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Archive for July, 2012

It has been an olympic weekend and this little princess turned in to ‘The Queen Of Her Castle’, as well as ‘Chief Cook and Bottle Washer’. A tired one at that.

Not being a sports fan, watching hours and hours of olympic events does not thrill me a great deal, but I do love the pomp and ceremony of the opening. Determined not to miss a thing, I set the TV recorder so I could watch it at my leisure. Sounds like a great idea, except I woke up and tried to get back to sleep. A buzz of excitement started to run through my veins and I knew I was missing something that I could be watching live. Quietly I crept out of bed and joined thousands of other people, watching the quaint English countryside evolve through the industrial era, in the  production of the year.

Sadly there was no catch up time for sleep, as I had made plans some months ago to have a family ‘Christmas in July’. Friday saw me gathering up another table and 20 chairs to fit everyone into our dining room for a Turkey Roast with all the trimmings. My day took on olympic proportions as I prepared, cooked and cleaned. Then repeated the exercise again and again untill the smell wafting through the house was magnificent.

Once family started to arrive the fun and laughter began.  The younger kids decided to play hide and seek, while others sat exercising their fingers on mobile phones. Offers of help came and were mainly dismissed, as the kitchen was submitting to my ‘Kitchen Goddess’ reign. Juggling trays of vegetables around the hard-working oven became childs play too, while every warming and heating device that I had in cupboards, came into their own.

I stood back and watched as plates of food were served up. A culinary victory seemed imminent.

My whole family gathering in one place thrills me, I wonder how on earth two people can create this mass of humanity and an atmosphere of family living. It’s not come without its trials along the way, but I felt truly blessed and positively glowed, as the compliments came for a ‘Meal Well Done’. Falling into bed that night sleep came very quickly and yesterday everything happened at a much slower pace.

The house is quiet now, everything is put back in its place and today I plan to find my inner princess again. In the meantime I feel like a medal winner. I’ve surely won gold.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

 

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There is a verse in the Bible that says, ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing’. It can be found in, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, where the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Thessalonica. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear those words said about us. That we are known for encouraging one another and building one another up in our day-to-day lives?

I recently came across a little story that I wrote back in 1988. It reminded me of the all the kind words and encouragement that I have received over the years. And, I am thankful to say, I am still receiving.  It is an Analogy of what I believe encouragement can look like.

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Imagine you are a candle glowing in the darkness, surrounded by a multitude of unlit candles. For each candle you light, you give value and purpose to each one. They in turn can choose to share their light with a few more. Before long all the candles could be lit, giving off a brilliant glow and bring a warmth to all those who come near.

However, the winds of change and conflict rarely stops blowing and while many candles just flicker in the breeze, others die out. This leaves them with nothing to hold onto and so they are unable to give anything of themselves to those around.

This is when the biggest choice has to be made. As a candle do you sit around feeling smug at your own resilience, glorying in your triumph? Or, do you reach out, touch your fellow candle and reignite their flame?

Friendship can be a wonderful place to shelter in, to keep our hearts aflame when the tough times come, they can also spark us into action when we give up on ourselves.

Who knows which direction the wind will blow from next.

To stay alive in ourselves we need to keep the flame of life glowing in others.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and see how many people you can encourage along the way. 🙂

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

 

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I recently saw an image that had the wow factor. It was one of the free stock images you find online and showed a black and white hand, with a tiny green bird perched on one of the fingers. Not too unusual, you might say. But the hand had only three fingers and a thumb, which took a while to register as I surveyed the whole picture, admiring how beautiful it was.

Thinking it would be a great writing challenge, I set it as a homework piece. It has lived up to all of  its expectations.

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A Place To perch

Beauty is focused on this feathered friend, as thought processes are challenged. The image creates its own illusion as my gaze admires the magnificent creature, not seeing the hand that welcomes the Exquisite One.

I now peer and question its weirdness, captivated by its ability to seize my ordered mind.

This bird of the air, does not question. It perches on the hand of its beloved, finding solace in life’s journey. Knowing it is free to fly when ready.

 I am forced to wonder, that I should think it bizarre, to see and be surprised. My psyche having the ability to be more deformed than this limb.

 With wisdom, I recognise that the hands that once held me were also deformed, distorted by family dysfunction.

 But I decided to fly and now it is time for me to soar to even greater heights.

And I must fly too, or I will be late for Writers Group this morning. 🙂

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

 

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Colouring my world with purple hues has been an interesting experiment so far. Initially it became a game, a game of finding different ways to dress myself with the colour. Then I discovered that it very easy to wear purple every day if you paint your fingernails in this lovely rich shade.

One of my ‘Princess Goals’ was to esteem myself more and I decided to make one significant change a week. The first being to drink my daily quota of water. Are you aware that for every kilo you weigh you should drink 20mls of water in order for your body to function properly?  There is even a website that will calculate this for you if you Google, ‘How much water should I drink’.

My huge jug of water, now sits on my kitchen bench top and while I have failed on a couple of days to reach my goal, I have not given up. My skin is looking so much brighter and my attitude has even embraced some dietary changes and walking.

I am His creation, a masterpiece in design. He did not make any mistakes when He formed me. I contain every genetic capability to become who He wanted me to be and today I choose to be His Princess.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

 

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Reading from Eph 3:17 (Living Bible).When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Reading this verse I was reminded of a devotional message I wrote and gave many years ago. I was a fairly new Christian back then, but the relevance of the word for that season in my life, holds the same value for today. At the time, I lived on a property that had a small winter creek flowing through the bottom of the garden. The banks were planted with various shade loving plants, all sitting under the bows of majestic gums, towering pines and European Willows.

When a friend visited for coffee one day, we sat on the back veranda enjoying our time together when she suddenly said, ‘Just look at that row of tree, they are all so different but create a beautiful picture. A bit like all of us at Church’. I had to agree. Some were tall and straight, some were ugly and gnarled, some had leaves and some didn’t, yet they did indeed form a striking sight. Her insight was a true reflection of what it is to be in community, with a large body of believers.

However I went one step further as I explained that the trees were growing along a creek bed, where they could all draw on a fresh supply of water. Most did and thrived, but the Willows were shallow rooted and during the summer months, when the creek dried up, so did they, dropping all of their leaves. Not established deep enough into the ground, I started to hand water my beloved trees. Slowly though, I began to realize they were turning their roots upwards for the tap water, becoming more and more reliant on me to supply their needs.

It grieved me for the next two summers as I continued to watch them struggle, their green canopy shrivelling before its time, dying for lack. The third year the leaves yellowed and held on, then in the fourth year we relished the green shelter, protecting smaller plants from the harsh Australian sun.

Like those trees, we also need to put down deep roots into Gods word, so that when those dry times come we won’t faint or become weary. We are at our most productive when we are established firmly in all that God has provided for us.

A person rooted in God can stand tall through many storms.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

 

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It is Wednesday today, the day I attend a writers group in my local library. This group has been a huge stepping stone for me, as I have come under their wise guidance and counsel.

Having played with words for years my imagination has the potential to run wild, although memories of school days have always haunted me. The horror of red ink, correcting a mass of spelling and grammar mistakes, with the suggestions I could do better or try harder.

Along with a close friend, this group has allowed me to explore possibilities that were once a dream. Spelling and grammar are still a struggle, but a computer helps iron out some of those issues.

Below is one of our Writers Groups activities. ‘Write a short piece on the tools of writing’.

 

The Tools of Writing

The tools of writing could read like a recipe book.

Take one blank piece of paper and a pen of your choice.

Blend the two together with a lot of inspiration, until head and heart are mixed to form a short story. Gather additional sheets of paper if you desire to write a story longer in length.

Now it is time to place your masterpiece into the computer. It is at this point you may discover the need to add extra seasoning in the form of grammar and spell check, to bring out the flavour.

Motivation can add to the taste of your finished product.

The hot oven of refinement comes with the help, support and encouragement of your peers. Some of whom may recommend a rewrite or a side dish to accompany it.

Now I am off, for a creative morning of writing. Let’s see what I can cook up today. 🙂

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

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It is said that purple can represent royalty, with darker hues suggesting magic and mystery. As a woman I would like to be treated as a princess and a little bit of magic and mystery can go a long way, when it comes to achieving our life goals.

What does the princess do though, when she forgets how precious she is? When the regal purple robes turn to drab shades of grey and the tiara that is supposed to be on her head, is lost to the dress up box of childhood memories?

This is the dilemma many of us find ourselves in.

I recently decided to reclaim my rightful throne, dress in something purple every day and reinvent myself, by bringing this rich colour into my life. It is amazing how much purple I actually have in my wardrobe, once I take a look.

Some days you may have to look hard to see it, but it will be there. Sometimes on show, sometimes hidden.

Let ‘The Purple Project’ begin.

© Sandie’s Snippets 2012

 

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