I dislike pressure!
(I am not complaining in this post, just explaining the setting for the lesson I learned!)
This week was very busy. In the middle of the week, my little girl with Down Syndrome needed a heart checkup 11/2 hours away in a big city. We needed to leave early to get there on time. That morning my 3yr old woke up miserable with a fever. When we arrived at the hospital, the carpark was full and we ended up parking 15 minutes away. Joseph had to do a lot of walking when he wasn't feeling well. Somehow we still made it in time for our appointment. But I disliked the pressure of trying to get there in time.
The more I tried to simplify this week, the busier it got. 
So I decided that next week I would stay home as much as possible.
But now, it is already looking busy starting with a bloodtest up at the hospital at 8am on Monday morning! ... and another hospital appointment on Wednesday!
Having a special needs child has meant lots of appointments, which means lots of pressure.
In a few months we are going on a big trip to the other side of the world. More pressure and busyness!
Last night I sat down for some quiet time, thinking about the busyness at the moment and how I can't do much about it.
 I would much rather go out because I want to go out, rather than having to go and having to be there at a certain time. I like days when I can choose to make a pizza with the kids, sit and do puzzles, go for a walk, read books on the couch and there is no rushing to get out the door on time.
I opened a devotional book and read a poem.
Guess what it was about? Pressure!
Although I have read it before, it gave me a different perspective. Pressure doesn't have to be a bad thing after all. This pressure is good for me!

"Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.

Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured."


Happy Mother's Day

Today I sold homemade scented candles at a Mother's Day Market. I had put a lot of effort and time in preparing for it.

It was a fun day! But do you know what the best part of the market was? It was when I looked up and saw my three children and my husband walking towards me. I had thought they weren't coming, so it was a surprise for me.

When I came home, my husband was busy cooking a special Mother's Day meal. Before bed, my children all gave me presents they had either made or helped make. My youngest child gave me lots of cuddles!

It struck me that my husband and children's love is worth far more than anything I can ever do or have. It can be fun to have hobbies, businesses or a job. It can be fulfilling and satisfying.
But there is NOTHING that beats the simple joy of being loved!

Being a mum is hard work and it has many difficult moments. But there is a joy to it that nothing can compare with--the homemade gifts from your children, the notes written to tell you they love you, the cuddles, the kisses, the way they try to copy you, their efforts to help, listening to your oldest child read a bedtime story to your youngest child and then say prayers, and watching them play together!

                              Happy Mother's Day! 

Remember, dear mother,there is nothing that beats the career you have!


Be Patient...

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.   Thomas A Kempis

It's so easy to get angry and frustrated when our children, husband or anyone else are not what we want them to be.
Although we need to do our best to teach our children to act right, we should be patient with them, remembering that we are not all we should be ourselves.


Should I Apologize?

I love this poem, because I am an apologizer!! It's easy to forget that us Mums are all the same in one way. We all find it difficult to keep our houses as clean and tidy as we would like them.

I stopped in unexpectedly to visit her that day.
She had been ill, and needed help, but strength was on the way.

To me her house looked clean and neat, without a speck of dirt,
Things in place in every room, she well had done her work.

"I need to sweep today," she said, "My house needs cleaning up.
I haven't swept this week at all. My kitchen I must mop."

We passed her garden on the way to fetch her children in.
"Don't even look," she said to me, "The weeds I cannot win."

But I did look, and saw how nice it was and free from weeds,
It seemed as though she kept it hoed and gave no chance to seeds.

"My lawn needs mowing," then she said, "The grass is growing fast,
With all this rain we're havin, a mowing just won't last."

I thought it too, looked very nice. The grass was not so long.
I could not understand why she thought anything was wrong.

Dear friend, how does this look to God? Apologizing thus
For things when they are not so bad; why do we make a fuss?

About the things that are a bit messed up or out of place, 
As smudgy windows on the door made by a toddler's face.

Is it not pride? Now don't you think? when someone comes to us,
And we begin to right away, make such untimely fuss?

Our God does not want us to be slothful or unkept,
But He, too, understands how soon the dirt comes once we've swept.

'Tis no disgrace when we are busy with growing children, too,
To have one come into our house, and find at times a stew.

'Tis better far to take some time to guide our children right
Than to have everything in place, and all the dirt from sight.

So when you think, "Oh, no! Not now! When one knocks on your door,
Never mind, don't say a word, about things on the floor.

For pride would have you 'polgize. Humility would not.
So may you an example be and lack this virtue not.
Sel. from Harvest Call


Choosing Contentment

Contentment is possible no matter what situation we are in.
 I am still learning to be content in the situation that I am in. To be honest, I naturally resent spending months trying to teach my 18 month old the basic skills that my other children learned all by their selves much quicker! 
Don't worry--I love my sweet, happy little girl to bits, but I do find her disability difficult.
But I am choosing to 'choose contentment'.

My five year old chose a Keys for Kids story thismorning at breakfast for me to read. I'm not sure if she understood the message in it, but it was perfect for me. The story was about how we should enjoy serving.
Some of the last words in the story were
"We often complain about the tasks the Lord gives us, as though He were punishing us. But if we really believe that He loves us, we'll accept those tasks as privileges instead of punishments."

We can learn to be content in every situation we are in because we can do all things through Christ. The two verses in Philippians 4 go together.  Maybe the previous verses in that chapter are also hints. Rejoice in the Lord always, Don't be anxious about anything but pray about everything with thanksgiving and Think on true, pure etc. things. (Read Philippians 4 for the exact verses.)

Choose Contentment


Potato Fritters

This recipe is a good way to use up leftover mashed potato and the kids love them!

Mix equal amounts of mashed potatoes and flour. Add 1tsp baking powder and 1 egg. This is the basic recipe.
 I like to add chopped bacon/ham/salami, parsley, cheese, chicken stock, paprika, salt and pepper etc. to give it flavour.
Roll into balls and fry on both sides till well browned. Enjoy.