Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Insert witty title here

Hi. So it's been a while. I've been tired lately. I've just been really, really tired for what feels like forever. And finding the time, and the things to say, knowing what to say and what to leave unsaid is tricky at the moment.

I'm not in the throes of depression. But lately, for the past few months really, I have just felt like I am slogging away, walking in really thick, goopy mud, you know? And it's not necessarily the goopiness of the mud that gets me. It's more the fact that it feels never ending. And even though I know, (I know!) that everyone is walking through their own version of goopy mud, sometimes it feels a little like I'm here slogging uphill and somehow sliding further back, and yet other people manage to race all the way to the top in no time.

Comparison truly is the thief of joy.

I love my family. I really, really do. They make my life immeasurably better. But sometimes (lots of times) my dealings with these people who I love so dearly, make me painfully aware of my own shortcomings.

I want to write about Georgie who is four going on fourteen, and the loveliness and hideousness that that entails. I want to write about my boy, who some days makes me want to squish him because I just love him so much, and other days makes me want to squish him because he just drives me so damn crazy. I want to write all the stuff that is sitting in my head making me crazy, but I just don't even know where to start. And I can hardly even write a sentence here without yawning my head off. I swear I feel like I'm more tired now than I was with my newborns.

I need God properly. My relationship with Him is there. But it feels like I'm using really dodgy internet service or something, you know? Not sure what's to be done about that.

But anyway, tomorrow is a new day. And if I'm going to face it with any sort of equanimity, I need to go to bed. Goodnight Internets.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I think God made me so he'd have someone to laugh at

It's no secret that I'm really good at doing stupid things. I seem to have a gift for it. So the other day, I read about the iPhone auto-correct prank. Now, in our household all the apple devices are connected, and I figured out that I could change Shane's phone from my Ipad.

It started off as harmless enough, I changed the word 'yes' to 'no' and the word 'please' to 'monkeys'.... silly funny stuff. We had fun, and then it kind of escalated.... and I may have changed the word 'Shane' to a very bad word indeed. Shane then changed the word 'Robyn' to the words 'I'll give it any way you like.' (Yes, we are inappropriately minded teenagers at heart) It was terrible, but it was funny, and it was only ever supposed to be between us.

But, of course, a few days later I sent an email to my pastor, just a trivial two line email. And as I typed the word 'Robyn' at the end of the email and pressed send, I watched in horror as I realised that the words at the bottom of the email did not say 'Robyn' but 'I'll give it any way you like'. I was stricken with horror at what I had just done, and spent several minutes trying to think about how I could change it. I had just told my pastor, my pastor, "I'll give it any way you like!!" But you know, email, once sent cannot be unsent. I called Shane, who just about killed himself laughing, and he helped me word another email of apology that I sent off straight away.

Sometimes I just shouldn't be allowed to do.... anything.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Too much information

There can be a mentality in the pentecostal church today that you have to "give your all!" "Go Hard!" "Give God all you've got!" and it is true. But maybe also, kind of not? I think the message gets a bit garbled at times, I'm not sure who's fault that is. I want to give God my all, I think he deserves it. But there are different kinds of all to give. Sometimes, if you push, and push, and push, eventually something breaks. Say you have a car, and you're driving along fine. But suddenly you make it go faster than it was supposed to go, you're revving it up, and expecting so much of it, and while you're doing that you don't add things like oil, or water or anything like that, you just keep putting the minimum amount of care into it. Eventually that motor is going to get fried. If you'd kept the car at a steady speed, and given it regular thorough maintenance, it could have gone so much longer,  and so much further. But you didn't, and now it's going to take a whole new motor just to get that thing going. 

There are an awful lot of burnt out people in our churches. And out of them. I'm kind of one of them, and my husband really is. About 6 months ago, we were the music directors at our church. Now we aren't, and he's not coming to church. And it's breaking my heart. I hate it. I am still going to church with the kids. But I miss him, oh I miss him. I hate going to church without him. I hate wrestling the kids by myself, and I hate not seeing him do music, because he really loves it, and its one of those things he was created to do, you know? I must admit, there's a fair bit of wounded pride in there too. It's not super fun going to church without your spouse, I guess because it's such an definite outward display of imperfection, and whether we acknowledge it or not, there is a shiny shiny mask that we wear at church. Maybe we feel like we are letting God down if we acknowledge our imperfections? I'd be lying if I said I didn't care about what people think.

There are a lot of details involved, and I won't go into them. Mostly because it's not my story to tell. But the way it affects me is. One of the ladies at church told Mum she thinks I am so courageous to keep going to church without him. The truth is, this isn't courage. It's desperation. Where else would I go?

I have been made aware of so many of the faults in us Christians. I've learned so many things about myself in the last few years. Ugly things that I wish weren't true. If you'd asked me not too long ago, if I was a judgmental person, I wouldn't have thought so. But I was. I used to look down on Christians who didn't go to church. I thought they either fell into one of two categories, the spiritual fruitcake variety who take offense at every little thing, and the uncommitted variety, who don't put in enough effort. I didn't understand a lot of things. I still don't. But I understand a little more now.

I am so tired. Tired of judging and being judged. I am tired of spiritual people who are always right, who say they never fight with their spouse, who say one thing and do another,  who don't understand so much. I am tired of the people who demand more and more and more, and they don't care. Their strength makes me feel less strong.

But still, I think (think) it is best to go to church. To accept the fragility and imperfections of the Christians around me, the same way I accept my own. To try, even when it hurts. It's a real process of not letting bitterness get a hold of you, and I'm still trying to figure it out. It's a fine line, authenticity. You want to be real, not a fake happy-clappy person who has less depth than a teaspoon. But you don't need every Tom, Dick and Harry to see your raw pain. I'm trying to walk the line. I keep overbalancing, this way and that, going too far in one direction and then too far in the other. But I hold onto the fact this it is God's church. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kids say the darnedest things

I'm going to miss these days when my children grow up and start talking just like everyone else. They do say the cutest things. 

Georgie to Shane. "Daddy can you blast my hair?" (Talking about using the hair dryer)

In Georgie's vocabulary, Croissants are Bon bons 

When we were getting ready to go to Granny Kay's, Shane Charlie and I got distracted and were cuddling on the bed, Georgie comes stomping in, "well, are we going to Granny Kay's or not? I'm ready and I've been waiting for you!" She is such a bossy boots sometimes.

"I da boss!" Charlie.

Yes, that is a duck face.

Georgie's frustrated word "dude!"

Every morning, as Daddy leaves for work "Daddy you not go to work without me, never ever!" from Charlie. 

Georgie: "we must get dressed now!"

Charlie and his "only one"

And finally, bonus points for one from Shane (said in the most shocked tone, as if he were accusing me of murder) "you gave me chocolate when we have ice cream in the freezer!?"

Friday, August 29, 2014

On knowing God, (or trying to)

I have this trouble, with God. I don't think I really know him very well at all. Not because of anything He does or doesn't do for me. But more because of the things I think about him. I know God loves me. I really do. I completely believe that he sent his son for me because he loves me.

But the thing I have much, much more trouble with, is the concept that He likes me. (And yes, in my mind there is a difference) Say a child, they know they are loved, they see everything their parent does for them, and they appreciate that. Their parent is kind, and good and loves them. And the child knows that. But the love that the parent gives that child, then causes that child to try to do things to please their parent. I watch it in my own children, a couple of days ago for example, Georgie mastered doing her own buttons up on her pajama top, and she was just thrilled when I was so excited and proud of her. I watched her just glow and beam with joy, because she was proud to have pleased me. I know as a child myself, I was so thrilled when I got an award at a school presentation night, and my Dad was there, and I saw him be proud of me. He goes pink in the face, and he grins and looks like Santa Clause when he is particularly chuffed. And I could recognize that my Dad was proud of me, and liked me, you know?

Parents often do have favourite children. They just do. It's a fact. I find my favoritism often chops and changes with my children depending on what stage they are going through. But I never feel like I am God's favorite.

I don't often feel like I do anything that makes God like me. I don't often feel like I have made him proud, or pleased. I know he loves me and his son died for me, and that is because I am his child and I am his blood and I belong to him, and so he cannot help but love me. But often I feel like that frustrating, annoying, difficult child who can't get things right and just makes things more complicated. I get scared that my own parenting mirrors the beliefs I hold about God and it just kills me. I know it's kind of ridiculous, and probably completely wrong, but it feels right.

I have huge trouble with the idea that God could look down on my and delight in me. I feel like he is just looking down, going "What's she done again?" a lot of the time. I feel so much that I have to work to earn God's liking and I never ever manage it, because I am such a selfish creature.

The Bible tells me that he likes me, that he delights in me.

He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me. Psalm 18:19 

The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. Zephaniah 3:17

 For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; Psalm 149:4

I know it. But it is head knowledge, not heart knowledge. I'm not quite sure how to go about making it heart knowledge. But I know I carry around an awful lot of false guilt. I am a sinner, heaven knows I mess up so much. But my sin is forgiven and gone because of Jesus' sacrifice. So my guilt should be gone as well. That's a much harder beast to conquer. I know my guilty feelings feed directly into my belief that God doesn't like me, and I know it is false and robbing me of so much.

And while you'd think that the guilt would be the explanation, I don't think it (solely) is. I think I also have trouble understanding the heart of God. I still believe that he is capable of withholding himself, that he treats the free gift of grace, and therefore his goodwill like something that must be earned. Even though I know that he all that is good and pure and lovely and kind.

 I know so much of this is directly affecting the way I act now, the way I love others. but it's bloody hard ignoring things you feel to be true. I'm trying to figure out how. I'm working on trying to believe that He is a God who adores me. And when he sees me broken, and tired and sad and dirty, he doesn't get frustrated or angry or fed up with me, but rather he sees my brokenness and his heart breaks for me. I'm trying to believes that he picks me up, and adores me. That there are things about me that he finds endearing, and delightful. That I am his favourite. That there are aspects of me that he would never ever change. It's hard, but I'm trying.

 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Deep thinks

I'm kind of battling a fair bit at the moment. With the concept of church, and the way I do church in particular. I'm struggling to understand why we do everything we do. Why we put so much emphasis and energy into a Sunday morning, and we work so hard, to make things look so good. I don't know if everything we do on a Sunday actually achieves much, you know? There is a world full of broken people with no hope, and we are hidden away in our buildings, worrying about this program and that program, making sure the music is current, and the graphics are cool, and talking about how to reach the unchurched. But sometimes it feels like all we do is talk, and keep ourselves really busy. Somehow, we end up placing too much importance on things that really don't matter, and we ignore the stuff that is really important. We put smiles on our faces, and joy in our voices, and we put so much effort into making sure that we are all just beautiful plastic shells that are broken inside. 

It feels like we are this bunch of people who get together once a week to have meaningless superficial conversations. We have two minutes of small talk, and have these deep spiritual conversations, but we don't really know anything real about each other and we walk away lonely. I know I'm part of the problem. I keep people at a distance sometimes because I don't know how to talk to them. But I simply cannot believe that I am the only one who feels this way?

We talk lots about how good God is. And yes, He is good. I believe it with all my heart. But somehow it feels like we are talking about this superficial bandaid good. A good that makes everything look pretty, but leaves an ugly wound festering deep inside that is eventually going to cause that leg to get gangrene. I believe in the kind of good that sometimes has to rebreak the broken leg, and make you scream and cry out in pain, because baby, there's no anaesthetic. But yet somehow, you manage to walk around (much, much later) without any kind of limp.

I am so desperately tired of bandaids. I want the real fix.

To be honest, I'm a little bit broken hearted. I still love God. But I don't quite know where He is. Or something. Sometimes I wonder if I even know who He is. I get scared that I will be that Christian too busy wandering around with her head up her ass, so that she doesn't even recognize Jesus when she meets Him face to face. 

know that people are people, and just because we are Christians does not make us programable Jesus-bots (although sometimes, I really wish we were). But still, it's hard sometimes when you feel a bit let down by people. I am hurt, mostly on behalf of some people I love, but I think I am also hurt, because I truly believed we were different. And the thing is, when I am hurt, and angry, and frustrated at people, I am also hurt and angry and frustrated at me too. Because I know that I let Him down.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep." ( John 21:15-18 NIV)

I'm not feeding his sheep. I'm not. I'm the person Jesus tells three times, and I still don't get it. So how can I be dissolutioned by others who don't? Believe me, when I am sitting here having these deep thinks and pointing fingers, I am pointing at myself. I'm so bone-weary just making it through some days, that I don't even have the energy to think about feeding any sheep. I just don't know how. And of course, there are times when I am prompted to do some sheep feeding, and I always manage to screw it up somehow.

I am hurt. But I also do the hurting. I am let-down, but I know I've let others down. I am alone, but I leave others on their own too. When i talk about not understanding the church, I freely acknowledge that I am the church. And I want to be the church. But I want to be the church that I believe in, you know? I don't really know what it is I'm asking, or what it is I'm trying to say. But maybe when I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

4 and 2 and a half.

My children are growing right before my eyes. And yet, every day is Groundhog Day. The same thing, all the time. Each hour, each day flows seamlessly into the next, and because I am the closest person to these tiny humans, I sometimes forget that they are, in fact not going to be like this forever. I want them to grow up, and live and do, and be. But sometimes I am terrified for them, because sadly, futures are not always rosy. And I wish I could keep back just a tiny little bit of baby-ness of my own, for always. Just to snuggle up with every now and then.

I sometimes think life would be much nicer if you could pick and choose which days to live according to your needs. So, for a few days you could be a grown up and go to work, and then when you were really weary of that, you could be a baby for a little while and sleep lots, and be taken care of. When you are old and lonely and tired, you could go back to being a Mummy of small children when you are being touched all the time. I know it wouldn't work of course. But still, you know.


So, being just-recently-four is really hard, I think. My Georgie-girl, she has very definite ideas about things. Her line of 'traffic' in the morning when she plays with her cars must be just so. And when things fall apart as her brother (inevitably) destroys that oh-so-precious row of cars, they fall apart big time. There are so many big emotions encased in that little body. She feels all the feels. And I must admit, often I am not overly empathetic. It's hard when you have a child who acts like everything is an emergency. It gets a bit like the boy who cried wolf some days. I worry for her, I hope that she will be able to manage her feelings okay, in this big feelings-inducing world.

She is working out her world, and oh, the questions! Whoever said the average four year old asks 437 questions a day, was not lying. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked What is for dinner? What are we doing now? What will we do tomorrow? What will we do this afternoon? I would be a very wealthy woman. My girl is into dressing ups in a big way. She loves Frozen and is happiest when she is dressed in her Princess Elsa costume. She has three pairs of dress-up high heels, and we have had countless negotiations about where we can wear them.

She doesn't sleep very well at night. And while, that used to bother me so much, (Because she was such a good sleeper for the first couple of years of her life) I am slowly learning to roll with it. She often creeps into our bed in the middle of the night, and I sometimes end up moving into her bed for some space. Other times I end up squished into her bed with her like a sardine in a can, inhaling her childish loveliness. Mostly I long to have an uninterrupted night's sleep with nobody touching me. But I know, this too shall pass, and one day I will miss it.

She and her brother are either best friends, or fighting like wild cats. Some days they are at each others throats constantly, and it drives me insane, because they are both as bad as each other, constantly teasing, and shouting and goading one another. Someone is always running to me complaining about something their sibling has done. There is a constant battle over who gets to open a door first, or turn off the TV. But the next minute, they are playing happily, giggling to one another, or cuddling up in bed. I really want my kids to take care of each other, and be kind to each other. I think it is so important for siblings to be friends, and I hope my kids always like their family.

Two and a half

Goodness, I like two and a half. Master Charles is busy. I'm pretty sure I said this about Georgie too, but truly, he is one of the busiest little people I have ever known. If he is awake, he is doing. I often say Charlie only has two modes. On or Off. He is a brilliant sleeper, mostly it takes an earthquake to shift him, and generally he only wakes at night for a good reason. But when he is awake, it is all systems go!

Sometimes it is slightly terrifying, finding out what Charlie has been up to. A couple of weeks ago he had an obsession with finding out what was inside of eggs, and I think he managed to crack over a dozen eggs in the space of a week whenever anyone's back was turned. He also scares me sometimes because he thinks he is so very capable. We had to re-secure the drawer where the sharp knives are kept. "I do it!" is a constant catch-cry.

He is always doing. One of his favourite pastimes is digging in the backyard. Poor Shane often gets frustrated when he comes home and sees what Charlie has been up to. Our once pristine lawn now has tiny little piles of dirt and gravel through it, which makes it really fun to mow. But Charlie loves it. He loves to go to 'work' with Daddy. Shane often takes him out with him, when he does boy things, and the little man heart adores it. He has a little high vis shirt that he wears for 'work' and it is so cute.

I love his tiny little deep voice. He is getting so big! But he is good at reminding us that he is "Only little!" He can be quite rough and physical, but he is nice. He is a very kind, considerate little soul for all his rambunctious ways, and I hope that will always be so. He is still a bit of a Mummy's boy, and often when we are out at playgroup or something, he will get upset if he loses track of me. But when Shane is around every inch of him belongs to his Daddy. He just adores his Father, and if Shane is home there is always a Charlie shaped shadow following him.

Four and Two and a half makes for a very full life. And while, sometimes it threatens to overwhelm me, mostly I am very grateful, and I do like it very much.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Begin again tomorrow

Oh, today! Today mostly kicked my butt. My little girl may have just recently turned four, but at times she is still such a threenager. I tried today, I really really did. But you know how it is, when sometimes you go to bed stuffed with good intentions, dreaming of the wonderful things you will do when you wake up.... and that is the morning when tiny little imps have siphoned out all your good intentions and left you with with a Very Bad Mood?

Well today me and my Very Bad Mood went off to Zumba class, and we tried really hard to ignore it and suck it up when a little person made me stop every flipping two minutes. Today I tried to soothe the Very Bad Mood with coffee from the drive through window after Zumba and a play in the park. But alas, by the time we got home, the Very Bad Mood collided with Impossible To Please Daughter, and together that spawned and mutated into An Epic Loss Of Temper with bonus Blinding Rage. It wasn't good.

I haven't lost my temper like that in a really long time. And I hate, hate, hate the fact that my poor small girl always seems to bear the brunt of my outbursts. We both had a good howl and I apologized, but 'sorry' doesn't magically erase all the hurt. Sometimes I get so very frightened of the emotional bruises and scars my babies will be left with. I want so badly to be the mother they deserve, but it is so, so hard. I swear, you never realise how incredibly selfish you are until you become a parent. It's not a very nice thing to find out about yourself.

Anyway, as a result, today has been a bit suckful. I have been feeling guilty and ashamed and hating on myself a fair bit. It's hardest to forgive yourself, I think. My children, they are lovely and forgive me straight away. There are lots of lessons I need to learn from them.

But husbands who come home and help pick up the pieces make things a bit better, as do mothers who provide a shoulder to cry on. Music helps too.

Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?

Monday, July 28, 2014

How to deal

I am still battling. Every morning, I still have to kind of force myself to face the day. Goodness I am looking forward to the day when just being, is not a hard task. But in the meantime, I am trying really hard to figure out what helps.

Music. It makes me feel. And I really really need to feel. Listening to music, for me, makes me feel a bit like a person who is coming up for air after being underwater for a really long time. Music helps me get along with those jobs that I just hate. It speaks to my soul. It helps me talk to god. It just helps.

Words. I have always loved words. When I was younger, I can remember picking up the bottles of toilet cleaner when I was in the bathroom, and reading the bottles. Just because. I love the way words help keep my head occupied, I love the way stories help. Words help keep my mind busy so that it can't think too much. I have this thing for song lyrics. I remember an awful lot of words. They seem to get tattooed onto my brain. One day I want to put words together and see them print. I want to make people think and feel with my words. I hope I figure out how to one day.

Exercise helps too. A lot. Lately I have been riding my bike. Shane and I are training to do a bike race in September. I am only planning to do the 10k. But I have been doing up to 20k every second day lately. It makes me proud to make my body move. It makes me grateful that I have a body that does move. There are many many things I don't like about my body. But I like that it is quite strong. It is good for me to keep moving. It helps my head a lot. 

Bible. I have been reading my bible like never before. I wouldn't say it is easy. And sometimes I still lapse. But I have been reading it more than ever before. Even though I have no idea how to translate everything I read into my own life, and when I do, I screw it up. For example. It's all good to read 1 Peter 3:8. Where the bible says do not repay insult with insult, and I know it applies to me. But still, the  next morning when someone says something and I'm in a bad mood, I can promise you the words out of my mouth are not nice. I think it's harder when you try to change to be honest. I think I will always be a work in progress. And often the work is done wrong, because I rush ahead of the builder, thinking I know where he's going. Of course I don't, and we have to waste a lot of time redoing my mistakes. But still, change is happening.

I'm glad God loves me. 

For now, I'm just trying to focus on the basics. I know He is with me, and I will just continue to do the best I can. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Making moments memories

I've had this stirring inside me lately, to get my words out. I lost my blogging mojo. Big time. I was almost thinking about pulling the plug here completely. But I don't think I want to anymore.

For a long time, I loved blogging. I wrote stories about my little family and it was good. But then I started to watch the stats, and I got a little excited, and then I got a bit consumed. I started to get blog envy (a truly terrible thing). Not long after that, I went to a dark place, and blogging became a bit of a lifeboat. Slowly the darkness was edged out by the light. But then I didn't know what to write anymore. I didn't quite know how. And so I stopped.

I think I would like to start again. I want to write more stories. I want to write down the memories. I've been reading back over old entries, and remembering. My writing invokes my memories like nothing else. I don't need to be the best, or the cleverest, or the funniest. I just need to write, for me and mine. And even though there is still struggle, and more often than not, there is limping from one disaster to the next, occasionally there is running, and hopping, and skipping. And it is glorious. So, I'm going to try again.  Because these moments need to be memories.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Shiny Happy People

So, lately things round here have been pretty darn great. I feel like maybe (maybe) we have reached a little season of calm. And I am just so very grateful. My babies, my husband, my life. I am blessed, exceedingly and abundantly, and I know it. I look at Georgie and Charlie and the ages they are right now, the way they are, I just feel so much more relaxed, and at ease. I feel like this is a time of less pressure, and stress with them and I just love it. 

 But the truth is, it's not all like that. It never can be all like that. There are always challenges mixed in with the blessings, and storms as well as sunshine.

You know, I think social media does us a disservice sometimes. You look at peoples facebook pages, or flick through your instagram feed, and the whole world seems to be having an awesome life. And here you are in your lonely little corner, and you've just had a fight with your husband and your dog has peed on the carpet, and everything just feels so damn ordinary.

If you looked at my facebook page, or Shane's, you would be forgiven for thinking we live the most beautiful life. And we do, but it is also intermingled with seasons of heartbreak, and loneliness, and hard work. But the thing is, that's life. And the shiny happy image, only tells half the story.

We have had a rough couple of years. Years where I wasn't sure if we were going to make it, where I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. I have been lower, and sadder and more desperate than I ever imagined possible. I have heard the enemy whisper darkness into my ear, and I have believed him.

But I am not alone. Every single step of the way, my God has been with me. He has been faithful when I was faithless. He has been strong in my weakness. He has been perfect, despite my imperfections.

Sometimes I feel a little... robbed or cheated or something. I look at photos of a newborn Charlie, and a baby Charlie, and sometimes all I remember is how hard it was. I feel like I have failed my children, and my family so much in the past few years. I've been selfish, oh so selfish! And I feel guilty.

But you know what God sees? He sees a beautiful history, filled with growth, and change. He sees the times I fell down but, instead of failure, he sees that I asked for his help. He sees all the times we were broken, and we allowed him to do work that he has been desperate to do.  He sees me. He is proud. And he Loves me. That's what I need to see too.

I don't want to compare myself to the pretty pictures anymore. Real life is hard, and beautiful, and raw, and awful, and lovely. But it is just so much better.

Learning Lessons

I often wonder, as a parent, How on earth can I teach my children lessons, that I am still learning myself?

I took the kids for a walk this afternoon in the double pram. And Charlie was fiddling with the hood of the pram, pushing it up, and down, and up and down.... it was irritating and he was going to jam his fingers. So I asked him to stop. He didn't of course, so I held the hood in place so he couldn't move it anymore. He realised I had spoiled his fun, so he got cranky, and kicked his sister.

I got up him, and told him. "When you are angry, and upset, it is not okay to take that out on somebody else!"

And as s the words came out of my mouth, I realised how much I needed to hear them. I remembered myself, earlier in the day. I had been clipping our dog Chloe, which is one of those jobs I just hate. The clippers must have gotten a bit hot, and hurt Chloe, and she yelped and tried to bite the clippers. But, because I was in hot and cranky and frustrated... I smacked her. And my reaction was exactly the same as my two year old's.

There are so many lessons, so many things that I want to get right for my kids. But the truth is, they are the lessons I am still learning and re-learning every day.

I guess we just have to learn together.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Radio silence

So everything has been pretty quiet on the blogging front lately. Why? Pick a reason, any reason. Life is busy, I'm fah-reaking exhausted, and somewhere along the line, the desire to write stuff down has kind of left me. Any of those things could account for it.

But one of my biggest problems has been.... Just being a parent. The simple truth is, I am not the mother I wanted to be. I'm not the mother I hoped to be, and I'm not anywhere close to being the mother I ever imagined I'd be. 

My kids are fed, clothed, bathed, and kept busy with an endless stream of play dates, park visits, swimming lessons and various social occasions. (Seriously, their social Calender is much more exciting than mine). But I'm failing big time, on so many of the things that I really think are important.

I'm not very disciplined, as a mother. I've always been a bit more spontaneous I guess. I like routine. But the discipline of it is hard. There is nothing like having two small children to nip spontaneity in the bud. But I still need to learn to do the dishes every night, and fold clothes every day, not just when it takes my fancy.

But it goes much deeper than something so simple as housework. I find it hard to give my kids structure at times, cooking nutritious meals (that they will eat) is such a chore. I worry, so much about the damage that I do. I lose my temper far too easily, and there are times when I get so incredibly anxious and I just cannot wait to have both my kids asleep in their beds, so that my body can finally relax.

I want to raise them to become good people. I want to teach them how to be kind, and considerate, and empathetic. I want to give them a thirst for learning, and a zest for life. I want them to be brave, and adventurous, and gentle. I want to show them the value of living with purpose and passion, and discipline. I want to show them how to love God, and live out your faith. But I just don't know how.

Also, It's little things, which are little, but important. Like the fact that my boy does not listen to me, and I can't be bothered to enforce the words I say. I never thought I'd be that parent. It's the whining three year old, that I just want to tune out because I don't know how to deal with her. It's the fact that my children spend far, far too much time watching television like mindless zombies because it's easier.

I am apathetic about parenting. And I hate that. I never thought I would be this mother. But I don't quite know how to change, I am working on it though, 

But at any rate, that kind if explains the radio silence.

Friday, January 31, 2014

A bit of honesty...

Today, after all my excitement and big thinking, I have un-enrolled in my nursing degree. My feelings are a little... mixed, about it all.

I know it's right, I'm sure it's right. But still.

I still want to do it, someday I think. I would like to be a nurse. But not right now. I knew, I think I always knew that something about it all just wasn't sitting right. I probably tried to ignore that not-rightness for a while. But this morning, I took the kids for a walk, and really, really talked to God for the first time in a long time. And I just got that knowledge, (that still small voice) You need to un-enroll in university.

If I'm being really, really honest about it all. Which, lets face it, has always been my goal in this blog. I don't think I had my priorities right. I would like to be a nurse, or do something one day. But much of this stemmed from me searching for some kind of validation, I guess.

Because this. My life. So, so much of it is really unrewarding. I spend so many moments of my life feeling inadequate, feeling frustrated, feeling guilty. I often feel like I am doing so many, many things wrong in this parenting gig, and often I struggle to see the bigger picture.  I'd like to feel important. Like who I am, what I do, what I contribute to the world matters. And I don't really get that feeling from motherhood. Often, I don't feel like I am enough.  I thought I could get that feeling from doing a little bit of something extra that was for me. Honestly I guess I really and truly believed that that piece of paper I would work to achieve would make me matter more. And that's a lie. I know it. But at times it feels true. 

I didn't take into account what would be best for my family, for my little people, for my husband. In different circumstances it could work. It might have been more possible if it was a different kind of study, one that didn't have so much prac involved. It might have been easier if we lived somewhere different, if my kids were older. It certainly is possible. But right now it wouldn't have been what is best.

Often the task of raising my babies feels like something that is too hard, and often it feels like it should be my turn to put my own needs first. But I know that is my own selfish nature talking, and it is not the one that will lead me the right way. I am in a position where I am blessed enough to be able to stay home and look after my children. It might be different if I wasn't. Even though I feel some days that there is space in my life for study and a career.... If I want to be the mother I am supposed to be, if I want to be the person that God created me to be, right now, in my life? There just isn't.

This isn't easy. But really, neither was study going to be. I had enrolled in my courses for the semester and I was excited, but it was a kind of nervous, frantic excitement. It didn't feel peaceful, or right. It was just making me feel overwhelmed, and stressed.

I need to learn how to be more disciplined in what I do now, before I even think about trying to add more into my life. I need to be mindful, and have purpose in raising these tiny humans. Not just lurch from one disaster to the next. I need to learn how to do more than survive. I need to wait on God's perfect timing, not rush ahead and try to pretend like I know better than He does. I need to do my best with what I have been given now, not act like a petulant child who wants to go on and do something else because the task in front of them seems too hard.

I need to believe that I am enough. That who He is makes me enough. That being who He has called me to be is enough. I don't want to be lied to by the world, and fall into the trap of believing that a woman who spends her days looking after her children and her household has no value. Who I am, what I do, has value. Because of Him.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Lessons learned in parenting

Teaching your child how to apologise, by being the first one to say sorry.

This one and I, we have had a few issues this week. Sometimes it's her fault, sometimes it's mine. She has been throwing all kinds of attitude my way, and has been having some really rough nights. Consequently, so have I. I've been really grumpy and much less patient. We are all a bit tired and run down. 

I need to remember that being three and a half years old can be really, really hard work.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Afternoon light


Today we took the kids to ride their bikes to the park. Georgie is getting so good at riding her bike "by her own self." Charlie was more intent on pushing Georgie on the bike than riding his own. I took a few photos on Shane's phone, and they are blurry and out of focus because I was too busy watching my children grow to worry myself with getting the perfect shot. The sun was golden, the air was fresh, and my people were happy. It was a good day to be alive.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Finding joy

Every day comes with it's own set of unique challenges and difficulties. But every day also brings at least one little nugget of joy. This year, I want to start hunting the joy more, and I want to record it. My kids really are amazingly hilarious at times, and I want to remember how funny they are.

So. This morning Charlie had a bit of nappy rash owing to the fact that he spent a fair portion of the day yesterday in a wet swim nappy. We had our big blow-up pool set up and the kids had a ball. Charlie has managed to live his two and a bit years on this earth without getting nappy rash very often. So this morning when I was changing his nappy he was crying because it was hurting as I put the cream on. In the midst of his tears he asking "Ice pack!?"  "Ice pack, bottom, mummy?!" It was so very cute. 

Yesterday, while Georgie was eating her dinner, she was stung by a wasp. (It was a bit random) she started screaming, and I thought her dinner must have been too hot. But then we realised she had a bite on her chest, and we saw a wasp flying around the kitchen. The poor darling, it must've really hurt. Anyway, later that night when she was going to bed and we were praying, thanking God for the people we love and the things we had done, she had to thank God for the bug that bit her. I think there could be a lesson in that.

I do love them.

Monday, January 6, 2014


Goodness, there is just so much I could write about. I need to write about how cute my boy is now that he is two, how much my girl has grown, and how she is turning into a delightful little person. I need to write down some of the crazy and sad that is in my head sometime, and I need to write about how blessed I am, how grateful I am for so many precious people in my life. There are lots of posts I have written inside my head that have never made it past my fingertips. Oh, there are so many, many things I need to tell you. But for now, I will tell you this.

I have been accepted into University to study Nursing. To be honest I am terrified. I am scared I don't have the mental capacity to do the study, and I am not sure that I am cut out to be a nurse. Some of the feedback I have received from those around me has been.... Less than positive, which is a bit hard.  I  am only going to be studying part time, but still, I am not sure how on earth I am going to manage to study and navigate clinical placements while juggling motherhood. There is so much that is scary and uncertain, and I am really not confident about this at all.

But I really really want it do it.

I would like to be a nurse. I find people and their bodies and their inner workings really fascinating. I want to help people. I like to be busy, I like practical, and I like hands-on. I want to help people. I would like to have a skill that is useful, and I want to be able to earn money and help support my family one day. I would really like to start using my head, for something that entirely unrelated to mothering, or housework. I have no idea how this year is going to go, and I am not sure if this is what I am supposed to be doing, but I am really hoping that if it's not, then it might help put me in the way of whatever it is I am supposed to do. I am excited, and really nervous. 

And so, we will just see.

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