Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Meri Kirihimete! Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas!

I love this time of year. Not only is it busy and therefore totally exhilarating for an extrovert like me, but it's when we get to hang out with family and friends and enjoy each others company. This year is the first time that I get to cook Christmas dinner for my family. What fun! I've been planning menus and shopping for months so all that is to happen this weekend is to clean the house, buy the strawberries and cream and have fun while everyone is caught up in the last minute panic. We are closing the office until the 7th January so we are in for a great break.....and hopefully some lovely, summer weather.

The flower above is from the Pohutukawa tree, New Zealand's Christmas tree. The large, full tree blooms over Christmas and often lines the streets and beaches. It is just gorgeous! We planted a little one outside our house and it should bloom soon. It is a definate reminder that we are back in NZ.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy your time with family and friends, remembering together that the Son of God came as a baby to grow and learn like us and then die for us so that we might be with God. How cool is that!

With love and blessings to you all


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

House Renovations

October was a frantic month for me, mainly by my own doing. I decided that I wanted to do up our wee house and make it more our own. That meant painting 2 bedrooms and creating a new garden. Dear hubby would roll his eyes as I outlined my plan but he lovingly helped look after the children while I created a unique space for each of us.

First to be hit was Isaac. His favourite colour is orange, and it has been ever since he was very little so it was only natural that his room would include it. I had taken the boys to choose their own colours which they really enjoyed although mummy was on hand to give some creative direction. In just a weekend I had completely changed his room and by the end of it it was even tidy! (No mean feat in a boys room!) He was thrilled. The next weekend was the rose garden. Ever since I can remember I have always dreamed of a rose and lavender garden but having always rented homes we were never able to complete one. It was a BIG job digging up grass, turning the soil and planting the plants but the outcome was just gorgeous. I have been enjoying the roses since. Then the following weekend it was our room's turn to be made red! Now I have to admit that there were many people who have questioned my colour choices but not a one of them has a bad word to say about the final outcome. And if I was truly honest I would have to say that there were times (after I had bought the paint) that I wondered what it would look like in the end but I'm pleased to say it looks fab!!!!

I love to be creative and I love colour....bright, bold colours. My family would expect nothing less of me then to speak loudly when colours come into play. Definitely no pastels for me! I miss being creative and have found art and music a hard thing to find time for in my busy life. One day I dream of learning how to dance with my hubby, of creating works of art that inspire and encourage, of wistful days full of colour and fun. Those days will come in time and I'm going to make the most of them when they do. Until then I will take pleasure in the simple things and enjoy the amazing colours that God has put into place throughout creation.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Riding the waves of change.....again!

My darling is home again after travelling in Asia for the last 2 1/2 weeks. It's nice to have him home again but with it comes still more change.

The boys and I find that when he goes away it always takes us a litle while to settle ourselves into our new routines and expectations. We kind of get ourselves settled and then he comes home again. That always requires another change in routine.

We are always really excited as we count down to his arrival. This week I have spent many hours tidying the house and organising things so I could spend time with him when he got home. I didn't sleep well last night as I ran through our reunion and all the things I wanted to finish before he arrrived and then I was up super early this morning to arrange all the last minute things. The boys and I skipped school and work and went out for lunch on our way to the airport which was nice. We were all really excited to see him. He was through customs and immigration really quickly and soon we were on our way home. And then it arguement! All over a misunderstanding but it was all about re-adjustng ourselves to each other again. Silly how that happens. Most of the trip home was in silence with just the boys chattering about what pressies their dad had brought them.

Don't get me wrong. I do love having him home again, I just hate having to ride those waves of change yet again. Things will be better tomorrow. I think I've spent 5 minutes alone with him since he arrived and now he is snoring away soundly in the bedroom. The boys have had some nice time with him which is good. I'll get a couple of hours tomorrow between work and when the kids arrive home from school. It's not enough by far but we are taking Friday off to celebrate our wedding anniverary so I will hang out till then. We'll have to plan something nice to do together.

Thankfully there are no more trips planned until at least February and before then we will have a couple of weeks holidays together as a family. That will be nice. We're not very good at taking a break so we're all looking forward to that time. We're hoping to improve next year and have already marked out holidays and weekends fo breaks away from work. I just hope we're good enough to stick to the plan. We'll see :-)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I'm struggling with Church.

It's not that I don't believe in it it's just that I don't like what it has become. To be honest we haven't really been much this past school term. In fact I could probably count the number of times I've attended since August on just one hand. I haven't been going to my women's bible study either mainly due to work pressures and family stuff.

We have been attending the same church all year. The boys love it and I guess I realised on Sunday that we need to keep going for them. The friends that they have made and the good influence of their leaders are what they need in their wee lives. But what's in it for me? I looked aound on Sunday and thought about the sturcture of the service. Why do a bunch of people, who don't really know each other, stand and sing together? The whole singing thing just seems wierd. The performing aspect of worship leaders and musicians drives me nuts. I feel like I'm in school when someone stands at the front and lectures me. I've sat through many a sermon in my life and many a service and they just all seem to be missing the mark. Not that it's about me! I know that but I'm feeing isolated and foreign in my worship.

People who I have been talking to regularly this year or I have prayed with don't remember me the next week. No one has called me to say "where have you been? How are things going?" Do they assume I'm ok because I'm a missionary? They shouldn't, 'cos I'm not.

I fully believe in the community of God's people. I guess, for me, that's my work community. We have devotions every moning, sing together (at least here it makes sense), and pray for one another. We have shared communion, tears and joys and it's far more meaningful to me than the big church thing. I don't know what we are going to do next year. Unfortunately Nigel feels much the same so that doesn't help things. I guess we'll think and pray about it over the Christmas break and see where the Lord is leading us. It's a tough one.