Sunday, 24 November 2013

It's been 2 weeks since I last posted here and it's been a great 2 weeks.  Thanks so much to everyone who read my last blog and sent me words of encouragement and support.  I find it very therapeutic to write my thoughts and feelings down and I felt 100% better after I was done.  The Lord is good and His timing is always spot on.  I received the following devotion via email last week and it is sort of a another take on the 'just pedal' idea.

Under God's Umbrella
God's umbrella has kept me from getting soaked. It has given me peace, hope, and even joy in the midst of the hardest times I've ever faced. Several years ago God allowed a storm to brew in my life that I never expected. It began as a drop, became a drizzle, and finally the heavens opened, and I found myself in an outright downpour.
After my storm began, I spent a lot of time trying to make sense of things. How could a loving God let this happen? Why wasn't He taking care of me? I still don't have the answers to all of those questions, but I no longer wonder if God loves me. I can see His hand even in times of difficult . I can sense Him grieving with me when I'm sad. Most of all, I have His umbrella over me, and His presence with me. There's a verse that says "His banner over me is love." I have my own version of that verse now: His umbrella over me is love!
I've also come to believe we don't have to wait for blue skies in order for God to use the rain that's fallen in our lives. That can start right here, right now. So wherever you are and whatever your storm may be, know that you are not alone. God is with you, and He is whispering messages about the rain to your heart that will change your world forever if you only dare to believe them.
-Excerpt by Holley Gerth, from her devotional book Under God's Umbrella:

What a comfort and what a joy.  What an awesome God we have.

The last few weeks have been very busy - trips to Palmy each week to look after Noah - I'm still enjoying that sooooo much, he really is a delight even when he decides he's not going to sleep in the afternoon.  I have also worked 4 mornings over the last 2 weeks which has been great - still loving my job.

The weather too has been wonderful so I've spent a lot of time outside in the garden.  I have had to replant some more bean plants as the slugs/birds devoured the first lot.  I have also planted some new seeds and hope they will come up this time, there is a reason they put expiry dates on seed packets. I am going to put some 'decorations' in the garden in the hope that it'll keep the birds out.  I have also put down slug pellets for the slugs to munch on. The lawns are looking great and I am managing to keep them under control. I have an overabundance of lemons which I am slowly finding homes for and using myself.  Nothing is more refreshing than a glass of freshly squeezed lemons with some lemonade - delicious.  I really need to get stuck into the flower garden soon as all the bulb plants are starting to look a bit untidy and dead.

Over the last 2 weeks I have been busy getting some quotes done so that I can get a rail and gate put around my very unsafe and illegal deck.  So far 2 quotes are in and they are poles apart in price.  I'm waiting on another one and have another builder coming to quote on Tuesday afternoon - then it'll be decision time. I have decided against making the deck bigger and will just get this deck up to standard - it'll be good to have it done should I decide to again put the house on the market - no plans at this stage to do that though.  Happy to stay where I am for the time being.

Yesterday Aimee and I did our first market.  It wasn't great sales wise for either of us - wrong clientele, but it has got us motivated to do some other markets, something that I didn't think I'd be up to doing with Roy not being here, but I'm keen to give some of them a go - local ones only though not the big ones like Martinborough Fair or Petone Fair.

I am starting to think there is something wrong with me!!!!!!!!  I've always been a night owl (Roy was the morning person, not me) and now I find myself yawning at 8.30pm and seriously thinking about going to bed at 9.30pm - not like me at all.  And now instead I wake up - yip I'm wide awake - at 6am.  Mind you it doesn't help when there are some very enthusiastic and way too chirpy birds singing at the top of their lungs at 5.30am.  I don't even seem to be able to sleep in anymore :0(  I must say though it is very nice to have the time in the morning to sit outside on the deck in the sunshine to eat my breakfast, drink my coffee and read a chapter or two of my book.  What a treat.

I love this time of the year - t-shirt, shorts and jandel weather and it isn't even officially summer yet.  The warm nights aren't so great, I'm finding I start off sleeping just under a sheet when I go to bed cause it's just too warm and it's only November!!  I have been thinking about taking Jack to the beach now that the evenings are  longer light but can't seem to get myself motivated to do it.  I really miss having someone to do that sort of thing with and other things too like going out for a meal, or going to a movie, or even believe it or not going to the stock cars on a Saturday night up in Palmy.  And along those lines kissing, romance and sex should be banned from TV - just saying!! ;0)

Well it's almost 9.30 again so nearly bedtime.  Hopefully Jack behaves tonight.  Last night he was in and out like a yoyo - that's not so bad but he was constantly barking when he was outside which is very unlike him and will not have impressed the neighbours, esp at 2am. There must be a hedgehog somewhere in the garden and he's not happy about it.  I wasn't so happy about it either as it meant I had to get up to check there wasn't someone skulking in my backyard and to 'sort' him out.  After a very stern telling off he stayed inside for the rest of the night - I think.

Well I wish you all God's blessing this week.

Love and hugs

Monday, 11 November 2013

I'm not really sure what to write this week.  I can honestly say it had been a very good week until Sunday afternoon when I got some news.  News which I can't actually share yet and it's news that although I sort of expected it might be coming it has still rocked my world - a lot.  And it's not so much the news even though it is painfully sad, it's the sudden reality of how very much I still miss Roy, esp at a time like this.  I thought I was doing ok but so wish he was here to hold me in his arms and tell me that everything is going to be ok and we'll get through this together. But he isn't, so I have to process this all on my own.  My emotions are raw and very, very close to the surface and I feel so incredibly heart broken, sad and even though I'm surrounded with people who love me I still feel alone - unconnected. I have shed so many tears in the last 24 hours that my headaches, my eyes are puffy and sore, my stomach hurts and my heart is heavy.

Last week I wrote that I was progressing, moving ahead, rebuilding my life but now it feels like the wounds that I thought were healed have all been ripped open again and to be honest I'm a bit angry about that because I don't want/like to feel this way.  Some of you very wise souls out there will be shaking your heads and thinking, but it's still early days, it's only just gone 5 months and Jolanda you are doing well - and you're right it is early days, and it is only just gone 5 months - but oh it seems so much longer.  I thought I had overcome that hollow empty feeling, but I really haven't.  I've just buried it and pretended that it isn't there anymore by smiling and nodding in all the right places.  I actually feel like yelling 'Stop the world cause I want to get off!!!' because I've had enough, I don't want to do this anymore. I don't want this life it's too hard, I want my old life back.  I want to be happy, carefree and self assured.  I want to be whole again, not broken and sad. I want!! I want!! I want!!

I have so many why questions that there are no earthly answers too - but the biggest is why can't I leave this burden at the Throne of Grace????  Why do I keep picking it back up again?? Why does this plague me so much and why do I feel no peace??  Maybe it's because I'm trying to do things my way rather than letting the Lord lead and guide me.  Maybe I need to start putting my trust completely in Him.  Here's the kicker - I thought I was!!

This earthly life is not meant to be easy - circumstances are going happen and people will do things (both intentionally and unintentionally) that are going to cause us pain and sorrow. We can let it all get us down or we can give ourselves a proverbial kick in the bum and get over it.  I need to get over myself. I need to give myself a kick in the bum, stop wallowing in self pity and look at the blessings in my life.  As I've written before it would seem that I again have a choice to make - I can look inward or I can look upward.  I think I'd better start working a bit harder on my upward looking.  I really covet your prayers this week to help me through because I know that I can't do it in my own strength.

I received a wonderful article from my sister which is entitled "Just Pedal" - the author unknown but Charles Swindoll used it in one of his sermons.


At first, I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven, or hell when I die.
He was out there, sort of like a president. 
I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know Him. 

But later on when I met Christ,
it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike
and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal. 

I don't know just when it was that He suggested we 
changed places,
but life has not been the same since.
When I had control  I knew the way.
It was rather boring, but predictable...
It was the shortest distance between two points. 

But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long 
up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds,
it was all I could do to hang on! 
Even though it looked like madness, He said,

I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are 
you taking me?"
He laughed and didn't answer,
and I started to learn to trust.
I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure.
And when I'd say, "I'm scared,"
He'd lean back and touch my hand. 

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing, acceptance and joy.
They gave me their gifts to take on my journey,
my Lord's and mine.
And we were off again.

He said, "Give the gifts away; they're extra baggage, 
too much weight."
So I did, to the people we met,
and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light. 

I did not trust Him, at first, to be in control of my life.
I thought He'd wreck it;
but He knows bike secrets,
knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
jumps to clear high rocks,
fly to shorten scary passages.

 I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places,
and I'm beginning to enjoy the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Christ. 

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,
He smiles and says...

" Just Pedal."
Author Unknown

So I guess that's what I need to do - just pedal and leave everything else up to the Lord, because He knows what He's doing. 

Thanks for listening.

Love and blessings

Sunday, 3 November 2013

I'm progressing!!  Yip I really am and it feels good.

This morning it struck me that I have often said that I am taking things day by day, but I can now say that I'm taking things week by week.  This past week has been a great week - not totally without tears I'll admit, but a great week anyway.

That doesn't however mean that I don't still live one day at a time, because I do.  I was talking about this week with my sister in law and she mentioned about a card she received from someone saying that that's the way the Lord wants us to live.  God is a God of the present and we see that in His name 'I AM'.  God is not named 'I was' (past tense) nor is He named 'I will be' (future tense) - no He is named I AM - that's present tense, the here and now.  God wants us to live for today cause that's where He is.  Not worry about what has been cause we can't change that, nor should we worry about the future cause He has that in His hand.  What a comfort and what a joy to know that He is with us everyday.  Thank you Lord.

As I mentioned last week I had BIG plans for Monday and I got it done even after a sleep in.  The weather was wonderful so I decided to get stuck into the water blasting.  Firstly I had to de-spider my black gumboots which I probably haven't worn since the last time I did water blasting.  An old plastic bag sure comes in handy for that job because there was no way I was going to put my naked hand into those gumboots.  I'm really not a great fan of spiders.  Give me a mouse or even a weta any day.  My gummies were given the all clear so I donned them and my waterproof gear, fired up the water blaster and got to work.  At first the going was slow, but I soon got into the swing and all the water pre-soaked the paths and then it was a breeze.  The problem I find with water blasting is that it is very hard to stop.  After I'd done all the paths I was very, very tempted to do the concrete deck and the tiled patio as well but when I saw it was already 4pm I thought I'd better stop.  There is a saying that something is so clean you can eat off it, well that was definitely true for my paths.  They look fantastic you could eat off them ;0)  While the paths looked great I  however didn't look so fantastic as I ended up wearing a layer of grit and I was pretty wet too just proving that my wet weather gear was not so waterproof anymore.  Funnily I had a number of Rawleigh customers that day and I must have looked a fright but I just told them I was water blasting.

Here is a before and after photo - the concrete in the after is still a bit wet, but you can definitely see the difference.

While I was busy doing the water blasting a friend came and put up a trellis fence for me and Joel came and mowed the bank.  The new fence looks great and adds a rustic look.  It covers the horrible stuff that the neighbour has up on her side of the fence and will look even better once the passionfruit starts growing up it.  Here is another pic.

I expected to wake up feeling very stiff on Tuesday morning but I felt fine so hi ho, hi ho off to work I did go.  I love, love, love my wee job it is really awesome.  I applied for another part time job via the Work and Income Find a Job website and am still waiting to hear.  I haven't heard anything from the job I applied for last week.  I have also decided to pull out of my course.  I just feel I really wouldn't be able to do it justice what with my head still being so full already, I am enjoying the admin job and may look at doing some 'study' in that direction in the future.  Also the prospect of having to study over Christmas/New Year while everyone is holidaying is a bit of a depressing thought, so I wrote to them and the accepted my withdrawal.  The refund will come in handy too.

On Wednesday I still felt fine with not an achy muscle in sight or rather to be felt.  I spent a wonderful day looking after my very handsome wee grandson - I'm only a little bit biased of course.  On Thursday my sister in law came for a visit and we had an awesome time together, however as the day progressed I started to feel more and more achy esp in my left shoulder blade.  That night it was so bad I could hardly move my left arm because of the pain - boy what I wouldn't have given for a massage, but a wheatsack and panadol had to suffice.  It has taken a few days but now it is pretty much back to normal, although in certain positions the left shoulder blade still aches a bit, but it's more uncomfortable and painful.

This week I have also done a heap of sewing - I have a new product line that I plan to release this week on Moppie - great Christmas presents so do pop over to my Moppie page on Facebook later this week and take a look.

While in my sewing room on Sat I could hear children's voices that sounded very close by.  When I looked out the window I saw 4 young children running full speed down my driveway laughing.  Jack must of heard them too and started barking - I've never seen such little legs move so fast uphill.  It was very funny.  They live 2 doors up, but I'm pretty sure they won't be back in a hurry.

Well that was the week that was.  All in all a great week.  I am sitting here now watching the neighbour's fireworks.  Jack however isn't so impressed, he hates fireworks so it's going to be a rough few evenings for him I think.

Wishing you God's blessing for this week.

Much love

PS: Dad found this Far Side cartoon that I just had to share.  Enjoy :0)