Dec 28, 2012

A small world after all.

The thing that I like best about blogging is seeing the views from people all around the world. It amazes me and puts a smile on my face when I see views from Malaysia, Fiji and Turkey to name a few. It is a wonderful world where we can make connections this way and illustrates the fact that what we have in common as humans is greater than our cultural differences. It is a small world after all.
Greetings Bangladesh, Panama, Denmark, India, Ukraine, Slovakia, Mexico, Germany, UK, Canada and China too. I wish I could visit all these places I know so little about. I am descended from Skjellerups from Denmark so if anyone there wants to tell me more about the country, feel free. I would love comments from around the world.

Home again

Ahhh, the simple pleasure of returning home to a familiar, warm and cozy bed, with crisp white sheets and feather pillows. Drinking coffee from my favourite mug, made just the way I like it. A house left clean and an empty dishwasher. Joyous greetings from silly chickens that love you in their own way. Quiet in the house, blanketed by deep fresh snow that is waiting to receive my footprints. These are some of the simple pleasure of being home again. Refreshed.

Dec 21, 2012

More Wales


Ancient fields

The wind swept Welsh coastline looking out to the Irish sea. My husbands family  lives not far from here, and I love it when we get to visit and to see the fields that have been carved out for millenia in rough and wild places.

Dec 16, 2012

I have no words of my own. Sandy Hook.

Sandy Hook Dec 14, 2012
"And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." John1:5
"Arise, shine! For your light has come; the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but
the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you". Isa 60:1,2

Dec 5, 2012

Memories of Spring

This picture is now my wallpaper, it will keep me going through Winter as a reminder of what I have to look forward to. I love how my garden has lovely transitions through the seasons, and the chickens always grace the garden, though they do scratch up some plants. I use different greens to add interest as well as a variety of leaf shapes. The rocks add boundaries for interest as well as practical stepping stones. The bee balm provides a lovely scent as I brush past it and the lemon tyme brightens up so many meals.

Dec 3, 2012

A story of faith.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/12/02/the-beauty-of-faithful-suffering/
I just read this story and felt troubled and moved. Not troubled by this woman's faith, but by the reality that none of us is free from the possibility that this kind of suffering could happen us too. But I also feel moved and challenged by the depth of her faith. Could I be like that, I don't know? I guess I will never know unless I am taken to that place, but I do know this, that my God is her God and I am in His loving hands no matter where life takes me. This put my own challenges into perspective and I pray that this kind of thing will not happen, but if it does I also pray that I too would respond like this.
 

Nov 24, 2012

Seasons change.


Winter has just blown in with gale force winds spreading mayhem and sending the creatures that had, until yesterday been basking in the sun, scuttling for cover. We knew that this late warmth was not normal, shouldn’t have been like this, yet when we were reminded of what “things should have been like”, with one fell swoop we are left in shock, huddling for warmth and feeling that it just isn’t right.  We know intellectually that we are not being reasonable, that the warmth was the unusual experience in November in Minnesota, but emotionally the abrupt change in just a few hours from the relaxing, comfortable sunshine to how this technically should be, is a grating lurch.

This reminds me of the bigger picture where the difference in our innate sense of how things in a perfect world should be grates up against how things actually are. The shaking of our sense of “Rightness” with the actuality of life is something we can never escape this side of heaven. We have in us this awareness of what things should be like: Peace, love, happiness, this is what we long for, yet like the cold gale we are frequently hit by how things actually are. But I am so thankful that I can keep on hoping for the better, despite this chill, as I know that one day it will pass, one day all the things that are “not the way things should be” will be swept away, and the good will sweep in again. I am so glad that  on some longed for day they will stay for good, wiping away the memory of all that we have suffered in the joy of all that is to come; all will indeed be right again.

Nov 23, 2012

To love at all is to be vulnerable - C.S.Lewis

"There is no safe investment, for to love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change… It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell. I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less… [destructive] than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness… We shall draw nearer to [what we seek], not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them… throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and… this is [the] way in which they should break, so be it. What I know about love and believe about love and giving one’s heart began in this."
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Nov 11, 2012

Proposal

My husband proposed to me here

This is at Swiss L'Abri, the christian community where I met my husband. He is from South Africa, I am from Australia and we met in Switzerland. We have also lived in England and Canada and now live in the US. I guess my husband know what he was talking about when he said that life with him would not be boring. We are now nearing out 27th Anniversary and I have no regrets about saying yes 27 years ago on this bench.
Here is a picture of us together in Australia last year:
 http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/2012/09/home-wasnt-set-house-or-single-town-on.html#!/2012/09/home-wasnt-set-house-or-single-town-on.html
It is all about love:
http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/2012/11/to-love-at-all-is-to-be-vulnerable.html#!/2012/11/to-love-at-all-is-to-be-vulnerable.html

Nov 4, 2012

Moment by moment living.


I am so glad that we only get one day at a time; the challenge of getting through each one is enough to deal with, and I find that I look ahead in my diary as little as possible. We do not know the future for certain anyway, as we can see on TV, where those living on the East coast in the aftermath of Sandy are cold, hungry and disoriented. Plans have been wrenched away by the reality of surviving each day in a place where a very high standard of living was enjoyed days before. Not that I want to sound all gloomy, but I just find that the 24 hours a day are enough to deal with, and I am thankful that they only come a second at a time and 8 of those hours are spent in sleep.

We all have limitations, whether we are healthy or not, and that is how God meant for things to be.  Self-sufficiency feels like a badge of honor, and that is legitimate up to a point. I enjoy my capabilities; the satisfaction of doing something for myself without assistance is perfectly natural and good. But it can go too far when asking for help makes us cringe in shame, and feel like a failure. I had to learn the hard way that this in reality was pushing people away and a denial of the simple fact that we are not able to live without interdependent relationships, and reliance on a God that has power over things which we do not. My pride sets myself up as my hope and for a time this seems to work, but I always trip, one way or another, and instead of blaming others or my circumstances, like a child I have the choice to hold up my hand like and say, “help Daddy”. Our heavenly father, like any good human father has a heart that wells with pleasure at the simplicity of this instinctive trust and reliance. So today Sunday, as I lie in bed unable to get up and dressed for the day, my prayer is “Up Daddy”. Amen.
Humility:
http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/b/post-preview?token=O03LUDsBAAA.tRP1cz6TCpw7i-NRLdx9pQ.AP8kgD9QI_VY5QzrLY641A&postId=1603957742751107819&type=POST#!/2012/11/humility.html

The weight of reality. Sandy Hook.

Humility

Oct 24, 2012

Cornwall


This is a painting that I did in Port Isaac, better known as Portwen from the UK drama, Doc Martin. We love this show as it reminds us of this vacation - it is one of the most picturesque places we have been. I painted this from the window of the room we stayed in, it was right on the harbour. It was so lovely, watching the boats and the tide going in and out. It is a working harbour and they brought in huge pots of snow crabs on a regular basis. Wish we could go here again, but now that it is well known, and we live in the US I don't think it is likely. Thankfully we can watch Doc Martin to relive those days.

Oct 22, 2012

How I want to live my life.

"What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

There is nothing about MS that prevents me from trying to live by this.  My symptoms do not mean that I need to be rude, unkind or selfish. The fact that the Lord has loved me beyond measure is true, even though my body is failing. He gives me dignity, I do not need a puffed up ego. He treats me with kindness, I should know how to treat others, He cares about the poor and needy and I should too. My illness is a result of living in a fallen, broken world, not because God has rejected me. For this I am deeply thankful.

Oct 15, 2012

New Possabilities


This afternoon I had a moments awareness that left me feeling encouraged; I realized that I have improved at letting go of the things that I am unable to do. I have always been a can do girl, ready to whip out the hammer and to figure out solutions by myself. My secret identity of a female MacGyver has been like a badge that I would proudly shine in the mirror. "Yup, I can solve problems!"

But not so much any more. I have grimly held on to this idea of self as I have teettered on ladders, lugged heavy objects across the floor, grabbed on to furniture as I took the corner too fast and slid down the stairs on my behind.

So this is my public declaration: From now on I am letting the hot air out of my inflated pride, stepping back and taking a deep breath. I can now say "I can't do it" and be OK with it... most of the time. I am not a power house of a woman, but as I let this go (not that I ever was), I am comforted by the fact that I can hold my head up in the mirror and smile. I am still growing and learning as a person and God has not given up on me. There is a new world of possabilities available, even as my physical world slowly shrinks. It is never too late to learn new things and I can have fun trying. I am learning strength of character and I am not rolling over and dying, I'm just doing things differently.

Sep 29, 2012

Egg-static - Home grown eggs.

How do I love my chickens? Let me count the ways...

Echoes of Autumn

Life is feeling unsettled, with health and work challenges, but I am feeling a strong need to do something creative and to get out of the house. These sunny days and fall colours are calling as I look outside and see the golds and reds backlit by an intense blue sky. They fill me with a longing that is for something more than the here and now, this kind of longing is simultaneously a sweetness and a pang, as it can't be fully met in the here and now. But I hear the whispers of joy and beauty that pull me forward and out, echoing a larger voice both dear and familiar, ringing in my ears.

Sep 23, 2012

Criss Canning

At least I have the consolation of Pintrest as well. I just found this:
and it made me think of home.
Botanical Art - Holiday Sketching: Process of Botanical Painting

Mind the gap.


I find that there is an enourmous gap between my mind's expectation of what I can do and my body's reality. So often this trips me up as I launch into activities that I look forward to, only to be surprised at myself that I can't do it. A group of us had planned for weeks to go to a hay ride this afternoon and I had even invited the neighbours. I made a pie and was in the process of getting ready, when my husband gently asked me if I really thought I was up to it. And then I took notice of how I was feeling, and I realized, as though waking from a dream, that no, I couldn't manage a busy and active evening in the country. Sadly I said goodbye as the carload left, but ah ha, they left the pie. There is some consolation.

Sep 22, 2012

Here we go again.

Just when I was starting to feel like I was getting to grips, the rug was pulled out from under me again today. I forgot how painful this could be, and I am flatout, in bed, too tired to get up and too sore with burning pain to sleep.

I am so thankful for the phone, friends, books, TV, the internet and all forms of distraction. But I am praying for courage as I am in short supply.
"Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;

Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills."
Habakkuk 3:17-19
http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/2012/09/sorrow-n.html#!/2012/09/sorrow-n.html
One day I will dance again.

Sep 19, 2012

A love/hate relationship with tablets.

7 Things that I hate about taking my medications:
1. It takes a long time to put them into my tablet dispenser.
2. They remind me that I have a lot of medical problems.
3. There are too many tablets.
4. There is a lot to remember and keep track of. Do I need a refill? Will I get it on time?
5. They are small and fiddly and I keep dropping them.
6. They make me dizzy, unfocused and unable to have more than 1 glass of wine.
7. They remind me 4 times a day that I have MS.

5 things I love about my tablets:
1. They suppress my depression.
2. They reduce my pain.
3. They make it manageable to go out in public.
4. They let me sleep at night.
5. They help me survive.

More about the ups and downs of tablet taking:
http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/b/post-preview?token=zeLZUDsBAAA.tRP1cz6TCpw7i-NRLdx9pQ.N7IjZlWgrOt-OsuQ0D07vQ&postId=3286656270994389397&type=POST#!/2012/09/a-not-so-good-morning-or-you-have-to.html

Sep 17, 2012

Hugh Jackman talking about making connections with friends.

Me and Hugh hanging out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwKOYR65RN0
Hugh Jackman talking about connecting with people. My dad was his godfather, but sadly I don't know him as an adult. Go Hugh.


Sep 16, 2012

Memories of Wentworth Falls

I just found this picture on Wiki and it is the best I have seen of this waterfall which is just 30 minutes walk from my childhood home. When we lived here it was a fairly unknown place, but now sadly there are tour buses that visit daily. Still, not too many make it down here as the walk back up is quite a hike and I still remember the last time that I was able to do it. When life got challenging I would sit on the edge of this cliff with my dog and be reminded of the fact that there was a much greater reality than my problems. God seemed closer here than at church and things seemed clearer as my eye was drawn to the distance without a single human habitation to be seen. It was always beautiful, but my favourite time was when the mist in the valley would lift in whispy columns like smoke. I can still smell the sweet, head-clearing eucalyptus of the gum trees. This was my happy place.

Sep 7, 2012

A not so good morning but I can only laugh..

This morning, from the start did not bode well, when my husband's alarm went off 1 hour before usually getting up. After lying there for 15 minutes, I wrestled myself out of bed and went to get my coffee. Sometimes with MS I find that nothing works until I get my coffee, but today nothing worked even after I had my coffee. The old brain decided that mental fog would be the order of the day and proceeded to derail me at every turn. I have a usual morning medical routine that I need in order to function for the rest of the day. I guess my subconscious decided that I needed a break from all that and it told me that my hair was a mess and I needed a quick trim. Well, that was a laughable experiment as was my hair by the time I gave up. Then the gray cells decided that not just the bathroom sink needed cleaning of hair, but a good chunk of the bathroom as well.

I then saw how late is was and quickly (OK with MS, nothing is 'quickly') got dressed and ate breakfast, by which time I decided I really should fix my glasses as my spare pair were not very nice, and as I was not looking great I needed my good pair. Well, I am not sure why I thought I could pick up one of those little screws, put it in place and screw it in, but I then frustrated myself well and truly by trying to do this myself, and then giving up in a sweat, I went to find someone to help me.

A Chinese girl staying with us fixed it nicely in 5 minutes and then I looked around and decided that I really should do a little rearranging of furniture. If I couldn't fix my appearance I would make something else look better. OK, I couldn't shift the sofa for some silly reason, though I gave it a good try, and I got another unsuspecting person to help me with that. By this time I was thinking that my MS was really acting up today, the brain fog showed no signs of lifting even after a cup of tea, and the tingling in my legs and spasticity were getting particularly bad. Walking back upstairs, I was feeling weak and strange and started to worry that maybe I might be in the beginnings of a relapse. This thought likes to pop in my head uninvited and it took up most of the remaining brain cells that were still firing. Worry is particularly tiring and I went to put my feet up on my bed to give it my full attention.

And that was when it struck me as I looked at my pill box. I forgot to TAKE MY TABLETS! It is amazing what a 3 hour delay to my regular pill popping can do to me. I think it may be time to start the day over, now that they are starting to work.

Post Script: After a litany of further messes and miss steps I think a good sleep and a fresh start is in order.

Imaptience and forgetfulness:
http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/b/post-preview?token=z0LdUDsBAAA.tRP1cz6TCpw7i-NRLdx9pQ.VbIQsd119dy_auTc4nn6tg&postId=5434408042548071405&type=POST#!/2012/08/patience.html

Overwhelming days:
http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/b/post-preview?token=6TXWUDsBAAA.tRP1cz6TCpw7i-NRLdx9pQ.9s60gXddLKW1IH_TRiVJQA&postId=6960363263831830555&type=POST#!/2012/01/at-moment-i-am-finding-lifepretty.html

My hen and a bunny meet in the backyard





Sep 6, 2012

High Tea with our guests on our deck.


My garden gives me happiness and peace of mind.


The weight of reality


Sometimes the experience of having my heart strung between the two realities of great joy and great sorrow leads to a pain that is visceral. I think that this may be inevitable when attempting to live with an open heart, as life is full of such extremes. There is physical pain as well as the pain of loss, broken relationships, so many things that I can't even list them all. There are also the joys of love, beauty, friendship and the list goes on....  All these things literally feel like hooks that have sunk in deeply, pulling this way and that, leaving me both feeling full, present and engaged as well as broken, crumpled and aching. I would not have it any other way, as this is what the essence of life is like. A guarded heart is one that does not taste the fullness of joy and beauty and is numb and senseless. I would rather feel alive but I also wish that the weight of reality was not so heavy. Thankfully the Lord promises to bind my heart and right now I think that that is what I need.

Sep 4, 2012

Life is not always roses.


sor·row
n.
1. Mental suffering or pain caused by injury, loss, or despair. See Synonyms at regret.
2. A source or cause of sorrow; a misfortune.
3. Expression of sorrow; grieving.
intr.v. sor·rowed, sor·row·ing, sor·rows
To feel or express sorrow. See Synonyms at grieve.

Bleeding Heart
My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! Pslm 118
 

Sep 3, 2012

Home with my husband.

My husband and I visiting where we got married.
“Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”
Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye
http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/b/post-preview?token=9NqPTjsBAAA.tRP1cz6TCpw7i-NRLdx9pQ.wDXWpffL14MVjrQ-t7RVTA&postId=7729276593480572277&type=POST#!/2012/11/proposal.html

Sep 2, 2012

Where is home, here or Australia?


This is a portrait of home. Against the mirror is a picture of me in Sydney. This is where I grew up and feels like home. The place where I live also feels like home though.

Sep 1, 2012

When I went out one day...

When I was 21, I had an overwhelming desire to get away from my job and to go and see the world. Even though I was nervous about taking off  by myself, I bought a round the world ticket with unlimited stopovers and got on a plane for India.  My story is a little like the novel, Eat, pray, love as I found more than I was looking for; a meaningful relationship with God, and a meangful relationship with a South African husband I met iin Switzerland, and a meaningful job that has taken me around the world. It was the beginning of a life long adventure.  But now that I am 50 and on the other side of the planet from home, I wonder how I will make it back.

Giant Puffball

Here is another fungi discovery. At least 6 of these sprung up in the woods the other day. They are edible when young but they don't taste like much. The common name is giant puffball. Here is more info on it if you are interested:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvatia_gigantea
Other fungi in our woods: http://intrepidfromoz.blogspot.com/2012/08/i-found-this-in-woods-today.html#!/2012/08/i-found-this-in-woods-today.html

Aug 29, 2012

Good Morning.

‎"Good morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out farther than the brim of his shady hat.

"What do you mean?" he said. "Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?"
"All of them at once," said Bilbo.

"I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone."

http://www.photopoly.net/45-most-beautiful-morning-dew-photos/

Aug 28, 2012

Snorkelling in Sydney.


 
One of my favourite things to do is snorkeling. The first time I ever put a mask on my face was in a small backyard pool that my father built into a large rock with bricks. The water was murky but I remember the thrill of having the underwater world open to me. I progressed to snorkeling in the bath with the mouth piece, and shortly afterwards, my father took me into some calm water in the ocean. Since then I never looked back.
Growing up in Sydney near the sea, I snorkeled with my Dad whenever I got the chance. Together we saw the inky cloud of an octopus, many corals, angel fish and so much more.  The light danced and sparkled and the sound was of tiny tinkling noises along with the whoosh of waves rushing over the sand. We collected all sorts of things to bring back to the beach and to show the family, but when we were in the ocean I had my father to myself. Today, though I live in the mid-west I can swim laps and I do it with a special snorkel, and when I am able to go back to Australia, snorkeling is high on my ‘to do’ list. Sadly my Dad passed away some time ago, but his gift to me remains.
Snorkelingsnorkeling.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug3xYR-AQT8&feature=related
 

Light - T.S.Elliot

“Light Light
The visible reminder of Invisible Light.”
    T.S.Elliot


Aug 23, 2012

Kindness

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

-Mother Theresa

Rest and Trust.

I find that as I am stretched and at the end of my resources, there is a sweetness that is not of my own doing but a precious gift which has been handed to me, just as I feel that I have been hit by my lowest ebb in a long time. Several of the girls that we have staying with us, have all separtely been so concerned for me and today, they have expressed their desire to help take care of me, as I have been caring for them. I was wondering where I could get help from and here I find that it is the very people to whom I have been wanting to help. They reminded me that I need to take my own advice and to rest and trust, echoing my own words back to me.  Sometimes we need to let go and be reminded that we will not fall but are in fact being held. The Lord is kind and so I am writing in my pyjamas after a long bath and it is only 9:00 pm. Sigh.

Aug 21, 2012

A shared life.

Today I am feeling as though I am dealing with just too many things. Some days carry both too much joy as well as sorrow, feeling encouraged yet weighed down with leaden feet. Life can just be too much sometimes and at the end of the day I feel sad, yet I know there is so much more than this moment. Each day is spent sharing life with young folk from all over. Today I had important conversations with Russian, German and Dutch people, along with several Americans. Some left me lifted and others were very discouraging. And it all leaves me spent. I am so fortunate to be talking with people about what is important, but I am reminded of how it is God who changes lives and I can only point the way. One lad is finding it so hard to escape his addictions I just felt at the end of my rope today, he has lived with us for 3 months and it is hard to see how deep he is hanging on to old patterns and it fills me with sadness. Yet I know the Lord has not given up with him so we press on.

Aug 18, 2012

Chickens

On a lighter note,  I thought that this was a nice picture. Today I enjoyed having the chickens jump into my lap and try to find a place to sleep next to me. After realizing there was no room they lay down beside me on the deck and we all took a nap in the glorious afternoon. I need moments like this!
http://hmalott.blogspot.com/2010/09/chicken-painting-rooster-impressionist.html

Aug 16, 2012

Courage and Peace - Victor Hugo

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake. "
Victor Hugo
French dramatist, novelist, & poet (1802 - 1885)

Patience - Helen Keller

"We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world."
Helen Keller

Aug 13, 2012

Imaptience comes before a fall.

Today I was reminded again of how important it is to be patient and to just wait. I find that so many things can go wrong when I am impatient. Even now as I type, when I try to go too fast I just have to fix the many errors that I am making. I get so impatient with my clumsiness or how long it takes me to do things. I often forget to take tablets or injections because I just want to get on with things, but my hurry invariably just makes things much worse. I am more likely to fall, break something, forget something important, and the list goes on. All because I am impatient, and the main focus of that impatience is me. I am even impatient with my impatience! Following my mishaps, I get cross, frustrated, irritable with others, and then comes the feeling of defeat. What a tangled web I weave.

Today I am sick and also overwhelmed by a long list of things I won't bore you with. I am worn out and at the end of my rope. I turned to the bible and was again reminded that I need to 'wait patiently for the coming of the Lord'. Sometimes waiting patiently is hard work, but maybe I need to focus on doing that, rather than wearing myself out trying to do everything myself.

Aug 10, 2012

Trials - Amy Carmichael

"We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken."Amy Carmichael

Aug 9, 2012

Forster - my dream place

This is at the beach where my sister lives. I dream of retiring here close to the sea. It is one mile beach in Forster, Australia. I love snorkelling by the rocks when the sea is calm and the sun is shining. There are so many dolphins and great sea life. On this day we were watching humpback whales. I only get to be here every 2 or 3 years, but it is well worth the wait.

Aug 7, 2012

MS is having the last word today.

Work has been like a cold, sharp, shock. My days have been overloaded with cooking, counseling and heading up a gardening project. The peace and calm that I had been enjoying has eluded me. Last night I couldn't even handle watching the Olympics; they were too noisy and suspenseful for my weary state. I do not know how to manage; my husband and I are short staffed and stretched to the limit. I keep trying to live as though my limitations do not exist. Sadly, they are having the last word. That is they are having the last word tonight. It is 7:30 and I am going to bed.

Aug 4, 2012

Rasberry red slime.

I found this in the woods today. I love discovering new fungi. The wild variation in how they look always puts a smile on my face. A bit like above ground coral.
OK, I have been trying to figure out which fungi it is, but now I am starting to wonder if it isn't bugs eggs. Does anyone know?
Ah, a friend figured it out: Fungi it is - Red Rasberry Slime. Any one want to try some?

Aug 3, 2012

The wonder of Grace

The break is over and once again I have started with work again. We have young folk staying with us, asking questions about God and their personal struggles. It is very rewarding but also draining. I hold dear to the satisfaction and try hard to manage the fatigue.

The little rays of encouragement offer glimmers of hope and joy; cool mornings, the light in someones eyes, fresh warm eggs straight from the coop, basil and thyme from the garden. These help balance out the unpleasant monotony of managing all the medical challenges of daily life as well.

The highlight of my day is that I have the honour of sharing the wonder of God's grace with people and for this I am most thankful.

Jul 31, 2012

How we see ourselves


I would add that how God sees me is even more important. He sees the real person, not the broken shell. His love and acceptance to me is priceless.

Jul 29, 2012

Chickens first egg

Egg-citing news. My first egg from my chickens. Lizzy laid an egg on exactly her 5 month birthday. She loves to be patted and sits on my lap while I stroke her. She is a great bird.

Jul 25, 2012


Margaret Olley

Margaret Olley


A lovely show about one of my favourite Australian artists. Her work is so alive.The show about her left me in awe with her dedication to her work. She painted up until the day she died at 88 and was prolific. Her energy comes through in each painting both with her brush strokes and her use of colour. I particularly like the colours she uses and would love to paint my house in those colours. I think it may drive my husband crazy if I let my house become as cluttered as hers, but I suspect that if I was left to my own devices that it may approach something like her home. I love to collect lovely things from nature at some point my husband asked if I could throw some things out before I brought more things in. I also collect blue china and have it hanging in my kitchen and on display in the cabinet and dining room. Plants and flowers fill the house as well, and I currently have a passion for orchids, though I am not good at keeping them alive.
http://www.abc.net.au/arts/artists/margaret-olley-a-life-in-paint/default.htm?WT.ac=TV_TV-Arts-Blog|Margaret-Olley_ABC|ABCARTS<br><br>&WT.svl=featuredSitesScroller


Jul 21, 2012

Refreshing rain

Rain at last, along with cooler temperatures. To feel better after crying so much yesterday, I went out and enjoyed my garden, the chickens and the woods. Chicken manure is great for the garden and I mixed it in with grass clippings and mulch from the leaf pile and spread it on parts of the garden that need a good feed. This rain is so gentle and kind, everything is perking up nicely including me. The birds are chirping away and the flowers look brighter. I read these words  2 days ago;"May my teaching drop as the rain, my speach distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb". Deut 32:2 and "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth: it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isa 55:10,11. It goes on to talk of joy and trees clapping their hands. The word of the Lord is indeed a comfort and these words seemed so fitting for the day.
P.S. The heat is back as it is for most of the midwest. Am praying for rain for all.

Heaven


the banquetting table of the Lamb, how I imagine it, but it will be filled with people and be way longer.

Jul 20, 2012

My teacher, mentor and friend is dying at the age of 97. While she felt strongly that death was the enemy, she equally felt strongly about where she was headed. When staying with us she would talk of dreaming about the marraige supper of the Lamb, and I know that she will be soon tasting it's fruits and reaping her reward for her strong and tangible faith. In many ways given her health, for her it will be a mercy. But today I feel surprised by how I feel like I have been knocked down. I have so much I need to do, but I was constantly distracted and even disoriented. I sat down and turned to the bible for calm and focus, and I realized quickly that I had been struck by real and heart breaking grief. Her death will be for me the end of a significant chapter in my life. She has shown me so much, both in her teaching and in her life. Her compassion, love, intelligence, playful spirit and ability to surprise, all make my heart well as I write these words down. She was very real, hardly perfect, but when she prayed it felt like Jesus was in the room. She loved beauty, intelligent conversation, she didn't put up with B.S., and she liked to look her best.

I am praying for you my friend, the ripples you sent out have bourne so much fruit. May you feel God's loving presence and find rest in all the hope you know to be true. I honour and love you.

Jul 18, 2012

Self portrait


I just created this picture, it isn't great but it expresses something of how I feel about living with MS. My feet and wrist are chained down by the weight of MS, the way it stops them moving and functioning the way they should. But my head and my heart are not chained, there is light and longing and ultimately hope. The end of my life is not the end of the story and one day I believe I will run in a free manner again. "No more pain or sorrow". That seed of freedom still lives in my heart.
My friend and mentor lifted me up today. She is the person I most respect and today she told me that she loves and honours me. So humbling and I am so grateful for all I still have. I know that there are many who are more alone. My church has been my lifeline and I am so thankful for it.