25 July 2016

Loving...

Lately I was reminded of the importance of thankfulness and choosing to focus on the good rather than the negative.  Recently, my girls and I decided to check out a local petting zoo at a farm near by. We were so excited, especially when the rain cleared and we finally reached our destination.  As we went to park the car and visit the cute animals, a man (possibly the owner of the farm) came and told us that the parking area had been closed due to the earlier rain causing too much mud, and we would have to park quite a way down the road and walk through some farm land to get back to view the animals.

We parked down the road and started walking through the farm land, only to realise that the land was boggy and us silly townies had not worn the right clothes (think jandals, nice shoes etc).  Our shoes were covered in mud, it started to rain and our pants had mud flicked up the back of them.  One of the girls got an electric shock off the fence, we were struggling to dodge the cow pats and half way through the paddock we nearly turned around, but then decided to keep going.

To cut a long and muddy story short, we persisted and ended up having some awesome moments with some gorgeous animals, including miniature pony rides and even a bowl of Affogato for me!  At the end of the day as I was sitting down with my youngest and we were chatting, I reminded her that if we looked at the negatives, what a horrible day we had had... yet if we chose to focus on the good stuff, what a wonderful day we had.   I don't want to live my life focusing on the negative things - I want to live a thankful life, despite the downs, cherishing the ups.

So here is some of the good stuff from the last few weeks from our world...

Some sweet moments from our farm visit...


 
 


Loving spending special time with the kiddos these holidays.  They went back to school today, and it's rather nice to be back into routine again, but those lazy holiday vibes are so nice for a few weeks every so often!





Loving coffee - enough said!



Loving this guy who has recovered enough from his knee surgery to start ripping out our kitchen! The place is a shambles at the moment, but I'm trying hard to keep my eyes on the goal.  Even though it's dusty and messy, the end target is what I'm holding out for and it's going to be so worth it! p.s. this is his going home to renovate face...





Stay tuned for a finished kitchen post in a few months time (hopefully!!).

And finally, just have to share this beautiful pic of my lovely Nana, hanging out with my girls.  Love that they get to spend time with her, play games with her and enjoy having a great grandmother in their life.  Super thankful.



So remember to take stock of the good things, and remind others to as well.



 For more Loving/Lately posts, click here.


14 July 2016

Real-Life Street Fighter!

I just had to share a video my son and friends made in one of their classes at school, starring some of their school teachers and friends called "Real-Life Street Fighter".  I'm totally impressed!

Who remembers playing Street Fighter back in the day?  Love that it features our Arcade Machine Symon made from scratch a couple of years ago too.

Check out their channel and like their video and subscribe for more awesome videos to come.


13 July 2016

Hanging out for the Weekends...



So often, we live our every day lives, struggling through the week, just hanging out for the weekends. The weekends come and go, then it's back to the grind - whether it's a job, the drudgery of the chores that come with parenting (which really don't stop on the weekend), school or just your usual routine that can sometimes feel like a drag.  We so often miss the beauty during the mundane or even difficult times.

I've been relating this to life in general... how I can tend to live for those moments when everything is going okay, there aren't any pressures or worries and I feel joyful and happy (just like a weekend) then... boom, reality hits (whether it's in the form of a problem, stress, a difficult situation or conflict) and here I am again hanging out for those 'weekend' moments, trying to escape my now.  

I think sometimes we dream of life being one big weekend with no pressures, no sorrow, no tension or worries... but in reality that's not real life.  Life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows. You can't have the mountain tops without the valleys.



Real life is messy and tough.  Real life is sometimes extremely hard, and you can't do anything but keep going, keep praying and encouraging those around you to 'just keep swimming' (to quote Dory).

I need to keep reminding myself is that it's often in those difficult moments, those moments of grief or struggle or conflict, that the beauty of life, relationships and my faith is really seen.  It's not until we face sorrow that we value joy, or face sickness that we treasure health and life. It's not until we face pain or brokenness that the true value of hope and healing is seen.

The last couple of months have been a bit of a tough ride for my family.  To watch someone you love dearly having to face decisions and treatments and the unknown of a journey ahead is difficult.  But during this journey there has been a beautiful closeness, tears and laughter, many prayers, amazing support and lots of hope for the future ahead.

To quote from the new Switchfoot album, sometimes 'the wound is where the light shines through'.



So here's to finding joy in the mundane of your week, hope in the darkness and beauty in the struggle and conflict.  I'm a firm believer that God can make beauty from ashes and turn our sorrow into joy (Isaiah 61:3).  

Without the week, how could we enjoy the weekend - but let's not miss the beauty within our week, and let's fully live our lives and not just pine for the sunny days.




Let's run and sing in the valleys, as well as on the mountain tops.

Enjoy your week, and your weekend!


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