Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

I have lived my the sea most of my life

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So I went to a Book Launch – The King of Sunday Morning.

I was a bit excited yesterday as I went to a book launch of a local author called B J McCauley. I love hearing how an author writes and where they get their inspiration from as it reminds me of my own connection to writing.

He talked about how he has always been a writer and if you are a writer you just write. It’s so true and the same goes with being an artist. It’s something that is a part of who you are and to not do it would be a tragedy.

I certainly appreciated how he thought that 50 shades and all that teenage vampire genre stuff was all well, (he didn’t exactly say crap but he certainly doesn’t value it) not his cup of tea. When you write from who you are, then it will be unique, interesting and worth more than churned out recycled rubbish. (oh dear!! I’m so harsh).

Anyway I bought the book, got it signed, took a picture and I now look forward to reading it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

This is the same subject with two different focuses.

When I took the photo’s I wanted to capture everything that I was looking at, as it was making me feel happy.

I was sitting and gazing out the window and thought “I really love my life right now”

I wanted everyone to experience the same happy feelings that I was feeling at that moment.

Expectations

I’ve really been thinking about this topic of late and how it can affect your life in a positive or negative way. Some expectations are reasonable such as, if I were to order a coffee in a cafe I expect to get my money’s worth with good service provided, you rent a house you pay the rent, if a uniform is required then knock your self out and wear it,  however, I would not expect a two-year old child to behave like a five-year old.

I have come to yet another point of self-reflection just recently and expectation seems to be the buzz word for me right now. A couple of weeks ago I failed yet another assignment and then said to myself “I can’t keep this up”.

I have greatly enjoyed my studies (Bachelor of Education Early Childhood) and it has changed my life in many positive ways but on the other side of the coin it has also caused much stress and I’m a bit over it. When I failed my fifth assignment I had to re-evaluate what I was doing and where am I going??

I decided that it was time to put the studies on hold for now as I clearly am not coping with such pressure right now. When I made the decision I felt elated and relieved and even my son told me how happy he felt.

I have asked myself many questions since putting the studies on hold and my ears have been attentive to Gods words when he whispered “Will you let me be your Father?” Such an extraordinary question which really reflects the Grace and the kindness of God. It’s time for me to really take heed of Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”

This tells me that I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. That Grace is enough. I am doing the best I can with what I have right now and even though challenges are great some are for a different day.  At the moment I need to take life that little bit slower or do things that give me a more immediate happy feeling. Life has been too intense for the past 8 yrs and its time to listen….I’m listening.

My reasons for commencing studies was to better my changes of employment, which is a great thing to do. I have also wanted to be a teacher and early childhood has always appealed to me. I am passionate about play and making sure that children are never robbed of their childhood by pushy marketers who want to deceive parents into thinking that they are doing a crap job at raising their youngins!!

The ideal of doing what I was doing was a good thing, however when it affects your mental health and family time suffers then its time to adjust the vision. After making my decision I certainly felt quite philosophical and wrote the following statements on Facebook.

Being able to adjust is an important part of fulfilling the dream

What if the time-wasting activities are things you are meant to be doing???…..just a thought!

What are the expectations in life that I have been trying to adhere to? I want to be a responsible citizen and do the right things by the community but what if the expectations of society are not realistic? It seems that just being a mum is not good enough or being an artist is just a hobby.  So many expectations out there…..scary!!

But not scary. It’s not scary if I reflect on what God has told me, that he is my Heavenly Father. It’s not scary when I live through Grace. It’s not scary. It’s not scary if I just believe what the word of God says about me. It’s not scary at all.

When I was a young child I wanted to be one of the disciples that walked with Jesus. In fact I longed for it. God heard my prayer and when I was 17,  I met Jesus and understood the reality of Christ. From that time all I ever wanted was to be that disciple from my childhood.

I was never an ambitious person and I was never one to strive at things that seemed important by society’s  standards. When I read in the Bible about searching for wisdom and knowledge as silver and gold I took it seriously. That is what I wanted for my life and now at 41 nothing has changed.

I don’t live by the worldly expectations that change with the tides and I never have. I have always been told that I am different, unusual and unique and as I have grown older I understand what people are saying. Over the years I have experienced many frustrations, especially when I try to go the normal path that people take. However, when I do my own quirky thing it seems to go really well and I find unexpected success.

Today I declare that I shall walk in the freedom that was given to me at the cross and I will no longer try to live up to false expectations that will rob my joy. I will follow and do the things that I was created for and sit quietly for the voice of God to gently lead me. Everything else that has robbing power can just dissolve and disappear out of my life……I’m moving forward.

Making The Connection

The first day of my 2013 retreat I had one of those moments that make you go, Duh! It was as I stepped foot on the sand at Black beach Kiama where I suddenly realised why it was called so…..the sand is black! I was born in Kiama and have lived most of my life in the surrounding area and have never before made that connection. I have always known it to have black sand and known its name but for some reason the connection was missing.

Could it be that it has always been so and I have never needed to question my knowledge?

Once I had my moment of revelation I decided to sit on the pebbles and before I knew it, I was immersed in the wonder of millions of tiny pebbles and their texture. I played with them as though I was a child and time did not matter.

I let myself just be carried away with the moment and enjoyed exploring the familiar as though it were new. The familiar, of course being that I was sitting in a place that I have known all of my life.

I then began to play with bigger rocks and decided to do some nature art

It was a great start to my retreat as I was relaxed and satisfied. It made me also realise that exploring the familiar is a worthwhile thing to do and it reminded me not to take for granted my husband who I’ve been married to for 15 years.

My Retreat!

For the third year running I was able to go on my getaway. You can read about my previous experiences here and here. I went to the same place and it was still lovely and as usual very renewing to my soul. This time I did a lot more walking and was able to explore the familiar. I did wonder after the third year would it still be as special and I’m please to say that not only was it special but I think it was the best one so far.

When I arrived in Kiama I was a bit early so I went and ordered breakfast and then after that I went an sat on Black Beach (where, here comes the dumb alert: I suddenly realised why Black beach was called so. And with that I got a revelation but that’s another post). I sat for hours and played with the pebbles on the beach and was lost in time.

And I collected treasures

The next day I walked and walked and found the Spring Creek Wetlands which has a bird-hide

Lovely views all around

After that lovely walk I had a rest and lunch in town, basked in the sun at the house then ventured of to another walk I that didn’t know existed in Kiama, The Bonaira Native Garden. Who knew there was a rainforest in Kiama!!!!!

The getaway for me this time made me explore the familiar, it made me slow down and it has helped to recharge and face life again with all of its challenges. May I never ever forget to this special thing as I can’t tell you how important it has become in my survival and my general happiness.