Something Other Than Books?!

It’s been a long time since I’ve really blogged. I mainly stopped because of things c0nnected to parenting a stepchild. There’s a lot of isses to consider that come with that. However, I discovered that a new friend is a blogger and reading through hers kind of wet my appetite to get back in. I don’t really even know where to start so leave some questions if you have an idea. πŸ™‚

For starters…

We had our first wedding anniversary in June. I finally…FINALLY…made it to a first wedding anniversary. That was cool in itself. We very spontaneously ended up back spending the night in the country club where we got married–with a newborn in tow. πŸ™‚ We spent most of Saturday and Sunday driving in order to stay overnight on the Saturday but it was really speial to be able to do that. The weather was beautiful for a day driving in the country so, for me, it was just nice to get out. We were very glad we took the risk! (And it was a risk because I hadn’t been comfortable driving in the car for even an hour since my Caesarean!!!)

One of my younger sisters got married in March and then one of my younger brothers got married in July. My brother married a Brazilian girl that he met when she was an exchange student out here. πŸ™‚ I now have a married-to-my-brother sister-in-law and a sister-to-my-husband sister-in-law with the same name. πŸ˜› My brother both got married and had his reception in the same place that Steve and I had our reception. Then I found out that the wedding coordinator for my wedding to Kallon had been transferred and was now the wedding coordinator at this other venue–she did my brother’s wedding, too! That was both bizarre and cool. I hadn’t been back there since my first wedding so that was a kind of weird feeling but not a problem.

My angel-baby has been rather challenging. She was easy-as for the first 6 weeks and I guess that’s when I really needed it. We have had a few issues to work through but love her to bits anyway. πŸ™‚ I started off doing Babywise and it’s the one thing I wish most that I could change. Never again. She has also had a few issues with reflux and now colic but I know she could be a lot worse than she is so I’m grateful for that. Right at this very moment, she has been asleep for 3 hours (in the middle of the day) which has been rarer lately but makes so much difference for both of us. We are gradually figuring things out that help with her problems. That said, she is great at night and sometimes I prefer the night shift to the day shift!!! I have become a bit of an Ergo-wearer and even Kallon gets it on sometimes. πŸ™‚ Katelyn smiles a lot and it’s absolutely beautiful. She started laughing yesterday and I can’t wait to see that grow! She has both smiled and laughed from a couple of weeks old (earliest I have ever seen in a baby for laughing) but yesterday was the first real time that you could say she knew what she was doing and was more than the “trying to” chuckle.

We have moved from the town we lived in when first married to a town about 40 mins away. Kallon’s mum and sister (and her boys) live here and we are loving it here. It wasn’t something we had planned but it definitely has been a good thing. We have no more moves planned for quite a while!!! Since we have bought this house, we should be good for a bit. πŸ™‚

We have become part of an awesome country church. We felt really welcomed there from the first time we visited and are slowly starting to feel like we “belong”. There are lots of kids which is fantastic for Lukas and they are really intentional about the involvement of the kids in the church services and activities. They have a really great emphasis on Scripture memory too.

We are now 15-20 minutes from the beach which is the closest I have ever lived which is pretty cool. We are looking forward to taking advantage of that when the warmer weather comes, although we have been a couple of times through the year already!

For now, I think that’s about all that’s at the forefront of my mind. Comment away if you want something written about. πŸ™‚

He’s Up to Something – Part Two

(Read Part One here)

And the farther on I go / I’ve seen enough to know / That I’m, not here for nothing

Things like this post and all the e-mails that I have gotten (and still continue to get) through my blog from people who I’ve helped by my writing encourage me that I’m not here for nothing. In the middle of excruciating pain, that’s actually not really much encouragement–you know, I just wanted my husband back. When you get to the other side of that agony and life starts to take on a new rhythm, though, it brings some meaning to the loss to know that what you’ve been through can help somebody else.

He’s up to something

Now this…this is the hardest part to start putting into words…

When I was in America, I was trying to use the weeks away to get some dig-in-deep reading done and so I’d really been making an effort to get back to my journey of wrestling with God in a more dedicated way. There was one afternoon where I was laying on my bed, reading or thinking or both, and just started crying and praying. At the time, I couldn’t really have even told you why I was crying. Now, I can’t really even tell you what I was praying. For some strange reason, I never wrote anything in my journal. I wish I had. All I really know is that there was some sense of surrender in it.

For the next month or so, there was way too much going on for me to give much thought to anything else. Early in January, I was facing a crossroad of choice and started praying for wisdom. I knew that I really needed to be picking up my Bible and be reading if I wanted to be able to hear anything, but I hadn’t been very successful in my attempts at reinstating that discipline. I did start to feel some sense of direction and peace in the decision.

Toward the end of January, God used a friend (who didn’t even realise) to spark something in me as far as my relationship with God. I jumped into my Bible reading with a hugely renewed interest and haven’t looked back. The spark was a reason and a purpose–I had something I wanted to look into and learn about. It also sparked heaps of great discussion with my house-mate who “just happened” to be living with me at the right time (it’s a temporary arrangement).

Really, I think it’s a bit of the old snowball effect. Once the ball starts rolling, it collects more and picks up speed. I feel so different. I don’t think I’ve done a very good job of putting it into words still, though. I attempted to share with one of my good friends yesterday in an online conversation and ended up keeping it because I thought it might help me out here. πŸ™‚ I’ve edited out their part of the conversation.

i totally, totally understand. it’s exactly where i was particularly at the beginning of january. and why i started praying about what to do. i was pretty low. well, seeing as i’m actually starting to pray again these days, i’ll be praying for you too. and it is what i’m talking about with startling results. i never in a million years expected things to snowball the way they have [story coming]. i’m shaking my head in disbelief. i didn’t have anywhere i particularly wanted to be and multiple places i could be along with different options and commitments and risks. and contrary to what i’ve been like for the past two years, i have been amazingly at peace in the middle of all this open-ended business which is all currently converging in a hurry. peace is something i haven’t seen for a long time. anxiety characterises my life when it’s in upheaval...

something phenomenal’s been happening in me too. πŸ˜› but that’s a lot harder to put into words. …i’ve been working on it in my blog. it’s hard.Β it’s something that was sparked and has just taken off. i guess it’s timing…all the past two years of searching have been so very necessary…and all of a sudden, something’s been triggered. God really has used [another friend] in part of that–apart from anything they’ve tried to do–but it’s by no means just that…there’s all these threads. threads that i never could have coordinated myself. it’s having a lot of ripple-on effects.

Reap A Harvest

A long time ago, in another life, another girl that used to be me ran a Girls Group for the very small handful of girls that was at the very small church I then attended. It wasn't the easiest thing I ever did and, if I had have ever stopped to think about it, I probably would have wondered if it really had that much impact.

Around New Year's, my younger sister's best friend texted me asking if she could use the notes that I had created for that same Girls Group because she wanted to do something similar at her church. Quite taken aback that she even still had them, I easily agreed.

A couple of weeks later, one of my friends told me that she is helping this younger girl organise and run this new group. Chuckling, she told me that I would be proud because she kept hearing comments like, "Kristy did this…" and "Kristy did that…" Aww, that's sweet.

That next Sunday, I happened to visit their church and they just happened to be doing their little spiel up-front about the group which is soon to start. It was a strange feeling to sit there and listen to the younger generation taking up the baton for the girls under them. I felt really quite proud of her, almost like it was my daughter up there. I also felt quite honoured as I listened to her description of what their group is going to look like–it was a near-mirror image of what I had concocted so many years earlier. In fact, it reminded me of things that I'd forgotten. I told this young friend how I'd felt and she was equally touched in return and said that, "Of course things stuck!" πŸ™‚

Well, that was encouraging and she also wrote me a beautiful birthday card that was very touching. If, again, I had have thought about it, I would have expected to hear no more about it.

Today, she hinted that I might light to check her blog if I hadn't done so lately. I hadn't and went over to see what she might want me to know. This is what I found and I bawled my eyes out…

More

Happy Days

I seem to have shed the cement blocks the last couple of weeks which is nice.

I spent a week in Adelaide with my family from Australia Day which was really lovely. The week surrounding my birthday was full of friends and family spoiling me which was really special. If I get organised enough, I might put up a photo or two. Now, I'm back home and enjoying having my friend-housemate to hang out with. It was particularly nice to come home to company and a waiting dinner after a 5 hour drive home. πŸ™‚

While I was in Adelaide, I re-enrolled in TAFE and will be studying again externally in a few weeks. My next subject is a legal module (kind of an introduction to business law) so that will be quite different and should be interesting!

My reading has picked up again so there should be a post or two of quotes coming. πŸ™‚ Also, to whoever it was that read Gracia Burnham's book and recommended it to me, I read nearly the entire book today. I have two short chapters left which I plan to polish off before I go to sleep tonight!

The Big 3-0

I turned 30 today (a fact which still blows my mind) and I have had the best day. It has been really, really lovely. I was really, really spoiled!

It's also kind of mushroomed into a birthday WEEK because my friends are spread far and wide (though my family is pretty contained) and not all of them were able to catch up with me tonight but still wanted to see me.

I'm really, really thankful. πŸ™‚

Sun & Surf

This is the third summer that I've lived here but the first summer that I've swum here. Today was the first day that I've ever "gone to the beach" (as in, to get wet) here. That's really sad–particularly because there is actually a really cool swimming beach within reach! I had no idea. :( 

The first year, we were too busy renovating our house and planning a wedding and travelling back and forth between town and city–in the middle of peak business time–to have any time to swim here. Plus it often gets quite cool, even cold, at night here in summer. 

Last year, I guess I was too fragile. And let's face it: we don't get that many hot days. πŸ˜› People around here break out their shorts and singlets when it gets to 25*C–if they didn't, they'd probably only get to wear summer clothes for two weeks a year! πŸ˜‰

I'd gone with just one of my friends and we really had been quite unmotivated about making the half an hour drive but it was definitely worth it! I came home feeling very energised. πŸ™‚ To tell the truth, though, I didn't actually swim. While the water was unexpectedly nice (I expected Arctic temperatures), it was quite cool and breezy down there (unlike here in town)…and I'm not into freezing. Without that, I would definitely have got totally wet. I did at least get about half wet. 

I've never seen so many cars lined up on a beach, though!! My comment was that it was almost as impressive as a wind-farm in Texas. πŸ™‚ It's pretty cool to be allowed to drive right down onto it and park. We'd been there for a while when we saw 4WD ute starting to head our direction. Turns out it was another family in our house church who'd come down for a swim and tea on the beach. They had no idea we would be there but just happened to see us–and they had invited another two families!! We ended up gate-crashing their fish-and-chips (not really, we were invited) but they'd gate-crashed our spot to start off with. πŸ™‚

While we were standing around eating, it dawned on me that I had just spent time at the beach with SIX little kids IN the water and I hadn't had any moments of even silent panic!!!!! That may not sound like a big deal but that is amazing! We're not talking perfectly calm, flat water or life-jackets or tightly held hands. I was definitely an extra pair of watchful eyes but it never occurred to me to abnormally worry or panic. I was perfectly ok. It was another moment of breakthrough and revelation.

When I was in Texas, we had a bonfire by a 'pond' on somebody's property. I was really edgy with the kids running back and forth to the pond. As it got dark and that was still going on, I had to leave. I couldn't stand it anymore. Actually, I'd waited a bit long. It wasn't till after I got back to the house and the shakiness/sick feelings/teariness hit that I realised just how much it had been getting to me. So today? I'm really stoked. πŸ™‚

2009 Recap

I've never done this before but, having seen it going around the blogosphere, I thought it sounded interesting. You take the first sentence of the first post of each month throughout the year. I think you're supposed to do it on New Year's Eve or something but I didn't hear about it till afterwards as I didn't have internet over New Year's. Plus, this is primarily for my own interest's sake. πŸ™‚

January: 2009

A new year, a clean slate…sounds good to me. (It was a big deal to me stepping into a new year that didn't, and wouldn't, have any of Steve in it.)

February: Remembering…

It's my birthday today. (So I used it as a time to remember my last birthday with Steve.)

March: A Big Sluggish

January was hell so, in comparison, I went through February on a high. (A summary of where I was at last March.)

April: A Different Sunday

All week, I've been meaning to blog. (Because I had good progress to report!)

May: A House Is Not A Home Without…

A home is not a home without…books!!! (Those shelves are now full, btw, and I have piles of books sitting on my bedroom floor…lol)

June: Why I Keep Blogging Publicly

When we began to honestly share our own journey with others, we discovered the whole world is desperate for somebody to say, "My life is a mess, and I'm trying to survive too! I'm struggling. (The beginning of a quote that summarised for me why I keep blogging publicly.)

July: Still Away & Other Thoughts

I don't have my computer back yet but I do have a bit of access to one. (Really doesn't summarise the post at all! lol The remainder is a continuation of why I blog publicly and some possible new direction for my blog.

August: Widow Thoughts: Friendships

One of the hardest things I've had to deal with this year is coming to terms with the loss of friendships. (That's pretty self-explanatory…and the first of my "Widow Thoughts" posts.)

September: Me & My Blog

My blog might start looking a little different in content in the coming months. (I returned temporarily to journalling and focussed reading…which I am about to do again.)

October: Life Where You Least Expect It

I've just started reading "Tracks of a Fellow Struggler" by John R Claypool, a book I have seen frequently quoted in many of the books I've read over the last 18 months. (And the sharing of a great quote from a great little book!)

November: Not Tooooo Exciting

Many of you keep up w
ith me on Facebook and have a bit of an idea what I've been up to which is a good thing as I'm obviously not finding too much motivation to blog
! (A summary of my first few weeks in America.)

December: Limited Vision

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. (The start of a quote by Elisabeth Elliot and how it impacted me.)

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