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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's all a-go!

Remember I mentioned that we would have access to the new property before the move-in date?  Well, we have signed all the paperwork, and have confirmed that we can pick up the keys tomorrow.  The skip will be put on-site on Friday and we officially move in 10 days.

The packing is still quite slow, but I have a couple of people dropping in this week to help out.  The books are pretty much done, as are the DVDs / videos (they were easy as most of them were already packed away).  The toys have been sorted into plastic tubs for ages, so most of them are ready to go and the ones we still have left out will not take long to pack away.

My biggest area will be the clothing.  It seems that 7 people in a house equates to alot of clothing and shoes!  I was hoping to not have to move everything as it is, but I am struggling to find the time to sort through it all.  I know there are quite a few that need to be handed on or given to good will.  I want to have them all sorted into boxes according to sex and size, and also minimise the amount that each child has in their drawers.  I have decided that my purpose here is to raise children, not do laundry.  I figure, therefore, if there are less clothes available, the laundry will get done more efficiently and there will be less of it!  So, if I don't manage to do that before we leave, it will be high on the to-do list once we are settled.

On the school front ...well..., ...um..., there is no 'real' school front at the moment!  We are taking lessons in 'effective box packing', 'using a packaging-tape gun', 'removing reusable adhesive (blu-tack) from walls', 'reading to the younger children', 'calming the baby', 'defrosting the meat for dinner', 'making mummy a hot drink'...and for sport the children are enjoying 'climbing the mountain of packed boxes'.  ;)

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tiring Days

He energizes those who get tired  
Isaiah 40:29a (The Message)

That is so good to know because this past week has been exhausting.  More than once I have wished there were more of me.  The packing is very slow, and it has been a good day if I complete all the usual day-to-day stuff.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
they walk and don't lag behind.
Isaiah 40:31 (The Message) 

 This week has really reminded me that I need his strength because I can't do it alone.  Who gets His strength?  Those who wait upon Him.  Simple.  But, making a block of time to read and pray and be alone with Christ has been difficult for me.  I can read from the bible to my children, pray with them, talk with them throughout the day, but that is not the same as reading and studying and soaking in His words.  I chat to Jesus during the day as I go about in a rush, but that's not the same as having time alone with Him; to build a relationship with him.

But I also know that Jesus understands exactly how I feel.  I used to think, how could he understand how I feel?  But then a simple statement changed my thinking.  This statement is found in numerous places as we read about Jesus' life.  Are you ready for it?
...large crowds followed him...
That is how I feel all day long!  I can't even use the toilet without one or more little people following behind.

What about:
...the crowds almost crushed him...

Almost crushed him!  Wow!  Yes.  He understands.  And if you're feeling overwhelmed, like me, KNOW that Jesus does understand.

___________________________________

And now for a change of pace:

The Dancers Company has been in town this week presenting Don Quixote.  So on Wednesday night, Bethany got dressed up in a lovely little dress, and with Cheeky Monkey tucked firmly under her arm, we escorted her to the ballet.  She loved it!  Particularly the pink tutus. ;)  She was ready to sit through another Act, and quite prepared to get up on stage to "dance with her friends".  You know, it's times like these that I really hate not having a camera!

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Psalm 63:1-8

 1 O God, you are my God,
       earnestly I seek you;
       my soul thirsts for you,
       my body longs for you,
       in a dry and weary land
       where there is no water. 

 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
       and beheld your power and your glory. 

 3 Because your love is better than life,
       my lips will glorify you. 

 4 I will praise you as long as I live,
       and in your name I will lift up my hands. 

 5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
       with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 

 6 On my bed I remember you;
       I think of you through the watches of the night. 

 7 Because you are my help,
       I sing in the shadow of your wings. 

 8 My soul clings to you;
       your right hand upholds me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Let the packing begin!

And it has begun.  I have started with the books.  We have many books.  And as I am packing, I am cataloging.  It is somewhat satisfying to see the pile of boxes beginning to grow.  ;)

In an attempt to contain the 'moving clutter' as much as possible, we have moved the four older children into the same room (they will be together at the new place, so good practise for them) and are using the other room to store the packed boxes.

The other thing I am 'practising' with in preparation for the move, is keeping the kitchen in order.  My next kitchen is small and benchless, with no dishwasher.  So, as I have run out of dishwasher tablets, I have resumed washing dishes by hand.  I have also decluttered the bench (for the most part - I'm still working on it) and am determined to keep it that way.  Good habits are forming, I feel.  ;)

Although I dislike moving with a passion, I am excited about this new chapter of our lives.  And may I just say that God is good? Yes, even when things are not as we would like them to be.  For once again, He has orchestrated things in an amazing way.  When we moved here, we wanted to stay in the same house until we could buy, or until we had need to move on from the area.  And then an 'Auction' sign went up on the front fence.  [Insert exasperated sigh here.]  But, the house did not sell at auction.

However, the house did eventually sell - to an investor.  [Insert relieved sigh here.]  We were once again happy, knowing that we would not be asked to leave.  And then...

...we received notification that the rent would be increased.  We felt our finances begin to groan.  We also received new papers in the mail for our current home, but felt we were not to sign a new lease here.  So we prayed.  And we began investigating what was available.  And we prayed some more.  And looked some more. What else could we do?

The only response God was giving was, "Trust Me".  To which my response was a defiant, "I don't want to!  I want to know.  I want security!"  Isn't it good that God has enough love and grace for His impertinent children?

We came across a house that is older, a bit run-down and needing a bit of TLC, but big enough for our family and suitable for our church and ministry commitments.  We decided that because of its condition, we would not pay the price per week they were asking.  So we made an offer.  And they made a counter-offer.  Which we accepted - with conditions.

The conditions included the provision of a skip to remove rubbish, access to the property prior to lease commencement, internal modifications to the kitchen and putting up a house and run for the chooks.  We would do the work, but the owner was to pay for the skip (and wearing the cost of having a vacant property for four weeks).

We waited a week for the agent to get back to us again.  We got accepted with EVERYTHING that we asked for!  And our finances are happy again.  More than happy as we will be paying significantly less rent than we have been paying for the last 15 or so months.  Praise be to God!

And so I wonder.  What has God got in store for us in this new season?  Whatever it is, I know that God's plans are better than mine.

Yes.  God is good!

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

We're Moving

Yes, again!

I think we have moved four times in the past four years.  Do you realise that means that four out of our five children have stayed in any given house for not more than a year?!  Elijah has had the longest time - about a year and a half...  I would really, really love to buy a house, but at this time it seems impossible.  :(

However, God is good as has been evidenced once again.  :)  I will post about that next time.

Only by His grace,
~Amanda. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dropping in

I know I haven't posted for ages again and I haven't forgotten that I said to one beautiful girl that I'd try and update in the next couple of days.  This is me, keeping my promise!  ;)

I'm sure you want new pictures of the children and stories of the funny things they get up to, but I have been so flat out I really haven't had time to think.  My camera is broken, so I have only my mobile phone for photos...and it takes terrible photos!  I'm really praying that I can get a new camera soon.  I do have a few that I will post soon but I have to get them off the other computer...because we've had trouble with the network.  *Sigh*  Gotta love technology!

On Sunday we had visiting ministry.  Ps. Matt Street preached an excellent message on prayer.  This was Jeremiah's summary - "We need to get our superhero costumes.  We get them from our prayer cupboard."  Ah, from the mouths of babes!

Our schooling is still happening even though it is officially school holidays.  We school year round at this stage so the children keep, somewhat, to a routine.  I pulled out the white board recently and it has been a big hit!  No problems at all getting Elijah to do his work.  If he is writing on the whiteboard, he doesn't see it as schoolwork because it's not in a book.  We were playing around with a new phonics rule the other day (on the white board) and he said to me a little while after, "Mummy, can I just do my maths today and not my phonics?"  Of course, I obliged ;)

Elijah's reading is progressing in leaps and bounds.  He reads everything he can get his hands on.  I have never before noticed how many horrible things people put on their cars!  Jeremiah is becoming more and more interested in writing, as is Bethany.  And all of the children just love to be read to.

Our precious little Abigail has fallen off the growth charts!  The MCHN has been a bit concerned, but Abigail is healthy, proportionate and meeting all the other milestones.  Also, when she had a visit to the hospital, the paediatrician that saw her wasn't at all concerned.  So neither am I.  To me, she is just perfect.  :)

And now, I must fly...

Only by His grace,
~Amanda.