Tea & Tigers in the Highlands of Malaysia…

Hi, lovely to have you drop by…as many enjoyed my last reflection on the Leprosy community in Thailand… I thought I would share another inspiring adventure from the same time period. An adventure that I still find astonishing in its timing & encouraging in its preparation…

green treesTo set the mood, I thought I would brew some black tea & accompany it with a delicious bowl of sweet & crispy coconut rolls for our theme…

The tea is a mellow blend, smooth on the tongue & the coconut rolls are so delicious that you can’t stop at just one! Mmmm…morish!

While working at Dalat School in Malaysia I had the privilege of meeting many visitors from all over the world, on one particular occasion I met an English family  living & working in the Cameron Highlands at the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) school there, he was the principal & she a teacher. I invited them over for dinner that night & we had a lovely time of fellowship together, their children were a little older than ours but all got on famously. On leaving they invited us to visit & share in their work in the Highlands.

So the next school break, we packed the car, took the car ferry from Penang across the Straits of Malacca to the mainland & headed for the Cameron Highlands…it was a picturesque trip through towns, passing Malay Kampongs (villages), Buddhist & Hindu temples, Mosques, farmland with water buffaloes, rice paddies, pigs, ducks & other animals.

We finally reached the foot of the mountains to start the ascent. The area was so interesting…with tea plantations blanketing the steep slopes of the mountainside. Tea pickers in their colorful Saris balancing baskets full of fresh green leaves from their heads scattered throughout the rows of tea bushes. And little roadside stalls beckoning us to stop every so often, selling fresh produce & handmade curios. The air became noticeably crisper & colder the higher we climbed, which was such a welcomed change after living in the humidity of the tropics…

We finally arrived at our destination which was a quaint old School Masters building from colonial days, complete with a wood heater in the living room & surrounded by the most beautiful English garden. That night we enjoyed a lovely home cooked meal with our new friends & made plans to meet up a few days later for afternoon tea. We were given a warning to be very careful & watchful after dark, as Tigers roamed the surrounding forests!

tiger through green leaves during dayThe next morning as we explored the area & its attractions, while driving I was sure I glimpsed a tiger amongst the bushes enjoying the sunshine! Later that day we heard that a tea worker had been attacked by a Tiger the previous night, not far from the compound where we were staying (the worker had survived)! This news was rather sobering & a little unnerving!

It came time forthe afternoon tea with our friends…while sitting around their cosy & warm fireplace, enjoying Devonshire tea together, my new friend started sharing their experience of the loss of their eldest child, who had died at birth…& retrieved a photo album from the shelf to share the photos of their child’s funeral. I’m a bit of a softy so I found this incredibly sad & a little overwhelming at the time (this was before I was clinically counseling). I felt incredibly privileged that they were comfortable to share this heart wrenching & deeply personal experience.

When the time came to say our farewells, my friend handed me a book called Angel Unaware by Dale Evans Rogers, saying she thought I would find it comforting. I thought this a very strange statement at the time but pushed it to one side thinking it had obviously been a comfort to them in their grief & that was what she had meant…

“He comes alongside us when we have hard times, & before you know it,  He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. “ Refer

I didn’t get to see these new friends again & sadly we lost contact over time but I can say without a doubt…that this meeting was definitely God ordained! It was a meeting over tea & treats that was a time of preparation for the coming events in my life…ten months later… my daughter Candy was born sleeping (stillborn) & then ten months after that my son Benjamin was also born sleeping (stillborn) shared in Eternity. I did indeed find comfort in my friend’s shared experience & Dale’s story in the book, to know others had been through the death of their child & found strength in God’s comfort was very comforting!

When you look back over your life…can you see definitive moments ordained by God? I would love to hear about them in the comments section below…(or click on the title of this reflection which will take you to its page, where you will find the comment section at the end)…until next time…dear friend…

Jennifer

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Leprosy community in Thailand…

Today we are going to travel back in time to share an encouraging & inspirational adventure that I feel very privileged to have experienced & I know you will find very inspiring…

agriculture asia countryside cropland

I have brewed an interesting tea blend for the occasion; Apple, green & black tea combination with a freshly baked Gf Date loaf (still warm) with lashings of butter. The tea is very different, not sure of the success of this combination with the first sip but it becomes tastier with each ensuing mouthful. The date loaf is ridiculously delicious!

Shall we travel to our reflective destination now…

When I was living & working in Penang, Pearl of the Orient  & while on the archeological quest of Digging for treasure… I was invited to travel to Khon Kaen in Thailand to share in the work amongst those living with the effects of leprosy.

This trip was of immense interest to me….since I was a small child & had first heard the stories of those suffering from Leprosy in ancient biblical texts, my heart had ached for those who were excluded & isolated from their families, friends & communities because of the stigma & fear that this disease incites in communities. Naively, I hadn’t realized back in 1980 that it was still causing havoc in peoples lives to this day!

I traveled on a fascinating train journey, passing farmers working in rice fields with water buffalo, through exotic villages & towns sprinkled with the glorious colors of a tropical country side….from Butterworth, Malaysia to Bangkok, Thailand.

agriculture carabao clouds countryside

Then continuing the journey from Bangkok arriving in Khon Kaen to stay with my friend who had given the invitation. The next day we took a drive out to the Leprosy community, which was quite a distance from the city into the county side. The community were very excited to have a new visitor & had prepared a delicious Thai meal to share with us. Afterwards I was given a tour of the compound. It was very impressive in its self sufficiency & ecological sustainability.

Asian vegetables, tropical fruit trees, chickens, fish, goats & pigs were all being farmed & used by the inhabitants of the compound, as well as, the excess being sold to local markets for other provisional needs. I was so impressed with this work & excited that it was now directed & sustained by the community itself!

But the most humbling moment for me…was when it came time for our departure to return to the city. A little lady, with the marks that herald leprosy, walked up to me smiling & carrying a huge basket overflowing with fresh tropical fruit & vegetables, meat & eggs as a gift for me! This was in appreciation for visiting them…She had given me her full week’s food for simply coming to visit…

However my friend informed me, that it wasn’t just a simple visit for this community…it was so much more…it was total acceptance & not rejection, it was the display of love & not recoiling in fear, it was inclusion & not exclusion in socializing over a meal & it was the gift of dignity that the visitation displayed, that had touched the hearts of the whole community…at the time I had not realized the impact that a simple visit to this community would have!

This became a defining moment in my life!

When I returned to Australia…I became an educator for The Leprosy Mission, in between family & work commitments. The Leprosy Mission is a global Christian organization that brings awareness & medical facilitation, dignity & empowerment, social integration, research & resource mobilization with compassion. And they reach half a billion people in the world annually who suffer from this disease!

Bringing awareness to their work, especially here in Australia, became my passion…which led to other amazing adventures that will be shared in future reflections…

This passion has lasted to this day…though I can no longer travel to far off places (reasons shared in Vanilla Rooibos Tea )…I can continue to support this important ministry through prayer & in sharing my own resources.  Over time I have seen Multi Drug Therapy (MDT) become an effective treatment & cure for halting the progression of the disease in the body with research continuing to hopefully one day create a preventative vaccine.

Did you know that there is a diagnosis of Leprosy made every two minutes & that there are over 220,000 new registered cases each year…50% of these cases are children Refer. Some are from the poorest countries in the world but others are in our own countries! So much food for thought…

This lady’s generosity continues to impact my life to this day…let us be mindful of the lasting effects that a simple gesture can have…a visit, a gift of love & the sharing of a meal…until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

Please note; I do not get any type of professional or personal financial reward for sharing this experience. 

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When we have nothing left to give…

Have you ever arrived at a place in your life where you are so worn out that you have literally nothing left to give…it doesn’t matter how hard you try….no…there’s just no energy left…

woman holding gray ceramic mug

Today I have arrived at that destination, so I am going to be very wise & kind to myself by savoring a lovely hot cup of caramelized orange tea with some fruit chips & put my feet up to rest, refresh & restore….while you have fun…click or tap on any of the following colored titles to be transported to a place where you can join me in a delightful time of tea & reflection…

You see when we come to that place of complete exhaustion whether physically, spiritually, emotionally or mentally…or may be all four at once…it is very important to realize that we need to take care, to rest, refresh & restore…this especially allows God to…

Be our shepherd, supply for us, giving us a sweet place to lie our weary bodies & a calm peaceful place to restore our souls…to guide us forward into what He has for us, in His will for our lives, to give Him glory…Refer

Well I hope you enjoyed being transported to our time of reflection today, it was so lovely to have you drop by…Until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

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What do we do with Heartache…

It comes to us all…doesn’t it…

Welcome dear friend, it’s time for us to sit & enjoy a cuppa, while we reflect upon some of the more difficult issues in life…

pexels-photo-371433.jpegGrab your favorite beverage & tidbit of deliciousness…I’m having a cup of Chai tea made with almond milk & a bliss ball made from raw cocoa, almond meal, dates & coconut…mmmm…Delicious!

Heartache, heartbreak, sadness of heart or heart brokenness are all a part of life on planet earth…you too may have had your fair share of it, maybe it was a lost love; or a betrayal from a once special someone; or it may have been the death of your loved one or one who you didn’t get the chance to show love to…as is part of my story which can be read in The Marie Antoinette tea

Whatever the cause of the agony of heart, it can be excruciatingly painful! I remember when my late husband lost his life to brain cancer, as I wept the night of his passing…my heart physically hurt because I was in such agony in losing my dear sweet gentle man…

But heartache can also come to us out of concern for others…we may get the sudden news from a dear friend or family member, that they are now facing a life changing & difficult situation…it may be a devastating diagnosis; or it may be a fatal or near fatal accident with life changing injuries; or the consequences of unwise choices in their life; or it may be a financial issue that will now severely impact their lives…the list could go on…but our heart truly aches for them…

Our first reaction may want to take this pain from them…or we may want to try & fix it…or help them in whatever way possible…& yes these are all noble thoughts to our initial reaction…but are they the correct ones for the situation?

Actually this is the time that we need to stop reacting & think very carefully & wisely about the type of support that is actually needed…the other person may need us to just be…to be praying for them in what they are now facing, to be sensitive to their need to act & react in their new situation, to be available for them to share how they are feeling or not feeling & to be giving them much needed time to themselves to grasp, grieve & adjust to this major life changing circumstance… otherwise we can actually be a hindrance to them!

We also need to allow God to do His work in the situation, as the following ancient script wisely tells us;

“For I will turn their mourning into joy & will comfort them, & give them joy for their sorrow.” Refer

We can offer & give them much needed love, emotional support & care….& assurance that we are there for them, upholding them in prayer, as they face this new norm but it is not our place to take it away, fix it or take over the situation for them…

We can offer support in many ways but please allow them to have the freedom to either graciously accept or refuse any practical offer of support without any offence being taken…as none would be intended.

Well that brings us to the end of our reflection for today…I hope this has given you some food for thought…Until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

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Knowing your body’s capacity…

Welcome, today we are doing something slightly different, I am going to share my professional & personal experience…to bring awareness to issues that many are living with…

pexels-photo-378151.jpeg

So grab your beverage of choice & a treat you love & sit with me, while I share the following & we reflect upon it together…

If you have been traveling with me here on this journey, then you may be aware that I am a registered & qualified Clinical Counselor & Supervisor (Meet Jennifer). Counseling chronically ill patients in pain management therapies & coping strategies was a part of my career for many years…

I would often be asked by my patients on how they could explain their chronic illness to their family & friends?  This is a tricky one, especially in the chronic health conditions of Fibromyalgia (FM) & Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) including many other chronic conditions where the patient looks well! My advice to them, at that time, was to be honest in what they were experiencing to the Significant Others in their lives.

Then I became chronically ill, you may like to read Vanilla Rooibos Tea … At first I would explain what I was experiencing with FM, to those who asked, in the following way; that FM was like having the worse flu you have ever had in your life, with all the aches & pain wracking your body…without the coughing & runny nose…the intensity may lessen or increase but the pain & fatigue is constantly there…

I have noticed over the last few years, that many ways of describing how depleted energy levels are felt in chronic health conditions have surfaced on the Internet, especially with FM/CFS. The most popular one is the Spoon analogy but there has also been the Laptop & the Mobile Phone battery analogies put forth. Which have worked for the person/s using them.

But I wanted an analogy to give to my patients on how the body acts physiologically within chronic illness & how this impacts us psychologically.

Thus, I was bantering this back & forth with a professional colleague of mine one day & we agreed upon the following concept…

The “Well” battery verses the “Chronically ill”  battery… 

The well person’s body battery in its 100% capacity is used in the following way;

30% energy is used for the normal functionality of the autonomic systems of the body, such as the cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, gastrointestinal systems, neurological functions & cognitive processing etc…

+30% energy is used for work loads in working life,

+30% energy is available for socialization, relationships & emotions,

+10% energy reserve to draw upon for support when needed = 100% capacity.

 

The chronically ill person’s body battery in 100% capacity (which remember may not always be actually at 100%!) is used in the following way;

75-85% energy is used for functionality of autonomic systems of the body to try & function normally, while being severely impacted by the physiological stress of the chronic health condition/s…

+15-25% energy is used for work, relationships, socialization & emotions.

No energy reserve left, as already being used to prop up the above areas! = 100% capacity

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Thus you can see that energy levels are severely hampered by chronic ill health. This is why we are always fatigued, this is why our emotional capacity becomes depleted very quickly,  this is why our cognitive processing can be compromised, also known as mind/fibro fog (please read Listening… ) & our ability to socialize, greatly limited! And why so many of us have to lessen our workloads or stop work all together. And why our Significant relationships need to have great kindness & understanding.

The body will always prioritize its energy into the autonomic systems to function, as near as possible, to normal healthy system capacity, to keep us alive!

This knowledge helps us to become wiser within our own body’s capacity & capabilities. Knowing the above concept helps us to be kinder in our expectations of ourselves & our capabilities within chronic health conditions! We are operating at greatly depleted levels of energy for living our lives. It also helps us to prioritize & pace ourselves in the activities in which we choose to participate in, on any given day to live our new normal.

I hope this has been informative & helpful to you, whether you are living in wellness or in Chronic ill health, we need to be kinder in our expectations of others & ourselves but at the same time live the fullest life we can within our own body’s capacity…You may enjoy reading my Berry tea & expresso coffee…

Until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

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Having a whale of a time!

Hi, it is so lovely to have you drop by…You are very welcome to join me in a time of reflection, while we enjoy an old fashioned cuppa together….

Gold Coast, teawithjennifer.blog

I have an Apple & cinnamon tea blend for us to try today & gf Lemon glaze muffins, freshly baked for us, it is a beautiful spring day here, so we will go & sit in the garden to enjoy the warm sunshine, listen to the bird Symphony & see the colorful blossoms.

The Apple tea comes from Japan, a gift from my granddaughter… It is a refreshing blend, the taste reminds me of an apple pie & a perfect accompaniment to the Lemon zest in the muffins…As we enjoy this delightful setting, shall we reflect awhile…

Recently, I took a 1000km flight to spend some time with my second born for her birthday, she turned 40… We spent a lovely weekend celebrating this milestone in her life. Last time we spent time together we had Tea on the 77th Floor…

This time for a birthday treat we shared a holiday apartment, which had 180° views of the coastline, beach & the sea (as seen above)…The views were absolutely breathtaking & constantly demanded our attention. We both love the sea & whale watching…so this was the perfect spot for us.

Southern Humpback whales are now migrating South, down our coastline… returning to the Antarctic to their summer feeding grounds for a Krill fest…after delivering their calves in the warmer waters of Northern Australia.

Each time my daughter & I get together we go whale watching, hoping to see a rare glimpse of these beautiful & magnificent animals breaching, meaning a full body leap out of the water in playful exaltation…we hadn’t ever seen this in all the times we had gone shore whale watching together, we had seen many misty blowhole sprays, tail splashes, pectoral fin slaps on the water but never breaching…

So, I prayed a small prayer request to the Lord for a whale to breach for my daughter’s 40th birthday… As we waited & watched from our 5th storey balcony, we became very focused upon what we were looking for…We saw many blow hole sprays, then some pectoral fin slaps & then…all of a sudden…a Humpback female & her calf breached together in perfect unison…What a spectacular sight!

HUMPBACK WHALE

As we were focusing upon that spot again, we missed another one breaching… just catching a glimpse of the huge splash in our peripheral vision….over the weekend we lost count of how many times the whales breached! I thanked the Lord for His gracious answer to prayer. He definitely answers even the smallest requests of a Mama’s heart for her daughter’s birthday enjoyment…in the most amazing way!

As I reflected upon our weekend, I realized…we can become so focused, at times, upon one particular area of our life…As my daughter & I did above with the female & her calf…hoping to see the same again…that we can miss what God is doing in the other important areas of our lives…

Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? Refer

We need to ask ourselves, dear friend…are we so focused upon the area we want God to do the same action as He did before, that we are completely missing the amazing new thing He is already doing or about to do…Mmmmm…food for thought…Don’t you think!

Until next time…

Jennifer

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What makes you smile?

It’s Springtime here in Australia, blossoms are blooming, Azaleas are in flower in a range of glorious colors & the scent of Jasmine, honey blossom & Gardenias are in the air…

orange flower with butterflySo today I have prepared a tea blend called Orange blossoms & ginger…our tasty treat is a Gf strawberry muffin made with homegrown strawberries, freshly picked.

Shall we go out to the garden to sit & enjoy the sunshine, surrounded by blossoms & the intoxicating fragrance of Spring…

The fruity taste of both the tea & muffins are a perfect combination…absolutely delightful in this warm spring setting. Now we are seated & comfy, shall we enjoy our time of reflection together…

On my way to an appointment the other day, I decided to take a quiet drive on the back road that winds through the countryside, rather than the busy direct route via the highway…

As I was driving through the undulating hills & farmland…passed grazing horses & cattle with newly born calves…goats, with their new kids frolicking…the aroma of the countryside combined with the scent of the live stock…& seeing the farmers working their fields…I found myself smiling inwardly & outwardly…

My mind had flooded with sweet memories of working on the farm with my late husband…the familiar aromas of the countryside & farm animals had evoked memories of a time in my life when I had had good health & bountiful energy…working alongside my man, as we worked the farm together, on the days I wasn’t counseling…I loved every minute of that time! You may enjoy reading about it in Home sweet home & Tea by the sea….

It was a sweet drive…enjoying the moments of a time that are forever etched upon my heart…refreshingly evoked by the aromas of the countryside that surrounded me that day…

I arrived on time for my appointment, feeling greatly energized & revitalized…

At times the past is not so far away, bringing an unexpected blessing with it’s sweet fragrance in the present…& before we realize it…causes us to smile!

Have you ever caught yourself smiling…lost in thought to sweet memories…What caused you to smile dear friend…I would love to hear about it.

Until next time,

Jennifer

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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…

casual dark face fashion

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

Copyright;  teawithjennifer.blog All Rights Reserved.  Photo by Pexels

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