Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sending You Christmas Greetings From The Wheatbelt

Merry Christmas to all readers of This is What Sed Said and I wish you a great day celebrating the birth of Jesus.

I'm on holidays in Albany, then Esperance, then Dunsborough until the 9th January so posting will resume then.

Much love from Sarah, Duncan, Ebony and Maya xxxx

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

5 Favourite Christmas Carols

I know some aspects of my favie carols probably aren't biblically or historically correct....but I love 'em anyway. I love carols! I love Christmas! :)

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

Marriage 101: Mrs Duncan?

I've found one of the most difficult parts of marriage to be not the actual changing of my last name, but the partial loss of identity I have experienced as a married woman. You see, since we've been married, many people seemed to have assumed that I've disappeared off the face of the earth and just been absorbed into Duncan. Sound strange? Let me explain....

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

Friday Funny

I've posted this joke before, here, back in 2006, but since that was three years ago and I enjoy this joke, I'm going to post it again. ONE WEEK 'TIL CHRISTMAS! :)

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

Heaven's Too Small For You And Me!

If you're a Christian, do you ever feel that you don't want to spend five minutes with some other Christians, let alone eternity?

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

The End of the Fish Dynasty

Last night, my dad told me over the phone that my much loved and sole surviving goldfish, Aquarius, had passed away. I'm not quite sure if he considered this happy or sad news since he has been caring for my fishes ever since I moved to Perth in February 2001. To some, it may only be a fish but, for me, it is quite sad. I first got Aquarius and George (who died two years ago) in January 2000, just before I started Year 12. Yes, Aquarius was almost 10 years old when she departed this life. Coupled with George who was seven, and Maud, who I had from 1998-2006, I really did have an outstanding dynasty of fishes. All of the fishes I had before them passed away after relatively short lifespans but my three fantail goldfish proved to be very hardy.

Some people don't understand the attraction of keeping fish. "They're boring," they say. "They don't do anything." But fish are incredibly relaxing to watch. Sometimes, my mum would put on a CD and I swear my fish were moving in time to the music! I'm planning to bring my aquarium up here and convince Duncan I need to get more fishes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Karina's Masquerade Birthday

Here are some photos from our friend Karina's 25th birthday back in late October. Obviously you can guess from the title what the theme was and the dress standard was formal. It was great having an excuse to dress up in Dally and, while most people wore glamorous masks, I decided to pull out an old mask I had, buy one for Duncan and go.....scary! RAH! :)

Don't we look special!

We did lots of bushdancing.

We country folk know how to entertain ourselves!

Hello Brad!

Here comes CAKE!
Then it was back to the dancing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.
- Gail Sheehy

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Lesson 10 from Sarah's School of Dating

Here is a question for both single and married people....

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

Thank You by Dido

After the rotten couple of weeks I wrote about in my post, Why I Don't Believe in Karma, I can now add a couple more things to my list:
  • 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

Amanda's Giveaway!

Amanda from Amanda's Musings is having a giveaway at her other blog, Polyclarific which is linked to her Etsy shop. By entering you could be in the running to win this Hills and Dales necklace.

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:

1. Visit the Etsy shop – Polyclarific’s Etsy Shop
2. Leave a comment on the Polyclarific blog saying which item you like the most and why.
3. Feel free to promote this on your own blog.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Why I Don't Believe in Karma

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook would probably have read that I've had an unfortunate past few weeks. A lot of irritating things have gone wrong and, while I've got to be thankful that nothing majorly terrible has happened, it has certainly been a test all the same. Here is a list of what went wrong:
  • 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.