Heart Reflections Live

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Problems with having a Bertram in the Bathtub


Here is a funny true-life tale from the Roberts family to show you what just might happen when someone tells your children things that aren't exactly true...

Our children have always had a bath at Grandmother & Poppy's place on Sunday evenings, before we take them home. I can't quite remember how it started, but for some reason or another, but with the best of intentions, I expect, my Mum at some point, decided to explain the gurgling noise you get when you pull the plug out of the bath like this: Bertram the frog lives down there. You can't see him, but you can hear him when you pull the plug. Hence, Bertram was born!

Initially, I felt a little uncomfortable with this. After all, our girls don't believe Santa puts the presents under the Christmas tree, or that the Easter Bunny delivers the Easter eggs- get my drift? It was kinda like "lying"- but wait ...this is my Mum, right? So she's not really lying... She's telling them a fantasy!! I reasoned... Totally harmless...

So the Sunday baths came & went for many a moon & the girls believed that Bertram lived under the plug hole. We moved to a tiny house for 12 months, where we didn't have a bathtub- just a shower-so they really looked forward to their Sunday bath. One day, I was bathing them at Mum & Dad's & they were having such a good time that they stubbornly refused to get out. Now I know I should have smacked them, but in a moment of weakness, looking for a peaceful solution (always a cheap substitution for true obedience), I said, "Who wants to pull the plug & listen to Bertram?" They eagerly pulled the plug, looked down the hole wide-eyed & promptly hopped out of the bath. Hey, I thought, in a pinch this Bertram thing really works! It can't really
hurt, can it?

Anyway, time passed & God blessed us with our current spacious home, with a bathtub-wonderful. Bertram wasn't mentioned because as we are on tank water & as our girls, being girls, don't get too dirty, I was saving the bath water to top up for myself later on. Anyway, one night, as the girls were happily playing in the bath, Zara who had been playing with a toy boat down the plug end, accidently submerged it & the top of it caught on the plug handle: SLURP!!! Zara screamed & shook like a leaf with fear- Bertram was out to get her!!! The poor little mite was genuinely terrified of this imaginary frog that lived under Grandmother's Bathtub- He had suddenly moved to our house and wanted to EAT her!

She kept saying she was "scared of Bertram". So I had to explain my Mum's harmless (?) explanation to my husband. He firmly told them that Bertram wasn't real & the scientific explanation for the noise. Zara skipped one bath night, & was OK from then on, though I left it a while before I pulled the plug in front of her. She's fine now.

I explained to Mum that weekend, why Bertram was no longer & her amazed reaction was "Whoever would have thought that would happen!"

So the moral of this funny little story is: Don't tell your children cute things that aren't true- you never Know what may happen. And that my friends is true!
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:49 pm 3 comments

Monday, January 29, 2007

Feeling Very Domesticated


Now that the new school year has begun, my days are becoming much more structured again. I'm back into making new cleaning routines & working out what "projects" I can work on, now that one of my 2 children is in school again.Catching up on puting photos in order & in albums is high priority at the moment. (I'm way behind- I'm currently up to the birth of my 3 year old!). Mending time is also something that needs to be schedualed. Some of our children's soft toys are in need of some TLC & while my husband appreciates a holy atmosphere in the home, holey socks are another story!!!

We've been in our new home since last November, and so I'm keen to get the last of our pictures framed & hung & the last of our junk boxes sorted & stored properly. We all love our new roomy house & I'm very keen to make this one a real home- we're in no hurry to move again! Our gardens have been neglected 10 years we've found out. My husband is a keen gardener & has been doing a lot of preliminary work like digging up noxious weeds. We have lovely tiered garden beds, that have a lot of potential- I can't wait to see them full of flowers.( I find myself longing for the same kinds of flowers my Grandparents had- eg. hydrangers- Is this a sign of getting older, or just the nostalgia that comes from living in a house built during the era of my childhood??)

My main purpose in becoming more schedualed, is to maximize time with Talitha, once she is home from school. Christian schools start earlier & finish slightly later than State schools & since we have a 25 minute drive home, this is important to me.

For example, if we are having a simple meal of meat & vegetables for dinner, if I peel the veges in the morning after cleaning up after breakfast, then that's more time for reading stories & cuddling in the afternoon- one of our favourite pastimes. So that's the type of thing I'm trying to achieve. It is my hope to become so organized, that the house is clean & tidy most of the time, so that I'm free to extend hospitality, when required & my family is happy and content. That's my goal-I'm still on the journey!!

Being a Stay At Home Mum is no bludge, that's for sure!! The Bible calls my occupation a "keeper at Home"-and it's a full-time job!!!I believe it takes more education, intelligence & skill than any paid employment- the more you have, the more you can impart into your family & the more they can impact the world. So right now, I'm feeling very domesticated & am a very happy housewife!!
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:06 pm 2 comments

Friday, January 26, 2007

Australia- Southland of the Holy Spirit



Today, the 26th of January, is Australia Day. Happy Australia Day to my Aussie readers!!

I have on my lap our much loved copy of Col Stringer's "Discovering Australia's Christian Heritage". Are any of you familiar with it? I have a great passion in my heart for Australia to return to her Christian roots & heritage & reclaim the truths that have been buried under the carpet in school curriculums. This book was a real eye-opener for me. I had always been proud of my heritage- I'm 2nd generation Australian through my Dad's Dad, who emigrated from England in his younger days, who was a direct descendant of John Bunyan ( Pilgrim's Progress) & his mother's family emigrated from Germany in the 1880's & established communities & built churches in the Woombye/Palmwoods region. My mother's side of the family emigrated from Prussia/Germany around the same time & were founding members of some of the early Lutheran Churches on the Darling Downs in Queensland. But I never realized that Australia's Christian Heritage was present in the beginnings of this nation-at school all we were taught was that we were just a bunch of convicts!! If that's what you were taught, then you must secure a copy of this book. We will be teaching our children from it.

It is sad that in Australia, more children know that George Washington was the 1st President of the USA, than know that Henry Parkes was our Father of Federation, Edmund Barton was our 1st Prime Minister & Alfred Deakin our 2nd. Just as tragic, in my opinion is that more children know who Ronald Macdonald is & that they can get free toys with their happy meal, than who the Lord Jesus Christ is & how he has provided for their eternal salvation.

Did you know our national anthem actually has 3 verses? They sing all 3 at our daughter's Christian school. Here is the 3rd verse for those who may have never heard it:

"With Christ our Head and Corner Stone we'll build our nation's might,
Whose way & truth & light alone, can guide our paths aright;
Our lives a sacrifice of love, Reflect our Master's care,
With faces turned to heaven above Advance Australia Fair
In joyful strains then let us sing Advance Australia Fair.

It is my prayer for God to revive our nation-multicultural or not- this year. It is a blessing that both our Prime Minister & our new opposition leader are professing Christians. I pray that the church would reach out with true unity in love to the lost; that the Holy Bible would be upheld as the nation's standard & that the Church would return to preaching the gospel boldly & to piety & Godliness befitting the name "Southland of the Holy Spirit".
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 12:26 pm 1 comments

Monday, January 22, 2007

Calling All Lurkers!!!

Calling all lurkers! From all corners of the globe! I know you're out there because my cluster map tells me so. So why don't I hear from any of you??

If you've never commented, I'd love it if you'd come out of the woodwork, say Hi!, where you are from & how you found my blog. I'd love to put some names to the many dots on the map.

So now it's your turn...
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 10:14 pm 2 comments

Home is a Nation's Foundation & its Best Defence


I love to learn from history, & the real-life people who made it. One of the great husband & wife teams of the 20th Century , I believe was that of King George VI & his Consort Elizabeth (our late Queen Mother).

World War 2 was a time of great turmoil.George VI (Bertie) was a shy & retiring man who never expected to be King, but with the support & love of his helpmeet Elizabeth, his courage soared & he rose to greatness. I love to read the many speeches & Quotes that fell from their lips during the war. They recognized that each home made up the foundation of the nation & if the families were strong, the nation would be unified. Elizabeth came from a Christian home where family worship was central & love & enjoyment flowed freely. She sought to have this same atmosphere in her married life, long before they suspected they would ever be ruling the country.

Here are some later quotes from the time of their Silver Wedding Anniversary:

The King spoke of his heavy burden, at times "almost too heavy but for the strength & comfort which I have always found in my home." The Queen also emphasized the values of marriage, home & family. She said,"There must be many who feel as we do that the sanctities of married life are in some way the highest form of human fellowship, affording a rock- like foundation in which all the best of the life in the nation is built. Looking back over the last 25 years & to my own happy childhood I realise more & more the wonderful sense of security & happiness which comes from a loved home."

How I wish our world leaders would speak like this to the nations today!
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 9:11 pm 0 comments

Friday, January 19, 2007

God's Providence Never Takes a Holiday!!


Well, we are all unpacked and settled back in after a wonderfully refreshing & well deserved break!!

The children had a lovely time with their grandparents & though we missed them "something shocking", we had a lovely time ourselves enjoying the romance & atmosphere of a 100 year old
Bed & Breakfast Maleny Lodge, & slept peacefully as the rain on the tin roof lulled us off to sleep...There is nothing like a rainy day up in the hills...
But while we were busy relaxing, reading aloud, walking the local streets, God was busy, as He always is, setting up providential meetings & circumstances for us, while we holidayed.


After settling in, we thought we'd take a stroll down the street, grab some lunch & rediscover the local 2nd hand shopping, which is great in Maleny. We were browsing in an op-shop when I over heard a lady speaking of some Christian charity work she was involved in overseas & her orphanage work. I waited while she finished, & then felt led of the Lord to ask about it, as the 2 countries she mentioned, my husband has a great heart for, & has many contacts there. I mentioned how he had set up a charity for the poor in Malaysia, & how he wished to expand into these other countries as well. Hubby came down the stairs & I left them to talk, he gave her a card & she will catch up with us, before her next trip. The meeting will most likely benefit both parties & I scored a lovely long black skirt as well!

After having a quick lunch at a little cafe, we went back up the street to check out a great 2nd hand bookshop, where I'd gotten a couple of great buys in the past. While it's often tempting for me to want to bring home half the shop, I got 2 bargains to share with the children ( I love the children's section!!)- a reproduction Victorian Poetry book for kids-Talitha LOVES the pictures! & God saw fit to bless me with a holiday annual of Jack & Jill 1979! I'd been searching for them for years. They were my favourite comic book as a child- very sweet & innocent-an English publication- the girls love it too- God is so good! Does anyone else in blogland remember "Jack & Jill" from the 1970's?


Back at the B & B we got chatting to an older couple who had checked in for the night. They attended a Westminster Presbyterian Church too! Two of their adult children are in full-time ministry & they took a card to pass on to one of them, who'd been to Malaysia too.

We spent so long chatting to & fellowshipping with this lovely couple, that we lost track of the time, & forgot that a lot of eateries in & around Maleny either close early, or aren't open at all on Monday nights. So we decided to drive to Montville & came upon God's next providential meeting.


Just to recap a bit, we have some dear friends from central Queensland, who we visited last year during the September school holidays. We initially met them through our church & they come back to the Coast 2 or 3 times a year to catch up with family & friends. We'd had a laugh after Church the previous Sunday over the amazing coincidence that both of our families had decided to use gift vouchers that we'd had for ages, on the same 2 nights, away from the kids- we in Maleny & them in Montville & had already arranged to meet somewhere for coffee one afternoon to catch up. Anyway, we drove to Montville, found that the Pennyfarthings English Pub was still open for meals-just-so we thought we'd pop in there. Our friends emerged from behind a partition-"Surprise! Whatever made you decide to come here?" Our response-"They were the only place open!!". So we got some extra catch-up time with them, while we had our meal & enjoyed afternoon tea with them as well as Maleny Cheese, the next day. God has an amazing sense of humour!!



The next day was wet & rainy, but deliously cosy in the lodge, so we didn't really miss our stroll down town-besides I could hardly move after the delicious 5 course breakfast! We drove out to the coast that night for a movie-"The Pursuit of Happyness"- excellent movie- really highlights the plight of the poor-it really made us want to hug our girls too!! Then we grabbed some Chinese that we ate back at the B& B.

After a good nights sleep & a relaxing morning we couldn't wait to hug our girls & get them back from their holiday with my Mum & Dad. We had a wonderful break & have decided to try to do it more often than once every 5 years!!
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 6:58 am 1 comments

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Back in a Few Days...


I'll be taking a blogging break for a few days, while my husband & I enjoy some time away at a lovely little B & B in the hills, owned by some friends of ours, who my husband married last year. We're looking forward to it. It will be quiet, romantic & refreshing-with an olden times appeal which we both love. It is situated in the same region where we would sightsee while courting, became engaged & yes! got married too. Many happy memories will be rekindled...

Hopefully we'll be able to post some photos when we get back. Anyway, must go pack before I go to bed.

Stay tuned! I'll be back soon!!
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 10:33 pm 1 comments

Friday, January 12, 2007

Delighting in the Lord


I mentioned the other day how much I love poetry-especially inspirational poetry. Here's one I wrote on the 25th April, 1991. (If you've never read through my archives before, I posted another original one to honour my father under the heading "For My Dad".)

I love you Lord Jesus, You're precious to me
The desires of my soul, all my longings you see
In you, Oh Lord, I have placed my trust
Take my life's dreams they are nothing but dust

To you, Oh Lord, I have given my life
You guard my steps & keep me from strife
Thank you Lord for the talents with which I've been blessed
I will use them- not hide them, for I know you know best

You always astound me with your love & your grace
In turn I must try to seek your face
Growing strong daily in knowledge of you
I stand in awe... as my dreams come true

What am I Lord that you should grant my desire?
A mighty warrior- with heart a fire?
Or just a child, who delights in you
You... who are Holy, and Faithful and True.

Psalm 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the Lord;and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
When you feel you are in God's Waiting Room & your dreams seem to be put on hold, lay them at His feet and let Him become your all in all.
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 7:32 am 1 comments

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Courage


I've loved poetry since I was a little girl. This is one of my favourite poems. I found it quoted in a novel I read years ago & memorized it. I hope it inspires you too:

Courage

One who never turned his back
But marched breast forward
Never doubted clouds would break
Never dreamed
Though right were worsted
Wrong would triumph
Held we fall to rise
Are baffled to fight better
Sleep to wake.

by Robert Browning
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 7:22 am 0 comments

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Important Thing is Being There


In perusing the latest edition of Above Rubies magazine, I was greatly impressed by 2 sentences from the Australia & New Zealand report: "Remember, the children in your homes will one day be the fathers & mothers in the nation. Each child who lives in a home where there's a mother, lives in a very priveledged place at this time in history."

This blew me away! We are a dying breed!- though I'm hoping to do my part to change this by my blog. Just think, so many Mum's & Dad's both work these days, that our children are priveledged just to have us there!!

Let me encourage you Mums, if you're having a "bad" day & yes we all have them. You are doing the first right thing, just by "being there". There may be toys all over the floor, the dishes not done, but you may be puting that aside because the children need admonishing, discipline or just Mummy time. If they are squabbling you are right there to pray for wisdom & deal with it in the right way. You might have a really bad day where you "lose it" & yell at them- we've all done it... Just turn your bad example into a good example & display humility by asking their forgiveness ( of course never excuse their naughtiness that pushed you in the first place.)

Whether you home school or school away from home, nothing is more important than having Mother there. If anything, if you have children at school, the older they get, the more they need you there, to discuss the temptations & challenges of the day. My decision to stay home for my children's sake, doesn't rest on financial security- it's a sacrifice in some ways to try to live frugally as my Grandparents did & I'm still learning- but it's FUN- and our children are so worth it. I can't afford NOT to stay home.
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 7:04 am 1 comments

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dalmations ???


Tired Talitha relaxed on the lounge one night recently not long before bedtime, waved a small book in the air & said, "I found it Mummy. I'm going to have dalmations now."

Hubby & I looked at each other & at the Book- Dalmations ??? . She meant devotions!!! What a relief!!!
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 8:55 pm 1 comments

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Summer Holiday Reading


How lovely it is to have extra time with family over the holidays, to enjoy the beauty of the written word.

My husband has started reading "George Whitfield"by Arnold Dallimore- an old favourite of mine.

I'm currently rediscovering the beauties of "Uncle Tom's Cabin"-by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The characters come alive & I particularly love classic novels that extol the virtues of Christian life in another time. I miss the classics & may reread "Pilgrims Progress" & "Little Women" again next. I've also been lent a copy of The Westminster Confession of Faith which I'm also perusing.

My husband & I have long been "friends" with "Anne of Green Gables" & have decided it's time to introduce her to our daughters, so we've begun reading aloud the first Anne book & will continue with the series, depending on how we go.

I would encourage every parent to spend time reading aloud to your children. It's so much more beneficial than TV time. (TV watching involves passive imagination- listening to stories without much visual imagery involves active imagination as the child employs brain power to comprehend the words & put them into picture form in their minds themselves.)

I would also encourage parents to read GOOD books to their children. A lot of stuff on the market today is just chewing gum for the mind & a lot of the illustrations in modern books are gross. Do a google search on 100 or 1000 great books or check out www.triviumpursuit.com for some great ideas to get you started. Great books are often found gathering dust in op-shops & 2nd hand bookshops. Disney stuff can be fun once in a while but really they are not very well written. Good books will help enlarge your child's vocabulary & comprehension.

Have I got you excited? What are you & yours reading at the moment?
posted by Father's Grace Ministries at 10:34 pm 1 comments