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Fi mum23

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

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God’s loving provisions

Recognising the blessings

Seriously, why does it require me getting quite unwell in order for me to fully appreciate the blessings of good health?  My last few days have been, let’s just say, rather unpleasant.  I think if I was a man, I’d be calling it man-flu (ha ha).  Sore throat, aches & pains, lethargic, no workouts done (yes, this is seriously part of the sick dilemma as I do get a tad antsy when I can’t workout)  (OK.. maybe a tad crazy)

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I’m extremely thankful that this lovely state of health held off until after my trip to Adelaide with my Sis (blog to come), as it really was such a great time.  Very COLD though, extremely cold, so maybe that’s what started it.  BUT, guess what peeps, as in everything that decides to come my way, I’m choosing to LEARN something from and through it.

First thing, as already stated, being reminded to fully appreciate good health.  I was sitting thinking back to last week, feeling 100% healthy and full of energy.  It really brought it home to me that I don’t fully appreciate it when I do feel 100%.  (Man, I’m looking forward to appreciating it when it returns in a few days.)

Psalm 139:13-16 tell us… For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

‘the days that were formed for me’…  that means that this spot of un-well-ness hasn’t caught The Lord by surprise.  And seeing Romans 8:28 tells us And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  …  I know that God is working things together for my good. 

You know what’s a super awesome thing to do when you’re feeling a tad average and have little to no physical energy to spare……

pray

I’ve had some fantastic chats with The Lord in the last day or so.  I’ve felt him leading me in new directions of late and am after some clarification etc, so it’s been great to have these extra ‘full-on’ prayer times.  You know how you can chat on & off with The Lord all day long, but sometimes ‘life’ only allows you the time you diligently put aside for Him.  That right there shows you how important it is to set aside that quiet time with Him each day, coz if you don’t…. life just gobbles all the time up and you find you’re not giving your relationship with The Lord the time in needs.

I’m re-reading ‘The Resolution for Women’ at present and it has some super fantastic verses in it that are great to have up around the house, on the fridge, or in your war-room.  I’m choosing to concentrate on one per day, and TRYING to remember to post it to FB also.  Yesturday’s verse was Mark 12:30 I shall love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength.  

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Another thing I’m learning is that I do a lot more physical work around the house than I realised…. How am I learning this?? coz i’m trying to still do it and just about passing out with exhaustion… what the… I mean it’s just a load of washing.  Surely it’s not usually that heavy?  :0).  Like I said, can’t wait to get back to 100%.

OK loves… not too much depth in this blog, but hey….  it’s exhausting me just sitting here at my Mac, so hey, take what you can get, right.

Blessings to you all… and HEALTH AND WHOLENESS  coming my way very soon !!!  I’m declaring it in the name of Jesus !!!

xox

Expand our boundaries.. drive our tent pegs deep

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Sunday night at church, Pastor Nina preached from Isaiah 54.  It was a fantastic message that re-affirmed what’s already very clearly in store for my 2016.

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.

3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.  (ESV)

While I don’t usually like referring to The Message translation, this time, I think it’s a good read.

Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations; you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Exciting right !!!  While I completely realise that this text speaks of what was going on at that time, I firmly believe that we can learn from this and apply it to our lives today.  (as we can of all scripture)
On Sunday night, Pastor Nina used a fantastic (& very entertaining) illustration of having a children’s play tent on the stage, which she actually climbed into, showing how little room there is in there, how cramped and uncomfortable any length of time in there would be.  To flipside of that though is that some people choose to stay in that tiny tent, seeing it as safe & secure.   “I need not have any fear of God asking me to do anything big, because I simply don’t have the room to do it.”  (Side note – Believe me, I completely get that stepping out is scary…  you never know what God is going to ask of you (Jonah), but I can tell you right now, it’s so worth it.)
In contrast, a big comfy chair and a large tent covering a decent sized area was brought up on stage, showing how we can spread out, allow God to have the room to work in our lives, equip us for ALL that He has in store for us.   It immediately took me back to the vision that God gave me a couple of years ago (I’m pretty sure I blogged about it).  I was shown myself, wearing a VERY BIG, like CRAZY BIG fur coat (I assume it was faux, to be fair to all animal lovers out there.. I would never buy a fur coat.)
I was initially very confused by the vision and enquired of God what He was trying to tell me.  I immediately got a response from Him, explaining that the coat was very big, in order for Him to fill it… with Blessings, with provisions, with skills, gifts & talents in order to equip me with everything I would need in order to do His work in His Kingdom for His glory !!
The ‘drive your tent pegs deep’ really spoke to me also.  To not just have a surface commitment to the things of God, but to dive in deep, have solid foundations, set aside decent time.  Once again, of course, I nearly ALWAYS find in any message that it points back to two things.
1.  We need to have a close personal relationship with Our Heavenly Father, Jesus our Saviour & Redeemer, and The Holy Spirit.
2. Be actively studying His Word on a daily basis.  Imagine it’s liquid in a big ole’ bucket and you wanna tip it over yourself in your quiet time each morning. :0)
Yes, I know I point these things out all the time, sorry for the repetition, but I really want that point to get across.  If we’re doing these two things, we’re on a very good path with The Lord and all that He has in store for us.
What I learnt/was reminded of today – Being shown things in illustrative form is often a very effective way to teach a biblical truth, or be reminded of a truth that maybe you’re not submerged yourself in of late.
What scripture verse am I soaking in today?  The one above, Isaiah 54:2-3.
Blessings Peeps !!  xox

The HS Bus is starting up !!

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So, we’re really on the countdown now to the first day of school for 2016.  Australia Day next Tuesday, and then into the thick of things on Wednesday…. our 3rd year as a Homeschool family.  Woo Hoo !!!  Praise The Lord !!

This year is shaping up to be very different, very exciting, very eye opening… and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us !!

Miss 14 & Master 13 are starting on online DE this year, which is very exciting for them.  Master 10 will continue with ACE for another year before going onto online also for Grade 7 in 2017.

If anyone of you are wondering, Yes, we are going to be continuing our Character Traits training. We’ll assign one in the second week of school, so I’ll keep you posted on that.

But…. and here’s the super exciting news that I am soooooooooooooo excited to share with you all…  I am officially enrolled in Bible College as a full time student this year !!  I’m doing a Cert IV in Christian Leadership, and I simply cannot even express how exciting and expectant I am about doing these studies.

I developed a crazy love of Bible Study about 4yrs ago when I decided to do Beth Moore’s Esther study.  I loved how it pulled the verses apart and delved into the original translations in order to fully explain a passage.  It was at that time that I began to ‘word study’ also, which is always blows me away.. just how much the Bible can be explored and expanded.

So, ever since then, I’ve done study after study, covering different books of the bible, or particular topics.  When I haven’t been engrossed in a planned out study, I’ll search Youtube for fantastic speakers, covering relevant topics that I felt lead to address at that particular time.  I particular love Francis Chan, Louie Giglio, Jefferson & Alyssa Bethke, and many others.

With all this in mind, I do understand why when I told DH that I wanted to do Bible College this year, his reaction was “Don’t you basically do that constantly anyway… for free?”  (LOL).  Yes, I guess I could continue along with how I’ve been doing things, and I’m sure I’d continue to learn and grow in The Lord, but I really wanted to sink my teeth into something thick and juicy !!

After doing my research, I have enrolled with a Bible College that is based interstate, but runs through our church.  While, I’m not able to physically go along to the groups at church, I will at least have others to be able to bounce things off, knowing that they are studying similar topics etc.  Doing the study online really does suit me so well too because of everything being digital, it means I can enlarge print etc to what I need.  I would certainly struggle with textbooks etc, as they are notoriously small.

In a couple of weeks, Miss 14s dance schedule will start up again, along with Soccer for the boys.  Life groups & Youth group will start up, and the wheels of the school term will start turning at a mind boggling speed.  It’s great to sit back in the assurance that God totally has this !!  He knows what the year contains, and is currently preparing & equipping us for it.

I feel blessed beyond measure for so many reasons.  The main ones being married to my DH, watching him grow into everything God has for him, being able to homeschool my children and have every day with them, having a great family, and the most amazingly faithful and true friends a girl could ever ask for.  There are so many other blessings I could list, but you get my drift.  This year is looking crazy awesome and it’s only Jan 20.

Disclaimer – Sadly, when you make the decision to live out Micah 6:8 and other similar passages, the enemy gets a tad upset and throws everything he can at you.  I’ve been attacked in ways these past few days that I never even saw coming.  So, remember peeps, SHIELDS UP !!!!!  1 John 4:4 – Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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

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