Thursday, September 30, 2010

Strong Women, Soft Hearts Chapter 1

I have decided that I’m going to do a series of posts on Paula Rinehart’s book “Strong Women, Soft Hearts.” I find that when I make notes on what I’m reading I get way more out of it, and I thought it might be fun to put it onto my blog – not really sure why!

Because I’m doing these posts as I’m reading they may not connect in any way at all, they are just my thoughts and discoveries about what I’m reading.

So let’s dive on in!

Awakening: God Calls Our Hearts

“He pursues us past all our talent and hard work into the secret places of our hearts where sin and inadequacy and brokenness hide, and He rejoices to claim us there as His own.”


What an incredible God. This perfect, all-knowing Holy God who knows all our failings, every bad thought we have, every sinful inclination we have and yet He still desires us, still longs to have relationship with us.

Sometimes I forget I’m already living my life. I love to plan and have everything for my future worked out and I figure once I get there my life will start. But then I get there and start planning for the next thing, without really enjoying my arrival, all the time wondering when my life will really start. Once I’ve completed school, once I get married, once we buy a house, once we have children – the list is endless. I keep looking for a milestone of when my life will start, but I forget to enjoy what I’m living right now.

It makes me wonder what I’ve missed out on, what have I not fully appreciated, what little (and big) moments have I missed out on enjoying because I was so eager to get to the next thing?

Even more confronting is the question of what have I missed God saying/showing to me because I never stop and rest in where I’m at now? How often have I missed His voice speaking to me? How often have I missed His gifts to me because I barrel along onto the next thing on my agenda? How often have I missed what He is doing around me and in me, because I’ve been too focused on my own plans?

Possibly the most confronting thing I can ask myself though is why do I repeat this pattern?

On page 7 Paula says this. “The effort to shield ourselves from pain also blocks our awareness of the good stuff.” Later in the chapter she also says “We allow fear to reduce the world to a couple of small rooms, where things are known and familiar and we feel in control.” These quotes revealed for me perhaps why I have this pattern of planning everything.

If I keep everything the way I want it I can be in control and everything will work out and I won’t experience pain. Right....

My mind is a curious place of I alone?!

Paula says that as women our greater capacity for relationship opens up a larger possibility for experiencing pain. I don’t know about anyone else out there but I definitely am a feeler. And an emotional one at that! I feel other pain deeply, I experience my own pain even more deeply, and I know that over the years I have use pain as an excuse to reduce my world at times, as an excuse for holding people at arm’s length, as an excuse for closing off parts of my heart so that the chances of being hurt are diminished. But I don’t really know that in shutting off certain areas I have reduced my experience of pain – I think that it might have increased it. In a strange paradox, I think that in trying to protect our own hearts we can actually make them more susceptible to pain, and pain that is self inflicted.

It takes courage to change, but I feel for me that Paula Rinehart in this book gives women some of that courage. The courage to live the life that God has planned for us – not the one that I plan for myself – it’s not like my plans ever work out that well anyway!

“Will you really grab hold of life in whatever shape God has given it and live as though you didn’t go around twice?”

I sure want to try!

Anyone with me?!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beautiful Sunday!

I am currently lying on a banana lounge in my backyard in the fabulous Spring sunshine!!! It has been about 4 months since the weather has been this good, and as I'm lying here I can feel myself just starting to really relax! I'm not sure what it is about sunshine and the warm weather that just helps me to rest, and find peace and calm, but it really does. The sky has been cloud free and there is a gentle breeze blowing and I feel like it's blowing away my cares.

Neither Dave or I have been feeling well the last few days. I have a bad toothache and Dave has been really sick, so he took the morning off church, but I was singing on the music team so I went. I got home and he had gone out to pick something up from one of his brothers house so I have been lounging in the yard for over and hour and a half and it has been heaven.

My toothache was pretty bad before church so I downed 3 different types of over the counter painkillers - not sure how safe that was but...anyhoo! I then had to sing a solo at the start of How Great is Our God, the song by Chris Tomlin, and I was shaking so bad that I thought I was going to fall into a heap on stage!!! he he he. I'm not sure if that was purely from nerves or also from a slight overdose of asprin, panadol and ibuprofen!! :)

Tomorrow morning I'm making a call to my dentist, who I am praying has a free appointment so he can look at my teeth. If anyone happens to stumble upon this blog - please send up a prayer for me. Five years ago I had to have a root canal done, and I am petrified of the dentist, and as silly as it sounds I am praying that I don't have to have another one - or worse have a tooth removed.

On a completely different note I have started reading "Strong Women, Soft Hearts" by Paula Reinhart, and wow is this book having a great impact on me so far. I love it when God uses books to speak straight to my soul. I can't wait to get even further into it! Hopefully I'll remember to post more about it when I'm done!

Happy Sunday to all!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spring break

Yep, it's the holidays again!!!! I do love my holidays, but once again I have been sitting down and making my list of things to do on my two weeks break. My list includes thing like cleaning, de-cluttering, going through cupboards, taking things to the repairman's.

Don't worry, I also have a list of movies I want to watch and books I want to read which would require about 3 months of holidays to get through!

I'm also hoping to get some of my Christmas shopping done, and I'm getting a massage on Tuesday because my shoulders and neck are so tight it's not funny!!

We have just had a normal week here at the Timberlake house.

Wednesday was back to being a busy night. I have my singing lesson at 6pm and then I had to rush home, make dinner, eat it and be out the door for our life group at 7:30! As per usual we were late! We had an interesting discussion on politics, and how/where Christianity fits in Australia’s parliamentary system. For the most part our group seemed to agree, which meant there were no political arguments, just some great discussion!!
We love our group. We have been meeting together once a fortnight for years now and while we have added to our group it has always remained a really safe and welcoming environment to share ideas, our personal growth, to ask for prayer. We are quite a close group of friends now, and we celebrate birthdays together, and today it was our group’s first baby dedication!!! Little Oliver is our first life group baby which is quite exciting! He is gorgeous, and it was such a beautiful little ceremony, and Penny read a gorgeous poem that she had written for her little boy, I teared up a little! I can't wait for one of my own!
Thursday we had dinner at my parents place which we try to do every second Thursday night, or at least every week that Dave and I don’t have Church music practice.

Our weekend was pretty quite, which is how we like them! Dave hasn't been feeling well so we took it pretty easy. I did have my first attempt at making taquitos and they turned out really well - not quite as good as Mexican Graffiti, but still really yum!

I think I'm going to get back to my holiday planning, and make sure I schedule in plenty of time for reading my Bible and spending time with God - I really feel that I need to just be refreshed and renewed over the next few weeks so that I can make it through the last term of the year. I found this term to be incredibly draining emotionally and I want to go into the last one for this year knowing that I am getting my strength from God and not trying to push though in my own.

Have a lovey week!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Footy Fever!!

I can't believe that I didn't go to a single football game all year, then I have been three times in the last month! We have been very blessed to have been given the use of other people's memberships and so have either had a free ticket or discounted tickets.

Last weekend I won't say much about due simply to the sensitive nature of the topic for Geelong Cats supporter. Let's just say it wasn't the result that we were looking for, nor was it the weather we hoped for!!

It poured rain for the second half of the game!

Last night was a much better night all round. Cats had a win - semi-finals here we come!!! And it didn't rain! Yay! It was a perfect night. We had great seats right near the goals, it was a little chilly, but who cares really when your team absolutely SMASHES the opposition?!

This is Half Cat - the Cats team mascot - and one of my high school teachers!!

This is the "G" - aka the MCG or The Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The boys after the massive win!! Well done fellas!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What I love...

...about discovering blogging.

The more and more I read other women’s blogs, the more and more I realise just how God is using cyber space!! There is an incredible camaraderie that occurs through the comments on peoples pages. Women who have never met before, and often never will this side of eternity, offer love, support, prayers and encouragement to one another as we each bare our souls (or at least a good part of them) through our written words.

This is one of the biggest reasons I love to blog – and to read other blogs. I love to see the God’s family loving each other the way that we should be. The number of times I have cried when reading people’s comments, felt their concern and love has been too many to count. I think it is incredible that God has used the internet to bless so many women and their families.

I love the way that I find more and more people to pray for and with, more stories of people’s faith, more women who inspire me, as I move from one blog to another. I really believe that God has used this little world of blogging to encourage me in my own walk of faith.

I have been incredible blessed in this life not to have faced much loss, serious illness or major financial difficulty, but I can only hope and pray that I might be is strong in my faith as so many of the inspiring women in blog land have been. They are incredibly strong women of faith!

My husband might think I’m a blog geek, but I don’t care....I love blogging!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Daddy

Happy Fathers day to my daddy!!

My dad is everything that you could possibly want in a father and then some! He has always been my greatest encourager, my biggest fan. He has loved me unconditionally, even when I have been unlovable. He has always told me that I could do anything I want - even when I didn't believe him. He has always supported me in everything, and when my choices haven't been the best ones he simply prayed for me faithfully. My dad is one of the greatest examples of what a dad should be, and because of him I have always had an amazing example of what my heavenly Father is like.

Because of my dad I have an amazing husband. I always wanted to marry someone like my dad and I have!
Because of my dad I am where I am today, in a relationship with God, attending church and have a wonderful life.
Because of my dad I am who I am today.

I am so incredibly blessed to have the earthly father that I do, I can't fully put into words how I feel.

I love you daddy, you are one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Random Musings

This is going to be a random mass of ramblings today. I couldn't think of anything to write about specifically, so I figured I would just typing and see what happens! :)

There are two weeks left of school for this term, and I can't wait. I think I have found this term the most challenging since I started working at the school. I'm looking forward to relaxing and recharging, but also to doing some organising around our house while I have the break.

I have started a list of things that I want to buy for around our house. Dave and I are renting, so I'm always on the lookout for things that will make it feel more like our house. But I do struggle sometimes because we can't change the paint colour, put holes in the wall to hang photos up, change the carpet or curtains, we just have to make do for now with what is already in the house. (Like the green curtains that go really well with our second hand blue couches....NOT!)

I am excited about going and getting a second set of our cutlery setting. That means we'll have a 16 piece set! yay!! Dave and I both love having people over for meals, and this mean we'll be able to have lots of people around at once. Up until now we have been restricted to 6 people, because we only had enough cutlery for 8 people. With summer on the way it's perfect timing!

My baby craving had been increasing each day at the moment. (That almost sounds like I want to eat them!! I don't!!) I'm just really feeling the desire to be a mother, to be able to be at home, taking care of our home better, looking after my husband more and enjoying the experience of having a child of our own. I would be quite happy to have a baby now, but we're just holding off because we have a few plans before we do.

Like our trip to America, which hopefully will happen around May next year!!! Hopefully we'll be able to be there for around 4-5 weeks, and see as much as we can!

Number one on the list...DISNEYLAND!!! I have dreamed of going to Disneyland since I was little and I just want to go and look at everything there through childlike eyes. I'm so excited about Disneyland.

The other place that I'm really excited to see is the Grand Canyon. I cannot wait to be left completely speechless in awe of the beauty of God's creation. I'm hoping we can spend quite a few days there and see both the south and the north rim.

The other thing that we would like to do before we have a baby, is have our own house. Whether we buy and renovate an older house, or build a new one, we haven't really decided just yet, but obviously a lot will depend on finances.

So we need to be doing a lot of praying and seeking what God wants for us over the next year or so. It's hard to be patient and not try to make things happen on my own - which is a bad little habit of mine. I don't think there is anyone who ever reads this apart from me, but if you do happen to stumble upon this blog, please pray for us too!!

Happy Saturday!