30 November 2010

a God story

In my post 'tell me a story' that I wrote just the other day, I talked about recalling our God stories. In a note at the end I said I'd share one of mine. Last night I was thinking about some of my God stories, times where I've experienced the reality and the involvement of God in my life. I thought about one in particular that sent me off on a tangent of memories and had me oozing gratitude.

In 2007 I took off on an adventure. I moved to the USA to live and work as an aupair (nanny). I met a lovely girl there who became a wonderful friend. She told me one day that before she left Germany to come to the USA she had prayed very eagerly for good friends. She said she specifically requested a friend who was Australian. I was fascinated. "Cool," I replied, "I didn't know you prayed for me." I honestly think that her prayers are the reason I ended up in that part of the USA. As I recalled this memory it made me think about how sometimes I am a part of other people's God stories. But then I realised that actually, this is my God story too. God was active in my life in getting me there not only as an answer to my friend's prayer but for my own adventure He was leading me on. Here's where the tangent began. My brain mulled over story after story of my experiences in the USA. My lovely friend, Suhra, is in almost everyone of them.

I had also prayed for friends and particularly for one really good friend. I got the best answer with Suhra. Not only was she such a joy to go adventuring around the USA with but she's the one that dragged me along to the church in San Francisco that I grew to love and now think of as my SF family. She filled my year with fun and silliness. She also encouraged and inspired me through our deeper conversations and the sharing of our God-journeys and the growth that took place. She was always there when I needed someone to pray for me too. And she also brought a level of thrilling excitement with the beginning and progression of a relationship with that guy she likes. ^^

So many awesome memories from that year. It would not have been near as good without my God-blessed friend, Suhra. And now, in a matter of months I begin another overseas adventure and will be attending the wedding of this wonderful friend. Joys longlasting!

28 November 2010

unusual visit

I went and had breakfast and a chat with my friend, Vi, last week before work. We were still sitting at her kitchen table still after some pretty delicious pancakes with lemon and sugar when I looked out the front window to see an unusual sight. Wandering across the front lawn was a mamma duck and seven fluffy little followers. We watched fascinated as they crossed the front lawn and turned into the driveway. "They're coming to visit!" I exclaimed. They waddleded right down the drive and into the back yard.
Vi got a tub and filled it up with water to see if they'd like to stay awhile. I pulled out my phone for some photos and went to find the ducks. Of course, they're not very cooperative when it comes to giants following them wanting to take photos. Round the back shed and up the otherside the mamma duck tried to fit between two wire fence pieces and got a bit stuck. The ducklings scuttled ahead when I tried to help by going closer to scare her back out. Should have listened to that little voice that suggested I leave them be. The ducklings ran back to the driveway and the mamma duck got out and flew to them.

Bye duckies!
Not sure where they came from since there's not watery home that nearby. Oh well. Sorry for scaring you. Thanks for your delightful visit.

25 November 2010

tell me a story

Remember that time when...

Reminiscing can be so delightful. Oh and I do love a good story. Some people are particularly gifted in storytelling. There is value in telling stories. The amount of movies made and books written easily backs up that statement. There is a lot of value, more than just the money kind, in hearing historical stories, events that really happened. The good are inspiring and the bad can help warn us and both can help us learn. The Bible is a book full of these kind of stories. It seems is was a part of their culture to tell stories. The Israelites were often encouraged to retell events and happenings from one generation to the next. At the beginning of the book of Joel it says, "Hear this, you leaders of the people. Listen all who live in the land. In all your history, has anything like this happened before? Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation." NLT

Doing this kept their history alive. It reminded them of where they had come from. But I think it was more than that too. Especially when it came to their God stories which so much of their history revolves around. The generations needed to know these God stories but I also think they were encouraged to retell them so they would remember themselves. I think we humans too easily forget.

What about OUR God stories? The Bible is not the only place to find stories about God. Anyone who has a relationship with God will have their own God stories. Yes, it is good to pass them on but it's also good to tell our God stories to remind ourselves.

At times I've found myself wondering if God really does exist or if He really does care for me or if He really is doing anything, anything at all, to help me through. In these moments I need to stop my emotional tangent and remind myself that there have been multiple times in my life when God has been very real to me. I need to retell my God stories, my experiences with God. Even just to myself. So I remember. I'd love to hear other people's God stories more too. To be encouraged and inspired and better understand God.

Tell me a story?

Or tell yourself one.
Or someone else.

Just don't lose them to the fading memories.

Note: Here's one of my God stories. I'll share another in my next post.

13 November 2010

taking out kids

I rescued my sister last weekend by taking out her kids...to the playground. Particulary the 3yo who seems to get bored easily and entertains himself by getting into mischeif. They were great for me. Someone different somewhere different. I found a new playground at the same old local place. Last time I brought them here it was old and very basic. It's now a decent playground that's not falling apart.

We played at the playground for quite a while. Well Z didn't do too much. Chewed on some bark chips and watched the kids playing. There was a bunch of other kids there so lots of people to watch. I did give him a swing which he enjoyed. B liked the slide and the sliding pole and the cement tunnel. J liked the swing and cautiously climbed up the funny ladder (the red curved one in the slide pic). She was a bit scared but excited when she got to the top.
After I was starting to get a little bored hanging out there we went for a walk. There's a nice track along this area. We stopped on the bridge to look at the little fish swimming near the surface and then followed the track. We saw a digger and some horses and B had a little play in a puddle by the wayside. J wanted to hold my hand for a while but it was tricky pushing the pram along with one hand so I just stuck out a finger--which is all she usually takes anyway.

Coming back along the path we climbed a big hill. We could hear the go-karts racing around. B was interested to watch the one that was there doing practice laps. That and throwing rocks down the hill. We sat and watched for a while before heading back to the car to go home. I kept them out for near 2hrs. My sister sounded like she needed a decent break and the kids could probably use some good Auntie time. Ü

08 November 2010


Finally! It's been 10 months since I first heard about Phoenix Trading. They sell mostly cards and some related stationary type stock. All designs are artworks--nothing computer generated. Of course I have this thing about paying for cards. I generally don't, especially when cards in most shops are $4-$8. I'll just make one myself thanks. Of course, not everyone is artist so Phoenix Trading is a splendid way of getting nice cards for reasonable prices ($3-$4). Since that party, where I discovered you can earn money for drawing for them, I've been meaning to do some designs and send them in.

It took me until August to get started and in the last month or so I've been getting quite a few ideas and painting away. They have some guidlines about what they don't accept based on what kind of company they want to be and what they know sells. So I've used that but also done me things. I'm qutie enjoying it. I'm using watercolour. It can be a tricky medium to control but I love the way it looks. Using it in pencil form helps though. A bonus is that I think I'm discovering my style. Yay!

Today, I've finally sent scanned versions of some of my designs by email to the headquarters in London. Fingers crossed they like some...even one. It would be fun to have some of my work out there in the world for sale published by a company. And last I heard they are paying close to $2000 for the publishing rights for three years. If they like my style, it would be a great flexible side job.

03 November 2010

rainbow delight

I was fascinated with my find when I stopped into a supermarket on the way home today.

Rainbow pasta!

How cool is that! It would be so fun to eat. The colours all come from natural products too like the purple is from eggplant and the red from beetroot. Sweet. But with a look at the price tag came a jaw-drop and instant decision to admire them on the shelf where they would stay.