Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One Picture, 5 Words

nesting, clean, candle, vanilla, happy

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I posted, about a week ago, a video of Brene Brown talking about vulnerability. I downloaded a copy of the transcript and have been reading through it and highlighting all sorts of goodies in it and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on it here.

"connection is why we're here. it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives... what we know is that connection, the ability to feel connected - neurobiologically that's how we're wired - it's why we're here."

This is not a Christian speaker at a Christian conference. Nope, Brene is a research professor, talking about secular research she has done and the thing she discovered when undertaking it.

The talk highlighted for me, how much the human race searches out relationship. And if we don't have healthy relationships we will seek out unhealthy ones that we think will meet our needs.

Of course as a Christian I understand that the only relationship, the only connection that will ever completely fulfil me and my every need is the relationship and connection I find in God through Jesus Christ.

But even in knowing this, I still have times where I place unrealistic expectations on Dave, my family, my friends to meet needs that are never theirs to fulfil.

My real purpose, the real meaning in my life comes through only one relationship - the one I have with my Heavenly Father. All my other relationships (and the health of them) come out of that first relationship and the security and worth that I find there. If I am not deeply rooted in my connection with God, I can never have deep and lasting friendships with others. Those relationships and connections are too dependant on the health I have within. If I don't know who I am in God, I will never find who I am in other relationships.

God is the provider of my heart health. I will only function healthily elsewhere in my life I am taking care of that connection first. After all, I am wired for relationship with Him.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Best Banana Bread

What is a girl to do on a Saturday morning when she has the house to herself and a couple of overripe bananas?

Make banana bread of course!

This is my absolute favourite banana bread recipe. It is moist and spongy, and not at all heavy like some banana breads can be. It also keeps is the fridge for up to 7 days, and freezes exceptionally well. I recently discovered a loaf in my freezer that had been in there goodness knows how long, and when I de-frosted it, it was like fresh!

I LOVE my Kitchen Aid mixer. Can you believe I brought is back from America?!
Yep, just shoved the box in one of my suitcases!

Recipe: Quick Banana Bread

1 1/4 cups (185g) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon low-fat margarine
1/2 (110g) cup sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/4 cup (60ml) low-fat milk
1/2 cup mashed banana (1 medium banana)

1. Preheat oven to 220C . Line base and sides of 14cm x 21cm loaf pan with baking paper

2. combine flour and cinnamon in a large bowl. Rub in margarine (I just did this in my stand mixer). Stir in sugar, egg, milk and banana; do not over mix, batter should be lumpy. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.

3 Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until cooked when tested.

How easy is that?! I made a double batch today which needed about 30 minuted cooking time. I also substituted gluten free flour for the regular self-raising flour, and lactose free milk for the milk. I promise they did not alter the end result in any way, just as delicious!

This seriously takes about 15 minutes to get in the oven, and it is so easy, just seven ingredients. I promise you will never need another banana bread recipe again!

Recipe source: The Australian Women's Weekly 501 Low-fat Recipes

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vulnerability: Brene Brown

We watched this video at our lifegroup a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. There are some fabulous truths in there that I found to be of particular interest to me, especially when thinking about them in a Christian context. I hope you enjoy this talk, and I'll try and unpack some more of my thoughts over the coming days and weeks.

Monday, February 13, 2012

365 Photos

At the start of 2012 I decided that I was going to take 10-15 minutes every day to stop, take a photo of something, and list 5 things I am thankful for, every day for the next year. I realise this is a leap year so it will technically be 366 photo's, but the idea is to have a small pause each day this year and reflect on what God has given me. You can see all the photo's here.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Going Green

I always underline in books with a grey lead pencil. I have always hated the idea of using a highlighter because it's so permanent. If I make a mistake I can't change it, and what if I decide one day that the things I have underlined were wrong, or were silly for me to have underlined? I like to know that I can erase any markings I have made if I decide I shouldn't have made them in the first place.

Tonight I have branched out - I've gone green. Not a green highlighter, but a green pencil. Not quite as permanent as a texta, but still not as easily gotten rid of and erased at a later date like grey lead.

I picked a book off my shelves that had been sitting there for a few months untouched, and as I read the title I decided that grey wasn't going to cut it for my highlighting. With a title like "If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit" grey was not an option. I had to bust out of my highlighting rut.

It was a toss up between bright pink or bright green. Green won because it already had a sharp end on it.

As crazy as it sounds, I feel extremely liberated by my green pencil.

This green pencil is not only highlighting sentences and passages in my book, but it has highlighted an issue for me in my life.

I like to stay safe, where I am comfortable in my skills and am rarely challenged. I hate the thought that I might be wrong, or say something silly. I like to write my life with a grey lead, so that I can try to erase anything I get wrong. I don't very often get out of my comfort zone and write in green. Green isn't safe. Green is different and a little bit crazy. It's more obvious than grey. It stands out a little more.

I can't help but think I might be missing out on some pretty good things by hiding behind my grey. It might be good to go green once in a while, to take a chance, do something different. A leap of faith. (I actually nearly typed "leaf of faith" which would have been highly appropriate given the colour most leaves are!)

While safe is, well, safe, Mixing it up is good too. Meet new people, talk to someone I don't normally talk to, eat at a different restaurant, go to one of the women's events at church (I never do. Too many women in one place all at the same time freaks me out) . Just try something different, go a little green.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Movie: Your Love Never Fails

Dave went to a speedway race on Saturday night, so I did what any self respecting woman does when she has the house to herself on a Saturday night - went to the video shop and hired a bunch of chick-flicks!

One of the ones I grabbed was "Your Love Never Fails" which was a cute movie with a thoroughly predictable storyline. But it was well acted with a few familiar faces (the mother was played by Elisa Donovan, who was also "Amber" in Clueless. Way to take me back to my early teenage years!).

I was left with just one problem at the end though: how much it has made me want to move to Texas and buy a farm/ranch and spend my days living in a gorgeous farmhouse and going horse riding.

Clearly the themes of love and family touched me deeply ;)

Seriously though, who wouldn't want to live in one of these houses?
(please ignore the crappy images. I was taking photo's of my TV!)

Or sit on these porches?!

And the porch swing. sigh.

How about an orchard?

Or driving up this to get to your house?

And what about having meals at this table? Um. Yes please.

Or ending your day with a ride in the hills?

Plus I could wear cowboy boots all the time, and cute hats.

Can I please have this life one day?!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stream of Consciousness

I've been back at work this week and although I was really not looking forward to it I have had a pretty good week. The students seem to (so far) have settled back into the routine of it all, but no doubt once assignments start rolling in it will all get a little crazy.


I have been dreaming again about travelling. The USA of course, but I'm trying to convince Dave that we should both just quit our jobs and spend 12 months seeing the world, working alongside different missions organisations and doing life differently.


We are completely debt free as of about 2 weeks ago (yay!!!) when we made the last payment on the Corvette, and once we sell that it would totally pay for us to go on this kind of trip. And if we could sub-let our house out we could just move straight back into it when we got home, and it might give us a little extra cash on our travels. (see Dave I have it all worked out :) )


I have been so tired when I get home from work this week. It's amazing how our body's get out of routine too when we're on holidays and they take a little while to get back into it all too.


I have four different books on the go at the moment, all at varying stages of readness (of being read? whatever.) I am also doing the Beth Moore Study "Stepping Up: A Journey through the Psalms of Ascent" I am loving it!

We are off to my parents tonight for dinner, so I shall sign off. While I'm waiting for Dave to get home I might do some more research for our trip!