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Family Life

beautiful-simplicity-daily-habits

Morning or night person,

routine-driven or spontaneous person,

melancholy or sanguine person;

we all have a unique blend of characteristics that shape how we live out our days. Whichever of these we are, whatever it is we do, it’s important to take stock and reflect if what we’re doing is working for us.

Every now and then I begin a new habit, sometimes to replace an old one and sometimes to add to my current ones. Being intentional about my habits helps me to spend my days the way I want to spend my life.

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redemption-shalom-birth

Image credit: Amelia Hambrook Photography

Do you like birth stories? I do.

At first I loved them because I needed to hear how labor and birth could be – for others, all normal and beautiful and full of love and connection.Redemption and Shalom: More than a birth story

My first birth experience was quite the trauma, and I went to see a therapist when my first baby was 4.5 months. I realized it was probably not normal to still be in tears every day, think it’s okay to leave my baby by herself in her bouncy chair thing, and notice her stop smiling.

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mothering-hindsight

In so many ways hindsight is a wonderful thing.  She can help us to re-assess and make changes.  Good adjustments that help us do things better in the future, but from where I sit today, looking at my grown up children, hindsight is not my friend.  She can fill my heart with regret.  I can quickly go down the road of the could’ve, the should’ve, the would’ve but didn’t.  She can make my heart sink and take me to a place where I don’t want to be.

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rock-aunt-hood

I have enjoyed the privilege of becoming an aunt again twice in the past few months. A sweet little baby boy and baby girl have filled their lungs with air and made their voices known to the world. And our family is rejoicing.

As I gaze on these little lives, I want to take my role as aunt seriously. I want to be intentional about the time I have with them and about the privilege God has gifted me. So I search the scriptures and try to find examples of how non-mothers effected the lives of little ones.

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parenting-change

I turn on my phone and I read about Charlottesville, about atrocities around the world… I feel helpless. What can this person that I am do to ignite change and inspire love? What difference can I make to the world? I’ve not got substantial amounts of money to donate, or time to give or even much of a sphere of influence. I read, I cry and I pray but as a person of faith I believe I am also called to action. As a builder of community and kingdom, I believe that whatever it is I can do, I need to do. Thus, I need to take stock of what I can do, and at first, it doesn’t seem like much. As Arthur Ashe’s well known quote is drummed into my memory, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can”, I go ahead and make a list.

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grandfatherhood

The feature image used above is a stock photo, and not a photo of my actual Dad. Photo by Lindy Baker on Unsplash

There are few things in life that are as precious to a child as their Dad. The appeal is effortless – one tickle fight and they’re in for life. When I was a kid, all my Dad had to do to make my day was get home from work and play duplo with me and my sisters, or tell us a story that started with “When I was a little boy.” When we got our first jobs, Dad was the one who helped us get tax file numbers and open superannuation accounts. When we got our learners permits, Dad was the one who took us car shopping and arranged our insurance. For as long as we lived under his roof, we were looked after.

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raising-big-family

Almost 13 years ago, my husband and I sat at the end of our hotel bed, looking over the jungles of Borneo, soaking up the last few moments of what had been the most amazing 10 days. It was the eve of our return home after our honeymoon, and we had been talking about our new lives together and what it all meant. We pondered what the future would bring, the adventures we would go on, the opportunities we would seize. We decided to write a letter to our future selves, to be opened on our 10th wedding anniversary wherever we might be. A time capsule one might say. There were questions about where we planned to travel, if we would move overseas, if we would build or renovate….exploring the million possibilities our new path could give us. Our eyes were wide and our dreams even wider. Coming up to the last question, we were unanimous in our answer.

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motherhood-mission

There are so many words that I could use to describe my journey and the different aspects of motherhood: elation, joy, completeness, love, fulfilling, frustrating, tiring, demanding, life-giving, life sapping. But looking back on my journey so far, a phrase I would use to encapsulate all of these words is “a courageous mission”.

I believe that motherhood is my mission and I believe that there is a whole lot of courage needed every single day of this motherhood journey.

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motherhood-who-i-am

Motherhood for me was a re-birthing into a self and a world that I couldn’t have predicted.

It is a world where everything has added significance, an importance beyond the immediate. I feel the weight of my mistakes heavier but the joys lift me higher than ever before. Even my skillset; that that in which I am strong I become stronger and that that in which I am weak becomes blaringly obvious.

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