Monday 22 June 2015

My Revelation

It has been quite a while since I felt moved to share a personal experience in church. But today, for whatever reason, God has put it on my heart to share this, so share I will. 

It's funny. The last 2-3 months I have been struggling, flailing, floundering, and failing, I have been trying to push forward, trying to "get ahead", trying to find a way I can go back to work so we can have more money. Trying to move forward, grow, bring something more into our house, provide more than I do. Be better than I am. 

Trying, fighting, struggling, failing. 

The reason? I have been doing all this alone. Not in conversation with my family or friends, not in conversation with my husband or kids, and certainly not in conversation with God. 

Almost in silence, I was trying to achieve things, and not even I was sure of what it was, I was blinding ploughing forward, irrespective of everyone and everything else around me. 

I thought, if I could get "there", wherever there was, that "things" would be better. Pretty vague huh? 

To be a Christian, to me, is to accept Jesus as our saviour, to accept He sacrificed all on Calvary, so that we could be free from sin. Part of all that is also accepting God as the author of our lives. And so, I should want only to follow His path. 

This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow. (Isaiah 48:17 NLT)

Obviously blindly walking along is not what I mean. One cannot just blindfold themselves, sit at the wheel and drive, with Faith steering the car safely. Rather, to follow Gods path, to follow His plans for our lives, we need to stop. We need to listen. We need to pause our lives every once in a while. We need to pray for direction.

Every author uses the Semi colon (;) in his books. Its a point where a sentence could end, but instead, after a pause, it continues. Its used to pause, refocus, to take note of what has been said, and then continue on with the sentence. To make you reflect on where the sentence has been and where it is going. Emphasis. 

It is ok, in fact it is good, to use the semi colon in our lives. To pause, reflect on what has been and what may be ahead. To stop and listen. Get direction. So you can continue on the right path. To pray for guidance so that you take the next steps on His path, and not just your own path. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT)

And that is what I have failed to do. Pray. And that is why I have failed in trying to get "there". Without Prayer, without consultation with God, how can I know where this mysterious "there" is? Clearly I want to follow His path, but I am never going find it on my own, in my own time, by myself. 

Today, for a moment I paused, as someone at church, giving a communion message, made me stop & think. I could almost hear God say "FINALLY!!". And, in almost a rush of revelation, as if I would quickly start trying on my own at any second, He revealed some very important insights to me. 

For God to reveal the next steps in my path, OUR path in fact, I must pray. We must pray together. As a couple. As a family. For us to know where next to tread, we must first consult with God, together, so that we take the right path, not only for ourselves, but for our family. 

I must step outside my comfort zone. Individual prayer is something I'm used to. It's safe. If I say the "wrong" thing, I know God won't judge me as he looks beyond the words to my heart. But I worry about judgement from others, even my own husband. So I avoid praying with others. 

And as if all that wasn't enough, at the end of our service, our Pastor brought up Baptism. I have not been baptised. Our church seems to love doing baptism in winter & I don't want to get in the freezing cold water & be baptised in the middle of winter. So I have never put my hand up & mentioned I would like to be baptised. But God clearly said NOW is your time today. It is not about my comfort, or about the temperature of the water. It is about cleansing my spirit, giving myself to God and His purpose for my life. It is about pushing further into relationship with Him. And so, despite all these negative thoughts rushing through my head, I said "really? *sigh* Ok then". 

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all. (Ephesians 4:5-6 NLT)

If feel you are struggling in life, maybe it's time to use a semi colon. Have a momentary pause, to reflect & to pray & to listen. It may not be what tou want to hear, what you are looking for, but I can guarantee you if it is His path for your life, it WILL have a fantastic ending and you will definitely be happy! 

Saturday 21 March 2015

Renovating Rambles

My poor Dad.

We live in his house. On his property. In the most gorgeous semi rural area.

When he bought this house, it was for Himself, Miss (now) Teen & Myself. 

The day we moved in Dec 2007 

Monday 9 March 2015

Australian Animals Week - Preschool Homeschooling

Given where we live (semi rural area) Mini Miss has seen Kangaroo's since she was born on a daily basis. They are nothing new to her, but suddenly her interest was peaked by watching 2 young males having a fight in our backyard. 

The idea of Aussie Animals week was born.

We started off with something fun, an animal dice game. She rolls the dice, and whatever animal it landed on, she had to imitate...

Monday 2 March 2015

Making Pancakes is learning too - Green Goo Pancakes!

Mini Miss woke one morning and decided that it was a baking kind of day.

I went with it, choosing something easy, so she could help me. I do, afterall, love to cook!

Welcome to Green Goo Pancakes!

Friday 27 February 2015

Domino Maths

Doing child lead learning sometimes leads to lots of fun! 

Mini Miss was very keen to play with the dominoes last week. I was busy trying to clean up, so I tipped them out in an out of the way place. I told her that we would build the dominoes up to knock them down, once she sorted them into colours.

Mini Miss was very excited by this, and set about sorting the colours. As I worked, we talked about the colours. She then counted the number of each colour.

Monday 23 February 2015

Our Search for the Tardis!

As you may already know, I am a geek. Our family are geeks. 

And we all love Doctor Who.

So when I recently heard about a Tardis being discovered on a property only hours away, I knew immediately that I would have to try and find this Tardis.

So a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure (read minor torture!) of driving Miss Teen and her friend to see One Direction in concert. This was to be their first concert without adult supervision, so I brought Mr Moo along for the ride too. 

After a couple of days in Brisbane, exploring the city, we headed home. This Tardis was said to be on a property north west of Ballina, about 1/2 way between Brisbane and home. So we explored.

So off we went, down winding roads, in the middle of nowhere. Possibly getting lost, but all too excited to care. 

After driving for about an hour. We stopped in this little town. The people in the pub stared that "you aren't from around here" stare, as we stretched our legs. 

Then I couldn't get my keys out of the ignition. Then my car wouldn't start! Thankfully, the local mechanic was a lot more friendly and patient, as the reason they keys wouldn't come out and it wouldn't start was so silly, I should have known. My car needs to be in park in order for the keys to come out, and it needs to be running to put it into park, and it needs to be in park to start! 

My car was in Drive still.

Anyway, while I was making a fool of myself, Miss Teen and friend asked around in the 2 or 3 little shops in this incredibly small main street about the Tardis. Eventually, the take away shop owner said "oh yeah, that Doctor who thing!" and had very good directions! 

More driving down roads I probably shouldn't have been driving in my little sedan (definitely 4WD country this was!), but we made it! Guarded by a Dalek, was a life size, beautiful Tardis, in all its blue glory!!

What followed was a lot of silliness as we all posed with our new discovered Tardis, and dreamed of it being REAL!!

I remember once, not so long ago, that I would have never done this sort of impromptu exploring. I was always so rushed, in a hurry to get home, do chores, get to work, get home.....go go go.....

Slowly I am learning. Kids are only kids for a little while. All too soon they are grown up and ready to leave home. Sometimes its ok to stop the rushing, and just have fun. Be a bit silly. Explore. 

Without breaking down. Or getting lost. 

This was just lots of fun! 

Saturday 21 February 2015

The Solar System

If you follow my FACEBOOK page, then you would know that recently I have become very interested in homeschooling my muddled kids!

Miss Teen is already set up with Distance Education and is doing much better with her work in 2 weeks than she did all last year at school!

Mini Miss, watching Miss Teen do her work, wanted her own "school work", so I have reintroduced Activity Monday into our everyday lives. I am actively schooling her through craft, play, science experiments, tv shows, ipad apps and even YouTube videos. We also do worksheets when she insists on being just like her big sister! 

I am letting her lead the way to a degree, so when she started to show a big interest in the Solar System, I thought we should explore that interest further.

First we did some craft.

We made a name rocket, using THIS original idea. This was great building the rocket, spelling out her name, gluing (one of her favourite things to do) and decorating it.

Then we moved onto the Solar System. We watched some You Tube videos using these links from Natural born homeschoolers

Then we built our own solar system. We talked about all the planets, their position in the solar system. We talked about the sun and how its a ball of gas and super hot. Mini Miss was just soaking it all up and asking lots of questions.

Then finally we finished off with some free craft time using printables from Picklebums. As Mini Miss pasted her cut outs, she told a little story to me about the astronaut taking the aliens space ship and how they worked out how to share. Very cute!

So our first experience with focusing on homeschooling = success. 

Do you home school? 

Do you have solar system activities or videos that your kids love?

Feel free to share below!!

Thursday 15 January 2015

I'm the Mum of THAT child

You know the child I mean. The one that runs wildly through the shopping centre, with no regard for other people. The child whose tantrum over the fact I've sat her in the trolley can be heard for miles. The child who seems unperturbed by her mother trying to keep calm and not cry while talking to her, trying her absolute best to control her and make her understand what she is doing, her behaviour, is simply not socially acceptable.

Yes, I said her. People look more, I think, because she's a girl. They pay more attention, stare. Normally THAT child is a boy, and a boy, well you can write their behaviour off. "Boys will be boys" "oh maybe he has autism or a behavioural issue". Apparently girls don't suffer from these things. They are automatically well behaved, they don't "get" autism or behavioural issues, they don't "suffer" from sensory processing difficulties. 

Except when they do.

My little wild child. My Mini Miss. My princess who marches to her very own beat. My smart clever little girl who almost has a photographic memory. She is THAT child.

Today I took the first step. I've known for a while she has difficulties. Today we got a referral to a pediatrician and I made the appointment immediately as I knew it would take time to get in to see him.
➡️ She cannot tolerate loud noises and will cover her ears and curl up into a ball, squinting her eyes shut too, as if that will help further block it out. 
➡️ She hates you touching her head and the only way to brush her hair is to completely immerse her in something else so she barely notices. She also hates clothes. 
➡️ She barely eats and will literally gag when food she doesn't know touches her mouth. Literally I can get her to eat Ham, Cheese slices, chicken nuggets, Vegemite sandwiches, and occasionally apples and strawberries. That is mainly what her diet consists of, with maybe 1-2 other things very occasionally. But never anything she hasn't had before. 
➡️ Don't attempt to make eye contact with her. She will simply roll her eyes in every other direction and if you try and force her, she simply closes her eyes.
➡️ Meltdowns occur over the littlest things, such as playing the Frozen soundtrack on random instead of "from the ice song, the first song", or not saying hello to the camels when we pass them in their paddock, and a major tantrum can last hours. And you can't comfort her, she will push you away and scream more.
➡️ Repetition. The same games over and over. The same song has to be listened to over and over and over again. If you change it....meltdown.
➡️ Knowledge rules her life, if we want that life to be calm. She wakes up each morning and asks "what's our day mummy?" Which means, what day is it and what are we doing. She needs that run down on what to expect. She knows what regular activities happen on what days. If those activities don't happen, there has to be a good reason. The first week after swimming went on break for summer holidays we had a meltdown as she "needed" to be at her lesson.

There is so much more, but you get the idea.

On the up side, she is so smart. At 3.5 we are doing pre reading and simple sight words. She can count to 20, and back down, she can count by 10's to 100. She knows all her shapes, including 3d shapes, and all her colours. She has a facination with Egypt and can rattle off facts about pyramids and mummies and the river Nile. She also LOVES space & learning about the planets, stars & moons.

So I am THAT mother of THAT child. I'm not sure if she has a medical or behavioural problem. If she has a sensory processing problem. Or if maybe, she's just one of a kind.

But I do know she doesn't react like other kids her age. She's not naughty, at least not on purpose (most of the time. She can be purposely defiant at times too, like your typical threenager!) When she does finally realise what she did was wrong, and sometimes it takes a LONG time for her to get it, she is so full of remorse, it's almost like a depression at times. 

So the next time you see a mother with a "wild" toddler, one who seems out of control, stop and think. Does that mother look exhausted? Does she look like she is trying her utmost to control this little bundle of energy? Does her child look like he, or she, is behaving this way on purpose, to be naughty? Does that mother ther look like she loves her child even though they seem possessed? 

Maybe don't be so quick to judge. Don't be so quick to say something nasty, or tell that mother about "back in your day". It's not helpful. Maybe instead try to feel some empathy. Give that mother a gentle understanding smile instead and go about your day. After all, this one interruption will only be a small part of it.

Chances are her child simply doesn't fit "the norm". And in a society where we are all taught a certain way, expected to act a certain way, when you don't fit the norm things are harder. Harder to teach, harder to fit in, harder to "control". It's not bad, it's not wrong, it's simply different. 

And in a world where we are trying to be accepting and tolerant of others religious and cultural differences, just maybe we should offer this same tolerance to THAT mother and her child. 

Chances are they are both doing the best they can.