Thursday, April 24, 2014

114/365 • just autumn holidays pt 2 : the simple things


They live in a caravan, my folks. On top of a hill.
The earth is marked out where the stilts will go eventually, for their verandah, and their straw bale house.
For now though, they are content in their makeshift home.
When we stay, we sleep in tents; there isn't enough space anymore in the caravan or it's annex, especially when it's all five of us.
Waking up to the birds, and the fog and freezing cold air, weighed down with heavy woollen blankets, is my favourite.

I love country life for it's simplicity. It's lack of technology.
The back-to-basics way my parents live.
Growing up, everything in our home had been bought second hand, or grown, or made, or fixed and made-do. It was something I didn't appreciate then, but I credit them for the way I think now, and the things I am grateful for. The same simple things I want to instil into my own little humans.

I love when they point out things in nature, and I hear my own words and phrases escape their mouths, "Mum, the clouds are really beautiful today aren't they?" Eden said yesterday in exactly the tone of voice I would have used, "I love the way they make all those patterns."
Joel notices autumn leaves everywhere, collects them carefully and suggests to make mobiles.
Amie loves sunsets; pink and purple skies, and turquoise ocean.

They follow my lead, and I am careful to notice beauty in the ordinary, in nature, and help them to appreciate creation. 
They watch our capsicums grow, collect leaves of lettuce for our salads, pick rosemary or oregano for our dinners, and nurture the baby lemon tree.

I encourage laying under the sky, finding stones as treasures, and walking away from screens. 

xx

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

113/365 • just autumn holidays


Today I wore a knit jumper in a dark, burnt red. A heavy cotton, rolled up at the elbows.
I found my favourite old Guess jeans at the back of the cupboard, ones I bought in Sydney years ago, when my thighs were bigger from pregnancy. As a result they are stretched, and worn, and comfortable; and I have lived in them for three days straight.

The kiddos and I drove out to the hills to picnic with lovely friends.
I ate a crunchy, spotted pear on the way. I bought them at a roadside stall on the weekend, the type with an honesty box. 

It was nice to get out today.
We needed the escape. 
I needed it.
Escape from the Lego-strewn floors, and unmade beds, and pile of clean washing waiting, crinkled, to be folded and put away.
The school holidays are well upon us and I am drinking in every moment, enjoying every treat. Sneaky trips through drive-thrus for slushies, and extra Easter egg hunts just because.
And if I feel the slightest bit of angst over the mess in the playroom, I remind myself that next week it will be quiet again. 
That Amie will miss her big siblings being home to play, and I will miss them too.

So for now, we run to no schedule. 
We have leisurely breakfasts, sometimes with more than one type of cereal. 
We plan our adventures in the morning and are lucky to be out of our pjs by 9am.
And while I spend equal amounts of time repeating instructions (please go and get your shoes now!) and biting my tongue in frustration, we sing in the car and my heart explodes with gratitude for these three, and their joy.

xx

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

112/365 • tea with me | detox


I thought this tea quite apt for todays 'tea with me'.
After a weekend of detox from social media, and my iPhone in general.
Would you join me in having one of these? It is described as "a delicious and refreshing infusion with hibiscus, liquorice root, nettle and aloe vera". I won't lie when I tell you I bought it for the box as much as the name. Tea, the word detox, and pretty packaging - sold.*


If you were to tea with me today, I'd tell you that it's our Eden's 6th birthday this Saturday.

The girl who is as easy-to-please as she is highly strung. 
The one who is affectionate, and servant-hearted and demanding.
I'll tell you that we hunted for the perfect pair of roller-skates and I am so excited to see her surprise and glee when she opens them. She's been asking for skates since before Christmas. 


We'll probably chat about parenting, and how much we want to steer our babies in the right direction, and shape their gifting and abilities, and nurture their spirits. 

How as mothers we so often feel like we're not making a difference. 
But then I'd tell you that sometimes I get a glimpse of the goodness and see that we actually do reap what we sow into our little people. 
I see them speak kindly to others, use their manners in cafes without being reminded, or hang their bath towel after a shower and I exhale in relief. It's working.
Consistency, discipline, responsibility. We've been given the task of shaping the lives of these tiny humans so they grow up whole.
We can't protect them from life. Which is scary.
But we can be there to set the constant example of how to deal with life as it happens.


The parenting thing is hard. I don't think it will ever stop being hard, and I might never stop being tired, but I can't think of anything else I'd rather do.



If you lingered longer in my kitchen today, I'd boil the kettle again.

I'd tell you I'm excited about some things I've said yes to lately.
Excited about May, and Daniel finally finishing his studies, and a Bali holiday we've had booked since July last year in anticipation of him reaching his goal.
Excited that my hair is finally not a pixie cut.
Excited that our trip to Cambodia has made the local paper, and I'll get to read it on Friday.


What are you excited about? What are you looking forward to?

Sometimes that is all we need to keep going.
What are you reading? What are you making? What are you drinking? What are you cooking? 
Share a tea with me?
What's on your heart?
Link up your blogpost below, or hashtag #teawithteacupstoo on IG.


One week left of school holidays.

We are off to enjoy some autumn sunshine.

xx

* In no way sponsored by Clipper, just like to share the love.







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Monday, April 21, 2014

111/365 • conscience.



Today I've been pondering the power of the gut-feeling.
The conscience.
And what happens when you don't listen to that small voice.
Or even when you don't give It a chance to speak.
What I've gotten myself into by not listening.
Saying yes rashly without thinking about consequences. 
The sick, sinking feeling when I realise I've done the wrong thing. The regret.

Or the times you go with your gut.
The relief.
The freedom.

There is no bravery without fear.
And you can ask the opinions of everyone around you, to justify.
But it won't change what you just know.
And following through with what you know you should do is hard.

Gosh I've got that sinking-gut-feeling right now and I'm a little bit tumultuous inside.
There are loud noises in every direction and I probably should breathe and pray and stop thinking about who I should text for advice. 

xx

* Prayer works much more effectively than worry dolls. Just so you know.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

110/365 • resurrection sunday


Behold, this is our God;
We have waited for Him,
that He might save us.*

I sit here, after a weekend of no phone: no text, whatsapp, or any social media whatsoever. 
I needed the breather.
I needed to remember that I am so much more than my online life, and that there is so much more to me than what is portrayed here or elsewhere.
I needed to be with those around me not just physically, but emotionally; present and available.
I slept (under the stars) without first scrolling through Facebook, and found my thoughts clearer and less distracted. And sleep deeper.
I breathed prayers under my breath, instead of having a mind cluttered and clouded.

I awoke (to the sound of birds, and the grey light of dawn) and let my dreams and thoughts unravel themselves, without reaching for my phone and waking up to the bombarding of my mind with other people's thoughts. I dozed, happy, content in the moment, not wondering how I could somehow recreate moments to share with the world.
I lived them without always trying to capture them.

Something that has always stuck with me: Facebook is just like money. It doesn't have character until it lands in your hands. It's what you do with it. What you use it for. To build up, or tear down. To elevate yourself, or to reach out to others. To waste, or to use with wisdom. I love social media. There is a place for it. But it's a place I need to control, not allow it to control me.

Today, I am full of chocolate and cheer. 
Early morning egg hunts in pyjamas and dewy grass, to spending time with family, and friends.

Today, I am so thankful.
Thankful for Jesus.
Happy Resurrection Sunday.

xx

* Isaiah 25:9

Saturday, April 19, 2014

109/365 • even make a way | Easter saturday


I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert!

I so often try to make a way on my own. My way. 
I'm reminded this Easter Saturday at the hopelessness of the first Easter Saturday.
The doubt that so many would have been feeling when Jesus was buried.
But I thought...?! He said...?!

I've felt similar doubt lately. God, but I thought?! God, but you said?! I don't understand?! Why has this been buried? Where is your resurrection power?
Easter Saturday is a place of waiting. Of continuing to hope, and to hold on to promises.
Because there is always hope in the end.
More hope than if I try to do it on my own.

Sometimes the place of waiting is a long one. 
Sometimes there are hard decisions that have to be made while we wait.

But I know that Sunday is coming. 
That Hope lives, and good triumphs, and the way will be made.

xx

Friday, April 18, 2014

108/365 • beneath your beautiful. guest post by Amanda from Capture 30 Days


One summer, my dad was called away to Russia for work. When you live on the West coast of Australia (in a little seaside town), in the most isolated city, Moscow is a whole world away. 

Literally.

I remember being a teenager (okay maybe young adult) and very early on the morning my Dad was to leave for the airport, I ran up to him and begged that he bring me a Russian doll home. 

Legend states that each of these dolls have many smaller versions of ourselves within them. Each doll representing the seed of generation that each of us as women carry within us.

I have never been more aware of this as I am today, (26 weeks pregnant with my second child, a little girl). I am awakened to the fact that she holds the potential to future women in my family within her tiny frame and the lineage continues on.

Woman to girl, little girl, to tiny newborn baby.

I have always been someone who attempts and is drawn to outrageously brave things. Dreaming of writing a book, okay let’s do it (link here: http://capture30days.com/product/capture-30-days-of-inspiration-ebook/), Travelling to the middle east as a 20 year old by myself, check, Leading groups of people into slums in Asia, bucket list item tick!

Despite all this, I have never been more filled with fear and doubt about anything since I embarked upon the journey of motherhood.

Reading about Em’s struggle here with doubt (link here http://www.teacupstoo.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/105365-tea-with-me-makes-me-brave.html) I wholeheartedly agreed saying ‘Me too!’

Motherhood has bought with it so much doubt, questions, confusion, isolation, comparison and fear.

Just like the Matryoshka doll with layers of women making up our heritage of love, the doll also represents fear and questions that are handed down from generation to generation.

I often find myself doing things, I promised myself I never would.

There is a predisposed condition towards fear and shame, that fights against my desire for courage and authenticity.

Every Matryoshka doll is made from the same piece of wood, because the wood expands and retracts at the same rate and makes the separate elements breathe together through different seasons.

Just like us.

I am made by the same wood as my mother, her mother and my great grandmother, yet we have different unique elements and beauty.

I find myself wondering ‘What can I learn from the women who have gone before me?’ Negative and positive, but not pull away from the essence that I am not alone and many who have gone before me have experienced these same feelings of lack.

Brene Brown has been a huge part of my writing and reading lately and she has a motherhood manifesto that in essence says this…

‘Letting go of the mother you think you're supposed to be and embracing the one you already are’

I think the bravest act we can do today, is take time to embrace who we already are. 

I have been listening to a song over and over in the last week called Beneath your Beautiful (link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqIxCtEveG8 ) by Labrinth. 

You've carried on so long,
You couldn't stop if you tried it.
You've built your wall so high
That no one could climb it,
But I'm gonna try.

Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?
Would you let me see beneath your perfect?
Take it off now, girl, take it off now, girl
I wanna see inside
Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight?

Being brave with that which is ugly, layer upon layer and allowing the closest people into our worlds inside those deep places, is vulnerable yes, but has the capacity to set us free.

Let’s see what’s beneath our beautiful…

Tonight.

xx