Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful

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There are many things that I am thankful for.  I have pondered them all after I read this week’s photo challenge. Thankful, there are so many things that I could have written a whole post about. Yet as I flicked through photos for some ideas I came across some photos I took of some fireworks in March. I just LOVE fireworks!  I am thankful that despite how I may feel some days, there I always that light that shines deep within my spirit. That no matter how dark this year has seemed at times, there still remains hope.

The thing is, when you are in the middle of a low period everything seems dark. Events and things that normally make your heart glad go unnoticed and unrecognised. Darkness is dense, it’s lies of aloneness and unworthiness are formidable. J.R.R Tolkien brings darkness into The Lord of the Rings in many ways, yet for me it is Shelob’s Lair that describes it all to well:

 “They walked as it were in a black vapour wrought of veritable darkness itself that, as it was breathed bought blindness not only to the eyes but to the mind, so that even the memory of colours and of forms and of any light faded out of thought.” (The Two Towers)

Frodo and Sam felt lost and suffocated until Sam remembered the light of Earendil that had been gifted to Frodo. In the midst of that blackness, light overwhelmed the dark. The light also brought hope and courage to the two. As a Christian, I carry the light of Christ. It is this light that enables me to see the things that I am thankful for. The light of Christ that illumines the darkness to reveal what monsters lurk beneath so that they can be defeated forever. It is this light that gives me hope, it gives me courage and urges me on despite the lies that may whisper in the night. This light also illuminates the blessings and beauty within and around me so that I can see that I am not alone. It shines upon that which I am thankful for. Light can never be defeated by dark.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5)

 Thanks for reading. Thanks for following. I would love to hear of your stories and journeys in this world. I pray that my blog brings a little light into your world too.

Love,

Sara xo

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

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I have had a low week and so when I read this I momentarily thought of all the things I am jealous of in others. I considered doing the photos all about it too! Seriously! I didn’t though, obviously. In the end I have enjoyed choosing some photos that have a story. I haven’t purposefully gone out and found green things, they’re snaps I’ve taken along the way. I like that, life. I find so much beauty in the simple things. I’m still using only my phone to take and edit pictures. The good news is I am working crazy hours over December and asking for cash for Christmas rather than presents. So my aim is to buy a fancy pants camera by the 14th of January.

Now, for the stories.

1. PJ Pants

These are my favourite PJ pants that have a lovely design, as you can see. They have my favourite kinds of aqua greens and blue in them. I love wearing matching and coordinated pyjamas. A friend once said to another friend “Sara dresses well, but you should see her pyjama’s. They’re a wardrobe all of their own.”

2. Snow Peas

My little 3.5 year old housemate and I love to do the “Sair Bear and Sarah Cooking Show”. She’ll stand at the bench while I’m preparing dinner and we’ll pretend it’s a cooking show. Complete with “Welcome to the Sair Bear and Sarah Cooking Show, today our special guest is Pocahontas. Now tell me Pocahontas, what are your favourite dishes to cook?” She’ll play with the food and help tremendously in her own little Sarah way. This time I actually gave her a butter knife and let her cut some soft things. Then she thoroughly enjoyed pulling some snow peas apart, examining their little peas inside.

3. Garden Greens

Featuring little Sarah again. My grown up housemate and mother to little Sarah is a green thumb. In our little backyard lives raised garden beds for nurturing the growth of edible things. We’ve had homegrown delights such as lettuce, tomatoes, basil, herbs, celery and broccoli. Sarah will hunt and gather the herbs to make a concoction. We’ve made some tasty lamb marinades from our concoctions.

4. Little Green Elf

This looks very Christmassy so I just had to put it in. I knitted this cute little fella for a friend’s baby. She was born recently and I’m looking forward to meeting her one day.

5. MP3

I had a moment this week where I once again was overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of my housemates. My car was broken into before I went away and my backpack stolen. My iPod was in there and I was sad about that.  I was telling them about it this week and then they just gave me this cute little MP3 player. I love it, it was top of the range 6 years ago and still works brilliantly!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

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My “nest” on my holiday.

A comfortable recliner, a little table, a blanket, my laptop, knitting, journal, movies and a cup of tea (notably absent from this photo). All of this in the beautiful surroundings of Northdown, Tasmania. Two weeks staying with friends without the worries of everyday life.

Bliss. Paradise. Heaven.

Two weeks of renewal.

Weekly Writing Challenge: In An Instagram

This was a hard one as I am a bit slow. Intelligent yes, a tad slow nonetheless. You see, I look back into my past and it’s hard to see the moments that changed my life, my thinking, how I work, how I process stuff. This could also be my foggy memory interfering. I did just read somewhere the other day that once you turn 30, your brain cells start dying off. If the internet says so it must be true. (Note to self: Must remember to google products/foods to increase brain power).

I digress, where was I. Oh yes, moments. There was a moment where my world came tumbling down around me, and I remember that vividly. The moment that a close friend and foster aunt died in a car accident. It was 3 weeks before my 21st birthday and I’d spoken to her on the phone a couple of days before. I remember literally collapsing as a friend arrived to go shopping. It was like the movies.

After that I lost faith in life, in hope, and motivation in most things. I dropped out of uni, I became withdrawn and depressed. I became a shadow of myself.  This moment, while it deeply changed me, also brought to the surface long hidden brokenness.

Since then, just over a decade ago, it’s been a long climb, sometimes a sprint, sometimes a leisurely stroll.  The most profound moments that have spurred me on has been the Aunty Sair Bear ones.

Children of sisters, brother and friend’s coming into this world. For these little ones I want to be a better person. Each moment that I discovered I was to be an aunty again, whether biological or not, overflowed with joy.  The birth of each of them the most exciting moments in my life. I have become determined to walk through this life more like Christ, with more love, more grace and more whole. If I can simply be all that God created me to be, to keep putting the pieces of my life together, I will be the best aunty that I possibly can be. A place of fun, care, safety, nurturing and love  in the midst of a chaotic world.

My little people teach me so much in this world. Their sometimes profound words and natural intuitiveness to people is awe inspiring. Their natural and easy giving of love teaches me how I want to be in love with people. I treasure the moments that I have with them, the giving of their love, their grins, laughter, tears, whines, bossiness, cups of tea, babycino’s, songs and ordinary vegemite toast moments.

The best moments of all are the random and unprovoked outbursts of “I love you” that comes from their whole hearts.

I currently have 3 nieces, 1 nephew and 2 “nephews” and 1 “niece”, it is an honor and blessing to be walking through life by their side.

A Challenge or a Dream?

As a child, I would sit and write stories with a grey lead pencil, eraser and loose leaf paper. I was obsessed with little coloured folders that I’d file each story into. I’d write for hours. Teachers loved my stories and I won a competition at 13 for a short story. I dreamed of being a novelist before I left my teen years. 

But somehow I stopped writing. I guess I grew up. Or allowed rejection, life, a total lack of self worth and busyness get in the way. 

I stumbled across National Novel Writing Month this week and I’ve taken the plunge, signed up and cracked the 1,000 word mark (only 49,000 words to go!). I’m excited and nervous but enjoying the challenge. Will I write 50,000 by November 30? Probably not.

I’ve already won. A story has me entranced, a story that I have had whispering to me for a few years now. It consumes my thoughts. Imagination is coming alive again. I dream once again of a book with my name on it.

A challenge and a dream.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

Firstly… A HUGE shout out to my new followers! It’s very exciting to see some people around here regularly. Many thanks and I look forward to getting to know you more in this blogging world.

I balked at this weeks challenge. Geometry just means maths after all and most things mathematical I tend to balk. I had a think about it and then wandered around the yard. I was at a friend’s house in Tasmania. The house is 131 years old and is on a vineyard, plenty of opportunities for stunning photographs. I wandered around and actually ended up with quite a few photos that I liked. They were all taken with my camera phone and edited in Picasa. I found this one little corner that had an old brick chimney, the weather boards, a water tank and some lilies. This little nook created some beautiful shapes and textures to explore…. as you will see 🙂

And a couple of images from around the property….

I was truly blessed to have stayed here for almost two weeks. Not only because of the beautiful setting but because of my friends that welcomed me into their home.

Finally, something a little different…. the scarf that I am working on at the moment. Knitting is all geometry really.

Daily Prompt: A Letter To Myself 20 Years From Now

Dear Sara

It’s hard to write a letter to you. I mean, you’re 20 years older and assumingly wiser, stronger and better.

These then are my simple words to you my dear friend…

I hope that through the wind and storms of life your footsteps have remained strong and sure. That your heart continues to love radically. That your heart continues to fill and overflow with your Saviour’s radical love. I hope that each person that encounters you knows and experiences love deeply.

My dear one, if life has left you walled off and scared, look deep inside. Do not feel ashamed. I have known struggles and despite the darkness that threatens to overwhelm, there is always a spark. Look deep, find the spark and allow it to glow and burn once again. You are created for love, to be loved and to love.

However this letter finds you, continue to put one foot in front of the other.
With love

Your 32 year old self.

p.s read and study Isaiah 43 and the Song of Songs. Yep, all of it.