Monday, September 29, 2014

It's not about the running.

You might have noticed I've been getting a bit runny.
Getting my jog on. You know.

At high school we had compulsory sport. Training Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and then a game
on the weekends. My winter soccer team lost every single game. I'm proud to say that the time
we lost 24-0 I wasn't there. I hear that's a pretty bad soccer score.

I'm not really a sporty person. I was the gal who walked the cross country and spent soccer training
offering to go in goalie with my friends so we could chat. School sport kept us pretty fit but it was
never a thing to be enjoyed but endured.

So imagine my surprise when I found in myself a desire to go running. And imagine my surprise
when on that first run I found I could go and go and go without stopping for three kilometres.
Three slow puffy red faced kilometres. But three in which I didn't stop and lay heaving and dying on
the side of the road. It went on.

Now I do enjoy a good think and as I run or think about running I feel a bit conflicted.
Sometimes I feel like the anti feminist. Aren't we supposed to love our bodies no matter the shape
they're in? Am I just running so that I will be happier when I look in the mirror? Am I ashamed of
all my baby flab? Is that the reason I'm doing this?

I'd be lying if I said these thoughts didn't cross my mind but it's not enough.

Am I just a big show off? Doing it for the praise of the online community?
For some kind of virtual pat on the back?

And yes, it feels good to encourage others and be part of an online community of "people who run."
What a spunky club. It's so good to encourage my friends to get out there and do it.
Get those endorphins in to you, start your day well. All those reasons.

But that's not all.

As I was out one day I realised.

It's not about the running.

Earlier this year I had been studying Galatians Five and thinking about the fruit of the Spirit.
It's easy to read this as some kind of spiritual checklist;

"Yes, I'm kind! I helped that lady cross the street. Tick
Oh boy am I faithful. I read the whole Bible this week! Tick"

But no, just as an apple tree cannot help producing apples so Christians who are walking
in step with the Holy Spirit cannot help producing these things in their lives.

It got me thinking this year about self control. God had promised it in my life by his spirit and so I
prayed for it in my life. I'm the kinda girl who sees a Tim Tam, doesn't really want the Tim Tam
but takes it anyway because it's so chocolately and delicious. (You too?)

And then I waited. And then, weeks into this crazy exercise bender I didn't understand it hit me like
a ton of sports bras.

It's not about the running.

It's God.

He's teaching me about self control.

He heard, he listened, he answered. And like the sneaky fella he is I didn't even get it at first.
But what a great lesson it has been in learning to say no to things that aren't helpful and yes to
sticking at something, rising early, following a plan.

My anxieties about my motives are quenched because each time I run I remember that God is
using this to bring about his work in me.

The running, that's not about the running at all.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pinwheel Coffee Table DIY

We were given a few pieces of furniture by some family friends. They were moving to a smaller place and let us have dibs before Vinnies. We picked up this plain wooden coffee table. A good bible study size. I'd seen some pinwheel table DIY's (mainly this one from A Beautiful Mess) and thought I'd give it a go.

The first thing you need to do is sand that table good. I think this table is at least 30 years old and there were a few lumps and bumps. Some were too big to be sanded away but that just adds to the general charm. Why not?

I kind of winged the design. I thought three colours would do the trick and got green, dark brown and gold. I LOVE the gold spray paint and have used it a few more times since, the brown was a bit too dark and looks black which wasn't really what I wanted but it's not too bad.

I started with a pencil dot to one side of the centre. I then used a tape measure to draw lots of long lines coming out from the dot right to the edge of the table. It doesn't matter how many you do just as long as they are multiples of the number of paint colours you have. i.e I had 3 colours so I needed to make 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 etc sections.

I taped off every third section and started spraying. In hindsight it probably would have been easier to use regular paint as the spray paint tended to get airborne and rest on the other sections but that's a lesson for another day. It was good to experiment with sprays. You could tape the sections a bit better and you wouldn't have this problem.

Wait for the first colour to dry and repeat with the second and third.

I left the legs bare to let some of the wood out but you could paint them one of the three or a totally different colour.

I'm noticing now that coffee cups are leaving rings on the table so you could either use coasters or let it add to the charm of a very different looking coffee table.

Hope you enjoyed the DIY. Let me know if you try one for yourself and send pictures. I'd love to see.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

i'm makin' waffles

For our wedding we were given one of the most awesome single use appliances ever.
A waffle maker.
It has sat in our cupboard for many a day. Coming out for a spin whenever
I am rummaging to find a bowl or tray and stumble upon it.

We brought it out a few days ago and the girls are big fans.

Pancakes, turkey(ish) bread, waffles, cake. It's all in the same yummy
carbohydratey group. You know, the white food group.

Sometimes when I feel a whiff of motherly creativity we switch on the waffle
maker and experiment.

#1 The peanut butter waffle
Pour the mix in and then spoon a teaspoon full of pnb into the mixture.
Stir it all around until the pnb melts. Works best with crunchy.

#2 The nutella waffle
Same as above. Even more delicious. Or you could just slather nutella
on already cooked waffles. Or just eat it off the spoon.

#3 The marshmallow waffle.
Slightly dangerous. In the waffle maker, marshmallows turn into melty sugary
red hot balls of death. Wait till they are cool before devouring.

#4 The sprinkle waffle
Not as pretty as it sounds. The sprinkles kind of melt into the waffle and each other
giving you something that looks mainly brown.

We had fun. The girls ate more mixture than waffles. I ate too much nutella.
What more could you ask for?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Not quite what I had expected.

It's really easy to get caught inside your own head. 
Overthinking the words you said, berating yourself for not living up to your goals, worrying about your life your kids your relationships.

Recently I've been caught in my head about reading the bible. Now I could write pages on this topic but for now I want to write about the She Reads Truth movement you'll have heard me banging on about a few times before if you are a regular reader. 

In a nutshell, it's about women reading the bible together, all across the world. It's awesome. A great big step in the right direction. I extoll it's virtues to everyone I talk to about reading the bible.

But I've got a dirty rotten secret. I'm terrible at following the SRT plans. Really. Terrible. I haven't got through any of them. Started plenty but never made it through. I've been reading other plans or free styling it but reading together with the ladies? Nope.

So, does this make me a hypocrite?
Well...yes. And no.

I was thinking about it the other day and getting all guilty but then I was reminded of a friend who I shared SRT with. She was writing a talk all about the joy of reading God's word. 
Lately I've watched her transform and shine as she embraces the love story on offer in the bible. 
SRT may not have completely clicked with me but it kickstarted her huge spiritual growth. 
She's gone on to share it with others who will in turn be blessed and hopefully pass it on too.

I saw another friend using #shereadstruth on instagram and am reminded of her beautiful heart that has been
a huge encouragement to me. I see her scripture drawings and thank God for her as my friend.

You see, when you are a Christian it's not all about you in your head.
It's a community. Sometimes you are put in a situation for another persons benefit, not yours.

The story of Esther is like this. Esther was a Jewish woman made queen, married to a foreign king who was all 
set to persecute her people. Her uncle reminds her that she was put in this position "for such a time as this."
She was put there to save her people. It wasn't about her story, it was about God's story and his glory.

So instead of guilt, I can feel joy.

Each of us have a time we have been placed in and each of us have people we have influence over. 
What a joy to get outside our own heads and encourage and inspire those around us. 
What a joy to rejoice when others get it right and grow and grow instead of being caught up in the guilt in our
heads as we fail. 

In turn, these ladies have encouraged and influenced me right back to be diligent and constant. 
I see their joy and I want it too. 

You see, they are in my life too for such a time as this.