Sipping from the saucer #2

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #2.

I’m not big on jewelry. Apart from my earrings, which I never change, I wear a watch, three rings (engagement, wedding ring and Hubby’s wedding ring) and a bracelet. And I only ever put on my watch, rings and bracelet when I leave for work, and often take them off on the return trip.

Cue my clumsiness. I was sliding my rings onto my watch band, as I always do, when something happened and I dropped my engagement ring onto the floor of the car.

Well, I was driving. Not particularly conducive to an immediate search.

So I looked when I got home. Kids out of the car; my seat goes back, and I’m there with my head between my knees, cursing the fact that the space between drivers seat and console in a Toyota Aurion, is so incredibly tiny.

It’s pretty clean down there, but I do manage to retrieve the odd receipt  and some fluff. There a blue hairband wedged down there too – but no sign of the engagement ring.

I sigh.

The other rings are safe, with the bracelet, on the watch band. And – as per usual – I’m on a deadline, because it’s a school evening and there’s homework to get done and dinner to prepare, cook, eat and clean up after, prior to teaching again later that night.

The thought darts across through my mind. ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome if the ring was hiding under the hairband.’ I ignore it and pick up the hairband, preparing to excavate the depths of the cavity between drivers seat and console.

But no need. There’s the escapee – hiding under the blue hairband, waiting to be retrieved.

Less than a second’s worth of looking! And life was back on track, and the kids’ homework and dinner could happen on time 🙂

God is awesome. It was definitely a ‘sipping from the saucer’ moment.

Have a great day, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #1

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #1.

I’m claustrophobic – so much so, that I never drive other people’s cars, and driving through roadworks, and parking in crowded car parks, unnerves me.

Well, I was having one of those days when you visit several different places in the space of just a couple of hours, with different things to do in each location, and with different children each time. The final place I wanted to get to was a shop on a main road, which offered only reverse parking, and it was 4.45pm (and the place was due to close at 5pm).

Did I mention it was school holidays? So not only was it the main road, but it was busier than normal. And I was in a rush. And this road is well known for the fact that every car park fills up within seconds of being vacated.

Miss12, sitting in the front seat, was asking me where we were going next and why I was stressing. I told her that I was going to need two car parks, one in front of the other, just to park. A statistical improbability – however, God knew what I needed.

I drove along the road. It was now 4.48pm. No sign of crowds diminishing. Then I saw it. Right out the front of the shop I was heading to: not one, but two car park spaces, one behind the other, so no reversing required.

Praise God!

Suffice to say, I had shopped and was walking out of the shop by 5pm.

Because God’s awesome like that.

Have a great day, dear Reader – and see you tomorrow!

— KRidwyn

 

Turn around twice…

The other evening I looked across my dining table at my Miss10 and noticed her elbows were resting as wide apart as my own. It startled me; the revelation that she wasn’t a ‘little kid’ anymore.

I shook my head, and said, “Do you know, it wasn’t that long ago when you [Miss10] were on a booster seat; you [Master9] were in a high chair; and you [Miss VERY MUCH 13, JUDGING BY THE ATTITUDE] were seated on a normal chair, with your chin just past the height of the table.”

The cherubs looked at me quizzically. “What’s a booster seat?” asked Miss10.

I sighed. Those memories, all seemingly so recent in my own mind, I had assumed were all-pervasive in my children’s too, but no. I shook my head again, then answered.

But in the back of my mind, the realisation that they were growing up, far more quickly than I had given them credit for, petrified me. My own Dad has always said, “Turn around twice and they’ll be grown” and I’d laughed and nodded indulgently. But suddenly I understood.

You get busy, life happens, and then suddenly, when you stop and notice, they’re grown and their elbows on the dining table are the same distance apart as your own. And you were so busy ‘doing’ the journey that you didn’t realise that the journey WAS happening! And yes, by ‘you’ I definitely mean ‘me’.

So I’ve decided that, like I tell my students all the time, to ‘wake up to yourself’ – I need to do this. I need to ‘wake up’ and take notice that, while all this life is happening, it REALLY IS HAPPENING and I would do well to pay attention and enjoy it while I have the opportunity!

How about you, dear Reader? Had any startling revelations lately?

And have a great week!
–KRidwyn

Uniquely Australian

I’m fortunate enough to live on a fairly large block of land, away from suburbia. Pockets of natural bushland dot the region – one of which is right at my front gate.

There was a small area of bushland near the house of my childhood too – and favourite memories include the multiple times I looked for, and sometimes even spotted, the koala among the high foliage of a eucalypt tree.

You always knew they were there because of their distinct smell, uniquely eucalypt and mammal.

Since moving to our current home in July 2006, there have been only two occasions where a koala has taken up residence in one of the eucalyptus trees near our front gate. From memory, they stayed for a few weeks, and then disappeared again – I didn’t much notice.

But a few days ago, leaving for the gym early in the morning, when the wind was still and the pre-dawn around me heightened my senses, I smelled koala again. It wasn’t an overpowering fragrance, but enough to know one was there.

Such instantaneous joy! And wonder, that a smell can evoke such delight! I smiled for hours.

I love that a koala has taken up residence in one of the eucalypt trees outside my front gate.

Now to just catch a glimpse of him (or her) resting up in the branches during the warmth of the day!

Wish me luck 🙂

– KRidwyn

‘What path are you on right now?’

That’s the text on my phone’s Lock Screen. (I said I’d write about this, a couple of weeks ago…)

It’s probably weird, I know.

But I leave that saying there as a reminder to me of the path I choose to walk, every minute of my life. The decisions I choose to make, which in return make me into the person I am choosing to be.

I feel as though I’m not explaining myself too well. Sorry. I’ll start again.

Hi. My name’s Ceridwyn, and I’m an addict.

Wha? Huh? What kind of a blog *is* this??!

Okay, so the word ‘addict’ has some pretty negative connotations, I know. I’m not addicted to drugs, if that’s what you were thinking.

But I have struggled with addictions in the past. Gambling was my worst, but as the years pass, the pull to play BlackJack diminishes. It probably helps that I don’t live anywhere near a casino, and that I’m just so gosh-darn-busy 99% of the time 🙂

But having that kind of addictive personality has meant that I’m aware of addictions when they pop up. Recently I noticed my over-partiality to playing the 2048 app on my phone; I was playing it to the detriment of doing other things; things I *should* have been doing. Solution: delete the app. Now it’s only on my iPad, which I use less regularly. Addiction circumvented. The path I realised I was heading down, was one I didn’t want to be on. So I changed my path, and was happier for being able to exercise some self-control.

The way I see things, there’s always a couple of paths before me, and my choice to take one or the other of these paths, will eventuate in either a ‘better’ version of me, the person I’d like to become, or a ‘worse’ version of me – one I’d prefer not to be.

So when I pick up my phone, I ask myself, ‘what’s the reason?’ “What path am I on right now? Am I about to go and do something needed on this phone, or am I really just bored and wanting to distract myself with Facebook or twitter? Is there a better choice I could be making – to go and play with my kids, do some of that housework I hate doing, or that job I’ve been putting off for simply ages?”

The ‘paths’ image also makes me think of the pathways in my brain. Dendrites firing, making pathways stronger. The more I’m on Facebook instead of drafting my latest manuscript, the stronger the ‘Facebook’ pathway and the weaker the ‘writing’ pathway becomes.

Am I stronger than that? Am I the master of my habits, or are my habits the master of me?

Just a few thoughts to leave you with today…

I hope it’s a fantastic one for you!

— KRidwyn

W is for ‘wavelet’

I was writing a short story one day a year or so ago, and I needed the word for one of those small waves that washes into shore. You know, the ones that squealing toddlers get lifted over, that little children run backwards from, that bring the flotsam and jetsam of an uncaring world to deposit on the beach?

“Wave” was too big. Too much power for what I wanted. So I made up ‘wavelet’. Or so I thought…

Wasn’t I surprised to find it in my dictionary, the following day!

Wavelet. Noun. A small wave, a ripple.

Exactly what I had wanted! Don’t you just love the English language?

I do.

Have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

PS If you’re interested in the story I was writing, sorry. It was about a woman’s murder at the hands of her drunk ex. It was a pretty intense story. Far too ‘dark’ for this blog. *shrugs shoulders*

U is for ‘unknown’

Jan 1, 2016, saw me decide I needed to ‘practise’ my writing. I realised that I’d never get anywhere if I just started a story, get stuck, get frustrated, start another story, and repeat the same process.

Mentally, I compared this to my chess game. Okay in the opening, wobbly in the middle, and pretty woeful at the ending. I decided practise was in order. Practise of ‘end-game’ stuff; then recourse to the middle, and finish at the beginning.

“Smiling nervously at each, they started walking into an uncertain future.”

So: I worked out the final sentence (above) and worked backwards. Ended up with a 1500 word short Sci-Fi story about two teenagers crash-landing their spaceship onto an unknown planet.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I related this story to the members at Beerwah Writers Group. Inspired, they used my final sentence, and produced their own stories. I joined them, and ended up with a 500 word story about a Greek God who’d been cast out from Mount Olympus. Prophemius, I called him. God of the Future… except his powers were stripped from him, meaning he couldn’t see the future anymore.

I wrestle, regularly, with the fact I can’t see the future. I want to know what will happen before it does, so I can prepare for it. Part of my control-freak-ishness, probably. (Yeh, I know. Not a word.)

But I always come back to the fact that it’s good I don’t know. I’m glad, deep down, that I’m in the same boat as everyone else. That the future – for all of us – is an unknown. I like that. We’re all on the same playing field, as it were.

And there’s so much freedom in that!

Have a lovely day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

 

K is for ‘kitten’

I’ve always preferred cats to dogs – or so I thought, until falling in love with my first dog when Hubby and I, newlyweds, visited a German Shepherd breeder.

I fell, hard. We bought one, and drove him home, naming him ‘Smudge’ just before he decided to vomit on my lap. (Lucky the towel he was wrapped in caught the majority of it!) At home, we introduced him to our Ragdoll kitten, ‘Rascal’, and there we were – married just a few short months, and a ‘family’ of four already!

The years passed, and pets came and went. After Rascal though, there were just dogs. Even now, we have Aksel (another German Shepherd) and Rocky (Australian Cattle Dog, and the best snake-killer you’ve ever seen…) but no cats.

And I’ve decided I miss them. So once the renovations are completed, we’ll be getting another one. I must admit – I’m looking forward to that day more than I realised!

So let’s hear it for the kitten 🙂

And have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

A is for ‘always’

So today is April 1st. For many, the day of prankster jokes and general mayhem. For some, the beginning of the April A to Z challenge.

I didn’t officially sign up this year. 2017 has been a hectic, whirlwind few months so far. But today also marks my first ‘real’ day of holidays since my new job started, so here I am, prepared – this morning, at least! – to return to blogging, and to take a second stab at this A to Z challenge which I managed to successfully conquer last year.

And here goes. Day 1 of 26, ‘Word of the Day’.

A – is for ‘Always’

An overused, cliched word. Important in concept, although an impotent tool when thrown at an opponent, in a bid to win the upper hand.

The defeatist, overwhelming, ‘stinky thinking’ a psych nurse once warned me about.

And yet…

also the promise God makes, that He is with us ALWAYS – to the very end of the age – in the very last recorded words of Jesus, before his ascension (Matthew, chapter 28, verse 20, if you’re interested).

So who am I to demonise a word if it’s good enough for my Lord to use?

ALWAYS. A word able to carry the weight of all Christendom’s hopes. Use it sparingly; it’s pretty powerful.

And see you Monday for ‘B’!

One week in…

I posted late last year about my new job for 2017. Well, I’ve been in it a week now. And what an INCREDIBLE week it’s been!

You see, the position I’ve just started, Head of Middle School at Caloundra Christian College, is the position I held nine years ago. I absolutely loved it; of all my teaching jobs over the years, it was my absolute favourite. I resigned from it at the end of 2007 because I was heavily pregnant with she-who-is-now-Miss8. Yes, I *could* have just taken maternity leave, and resumed work after a period of time, but I didn’t know how many more children Hubby and I would have (he-who-is-now-Mr7 arrived just 14 months later) and I felt it wouldn’t be fair on either the school or the Middle School students, to have an on-again-off-again Head of School. Not with 11 to 14 year olds. At that time of life, they need stability, not more uncertainty and inconsistency!

So I resigned, had Miss8, and later Mr7, and started my Masters. Ran a business. Taught contracts. Raised kids. Finished my Masters, closed my business. Scored permanent part-time work.

And then I saw the position advertised. *My* position!

Went for it.

Got it.

And am LOVING it!!!

Plus, now that the child-bearing thing is done and dusted for me, this position is what I’m planning on being in for a very, very long time. I’m smiling broadly about that one. Feel free to smile along with me!

And have a great week, dear reader 😀

-KRidwyn