This one is late. It’s a blinking obvious photo too. I’ve put the word in there. Wait though, there’s a story behind it.
First, the pictures!
The story is this, I have moved around a LOT throughout my life. As a child my family moved about and I continued the habit through my early twenties. Fortunately I’ve slowed down over the past decade and I tend to settle in one place for at least 1-2 years. Finding a new home has not always been fun, at times it’s been exciting but other times it hasn’t been a choice that I made. There have probably been more times that I have been forced to move on than a choice in my hands.
When this photo challenge came up I was thrown into a lengthy discussion with myself (sanity is overrated!). What IS “home”? Where is MY home? If home is where my heart is, where is my heart? Is that really where my home is? Definitions of my home included bland words such as “dwelling” and “residence” but they also include words such as “refuge” and “place of safety”. I’ve always had a residence in which to live, but is that what a home is? To add further confusion to my home discussion, I have always sought refuge in other homes – those of friends and family. I tend to have 2-3 “second homes” where I am comfortable, this of course is due to my relationship with the home makers there. At times my actual home of the time has not held safety or refuge and I have been more at home at my “second home”.
All of this has lead to a bit of messy thinking when it comes to “home”. I tend to live with the anticipation that I will be uprooted and forced to move again. Despite the fact that I have a wonderful homely home that I live in, I will sometimes feel more at home at one of my second homes. I will literally live with boxes unpacked and have a list of things to do in that home that never gets done.
Today, I am blessed. I live with a wonderful family who have embraced me with kindness, compassion and I have become a part of their family. It was thinking of this home concept that I’ve realised that over the past 20 months I have grown deep roots into this home and family. God gave me a wonderful place to grow and a true home. I knew it, but I have had a deeper revelation that physically, emotionally and mentally I have been planted into this home. Home is where I am planted, where He guides me to go. I bought these letters to remind me of that each and every day. I have a home, a refuge and safe place in this house and with this family. I just realised I have no boxes unpacked here and most of my “to do” list to organise my bedroom is done! That in itself powerfully reveals how much I have settled here.
No longer will I live with itchy, anxious feet, anticipating the certainty of change before it happens. God goes before me and with me, He provides my home for me. I will not be living here forever, my physical home will change and yet I will create another home with unpacked boxes and to do lists completed. Perhaps, I will welcome others into my home and give them a safe place to be loved and treated with kindness.
32 + 2 followers! Again, I’m humbled and overwhelmed. Thanks to all 34 of you for following my musings, it’s so encouraging to have you all aboard the musings journey. I am excited about having so many along this blogging journey. I genuinely hope and pray that my blog brings light to your life. I’ve found that vulnerability and transparency are incredibly powerful in our own and others lives. Knowing that others struggle reminds me that I’m not alone. In honor of my 32 plus 2 followers, I’ll share a story about 32 with you.
Do you like my candles? I turned 32 in August last year and the actual day was one of disappointment. Most of my birthdays something happens, my counselor found that fascinating..hehehe.. This year a few things happened out of anyone’s control and my original plans went out the window. I had kept it all simple and low key to avoid any disappointment and I got it anyway. This just pushes all the low self worth buttons that I am trying to deal with.
The lead up to my birthday had been great, but my actual birthday half my guests couldn’t make it and my close friends had massive turmoil happening in their life. By the end of the night I was miserable, I had an amazing Superman cake made by my cousin but everyone was subdued and there were no candles. After going out for dinner we got home and I wandered if they were going to sing happy birthday. Everyone went about their business then I sulked. Not just went quiet, I went to my room and sat on the bed and sulked. I was “just changing into my PJ’s”. Slowly. There may or may not have been some tears.
Someone knocked after a bit and asked if we were going to do cake… “Nope, there’s no candles” I called through the door. I sulked some more. Why me? Why does it always happen on my birthday? Why can’t I just have one birthday that is fun? I’ve got an amazing cake but no one to enjoy it with…etc etc…I wandered out and they asked if I was ok. “Not really” I mumbled.
I don’t really remember the next bit, locked in my sulkiness. But then there was some banging and crashing from the kitchen and talking and laughing. Sulk, sulk, sulk went I. Next thing I know in comes two of the friends with a proud 32 brightly burning on my cake. Everyone sang happy birthday. I smiled, we all laughed and the mood was much lighter after that.
That zero turned into a two is the best candle I’ve ever had. These friends that I have are the best friends I’ve had. They probably thought I was being ridiculous over candles. Yet they knew it was important to me and they made me smile and feel special. Friends to walk with us on the journey of life is essential. My near friends that I drink tea with regularly and those that I only share a virtual cup of tea with, they are all important to me. Without them all, my mental health issues would be far worse. If anyone needs to share, an “ear” to listen, a virtual friend, always feel free to contact me.
I thought and I thought about this one. I’m single and sometimes bitter about that fact so I didn’t want to do anything romantic. Besides, I tend to find the mushy stuff too mushy and predictable. Romantic love is just not a part of my life at the moment. I thought about doing something about friendship, family, God, Jesus etc etc. As usual I wanted to express my Weekly Photo Challenge in a creative and meaningful way. As I was driving along one day I remembered this picture.
This is is little Sarah, my almost 4 year old housemate. We have a mutual adoration society between the two of us that makes my heart smile each and every single day. I captured this photo in one of those magical moments of a child’s life. She LOVES the beach, she is captivated by the sand, water and shells. I love this photo as I’ve captured her in a moment of pure joy and abandonment. A moment where she is loving life without restrictions.
Love for me at the moment is about learning to love my life. To be captivated and in love with who and what I have around me. I have so much love in my life – to give and receive.
One of my life goals, one of the most important ones, is to love life with joy and abandonment just like this moment in little Sarah’s life.
I quickly checked my blog the other morning before heading out off on a mini break. It was before my morning coffee and not long after I’d awoken. It takes me a while for my brain to kick in and I am actually able to think. I blearily looked at my stats, seeing I’d had some likes on my post I’d published the night before. I also noticed a comment and it took me a few minutes to work out what had happened. JodetteP nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award! It’s a lovely award and I’m so humbled and grateful to have received it. It’s my first ever award and it’s encouraging that in my plodding and blogging along, people are reading and enjoying my musings.
It’s also lovely because it’s not just about me, I have to pass the loveliness on as part of the rules of receiving the award. Now, the rules are as follows:
- Share seven things about yourself.
- Pass the award on to another 7 bloggers.
- Give thanks to the Lovely one that tagged you!
Here’s the bit about me:
- I live in a constant state of mess vs order. Order keeps my head clear and calm and yet my flutterby tendencies flitter around and cause the mess. Both physically and mentally!
- I love swimming (watching and doing it), soccer and tennis. The latter two are purely spectator sports in my life!
- I will only ever own a red car. They go faster.
- Music makes my world go around.
- I am one of 5 kids and have 3 nieces and a nephew. I also collect nieces and nephews and have 2 nephews and a niece by “adoption”.
- I love the beach but I cannot stand the sand! I live in a
- I don’t like bad grammar and spelling at all, I can spot it a mile away. Yet I am guilty of it, so please, point it out if I slip up in a post!
Here’s the fun bit, I get to pass it on. Then others pass it on. It’s a snow ball of encouragement in the blogosphere. So, without further ado, my 7 bloggers are:
- Married to an Alcoholic
- Nicole at The Middlest Sister
- Alison at Hippy Habits
- Matleena at The In-Between
- Linda at Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities
- Leanne Cole at Leanne Cole Photography
Love to you all,
The piece of metal that kept a man in solitary confinement.
There was a day that I explored buildings that were old and worn. I studied Richmond Gaol in Tasmania, a little town that is one of the oldest I’ve ever visited. The gaol is one of the best preserved and oldest standing convict gaol’s in Australia. I discovered the section marked “Men’s Solitary”. People were wandering through other parts of the gaol, I could hear their voices carried by the wind. I stood in one of the solitary cells, studying the worn wood, the floor that heads would have lain on and the lock that held them in. I stood almost alone in these empty walls and yet they felt full. They hold memories within their enclosed walls that is beyond my comprehension.
In the walls of that cell, a man would have known hunger.
There has always been food on my plate.
Men would have known pain.
I have never known violence.
Men would have known fear.
I have always been safe.
The men that were locked here were rejected, criminilised and treated like animals for crimes. Some meagre.
I have always known love.
It was the lock that fascinated me. Simple, crude, strong. Men inside this solitary cell would have sat dreaming of the world beyond the lock. Dreaming of a life beyond the walls of their prison. As I studied the cell, snapping details of wood and locks, I wondered. Questions filled my mind from the simple to the deep.
How did they sleep on nothing but a wooden floor?
Did they have a bucket to do their business?
Did they talk to each other through the walls? (I guess not – it was solitary confinement after all).
What were their crimes? Stealing bread to survive? Violence amongst the other prisoners? Bushrangers? Murders? Rapes?
Did they come from the UK?
Were they born from other convicts born here a generation before?
What did they think about in the long hours (Weeks? Months? Years?) alone?
Did some give up and die on the inside?
Did others fight until the end?
In the darkness did they pray?
Alone in the darkness did they know the light of God?
Whatever the answers to all of my questions, I know one thing. Our land of Australia was built on the backs of these prisoners. Blood, sweat, tears, pain, years of labour to build and reap harvests. The life I know now is greatly due to the men and woman beyond this time and deep in our past. I can not comprehend much about the prisoners of Richmond Gaol, but I deeply honour and respect them all.
I’ve been so busy, both with the festive season and with life. My boss is away and I’m being bossy and doing extra shifts. The past few weeks I have felt as if I work, eat, sleep and shop and that’s it! In amongst all of this I have been pondering this delicate photo challenge. I have photos of flowers and a few other delicate things that reflect delicate but I just wasn’t satisfied with them. I wanted something that creatively reflected delicacy. I also wanted to use some photos I’d taken of Christmas ornaments recently. I was driving along one day and I had this revelation. Christmas is delicate in so many ways.
In the past Christmas has been incredibly delicate for me personally. I have often had to work on Christmas day and have even spent a Christmas or two alone. It is a time where I have felt intensely alone and lonely which has deepened the depression that plagues my life at times.
Christmas is a delicate time for our family – personalities, issues, long standing difficulties, the wants and needs of 10 adults and 4 kids and the other families involved is complicated. Christmas is often preceded by arguments amongst sisters about where, what, when, who doesn’t love who, who travels most… the list goes on…. Delicate hearts and minds are pushed and prodded and wrestle with one another. No one wins in the end.
This year, in my own delicate state, I am trying to focus on Christmas. For some that means family. For me, it means remembering why we celebrate Christmas and finding the joy and magic of Christmas that I once knew as a child. My heart smiles as I say that I have found some of it! Christmas lights, the Melbourne Town Hall display, Carols, the awe struck faces of Children, the generosity and love of friends around me and reminding myself to count my many blessings even when the negativity within tells me that I have nothing and no-one. I am not perfect, I still make choices that are in a word – stupid. I struggle each and every day to find joy, it is there but blinkers blind me from the truth.
Finally, I remember the delicate nature of Christ’s beginning as a man. He came for us beginning as a babe in Mary’s womb and then a fragile, tiny newborn. My good friend and house mate wrote a beautiful article on Christ as a baby – read it here
God bless you all during this Christmas season. If anyone is struggling with Christmas, feel free to comment or email me privately.
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.
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!