Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
1. We Three Kings
2. Joy to the World
3. Good King Wenceslas
4. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
5. White Christmas
What are your top five Christmas carols?
Monday, December 21, 2009
Since we've been married, we've maintained separate email addresses and separate mobile numbers, but in the immediate months after our wedding, more and more mutual friends seemed to be contacting me via Duncan. They stopped emailing me at the email address I've had since 2001 and I even heard via the grapevine that some people assumed I had closed my email down and was now using Duncan's. Suddenly emails addressed to both of us appeared in Duncan's inbox and all texts relaying important news such as invitations, engagements and birth of babies were sent to his phone.
Now I can understand Duncan's family and friends contacting me via him because they didn't have my contact details but what astounded me was the growing number of mutual friends who chose to tell Duncan things before me. I'm guessing that this was because sending too many texts was expensive and they assumed Duncan would pass on messages to me but guess what....he often doesn't. He doesn't always check his email, he sometimes forgets to pass on messages and, as a result, I often feel like I'm the last to know about everything important. We've had so many conversations with me starting with, "Why didn't you tell me about that?" and Duncan replying, "Oh didn't I? I must have forgot." Coupled with the fact that we're quite isolated, I've found this tendency to cut off contact with me hurtful. People have asked me what I thought about the latest photos of their baby or why I haven't replyed to their email and they look astonished when I tell them I never received it. When I ask what email address they sent it to and they say Duncan's, I groan inwardly.
I don't understand why people would just assume that I would close down my email address because I'm married. Sure, lots of married couples have joint emails but Duncan's email address is his name. Why would we want an email address only with his name in it? Gee, that makes me feel like I've really faded into insignifance. So, I sent an email out telling everyone that those who were saying that I'd closed down my email were wrong and that they could still contact me at the same address; that if they were emailing both of us, I'd appreciate it if they sent it to both emails. I know some people were still contacting me as usual and not only going through Duncan, but this email was for those who weren't.
Why is it always the woman who seems to disappear when a couple get married? I didn't have a problem with changing my name. In fact, I kind of like using my married name for everyday life and my maiden name as my writing name, but for one of my good friends, this was a huge issue. She not only changed her name, she moved into her husband's house, had to get rid of a lot of her things and happened to change jobs around the time of her wedding. She felt like she'd lost her identity and, while I didn't have a major identity crisis, I just wanted people to know that despite all the changes I'd been through, I was still Sarah. Mrs Sarah instead of Miss Sarah, but still Sarah nevertheless and not Mrs Duncan. I hate those stupid traditions where envelopes are addressed Mr and Mrs Duncan. No, I'm Mrs Sarah, so the envelope should be addressed Mr and Mrs Duncan and Sarah. Grrrr.
Yes, a married couple are two who have become one, but a married woman does not disappear and become her husband.
Friday, December 18, 2009
When four of Santa's elves got sick and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones, Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.
Then Mrs Claus told Santa that her Mother was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.
When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knew where!! More stress...
Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked, and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard he discovered that the elves had hidden the alcohol and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration he accidentally dropped the cider pot, and it broke into a hundred of little pieces all over the kitchen floor.
He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw end of the broom.
Just then the doorbell rang, and irritable Santa trudged to the door. He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. The angel said very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't it a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"
And so began the tradition of the angel on top of the Christmas tree...
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
To be brutally honest, I sure feel that way sometimes. It's easy to slip into a If I were God, I wouldn't have so-and-so in my kingdom mentality.
But God is God and I am not. If he wants someone in his kingdom, he certainly doesn't have to answer to me, and I'm sure not going to spend eternity with him because I deserve it. When other Christians annoy me and offend me, I keep having to remember that one day I'm going to be in God's kingdom with them.....forever.
So if I'm going to spend eternity with them, then I'd better start learning to live with them right now.....somehow.
Thankfully, when we're all in the new creation, they'll no longer be annoying, insensitive sinners......and neither will I.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Would you ever use (or thought about using while single) a dating agency (either online or in person) to find a life partner?
The reason I'm asking is that such agencies seem to carry a certain disparaging stigma. I have heard many people say they are cheesy or that it makes you look desperate.
I'll be honest here...when I was single I did consider creating a profile on a relationships website such as RSVP but I never went ahead with it. Despite the dangers involved with meeting someone online, I've heard a few happy stories about people meeting online. Two of my former workmates met their partners through RSVP and one is now married and the other engaged. They said yes, there are lots of dodgy people out there, but there are also a lot of decent people who are simply looking to share their life with a special someone.
I think the reason I didn't go ahead with it was because I didn't want my despair at my singleness to dominate my life and going on dates all the time with Christian men would distract my focus. I felt God telling me to lay it at his feet and just live my life serving him. However, that's just my decision and I certainly don't believe people who meet online are doing the wrong thing. Look at blogging for example. I have 'met' many wonderful people online and I think, in this day and age, that it's considered less weird to meet online first and in person later.
I shake my head at Christians who got married at like, 19 or something, who might criticise older people for using a dating service. People who have never experienced prolonged singleness cannot relate to the battles singleness often brings. I can't even say I've experienced prolonged singleness since I married at 24, but I do know that my single years felt like an eternity at the time.
I think I'd have to say to anyone considering registering with a dating service....pray and if you feel God saying yes, go for it! Why not? Not everyone has the luxury of meeting someone through church or through Christian camps and conferences. For non Christians, it can be equally difficult to meet people if work or uni don't have eligible people and clubs/pubs aren't your scene. However, I think it's important to consider the dangers involved with meeting someone online. A few of my friends who have had online dating profiles have said they were contacted by a few weirdos as well.
So, I'd love to hear from anyone who has used a dating service or at least thought about it for half a second. How did you find it? If you decided against it, what stopped you?
Monday, December 07, 2009
- Car breakdowns - On my way to Perth last Friday, my car broke down in Moora and again in Perth. Fortunately, in Moora, it was at a service station and a guy who works there jump-started it for me. He reckoned my battery was dying and recommended that I didn't turn my engine off until I got to Perth. So I drove non-stop, with no radio since it wasn't working because of the battery (BORING) and stopped to pee at a public loo in the middle of nowhere and had to leave my engine running while I was in and out in record time! Then it broke down when I got to a friend's house and the RAC came and fitted a new battery. More money down the drain!
- Dodgy mole removed - Those of you who have read this blog for a while may remember I mentioned that I had a suspicious-looking mole removed not long before our wedding. Well, it grew back over the scar and when I went back my annual scan two days ago, the doctor didn't like the look of it and cut it out again. It's better than getting skin cancer though!
But you know what? Even during all of these frustrating things, God has never once left me hanging. He has always provided someone who can help me out and, for that, I am very grateful. These lyrics remind me to be thankful for God and for the people who make me smile, even after the crappiest of days.
My tea's gone cold, I'm wondering why
I got out of bed at all.
The morning rain clouds up my window,
and I can't see at all.
And even if I could it'd all be grey,
but your picture on my wall,
it reminds me that it's not so bad,
it's not so bad.
I drank too much last night, got bills to pay,
my head just feels in pain.
I missed the bus and there'll be hell today,
I'm late for work again.
And even if I'm there, they'll all imply
that I might not last the day.
And then you call me and it's not so bad,
it's not so bad and
I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life.
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life.
Push the door, I'm home at last
and I'm soaking through and through.
Then you hand me a towel
and all I see is you.
And even if my house falls down,
I wouldn't have a clue.
Because you're near me and
I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life.
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
This from her blog:
Your Prize will be this Hills and Dales Necklace. This competition is open to anyone anywhere in the world. The winner will be selected using a random number generator and will be chosen on Sunday 6th December, 3pm Perth time. Feel free to enter as many times as you want to.
All you have to do is:
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
- Sleepness nights - Yep, for the past few weeks I've taken ages to get to sleep and then I keep waking up every hour or so. This has frustrated me to the point of tears because it brings back horrible memories of February 2008, two months before the wedding, when I turned nocturnal. Basically, something similar has happened again; I can sleep fine during the day, but struggle with insomnia at night. I cannot think of a reason for this. It has been suggested to me that I must be stressed and worried, but apart from my new job and Christmas busyness, I can't think of a concrete reason for my slumber difficulties. The end result is that I'm weary, cranky and dependent on caffeine. Sometimes I think I'm turning into an owl!
- Flat tyre - In all my years of driving, I've never had a flat and I really don't know how to change one. It's horrible having one out here because there's no RAC that can pick you up in any decent time. Fortunately, a friend of ours was nearby when it happened and he changed it for me. BUT I still had to pay for a new tyre because I drove on it briefly (yes, I know...STUPID).
- Lost wedding ring - I put it, along with my other jewellery, into my bag while I was at fitness class and froze when I realised it wasn't there. What I didn't know was that my bag had a tear in it and it had fallen into another compartment. Thank goodness!
- Bashed by a bin lid - While I was at work, I noticed that one of our green wheely bins had blown over in the wind and there was rubbish everywhere. I retrieved the stray rubbish, lifted the bin back onto its wheels and shut the lid but, before I could get out of the way, the lid flew backwards and smacked me right in the face. I was a bit lightheaded for a while but fortunately there were no bruises or marks on my face.
- Dry, scaly face - My face started drying out and the skin started peeling. It felt tight and uncomfortable. It started at my chin and then dryness/peeling crept up to my nose and just below my eyes. I have no idea what caused it, but I bought some QV Body Moisturiser (which is for extremely dry skin) and now it's pretty much back to normal.
- Suicidal galahs attacked my car - I was driving home from work last Monday when three galahs flew straight into my windscreen, scaring the crap out of me and leaving a long crack in my windscreen almost from top to bottom. This happened only a few months after I'd got a new, free windscreen courtesy of my insurance policy. The car is not drivable at the moment but I have to take it to Perth this Friday to cough up several hundred dollars for a new windscreen. Bah!
Some of my Facebook friends have suggested that bad Karma is the result of my misfortune and it seems that they sincerely believe in Karma and not just as a figure of speech. I have several issues with Karma. My understanding of it is 'what goes around, comes around'; if you do good, you will have good done to you and likewise for bad deeds. My experience of life in just 26 years on this earth is that some things cannot be explained by Karma, and that it is offensive to suggest that people are suffering because of bad things they have done. What about people suffering from earthquakes, floods, famine and tsunamis? Is Victoria Australia's most evil state and therefore they deserved to suffer from the February bushfires? Not only are such things hurtful, they are plain untrue. And if Karma was true, then we are all screwed. All of us have done sinful things in word, thought and deed and therefore deserve some bad Karma. Also, if we're only doing good deeds so we can get 'good Karma', then it makes the motivation for such deeds rather selfish, if we give only for what we may get in return.
Karma also offers people a false sense of justice. In October 2005, I had a car accident while driving with one of my friends. We were driving to the video store to return a faulty video when a car came through a red light, smashed into us, causing $9000 worth of damage to my car and then drove off and left me there. Fortunately, we were not injured, apart from whiplash and shock, but I was without a car for over a month and since nobody got the full number plate of the other car, they were never caught. I had to pay $600 worth of excess and I was cautioned for the accident, even though it was not my fault. A witness provided six out of the seven digits of the number plate but the police said they could not trace it. This smelt dodgy because a friend of my family used to work for the Licensing Department and he told us as long as they had the first digit (which they did) they could trace it. I was left with a nasty taste of injustice. When I told the massage lady at Curtin about what had happened, she told me the person who had caused the accident would get 'bad Karma' as a result. I told her politely that I did not expect the person to get what they deserved in this lifetime. It's true, isn't it? People can do horrible things in life and just get away with it. There is no guarantee they will get 'bad Karma'.
When bad things to happen to us, the natural question seems to be, "What have I done to deserve this?" Karma seems to creep into Christianity in subtle ways. I have heard some people say this about singleness, incorrectly assuming that a single person is single because of something they've done. Job's friends are similarly unhelpful when they suggest to Job that he is suffering because of sin. Jesus' disciples ask him this question when they see a blind man.
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." - John 9:1-3
We have had a visiting speaker at church coming up once a month and, in the light of recent natural disasters, has been doing a series on suffering. It has been good to think about these things.
I believe in a God of both justice and mercy; a God who sees all the deeds we do in the flesh and will one day call everyone to account. While sin is not always devoid of consequences, nor can every misfortune be explained as a punishment for sin. Yet, the thought of we sinful humans coming before a holy God should cause us to tremble more than the fear of bad Karma. As Bono says, "I'd be in big trouble if Karma were going to finally be my judge. It doesn't excuse my mistakes but I'm holding out for grace." The God I follow not only upholds justice, he extends grace to his rebellious people. And he does this by taking the punishment we deserve upon himself, in the person of Jesus.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
We are not single. We cannot go out at the drop of a hat. We have responsibilities to each other and need to make time to spend together. We are somewhat flexible, but not as flexible as our single friends. Sometimes that has disappointed people when we've told them we will not take calls or call people because it is our date night. We have a lot of people to catch up with in Perth so we cannot see everyone every time. We will never be as 'available' to some people as they would like. But that's too bad.
However, we are not in the third stage, which is parenthood. Our lives don't revolve around kids....yet. We can go out and have fun without needing to plan too far ahead. I'm wondering if some parents find this annoying. Whenever we make a comment on Facebook, such as we're about to go away for Christmas or Easter, we're almost guaranteed to get what sounds like a jealousy-tainted remark such as "Wait til you have kids. It's so much harder.....blah blah blah." No, we aren't in that stage yet, but one day we might be, and we want to enjoy the stage of life we're currently in.
We feel like odd bods sometimes because it seems the majority of our friends fall into either the 'singles' or 'parents' categories. The number of DINKs we know seem to be falling by the day, as more and more start having kids. One DINK couple, who are our good friends, commented that we are the ONLY DINK friends they have....Christian and non-Christian. Because of this, it seems that people don't quite know what to do with us. We're sort of stuck in the middle, so I think parents see the answer as telling us we need to have kids. Since the moment we've been married, we've been inundated with people asking when we're going to start a family. Ummmm we got married FIVE MINUTES ago! It doesn't help either when some people do nothing but complain about their kids.....on Facebook, in person (note I said SOME people not ALL). Gee, that's really a lot of encouragement to move on to the next stage.
Yep, it seems we're the odd bods stuck in the middle...but we're loving it. This stage of life will never come again and we want to make the most of every moment.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Get On Your Soapbox
Calling All Theoblogians
Sarah's School of Dating
Diary of a Wedding Planning Machine
I still can't believe that Get On Your Soapbox was the winner! This is the one where I have a rant, people, and this is the series I was recently considering doing less of, because I don't want to be seen as someone who just rants all the time. I want to be a bit more positive. But, oh well. I will continue to rant if you wish.
Rant forthcoming :)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Beautiful Frenchman Bay.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I can see that blog policies have been designed so bloggers and their commenters can interact graciously with each other. For example, I've seen that quite a few fellow bloggers dislike anonymous comments, especially when the commenter is hiding behind their anonymity in order to cowardly have a go at the blogger and their views without ousting themselves. Fair enough, I say. I've also seen policies that ask people not to comment if they are going to post abusive, degrading or overly critical things. Fair enough too.
When I started my blog, I had no idea what direction it was going to head in but I quickly discovered what annoyed me along the way. So I guess this is my 'policy'. I realise that I can't ban people from my blog, but I can ask them to be decent human beings. I also realise that some fellow bloggers will disagree with my policy or think I'm being too anal....just as I may disagree with theirs but I respect their right to have it. Fortunately, I haven't had many problems with abusive or argumentative people and I hope it stays that way!
SEDSHED BLOG POLICY
- I'm not entirely against anonymous comments, as some people are, but if you're going to make a controversial or argumentative comment, then please put your name....even if it's just 'Bob' or something. Otherwise, I'll assume you have something to hide. General anonymous comments are fine.
- This is not a 'rule' or anything but I'd appreciate it if lurkers on this blog would give an occasional comment....even if it's anonymous. I realise that there are always going to be more lurkers than commenters and lurkers are more than welcome to lurk if they wish, but letting me know you visit would be an encouragement to me.
- If I know you in 'real life' and you think something I've posted on this blog is downright wrong, then please let me know in person rather than leaving anonymous comments. If you think I'm going to bite your head off.....then maybe keep your head and don't say it ;)
- You're more than welcome to use my photos or quote things I've written here, but please acknowledge me if you do. There's nothing worse than finding out someone has ripped off your idea or creative work. You don't have to ask my permission although do be careful about using photos that I've taken of other people, especially if you plan to use them publicly. It's a bit like quoting something in an assignment. You don't have to personally contact the author, but you must acknowledge it was their idea.
- If you read this blog, I'd appreciate it if you didn't 'advertise' for me by telling mutual friends that I have a blog and where to find it. I'll do my advertising myself. My blog isn't a secret, but I don't want some people here (particularly those who fall under the third dot point).
- You may disagree all you like, but I ask that you do it with maturity and respect.
Well, I guess that's my policy :)
Do you have a blog policy? What are your guidelines for your readers?
P.S. Please vote in my 'Favourite Series' poll if you haven't already. Only four people have voted so far (thank you to those four).
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Unless you've written a book, it's hard to understand the hard slog involved in getting a story from head to hand. There are moments of writer's block, distractions, busyness, tiredness and laziness to contend with. Writing a book is a bit like study; it requires self-discipline and motivation. Some people, who are not writers assume that only an inpsirational idea is needed to write a bestseller and that all I need to do is regurgitate my idea onto my computer. I wish! It's more like 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. It's easy to have an idea and fine-tune it in your head. It's much harder to stick at it when the going gets tough.
Some writers are 'inspiration writers' who have an idea and then rush off to their computer to record their thoughts. This can happen at any time, even in the middle of the night.....basically whenever they get their 'inspiration'. I find it frustrating when I go to bed and immediately think up some great dialogue for my book....but I'm supposed to be sleeping. I COULD get up and immediately get it down on paper, but I have another job and I need to be disciplined. It wouldn't look good turning up to work with bags under my eyes and struggling to stay awake but some writers don't worry about that.
I'm more of a 'disciplined writer'. I set aside a designated period of time to write and I stay there until the inspiration flows (and it usually does eventually). I figure that I can't rely on mindblowing 'inspirational moments' because they might not come or might come at inopportune times. Some hard yakka is required.
If you've got a book in the pipeline, please don't give up. If it was worth thinking up, then it's worth getting down. The actual writing part may not be as fun as refining your plot and characters in your head, but it's all part of the journey. Don't listen to people who tell you how long you're taking. Keep going! I'm going to have a massive party to celebrate when my book's finished and prove all the doubters wrong.
Monday, November 16, 2009
To celebrate, please leave a comment or vote on my poll on the right to let me know which of my 'series' you enjoy most. You can vote more than once if you wish. I'd just like to see what my few loyal readers enjoy most....for curiosity's sake :)
Please take a moment or two to vote. Thanks!