Monday, 25 January 2016

Gratitude Tag

I was tagged by +Clare Farrelly from Clare's Spot to do the Gratitude Tag.  I like this one - no rules, and a worthwhile object.  ;)  So thankyou, Clare for tagging me, and here it goes!

1. What is your favourite quote or verse that reminds you to be grateful? 

The verse that jumped to mind was Colossians 3:15.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.   
The other verse is Psalm 150:4.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 


2. Who are you grateful for?

I am really thankful for everyone in my life - for my parents and siblings; for all my friends; for the people who I serve with; for the people in my church; for my pastor; for the people at band... the list goes on and on really - I am so blessed with the people in my world!


3. What life events are you grateful for?

I am very thankful that my parents decided to homeschool me and the Sibs (that's our nickname for the eight of us collectively.  XD)  I know that the lifestyle we adopted has shaped me to be who I am today and it's something I hope to pass onto my own children one day.

I am also extremely grateful - more than words - for more recent events in my life in which God has called me closer to Himself and called me to ministry.  It still amazes me that He would want me... it's been an exercise of trust, but I hope that I can portray His love and freedom to others throughout my life.


4. What is something you are grateful for but often times don’t think about?

Food.  Where would we be without it???  Oh and air - and a good home and education.  We really take a lot of things for granted, don't we?  Clean water and coffee are a couple of other things.  :)


5. What are you going to do to show people your gratitude towards them?

Does anyone else find this question a little odd??  Maybe it's just me... I guess I'll keep serving them, and serving God.  Also my two top love languages are quality time and receiving gifts, so I often use those to love others as I assume they'll appreciate it as much as I would.  XDD



I'm going to tag +Jessica Dempster  and +Joy C.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Time to Stop Waiting

I have always imagined what it will be like on my wedding day: how I will feel, how Mum and Dad will cry bitter-sweet tears with me, how I will take a new name.   Thanks to Pinterest, I have most of the details planned as well - my dress, the bridesmaids, the decorations, the photo shoot.  

Then there is my life after the wedding... enjoying sweet time with my husband as newly weds; making the precious discovery that we are expecting a baby (twins... maybe...??); meeting our little one for the fist time; building a house for our family; raising the children - many of them! - at home and instilling the Word of God into them; watching them grow up and follow their vocation in life...

The list goes on.

I have other lists as well.  Lists of baby names, lists (and maps) and what I would want in a dream home, lists of countries Australia can adopt from; lists of qualities I would want in a man...

Because you see, none of those dreams are possible without one important person.  I have spent literally hours of life, starting from when I was very young, daydreaming about spending the rest of my life with a special man, but I don't even know if I've met him yet.

I've done what I'm sure every young girl has done at some point.  We call it 'watching'.  We are good at 'watching... especially in church. We are indeed watching - like a hawk.  Does he bow his head to pray, or is he distracted by the noises around him?  Does he like children?  Is he good with children?  Is he involved in a ministry?

Yes, I've done the watching thing.  I am often impressed by what I see in some of the young men, and I start wishing that someone would take notice of me... and maybe ask me out...???

Nope.  Not yet.  So I wait some more, hoping all the time, that someone would come and just show a little bit of interest in me.

This has pretty much been my story for the last couple of years.  Waiting, hoping, waiting, hoping, waiting...

Seeing friends find someone special... and waiting... waiting...

Then God stepped in.  I guess I always assumed that my gifts of nurturing and interacting with children, etc. was just a shoo-in for being a wife and mother, and that God would pick me early seeing as I had all the right skills on the resume.

A few months ago I had a major revelation.  Ready for this???

I was called to wait on God, not wait for a husband.

I know, it seems obvious and I knew it in my head but revelation is something that strikes the heart.  This fell into my heart so strongly, so gently, that I knew it was from God and I started pursuing Him more than I ever have before.

But I still dreamed.  The watching game reduced in intensity, and I grew very content with my stage of life.  Still keen to meet Mr. Perfect (whoever that is!) and live happily ever after, but at peace.

Then God called me into ministry.  I said yes, and my dreams shifted to doing field placements... for about five minutes, and then people started asking me where my studies in ministry would take me.  I answer honestly.  "I don't know, I just know it's the next step for me."

Well, that opens a whole new smorgasbord of daydream opportunities.  In every position I tried to imagine out, though, I could only see myself supported by and supporting a husband.  And the old familiar longing began to rise again.

Than God made it very clear.  He said, It's time to stop waiting.

It's time to stop waiting.

I don't believe this is God telling me to go and initiate a relationship or anything like that - if He does, I'll do it - but rather a reminder that the more time I spend dreaming and longing for something outside of His timing, the less effective I am for Kingdom purposes.  How can I study ministry properly when I am worried about who will minister along side of me?

I still think marriage in my my story somewhere - but not yet.  Can I bargain with God, who gave me my life and talents, as to how and when I will use them?  Perhaps there is a season where I am more effective for the Kingdom when it is just me and Jesus.  Maybe I am wrong, and God plans for it to be me and Jesus for the rest of my life.  That's fine too.  Finding peace in doing the will of God and walking in His ways is far worth the sacrifices faced along the way.  <3

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Recipe: Salted Caramel Popcorn

This afternoon, I made a treat for the kiddies's after-rest-time snack... it was really yummy!  Mum really liked it too, so I thought I would share the recipe.  The first version is the original recipe - the second is my sugar free alternative (although when I say 'sugar-free' it's really fructose-free).  Hope you enjoy!


Salted Caramel Popcorn

1/3 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey

Pop the corn (we have an air popper for this, but it's easy enough to do in a pan at home... or buy a packet of unflavoured pre-popped corn!)  Put the butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan and simmer until the mixture starts to change colour.  (For heaven's sake, don't burn it - it really stinks!  XD)  Pour the caramel over the popcorn and USE SPOONS to make sure the popcorn is properly coated.  Spread it all out in a lined roasting pan and sprinkle with salt to your taste.  Chill and serve.



Salted Caramel Popcorn (sugar-free version)

1/3 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dextrose
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

Note: You can buy rice malt syrup at Woolworths, and dextrose in the home brewer's section of Big W.  :)

Pop the corn (we have an air popper for this, but it's easy enough to do in a pan at home... or buy a packet of unflavoured pre-popped corn!)  Put the butter dextrose and syrup in a small pan and simmer until the mixture starts to change colour.  (For heaven's sake, don't burn it - it really stinks!  XD)  Pour the caramel over the popcorn and USE SPOONS to make sure the popcorn is properly coated.  Spread it all out in a lined roasting pan and sprinkle with salt to your taste.  Chill and serve.


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

A New Hobby

Recently, I was struck by the fact that when we recite something we know really well, we often don't take in the meaning behind what we are actually saying or singing.  I noticed this particularly when singing hymns.  The men and women who wrote these hymns had such an incredible revelation of who God was, and they wrote those revelations into poetry which was then set to music.  Many of these hymns are well known today, but not well understood, I think.

While I was thinking about this, I also thought about how, often when something familiar is put in different words, it takes on a new meaning because you see it in a different light.  So, I have a new hobby.  ;)  I have started writing hymns in prose and I have to say, it has amazed me.  I thought I would post one of them... I hope it blesses you too!




Oh God, my King!  When I think about the mini-worlds – the sea, the earth, and the sky – that You made with Your hands, I am filled with indescribable amazement and wonder.  I go outside at night and look up into the sky at all the tinkling stars.  They remind me of how powerful You are.  When a storm comes, I listen to the thunder roll across the dark clouds.  It reminds me of Your power too.  Everything in creation reflects Your strength and power.
From the deepest part of me, my heart begins to sing to You.  My God, You rescued me and You are so very wonderful and great!
Then I think about how God gave His only Son to us.  He didn’t hold back.  He gave everything willingly.  Yes, God gave His only Son, Jesus, to die for us.  It is such a big thought – such a loving gift from a wonderful God – that I can hardly understand it.  When Jesus dies on the cross, He gladly took my heavy bundle of sin away from me and took it Himself so that I don’t have to carry it anymore.  I can be free and clean forever!
From the deepest part of me, my heart begins to sing to You.  My God, You rescued me and You are so very marvellous and great!  

Jesus is going to come back one day, and there will be a great loud shout of welcoming gladness.  He will take us to heaven to live with Him forever and ever.  That will make me very happy!  Jesus is so magnificent that I will kneel at His feet in love and worship.  Oh God – how very great You are!
From the deepest part of me, my heart begins to sing to You.  My God, You rescued me and You are so very awesome and great!
Yes, my heart continues to sing to You.
You are wonderful.
You are marvellous.
You are awesome.
My God, You rescued me, and You are very, very, very great!