Sunday, 22 September 2013

Wow blogging twice in one day :-)

I got the following from my sis and I just wanted to share it.

I want to say a BIG thank you to the mystery person who sent me a lovely letter and gift in the mail earlier this week.  Your kindness and thoughtfulness was very much appreciated even if I don't know who you are.  I love getting unexpected surprises in the post - it sure beats bills anyday.

In your letter you asked if I was at peace and until this week I thought I was.  However this past week has been a tough week.  Probably a mix of post holiday blues and missing Roy - a lot.  Tears and emotions have been my close companions this week, which I guess is all part of the grieving process.  Some weeks it seems will be easier than others.

I have really felt this week is that the Lord has been trying to get my attention.  I guess it started already with last Sunday's sermon where the Pastor talked about ensuring that whether you are married or single that the Lord is your focus and that in either state you need to be content.  This is what I have been finding the hardest - being content in my singleness.

God's 'prodding' continued with the arrival of the mystery letter as the text at the bottom of the letter was from Philippians 4:4-7 which says:

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

And then todays sermon was on that exact same text.

Prod, prod!!

So what have I finally come to understand??

That true peace is not found in positive thinking, good feelings or an absence of conflict.  True peace comes from knowing that God is in control of everything.  I can rejoice because I know that God is there beside me every step of the way.  I need to take the focus off myself and place it on Him, because He will supply all my needs.  When we submit to the will of God we have true peace.

Likewise true contentment can also only be found when I focus on the Lord - will this always be easy???  No not always.  Maybe this discontentment that I have with being single and alone is for the time being my 'thorn in the flesh'!  My daily reminder to focus upwards, because I really have two options, I can let discontentment overwhelm me, let it eat me up inside and in the process become bitter and maybe a bit twisted - inward focusing.
I can give it to the Lord and rejoice in the knowledge that all things are in His loving hands, that everyday He showers me with earthly blessings and He has a good plan for my life.

So I rejoice that because of Christ's great gift to me, salvation through His death on the cross, I can freely go to the Throne of Grace knowing that my petitions will be heard.  I rejoice because death has no dominion over me nor will the grave ever hold me captive.  How can I not rejoice and be upwards focusing.

So back to the question in the letter - am I at peace?  I'm daily working on it.

Am I content??  Not yet, I hate it and it sucks!!!!  Just had to have a wee vent :-) But I am daily working on this too.

No matter how much I may dislike it this is a rocky road that I and many other like me have to travel.  It's a road which although it has some smooth patches, has lots more lumps, bumps and potholes.  Sometimes the going is good and easy, but sometimes the going is hard and discouraging.  It's the path that God has set before me, with His help and guidance the lumps, bumps and potholes WILL become less and the path WILL eventually become smooth again.

Before you start to worry about me my week has had some good patches too - nothing like keeping busy to keep the mind occupied.

Tuesday was a 'P' day as in I processed payments, packed parcels and then posted them.  In the afternoon I also mowed the lawns - again :-)  At the moment with the warmer weather and now rain I'm going to try and do them weekly so I keep on top of them.  I managed to get the back done and the bit outside the gate and then I ran out of oomph - in that I couldn't start the lawn mower anymore as I had no more pulling power!! Fancy that!!! ;-)  I've decided that next time I'm going to start with the front!

On Wednesday I had regained my pulling power and I managed to finish the front lawns including having to lift the lawn mower up onto the bank so I could mow that piece as well.  I'm not so keen on having to mow the bank as the lawn mower is very heavy to lift - son Joel has kindly said he will come and do the bank for me from now on.  By the by if anyone out there ever feels an urgent need to run behind a lawn mower for an hour or so please do let me know, refreshments will be supplied  ;-)

I also managed to get a bit of sewing done this week, I have almost finished the custom orders that I received last week.

This week I also booked the car into the car hospital to get her cam belt replaced. I wanted to get it done before my next trip away.   Hmmm it's going to be a bit more of a costly job than I first thought, but at least they're throwing in a free service.

Yip if you caught that I'm off again soon - this time on a road trip all by myself to visit Ryan, Ineke and Inge in Hastings.  I'll tell you all about it later.

Well that's pretty much my week - I have definitely enjoyed  the glorious weather at the beginning of the week but not so much the last few days which have been wet, although not cold.  I'm a sunshine person - it goes with my usually sunny disposition ;-)

Oh that's the other thing I've done this week I've sat glued to the TV every morning at 8am - like a lot of New Zealanders I suspect - to watch the Americas Cup. Exciting stuff - loving it even if it is a bit nerve wracking!!  Only 1 point to go!!

So that's it from me for another week. This has turned into a super long epistle yet again and if you've managed to read this far congratulations and well done you've made it to the end.  Pat yourself on the back!!

Wishing you God's blessing this week and may we all find true peace in Him.

Love and blessings till next time.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Holidays are great till you come home to a mountain of work to catch up on.

That's where I've been this last week - I've been on holiday in Christchurch.

The week didn't start so great.  I slept really badly on Sunday night - I know what you're thinking nerves about the trip, but no that wasn't the case at all.  Instead I was stamp collecting - well actually stamp sorting!!!!!  I have no idea why, except that the week before I had spent some time sorting all Roy's mint stamps to work out what to sell and what to keep.  Why it took so long to come out into my dreams I have no idea - it was weird and annoying.

Monday finally dawned bright and sunny.  After some last minute packing and organising I was off.  Firstly I stopped to get petrol where low and behold when I went to pay my eftpos card was declined - twice!!  I couldn't understand it as I knew for sure that there was money in my account.  Thank goodness for Mastercard :-)  I then proceeded to the Post Office to post some letters and while there decided to try my card at my banks ATM machine.  Well you wouldn't believe it my jolly card got gobbled up by the machine -  now what???  I was about to fly to Christchurch on holiday with no money!!  So into the bank I went to see what the heck was going on.  While I patiently waited for a teller to come free it suddenly dawned on me what had happened.  The week before I had been into the bank to remove Roy's name from the bank accounts.  They had obviously done that and then the bank had cancelled his eftpos card which was the card that I had been using (he had had mine) - we got them mixed up when they sent out the new ones.  The teller was very helpful and in no time at all I was all sorted and the owner of a new eftpos card and on my way.  Boy I was pleased I had left a little bit earlier than planned.

I had an uneventful drive up to Palmy.  After a quick catch up with Aimee, Richard and Noah Richard took me to the airport.  It quickly became apparent that I do not fly very often because I was sure the baggage allowance was 25kg, I had even weighed my suitcase before leaving home and was chuffed to see it was just under that amount - but I discovered it's 23kg and the lady told me to take some items out and put them in my hand luggage or I'd have to pay the $50 overweight fee.  So there I was on my knees removing my Bible and some other books and stopping them into my hand luggage all the time thinking how silly it really was as the weight was still going to be on the plane.  When I reweighed my suitcase it was 22.5kg and good to go - phew.  I have also decided that I pack way too much stuff, so next time I plan to take less - yeah right!!!!!

It was a good flight down and Tim was there to meet me - he dropped me off at his place and went back to work and I spent what was left of the afternoon making myself at home, making some arrangements for the week and getting acquainted with Tim and Yvette's very cute wee puppy George.

I had an awesome and busy week in Christchurch.

On Tuesday I spent part of the day with a friend who even though she had a bad mirgain was determined to take me out for coffee - thanks Janice I'm glad you're now feeling much better. We'll have to do it again properly next time.  That night I was invited out to dinner with some other dear friends and I had a really lovely time.

On Wednesday I spent the day with my darling sister in law (widow of Roy's oldest brother Jim), it was pouring with rain when she came to pick me up, but it soon cleared and we were able together to face a first for her, which was a trip to the cemetery.  Due to the huge storm the night before there were a number of trees down in the cemetery so we had to walk in rather than drive which was very pleasant.  It was much easier than we had both thought it would be and although we did shed a few tears we also shared moments of happiness and laughter.  It was wonderful to spend the day with Helen and we did a lot of talking, encouraging and bonding.  I spent Wed night with Tim and Yvette and after dinner we played a game of Carcassonne - a board game that I haven't played since Roy passed away, it was a game we regularly played together on a Sunday afternoons after Church while we had lunch - I really miss those days.

On Thursday I meet up with a new friend who I have meet via a fabric page on Facebook.  We had never meet face to face before but we clicked straight away and we both felt like we'd known each other for years.  We had an awesome morning together chatting, drinking coffee and yes fabric shopping.  Thank you so much Anne for spending that time with me I had an wonderful time.  That night I again went out for dinner this time to my cousin and her hubby.  It was a lovely evening, again with lots of sharing, talking and a few tears.

Friday was a beautiful day and as I had no real plans I thought I'd take a walk and see if I could find the Op Shop that was near where Tim and Yvette lived.  Well I didn't - I'm not too good without a map and I kind of got a bit lost - well not really lost as I knew how to go back to where I started but not to where the Op Shop was.  With some help from Helen via cellphone I got back to the shopping centre I'd passed and there I asked for some directions and finally I got to where I wanted to be.  When I was done Helen came and picked me up and I spent the rest of the day with her.

Saturday and Sunday was spent with Tim and Yvette as they both work during the week.  On Sat we did some sight seeing, had lunch out and then took George for a walk on the beach.  Sunday we went to Church - I didn't enjoy the service all that much - not because it wasn't good because it was, but because the sermon was on Marriage and Singleness. Although it was very Biblical and Christ centred it was just too early for me to hear a sermon like that and I pretty much cried all the way through it.  Although I am 'coping' with my singleness it still sucks!!!!! I get on with life because I have to, but I hate being alone - significant other-less!!  It really, really sucks!!!!!

The rest of Sunday was pretty restful - I got my book finished and on Monday afternoon it was time to say goodbye and I headed back up north to Palmy where Aimee, Richard and Noah picked me up from the airport.  The drive home was fine and I made it home before dark but it was a little bit hard too as I knew there would be one waiting for me except the Jack - the dog.  He was very happy to see me :-)

I've just been a little bit more tearful since I got home and for the first time I feel a bit mad, not at God but just at life.  I guess that is the downside of a holiday it make you a bit unsettled.  I'll come right - nothing a bit of hard work won't fix.

I want to say a HUGE thank you to all those who made my trip to Christchurch so enjoyable and memorable.  Thanks for your love, support and encouragement.  Thanks too for sharing not only tears but also lots of joy and laughter.  I feel really blessed to call you family and friends.

So that was my week.  I told you it was going to be exciting and it was I had a blast.  Now I'm in catch-up mode with plenty to keep me busy this coming week not only Rawleigh/TradeMe wise but also with a number of custom orders that need sewing.

Time to go.  Catch you next week.

Oh ya - Go Team NZ!!

Love and blessings.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

I'm in love ;-)

Yip you read that right that's definitely what I wrote.

Want me to spell it out for you??


Some of you will be shocked I'm sure to read this, probably thinking - wow that's quick, but when it's right, it's right and this girl knows that it's right.

I'm in love with ......................................???????????????

My new lawn mower - had you all going there for a moment didn't I - lol!!!!

On Monday I tried out my new lawn mower and it's wonderful.  It was hard work as the lawn was pretty long so I had to empty the catcher a lot, but together we (the mower and I)  did an awesome job with the lawn looking pretty good by the time we were done.  The only bit I didn't end up doing as I didn't have any energy left was the bank.  Thanks Hil for coming and doing that piece for me.

On Monday I also finally constructed the fence to keep Jack out of the veggie garden.  I had to use some Kiwi ingenuity as I discovered that the windbreak cloth was actually too short.  Six old cricket wickets and some twine came in very handy to fill in the gaps.  So far it has not only kept Jack out but also stood up to the wind we've been having the last few days.  I'm pretty proud of myself.  Job well done :-)

My dog proof veggie garden and the nicely mown lawn

Monday was a glorious day weather wise and since the forecast for the rest of the week wasn't great I decided to get as much done outside as I could.  It actually felt really good to start the week with some physical activity.

As I was working away on Monday this really random thought popped into my head.  Now I want to let you in on a wee secret - I'm a romantic - always have been and always will be and I have always loved fairy tales, my favourite being Cinderella.  It struck me on Monday as I was mowing the lawn that Cinderella worked hard until her prince came to 'rescue' her, while the other 2 well known princess - Snow White and Sleeping Beauty slept (did nothing) until their prince came along.  Maybe that's why Cinderella has always appealed - she worked hard because she had too, she had no choice.  Likewise I have a choice - I can do nothing and mope or I can be pro-active and work hard and get on with life.  Now don't get me wrong I'm not expecting a prince to turn up anytime soon.  My prince has been and gone to live in the eternal palace of the King. But on the other hand a girl can dream can't she?!!  See told you I was a romantic ;-)

After the busy Monday the rest of the week has flown by with customers to visit to drop off Rawleigh orders, errands to run, friends to help out, organise heaps of items to list on TradeMe, walks at the dog park and finally some afternoons of sewing.  Yes finally some sewing.

Oh it felt very, very good to get back behind my sewing machine.  I have been very creative this week and made some very cute little girls dresses for my new summer collection.  I am feeling very inspired at the moment.  Hopefully it lasts.

Incase you're wondering along with being an Independant Rawleigh Distributor I also run my own business' sewing 'stuff'. My business name is JeN's Jems - under this label I sew mainly peg aprons, full aprons and plastic bag holders.  I also sew under the label Moppie which is my children's clothing line - it is this part of my business which I am really wanting to work on growing.  At the moment I can't live off my business but it's early days yet and getting established is the hardest part. Click on the business names which are linked to my Facebook pages and have a look at what I have to offer.  Hereby ends my wee promotional plug :-)

As I was saying I've been sewing up a storm this past week.  In the midst of all my 'storming' something happened that has never happened to me in all my years of sewing - I sewed into my finger.  Yes with the sewing machine!  Just missed the nail or that would have been really bad news.  It hurt like anything and I am very thankful that no blood ended up on the dress I was sewing.  I really still have no idea how I managed it - obviously a moment's distraction.  Who knew sewing could be sew (hehe couldn't resist) dangerous.  Someone reckoned that you're not a true machinist until you've sewn your finger - having now done it I can honestly say it's a qualification I could have done without. 

On the job front the answer was thanks for applying but no - and that was quite alright with me. A relief actually.

Oh that's right last week I promised you some stats relating to my blog.

12,355 people have read my blog since I started blogging back in March.

In that time the countries where my blog has been read includes:

New Zealand
United States
United Kingdom
Also China, Poland, Philippians, Romania, and some more.

I can even tell you which browser and operating system is the most popular:

Page views by Browsers

3164 (25%)
Internet Explorer
2749 (22%)
2059 (16%)
1702 (13%)
1444 (11%)
Mobile Safari
960 (7%)
169 (1%)
46 (<1%)
25 (<1%)
12 (<1%)


Page views by Operating Systems

7193 (58%)
1518 (12%)
1421 (11%)
1388 (11%)
632 (5%)
82 (<1%)
Other Unix
59 (<1%)
21 (<1%)
Windows NT 6.1
7 (<1%)
4 (<1%)

So there you go.  If you have read my blog in the past then you are part of the statistics. 

So all in all even though last week Sunday was a hard day I have had a fantastic week - I am finding my rhythm and it's a good one.  I have many more happy moments than sad ones and I am starting to remember the happy memories rather than the sad ones.  Life is good and I am blessed daily in so many ways. The Lord continues to be my source of comfort, strength and joy.

This coming week is also going to be exciting but I'll save that for later.

Wow this post has become very long.  Congratulations if you've stuck it out to the end.

Wishing you all a blessed week.  Stay safe.


PS:  Just wanted to say - Way to go Emirates Team NZ - 2 points on the board.  Bring home the America's cup boys - but no pressure :-)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Today we welcome the first day of Spring, but it also marks the day when my darling would have turned 53 - what a HUGE first to have to face so soon.  As I sit here writing this blog the house is quiet again after a very busy weekend.  Those of my children who were able too came and spent the weekend with me and I feel very blessed to have had them here.  Those who were not able to come were never far from my thoughts and I'm sure they would say the same thing.

I can honestly say it has been a good weekend even though for me lots of tears have been cried, esp today.  Inge was most concerned to see tears in Oma's eyes and cheeks and gently wiped them away for me. She is a sweet caring wee girl who I love dearly.  I don't think she feels sad at all that Opa isn't here anymore, she tells you very matter of factly that Opa is in Heaven with Jesus, almost as if to say there is nothing to be sad about - the innocence and simple faith of a little child is beautiful.  Noah too has been a great comfort over this weekend with his ready smile for Oma and his slobbery (he's teething) cuddles.  I have 2 beautiful grandchildren and am very blessed.

This weekend has been filled with fun, laughter, games and lots of talking, but also with some sadness, and for me tears and loneliness.  On Saturday we celebrated my Mum's birthday and it was bittersweet as in the past we have always celebrated the 2 birthdays together - Mum's and Roy's.  The children played lots of board games over the weekend and it is so good to see this party of Roy (his love for playing games) live on in our children.

The grieving process really is a funny thing (not funny haha!). You feel like you have made great strides in your grieving, that you are moving forward, getting on with your life, doing ok on your own and then you have to face a 'major' first which almost stops you dead in your tracks.  The gut wrenching, heartbroken tears fall again, the feeling of loneliness that you thought you had conquered again threatens to overwhelm and life seems so hard, so uncertain and so very unfair.  And then when you feel your lowest God sends you words of encouragement via a fellow believer:

"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed"  1 Peter 1:6-7

What a blessing and what a joy that amidst the sorrow and tears the Lord is faithful and He will see me through, so that my faith which is more precious than gold may be strengthen for His glory.  When we give our lives to the Lord we need to consider the cost of that commitment.  As His children we not exempt from sorrow, hardship, trials and in some cases even persecution and death. It is how we react to these situations that show whether we are truly committed to our Saviour.  Hardship will do one of two things - either cause us to turn our backs on the Lord (much to Satan's glee) or cause us to seek the Lord more and more.  My prayer is that when you find yourself in times of sorrow and hardship that you will seek the Lord, for only in Him will you find true comfort, strength and peace.

So even though this weekend has at times been hard and has sort of loomed over this past week, it has still been a good week in which a lot has happened.

On Monday I had a sister-chicks day with two of my very good friends from Wellington.  We try to get together at least every 4 months if possible. I feel very blessed by these 2 beautiful ladies, they are both wonderful at listening and very good at encouraging me.  Our friendship goes back a long way and we have a developed a strong sisterly bond over the years.  We spend our day chatting (sorting out the world's worries), knitting, drinking coffee/tea, doing lunch and/or dinner and sometimes we watch a movie. Thanks ladies for an awesome day on Monday, it was just what I needed - I always miss you when you've gone, but this time it was worse.  I found this wee saying which I think is just great:  "True friends help you find important things when you have lost them........your smile, your hope and your courage" Doe Zantamata
Interestingly our 3 daughters are also friends and they each now have a child and have decided that they need to start doing what their Mum's do and get together occasionally. I say go for it girls :-)

On Tuesday I applied for a job - yip you read that right - a job.  A HUGE thank you to my sister-chick Jackie who helped me get my CV up to date and looking very, very good - I think it's so impressive I'd employ me!  It has actually been a very good process to go through, esp with getting my CV sorted, but to be honest I don't want the job - I think that it is really still too early and emotionally I am not sure I'm 'stable' enough.  I am still finding my feet in all aspects of my life, I think I have to concentrate on my plan to do some study first and not have too many irons in the fire.  So why apply I hear you ask - well firstly nothing ventured nothing gained I guess, also Roy was always the one who saw the potential in me and encouraged me to give things a go, so I guess I did it to prove to myself that I am capable of doing things without him there to 'push' me along.  Again it's about standing on my own two feet and being brave enough to make choices for myself.  And I can do it!!  Anyway time will tell - it is in the Lord's hands and He know my heart in this matter.  So far no news is good news - in this case anyway :-)

The rest of the week flew by with lots needing to be done before the weekend.  Most days we still did our trip to the dog park, in-fact the minute I close the door down stairs Jack is sitting at the front door waiting. He is really enjoying going to the dog park at the moment as his friend Stella (my brother and sister-in-law's dog) is staying with my Mum and Dad and we meet up there, the dogs have a great time chasing each other all over the park - I am always amazed at how much energy Jack has even after a good 20+ min run.

On Thursday I did the first proper grocery shop since Roy's death - up until now I have had so much in the freezer and cupboards and because I'm eating much smaller meals I have had plenty to get by on.  It was really strange buying meat for one - a 6 pack of sausages now does 3 meals.  I have also purchased a bench top oven as I decided it was a waste of electricity to be heating the big oven for 1 potato/kumera and a chicken leg.  I am loving my new appliance very much.

The other new thing I got this week is a lawn mower.  Tomorrow weather permitting I plan to give all my lawns a haircut, I also need to plant my parsley plants and make the fence for around my veggie garden to keep Jack out. Plenty to keep me busy.

I have noticed that my blog gets read all around the world - it's really amazing (I'll post some stats next time).  My prayer is that the Lord will use what I write to touch the lives of those of you who need His comfort.  If you'd like to send me a private message rather than leaving a comment on my blog then please feel free and email me, I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for all those who sent messages of encouragement and cards this weekend.  Your thoughts and prayers have been very much appreciated.

Wishing you God's blessing this week.  May He fill your life with His light and peace.

Till next time.