Friday, April 11, 2014

On brokenness....

Living in Christchurch is an exercise in living with brokenness,
it's every where and you cannot hide from it.

I guess when the earthquake first happened, 
we knew that things had changed, but we had no freaking idea 
how long it would take to get to a point where things would get better.
We can't use the word restored in this context
because so much has been pulled down, but the rebuild is underway.
It has taken a very long time.

In the meantime we are forced to sit and wait and wait.
We are forced to feel the emotions that seeing our city torn down
building by building brings to our hearts.
We are powerless both to speed up the process or even to stop it.

Instead we can reflect on the change and what it means
and as we do, our emotions go through the range from rage to acceptance.

We are learning to accept this place,
even to make it beautiful.

It's such a lesson both for our city and for us.

Being broken is just part of being human,
it comes to all of us at some stage.

The trick is not to fight it, but to accept and sit with it
as the broken pieces gradually go and a space appears
giving us the opportunity to start anew. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Making meaning of tradition....

Next week it will be Easter and I was wondering how to make it meaningful for the children in our home this year. Last year I did this and this year I wanted to do something too. I saw these bunnies on Felt I had an idea and brought some bunnies. This is what I want to communicate about Easter this year....

Easter is about love. It is about opening your heart to the possibility that you can be loved. It is about letting someone else hold you when you hurt and listening to them when they encourage you. Easter is about community. It is about sharing your life with others, even when it is hard. It is about letting them help you and support you on the bad days, and about learning to laugh with them on the good days.

Easter is about having the faith to believe in something much bigger than yourself, and to know that is enough. I believe in God, for me, Easter is about the fact He loves me enough to trust in Him as the something bigger in my life. (It might be different for you)

Easter is about second chances. It means that you can say I am sorry, and receive forgiveness. In the little things and in the big things. This bunny is going to someone that I love dearly, who I have forgiven and who I want to have relationship with. Sometimes we forgive and choose not to be in relationship with someone and that is ok too. We need to be safe to protect our hearts. Easter is also about that chance to protect our hearts and still be able to love.

I hope that as the children enjoy their Easter bunnies, that they remember the strength that comes from living a life in community, filled with love and learning; knowing they can ask for help when they need it. Sometimes life is tough, but I want my children to know that they can be super heroes as they draw strength from the messages of Easter.... love, community, faith, second changes and something bigger than themselves.

Have you thought about how to make it a meaningful festival for your family?? Even if you don't acknowledge God in your lives, it still a special festival, and if you can share with your family in a way that works for you, maybe you can make the messages of Easter real for you too.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Oh Annie!

This time five years ago, I was falling in love with Miss Annie-Rose,
from the minute I laid eyes on her, my heart was hers.
It feels extreme to say it, but it is true. 

Annie wanted Princess Bunting for her party.
I accidentally cut some wrong, but it ended up one of those fortuitous accidents
because the alternate shapes looks really lovely.

We had a couple of ideas from Pinterest, these bottles of Pixie Dust were a hit
(thanks to Trademe for the bottles)
and so cute they are, I want to make more!!

Typical simple party in our house. Two hours to bake a cake,
make cupcakes, sew the bunting and make a princess dress.
That has to be some kind of record.
Ugh, let's just put it out there, that my love for this child
is not related to the amount of time I spend on her party!!!!

Also another Pinterest idea was icing cupcakes, with individual plates
for the kids to decorate themselves. The kiddies loved it.

Five years ago I wondered how having this baby was a good idea,
but five years later, it's the best idea ever and I can't imagine our lives
without this child in our lives.

Happy Birthday Annie-Rose.
Best Idea Ever.

Risking your heart for love...

We gave this quilt to a friend of ours who got married yesterday.
It's the third one of these plus quilts that I've made and I like all of them.
It was lovely to see our friend looking beautiful,
and we wish her all the best after a lot of difficult years for her.
It made me think about love though.

Love is a risk.
There is so much potential for pain,
even if it's not a broken heart, disappointment and loneliness 
are heavy burdens to bear, and the risk of loving someone
is the risk that you will inevitably hurt each other at some point.

Love is a possibility.
The possibility of excitement and adventure,
the possibility of comfort and peace,
the possibility of second chances.

Love is pain.
Love is a decision.
Love means not keeping track of suffered wrongs.
It's not always fun to be the bigger person
and play above the line.

Love is joy.
Love is the little things, snuggling up to your love
at night, and stealing bites from their plate.
Love is finding car keys and lost wallets, over and over again.
Love is being there for the other person
and laughing with them.

This year I've been working through some old hurts,
and discovering that love is... loving yourself enough to admit you are worth loving.
Love is acknowledging that it is ok to protect your heart.
Love is shedding tears and not being ashamed.

Love is learning to love again even though it is scary.

We wish you all the love in the world Jocelyn xoxo

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The value of Reflection....

Two of the papers I'm doing this semester require us to write weekly reflection journals.
Yay! we thought, that's 40 easy points. What's next on the list!!

But as it turns out this is an exercise with a bite!

Writing personal reflections from the heart turns out to be challenging,
especially if you are like me, and have built walls around your emotions
over years and years and years.

Looking behind the wall to see what is lurking there,
it's hard, really really hard.

There's no ducking and diving,
there's no getting out of it, the topics are set each week,
and we have to write about them.

It's like tearing off a bandaid with no warning.

But here's the thing, it's actually a really useful exercise,
to reexamine something in your past, look at it critically,
analyse what happened from a different time and space
and acknowledge what really happened.

It is freeing to write about something that happened,
and to be able to acknowledge with what we are learning in class,
that that was no ok, and it was not fair.

It's almost as though once I've written it down and reflected on it,
it cuts it down to size. I can recognise it for what it is
and know that actually, yes crap happens, but not because I'm not an ok person.
You should try it! It's hard but it's good.

By the way, do you like these pictures?
David took them last night. It's some of the amazing art around the city,
trying to make the empty spaces look a bit more cheerful!! It works.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A winter wardrobe for Annie (2)

It's just so nice to look at Annie's wardrobe and know that we made so much of it.
This amazing cardigan by Clare's mum looks good with everything,
even though the "pumpkin" colour I picked from the chart is screaming orange!!

I've made four pairs of pj pants, three pinafore dresses, three skirts, one short sleeved peasant top
and two long sleeved peasant tops
and Wendy made three more peasant tops for Annie too. Child is sorted.

Annie is going to look so cute this winter
and it's so satisfying to see that my skills are so much better.

But the thing I am most proud of, is this knitted dressing gown.
It's been a labour of love. 

I found the pink at the opshop for $1.50 and 
someone gave me the cream to finish it, all of the wool was recycled.

I totally adore this pink, it's delicious.

I could just take pictures of it all day.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Celebrate the small stuff - St Patricks Day

Any day is a good day to turn a perfectly ordinary monday night dinner
into a happy celebration!

The children were keen to celebrate St Patricks day, and we thought why not?
A couple of green table cloths and a few other green bits and pieces
and the table looks amazing.

You gotta love green glass right? Right!
From a recent Eco Store trip.

It turned out we all had something green in our wardrobe to wear!
It was a simple simple celebration, 
and it was just nice to feel special for an hour or two!