Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Funny

Duncan got given this book by someone as a joke before we were married.  I had to laugh at the description of Duncan the train.  I said to Duncan, "Sounds like someone else I know haha."  He was not amused.

It is one of Rory's favourite books at the moment.  I told him, "Daddy's name is Duncan, too."  Now he points at the train and says, "Dad".

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Friendships and Ageism

Duncan and I have quite a few friends turning 40 in the coming months.  The older I get the more I appreciate having friends of all different ages.

I'm in my thirties and I have friends in their twenties and friends in their forties.  I have a few close female friends who are in their late thirties, about eight or nine years older than myself.  The older we all get, the less age matters.  Well, it does to me.

Why do I get on so well with women older than me?  It's because when we're together, age doesn't factor into the friendship.  We're friends because we get on well, we share worldviews and interests.  We're all adults, we've all reached maturity of sorts.  Some of us are married with kids, some aren't.  It would be naive to say different life stages don't impact on friendships, but age certainly doesn't.

I can't be friends with someone who treats me like a kid.  I don't want to treat my friends who are in their twenties like they are immature kids, because they aren't.  Sometimes older women treat me like I know nothing, like they're my mum or auntie and can boss me around.  I can't be friends with those people.  I need respect to be friends with someone.

It's great having friends the same age, who you went to school with, who you grew up with.  Those are special friendships with special memories.  But, even when they're older, many women tend to gravitate towards other women of the same age.  Maybe instead of being instantly drawn to the fellow 41-year-old first-time mum, try striking up a conversation with the 21-year-old first-time mum.  You might find that the 20 year age gap means nothing now you are both in the same boat as first-time mums.  Try befriending women 7-10 years younger (or older) than yourself.  You're not 15 and they're not seven anymore.  You're both adults.

It might just be the start of a treasured friendship.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

If a friendship lasts longer than seven years, psychologists say it will last a lifetime.
- Unknown

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Why on earth do some people friend request people in Facebook who they despise in real life?

I know several people who can't stand to be in the same room as each other, yet they have become Facebook 'friends'.

So, so weird.

This is a mug I found in Red Dot a few months back.

I don't get it.  Please explain...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Living With The Underworld

Last year I had a conversation with a good friend of mine, who is not Christian, about what Christians believe regarding ghosts, evil spirits and the occult.  She wanted to know if houses could really be haunted, and things like that.  It was a topic I had not really thought much about, and so I had to admit to my friend that I couldn't really answer a lot of her questions.  She was just appreciative that I bothered to try; apparently another Christian she asked wanted to avoid the subject altogether.

I bought this book to both educate myself and help my friend.  Now I've read it, I feel confident to give it to her (I've made the mistake of giving a book to someone without reading it first before....never again!).

This book was both surprising and disappointing.  The positives about it are also the negatives.  I was disappointed that it skated over the issues and questions likely to intrigue non-Christians.  But I was surprised and pleased that it so strongly points readers to the gospel and uses every opportunity to evangelise a potentially non-Christian audience.  For that reason, I WOULD give this book to my friend (presuming she is still interested in this topic).  I'm just wondering if she will be annoyed.  I get Peter Bolt's position - we don't want to focus on the underworld, particularly as the Bible itself is somewhat vague about it; we want to focus on Jesus and how He has defeated the underworld.  However, even I came away from this book a bit confused.  In Chapter 3: Underworld Beings he writes about the English 'word' demon (which we hear so much in the gospels) coming from the Greek word 'daemon' which really means 'ghost' - so often we think there are four species in the universe (God, humans, angels and demons).  So, does that mean the demons which were possessing people in the gospels are actually ghosts of dead people? (pages 52-53).  That is still unclear to me.

I'm hoping to catch up with my friend this week and see if she's interested in reading this book.  I'm praying that she will be satisfied with not delving too deeply into underworld issues and instead encounter the living Jesus who has defeated the underworld on the cross.

You can order this book from the Matthias Media Australian online store here.
Or the US store here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Greatest Sacrifice

ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day are almost considered days of religious observance in Australia.  People tend to look at you in horror if you're not attending marches or observing a minute of silence.  It's like the religion for the irreligious.

I don't mean that to be in any way disrespectful to those brave men and women who gave up their lives so we might enjoy the life and freedom we do today.  To give up one's life is indeed a great sacrifice and I pray they are never forgotten as long as this earth remains.

But there is someone whose sacrifice was greater than the ANZACs or any soldier.


The ANZACs died and remain in their graves.  Jesus died and physically rose again.

The ANZACs gave their physical lives to preserve our physical lives, but we will still die one day.  Jesus gave His life so that one day, although we will still die, those who trust in Him will have new, physical, resurrection bodies. 

The ANZACs died to keep us free from something external - invasion.  Jesus died to free us from something internal - our sinful nature.

The ANZACs, as part of the Allies, defeated the soldiers from enemy countries.  Jesus defeated sin, death and the devil.

The ANZACs' sacrifice was supposed to be in the war to end all wars.  Yet the twentieth century had more wars and more casualties than ever before.  Jesus' death was once for all.  It is finished.

The ANZACs were great.

Jesus is the greatest.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Talkin' Irish

This is how I learnt my Irish accent for the play:

It's amazing what you can find on YouTube.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Costume

The play is over.  I'm both relieved and saddened about this. Relieved because at last I get to spend every night at home and get some more sleep. Saddened because it was an incredible experience, honouring the brave men and women from the town where I live who went to serve in World War I one hundred years ago, and also working with such a fantastic cast and crew.

My character was Irish so I had to master the accent. It was tricky but I got there. I even had people asking me if I was really Irish afterwards which was a nice compliment.

No more plays for a while. It will be sorely tempting to audition for more (I can see why they call it the 'acting bug'), but it's not fair on Duncan, Rory or my parents.

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Pendulum: Baby Milestones

I definitely have a love-hate relationship with baby milestones.

I always thought I'd be pretty content for Rory to do things like crawling/walking/talking in his own time.  And I was content....before others told me I shouldn't be.  Some people seemed most concerned that Rory wasn't yet doing things that their kids/grandkids were doing at the same age.  Sometimes it has been health professionals who've said things that got me worried, but mostly it has been other parents.

I can see why milestones are very useful.  They can be reassuring for first-time parents, like myself, who want to know what is 'normal'.  If there are developmental delays, there can be early intervention.

But, on the other hand, milestones tend to treat kids like robots.  It's expected that they all be the same, moving along like a herd.  People say 'every child develops at their own pace' and 'there is a wide range of normal', but, in reality, it often feels like strangers are watching your child with beady eyes, waiting to see if there is something 'wrong'.

I've already had two people tell me they think Rory is autistic.  This has angered me no end because these people are NOT health professionals.  They were targeting one aspect of his behaviour - he likes to line up his plastic toy animals in rows - instead of looking at it as a whole.  After the first person said they thought he was displaying an early sign of autism, I looked into it and that is the only 'red flag' he has.  He's very interactive, makes good eye contact, and definitely has a wide range of interests, not just sorting things.  Besides, isn't 'sorting' a normal toddler behaviour anyway?  There seems to be so many people paranoid about autism today.  I'm part of an Albany mums' Facebook group and so many women on there seem to be worrying endlessly about 'sensory activities' and if their child doesn't like wearing a woolly jumper or something, they must be diagnosed as having Sensory Processing Disorder or ASD (I hated woolly jumpers as a kid and I'm not autistic).

I've also had our child health nurse say she is concerned that Rory does not say enough words for his age; apparently he's supposed to be saying around 50 words, but he says nowhere near that, and some of the words he doesn't say very clearly.  He could be looking at speech therapy if he isn't improving by age two.  He chatters all the time and understands pretty much everything I say, he just doesn't speak clearly or have as wide a vocabulary as some kids his age.  I don't mind going to speech therapy if that's what he needs, it just seems like there's so much pressure on kids to do more and more at younger ages.

Don't get me wrong, I'm so glad to have the health system we have.  I just often feel like I'm to blame if my child is not accomplishing things, which isn't fair on him because I want him to just enjoy being a toddler.  People often jump to the conclusion that the reason he's not great at speaking is because we let him use iPads or iPhones which couldn't be further from the truth....we don't even let him TOUCH them.

Karen, if you're reading this, I'd really appreciate any comments or advice you have.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Amanda's Cards

I bought these beautiful cards online from my dear friend Amanda's shop.  They are her own designs.  I'm looking forward to giving them to people:

Her work is amazing and you can order her designs on iPad/iPhone covers, t-shirts, cards, calendars, canvases and much more.

Here's the link to her shop KeLu.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Islam in our Backyard

I thought this would be a very timely book review considering the current political climate.

I first read this book while I was at uni due to having a Muslim flatmate in student housing and there being a considerable number of Muslim students on campus.  If you want to get past the media scaremongering and the ignorance of many Christians and read a fairly simple overview of what Muslims actually believe, this is the book for you.  One only has to log into Facebook to read a number of supposed quotes from the Qur'an being 'shared' by Christians.  It made me think....there are plenty of people who misquote the Bible and we, as Christians, encourage them to read it properly, in context.  Shouldn't we do the same with the Qur'an instead of spouting off?

The book is part novel, part non-fiction, and that's where I think it falls down a bit.  I found the whole conversation with the fictitious neighbour a tad cheesy.  I would have much rather just read a book on Islam, explaining the history, the beliefs, the sects etc.  The best bit from the fictitious story was towards the end when he encourages his neighbour to consider the big questions of truth and the impact of pluralism.

I guess there are always going to be people who will refuse to read a book on Islam written by a Christian, using the excuse, "Oh, he's just going to make Muslims look bad."  But isn't a book on Islam written by a Muslim just going to paint Islam favourably?  If you're interested in how much truth there is to Islam being a religion of violent extremists, I would definitely read this book.

You can order this book from the Matthias Media Australian online store here.
Or the US store here.

Monday, November 03, 2014


These are two recent and very handy additions to our household:

The one on the left will be in recess over the summer months, but it greatly warmed our old farmhouse for the remainder of winter.

The one on the right continues to free up my evenings.  I can't believe how much time I used to spend washing dishes!

I thought we'd be able to make do without them, but my husband has more sense than me.