Monday, July 28, 2014

Inspire my July | the seas ripples, my pride, and three S's

Sunday afternoon found me here. Only 1.2 kilometres away from my home.
Wind whipping around my face, pelicans for company, a cosy cardigan keeping me warm and a chai tea between my hands. 
I'd just done a photo shoot, out of my comfort zone and a sensitive, emotional one. 
I stopped to breathe, taking my camera with me as I walked the little jetty.
Sunshine on one side, and clouds moving steadily along, matching the ripples in the sea below them. 
Sparkles on the water, and the weed surging beneath the surface, back and forth.

And the salt air. And the words ringing in my ears from the earlier Sunday sermon.
"Three things your Spirit needs to encounter God; scripture, silence, solitude"
The silence and solitude were here. I usually rush through moments like these. 
There are things to be done/cleaned/sorted/completed/controlled.
This time I didn't rush. I sat, and let the silence in. 

Didn't run from the solitude, or turn to social media for 'company'.

This journey of being distraction free and hands free is a constant one. 

So much of our (my!) lure of social media comes from a need to be validated.
Heard, seen, appreciated. Dare I say admired?! Oh sneaky pride, you are ugly.

Then this

Open up before God, keep nothing back;
he'll do whatever needs to be done:
He'll validate your life in the clear light of day
and stamp you with approval at high noon.

Quiet down before God, 
be prayerful before him. 
Don't bother with those who climb the ladder,
who elbow their way to the top.*

A reminder to walk in humility.
To find my validation in who I am, and have been created to be, and from Him, not from the world; those who don't know me outside of a series of little pretty squares. 

Scripture, silence, solitude.*

These quiet moments, sitting, legs dangling, set the week's foundation for my mind and my heart. I hope to find myself here more often.


* Psalm 37:5-7 MSG

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Inspire my July | soup, sunshine & not stopping

These days the sun comes in soft in the afternoons, hitting freshly made beds and kitty cat friends.
These days the kitchen smells of rosemary when it rains on the little hedge outside.
These days chai tea is the hot drink of choice, and I watch the steam erupt in waves from the top.
These days almond milk making is a therapeutic business, and there is often a jar of almonds on the [grubby] window sill. This will be my last batch until I buy some more almonds.
These days a pot of soup lasts for days, and carrot, red lentil and cumin is my favourite.
These days I want to run, but it's raining, or it's cold.
These days my head is full of wonderful yet busy things, and my mantra through the day is don't stop, just don't stop and it is amazing how many of those things are accomplished. Time so easily slips away, and one glance on my iPhone can steal too many minutes. 
We are called to not stop so many times. 
Don't stop praying.*
Don't stop hoping.**
Don't stop believing.***
Just don't stop.


* 1 Thessalonians 5:17
** Psalm 71:14
*** Romans 12:12

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Inspire my July | birthday girl

I've been a mama for over 8 years now.
For about 5 of those I was either pregnant, breastfeeding, or getting ready to get pregnant again. It was a whirlwind time.
Today, my baby turned four.
It saddens me sometimes, that so many milestones for us as a family are well and truly behind us. 
Newborn scent, cots and nappies, and snuffly tiny baby noises. 
Big siblings meeting brand new baby siblings. 
The quiet in the early hours with just you and that tiny human you are nourishing with your body. 
The neighbourly peeks into your pram at shopping centres and the gushing over tiny dark headed babes wrapped tight.
Those days.

Now, this four year old delight is the baby of our family. And while it's easy to remember the good old days as just that, I know they were full of sleepless nights and ranting mamas and pure exhaustion. And I need to be thankful and present in the here and now.
She helps me to be right here.
With her still-squishy arms and her deliciously full lips that are always wanting kisses.
With her crazy humour and her earnest questions and her pouts when she wants what she wants to no avail.
She is cheeky, and wild; daring and soft. 
And I feel like her birthday marks the end of an era in my motherhood journey.

Happy, sad and everything in between.


Monday, July 14, 2014

inspire my july | board games

I couldn't ever have pictured life, in this moment, from way back then. Could you?
I knew I was destined for motherhood, but I couldn't have known that it would look exactly this way. 
I did however, have hope for those things that family would look like. 
Dinners together, homework, afternoon tea. How our breakfast routine would look, and how we would spend our weekends. 
The movie nights, walks to school, long days at home and sneaky midnight visitors who curl up quietly inside our blankets are bonuses.
What I didn't fail to imagine though, was board games. 
In my mind, the ideal mother plays with her children. And while I so often miss the mark when it comes to reaching the ideals I hold so carefully, I am a mama who makes a conscious effort to play.
Some of my own fondest memories as a child were playing Monopoly, or different games of cards, or a simple game of Snakes & Ladders. I don't know why I loved it so much. 
Maybe because we were allowed to have treat foods, or possibly it was the uninterrupted time with mum and dad that we had. 
And now, what I'd imagined is here. 
Living this part of my motherhood dream is amazing. I am truly blessed.

What better time than winter, curled up on pillows on the lounge room floor, to play a game of Monopoly that continues for hours, and eat creamed rice pudding instead of dinner. 



Sunday, July 13, 2014

inspire my july | not about me

Blogging can be a narcissistic business. 
Because I can only write about me: my experience, my life, my family, my faith. 
It's easy to become fixated on presenting myself in a certain way.
And although I strive to be real, and authentic, I know that there is only so much a reader can glean from my life.
So I try not to think about 'readers' and just spill the thoughts to the page. 
The thoughts today are less about me. 

Sometimes I look back on the past week or month, and can see a particular thread running through my life continuously. I can't see it at the time, but when I look back I can see it moving through conversations, laced in my actions and resulting in change. 
[which is why it's so important so spend time with people who know you, listen to you, and speak words of life]

Maybe these threads are like themes, or tiny seasons, or spirit-whispers.
They result in changes to how I spend my time, or how I use my words, or how I respond with grace to my smalls, or how I let go a hurt. 
The last month this thread is one that is making my heart ache, and making me restless to do something. Making me aware of my own narcissistic tendencies, and make a conscious effort to focus outward.
I'm stewing on an idea, that will have me putting hands and feet to this faith of mine in a practical need-meeting, on-purpose kind of way. 
While the idea is brewing, I'm treading slowly, enjoying long days (without kiddos this weekend) and seeing inspiration everywhere.

My #inspiremyjuly list is growing.

Fresh herbs
Books and library visits

This winter season is best at slowing us down, putting a temporary end to fast paced days, and allowing us to take delight in the sound of rain, and frost on windows.


* These pictures were taken last wednesday. I spontaneously took the kids rollerskating and we all loved it... and then brownies and cino's afterwards at a quick-and-easy-to-access cafe in Fremantle. Time well spent with my littles.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

inspire my july | colour

Grey doesn't have to be miserable.
I am a grey girl. Too many grey t-shirts to count, I am drawn to it's ability to match with everything.
And these wintery days have me wearing it without feeling like I should really be wearing something brighter. 
And admiring the greys in the silvery skies, dark clouds and angry ocean, wind beating against my face, drops of salt spray and rain splatter. 
Brushing the shiny grey fur of my Indiecat with my fingers as she buries her head in her paws, curled up tight. 

And though I've felt a little bit stormy, and grey myself, I'm breathing in these cold days; still wrapping fingers around hot mugs of tea, as I wrap my heart around where I'm headed and how, just how I can do all this. 
Ever feel like you're drowning in a sea of crippling self-doubt? 
My self-talk hasn't been too kind lately, and I'm changing it.

And I suppose the brave is in the getting back, and getting up, and forgiving myself [for being the giant cringe-worthy dork I often feel like] and forgetting it all and just trying again.
The brave is definitely in the trying again. 
And the being put back together again.*

And they grey days are great days, and school-holiday-days, and we're searching for colour and for meaning all at once. 


* Psalm 119:105-112 MSG

Saturday, July 5, 2014

inspire my july | winter adventures, school holidays

Late last night Daniel and I had one of those conversations.
One of those, lay-in-bed-bare-your-soul-in-the-dark ones.
The result was a decision together to both be more present. 
To make more effort to find adventure, see and hear both each other, the small people that crave our care and attention, and the voice of the Holy Spirit throughout our days.
We've been distracted. Clouded. 
We only have moments of clarity amongst days of procrastination and iphone-induced intrusion. 
He drew the line. 
Social media (and games, for him) will be limited to half an hour max in the evening while we boil the kettle and the kiddos are in bed.
We will be present, and hands-free.
In search of adventure.

Today we spent a glorious winters day in our city. We surprised our three favourite people with a trip for pancakes at our favourite place. We coffee-d and wandered and loved big - without being distracted by other people and places who weren't in our immediate here and now.

The perfect start to the school holidays.