Sunday, May 30, 2010

Testimony - You Never Let Go

If you have been following my blog since it started or know a bit about me you will know that my dear husband has a mental illness of depression with bouts of attempted suicide.
Over the years this has taken its toll on me.
Earlier this year I spent eleven days at Bryant Retreat and came home refreshed and strong, to live in victory with God and what life is for us.
A week later my husband told me he was gong to leave work and go possum trapping (for fur) or something he has done before, but there would be no phone call this time. I knew that meant he was going to kill himself. He also told me I had to find a “proper job” meaning he wanted me to work full time so he didn’t have to.
In the past I would have reacted with tears, pleading and ringing people to help etc.
But this time I felt a strong sense of Gods presence. I was able to ignore the manipulation of the illness. I didn’t cave in.
I was able to pray in a fighting way against what the illness was doing to my husband and our lives.
At one time I really thought enough was enough and I was not going to let this destroy me so I would walk away from it all. But I didn’t.
Hubby kept saying I needed to find a proper job but I was able to say with authority that I have a proper job and I do not want to hear that again. He didn’t.
He still works where he has for the past few years
He is seeing his psychiatrist and had his medication increased.
He has someone helping with his CV and finding him other work.
We are not out of the shadows quite yet but the light of Jesus has been with me all the way and I am so thankful I have the gift of faith to carry me through.
In church this morning I shared this testimony as the words of a song we sung seemed to speak of God in my life.

Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle
of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Chorus:
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

Chorus:
Yes, I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

There is a piece of scripture I always hold on to: “I will never leave your nor forsake you.”

Joshua 1:5-9 (New International Version)
5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Hebrews 13:4-6 + 8(New International Version)
4Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." 6So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"..... 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Mad Tea Party

One of the Tirau WoW workshops was A Mad Tea Party. As it was late in the afternoon I was able to attend. It wasn't a workshop as such, that you learnt something new, but more a time of entertainment and fun.
We were seated at tables lavished with delicious food for a tea party, served on bone china tea service and fine linen. A group of four locals preformed "A Mad Tea Party" Chapter seven from Lewis Carroll's, Alice In Wonderland.

`Have some wine,' the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. `I don't see any wine,' she remarked.
`There isn't any,' said the March Hare.
`Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it,' said Alice angrily.
`It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,' said the March Hare. 
It was a lovely way to finish off a busy day of administrating for the whole weekend. I thought I would share a photo taken of me enjoying a glass of wine which unfortunately Alice never got to have.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tirau WoW

Wow what a weekend. I have been so busy but had a good time.

Tirau WoW [Weekend of Workshops] is a weekend of lots of workshops of varying interests running from Friday to Sunday, some all weekend but some for just a few hours. Over the last five years I have helped a friend with her 'brain wave' to run this in our town. This weekend was the third one with over 100 workshops planned but they were reduced when numbers weren't as great as the other two years. The first two years I was the administrator for all the ticketing and it was very time consuming.

I found family just got put on the back burned for the two months before and by the end of the weekend I was exhausted. However this time I wasn't as involved but still helped to the build up and over the weekend but I was able to go around the town and pop into different workshops for a few minutes and even went to one for the full session today on healthy eating. It was based on vegetarian eating, exercises and reducing stress. 
Needless to say this may have been our last but part of me will be pleased to have 'my time' back.
 
Here we are set up for the weekend in the Tirau Dog Information Centre.


I am on the left, Sheryn whose brain child this all is, stands at the back, and Diane the lady who took it, is on the right.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crochet Beanie

I have made many of these beanies for my daughters and they take about 5 and half hours ( I know because I can do one in a car trip from our house to Wellington)

I made up the pattern myself and have tried to "write" it up in case you would like to copy it.

I use about one skein of wool but some skeins may not go as far (depending on the type of wool or acrylic it is) so you might need a bit of an extra skein.

Crocheted Beanie

Abbreviations:
ch = chain
ss = slip stitch
dc = double crochet
tr = treble crochet
FT = False Treble = “1 dc; 2 ch”

You will need:
1 or 2 x 50gr balls of Double Knit wool
3.50 crochet hook.

Make 4 ch and ss into 1st ch to make a chain 'loop'

1st round: 1 FT, 13 tr into the chain 'loop'; ss into 2nd ch of FT.

2nd round: 1 FT into top of 2nd ch of FT ; * 1ch, 1 tr into top of next 2 tr *; repeat from * to *; to last tr; 1 ch, 1 tr into top of tr; ss into 2nd ch of FT.

3rd round: ss into 1st ch space; 1 FT, 4 tr into 1 ch space; *1 ch, miss 2 tr, 5 tr into next 1 ch space; * repeat from * to * to end; 1ch, ss into 2nd ch of FT

4th round: ss into top of next tr,1 FT into top of next tr; * 1 ch; miss 1 tr; 1 tr into next tr,1 ch, miss 1 tr, 1tr into 1 ch space, 1 ch, miss 1 tr. 1 tr into next tr *  repeat from * to *;  to end, omitting last tr at end then ss into 2nd ch of FT.

5th round: 1 dc into 2nd ch of FT(same FT as ss); *miss 1ch, 5 tr into next tr; miss 1 ch; dc into next tr *, repeat from * to * to end finishing with a ss into first dc (this will not quite meet up and you will have a spare tr from the last round.)

6th round: 1 FT into dc * 3 ch; miss 2 tr, 1 dc into next tr; 3 ch, miss 2 tr; 1 tr into next dc *; repeat from * to * 3 ch, miss 2 tr; 1dc into next tr, 3 ch; ss into 2nd ch of FT.

7th round: 1 FT into 2nd ch of FT; * 1 ch, miss 1 ch; 1tr into next ch, 1 ch miss 1 ch; 1 tr into next dc, 1 ch, miss 1 ch; 1tr into next ch, 1 ch miss 1 ch; 1 tr into next tr*; repeat from * to *to end finishing with; 1 ch, miss 1 ch; 1 tr into next ch, 1 ch miss 1 ch; 1 tr into next dc, 1 ch, miss 1 ch; 1tr into next ch, 1 ch miss 1 ch; ss into 2nd ch on FT.

8th round: 1 dc into 2nd ch of FT(same FT as ss); *miss 1ch, 5 tr into next tr; miss 1 ch; dc into next tr *, repeat from * to * to end finishing with, miss 1ch, 5 tr into next tr; miss 1 ch, ss into first dc.

9th round: 1 FT into dc * 2 ch; miss 2 tr, 1 dc into next tr; 2 ch, miss 2 tr; 1 tr into next dc *; repeat from * to *to end finishing with; 2 ch, miss 2 tr; 1dc into next tr, 2 ch; ss into 2nd ch of FT.

10th round: 1 FT into 2ch space (from last round)  * 2ch, miss 2ch, 1 tr in dc, 2ch, miss 2ch, 1 tr into next tr,*repeat from * to *to end finishing with, 2ch, miss 2ch, 1 tr in dc, 2ch, miss 2ch, ss into 2nd ch of FT.

11th round: 1 dc into 2nd ch of FT(same FT as ss); *miss 2ch, 5 tr into next tr; miss 2 ch; dc into next tr *, repeat from * to * to end finishing with miss 2ch, 5 tr into next tr; miss 2 ch, ss into first dc.
 
Rounds 9 to 11 now form the pattern. Continue repeating these three rounds until the length you require finishing on an 11th round to form a scalloped edge.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chocolate Oat Dumps

And you may well ask why the word "dumps".
Well they may look questionable!! but you literally dump them on a tray to set.
Sarah my third daughter asked for some rolled oat recipes for her while she was pregnant, to help boast her for breast feeding her beautiful baby girl. I have no idea where I got this recipe or if I even adapted it from something. Its another easy make that does not involve heating up the oven. However they do need to be kept in a container in the fridge.
Ingredients

2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
100 gr Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Essence (you could use orange if you wanted a Jaffa taste)
3 cups of Rolled Oats (the sort you use to make porridge with)
1/4 cup Cocoa

Bring to the boil in a large pot the sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. Boil on medium heat for 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the rolled oats, and cocoa. Mix quickly and thoroughly.
Drop - 'dump' - tablespoon amounts onto a greaseproof paper lined tray and leave to set in a cool place.
When cold keep in a container in the fridge.
(You could use less sugar but you would need to taste test first and possibly boil for a bit longer)
Like the recipe below this post it's another one that can be made last thing at night and it is ready in the morning.

Honey Rice Bubbles

Sometimes there is a need for something to be made for school lunches and I find this is a quick easy snack that can be made in about 10 mins and you don't need to heat up the oven. And when it is late Sunday night and you just want to go to bed you can make it and in the morning it is already to be cut up.

Ingredients

125gr Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Golden Syrup
4 -5 cups Rice Bubbles (puffed rice cereal)

Bring to the boil the butter, sugar, honey and syrup in a very large pot and "soft" boil for 5 minutes (watch it and stir occasionally so it doesn't burn).
Mix in rice bubbles quickly and thoroughly so they are all coated (see the reason for a large pot!)
Press into a large tin (I use a 21 cm square tin) that is lined with greased baking paper (Butter paper is good).
Cut when cold.
Keep in an airtight container.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Atonement Child


Another of Francine Rivers books, the Atonement Child from my daughter's collection I have just read.
There is something about the way Francine writes that I find it very hard to put the book down once I have got into it.
It seems there is always something else happening that you want to know how it 'pans' out. This book was the same.
It is the story of a young woman who seems to have it all going for her but one night is raped and the issues this raises, the way she is treated, and the reaction from friends, family and those with in the industry of pro and anti-life certainly have an input to the situation.
But over all, Gods hand is seen to work in all the lives of this book.
So easy to read but so moving.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother's Day

Here is a brief history of Mothers day I received in an e-card.


Mothering Sunday and Mother’s day are now largely interchangeable names describing a day honouring motherhood.
Mothering Sunday had its roots in the Roman festival of the ‘mother’ goddess Cybele. When Europe converted to Christianity the fourth Sunday in Lent become a time to honour the Virgin Mary and visit the ‘mother’ church.
In the 1930’s Mothering Sunday was no longer celebrated in Europe but inspiration came from the United States. Ann Jarvis worked from 1868 to create a Mother’s Friendship Day ‘to reunite families that had been divided during the Civil War’. After Ann’s death in 1903 her daughter, Anna Marie Jarvis, created Mother’s Day which, as we now celebrate it, is a special day for mothers around the world.

I have never really wanted huge expensive gifts from my family (although I like a "little" something).


To me God has given me the gift of being a mother and I see it as my role to do this beautifully raising children to know God.
I love it when on "Mother's Day" my children do all the housework and cook the meals, letting me have a day to do what I like while they learn what I do for them as a Mother.
I was given this gift on Sunday. Our youngest Katrina made me French toast with plum sauce and fried feijoa's for lunch and I watch a DVD "Keeping Mom". In the evening my son Daniel cooked tea and I read and played on the computer.
Our middle daughter Sarah and her family called around in the afternoon and it was lovely to sit and chat. I had cuddled our grand-daughter Evelyn for a long time at church and I felt so blessed with all that God has given me.

For those who are not shown the love from their children, be blessed in knowing that God sees all that you do and will reward you in His time

-> As a footnote these are the pyjamas I bought with the Sussan vouchers 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Scarlet Thread

The Scarlet Thread is the second Francine Rivers book I have read. I found it so encouraging for what I am going through at the moment. The story is of two women; Sierra who's husband takes them miles away from her family with a new job developing computer games; and Mary Kathryn who becomes a pilgrim in the 1880s travelling 2,000 miles across USA on the Oregon Trail, with a young family. Sierra (an ancestor of Mary) reads Mary's journal of her early life and the anger at being uprooted from her home. They both struggle with being obedient to their husbands and what they feel as their selfishness to their wives, almost destroying their marriages.

But they both discover the love of God, as often spoken to them by their mothers and realise they themselves have been being selfish. The forgiveness they receive and then are able to show to their husbands saves their marriages one way or another how ever for Mary she loses her husband.

I was encouraged to have faith in God through all I am going through at the moment, and to see the work He has done and is doing with my husband and his work issues. It reminded me in the hope I live for in knowing that in all things God works for the good of those whom He loves.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lay Ministry

Today started early for me. The alarm went off at 5.50am, a quick shower, breakfast and a kiss on the check for Hubby.

I had to pick up two other ladies and drive one and a half hours to Te Kuiti for a Lay Ministry Training Day meeting that started at 8.45am.
It was my first time for this as it is something new God is taking me through.
The day started with two Bishops preaching and then two work shops in the afternoon.
There was lots of food and although a cold, foggy day the fellowship was great.
One of the things I would like to share is from Bishop Phil.
He preached on "The abiding significance of a sacred space - one place for all places"
Psalm 24:1 says "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it". All places are sacred because the Lord claims them all but the reading of scripture sets apart more holy places.

He asked us 'What are places sacred to us and why?'

This called to mind two places at our home.....
One is an alter of stones I had built a few years ago. I was in recovery from a time of being very low and after being in hospital. God asked me to lay down all the things that I thought I had control over; my hubby, each of my children, my home, my job, my hobbies and other things. I found rocks and stones around the section and piled them up, naming each one for something I was handing back to God.
I had read in Genesis 35:3 "...I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone." It has become a 'sacred place' for me for it is a reminder to continually give back to God the things I try to control, when I can't.
Its a little covered in leave fall from the Manuka trees beside it but it is still a reminder.

The other place is in a nook part in our house where I can sit and read and look out at our plum tree. God often talks to me by using the plum tree.

The Bishop had gone on to say that it seems that despite ourselves we sanctify places, whether that place is personal or public. This work of 'storying', giving it shape and purpose, and bringing order to chaos, is necessary because human beings can not live in the formless and trackless space. A place is a space where something has happened; words have been spoken. We shape the place and afterwards it shapes us - it gains a symbol about them that influences the way we are towards the place.

I realised that even I have 'sacred places' around me.