Louisa Claire

Read more posted in December, 2009

I got nothing.

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A couple of days ago I stumbled across this post. I wrote it last November as I was contemplating “where to” from a place of new mum, in a new house, facing a new future.

Now 12 months later, and on NYE I feel I ought to write about where I’ve come and where I hope to go.

I got nothing.

I would love to sit here and immerse myself in these thoughts but a) I don’t have it in me b) we need to head out soon and I’m nowhere near ready c) the little girl is playing, rather noisly, behind me.

So…

I can say that 2009 has been bloody hard in ways, but better than this. We’re having a great time as a family of 3 and I’m more relieved that words can say that I have finished my study (I also managed to finish up with 2 distinctions and an HD this year and I am still mystified as to how this happened!) Who knows what 2010 will bring… It seems that we will be missing one member of the extended family a good 20 years earlier than we expected and will take with us two very elderly, frail and grief-stricken parents/grandparents/great-grandparents, depending on which generation you’re from. With that there will be great sadness, but I also hold dear the good 30-odd years of family memories and love we’ve be blessed with. Whatever the future may hold that love and family unity will continue, and continue to be reshaped as we continue to grow and welcome new members into the fold.

What I do know is that every step we take will be taken with a God of love, compassion, kindness and faithfulness.

So with that my friends, close and far, new and old, near and dear…

HAPPY NEW YEAR

May you, along with me, draw near to God and let Him draw near to you.
God Bless,


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Prepare to Share: The 1 Simple Step To Helping Your Toddler Share

Putting the words “toddler” and “sharing” into the same sentence can be a recipe for disaster. Apart from the fact that every parent will have their own ideas about what’s appropriate and what isn’t, each child will approach other children and playtime uniquely. Personally,  I have found that there is one thing you can do that will help any child learn about sharing; teach them what we mean by “sharing”.

For The Architect and I that meant getting over the instinct to cry out “Bliss Share!!” whenever she snatched a toy off another kid, or *ahem* pushed said child over, and remembered that she has no idea what the word “share” means. Shouting “share” at her is about as useful at yelling at her “we don’t yell in our family”.

All the “experts” reckon kids can’t learn to share at this age but I figure if she can figure out where the biscuit tin is and how to open it, she can learn to share it with her Mummy!!  That said, we’re not trying to “make” her do something she isn’t able to do, rather walk alongside her as she learns how to cope, respond & flourish in these situations.

We had an interesting day recently with this. A few Mums and bubs were coming over with kids Bliss had met before, but likely wouldn’t remember. The conversation went something like this:

I explained to her that some other boys and girls were coming over to play, that it will be lots of fun and they will play with some of her toys. (I did remove the two toys that experience has taught me, she can’t share)

Face clouds over. “Mine.” She says.

Yes, that’s right, today we are going to practice our sharing. That means you can play with a toy and then someone else can play with a toy. You both get to play, and that’s sharing.

Not convinced. “Mine.”

Yes, that’s right – the toys are yours but in our family we like to share; to let other people use our things. Mummy and Daddy shared the car with Uncle Tim on the weekend, and Mummy is going to share some food with the other Mummy’s today.

Softening but not convinced. “Mine.”

You’re a good sharer my darling. And if you get upset you come and find Mummy. Remember we don’t push or hit. If you’re upset you come and find me and I’ll help you.

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Of course, if 4 adults I didn’t know walked into my house and started touching my stuff and eating my food and didn’t tell me what they were doing, and if I couldn’t communicate with them to ask them what they were doing, or even find out their names, I’d be pretty darn freaked out myself!

30minutes later the first little girl arrives. Bliss walks over to her and gives her the toy she’s playing with saying “Ta.” She then goes and gets a soft teddy and brings it over to the little girl; “Ta”.

I WAS SO PROUD OF HER!

When I told the The Architect about our day he said “Well done! I wouldn’t have thought of that; I’d just have told her off for not sharing.”

How often have I not taken the time to prepare and done that very same thing?


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Memories and grief…

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I keep returning, involuntarily, to one of my earliest memories. It’s May 1992 and I’m 11, my brother is about 6. It’s early and he comes into my room and climbs into bed with me. As he does, he tells me Nkulu, my maternal grandfather has died. I don’t believe him but it’s nice to have his little body snuggle in with me.

Of course, he has told the truth. He overheard Mum on the phone to South Africa and soon she and Dad come to tell me themselves.

Now, I just keep thinking that it was so much easier to comfort my little brother then.

It seems that these days I still deal with grief by pretending it’s not actually happening. Then someone will start to cry. Or someone will start talking to me about writing a eulogy, or about finding a funeral home and I am forced to realise it’s real.

What do I want to say here? How do I want to record this? Remember this? I just don’t know…

I know I want to make it all better. I don’t want my little brother to cry…or my little sister. I don’t want to watch my grandmother in a constant state of emotional exhaustion. Or hear her, or my grandfather say ask again why they are still here at at 88 and 91 and she is leaving… I don’t want to watch my father’s masked pain and my mother do everything she can to hold everything and everyone together all the while hurting and remembering the pain of death herself… As for my uncle, cousin and aunt…I just want our family to remain whole.

I must remember that we have things to be thankful for. Time, though limited will enable us to say goodbye, to make the plans that need to be made. Mum, Dad, my sis, the HH and I are all on leave and so able to just be here. My cousin just finished up a job and so can be with his mother every day. The little one has been able to visit and bring great joy…I will make sure she knows this when she grows up; how important her exuberance and love and energy were during all this.

Memories and grief…not what I expected we would take with us, so pointedly, into 2010.


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Credit where credit is due

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When I shared my recent craftiness I failed to give credit to my inspiration:

Jacki inspired the butterflies and continues to inspire me to keep crafting! Mine weren’t as beautiful as hers but they were a start!

I also loved this box though I couldn’t quite get the top right. Instead I just used this simple one, also found on Jackie’s blog.

Care to keep me inspired? If you craft…where do you get your inspiration from?


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Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength

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For lots of reasons 2009 has been a full on year. About midway through I was reminded of this verse from the Bible that brought me great encouragement and comfort. Whenever I would start to feel the stress rise up in me I would bring it to mind and feel washed with peace:


And as we reach the end of the year and I reflect on what is been, I also must acknowledge what is. As much fun as crafting and presents and good food was this Christmas, there was a big hole in our day. One family member wasn’t able to be with us. They are really quite sick at the moment and had to spend Christmas in hospital. Tomorrow is going to be a big day in our family and if you are a praying person I would so appreciate you upholding my family in your prayers tonight, as I remind myself again the words from James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Bless You,


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Going to church in Sydney

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Churches in Sydney can get a bit of a tough rap. esp Anglican churches in Sydney.

For those not in the church scene, or not from Australia you may be interested to know that the Anglican Diocese of Sydney is one of the most theologically conservative dioceses in the world. There’s a bit of a joke that the Anglican Church in Sydney worships “Father, Son and Holy Scripture” rather than “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. Certainly there is a distinct tone in Sydney Anglican Churches.

Anyway, I digress….

This morning we went to church with some friends and it was fantastic! Aside from the fact that it was the first time all year that the HH and I have sat together in church for the whole service uninterrupted (wohooo!) – the sermon, worship and prayer were all really encouraging. The HH was personally prayed for 4 times during the service! The church was Northbridge Community Church in Thornleigh. Worth a visit!

If you are in Sydney and looking for a church, or just somewhere to visit some other churches we have personally visited and found encouraging are:

Thornleigh Community Baptist Church

St Philip’s Anglican Church North Turramurra We visited this church on Christmas morning and it was a very family friendly, fun and faithful service.

St Matt’s Anglican Church West Pennant Hills

We were reminded of the following verse this morning and I’d like to encourage you with it too…

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
James 4:8

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