Lessons Through Grace #1 - Letting Go

So I have had an epiphany lately. Time is too precious to be wasting it trying to have the perfect house. I used to use so much of my spare time running around wiping up crumbs, dusting, straightening, and tidying, only to have it messed up in a couple of hours.

I would pour over house and living mags and dream of the day I could have a living room/kitchen/bathroom/bedroom like these ones. Oooooh




But no matter how much I try, it never looks like the ones in the mags.

The problem: Human Beings live in my house!

I have realised I have a choice. I can spend all my time making my house look picture perfect; but when I die, do I really want people to remember me for my beautiful home and things? Or would I like them to remember me for my friendship, the time I put into relationships, the way I made people feel special and made a difference in people's lives?

So, here I am exposing myself to how my house looks most of the time. Please note: I have tidied a bit in the living and dining, but this is how it pretty much looks. And I am learning to be okay with this. Please don't get me wrong, I know Kev and I are incredibly lucky to be living in Christchurch in a relatively undamaged house. There are plenty of people without at the moment. This is just my personal inner journey I am sharing.

I love this spot but this is how it normally appears...

If everything looks lopsided in this photo, it's cos they are! Lol.

Crumbs, crumbs, crumbs...

Hubby's toys...well I guess I can't have everything my own way! He does live here too.

I do love my herb corner.

Yes were are still boiling and bottling water - it gets rid of the chlorine taste!

This is a perfectly normal sight...

Always washing to be done.


This is about as made as the bed gets...

This is actually super tidy. Usually there is a pile of discarded clothes on top of the hamper!

Outdoor patio.

Clothes, clothes everywhere!

And this incredible phenomenon - empty boxes and containers that 'appear' in the fridge!

Last week we had our first rental inspection and they score you out of 10. (Cheeky hey?)

10 was immaculate - white glove, pristine condition.
9 was clean and tidy - a pleasure to visit.
8 was clean and tidy.
7 was ...I can't remember the rest but you get the picture!

We got 8/10! Am I happy with this? No not really...but I will be. I guess I will just have to be the 'pleasure to visit' instead of my house!

Pear and Ginger Muffins

So I was going to blog about my lessons from grace as a running series but tonight I will share with you the pure beauty of blogging!

I went on to PaisleyJades blog yesterday where miraculously she had blogged about making Feijoa Muffins. The miraculous part was that I was going to a morning tea the next day and was thinking about what to make while at the same time really not having a lot of time to make anything.

Long story short, I thought her recipe looked so easy I decided to whip it up! Problem: No ripe feijoas, so I jigged it a bit to use what I had. The result was delicious pear and ginger muffins that literally took 20 mins all up to make, and tasted scrumptious!

Pear and Ginger Muffins
1 pear
1-2 tsp crushed fresh ginger (you know, like garlic in a jar)
75 gm butter or marg.
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
milk to mix (you don't need much)

1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbls sugar

Grate pear into a bowl. Hold back pear and pour out excess juice otherwise mix is too wet. Put butter in bowl and microwave 1 min to melt. Stir in ginger. Add beaten eggs and combine. Fold in dry ingredients, add liquid to achieve a soft consistency. Spoon into muffin pans. Mix cinnamon and sugar topping and sprinkle over muffins.

Bake in 200° for 10 to 15 minutes.
Makes 12 standard, or 24 mini muffins


Lessons through grace

I found out a couple of weeks ago that an old school friend had passed away. Her brother contacted me to let me know. I haven't seen or spoken to her since I moved away when we were in Form 1, but we recently got in touch on Facebook.

Christina and I were best friends at primary school. Actually, I coveted her life in every way, especially her lovely long, blonde, wavy hair. Oh how I would so rather have had her lovely locks than my carrot top straight nothing hair! When we played catch and kiss, she was always the one who got caught the most!

I am top row, third from left, Christina is next to me.

She was a beautiful, thoughtful person, always welcoming new friends into our circle, and I thought of her lots after we had lost contact. She had a huge impact on my childhood memories. I was so happy to find her on Facebook and she was still the most beautiful woman, inside and out.

However, she didn't go on very much so we only caught up once when we first made contact. It turned out that Facebook was probably a pretty low priority as she was fighting cancer. At the end of March, she had a stroke, and died 2 weeks later.

It has had quite a bit of impact on my life. Not only because she got sick and she was my age. (You know that realisation that I am now at the age where life threatening illnesses become something that is more and more possible.) But also because I had really coveted my dear friend for a long, long time. I wanted her life! In my mess of a life, she seemed to have it all.

If I could go back and change anything it would be that I would enjoy my friend just as my friend, and that I would have the knowledge that nobody's life is perfect.

In my adult life, I struggled with jealousy and a few years back, had a spiritual encounter that I completely believe delivered me from that struggle - an amazing testimony I might tell you a bit more about sometime.

I am so, so thankful that I live with a covering of amazing grace. Instead of feeling guilty over things I can't take back, I choose to honour my friend and learn the lessons that through her life and death, she has taught me.

Christina leaves behind a loving husband and a beautiful 3 year old daughter. May she Rest In Peace.

Coming Back

It's been a while...a HUGE while.

I haven't been blogging because I am in the writing part of my research and thought I should be devoting all my spare time to that.

But do you know what? The study hasn't been going so well.

Some things have gotten in the way
  • moving cities
  • new job
  • earthquake
  • response to trauma
  • moving out of damaged classroom into another
  • starting school again and teaching children dealing with ongoing trauma
These are not excuses...well maybe they are a bit. Anyway, I now have an extension until the end of the year to get my dissertation in.
I saw this as a negative but actually it has given me the gift of time.

Time to write and do other things like
  • enjoy my husband
  • explore my area and out-lying areas
  • get fitter and stronger
  • hang out with friends
  • make new friends
  • do a great job in my new role
  • BLOG!
I have kept in the know through regularly reading your blogs, and it kind of feels like a moral duty to contribute as well, so, no more voyeurism!

Besides, I've got a lot to say, so watch this space!