Life isn't about getting to the destination

--it's about the journey. So don't think that you have to rush to get to the destination. The destination isn't important; the journey is the important part, what you take time for, what you learn and experience along the way. The journey is also where you find Me and where you learn about Me. That's what life is about, and if you don't take the time to get to know Me, then you will miss the meaning of the whole trip.

1.11.09

:)

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/bored_with_the_internet.jpg

5.10.09

Happy Birthday...


to a good friend. Hope you have a great one!

5.9.09

Thoughts from a life time church goer

This fellow has some good points. Good on him for speaking out.
Church could be the equivalent of united devotions, or fulfilling your 90 mins of daily word time.

29.8.09

Bloggers Bible

Here's something I came across and thought it was great.

22.8.09

To dye or not to dye?

As a teenager I loved to colour my hair. I have had almost every colour (at some point) apart from green & blue. I haven't coloured my hair for years now,
a) because its unusual to see people with hair my colour in this country
b) because I'm lazy
c) I hate the roots showing through. Ugh!

I read this blog post tonight and though it was worth reading and knowing about. My mum tells me this kind of stuff all the time, but then again while growing up she would say that chewing gum caused cancer and many other things that she felt were unhealthy and I should stay away from.
However, she might have a point about hair dye. Read it for yourself and decide.

21.7.09

Nuturing vs sheltering

I wrote this while pregnant with Miss #2 -and over 4 years later my opinion hasn't changed:

When my children are of age, they too will have to make the choice as to what kind of life they want to lead, and whatever their choice I will be there to support them and love them for it. They will have to make their own decisions, but I will know that I will have given them the best opportunities and experience to help them make an educated decision.


I'm happy to see that TFI's official stance is being spelt out clearly on the topic of children's education and child rearing. It's about time. :)

9.7.09

Pregnant and bicycling

Cycling is commonplace here in Japan. Everyone does it; kids, grannies, grandpas, buisnessmen in expensive suits, woman, fashionable young people, housewives, teenagers... it's a part of everyday life, cheap and practical.

It came as a surprise to me that several of my Japanese acquaintances have expressed alarm at the discovery that I bicycle while pregnant.
I didn't think anything was out of the ordinary, although I have yet to notice a Japanese woman on a bicycle while pregnant, I'm no extreme cyclist. I cycle to the local shops & parks on a footpath or side of the road a few times a week tops and with my 2 yr old in the child seat on the back of the bike 3/4 of the time. I'm pretty clumsy and have bad balance at the best of times, but I reckon I'm doing pretty good -no accidents or scrapes yet- and it's actually easier to cycle with Miss #3 behind me; smoother ride, better balance. :) I can't ride up hill at all and happily get off and walk my bike uphill whenever I encounter one. Yesterday I noticed our 80-something-year-old neighbour doing the same. Ha ha!

After a few hours of listening to Miss #1's classmates mothers express alarm and concern about cycling while pregnant I decided to look it up and see what all the fuss is about.

Here's what I found:

Bicycle Victoria info

Notice board with good suggestions


So if you're worried about bicycling while pregnant, you don't have to! Just follow these common sense tips and you should be fine:
Stay within your comfort zone
Carry a bottle of water
Don't ride uphill (unless you're a hardcore cyclist)
Drive safely
Running shoes are best (no high heels)
Don't ride on the road
Sit up straight & relax.

4.7.09

All in a days work...

Parenting... ahh, I love it. How else can you find humor in or experience these things?:


Watch the pleasure and surprise unfold simultaneously on your young childs face when a perfect stranger hands them a small gift.


Catch a 7-inch stool with your bare hand in the nick of time. Calmly wrap it in a tissue whilst guiding your stunned little one to the approprate place to excrete such things and directing the older ones to pick their jaws off the floor and continue with their chores . The carpet is SAFE! It could be worse.


Name the pigeon who built a nest in the tree at our gate. We get to watch her raise her babies. :)


Celebrate the newfound fearlessness of a 6 yr old who discovers that grasshoppers and dragonflies are harmless and easy to catch. (We're still waiting for her sisters to catch on)


Read the same story several days in a row, no less than 3 times a day until your 4 yr old has it memorised and "reads" (quotes it) to daddy upon his return. Realise that it has sparked an interest in drawing other things besides "puffy-dressed-princesses".


Enjoy the summer rain and notice that whoever passes by breaks into a grin as they watch your children play in the puddles as only children can.


Turn to see your child who was beside you a second ago stumble and fall on a downwards escalator then try to CRAWL back up it fingers just millimeters away from the comb; frantically hoist your other child onto your hip and struggle to climb back up the escalator to help your fallen child. Just when you realise you're not going to make it an angel (in the form of a large man with a shaved head, arrayed in t-shirt & shorts) suddenly appears from above, picks her up and carry's her down to you. You exhale and know that God answers prayers in an instant, even if all you had time to beam up was "Give me the strength".


Stare in wonder at the beauty and peace of a sleeping child and in that moment remember why you do this.

I stumbled upon this post today. It's amazing how reading about others difficulties and struggles can help you put your life in perspective. One can't help but admire their outlook.

23.6.09

What have I done today?

As I type this my recovering-from-sickness-daughters are coming to me with their dolls, begging me to play a game with them, help them change the dolls clothes, etc. and although I have "better" things to do, I will leave those things for later and play with them.

"Come on mummy, come and plllaaaaay with us!"

We shall do so much in the years to come,
But what have we done today?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,
But what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and shall dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer;
But what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the afterwhile,
But what have we done today?
We shall bring to each lonely life a smile,
But what have we brought today?
We shall give the truth a far grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a much deeper worth,
We shall feed the hung’ring souls of earth;
But whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
But what have we sown today?
We shall build us mansions up in the sky,
But what have we built today?
Oh, how sweet it is in fond dreams to bask,
But right here and now we must do our task,
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
“Just what have we done today?”

21.6.09

“I don’t believe in colleges and universities,” Ray Bradbury, 88, said. “I believe in libraries.”

Read more here.

10.6.09

A birthday surprise

My DH made this for me & played it on my birthday. The original version includes interviews with various people I lived and worked with as well as good friends; however it was too long to upload onto Youtube so I had to edit them out.

(As it turns out, there was a method to the madness)

I love you!



5.3.09

have been working on

Mia's school portfolio. And now that its complete you can view it here.

22.2.09

Meet my new best friends:

Mineral water


Tuna Onigiri


...and chicken sandwitches.

We get along fabulously.

This one has my has my name on it and I'm going to make it, oh so soon. -At least that's what I keep telling myself. ;) This one has my has my name on it and I'm going to make it, oh so soon. -At least that's what I keep telling myself. ;)
Recipe here.

12.2.09

I love this photo

My silly, silly girls

7.2.09

Fear came knocking at the door and faith answered it


In 1856, David Livingstone faced a grave peril in Africa. He was passing through the wild country of the native chief Mburuma. The chief was hostile & had been seeking to rouse the countryside against the man's expedition. Reports had been that he was seen creeping toward the camp!
Alone in his tent, Livingstone opened his Bible & read the Promise on which he had staked his life so often. Then he wrote in his diary,
"January 14, 1856. Evening. Felt much turmoil of spirit in prospect of having all my plans for welfare of this great region knocked on the head by savages tomorrow. But Jesus said, 'All power is given unto Me in Heaven & in Earth. Go ye therefore & teach all nations ... & lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.'
"This is the word of a Gentleman of the most strict & sacred honour, so that's the end of fear. I will not cross furtively tonight as I intended. Nay, verily, I shall take observations for latitude & longitude tonight, though they may be the last, I feel quiet & calm now, thank God!"

****





When Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary, first went to China, it was in a sailing vessel. Very close to the shore of cannibal islands the ship was becalmed, & it was slowly drifting shoreward unable to go about & the savages were eagerly anticipating a feast.
The captain came to Mr. Taylor & besought him to pray for the help of God. "I will," said Taylor, "provided you set your sails to catch the breeze." The captain declined to make himself a laughing stock by unfurling in a dead calm. Taylor said, "I will not undertake to pray for the vessel unless you will prepare the sails." And it was done.
While engaged in prayer, there was a knock at the door of his stateroom. "Who is there?"
The captain's voice responded, "Are you still praying for wind?"
"Yes."
"Well," said the captain, "you'd better stop praying, for we have more wind than we can manage."






****

Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps.

****



He does not lead me year by year
Nor even day by day,
But step by step my path unfolds;
My Lord directs my way.

Tomorrow's plans I do not know,
I only know this minute;
But He will say, "This is the way,
By faith now walk in it."

And I am glad that it is so,
Today's enough to bear;
And when tomorrow comes, His grace
Shall far exceed its care.

What need to worry then, or fret?
The God Who gave His Son
Holds all my moments in His hand
And gives them, one by one.
--Barbara C. Ryberg

For more of her poems

5.2.09


Find more HERE!
Quick access to older issues here

3.2.09

This blog is empty because:

Too much to write about.
So much on my mind.
Not enough prioritizing.

1.2.09

One liners to get you thinking

The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.

It's what you do when you have nothing to do that reveals what you are.

Where reason cannot wade, there faith may swim.

You can help someone change by asking Me how I see them, and then treating them that way. My love works miracles! -Jesus

21.1.09

It's Business Time

These guys rock! Txs Al'!)




6.12.08

Odd socks?

I really do have a good reason for this. See the misshapen foot -the RIGHT foot? Sigh... well its not just cos I have BIG feet, I mean, they might be big but they're not usually THAT ugly!



Just over a week ago I stubbed my toe real hard. But I'm getting ahead of myself and should start at the beginning. It was a difficult morning and things weren't going so well. I paused mentally (but not physically) to hear from the Lord and began receiving instructions about enjoying the moment and doing something different i.e. having a dress up Word time with the girls and acting out our Bible story while dancing to a song. Thinking to receive the rest of my directions on-the-go I began shouting out instructions to Chia & Amelie whilst striding briskly into our room to play an mp3 file. Next thing I knew I had stubbed my toe harder than I ever had in my life (and I'm pretty good at stubbing my toe, I reckon I could get some sort of award for "champion toe stubber.") This beauty below is the bane of my poor toe.


It was hard. Very hard. So hard I couldn't say a single bad word, only mouth "OH!" over and over. My toe was no longer even with my other toes, it was pushed up and onto my foot. It was definitely dislocated and maybe more.

Thankfully DH was home and took me to the doctor right away. My toe popped back into place when I tried walking. Big relief, but it still hurt not to mention was twisted at a 15 degree angle i.e. pointing out towards my pinky toe . The doc was nice and didn't subject me to too much prodding or twisting. He rubbed it a bit, put some cream on and said he didn't think I quite broke it, just hit it very hard, but if it still hurt in a few days I should go elsewhere and get an x-ray. He put a mini cast on, wrapped me up and sent me home.

So now you know what lies beneath & if you should see me wearing odd socks just pretend it's stylish. :) My foot is so fat only one pair of shoes fit me. Sniff sniff. I miss these already!

Anyways, vanity aside, the Lord showed me that this a gift from Him to help me slow down and work with my spirit helpers more. It has had the desired effect, as now Amelie can move faster than me, I have to choose between showering or cleaning the room, and not a day goes by that I don't think of how much I took for granted. I never thought that one little toe could effect my life so much, and I took good health for granted. Now I relate to old people that shuffle past me on the street, and am forced to slow down in general. I know this isn't a big deal, I'm not suffering, I am young, strong, healthy, will heal with time, and am whole in body, but really, think about it. We are so blessed with good health. So VERY blessed.

Another thing the Lord said was along the lines of learning humility through the things we suffer. Oooh, yes Sirree! I most certainly am learning that one, because it is humbling for me to ask others for help with little things, carrying baskets of wet laundry, chasing my kids, walking at a snails pace, asking people to slow down so I don't get left behind etc.

My foot now looks like this:

Yesterday I went to another doctor who was rather suspicious of how I injured my foot and took an x-ray. My toe is fractured and will take 2-3 months to heal completely. It doesn't hurt much now. Please pray I learn humility from this.

19.11.08

A recipie for Al'

Here it is.
It is pretty versatile and I'm sure you'll make fantastic quiches.
Here's hoping you'll like it as much as I.

15.11.08

I'm amazed!

I won something!


Well, to be honest, I didn't win the grand prize, but I did get a runner up prize. I've never won anything in my life -unless you count the time I won a yellow ribbon in a gymkhana competition for beginners when I was 11 yrs old.

Here is the competition I entered, just for fun. I love Instructibles and posted on a whim after photographing this baking session with two of my girls. I guess someone voted for my Instructible. :)

Yippie, I'm so excited & can't wait to get my book.

14.11.08

A creation


Something I created for my girls blog. Many thanks to A Print A Day for the design.

5.11.08

27.10.08

Lessons learnt

Something I have learned since the start of the Winning Offensive is the importance of personal presentation and looking the part.
I'm a full time teacher & would wake up and jump right into the day; personal grooming would consist of getting dressed and washing my face; pulling my (often) un-brushed hair back into a ponytail. After a while I would feel the way I looked: harried, tired, disorganized, unkempt and plain old uninspiring. It was the well meaning comments of friends and co-workers on a daily basis that finally got to me; "You look so tired today, are you feeling ok?", "Rough night?", and so on. As a parent of young children there are always rough nights, but I received these comments even when well rested and feeling great.
Around the same time I began meeting mothers in the neighborhood who would in turn introduce me to their friends. It turned out that many of them as well as their families and friends have seen me around the local area - taking the kids out, exercising, shopping, etc. & it was a bit surprising for me to realize that I was recognized.

My first child was born when I was 19 and I was a "no make up" type of girl, thinking that it was only for occasions such as Outreach, follow up, witnessing, parties etc. and subconsciously that mindset carried over with each child I've had. I also felt that I couldn't afford daily time to groom myself, after all there is laundry to be done, house to keep clean, kids to care for, meals to make, school to be corrected and more.

Now I'm in my mid 20's and that attitude doesn't cut it. Japanese place a high importance on outward appearance and personal grooming, and society expects mothers my age and older to dress neat, clean, on the conservative side, wear make up, and look the part.
While I won't get into the exact same look as those in secular society it has dawned on me that wearing a bit of make up on a daily basis adds a lot to my self esteem and appeals to those we are trying to reach. As the Lord has said "I want to explain that your image and how you look and come across are a big part of your testimony and sample. There is so much about this in the Word-for example, how rich people want to invest in a work that's thriving, and your appearance and how you carry yourself can sometimes determine whether or not they will invest in you, or see you and your cause as a worthwhile one. -Mature Beauty"

I spend 5-10 minutes every morning for personal grooming while listening to an inspirational audio file or music. My make up routine is minimal but the feeling of satisfaction I get when I catch sight of my reflection on bad days and look better than I feel makes me feel better, not to mention knowing that I look suitable for unexpected visitors or running an errand has boosted my self esteem & has inspired others in my home and area to do the same.
Even better than personal gratification is the influence it has on my children. They are becoming aware that personal grooming & care is important and that it goes hand in hand with witnessing and winning the world for Jesus! On the odd days I have skipped this routine my kids notice and politely remind me. If you're a mother of two or more kids, try investing in your appearance if you don't already. My kids are ages 18 months to 6yrs old, and I've found that it's good to wake up a little earlier than them, or put on music they can dance to, or give them some small personal grooming activity to do while I do mine.

The mothers I meet are happier to invite me to social events and introduce me to their friends because I look less like someone who is struggling to get through the day and more like someone who has their act together; is happy, successful and can handle the challenges of life. In short, a successful missionary mother who has a lot to offer.

Well, I'm not an outreacher, and although I strive to be an instant witness, at times I forget to take tracts & Activate mags, yet am contributing towards the Offensive and the kids are learning to improve one step at a time.

Although I may not be a full time witnesser I know that I am contributing to the Offensive through my sample and the sample of my children.

My hope is that this write up might encourage other mothers to put a little thought into their daily appearance and let them know that it's not time wasted or being vain, but rather part of our being professional and attracting others to our lifestyle. Like Peter said: "As your circle of contacts and friends expands, you should be dressed appropriately to receive visitors that drop over unexpectedly. As they grow closer, people may stop by at times, or neighbors or people you're ministering to in the local community might pop over as they get to know you better. -A Professional Lifestyle for the Offensive"

17.10.08

Prayer request


Around 1:10pm today Amelie slipped and fell. She won't use her right arm, cries if we move it and lets it hang.
As I type she's taking a nap, 'cos she fell asleep while I was comforting her. We'll probably take her for a check up after she wakes up. Please pray that it's nothing serious.

8.10.08

All she wants for Christmas


...is her two front teeth.
At least that's what she's been singing for the past few days. How cute is that photo? Dontchya just wanna pinch those cheeks!

5.10.08

Prayer power

For mothers

Expect miracles and you'll get them.

29.9.08

Nursing

I've been nursing on and off for 6 years and have had many embarrassing, funny, and humbling moments.












This here was Chia all the way, full hands or not. Amelie isn't quite as bad, but still likes to keep her hands busy while nursing.











I think I'll use this next time I'm questioned while nursing. :P


















Amelie & daddy.



Here in Japan people don't make comments like you see below, and it saddens me to think that people in the west have to deal with this kind of stuff. How much more natural can you get than something that is created by God?
















How many of you have heard these? People usually start asking me these questions when my girls are around 18 months old. I can cross off most of 'em. :)

23.9.08

Can you overthrow your thoughts?

I live with someone who is as ornery as can be. There are days when I try to avoid being in the same room, to avoid their sharp tongue.

This is a good reminder for me to "Think on these things"











Thoughts
Virginia Brandt Berg
"I just cannot overcome my bad thoughts," a woman wrote me, asking for advice. "As you may remember, I wrote you before about someone near to me who is very spiteful and says such unkind things, and I told you that I had overcome my urge to say anything back. I have been able to control my tongue, but I haven't changed my thinking any. I may have self-control outwardly, but I'm seething on the inside."

Click here to read more.

14.9.08

Getting Out of the Hole

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule braying and, after carefully assessing the situation, sympathized with the mule. He decided, however, that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together, told them what had happened, and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical. But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him. It dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he should shake it off and step up! This he did, blow after blow.
“Shake it off and step up. Shake it off and step up. Shake it off and step up!” No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought against panic and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up. It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly out of the well.
-Author unknown

* * *
Do you sometimes feel that you are in a deep hole? And what’s more, do you feel that somebody just keeps throwing dirt on you? You can turn the bad to good by looking up and seeing that the Lord is there through it all. Take His hand. Ask Him to pull you up and to help you see His purpose in it all. He can help you see the events around you from His perspective. He can give you His calm and stop the panic. And then He can help you find solutions that will enable you to step triumphantly out of that deep well and onto the path of a brighter tomorrow.
-Chloe West

* * *
Answers from God

For all the negative things we say to ourselves, God has given us His positive responses in the Bible.

You say, “It’s impossible.”
God says, “All things are possible with Me” (Luke 18:27).

You say, “I’m too tired.”
God says, “I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28-20).

You say, “Nobody really loves me.”
God says, “I love you” (John 3:16 and John 13:34).

You say, “I can’t go on.”
God says, “My grace is sufficient and I will always be there to help you” (2 Corinthians 12:9 and Psalm 91:15).

You say, “I can’t figure things out.”
God says, “I will direct your steps” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

You say, “I can’t do it.”
God says, “You can do all things through My strength” (Philippians 4:13).

You say, “I’m not able.”
God says, “I am able” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

You say, “It’s not worth it.”
God says, “It will be worth it” (Romans 8:28).

You say, “I can’t forgive myself.”
God says, “I forgive you” (1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:1).

You say, “I can’t manage.”
God says, “I will supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19).

You say, “I’m afraid.”
God says, “I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

You say, “I’m always worried and frustrated.”
God says, “Cast all your cares on Me” (1 Peter 5:7).

You say, “I don’t have enough faith.”
God says, “I’ve given everyone a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3b).

You say, “I’m not smart enough.”
God says, “I give you wisdom” (James 1:5 and “1 Corinthians 1:30).

You say, “I feel all alone.”
God says, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Topics: Perseverance and fight, positiveness, God’s help, His love.

(Getting Out of the Hole)

12.9.08

Good reading

I read this blog occasionally and these posts stood out to me:

Thank God for surprises 1

Thank God for surprises 2

Motherhood

An exciting life

These gave me food for thought, others were encouraging, some reminded me why I do what I do.

11.9.08

What money can't buy, part 2


Every now & then you come across a friend who is so fantastic and so amazing that you wonder what you did to deserve them. (See above photo)

Someone baked a very special cake for my birthday and sent it to me.

The box


The cake.

Note the missing piece, eaten straight outta the box by yours truly who couldn't wait to get herself a plate and fork. Shameless yes... but I did get around to that by the 3rd piece. :)

4.9.08

7 fabulous years and counting

These have been the best days of our lives...



Okinawa 2001 -Before kids




2002 -After kid






Australia 2003 -Wedding



Japan - 2004


Winter 2006

(2005 pix are inaccessible for the time being.)

Japan- Summer 2007



Summer 2008


Here's to many more fantastic years together. XXX!

 
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