Glow

My waking dreams this tender month,
Are wrapped in taupe and rose;
Glass milk sky reflects the gentle;
smudges lines of stilted prose.

Season spins a bright eyed summer
into a scarf of honeyed floss,


Where softer on the skin once more,
Threads are starred with leaf and moss.


And in the hush of woodsong mist,
I sense the Autumn's quiet grace;

As she rises to the dance floor
Wreathed in glow of nature's lace.

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Breathe for Me

The big hands that cradle the universe, also hold me.

The artist who birthed starlight and kissed breath into an embryo of red earth, sings over me.

Despite knowing this, instead I try to hang the stars in the corners of my own dreams.
I try to cradle the future in my own mortal hands and blow earnestly onto tiny embers of hope and promise.

I am challenged this very day to face the true nature of my trust.
I have discovered it is reluctant to stretch beyond the boundaries of my sensibilities.
It is too weak to scale higher than the walls of my experience. Unconvinced and shaky in the dark, it is pressed in and hungers for dawn.

I value these moments though, like a splash of freezing water thrown at my face, in the breathless instant following, He breathes for me.

As I prepare for an upcoming surgery in 10 days time, I have found myself gasping for more faith-air. Although I know that this hysterectomy will in essence be giving me life and releasing me from the grip of anaemia, it also takes away my ability to nurture life within me. Although we agreed our family was complete, it is a part of my dna to be a mother and saying no to more babies is like choosing to lose a leg.

I look deeper at this murky place in me, full of contrasting emotions, rippled by the effects of being perpetually exhausted. The grief of knowing I will never bear a son breaks the surface and I spend a day with tears streaming in the ridiculous process of facing this truth. Another day passes and I plan menus for my convalescence and pride squeezes as I practice saying yes to the help of others. I lie at night and prepare myself for the pain, scribble forgotten things to buy onto my list and swim sleeplessly through the unknown.

The analytical part of my nature wants to know if I'll still be the same afterwards. The science of risk and medical percentiles chase each other as I weigh up the choices I have.

Bleakly, I feel around in the chaos for the peace.

And when I find it, I am reminded of Jonathon sneaking away with his armour bearer into the camp of impossible odds. Reminded of just how many armies of angels fight on my behalf.

And whose blood ran red for me.

And which artist signs His name in the night sky and cups the world of my whole existence.

And I can breathe again.

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H2O

Sailor & Company - a challenge to go Raw(e) with an unprocessed image of water. Join in?

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Brought to you by the Number 11


Such a journey this eleventh year has been for this girl. Especially the last 3 months. This has been the year where childhood intersected with the sometimes unkind reality of preparation for adulthood. She is physically growing at an incredible rate, experiencing growing pains in her arms and legs and an inch or two short of outstripping me. My shoes are now too small for her. Her emotions have had to do some stretching too, as she has been forced to outgrow the confines of young childhood and take up the space of something larger. She has mourned the loss of being little and able to comfortably coast along without conscious care. But the event of attending intermediate school has forced her to confront this reality and she has had to say goodbye to comfort and hello to new, scary and overwhelming. It has surprised us all, how tough this step has been for her, how unreachable at times, how tempting to give up. But she has plodded on, crying more in the last 3 months than she has the previous 10 years. This stoical, determined, cheerful lass became somewhat of a stranger, especially to herself. The tears, anxiety and perpetual distress flummoxed all of us, but she kept going. Towards the end of the term, she had a week at home with me, when her appetite suddenly dropped and she became listless and forlorn, but the next week she gritted her teeth and we tried again.


What we have seen of her character in this time has been remarkable. Yes she has been desperately sad to be in the situation she finds herself in, short on solid friendships and big on expectations, but she has not changed on the inside. She has still been polite and respectful, despite feeling at times, completely misunderstood. She is incredibly intelligent, funny and responsible. She is developing a tender heart towards those who hurt because now, for the first time ever, she identifies. And she has stretched in her leadership, choosing to serve those around her who need support.




Her favourite place is still her bed, tucked up under preferably a pale yellow duvet with a stack of books beside her head. She devours over and over the same tatty manuals, the Jungle Doctor classics, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, Secret Seven and the Dragonkeeper Chronicles. She will quite happily whiz through 3 books in a morning before wandering through to find food. If I take her a cup of tea and toasted hot-cross bun to eat while reading, she nearly passes out with delight.


She has no girly streak in her, no flicker of interest in jewellery or makeup and fashion has to be functional and contain no pink, no buttons and certainly no ruffles. She has an alarming appetite for sweet things, and ordered her version of a Lolly Cake for her party (a chocolate sponge, pale lemon icing and a veritable mountain of sweets piled on top). She loves apple crumble, roast chicken and roast potatoes are her ultimate home-cooked meal. Fish and chips is still the fav takeaway for her and she campaigns on a regular basis for this meal.


Reluctantly, she will drag a brush through those long honey-gold locks, and half heartedly straightens the mess that her room becomes, as neatness is not her second name by any means. She is willing to help me with anything, if I am sensible enough not to drag her away from the pages mid battlefield or spy mission and she is a dab hand at hanging up the washing for me now that she can reach :) She bakes without dramatics, some very acceptable and much appreciated delicacies.


She is still child, delightful in her innocence. She also carries an awareness of maturity that adds a beautiful dimension to her sweet nature. This girl can interpret her thoughts better than any other adult I know, and is very sensitive to her environment. She has practical and insightful wisdom and contributes very worthy solutions to our daily family hiccups. We enjoy her company deeply, and value her voice in this, our team.


Happy Birthday Sweet Girl, may this year hold as much joy for you as it does for us in having you.

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Watermelon Girl

One of M2's most endearing qualities is her personal motivation. Little things are important to her. For instance, watermelon and a sunny day need proper attention, in style. I had nothing to do with this, other than secretly admire her panache, her unerring eye for blending colour and her choice of literature. Except, of course, to apologise for the small interloper. And thank my sister for taking these pictures.


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Triumph

Easter was a triumph of love.

For us it was busy, as we blended serving at our church's annual worship conference with having guests. Somewhere in there, we tried to remember we had babies and kept scooping them up along with us as we ran. I heard only one session, but missed nothing.



My ears turned off, as eyes squinted down that lens for most of the weekend, but my love tank was fulled with light. Crouching backstage over computers or running the corridors behind the scenes, lifting and carrying a heavy zoom lens, I paparazzied myself over this amazing theatre, and watched and clicked and checked. And in the blur of making meals, looking after people, kissing children and taking photos, the enormity of His death became real to me.

We live because He died.

And as hand after hand went up to acknowledge Him as personal Lord and Saviour, I felt so priviledged to be a part of something this relevant.
Yes, we got tired. Exhausted infact, but I was able to keep on going, albeit a bit wombly at times. I was able to move without pain despite the rigours of the job and was able to think clearly for the most part. This is miraculous for me.

But the craziest part was the personal sweetness of knowing His grace. Even the insignificant footsteps of my boots as I rushed about in those few days, echoed out the tattoo that beats for me.

He Lives, He Lives, He Lives.

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