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Fi mum23

Royalty, Wife, Mummy, friend, teacher, student & fitness blogger

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Blessed

Like a tree planted by the water

Hi all…

God laid a blog post on my heart a few weeks back, but life’s been cray cray busy, emotionally draining and. well, just a tad poopy to be honest.  So, my blog post has been a bunch of notes and dot points on note paper by my Mac ever since then.  Now, tonight, I finally have the time, and emotional capacity, to get it ‘written down’.

Quite often, The Lord gives my blog post during praise & worship time.  This can be quite frustrating if he decides to give it to me during P & W at church….  I have to try and remember it all…  I really should start taking my journal to church with me for this very reason.

The title of tonight’s blog may have given it away, but it was Psalm 1 that was given to me that particular evening.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lordand on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers.  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;  for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

I always find it interesting that the Lord gives me different things for my blogs… sometimes pictures, sometimes songs, sometimes a direct message.  I was given this Psalm, and then I ‘happened’ to search up a ‘Chat with Priscilla Shirer’ to watch one evening in the week following having been given the Psalm, and low and behold, her guests were Mark & Melanie Hall.  Mark Hall is the lead singer of Casting Crowns.  I have a few of theirs albums, but must say I didn’t know much about them.  Their story is amazing.  The band is completely made up of Pastors.  I’d strongly encourage you to google them and read their testimony.  Powerful stuff !

Anyway, I had strangely (nothing like this is ‘strange’, it’s just God ‘doing his thing’ when we don’t realise He’s doing it) purchased the ‘Thrive’ album the previous week and had listened to it enough times to be quite interested in what Mark had to say about it.  Surprise, surprise… it’s based on Psalm 1.  I guess if I’d put some deep thought into it, I would have realised that after listening to the ‘Thrive’ track, but I mostly listen to it while working out, so I’m not always putting 100% attention into lyric meaning.  You know, not dropping the weight bar on my face is more significant.  LOL.

The lyrics of ‘Thrive’ go like this :

Here in this worn and weary land Where many a dream has died
Like a tree planted by the water We never will run dry
So living water flowing through, God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls With one desire
Just to know You and to make You known ,We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive… We were made to thrive
Into Your word we’re digging deep To know our Father’s heart
Into the world we’re reaching out To show them who You are
So living water flowing through God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls With one desire.

The Believers Bible Commentary tells us this about Psalm 1:3-5 – The man who is separated from sin and separated to the scriptures has all the qualities of a strongly, healthy, fruitful tree.    Planted by the rivers of water – he has a never-failing supply of nourishment and refreshment.  It brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season  – he displays the graces of The Spirit, and his words and actions are always timely and appropriate.   It’s leaf also shall not wither – his spiritual life is not subject to cyclical changes but it characterised by continuous inner renewal.  As D L Moody puts it, :”All The Lord’s trees are evergreen.”  ( I LOVE that, don’t you.)

This kind of man shall prosper in everything he undertakes.  The reason, of course, is that he is living in fellowship with The Lord, and all his service is therefore guided by the Holy Spirit.  The only way to be efficient and successful in the Christian life is to be led by the Spirit of God.  Self-directed activity is an enormous waste of time, money and effort.

The ungodly are not so, that is, they are neither well planted, fruitful, enduring, nor prosperous.  Like chaff, they lack body or substance.  When the storms of life blow, they prove unstable.  a strong wind drives them away.  The ungodly shall not stand in the judgement. They will, of course, appear before God at the judgement of the Great White Throne (Rev 20:11). But the meaning here is that they will have no adequate defence.  In idiomatic language, they won’t have a leg to stand on.  Furthermore, they will never stand in the congregation of the righteous;  they will be forever excluded from company of those who are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(If I haven’t told you before… I LOVE my ‘Believers Bible Commentary’.  I bought it about 4yrs ago now and find it an extremely handy resource.  It is written by William MacDonald and is based on the New King James version. ©1995, 1992, 1990, 1989)  And as a bonus for me, it’s LARGE PRINT…. which also makes it a good addition to my weights workout.. LOL.

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The cover of the ‘Thrive’ album is so great and tells such a great message, as well as visually depicting Psalm 1.  Digging our roots DEEP in the scriptures, while still reaching OUT into the world.  I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all that having deep roots in the Scriptures make marriage, work, church, friendships…well, basically anything, work BETTER !!!

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Getting back to what the commentary says of Psalm 1… I love knowing that I have a NEVER FAILING supply of nourishment and refreshment.  Man, I’ve needed that this year with the ups and downs of the last few months.  Even this past week, Master 11 had major eye surgery.  I actually didn’t even realise quite how major it was until he’d been in theatre 3hrs with no sign of getting that magical phone call saying ‘Your child is in recovery.. you can come in and see him now.”  Thank The Lord, that phone call ended up being the surgeon coming to us after 3hr 10mins in theatre, saying that it had all gone beautifully and our son would soon be in recovery.  It would be another nail biting half an hour before I got the call saying I could come in to recovery to see him.  Apparently he’d been under quite a deep anesthetic due to the length of the surgery and was taking a bit to come out of it.  He gave us some entertaining moments over the next few hours until he was fully awake and with it.  The knowledge that our loving heavenly Father was in that operating room, guiding the hands of the surgeons, greatly comforted me in those stressful last 2hrs in theatre.

I also want to be characterised as having continuous inner renewal.  I certainly know that I thrive for this, by both digging into the Word, and reaching out to others with the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed me with.

Speaking of reaching out to others, I have to take this opportunity to share with you the most beautiful thing that happened in hospital this week, the morning following the surgery.  I stayed in overnight with Master 11 of course, and when we were sitting having breakfast (well, he was having breakfast, I was stealing off his plate.), he nonchalantly says to me “I’m thinking after breakfast, I’m going to go and pray with each child.”  Seriously, my heart nearly burst.  Due to nurses coming, going through discharge proceedures etc, he only got to pray with one little girl, but oh well, that’s one girl who’s life he touched that morning.   My son is an EVERGREEN…..  love it !!!!

I also love what Psalm 1 says about ‘when the storms of life blow’..  and that this played out in our life this week.  The storm was hectic… there were other things going in our lives too this week…..  not so great things.. that are way too complicated to go into (future blog post), but while I was tossed around a bit, emotionally, physically….  because my roots are planted DEEP in the word, and planted by the rivers of water, I was able to power on through it, knowing who I am, and whos I am !!!

I also love these particular lyrics in ‘Thrive’ We know we were made for so much more Than ordinary lives.. It’s time for us to more than just survive… We were made to thrive.

I know that I don’t want to settle for an ordinary life… I don’t want to ‘just survive’ …I want, and plan to THRIVE !!!

Blessings Peeps  xox

Awaken, sleeping Lionesses

“If ever there comes a time when the women of the world can come together, purely and simply for the benefit of mankind.. it will be a force such as the world has never known.”  Matthew Arnold,  British Poet & Philosopher.

(Matthew Arnold (24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888) was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and William Arnold, novelist and colonial administrator. Matthew Arnold has been characterised as a sage writer, a type of writer who chastises and instructs the reader on contemporary social issues.)

I included that little bit of basic info on Matthew Arnold to make the point that I think he was in a very good position to have made the above statement.  And it quite frankly blows me away to think that he made that comment well over 150yrs ago.  I must say that I do tend to think that we’re predominantly in the mess we’re in since the 1960 or 70’s, as I use the rationale that when my parents grew up, there was far more respect shown to adults/elders/those in authority than there is now.  There was more modest dress, stronger family bonds & commitments, and just more consideration shown for others across the board.  So, with this in mind, it’s interesting to read his statement and note how long ago he would have made it.  Clearly, a very intuitive man.  G. W. E. Russell wrote of Arnold, “He is a man of the world entirely free from worldliness.”

This statement by Matthew Arnold has been quoted by Lisa Bevere at the beginning of her messages since beginning her ‘Lioness Arising’ teachings in 2009.

I went through the Lioness Arising teaching series in January 2012 with the lovely ladies from LifeHouse church.  I found it to be such an informative and enlightening teaching, but it’s very interesting to reflect on how I’ve continued to learn from it in these 4yrs between, and I imagine I will continue to learn from it going forward also.

The cover of the book says ‘Lioness Arising… Wake up and change your world”.  Well, wake up I certainly did that year and I’ve never looked back.

Chapter one of the Safari guide (the workbook that goes alongside the book & message series) begins with these words, “Welcome to the pride, my lovely Lioness sister.”  Now, this right here was an eye-opener for me in that lounge room that night in Jan 2012, surrounded by 12-14 relatively new friends as I’d only joined the church the previous October.  Those beautiful women became my pride for the next 3yrs and I learnt so much with and from them.  God had further plans for our family, leading us away from LIfeHouse and to the church family we now call HOME!  As a result, I have a different ‘pride’ now.  The eye-opening point though had little to do with the small group that is your pride, but realising that we, as women of God, are all in the one pride.   We support each other in our day to day within our smaller ‘prides’, but as a whole, we support the entire pride in prayer also.

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My pride today is stunning… stunning and dangerously wide awake !!  To say I love them and are grateful to do life with them is a huge understatement.   What’s fascinating about our pride is that all five of us have known each other for years…  approx 13yrs is the longest I’ve known one of my Lioness sisters, but some are a little longer, and some a little shorter.  We haven’t always been this pride…. it’s actually come together in solidarity just this year.  In these many years leading up, there’s been weddings (actually, just one, mine.  LOL), pregnancies, miscarriages, births, dedications, relationship tensions, job changes, many a school activity or awards night, family tragedy, mind-blowing blessings, and so so much more.  It continues to amaze me that God’s timing is ALWAYS spot on !  We’ve all known each other for a good amount of years, and have always gotten along, but God has seen fit to bring us together as a pride for THIS time in our lives.  All of us are riding through something at present, whether it be health, relationship, parenting, or something else.. and we’re all there for each other and in most cases can well relate to our Lioness sister’s struggles.

Another thing the 5 of us have in common… we all have a Lioness cub that has been entrusted to our care.

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return, and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.  Luke 12:48 NLt

Our ‘cubs’ range from 10yrs up to nearly 16 (so yes, we need prayer right now peeps.. ha ha).  There is so so much to be aware of when parenting a daughter and I know it’s been said time and time again, but seriously, the biggest keys are being in a Godly marriage (don’t worry if you’re a single Mum, or your husband isn’t walking with The Lord as in those situations, The Lord is the other parent when needed) The Word of God, and having open communication with your daughter.  The next biggest asset after those is being in a Pride of fellow Lionesses also mothering a cub.

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It’s so important to instil into our girls that while they have no choice but to be IN the world, they most certainly don’t need to be OF the world.  This can be crazy hard with the influence of tv, movies, magazines, books, music lyrics & videos etc etc.  To give an example, my daughter is 15, is homeschooled, goes to dance once a week, attends a life-group with girls her age at our church, and attends youth group and church on the weekends.  She also works part-time at a coffee shop twice a week.  Now, while she is free from a huge amount of negative influences that she used to be greatly effected by when she was in mainstream school, she still comes in contact with those of different beliefs, moral standards etc etc and needs to know how to respond in those situations.  Recently there was a situation at her workplace where someone was upset and resigned.  What followed was very adult conversation topics, bad language and a lack of consideration shown by some in the situation.  I need to know that I am doing the absolute best job to equip Miss 15 to best handle herself in these situations.  I’m pleased to say that she did very well, recognising where it would have been easy to slip into the gossiping with others, but refrained from it.  #proudmummamoment .  We can tend to think that if we just have our girls in youth group/life group at our church, all will be fine, or at least better than ‘out there in the world’.  This quite often isn’t the place.  Probably better, yes, but not smooth sailing by any stretch of the imagination.  Youth group and life group usually involves community kids, so therefore worldly issues, swearing, lower moral standards etc etc.  While we would love to just keep our daughters from these, they need to experience them in these years in order to learn and effectively navigate the big world when they in fact delve into it themselves, whether that be via University, the workplace, or social settings.  Not to mention… how are we to save the lost if we don’t interact with those not walking with The Lord.

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You know another important thing to do with your Lioness sisters….. LAUGH…. Laugh until your stomach and sides ache !!  I’m pleased to say that we satisfy this unwritten pride prerequisite quite well….  especially with this one here….  Oh my goodness we laugh a LOT !!  If I’m a little down, my DH will say to me.. “You need a get together with your bestie… go belly laugh together like you always do.” :0)

Through not only the benefit of laughter, but also friendship and prayer support, we are able to journey together in our walk with The Lord, becoming best equipped to help others.  As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

In her book ‘Lioness Arising’, Lisa Bevere writes..  We live in a world filled with ever-increasing opportunities.  We are not limited like our sisters in the 1800s.  We have the ability to stretch forth and reach out to others to do this well.  We must look back and ahead.

 

In Luke 4:18-19 we read God’s Spirit is on me, he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”   In my humble opinion, to most effectively do this, we women NEED to be in a fully awakened and dangerous pride.

To be able to confidently know not only that I would state the following, but my fellow Lionesses would too…  So now I will attack you like a lion, like a leopard that lurks along the road.  Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away.  I will tear out your heart.  I will devour you like a hungry lioness and mangle you like a wild animal.  Hosea 13:7-8 NLT.  So, who didn’t know that stuff like that was in the bible??  ha ha !!

There is so much we need to shield and protect our daughters from in this current day, but at the same time, prepare them for when they go out into the world and encounter those same things.  Matthew 10:16 says Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you.  You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves.  Be as cunning as a snake, un-offensive as a dove.  

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Take this beauty on the right here….  Doesn’t she look all gorgeous, sweet and lovely??  well, she totally is :0)… but she’s also one of the fiercest prayer warriors I know, and she can be counted on to go to war for one of her Lioness Sisters at a moments notice if needed.

There is so so much more I could include in this blog, but the best I can do is suggest that if you haven’t read Lioness arising, or done the study within a group, GET ONTO IT GIRLFRIEND !!!  There’s simply too much at stake in our world right now, far too many sleeping Lionesses who need to be awakened.  We need to be Proverbs 31:10-31 women, standing by our men, honouring them so they in turn can be equiped to do their part in The Kingdom.  But as we all know, marriage is tough…  so we need our Pride in order to stay strong, weather storms, and not buy into the ways of the world.   I can personally testify to the fact that if you are surrounded by like minded, Godly women as your close friends and support system, your marriage is 1000% better.

I’ll finish with a list of Prayers Roars from the Lioness Arising Safari Guide.  Why not make it a new nightly routine to declare one of these.  I’ll include 7 so that you have one for each day of the week.  These really will set you on a fantastic path to discovering what you actually have in your hand, and how effective you can be in & for the Kingdom.

  1.  I realise I have the potential to be a living, breathing solution to human problems.  Lord, lead me as I embark on this journey !!
  2. I am ready to give expression to lovely, virtuous, capable, inoffensive, cunning, harmless, shrewd, trustworthy, faithful lioness daughters who enrich the lives of those around me and gather to strategise how to ‘do good’.  I am willing to take on this challenge !!
  3. This day, regardless of how I look or feel, I choose to echo the declaration “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”God’s work in me is marvellous.  I am stunning; but more than just looking good, I choose to develop the strength to do good, I am ready to bear some weight and carry my load, because rather than being busy, I will build, I will shift my focus to gain strength and allow hardship to re-make me invincible in Him.  I embrace my strength and choose to run to win, train hard, give it my all, stay alert and not get sloppy with the Word of God, or the seasons of my life.
  4. I present my strength for you service.  God, I refuse to allow anyone to put me in a position of status.  I choose to serve and lift others by asking “How can I help?”.  I will change the way I look at my life of worship.  It is a banquet of refreshing and strength, not a draining burden.  Show me how to be a lioness among Lions and in the process, raise up others in their strength and encourage them to dream again.  I know acts of honour are never lost in translation, so I look to my future with hope because talking less now doesn’t mean having less in my future.  I am a guide, not a guard.  I live to bring people in, not to keep them out, and enlarge my life.
  5. I pray my release means release for others.  Male and female, help me to always remember that marriage is a union, not a battle.  Let me recognise the gender difference as the affirmation of our need for each other.  I need the men in my world to be all that you created them to be.  God bless the dwellings of unity in my life.  We all need redemption and you alone are worthy of my worship. I will stop being contentious and reading too much into gender differences, because you have ultimate preeminence, may you have your say in my life.
  6. Jesus, we are ready to do something impressive and significant. For your body, show me who I am so I know how to both greet and groom my sisters and brothers.  I want to refresh and restore others.
  7. I am ready to be excellently formed and marvellously functioning.  Teach me to hunt, I am ready to grow up, give me the energy and insight of heaven.  Restore all of my healthy maternal affection that fear has twisted.  I am ready to hunt with my sisters.

Many blessings my Lioness Sisters (& any dedicated blog loving Lions still reading)

Let’s stand together and be POWERFUL !!   (Note I haven’t said anything today about who we’re standing against …. coz I refuse to give him more credit than is due.  It’s like a mozzie to a T-Rex….  We are fully armed peeps with the Word of God.)

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xox

 

 

 

 

Riding the Roller-coaster called LIFE !!

Hiya blog readers !!  It’s after 10 on a Saturday night (of course I’m in & blogging because I’m so NOT a party animal… LOL).    We actually have been at a party tonight but it was a workmate of DH’s & we seriously didn’t know anyone at all so we didn’t stay too long.  I didn’t mind that at all seeing as we had to leave the house at 7.30 this morning to head off on a loooooooong drive to the boys soccer game.  1hr 40mins to the game today… not a bad drive actually so it was enjoyable, but I’ll certainly enjoy the Home game next week.

Life has certainly had it’s ups & downs in the last month or so for us…  there have been some heartbreaking lows… BUT…  amongst all this ‘negative’, God has turned ashes to beauty !!   My DH, who is saved, but has struggled big-time with the whole ‘die to self’ part of the deal, has had more than ample reason to be angry this past month.  (seriously, a saint woulda lost his shiz through this stuff), but he’s been cool as a cucumber… and I know that it’s God’s hand in him.

I had my suspicions of course, but they were confirmed when we were at Alapha last week and one of the questions was “What dramatic change has God brought about in your life since becoming a Christian?”  DH answered “He’s taken my anger away.”  (Of course I did a fist pump on the inside at this time.. lol)

I was thinking about this in the car heading to soccer this morning.  We were listening to ABBA (coz Abba rocks !!) and I can’t remember what song it was, but a tambourine was mentioned.  Straight away…. way too fast for me to have thought it myself, I was reminded of that verse in Exodus where Miriam dances and sings with her tambourine.  (Exodus 15:20).  Hardcore blog followers of mine will remember why this is the verse that was laid on my heart this morning.

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For everyone else… here’s the super fast recap…  In 2014 my sister & I went to Colour Conference (the women’s conference at Hillsong church) and Beth Moore was one of the speakers. (LOVE Beth Moore).  She taught from the Exodus passage, bringing it home to us that we need to have our tambourine’s at the ready… anticipating the victory… be ready to grab it at a moments notice (as Miriam did) and get up and rejoice !!  I got onto ebay (trusty ebay) when at the airport waiting to fly home from Colour that year, and purchased a tambourine.  It arrived about a week later and it hangs in a very predominant place in my home…  right in the heart of our home….  handy to pick up at any time.  Even just looking at it hanging there gives me the encouragement I need to get through tough times in a normal day.

I strongly believe that these verses coming to mind during the drive this morning was a subtle reminder to me to remember to not just rejoice for these HUGE steps DH has taken of late, and throughout these struggles, but to also be EXPECTANT for more victory to come.

Exciting right !!!!!

It’s safe to say that I’m really really excited for what’s in store…. and that’s even with the knowledge that, sadly, there will be some really yucky stuff ahead too.  I always know that God totally has us covered in every situation, and I never doubt this…. but things like this morning, getting those ‘moments with The Lord’ and being reminded of His presence, always put an extra spring in our step.. and a wider smile on our face.

Blessings Peeps !!!  xox

Developing a hatred for sin

Deep title right ?  Well, it’s certainly a deep issue and one that was, amongst other things, looked at in one of my BC lectures today.  I’m currently working my way through the subject, ‘Jesus’ Leadership Style’ and when looking at the area of our sin issues, something was really revealed to me about a facet of going through these issues that can be quite difficult.

When we have a particular area of sin that we struggle with… let’s just look at gossiping for example, it’s best for us to recognise it as the weakness in us that it is, and then ask The Lord to break out heart for what breaks His, and in turn, give us a hatred of that sin.  This is a great method if you really apply it, as you allow God to get into that area of your life, work on you and teach you how to change.  (One of Jesus’ best styles of leadership… He didn’t just tell us what.. he told us how.. and gave us the power to do it.)

However, it can greatly effect your friendships and relationships in general.  eg.  If you liked to have a good ‘ole gossip sesh with a particular girlfriend, and that girlfriend isn’t on-board with your recognition of gossiping being a sin issue that needs God’s hand in changing, you’re going to end up with issues with that friend.

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The Bible explains that relationships can have a powerful effect upon us.  In 1 Cor 15:33 it says “Evil company corrupts good habits.” and on the positive side, Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”

Looking more closely at sin issues, an illustration that was used today was of a house and how we can tend to have that ‘nice room’.  In older style houses it was usually the front living room.  That was where the ‘good’ furniture was, and the cabinets with the good crystal were displayed etc.  We’d bring guests into that room coz it was always kept neat & tidy.  The  rest of the house could look like a bomb had gone off, but that room was always respectable.  We can attempt to present ourselves to God & others in that way too.  We’ve got a ‘front room’ that’s ‘got it all together’. …  a bit like a Sunday selves and a Monday-Saturday selves.  At church on Sunday we’re perfectly put together, quietly spoken, patient, dependable, loyal (& lots more complimentary adjectives), but through the week we’re a loose canon.

We need to allow God into all of our ‘rooms’ and allow him to do a Reno on us.  Allow him into those back rooms, the ones we like to keep hidden.. the anger room, the selfish room, the gossiping room, the inappropriate room… or whatever your particular sin issues are.

Renos are dirty and dusty things…  not pleasant to live through, uncomfortable, painful, pushes us out of our comfort zone and sometimes past our point of ‘I’m gonna lose it’.  It’s the same when we allow God to do a reno on us.  It’s not gonna be pleasant, but we know that God sees us as the finished product.  He doesn’t see the peeling wall paper, sagging ceiings and tatty carpet… He sees fresh paint, beautiful ornate features and glossy polished floorboards.

I believe it’s also really beneficial to remember that God has a renovation shedule mapped out for our lives.  We’ll never be completely done until we’re standing in His presence in Glory… and I for one want to let Him deal with my ‘rooms’ on this side of eternity. (even when it hurts a bit..or a lot). I know I always harp on about it, but this is just another important reason why we need to stay in constant communication with The Holy Spirit.  We’re constantly ‘putting rooms onto our houses’ and new sin issues are going to come up for us, and we’re not always going to find it easy to let God into every room.

In Romans 7 Paul gives us a very encouraging word when he tells us : What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Yes, sorry that the gold nugget was in the last line, but hey… it was a good read for you anyway.  :0)

Another great illustration of how we can best be an effective Christ follower is to remember that we have the Power of Christ flowing through us, and when we allow sin issues to take hold of us, it creates ‘blockages’.  The Lord will simply not be able to work in and through us with the most effective results while these ‘road blocks’ are there.

Ok peeps…  I’m signing off for now.  As usual, I could type on you simply ages.  I’m continually blown away by how much I learn anew and am reminded of in each and every lecture or bible study session.

What I learnt or was reminded of today – I’m a living breathing construction site !!  (PS.  I wear a pink hardhat)

Scripture I’m soaking in today – Ephesians 2 :10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

xox

 

 

 

 

 

 

40th b’day celebration # 1 * CRUISE *

Hi there blog loving peeps !!

Yes, it’s been a while between blogs but life has been cray cray busy.  This past weekend was a much anticipated event… cruising for 3 nights on Pacific Dawn with 11 of my girlfriends !!

To say it was AMAZEBALLS would actually be an understatement.  We all had such a blast !!  The food was great (& not just because we didn’t have to prepare it or clean up after it), the weather was great, the atmosphere was great…. but what made the weekend so memorable was the beautiful girls I shared the time with.

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Simply boarding was a fun event in itself, seeing the reaction to the ship from those that hadn’t been on a cruiseship before.  Going out under the Gateway Bridge and experiencing the atmosphere of setting sail.  It was a tad windy up the top deck, but well worth the experience.

Our first dinner was in the Waterfront Restaurant.  There was a fair bit of movement from that particular spot on the boat, which didn’t sit too well with a few of the girls, but they powered on like the good fresh sailors they were. They view from our table was well worth every swell. (Of course, I personally LOVED every swell, but hey, that’s me.)

The particular cruise we chose was a Comedy cruise, but I don’t think any of  us attended any of the comedy events… we were just so darn entertaining on our own that we didn’t need to go to a show in order to have a great time.. LOL.  Seriously though…  we really did laugh sooooo much at times that there were sore tummy muscels.. and possibly some Depends could have come in handy…Bahahahahaha

To head down the fashion blog street for just a moment, I wore a new jumpsuit onboard that had only arrived the day before leaving. I hadn’t planned to wear it, but when it arrived in time, I thought..  YES.. this is the perfect outfit for my first official 40th birthday celebration.  A friend of mine who has a freak-tastic fashion blog called styleloving2  (CHECK IT OUT) had highly recommended these jumpsuits as being just so versatile.  I was unsure if i’d like the style so just ordered this one, but have since jumped back online and ordered another in black.  And hold on to your hats for the price peeps…  $15.40 with postage cost bringing the total to $24 !!!!  Miss 14 did my make up for me and then insisted on about 200 pictures being taken once I was ready.  I won’t spam you with them all, but here’s one.  And beside it….  my group of lovelies minus one while we were at Tangalooma, Moreton Island.

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Our cruise began with a Sailing party which had a ‘White Bianco’ theme, which is why we’re all dressed in white in the above pic.  Jules is the rebel in Black.  :0)

Sunday involved eating (buffet breakky.. YAY), relaxing, napping, sunbaking, chats and D & Ms, walking, more eating, more napping, more chatting, lots of photos, some ice-cream, more walking (over 10,000 steps per day according to S-Health on my phone) and then dedicated prep time for the evening’s formal night with a Great Gatsby theme !!!  Now, THIS is where the real fun began.  More black feathers have never been seen before… and man did we LAUGH..  this is a shocking picture of me but it shows just how much we laughed.

This was also the night that my lovely girls organised a birthday cake for me.  It was super delicious and was almost polished off by the 12 of us.  There were also birthday balloons, but there’d been a communication breakdown, so they originally read ‘Happy Birthday Flora’  (LOL), but with some clever artistry, it was sorted out.  However, I think I’ll have the ‘Flora’ joke go on for many years to come.

We all headed into the ‘party’ part of the evening which was lots of fun, dancing & laughing ’til our sides ached.  Us schoolmums really can party it up with the best of them.  :0)

Monday morning saw us anchored out from Moreton Island.  Most of the girls were doing the Tangalooma wrecks snorkel tour at 12.30 so we headed ashore on the tender boats as soon as we had breakky and got ready.  It was a lovely warm day, but the girls still found the water freezing after a time and were very glad of their wetsuits.

Once back onboard in the late arv, we got distracted looking at some of the professional pics and I managed to completely skip lunch, hence why I was ravenous by 6.30pm.  The buffet was enjoyed that night more than at any other time.  New Zealand ice-cream was on the ship so that was a welcome treat on our last night.  I didn’t do as many stairs as I would have liked, but still did well staying on-track healthy-living-wise.  Minimal treats at the buffet.. and lots of walking.

While the cruise was a Moreton Bay only cruise, they had said all along that if the weather was fine we would head out of the bay and venture either up or down the coast. We actually did both… several times.  This is what shows on one of the TV channels onboard.

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I didn’t want to not attend a ‘Movies under the stars’ while onboard, so on the last night, 4 or us were up on deck watching Fast and the Furious 7.  I have never seen 1-6, so I didn’t actually get much of the movie, and didn’t end up staying for the whole thing.

Disembarkation morning was a little strange as they had us all waiting in our designated waiting areas to be let off when they called out our group number, but things were going sooooooo slow… and then we realised some of our group had simply walked downstairs and gone straight off, so of course we did the same.

All in all… it was SUCH A GREAT TIME !!!  So many laughs, so many great chats with those that I see all the time, and those that I see rarely.  I was reminded often over the time that I am extremely blessed with the friends God has placed in my life.  Sadly, one of my dearest friends couldn’t be with us, but she was certainly with us in spirit.

Something I learnt or was reminded of this week – Friends are a huge blessing in ones life and should never be taken for granted.

Scripture I lent on during this time –

John 15 : 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

John 15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

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Bible College Week 1… DONE !!

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Ok, so these four emojis basically cover my week !!  Super excited, so tired I feel I could sleep for a week, realising I’m a natural nerd, and finally… LOVING every second of it !!

& then there needs to be a blessed emoji in order to convey that emotion.  Seriously, how blessed am I to have the opportunity to even do this study !!  Finances weren’t looking like they were going to line up for me to be able to do this year long course, but I simply put it in God’s hands… and doors just opened up left, right & center.  #Godisgood

This might sound a little cliche, but I have a lot to thank #BethMoore for this week.  It was Miss Beth that got me hooked on Bible Study about 4yrs ago now and I didn’t even realise that as I’ve travelled my bible study journey, I’ve excersised crazy good study patterns.  Who woulda thought it.  The only element about it that doesn’t surprise me is that I have always been very good at making lists, making plans, structuring things etc etc, so my study notes were always along that same vein.  English was also my best subject at school (I got that from my Mum, and her Dad, my Grandpa)

When doing my 3 Orientation lectures this week, I was amazed to see that I already did my notes the way they suggested for optimal learning intake.  Woot Woot !!

So, THANKS BETH MOORE !!!

Another significant element in my reality for 2016 is that I’m still homeschooling 3 kiddos.  So, as a result, sometimes lectures get paused to do a grade 6 spelling test with Master 10.  #homeschoollife #balance .  The orientation lectures would have actually been really beneficial for the kids to listen to, as they had loads of great info in them.  Master 10 probs would have found them a little boring, but the older two, especially Miss 14 would have gained a whole lot from them.  Might section off 3hrs next week in order for her to view them.  :0)

My first offical lecture today was lesson one of ‘Lessons from Biblical Leaders”.  We are looking at Nehemiah.  So much goodness found in only the first chapter… and then there’s 7 more lessons on this book…. can’t wait !!!  The one thing I’ll need to be careful of though is not letting my hunger for learning get carried away, resulting in me rushing.  One of the important learning principles is ‘Space vs. Mass’ – taking small amounts of info in on a consistent basis is best for taking it to your long term memory bank. 

Weather-wise, it’s been a very very strange week here in Brisbane.  Stinking hot (like 38 degrees) and then muggy/rainy weather for a couple of days.  Today is the first ‘ok’ day as far as comfort goes.  All I can say is Praise The Lord for Air Conditioners.  

What I learnt/was reminded of this week – God’s timing is so mind blowing.  I would never have thought that these past 4yrs of bible study was preparing me for Bible College.

What scripture am I soaking in  

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Blessings Peeps xox

 

 

 

 

HS day 408 – Settling into the year

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And so the school year has begun and is chugging along swimmingly.  There were some concerns with wrapping our minds around a new curriculum and a new way to have it delivered, but after giving ourselves a week to get used to it, it’s actually only taken a day or two.  Praise God for that !!!

Sidenote… I am so chuffed that my HS days is up in the 400s…  only because when I started this journey two years ago, I would read so many other HS blogs and see these big numbers and think it would be sooooooo long before we reached them… and now we’re up in these numbers.  Cool much !!

Miss 14 has a part work day through the school week, so she will need to juggle her weeks school workload around in order to accomodate.  By the looks of the timetable, it shouldn’t be too difficult at all.

The kiddos are already enjoying the interaction with other students (& their teachers), via class discussions, message boards and direct message.   It’ll be fantastic to attend the first activity day and put some faces to names.  I’ve registered for the swimming carnival in a few weeks, so that’ll be their first opportuity in person to meet other students & teachers etc.

Dear friends of ours are diving into this on-line curriculum this year also, so it’s so great to have someone to bounce things off, find out how they found this, that or the other.  Once again, God’s timing & placement are awesome !

Master 10 is still on the ACE curriculum and will remain on it for this school year before getting on board with DE also.  There will be some major benefits to this though, as it gives me more time to spend with him when needed.

My own studies haven’t begun as yet, which I’m glad of as this week was one where I needed to be switched on completley to what was going on with the kids.  So many “Mum, can you help me with this please.”.  It would have done my head in to be trying to wrap my head around my own study on top of that.

I am, however, really hoping the my study interface is very similar to theirs.  That would make things very easy, and make for a very smooth transition into full-time study for me.

I’ll have to get cracking on it as soon as it’s made avaialble to me though, as I still have the set 10wk term, same as the kiddos do.  However, I do have the freedom of being able to put study time in in the evenings, so that will be great uninterupted study time for me.

OK… that’s it from me for now.

Blessings xox

  1. What did I learn/was I reminded of today?  

The first week of the school year is a rollercoaster.

2. What scripture did I soak in today?

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.  Psalm 1:3

 

Cruising to New Zealand Day 11 -15

At 0906 Sea Princess entered Dusky Sound the first of the Fiord transits of the day.  Sea Princess exited Dusky Sound at 1023 and proceeded around the coast towards Thompsons Sound entering at 1150.  After winding through the narrow Fiord Sea Princess was clear of Thompson Sound at 1300.  At 1622 Sea Princess entered into Milford Sound the last of the Fiord passages of the day.  Once at the end of Milford Sound Sea Princess started her thrusters and swung around and proceeded back out towards the Tasman Sea exiting Milford Sound and disembarking the Fiordland Pilot at 1752. 

We tried to set ourselves an alarm so we wouldn’t miss any of the Fiordland National Park but we kinda either set it wrong or slept thru it, I can’t remember.  Either way, Dusky Sound and Thompson Sound was pretty boring really compared to the grandeur of Milford Sound at the end of the day.  The weather was rainy, cold & dreary, but it was still lovely.

After nearly 2wks of seeing nothing but sky and ocean when going out on the open decks, it was kinda surreal to walk out and see these towering majestic mountain surrounding the ship.  We are 14 floors above the water level as it is, so it was amazing to feel dwarfed besides these mountains.  Seeing snow atop them was pretty darn cool also !!!

When it came time for lunch, we were torn what to do as we wanted something more than the outdoor grill but didn’t want to head indoors and miss anything, so we went to the dining room and talked the waiter into giving us a window table and opening the curtains up as WIDE as they would go.

The chicken was to die for… and having the view we had out the window beside us….  perfection !!

The kids were all busy at the youth centres and were missing everything, so I went in search of them and dragged their butts out into the open to enjoy this most likely once in a lifetime experience.

Room on the front open deck was at a premium while in Milford Sound.  It really was breathtaking and everyone wanted to experience it to the full.  It was quite cold to be out there, but well worth it.

It was really interesting to be told that the Fiords are far deeper than they are wide, so this answers the obvious question of how such a big vessel can get in there.

The wildlife consists of dolphins, seals and birds.  Introduced species include mice, rats, hare and deer.  Among the birds are the Kakapo, the only flightless parrot in the world.  Also, of course, there is the Kiwi.

Access into the park is limited, with the drive in being a 9hr journey from Christchurch.  Helicopters and scenic flights run and we did see a helicopter during our day there.  We did also see some kayakers which was pretty cool as they seemed like little dots down there in the water.

Sadly, the day did need to come to an end and we began our journey home. There were mixed emotions that evening as we realised we’d hit our home stretch, as we were keen to get home and see loved ones, but also, life on the ship is just so relaxing and we knew that we just wouldn’t relax to that degree once at home.  Surprisingly, the last 3 days at sea really dragged.  Our first sea day heading home was also our second formal night of the cruise.

It was on this formal night that we had the Princess cruises 50th birthday dinner.  They’ve been having lots of different celebrations all through 2015.  This is the menu from the evening.

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Also, just to show how much I fully immerse myself in a cruise, one of my favourite parts of the day was straight after dinner when the following days ‘Princess Patter’ would be waiting for us outside our stateroom.  It told of the following days events, weather, destinations etc.  Each day also gave you a rundown on a particular senior crew member.

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In the last few days, I headed out with my camera to hopefully get some good shots of the ship etc.

The second last night of the cruise was hands down my MOST favourite part of the cruise.  Christmas Carols in the Atrium with the senior officers & crew !!  As the average age of passengers on the ship was about 65, the crowd was full of ‘older folk’ who REALLY enjoy their traditional carols.. and man did they all get into it.  You haven’t been apart of Carols until you’ve done it with 4 packed levels of robustly singing cruise passengers.  Jordan Peterson was on the piano and leading the singing but really didn’t need to do much leading.  Jordan was one of the cruise entertainers who we had come to love listening to most nights after dinner.  He really is very talented and would have a go at anything requested of him …. and basically do a great job every time.

The last sea day of the cruise involved a lot of packing & organising etc as everyone needs to have their luggage outside their stateroom before going to dinner that night.  This is so the cabin stewards can collect them while everyone is at dinner, rather than possibly disturbing people by doing it later in the evening.

Enjoying the last few days of the cruise….  favourite spots on the ship, favourite food, favourite times of day (Movies Under the Stars), seeing the last few sunsets over the ocean.

Sadly, the day of disembarkation had to come around eventually, and on Friday 18th Dec, it was upon us.  We had chosen the latest disembarkation timeslot of 9.45am thinking we may as well not have to rush off the ship, but something more like 8.30 would’ve been better as nothing is really open & available anyway as the crew is busy preparing for the next influx of passengers arriving that afternoon.

Top things I’ll miss about the cruise & therefore the biggest blessings of going on a cruise –

  • Endless hours with my husband
  • no cooking & cleaning
  • staring out into the stunningly blue ocean with no land in site
  • Talking to my Heavenly Father on Promenade deck looking out to sea.
  • the cruise atmosphere.
  • Yeah ok…. THE FOOD !!  (However, I do only put on 200g, so I think that’s pretty darn good… the secret is to always take the stairs.)

So that’s it peeps…  Cruise done & dusted !!  I really want to shout out right now to my DH who, without his years of hard work and dedication to providing for our family, this cruise would not have come about.

The ships final log read…

At 0200 the Brisbane local pilot boarded us as we commenced our alteration to port to enter into Moreton Bay to assist us with our transit up to the Portside passenger terminal.  The passage itself took around 5 hours, with us approaching the berth to be all fast starboard side alongside by 0700.  

& finally, all I can say is… if you’ve ever dreamed of cruising.. you should so do it !!!!!!

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Blessings Peeps !!!  xox

Life is continuing….

Oh my goodness, if I’d left it another two days, it would have been an entire month between blogs…that’s downright SLACK !!!

So much has been going on.. which does help to explain my slackness in the blogging department.

The highlights are –

  • Baby Boy Lucas is now HOME and powering on like the little warrior he has proven himself to be.  He’s settling in at home, putting on weight, getting to know his big brother, and is having his first immunisations today.

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  • I scored myself a not very pleasant intercostal injury about a month ago and am actually still suffering from that.  However, it IS improving (PRAISE GOD !!) so things ARE on the up & up.  I think I did it because I did either too many sit ups, or did sit ups incorrectly.  I had both an ultrasound and an X-ray on my right side chest/ribs etc but it didn’t show anything.  As a result, I’ve had to change my exercise routine …  for the first two weeks, I couldn’t do ANYTHING.  I am pleased to say though that I must have been doing just enough to keep the weight loss train going as the number has continued to drop slowly each Tuesday morning for my weigh-in.
  • We are now down to only two weeks and two days until we sail far far away across the sea !!!  Our renewed passports finally arrived so this is a relief.  I cannot even tell you how excited & humbled I am to know that I get to enjoy two weeks ‘off the job’.  No cleaning, cooking, washing….  Thank you Jesus !!!
  • Sadly there is ups and downs (more downs)  in family over the last few weeks that look to be continuing for a while.  However, God is teaching me a lot throughout.  It’s so easy to see someone’s actions as selfishness on the surface, but when looking deeper, you can expose emotional issues that deserve additional care.  Also, sadly, it is human nature to ‘arc up’ when someone does something to upset you, when in fact, we’ve been commissioned to Love thy neighbour, repay bad with GOOD, do all we can to expand God’s Kingdom, and most importantly, be the LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS !!!
  • DH is really enjoying having his aeroplane and being able to go up to the airfield whenever he can and go for a fly IN HIS OWN PLANE.  He’s been waiting a very long time for this and is LOVING IT !!  He’s also made a nice group of friends up there, which is just as much a part of the whole ‘scene’ he’s been wanting to be apart of for so long. They sit around with their drinks and discuss all things ‘planes’.  I’m really really happy for him.  & as you can see, the kids are enjoying it too.

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  • The biggest homeschool excursion (78 people) I have ever organised went off without a hitch (or any drownings)… Woot Woot !!

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  • Miss 14’s dance comps all went very well.  Now to enjoy the break before it all starts again in Feb 2016.
  • The 2016 homeschool journey has been decided on which is also a weight off my shoulders.  The older two kiddos are currently working through diagnostic testing for next year and are doing very well with them.

So there you go, that basically brings you up to speed, to a degree, on our lives.

Even amongst the ups and downs of ‘life’ I love how God makes ‘lessons’ out of all situations, good & bad.  I’ve also been reading Jefferson Bethke’s Jesus>Religion which is really opening up my view on things.

Blessings xox

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