Meep

It is a sad day. I have just returned from re-homing Murray, the kitten my sister got last christmas. Due to unforseen circumstances, he became ours and adapted to life at our place. He used to chase the other cats around the house, hanging off their tails, in fact he rattled Oscar so much that the vet said he had developed anxiety issues! But he settled down and it was with much remorse that I found a new home for him, as we felt the new house was just not safe enough for him, being on a busy road.

The lady who wanted him turned out not to be what I had expected. I forced myself to drive away. And pulled over 100 metres down the street and burst into tears.
My overwrought sense of responsibility shrieked at me, Hey! You can't just leave this little guy with a lady that you didn't meet first.

My grief yelled at me Not another loss! Not so soon.

My maternal heart screeched Go back and get him! She might not love him like you do.

I then made a fatal mistake. While parked up on a strange street, I called my sister and sobbed out the story. She began to cry too and soon the two of us were wailing on the phone to each other and Mishal began to fuss in the backseat. Thus began the messy emotional process of trying to get him back, to re-re-home him.

But before I sent the message to the new owner that we had changed our minds (no money had changed hands we told ourselves, it was alright) I waited to run it all past Greg.
In between meetings he listened to my tale of woe. Bloody ridiculous he said. And listen up darling. The cat will be fine, she'll love on him as she is home all day, she was respectful and intelligent over email and pursued wanting Murray. Don't stand in judgement of her because she is different to you. Let him go, let the responsibility of re-homing him go. New wineskin time, don't you dare get him back. It would be wrong.

I sniffed. True. All true. Thank God for a steadying husband who does not function solely out of the quicksand of maternal emotion.

And so I head off now, dust mask on, downstairs to wash and pack the filthy stuff that has been covered in concrete grime from the landlord's repairs, with a lumpy feeling in my gut and reddened eyes. And no chocolate, what was I thinking when I did the grocery shopping - moving week and no Cadbury's Energy Scroggin? In two hours my children will be home and the tears will start all over again as they realise Murray is gone. Then off to dance/drama lessons and later to the Town Hall for Kenzie's school choir performance. No time for tears. Especially not when I have a six bedroomed house to pack up in three days.
Moving forward...

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Heart of the Issue

Yes, I realised belatedly that I had missed the post where I announced we were moving. My apologies for that.

As some of you might remember, moving up to Auckland was fairly difficult for me. I can say a year on though, that it has been a wonderful place to live and was just what we needed, I was merely blind to this at the time. I am so relieved that God allows us to mutter and moan but still pushes on in His plan despite our tantrums! The home we have lived in this past year was found in a tight spot, where we had a matter of days to leave our apartment and needed somewhere urgently. Although we originally had no intention of living North of Auckland, again, God knew better and we have enjoyed living over the harbour bridge and being a part of this laid back community. The children's school has been excellent and to all intents and purposes, one might wonder why we are moving on.

Hard to say really. The point came when I returned from Tonga and turned to Greg in the car on the way home from the airport and said out of the blue "we need to move to the heart of the issue." And he looked at me and laughed, saying those exact words had come to him during the week. Neither of us are sure why, but we both felt a prompting, and whereas we could have reasoned it out logistically as a bad idea, we decided in our true fashion to push the door, so to speak.

The house we have found is one I think I have been to in my dreams, unlike the current one. As an artist, and after a few experiences as a child that left me feeling like the world had broken, it is very important to me where I live. This desire of course has been surrendered many times, and will be again no doubt in the future, but for now, for whatever reason, the door is open to a place that wraps its arms around me with welcome. It is a home.

Possibly the most special element is the outlook, as this new house is set on the edge of a green farm park in the city of Auckland. Beyond the garden fence, fields lie. For a girl who literally sets up camp in Psalm 23 at times, green pastures speak to me in a profound way and I completely delight in them. Also, to the part of me that grew up on a farm in the savannah, a spacious place is profound and every hemmed in house has me itching for a visual stretch.

The house is an unpretentious typical kiwi family home, four bedrooms with hardwood floors (no more mess on carpets), and white roses in the garden. I will post pictures when we are in, this time next week. Greg, who has commuted lengthy distances to work for over a dozen years, will for the first time, be within walking distance to the office should he every choose to leave his beloved car in the garage. And the schools in the area are highly thought of. But as there will be three more weeks left to our NZ school year when we move, I will drive the children back to the North Shore for school each day. This is not a pleasant thought, but will at least allow them the honour of seeing out what has been a year of challenge and reward, right to the end.

Funnily enough, it turns out after we had signed the lease, that this location is dead centre on a map of the city.

The very heart.

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Tiny bits

For you Cat, I fought the toddler off the candy pile. Whereas I can't rightly claim to have posted it yet, I can truthfully say that it is sitting in a bag at the door, waiting for an errand's trip. I also cannot claim to really like anything I am sending you, beside the tiny magic elf. But my children chose with me and insisted that these portray an average kiwi family's familiar favourites. I hope you and yours enjoy...

Meanwhile, bags of lollies aside, I am living in a cardboard galaxy.
Packing does funny things to my head, and although a part of me enjoys sorting and organising and placing items together and bundling them up, another, bigger part, doesn't.
Especially when the marker pens are dry and scratchy and don't give satisfying black letters of inventory. And when the packing tape twists repeatedly due to a lack of dispenser, and when small child keeps stealing the scissors, and when I turn my back for a SECOND, and same child writes on furniture/climbs onto the tabletop/runs away/tips out the washing powder/sets the oven timer/opens the fridge/pours out the bubble mixture/smooshes her iceblock into the carpeted stairs. Perhaps the greatest, most alarming travesty is her continual mixing up of the toys: barbies, pollies, sylvanians, littlest pet shops and tea sets. This is serious peoples. I cannot move a huge muckup of mis-matched stuff. She also has a terrible cold and feels most unwell, bringing me the syringe and demanding medicine.
Tonight my big girl has her end of year social dance. Life is whistling by... is it possible I have such distinguished offspring?
Yesterday, on an outing to buy her a shrug to wear over her formal dress, she stopped me as we were leaving the car.
'Mum! Did you realise you were wearing that jersey out in public?'
I spun round and took in my reflection on the side of the car.
'Sorry babe, didn't really think it was that bad.'
"Mum.' said firmly, slightly incredulous that I would dare to flaunt with fashion disaster in a banned outfit, 'I'm sorry, but you are going to have to leave it in the car.'
'But it's cold,' I protested, pulling the sides of the shabby wool together.
She shot me a look. One that said 'Wear that cardigan and die.'
I took it off and threw it into the backseat. And for the following hour walked around sucking in the evidence of what the missing cardigan would have concealed. And shivering.
And secretly smiling. She is so right. And I love having kids that tell me when things are just not cool and don't worry about offending me.

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Carry Light

I have missed you. Your arms of words, letters of love, your blogs.

But the time apart did me no harm, and while away with family in Fiji last week, I walked along the beach at dawn one morning before the babes awoke.

The beauty around me was astounding, cliche perhaps, admittedly, but breathtaking none the less. We breathed, me and God, in and out, and my toes dimpled the grains that He counts.


And as His rose of gold rode higher into the morning sky, the infinity of Creation swept over me and a fresh realisation fell upon my faltering steps of burdened motherhood, my broken places, my murmuring lips.


The first thing God spoke into existence was beyond the capture of scales and deftly slips beyond the measure of man.

Candle-flicker for time-worn traveller and chasing away of darkness for the watchman, the mother, the soldier, the prisoner, the dreamer.
Spilling into battlefield trenches, through the glass squares of homestead panes and filling cups of mountain and pasture, it is very the paint of shadows. Smudging dustclouds to sunset, setting the ocean to fire, by its very nature it reveals and illuminates, bringing life and growth.
Re-tracing my steps along the shore with eyes closed to the glow, the backpack of motherhood and the responsibilty fatigues of mental combat began to dissolve. Light will do that you know; melt our heavy stiff shells and bathe us with brillance till we are swept up in the dance along the water's edge.

And the source of this miraculous dazzling hope?
Gossamer pages of words tell me He is my everlasting light, the very same one who covers himself with it like a garment, the heavens a curtain.
\
Simple brillance - confoundingly and magnificently weight-free.


And there unfolds this astonishingly profound mystery. We are designed to actually carry this full but weightless life, this light, this spill of gold, fresh from the very face of God.
Like Mary. A mother. Carrying the kingdom of light in her very self.

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Too important to mess with

At last, the experts are speaking my language.


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Croc Drop

Last night, our butter-wouldn't-melt toddler had 'an accident' after her bath, on the floor in our master bedroom, semi-hidden behind a painting.


However she was driven out from behind the easel in fright, claiming in astonishment to have laid a crocodile.

I am flashing forward nineteen years and seeing a beautiful girl at her 21st, devoutly hoping that she has managed to convince her father and sisters to keep all potential cringe-worthy stories from their speeches.

Too bad she's too young right now to convince her mother to do the same...

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Splinters

I have red rimmed eyes.


Saying goodbye to these guys is stupendously painful. They have been a big part of our journey for the last two years and we love them. But, being purebreds, they need more TLC than I can honestly give and are being rehomed today.


I think I might cry for a thousand years. Love hurts.


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