Five Minute Friday – One

Five Minute Friday = prompt word, five minutes, just write. No overthinking, no over complicating.

This weeks prompt word: ONE

Here’s the length and breadth and height and depth of my wisdom at present on how to live life when time seems short but things to do are relentlessly plentiful.

Do one thing at a time.

One thing at a time and I seem to get as much done as when I’m trying to spread myself between seven things all at once.

I remind myself of it, I write it in my diary, when my head is racing and my fingers and toes start twitching, “Just one thing” when I want to be doing all the projects and writing all the words and reading all the books and fixing up maybe fifty things in my garden and then theres washing to be done and phone calls to make.

But we’ll never do it all will we ?

And we can miss the best of it trying to. We can miss the simple beauty of a thing when we give ourselves to it, when it’s seen in a certain light, the soft corner, the subtle detail, faces, conversations, the kinds of thing you have to slow down for to soak in.

And it can be such a relief to let yourself do one thing at a time – fold the basket of clothes (always with a cup of tea at hand) or cook the dinner – stand and stir and taste and pour – or read the book (more tea) or pull the weeds (sheer therapy) or paint the chair or write the words or go to the meeting.

And let the other things be. Let them alone.

One thing at a time.

When you’ve a thousand possible things to do.

Wave the white flag and surrender.

Choose just one thing and then do that.

“Gripping, grabbing, grasping all feel like the only way forward when we’re terrified and vulnerable. We want to believe we have some kind of control. But our real strength is found in opening our hands. We say ‘Here God. Its all yours. Help me breath and begin again”. Leeana Tankersley

See what others have done with there five minutes here

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#MySundayPhoto – The Heat of the Moment

 

Joining up today with Photalife for #MySundayPhoto. Just one photo and a few words. A bit of a change from my wordier posts – part of my push this year to write simply from my heart without over censuring or overthinking and to go ahead and just try a few new things.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Taken at Mollymook on the NSW South Coast,  this photo kind of sums up where my little household is at the moment. Kids are back in school but it feels like we still have our feet in the sand. The early starts and regular routine of school and home and after school activities and bedtimes (however loose they are in our house) aren’t sitting well with us at the moment.

We loved the freedom of the holidays, where days are low on structure and commitment and high on doing whatever we felt like doing. I’ll be the first to say that there can be something very grounding and comforting in regular rhythms and daily routines but so far we have been reluctant to embrace them. The heat doesn’t help which has cranked itself up a notch just in time for the kids return to school so I’m putting ice packs in the school lunches and there’s plenty of whinging about scratchy school uniforms and closed in shoes. It’s a tough call after a summer spent in shorts, swimmers,  thongs (as in flip flops) and tank tops  or if your Ethan and at home, just your underpants Axl Heck style.

We’re holding onto our freewheeling summer as much as we can despite what the calendar requires of us and taking all the shortcuts. I abandoned the book covering and went with the ready made slip covers with all the pretty patterns that Livvy was so admiring at the newsagents, we’re using paper plates and plastic cups some nights just to cut down on clean up and I’m doing only the bare essentials required to keep us all fed and clothed and the house running in some vague semblance of order. I AM packing school lunches and reading all the school notes because I’ve fallen foul of that one many a time before. Everything else? I’m not making any promises.

Higher on our priority list right now are trips to the pool after school when we can, sitting in the one air conditioned room in our house, anything liquid with plenty of ice, wet towels draped over us at night, and food that allows the least amount of time in the kitchen, like salads that come pre washed with the dressing and the crunchy noodles  included and all ready to go  – genius.  Yes I could pressure myself to be be doing a whole lot more and to be running a tighter ship as it is regular term time after all,  but frankly it’s too hot and I’ve just no heart for it at the moment. See our bodies may be back at school  and work but our hearts are still on holidays and I’m right in the middle of a good book.

So for the month of February till the heat passes and the routine kicks in I’m giving this little family a hall pass. Sometimes we just need to do (or not do) whatever it is  in order to save our lives and our sanity. (The occasional cooler day helps as well). So here’s to all of us giving ourselves a little grace and making the adjustments we need to see us happily through our current  season.

Any hall passes being handed out your way? Would love to hear.

Check out other My Sunday Photos here.

http://photalife.com/my-sunday-photo/

Holiday Word Play (and Other Good Reads)

Written words can also sing – Ngugi Thiong’o

www.waterintowineblog.comNow its no secret I like words and lots of them

The written word over the spoken word any old day if I had to choose, if push came to shove.

And January, as always,  had me wading through a lovely sea of them.

Theres all those new year posts for a start – I love reading other bloggers new year missives. Totally amazed at their presence of mind so early on in the year  – popping out genius posts the first week or two of January when I’ve barely made it off the lounge or out from under my Kindle but oh God bless them that they do. I’m so grateful to have such good inspiring insightful words to read.  Kind companions as I tip toe my way into the new year and feel my way slow for a good bit – a peaceful lull before the real work of the year begins.

www.waterintowineblog.com

And because January is our summer here in Australia I always have a good book  or two on the go – nothing makes it feel like a holiday (even if your at home) like a good book to bury yourself in, especially when no one seems to mind me serving dinner at 9  or if I get out of bed at 11.

www.lisajobaker.com

www.waterintowineblog.comAs for MY words ? –  well that story really started in December .

 I had been trying to come up with just the right meaningful non cliched Christmassy thing to write on my bathroom blackboard which had been  blank for a good while. At some point “Washed Clean” had been washed off. I’d hung my Christmas wreath in front but I was wanting some words.

Then I saw this phrase embroidered lovingly on a holiday pullover on Instagram. And because Home Alone is an all time Christmas favourite in our house and because it seemed appropriate for a bathroom and because we can all just get too darn serious about things- – – – we ended up with this.

www.waterintowineblog.com

My kids thought it was Hil-arious with a capitol H.  I did too but then I’m easy entertained.

A week into January though I was staring at a blank board again and wondering what words I might write that had something to say about this new year.

See I’m not much good at new year proclamations or declarations. Personality type partly, post Christmas exhaustion mainly. But heres what I’ve found. When I give myself a chance, a bit of space, a bit of time without forcing the issue somehow the right words find me anyway, they rise on up to the surface without me even trying.  And sometimes the tiniest of incidents or events can resonate way inside and tell a story you didn’t know needed telling. I had two of them.www.waterintowineblog.com

One was sitting on the edge of the sea pool on a hot, hot hazy day, somewhere between Christmas and New Year watching my kids swim. I hadn’t brought my swimmers for “all the reasons” (those extra kilos, unforgiving lycra, legs that haven’t seen a razor in a while) and I was feeling pretty pathetic because I hadn’t made the effort and because I don’t want my kids to have the mum that just watches from the side, I don’t want to be the mum who’s always just looking on.  I half told myself “I’ll be organised next time, I’ll wear my swimmers with all the appropriate coverage and get in – next time.” but it was an old and tired and incredibly boring excuse that I’d heard myself make too many times before. Some moments are there for the taking and some don’t come again so I took the moment and got in with the kids clothes and all much to their delight  (they were so daring me to). Olivia thought it was too funny and Ethan who seems to get embarrassed if I even breath near him in public these days,  loved it as well because despite his bravado he loves me being in the thick of it with hm.

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The second was a decision to take our two up to Sydney on New Years Eve to see the fireworks on Sydney harbour. Ethan has been talking about wanting to do this for a couple of years and very conveniently each year we have been down south camping. This year we didn’t go camping though. Uhh I can’t begin to tell you how much I did not want to go to Sydney on New years Eve. It had all the elements of a waking nightmare for me. Thousands of people all trying to see the same thing at the same time,  traffic congestion, road blocks and the keeping everyone safe  – no thank you. The last time I’d ventured into the city on NYE I was young and single and had drunk a glass or two of champagne to  steel my nerves. I  was soooo tempted to back out but  it was the same deal as the pool – Ken and I looked at each other and thought  do we make excuses, do we act like boring people or do we take our kids on a wee bit of an adventure. Do we grab this chance and show them that even without the perfect plan, with things against you,  you can make a decision and get yourself where you want to go. So we threw our fold up chairs and picnic blanket and a few snacks and drinks in the car and headed up. Theres a lot we haven’t been able to do for our kids this summer. No holidays overseas that according to Ethan, all his friends are on,  no  annual camping trip either as we usually do due to my work  –  but THIS we could do. Yes we could do winging it even at the risk of getting them all the way there and not seeing a thing all Griswold like. We could do looking like the  Beverly Hillbillies driving around  ultra posh Point Piper in our truck. WE could even do me reversing up a very steep one way street and double parking to get a great view of the Harbour (with plenty of time to spare I might add). Oh my goodness the excitement when we found that view. And those fireworks. Most spectacular I’ve ever seen but truly I didn’t go for the fireworks – I went to see my kids faces and to hear them say “we did it” like we had climbed Mount Everest” rather than just drive an hour and a half from home. I think my boy grew three inches that night he was so happy and pleased that he had finally got there.  Was it a glamorous new years eve? – not a bit but we had ourselves a little family adventure and that beats glamorous hands down anyday.

Small moments and small decisions that turned something over on the inside of me.

This is what my board says at the moment

Jump In With Both Feet

Jump In With Both Feet

Not as side splitting as the previous message but a good reminder for the kids  because showering and bathing isn’t always high on their priority list. And  a good reminder for me to ditch the excuses more often and follow my heart  more than my head.

But it don’t come naturally.

Jumping in isn’t really my style. I’m more a slide in quietly while no one is looking  kind of gal, more the type to tip toe around the edges till I get the wobbles and just fall in – which are both Ok options because you still end up in the water. But I’m a great one for not getting in at all or getting half way in and then turning heels and heading home where its safe. I’m a good one for talking my self out of things and faffing around and overthinking and overcomplicating everything to such an extent that I end up waving the white flag  in surrender and turning on Netflix.

Maybe its time to approach things a little differently.

Now that  doesn’t mean I’ll be trying to be someone I’m not, or I’ll be committing myself to a whole slew of things I have no capacity to follow through on or that I’ll be  diving into things completely unthinking.

What I think it means is:

Less  making excuses,

less overthinking

less overcomplicating

less censuring myself

And more just giving things a whirl

and then hanging around long enough to see what happens.

More trusting myself and trusting God

More doing the things I’m scared to do but that I’m absolutely convinced God can do

If I take the chance, if I follow His lead, if I don’t pull back

Worth a try

Maybe it just means more swimming in my clothes.

www.waterintowineblog

A few other words I’ve been reading “just by chance” of late are in Luke 18 and 19. Stories of two people worlds apart but as broken as each other. Both had every reason to pull back and lay low and shy away and make excuses.  Except that they didn’t – they recognised the moment, they grabbed the  opportunity for the  short second it was there and as a result came face to face with living breathing Hope. Zacchaeus was a wealthy educated, influential but corrupt man,  despised by his community and so short he had to climb a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. Who knows with what attitude he climbed that tree – derision, curiosity, inner turmoil, shame – it doesn’t say but where he wasn’t was at home feeling sorry for himself. He was up that tree having a good look where everyone could see him and when Jesus eyeballed him and said I’m coming to your house to eat,  Zacchaeus said Yes. He led Jesus to his home with great “excitement and joy”. He could have just as easily scoffed at the invitation from this dusty story telling man, he could have brushed him off with a wave of his hand, climbed down that tree and disappeared into the crowd. But Zaccheaus took the leap, he took the chance. The other man a blind beggar, the lowest among his people, without position or employment or a home. But when he heard the crowd gathering and the excitement grow he wasn’t about to miss out.  He had little to hope on, no one to stand for him and when he heard it was Jesus, he didn’t wait for permission or for an invitation – he started to holler. He had a brokenness that wouldn’t let him stay quiet and the more he was told to shut up the louder he got. He shouted until Mercy walked right up and gave him back his life. I wonder at that sort of courage, the sort of courage that says yes against all the odds, that takes that risk, thats prepared to fail, that doesn’t let go of  what just might be possible.

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I’ll leave you with these words that I first read last November. Some words make a home with you. They tell part of your story and settle on in you and don’t leave. These are some of those.

My eyes have seen the king in his beauty.
I have glimpsed a land that stretches afar.
It is a peaceful abode and a place of broad rivers and streams.
No galley with oars rides them.
And In this place, even the lame carry off plunder
Christie Purifoy

Would love to hear how January has found you so feel free to share away below.

Before I go here are a few of my favourite online finds/reads for January :

Invite Delight on Becoming Minimalist Blog

How To Give Your Home A Fresh Start – The Nester

I’m Not Into New Year Resolutions – Instead I Do This – Lisa Jo Baker

How I Handle Screwing Up My Goals – The Lazy Genius Collective.

Happy reading, Happy New Year friends -( is it too late to say that?)  and much love from my home to yours

Tracey xx

Joining in with some of these lovely link ups

Literacy Musings Monday

Three Word Wednesday

Sitting Amongst Friends

Tell His Story

Three Word Wednesday www.kristinhilltaylor.comTell His Story www.jenniferdukeslee.com

 

 

 

One For The Weary

For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” Jeremiah 31:25

Weary, languishing? I think  we’re all feeling it about this time of the year and Christmas!! Ugh I feel tired just thinking about it. I know I’m not meant to say that out loud, I do love it, but goodness we put ourselves under some pressure and I need a lie down and a cool towel on my head before I even start.

www.waterintowineblog.com

We ask an incredible lot of ourselves and that’s not something we save just for  Christmas. Year round we call ourselves to long lists and keeping up and plain old trying to do too much and we very nicely wear ourselves to a frazzle.

No wonder we eat so much chocolate, no wonder we’re weary.

No wonder this beckons.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.… Matthew 11:28-29

Thank God

We call ourselves to impossible standards and unkind demands.

Jesus calls us to rest.

Rest from comparison and competing with each other and trying to do thing’s He hasn’t asked us to do.

Rest from our long as your arm  “to do” lists designed to keep our world in control. I like a list and a time frame as much as the next person but what if it’s in between the lines of our careful lists, in the interruptions we see as annoying distractions that the really good stuff happens, where the God appointed moments and the great conversations happen. Where the laughing and talking and real caring and connecting takes place. They don’t need a list.

www.waterintowineblog.com

Rest from that so human push to want to prove our worth and earn approval and fit in and make our mark.

And rest from the constant pressure to do more and “be” more that makes us say yes when we should say no, that keeps us up late and driven and distracted and spreading ourselves way too thin. That kind of pace just doesn’t work for me. It leaves me second guessing and undermining myself and not doing anything particularly well.

It has me missing the moments and rushing past my life.

Anyone else?

So lets give it a rest. Slow down a bit, put the stop watch away and just give ourselves some room to breath. I think we’ll all feel better.

And here’s something, what if we took the time to value and enjoy the thing/s we are doing today instead of rushing on past them, instead of dismissing them as not really important, in our trying to do more or better or different. What if we threw our arms around what we are doing today and embraced it long and generous.

www.waterintowineblog.com

What if everyday we were simply thankful and grateful.

What if we put down the loads we are not meant to carry and leave the bigness to God and the increase to Him.

I thought that growing up means holding it all together, but I’m seeing now that it’s really only a great ability to let go. Amber Haines – in(courage)

And what if we  “fall into the arms of the ONE who has walked the walk for us, all the way to a cross, who lived and died in our place—who brings us into His death and raises us to new life. Edie Wadsworth 

See that’s changed all the rules. As strange as it seems to us He doesn’t call us to perform and prove ourselves and jump through hoops. He calls us to rest, away from our million things to do and from our tendency to measure our worth by super human performances. He calls us away from  our flawed reasoning and our strivey hearts and away from our regrets and self recriminations  – – – – and calls us to Him.

He is everything so we don’t have to be.

Love to you all today

Tracey xx

Linking up today with (if I get around to it)

Coffee For Your Heart

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Three Word Wednesday

Wholehearted Home

Five Minute Friday – Joy

Five Minute Friday  = prompt word, five minutes, just write.

This weeks prompt word:

JOY

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– – – weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

For years it wasn’t a word in my vocabulary. Not that I was unhappy all the time but “joy” – a feeling of great happiness – mmm not so much. There was always some sort of brokenness pulling me back from that lofty height.  I suppose I thought of joy in terms of elation and exuberance and extravagant outpourings of excitement and happiness  – – – and even on my best day’s that’s not something I could manage.  Joy was far too upbeat and out there for a less is more, semi introvert  like me.

But things go and change don’t they, God does his work, puts together our broken, breathes in His life. And so we’ve come to a new understanding. Joy and I have fallen in along side each other like old friends. Not so incompatible after all. In fact we get along just fine.

My dictionary might define “joy” as a feeling of great happiness but I think I’ll add to that a feeling of great contentment, of knowing and thankfulness and peace. It doesn’t turn up big and loud and showy. It show’s up quietly and hangs out and makes it’s home with us.

It shows up in feeling safe on the inside, in knowing deep down, when the layers are peeled back and all is revealed that everything is OK, because He’s made it once and for all OK.

“ – – – we’re safe now. The worst has already happened and it happened to Jesus and nothing else can wreck us”. Edie Wadsworth ~ Life in Grace.

It shows up when I’m  thankful, when I appreciate the gift that this life is, when I  appreciate the enormity  of  all  I’ve been given.

Seeing those perfect little babies in my arms – my life’s joy not because it was what I had always dreamed of but because I’d hardly dared to let myself dream of something so wonderful, and here they were anyway. A gift.  The joy of  them exquisite  but with it the  worry  and the tears and the wanting them to be OK and do well. My heart done in and gone in one fell swoop the moment they arrived. The pain right next to the joy. Our hearts laid bare theres nothing else for it  but to throw ourselves on God’s mercy and hold on for dear life.

www.prevention.com

Some times we simply choose it over despair.   We fan joy into flame  and  throw it like a weapon at the cold and dark, a beacon of our faith and trust, to let the dark and cold know it won’t win, that it won’t overcome us.

And then those moments – the jump up and down, best news ever, so happy you cry type moments – I’ve had a few of those this year –  a friends all clear from cancer, another friends dream job offer, us getting our new home loan. All of them the more poignant because of the journey to get there, the hard work done, the sticking in and holding fast,   the tears and the sorrow endured before arriving at the sweet. Those moments are  like gold, worth celebrating – the joy of good news.

May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope! Romans 15:13 (The Message)

Much love to you today

Tracey xx

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I’m gonna confess, just so it’s all out in the open ~ I take way longer than five minutes to write my FMF posts!!    I do set the timer and write for five minutes and wherever the prompt word takes me in that five minutes is what I stick with but  – – – I usually leave it then for a while (days sometimes)  and come back and finish it when my original thoughts  have percolated for a bit. And yes  I correct the spelling and format it properly because I can’t help myself. I am totally in awe of those who can write a coherent and legible post in Five Minutes. Occasionally, very occasionally I have managed it in 20 but for the purposes of this FMF post lets call it 40 minute Friday (with a days thinking time thrown in).  Hope you don’t mind.

Linking up today with

Fridays Blog Booster Party

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Coffee and Conversation

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Sundays Down Under

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Celebrate it Sunday

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