Breathe…just breathe!

Welcome, it is time to slow down & sit for a while, to just breathe & enjoy a delightful beverage & treat while reflecting upon some poignant & inspiring challenges in life…

adult air beautiful beauty  I have brewed a Caramel Orange tea blend for us, which was a gift from my daughter on her recent return from Japan…& our treat for today is a Gf raspberry & white chocolate nut slice…I do have coffee for those of you who love coffee!

The tea is delightful with its sweet citrus taste which is mellow & smooth to the palate. The nut slice is interestingly a great accompaniment with its nutty raspberry flavor, alas the white chocolate dribble gets lost in the nutty taste…

We have a saying here in Australia,  “it doesn’t just rain but it pours!”

Meaning when challenges come in life, they seem to come all at once! This has been true with the challenges that have presented themselves in my life recently…I shared one of those challenges last week in Wisdom…from a 10 year old child? …. & the most recent is for our time of reflection today….

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to tell yourself to…just breathe, breathe calmly & slowly….to rest in the peace & serenity…of God…?

I recently had such an experience, let me set the scene for you…

For a while now I have had some problems with dexterity & fine motor skills in both  hands, thinking this was just age related, possibly mild osteoarthritis, I hadn’t been too concerned at first. But lately it seems to be getting a lot more difficult to do ordinary everyday tasks…so I mentioned this to my physician on a scheduled visit & was immediately sent for a range of medical investigations.

I returned to his clinic to get the results…I was told that two suspicious lesions had been identified on my cervical spine (neck)… The words used by the Specialist on the report was “suspected Metastases!”  He recommended further medical investigations in the Nuclear medical field to define the perimeters of the lesions & identify the primary cancer! Breathe, slowly & calmly breathe…

The word Metastases shocked me & was most unexpected…but as I walked out of my Physician’s office…I told myself to once again…breathe, calmly & slowly….rest in  God’s peace & serenity…for He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me!

As I walked to the car, I prayed,

“Heavenly Father, I am in your hands, it’s over to you whatever the outcome!”

the peace that passes all understanding descended upon my soul…wrapping me in God’s love, comfort & strength…acting as a protective umbrella from the downpour of uncertainty…

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I went for the Nuclear Medicine investigation, which for this gal with Fibromyalgia was a physical challenge in itself over the 5 hour process…but my soul continued to be wrapped in the blanket of God’s peace & love…breathing calmly & slowly…

I received the results a few days later…the lesions were not Metastatic as first suspected…but age related, no sign of any primary cancers! Praise God!

God had kept His promise of walking with me, keeping my soul protected under His umbrella of perfect peace, a bright light in the darkness of uncertainty…praise Him!

So…yes the old saying can be true… it doesn’t just rain but can pour down with life’s challenges at times…but I am so grateful I have the relationship I have, imperfect as I am, with an amazing Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus…who consistently pour love, peace, strength & comfort upon me through His Spirit….as I walk & breathe in His life giving breath!

If you don’t already & yet would also like to have this amazing relationship with Him, enjoying His peace, love & comfort for yourself, may you be inspired by clicking on & reading my testimony in  My story

Have you experienced a time, when you too have had to hand it all over to God & rest in His care, peace & serenity?

Well our delightful tea & delicious treats are now finished, I enjoyed our time together today dear friend…until next time…

Jennifer

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Wisdom…from a 10 year old child?

Welcome dear friend, we are going to have such a lovely time of tea & reflection today, I’m excited to share some amazing events from this past week…

close up photography of three kiwi topped tarts

I have a Japanese Apricot Rose tea for us, a gift from my granddaughter Miss S on her recent trip to Japan & Gf Lemon tarts with fresh kiwi fruit & strawberries for us…

The tea is delightfully fruity & aromatic,  very enjoyable with the combination of the lemon in the tarts….mmmmm…delicious! Shall we begin our time of reflection while we sip & delight in the taste of our treats…

If you have been traveling with me here for awhile, then you will be aware that I am a grandmother (Nanny) to our combined family of 10 grandchildren…

I would like to share a conversation that I had with my 10 year old grandson master M on one of my visits with him…that would prove to be very poignant…

Nanny, what have you been doing since I saw you last?” he enquired with interest.

I hadn’t seen him for many months as we live 1000km apart & it had been a difficult year with Fibromyalgia flares…making it impossible for me to travel during those times. So we had a lot to catch up on this visit.

I explained that I had been busy with my website…writing  & sharing what God has done in our lives to encourage others in their life. His eyes widened & he got very excited.

Nanny have you shared from the books of the Bible yet (naming three ancient texts)?” he asked.

Before I could answer he hurriedly continued, as though he couldn’t get his thoughts verbalized quickly enough before the next ones flooded into his mind…

“..you should share how powerful God is Nanny, that will help people to know His power & what He can do in their lives….you could tell them about the powerful times God helped His people…” he suggested. 

He continued with all seriousness upon his handsome face;

“Remember the three men who loved God & had been captured & taken away to another country, they had kept God’s ways but the nasty King wanted them to bow down & worship him & his image…not God… They knew they only were to worship the Creator God of the whole Universe. So they didn’t worship the King & were thrown into the furnace that was heated like a volcano.

And it was so melting hot that when the guards put Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-nego into it, they got burnt. But when the King looked into the fire, heated like a volcano, he saw four men dancing in the flames. Nanny, God had sent an Angel of the Lord to protect & dance with them while they were in the fire!” Refer

Little did I know that these words were a forerunner for the following events to unfold over this past weekend…

We received the following message;

WARNING,  High Alert, Bushfire… burning out of control, main road is closed (because of flames & dense smoke). Too late to leave the area. Put your household Bushfire plan into action. Stay alert, watch & act!

We only have one road that leads in & out of our area...I had already made a Bushfire plan of action a few years ago…when another fire had sped through the Bush, also placing us on high alert. I walked over & took this off the refrigerator, where it is kept, & discussed it with my husband, we agree that we will go to the waterfront emergency evacuation point…when the time comes…

He goes out into our backyard to see how far the smoke is from us & what direction the wind is taking it…he is a retired volunteer firefighter, so has the experience to do this…He estimates it is at least 7-8 kms away & the wind direction is blowing the fire away from us.

I get onto the Emergency Bushfire website to keep us informed with their regular updates from ground crew on the scene…& turn the news station on…

We work together as a team…my husband & I…

We hear the Emergency sirens, near & far, over the next several hours,  reminding us this is serious, we feel the powerful thud & percussion of the rotor blades as the mighty choppers fly overhead with their firefighting water buckets dangling from great heights, going back & forth to dump water on the flames & refill from the sea waters surrounding us…

silhouette outside fire dangerous

The air & atmosphere is crackling with a sense of extreme danger & urgency, much prayer is prayed…For the firefighters on the ground who are all trained volunteers, the emergency service workers, police, ambulance & the chopper pilots…that no lives are lost or injuries incurred at the hands of this fiery rampaging & insatiable beast!

We notice that the smoke outside has become thick & dense, the aroma of burning timber hangs heavy in the air…even though the house had been closed up since the first whiff of smoke came to us…The smell is quite strong…the media describe this smoking beast as an out of control firestorm…

Our next alert arrives;

Wind direction has changed, the fire is out of control & heading straight for the three villages on the peninsula, once again we are told it is too late to leave, we are advised to shelter in our homes & secure buildings as the fire front approaches! If physically & mentally able…defend your homes!

It is now night, we hear the sirens & fire trucks out front, stopping at the corner of our street. The choppers had already ceased as night fell, too dangerous for them to fly in the dark & dense smokey sky…My husband goes out to reassess the situation, he returns to tell me the firefighters are setting up a line of defense to head off this roaring beast.

We already have our bags packed ready to evacuate to the waterfront…As soon as the word is given we will go…

We go out the front to see how close the fire is, we can see the flames jumping through the trees with fine ash falling upon us! The fire has bypassed the first & second villages & sped down the Bush corridor heading straight for us! We are in its path!

We have a large Bush reserve opposite our home….the firefighters are fighting to protect us…trying to prevent the beast leaping across the road to hungrily devour the reserve…which would put all our lives on the peninsula in grave danger…As this is the only road access to the emergency evacuation point, for all three villages!

We & many others continue to pray…

Then suddenly a supernatural peace descends, God is with them in the firefighting, as we watch, suddenly the fiery out of control beast that has been raging & rampaging consuming an area of 5,000 acres of bushland, is tamed & quenched, God has been with us in the fire…No lives lost or injuries incurred, no homes lost…

I remember my grandson’s words above;

“… share how powerful God is Nanny, that will help people to know His power & what He can do in their lives…You can tell them the powerful times He helped His people…”

He surely does master M, He powerfully answers prayer both in ancient times & for us today! Out of the mouths of babes!

Until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

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Tea party of Life…

Welcome to my abode, I have prepared a special tea just for the two of us today…I love having a special time around tea, it is so calming & refreshing…

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Shall we begin our time together, for those of you who prefer coffee I do have some interesting coffee blends on hand…vanilla,  salted caramel or white chocolate are your options. Our treat of deliciousness is a Gf lemon syrup cake made from our own home grown lemons shown in My neighborhood….

Things in Life can feel like a tea party at times don’t you think… it starts with a thought that grows into an idea, which before you know it has morphed into a plan & invitations have been sent out. Excited anticipation turns into pressure with a touch of anxiety for everything to fall into place…for a special time around tea & niceties…

In other words what starts out as a simple thought & pleasurable idea soon becomes an anxiety inducing & overwhelming pressure…

These thoughts & ideas may include…a new career move, a sea or tree change, new relationship, marriage, parenthood, renovating your home, writing a book or blogging…& the list could go on…

Just like the  preparations for the tea party, if we don’t keep things simple…they can become unnecessarily complicated…

An example of this can be seen in the planning stage… if I have too many beverage & food choices…this not only creates an enormous amount of work for me but my guests will become overwhelmed with too many options…

This can happen in life too, we can take on too many commitments, which in turn leads to stress that leads to anxiety & ultimately depression…when in actual fact we need to be simplifying our lives not complicating them…Then life becomes doable & enjoyable… Life is too short to be taking on too many commitments that take us away from the important things in life…spending time with the Lord, spouses, family & friends…

We need to prioritize the following when making new plans for our lives;

  • Our present capacity in life…energy,  finances, health, season etc..
  • Timing for these ideal plans to be fulfilled.
  • And present commitments that are already filling our capacity!
  • Have we prayed about the above, are these ideas actually God’s plan for us…

“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare & not for calamity,  to give you a future & a hope.”  Refer

We can make our lives overly complicated & stressful when we take on too much or don’t weigh the wisdom of our thoughts & ideas for a new direction.

May we be mindful of God’s timing & direction for us, as in my experience in Flight delay, life delay… & may we be considerate of each individual’s capacity, as you enjoy Berry tea & expresso coffee….

Until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

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Flight delay, life delay…

My eldest daughter & I had enjoyed morning tea with a delicious Gf caramel nut slice at the airport café… Having arrived early for my scheduled flight home, after visiting with family who live interstate…we walked to the boarding gate where I could see our aircraft through the windows, I had an uneasy feeling about this aircraft…mmmm…

photography of airplane during sunrise

We all boarded the aircraft efficiently & effectively having hugged our loved ones farewell at the boarding gate, we sat in our allocated seats, buckled up, happy the flight was on time to travel to our destination. Over the intercom came the call for certain named passengers to make themselves known to flight crew. I wondered the reason…

As passengers we smiled at each other, strangers & yet companions in travel…chit chatting together while pulling out puzzle books, magazines & crosswords to keep ourselves occupied on the flight. Another announcement issued over the intercom this time from the Pilot…two people had not boarded the aircraft but their checked baggage had already been loaded…which meant that with new security laws, the baggage now had to be located in the hold & unloaded before we could take off, a 40 minute delay would ensue. The lady next to me muttered about inconsiderate people as we sat in our seats on board doing our puzzles & crosswords. I wondered what may have happened to these people…who had already checked their baggage but had not boarded…

Then the following thought crossed my mind…there is always a reason for delays, interruptions to our schedules or a change in plan…especially when we have committed the day to the Lord (my daughter, grandsons & I had prayed together that morning)…Sometimes we get to know the reason & other times not…

As I sat in my seat & pulled out my Gf sushi lunch I had in my handbag, grateful for something to eat while I waited as it was now past lunchtime…the Pilot once again was announcing over the intercom…apparently while unloading the baggage from the hold, an issue with the outside of the aircraft had been spotted, which had been missed in preflight checks, that needed urgent rectification by the Engineers before we could fly!

Ahhh, there was the reason, the lady sitting next to me, commented that this changed the situation entirely & I replied,

“Praise God for people who don’t turn up with checked baggage already in the hold!” She nodded & smiled…

Our flight was uneventful once in the air with a perfect landing & while 70 minutes late, not one passenger complained…rather…all were grateful to be safe, alive & well at our destination & thankful for the delay!

We often get impatient for the delays that are in our lives…Don’t we…We think things should happen in our timing or according to our schedule rather than God’s perfect timing in the situation…

We can’t see the beginning or the end but God can…He is not restricted by our timing…Just as delays may be necessary for safe travel, life delays may be necessary for the timing, circumstances, attitudes or Others to align for the journey to be fruitful…

Let us not be so focused on our timing…rather… May we focus on faith, trust & hope that God is working on whatever we have committed to Him…though we may not be able to see it…The Great Engineer is rectifying the issues before we can fly!

You may also enjoy Blueberry tea time… (click on the green text)…Until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

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My neighborhood…

G’day from wintery Australia! Today we are going to stop & smell the roses…meaning we are going to take time out from the busyness of life with all its  tensions, expectations & anxiety of performance…to enjoy a time of stillness, quietness & refreshing of the soul within the beauty that surrounds us…

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Let us begin our walk…but first let me show you some exciting things in my garden that my husband has been cultivating…the Azalea (above) is magnificent this year…

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Our lemons are ripe & ready for harvest on our dwarf lots of lemons tree & in the background are strawberry plants loaded with strawberries, not yet ready for harvest…

As we stroll down the road & turn the corner, a view of coastal bliss greets us…

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Reaching the waterfront we observe the wind skimming across the surface of the water creating distinct smooth & choppy effects, steering the anchored boats in the same direction…

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We observe the Pied Oystercatchers as they scour the rocks for oyster delicacies…with their striking colors…of black & white with bright orange legs & beaks…as we trudge through the sand…

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We come to a timber seat, we sit….enjoying the wind upon our face, the warmth of the sun upon our backs…the sound of the waves lapping the shore entwined with the melodious song of the native birds above our heads & as the tide recedes….our soul quietens, the tension ebbs & peace flows, we sense His Holy presence…we savor the moment…for He, the Spirit of God is with us…

We eventually amble back to enjoy a hot cup of  Hibiscus & Cranberry tea (you can enjoy your cup by clicking on the green text)…as we sip our tea we focus on the following truth observed by the ancients…

“…since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through that which has been created…” Refer

It was so lovely to have you drop by, I hope you enjoyed our walk around my neighborhood & our Hibiscus & Cranberry tea time together dear friend…until next time…

Jennifer

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