Dearer By The Dozen

on Monday, December 22, 2008

Wrappin Up 2008

Ashley has been very arty this year. She's made a mini movie of sorts for our newsletter. It runs for a whopping 13 mins 45 secs so hunker down with a coffee and some naughty food. Chocked with action ... there's a few skillful bike stunts .... romance .... well the fruit of it anyway ... and plenty of feelgood scenes. It's more Helen Spicer Rice than Steven Speilburg but you will go away with a few gossipy .. err .. tid bits about our family that I didn't even know. And if anyone falls asleep, please take a photo and send it to us .... we are starting a collection of people sleeping usually with their mouths open. You will find this film at The post called "Dearer By The Dozen". You will find a link to Rowenas site there too and even Naomi who started one today.These sites are very embriotic BUT they will grow up. Be sure to leave a comment.

Some more SHORT random news: Kyler appears to now be robust and active just in time to rip into the Christmas blings. He has had a pretty rough start being airlifted to Randwick Childrens Hospital at three months old and now being the last to recover from Whooping Cough which has eroded it's way through our family since July. Very scary; but talk about perspective. So this year, we celebrate people, relationships and LIFE.

Mark is finishing off a big job and we are amazingly impressed. This has to be my favorite house he has built [ apart from my own] Lots of light open spaces and very modern. His two apprentices have definately become more effecient at what they do, having both grown a few more muscles in the right places. They have helped somewhat in building the mother of all play parks right in our own very back yard which boasts a rock climbing wall, flying fox, and mission central with a whole lot of other doh dahs coming off it. So when you come over, bring a helmet. He has "finished" Ashley off on her "P"'s and is one twelfth the way through teaching Rowena.

Our big girls have been doing some work experience, Rowena at Rhema FM and Ash will be at the Early Child Hood Centre this year. The three little men are randomly cruising through life and may or may not appreciate a little more structure next year. And Naomi has become mums right hand this year while her big sisters are busy studying and submitting work. She has put her hand to things like baking bread, cleaning the bathroom, making cakes, and even changing iky nappies. Zac and Gabrielle have become very interdependant and both love to do anything which involves glue, scissors or sticky tape.

This year, we have all to different degrees, come to the end of ourselves. Yet amazingly, we are all more relaxed, more forgiving and definately not as judgmental to each other. We are even still getting better at being able to call out the greatness in those who are made in His image ..... ahh ... that would be all of us :) To paraphrase "The Shack", we enjoy each other with expectancy not expectation and wallow in responce instead of placing huge responsibility. Sometimes, His purposes are in the journey and not in the outcome. So "carpe diem" .... seize the day, all of them, and "be glad in it".

Unwrap Him

on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The truck window was open wide to bring relief from the sauna our vehicle had become and the scent of the country filled the cabin. Christmas was going to be dry and hot. Recollections of snowmen and snug fires that fill the media over this season caused me to chuckle at the enormity of this paradox. Driving in eastern Australia, it wasn’t frost that filled my senses but the aroma of eucalyptus leaves dissipating in the heat. A chorus of cicadas screamed above the music which pumped through the speakers. Winding forward along the crumbling road, my face numbed and my hair stung my neck as it whipped and flung around me uncontrollably from the wind. This wind on my face was almost an overload of stimulation.

But not as much stimulation as was manifesting at our place. There was only thirteen more sleeps and the mountain of gifts below our nativity scene would be reduced to a pile of confetti. Our calendar for our family of one dozen, was filling out beyond the realms of achievability and was more overstuffed than an overdue mother. Each day enlarged my childrens expectancy for the ‘main event’, Christmas Day, but also increasing was my resolve to keep their hearts loaded with eternal perspective. But for now, I didn’t need to fatigue my mind with the choreography of this year’s celebratory climax. This long drive meant I could bring my mind back from the planning of the next few weeks and live in the moment.

This living in the now let all my attention return to focus on the scenery which was rushing past. I had seen this route many times before but every time it seemed to offer a different perspective. This intrigue caused my eyes to not casually, but almost desperately soak in all this lands stories. The history of life in every old farm house; the wonder and depth made by the shadows as the sun slid behind the mountains; the seamless knitting of the undulating slopes meeting the winding river which we repeatedly crossed. Bursting with an overwhelmingly satisfaction, I was thankful that God had put me in such a breathtaking place, that He had given me the eyes to see His land for the exquisiteness, the life it held.

Breathing deeply, I soaked in this life; His life. It appeared to me that God gave my present early. Such a generous gift wrapped in such a huge package, too big to join the growing mound in our living room yet I was totally absorbed in it and totally full of awe for its creator. His gift? He let me enjoy Him. To feel the substance of Him. To soak in His pleasure of me. To see His reflection of His heart in all that He made and continually lives and breathes through. His reason? Intimacy. His very purpose for creating us.

So resolute to woo us, He even purposed an insurance package of grace a fistful of Christmases ago. A gift that didn’t need wrapping, that won’t break, be outgrown or clutter the house, and one that doesn’t require the social seasonal protocol of parties, cards, feasts, holidays or bling. So pure and simplistic yet so full of substance that our lives depend on us unwrapping and embracing His gift’s essence. Astounding. He did everything so all we need to do is unwrap Him?
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