Monday, June 23, 2014

4000 miles down...

Sitting on the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, determined to have my beachy relax day despite the thick fog and sprays of rain. Nevertheless, it is beautiful. Matthew out collecting rocks, chasing dreams of the perfect rock into the small waves, failing because of optical illusions. It's been an amazing adventure so far. This is our 3rd Great Lake to hit. It wasn't our intention, it just turned out that way. We have enjoyed all the moments that have been before us, setting up camp at midnight amidst the thousands of bugs swarming, the rushed set up because of looming thunderstorms and then the night spent in our tent under thunder and giant sparks of lightening. All the places we have gone have been absolutely breathtaking, waking up to the sound of a lake, or crickets and birds chirping has been beautiful and annoying. "Arh, nature is so noisey" Matthew would say as the sun rises at 5am. 

Some of the highlights have been digging for quartz crystals in South Carolina, especially because there was only an outhouse and no running water. Embracing the true camping experience with our orange clay coat over our entire bodies and not showering for what felt like an eternity as we made our way to the capital D.C. 

Niagara Falls was another place with undeniable beauty. The shear power and body of water running over was astonishing. We went on Maid of the Midst right up to the horseshoe falls, every breath and turn into the water was greeted by a smash in the face. I laughed and laughed as we were slammed with wave after wave of water. 

We have kept a map of all the places we have gone and our journey looks quite epic, the crazy thing is we are not done yet. 

We have many stories, but here are some pictures of all that we have done so far. 

We have been so lucky to be able to spend time with friends and family along the way, especially our week in Atlantic City to celebrate Matthews mums retirement and 60th birthday.

Back to enjoying the beach...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Loving

And so it begins...15 states, 7000 miles, 2 bikes, a tent, 5 weeks and lots of good times. Summer road trip!! 

Summer Honeymoon ;-) 

Stay posted for some stories! 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Injury Ladened and Still Excuses

3 weeks since I snapped my achilles tendon at an early Monday morning Crossfit class. The week was going to start out normal, Monday 6am class just like normal then head to work, instead ended with an ambulance to the ER just 15 minutes after starting.

I was in the last round of sprints and side steps in the warm up, my body was warm and my heart was pounding but I guess the load and force exceeded what my still cool tendon could handle. My coach heard the bang, like a gunshot I'm told, I heard the bang too but didn't know if it was in my head or not. I plummeted immediately to the ground. I knew the instant that I fell that I ruptured it, that I would opt into the surgical repair and that I would be 'out' for probably a lot of the year.

After a few hours in the hospital I was sent home with a fibre glass cast and told that I would be called for surgery so had to fast from 10pm every day until I heard otherwise. I got the call on Thursday and had the surgery to stitch my tendon back together. Recovery was fine, although there was some pain induced shaking on wake up which was quite strange. Spent the night with hourly obersvations in the ward with 5 others including a drug addict that got admitted at midnight and the obligatory snorers. Needless to say I didn't get any sleep, not helped at 4am when one of them pooped the bed. Public hospitals.

I am thankful though - socialised medicine. I haven't paid a cent. Not one. And I won't have to. I get my full salary while on the couch and all these handy little things to help in my recovery like this knee scooter. Since I can't drive for 3 months, I may also get the use of a hand controlled car to make my transition back to work easier.

Isn't that nifty? I'm so excited because it means that I don't have to be so house-bound. I can pop over to the supermarket or down to the coffee shop. One outing definitely wore me out though. I blame the anaesthetic and not the fact that I haven't used my muscles in 3 weeks. 

I'm starting to feel a lot more like myself. I stopped taking the Codeine and Tramadol pretty quickly as it was playing all sorts of tricks on me. Just taking some less intense doses of drugs when I need it, sometimes it feels like it balloons for no real reason but I guess it will figure itself out shortly. I even think the anaesthetic is beginning to leave my system and for the first time since surgery I have slept more normal in the last 2 nights - going to bed and waking up at more functional human times. It feels good to get back on track, finally. 

The moonboot got put on this week, it felt good to get out of the heavy post surgical cast, but this is still very much uncomfortable. And I have 2 pair of pants that fit over it so pyjamas are still my number one choice. 

The doc says I'm still not allowed to remove it for 4 weeks. I have to treat it like a cast. I don't really know the point in the moonboot if it's just the same treatment as a cast? I have, of course, taken it off though to relieve me of some restriction for a few minutes and to let my leg breathe. It feels good. 

I titled this 'Injury Ladened and Still Excuses' because since I've been on the couch I know I should be more productive, I should write more, I should blog more since I haven't been doing that at all lately and of course I should spent more time reading and studying. 

I'm not entirely sure what my excuses are for not doing those things. It requires effort that I guess I can't give just yet. I'll continue to blame the anaesthetic. Honestly, I can't even watch the tv because that requires too much as well. I just sit, I don't even think, just sit. I also get to talk to my handsome boyfriend which perks up my day 100%. 

My hope is that as I begin to feel more like myself that I would do these things that I always find every excuse under the sun to not do. 

It's going to start with push ups from my knees. Drop and give me 20. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Imagine That.

I know it's been forever since I wrote, but this has very much been on my mind and heart so thought I'd share it. 

I guess I've been thinking a lot about the potential and what we, us, as mere humans, can create...

Imagine a place where you attend, where you participate and where there is freedom for God to move. Where people are not selfish in their desires and enter with an open mind. Imagine a place where people leave their intentions at the door and their preferences and go with an open heart to receive from people and God. Imagine walking into a door where people are glad to see you, and you're glad to see them. Imagine sharing a meal with people you actually like regardless of the choices they make because you've chosen to love as Christ does, pure and blameless, holding no inequities over them and looking at them with unobstructed lenses. Imagine laughing and your kids laughing and enjoying the spirit and atmosphere of the place and people that they, in collaboration with God, create. Imagine a place where you are free to cry and someone comes and puts an arm around you. They don't need to say anything, they're just there. If you want to share you can, if you don't then you don't. They put their hand on you and pray blessings and honour into your life where you feel crushed and burdened and you can't breathe. Imagine another person embracing someone because they're celebrating. Imagine a place where those things exist - the community that God intends for us. The kingdom of God in its fullness, everyone participating and being free to be themselves in Christ. Everyone taking up a part because it is natural and feels good and right. Imagine a place where everyone is celebrated and appreciated for their gifts and strengths, and where people feel they can practise love, kindness, gentleness, self control and all the other fruits of the spirit. And when they get it wrong, or mess up a little then people don't condemn but spur them on and come alongside. Imagine a place where the message that is shared is embraced, thought about, prayed for and mulled over. Imagine inviting the message and God into your life for the week to change you and make you new. No matter how simple it seems, that everyone comes with an attitude of openness to hear something new from Christ. Imagine a place where forgiveness is practised and through practising forgiveness we are able to fully embrace Christs forgiveness in our own lives. Imagine a place where we get to see God move without limits. Imagine a place where miracles and mercies flow every moment. 

Now imagine a place that people don't like each other. That everyone attends with their own agendas. And when their agendas don't get met, they get pissed and leave. Imagine a place where we sing to Christ but its not good enough because it didn't come 'out of a pure heart' or 'didn't sound good this week'. Imagine a place where people criticise each other based on them not 'working or doing' good enough. Imagine a place where people criticise what is being spoken instead of embracing the truth of the message that is shared - no matter how it is presented. Imagine people thinking that others aren't good enough Christians because they're not on the same seeking journey as them. Imagine knowing that someone is annoyed with you when you turn up to church but there is not the forgiving environment where you can sort it out. Imagine a place where forgiveness is not practised. Imagine a place where bitterness and selfishness reign rather than the fruits of the spirit. Imagine a place where people pick and choose what they want to participate in, what they can be bothered doing, what they think is valuable and casting judgement on the rest. 

I'm not saying its easy. But I am saying its a choice. I'm not preaching from the converted but I'm coming from a place of working on it too. My finger, it likes to point and it likes to blame but I know I have many areas that I need grace, help and love in. 

So what are you going to choose? You have the power to choose life over death, freedom over shackles and the kingdom over darkness. It's all a choice. Not an easy one, but one that will change you to be more like Christ and in turn, the people around you. 

Imagine that. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friends...Amazing Friends

My great friends Dave, Michelle, Ollie and Charlie Mollard make the local news again. You can read it here (I screenshot the news article so don't click on that - I'm not that clever to know how to make that a link!).

You can read their blog Mollards India Journey.

It's a short and fun read...they are great at not telling huge long, boring stories like me so I know you'll love it.

C x

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Contentment vs Satisfaction

My heart has toiled for years for the church. For many years I was in a church that was beautiful, until it wasn't. It 'wasn't' anymore because suddenly I had changed - I had grown, matured. No longer was I a babe suckling milk, and no longer was I satisfied with swallowing things hook, line and sinker and taking them at face value. I had an urge, a desire to be part of something greater. I had questions and more questions that weren't getting answered, and the further that I grew to believe what is (or should be) right about the church is the further that I grew from being aligned with the vision of the house that I was planted in.

I have a great love for the kingdom of God. I believe it is the only answer to humanities hurts and needs. Funnily enough (given my participation in church the last year or so), I also believe wholeheartedly that the church is the answer, even in its 'still working it out stage'. I have spent years, literally, reading the New testament to try and gain some insight to how the church should look, act and be. The short answer is that I still don't know. The long answer, I'm sure is to come. But one truth that I know is that Christ loves the church, and I do too, the collective body of Christ is a force to be reckoned with...

What I've realised in the last few weeks is that my spirit is not satisfied. It never has been. I have, ever since the day I met Christ, not been satisfied with my life, realising my goals, my dreams, with church, and with relationships. Now, don't get me wrong - it's not a negative thing. There have been times that I have been content, where I have been happy to be in places for seasons and had the joy of that contentment...but still with this rising dissatisfaction pushing up from within.

I think that contentment can breed complacency if we're not careful. Complacency looks like a dirty stagnant pond to me and it smells funny. It scares me.

Dissatisfaction if propelled in the right direction, breeds change, momentum, movement. That doesn't scare me.

For most people it is the flip - they're quite happy with the contentment of life, happy to be where they are, comfortable, they don't enjoy change or uncertainty. For what ever reason, the way that God has wired me is that of - what I'm now going to call - dissatisfaction.

It is freeing for me to finally be able to put a word on the constant plight of my spirit. And to feel like it is not a bad thing - but a good thing. A really good thing. I would often, throughout the years, feel bad for never being happy and content with where I am. It never seems enough for me, and always desire the 'next'. But because I am not career driven, it never made any sense to me why I would crave more and have this internal feeling. I don't want to succeed for mans approval - that is the last of my concerns, in fact, I don't even want to 'succeed' as such (insert worlds view of success). So this constant need of more is not flesh driven - but spiritually, it is so clear to me now.

I am not satisfied, because He is not. If He was, this world would not exist anymore.

I now know that it is okay to not be satisfied, but along with that comes certain responsibility.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kick in the Right Direction.

The kick up the bum that I so deserve. It has been a long time coming. I have sensed it somewhere in the depths of my heart that I have been choosing to ignore. I have felt the gentle (not!) tugging at me to get my crap sorted out, then a couple of weeks ago all the building and leading got too much and I had to share something with precious people that I had been hiding under a bowl for a very, very long time. Then this last week I went to a conference and the resounding word that came out of it was 'study'. Study, study, study. As if I didn't know already that I needed to. I have been slack in my following of Jesus, I have been slack in what I do with my time and it has been going on for a long while. Sure, I love Him. I follow Him, I breathe and speak Him, but sadly, confessing-ly, it has been nothing but religious banter because I have not STUDIED. Shesh. Kick, Up, The, Bum. It has really caused me to reflect again on who I am. What I'm doing, where I'm going, my place in the world, and to seriously consider the answer to those questions.   One of my colleagues accused me of being 'gifted' today. As in the type that teachers label as 'gifted and talented'. I hate that label, and I refuse to use it, and hate it even more when parents come to me telling me that they have a gifted child. Yes, we get it, you love your child, you think it is the most precious thing on the planet, but seriously? Gifted? He eats paper and makes farting sounds on his arm. NOT gifted. I am the epitome of the saying 'Jack of all Trades'. I guess that's why I'm a primary school teacher - I can do many things averagely which is a good thing for my job. I think I am anything but gifted. But this is what I do know: Words plague me at midnight and I have to write like its an obsession that I can't get off my brain until it is satisfied; my desperate need for change is something greater than my constant (fleshy) boredom; my global obsessions are purposed; and that my expectations far exceed what is possible. Those are character traits that make me who I am. I can't imagine why it is needed in this world, but for some reason God packaged me up in a not so neat or little frame and gave me life. I can't imagine what it is like to be God. I don't even want to pretend that I understand because it will just be offensive. But what I do know is that it is an absolute privilege to know His unending love and grace. I guess it's my turn to once again start taking that seriously and start not only being thankful (which we all do so well when things are going great!) but proactive, forward thinking, believing, and preparing. So, for the remainder of the year I am going to set up my lifestyle of study. I am going to study a theme - GRACE. I will read all there is to read on grace in the Word, and in blogs and in books. Does anyone want to join me on this crusade? I endeavor to not just be a consumer and to get serious.