14 Years

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep;
the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
William Shakespeare
{quoted on our wedding stationery}

Loving you more now than I did then.

Is that even possible?



There's a man in the mirror...

I mean being a chic is fun and all that, and I'm not ashamed to say I am as girly as the rest of them. I tend to believe that being fragrant, wearing beauty and the carrying of womanhood is inbuilt into who we are. For me personally, Vera Wang, ghd, jewellery and lipgloss are every day tools of the trade that sit on my counter top.

But there seems to be an intensifying search for something further in the mirror. A dogged and obsessive pursuit of the latest, wonder-working cosmetic, fashion or trend. Under the primer and concealer though, I am hearing more and more, the lines of a well versed story echoed by some of the women in life around me.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

I suppose markers of insecurity have existed throughout the ages, in the eyes of each young girl becoming aware of herself.

Am i really lovely? Am i really wanted? Where do i fit in?

These markers can resurface frequently throughout the course of our lives, for the nervous bride or the anxious teen at prom; for the mothers with toddlers hanging off their legs as they make quicksilver decisions for clothing purchases in front of store mirrors, or for the truth of dressing table mirrors that reveal the stamp of age on our skin.

Mirrors don't lie, but cause us, in unconsious essential femininity, to try to touch the heritage behind the reflection.

Who am i really? Am i wanted?

We know, deep down that they do tell terrible lies. But they only reflect what we think is the truth. And there meeting our worried, searching gaze, is in fact, our worried, searching gaze.

There is a way though, to reflect the truth, and this is done by the gentle art of having a make-over of the heart.

When love softens lines, and grace defines lineage, we grow beautiful without even looking.
Attitude becomes the adornment and confidence becomes the poise.

Another miracle unfolds that has nothing to do with Lancome.

And a smile, as this girly-girl thinks God has quite a strong feminine side. He crafted the quirk of our questioning minds and I love it that He sits in the space between us and our reflection, a stop-gap that puts a finality to the never-ending search to be seen.

For is it not true that God loves to live in our mirrors? Is He living in yours?

Hagar gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her:
You are the God who sees me.

Genesis 16:13a



A freak gust of wind has made our patio a nest of glass vipers, again. It is not pretty and my fingertips are tender from almost the almost microscopic shards that have powdered the garden and frustrated my attempts to clean up. It has happened in the midst of an intense week. But it has got me thinking.

What blows me over repeatedly?

What freakish storm blows and drags my shelter away and with it the stability of my world?

What explosive, unexpected thoughts disrupt my table of provision and my place to safely host others?

We have been sitting at this table alot lately. Big decisions, little chats, life/death stuff and artwork, tipped over juice, therapy with others and just plain old fun. Suddenly its not there anymore and in its place is a danger zone.

I shake my head to clear it.

Sometimes the beautiful, sturdy, wonderful things that give us refuge splinter into a thousand pieces.

Sometimes we can't fix them ourselves.

Sometimes we call our husbands and make it clear that this is a job for the professionals.

And, nearly always, we need to get the structure that has been smashed, repaired or replaced.
And it nearly always takes time and costs us.

But at the end of it all, we can learn not to choose a glass topped table but rather replace it with a wooden one. We learn to faithfully keep the umbrella closed and safe when not in use. We express gratitude that we are covered with insurance.

We are bound to get hurt, the world is profoundly broken, after all. But the Healer holds us neatly in the space of His palm and we can journey towards healing in spite of the circumstances.

What an amazing never-expiring policy!


The Perks

Such a fun treat, after all that oohing and aaahing as Matilda the gorilla at Mainly Music, to skive off to my new favourite cafe (in the world) with the famous and lovely Simone, torn away from working on her book. Sadly I left my camera-proper at home, but having a clever phone meant there was no excuse not to capture the moment.

1911 I tell ya. It's divine to sit and drink a cuppa in such gracious old bones.

And to be called The Library? Even better. Shelves of books in one room, with leather chairs, and toys and high kiddie chairs in the other. Flexibility meets history.

And Simone and I had a giggle at the fact no-one would believe us that these muffins were sugar-free... honest.

Lovely, thanks S. Sorry Mishal was such a grump, she began to feel worse as the afternoon progressed, really hope we haven't passed any bugs onto Scrag!


Real Monday

Dawn from our place, taken by Greg

It is insanely early. Yet I will need to get up soon. The big guy left a while ago for a domestic flight and I breathe through the weariness over my morning tea. Autumn is here, a chill in the early air that for me brings with it a wave of sadness. I will miss the softness of summer mornings and nights, and how I feel more alive when I am warm. But at our house, on many different levels, we are embracing the new, despite the discomfort.

My big girl is on such a journey of discovery, one that is stretching her understanding and forcing the divide between childhood and responsibility. I want to pack up my family and live glorious, trouble free lives somewhere - lose the demands and live dreamily. But the reality is that doesn't exist anywhere, and we know we are living the life we are meant to be.

For all of us, it is a stretch. When I look into Kenzie's troubled eyes I wince, and remember what being faced with the end of easy-street feels like, how deep the shock to young bones a great discomfort is. The missing of home and of feeling alienated and alone. How big sad can feel. And I want to stoop and rescue and wave my wand and say I am going to change everything so that she does not have to feel this pain. I want to turn her pumpkin into a carriage. Its me that wants to live the fairy dream! I want to be the fairy godmother.

It's me that doesn't want to grow up.

But, sigh, perfectly idyllic childhoods don't prepare kids for life.

Nor do they do anything for parents other than get them a temporary holiday from having to grow up either.

So in the meantime, while we hold, and watch and soothe, we watch summer fade with its easy light and wrap arms and love around each other as winter begins to unfold.

I am not blind to the beauty of winter. But it is hard earned.


Glimpses of Home

Flylady talks about hot-spots.

But sometimes I walk through my home, in search of the heart-spots.

Little places or things that remind me where I am, who I am. So valuable when I feel overwhelmed by the mundane or am walking through grief, the simple beauty when focused on, lifts my countenance.

The weariness slips off, comfort returns and nurture rises. We find rest, all of us, in this haven. And when there is a knock at the door, as there often is, we invite in to share this safe place that is not just ours. The salesman trying to sell newspaper subscriptions one evening finds himself sitting at the kitchen bench next to a homeworking kid and watching a daddy make dinner. The electricity company salesman sits at the dining room table and watches us pack our groceries away into the pantry. Couples come and flop on the couch and we talk about what marriage is really going to be like how fantastic marriage is. Friendships are born and grow as we do life in this safe place, our home, and it is a kind of good that has surprised and delighted me.

Thanks to Emily at Chatting at the Sky for this kind of linky, it is heart-food.


Leaves of Love

Underneath and in the arms of the walnut tree we played, frolicking in a green tent of light. I lay on the grass and looked up for snatches of blue between the leaves.
But instead I found the sky in the eyes of this dear little face.
This smallest sturdy and determined companion of mine is bringing me buckets of uncomplicated joy. She is so funny and cheerful, speaking beautifully. Knowing her colours, talking about her third birthday party, how she wants a red cake and candles. She smiles when she wakes up. She smiles when she goes to sleep. And she drinks at least 3 cups of rooibos tea or milo a day - being a lover of a cuppa obviously runs on both sides of the family - but her passion for the comfort of her green plastic cup bemuses me. She demands her tea and then plonks herself down to drink it, hitting the bottom of the cup produces a wail, every time, and a panicky dash to me demanding a re-fill.

And this graceful girl, caught one foot in childhood and the other in womanhood is a delight to share a home with. She is gentle, diplomatic and eager to please. I love how she still climbs trees. She articulates with astonishing insight, and her journey through anxiety and adjusting to the changes in her life is amazing to behold. This girl is sharp, in a non-pressure way, but kindly explains where I am going wrong when I mess up. That is gold, and for those of you who have daughters, it is a priceless gift when they sidle up to you and quietly set you straight.

And this imp is growing like the tree she swings in, becoming solid and dependable and hardwired to bring shade to others. She is the deep quick-witted one, who snorts in humour when she watches clever programs, but who would never make fun of anyone else. She is drawing incredibly impressive artwork at night, when its bedtime mostly, but full of such balance and colour that she blows me away with each creation. When I consider her mile long eyelashes in profile, her dark blue eyes and that freckling of caramel dust across her nose, I fall beyond the boundaries of exasperation. I remember again why it is we do what we do.

Because it is a priviledge to be a biggie on their team.

There are others who get to teach, encourage and inspire them as well.

But me? I get to hug them all first and last. I'm the one drenched in mummy-love.


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