Forty is the place i am. I have just turned that corner to discover 40 is not a corner, it is a place on a mountain, not at the top, but not at the bottom. It is moving up the mountain of life and I am not sitting; i am climbing, walking, enjoying the scenery, journeying with others, picking wild strawberries… i am not afraid of being fabulous and flourishing at 40, i relish the wisdom i am gaining, the fresh perspectives i see from this height and the challenges i am grabbing with both hands and my heart.
Though i celebrate 4o years of life experience and acknowledge that those life experiences have had a hand in weaving me, i choose to leave all those life experiences that hurt at the foot of the mountain and dotted along the way under boulders. I vow not to carry baggage that hinders, i walk on with just what is in my hands and my heart.
So this is me at 40.
i am celebrating my journey.
Upwards. Always upwards.
Byron Bay – a fabulous place for people watching and the last stop of our family holiday. My kids and hubby often say ‘ Look out, Mum’s on holiday,’ when we holiday. What they mean is, mum is relaxed, she’s not organizing anyone , she’s not glued to her desk crafting, she cracks jokes, she puts down everything to play and go for walks. When they say this phrase there’s a tiny bit that is sad. Sad that mostly i am task focused, working or schooling and i let life get in the way of relaxing my guard and playing.
So we walked, swam, ate ice cream, hired a surfboard and took it in turns to fall off it, BBQ’d, lay around reading books in the heat of the day and drinking a coffee in the double hammock as the day cools.
At the start of our holiday i put forth a challenge to each of us to learn three new things/ skills. I chose to conquer crochet (forgot to take pics), learn Psalm 139 off by heart (half accomplished), and learn to juggle. Boy is juggling harder than it looks and i learned to throw and catch for about 15 seconds then it fell apart. hee, hee.
Among other things, Miss 15 learnt to tight rope walk, Miss 11 started to learn to harmonize and our son learned to say the alphabet backwards.
Hubby was the surprise, he learnt to knit.
On our last morning we got up before the sun and drove to the lighthouse . We experienced an exquisite sunrise. Altogether, talking and goofing off and getting lost in the colours.
Sunsets awaken the soul.
Family holidays had us at Girraween National Park. I have memories of camping there with my family when i was about 7 or 8 and remember the vastness of Pyramid rock and the gruelling climb. We are not a family to shy away from challenges so up we went.
Hubby has some back issues so we made a pact that if he needed to retire before the top we were OK with that, but no one else was exempt. Once we started the climb we would continue to the top no matter what. Onwards and upwards. There were a few tears and many rest stops but we all made it. Victory was sweet and so was the chocolate we ate from the summit.
Girraween abounds with wild flowers, lizards, turtles and birds. Loved having daily visits from a female Bower bird; she perched on the chair next to us and flirted with her purple/azure eyes. We BBQ’d and melted marshmallows into the evenings, sat around and read and talked. We swam in the take-your-breath-away-water- and-i’m-not-exaggerating water! Freezing is terrible yet somehow thrilling as well. We walked the tracks and wandered about with the camera capturing the kids at play, relaxing.
Happy. Alone yet together moments. Quiet whispers of God in nature. Delightful. Dull roar of contentment.
i remember picking a sprig of mistletoe when i was 16 from Girraween and pressing it between the pages of my Bible, waiting and wishing for love. I had that sprig for a long time, wonder if it’s still there in my old Bible… it’s not the Bible i use very often, i have other favourites.
And now here i am with my 3 kids, and my eldest is 15. By my side is one who doesn’t need mistletoe to coerce him to kiss me! Loved from all sides and from above.
Filed under Bible, camping, children, chocolate, faith, family, God, holiday adventures, love, mothering, nature, travel
My heart has drifted, and i have been drawn away from the world of blogging and crafting into the real world of work, work, work. Nothing really paid but we have moved house with Hubby’s new job and i have rekindled seriously my writing passion with long hours writing my book, doing whatever i can to make a difference at my church, and i have had the privilege of speaking to groups of young women about girl stuff and preaching in my church. Pray, write speak; that is my living, breathing reality at the moment. House is dirty, relaxation time is pretty much nil so crafting time is precious. But i did make a few things in the holidays.
This one uses a vintage map of London, stamping and a beautiful quote. We all should have this on our wall and hearts!
Did i say that i am loving it? The pray, write, speak thing. Perfect for me, really where i want to be. Question is how does one get three very settled homeschooled children out of the house and onto the school bus??? Just kidding, i still feel a call to be at home with my precious 3 in this season of our life too but finding Yr 10, yr 8 and yr 7 a challenge to juggle. Thanks for visiting, so good to be back, i will get back to reading everyone’s blogs every Thursday night again asap … think i have a meeting this Thursday night tho…
Coffs Harbour means we stop for a family pic at the Big Banana. We stop every time for this pic, it’s become our family tradition. (We just needed Leah with us!)
Hubby ate his first choc-coated banana at Coffs. I am lucky enough to have grown up with a brother who liked to make choc coated bananas for my sister and i on a regular basis. All three kids gave it the seal of approval too.
It poured with rain but we still managed to ride bikes along the sea break, swam, walked Mutton Bird Island, saw turtles in the wild, walk along the beach and jumped on giant pillows of air at the caravan park (you know the ones i mean).
We love, love, loved the dolphin and seal show at Dolphin Magic! So amazing to get so close, and hey i got chosen to help feed the dolphin by waving madly and standing up as soon as i they asked for a volunteer.
We fed penguins and seals, and got kissed by a dolphin and a seal. So interactive, so fun, so awestuck by what God had created.
Highly, highly recommend Dolphin Marine Magic for families and overseas tourists alike. There is nothing like this place anywhere in Australia.
My beautiful 11 year old likes to sew too. Her friend Shannon had a birthday and so Shay made her this cute pillow.
I designed it and Shay and i cut it out and sewed it. I love doing things together.
We holiday before everyone else is on holiday; another bonus of home schooling. It means a lot less crowds and off-peak prices at accommodation. It also means we don’t pre book anything, we just turn up, and when we’ve had enough of one place we move where the wind takes us to the next place. This is my personality coming through, hubby would much rather pre-book everything and be locked in. First place we stayed was Illaroo camping area at Yuraygir National Park, NSW. A friend had sent me a link before we left and it just seemed the perfect amount of hours drive from our house (about 3 1/2) and perfect for adventuring. Despite it not have showers (we took 2 solar showers) the scenery was spectacular, we went to sleep listening to the waves crashing and was very relaxing (despite leaving our solar panels at home and have to eat a freezer and fridge chock full of perishables asap, which led to interesting food combinations to do with sorbet.)
We spent lots of time at the rock pools, collecting shells and finding creatures: sea urchins, cowries, octopus, sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea anemones, sea slugs, hermit crabs… and a few wondrous things i couldn’t identify.
We had a marvellous time in God’s book of nature.
They swam, explored the caves, build elaborate sand dams and other constructions and snorkelled. i walked and sat and stared at the waves and began to unwind. It always takes me a few days to immerse myself in holiday mode…
We saw this snake not far from our camp-site and just had to stop and admire its stunning colouring as it sun-baked before moving slowly off the road. We also had the privilege of Red-backed Fairy-wrens visiting our camp-site every morning and afternoon. Didn’t catch them on camera unfortunately, but here’s a pic from Tyto Tony who has captured them brilliantly.
We climbed the local sand dunes (puffing all the way up, reminding myself that my desk job needs an exercise component) and we jumped off them just because we could.
We sat around the fire every evening, burnt marshmallows til they were gooey and after the kids crashed into bed we stayed up at the fire and talked, just the two of us with no glow of the laptops to disturb us… and we ate chocolate. Blissful start to our holiday adventures.
In March we adopted the sweetest pre-loved kitten from the AWL. This week we nearly lost her.
She had a run in with a dog. This caused her to need 4 hours of surgery, where she stopped breathing twice. She had a perforated diaphragm, a torn bag that holds the intestines in and a broken rib. 4 days of kitty ICU and an empty wallet later, she is home, resting restlessly. She charmed the entire ICU including the receptionist. The vet said that there is no way to explain her quick recovery… but i can, prayer and lots of it.
Welcome home little Charli, we are so glad you are OK, you are a joy bringer, a member of our family. Get well soon, we can’t wait to watch you chase our chickens around our yard, loping after them like a miniature tiger. You tease the chickens tho, never touching a feather, you just love to chase them for giggles.
She has poise, she makes me laugh, she has great passion for life, she is a quiet achiever (and sometimes a not so quiet achiever), she has style, she sings endlessly, she has a great love for her Creator, she lights up my life & she is mine.
She’s my eldest daughter. She had a birthday. Next year it’s the car keys, but for now it’s just balloons (oh and a few of her noisy friends with us to Max Brenners).
Happy birthday to my Nat! She is beautiful inside and out!
Thinking about Christmas already… no not Christmas for my family but Christmas for children who won’t get much at Christmas. The beautiful hearts at Samaritan’s purse organize Operation Christmas Child every year, Last year 290,437 children in poverty received love in a box in places such as Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vietnam and Thailand.
I gave my 3 kids a small amount of money each and they followed the directions from the organisers to find and buy:
- SOMETHING TO LOVE: Teddy bear, doll, soft toy, etc.
- SOMETHING FOR SCHOOL: Exercise book, pencil case, pens, pencils, colouring pencils, sharpener, eraser, chalk, etc.
- SOMETHING TO WEAR: T-shirt, shorts, underwear, cap, beanie, sandals, thongs, etc.
- SOMETHING TO PLAY WITH: Tennis ball, cars, skipping rope, marbles, musical instrument, yo-yo, slinky, finger puppets, wind up torch, etc. (No battery operated items)*
- SOMETHING FOR PERSONAL HYGIENE: Soap and face washer, toothbrush, hairbrush, comb, hair-clips, scrunchies
- SOMETHING SPECIAL: Carry bag, sunglasses, bangles, necklaces, craft kits, stickers, note or photo of yourself.
It was totally their decision on what to buy! The 4 of them (my 3 plus a friend) did so well shopping with their hearts, carefully considering each possible purchase wanting the children to be really blessed by the contents of the boxes. Feels great to give. Always looking for ways to keep our family looking out toward others and to live with their hands open to receive and open to giving.