Wednesday, April 30, 2014

5 Best Posts From Other Bloggers in 2013

A bit late, but here they are (in no particular order)!  As usual, it's always hard to select just five.

1.  Why Didn't I Pray? - The Key to the Door
2.  Missionaries Are Often Lonely - On the Edge of Ordinary
3.  Just One Thing - In All Honesty
4.  Taking the Mark - This Fleeting Moment
5.  Let's All Take a Chill Pill About Public (High) Schooling - No Reading at the Breakfast Table

Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog-Free Sick Week

I'd scheduled a bloggy break for last week, but I didn't know that, rather than be spending a few extra glorious hours editing, I'd be caring for a very sick little boy and recovering from gastro myself.

It all began two weeks ago when Rory started vomiting before he went to bed.  The next day I cancelled the scheduled 'daycare/editing day' and we spent a quiet day at home.  Despite not wanting to eat much and just wanting water, he was reasonably happy, but that night the vomiting began again...all over Duncan...all over the couch...and the carpet.  The poor little fellow!  Plus his molars are coming through!  He woke during the night with a high temperature and we gave him wet flannels, Nurofen, cuddles and love.

He picked up a bit over the next few days and had a good time at the Good Friday service at church.  But by Sunday morning he was not well at all.  We were in Albany by this stage, visiting my parents who had just returned from five weeks interstate.  Duncan and I spent the afternoon of Easter Sunday at the emergency department at Albany Hospital.  The diagnosis?  Tonsillitis.  Unfortunately this meant antibiotics for the fourth time in his short life.  He was eating so little that he got quite thin (thank goodness he was quite 'padded' before).

After two weeks of very little sleep, I started feeling quite sick in the stomach on ANZAC Day afternoon.  I took Rory and the dogs for a walk, assuming some fresh air would make me feel better.  I ran into Duncan's boss on my walk as he was driving around in his ute, and when he asked how I was going I told him I was feeling a bit crook (later on I found out he got sick at the same time I did).  By the time we were almost back to the house I was feeling so sick, I threw up several times on the ground.  After that I felt better, but it didn't last.  Later that evening I was chucking up in a bucket with a screaming Rory at my feet (oh joy!)

I thank God that my mum was willing to brave Gastro House to help look after us!  Like most times I've had gastro, it's taken a while to get back on my feet and eat normally again.

After the last fortnight I've been feeling a bit flatter.  Saying goodbye to Ebony, plus all the sickness and teething, and very little sleep has been a bit too much.  I always notice that I feel more depressed with the less sleep I get.

Both Rory and I are feeling a lot better.  Tomorrow we are attempting a daycare/editing day again.  Hopefully Chapter 42 will be done and dusted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

The gospel is so simple that small children can understand it, and it is so profound that studies by the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches.
- Charles Hodge

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Pendulum: Jesus' Death and Resurrection

Easter....where Jesus' death and resurrection are both reflected on.

Too often I think Christians focus almost solely on Jesus' death.  It often sounds like we follow a dead Lord rather than a risen one.  The cross is significant, but so is the empty tomb.  We must not neglect the resurrection.  Without it we would still be in our sins.  If Jesus did not defeat death, the last enemy, then we have no hope of life beyond the grave.

On the other hand, it's very easy to want to focus on the resurrection, and skip over the agony Jesus faced, both physically at the hands of His creation, and spiritually as His Father turned His face away.  The resurrection is happier.  It is good news.  It is often like this at Christian funerals where the focus seems to be almost exclusively on celebrating that the deceased person is with Jesus, but forgetting that death is still not a good thing, that there is a break in relationships between now and when Jesus returns.  I've often felt like I'd rather just skip Good Friday services because they're too sombre, and go to Easter Sunday services instead.  But we need to hear about Good Friday.  We need to know the seriousness of sin which is rejecting our Creator, the depravity of the human heart.  We need to know the awful cost of what God went through to be both just and merciful.  He does not simply sweep sin under the carpet and say, "I forgive you in my heart."  Forgiveness is expensive.

We need to hear the bad news (that Jesus died) before we can hear the good news (that He rose again).

Because Jesus rose again, all will rise again one day.  All will experience a full bodily resurrection when He returns.  The question is...will you rise for an eternity with Jesus...or eternal separation from Him?

Image from here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bible Verse of the Day

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes, those who belong to Him.
1 Corinthians 15:20-23

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ode To Ebony

Ebony went to her new home on Saturday.  She is living on a farm about an hour from our place with a really great guy called Ben, who Duncan guesses is either in his mid to late fifties or early sixties.  Duncan took her on Saturday as I couldn't face going.  He was happy to report that he's sure Ben will take good care of her as he loves cats and lost his last one to a snake bite.  We've already been told that she's settled in well and is sleeping on his bed.

I've mostly been ok, but now and then I just burst into tears because I miss her terribly.  The house is not the same without her.  I wake up in the morning and she's not curled up on our bed.  We sit down to watch TV in the evening and she's not curled up on our laps.  There's no scratching at the door, asking to be let in or out.

In some ways it's worse than if she died because I've never had to give a pet away before.  I'm glad she's settled in, but I hope she just misses me a little bit.

I think it will take some time to get used to the fact that she's gone.  I'm always going to wonder how long she lived.

I feel bad because when I adopted her from the Cat Haven seven years ago, I promised her a furever home.  But, at the same time, I know it's not my fault, Rory's health comes first, and I have peace that I made the right decision.

I'm thankful for God's good gift of pets, and I'm thankful to have had Ebony as my cat.  She drove me crazy at times, but I just want her back.

Here is my tribute to her:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Anniversary Questionnaire

Tomorrow Duncan and I will celebrate six years of marriage.

Happy anniversary to Amanda and Michael who will be celebrating 18 years tomorrow.

Time for a marriage-related questionnaire.....

1.  When was your engagement anniversary?
14th July 2007.

2.  When is your wedding anniversary?
12th April 2008.

3.  How long have your known your partner?
Nearly 11 years.

4.  How long did you date/court before you were engaged?
6 months.

5.  Where did you meet your partner for the first time?
At church in Perth.

6.  What is your partner's full name?
Duncan.  That's all you need to know. ;)

7.  Do you have any children yet?
Yes, one.

8.  How many boys/girls?
One boy - Rory.

9.  Do you have any house pets?
Don't ask me that question, I'm seriously going to cry (we give Ebony away tomorrow).

10.  Do you live in the country or in the city?

11.  Do you own a house or rent?
Neither.  We live here rent-free as part of Duncan's job.

12.  How many siblings (including in-laws) do you have?
Only 2 - I have a younger brother and Duncan has an older brother.

13.  Do you work or stay at home?
Stay at home, but, boy, do I work hard!

14.  What town is your current address at?
The Great Southern region of Western Australia.  That's all you need to know. ;)

15.  Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Pemberton and Donnybrook for a few nights, then we went on our 'proper' honeymoon to Tasmania a few months after we were married.

16.  Where were you married?

17.  What sort of fun things do you like to do as a couple?
Watching movies/TV series at home, going out for dinner or coffee, walking, going to the beach, swimming, camping (well, we did before bubba came along), going to the cinema, reading the Bible together, driving around the farm in the ute with the dogs.

Photo by Justine Stevens


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Mind Dump

I need to get some stuff off my chest.  Facebook is not the appropriate place because there is always at least one idiot who will write something patronising, mocking and just plain stupid.  Sorry if you feel as exhausted as I do after reading this.

The past few weeks in particular have been more than a bit stressful:

  • The news about Rory's allergies and the need to rehome Ebony has been causing the most mental anguish.  He needs to drink a special dairy-free formula called Elecare, which isn't available locally, so we need to order it.  I ordered it through our local pharmacy but it costs a whopping $50 for a tiny tin which only lasts a few days!  So I looked online and ordered a big box full of it off ebay (even with shipping due to coming from the US it still worked out to be cheaper).
  • I have been becoming more and more depressed with the thought of giving Ebony away.  Every day I look at her thinking she isn't going to be my cat for much longer.  It's this state of limbo which is causing me stress.  A few potential new owners who I have chased up turned out not to be interested.  However, I have been in touch with one guy who lives on a farm about an hour from here.  Duncan is taking her to meet him and, if it goes well, she will become his kitty.
  • Some of the allergy treatment options we've been exploring are just too expensive and we can't afford it.  We can't afford to go to Melbourne to see the naturopath a friend of ours saw; we will just have to find someone here.  Both Rory and I have had blood tests to see how our levels are in all sorts of things (14-month-old + blood test = more stress).
  • I've been frustrated and angry at some people (including family members) who have used the situation to get on their soapbox about how they feel about doctors/naturopaths/allergies/food etc.  They've said stuff like, "Don't let us tell you what to do," then got in a huff when we've made decisions contrary to what they would do.  It's got to the stage where I just can't have open relationships with some people and can't even let them know the little day-to-day things that are happening in our lives because all they want to do is lecture us.
  • Health issues are just so confusing!  There are a million voices out there all saying different things.
  • Our finances have been a bit dire.  We've limped from payday to payday, and it doesn't help when the payroll lady from the farm sometimes forgets to do the pays!  I told Duncan I think I need to go back to work, but he reckons the stress from working and looking after Rory would not be good for me (and I know he's probably right).  I don't get where our money is going.  I've checked the bank statement and it all seems to go on food and fuel.  We've had to make the hard decision to not have private health insurance (at least not at the same level) because we just can't afford it.  If we have a second child, we'll go public in Albany.  It's disappointing because I'd like to go back to the same obstetrician in Perth again, but there are so many hidden costs when you go private, it will cripple us.  Part of the reason I want to go private again is I'm terrified I'll get PND again and the public system will chuck me out after a couple of days.
  • My body has gone haywire since I started giving up breastfeeding.  When I gave up the lunchtime feed after Rory's first birthday, I started gaining weight like never before - all on my stomach!  Even though I made sure I ate healthily and smaller portions, the weight kept stacking on.  By the time I'd finished breastfeeding entirely at the end of February, I looked like I was about 4-5 months pregnant (and a few people were staring at my belly with the 'Is she or isn't she?' look).  I've had fevers and aches associated with my arthritis several times now, I'm tired all the time with very low energy reserves.  When Duncan's home, I sleep for hours during the day which I know is not normal.  I've also had irritable bowel symptoms since I had gastro in October; I can't drink milk anymore.
  • I had my first panic attack for a while on Monday.  I think that's a sign that I need to arrest the
That's enough for now.  I need a rest.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Vale Mickey Rooney

I was saddened to hear of Mickey Rooney's death yesterday.

Here he is with Elizabeth Taylor in one of my favourite films of all time, National Velvet.

Image from here

Monday, April 07, 2014

Quote of the Day

It takes a long time to grow an old friend.
- John Leonard

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Elephants in the Friendship

Have you ever felt like you can't be friends with some people because there are too many 'elephants in the room'?

I have many friends who I disagree with on certain issues, and I love it when our friendship can continue despite our differences and our personal soapboxes.  I especially love it when we can still raise those issues without getting into a fight about it.  For example, I'm pretty open with most people that Rory goes to daycare one day a week so I can edit my book and have a break, but I know some of my friends would never send their kids to daycare.  They may not necessarily be anti-daycare, but they prefer not to use them at all.  That's fine.  When they ask me about my week, I know I can happily mention the D-word without them going off at me about daycare being the mother of all evils.

Unfortunately though it isn't like that with everyone.  Although they know I send Rory to daycare, they either never discuss it with me, or they use any opportunity they get to tell me that he shouldn't be going...ever.  This makes any conversations very uncomfortable because I then go out of my way NOT to mention the D-word when they ask me what I've been up to lately.  The result: daycare becomes a massive elephant in the room.

Other topics I avoid with some people because they are so passionate about their views that it just creates trouble between us include Christian issues such as the Sabbath, end times, Bible translations, meat-eating vs. vegetarianism, alcohol, and the Trinity.  I tend to avoid political issues such as climate change, carbon tax, and other things I don't really understand and just don't want a lecture about.  I've learnt the hard way recently with Rory's allergies - while some people have been fantastically helpful and non-judgemental, others have used it as an excuse to get on their soapbox.  I can't speak about health issues with some people otherwise they just want to tell me exactly how much they loathe doctors/chiropractors/naturopaths, how I should be using traditional medicine or alternative therapies....arrrgh!

I certainly have my own soapboxes, too.  Heck, you only have to click on the label Get On Your Soapbox to see what some of them are haha.

Sometimes a difference of opinion will not injure a great friendship.  That's soooo great when that happens.

Other times there are just too many elephants in the room for the friendship to work.  When I'm watching every word, agonising over whether the conversation is heading towards dangerous territory that will set them off on a rant, it's not good.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Bible Verse of the Day

I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
Psalm 40:1-3