Saturday, October 27, 2012


I'm turning into a seeker of the sun.  Most of my adult life has been in countries where you tend to avoid the sun so you don't melt!  That's true where we usually are, too, but there the smog is so dense that while it makes you hot, the sunshine never gives that nice 'ahhh' feeling on the skin.

New Zealand is cool enough this time of the year that I'm finding myself irresistibly drawn to sunbeams.  I'm outside as much as possible to look at beautiful things and feel that sun on my skin.  It just feels soooo good. (Maybe I'm low on Vitamin D!)

But seeking the creation is only a shadow of seeking the Creator.  The sun on my skin reminds me that I need to be a seeker of the Son, too........

"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky.  Through everything G0d made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing G0d"          -Rom 1:20

In front of our house.
View from 'my' bench by the beach.

Pathway beside the beach


Tree on the beach

Just because they're so cute!
Photos are just taken with my phone so not the best quality!  I need to remember to take a real camera with me sometimes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Being Creative

I am about the least artistic person that I know when it comes to drawing or anything along that line, so when I walked into a creative journaling seminar last week and saw art supplies on the tables I got a bit nervous!  I guess the fact that the seminar was called "Beyond Words: Journal Workshop" should have clued me in!  Luckily the seminar gave opportunity for creative expression, but didn't require any skill to participate.

It was really good to be challenged to think outside of the box. As someone who likes words I tend to just journal by writing a lot.  The downside is that if I'm not in a mindset to articulate well, then I don't journal and leave huge gaps in my 'story.'

I didn't write the figures down so don't quote me, but the speaker talked about how bringing a creative aspect into something that you do actually slows down the words per minute that your brain processes (something like 600 words per minute as the usual down to 120) and leaves you in a more restful, contemplative mode.  And how much we need that in our modern world.  And how helpful that is to calm us down to contemplate Scripture and talk to our Father.

We did a number of exercises which I actually quite enjoyed---even though there was something art related in my hand!  One of them was to write a 'cinquain' and decorate it if you wished to slow yourself down to really think.  I think I related especially well to this one because it still let me use words!  A cinquain is this:

Start with ONE word
Choose TWO adjectives
Add THREE words ending in 'ing'
Next come FOUR words that make a sentence
Lastly,  a ONE word ending.

A few days ago something happened that suddenly left me feeling tense, unfocused, and worried.  I decided to try a cinquain in my journal at home.  I was in no mood to articulate sentences but somehow just putting down the root of what I felt seemed do-able.  I wrote this:

Ugly binding
Stressing worrying over-thinking
Is not from G0d
And I drew chains around my poem.  (Those are easy to draw!) I didn't like leaving something so dark so thought I'd look at the opposite:

Restful holy
Refreshing peaceful loving
I'm free in You!

And I drew a daisy chain around that. :-)  (Mine wasn't quite as good as this picture, though!)

Somehow slowing down and doing this simple exercise relaxed me and focused my mind and heart so I could actually deal with how I was feeling with a lot less struggle to get to that point than usual.  I had a great talk with my Father and left the room after only about 15 minutes feeling peaceful and trusting.

So while I'll never be artistic in that way, I'm leaving a box of art pencils by my journal in the nightstand---and we'll see what happens!

Monday, October 15, 2012


It's been an interesting day of being confronted by something 'normal' to me where we've been living the past few years in a different context.  Well, I don't think the exploitation of women is 'normal,' but it's something I've grown accustomed to--but not comfortable with--being around.

Today I've been horrified by a terrible Facebook hack of someone I know who is not in a first world nation. I don't think she has a computer at home so it will probably be some days before she discovers the horrible pornographic photos put up on her wall and even as her cover photo on her page.  She probably used an internet cafe computer and left her page open.  She'll be absolutely mortified and feel victimized when she discovers what's happened.

But what about the girls in the photos to start with?  No woman suddenly just wakes up one day and decides to take her clothes off for a camera.  They're victims, too........

Aaron's here for his mid-term break (and medical appointments).  The boys have been wanting to go to an army surplus store to browse so we took them to one in Auckland today.  Prostitution is legal in New Zealand and it turns out that the store was on a street with a lot of brothels on it.  There was nothing going on on the street, unlike our usual neighborhood, but it was disturbing to see the signs and blatant advertisement of what goes on behind the closed doors.

We were at a function a while back where I sat by a lady who had worked as a social worker who checked up on the well being of women in the trade in Auckland.  She obviously thought it was well within the girls' 'rights' to sell themselves, but when I asked her opinion of how they got there to start with she replied, "Well, obviously there's a strong connection between past abuse and women who chose the lifestyle."  Huh?  But it's OK????

I think not.

It's a big, bad, fallen world..........everywhere.