Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Beatiful Butterfly

The other night as we were kissing the girls goodnight, one of them was wrapped up like a caterpillar in a cocoon.  It got me thinking.  When the girls were small one of our favourite books was 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle.

We loved that book, and read it over and over again.  Alas, they are too old for me to read it to them now.  Thankfully, I work with small children and can read it at my place of employment.

I feel a little like that caterpillar.  Not in terms of eating you understand, but metaphorically.  Way back in 1970 I was born, a small little baby ready for life.  As a child I remember being confident, and things nor people bothered me.  However, at some stage I allowed myself to become intimidated by life in general.  I began to think that everyone was better than me, in all things.  I told myself that lie, until it had worn a deep well travelled rut in my head.  I lost confidence and lived in a cocoon.  It was safe in there and I was less likely to get hurt. I preached to myself a message of 'You are not worth much', even though I  [actually should read: thought I]  believed that God took me for who I am!

Over the past few months it feels like I am coming out of that cocoon.  I hope and pray that I am emerging as a beautiful butterfly.  I am seeking to learn about my role as a woman:  what should I be doing?  How should I act?  What clothes should I wear?  What does the bible mean to me? At the moment, I have come to the conclusion that I am to live as a person made in the image of God: To love Him and serve Him and others wholeheartedly.  A lot is written in Christian blogs etc about Feminism or Submission of women under men - I really do not know what my thoughts on this are any more.  It was easier when I was dogmatic about this doctrine! 

I do know that by the grace of God, I have a certain amount of strength and I need to hold onto that.  I also, have come to realise that misplaced guilt has no place in my life.  Guilt that is real must drive me to repentance and change, but that is not what I am talking about here.  So, for now I want to live as a butterfly and show the beauty that God has produced in me to my family and the rest of the world.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Oh to be an artist.

I have always maintained that I am not an artist.  I have a real envy of those who can take a sketch book and recreate wonderful scenes.  My dad can draw and paint; and my 2 sisters follow in his footsteps.  I, on the other hand, take after my mum.  I may be up to a few stick figures scribbled on a piece of paper but that is the extent of my artistic ability.  In my mind art = creativity.  So if I cannot draw then I am not creative.  Or so, the logic went in my grey cells.

Well, that is what I have always told myself.  As I get older I am realizing that art is not the only area where a person can be creative.  I am discovering a small area where my creative side can be indulged, without costing me a fortune.  My daughters are extremely 'girly-girls' and they both have lovely medium to long ginger hair.  Recently, I came across a marvelous place on Youtube:  'Cute Girls Hairstyles'.  I have attempted a few styles already and they have not turned out too badly.  So hopefully, I will learn more and expand my creative nature. 

And when, I find an outlet for cheap fabric (locally or on-line), I will dust off my sewing machine and make some beautiful dresses to go with the fancy hairstyles.  If I keep practicing both I will be ready in time for the eldest daughter's prom in 4 years time.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Oasis of peace.

At church we have been going through the gospel of John.  We are near the end and have looked at the Easter story from that perspective.  One thing struck me at the end of Chapter 20 is that Jesus says to his disciples 3 times;  "Peace be with you." 

 Peace, is something that I need a lot of at the moment as my home can be really loud for a whole variety of different reasons.  Sometimes, it is my children not agreeing with what they have been asked to do  (Read: 2 girls who can shout a lot).  Sometimes, they are playing in a way which seems incredibly loud to my post-surgery self.  At other times it is the noise which emanates from the stereo or the WII. And then there are the friends which come to play occasionally.

Since, coming home from hospital I have learnt a lot of things about myself and how I deal with things.  One thing I now know is that I need peace and quiet; a small oasis of it each day.  I didn't realise how much until recently.  Realistically, I cannot crawl into a cave each day so I am trying to crave out areas of peace within me and without.  I am learning to make peace within even if the outside world is crazy.

From my reading of the scriptures I glean Jesus needed peace too.  He had the peace of God within His heart.  I need that and I thank God, that it is more evident nowadays.  I can cultivate that by reading my Bible, helpful devotional books, prayer and hymns, friendship with other Christians; basically developing a stronger relationship with Jesus.  Another way to have an inner peace is to stop comparing myself to others.  I have to work on being me; sometimes I will look the same as the people around me and other times I will look different. 

However, maybe because I have a weak faith, I am learning that I need some peace in my outside environment as well.  The constant stream of noise which goes with 21st living is not conducive to stopping my transformation into a grumpy old woman.  Unfortunately, I was not born with my mum's natural optimism towards life so developing inner peace is harder work.  With that in mind, I am seeking out ways of getting peace/being more peaceful.  Here are a few of my discoveries:

  • Groove Shark has a large selection of relaxation music.  Listening to it does something to my soul.
  • Walking has a calming influence.
  • I have recently discovered that I have a talent to style my girl's hair.  Being creative brings its own calm.
  • Reading a whole variety of different books.
  • Playing the piano.  OK, so technically, that produces noise but somehow it makes me more peaceful on the inside.
  • Searching for positive things and writing them in my special note-book.
  • Actively seeking good positive friendships.
  • Making this quote one of many to live by:  "Don't let the beggars get you down." 
  • Excepting the real me and being positive about the achievements I have made.
  • Finding the peace of God through a better friendship with Him.