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.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Little Princess

Growing up, I loved Frances Hodgson Burnett's "A Little Princess". I still do love it. I think I love that it was a "Cinderella-esque" story, and I loved little Sara Crewe, for her imagination, her kindness, her bravery. Even now when I read it I can almost think it's a real story, and she was a real person. I used to think that if I were in Miss Minchin's Seminary for Young Ladies I wouldn't have been mean to her. I would have been kind. My absolute favourite part of this story is when the Magic happens. Sometimes I read just that chapter if I want to have a bit of a cry. 

I think I identified so strongly with her because I rather wished I could be brave, as she was. I wanted my own Magic to happen. Which it did, but not until years later. My own Magic happened when I realised that I had to go out into the world, because it wasn't going to happen in my life as it was at the time. In order for my Magic to happen, I didn't lose my father, or a fortune from diamonds. I had to give up my mother, my two half-brothers. I had to care more for my own survival and well-being than I did for theirs. 
Maybe that's why I find it so difficult to practise self-care now. Because I am still learning how to let go of this notion that I deserve condemnation for failing to fix it all. 

My, that was an unexpected turn for the gloomy, wasn't it?

I choose to forgive myself for not holding that family together.

I choose to forgive myself for not holding my own parents together. For not making everything okay, for not doing more. 

I am officially no longer punishing myself for either of those things. 

I want my children to have a strong sense of personal responsibility, but not to feel responsible for the entire universe, like I do. The only way for them to learn that skill, is for them to see their mama living it out, every single day. I'm not responsible for making them happy. I'm responsible for loving them, and being happy is up to them. They aren't responsible for making me happy. They choose their behaviour, and my happiness is up to me. 

Sara Crewe had wisdom beyond her years. She recognised that she had a choice in her actions. It wasn't ever easy. She was treated badly, and yet she chose to be the bigger person. She wasn't NOT angry; but she chose to not allow her anger to control her. I want to make that choice. The choice of a princess. To have all the emotions, but to not be governed by them. 

After all, I am the daughter of the King (Jesus, NOT Elvis). Which kind of makes me a princess, right? 

Royally yours, 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Us and Them

Current events have been weighing heavily on me of late. Perhaps even heavier though is the knowledge that people I've known for ages aren't responding the way I would have thought. 

Today, I was on my merry way home from playgroup, to clean up my house (which obviously isn't happening, but when the word strikes, you write!). As I approached a busy street in front of a school, I saw a football go over the fence, and roll across the road and come to a stop. The children were gesturing madly, with a look of desperation (isn't everything desperate when you're 9?). 

I could have said, "I've got so much to do." This would not be a lie.

I could have said, "Someone else will surely sort it out." Probably.

I could have said, "But why should I do this for them?" Selfish, but valid question.

I could have said, "That will teach them to be more careful in the future." Well, that would just be plain mean. 

I didn't say any of those things. I took advantage of an empty parking space, pulled over, popped out of the car, assessed the safest route to get it, retrieved the ball, and walked it back over to the school, chucking it to the nearest child. 

I did it because it was the kind, generous, and compassionate response. 

And it seems like that's what the world needs right now. Kindness, generosity, and compassion. 

We can say of refugees, "But we're not taking care of our own people!" Maybe true in part, but is this the fault of people fleeing unspeakable atrocity?

We can say of refugees, "Let them go to another country." Okay, how about suggestions. Simply saying "Not my problem" isn't particularly helpful.

We can say of refugees, "But why should we take them in?" Answer: Because it's the morally decent thing to do. 

We can say of refugees, (and I haven't seen this stated outright, but implied in many posts, comments, and articles) "It's their own fault for being Muslims." This just makes me want to vomit.

Should we just throw open the doors, with no precaution whatsoever? No. I looked both ways before crossing the street, and we should absolutely exercise due caution. But to tell someone, "you can't come here because you are of the Muslim faith" is just wrong. 

How can we tell our children to include others, to show kindness, to treat others as they would like to be treated- and with a straight face and clear conscience turn around and treat these unfortunate souls with such contempt, such fear, such disdain?

It is such a deep and disappointing hurt. I thought we were better than this. We should be. We used to be. To those who say "But the world is a different place now..." You're right. And I believe that it's a different place because we have made it that way. At some point, we made a choice to stop caring about other people, and Us and Them was born. 

I'll be honest. I don't know what the solution is. I'm pretty sure it's not hatred. But maybe a little kindness, generosity, and compassion put into the world would create ripples that will expand and grow, and bring about the change that we desperately need. 

Go out and just be nice, folks. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Beauty of Brokenness

I watched this bird this morning, being chased by another bird. She wasn't watching where she was flying, she was just fleeing. She flew into the side of the house. and dropped to the deck. As I watched her just sitting there, looking around, but not getting up, I began to feel a weird connection to this poor bird. 

You see, I had a terrible morning yesterday with my children. Probably the worst one ever. I hit a major wall, and all day long, I was exhausted from the guilt. Couldn't catch my breath, chest felt tight, and I couldn't lift a finger to do anything. Paralysed by stress. 

Then I saw this bird, and as I sat there watching her, I felt as though I couldn't leave without seeing her be okay. I had to know it was possible to hit a wall and fly again. I literally sat at my desk, looking out the window, and talked out loud to the bird, encouraging her to get up. Telling her it was okay, that she would be fine. 

You know, all the things I needed to hear but somehow couldn't find the words to say?

As I watched, she stood up. 

Come on, I thought. 
You can do this. Please be okay? I need to know you are okay. 

I was glued to my seat. I really needed to get moving and shower, get dressed. But I needed to know. 

I went to get ready for the day, and when I came out, she was still sitting on the deck. 

Maybe she just needs to try, I thought. Maybe she doesn't know she can still fly? 

So I took some quiet steps over to the back door, got a bit closer. 

And she FLEW. That beautiful bird flew. She was clearly looking around for danger, scanning to see if the other bird was near. But she could fly. 

And the following came to mind:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

You guys, yesterday I was broken. But my Father above, who cares about that bird, cares more about me. He has redeemed me, He has restored me. 

Like the bird, I wasn't sure I could fly again. I needed to be reminded that being broken isn't the end of the story. It's the beauty of redemption that I had forgotten. 

So today, I will live my beautiful brokenness, and wrap it in a cloak of grace, beauty, and Love. 

And then? 

I will FLY. 

XO, Sarah