Friday, October 31, 2014

Art friday: Holly Hobbie


Art Friday: Holly Hobbie

Were you a fan of Holly Hobby as a child?

As a child I loved the Holly Hobby character and can remember owning several things with the imagine of the blue Holly in her traditional floral bonnet (see below). It brings back warm memories of my childhood!!

Holly Hobby was created by Denise Holly Ulinskas, born 1944 in the USA. In the late 1960s, Hobbie sold distinctive artwork of a cat-loving, rag dress-wearing little girl in a giant bonnet to American Greetings. This series of illustrations became popular, and her originally nameless character became known as "Holly Hobbie”. The blue girl is probably the best known and always my favourite. 














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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Are you a sober woman?

Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. (1 Timothy 3:11)

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. (Titus 2:2)

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (1 Peter 4:7)

Do you get the feeling that we as Christians need to be sober. There are plenty of verses telling us just that.  

I remember reading these verses as a much younger woman and thinking "that doesn't sound like much fun". And at face value it sounds like a very serious, solemn woman who know nothing about enjoying herself. So what does it mean to be a "sober (sensible) woman" in the 21st century when most women (and men) are anything but. 

Ultimately it means that she is has strong self-control and able to curb her passions. She is a sensible woman who is not silly, giggly, crude, obnoxious or vulgar in her behaviour or language. She is calm, discrete, guarded (not a gossiper), sound-minded, self-disciplined, prudent, thoughtful, charitable, patient and she thinks before she acts. She doesn't conform to the patterns of this world and she stands out from modern women both in her actions and by her behaviour.  

We see such a woman in Proverbs 31, verse 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.  You can't imagine the woman of Proverbs 31 being silly or out of  control, selfish or lacking in consideration for others and she would never berate her husband in public or yell at her children in the supermarket for being naughty. Even when cross, she remains in control.

Being sober doesn't mean being boring or dull. It is about creating a godly women that is in control, who has order in all aspects of her life, a woman very much in charge of running her household, caring for her children and being her husband's helpmate. She is a very strong and reliable woman who can withstand the bombardment from our ungodly society and the stresses of everyday life where anything goes. 

According to Martha Peace in "Becoming a Titus 2 Woman", a sober women . . . show love to others by acting properly as they rejoice in every day that the Lord has made. Their dress, attitude, and behaviour are pleasing to the Lord. They are a modernised version of the "holy women of old" (1 Peter 3:5). A sober woman is one that wants to please the Lord and therefore takes extra special care about how she behaves and how she treats others.

Being sober is considered so important, older women are instructed to teach younger women how to be sober (among other things) in Titus 2:3-5

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.

Why would this be important - because how can a young mother and wife take on their serious responsibilities if they are acting silly, frivolous, lack discipline or easily distracted by the world. Young women need to exercise control over their actions, their thoughts, and their emotions so that they are not easy targets of the world and its the role of older women to guide them through this. The world is full of temptations and for some young women the pull is very strong unless they have someone watching out for them, such as a sober-minded older woman.  But how can an older woman do this, if they themselves are poor role models. Sadly, there is a declining number of older women who are sober-minded to take up the mantel which means we have young women with no one to teach them biblical instructions and how to live sensibly and that can be devastating.

However, it is important to stress that a sober woman does not mean one can not have fun, or laugh or enjoying themselves. Of course women should laugh and laugh lots - we all know that laughter is good for our health. What it does means though is being watchful at what we laugh at e.g. a crude or unpleasant joke at work or laughing at someone's misfortune. Likewise there is nothing wrong with have fun but it is the sort of fun we have that matters - selecting the right company to have fun with, being able to remain in control and not becoming over-indulgnent, loud, unpleasant and "dancing on table tops" kind of woman and if you do choose to drink alcohol, you drink in moderation - a drunk woman is NOT a pretty godly woman. 

So, to summarise - we all need to be mindful of how we behave at home and in public. We can still have fun and laugh and be a little silly at times - BUT remember that we need to be in control, disciplined in our actions and not follow the world with their "let it all hangout "attitude. Being a sober woman is being a sensible woman in all aspects of their lives.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age. 

(Titus 2:11-12)

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lots of happy birthdays


Being a mother is hard work and it doesn't stop when your child becomes an adult, in fact it can become even harder. These last 12 months have been extremely difficult for our entire family and whilst I would like to say I wouldn't want them repeated, I have learnt a lot about being mother and a Christian. A mother never stops learning and every time a new problem or issue arises, mothers learn how to respond and we all do, even when we don't realise it.

My son turns 22 today and its a joyous occasion. One year ago he wasn't in a good place at all, 12 months along there have been many improvements but I am realistic and know we still have a road ahead to tackle.  As a little boy he was the sweetest cuddliest child but like any little boy he wasn't perfect and was very capable of getting up to all sorts of mischief!


Interestedly - it is not only my son's birthday today, it is also my oldest friend's birthday (a lady I have known since we were babies in our cradles), it is also the birthday of young man (aged 9) who is my cousin's son and it is our cat Charlie's birthday.

So to all having a birthday today - have a wonderful day.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Farewell Gaia


Sadly our beautiful tan doberman passed away suddenly on Friday 24th October. 

Gaia

Like all four-legged members of our family, Gaia was much loved and very spoilt. He was a gentle dog to his family and a great guard dog who took his job very seriously. Only on Friday, the week before he "protected" us from a dog that was trying to cause problems along our back lane way.  He loved a cuddle, having his "hand" held, very fond of curling up in bed next to my husband and going to sleep, loved going for walks and eating grass along the way and got along very well with the cats (Ruby adored him). However he hated thunderstorms and could predict them long before they arrives. To help reduce the stress, we would bring him inside and then he was much happier and wouldn't annoy the neighbours with his endless barking. He also strongly disliked the possums that liked to visit  at night and would bark at them to go away.

Ruby (my black cat) knew all the different barks that Gaia had and would respond accordingly: 

"look out of the front window, postman coming"
"go and hide . . . DANGER"
"dad's walking up the drive, run to front door"
"mum's home, big welcome at front door"
"don't do anything, just feel like barking"
"THUNDER . . . THUNDER"
"Brenin . . . time to guard"

Ruby understood all of this and followed the instructions. However on Friday the house was silent, no barking and poor Ruby knew something was very wrong. 

Our black doberman (Brenin) isn't a barker, so he would do the running (patrolling the fence line) whilst Gaia would do the barking. They made for a great team.  Brenin is now on his own and feeling rather sad and lost.

Gaia was 8 years old and in good health. Why he died is unknown but the vet suspects a heart attack. We know he wasn't poisoned or bitten by a snake. 

Here are some wonderful photos of a beautiful dog who gave so much.  

Taken last year when Gaia was 7. A handsome Doberman. You will notice that his ears are down and he has a tail. Docking of tails is not allowed in most states of Australia and it is illegal to alter their ears as done in the USA. 
Gaia with his gentle giant - our very elderly (and now deceased ridgeback)

Gaia loved this toy, in fact he loved toys all his life and was always carrying around a tire or rope. He would bring them inside and the cats would roll all over his toys so they could pick up his scent.  I have given Ruby (our cat that just loved Gaia) one of Gaia's toys so she has something of his. 
Gaia with his best friend Brenin.  When Gaia died, Brenin let out the loudest and saddest howl my husband had ever heard - that is how he knew something had happened. 
They may have fought as young dogs, but they worked as a team guarding our home and family. 
Gaia was our organiser - he rounded up the bowls and kept watch over them, often having them on his bed whilst he slept. He also tidying up his toys and kept Brenin in order. 
Gaia was always on guard - this time it was the possums that kept him busy. 
He loved his ropes. 
Gaia and I - 6 or so years ago. It was such a loving dog and always liked a hug. 



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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brighten the Corner Where You Are

Roses from my garden

Brighten the Corner Where You Are

~ by Ira D. Ogdon (1872-1964) ~

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Refrain:
Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Refrain

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.


Refrain


*****


You don't need to be a missionary and relocate to another country to make a differences. You don't need to do charity work to make a differences. In fact you can "brighten a corner" from your computer via a Christian blog, through your Facebook page (keeping it positive and uplighting), when you go shopping, at work, reaching out and helping your neighbour, via a letter to a friend. As this wonderful hymn says . . . do not wait to shed your light afar, brighten the corner where you are.  So often people think they need to do something (called to do something), however, often its right there under their noses and they can't see it. For mothers with children, brighten the corner where your children and your husband are, this bright light that you shine is by far the most important one that you can do, all others are simply extras when you have the time. 

But it doesn't just mean only preaching the Word . . . it also means reaching out and helping, perhaps when you see a person struggling at the supermarket or someone looking sad who needs a smiling face. Just a simple gesture might remove the black cloud above them. 

Lets all brighten in our own small corners this coming week and make a differences. 


And whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 
(Colossians 3:17)
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Art Friday: Deborah DeWit



Artist: Deborah DeWit
Born Portland, Oregon, USA

Paintings of those quite moments we all enjoy and treasure. Enjoy.














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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hand made gifts


Its my friends birthday next week and I wanted to make her something special so I made these lavender bags for her clothing. I am really pleased with the end result and I do like the purple and green fabric.  I love handmade gifts, it shows that the giver has gone to a lot of effort to make something unique, just for you. 

Once upon-a-time it was completely normal to make gifts for friends and family.  Only the rich could afford to buy and give gifts, no one else had money to waste. Women would spent their evenings sewing, knitting, embroidering, crocheting to make all sorts of wonderful things to give to others. Each piece was made with love and care. Often the items were practical such as clothing, but they also make pretty doilies, tablecloths and quilts that were then passed down the family.  Men made items out of wood - toys for the children and pretty jewellery boxes for their wives.  Even after a busy day, they still found the time to handcraft gifts for  others.

Those familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder will remember Ma making gifts for the children and how excited they were to receive them. Children in those days were not spoilt with gifts on a regular basis, so they loved it when given gifts that their mother or father had made as it really was a very special treat. 


If  you gave a modern child a handmade item, most would be very disappointed. They want the latest electronic gadget that cost a small fortune and parents are more than willing to cater for their requests. They simply wouldn't appreciate something handcrafted.   These days it is a rarity to receive a handmade gift - women no longer have the time or the skills to make gifts for others. And even more sad, their lack of skill means they are unable to teach their daughters how to make homemade items for others.

One doesn't need to be a great sewer (I am certainly not), just find something that is simple and easy and matches your skill level. If sewing or knitting isn't your forte, perhaps make a batch of biscuits,  brownies, some lemon butter, a loaf of artisan bread, pasta sauce, jam, cupcakes, even one of those cookie mixes in a jar, candles, bath scrubs . . . the list is endless and it is so much cheaper than buying all the time.  Pinterest is over flowing with gift ideas that are cheap and easy to make.

Its worth, when you are next in the dollar store to look out for possible gift ideas, ribbon, jars, boxes, stickers . . . that way you will have a stash of bits and pieces that will make gift making so much easier.

Lets get back to making things with our hands, using our talents to craft something special for someone else.  Lets encourage our children to make gifts and discourage them from wanting the latest toy in the store. We spend a small fortune on toys that don't last and often require batteries - lets get back to basics!!

A few ideas I found on Pinterest
She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands. 
Proverbs 31:13

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