Saturday, 23 March 2013

In the Slow Moments

I learnt something yesterday.  It is good to change pace and just sit with a baby for a few hours.  No homework woes.  No shattered self-expectation.  No rushing about.  No haggling over computer time.  Just sitting with a board book and lifting the flaps over and over.  And the greatest concern one could have is when Mummy might come home.  In this case Mummy always comes home.

We still had homework and computer haggling going on around the place while the Little Man was visiting with us.  But for me, I just sat with a cute little baby on my knee.  He wasn't terribly happy, between teething and yet another day of Mummy needing to be away for a little bit.  But we had moments of pure joy and laughter in between the few grumps. 

In our rushing through life we forget to be still and just 'be'.  Perhaps that's why God was explicit when He said "Be still and know that I am God".  That Psalm (46) talks about all kinds of storms and catastrophes before the admonition to be still.  I have in my mind a picture of turbulence, busyness and rushing about, like the whole of life is on a very noisy fast-forward setting.  And God says "be still" and then "know that I am God".  Let life swirl on in the dizzying way that it does.  But let's choose not to get caught up in it.  Let's choose 'being'.  Let's choose enjoying the moment and being slow enough to hear God.

Today I'm going to take my time through some organising for the week ahead because people still need to eat around here, and I need to be prepared to teach on Monday.  And then I'm going to enjoy the space I have in my day and read.  Or bake.  Or both.

What do you do to help you slow down and just 'be'?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

In which the Microwave returns

My microwave oven is back in its usual place, performing the work it was created to do.  It's a little bit symbolic of all being right with the world again.  It is amazing to me that such a seemingly small part of life being turned upside down could become such a huge daily challenge to be overcome.  It reminds me of the example of the ripple effect of a stone being thrown into a pond and the ripples impacting everything around the entry point.

 I don't know about you but I often respond to the ripples in life by being frustrated, unable to get past the pebble having being cast into the water in the first place because too much of my life is being made difficult.  In the past few weeks I've found it hard to remember to get meat out of the freezer, and oh the repercussions that has caused.  A tiny step out of the caravan has caused some major repercussions about the way I do what I normally do and having to think about making my movements more efficient....or just being unable to do some things.  I guess this is why God tells us to cast our cares on Him and to rely on Him when we feel like we can't do it ourselves - those ripples can get pretty rough sometimes.

In the meantime the ripples in my life, albeit relatively small things, are subsiding.  The microwave is back, I can nearly walk down steps normally and all my children are home after being scattered about the State over the past few weeks.

I still understand why Aboriginal people send their teenaged boys out into the desert for a few months to learn to be a man.  And why they are not allowed to speak with their mothers personally thereafter.  Some ripples are not so easily set aside.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

More Camping Out.

All campers are now home safe and sound.  For now.

It's a funny thing, you know.  There are always times when your kids just bug you.  It's inevitable.  I suppose I bug my kids from time to time too.  But when they're away I miss them terribly.  I spent four days wondering how Mr Busy was coping with his camp.  I've spent three days thinking to myself "I wonder how Miss Mischief is doing".  And now they're all back...before we spread out again.

Despite my own recent camping misadventures we are incredibly blessed to have some amazing places to go and explore by spending time in the outdoors.  Appreciating wombats, stunning views, amazing night skies full of stars, discovering all manner of sea creatures, surfing, succeeding, being self-sufficient, pushing through and persevering.  My children have been able to experience some incredible things over the past two weeks.  All within a school that continually points these awesome things out as an example of the God we love and His love for us.

Miss Mischief's camp involve cooking on a tranjia and no refrigeration for food storage.  We had to get creative!  She showed me her menu plans and I suggested some alternatives to suit the food storage situation.  She and her cooking/tent partner did a great job, I think.

Breakfasts:  bacon & fried gnocchi (instead of hash browns); muesli with vanilla Up and Go
Lunches:  2 minute noodles; wraps
Dinners: chicken pasta alfredo; pasta with tinned chicken, and tinned corn
Dessert: tinned fruit and long life custard; Smores cooked in foil on the tranjia
Snacks: Scroggin, Cheese & cracker packs, muesli bars

Meanwhile I continue to hobble with each day being a little faster and less painful that the last.  I have some beautiful shades of blue and purple on each ankle and the arm I bashed at some point in the process of falling.  Miss Mischief hadn't seen that come out, so she was pretty impressed!  Despite advice to try a tent next time I'm sticking with the caravan.  I just know to be more diligent with where to put my feet next time.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Camping is Dangerous to the Health

We've been 'enjoying' the current Melbourne heatwave by camping near the sea over the long weekend (it's Labor Day here).  Saturday was terribly unpleasant.  Our little camping group ended up with people chasing shade and flopping out on the grass, arms spread wide to soak up any hint of coolness possible.  I went to sleep like that, because, you know, if you sleep through the heat you don't feel it so much.

Our injury list for the weekend became quite long.  One of the boys around Mr Busy's age ended up with a broken hand due to some rough-housing type boy play.  Mr Busy has been suffering a bit of dehydration I think, partly from the heat and partly from not drinking enough on his school camp last week.  One of the mum's ended up with awful lobster-red sunburn on her legs from sitting in the water one afternoon.

I ended up spectacularly spraining both ankles.  My story is that the caravan threw me out the door quite unceremoniously.  Truthfully, I twisted one ankle as I stepped down and then the other twisted even worse.  There was a lot of noise and tears involved.  And ice.  And pain.  I have a rather nasty bruise on my arm as well, although I didn't realise I'd even hurt it at the time. The good news is that I can walk, albeit it very slowly.

On Mr Busy's school camp last week there were lots of wombat encounters.  Wombats looking for food, specifically.  They're not quite as dangerous as bears but they still do their fair share of demolishing.  Mr Busy apparently had a wombat in his tent on the first night whilst the kids were on a night walk.  He had done the right thing and all his belongings survived and are intact, but the tent did not survive.   Somehow each night there was some child who didn't put their food in the bus and had a wombat visit them to share their food. How appropriate to be reading 'Diary of a Wombat' by Jackie French in the lower Primary classes last week.  I wonder if Jackie had met the wombats at Wilson's Prom before writing that book?!

Every camping trip needs to come home with some good stories.  I think we've got our share of them stored up for now.  Miss Mischief is off on a camping trip for school this coming week.  I'm praying for everything to go wombats, injuries or other unnecessary challenges.