A Shift With My Journalling

I started to journal regularly at café’s shortly after my mum passed away and when I did I started with a cheap soft cover lined journal. When I had completed that one, I decided to spend a bit more money and honour what I was writing and found my first Pepper Pot journal.

It’s been five pretty and committed years of scribing my thoughts as I have sipped coffee in satisfying contentment.

I was getting to the end of my current journal and this is when  the hunt begins for a new Pepper Pot however, this year was difficult and none of the regular haunts stocked them any more, like none!! I searched for a good two months and even went searching while I was in Perth just recently.


This is when I really started to talk to God about my journal conundrum and my discussion with God has led me in a whole new journalling direction.

I bought myself a visual diary and lets just say that I’m glad I listened to God when he spoke “It’s a new day”

So armed with my new journal style I went to a cafe and came up with this

I really enjoy this new style and feel released and free. I have also noticed that something powerful is happening as I am doing this. It feels as though I have connected with God in a way that is beyond myself and that when I am drawing, I am praying.

I have also experienced some powerful unexpected moments like the time I met a lovely family from Saudi Arabia. The little boy drew a picture of me which I will treasure forever.

I have also noticed that by drawing it is helping me get my ideas for preaching or teaching and my brain is getting into some kind of order.

This is some of my notes for a sermon that I am working on

This is the start of my lesson plan for teaching about Permaculture

It’s like the flood gates have opened and I’m feeling refreshed at this shift in my journalling. It’s like paddling in a canoe with the current on my side and all of creation is cheering me on. It’s a joy, it’s powerful, It’s love.


Weekly photo challenge: old fashioned

For this weeks photo challenge I was going through some of my early recent shots and as soon as I came across this one I thought “yes!! choose this one”

I call this my vintage journal and the pen my vintage writing apparatus. When I skip down to my local cafe to commence my journaling at times I really do feel old-fashioned. With today’s access to technology and social media it’s so easy to just type, text, send a message via Facebook, tweet, blog and instagram.  You would think with all these new ways of communication that the pen and paper would be made obsolete.

Nevertheless, I don’t let this sway me as I enjoy the action of holding a pen and physically committing pen to paper. I love the look and feel of my journal, it’s so pretty and special.  Yes technology has come and made its dominate presence felt but you will always get those who like to do the tactile old fashion way.

So here’s to doing something that is old-fashioned!!!!

Celebrating my 100th post!!!!

To make to my 100th post really makes me feel quite chuffed as it shows me that this blogging thing isn’t just a fad but now part of my regular doing of life.

I love the process of writing and always have. Years ago I was a part of a writer’s group where we met weekly, had homework, did  on the spot writing and had to read our words out to receive feedback. Although I don’t go to that writing group anymore, I feel through blogging it gives me that same type of satisfaction.

I love taking my journal to any cafe to commence with writing down my thoughts. I miss painting and it has been put on hold for a little bit so blogging has been very important part of my creative process. When I was describing to a fellow painter friend about my lack of painting production he very wisely answered with this “Tamar what is drawing or painting? it is an activity where you put a selection of lines together to create an image that is seen with the eye! now what is writing? An activity where you put a selection of lines together to create an image that is seen with the mind”

I thought his response was genius and I am always thinking about that statement whenever I’m being creative of some sort. It really doesn’t matter what medium you use to express your self, just as long as you do.

Coping with VCFS

Most days I cope extremely well with VCFS, but there are some days I don’t cope at all. Our family  lives  with VCFS everyday and it’s something that we never asked for. I do not feel sorry for myself nor do I ask for pity. Pity only enables one to stay trapped in a quagmire of unbelief  and only cripples all from moving forward.

When I was first informed of our Son’s diagnoses of VCFS I was devastated. Grief came as I had to come to terms that my Son had a syndrome and what did that mean?? I cried every day for three weeks and I lamented for my little boy who we love very much. After the three weeks I stopped crying and decided that I needed to start being an advocate for my Son and so I did.

My first step was to reach out and find other parents who were facing the same thing as us. that’s where I made contact with VCFS 22q11 Foundation and spoke with Melinda the then president of the foundation. Stepping out and meeting other’s in the same situation is very empowering because you find that you are not alone.

Most of my  coping comes from knowing Jesus and that I can put my faith in him. This is especially beneficial when things become really tough and I haven’t got a clue what to do next. I believe a lot of the strategies that have come through was a result of prayer with my wonderful supportive church community.

The other things that help me cope is going to all my coffee support groups. unfortunately most of my VCFS community don’t live close by (but there is facebook) so I just join local  groups. Even though VCFS isn’t their issue we still battle the same issues, such as grief and always feeling like your on public display just to name a few things.

I  Also found taking my journal to a local cafe weekly such a regenerating and refreshing experience. I get to diffuse and off load all my stuff onto the pages of my journal and it feels good!! I also get to meet many people while I’m there and that too gives me happy feelings.

My attitude towards VCFS is another way in which I cope day-to-day. I find that embracing it helps as I can’t do a thing to change it. I cannot make it better so I see it as a door to a whole different world.  This world is not bad and has given me much joy as I meet other children who have various disabilities and they are all beautiful.

VCFS is not an easy ride but it is maintainable.

A date with Slinky

If you have been following my blog you would know that I regularly cafe journal at a local cafe each week. For me it is a very relaxing and highly enjoyable activity that keeps me feeling happy and recharged. On some of these adventures I meet either people who I know or have conversations with random strangers. Today I had coffee with Mr Slinky. Everyone meet Mr Slinky, Mr Slinky meet everyone!!!

Feeling free….. reclaiming my cafe journaling!!!!

I find it interesting that something could be bothering you in such a way that you don’t recognise it’s such a burden until it’s gone. At the beginning of term this year my cafe journaling was interrupted  by an unexpected situation that I would never have predicted ever!!!

I ended up having coffee with a guy that i’d met through one of my coffee  support group’s. He seemed okay at first until it went a bit weird and creepy. He gave me a look that suggested that we both had different reason’s for sharing a coffee and I did not like it. At that moment, I realised that I could not come here again at this time on this day because it was clear that he’d become a hanger-on that I couldn’t shake away. You know, like nits!!!!

To cut a creepy saga short this guy had been crack-en onto all the mum’s and all the girls who worked at the cafe. In one incidence  he called me when he knew my husband wasn’t home. My husband called him a stalker, Kim (my pastor) called him a fishermen like he was throwing out a line to all us girls and John the train driver (who occasionally joins us for coffee) called him a sleaze. These are all very strong statements coming from the men who had encountered him.

A couple of weeks ago I confronted this man. It was necessary in order to reclaim what I’d been enjoying doing ever since I sorted mum’s ashes out a year and a half ago. At first I was avoiding the time frame but  a friend convinced me of the wrongness of that because it was my thing to do. So then I was having my husband accompany me on those particular morning’s and typically, Mr Creepy man was a no-show.

The day I confronted him was the very day that my husband wasn’t with me. Wow what a coincidence !!…NOT!!! I told him that I wasn’t going to have coffee with him that day. I said that I would be happy to have coffee with the group or if my husband was with me but not if it was just him and me. I then told him that when he rang me that both my husband and I felt very uncomfortable because it was in the time frame when he knew my husband was not at home. I then said it made me question his intentions. He looked devastated like I broke up with him so I walked away and found a seat and reclaimed my cafe journaling!!

I’ve now had a few weeks of freedom and it’s incredible how this situation was weighing me down. Since the confrontation I’ve once again been able to say to people who if they want to join me I’m here on this day. I now freely have been writing out all my stuff that then effects how I blog. Incidentally  my blogging suffered as a result of this fiasco and I struggled to keep up with my weekly bogging challenge. I had been suffering from a bit of stress lately and it’s amazing how this time gives me the recharge I need to get up and cope with a child who has additional needs.

I’m not one who likes a confrontation but sometimes it’s necessary. You have to have good boundaries and then protect them or otherwise you can lose your freedom. I’m glad I’ve had this experience because it has only made me stronger and wiser.  As for Mr Creepy, he’s not my responsibility and he needs to face his own issues without me being a prop in his fantasy.

Travelling to coffee differently

At last, I got a chance to walk down to one of my favorite cafe’s from my front door. It took be about 15mins with a short stop to chat with a friendly neighbor. When I arrived, the cafe was really busy with no seats so I sat next to a stranger on the comfy lounge seat and had yet another lovely chat with some random stranger. Once they had left I pulled out my journal and marked the day with some pleasant writing.

It was a nice change to be able to leave the car at home and not struggle for a car space in this busy holiday time. Walking is very relaxing and I’ve always enjoyed doing so. I love the slow pace and I don’t find it too tiring at all, although I had to remind myself in Kmart “Tamar you can’t buy that, your walking home”.

So I look forward to the year ahead and can’t wait to continue doing my regular  cafe journaling. I now have options, do I walk or do I drive?? either way both are better!!!

Today was a scramble

Today was a scramble, I slept in. When my alarm went off instead of pressing snooze I turned it off because it annoyed me. I was having a lovely dream, watching my Son enjoying his new school activities. Next thing I know, i’v opened my eyes and the clock says 9:30am!!!!

Immediately I flung myself out of bed, rushed around and got ready to Take Zachy to preschool. We were an hour late making me behind schedule for my cafe journaling appointment. Being late is not such a drama, but at this time of  year it’s a scramble to get a car space at the shopping center.  When I arrived the car park was just starting to get that cramped, busy  car park rage potential feeling.  When one enters such moments it’s best to remain calm and just take it easy.

I took my advice and remained calm, got over the disappointment of being late due to my arrogant’s towards the alarm. I was polite and let other motorist’s get there first (well they were actually there first). I found myself stuck behind one motorist who was waiting for somebody to vacate their car park. Instead of going around I just waited and to my pleasant surprise anther somebody came along and kindly vacated their spot so I could just glide in nicely and better still it was in a very convenient location!!!

Now here comes the next scramble, the one for a seat at Gloria Jeans. The place was packed and I ask myself “Am I going to get a seat?” I nearly lost a bit of my calmness at this point as the people in front of me were fussing about. “oh my gosh will you just pull your finger out Love???” However I decided that it was best to have a good attitude and just have faith that God will provide a seat.

Good news, I got a seat and it was a nice cozy seat too. I used this moment to reflect upon our current home situation. We need to look for a new place and the rental market is very competitive at the moment. You go to look at one property and there is 40 people all lined up. I’m telling ya now, it’s a scramble and I’m stressed out. This is a time when I need to tell myself to  just trust in Gods provision. It’s not an easy thing to do but it’s my only hope in a scrambling scary world.

The Random’s I meet- cafe journaling

I’m always amazed that when I do my cafe journaling the random people who I meet. Today it was an elderly gentleman who had no where else to sit, so he asked if he could sit opposite me. I love and welcome these random moments as it happens to me regularly and by shutting them down I would be missing out on something. I welcome it because of the interesting conversations that we have. If someone is bold enough to sit opposite some random chick with a journal and pen then the conversations are as equally bold and interesting. Rarely will I have a shallow “how’s the weather?” conversation with these random’s. No, they are deep and meaningful often resulting with happiness from both party’s.

This brings me to question my word usage of “random’s” as I feel that they are more like divine appointments.  Each person that comes before me has some deep level thing they want to say. Equally important, each person whom I’ve met in this situation want’s to hear something deep and not be some random person passing by through the crowd of humanity.

I think that these random (divine) moments are showing me that deep down we all want to belong. We all need community and we long for the street and public places to belong to us again. We desire that when we walk down the street or go to cafe’s, we are met with kindness and greetings. Bring back the street party without the legal ramifications or the unsafe trampoline. Remember a time when you could play with the neighbours on the condition that you be home as soon as those street lights turn on.

So what does it all mean to me? I’m going to continue doing this until otherwise notified. By notified I mean when my routine has another change and I’m unable to do this cafe journaling so frequently. At the moment it’s giving me joy so I’m lapping it up and going for the ride.

Cafe journaling

Today I did my cafe journaling and these are my tools. Very simple and not much to it really.

I am often amazed at the people I meet while I’m out journaling. Today it was the lovely Nikky, we took photo’s of ourselves as I have now entered the iphone family.

Today I did something slightly different as I took a book to read with me as well. I think I’m starting to feel at home and it was lovely to just sit there and read. I’m thinking that when it’s time to go back to school, one of my  strategies will be to study at a busy cafe at a busy shopping center.  I’v noticed my concentration abilities  appear to thrive in this environment. This has been an encouraging day.