Weekly Photo Challenge : Hope

I really hope that my son continues to want to do

this as he gets older!!!!

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Refreshed!!!

I have been a Christian for about 22 years and I describe it as an  extraordinary journey to live.  When I met Jesus I was sitting around a camp fire at a Christian camp and was struck with the reality of  how I didn’t have a story about when Jesus came into my life. This saddened me. I wanted a story too!!! I also recognised how I was a pretend Christian   and in an act of spontaneity I stood up in front of every one and declared that I was indeed a pretend Christian.

In was in that moment that my life changed where I saw the mask smash to the ground destroyed.  I sat down to everyone’s applause as I finished my spontaneous speech with “now I know Jesus, my life will be fantastic”!! As I sat there thinking of what had transpired my heart cried out to God “please help me to be a disciple of Jesus”!!!

The camp fire that night has long burnt out but the fire of God burns within me for eternity!! Sure, life happens and things don’t run smoothly!! I know, you should hear about the many traumatic events that occurred in my life for past the six years!!

Just recently another event occurred that had us saying goodbye to My husband’s beloved Dad just before Christmas.As you can imagine this is a tough thing to face but in spite of it, we both have in the past week experienced the most refreshing time of the supernatural love of God.

Part of it has to do with listening to music from Bethel Church and Jesus Culture. My friend sent us Be lifted high and we have immersed ourselves into the music and have been inspired to worship. It has stirred my husband, it has refreshed us, it has made us frustrated, it has made us want more, it has created desire to want to know the Father more, we want to see freedom come as it is in
Heaven the same on Earth!!!!!

When I first heard the song featured below it felt like I was drinking fresh water and didn’t realise how thirsty I was. It seems like church worship has gone so professional that there is now no more room for creativity and heart. Please, this is not an attack on current treads within musical church practices just a challenge for us all to want more!! To realise that God does not fit in our little human minded boxes and we can’t just say to our selves “this will do!! we’ve made it now!!” No!! There is always more!!!

Do we really have to do three songs?? do we really have to play a song the same way?? Why can’t the musician prophecy with their instruments?? Do we really want to be like the mega church’s??? or how about we just be, us?? How about we get  know how much our Father in heaven loves us more than anything that he sent his Jesus to die for us? How about we take up our birth right? So, how about it??

I feel ignited and refreshed. I feel like the floodgates have opened and I feel alive. I’ve woken up from a tired dream. I feel challenged and I want more!!!!!!

Thank you

I would like to just take a moment to thank all of you who subscribe to Tamar’s art lounge.  I appreciate all who leave comments as it makes the blogging experience feel so much more personal *gee fanks*

Writing for me is another form of art and I love expressing myself and oops!! I haven’t picked up my brushes in about a year…That’s a sad bit 😦 . It’s just life is a bit busy at the moment but hey!!…this is the happy bit 🙂 I write in my journal and have a blog where I incorporate many of my Instagram shots which indeed are acts of artiness!!!

A part of being an artist is sharing your work and have people respond in their own way. This exchange really adds a new depth to the work because we all have our own thoughts and perceptions.

I know that there are blogs out there that have a massive following and some blogs go pro and have ads featured on their site but I am stocked if I get 20 clicks on my blog in one day…whoo hooo!!!! Just recently I had a moment of reflection after viewing some bitch fights on a popular blog and it made me think about what type of blogger I want to be.

I want to write about the things that matter to me and refrain from any nastiness. I want to express what  inspire’s me and hopefully in the process inspire other’s too. I want to share what it’s like to have a child with VCFS and how I cope. I love to share my faith and I love the freedom of just writing about whatever I want to with no pressure to perform or conform. Hey!! I just love to blog and you my subscriber’s are a part of my journey!!!!

So thank you thank you and keep on blogging!!! xxxxx

When grief and mourning accompany praise.

I want to talk about what it’s like to worship God when grief and mourning are present. A while ago  our church went through a mighty shake up that left us with a band consisting of two guitarist. It was at this point that I was enlisted as a worship leader and I did so for about two years  until it became a bit much for my son to attend band practice. About a month before I started worship leading my mum passed away and it was in those moments of worship that grief was present along side with God. Today My husband is worship leader and just recently he too lost a parent, his Father.

For the past couple of years of running the band my Hubby frequently say’s “I’m not cut out for this” or “I’m handing this over” and I find it amusing because it is God who has called us to worship and it is God who has indeed equips us for the call ahead. What I find further amusing is that we do not fit the image of this present day modern Western pento church ideal!! We are just us and we are not polished, we do not pretend to be perfect and we are raw.

How has God equipped us?  Well for a start we have been called to worship lead through grief and mourning, we have been equipped to be faithful and turn up every week and just do it, we have been equipped because for us it’s not about image and how good we look and sound. Worship for us is about connecting to God and as Jesus said in John 4:23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”

God does not care how wonderful you look or sound, sure become a better musician or singer and practice your craft with diligence but more importantly worship God from your heart even when circumstances are ganging up on you, just worship!! It intrigues me that both my hubby and I have been called to lead worship as we grieve for our loved ones who have since passed away. I believe that this is no accident as I am sure through this The Lord has given us keys to his kingdom.

I think now of when Paul and Silas were imprisoned and rather than sit in sorrow of their circumstances, they began to worship the Lord. The outcome was awesome, as there was a mighty earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison and the captives were released from their chains and prison doors flung open. This is a magnificent story of the power of praise regardless of ones circumstance. When we worship through our grief and mourning God is listening….people!!….God is listening

Developing early literacy without throwing huge amounts of money to the marketing man!!!!

Apologies for the very huge and long-winded title but I really want to make a statement about the way the marketing machine is putting too much pressure on our young children to become mini geniuses before they even chance to develop at a  normal child capacity!! Unfortunately these programs that promise to teach your child to read early are not saying what the research says about early child development and how a child best learns.  Tullis (2011) describes the increasing  trend of children preschool age expected to sit down and learn just like those of school age.  Where Ginsburg (2007) states, how play is essential for the overall well-being and development of a child. With all of this in mind I what to give you an inexpensive example of how you can assist your child’s learning without paying  a crap load of money to the marketing beast!!!

  • The book you see below  was purchased for about $12-$15, I bought it a while ago so I can’t remember the exact amount but I know that it was within my budget. I chose this book as my Son enjoys it when we walk to the lake and he can sit on the jetty. Therefore, its crucial to  notice what things your child loves and is interested in.
  • Every night (or most nights) we read this book to him. According to Mem Fox, this is awesome!!!!! Please note that the only cost factor here is the time one. By reading to your child you are creating good connections and strong relationships.
  • The ice-cream container that is in the second picture was for free, as his Grandma bought the ice-cream, my son devoured it and then collected the container after it was cleaned. The intention for collecting it was so he could carry his vast amount of cars without dropping them everywhere. One night when I ran him a bath I put the ice cream container in the bath and instantly my son referred to the toy boat and began reciting the first page. Right there people!!! Right there is literacy event in the life of a young boy!!!!
  • Now I will bring your attention to the towel that is on the floor that cost me nothing except for its initial cost. The towel became the lake and my son retrieved his ice-cream container and proceeded to re-enact the “toy boat”!! Once again, this is a literacy event that shows how my son’s early learning development is indeed progressing.

Please note that within my examples that I’ve given you there is a huge emphasis on play with no pressure to perform. My son has been learning without he even realising it. Please don’t be pressured to believe that if your child is not in a special program then they wont do well in school. This is simply not true as expressed by Almon & Miller (2011)  who point out that in Finland they allow children be children by letting them play and introduce academics  at an appropriate age and yet constantly come out on top for “Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)” .

So it’s time now to take the pressure off and stick it to the marketing man!!!! I suggest play, play and more play!!!!!!

Weekly photo challenge: Peaceful

This is a very peaceful place.

When I go there I like to float

and enjoy the immersion.

I like to look at the sky and look at the land and feel the space that I am a part of.

Fresh air, clean salty water and views to make me feel good.

Take the time to float

and enjoy peaceful surrounds.

It’s worth it.

It’s a gift.

Be thankful and treasure it.

It’s okay to stop, even God rested on the 7th day!!

Look after yourselves.

Peace!!

This is where I grew up!!

Last week I joined my cousins as they scattered the ashes of our Grandparents and their Mother in the place where we grew up by the side of the river. Many memories were shared as we all had  stories of this place and of course a relationship with those who have since passed away.  
I mentioned in a previous post of how when Richard Louv was describing his special place as a child it brought back my own memoires of my special place . Well this is it, My Grandma had a house that was right by the river and when we went to Dad’s once a fortnight this became our back yard. 

When the tide was out I would just wander about on the squishy sand and when the solder crabs were running about I would be fascinated by them for hours. The sound they make is like a scratchy sound and when you run towards them they scatter and hide away in the sand. The aftermath of the solder crabs is a wonderful sight and you can see their result when the sand has tiny little balls of sand on it’s surface. I particularly loved the baby soldier crabs and would let them crawl on my hands to tickle me.

Back in the day, You know?? In the 70’s we were allowed  to explore our environment without the fear that exists today. There were  many places to explore by the river and it was like a massive mansion that needed to be  inspected. We played in the mangroves and I had a special mangrove tree that was my house and mine alone. My brother had his tree and the girl who lived a few doors up had hers. My tree house consisted of three stories and a lab on the ground level. Why I had a lab??? I don’t know!! It just had a lab!!! I would make myself comfortable on the third story and pretty much look over everyone, as you do. The view was great and I had a special technique of how to climb to the top story and how to sit elegantly on the branch when I got there. Life was good when I was a kid!!

From the house(meaning Grandma’s house, see picture below) you could see this lovely view and all seasons would provide an aesthetic pleasure. Across the river to where the trees are is a long strip of bush land that runs parallel to the river and beyond them  is a beach. Often we would get in the tinny to cross the river and few times we got to camp on the other side. That is yet another world that was waiting for exploration in which we were able to as we got older.

I remember one time when our cousins were over on a particular weekend, we asked Dad if we could use the boat and he agreed but said “whatever you do, Don’t lose the rollicks!!” So of we go for an adventure across the river in a tinny boat. We had so much fun that day and in order to not lose the rollicks we hid them, but unfortunately they were hidden too well!!! Where are they??

Lets just say, rowing the boat back home was not as easy as it was at the start of our adventure and I can’t recall what Dad said???? Oops!!!!

In this last photo you may be able to spot a dead log and I don’t mean the one in the foreground. It’s between the mangroves and the river bank.  Well that old log was our pet dinosaur that took us on many adventures and rides. Its name, affectionately given by the girl from a few doors up was called Summer.

Summer the dinosaur!!

Well this has been memory lane for me and it’s only a very small part of a big story.  I’m sure once I post this I will say to myself “What about that memory?? I forgot to mention this!!!!

May I conclude with how  My Granny from mum’s side of the family had a house further up the river too!!!!  Perhaps to remedy this I will have to write more.

Off loading my crap to the girl at Gloria Jeans!!!!

This Christmas holiday break has not felt like a break at all!!! I, in my greatness of wisdom decided to do a study period consisting of two subjects smack bang in the middle of a BLOODY HOLIDAY!!!! Seriously who studies at this time of year???? Not only have I been stressed out to my eyeballs studying, sadly my Father-in-law passed away just before Christmas. I tell you now, it’s very hard to concentrate when you are faced with all of this going on.

I want to be strong, I want to excel like some freaky Wonder women (does she even exist??) I want to be a mum to my son and a wife to my husband who just lost his dad and I want to be happy and have my sanity to remain intact. But let me inform you all, I’m losing  it, I’m not strong at the moment and I’ll never be a freaky wonder women and my Son and husband deserve a mum and wife who’s sanity is in tact.

Today I went for coffee but I ordered a chi latte instead (gosh they’re nice) and before you know it I’m offloading all my crap to the girl who works at Gloria Jeans. I was explaining how next study period I will drop a subject so that I can recover my sanity. She said “no way! get it all over and done with as soon as you can” I said “NO!! noooooo waaaaay” I then commenced to give her a monologue of Tamar philosophy of why one must not try to get things over and done with.

I was on a roll I expressed with passion that “it’s not worth it, what’s  the point of getting there quickly when you haven’t enjoyed the journey. getting a degree doesn’t define who I am. For goodness sake I’m 39 and it took me this long to finally begin to study. what’s the rush??? I value my happiness. What kind of mum can I be to my child who has a disability if I’m stressed out bawling my eyes out every day??? It’s the tortoise that got there first!! Slow and steady wins the race. Being healthy isn’t just physical but mental too. This society puts too much pressure for people to rush. Everyone’s rushing and not taking the time to just enjoy their life. I am not that person, I need holidays, I need my heart to be restful, I need to go a slower pace, I need to enjoy the journey and that’s what I intend to do”

So!!! that’s me, just offloading my crap to the girl at Gloria Jeans!!!!!

2011 in review!!!!

I recieved this email from WordPress.com today!!!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.