Garden Gifts

I love it when my garden receives garden gifts.

My definition of a garden gift is where plants grow when I haven’t planted them. The most common garden gifts are pumpkins and tomatoes.

Here are some of my acquired gifts

This pumpkin vine is just one of many which have sprouted from the compost

Asian Greens

 Tromboncini Zucchini

I have to mention that this Tromboncini Zucchini vine died but came back to life and is now doing better than when it was first alive……I call it my Lazarus vine.

These are mango seeds that struck in my worm farm

And here are tomato plants

Garden gifts add a special spark to gardening and I am always grateful for the free food. I feel like it’s the way God had intended it.

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I Sat And The World Still Spun

I am a big advocate of having moments where I sit and doing nothing.

No, I am not lazy.

When I sit I am relaxed and I think, plan, regain lost energy, talk to God and soak in his presence as if I were bathing in love.

I have always been one to sit and ponder, to look at the beauty that surrounds me and not be caught up in unnecessary frenzy’s that seem to bother other people.

No, I am not arrogant.

I recognise that I do not function well when I am rushing here and there or when other people want to project their values onto me.

I look at this world and I see it rushing where everything is a race, tested, must have outcomes, must look a certain way, must be a certain way.

I stop amongst the busy crowd. I take my antenna of my head and walk beneath the noise.

Some are rushing through life from one thing to the next. My head gets dizzy when I think about it. Zoom, zoom, no time to enjoy. no time to take in the moment; just no time.

Is life meant to be this way?

Do you know why I sit without guilt? I sit because it would be an insult to God if I didn’t. This life is a gift and there are many things in this world that just don’t interest me. I am not interested maintaining an appearance  of wealth. I don’t care if I have to wait for a bus or walk to a destination. What I care about is my health and that of my family. I care about being an artist and making sure this world is coloured by it. I care about looking out for the broken and undervalued. I care about listening to God and acting upon that rather than what I think is right.  I care about guarding the slow pace and not getting caught up with silly drama’s.

So I sit and when I do the world still spins on its axis and life goes on. I didn’t need to save the world today, I just needed to show loving kindness to the people who live in it.

An Aimless Walk Around The Lake

Last week I enjoyed an aimless walk around the lake. It was exhilarating and all my happy endorphin’s were exploding in my head giving me joy.

For years I have been a walker of aimless and purposeless pursuit and I have never felt guilty about it. Those were the times when I’d spend time with God, thinking, processing, unwinding, debriefing and relaxing.

It has always played an important part of my well-being and  gives me a positive thing to do in slowing down in this fast paced world. When I think the pace of this world is maddening to extreme, I walk the human pace and meander through air partials and sun light or overcast. Natural sounds speak to me and my heart beat feels rested in the knowledge that everything is okay.

This frantic pace, this crazy world…..stuff you!!

I slow down and walk aimless; not everything needs to be organised and compartmentalized.

Pick your battles, choose what is important and organised your head to what is needed for your life, not others.

Not everything has to have purpose.

Inspired by this article 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Vibrant

I started this post by going through pictures that remind me of the word vibrant. As I got to the third photograph I felt a dramatic shift and was wondering if it belonged in this post. I decided to leave it as the story of it truly inspires me and makes me think deeply of my own faith. Here’s to vibrant emotions, thoughts and sights.

Feeling vibrant in our wedding attire

I love the vibrant colours in these seed pods

I used vibrant colours to draw Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. A truly inspirational story that requires more time and dedication to write about. I am in the process of creating an art work about them.

The vibrant truth of God’s love

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When the Noise Stopped

Just recently I have noticed that I am once again able to participate in our church band.

How did this happen?

My son stopped having melt downs and has learnt the art of contentment.

It reminds me of when I lived on the highway and for most of my life I never really noticed the traffic noise or the trains out the back. Growing up living on the highway was a normal part of life and I really didn’t know any better.

Many years later a by- pass was developed which meant that all of the traffic no longer went past mum’s house. The first week of it being opened I noticed something really strange; I noticed the birds singing and I could hear neighbours conversations.

What struck me about all of this, was how I didn’t  notice the  noise of the traffic and how clearly it had affected my ability to hear other things. I liken this illustration to how I didn’t realise the noise of VCFS or disability was affecting my ability to participate in the church band among other things.

This is a stunning revelation and shows me that I am not one who can multi task and nor should I. I’m a slow and steady person and that’s why I’m going to win the race. If I can’t do everything than that’s okay.

I will learn from this and will never feel the guilt of not doing enough again…..seriously why do we burden ourselves with false guilt??? From now on I am deeming it inappropriate guilt because we are human beings for goodness sake!! Enjoy being human OKAY!!!!

Sorry, just got a bit preachy then.

So I’ve taken a moment of reflection and now I can’t wait to enjoy the next chapter of my life.

 

 

Home

Just recently (well maybe for the past year) I have been very busy making the rented house that we live in a home. One of the things that have made this space feel like home is our backyard chickens.

Good morning ladies

Last year I had an incredibly significant dream. I dreamt that I was at my mum’s house and I was tending a garden in the back yard, I was also creating mosaic arts works. As I was doing this I said “but I don’t live here, it’s not my house?” and God replied “this is your inheritance” and I repeated “but I don’t own this house any more, we sold it” and again God said “this is your inheritance” and again I insisted to God “we sold the house, it doesn’t belong to me” and finally God’s answer “Tamar, this is your inheritance”

I woke from and knew immediately what the dream was about. God was telling me that even though I am living in a rented house I am to love it as though I own it. I was being told and given permission by the almighty God to live like a child with an inheritance.

That’s quite a revelation to walk in and one that has given me much peace an excitement. You see by following what God has instructed me to I have been busy planting gardens and building a positive future. Okay, what if the landlord boots us out?

So?

The knowledge that I have gained in my heart about gardens, design or sustainability can never be taken from me. The land lord only has a piece of paper that declares that he is the owner of the property and we take care of the property and pay the rent as responsible citizens that we are.

My inheritance is much more than just ownership……it goes deeper than that.

So enough of the chit-chat and here is some pictures of the creative fun that I have been having making this little abode more than just a dwelling.

 

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This is just the beginning and my head is buzzing with joy as I live as one who has an inheritance in God.

 

 

 

My Cult Experience

This is a little bit hard for me to write and I’m not really sure why,  as over the years I have been quite willing to share this strange chapter of my life.

As a child I had good discernment of who was a good person and who was bad and responded accordingly. When I got a bit older, for some reason I forgot how to use my discernment. I think it was because at 17 I gave my life to Jesus and decided it was time to love everybody, which there’s nothing wrong with that. With my new-found faith I became free to enjoy people without my shy mask and went about life being full of much zeal but lacking in some  necessary wisdom.

It had been a few years down the track when I got mixed up with a group that, at first glance had me feeling a bit cautious and instead of listening to my gut instinct about them I went along  with the ride. I was introduced to this group by friends from Sydney who would come down for weekends to stay in a house next to one of my local friend.

They had met a prophetess who somehow inspired more zeal and excitement for the Lord. Some of them even gave up surfing for six months or one of them cut his hair as a sign of his devotion to the Lord. After about a year of them praising their new prophetess the group decided to evangelise  my small town.

They decided to do this at the tail end of the Christmas holidays way back in 1993 (I think). At first I could sense that the prophetess was playing her cards carefully on my behalf because she could tell I wasn’t to be won over that easily.  When I look back she was playing a very smooth game.

I suppose that I should explain a bit of what this cult was all about? They were a Christian based cult that took one scripture about demon possession and claimed that everyone was indeed, demon possessed

I will skip to the night where I had my (so-called) deliverance where I thought that I was possessed. I wasn’t going to attend that meeting, however one of my friends who had become a hard-core convert pulled out all of  the manipulation tactics and somehow I was convinced to go. When we arrived, there was an evangelist giving a talk and then we all broke up in little groups. I had two young women either side of me praying and giving me instructions on how to breathe. “As the air that you breathe” and as I was doing funny breaths they were praying things like “COME OUT in the name of JESUS”!

Right there, the continuing of mind control which I will say was a form of hypnosis. Strange breathing along side with repeated statements is a recipe to make one suggestible for the next stage. The next stage was when the Prophetess came up to me and placed oil on the palm of my hands. When that happened, I was on the floor like a women possessed, out of control and thrashing about like a child having a tantrum. Whatever demon that they said I had, I would act it out. The process seemed to go forever and I was exhausted and when I thought it was over it I’d go to just sit up and everyone would drive more devils out of me.

After the night had finished my vulnerability to this group had increased dramatically, as I suddenly was bombarded with thoughts like, I need this group. Who else was doing this type of deliverance? No body else understands my predicament like this group does!! That’s called priming someone for isolation. I was also ready for the prophetess to tell me whom I should marry. EEEkkkkk.

The next day I was full of confusion and when I went to prayer meeting at my own church the Pastor began to warn every one of the group which only increased my confusion. I then went and sat on the stair case in the foyer. I prayed to God for help and I asked that he send to me a specific person in the church who I knew could give me clarity. The next minute that person had walked out of the prayer meeting, walked up the stairs where I was sitting and said “So what’s going on?”

The relief was like melting butter. We talked.  She said lots of good things about love and reminded me of scriptures that explain how this group was not doing God’s will.  After that, our youth pastor gave us (by then the whole group who had attended that night were gathered)  the same scriptures and reminded us how much we were loved by our church. Our then Pastor also joined us and prayed with us. The aftermath happened with love and care and I was able to overcome my experience without too much damage.

Days after my true freedom experience  I had to confront someone from the cult. It was difficult as I had to kick them out of my house but necessary as I am not a slave to man I am a child of God.

As I reflect upon this experience I know that it made me wiser, it caused me to trust my discernment, I realised that not everyone who claims that they know Jesus Christ actually knows Jesus Christ, it created a stronger desire to read the word of God and it made me more compassionate for those who are trapped in abusive relationships or situations.

I know that I follow a loving God who does not use manipulation or control as we have all been blessed with a free will. I do not give up on meeting with other believers as the bible instructs and I test the spirit with the word of God so that I will never be trapped by a man made lie ever again.

If you can identify with this story and are worried about yourself or a loved one please reach out to your local church or if you need more intense help I have connected some resources below.

Resources

Cult Information and Family Support Inc.
Cult Consulting Australia 

ReachOut.com

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

Awe the serenity

Serenity for me is found in many places

I know God through Jesus

and he gives me a place of rest.

serenity

Believe it or not being completely immersed in mud is serenity

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This river from my home town is serenity and I often have peaceful dreams of it

Being at the community garden and sitting under a tree is serenity

Without further commentary  let me show you more images that help me feel the serenity

A Shift In My Thinking

Just recently I have had a shift in my thinking when it comes to my son who is now 9; I think of him as a human being.

I know that might sound really strange, however bear with me and I shall explain.

When my Son was 18 months old he was diagnosed with VCFS and when he was about 5 he was diagnosed with having a moderate intellectual disability. When we were met with these diagnoses it was naturally heart breaking and yes of course I still saw him as a human being. It’s when you live through the reality that is presented before you it is only natural to be influenced by such things and for your mind to just cope with the situation.

Many decisions that we have made on his behalf have been influenced by his challenges and rightfully so. Many of the dreams that we had for him were either squashed or adjusted accordingly.

Fast forward to now and so many things have changed and we need to catch up.

Where did it start?

Back in June there was an opportunity for my son to be prayed for by Chris Gore.

Who’s he?

He’s some dude who has a healing ministry and he came to Shellharbour and invited all those with kids who have special needs to be prayed for. If this was a year earlier I would have said bugger off but somehow I was open so on the Saturday night an hour before the night session my son and a heap of other kids got some prayer. It was really special. The ministry team were polite and asked the kids permission to pray for them. It was a special time.

I did notice some little changes in him and have been rejoicing and thanking God for all the milestones. What having prayer meant for me, was my eyes for Zach’s future was immediately about hope  instead of  scary and uncertain.

So life went on and in the last term at school he started to struggle and was emotional everyday. It has been troubling and the teachers have been concerned for him as previously he was a happy child. Just prior to all this emotional stuff at school I had a dream that he was at a beach on a surf board. I witnessed him being pummelled by the waves and at first I freaked out but when I looked at him I could see that he was enjoying himself. I knew by this dream that he was going to be okay.

Last month we had a  Worship Mob at our church. During that time my son began to cry at a particular song (which is not unusual at all). I nearly did my normal “roll my internal eyes and get annoyed” however, I looked at him and instead of seeing him as a disabled child having a melt down I saw him as a human being touched by God through the music.

It was an epiphany!!!

I took him to the foyer and let him have a cry in my arms. I told him it’s okay to be sad and just let the tears out as he said that he didn’t want the sad feelings. After some time he asked me why his friends don’t like him any more and then there was another bout of sobbing.  After he had calmed down he then became really happy and I think it was due to him being validated and not told to calm down.

Ever since that moment there has been a shift in my thinking. It reminded me of those optical illusion pictures that has two images. For years I have been seeing the one image but now I see the other.

optical

Just recently we took him to a psychologist and I was greatly encouraged by her words. she encouraged us to get him retested, get him into drama and provide more challenges for him. This holiday he has been going to his usual out of school program and he has been hanging out with mainstream kids and has no emotional problems.

I am starting to see his future in a different light, my eyes are looking up and I think he’s going to be okay. It’s time to focus on the other image that is in the picture.

 

My Husband The Worshipper

I want to talk about my husband Jason who is the worship leader of our church, Grace Church Shellharbour City. I consider him to be a very unconventional leader who doesn’t fit the western-pentecostal- charismatic image at all. In fact, we as husband and wife lead unconventionally ; Jase leads from the front and I lead from the back.

How did this happen? Well you can read about the tale here.

I don’t really want to dwell on the past but describe what has come to pass and how proud of Jason I am. Over the five years that he has been worship leader he has wanted to quit so many times that I really  have lost count. He never chased this leadership role, yet has embraced it as the true worshipper  that he is (except for the countless times that he has wanted to quit). What I am trying to say is that he is not one to chase after power, just God!!

Why has God kept him there?

I’ll tell you why

He is one who the Father seeks for as Jesus said “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:23-24

He wakes every morning and worships God, he seeks others who want to worship God, he is faithful to God, family, church and he has allowed God to increase his vision so that we can record our own church album.

My husband is quiet, therefore quietly spoken and he is not business minded nor does he sprout out buzz words. He is who he is.

I love him

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