Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I choose - November

I choose
My intentions from One Little Word for November is 'connect enough'. As I look back to last month I find that it flows well from accomplishing enough, as I have finished things I have made more time for relationships.  I booked in the social event with the women at church.  A day of crafting and catching up with people I know.  There weren't many there but it is a start of things to come.  I have been more available and am looking at how I can invite connections into my life.  I came across this quote on the net.
#quotes.  Be that person
I want to live like that.

While I haven't finished the projects that I started I am well on the way and in the process have discovered some things that I want to implement into my life next year that will help with staying on top of my creative projects.

A big jump forward has been in getting together the plans for our studio space. This started as a dream 10 years ago and is starting to take more shape as we are realising it could become a reality next year.  Exciting.  It says much about God's timing.  I am always wanting things to happen.  To be sorted and in control.  It is when I let go and live in the margin that God does mighty things.

Choices for November
Be available for people
Keep simplifying so I can

This little light of mine

Our group finished the latest study from Hello Mornings and the next one isn't starting until later in the new year.  So our fabulous group leader found a great Christmas advent study -Keeping our Hearts focused on Jesus by Good Morning Girls.  It has daily readings and some great activities to do with your kids.  I have become so much more aware of how busy things get around Christmas and am looking forward to the focus that this study will give me, especially as I prepare for what is ahead each day.

I was motivated by the first activity to light a candle and went out and bought some bits to put together a family advent candle set. It didn't take much but it has brought some great discussion to the dinner table conversations.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

That's the way the world goes round

Last night we went for a family outing to check out the new playground at Pukekura Park.  We picked up fish and chips on the way.  The boys could hardly wait to check out all the cool new things that were there. Their favourite thing next to the flying fox was the water play area.  They spent loads of time there sorting different ways to dam the flow and send it gushing down the hill.

As we moved around I sat to watch as the boys climbed aboard the spinning wheel for more fun.  Not my thing I'm afraid as my head can't handle the spinning.

As I watched I saw how the boys could either sit on the mat or hold on to the ropes for all they were worth or if they wanted a rest could hold on to the pole in the centre and watch as the world went by. 

It got me thinking.  Life is just like this.  Our world is a busy one.  We rush about in our busyness trying to keep up with everything that is going on.  It wasn't designed this way.  What if for a moment you could stop and cling to the One who designed it instead of holding on for all you are worth and trying to fight it?  

    Romans 12:2
    Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
Seems like things would look a whole lot clearer.  And they do.......

Just a thought

I choose - October

I choose
My intentions from One Little Word for October is 'accomplish enough'.  Quite fitting really.  My intentions were to look at what I had started that needed finishing and to move ahead with new things.  I have been doing quite the opposite.  Starting new things before finishing what I need to and continually trying to catch up with what I am already doing.

Choices for October
Finish the projects and classes that I started
Make dates for social events that I have planned
Visit businesses for information about building our studio
Keep blogging

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I choose - July, August, September

I choose
July was half way through and I started writing this post. 3 months later and I found the draft I had started.  I have been very absent of late.  I keep thinking that I should post a small note at the top of my blog "If I haven't been here it is because I am living"  not that I don't have things to write about.

My intentions from One Little Word for July was 'enough dreams'. For August was 'care enough'. For September was 'plan enough'.

As I dwell on all of this I can see how appropriate this is for me right now.  With travelling, all the sickness we had and busyness of life, you just knuckle down and weather the storm.  The what ifs and doubts creep in and I wonder just what I hope I have of accomplishing the day to day, let alone something bigger   There is often no room for dreaming.  I find it hard to take care of me let alone others.  I had plans just what has become of them?

Where am I at now?  Only because of what I set in motion here.  Grounded in faith I weathered the storm. What I wrote in this post  keeps me going.   Seems I am not the only one who knows this.  I caught up on blog reading and found this at Beautiful Things.  I love how when you are tuned into the voice of God you are more aware of his whisperings.

One Little Word - October

One Little Word

The prompt for this month was to get messy with your word.  To see where you are at.  So appropriate for me who has been absent for some time from sharing where I am at.  Such a great way to get back into it.  So I got to it.  I have looked at the idea of art journaling and collage for a while. This was such a great opportunity to try it out.  I really enjoyed it.  Especially the freedom to keep playing if it didn't quite look right. 

Here is what I came up with.

It reads

Just where am I at with my word?  To look at what I have done at first glance I would say it is not enough .... but that is just it.  Without being aware I have been living my word.  By not doing I have been doing enough for me.  I know what is enough for me; I know I am enough.  There is so much possibility when I say no my yes gets louder.  I need only listen to the right voice - In Him I am enough - He is more than enough for me.  I am already free - Go out and live.
This is life don't miss it!

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Time for a rest

It is no coincidence that I read this on the Bible app verse for today

Isaiah 40:31  
But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength.  
They will fly high on wings like eagles.  
They will run and not grow weary.  
They will walk and not faint

and this from Brave Girls
Dear Gorgeous Girl,

Chances are, you are needing some rest right now...after all, being brave is hard and exhausting work.

Would it be so bad it you took a little break and let yourself recharge? Of course it wouldn't be a bad thing....to the contrary, it would be a VERY GOOD thing for you to do, especially if you can't even remember the last time you let yourself rest for a little while.

Choose a good, uplifting book and let yourself read it without interruption, take a hot bath....get under the covers for an afternoon nap. You've got to recharge or you will burn out...it's just a fact of life. This doesn't mean you are weak, it means you are human...and little breaks here and there are an essential part of a productive life.

Enjoy some time to yourself...you deserve it. You are loved.


and this at the word for today.

'To know whether something is right or wrong for you, 
you need only ask one question: 
'How will this affect my confidence before God?  

I have been weary of late.  The reminder that winter is a time to hunker down and hold fast during the storm.  It is grey and there is lots of washing to cycle through, that never seems to dry.  The nights are cold and all I want to do is snuggle up with a good book or watch a movie by the fire.  The boys have continued to switch up a gear in what they eat.  I feel like I am always in the kitchen fixing another meal to fill the hungry tums. What follows of course are all the dishes.  So today was a time for me to rest.  To slow life down.  I stayed home and took each moment that I had to do the next thing that I wanted to do.

Feeling recharged and ready to go on.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

In Memory of Nana

Olive Beatrice Mae King
17 August 1927 - 21 June 2012

You slipped away that night
beneath the moon, twas but a sliver
painted in the sky
a message you wanted to deliver

as I drove away
it was the sight I saw
a last glimpse of you
before you knocked at heaven's door

while I didn't want to go
I had done my part
in writing your last chapter
it will remain forever in my heart

though the bindings cracked
and the favourite pages seem to bend
your life tells a story
worth reading to the end

as the memories overflow
what first comes to mind
was the times spent as a family
these days that's something that is very hard to find

we would pile round to your place
whatever the occasion
for wonderful food and staying up late
seemed it never took much persuasion

there was cotton reels to play with
and sliding down the stairs with cousins
board games and hide & seek
fun and laughter by the dozen

BBQ's a plenty
and fishing at the beach
then of course a fry up
at a level the shops just couldn't reach

Christmas was the best
with presents and food piled high
the chance to share this last with you
something we couldn't let go by

who can forget the hours
we put in at the farm we called our second home
there were carrots, parsnips and pumpkins
all scrubbed and tossed until they shone

I've never come across a strawberry
that is quite the same
countless dagwood sandwiches
with a cuppa for smoko to keep up our game

every school holiday
after grocery shopping with our Mum
we'd end up at your place with a donut
after hot chicken and coleslaw on our bun

the times when we were sick
it seemed we always knew
we could make a bed on your couch
and watch you sew as your pile of curtains grew

each time I went to brownies
you were always there
my proudly sewn on badges
a tribute to your hard work and care

you were always so proud
of the young ones as you called us
you were always the first I called to share results
a hearty congratulations was the chorus

and so the tale is almost told
this life we are passing through
the memories are so very near
of special times with you

but, the stars and moon are gone
seems all that's left to do
is take my rest
and the time to cry over losing you

Yet they are tears of joy
though not without its trials
we celebrate a life well lived
saved by grace you wear a smile

And know that God works it all for good
It's part of his amazing plan
so for now it is goodbye
till we meet again

By Colleen

Taking time to remember a loved Nana and Great Nana

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A time to pull weeds

I have been putting it off.  The wet cold weather a very good excuse for not getting into the garden which so badly needs weeding.  Funny enough it actually looked like rain on Saturday when I donned a coat and beanie and headed out thinking I might get a bit done before it starts.  As it happened the rain never came, it was the lack of light and a need to cook dinner that called me in.

We had harvested the pumpkins and tidied the herbs and then life took over as it does and the garden was left.  As I weeded I found myself thinking how often I have had to weed this garden and vowed that I wouldn't let it get so bad again.  How much I actually enjoy growing things and how great it would be to make use of the garden that we have.  But, with the everyday, full on life of raising four boys and running a household the addition of two acres of land gets to be too much {even just this little patch of garden on the driveway}.

I wonder just what I signed up for and how great it would be to have a little quarter acre section.  Just for a minute.  I only have to look around and realise just how good we have got it and what lies ahead if I just keep moving forward. Our piece of the country right in town.  Because amongst the weeds there is goodness.  Plants have held on and are pushing through.  It just takes the time to clear away the things that hold them back.  We have done a lot in the five years that we have been here.

So it is with me. I have many seeds of thought that I have planted but they struggle through trying to grow amongst the noise that is my life.  The more often I weed the things that hold me back from doing what I should be, the more I grow.  As I caught up with blogs that I read I came across this post.  While the content caught my eye as I had recently written a similar post it was the quote in the picture that held me for longer -  'she loved life and it loved her right back'

To love life is a choice not a reaction to the circumstances I find myself in.  Time to pull weeds.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I choose - June

I choose
Only half way through the month.  I realised as I reflect on last month and look ahead to what I wanted to focus on this month, I have unintentionally achieved what I wanted to look at for this month.  It just goes to show that when you place things visibly before you they are more obvious.

My intentions from One Little Word for June is 'enough faith'. So many self help books and goal setting advice strives for a balanced life.  It was life changing when I came to the knowledge that to live fully I need to embrace the different elements of my life, not try and fit them into a certain time slot in my day or week.  In Stephen Covey's book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People he highlights the 4th Habit - Put First Things first as setting what is most important and putting it first.  To know what is important we need to look at what we centre our life on.  In this post from my series enough I touched on what that looks like for me.  Not Christ first - but Christ centred.

So I look back to look forward.  Last month's intentions will filter through to now as I continue with what enough faith looks like for me.

Choices for June
 Take part in study groups at church
Take Hello Mornings to the next level
Pray like I mean it
 Worship more than just on Sunday

I choose - May

I Choose
A change of season and I need to remember just what the cooler weather brings.  I can see why animals go into hibernation.  I have struggled to be motivated towards doing much of anything.  Combined with weekend's taken up with conferences, starting soccer and sickness I just haven't gotten to it.

I have found setting my goals each month really worth while.  I have had in mind the focus that I want to work towards.  This blog is certainly a great tool in keeping me on track..... when I write.  As I look back at April's intentions I see that one of my choices was to write the blog posts that have been waiting to be written.  I have so many ideas that I want to put here.  I need to take my own advice.  Instead of looking at all of it and doing nothing I need to look at one thing I can do and just start.  One of the best pieces of advice that I have taken from this class is the beauty in setting new choices each month.  You can look at what you put and discard it or move forward with it.  No sense beating yourself up about not achieving what you wanted.

I was able to pack away the summer things, reorganise and mostly clean the house.  I set up things for the school holidays.  They turned out quite differently though.  I have been thinking more about the plans for the studio.  It seems to be quite far down on the list.  As for setting some dates for more social events I have ideas in the pipleline.  The next thing is to actually book them in.

My intentions from One Little Word for May was 'enough play'.  I wanted to focus on having fun and enjoying time with my boys.  To do this I can see that I need to look at my fitness and am wanting to get moving more so I have the energy to keep up with the boys.  I also want to be sure that I am doing something for me.  I know that when I do it re-energises me.

Choices for May
Make dates for social events
Buy shoes suitable for walking
Use opportunities for playtime with the boys
Organise the big things so I can do the little things that matter
Get crafting at least once a week

Sunday, May 26, 2013

One Little Word - May

One Little Word
For May the prompt was about little and big messages. Putting together the words that you hear, the things that you want to listen to.

Seems like I need to listen to these words more often.  I get bogged down with all the things I want to do.  Most of the time I need to just start. I find that I feel good when I do one thing towards what I want to achieve.  It gets me one step closer to completing the task.  While I would love to have big chunks of time to get things done it isn't my reality.  So I do one thing.

One Little Word - April

 I went to post the prompt for May and realised that I never posted my prompt for April.  I didn't do March as it was looking at setting goals and didn't need to be posted.

So here it is.  April saw us putting together photos to represent and connect with our word

I enjoyed finding photos of our life that connected with my word - enough.  I can see how I am using it in the everyday.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Okay with the messy

At any given time my bench is filled with produce from the garden

As much as I would like at least the beds made I still walk out without them done

There was more to do on this day than wipe the crumbs from the table before I went out.  They stayed till the end of the day when I came home.

There's always gonna be another mountain.  I'm always gonna want to make it move.
Always gonna be an uphill battle,  sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
It ain't about how fast I get there, ain't about what's waiting on the other side. 
It's the climb

The last month has been quite a climb. I have been here there and everywhere; for everyone and it's been messy. Finding yourself again in the messy is a good thing. It makes you more aware of what is good and what is right. So I didn't finish some of the things I wanted to, there is always tomorrow. What counts is how I spend my day and where I am headed, who I am doing all this for. I may get distracted by all the social media, but it leads me home to what I need to hear. While I haven't been writing here I've been listening and lived and learned. The little things have made big differences.

I read this post by Ann at A Holy Experience and this one at Allume and another at to Overflowing.  No matter what you see of others or read or think, we are all messy and in need of grace.  No matter how much you seek what is perfect you will always come up short.

So what if I was to look at all of this from a different view?

In the devotion for her book 1000 gifts, Ann Voskamp describes well how 'we elevate what we deem beautiful, endeavour to create spheres of pristine beauty and perhaps rightly so, for "what ever is good, pure, lovely, think on these things" But I wonder if maybe in the upside-down kingdom of God, what we regard as unlovely is, in Jesus, lovely.  Because somewhere, underneath the grime of this broken world, everything has the radiant fingerprints of God on it.  Seeing the world with Jesus' eyes, we have the astonishing opportunity to daily love the unlovely into loveliness.'

So my bench covered in food to be sorted - a blessing of what has been provided and what I can share

My unmade beds - extra sleep after a later night with lots of fun and laughter

The crumbs and mess on the table - a meal together and memories of treasures collected and still to be sorted

How about you?  Do you find yourself at the end of the day wondering just what you got done and was it worth it?  Are you waiting for things to be perfect before you do that thing that you have been wanting to?  What about stopping and looking at the messy and seeing it for what it really is.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Holiday Fun

The school holidays are here.  Two weeks, four boys of different ages who are now into different things, higher chance of wet or wild weather makes for stressful times.  Unless..........  you organise things.  I have been talking about getting organised for the holidays each time they roll around.  It is on my choices for April.  I have pinned numerous ideas and never got on to them.  Until now.   Sure I would love to do everything and have it sorted.  But if my word for the year is enough then that is all I need to do or I do nothing.  Take one idea and get it going.  Then do the next thing.  It always works and yet I don't always follow my own advice.

So here is the list of what I thought about doing.  We are heading away for some of the holidays and like to catch up with friends so it will be good to have some ideas for the inbetween moments.

Whenever there is down time we tend to gravitate to watching a movie or going on the computer. It would be great to have an incentive for getting into books.  Both my husband and I love to read and want to do more to get our boys enjoying it to.  There are so many great titles out there.

One of the boys has a science kit.  A great opportunity to get it out and use it as well

My usual holiday thing especially in the cooler months is to make sure we get out and enjoy the outdoors when we can.  So this will help with getting us motivated.

This one comes up a lot especially as we have such a wide range of ages in our house.  Most of the time it is simply a case of not knowing what to do rather than not having something to do.

We already have a box with ideas of all the activities inside and out that they can do.  It needs a bit of work to make it more interesting and useable

The boys Aunty works at an Art Studio and has also invited them to spend a day with her

I will keep you posted on how we get on.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I choose - April

The most significant achievement for me from my choices last month has been establishing what is enough for me in my daily routine.  I have an ideal in mind of how I want to start the day.  What actually works has been to take things in little steps.  I think I need to write more on this one.

I have put together the photos I want printed and need to do the final check before sending off the order.  Because I have had other projects on the go it hasn't been needed.  I am looking at doing it in the next week though as there are a number of photos that I want to scrapbook.

With the weather getting cooler by the day, I have also had a re-sort in my wardrobe.  It gave me a chance to pull out some of the things that I don't wear and add some new pieces to some things that mean I am now wearing them.  Again another post in the making.

I mentioned last month that I felt like I had been doing more.  What was holding me back was all the everyday things that tend to drag me down because no matter how often you do them they are back again the next day.  I feel like I have really been off my game.    I have started to work through this and will be putting together the ideas to share.

My intentions from One Little Word for April is 'Share enough'. As I have been working on the changes to my blogs I have been looking at how I want to use them.  I have also been thinking about how my word 'enough' came about.  It was not long after sharing my message that my father passed away and with Christmas, birthdays and the new year starting school among other things it is certainly time to get back together with friends.

Choices for April
Pack away things from summer
Finish cleaning the house
Set up for the school holidays
Write the blog posts that have been waiting to be written 
Put together the plans for the studio ready to start seeing what is available
Make dates for social events

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I choose - March

I know, I know,  March has come and gone.  My choices for this month have been somewhat of a carry on from last month. With February being a shorter one I realised that I wanted to do more than I was able. While I thought that I would be able to get onto things that I wanted to do the change of pace with having boys in three different places has been a lot to keep up with.

I am pleased with the progress that I made with the changes to my blog and am looking forward to continuing the set up of how I want to use it.  I also joined two study groups through church and am enjoying going deeper in the word and being a part of supporting others.  Leading the team at Mainly Music has also been a big part of this month as we are setting up for the year and making changes to the session.

While I never got onto finishing the last of the projects for the Big Picture Class Home Blessings that I had taken earlier in the year, I have been completing other projects that have been in the to do pile.  This has allowed room for sorting the photos that I want to get printed.  I am really enjoying my creative time with the changes that I made to my space.

So with my intention being to do enough it seems I have been doing more.  What I realised is that I know what it is that I want to be doing.  The struggle comes in working through the other things that hold me back from doing them.

My intentions from One Little Word for March is 'I am enough'. With so many things from the media that influence my thinking about who we should be and how we should look this is something that I continue to work on.

Choices for March
Establish a good morning routine
End each day with a nightly routine
Order photos and supplies to set up my Project Life album
Re-evaluate my wardrobe

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