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Lately : August

August 8, 2016

We are already at the end of the first week of August. How did this happen? Where have the past seven months gone? 

I haven’t done a ‘lately’ post for a little while and I thought I’d just slip this one in while I have the time and photos! 

 

Making: Playdough for Jacob.

Cooking: Lots of low carb meals. #gettingolder

Drinking: Tea. What else?

Reading: The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Wearing: My stay at home Monday uniform. Trackies and my favourite ’round the house’ t and a comfy cardigan. 

Appreciating: New relationships that reinforce to me that I need to keep doing what I am doing for the 99% and ignore the 1%.

Loving: How the photos I took of the kids turned out. Even though there wasn’t one in the fifty that I took that didn’t have them all looking at the camera at the same time! #groan

Enjoying: The peace that is my self-imposed quiet time when Jacob goes to bed. Only noise is the clock ticking and my fingers tapping on the keyboard. #bliss

Knowing: That I can’t fix the problems in my beloved ones lives. 

Learning: To let go and allow God to do his thing more and more each day.

Watching: All the rain fall down on my garden. I am so grateful for the rain that we have had in the past few days and I LOVE the look of the forecast..more rain! God is good. 

Listening: To the last chapter of Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman via my Audible account. This book has blown my mind and reminded me about so many good things that God wants us to be busy with. #reviewcomingsoon

Celebrating: Rob being another year older.. and wiser at tactfully telling me to let things go. 

Making: A start on the binding of my latest quilt. 

Anticipating: More growth on my succulents. 

Needing: To complete the editing of the photos from my latest photo shoot. 

Disliking: Sin. My sin, your sin, their sin. 

Opening: My new secret sister allocation for this year. It’s always exciting and daunting at the same time. 

Noticing: Just how much my math nerd is enjoying Adam Spence’s World of Numbers.

Following: The Australian’s at the Olympics. All my favourite sports are on right now. Cycling, Gymnastics and Swimming. 

Getting: A sore back because I should be sitting at my desk and not at the kitchen bench. #ergonomicsallwrong

Saying: Goodbye for now. 

Have a wonderful Monday whereever God has placed you. 

Tash x 

faith Things I love

Where Will Your Vulnerability Lead You?

July 18, 2016

LEMON AND BLUEBERRY SCONES

Putting yourself in a position where you feel vulnerable is not the type of thing we choose to put on our ‘to do’ list, is it?

I think when Brené Brown recited this quote she wasn’t talking about the primary dictionary definition of the word vulnerable which means ‘exposed to the possibility of attack,’ but rather the alternative definition; exposed and unguarded. Purposefully placing yourself in a position where you will be unfamiliar with the circumstance, uncertain of how things will pan out and stepping outside of your comfort box is how I see this type of vulnerability.

The last time I felt exposed would have been when I turned up to a social media workshop just last week. As I was driving there it occurred to me that there would be bloggers, probably writers, definitely social media people and maybe some small business owners present. The blogger group terrified me, as I had distanced myself from previous ‘blogging tribes’ I had connected myself to in the past and the circumstances which led to me making that decision had left quite a nasty taste in my mouth. 

I sat in the car and prayed when I arrived. I needed more than my own strength. Psalm 138:3

From the moment I sat down I knew that this was going to be different. There wasn’t any one-upmanship, no one was hogging the limelight and I realised that I wasn’t the only one who had rolled up with a tonne of vulnerability and self-doubt. The best bit was that this group was mostly made up of women who loved God. I could hear from their stories that He was a very important part of their lives. Integrity and honesty dripped from every story that was shared. 

After the workshop, which felt more like an afternoon tea with long lost friends, I felt like I had gained some of my confidence back. I have a story to tell and there are people who listen to it and look forward to me telling another snippet.  I left with new ideas on where I would focus my energies with my social media platforms, and I left feeling weirdly reassured I wasn’t the only one that doubted her abilities. 

My vulnerabilities lead to inspiring new creativity and it lead to change in how I deal with my self-doubt. 

I stepped out of my comfortable padded box and walked through the pouring rain, and into a cosy place which just felt so right. And God helped me when I needed it, just as He always promises His children!

Is there something you need to step outside your box for?

Is there something that is holding you back because of fear?

Is it other people who are holding you back?

Have you asked God to help you, before you try to do it in your own strength?

Go for it!

 

Tash x 

Family Life

The Joy of Dressing up

June 28, 2016

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It makes a mess, you can never quite get over just how much stuff is in that dress up box, you spend more time adjusting their hat or veil, but oh boy, children have so much joy dressing up! 

Dressing up not only encourages imagination,  it also helps develop fine motor skills, and broadens your child’s vocabulary. 

Having random pieces, and things that can have multiple uses is perfect for a dress up box!

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Some things you could start a dress up box with:

shoes, scarves, necklaces, hats, skirts, vests, dresses, sheets, pegs, fake flowers, socks, aprons, belts, bags, ice cream containers.

A fabulous article about children learning through dressing up can be found here @ Mom.Me

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What is a favourite piece in your children’s dress up box ?

faith Things I love

Online Book Club: Idols of the Heart #Introduction

June 15, 2016

Online Book Club for Women

Verse to memorise:

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

It’s not often that you will start a book club study and the introduction is the first chapter you will dig into. The reason I chose to study the Introduction is because it is just so meaty and gets to the crux of the issue immediately.

Do you transgress the First Commandment? 

Do you only consider idolatry a matter that concerns carved images? 

Tim Keller described idols as “anything that stands in the way of your worship of God.” (paraphrased..) Elyse Fitzpatrick might substitute worship with ‘love’. What stands in the way of you loving God? Is there anything that grabs your attention away from loving God on a daily basis? 

What does God tell us in 1 Corinthians 10:11? How is this a comfort to you? 

Elyse Fitzpatrick will make the point in the next few chapters about how who you love is more or less the same as the focus of your worship. Can you list any things that you know right now are idols for you? ( example…For me a big idol in my life is my family and my children. My desire for everything to be ok, IS a big thing that gets in the way of my worship and love of God.)

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(This table is from Tim Keller’s book Gospel and Life. It was instrumental for me to come to terms with a few things that WERE standing in the way of my worship and love of God)

My weapon against my idols has become knowledge (yes, I know, it should be every Christian’s!)  and I love that Elyse makes comment about this in the last paragraph of page 16. “Not knowledge that consists in mere lifeless facts, but rather a dynamic awareness of the realities of our personal struggle with sinful idolatry and God’s faithfulness to accomplish our deliverance.” Wow. 

Have you ever noticed in your life that God’s work of sanctification is sometimes a slow moving process? The growing, changing, falling, developing holiness could almost be charted on timelines throughout our lives couldn’t it? What would your timeline look like? Have there been any significant events that have seen you ‘peak’ or ‘trough’?

The three resources that God has given us; Christ and His atoning work of redemption, The Holy Spirit  and the Bible. How do you remind yourself of these resources each day? Or is it something that often slips to the back of your mind as you try to do it all in your own strength? 

Next week: Chapter 1 “Rachel’s Gods and You”

Tell me: 

What part of the chapter did you enjoy the most?

What line or paragraph stood out as something you hadn’t considered before?

What Bible text means something more to you now that you see it in the context of idols?

Find details about email reminders and the Facebook Group here. 

Family Life

How I keep the toy clutter under control and maintain my sanity at the same time.

June 9, 2016

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Urgh.. Toys!

If there is one thing in the house that used to do my head in, it was toys. I know that toys are an important part of a child’s development;  play reduces stress, improves self-expression, supports emotional development, strengthens physical development and much more, but toys can just be so messy and all consuming in a house.

A while ago I worked out that it was me that was causing all my toy grief. There was no one else to blame! My eldest two had a playroom that was filled with sorted boxes. Literally hundreds and hundreds of pieces of toys, games, animals, blocks, dolls, cars, puzzle pieces filled those boxes when the playroom was clean and tidy. When my children were in full fun fest mode, all those toys would be scattered throughout the house in every room they were allowed and usually not in the playroom at all!

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I got toy savvy and I’m going to share how I do toys now and how you can get to the point where toys aren’t an overwhelming part of parenthood. The first thing I did to combat the toy clutter was to get rid of the toy room. It is now my office slash sewing room.. Mum’s room in other words! 

1. Sort

You need to start by getting messy. When the kids are in bed is the best time to do this! Turn on a podcast and get busy. Tip all the toys out onto a table or bench and sort. Sort it all out! Like goes with like and then into separate containers, baskets or crates. 

2. Cull and Purge

Get rid of anything that is broken, dangerous,  cheap crap (ie Happy Meal toys) or noisy that you can’t stand (and then preferably give it back to the person who gave it to your child for their birthday!) Bag it up if it is still play-worthy and bring it to an opshop. Go through your books and get rid of any broken or torn books. Sort games and puzzles, making sure they have all the pieces.

3. Ask the question “How much do they need?”

Kids don’t need a lot of play with. They don’t NEED a whole games room FULL of toys. In fact, having a toy room full of toys with your child having access to EVERY toy at ALL times is not that great for their development. It is overwhelming and counter-productive when trying to teach a child to concentrate on things for an extended period of time when they have too much to choose from. 

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4. Store and Rotate

Once you have sorted the toys, store them away from the play area. (Mine is on a corner of my linen cupboard) Take one or two boxes out at a time and let your child use only those toys to play with. Believe me, this works. Do not buckle to pressure to get more toys out. Keep the boxes out for a week and then rotate to another box or two. (Keep a few favourites out.. for J at the moment it is his matchbox cars

6. Store all messy things up high and out of reach. 

Puzzles, games and art equipment gets stored up high. The peg puzzles for toddlers fit perfectly into large ziplock bags. Boxed puzzles do well to have an elastic band wrapped around the box just in case it drops! 

7. Steer clear of fads & tv character toys

Fads come and go, as do tv character toys. They are usually over-priced for poor quality and next month there will be another movie or tv show released, with a whole other range of toys that your kids will think they need. Disney are on to a good thing!

8. Keep toys for birthdays and don’t use them as behavioural treats

This is hard to do, especially in today’s materialistic society. Think about this for a second. If every time you go to the shop and go past a toy aisle, you could quite possibly take home a new toy, or component of a set fifty-two times a year. Hmm.. And who is in charge of your wallet?   And toys as behavioural rewards? Just no. 

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Yes, you are in charge of the toys in your house. Not your child! Be firm and you will reap the rewards for years to come. 

Tomorrow I will be sharing a few tips my readers shared on Facebook. Some of them are just awesome! 

What are your toy sanity saver tips?

 

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