Monday, 31 December 2012

It Is Well! (New years resolutions)

Well Christmas is done and dusted!  We went away as planned and came back early as Bear didn't cope very well. 
The trip home was HORRENDOUS, save for a little visit with The Bumpiest Path and a dunk in their pool.
WA is having a bit of heat wave at the moment so it was HOT and the aircon in our car died long ago.  There are no spare seats in our car so the kids were crammed up with each other and we took the dog with us so she took up about a third of the boot space which meant the luggage encroached into the back of the car too.
We got home late so everything was just dumped into the house and we got to bed late and the little ones didn't sleep too well (and haven't really since we got back) so I woke up the next morning tired beyond all belief and with my house...which I went to great lengths to clean before we left...pretty much trashed.
With the heat we have had this last few days the kids have been unable to play outside, so they are cranky and still tired from the trip and all the hype building up to Christmas so I have found myself feeling very discontented with my lot in fact I've been downright CRANKY!

Then we went to Church yesterday and they showed a little slide show about a man named Horatio Spafford.

Born in 1828, he became a prominent lawyer in Chicago.  He married Anna Larsen and together they had 5 children...4 girls and a boy.  In 1870, they lost their only son to pneumonia. 
The following year they invested heavily in real estate but lost it all later that year in the Great Fire of Chicago.
In 1873 they decided that they needed a holiday and Anna and the girls boarded a ship for England, with the view that Horatio would follow once he had tied up all his business in Chicago.  On the voyage, the ship sank taking 226 lives with it...including all 4 of their daughters.  Upon receiving a telegram "Saved Alone" from Anna, Horatio set sail for England to be with her...and as they approached the place where the ship had sunk he went down into his cabin and wrote the words...

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

(Refrain:) It is well (it is well),
with my soul (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pain shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

 What on earth have I been through that can compare with THAT!!!


So my new years resolution this year is to be more content with what I have cause my life really ain't so bad :)

The Spaffords went on to have 3 more children, one of whom also died.  They continued in the Lords work running soup kitchens, hospitals and orphanages during and  after WW1

Friday, 28 December 2012


Over the last few months I have seen other families get so busy that "family" goes out the window.

In one, they actually gave away their kitchen table because they never had time to sit and eat together anymore, a sad thing when the children are only young (aged between 2 and 8).

I've seen life become so full of other "stuff" that the kids no longer have time to just go outside and play.

I've seen a mum who works shift work, who is at work from before the kids get home from school until late, and is still asleep when they leave in the morning, so if she works for 4 or 5 days straight then she doesn't see her kids (3 of whom are still in primary school) for that period of time.

Now I am not passing judgement, not at all, I know these families really well and they are just trying to make ends meet, and to make it through.  But when I think on it, it makes me extremely thankful for what I have in my life.

We seem to have been busy here too but we have been so blessed to have been able to wind things back a bit and still make time for family.

There are a lot of things that irk me about living in a small town, but there are also a lot of things that I love and I think the thing I love most is the size of our yard.  We have a half acre, and while it's not real flash...actually there's still a LOT of work to do...there is so much room for the kids to run and play and I take a huge amount of pleasure just watching them at this time of year doing things like...

having an after dinner game of cricket (and I use the word cricket very loosely...I think any cricket player worth his salt would NOT derive the same pleasure I do from watching)...

slip sliding on the slippery dip...

jumping on the trampoline...

playing in the sandpit...

or in the blow up pool.

And of course our recent purchase of the MacGyver box set makes for hours of family time.

Mahjong is also one of our favourite family passtimes, which has admittedly taken a little bit of a back seat this year with 2 toddlers in the house! (but I am planning on trying to dig it out this holidays)

I am looking forward to swimming lessons being over (which start next week) so that we can have a couple of weeks before school goes back just to be at home and I am extremely grateful for the time that we have together.