Saturday, December 11, 2010

Inspirations and sinus heads

Last night I went dancing and it was so much fun. Good music, good company, good friends, good food. A real treat after a challenging week and it was the birthday celebration for two friends also which made it even nicer. Today I have had a heavy head due to a mild sinus infection with  my neck glands swollen and generally feeling unwell.  So all my busy plans got put on hold and I had an enforced day of rest.  Stuart looked after Matthew and he was a delightful wee boy and even had a good long sleep which was a blessing.

In my blob time I had a long nap which was wonderful, watched a programme on Mother Teresa, and heard a quote from Pope John Paul  at a beatification where he said, " In the end human holiness always comes down to love."  I also watched Thomas Dubay who quoted C.S. Lewis; "The opposite of a rule [in a family or community] is not freedom, but the albeit often unconscious tyranny of its most selfish member"  Powerful words that got me reflecting on the importance of rules in family and also on the tyranny that teenagers and toddlers try to inflict on everyone around them.  I got to thinking that tyranny can only exist where community rules are not valued or respected. Community and how to live together without ultimately destroying each other...even in families... requires love, respect, discipline, humility and a system that everyone is willing to embrace...without it there is ultimately anarchy.  Because so much of our western society has bought into the lie that freedom is license to do what you feel like, thats exactly what we have in so many situations...anarchy. Its described as the absence of any guiding or uniting principle.  Good fair rules provide the unifying principles our society is struggling to find amidst our relativist and individualist fascinations.

Anyway enough philosophizing. I also blog browsed a bit today and came across this inspiring little blog about a woman turning 38 and choosing to do 38 Random acts of kindness in a day to celebrate and documenting it on her blog.  It is worth a read and got me thinking.  I am in my 50's and there are 52 weeks in a year.  So one a week with a couple extra's in birthday or anniversary weeks and I could manage to keep R.A K.s as a focus for the year ahead.  I am normally dysfunctional when it comes to New Years resolutions and to give myself a head start I thought I would begin this coming week; 3rd week of Advent. R.A.K's are another way of intentional loving which as the Pope says is good for the soul.

Years ago I made a fixed resolution that every year I would try at least one new thing so that every year I was growing as a person.  It didn't need to be deep or challenging, just a new experience so it was neutral on the love issue.  I have pretty much kept to that resolution every year so maybe its time to incorporate a new 'love' project into it.  I will ponder it a bit before leaping in, but certainly food for thought and it would meet my next years 'new thing' nicely. ;-).  Will keep you posted but something deep inside says they don't count if I tell everyone else I did them so you may never know lol. If you take up the idea let me know in the comments.  Could be fun to share ideas. Today I made two 'how are you?' phone calls that I had been putting off.

Matthews new thing is to hold up his wee chubby hand and say 'hand' in a peremptory manner that brooks no debate.  Once he has your hand in his he walks you to where he wants you to play or do something for him. Today it was playing ball and the sandpit.  He has also learnt 'up' and 'down' and is using them for all sorts of situations to check they work.  Great fun to watch and hear and share his progress. Oh and I learnt how to put html on this page so I have posted a new inspirational calendar.

The smallest things can look marvellous up close.  This is my picture of a simple geranium about to burst into bloom. Hope in every bud

.Shalom and Kindness to all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset...Happiness and tears

I can hardly believe its been a month since I last wrote.  The Pike River Mine tragedy with the loss of 29 men has shocked the country and swept through our hearts filling us with compassion, sorrow, hope, pain, loss, and the terrible finality of death.

In this last month there has also been the brutal attack on Christians in the Cathedral in Baghdad with the loss of 57 lives and many more injured and the most recent horrible savage slaying of the elderly Christian couple in their Baghdad home last Sunday simply because they were Christian.

Advent has arrived again also, where we travel the journey of remembrance into the mystery of what it means to be human and filled with desire and need and to place that into the context of the wonder of the birth of Christ, the gift of Salvation and the promise of eternity lived in the presence of the all loving all holy God. Tragedy and hope juxtaposed graphically in time and written large anew in our day when we struggle with suffering, death and the ultimate meaning of life.

In the midst of all these issues, day to day normality ticks along, Matthew grows and talks more everyday, colds and headaches come and go, I have been to Wellington to visit special friends and spend some time with three children I especially treasure, the end of the year is drawing close and farewells and windups fill up the calendar while plans for Christmas must be made. A friend had her eldest daughter get engaged, a first for their family, and so on it goes; "sunrise, sunset...swiftly flow the years, one season following another, laden with happiness and tears."

I understand less and less as I grow older and am willing to simply contemplate life more and let it simply be, unfolding as it does like a rose, rather than needing to analyse and make sense of it or pick it apart and dissect it.  I think this is a blessing and not just a cop out, at least I hope this is so.  I have been deeply impacted by the tragedies in Baghdad because I count family members here as my friends and their lives are understandably shattered by such deep brutal trauma. "Why" is a question many people ask but I admit this is not my question.  The reality of evil is something I have learned to accept as part of life.  My question is "Where are you Lord?"  I have been living and praying deeply with this question through these tragedies and today I heard myself say to someone, "When the light is particularly intense and you look into it all you see is darkness. I think God is like that in tragedy, he is so close to us that we cannot see even the light and we must hold fast to the truth of his love even when we do not and cannot feel it." St Paul said "nothing can separate us  from the love of God in Christ Jesus" and this is the faith that the Christians of Baghdad are living and dying for, and this is the faith I stand firm on when all about me is darkness.  If I cannot see, I must hold fast to what I know. Truth, love and freedom are gifts of God that make us most fully human and along with faith these will always triumph over evil and are worth living and dying for.

Last night I attended a memorial Mass in the Chaldean Rite for the slain elderly couple, for their family and friends.  It was profoundly moving not just because of the depth of the tragedy and the suffering they are enduring but because of th depth of faith and forgiveness this family and the whole community expressed in incredibly beautiful ancient yet ever new prayer. These prayers come from the land of Abraham, the friend of God and that fact also was deeply moving. I was searching for God and there in the hearts filled with faith and trust in the midst of blinding pain and almost unspeakable suffering and tragedy, in the hearts that sought to love and forgive in the face of brutal hatred, I was reminded anew of the power of love to overcome all evil.  The victory of the cross is not just that Jesus suffered and experienced what we experience as human beings.  It is not a mere identification with our struggles wonderful as that is.  It is a victory of love for love and in love that unleashed the greatest power of the universe into the lives of all mankind for eternity and will never be overcome. The Resurrection guarantees that and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit affirms it everyday. The church for better or worse is the guardian and bearer of that truth for each successive generation and when one is forced to walk perilously close to the gates of hell, it is wonderful to know that the church and the power of Gods love walk with us.

May all who have died rest in peace as they are welcomed into heaven by Gods holy angels and may the family and friends of all who have died experience comfort, compassion and love and be surrounded by those who care and accept them as they are while they mourn and heal through such terrible suffering, and may those who have perpetrated evil and hateful brutality come to know the love and truth of Jesus Christ. To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen

Friday, November 5, 2010

Splashes of delight

Tonight its Guy Fawkes.  What is it about sending up large amounts of money in smoke that is so appealing?
Actually I have to confess I have a soft spot for the random momentary beauty and delight of a star burst of colour exploding against a darkened sky.  I don't like the noise though and it always bothers me about the poor animals. 

Heard an appalling cruelty case on the radio today about a blackbird found dead with multiple exploded fireworks taped to its poor body.  What horrendous cruelty and what are we breeding in society if people cannot feel empathy for animals?  Studies have linked animal cruelty with a lack of empathy and violence toward persons in adult life.

Having said that the beauty and randomness of exploding sky fireworks (when protected from the noise of them) reminds me of the way joy bursts in on life.  It is often caused by a quick flash of delight, there for an instant then no longer visible but deep inside our minds and hearts we can treasure it and multiple moments form inner streams of joy.  So a splash of momentary delight can become sustaining food for the journey when we harvest it and let ourselves recall the delight it bought.

Today my splash of delight was listening to Matthew laugh.  There is perhaps no more beautiful sound than that of a young child laughing. He was playing hide and seek in the curtain and the expectation of being found and tickled was overwhelmingly funny and delightful for him.  A little childs laughter is spontaneous and unfeigned born of pure delight and it has a particular quality of sound I can only describe as joy.  I am sure it is one of the most pure sounds in the universe and I am convinced that heaven will have an abundance of it because if it brings such delight and joy to us, imagine what joy it brings to the Fathers heart. in fact Jesus promised laughter in heaven when he said; "Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh." (Lk 6:21) 

Perhaps those who perpetrate cruelty have never had the chance to laugh because laughter comes from security, safety, acceptance, trust and happiness. A life filled with lots of laughter born of being loved, accepted and delighted in is a life that will have the capacity for love, respect, empathy and delight in others. So today amidst tiredness and a grotty blind pimple on my face, (you'd think I'd have grown out of them by now!) I have rejoiced in a splash of delight and been the better for it. 

I feel good about frittering away time on play and failing to get all the sensible things like the dishes and the vacuuming, the beds changed and the ironing done, because I know I have stored away special laughter splashes of delight in the heart of a little boy and for that I praise God and am grateful and my own heart has been blessed.  Happy Guy Fawkes and many delight splashes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wonderful Waiheke Weekend

Well the wanderers have returned after a simply magical weekend away on Waiheke (flowing waters).  It was our 33rd wedding anniversary and a treat from Stuarts work for 40 years service.  Hard to beleive where the years all went.
We stayed at the Te Whau lodge which is toward the back of the Island and very quiet with extraordianry views of both Waiheke and Auckland city in the distance.  The sun sets with exquisite beauty right over the CBD.  In fact you can see from Maraetai right up to the North Shore and beyond one way, and over the Island toward Coromandel and out to sea the other.

33 years celebrated at Te Whau Lodge

We wined and dined in luxury and while I certainly would not want to do it all the time it was delicious and great fun being pampered and spoilt just for one weekend. There is something about the tidiness of a hotel that can be a bit off putting to a mild messy like me but this one managed to be welcoming and almost a bit homey without losing any professional flair.  Little things like a book of short stories beside the bed, themed rooms, (ours was the sea) hand made soaps, a hand gathered mini sewing kit and a baby pair of binoculars and torch were all special little things that made you feel welcome not an intruder about to mess up the tidy space. Little touchs of kind thoughtfulness which  somehow gave me the sense the room knew how to be comfortable with people and enjoyed them.  I guess the rooms reflected the owners, they definitely knew how to be comfortable with people, enjoyed them and allowed them to feel relaxed in their world.  Hospitality is such a great gift and it was in everything they did, it is just sort of who they are. Special thanks to Liz and Gene.

Now the funny thing is what greets me right outside the bedroom window first thing Sat guessed it...a Tui.  Almost close enough to touch.
Wouldn't stay still for good pic though.

So had to make do with fuzzy shots but you get the idea.  It was quite magical to wake up to and I have forgiven them for their morning chorus.
Since getting home I've had a tidy bug.  been clearing out drawers and cupboards and wanting to set house in order. Even cut up some old clothes for rags that I have been hanging on to interminably. Funny what a weekend of space, beauty  and kindness can do.
 Here are some pics of our magical escape.

Rangitoto in the distance

Walking home with a rest on the way after yet more food and wine lol

Sat morning sunrise

Beautifl inlets like fiords all over the Island

Back to Auckland CBD
Missed geting a sunset shot but you can
just imagine it.


The view out one side of Te Whau point vineyard


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fur ball days.

Well back to ordinary life with a bump.  Woke this morning in a daze after a teething night with Mr 20 month old.  He was a bright box of fluffies, I resemble zombies poor cousin. So moving slowwwly with hang over/jet lag  like symptoms I wander down stairs looking for his socks. Small secretive creatures that avoid detection especially when needed in a hurry. Must be some unwritten law of the universe that when you most need order, chaos ensues and two matching socks are impossible to find.

In this fuzzy state of unease what greets me on the lounge floor?  A large patch of cat furball complete with associated extras.  The cat has deftly placed this on the carpet, narrowly missing the lino floor which I muse must have required precision aim. I also conjecture from the splatter formation (I too watch C.I.S) a mobile projectile approach was used significantly increasing the target area of said furball deposit. I decided against sharing pic's. Too graphic!

My first thought; "No-one is watching...I will walk out and pretend I never saw it."  Then alas conscience whacks my tired head and I feel obligated to forget the lost socks, grab 20 month before he intricately explores the mess and with gloves, cloth, bucket and towel proceed to deal to the fur ball deposit. Delay would only increase the work involved after all and who else but the mum is going to tackle a problem like this?  As an aside, it is just as well I listen to conscience and respond positively as in my sleep deprived state I had completely forgotten I was expecting a visitor in that room later today.

So furball resolved, I eventually return to the sock hunt and manage to locate two but they are not matching and I make do with that.  When I was in my 30's I would have been appalled. Now I am in my 50's who cares if socks don't match on a 20 month old. What boring law says they need to be the same anyway?  Creativity and pizzazz rule and we have an orange one and a red and blue stripe. It may become a trend. They are at least the right size. I try not to sweat the small stuff especially when in the midst of auditioning for the next zombie movie. Age thankfully brings these little compensations  ;-).  Having dressed 20 mth old he promptly spills a large drink over himself and the carpet.  He learnt the trick of deftly avoiding the lino from the cat.  So we start again with the bucket, towel etc and wash, dry, clothe the boy which he is less than excited about.  I find myself deeply grateful the socks did not get wet! 

Anyway the day moves on and improves somewhat.  When I finally remember the imminent visitor, some 15 mins before arrival... I manage to be grateful that I actually listened to that wee small voice bashing me about the tired head to clean up the mess in the morning. The carpet did not stain for which I am also grateful.  Mr 20 mth old has a wonderful day.  The cat leaps in the window while I have my visitor which would not always be a problem but this particular woman is allergic. Don't call the SPCA, the cat is still alive though has wisely made herself scarce. For this I am also grateful.  Not sure how I could have been thinking about Tui's with such glee so recently, as this morning they added to my uncompromisingly ordinary day by starting their raucous dawn chorus right outside my window at 5:45a.m. For this I admit to being less than grateful.  Did you get the bit about about me being over tired.  Well you get the picture.

Its now 11 p.m.  I managed to get a load of washing done, everyone is fed, dishes done, plans for weekend and next week scheduled, sneaked in a 20 min nanna nap and Mr 20 mth has had his gums liberally Bonjella coated. On balance a good day in my very ordinary over tired furball land.  I did manage to spend a few moments reflecting quietly about my day and it struck me that much of my life resembles the furball on the carpet.  I have plans and dreams about how things are ideally going to be.  Then there is the reality of the furball deposit and my first reaction is "ugh if I don't look I don't need to admit its happening".  When I finally turn and face whatever the furball of the moment may be, it often turns out to be less of a demon and more mundane and manageable than I imagined. 

So its interestingly a furball day which takes me back to recognising that imagination left untamed so easily overwhelms.  Reality, even furball reality once faced and honestly tackled, is always better than imagination games.  So furball nanna that I am, today I can actually say I am grateful for the life lessons of my furball day...but not for the raucous morning chorus. Tonight I am shutting my window to hopefully muffle the morning chorus and praying Mr 20 mth  sleeps better.

Psalm 4:8 is my hope and prayer this evening.  " in peace [oh and chronic overtiredness] I lie down and fall asleep at once for it is you Lord who make me rest secure."  Good night all. Sleep well and may all your furballs be little ones.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life as a quest

Just got back from Eat, Pray, Love the movie. It was very long but I have to admit that I like Julia Roberts and the sumptuous scenery and cinematography drew me into the stories beauty and pathos. Hard to see why it was an 'M'.  The censor must be toughening up or more likely did not like the spiritual content.  Now to be certain it was not Christian spiritual content and for that some will be unsettled but it was about the search for truth, love and authenticity and it set off resonances in me.  I have been to Italy and loved it.  I have never been to India or Indonesia but Bali reminded me of Malaysia and Singapore which I have visited and India bought to mind the World Youth Day pilgrims who stayed in our parish and set us all alive with their music, exuberant spontaneity, joy and vibrancy.  I also have a dearly loved nephew who just delights in India and it helped me understand a little of what is so appealing to him.

I have not been to all those places or experienced the exact things Liz did in the movie...some would say thank God lol.  But I have experienced deep loss, a scarred and wounded heart, grief that sucks the life and breath out of you and leaves you as empty as a discarded cicada shell unable to feel anything. I have experienced fear of loving and trusting again, the terror of growing up and facing the truth about myself and I have experienced love and joy and deep human kindness that restored my soul and let me live and dream again.  I have experienced the freedom of knowing myself to be loved by God just as I am.  All those things I am reminded of tonight because of resonances in that simple quirky little too long movie.

At the end Liz talks about life as a quest and that whether we travel to far off lands or simply journey in our heads and hearts we all must seek after what is true and we must all search out love within ourselves and for others.   It also dealt very honestly with the pain, grief and tragedy of divorce, broken relationships and damaged families and our need to forgive ourselves and face with honesty the things in ourselves which are ugly and which we prefer to ignore or avoid. She talked about setting out to find God and discovering the truth that God lives in my heart. I found the movie quite captivating.

It bought to mind a theology paper I started and initially hated called 'knowledge of God'  It was following Aquinas' five ways of knowing God from reason and felt like dissecting a frog.  I remember telling my lecturer that I thought I would withdraw because I needed my faith and it was possible that I could lose it if I did this horrid paper.  He wisely said that having recognised the  risk in the question I would now never find rest till I resolved the tension and the question.  Then he said the most astonishing thing to me at the time and the thing for which I am profoundly grateful.  He may not even recall, I have never asked him.  He said, "If doing this paper results in you losing your faith then that will be where God is calling you and in conscience you must follow...even if it is out of the church and far away into unknown territory because you must seek out the truth and not run from it and if that is where God calls you I promise to be a companion for you on your journey.  If you lose your faith over this paper you never had it and losing a false faith will be the best thing that happens because it will empty out the space for the truth." 

Well to be honest I paraphrase because those are now my words and understanding that I am projecting back.  But you get the gist of it.  It was one of the most enlightening and significant moments in my life.  I remember being struck not so much by the words, but by the incredibly attractive sense of freedom, openness and complete trust of the man that somehow God was bigger than all our questions and all our needs.  He knew a God far bigger than mine! One who was no mere crutch for the timid or placebo anaesthetic for the wounded.  He never doubted for a second that God would be with me whether I lost what I thought was my faith or not.

For those who do not know, I completed the paper and at the end experienced a touch of that freedom.  I recall writing bravely and probably foolishly in my journal that if they threw me in prison, took away all the trappings of faith including all the books and teachings and Bible, if they kept me in solitarty confinement and never let me share another prayer with anyone, they could never take away from me the truth about the knowledge of God who just 'IS'.  It was a marvellous freedom that began an ongoing growth in freedom that I am still journeying into and will follow all the days of my life till I see him face to face.  I don't always live it and in the struggle of this past year much of it has felt obscured and crusted over with grief and worry but it is still there when I touch deep into it.  That kind of truth never completely leaves you, it becomes who you are.

So quite deep stuff but what a treasure to recall it. The movie has bought back to me that special experience and for that tonight I am grateful. Nectar can be found in the oddest looking flowers!

p.s.This is not a movie review, just my personal ramble about its affect in me which isn't the same thing at all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweet nectar and streams of water

Well its been a beautiful sunny holiday day and the readings today struck me as the nectar/honey I need to hunt for and delight in:

 Psalm 1:
 Blessed is the one ...whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on it day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that she/he does, she prospers.

Can't say I feel like I have been prospering that word challenged me to reflect just how much I am  drawing deeply from Scripture each day?  It also got me musing more on those wonderful Tuis. The sweet honey/nectar is only found in tiny dribbles. They have to hunt diligently and persistently flower by flower to gather the nectar.  It is sitting there waiting as a gift, but they have to take the trouble to stick their beak in and drink it bit by bit. They have to work to access it but the reward is great. 
Similarly Scripture is an amazing flowering of Gods sweet love portioned out each day but often I fail to notice or take the time to stop and drink it in. Only with discipline and effort does a Tui reap the reward of a full fat tummy, and only by guarding its territory can it ensure enough nectar to be healthy.  It seems to me I need to begin guarding the treasured Scripture flowers with their sweet gift of Gods truth and love freely offered to me each day.  How quickly I become slack and take it all for granted!  I am provided with every good thing I need, but I must make the effort to drink it in daily so I can grow and prosper.  Quite a lot to learn from a Tui it seems.

Then one of my favourite Saints is Teresa of Avila and its her feast day today.  Amongst so many wonderful things she said: 
“Untilled soil, however fertile it may be, will bear thistles and thorns; and so it is with man's mind.”   Echoes this idea about managing my mind and imagination... tilling the soil ...which is my responsibility.    I need to  be careful about tilling the soil of my mind and making the effort to delight in the law of the Lord; or to dig down deep and ponder Scripture everyday.  Only then will I be able to bear fruit in season and have growth and life that will not wither. Amazing how making the effort to listen allows the message to come through quite coherently. I need to ponder more on that also I think.

Teresa also said
“If we plant a flower or a shrub and water it daily it will grow so tall that in time we shall need a spade and a hoe to uproot it. It is just so, I think, when we commit a fault, however small, each day, and do not cure ourselves of it.”   Ouch.  Lazy habits grow into big lazy habits lol.  Seems its much better I deal with them sooner rather than later. Anyone got a rotary hoe for hire?  She had such a great sense of humour and also deep faith and trust...a balance to which I can only aspire:
“It is true that we cannot be free from sin, but at least let our sins not be always the same.”  She could have been narrating my story lol but then she encourages us with:
 and also

Well thats my gathering of special nectar for today; the company of good people like Teresa who we can access because the church makes her available to us as a model to follow.  The sweet nectar and wisdom of her thoughts captured alongside the readings for the day fed my soul today and the Tui in my garden helped me ground it all in my everyday and try to make it real.  Also the company of good people in the wonderful friends and family who travel the road of life with me. Some of whom I saw today in the sunshine and simply enjoyed.  Such a gift. I am deeply grateful for the blessing.  Friends and companions on the journey are sweet nectar indeed to treasure each new day. Thanks Teresa and friends and thank you God.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

New beginnings

Its Spring, Labour day is upon us, the weather is warm and sunny and my garden is regularly filled with Tui. Tui are honey eaters and they know how to seek out what is good and sweet and delight in it.
I am amazed at how raucous and territorial they are.  They chase away the other birds including the beautiful Rosellas that also love to visit my Pohutukawa. They defend what is good and protect it from being stolen away by others.  

Birds fill my garden with life and somehow manage to insert moments of joy into the most difficult day just by hanging upside in a tree trying to get some nectar and then wooshing away in a great chortle of delighted noise.  They have such energy and exuberance, such joie de vie  and never fail to help me smile.  They are also exquistely beautiful creatures with an extravagance of loveliness in colourful plummage and are very social... always in the company of other Tui.

My grandson lives with us and he is also full of delight.  He smiles and chuckles and says 'Hey O" to anyone who is within his vision.  Both he and the Tui are full of life; it bubbles out of them as they just go about their day doing what comes naturally.  In the process they give delight to those around them.

It has got me thinking; how much energy and exuberant joy have I been displaying lately?  Not much I fear.  The cares of 24/7 childminding and overconcern for the choices my daughter is making all too readily rob me of being in the moment and just living.  I have no control over her choices and yet fears about them can consume me with useless anxiety if I let them.

I have mused on this and come to the conclusion its my imagination that is the biggest culprit and joy robber.  Every day starts out fine then some concern or issue will come across my day like a cloud over the sun.  Pretty soon I am imagining the worst and projecting out several weeks, months or even years to a sad and sorry future.  All the while I am missing the joy and delight that is right before me in the moment. 

Imagination is like a very poor weather forecaster. It has the capacity to make every day dull and dreary by predicting gloom and gathering storm clouds ahead. We live in an age when imagination has been elevated to the point of master and given free rein so that it can all too easily become a slave driver, stealing away all the wonder and joy of today for the projected fears and concerns of illusory tomorrows. So I am choosing from today to attempt to put controls on  my imagination.  It will serve reality and truth, goodness and intelligent observation rather than willfully control my emotions and cast shadows on my days. 

So I am starting this little blog.  It is to be my place for reflecting on the goodness and joy in life.  A place for noticing the ordinary and delighting in it. A place to ponder and pause amidst the busyness of life and pay attention to things I am grateful for, even if only for a few moments.  It is my place to revel in the wonder of each new day and the extraordinary abundance and extravagance of beauty, love, happiness and friendships that are constantly being offered if I take the time to notice.  It is a place to give glory to God and be grateful for the amazing gift of life, health, family and all the good I am surrounded with each day; To taste and see that the Lord is good honey in the rock and nectar in a flower.  This will take some effort on my part to achieve just like it takes effort for the Tui.  It may seem quite challenging some days but will always be worth the effort if I perservere.  The fruit will be worth the labour and who knows others may get to delight with me along the way. 

 If anyone else reads are welcome in my world and I pray there may be something of gift in what you read and that it may in some way help you to stop and ponder and notice the good in your day also and find things to make you smile and give glory to God about.  You are also welcome to comment and add your thoughts, reflections and musings especially if they involve noticing the joy in the ordinary and taking time to reflect on lifes good.  So welcome to my world...of Tuis and 20 month old children, of struggles and fears, joys and delights, welcome to ordinary life and a way of trying to embrace it and live it intentionally to the full for the glory of God.