Saturday, 31 January 2015

Life

Hey everyone!!!  I'm back - back from holidays, back to 'normal' blogging, and back to (almost) normal life.

Most of you would know that the last couple of weeks have been quite difficult for me, my family, and my church family.  I used my blog to express my grief about Shannen and the stuff that was happening around and inside of me.  I want to thank you all for your love, your patience and your prayers - you are all amazing and I can tell you with added conviction that God is good and His peace and love are beyond anything that this world has to offer.  Praise His name forever!

I hope everyone has been well lately and has been doing well.  I can't really think of anything particularly to blog about, so I shall just say what has been happening in life recently.

One of the things we kids enjoy every summer is the library's Summer Reading Program that runs from the end of November to the end of January.  The way it works is that you read as much as you can and record how many hours you read for.  At the end of the allotted time, every two hours you read equals one ticket in your age category.  In February each age category gets tickets drawn out and the idea is that the more tickets you have, the more likely you are to be drawn out for a prize.  I read about 80 hours this year, but as I am in the adult section now I have no idea how that works out against other readers... not that I am betting on winning or anything, but we all like to win when we enter a competition of any sort.  ;)  :P

Jess got her wisdom teeth out this week just gone and I'm afraid it's been a rough path for her.  Right now - nearly four days after the surgery - she still looks like a little squirrel with nuts in her cheeks from the swelling.  In short, it hasn't been so swell...  (sorry, sister dear.  :P )

I started teaching piano again this week,, and I was reminded in the fist lesson how much I enjoy teaching.  My new student is very sweet and I think she will pick up piano very quickly.  I hope I can keep up with her.  :)

What else has been happening?...

Ummm....

I finally got around to scrap booking my 18th birthday party... it's only two years late, but better late than never!  Grace helped me with some of the sheets, and I am so happy with how they have turned out.    You can't see all the details in the photos, but the colour theme on each page is pink, orange and blue with an occasional splash of green and purple.  :)





Friday, 23 January 2015

It's Not About Potential - Shannen's Poem

Here's to Shannen: the girl of that beautiful smile; the awkward but heart felt hugs;  the trademark floral jeans and sleeveless blouses (you're the only person I know who could actually pull that off and make it look good!); the bass and guitar; the passion to serve and minister to others; the peaceful, peace-making countenance; your hilarious (and sometimes blonde!) sense of humour; your ability to light up a whole room... Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  (Matthew 5:8)





It’s not about potential, it’s the lives
That were touched by the one life now deprived.
It’s the mission and conviction that she brought
And the love that guided and drove her every thought.

It’s not could have been, but what is
How she was and forever more will be His:
How her every hope and passion was to see
All her friends and family live for eternity.

It’s not what she missed out on, but what she did
To ensure heaven was not missed by a single kid.
She loved them all, each and every one
And go out of her way so they could meet God’s Son.

It’s not the future that she doesn’t have that counts
It the eternal minute she’s living that amounts
To all she ever wanted – all she ever wanted
Was to give glory to God, so she lived undaunted.

Yes, she could have had more, said more, seen more,
But I think that inside, she couldn’t have been more…
What a beautiful, gentle, passionate soul

Forever more her Lord to extol.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Too Late

Just a piece of my heart that I needed to put out there...




I cry
         as my heart once again yearns to know
Why
        you were taken away so soon.

I’m lost
as I grope for the words I am looking for
Tossed
are my thoughts as I try and think.

Something
    Is haunting me as I remember your smile
Nothing
will give me rest until I say what I’ve learned.


Love is a thing that should never be wasted
Kept to oneself it is useless and vain
It ought to be showered on all who we meet with
For we just never know when we’ll meet them again.


I ought
To have told you, sweet girl, that you’re precious
I thought
 You would always be here to tell it to…

Sigh
        Why is it we say ‘I love you’ the most when saying
‘Goodbye?’

Wait!
          But you’re gone like the flower that blooms
And I’m too late…

Blessed are They That Mourn...

Grief can be a hard thing to deal with... one moment the world seems hard with all the little trials of life and then something really big happens and you wonder why any of it mattered to you before... Everyone deals with grief differently.  Some sob and cry aloud; others find something practical to do and throw themselves in, expending their sorrow in the energy of honest work; others do similarly, but express themselves in a seemingly unrelated work of art (be it musical literary, or drawing); still others have to express what they are feeling in words; and others mourn quietly, knowing that time, tears, and God will heal the inexpressible hurt.

None of the roads of grief are wrong... God has instilled in each one of us ways of coping with our sorrow - don't be afraid to express what you are feeling. Cry when you need to, hug the people around you and keep loving them, because life is short and we need to embrace every opportunity to love.

I was thinking of some verses that may help you when dealing with grief... turn them into prayers - turn your tears into prayers... your tears are precious to God because He loves you oh so much.




Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
(Isaiah 53:4)


You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
(Psalm 56:8)


Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted.
(Matthew 5:4)


Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
(Isaiah 41:10)


Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life.
(Psalm 119:49-50)


But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
(I Thessalonians 4:13-18)


“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
(1 Peter 5:6-7)


One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”
(Pslam 27:4-5)


“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 8:31-39)


“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
(John 14:1-4)





" 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Thankyou Lord Jesus!

In memory of Shannen, who at seventeen is experiencing the glories many Christians spend decades only dreaming of... we would not call you back from bliss, sweetheart, but we are coming to join you oneday at the feet of our Jesus who has restored you to better health than was possible here on earth... we love you. xxx

Thursday, 8 January 2015

A New Year Resolution

I don't normally hold to making New Year Resolutions.

They are kinda pointless... I rarely keep them...

...past the third or fourth of January...

But this year I have one, but I don't think I made it.  You see, it is something that has begun as just something I noticed, to something that bugged me, to something that now I can't control... I know it must be coming from something inside of me, because it goes against my natural personality.

So my New Year's Resolution is Speaking out when things aren't right.

It hasn't always been easy for me to do this - my natural personality is to blend into the background and cause as little offence as possible, but as I said it's becoming something I can't control.  Something is rising up inside of me and quite frankly, I'm scared of it.

But what I have been seeing is that we live in a society that reflects my natural personality.  Inoffensive, silent, and to an extent, lethargic.  We don't condemn what is wrong, and we don't stand for what is right.  We blend into the populous and are of the belief that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, so long as those believes are not imposed on anyone else.And it is really getting to me.

Yesterday I was in a take-away cafe getting some lunch.  (I'm such a sucker for potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce!  :P)  Waiting for the food to be cooked, I noticed the place mats on the tables - laminated pieces of paper printed with jokes.  The jokes were disgusting.  They had language and references to adultery and other inappropriate subjects.  Needless to to say, I was disgusted.  There was another sign in the shop that said, "Please leave your school bags outside."

I'll admit, I was sitting there fuming.  Obviously, children came to this shop, and yet they blatantly allowed content that was offensive to adults to be displayed where everyone could see.  I debated with myself whether to confront the lady about it or not.  I had almost decided not to when I heard my own voice talking to her about it.  Do you know what she told me?  She said - and this shocked and saddened me - You are the first person who has spoken to me about this.  She then assured me that the kids never read the place mats, and people complimented her on having a joke.  She was really quite dismissive about it all.

 Blame it on my world-view studies, if you must, but I have decided that it is no longer good enough to disagree with what is wrong.  Disagreeing never got anyone - or anyone else - very far.  We need to make a difference, to stand up for what is right.

Who will join me?