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breaking-routine

Recently, I have implemented a daily routine, and not to be dramatic or anything, but it has changed my life.

My routine keeps the day moving, it carves out time I never took advantage of for household chores, and it blesses me with a to-do list I can reliably tick off every 1-2 hours throughout the day. I go to bed feeling satisfied. I awaken refreshed, ready to rinse, wash, repeat my fabulous new routine.

Recently though, things got a little out of hand.

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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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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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lessons-toddler-play

I watch my boy at play: one clumsy little foot flies out in the vicinity of a falling football. He giggles wildly at the gap between intention and reality, the ball propelled not by feet as was the aim, but by wayward arms with flailing legs lagging behind. When life is good, it is grand – and the whole world is a playground. He is not embarrassed. Mistakes are simply serendipitous pathways to hilarious alternative games, equally as valid as the original. Oh, the sweetness of trying again and again without success!

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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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fierce-battle

I have seen mothers at their best, and I have seen mothers at their worst.

At our best, mothers unite. We fight for each others’ rights, each others’ kids, each others’ protection, each others’ security. When a fellow mother is worried, we soothe. When a fellow mother is uncertain, we guide. When a fellow mother is about to break from the pressure of it all, we support.

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thanks-wallpaper-grateful

Our little family is moving house in the near future. There are pros and cons to this, most of which I’ll not be aware of until moving time comes. I don’t know where we’ll be next, but the change in itself is inevitable. And because things will change I’ve been trying to be intentionally mindful and appreciative of the things I enjoy about where we are now – friends and family that live close; great local parks; a bath tub; our most excellent housemate and his most excellent dog; a lovely kitchen with a dishwasher and a matching cutlery set owned by said excellent housemate; and did I mention the bath?

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ponderings-stillness

I am currently sitting in my almost one-year old son’s room, curled up on his rocking chair, with his heater powering through the cold chill in the air. His breathing gently breaks into a weirdly adorable child-snore every six or seven breaths; he mumbles gibberish in his dreaming, while reaching out a sleeping hand to fumble for his dummy in the dark. The same piano gospel lullabies he’s listened to every night since birth are chiming gently through the spluttering of the warm vaporiser, while traffic rumbles around on one of the main roads in what seems like a million miles from the stillness here.

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water-hands-control

Recently my son Jackson and I were taking advantage of an unseasonally warm Sunday afternoon with one of his favourite activities; water play in the backyard. I watched, bemused, as he entertained himself with endless pouring from cup to bucket to water table, then back up into the cup to continue the cycle. The water mesmerizes him. He can play with water for hours, soaking himself from head to toe until he begins to shiver violently, and even then he screams in protest when I bundle him up in a soft towel and carry him inside to recover in a warm bath.

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