Saturday, July 31, 2010


Yesterday for the first time in ages I got really excited. I mean really excited. Dave and I ordered a whole lot of book from Amazon a couple of weeks ago for the first time. Some of the books are his birthday presents to me, and there were a couple in there that Dave has wanted to read for ages. The price of books here is Australia is insane and even with paying freight and with the dollar exchange we still got a crazy bargain. When we ordered we were told that it would be about three weeks until the books arrived, so I would have them for my actual birthday – which I didn’t mind because it’s then like my birthday goes for longer! So you could imagine my surprise when I got home from work last night and had a little note tucked into my front door saying I had a parcel to collect from the nearest post office. In the back of my mind I thought it may have been the books, but I still wasn’t expecting them for another two weeks. When I got to the post office I was handed a box all bundled up in a huge, heavy duty plastic bag. It wasn’t that heavy so I kind of dismissed it as the book, but I had no idea what else we may have ordered!

So I got home, and cut off the giant bag to get at the had Amazon printed on the side!!!!! Yipee!! Of course I had to open it to check that all the books we had ordered were safely inside ;) It was so hard not to just sit on the floor and start reading, especially Angie Smith’s book “I Will Carry You” which I have been desperate to read since I came across her blog. But I was a good girl and put them back to wait patiently for my birthday.

Dave arrived home not much later and dived straight into the magic box of books. After checking out his books, he very generously asked if I would like to have one early...just one. Would I? Ha. Is the Pope a Catholic?!

I was deeply entrenched in “I Will Carry You” before Dave could finish asking the question! I’m halfway though it already, and it’s torn my heart out, made me sob and howl with tears. But it has also ever so gently been drawing me out of my anxiety. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I feel a little like I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, like I’m not walking these emotions all alone.

I know I haven’t been alone, but I haven’t felt God presence, and I know I have been withdrawing into a little place where I feel like I’m safe, where I feel like nothing can touch me or hurt me, and I have been leaving God out of that place. But then I came across a line in Angie’s book.

“Joy isn’t the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ.”
No wonder there has been no joy for me lately. I haven’t made any room for the presence of Christ.

I have been holding at bay anything that might remotely hurt me a little – even God – and I have gotten into a cycle of hiding, then feeling alone, so hiding some more, which only served to make me feel more alone. It’s been a crazy black hole that I have fallen into, but I haven’t found the energy or strength to climb out of yet.

Yet Angie’s honesty, her amazing honesty in how she had times of exploding her emotions to God, of screaming and crying all her hurts and anger and fears out to Him, of how she learned that no matter how much emotion she had, she could pass it over to Him – He knew about it already anyway, all of it is opening my eyes a little.

Even if I start falling into a dark hole, I need to reach out and grab onto anything, even if I hold on with only one finger, God can do the rest of the holding for me – He’s the one with all the strength. I just need to reach out. I don’t need to hide myself away from the world, although the thought is appealing to me at times, because joy isn’t the absence of trouble, it’s the presence of Christ.

P.S. If you want to find out about Angie’s Story you can find her blog here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


So, we have had no internet for the last few weeks which made me realise how much time I spend on it. It was so hard to not be able to check all the blogs I read. I did go around to my parents place and use their computer once so didn’t feel completely technologyless!

Dave and I at the moment are trying to figure out our finances so we can really start to plan for the future – you know, house, kids, an overseas trip. I think planning for the trip has been one of the few things that has been keeping me going over the last few weeks. Even though we aren’t exactly sure when we are going, we are planning on next year sometime. America is number one on the list, but I’m hoping that we might be able to do Europe as well, especially as I have wanted to go there since I was about 12. It will just be a matter of money and if we can get the time off from work.

I’ve been going through the Lonely Planet guidebooks gathering all sorts of information about the places we might want to see, and getting websites and pricings where I can. I have names of accommodation, hotels and hostels, recommended eateries and suggestions of things to see and do. I’ve written down a massive list from some books I borrowed from the library, but another thing I love to do is go to Boarders and grab a hot chocolate and a pile of book. So the last few times I’ve done that I’ve been going through all the travel books I can get my hands on, so not only do I have a massive list of ideas, I also have a ridiculous amount of scraps of paper and envelopes that I’ve been writing tips and info down on. Then I decided to get super organised and so now I’ve started to put all of the information I’ve gathered into a spreadsheet on my computer, which is really cool because when you type in websites it creates a hyperlink, so that later I can go back and click on the link to go straight to the website for up to date information direct from the hotels, tourists info sites, restaurants and everything else! (I do realise how super geek I sound, but I don’t really care!)

I’ve been back at work for nearly three weeks now, and I’m completely exhausted! In fact yesterday was fantastic! (just a little note, that was sarcastic) I was pinched, stomped on by a child, and he then attempted to bite me...all in the first 20 minutes of the day! Wow, can you say fun? Needless to say I’m not particularly enjoying myself at the moment. In fact most days at the moment I feel like I’m only just hovering above a complete meltdown. Some days it has been a massive struggle just to get out of bed in the mornings and I put off until the very last possible second. I feel like I am in a constant state of panic, just waiting for something to go wrong, and coming back down from that at the end of the working day can take hours, especially if I can’t just go home and crash. It feels like there is just no joy in me, no excitement about everyday life, and no way to get away from these feelings.

Reading all those travel books and planning for this trip has been one of the few things that has kept me sane at the moment. Most of my days have been filled with murky gray feelings and anxiety levels that are off the chart. I feel like if I can just make it through the next few months, it might get better, or if I could get a new job it might get better, or once we have gone on our trip things will get better. I’m always looking to the time things might get better. At the moment I’m hanging out for the next lot of term holidays – seven weeks. It’s pretty sad though if you have been counting down since the first week back.

At least its Friday eve today! One day till the weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A wedding, high tea and back to work

This weekend signaled the end of my mid year holidays and so I decided to fit several weeks worth of activities into two days! This past Tuesday was my mother in laws 60th birthday. Since she has only sons, us daughter in laws decided to do a fittingly female thing to commemorate on Saturday - high tea! We headded right into Melbourne to the National Gallery of Victoria and "The Tea Room" for a fabulous spread of cakes, pastries, sandwiches, scones and preserves, and of course tea or coffee. So yummy!! The high tea was followed by shopping, however I had to drive home in time for a 3 o'clock wedding! Way to overbook my Saturday!

The wedding and reception were held at a gorgeous reception place not far from our house, which came in handy after I ran into heaps of traffic on the way home and only had 30 minutes to get ready in!! Luckily I had already picked out the dress I was going to wear! :) The groom at the wedding was one of Dave's closest friends from highschool, so I didn't know anyone there, but they had really thought out the seating arrangements for their guests. They had placed us next to the only other Christian couple there, and we had a great night. They were a young couple at a really similar life stage as we are and we had a fabulous time chatting away with them...I'm even considering facebook stalking them! :)

Sunday after church I went furniture shopping with one of my sister in laws and her three children. We found some incredible dining tables that are just like massive hulks of wood. Kim wants a table that she can fit 12 people around, but I seriously think she is going to need a crane to lift the table into her house!!

Today was my first day of work the this semester. All the kids were back today too. I have to admit that I was (really) not looking forward to going back because I found the end of last semester really hard going emotionally. The students I work with have special needs that range from Autism and ADHD to learning disabilities and several other things. So even though I was fairly aprehensive (read emotional meltdown) last night I have to admit that today was a pretty good day. I know that in a few weeks though I will be getting tired and not njoying things again. I spent alot of today just praying over and over to God "please be with me, please be with me." And He really was!

Happy Monday!
Sharen xx

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Holidays, holidays, holidays

One of the best things about working in a school is all the holidays you get. I love holidays! Last week my sister, my mum and I all went to Melbourne for some shopping at one of the DFO complexes. I have to say we were a little disappointed. The outlet had been really talked up, but we found that most of the shops didn't have anything much cheaper than the normal, full priced shops. In fact, one of the shops we went into had a dress for sale that was $5 more expensive than I had paid for it two days earlier in Torquay!! (Although I hate it more when you go shopping and find the exact same thing cheaper than the item you just purchased two days earlier!)

Yesterday we had two birthday parties we went to - a four year olds and a 21st! Both were good fun. The fouth birthday was for one of Daves neice's. She was very cute - I think she had five outfit changed while we were there, one of which was a Snow White costume - too cute. The 21st was for my cousins girlfriend, who is totally cute too!!

Had church this morning. Dave and I have been together on the music team for a number of years, but he has decided to take a little time off so I was on this morning without him for the first time - it was a little strange....not gonna lie! It was a bit funny to be able to see him while singing and worshiping, usually he's next to me or somewhere off to my side. It was also a little strange to go off to practice on Thursday night without him, he's been like a security blanket for the last few years doing music :) I think he found it strange too!

Other than some shopping, I have had a fairly unproductive time these holidays. Usually I go into crazy, clean every speck of dirt in the house mode, but this time I decided to allow myself a good lazy break. I have still done my cleaning, just a bit here and there, not at such a frenzied pace! I am proud to say however that I have watched four seasons of the Gilmore Girls!!! I love this show...but weirdly after watching it I start to talk faster than normal!

So this last week of holidays I'm having a movie day with my sister, a massage on Tuesday... you know, because I've been working really hard ;) Dinner woth some friends, a games night with some other friends, and whatever other lying around, TV watching I want to do!

Did I mention that I love holidays?!

Sharen xx