Friday, April 24, 2015

Art Friday: Horses

By Jim Daley

Art Friday: Horses

Today's Art Friday is for a young lady who loves horses. I do hope you enjoy this collection of horses, a creature that has been so loyal to us . . .  taking us places, settling new nations, helping us farm, moving supplies around countries, help in the delivery of mail, carry soldiers in battles, giving us companionship. They are magnificent creatures. The history of humans are intertwined with horses. 

This week Australians remembers our ANZACS (soldiers) who fought at Gallipoli (Turkey) 100 years ago. As one would expect, we remember the loss of human life during war, but sadly we forget the loss of animal life as a result of war. Australia sent 130,000 horses overseas in World War One, only one returned (Sandy, who belonged to Major General Sir William Bridges who died at Gallipoli). Many died and sadly many were put down at the end of the war as it was considered too expensive to return them to Australia. 

Horses during the war were used to pull ambulances, carry supplies (such as portable kitchens) and ordnances and act as cavalry mounts. They worked incredibly hard and with complete loyalty. At the end of this collection I have included some photos of horses at war to remember those beautiful innocent creatures who went into battle in WW1. 

Tragically, around 8 million horses, mules and donkeys perished in WW1, a total of 16 million animals died as a direct result of WW1 (those used as part of the war effort), including cats, dogs, birds etc..

Tim Cox (above and below)

Dennis Ziemienski
Bill Anton
Robert Duncan (above and below)

Victoria Wilson-Schultz

Heidi Presse
Jeremy Winborg

Horses during World War One

For those interested, the horses sent from Australia were called "Walers".  According to the Australia War MemorialThe horses were called Walers because, although they came from all parts of Australia, they were originally sold through New South Wales. They were sturdy, hardy horses, able to travel long distances in hot weather with little water. Horses usually need to drink about 30 litres of water a day. However, during the campaign in the Middle East, they often went for up to 60 hours without water, while carrying a load of almost 130 kilograms, comprising rider, saddle, equipment, food, and water.  


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Encourage one another

Encouraging one another is SO important. 

So why do many Christian women spend more time tearing each other down instead of building them up. 

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.  (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

The Bible doesn't say we can encourage each other occassionally or whenever we feel like it, or when we are feeling happy . . . we need to do it ALL THE TIME.

We need to encourage, encourage, encourage.

And guess what . . . that means ALL women, not just those at home, or ones with children, or those who you like, those of the same age as you. You can not be selective in who you comfort and encourage. 

But exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13)

Lets extend a hand to all women, making our blogs feel inviting, so when someone stops by . . . they know they are among friends, a place to find encouragement and comfort.  Your kind words might make all the differences to that person visiting.  So take the time to respond to comments, or if visiting, why not leave a comment to say hi. Might sound small but it means a great deal to the other person.

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:8-10)

  • Without encouragement, we would quickly become overwhelmed. 
  • Without encouragement, we would feel unloved and unwanted.
  • Without encouragement, we would struggle day-to-day.
  • Without encouragement, our lives would feel pointless and burdensome.
  • Without encouragement, we would struggle to overcome pain and sadness.
  • Without encouragement, we would feel that God was no longer interested in our welfare.

We live in a world where people are selective with their encouragement or they are often too busy sit and listen and when they do, they seem to be more interested in sharing gossip rather than caring about you.  How sad our lives would be if no one care enough about us. Sadly, there are many in this very situation who are alone and no one goes out of their way to make sure they are ok. This is a particular problem among our elderly. 

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

However, part of our role of comforting and encouraging each other also includes "bearing one another's burdens". This can be very hard at times, especially when you have your own troubles and they feel too heavy for you to carry. How can you possibly bear another's burdens on top of your own?  Remember that two can lift each other up, can lean on each other for support, make each other smile and laugh and before long the load does feel much lighter. Sharing the load also means you can share God's Word, that God loves us, that God equips us, that we are treasured and that we are never alone with our burdens.

But, don't put all your energy into encouraging your friends and forget about your husband. He needs your encouragement more than anyone. He needs to be reminded daily that you love him and that you are there to support and help him in any way you can. Through your encouragement you boast his confidences, you can empower him, make him stronger, happier, healthier, more positive and the list goes on and on! A happy husband makes for a happy marriage. 

Lets keep on encouraging one another and perhaps encourage just a little more!


Monday, April 20, 2015



Envy . . . “a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.


If we are honest with ourselves, we all get envious or jealous at times. Sometimes it might be subtle in our own minds as we wish things were different, other times it can eat us up, warp our perspective and take us into dark places where we will struggle to get out of. Envy can consume us like a fire.

I have never been overseas and as I get older I feel that perhaps I never will. I would so much love to travel and see the world . . . but due to circumstances, it has never been possible. I know people who are currently traveling overseas, about to or planning to do so.  At work my colleagues all talk about their overseas trips with such joy and excitement, all the wondrous places they have seen and how much they look forward to their next trip. I sit quietly because I don't want to mention that I have never left this country and unlikely to. 

Yes, I get envious of those who have been fortunate enough to travel to exotic places and I wish it was me going instead. 

Envy is not new, its been around since the days of Cain and Abel. There is something like 55 verses on envy and jealousy in the Bible . . . we are such weak and pathetic souls who God knew we would struggle with these emotions. Here are just a few of the verses on envy:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

A sound heart is life to the body, But envy is rottenness to the bones. (Proverbs 14:30)

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. (James 3:16)

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. (James 3:14-15)

You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:17)

Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame. (Song of Solomon 8:6)

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Philippians 2:3)

We live in a world that tells us to "keep up with the Jones" and not be satisfied with what we have. The media are excellent at planting the "desire of want", reminding us that we really do need the latest technology, the biggest house, better furniture, the latest fashions, a faster car, improved looks, less weight, be more successful and more money. One doesn't need to look far to see these messages surrounding us - in magazines, on the TV, social media, even in the news, newspapers, on billboards or just in conversations between people. It is a rare thing to find someone who is honest and says they are content with what they have and no longer want what others have. When John D. Rockefeller was asked how much money was enough, he replied "Just on more dollar", we too always seem to want "just one more thing".

Of course, envy doesn't need to be just about material things. Women in miserable marriages feel envious about those in happy marriages. Women at work feel envious of those at home, women struggling to conceive, feel envious of those with children. This is understandable and one feels great sadness for those women struggling in an unhappy marriage, having difficulties conceiving or those who want to follow the Lord and become keepers of their home. The bible shares the story of Rachel and Leah, Rachel was beautiful  and the scripture simply states the sad truth: "And Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah." The rivalry between the two sisters were bitter, nasty and miserable as Rachel wanted what Leah had (children) and Leah wanted what Rachel had (Jacob's love). Years were wasted on their bitterness and discontent when they only needed to be gracious, kind and generous to  each other.

Being envious indicates that we are not satisfied with what God has given us. The Bible tells us to “be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). To be find contentment and throw away envy we need to be honest with ourselves and recognise that we do get envious of what others  have and it is a sinful emotion. Our envy keeps us from desiring God's Word and from living more Christlike  . . .  instead of focusing on Christ, we are too focused on ourselves and our own desires, we are only concerned about satisfying our own cravings and as a result we forget to look at how God has truly blessed us.  

When our lives are over, we're going to leave everything behind. The body we spend so much money on will return to dust. The wardrobe, the beautiful home, the bank account, the advanced degree, the recognition—all those things that we give our lives to are going to remain on Planet Earth long after we've departed.

There are no pockets in a shroud. That's why it's essential to remember that only two things on earth will enter eternity—people and God's Word. If we give priority to giving God's word to people and living it, we'll have something that will last forever. (from

As our faith strengthens and we spend more time serving others instead of ourselves (and being excited for their blessings), our heart will change and we will no longer want or desire the things of this world.

We need to offer words of graciousness when someone is blessed with an opportunity to do something that you so much would like to do yourself. To give thanks to those who are blessed with another child or reach out to someone in an unhappy marriage rather than boasting about your great family. Envy is such a nasty cancer that spreads and can be difficult to kill. We don't want to be like Rachel and Leah.

And do not be conformed to this world, 
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, 
that you may prove what is that good and 
acceptable and perfect will of God. 

(Romans 12:2)


Friday, April 17, 2015

Art Friday: Henry Edward Spernon Tozer

Art Friday: Henry Edward Spernon Tozer
1870 - 1940

Love these paintings, they are so homely and cosy and I am sure over the years, I have stepped into a few homes that look like these. Like many homes of the past, the kitchen (which was often large) was the room that many lived in almost all the time. It was the warmest room in the house over winter (and why burn another fire in the house when the kitchen fire did the trick - it saved on wood and coal) with the good light from the window, it was a perfect place for women to work on their sewing whilst they kept an eye on their dinner cooking.

I particular like the painting with the older woman still by the fire quilting. I almost want to reach in and sit in the chair opposite and hear her stories.

This is another favourite of mine, a very warm and cosy room.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Room by room: The hallway

The hallway

This is probably a space you didn't think I would cover as it isn't technically a room . . . its a space that takes us from room to room and often sadly neglected. It is also often part of the entrance to your house and is the "room" that sets the tone of how your guests will feel about coming into your house. Is your entrance hallway inviting, warm and welcoming?  How does it "feel"? Have a look at your entrance hall and see how others might view it.

Lets focus first on the hall nearest your entrance. What makes it inviting . . . do guests feel that this is a home, a place they want to keep entering.

I think entrance hallway need to be neat and tidy (even if you have children). If it is a place to keep shoes, why not add attractive baskets for the shoes, the dollar store often has baskets that are inexpensive.

If it is a place to dump the keys and bags, add a small table, bowl for the keys and interesting hooks on the wall for storage.

If the front door is dull, paint it with a bright colour or add a curtain across the window to add privacy and colour. Have you thought of a stain glass window? I love stain-glass but it can be very expensive. I have seen larger stickers that you can buy that cover the window and give the impression of stain-glass.

Why not wallpaper the walls, a lamp by the front door . . . how about fresh flowers or a bowl of potpourri to make the entrance smell nice. A pot plant, a mirror . . . there are many things we can do to the entrance hallway that will make it inviting but still remain practical.

Halls that are away from the front door can be dark and dingy and we hardly every stop and have a look at the hallway but there are ways of jazzing it up to make it a more inviting space that aren't expensive. 

Here are some ideas:
  • brighten up with colour - mine hallway is yellow
  • consider wallpaper
  • add a colourful and cheery runner
  • add photos or artwork on the walls . . . it is often the place to add the family photos, look for interesting frames to make them stand out
  • add a mirror or two to make it look bigger
  • find an interesting light-shade or add lighting along the floor (like they have in planes)
  • add a lamp on the hall table that creates atmosphere in the hall way in the evenings
  • create a theme, perhaps seaside or country
  • if very dark, add a skylight
If the hall is wide enough, think about adding a bookcase such as the one above. Perhaps a hall table for more storage such as for shoes and a place for a lamp and other bits and pieces. Below are some ideas I found on Pinterest, how about a blackboard for the children or an "organisational station" (I hadn't thought of that idea). 

There are many things you can do in the hallway that will turn it from dull and boring to interesting and place you enjoy walking through.

If you have enjoyed this one, please check out others in my Room by Room series:


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Random Tuesday #15 - Autumn leaves and calmness

Autumn (Fall) is my favourite season.  The days are usually sunny and warm with cool to cold nights. Perfect weather for sitting outside and watching the world go by and cozying up under a throw with a book in the evening. The best of both worlds. On Sunday morning (after driving my son to work) I sat outside and read for a while. The birds were singing and I could hear the flutter of leaves as they fell to the ground. It was all rather perfect and ever so peaceful in this crazy noisy world. 

It is so hard to believe that it is April already. It hurts my head just thinking about how fast this year has gone. I am not the only one to comment on the speed and wonder how one can slow down the days.  I don't really know how to make the days go slower, they seem to move at a greater pace than ever before without me doing anything in particular. Perhaps it is the instant society that I wrote about yesterday, it simply doesn't want us to slow down. 

We are on a super-highway that doesn't have a slow lane. Have you ever got to the end of the day and your head is still bussing from the days activities? It isn't good for us mentally or physically and we do need to find a way to STOP.

Interestedly, the bible is full of verses about being still and quiet that are even more relevant today than ever before. Sitting in my garden just listening to the silence is therapeutic in it's self. But as a society, we aren't very good at listening to silence anymore, we just can't handle it. We seem to have a need to fill the silence with noise: the television up loud, playing noisy music, phones ringing,  loud conversations, rushing about — it can be rare to hear nothing at all.  Sitting quietly in silence is no longer valued, our society only seems to value busyness and activity and as a result it can no longer hear God and turns up the volume to block Him out. 

“Be still, and know that I am God”—Psalm 46:10

I hope you get the opportunity to sit quietly today and allow the silence to wash over you.


"I cannot endure to waste anything
so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying  in the house."

 ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne ~

My garden is full of colour at the moment, I wanted to share all these beautiful Autumn leaves with you. 

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolour, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all"

~ Stanley Horowitz ~

"How beautifully leaves grow old. 
How full of light and colour are their last days."

~ John Burroughs ~

"Fall has always been my favourite season. 
The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, 
as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale"

~ Lauren DeStefano ~

Charlie and the stone gorilla.
(yes, my husband bought it for me many years ago for one of my birthdays!!)

For words of encouragement to start your day and a place of calmness, check out my Facebook page: LINK


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