch in the upstairs lounge room. My poor little pookie. Eljay comes in about 10 separate times with a piece of paper with her attempt at spelling different words for a writing task she has set herself so she can have computer time like Lochie and Molly. She is usually a terrible speller but she got 8 out of 10 right! She loved all the praise she got. Molly and Lochie finished their tasks and lapped up all their positive feed back too.

12:00 Lunch time. Agh. Eating again, really? Do we have to eat 3 times a day? And dishes, again! I took a coffee to my husband in bed. He loved that and actually got up!

1:00 There I was at the sink having a whinge about how my veggie patch still hasn't been made and all my seedlings are dying when our best friends walk through the door! We all instantly lit up and almost yelled "Ay!". The mood quickly shifted to absolute joy as we all vied for our guests attention! I would feel rather overwhelmed if I had 8 people do this to me but gladly our friends are used to it!

3:30 Our guests leave and I realise the day has completely slipped away without my permission and I now have to 'do something'. I get washing off the line and put more on. Move the guinea pig. Water the plants. Finally decide what we are going to 'do' today!

5:30 Leave for fishing trip and chips on the beach. We invite our friends, because they are more like family than friends so we always invite them! We decide it is too cold to go fishing so we eat our chips, have a play and go to Maccas for dessert.

8:15 Home again. Get kids in their pj's. Eljay reads to Toby and Bella, who share a room, and puts them to bed. Such a lovely big sister! Such a good mummy in training. Thank you God, how many times is that today God? Only about 100 moments today that I have squeezed God's hand and given him a big goofy smile to say how blessed I am. I feel so loved.

8:50 Read Little House on the Prairie to the eldest 3. Said goodnight, ignored the huge mess everywhere and came up stairs to sit here in the dark listening to flies buzzing about as I type and tell Toby and Molly "shhh, no more talking, it's sleep time!"

That is probably a really boring read, but it's honest. Yesterday my house was spick and span all day long. Today it was a mess from breakfast time on. Tomorrow, who knows! Today I was able to appreciate all the beauty of the moments and not worry about the mess and chaos. Tomorrow I might sit Chris down and tell him I can't cope! I am a complicated woman!

Regardless of how each individual day goes, I can say that for the most part, I absolutely love my life. I love my husband, even though he is very 'high maintenance'. I love my mum, even though I have to remember everything for her. I love my Eljay, even though we fight like 2 stubborn bulls. I love my Lochie, nope, can't say anything bad about him, he bought me a caramel sundae at maccas, so he is a perfect child! Molly, Bella, Toby, Audrey.... this is what God talks about when he says

1 Kings 3:13
Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for--both wealth and honor--so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

By golly I love him!

Have a great day my friends! Hope each day feels as happy as mine did today. Bless you.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Fairy Tale Ending

Let me tell you a story.

This is a story of a lady I know well. We will call her... Marah, because that means bitter.

Marah has a pretty typical background story for these days. Like most people of her age, she had a happy childhood until her parents got divorced. She was 12 when her parents split. A sordid affair, as they usually are. Up until this point, Marah had been a member of a Christian family, for the most part seemly perfect. The divorce tore a hole in Marah, a painful blow that caused internal bleeding, yet she nor anyone else knew. She seemed fine.

Her teenage years were filled with drugs, drinking and sex. Why not? Everyone was doing the same thing. Her parents seemed too busy with their own pains to notice. Most of these things were introduced through her sister, she wouldn't lead her astray, would she?

A deep loneliness and pain lived permanently in Marah. She thought prince charming and a fairy tale ending would solve her problems. Isn't that what all the movies teach us? So, she set about trying to arrange her happy destiny. Wouldn't you know it? She ended up a single mum at 17. Sound familiar? Does to me. I can't count the amount of young women I know that have found themselves on this path. Just before you go and say "she should have had an abortion", I will let you know that she planned this baby, it was part of her happily ever after. I must tell you, I have known many women who have thought that an abortion was their path to a fairy tale ending only to find it was the worst mistake they have ever made. However, I digress. Marah was still believing in her vision of true nirvana, complete with husband, large house in the country and many more babies. Alone, unhappy but very determined! Although she didn't know it, she was bitter, depressed and lost.

As it turns out she was a very attractive single mum and was quickly taken off the market by a young troubled man. Great, two troubled travelers raising a baby. Don't worry, her story does have a happy ending! Marah and her new husband had the same strong belief in the fairy tale dream. You find someone you love, you get married, buy a house, have children, live long fulfilling lives! The end, right? Well, since Marah had already brought in the complication of a third wheel, they had to change things around a bit. Ok, a lot.

Marriage was much more hard work than they expected. Fighting, crying, depression, more fights, talks of breaking up. There wasn't much of their first few years of marriage that wasn't taken up with these pass times. Was this what marriage was like for everyone? What were they doing wrong? Was it ever going to get better? Marah certainly had become bitter toward her husband, maybe even toward all men. She had also come to loathe herself. Why had she thought any of this was a good idea? She felt trapped. She felt lost. She felt miserable.

Notice a trend here? "She felt....". That was her problem right there. She was always thinking about her. About how she felt, about how she was treated, about how scared she was of everything! (And I mean everything!) She was continually going over in her mind what she would do differently if she could go back and change her choices. She was imagining all the times where she went wrong and what she should have done. She was continually beating herself up about past failings.

She might have needed a hobby, a job, something to give her more to think about. She was too fearful to even think she could work, or study, or have friends, or be good at anything. She didn't have hope. Like I said, she was lost.

One day, a friend, prayed with her about her problem with crippling fear. The change was dramatic, and instant. In her praying, she had forgiven her family, herself and others for things they had done and things she had done. She felt like a fog had lifted and she began to see things more clearly! Although she had a journey to walk ahead, she was rescued that day. Not by prince charming, but by her loving Father God and Holy Spirit and by her good friend, Jesus. She had known these guys all along, but she didn't know how to be free. How to let go of what she had held on to and hold on to something new.

I think by now you know that Marah, was me. But something marvelous has happened over the last few years, Marah died, and I was born.

I now have the most amazing fairy tale ending. I have the blissfully happy marriage, I have the 6 kids, the house in the country, the wonderful friends, the joy and peace that I was longing for. I now feel so complete that I wake up everyday with a smile on my face and praises for God pouring out of my new, clean, unbroken heart! I have such passion and zeal for life and hobbies coming out of my ears!!!

If this strikes a cord with you my friend, know God loves you just as much as me. Talk to Him. Keep talking, He is listening, He will send help. You, are His fairy tale ending!  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A few of my favourite things...

Haven't posted in over a year.


Well, not exactly. The last year has been mostly taken up with a precious new addition to our family, meet Audrey Elizabeth....

Audrey likes to take long walks, long baths, long feeds, long naps....long, long, long! She has recently taken up crawling.

Our newest adventure has been our move to the country! I have wanted to move to the country since I left it. The peace and beauty has beguiled me once again. I now have the privilege of watching my children fall in love with the long driveway, trees and general slower pace of life the country affords.

Only 4 weeks and my husband will be on holidays! His uni degree as an engineer should have taken 4 years. So far it has taken 6! Bad health has made it nearly impossible for him to finish, but he is determined to see it through. I am so proud of him. I am also so happy we live in such a blessed country, where government payments have made it possible for us to thrive all these years, without either of us having to work. It is sad that some take advantage of this system and leave tax payers with much bitterness, but I hope to give social welfare a good name!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Delayed but here it is

As a Tasmanian home educator is it necessary to register with the THEAC. This is a journey I began earlier this year.

It took a long time for the process to be completed, which, actually isn't even final for me yet! The process starts by calling the council and letting them know you want to start home educating. They send out a large envelope full of information and papers to fill out. I love getting big envelopes full of things that excite me! After you have explained how you intend to teach your children you send the forms back (which I forgot to have certified so they had to send it back to me, delaying the process further! Don't forget this step people!!)

Eventually you get a letter back saying you are provisionally approved to home educate. This was very exciting for me, but also very scary and intimidating. I did what most home educators do and tried to have a formal class setting. I tried to think back to my school experience and emulate it. I wanted my children to be at least as good at English and math as the publicly schooled, but that in itself is so broad that it complicated things even more. Day after day I gave as much work to the kids as I could. They wanted to go back to school. Doubts and fears kept flooding in but at the end of the day I just know it is the right thing for our family and so I matched on in the great dark abyss known as 'home education'.

I had read so much information, talked to so many people, but once it was just me and the kids day after day (and in a caravan to begin with) it was tough! After a few months the THEAC called and made an appointment to go over what we had been doing and make sure I was actually educating my kids.

I was so nervous about this step. I had actually been home schooling all year but hadn't yet done the paper work because it needed birth certificates and I didn't have access to them. However that wasn't an issue, the THEAC are very understanding (Phew!). I thought I would be okay with their assessment of what we had been doing because a good friend of mine (who keeps a lovely blog of her own) is a teacher and said that they only really manage to teach two things a day. Still, I couldn't help but feel inadequate (as most of us do). The visit was actually very pleasant! The lady that came was warm and friendly and very supportive. She gave me great confidence and put my mind at ease. I really do look forward to future visits! She said that I was approved but I would get an 'official' approval letter from the minister of education in the mail some months from now! So, that I am still waiting for, but I am approved. Such a load off my mind!

Since I have been approved I have truly started looking around at home schooling without fear. That has meant a huge change in the way we do things. I think I am headed more toward an unschooling approach as I want my kids to be free. Free to learn about what interests them, which in time will lead them on the right life path for them. I have a lot of thoughts on this subject so I'll have to post about that later.

So, if you were wondering about this whole process, don't be scared. It is the best thing you could ever do, after getting married and having children! Speaking of which.... we are expecting our 6th in February next year! Hooray!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lost and Found

I'm back. After a long blog sabbatical I decided my life is again stable enough to fill cyber space with my ramblings! 

Since my last post, my family of 7 packed all our belongings into storage, lived in tents, lived in a caravan and finally found a place to live only 5 minutes from where we were living 3 months previously! The irony. 

We started home schooling! Yay!

Here are a few pics to give you a taste of what we have been up to.
This was our campsite, complete with long drop toilet up the track.
Another view of our temporary home. (Our extended family Kathy and Jules in the camp chairs)
We visited the Gunns Plains caves.
 We had some fun times!

Living in a caravan with 5 kids and home schooling! Am I mad? Much longer and maybe I would have been! Haha! The caravan belongs to our good friends, who were so welcoming and hospitable that what could have been a nightmare was a real blessing. It certainly did stretch us and bond us as a family. It was a great experiment to see if traveling was a good idea for our family. We did enjoy most of our time, despite a lot of cold rainy weather, broken tents, leaky air mattresses, cramped living conditions, our car kept braking down and a very small budget! It is nice have a home again. 

Home schooling is definitely for us! But more on that some other time!   

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pasta Surprise!

Have you ever looked inside your fridge, then your cupboards, then back to the fridge, repeating this process several times before concluding that you have no idea how to turn all the ingredients you just saw into something edible? I do this every night. 

Tonight, I managed to make a new family favourite!

I am calling it 'pasta surprise'. Why? Because the ingredients can vary depending on what you have in your cupboard. I found that this combination was particularly tasty and not wanting to forget it, I thought I'd blog it while it's fresh in my mind.

1 medium onion
6 bacon rashers
2 chicken breasts
1 small capsicum
4 Tomatoes
1 can champignons  
1 small bunch brocollini 
1 cup water
tsp garlic
Tbsp chicken stock powder
1 cup cream
1-2 Tbsp corn flour 
Tbsp olive oil
500g Pasta

 In a medium/hot frying pan heat olive oil. Dice onion, chicken and bacon and add to pan with garlic. Once they are cooked set aside. Dice vegetables and champignons, adding to pan with the chicken stock and water. Put pasta on now. Once veggies are cooked add the previously cooked chicken mix and add cream. Put corn flour in a cup with a Tbsp of water, stir until corn flour is dissolved. Add the corn flour to the frying pan mix and stir until the cream has thickened. (Unless you don't want it thickened, then just forget this step). Once pasta is cooked add the pan ingredients and stir through. Dinner's ready!!!!

Okay, so this cooked enough to feed my army of 7 and have a bit more left for my lunch tomorrow. If you don't have that many mouths to feed I suggest halving the ingredients and freezing any left overs for a yummy lunch a couple of week from now! If you try it, let me know what you think! 

Sorry I didn't take a picture..... in the middle of moving...... I have no idea where my camera cable is!