I should…but You did

Alice you should really…

or

Alice, you should have…

These combinations of words have been at the beginning of many, many tasks in recent months, and I need to do something about it.

A couple of years back, when I was really into list-making (something I should return to methinks…whoops THERE I GO AGAIN) my husband suggested listing all that I wanted to achieve that day, and include two things that I could already cross off.

That worked a treat for a very long time, and I guess I’ve lost my groove with all that stuff.

Perhaps if I replaced those words with “Alice, you did…” or “Alice, you’ve done…” I’d be in a better head space.

It makes me think of all my  human efforts to attain perfection in numerous pursuits. There are so many rules…

YOU MUST do this so that…

YOU SHOULD do this because…

By placing His one and only Son on the cross, God’s response is “I DID IT FOR YOU,” and “I HAVE DONE IT FOR YOU.” All that God wants is a relationship with me.  Despite what many might say, there are no other boxes that need to be ticked…HE’S ALREADY DONE IT FOR ME!

Linking up with Jess for

Sunday Session – My Dad and Spring

Thanks to Thea for hosting another Sunday session. With my last session being dedicated to my hubby, I thought I’d make the Father’s Day part (mainly) about my Dad.

First up a beautiful song that communicates how blessed I am to have such a wonderful father here on Earth (can’t wait to see you at Christmas Dad!), that my kids are blessed to have such a fantastic father in Wonderful Husband (WH), and that I have an amazing Heavenly Father as well. It’s the hope and prayer of hubby and I that our kids will experience this for themselves some day.

Father’s Love

I remember my Dad playing this song a lot on record…record you say. What is that? While searching for this I found out that there’s also a German version of the song…wunderbar!

Tina Rainford – Silverbird

This song is a traditional song from the region in Indonesia where my dad comes from, Minahasa in North Sulawesi. I have visited once, and hope to return with my own family some day. It would be great for them to meet the extended family. With my paternal grandmother being one of eight, and my paternal grandfather coming from a slightly larger family there is no end of relatives to catch up with!!

The xylophone-type instruments played in the video are called “kolintang”. I have many great memories of watching my Dad playing guitar, and both parents singing along at Indonesian gatherings, after my mum had cooked up a storm. Food and music make for good times don’t they?

Esa Mokan – Traditional song from Manado, North Sulawesi
(Translation from regional dialect, with many thanks to Audry)
You are the only one in my mind
Let there be no other
Keep believing in God
And we all will live long and happily
Keep believing in God
And we all will live long and happily

Finally a song for this time of year, a beautiful jazz waltz written by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, which I first came across at uni.

Up Jumped Spring

Which tunes have sprung your ears wide open lately?

Sunday session – Inspired

YAY! It’s time for another (belated) Sunday Session with Thea :)

I’ve just been away on an inspiring weekend…with other mums like me from all over Queensland. The organisation that we’re all a part of is called MOPS, and it is an organisation that encourages me to be the best “me” that I can be, with all the different hats that a mother has to wear! If you want to find out more, head on over to the website…http://mops.org.au/

I was very fortunate to be part of the music team that played for the weekend, so the music from the weekend is still playing in my head. Despite having practically no voice, the lovely Cath (http://squigglemum.com/) did a great job leading out team (among other things) as best as she could, and I met some new friends. When I first heard this song a few years back I was in tears, and playing it over the weekend has been a great encouragement for me. I love Brooke Fraser‘s music and lyrics.

While away I found out that Alison, our amazing keyboard player, will also be playing in a concert with me in a few weeks. We’ll be playing with the Queensland Philanthropic Orchestra. It’s a great way to combine our professional experiences with music, and supporting a good cause. One of the pieces on the programme is Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from Westside Story”, which I have fond memories playing at my very first National Music Camp. Enjoy the choreography in this snippet from the Westside Story movie…

So what have you been listening to this week? Feel free to link up with Thea if you’d like to share it with us :)

Things can only get better

This is what I wrote  a few days ago:

“‘The last few days have been different for me.

Usually I think I’m a ”glass half full” kind-of-person, but the last few days I’ve felt that it’s been more empty. Just seems that no matter how much I try my outlook has been a bleak one. The initial novelty of moving to a new place is wearing off, and I’m finding myself struggling, from one bad moment to another.

I honestly thought that I would be able to cope much better than I have…hey my mum and dad managed to raise my sister and I without help from family!

I was thankful for a chat with my sister-in-law the other night…she encouraged me to find the joy and do a few things for myself. She’s also a muso, and knows how frustrating it can be when that something that you practically live and breathe is not happening for whatever reason.”

I’m glad to say that I feel like I’m feeling more like a “glass half full” person again. My Wonderful Husband has been so patient with me, not to mention the kids. I’ve also appreciated the input of friends both old and new , including Cath aka SquiggleMum and Kelly at Be A Fun Mum. I hope I get to meet Kelly one day.

A big difference has been prioritising things in a better way. For me this includes:

- enough sleep

- enough fun time with each member of my family

- being able to listen to or play music that suits my mood

- hanging out with another mum at least every other day, even if it’s just for a few minutes

- having some things to look forward to (I can’t wait to see Sting with my husband next week!)

- remembering that God is roaming with me, wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, however I’m feeling.

So, as Howard Jones sang in the 80′s  (yes, I am a child of the 80′s :) )

THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER!

What helps you to keep your glass  full?

Being Thankful

Well, my family’s first Christmas in our new city was a fail on my part. Wallowing in my own self pity,  I mulled over my lack of preparation, then I felt as though God was nudging me to reflect on things I should be thankful for…

Family

The five of us are healthy. We have all that we need, while many families in Queensland and New South Wales are flooded out, not to mention many more around the world who struggle to obtain what they need to survive. If we were in Perth for (a scorching hot) Christmas day we would have one festive meal that both sets of grandparents attend. We all contribute to the meal, so it’s a team effort, and the kids would also get to hang out with their beloved cousins.

Food

We had done lots of baking, but I hadn’t planned a special Christmas meal. Yet, our fridge, freezer and pantry were packed to the hilt. Then I felt like God was saying…well look, at least you have food!

Friends

We had morning tea with some other families, who I’d met through MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers). Our wonderful hosts had a busy day as it was, and made some room for the five of us, for which we were extremely grateful. Also in the week before Christmas (including Christmas eve) we received invitations to gatherings for people without any family to celebrate with. We received cards and emails, phone calls and text messages from so many. Our friends all over the world were thinking of us, on a day that we most likely had celebrated with them at least once in the past, either by attending  a church service, or sharing a meal together.

Jesus

Jesus birth was not celebrated with pomp and circumstance, nor with the over-indulgence of food, drink and expensive presents. He came to Earth in a little manger, so that WE MIGHT LIVE. He came to bring people together, and to bring people to God through himself. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with them.” He connects me to dear friends in The Netherlands, the UK, the USA, and the other side of Australia through love and prayer. He reminds me that Christmas is about connection.

I have a strong sense that this is what God wanted me to experience all along… a very simple Christmas day to reflect on what is important. One word sums up what this Christmas has taught me about…CONNECTION.

CONNECTION TO FAMILY by being together

CONNECTION TO OTHERS through community

CONNECTION TO GOD through Jesus

New Beginnings

With Christmas only two days away I’ve been thinking about the situation I find myself in. A year ago we were in Perth, anticipating the celebration with extended family, as we had for the previous six years. Little did we know that a year later we would be on the other side of the country, missing them, and many others, so much!

Mary and Joseph also found themselves in a situation that they hadn’t anticipated….giving birth to the Saviour of the world in a measly stable, away from family and friends. In very simple terms,  what God had asked them to do was to trust Him in the situation, and things would work out.

I guess it’s time for me to trust that things will all work out here for us.

 

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