Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I've been thinking

accessing, processing, reasoning... my life lately.

Wondering about my life, am I making a difference, does it even matter if I do?

Hmmmm... deep thoughts, perhaps meaningless thoughts?

Is it enough, to just get by in life, to just live it!?

Should we be wondering if we are contributing to poverty both socially, physically and spiritually in our world.

Are we being the best people we can be? Am I being the best person I can be?

It's easy for me to answer the last question, but am I just beating myself up when I do? It's easier to be negative about myself than to look and search out the positives.

I want to be a great mum, but fail miserably time and again. My life is, at times, consumed by an underlying rage - I can't put my finger on the reasons behind this, I just wish it weren't so. My first response to stress is to yell, and there are times when I yell way more than I speak in a quiet controlled manner.

I need some peace, some time to unwind and relax - to quiet the mind.

Matthew 21:12

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Drowned Out

Last night, I left my comfortable life and ventured out into the cold night to watch a moving story about a group of people the Indian government would rather forget. It is the true story of one families stand against the destruction of their homes, land and lives.

The film is about one government’s bull-headed vision of making dam’s. It is based around the dam’s being built over the past 50 years on the great Narmada River. They are also being built elsewhere in India.

There has been very little thought made for what will happen to those people who are affected by them – losing their homes to the reservoir’s of water, and canals covering the country. It is not surprising that these homes are owned by poor people, whose only choices are to move to the slums in the city, relocate to barren resettlement sites with no drinking water or to stay put in their homelands and drown.

I was most moved by a woman living in the slums outside a city in India – she said she had no reason to live (her home was gone, she had no money, her life was extremely hard), yet she felt she couldn’t even die – which is what she would have liked to do. Her picture with the filmmaker is above – click on the picture to go to the spanner films website to learn more about the film.

I was left feeling somewhat depressed – if the powers that be can destroy peoples lives like this without major outcry from the world, what hope is there?

Town - The Lads

I was listening to my wee i-pod today and this song came on by the Lads and it touched me - weird I know... ;) I found the lyrics on their website and I thought I'd share a few of them here.

Town - The Lads

"I watched the world go by through the window of my mind
But how I saw myself made friends hard to find
I wasn’t sure you liked me although I think you tried
I wanted you to like me, to fill the hole inside"

"Accepting who I am did not come from being the best
Or earning popularity by passing all your tests
The thing that helped me most
Was when the realisation came
That there is a God who love’s me
Who knows me by my name"

The italics and bold are my own, I almost feel as if they wrote the song about me, as I did when I first heard it - bizzarely, I haven't changed much here. I am always going back to my old way's of finding my value in what I think that other people think about me [does that even make sense]. My insecurity makes it hard to make friends, because I am always questioning whether or not people like me, or not - ask my husband, and he'll agree. The amount of night's when I have gone over conversations in minute detail, pulling apart what he or she said to me and what it all could mean. Could it be that the world doesn't revolve around little old me?

I am slowly, ever so slowly, learning that what they said, what they think, doesn't matter as much as what my husband, family, God think about who I am, and indeed, what I myself think about who I am. I just wish I didn't feel that I was such a loser... there has got to be more to life than this.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The lowest and the least

Excerpt from the ragamuffin gospel by Brennan Manning
We tend to idealise childhood as the happy age of innocence, insouciance, and simple faith; but in New Testament times the child was considered of no importance, meriting little attention or favour. According to Albert Nolan, “Children in that society had no status at all – they did not count.” The child was regarded with scorn.

For the disciple of Jesus, “becoming like a little child” means the willingness to accept oneself as being of little account and to be regarded as unimportant. The little child who is the image of the kingdom is a symbol of those who have the lowest places in society, the poor and the oppressed, the beggars, the prostitutes and tax collectors - the people whom Jesus often called the “little ones” or the “least.” Jesus’ concern was that these little ones should not be despised or treated as inferior [see Matthew 18:10]. He was well aware of their feelings of shame and inferiority, and because of His compassion they were, in His eyes, of extraordinarily great value. As far as he was concerned, they had nothing to fear. The kingdom was theirs. “There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom” [Luke 12:32].

Jesus gave these scorned little ones a privileged place in the kingdom and presented them as models to would-be disciples. They were to accept the kingdom in the same way a child would accept her allowance. If the children were privileged, it was not because they merited privilege, but simply because God took pleasure in these little ones whom adults despised.

There is a wondrous open-mindedness about children and an insatiable desire to learn from life. An open attitude is like an open door – a welcoming disposition toward fellow travellers who knock on our door during the middle of the day, the middle of the week, or the middle of a lifetime.

If we maintain the open-mindedness of children, we challenge fixed ideas and established structures, including our own. We listen to people in other denominations and religions. We don’t find demons in those with whom we disagree. We don’t cosy up to people who mouth our jargon. We focus on both/and fully aware that God’s truth cannot be imprisoned in a small definition.

Hear, Hear! :) [or is that read, read!]

I read this book in the holiday’s, and was blown away by this excerpt. It was one of those “light-bulb” moments. I am often blown away by my childrens’ knowledge and understanding of God, and yet, should I be? After reading this, I think not. We have experienced some of this through my daughter, Aimee. Aimee has autism, and we have struggled to have her accepted in Sunday School, and in other organizations too. Her behaviour can be difficult in group settings. She doesn’t like crowds, or loud music/noise. There is much to learn from her though, especially when she is usually the first to go to God in prayer, and is quick to forgive others. I often feel that if Jesus were here today, he would just LOVE Aimee. I think that’s what we are all called to do.

If you want to be challenged, think about getting hold of this book… It is EXCELLENT reading.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

getting to do the stuff

Shortly after John Wimber became a christian, he became a voracious Bible Reader. The scriptures excited him. Finally, after weeks of reading about life-transforming miracles in the Bible and attending boring church services, John asked one of the lay leaders, "When do we get to do the stuff?"
"What stuff?" asked the leader.
"You know, the stuff here in the Bible," said John. "You know, like stuff Jesus did - raising people from the dead, healing the blind and the paralyzed. You know, that stuff."
"Well, we don't do that anymore," the man said. "You don't? Well what do you do?" asked John.
"What we did this morning," replied the man.
In frustration, John responded: "For that I gave up drugs?"

Friday, May 12, 2006

Have a Fair Cuppa!

You can enjoy free fair trade coffee or tea this weekend.

Take a look at the website linked in the picture and pop down to your local tradeaid shop for a free Fair Cuppa!

read family home school **NEW BLOG**

I have started a new blog so that I can showcase some of the things we have done in our home schooling life. At the moment there is only one post - a story written by Briahna, aged 6, but I hope to post there regularly with work that we as a family are proud of. :)

Take a moment to take a look...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Christ who gives me strength

It is Christ who gives me the strength to be more like Him. I have the strength and energy to get up to face the day, to deal with sick kids (I have 2/3 at the moment), to overcome irrational fears and depression, the list goes on... but, it is He who enables me to cope with every day life. He is better than any pill, not that I have anything against medication. I'd take St. Johns Wort and Jesus over a prescribed anti-depressant as my own personal preference. I have taken both at different times in my life, after having bad post natal depression after the birth of my wonderful girls, and I have found St. Johns Wort to be more effective with fewer side effects. The prescribed ones (and I tried a few) made me either feel manic or flat.

It may be a surprise that I suffer from depression to some of you out there in blog-land. Life is full of surprises. I was doing very well until recently (2-3 years - depression free). But, here I am again finding it a little harder to cope. Today's verse reminds me that I can do all things with Christ's help.

Thanks God!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

God's Love : Christ's Perserverance

To be more like Jesus in nature and character, that is my desire. This verse encompasses that desire - may my heart be directable by the Lord.



in case you've been wondering who has been making these really neat posters for my blog - I have uploaded some pictures of my sweet daughters with their handi-work. :)

Hope (9)

Briahna (6)

This year is turning out to be the best year we've ever had with homeschooling, and I owe it all to God and these wonderful girls. I have been blessed with two really wonderful daughters who have a real love of learning, and are a pleasure to teach and spend time with.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

doing it for God

Think about doing everything as if you were doing it for God himself... What does the work look like?
When you do anything for people you love, you try your best to make it good! :)
This is a great verse, and one we base our school life on, the girls are doing their work, not for me, but for God. It helps to get the girls motivated in their learning and it helps Mum (me) remain focussed on giving them the best education I can.