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Family Life

learning-value-time

Nap time at last; time for tea!

I filled my mug from the cold pot, popped it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and waited impatiently for that soul-refreshing experience that is my nap time cuppa ritual. With a cheerful double beep, it was done.

I reached for the milk but, this is awkward, I’d been a bit heavy-handed in my hasty pour and there was really too much tea in the cup to top it with my desired dash of dairy.

I tried anyway – administering a tiny, clumsy plop and the skimpiest of swirls, but the cup was too full to move.  It was a sad moment. Reluctantly, I admitted defeat, decanting teaspoonfuls from the full cup down the drain.

The ritual had lost much of its magic; its flow. I mean the tea was still alright but the experience as a whole was just unsatisfying.

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in Faith, Family Life

Learning Like a Child

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learning-like-child

I’ve been teaching a 3-year-old the New City Catechism.

It was a supposed to be a lesson for her. I was going to systematically go through the questions and answers that explained our faith so that she would be a well-learned member of the church. I imagined that she would hide these little answers in her heart and when she was old would be able to recollect these little truths hidden inside.

But I am the one who is learning.

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discussing-money

I remember as a child being told, “We can’t afford it.”

I’ve heard myself say to my children, “We can’t afford it.”

It confounded me when I heard it and I didn’t feel right when I said it, so I made a conscious decision to stop saying it.

I thought more deeply not only about what information I was passing on, but also what attitude and what picture of a relationship with money I was modeling.

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blessing-cleaning-toddler

I hate cleaning.

Don’t get me wrong: I love clean.

I grew up with a mother that knew how to clean thoroughly, spot the cobwebs that were invisible to the naked eye and throw open the windows to top it off with a fresh breeze. Coming home after a Mum Clean was refreshing and completely taken for granted.

But I am wired differently; I fight against my cluttery personality every day, as well as the part of me that says, “I’ll definitely do that later.”

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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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