Saturday, 6 December 2014

Where I'm At

The Lord will
for you,
you need only
be still.
 -Exodus 14:14

Shhh! Don’t tell the kids. Mama’s been drawing on the walls.

In big blue chalky letters. Right next to the bed. So she’ll see it every morning when she wakes up, every afternoon around nap time, and in the evening before she closes her eyes.

Because the anxiety gripping her heart didn’t belong there.  Because she tried and tried to give it to Jesus, but couldn’t let go.  Because she asked God for wisdom on the matter. And He saw fit to plant this verse in front of her one morning - in a way that it struck her square between the eyes and she finally got it.  

Be still.

You don’t need to do anything. Quit your worrying, the what-if’s, the could-have-beens, and what-would-have-been-nice-s.

The battle belongs to the Lord.

Just hand it ALL to him and be still. Be still and know that I Am

A difficult chapter is drawing to a close. I am grateful for the challenges, the lessons learnt, and the opportunity.

I am also grateful to be at the end. Mostly that His grace is all sufficient.

There is a lot to cram into the last few weeks of this year yet. My body is done. I’m taking it one step at a time. Then resting. Practicing the fine art of being still. So very necessary right now.  Not always easy.

I’ve decided that as much as I love making my Grandma’s Christmas pudding, it’s one task I don’t have to do this year. The teachers? Store bought presents will do. If you normally get a card from us? This year you won’t. What energy I do have is going into making my home beautiful. This year we are going to have decorations up well before Christmas Eve. I am determined to spread a little cheer for my family where there is usually just last minute hurry.

That’s all that matters to me right now. It’s what my being still looks like for the moment.

A beautiful friend posted these lyrics on Facebook the other day. I don’t recall the last time I sang this hymn. How very relevant though.

Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power, thou hast made me whole.
Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
O, how great Thy loving kindness, vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness, lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise, and have made it mine.
Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings, meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings: thine is love indeed!
Ever lift Thy face upon me as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory, sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting, fill me with Thy grace.

-Jean Sophia Pigott

Friday, 5 September 2014

A Drop of Sunshine

Why did God create flowers, fluffy clouds and good picnic weather?

Why? Because He loves us.

They are a gift. Simply to be enjoyed.

A lover’s note whispering sweet nothings on a gentle breeze, which is absolutely something to the deepest depth of our soul.

The exuberant bees hanging out in my overgrown pak choy patch? The essence of sunniness.

Perhaps you need some joy today friend. This post is dedicated to you. I’m passing on a hug, a smile, a drop of sunshine.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re going through right now…

He knows.

He sees. 

He loves you.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

-Romans 15: 13-

Friday, 15 August 2014

A Smashing Time

I watched in dismay as one of my pretty blue mugs fell from the bench and shattered into uselessness on the hard tiles below.

Hubby broke one of his favourite cups in a similar fashion.

One of the kids knocked a parcel of delicate glass candle holders onto the floor. You know- the ones I was just about to wrap for my secret prayer friend at Church. When the shops are closed and I need to have it ready for first thing in the morning.

The theme has continued…

Stuff keeps breaking, like the light bulbs I never saw sitting on the bench. Until they no longer were.  Becoming quite useless after a split second trip to the floor.

Or the car yesterday. Not its first ride home these past few months on the back of a tow truck.


The word seems to be shouting at me.

I feel it inside myself too.

The longing to connect with a certain young man who moved in with us last year. The realising just how hard that is going to be.

The need to help another one understand that we really are just trying to help. Please don’t think of us so, dear child.

The messes and lists that go with them. Aware of my limitations.

The tiredness we feel as the year marches on. The exhaustion that sets in, at times making relationship at home strained and awkward.

My seeming inability to relate to those in the world around me too.

I remember reading about a broken window once (or twice – I loved this book)

“Most significant, perhaps, is my twelve-paned bedroom window installed in the front wall when remodelling the room from a garage. The lower left-hand pane was broken when my ex-husband was moving a large mirror shortly before he left our home. The mirror shattered. As for the broken pane, I never had it replaced, because after our divorce I never had an extra fifty bucks. Yet I’ve thought a lot about that smashed windowpane with its spiderweb appearance. It became a symbol of our broken home, and I was forced to come to terms with its cold, sharp edges and tacky appearance. Perhaps I never had the window fixed because somehow I knew things need time to be what they are.” 
–Marlee LeDai

What we are.

Maybe I just need time to appreciate where things are at. Not because they are beautiful right now. Rather what they have potential to be.     

I have to the see the blemishes as something more.

When we go treasure hunting for vintage finds, it is not the perfect pieces we are drawn to. The stuff that comes home is often tattered, well worn, and tells a story in the scrapes and bruises it bears. Sometimes we leave it as it is. Other times we administer a dose of TLC. But we are careful to never strip a piece completely of evidence of the life it has lived.

Because this is where the beauty is found. A beauty that is not so much about perfection as realness.  A beauty that draws us in and fascinates us with its character. Beauty that stands tall despite (or because of?) hardships and difficulty.

Beauty that says, “Me too.”

Two thousand years ago, a wee babe entered into this world. The conditions were hardly what we might consider ideal. Just a dusty stable full of animals and a makeshift manger cradle. Why?  Because he was willing to enter into our mess. Our brokenness. He was willing to take it all on. To get to know us. On our level. To be real. To be able to say, “Me too.”

To love us where we are and invite us to so much more…

All that shattered glass cannot be mended. It doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things anyway. The brokenness inside us does. I’ve puzzled over this recurrent theme trying to make sense of it all. I’m not quite there yet. I’m handing my pieces to the master craftsman though. Trusting him to work it all out. In his way. In his time. Hoping that one day the beauty will be revealed.

“Windows may not be fixed right away, but that does not mean they will never be mended. Everything may not become clear in a twinkling. It takes courage to begin to think in different ways about anything that gives you pain. It takes courage to see the possibilities in disability or disease or divorce. But that doesn’t mean that you and I can’t live with style, dignity, and intention.” – Marlee LeDai

Friday, 18 July 2014

Blooming Sunshine

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Bloom.

Five Minute Friday


Bloom where you are planted,’ they say.

But what if you don’t?

What if I watch you and all I see just makes me sad?

What if you have just shriveled instead; refusing to bloom because the flavour of the dirt here isn't quite to your taste?

They also say that it takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow.

My heart has been so heavy with the rain. It hangs over you when you walk in the door. Sometimes I think I will go crazy with that cloud of gloom you cling to.

Though it’s not my cloud, it still obscures the light at times. Gives me a cloud of my own to carry.

But He has been showing me that I need to lay aside the burdens I feel for you and somehow sparkle in the dark shadows. To show you something that shimmers instead of watching me battle my sad.

Because if there’s to be any blooming, you’ll need rain-

and sunshine.


Now, your turn…

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

On Gardens and Second Chances

Once upon a time a garden grew in my heart. It had to grow there because we didn’t yet own a place of our own to make it a reality.

That’s not to say that we didn’t have a go at gardening. It just had to take the form of pots and little patches that landlords were willing to allow a daisy bush or two to grow.

The day finally came that we spent a ridiculous amount of money (who knew seedlings could be so expensive?) and went to town planting out daisies, cornflowers, society garlic, lavender, chrysanthemums, lobelia, alyssum, salvia, agapanthus and other pretty flowers we’ve long since forgotten the names of. It was a very special thing to finally plant out the potted roses that had moved around with us to each town also.

The garden grew and flourished. A place of quiet beauty. Admired by many as they walked past. Commented on occasionally too.

And then it rained.

And rained.

And rained some more.

In all the wetness, the weeds grew big and strong. So did the grass. Try as we might to conquer the jungle, it conquered us. We gave up in a way. Lost our ‘oomph’. Let the wildness win.

There it sat. For a year. (Okay, it was a bit longer than that).

When we could stand the depressing-ness (someone please tell me the correct word here?) no longer, we vowed to make it delightful again.

Much hard work, and several physiotherapy sessions later, the weeds and grasses were gone. All that remained were a few brave survivors. The rest, a blank canvas.

Again we went crazy at the nursery buying all our favourites. The neighbour watched on (somewhat amused I think – he’d hadn’t seen the garden before) at the planting frenzy that followed.

A couple of months on, those little seedlings have grown some. The flowers smile and nod in the breeze. It is a pleasure to just ‘be’ out there…

Thank God for second chances.

Thank God that messes and mistakes are not permanent.

Thank God that He is the tender gardener of our souls.

Thank God that weeds do come out.

Thank God that He is willing to start over in a surrendered heart.

Thank God that He is not finished with us yet.



Linking up with: Fellowship Fridays 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Really Sparkly One

Dear Sweet Child of Mine,

Only the good Lord knows how much I have to choose to love you some days. Only He knows the full extent of the guilt I have felt for my (lack of) feelings towards you. Only He knows what really goes on in that head of yours.

And He knows the desires of this heart to appreciate you better, to see the real you, to look beyond Asperger’s and see the beautiful, loving person that you are.

Some days, many days, it is hard. I have wrestled mightily with my heart over you, dear child. Often I have prayed, begged even, for just a glimpse beyond the surface. A precious moment where we can connect, even if it only lasts five minutes. When it comes, it’s a truly sparkly treasure.  

Tonight though, He orchestrated something just beautiful. So very exquisite. My eyes are still leaking.

Pastor was asking for volunteers to pray for folk in the church who struggle with health. I was a little unsure when you accepted his request to pray for me. I never quite know what to expect from your lips. I needn’t have worried.

First, you felt the need to explain to the congregation that your Mama struggles with more than Chronic Fatigue – she has two boys who have their moments too!!! Oh dear child, you do indeed know how to make me laugh! I needed that reminder. So much.

Before we knew it, eyes (not just mine) were welling up as you declared, in your childish faith, that your Mama was a blessing and you thanked God and led the congregation in a sweet, sweet prayer.

My son, you are so, so much more than Asperger’s, and quirks, and a child trying figure out a confusing world. Please forgive me for failing often to see beyond the daily mud we get mired in.

Thank you for letting Him work through you.

So much love,

Mama xx 

Friday, 9 May 2014


Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Grateful.

Five Minute Friday


Ever since I can remember my mission in life was to grow up to be a princess. Just like so many other little girls. But we didn’t have the money to spend on fancy toys. And it never occurred to her to promote these things in a big or overly meaningful way.

Obviously she’d been reflecting on the way things were for us as kids, growing up. I know this because a year or two ago she apologised. I wasn’t looking for or expecting it. It came as quite a surprise.

Every now and then that reel runs through in my mind. In the middle of creative pursuit, just the other day, something hit the play button again.

Because see, the sticking point for me is this - as a child I didn’t miss what I didn’t have. I’m pretty sure I was oblivious to the fact I never owned a tiara. I was however fully aware that I’d been thought of when she brought me home the book about a real princess. For me. Just because that was my life’s dream.

Back to the creativity.

She may have never bought me fancy dress ups and the like – but she did hand me a needle and thread. There was a bag of fabric scraps I was allowed to raid just whenever. There was always paper, scissors, crayons, and glue. The most used book on the shelf was the ‘make and do.’ I was happy with that. Satisfied to the full. I didn’t know I was missing out – because I wasn’t.

How does all that impact me now? I still love to create. I love to be resourceful. It’s such a big part of who God made me. I’m pretty sure He knew that when He provided for our needs. I am grateful for those days.

And the princess thing? Well, once upon a time a girl met a boy. He called her his Precious Princess (and still does)… But that’s a whole other story!


Now, your turn…

Friday, 2 May 2014

A Beautiful Mess

Join me in the Five Minute Friday Challenge hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. Participants write for 5 minutes with no editing, no over thinking, and no backtracking. This week’s word is: Mess.

Five Minute Friday 


Have you seen my house lately? No? Let me sum it up for you in just one word.


We’re good at that round here. Experts even.

The back end of the house has tools and wood and this and that just everywhere. Renovating is either in full swing or waiting patiently to be.

The kitchen shows evidence of the last meal we ate. Pots and pans with last scrapes. A pile of dirty plates to prove we are well nourished.

The lounge room - overtaken by an odd mixture of toys and too many games pulled out of the cupboard, combined with evidence of Mama’s last three sewing projects.

But you know what? It’s okay. Really.

Because this mess means life. This mess means blessings. This mess will clean up. Eventually.

Jesus did not come to this world because we have it all together and just needed the cherry to go on top. He came because we’re all pretty good at this mess thing. He knows about our mess. The ones in our homes and the ones in our hearts. And if we’ll let him, he wants to show us how to make it beautiful.


Now, your turn…

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A Very Belated Response

You may have noticed very few posts lately. In fact there have been none. It’s not that I didn’t try to write at first. There were a few attempts at putting thoughts down. But they never seemed to take the turn I’d hoped they would. Instead they looked a lot (an awful lot) like somebody, a little lost, just trying to make sense of her world and her muddled head. They never really reached a point that felt worth sharing. Or became too raw and too personal to splash about. (Maybe one day I’ll dip into them – who knows?)

Then there was a whole lot of nothing. No inspiration would come at all.

And since this writing thing is done because I believe He would have me do it, I asked Him what should be said. He was very quiet on the matter. I sensed the need to hush, be still - not put so much pressure on myself. To trust that when the time was right, the words would come.

There was one small word that came and sat. It seemed to disappear there for awhile. Though if I think about it, it never really did. I’ve opened my eyes and noticed it quietly peeping round the corner at me lately. Winking, willing curiosity to come and see.

It’s always so hard for me to start again, to find my rhythm. When I do not know what to say or how to feel, I write a letter. The music always finds me there. 

…and so…

Dear Sweet You,

You asked us, the other month, if we had a word for this coming year.

You had one – and others in the conversation had one too. I was happy for you all, really. But I didn't. At least, not yet.

At the end of last year a different somebody asked me what I wanted from the New Year.

My honest answer? To survive.

Said out loud it sounded so hollow and sad. But what I really meant was, I’d like to get my act together. To actually put in place a little daily plan. To feel as if something has been accomplished. To cope. To rise above. To find joy again …

The more I thought about it, the more I envisioned myself doing these things. The more I wanted to do these things. The more I allowed myself to believe in the possibilities.

I dared to dream once more - for more than survival. I wanted to live.

Life got in the way. I dropped the vision somewhere in a rut. It all seemed too hard, too much, too unattainable.

But I haven’t given up. I can’t. I won’t. Sometimes, I am learning, I just need to rest. In the circumstance – and in Him.

Slowly but surely progress is happening. The difficult is becoming easier. Or at least making more sense. I am learning new things, I am growing, I am in fact more alive than I had realised…

and, I have hope.

Thank you so much for asking!

Lizzy xx

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A Little Reminder

 ...For our light and momentary troubles 
are achieving for us an eternal glory 
that far outweighs them all. 
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, 
but on what is unseen, 
since what is seen is temporary, 
but what is unseen is eternal. 

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Thursday, 30 January 2014


Be free, she who haunts my thoughts.
Be free.

She who stifles my joy.
Be free.

She who would tread me down.
Be free.

I cannot free you from his mind,
But He can free mine from you.
Be free.

I’m on the winning side.
Be free.

Oh don’t you see?

Darkness will not triumph.
Be free.

For ears to hear and eyes that truly see.
Be free.

Embrace His light and be.
Be free.

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Just Keep Writing

"Just keep writing," she said.

At a time when I doubted my ability. Wondered if anybody actually read what I had to say. If it ever encouraged anyone. If it really mattered.

On occasion I find myself circling that crazy place. Teetering on the edge of giving in.

Then I am reminded; there is a bigger picture. Perhaps today I am called to share my heart for just one other. Past comments have confirmed this. I am humbled. Sometimes I wonder if that soul might maybe possibly, that day, be me.

Just keep writing.

For the audience of One who called me to it in the first place...


“Just keep writing,” she said. So unaware.

And that was all the encouragement I needed.

1 Thessalonians 5:11  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (ESV)

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