Mittens and Button had a bath. These cats are just like any cat and they are very indignant at bath time but just the same, they are very forgiving. Now they smell like roses again.
We celebrated Passover this year at church. After reading through the Bible text we enjoyed each course of the Passover with explanation of what is eaten, why and the wonderful significance of each food and procedure.
We sang songs afterward and the saints were in good voice. With no accompaniment we raised the roof. This little guy, my Mr. 9, sang the best he has ever done. The little moments they surprise you, the events seemingly not the ones you'd expect, they feed and grow in their faith.
Friday night dinner was served. A full, nutritious holiday meal. The table set and everyone ready to be seated and I noticed this .. Jedidiah had set his own place. Note the Star Wars paper plate a spare one leftover from NYE .. some plain bread and the chocolate spread .. the boy's organised. Every single one of my children has been/is a very picky eater, my youngest is no different. This little guy though goes one further and sets his place and food on his own. I'm a little comforted to report when they get older, for the most part, they eat normally and to the praise of God are healthy.
Easter Saturday we hit the green .. yard work .. some mowed, others collected palm fronds, some swept, some scrubbed, some moved and cleaned outdoor furniture. It was hot work in the sun. We worked all morning and enjoyed the spoils of our work with a cup of tea and a chocolate bunny later. Love that!
Easter Sunday was a big production after church with Gran and Pa coming for lunch too! It's always so good to have fellowship no matter the rush to get it on the table when we get in from church on a Sunday.
Mathew and Button had the right idea to pass out for an afternoon siesta.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
The house is shaded, the fans gently whirring, crickets are chirping and the breeze from outside along with the fans has the tablecloth moving and papers ruffling. Summer is nearly here. Love it!
Budd is 16 next week on the 1st. The first day of summer. I will always remember that very hot day in Sydney now 16 years ago.
For us, this is a time of looking forward to fun family traditions of devotionals which entail either a Bible reading - we discovered Jesus is in the entire Bible; Old Testament and New Testament. Have a look! Praise God! - with or without a picture drawn of the passage just read, sometimes a little drama enacted or for the younger ones their children's Bible opened at their favourite place and a description of what is happening.
We listen intently with our meal before us, waiting to begin. After presentation the person whose turn it is rolls a dice and whatever number appears, that is how many foil wrapped chocolates are put in a brightly decorated paper bag (courtesy of craft queen Emmeline). We then light another candle - so by the 24th there are 24 candles burning on the glass round dish in the middle of the family meal table. This creates a growing sense of anticipation and significance of what we are talking about.
Our bags are opened on Christmas Eve which is when Dad hands out our gifts. These are special because Dad shops for them. He has a tiny budget and what he chooses is just so dear to see. I don't know, if Dad cooks it or buys it, somehow it has special meaning. Sometimes what he chooses ....
It's nice to have a focus on Christ and His Word. We know Christmas really isn't the time of Jesus' birth. For many years we ignored the whole thing. It was hard for the children, more than that, it seemed cold and hard.
We dance around how to be in this world but not of it most especially at this time of year. I don't think we have it right yet but this year, again, we will celebrate a season of holiday, respite from routine, warmth and family traditions. And ... I'm looking forward to that!
Every Wednesday we visit my parents to take them out to the store, Doctor's appointments and sometimes just for some friendship.
Emmeline and Phoebe share the privilege and come alternate weeks to do light housework for Gran. This past week it was Emm's turn. On arrival the cat from next door was lounging in the driveway. An opportunity to cuddle!
Ann Street Presbyterian Church celebrating a thanksgiving dinner recently. The children enjoyed pizza, entertainment and a movie. What a treat and a blessing.
Every day for the past 20 years to the praise of God I have had a quiet time with my Lord and Saviour. I miss some days, forget others but He calls me so quietly and reminds me. He never lays guilt on me only the desire to share myself and my day and my time with Him.
As the seasons of life come and go and change, my times of study do too. For the past little while I have taken to morning prayer times in the dark before dawn and the pitter, patter of not so little feet begins and a time of reading the Bible in the afternoons. I leave my Bible in its Bible bag on the coffee table in the family room. It's a witness to the children that this is a viable option of a book to read and not an old fashioned boring text I reef out of my handbag for Sunday services. It's also a reminder of my commitment to read daily.
Bible study also takes place in groups. Over the years this has been a perfect way to meet people and get to know them so much more and better than on a Sunday morning over a cup of tea and nice small, yet inevitably shallow, talk. At present I am not in a group and I am suffering because of it. That may be a good thing to schedule to begin and commit to weekly for 2016.
You see I can notice when I'm not in a group, sharing and caring, praying and relating to other ladies at all stages of their walk with our Lord.
I know that ... "we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:9
As I work out my salvation - not by what I do as in good works, but by how I walk daily before God in communion, relationship with Him because of Christ blood shed for me - I am aware of the continual struggle to put Christ first and to face each temptation and trial in this life day by day trusting in Him alone. Knowing, by faith, the outcome is for my good and that what He allows and plans for me is "well with my soul".
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." 1 Corinthians 3:13
We waited for our friends to arrive. The date and time was set. The children had their noses through the blinds watching the street for a car to pull up. The agreed time came and went. Maybe they are running late we thought. We waited faithfully, thinking the best until about one hour later. Maybe they forgot, maybe we got the dates mixed up .... then a car pulled up but only one lady got out and the others stayed in the car.
I couldn't imagine what the story was but I vowed and declared to be grace itself at the front door. My friend was all smiles and happiness with a box of chocolates in her hand. For you she said. I wanted to thank you for all you have done for me (I had been mentoring this dear young mother on parenting a newborn baby, feeding, routines and settling methods). You have changed my life she said. Well, I hadn't, but I knew what she was saying. I was so glad someone was interested in my advice and was willing to glean at my feet. After all, I've been in the salt mines of motherhood for a few years now.
I delicately inquired about our play date but was told, they didn't have time and were on their way out and just wanted to thank me for my helps. Being the person I am, I smiled sweetly, thanked her profusely and closed the door. Then I felt unwanted, rejected. At the same time, I realized is this the way my Lord Jesus Christ feels when I don't spend my agreed quiet time with Him each day? .. . We have a time (around about) and a place - in summer it's the family room, in winter it's the rumpus room or the outside lounge area in the afternoon sun if there is any - and He faithfully meets me there every day. Some days I do forget and some days I'm there but my mind is somewhere else. Perhaps Jesus wants friendship with me too as I wanted with this lady and her lovely children and not simply my good works - the box of chocolates. Do I try to buy Him off with good works and nice thanks yous instead of "me", my heart, my worship, my time? I think sometimes I tell myself that that will do.
Lord, help me to remember it is not my sacrifices you desire but my heart, my time, "me".
And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.