community

#3 Sunday ABC

Welcome to Round 3 of my new-ish regular feature, please feel free to join in with your own responses either in the comments or as your own post 🙂

A is for Affirmation

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B is for Best, Worst and OMM

Best – Staying at the world’s best B&B aka my sister and brother-in-laws. They let me sleep in and serve bacon and egg muffins!

Worst – Feeling fatigued all week

OMM – (On my mind) I think I’ve been too tired to think this week :p but we do have our council elections voting slips to send back so have been thinking about some of the candidates and local issues.

C is for Community – this is normally when I share a favourite post or two from the last week. Today however I’m sharing today’s experience of worship. Our congregation was invited to attend a destination 2+hours away in another rural community. I love the feeling of being amongst family in whatever church we worship in. Today felt extra special being Reformation Sunday.

I’m sorry it’s short today. I debated not posting but I think it’s a fair reflection of my last week!

Ooops need to add a p.s. A shout out to OT’s and OT week, a profession I’m so proud and privileged to be a part of and special thanks to the amazing people we work with.

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family

My Family Haven

Doing an 8 hour drive while grumpy with your man, and two beautiful but oh so annoying children in tow, truly is not a recipe for success. But we are home, the kids are in bed, husband has disappeared and I get peace and quiet to reflect on the whole mess.

It follows what has actually been three of the most lovely days of my life. My super fantabulous older sister decided to celebrate a milestone birthday with her parents, siblings, outlaws, nieces and nephews altogether at a secluded Lutheran beach side camp. We had an amazing time making life-long memories. Between us we have 9 children 8 and under, who were spread over two of the dorms with grandparents and their aunt keeping watch and us parents (mostly) getting a room to ourselves. There were cuddles, games, tantrums, even a teeny bit of sharing. We had early mornings keeping early risers quiet and fed, and late nights competing with each other at cards. I absolutely adore my family. To go to bed each night after looking in on all those gorgeous kids was true bliss. There were beach walks, freezing cold swims (crazy kids not me!), horse carriage rides, table tennis competitions and LOTS of yummy food. I want to go back and do it all again.

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Back however to the troubling return home. I guess I’m just sick of farm life getting in the way of family time. And I’m sick of my husband not seeming to care.

He must  be acknowledged though for driving us there and back, helping with the cooking, interacting and I even saw him doing dishes.

I guess I haven’t been very understanding either…

So home again we are, back to the mess, back to ABC 2, back to real life which when it boils down, ain’t too bad either.

Praying that I keep all things in perspective, that hubby and I communicate and show care to each other, thanking God for the overwhelming blessing of wonderful family and praying that I can show His love to my family and the world around me.

Holiday isn’t completely over – off now to finish my vacation reading 🙂

 

family · life

It’s the Weekend!

And what a week it’s been!

Today my heart heart is full. We have no sport and I have no pressing chores, study or commitments, so while the kids are keen to go visiting or you know Mum, do something, I’m content to stay in bed and say, “maybe later”.

I’ve finished what for me is a classic re-read, no.2 in Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly series, Love’s Enduring Promise. The stories are rather light but the characters absolutely grow on your heart and re-reading feels like coming home to somewhere special.

The kids are now off checking sheep with Grandpa and Hubster is spending the day crop touring with mates. We are very blessed to live in a part of this dry continent which so far has had enough rain to begin a promising crop. We pray it continues and that those not so fortunate are given wet relief soon.

I feel like the last 3 weeks have been full-on busy. I think it’s been since trying to get to the gym twice a week, with the second day being a usual home day for me and organising to switch that day with another. Hubby did comment this week that he thought with me not working anymore I’d be home more and yet so far it seems to be less! I think next week scheduling will have fallen into place.

I had 6 counselling clients this last week so that too is falling into place with the aim to have done 100 hours (with clients) by the end of the semester. My sister and mum are sadly unwell and have been on my mind and last week I attended an AGM. It was my first meeting with this group and I walked out as chairperson! It’s a great cause and I’m excited about the opportunity although the extra commitment definitely was not on my agenda.

We’ve been seeing emus almost daily in the paddocks, which while lovely now will soon be an issue for the crops (no doubt already is). My son has a drippy nose but still has to wear shorts and run around outside as much as he can playing footy. My daughter went away for her first school camp and seems to have grown up again overnight. They both  were satisfied with my mediocre assistance with book week costumes. Thankfully they feel no pressure and just love seeing everyone dressed up with massive smiles on their faces. I too had a massive smile on my face with Bookclub fittingly hosted this week. And hubster and me? Last week, with the aid of PMS I was ready to walk out the door but this week we have been communicating well and spending time together watching Suits.

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The only real bad news to share is the state of Australian federal politics. I believe a law needs to be passed that leaders can only be changed in sickness, death or elections and if a party supports that I think they’ll have my number 1 vote.

So my life in a nutshell. As always post ideas have been coming and going but I’ve been more than satisfied cuddling on the couch. Let’s see what God’s got in store for me next 🙂

How are you? How was your week?

God bless this weekend

xo GJ

family · life · relationships

An Open Letter on my Brother-in-laws second wedding day

To the open universe,

Today was an emotional day.

Today my amazing brother-in-law, my hubby’s wonderful younger brother, married my beautiful new sister-in-law. I love them both just so much. They are my family and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

I wasn’t at his first wedding. To the wife who passed away within a week of their first child being born. I missed that special day. And the truth is I have many regrets. And fears. We married into this family. One family, two different sons and two very different women. And yet right from the start she enveloped me wholeheartedly and boy was she excited about her first niece. Despite being far away at that time, she was so very involved in showering both her and myself in love. We drifted apart, making decisions we each didn’t agree with and I remember clearly telling myself that just because we were sisters didn’t mean we had to be the best of friends. And then she was gone. And even though things at that time weren’t great with us, they were getting better and with time I know our wounds would have healed. But we didn’t get that chance and although I forgive myself over and over, and even (I think) truly believe deep down that we were good, obviously its still there and no words, absolutely none, can describe how much I miss her, the way I miss her and how much I wish we had more time.

And so today, as I welcome a new sister into the family, who deserves so, so much more than to be compared to the sister I’ve lost, I can’t help but think of what could have been. And I’m so sorry but I can’t think of one without the other. While I miss and mourn for one at the same time I welcome and respect and admire the other. And yes, fear too that we too, may create wounds. We are different, we have different opinions, and we don’t need to be the best of friends but you are my sister. You are the mother and step-mother of my nephew and niece, you are the wife and chosen life partner of my husband’s brother. I know I don’t always say the right thing but when you look at me and shake your head, it breaks my heart. I don’t want to live (I can’t live) in fear of losing you. So please whatever I may do, please, please know I love you.

It doesn’t help, I’m sure that it’s that time of month, that I forgot my anti-depressants…

Today was an emotional, wonderful day, for two people, perfect for each other to be wed.

sincerely

Gee Jen

 

life · relationships · Uncategorized

So Much More than Just a Sport

I’ve wanted to write for quite a while about a topic very close to my heart. despite the fact I can easily imagine others looking at it as a complete non-issue. I’d like to start therefore by proclaiming that I am a strong believer in the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. Indeed I am very fortunate to be among wonderful supportive ‘villages’ that both make my parenting life easier and also enrich the lives of my children. A predominant one of these villages is my sporting community. My husband is an avid aussie rules and cricket player, so year long our saturdays are taken up by sport, our sundays by recuperation and the week for preparation. I also play and love netball but this year made the BIG decision not to play for the same club as my husband but another local club which plays in a different league.

It was an incredibly hard decision to make, especially when at the start of the season I was basing the decision most pressingly on a memory I had that I wanted to change clubs next year. At the start of the season I couldn’t precisely remember why I’d been feeling that way but I decided to trust that memory and try out for another club.

Things that made the decision difficult:

  • I love the club I was leaving behind – the people and the sense of community
  • They were struggling for netball numbers – actually I thought they would only have one team instead of the usual two which meant I’d be ok
  • Friends not understanding why I was making the decision

One thing that would have changed my mind:

  • My husband was very against the idea. He’d said so and yet (and yet) he didn’t (wouldn’t) discuss it with me. He wouldn’t give me his reasons and he didn’t (wouldn’t) ask for mine.

My husband won his grand final yesterday, I am so happy for him and proud BUT I am also now sitting here in bed reflecting (crying involved) on why I want to make the same decision again next year. I’ve decided to put finger to keyboard and communicate some of these reflections.

Reasons I made the decision:

  • The lifestyle/culture – the only way to celebrate a grand final is to drink all night and all day, or at least that’s how it feels to me. I’m not good at this. I get tired and grumpy and unsociable. I’m more a stay home, read a book, cuddle up kinda girl.
    • I don’t think my husband minds this about me but I feel like I miss out. I want to be apart of his victory, I want to celebrate with him but it just doesn’t work that way.
    • There are other wives/girlfriends who seem to be able to do this and I’m jealous.
  • As I’ve said I LOVE so many people part of this sporting club. My children have so much fun with friends there. I decided though that there’s a difference between loving people and wanting to spend majority of your time with them. They are my family but they are not the people I would sit down and chat with for 4+ hours on a weekly basis. We are different and that’s ok.*
  • I started to hate particularly after training nights walking in and waiting to find someone to sit with. It was a weekly decision/agony and why should I put myself through that?
  • Training nights were the same for both me and my husband making child care difficult. Also due to tea and socializing they were late.
  • Relationship/family stuff – I would always feel like as soon as we arrived at the footy oval my husband would clock off. Now was his time to prepare for the game while I was responsible for the childcare even though involved in my own sporting game. He would often be last out of the change rooms and sometimes I would feel that even after he did arrive out he would not look to acknowledge or come see me. This was his domain.

It was the right decision to make, for me. Not so much our family, we missed out on travelling together for games and the kids missed out on seeing as much of their friends. I would still often head out to club rooms after my games, which would be nice but not great. I enjoyed playing netball with a different group of girls. I enjoyed that the focus was solely on netball and not working on maintaining a whole community. I also appreciated the flexibility of training on a different night.

But now we are at the end of the season (actually I still get to play in a grand final next weekend!) and I still feel the same way about many of these issues. I believe it’s important to my husband for me to be there as a sign of support but I want to be wanted for my company.

There is no conclusion to this story, it’s a work in progress. In good news for me though my husband and I are starting to see a counselor so maybe just maybe by the start of next season we will be making a decision together.

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*I’d like to note that some of these people I would happily spend endless hours with and that some of my feelings are likely overly swayed by my moods. I also want to say how supportive many of these people have been – a number will be there to watch me at my grand final next week and an even larger number asked me yesterday how my team went.

faith · life · Uncategorized

I did it (with one day to go!)

I finally wrote my Christmas letter today. I really wasn’t sure if it was going to happen. It won’t be to the usual scale, I’ll email a few and post to those from whom we received. I commented on a great post about Christmas Cards by Helen Hayward on Christmas Eve that I felt sad I hadn’t written yet as it is a special tradition I treasure but moreso I felt that trying to squeeze it in (instead of reading blogs :p) was not my priority.

Christmas has been a bit funny for me this year. I managed to get through the stress of shopping (condensing most of it into one day with hubby) and be quite satisfied with our choices. I really enjoyed our celebrations with church, friends and family (although I was kinda rude at yesterdays in-law gathering – when I get tired I’m hopeless at hiding it and trying to be social, tips anyone?). The kids seemed enthralled in both the magic and meaning of the day which makes it all worthwhile but mostly I’ve just been waiting for bedtime.

My family had a good year but I’ve seen so many posts on FB of people who can’t wait to be rid of 2016. It’s made me sad that my good year (following a truly crappy one) has been one so full of pain for others. Last year I lost a dear friend and it annoys me how people have despaired of the celebrity losses in 2016 when any loss of life is tragic. Although I did read another great post which helped change my perspective a bit (When your childhood dies). I’ve had friends and family unexpectedly lose mothers, husbands (brothers, uncles) and babies. It really does make you wonder what Gods plan is. Indeed I find myself questioning this on almost a daily basis, but I also know without a doubt that without His grace, we would be truly lost. I continue to pray that all my friends and family also come to know the peace and steadfastness found in faith, in Christ Jesus. As shared in A Lutheran Ministry Hour devotion …

‘If the shepherds were anything like most people, they felt no danger sitting out in the fields that Christmas night. Then in an instant the angel appeared, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. In that horrifying moment they saw the darkness of their sinful lives in the holy light of God, and they were gripped with the terror of His wrath.Each of us will experience that moment someday — either at our death or at Christ’s return.

Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).

Lord Jesus, thank You for taking my place and suffering for my sins. Guide me to show others why they need Your salvation too. Amen.’

I feel a calling to help people see a need for forgiveness, to see the evil in the world and condemn it. I also feel a calling to give as I know I am one of the lucky ones in a privileged position. Some resolutions for next year?

To firstly though finish off 2016 – My Family’s Highlight Reel:

  • My husband won a footy grand final and worked too hard.
  • I worked a full year without time off for mental illness (!) – and also studied, wrote a blog, book club-ed, got involved at school and even kept relatively on top of the dishes and washing.
  • My daughter thrived in reception, was involved in chapels,  assemblies, school and ballet concerts. She also lost lots of teeth!
  • My son enjoyed many bike, ute, truck, tractor, telehandler and header rides! He also attended child care making good friends to join at kindy next year.
  • We were joined by a pup and a boarder. We holidayed and renovated.

 

 

 

 

faith · Future · life · Uncategorized

This place

Welcome lucky reader, tonight you get three blogs in one or none if this draft doesn’t come together…(came down to two albeit short and simple)

The topic I’ve been working on is based on 50 Things I Want To Do (And Will Do) In My Life — Vincent Carlos

Here’s my own smaller list of 20 things that I want to do (and will do) with my life in the next 20 years.

  1. Become a foster parent
  2. Start a local women’s support group/business
  3. Shop ethically and economically
  4. Create a lovely home environment for my family
  5. More specifically – outdoor patio, bbq, reading area
  6. Get involved in politics
  7. Publish a weekly blog with a community of followers
  8. Reach and maintain my goal weight
  9. Stay married
  10. Support my children through their lives specifically education
  11. Work or volunteer for a charity
  12. Go to Paris
  13. Travel overseas, I’d love to do all the continents
  14. Share my faith
  15. Read on average a book a week
  16. Buy a house
  17. Be a philanthropist
  18. Have a good reputation as a caring open person
  19. Umpire a netball game
  20. Make time for regular play with my children, catch ups with family and friends

Image result for one day... you will be at the place you always wanted to be

Then I saw this photo and quite happily came to the realisation I am exactly where I want to be. Life is good. I get annoyed and tired each day. But I have dreams and they feel completely achievable. I am in love with and thankful for Hubby. My children are my delight. I have a home, a job and financial security. I have been depression free for almost a year. I have a busy social life and still time (although never enough) for reading and relaxing. Seriously I have nothing to complain about. Sorry to be a snob and I know I’m tempting the universe but WOW I want to enjoy it while I’m here.

 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:17

 

What about you, do you have dreams to share? Are you in ‘that’ place, have you been there before or can you see it on the horizon?

 

I pray that ‘he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!’ Ps 20:4

 

ps I’ve blogged before about my dreams collecting dust on the shelf and just wanted to share that I’ve taken action this week on #2 , looking for a partner in crime 🙂