life

Just a taste

I was feeling quite enthusiastic today by the prospect of writing a new blog: It’s been a while (but thankfully not quite as long as I thought); I’ve finished my most recent read (coincidentally the book from my last posts to read read list!); we’re running out of data so best to give my newly acquired Netflix a break and it’s been a good week, so I thought that would be nice to share. But of course now I’m sitting here, I’m feeling tired and a bit clueless for direction.

However, some recent feelings:

  • delighted at how relaxed I feel these school holidays compared to the last
  • Grateful to live in South Australia which has consistently stayed COVID free
  • Motivated by my latest read to keep learning about Australian politics
  • Nostalgic watching my favourite childhood series return to the screens on Netflix, yay The Baby-sitters Club
  • Excited that my small counselling business is getting off the ground
  • Content with my relationships
  • Happy to be home with the kids
  • Busy with my various roles but also relieved I shelved one responsibility a little bit

And now I think I’m ok to leave it at that, short and hopefully sweet ๐Ÿ“

Happy Friday All ๐Ÿ™‚

How have you been feeling lately?

faith · life

Decision anxiety – leaving it to faith

I’ve been itching to write a post this last week, being I felt well overdue, and yet until last night I had no inspiration to use my spare time on this endeavor.

Finally I wanted to write, but no real topic came to mind….I found the start of this in my lengthy drafts vault….

 

As previously mentioned, I quit my job (2018) and it’s a little bit scary. I’m scared about having made the right decision, a Godly decision. Thankfully even amidst my fear I have peace that it is the right decision at this time, I just don’t know what the future holds, of course we never do. For the past 7+ years though I knew I had work as an occupational therapist. I don’t know if I’ll ever work as an OT again. I don’t know if I’ll ever work in a paid position again!

The last two days I’ve had ample free time and it’s felt weird, quiet, empty – scary!

Yesterday I asked God to let me know if I had made the wrong decision, I’m running out of time to change my mind. He answered my prayer.

Today I read a blog from The Godly Chic Diaries which shared ‘Life requires a total surrender, a flying leap of faith. Sometimes the tighter we hold onto life, the louder the message from the universe is. FAITH! It will all turn out as it should be, even if it doesnโ€™t seem that way at all in the moment. Every experience is an opportunity to practice letting go and of grasping onto life as we believe it should be, and free-falling with acceptance into the life we have.’

Also ‘Weโ€™re human, weโ€™re not meant to be perfect. Itโ€™s your journey. Own it. Bloom where God planted you. Be your most authentic self, all in. Honor yourself and make choices not because someone or society expected it of you, because they are right for you and consistent with your beliefs.’ ….

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Wow. I can use these same encouragements now! I’m still not in a paid working position and I’m very much considering letting my occupational therapy registration lapse but there are many new adventures in my life.

I finished a Masters in counseling and am supported by a local church to offer services locally.

I’m volunteering in the mental health space in my area, my biggest passion, including being available to help kick start a new exciting collaborative co-design process. I confess it’s keeping me busier than expected, that on top of trying to deal with a mouse plague in the house! Oh and scary primary school attitudes….I swear my parenting role is based entirely around managing snacks and screen-time – I have serious work to do to adjust this pattern in my home.

On top of this I’ve been trying to prayerfully considering a position of more responsibility at my children’s school. It’s been hard to read the signs, to trust my intuition but as above FAITH will be my best guide. I’m finding this easiest when I start my day with prayer and Bible reading. Again not an activity I always find myself inspired to spend my time on even though the rewards are obvious.

 

So here I guess is an update on my life. Daily decisions to be made and daily trying my best to let it go and trust God. Now off for church and footy. I wonder what decisions you are making today?

 

 

Books · life · movies

Feelings about The Public and life

Things weren’t going right last Wednesday – just little things – like not getting my preferred parking spots on the main drag in my small country town. Cos you know it meant I had walk a few extra metres….

And then this week I was just tired (it has been rather cold). Monday started out good, I had a cancellation = time to get ahead which surely would mean a head-start for Tuesday. Maybe if I’d had some motivation…

I still got through things. It just feels like whenever I’m close to getting on top with potential to get to the extra things i.e. cleaning out the darned spare room, things fall apart.

In all this I have finished a book AND saw an awesome movie today. So of course I can’t really complain.

THE BOOK:

Bridge of Clay – Markus Zusak

It was another big book which took awhile to suck me in. And if I’m being honest despite reading and enjoying all of Zusak’s books his writing style is not really for me. But his characters – oh how I love his characters. Five brothers…”their mother is dead, their father has fled” and a vast array of stories, including a peg.

THE MOVIE:

The Public

This movie had everything I love – books, libraries, humour, social action and love.

Starting with black and white footage of books and librarians and then opening into credits with song/rap lyrics ‘burn the books’ it had me right from word go (or perhaps from lights, camera, action)

The screening I saw was to raise funds for a local organisation that works with homeless, in this Homelessness Week. The movie itself was about an ‘occupation’ of a Cincinnati library due to freezing weather. It was poignant and meaningful. (Not to mention full of some well-known names)

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I’m beginning to learn to appreciate mindfulness and the above quote is helpful. Except….when it comes to things like homelessness….shouldn’t we do something with the feelings? Along with mindfulness I’m trying really hard to practice kindness to myself, I know telling myself off for not doing more won’t help, and after all my children are fed….

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So yes I definitely recommend The Public and Bridge of Clay is Markus Zusak special. I hope my energy lifts (more nutrition shakes?!) but if it doesn’t straight away I also know I will survive. Amongst it all there are moments of gratitude.

Wishing you all a blessed new week ahead

GJ

life · mental health

Weekend Check-in

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I feel…. accomplished, I got through quite a bit of my to-do list this week and even better have felt happy and balanced ๐Ÿค—

I need… family and rest time this weekend, maybe even a book?!

I forgive…the multitude of things I didn’t get to. I feel I prioritised well, still there’s important stuff I still didn’t get to…but I will ๐Ÿ’ช

I celebrate…reviving catch ups with friends and connections with those I love (yep Bookclub that includes you!)

I release….I’d love to release my shoulders and back somehow… but today I’m hoping to release myself and kick up my heels a bit at a lady’s event, I think I also release myself to give it a miss if it causes more stress than relaxation ๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿผย or โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ›‹

…I also wonder about releasing my guilt at the numerous blessings in my life that allow me to enjoy regular such releases (saw an amazing musical last weekend with friends), staying home doesn’t help those without such good support…

I trust…that I am working towards helping those less fortunate than me, as above, guilt and self-punishment doesn’t help in this process. Awareness and not taking for granted my blessings, while not the be all, is okay to start with.

๐ŸŒค๐ŸŒค๐ŸŒค

… thank you Mentally Fit EP and @heyamberrae

 

Please feel free to join us in the reflection process ๐Ÿ™‚ and have an awesome weekend

 

GJ

blogging · life

A Quick Hello

Just to prove I was thinking of you all during my hiatus, somehow this blog didn’t quite make it to click publish button!

Hello

Life is good at the moment, and busy. I am continuing my study, placement, looking after the kids and indulging in games, tv and at the moment just the occasional book.

It’s lovely to see people continue to visit my blog-home despite my inactivity here. Despite my goal to write once a month, I think I’ll be missing for awhile yet as I finish off my degree – the end is in sight and almost touchable!!

A few topics worthy of mentioning before I go to bed ready for the start of another week….

  1. The drought ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  2. The election ๐Ÿ˜
  3. The shave ๐Ÿ˜€ we raised nearly $2000 for the Leukaemia Foundation this weekend

Happy Mother’s Day….Hmmm Happy we’re over Halfway through School Holidays Day??

Further Updates:

  • Placement hours slowly getting ticked off, not in any real rush though
  • Have enjoyed reading Jane Harper’s character Aaron Falk
  • We have had rain!! Indeed it’s been sprinkling the last few days (probably not a lot worth measuring but still wet)
  • A lot of un-edited posts were published recently I think when I accidentally deleted the WP app from my phone, oops and oh-well.

 

faith · social issues

On Euthanasia…

What a heavy topic to return to blogging on, hey?

Just quickly I would like to say thank you to my followers. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus as I finish my study (just 30 hours of placement to go!) but this blog is nonetheless always there for me when I’ve got something I feel I need/want to share with the world. It doesn’t matter if those draft thoughts never leave my head, knowing I have this space and even better people who are interested, is a wonderful blessing.

But back to this topic, yep, I’m going there….Euthanasia.

It came up at bookclub last night, as the last dregs lingered on around the table discussing work, life, financial planning and end of life.

The state of Victoria recently passed assisted dying laws which came into effect this month. I do not support these laws and pray other states do not follow suit – why? Quite simply because I am a christian. Is that a good enough reason to support protests against these laws for other people, mostly non-christian? That is a very good question.

I believe God is in ultimate control of our lives, and despite a fallen world with pain and injustice, I believe God is good. Despite daily questioning of His will and ways I trust Him and am content (relatively!) to leave my life and death in His hands. This choice became very clear to me when I was presented with the option (opportunity?) to terminate my second pregnancy. Whilst the medical reality for my child was very scary, abortion was never really an option – life is a gift. A gift I believe God chooses the time for giving and taking away. A gift I am more than happy to put into His capable hands, placing my trust in Him.

At this time in my life it also became really clear to me why people might choose differently to me. Without faith in God, given the option of a life of likely pain and challenges for your child versus regulated safe termination (death), I can see how it could beย  a decision of love rather than perhaps convenience.

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So when at the other end of life and someone is facing certain death, via painful disease or illness, yes the loving choice could be termination. I still choose however to believe and trust in God. I don’t understand why he allows people to linger in pain but I do believe He is all-loving and all-knowing and I do believe there can be continued purpose and meaning in life.

I have not experienced constant pain and I have no idea what it’s like, so it can easily be asked, what right do I have to say how a non-christian chooses to end their life?

I’m not sure I can justify my beliefs….I DO wish for all people to come to know God as I do and to trust in Him….but I also acknowledge free-will. So I guess I don’t think that my choice is anymore valid than yours but I do believe I have the right to express it and continue to make decisions based on my faith, even if they affect others with different beliefs.

I have experienced the death of two grandmothers from bowel cancer. Both had lived long and blessed lives. My Dad shares what a privilege it was to be sitting nearby as his Mum took her last breaths. My mother cared for her Mum at her home until her death, which she too experienced as a great honour and privilege. It was interesting to hear an uncles perspective, who also helping with care saw it as cruelty for his Mum. I’m sure my Mum didn’t find it pleasant and wished for the suffering to end but I believe she also believed the care was dignified and an appropriate way to die.

I guess I wonder why we assume death should be painless? I think many are afraid of death and wish for it to be as uncomplicated as possible….I don’t think that’s realistic, as with all of life, the real picture often isn’t pretty but nonetheless invaluable.

I’m wondering now how to end this…..I feel I’m done.

Would love for any thoughts, alternative views, questions to be shared

GJ

life · Uncategorized

Front-yard Cricket

Welcome to 2019 ๐Ÿ™‚

The weather finally cooled down enough to actually be outside and we had a family moment โค

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December was a tough month. It’s the anniversary of my stillborn son’s birthday. I slowed down early and then when break time really came around I felt I had to ‘do’ especially asย I had Hubby home ‘thanks’ to an achilles injury. So then the guilt started and the flatness spread and I just couldn’t get into the Christmas energy. Thankfully I trust my family and friends and feel no need to act, so much food and joyful fellowship was still had. My energy is gradually returning and I’m working on focusing on the moment rather than stressing about what hasn’t been done and what I feel needs to be done in the future (and trying to be understanding towards my family). I still generally feel like an over-privileged princess as I constantly choose puzzles, reading and tv over houshold tasks. But I get the washing and dishes done and I’m confident my children feel loved which is priority no. 1.

I usually like New Years Resolutions but havn’t had the motivation yet – still working on my Christmas letters! Having said that things must be improving…..

  1. One blog a month.
  2. I’d like to do something political this Australian election year. I got some ‘beginner’s guide’ books for Christmas
  3. Finish my counselling degree – to be honest I’m pretty scared about this, I had hoped to finish last year but due to mental health slowed this right down
  4. Make our spare room functional
  5. Rehash last years goal of spending more time outdoors/exercising

Each day is an open book for me at the moment – such a gift – such a responsibility.

There’s going to be good moments, nothing moments, some shockers and a whole lot in between. I pray I continue to seek connection. I’m not sure what God’s purpose for my life is but I will try and trust that each step in this journey, even the one’s I take in a dysfunctional direction are teaching me what I need to know.

 

life · Uncategorized

September Life Update

It’s been a month since my last blog post, and what a month it’s been. Blogging has certainly slipped down my priority list but I am still enjoying reading lots of my favourites – so good to learn and share in.

I’m not really sure what I want to write about today but I do know that I want to say Hello.

Life is good and God is so graciously giving me the breaks I need at the right times. This week for instance I have two whole home days, plus I was home yesterday afternoon and have had way to much spare time for watching West Wing, my latest addiction (currently up to Season 3). Last week felt a bit crazy. I had a night away from home and two evening meetings in town, then a night out with friends. All of it including the meetings was time well spent but gosh it takes it out of me. Yesterday my one job was to clean the lounge room – that took it out of me too! So many jobs for today, including well overdue case notes, I pray I get the important ones done.

For your reading pleasure some recent life highlights:

  • My five year old son attended church on Sunday with no underwear and loose shorts :p
  • We hosted a church picnic the Sunday before – tug of war, egg and spoon races, guess the tools, beautiful weather….it’s so wonderful to catch up with our larger local christian family for worship and fellowship
  • I volunteered for both a secretary and chairperson position on two different committees – what was I thinking!!
  • Chairperson role had me speaking twice on radio this month
  • My counseling diary has been as full as I need it – challenging but also rewarding
  • Kids school concert was AMAZING and I so wish I could share their school photos with you!
  • arghh I’d almost forgotten this one but I did a lot of dealing with Telstra grrrย  (phone company) but thankfully the monthly bill which came this week suggests it truly is now all sorted out
  • Our local paper has been sharing good stories about suicide and mental health

And now a few more days have past and I’m a bit more melancholy. This despite reading an amazing book I hope to review properly, reaching my goal weight and having dear friends cook with my kids (I do NOT have the patience!). I think I need a down day or two. Maybe it’s cos Iย  forgot my tablets yesterday, maybe it’s because I started thinking of a departed friend yesterday and tried really hard not to brush it aside but really feel it. Maybe it’s because I’m worn out.

I’ll say it again, God is good, and life is full of ups and downs… I’m still looking forward to tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

How’s September been for you? Is there anything you’re looking forward to in October? Thanks for reading, thanks for letting me share where I’m at, please know I also love hearing about you.

God bless

 

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 bothย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

How are you? How was your week?

God bless this weekend

xo GJ

life · Uncategorized

Summer Holidays

I’ve had a great week ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I finished my work notes and shut that computer off
  • Hubby took kids for a swim in the farms finally ready swimming pool (was out of action 2017) while I finished a nap
  • I finished a book and a puzzle
  • I enjoyed a new tv series but ready for a break which means I can start latest season of Grey’s Anatomy tonight
  • It was great to have Vacswim give the kids and I some routine this week
  • Found my daughters Vacswim book (yay!) and my son did a whole lesson without crying (even if my Mum had to take him for this to occur)
  • I cleared the floor of the toy room
  • We caught up with friends
  • I continued to feel positive about the New Year
  • Hubby and I have been on similar pages this week
  • The weather was awesome!

Basically I have nothing to complain about and I’m not sure there’s many people who can say that.

I do have a few resolutions to add to my list (and a confession that I’ve not really been outdoors the last two days – yesterday was a work day and today is just hot :p )

  • I realised there were no resolutions regarding my children which I think was a bit of an oversight. I know self-care as a parent is important but I think I do tend to put my needs first especially in regards to free time so I’d like to aim for a purposeful activity each day with each child – we’ll see how that goes
  • Also watched a One Million clip this afternoon reminding me I want to make decisions in my shopping that reduce my negative impact on the environment
  • Lastly because you know it’s the first week and I’m feeling great and gonna reach for the stars (!) I want to keep focusing on advocacy – have just been in touch with a friend whose son is suffering from bipolar and unfortunately when she reached out to services they were overstretched with waitlists – so many areas our community local, state, country can improve on.

Hope 2018 has been treating you well so far too – I’d love to hear about it…

GJ