Thursday, May 21, 2009

Some truth in my diet

I found myself chasing my identity through what I did rather than who I was.
Who I was, now lets not get confused here, who I was on the surface was still pretty pitiful, but when I say that, rather than chasing the elusive rainbows of fulfilment through deed, I should have been finding self fulfilment in simply being me. By that I mean that when all selfishness, all grasping, all tainted, broken existence is put aside, what God created in those dark places, before my form was ever acknowledged or seen by this world – what God planned from the beginning of time, was good. Like all of Gods plans, creations and purposes - what he created me to be IS good.
Now regardless of what I may do, how I may fail, where I may find myself led astray, that does not eliminate the core of it all – That I am irrevocably and unconditionally loved. Full stop. No deeds necessary, no cool kids to impress, no “You must be this tall, or this old, or this spiritually wonderful’ signs in sight.
My biggest challenge in the quarter century that is my life, is understanding that simple, yet mind blowing, life altering, perspective changing fact.
Everything I do from there, everything I say, everything I think, everything I was -I am - needs to flow from that place, from that truth.
That God is God – and I am a product, a testimony of his great love.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I am perhaps the slackest blogger out there, rivalled only by my daggy, gorgeous sister Katie who created a blog and then only posted, like twice. ;)

To continue the daggy streak I've only got time for a real quick post, but I just thought I'd update you on what I'm absolutely loving right now. It's freebies! and I mean, come one! Who doesn't?!

I'm loving jumping online and tracking down free samples of differnt products and getting that excitement of my receiving my little packages in the mail - in fact it's gotten to the point where Timmy's utterly jealous of the fact that we both receive mail, but only mine aren't bills :P

Best part is, we're talking good brands, and in some cases - Great brands, my favourite brands - clinique mascara or 3 step skin care program anyone?! Yes Please!

Here they are;

Free Techworks 700MB/80Minutes CD-RW

Free Elastoplast 40Pack Sterile Strips

Free Avery Label samples :
1 Pink Flowered folder
1 sheet of Laser name badge labels
1 sheet of Colour Laser Labels
2 sheet of Colour Laser Mailing Labels
1 Sheet of colour laser business cards
1 Sheet of colour laser print magnetic business cards

Free Clinique High Impact Mascara

2 free Nescafe Cafe Menu Coffee Satchets in, Mocha and Cappuccino

Free Janesce Exfoliating Clearing Wash sample and information booklet

and my very very favourite freebie thus far;

Free Clinique 3-step skin care program sample

yay for good old snail mail!! :D

And just for good measure here's a happy snap of cuddle time in our house;

Monday, May 19, 2008

Man Bags?

I've been wanting to write this post in such a long time, yet time and time again distraction has gotten in the way and blogging has hit the back burner.
So alas, here I am and ready to write.

I don't consider myself to be a feminist. Infact with the good feminism has brought I also feel that it has wounded and dissillusioned woman tenfold. I respect and admire strong, independant woman more than I can ever express in words. But as the well known phrase states, "No man is an island" and nor is any woman.
When woman begin to believe that they would benefit from the exclusion of men from their lives. Well thats where I begin to feel that familiar irk. We were made for relationship with both men and woman. Friendship. And one gender without the other will inevitable find themselves lacking. We need things from each other which we struggle to find alone. We are incapable of 'doing it all'. We need the other so that we are better able to do whatever it is we were meant to be doing, to the best of our ability.
I have posted on similar things previously, and believe it or not this wasn't actually my reason for posting.

Rather I wanted to talk about this constant in the media for woman to always be eye candy and rarely anything more.
A couple of happenings which caught my attention recently were the visits made by 2 first ladies to the UK. However, while UK Newspapers couldn't keep one of them off the front page, the other didn't even receive a mention. Not in the back pages, not even a little article. Nothing. It was as if she was never there at all.
I'm talking about former supermodel Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, otherwise known as the new wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, otherwise known as that french chick who posed in nude photos. The other woman of which I refer is our very own Therese rein, otherwise known as the wife of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Both woman joined their husbands on a visit to the UK, no doubt to ensure alliances remained strong. The visit for both woman involved many photo ops aswell as charity events. One look at carla and Therese and it id clear they are completely different, yet they both fell prey to the same cruel media focus.
The way they looked.
newspaper after newspaper reported on the arrival of the french President and his wife, yet rather quickly it became clear what was believed to be the most important news of the hour, heres a roundup of newspaper reports about the Sarkozy-Bruni visit:
"Not since Anne Boleyn has a woman curtseyed so deeply, so demurely, or so calculatedly before a British monarch, writes … the Daily Mail as Fleet Street clears acres of space for the state visit of what the Independent calls France's ‘bling bling president’ and his wife. The Times - beside a black and white photograph of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy leaving the presidential plane in her grey Dior overcoat and matching pillbox hat - says she went for a look that was ‘part Jackie Onassis, part district nurse.’ ... But the Left-leaning Liberation highlights Mr Sarkozy's nervous ticks … and says he babbled like a child to the Queen at those moments when he had been advised to stay silent."
Daily Press in London stated, "...French President Sarkozy yesterday delivered a major speech on relations between our two countries. Can anyone remember a word he said? And will anyone forget the sight of his enchanting wife?..."
Not to mention the images of Carla's naked exploits during her younger days of modelling which plagued the press for the entirety of her visit.

While everyone is focussed on sideshows like Dior Coats and nervous ticks, France is actually in a bad way and in dire need of reform.

In Comparison the visit from Our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Wife Therese, went unreported in the UK, however A Current affair hit the streets here in Oz to ask the big and important questions hich need to be answered...

...find out what the public thought of Rein’s fashion choices during her recent world tour with husband Kevin Rudd... What?!!!

Responses ranged from “just not stylish” to “very frumpy for a first lady” to, from Sydney hairdresser Joh Bailey,“[Her hair] definitely needs to be blowdried straight and smooth. It’s just not an appropriate look for the world stage.”

While Carla received nothing but praise, and Therese nothing but critisism, they do both find themselves in the same position. being valued on the bais of the way they look.
It is a sad reality that we find ourselves in. Forgive me for not knowing her name, but I saw woman on channel 7's Sunrise program appear as a guest panelist not long ago who had interviewed both Carla and Therese [at seperate times of course] and commented that both women were incredibly intelligent, warm and friendly people. Yet we are rarely told of any of this. Instead we find ourselves bombared with images and comments on their fashion choices rather than their thoughts and opinions and ability to communicate with people and do their husbands proud.
now I've heard of Man bags, but this is getting ridiculous. men should not carry handbags, because women have more to offer than that.
it's time we started to value women for more than face value. theres some incredible women out there, yet sadly we will never know so long as we continue to merely look and not engage.

Because honestly if we're going to talk about Therese Rein then lets not forget that This woman has founded and run a multimillion dollar business while raising three kids and supporting her husband to the highest office in the land.

But no, lets just keep talking about her clothes.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Journey has only just begun...

The Proverbs 31 woman...will she forever be the epitome of what every wife hopes to be? I read her story again about a week ago. I can't help but feel that if I keep her example close to the forefront of my thinking then it changes my attitude to nearly every aspect of my life.
I have one of the most patient husbands in existance, because I know that I've been a pain in the butt these last few months. It's funny the things you notice in retrospect, because at the time it was happening I don't think I ever wanted to ackowledge, let alone change it. My attitude sucked to be perfectly honest.
I wasn't getting work, and it made me feel like a housewife - cooking, cleaning and keeping up the house and I hated it! The feminist in me said that if I as a modern woman was doing that I was cheating myself. I felt unimportant and cranky because this wasn't the life I had envisioned when I married Tim. I think that it was almost an act of rebellion when I got slack around the house. It was almost as if I thought if I didn't actually do it then I wouldn't actually be a 'house wife'.
My wake-up call came when Timmy got home from work exhausted and then went over to the sink and started washing up. And he was still managing to do it cheerfully.
I looked at him with complete awe and it was in that moment that I saw myself, my attitude and my flaw...clearly.
Like everything I will ever face in this lifetime, it all fell back to my identity, the absolute core of who I am. I felt as though being a 'housewife' depleted my worth as a person, as though because I hadn't actually chosen it for myself it made me less.
What a horrible, hateful lie!!!
No I hadn't chosen this for myself yet, but for now this is where I'm at. Until I manage to get some more work this IS the life I have. Life doesn't stop, slow up and wait till it's everything we want it to be. It keeps plodding along, it keeps growing and changing and evolving and we have to work with what we've got while pushing it towards what we want it to be. There is a reason I am here right now, there are things God wants me to see, to learn and to change. My attitude is the big kicker. I need to take myself to a place where I can do the most mundane task cheerfully because of the song and the joy GOD has placed in my heart. If there is one thing I've learnt over the last few months, it's that on my own I'm not going to be able to get to a place where I can give myself that sort of joy.

13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.

14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.

15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched,
but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
Proverbs 15.

Throughout all of this, I was picking at Tim. My identity felt jeapordised by the way life was playing out and while I did not even notice my own attitude, I would notice the smallest things in Tim and I would point them out to him.
As I lay in bed one night, in the dark I felt the Holy Spirit whisper;
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in his eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
I was flawed, and I wept. I saw what a massive fool I had been and I felt utterly idiotic. I hate waking Tim up, but I woke him that night and I shared with him everything which had been churning about and I shared the deepest and most sincere apology of my life.
He carries such an integrity and strength. Not only had be refused to allow my crappy attitude to affect his, but he had been praying for me for months, knowing that I would probably only get defensive if he tried to show me my error and instead asking God to show it to me when I was ready. Yet with all of Tims strength, when I shared with him my lesson and my apology I watched the soft tears which made their way down his cheeks.
I love this man.

I'm working on my attitude, and I find myself being able to endure the housework and being the 'housewife' if only for my fella's; My God and my husband - my 2 favourite boys ;)

That said, yesterday, during one of my cleaning frenzies I rediscovered one of my favourite books, 'Fight like a girl' By Lisa Bevere. I opened it up randomly and my eyes fell on page 99 - 'The Call of Tenderness' As I read I realised the folly of how I had been knitpicking Tim and I caught a better look at the kind of wife I wanted to be. I want to share with you a snippet from the source my enlightenment;

"...I want you to imagine a beautiful maiden extending a sword in the gesture if knighting a young man who kneels before her. He goes down a man and arises a knight. What interchange has just taken place? Why does the man kneel before her?
The woman has transferred something intangible to the young man bowed before her. He kneels because she embodies the very reason and hope for his pledge. He vows to protect all she represents with the edge of his sword and the strength of his might. If war peril, or great need were to arise, he would count his life forfeit if it meant protecting hers...

...I love this image. It conveys the power of feminine virtue and beauty to stir a man to a higher purpose. It is the gentle awakening the strong by bestowing glory.
He does not fear the sword when it is in her hand. In her possession, it is no longer a weapon but an instrument of transformation. It is not presented to threaten, wound, or strike the man; it is extended to set him apart. He is no longer the same. As a knight, his life has been expanded and his name enlarged to encompass a title and eventually a legacy. He has been dubbed and elevated. This means both weight and honour have been added to his name. With the sword, she transfers power and confers something only she can give: a higher purpose and reason to live.
He does not experience the edge of the sword when it is in her hands.
He feels the swords full weight as the flat of it is transferred from shoulder to shoulder. With this solemn act, she grants him the neccessary authority and entitlement. He now shoulders the responsibility and honour of the one who bears the sword..."
- extract taken from 'Fight like a girl' By Lisa Bevere

I realised that Timmy had seen and felt the edge of the sword while it had been in my hands. I had wounded him rather than honoured him within our time together. I realised more than ever how desperately I wanted things to change and how much I needed things to change.

I had taken my inadequacies and pushed them onto Tim with statements like;
"I would be a better wife if he would just be a better leader."
"I would be a better wife if he would be more romantic."
"I would be a better wife if he would just listen to me more often."

Now, I want to turn these statements and attitudes around and replace them with;

"He would be a better husband if I would pray for him daily."
"He would be a better husband if I would speak highly of him to others."
"He would be a better husband if I would show more compassion to him."
"He would be a better husband if I would..."

I feel like I am at one of the most incredible turning points of my life. I can feel myself changing and I know that it's good. This has been one of the hardest posts I've ever had to write because I realise how it makes me look. But I don't care anymore, because it doesn't define me, I am a work in progress, I haven't done things perfectly from the beginning, I'm still learning how to be a wife and I will continue to learn how to do this right. I know I've got a lot more lessons to learn I'm just so glad that I'm learning this one.
I have an amazing man in Tim, He takes my breath away, his strength, his patience and his love absolutely floor me.
Thankyou God that he reached out and didn't give up on me.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Scavengers Return...

It's council pick-up week here in Coburg. Which means, it's that glorious time of year when poor-newlyweds can raid their neighbours 'junk' without appearing too odd or desperate. Timmy and I set off in his red ute Sheila, working our way up and down the northern streets of Coburg. This is where we grow to absolutely love the neighbours who can afford to buy a brand new couch and toss out a perfectly good last season one. We were absolutely flawed with our finds.
By the end of the day we had managed to snaffle and walk away with;
** A pair of matching arm chairs - as yet we've been unable to locate any sort of flaw, they were easily the score of the day

** A near new [still in it's original sealed plastic] double bed 'sleep eze' inner coil mattress. Which means that together with the entire bed frame we scored about a month ago we now have ourselves set up for a comfortable stay should anyone come stay at our little happy home.

** A 3 seater brown velvet lounge. I got a kick out of it reminding me of the couch in 'friends'

** A black leather recliner, which has become timmys new pride and joy during his XBox time.

and last but not least,

**A plastic clam shell pool for Jester. Apparantly melbourne is in a bit of a heat wave and a husky's favourite way for dealing with heat is to immerse their feet in water. We've set up the little pool under a tree in the backyard and Jesters been running in and out of it as he sees fit. His idea of heaven on earth is taking his bones into the pool and just laying there in the cool, wet chewing to his hearts content.

So all in all, it's a happy house. We returned from the hunt, stinky and sweaty from moving couches all over town, but we couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces and keep the giggles from escaping...a combination of dehydration and ridiculous luck will do that to a person ;)

Money's still tight, but yesterday we experienced a whole heap of fun on a shoestring, walked away with some cool stuff and all it cost us was the cost of the petrol to potter around for the afternoon.
Who said you can't have a saturdays worth of fun for less than 5 bucks these days?!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The New Site...

Okay, so we did it for the wedding and now we've done it again for the aftermath. Entitled Tim & Jess: Life After The Wedding. This site is dedicated to keeping in touch with rellies and family who we're so far away from, with the intention of helping us to stay in touch and keep people more up to date on life. Feel free to drop over and have a squiz by clicking HERE, leave us a message with whats going on in life. Timmy and I do actually read and respond, so it's sorta like an online community of sorts.
It's always nice to stay in touch.

Taking me in...

I love a song that draws me towards a place of true and sincere worship. From the very first 2 lines of "At the start, he was there...
In the end, he'll be there..." it gets me so bad...

David Crowder Band have such an amazing heart for worship and their song "The Glory of It All" has quickly become one of my very new favourites.

At the startHe was there, He was there
In the end,He'll be there, He'll be there
And after all our hands have wrought
He forgives

Oh the Glory of it all is:
He came here
For the rescue of us all
That we may live
For the glory of it all
For the glory of it all

All is lost
Find Him there. Find Him there.
After night,
Dawn is there. Dawn is there.
After all falls apart
He repairs. He repairs.

Oh the Glory of it all is:
He came here
For the rescue of us all
That we may live
For the glory of it all Oh He is here
For redemption from the fall
That we may live
For the glory of it all
Oh the glory of it all
The glory of it all
Oh the glory of it all

After night
Comes the light
Dawn is here Dawn is here

It's a new day
It's a new day
Everything will change
Things will never be the same
We will never be the same
We will never be the same
We will never be the same
We will never be the same

Monday, February 11, 2008

The [marriage] Learning Curve

Marriage really is such an interesting thing. It's so different from anything I have ever done before in my life. Call me naive, but I really didn't think it would be a whole heap different from my days of flatmates during uni, only a million times better because it was me sharing a place with the man I love.

It's a whoooooole heap different, and I find myself not really being able to explain why. Would it be suffice to say, "It Just is..." ?!!

Things have been tight around our place for the last few weeks. I'm still doing the casual teaching thing, as I never even received an interview for any of the jobs I applied for. It's a tricky business, believing that God has it all under control, that the job for me is out there I've just gotta keep applying and trusting. It's hard not to take it personally when I'm completely given the miss. I don't know how many times I've been told that there is a teacher shortage here in Melbourne. Every job I've applied for, when I've done the follow-up phonecall in an attempt to represent just how keen I am, I've been told that there are over a hundred applicants for each one of them. Now I'm no math buff, but to me that doesn't indicate any sort of shortage.

Seeing as school has only just gone back, the casual thing really hasn't supplied any work. I'm staying confident that the teacher absenses will be begin to steadily rise from here on in. But until then, it means that we're surviving on Timmy's wage alone. And it's tough.

It's been a pretty rough wake-up, a sort of baptism of fire. Life as a married, responsible couple in the city is a far cry from the country, Uni students with cheap accomodation and very little responsibility.

I guess it all has taken it's toll, we're more stressed than I think we've ever seen each other. Someone once told me that the highest rating reason for couples getting a divorce was due to finances. While Tim and I are nowhere near contemplating divorce, we CAN understand why finances would be a trigger. It's stressful when you're counting the pennies, trying to stretch it as far as it will go. Its almost suffocating.

I'm not typing this here to try and build sympathy, nor to make us out to be some sort of charity case. I guess the reason I'm sharing this is because it is an exhausting task to always respond to the question "So...hows married life?" with the overused "Great! Yeah, everythings fantastic!"

Because the truth is, everything ISN'T always fantastic. Tim and I fight and argue over, often the most stupid and trivial things that it seems ridiculous. Does that mean that we love each other any less than the day we made it all official with the pretty dress and the big cake and party? No, if anything we love each other a little bit more with ever fight. Because we're invested in each others lives. We care so deeply about each other that the energy is still there to fight for one another.
We argue because we're still learning. Gosh, we're learning so much! Yeah I was naive to think it would ever be anything like living with a flatmate - Timmy is a million times more important to me than any flatmate I have ever flatted with.
Everyday that we spend together holds the potential for learning, for growing, for human error and for understanding. our feeble little human minds miscomprehend, misinterpret and just plain miss so much! But we're getting there!!

I have never doubted that what Tim and I have is the real deal. I have never doubted that we have what it takes to love each other forever.

We're still learning what it is we need and we want of each other. Those desires and needs are a constantly evolving aspect of who we are. So it requires us to be constantly investing and listening and reaching out to one another. Perfection is a concept which is so foreign, but Love is something I'm reminded of everyday.
I love being Tims wife. I love him so much. I'm glad that I'm sharing this journey with him. We're in one of those tougher phases of life, but we know that Gods walking with us through it. We know that he's already gone up ahead and he's guiding us towards the good stuff. We're going to be better together, when we 'get' each other better, when we know the finer details better, when we're atuned and more parallel with not only each other, but with God also.

We are a work in process! But perhaps the greatest thing is that We're learning to find the joys in the little things. Those reminders that we're not forgotten, we're being looked after and watched over. Today, Timmy and I realised that his overtime at work had meant that we really hadn't spent a whole lot of one-on-one time together. So as we were watching telly in bed we suddenly decided to get up, grap Jesters leash and go for a wander around the block. it was so glorious, so needed. It was on sunset and the glow of the streets just felt gorgeous, we wandered and talked, laughed at Jester being his goofy normal self. The walk was blessing in itself, but as we came to the end of a street, there were the pieces of an iron double bed, resting against a fence with a sign telling us that it was free to anyone who wanted it. We had been wanting to get a double bed for our spare room, but couldn't afford it, so put it on our wish list.
We spent the next couple of minutes discussing what we would do about the missing slats...could we make our own? When Tim noticed another sign on it saying that all we needed to do was enquire in the house to grab the slats.

It was utterly amazing! Everything was there, all the pieces of the frame, the bolts and the slats - beautiful condition, all thats left is to get a double mattress.

We were utterly in awe. The only thing we could say was a massive thankyou to the big dude, for leaving us speechless by his incredible level of love and care for the mundane things in our lives, and reminding us that he's watching out for us...finances will never phase us so long as we keep trusting and loving him.
Life will always work out. So long as we keep working life out with God!

You know what?yeah we're Counting every penny right now, but it's not going to get us down...Life really is great!

True Happiness is all about perspective! :)