Eat Pancakes …

 As I type this blog I am sitting on the floor of my youngest son’s new bedroom. On one side of me are clothes drying for two. Not so long ago I had clothes drying for a family of six. That has changed now. On the other side of me is my son’s second hand bed I bought recently. It has a few of his toys sitting on some shelves underneath. He hasn’t slept in this bed yet as we have only just been here for a week. It’s all new surroundings for both of us. I let my son have this bigger room which includes a mirrored sliding wardrobe. Perhaps giving him the bigger room was my way of making it up to him for what he has lost so far in the past two months. Obviously he has lost more than his familiar toys and surroundings; he has lost the company of his brothers, sister and what most kids need their dad.

Both my son and I have lost quite a bit this past two months.

Although I was raised here in Canberra having lived here over 20 years ago, it is as though we are starting again. While there are many places I recognise there are also places that are unfamiliar to me. To my son Canberra is only a place he has visited in his 9 years of life as this is where my parents and sisters live. To be living here is very unfamiliar to my son more so than myself.

Once upon a time I used to imagine living back here as I had always missed my family. However I never thought that it would be in the circumstances I now find myself in.

In this first week at our new place I have taken my time in settling in. Partly due to the accident I had with my foot. Getting around is quite slow for me sporting this ‘moon boot’. Since I can’t drive I am having more time to settle. It has been a week of resting and catching my breath.

It can really rock the boat when changes happen. It takes time to settle into new places, especially when you have moved into a different state altogether. The adjustments and emotions that I have had to deal with for instance have been within a very short time.

When changes happen over a longer period of time we as humans tend to deal with it a little better. When sudden changes happen almost unexpectantly we are put into a position of dealing with A LOT all at once.

Today we ate pancakes!!!

There were certain Saturdays that I would get up in the mornings and make pancakes for our family of six. I would try and make them nice and fluffy with lots of berries, maple syrup, ice cream and custard. Even though most of us knew that this was not the healthiest of breakfasts we ate them anyway. Who could resist such a treat? They were a treat and not something I cooked too often.

When in unfamiliar surroundings and circumstances why not create familiar moments and enjoy them.  Of course pancakes are not going to solve or change the circumstances. For me and my son they were a lovely reminder of what we once enjoyed as a whole family. Even though we are not all together right now we can still enjoy those pancakes!!!

It’s amazing what you can do to create some familiar within your unfamiliar. There is no need to stop doing what you love even though life has changed. Mind you I have definitely indulged in dark chocolate of late. When changes happen we may need to put some aspects of our life on hold, such as I have had to with my studies. It doesn’t mean that everything needs to be put on hold.

Life may be different yet one is allowed to smile and enjoy life. The enjoyment part may take time to catch on when you are dealing with hurtful and painful emotions. But eventually you can rise above that pain and start smiling again. The pain won’t last forever. It may feel like it will. I still have quite the journey to go.

I don’t think there really is any perfect recipe for getting through seasons of pain.

Over the years of cooking pancakes I found that the more I made them the better I got at it. If I tried a recipe that didn’t work I searched for a new one. While the basic ingredients for pancakes are usually very similar I have found that there are certain recipes that work every time. Once you find the perfect mixture for pancakes it’s pointless to stop using it.

Perhaps it takes time to find the right recipe that works for you in getting through a difficult time. While most of the same ingredients work for most people it may be that you are missing something. It could be that you need to get back up and start doing what you love doing!!!

Personally I have no idea how long it is going to take me to be myself again. In the meantime I will continue doing some of the things I love. One of them happens to be blogging!

What do you love to do? What makes you smile?

Eat those Pancakes!!!

Could it get any worse?….

Life certainly has a way of presenting us with challenges. As I consider where I am situated in my life right now I cannot help but wonder how great it would be if I had the ability to rewrite my life somewhat. These past two months have been the most challenging by far and to put the ‘icing on the cake’ so to speak, the challenges have only increased.  So much has happened that the reason for how I am still standing lead me to the one person who has written my story. Not only has this person written my story but he has provided me with stores of strength and courage to keep going despite all of the twists and turns that have come before me one by one. This person is Jesus, Gods one and only son.

I gave my heart to him when I was only 17 years of age.

Today happens to be week 8 on this journey. Without going into too many details the main part of this story is that my husband of 27 years and I are separated. Not too many people know about it except for closet family. I’ve chosen to share this information about my life with you as my purpose for this blog page was to be real and transparent.

As I write this blog I am aware that there would be many other people experiencing a season such as separation. Due to the circumstances it has meant that I am in another state away from all of my adult children who I love with all of my heart. Only my youngest is with me. This season has shown me how important family truly is. My family here in Canberra have been extremely supportive. They have seen me at my worst. They have carried me through one of the hardest times ever. Being around my family has helped me get through the past two months. While my heart aches for all of my adult children I have come to accept that there is no other way through this situation right now. In previous blogs you can read about some of the emotions I have had to go through. It is not a pretty time. It is a roller coaster of emotions and circumstances ….

Can it get any worse? Yes it can and yes it did.

As you can imagine when you are separated there are several changes and disruptions that take place. For myself it has meant that my studies have been put on hold for a certain period of time. It has meant that I have had to organise my own finances. These finances of which I am grateful for is what I call ‘my peanut budget’…

My youngest had to start school completely new. This was incredibly painful for him. However he has overcome so much and has made many new friends. Being in a different state and separated means that I have had to organise my own accommodation as well. This in itself was a huge challenge. As most owners prefer tenants who are employed. While I have my ‘peanut budget’ sufficient to pay my way it tends to put you into a category in which a lot of people prefer to overlook you. After brainstorming one night I decided to attach a cover letter providing a short story of who I was including a photo of myself and son. In the next lot of applications I attached this cover letter which clearly paved a way for a YES!!!

So how did things get worse?

The day before I was to go and pick up the keys to our new place of venture, I was visiting a church very close to where I was to be living. Everything was going great and I was content to call this new church, our new church. My son and I made our way out of the double glass doors feeling happy and then suddenly without warning there was a step that I didn’t see. All I felt was my ankle twisting with a jolt. I immediately collapsed onto the ground.  I lay there on the ground in immense pain and great shock. I felt dizzy and unable to see clearly. As I lay there the past two months just flashed through my mind and I wondered, why this? Haven’t I been through enough already!!!!  I had never done anything like this before. No injuries. Yet here I was on the ground surrounded by amazing people who had rushed outside to help me. Eventually I was capable of being carried back inside the church and was waiting for my sister to come and get me. She took me to the local hospital. After an x-ray they confirmed that it was a bad sprain and a small fracture.  The physiotherapist put my foot into a moon boot and so this past week I have been moon walking around my new place.  Thanks to the help of my lovely mum and dad who helped me pick up the keys the day after the accident.

My son had to miss a week of school as I can’t drive. Fortunately school holidays have now started for him. Having been separated so recently and then physically injured really does put an interesting twist into my life.

In the midst of all of these challenges I have managed to find some positive thoughts to keep my mind from heading into horrible places. There are always positives in every situation. The positives are that I have a loving and caring family who I get to spend time with. I get to spend time with my parents and my three sisters!!! I’m learning to do things I have never done before by myself. I’m learning to be grateful and thankful for what I do have despite the many things that have changed. And even most importantly I am learning to trust the one that has written my story, trusting that everything is in his hands and he goes before me each and every day.

Life is very real at times,whatever battle your facing just remember that you are not

alone in those battles.

The one that created you goes before you and provides everything that is necessary to

keep you going, even if it means just one day at a time.

 

Staying grounded

Life itself can sweep us off our feet catapulting us into ‘cloud nine’ or send us hurling into the mud.  Often you hear people say, “I feel so happy I’m on cloud nine”. Cloud nine in this context represents an experience which puts you into your own private bubble floating above all of life’s troubles.  Perhaps an open door to fulfilling your dreams has sent you into this ‘cloud nine’ experience. It could be a long awaited financial break or win! The bubble could represent a new relationship with someone special. It could also represent the excitement of walking into your own new home. No matter what has sent you floating into ‘cloud nine’, most people agree that these moments are filled with excitement and joy.

Who would ever wish to leave the ‘cloud nine’ bubble of floating fun and excitement? No one in their right mind would try and escape these wonderful moments in life yet without our consent we often experience times in which it’s as though we have been hurled into the depths of mud.  That’s when you experience the opposite of floating on ‘cloud nine’ from happy emotions to angry, sad, and hurt and so on.   I’ve only ever felt my feet stuck in mud but haven’t actually gone beyond my feet. I’ve seen movies in which people are sinking into quick sand struggling hard only to often disappear. When cars get stuck in mud a huge rescue effort is put in place as the tyres just spin along with the mud unable to grip onto anything solid. Then the hole gets deeper and the car becomes completely stuck! Often in these situations people put something solid underneath the tyres providing the grip that’s necessary to get out of the mud.

What’s the ground got to do with it? The ground represents stability. The ground is there when you wake up in the morning and when you go to bed at night. The ground is there no matter your mood! You can count on the ground to be there when you step out of a car or out of your front door of the house. Imagine for a moment if we stepped out onto nothingness…. I don’t like the idea of free falling. There is no way you would ever get me jumping out of plane even with a parachute. The point is that the ground is there full stop!

With the two extreme life experiences of ‘cloud nine’ and mud which happen to everyone I present you with two thoughts.

Why do we need to stay grounded in a ‘cloud nine’ experience? And what do I mean when I say staying grounded in the mud?

Each of these life experiences represents the extremes of life. Cloud nine is at the top end of positive and muddy messes sit at the bottom end in the negative zone.

While the cloud nine experiences are amazing we know deep down that they don’t last forever. We should certainly enjoy those moments cherishing every minute yet we can remain grounded even while floating. Remaining grounded happens on the inside. Remembering that our identity is not within that bubble as eventually that bubble will pop. If we attach our identity to those bubble moments we will pop too! It can be tempting to start believing you are better than everyone else when you are floating in a bubble since everything is going so well. It’s a time to remember not to get prideful or insincere when others are not in their bubble. It’s about appreciating those moments while remaining the person you are without it getting to your head. Stay grounded in the bubble not allowing the amazing moment to prop yourself up becoming unreachable to others.

The opposite lurks in the mud moments of life. This is when our identity can come under attack. Mud is messy and very hard to clean. Mud covers and buries. It is strong enough to keep heavy cars stuck for hours. It’s in the muddy moments that we can begin to question ourselves. We may start to believe the worst. That perhaps we deserved to be in the mud. We may feel like we will never get out of the mud that it will bury us alive. Perhaps we feel helpless and useless. If it’s not bad enough to be stuck in mud there are times in which people may start throwing mud at you. Again that is a time to remain grounded on the inside and remembering who you are. It’s always easy for others to assume who they think you are. The trouble is people’s opinions of you can change in any given moment. To rely on people’s opinions is dangerous. You need to know who you are for yourself.

After all no one knows you like you do!

Bubbles pop and mud sticks! Who you are on the inside is what will get you through every situation in life. Your values, your character, your integrity, your motives, your beliefs is what makes you, YOU!

Your values, character, integrity, motives and beliefs are with you when you go to bed at night and when you get up in the morning. Just like the ground you walk on which remains the same and is always there, so it is with who you are as a person.

Keeping grounded in all of life’s extremes helps you to remain balanced. Keeps your perspectives in check! Who you are on the inside will always outshine those bubbles as wonderful as they are and give you the strength to overcome the mud we can find ourselves fighting against.

 

Remain true to yourself and most of all stay grounded.

When words are not enough…

Over the years I have heard it said that our words have power. That we should be careful with the words we speak. It’s been said that negative words can produce negative circumstances as much as positive words create positive results. Motivational books are filled with this topic! Often in church you will hear preachers speaking about the power of our words. In the bible it says: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21).

Words do carry influence. If you hang around someone who speaks negatively for long enough you may find yourself speaking negatively and vice versa with positivity. Words can fall from our lips loosely until we catch ourselves and become aware of the words we speak. Words have the power to hurt someone deeply. Words also have the power to bring a smile to a person’s face. Words can be calming, encouraging and inspiring. Each human being is in charge of their words and how they choose to use them.

Words are powerful…

Then there are times when words are not enough. In those times the words only have power when action follows. There is nothing more frustrating than listening to someone say all the right words and yet contradict every sentence by choosing to act the opposite. Someone may tell you for years that they will change yet eventually you realise that nothing much has changed at all. Perhaps it is easier to use words as filler with an attempt to patch the gaps. Just like those areas in the bathroom that eventually erode and the only way to repair it is to either replace it or fill in the gaps. The right words can stall time yet eventually if the actions don’t change then the true meaning of those words become very noticeable.

Relationships can only survive for so long with temporary fixes. Eventually the time will come when a drastic renovation is needed in order to save what might be left. Renovations can cost a lot of time and money. Sometimes renovations can’t even fix the problem. It may need bulldozing as the damage has gone down deep to the foundations.

Have you heard the saying?

They can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

Words of forgiveness lose their power when there is no change in behaviour. A person that chooses to change their hurtful behaviour will find better results as opposed to using only the words ‘will you forgive me’. While it is nice to hear ‘will you forgive me’, those words only really mean something when the person saying them decides to follow them through with what they do. Forgiveness and action go hand in hand.

When someone breaks your trust no amount of words are going to fix it. Only the right type of action over a period of time is going to have a chance of healing any damage.

When someone says ‘I love you’, the truth of those words is seen in what they do. People are only fooled for so long with mere words. I’m reminded of the saying: don’t judge a book by its cover. The true heart of a person is always seen in their actions.

While words have the power to heal or destroy, actions carry the same responsibility. Action often requires more from us than words. Perhaps we are not always willing to follow through. Whatever our actions are, you can be sure they always send a message or tell a story.

Words combined with contradictory actions create all sorts of problems in relationships. Whether it be in business, marriage, family or friendship. Most people appreciate when the right action follows words. This allows trust to grow strengthening relationships.

Following through with words can put you in a favourable position at work. Employers will always seek you out when they know you can be counted on.   Reliable and trustworthy people always rise above those that rely solely on their many words.

Relationships strengthen and grow closer when each partner knows that they can count on each other to follow through. In the same way relationships fall apart when one partner loses trust. Words with the wrong actions send mixed messages. It destroys the foundations that are necessary for maintaining a healthy relationship.

As parents it’s always good to remember that kids watch what we do not what we say. Kids learn how to do life by watching their parents. Your actions are their teacher from a very young age.

So much of life rests on what we do not on what we say. Just as the bible verse at the beginning of this blog describes our words as producing fruit, actions are the same.

I suppose it comes down to how much do we really mean what we say?

Are we just saying words in the spur of the moment, or buying time. Perhaps we forget that others remember what we say.

What do we want our relationships to look like?  Do we want relationships that are solid?

It’s impossible to have a true relationship with someone who may find the right words to say yet behave in such a way that shows you the emptiness of their words.

Sometimes words are not enough we need to put action to them. How great is it when someone keeps their word! The best types of relationships are the ones  you don’t need to keep second guessing. Don’t get lost in someone’s words ignoring their actions. If the actions are hurtful and unhealthy it might be time to rethink the situation. There comes a time when you need to consider hurtful and unhealthy actions. You can only ignore it for so long as eventually it will affect the quality of your life.

Don’t enable people to keep hurting you, set boundaries. You are of no use to anyone if you keep getting injured. You have every right to take care of yourself.

Words + no action = empty

Words + hurtful action = damage

Words + the right action = VALUE + RESPECT + TRUST = HEALTHY

Information Overload

I get it !!!! so im keeping it real...

A few decades ago……………. yes I am that old! Ok not ancient just mid-life’ing, my memories of earthly existence remind me of simplicity. We had our staple diet of bread, eggs, milk, meat, fruit and veg and it was considered healthy. As far as technology we had the radio and t.v. (with the basic few channels to choose from) or the cassette player for our music tapes. When difficulties occurred amongst families they used the basic form of communication which was face to face and found ways to forgive and sort issues out. Perhaps people persisted longer before giving up in relationships.  There was well-grounded common knowledge of right and wrong that most people adhered to. It was less of a wishy washy anything goes living! Life seemed more stable and secure.

In today’s environment the options are absolutely endless and forever changing. We are consistently marketed to with…

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Be Beautiful

I get it !!!! so im keeping it real...

No doubt many of you have heard the saying “beauty is more than skin deep”.  So what does beauty look like beyond the skin that covers us all?

For those of you that have read my earlier blog posts you would be familiar with my journey of struggling with low self-esteem. In my struggle I was always consumed with how I looked and how others viewed me. If my hair did not look perfect it would ruin my whole entire day!!! Not Kidding!!! There was no peace in my heart only anguish and pain.

The truth is the average female is never going to compete with a photo shopped super model on a magazine cover.

As an audience we are presented with the magazine cover while having no clue  to the many hours of hard work it took for that one perfect shot!

The movies, magazines and t.v. portray “The…

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Thankyou

Hello to my followers!

I just wanted to say ‘Thank you’, for your follows and reading my blog posts. By the end of December this year I will have blogged for 12 months. Who would have thought I would ever be doing this?

I love all the comments and appreciate everyone. ♥

I write because I love writing…. and most importantly I write about real stuff! I love to be transparent and genuine. I’m always excited when I have written something from my own journey and it has inspired someone else. Life can be tough sometimes so I love spreading around some hope and inspiration.

Thank you once again Dear Readers…

Sincerely,

Anu Mari

Officially Spring Today

Spring has arrived today! Depending on where you live this could mean pure rejoicing. Especially if it is a state within Australia that gets super cold in winter as some parts enjoy winters one can only dream about. If you’re from Brisbane the winters are not much to complain about, it can get cold at night however in comparison to Canberra for instance it is worlds apart.

Each day of Spring will bring about long awaited warmth and sunshine. Gardens will begin to sprout life and colours that were dormant for months. People hibernating from winter will begin coming outdoors to enjoy everything there is to offer.

For us girls the realisation that our wardrobes are now desperately in need of an update can inspire us to go shopping. Eventually all the winter wear will be locked away till next year!

The truth of the matter is however that while it is Spring, the lives of many individuals or families are still navigating a cold and bitter winter. Depending on the circumstances determines the length of time that it will take for them to see sunshine again. To appreciate what can so easily be taken for granted such as; smiling, laughing, planning, dreaming or just plain enjoying life…..

I’ve been going through my own personal winter and today marks week 5. You may have noticed from some of my previous blogs that something could be going on. As the situation is still current I haven’t felt it necessary to provide details.

Once my winter passes I will be able to share with you this journey I am on and encourage others who could possibly be going through a similar experience.

There is no end in sight for my winter right now; each new day is just that, a new day. My life consists of getting through just the one day. When you are going through something extremely difficult focusing on the ‘one day at a time’ takes away from the burden of tomorrow. The minute I allow myself to start thinking too much about tomorrow or next week, or next month I begin to get overwhelmed again.

The winter season I am navigating arrived quite unexpectedly and in such a way that I could never have been prepared for what was going to take place. It was not marked on my 2016 Calendar. While the first part of this year had been challenging, little did I know that it was going to get super challenging. A little like those t.v. survivor shows.

I have had to face several fears and muster up courage that has been dormant previously, as this type of courage was not needed until now. It has  been quite surprising to find out what resources I have within me. Not to mention the strength that my family provides.

Life is somewhat put on hold for me at the moment a little like when you are put on hold waiting for a person to answer your call, only this time I’m right at the end of what seems to be a never ending queue.

While stepping through this winter season I’m encouraged as I discover different levels of strength and resilience. In the midst of ‘one of the most difficult’ seasons I have ever experienced, I am learning more about myself and how valuable it is to have the support of family and friends.

This situation doesn’t need to ruin the rest of my life. There is still a life to be lived and while it may look impossible right now eventually it will settle back into the new, whatever that may look like. You could say that I am making new discoveries within my winter.

These discoveries in my winter will sprout new blossoms and colours that have not been seen before. It almost seems as though there is some Spring in my Winter.

Whatever the season you find yourself living right now take the time to enjoy it.

If life isn’t blossoming for you it’s OK, it will….♥

And remember even though plants look dead in winter they can surprise you with life again. There is always hope in winter so keep on hoping, no one can take that away from you.

Happy Spring!