About Me

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New South Wales, Australia
I write to make people smile about the craziness of life with small people - because it IS crazy, no doubt. It is also wonderful.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

What Is Home?

Is it the four walls in which we reside? Is it the people who live there with us? Is it a sensory thing - a smell, or a sound?

We moved house (and state) a few weeks ago, and as I've been unpacking boxes, and trying (again) to create a home for my family, I've been reflecting on this very question.

It's not about validating my choice to be a homemaker. I'm quite happy in that choice, and don't feel the need to inflate my ego by listing all I do in a day. I know that without my choice to stay at home and do this, my husband could not go out and do what he does. So I know that it's an important job, and I know I'm awesome at it.

No, my reflection is born of an observation that making a home is so much more than just these four walls, and the people therein. It is also the building of community outside these walls. The finding of a place for this family in a larger setting, and the ability to make it feel like a natural place. To take these strangers, and merge them with other strangers, in such a way that it feels like we've always been here.

It's hard. Because I really wanted home to be where we were, but it wasn't. And it was absolutely NOT a failure on my part. I immersed myself in community, I made friends, I got to know people - but it still wasn't home. And I think that's another point which should be made:

I am an exceptional homemaker - but I can't make a home for someone who doesn't want it to be a home. I can do all the things I know to do - home-cooked meals, tidy house, thriving children, fresh laundry, listening ear, unwavering support and encouragement, and a fierce love - but these things alone do not make a home.

Home is where the heart is, we hear it said. It is trite, but I now know this to be inarguably true. And while my heart was striving to grow and bloom where I was planted, I couldn't make his heart feel at home, because it was slowly being strangled by a deep, deep unhappiness, and slowly it began to choke the life out of all of us.

The changes in our life of late have breathed new life into each of us. Into our family as a whole. This house we are in, it feels good. It feels like this was always home, and we've just been away for a very long time. And I guess that's what home is. It's something we sense, like the beating of our hearts. It is confirmed every time the heart beats again:

Every kid on the street in my backyard, bikes everywhere. The heart beats.

The sun, streaming through the window onto my kitchen table. The heart beats.

The realisation that, though I have lost what was, it is perfectly preserved in memory. The heart beats.

The glittering frost on my grass, spread out like a carpet of jewels before me in the morning light. The heart beats.

The aroma of my spices mixed with the smell of old timber, every time I open my pantry. The heart beats.

The sound of my children giggling in their beds before sleep overtakes them. The heart beats.

These things, and so many more, beat out the rhythm of my days, my life - and just like I am so often unaware and unappreciative of my own heart's faithful beating, if I am not mindful, I will begin to take all those things and moments for granted which, with their gloriously ordinary beauty, steal my very breath away.

Here is to a new life of looking, and listening for, those gloriously ordinary heartbeats, which I am certain will lead me home.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Two Minutes

So this morning, I'm panicking, figuratively speaking. I'm enrolled in university, three classes this trimester - and the workload is freaking me out. This week alone, I have five lectures. The amount and (difficulty) of reading I have to do boggles the mind. My domestic workload is, as ever, as challenging as one might expect given the size of my family. Trying to remain committed to health and wellbeing, and see to my mental health, my spiritual health - it's daunting.

So I was feeling frazzled when I rocked up to church (ON TIME!) this morning. Feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, and definitely not thinking about worship.

The message today was about Elijah, and the part about him journeying into the wilderness and parking his backside under a broom tree - it spoke to me. We had our own Elijah kind of morning last week. I dropped all the kids off and I just sat in my car in the driveway. I couldn't face the overwhelming nature of the mess awaiting my return. So I sat there, about 45 minutes, and just cried, talked things out, and eventually started falling asleep. At which point I thought, "This is dumb. I should just go and lay down" and I did.

Back to this morning. Just before communion, we had two minutes of silence, and I just mentally started dumping all this stuff onto the floor in front of God, and confessing my fear of not knowing how all this would happen. And then a very strange thing happened.

My eyes still closed, I saw/felt bright light shining on me from somewhere above me. As soon as I saw/felt the light, my fear dissolved, and in its place grew a sense of peace, and overwhelming joy. When the two minutes was over, I opened my eyes and the light in the room had not changed. But I had changed.

We had communion, and for perhaps the first time ever, I felt communion with God. I felt more of Him, and so much less of me. I felt the actual 'dying of self' that people talk about.

I can't explain what happened today. I am simply thankful that it did.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Who I Am...

Another year gone. Wow.

I was reflecting on life, as people seem to do on New Year's Eve. It occurred to me that this move to a new place, while a good thing, wasn't quite the magic wand that I had expected it to be. There's a lesson to be learned there. My expectations are, 99% of the time, crazy-stupid-high. And in all my life, I don't know that I've ever been able to confidently define who I am which is where I need to start in order to know who I want to be. With that in mind, I've begun with the following list: 

I am a Jesus-loving, coffee-drinking, kitchen-ninja. I am a big-hearted, incredibly sensitive, creative being. I read books like other people breathe, I enjoy solitude, and I crave order and routine. I feel anxious when things are crazy. I have panic attacks sometimes. I have a wicked temper (working on that one!). I love doing laundry, but hate putting it away. I struggle with consistency...sometimes. I eat my feelings (God is really spoiling this one for me), and I've got a LOT of feelings. I get depressed sometimes. I cry - at everything. Sometimes a clarinet solo can set me off. I have a way with words. I speak FOOD as a primary love language, and if that's not a thing it so should be a thing. I dream big, and achieve small. I see beauty in small things. I have almost no social filter. I am funny as heck, and LOVE to make people laugh. 

All those aspects of me, and so many more, fit together to make a beautiful person made in God's own image. I'm pretty awesome, in fact - because God made me that way. 

So who I want to be is all that, unapologetically. Spell check doesn't like that word, but I'm a writer, so it's all good. To love all the parts of me, and accept them as part of who I am, while being refined into a better version of all those things. Particularly the temper thing, that needs a lot of work. To create, establish, and maintain personal boundaries, so that I don't come back to the version of me who actually thought that she wasn't deserving of happiness until everyone else was happy. Crazy, right? 

So that's it - no reservations, no goals. Just a desire to finally love and care for the amazing and wonderful person that is Sarah. 

Happy New Year with Abundant Love,