My one thing

My one thing

The other day I wrote about intentionally living in the moment. Every day.

I can, and do, live here and now because I know where I’m from, where my strength comes from, and where I’m going.

I’m really enjoying the new Hillsong worship album: Open Heaven River Wild. I actually love pretty much everything any of the Hillsong bands release and love that there’s always something to lift me up, carry me through, bring me back to earth, send me into a worship party or whatever my day needs. Yep, they really do it all!

Anyway, a lyric jumped out and hit me in the face this weekend.

all I know is
everything I have
means nothing
Jesus,
if You’re not
my one thing

It’s so true. There have been times when I’ve been less than intentional about my faith and it’s not pretty – and I’m not talking about just stopping going to church (I’ll write on that another time). Jesus is my rock. When He’s my focus, my ONE THING, I have everything.

I can remember when I was a really new christian, I didn’t understand that. I didn’t understand how a pastor could ask me to put my relationship with God ahead of my family – ahead of my daughter. Like what?! I was a single mum at that time and my girl was my world. I actually thought I would never be able to do that.

But I grew.

And as I got to know God and have a personal relationship with Him, I finally understood that putting Him first, makes me a better mum. A better person. A better everything. If you could see the difference on my inside – the forgiveness, the peace and true joy experience I now have, you would never be in any doubt that what I say is true.

Jesus is my ONE THING.

My hope

Hope found in God

This quote speaks for itself but can I just say, if you’re looking for a great devotional resource, visit She Reads Truth, which is where I found these words. These study plans are written by a variety of authors – they are so genuine and heartfelt. I have the free app on my phone and am using it daily to help me delve into the Word in a new way. I’m loving it!

Abbie x

Where I write

I always imagine other bloggers/writers/people working from home sitting in very glamorous home offices with all their modern conveniences around them. True?

Although not glamorous, or even an office, I thought I’d share my space anyway. It’s just a corner of a room – a corner of the upstairs lounge I share with a TV, xbox, cheerleading practice mat and a mountain of lego. None-the-less it’s a corner I’m very happy with!

Up until very recently I’ve been blogging from the couch but I decided to claim a part of the house for myself. The upstairs desk had become a bit of a dead zone – a dumping ground (yes, guilty) for all the ‘we’re not sure what to do with it’ items.

Now it’s mine. I did a massive de-clutter and very cheaply made it as girlie as I could … to dissuade my husband and three sons from using it – maybe that’s my way of marking my territory!

It’s a sunny spot, with a lovely view over the neighbourhood rooftops and now that I’m the only one who uses it, it’s always tidy. My very busy diary (command central for our home) has it’s own spot, I have special mementos around me, my chargers are permanently plugged in (so not being ‘borrowed’ constantly) and things are always where I expect them to be. What more can a girl ask for? Blessed I am.

I’m still mostly inspired when I’m out walking or doing something completely away from the computer (my trusty notebook is never far away) but it’s so nice to come back to this gorgeous space and get it all down on screen.

Where do you write from?

My office space

Abbie x

Sharing

I stumbled on this quote during my Pinterest wanderings this week and it kind of freaked me out as it, almost word-for-word, says exactly what I’m working on in a draft post at the moment! I guess somebody out there is thinking the same way that I am.

So here’s a sneak into a post that will be coming up next week(ish)…

Share your story

Abbie x

Scripted Sunday: Can’t Stand The Rain

I love Lady Antebellum – driving, baking, house-working – their music just seems to work for me when I don’t know what else I feel like listening to. The lyrics of the song “Can’t Stand the Rain” really jumped out at me this weekend when I had a particular friend on my mind. She’s a very dear friend and I hope I am her umbrella – not just because she’s journeying through a storm at the moment, but all the time. I love her to pieces and miss her lots.

Can’t Stand the Rain
Lady Antebellum

The storms of life are gonna blow through, baby
You know we’ve all seen a cloud or two
But I meant it when I promised I would have your back through sky black or blue.
Do you remember how we swore forever till the sweet or the bitter end
Well, this is what they mean when they say you got the real thing in a friend.

With arms open wide
I’ll be your umbrella when you just can’t stand the rain
I’m there by your side,
I wanna be your shelter when you just can’t stand
When you just can’t stand the rain

I don’t know where the road you’re on is gonna end up
Or what this crazy world will put you through.
But don’t you worry about me, baby
You just go and do what you gotta do.
I’ll still be here for you

Umbrella
photo credit: Ulf Bodin via cc

Scripted Sunday: The Voice Within

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a Christina Aguilera fan. She has some terrifically strong lyrics in her songs – not to mention she’s one heck of a singer!

I remember hearing this song ‘The Voice Within’ well before I was a mum, and always thinking ‘this will be a great song for my daughter some day’.

Turns out I was right.

As we negotiate the water of being almost eight, and my girl is learning who she is, while dealing with some real nasty girls, these lyrics couldn’t be more true. We all need to trust the voice within us, trust our instincts, and don’t forsake ourselves, be true.

I’m glad I remembered this song today. I’m going to put it on my daughter’s playlist.

 

The Voice Within
Christina Aguilera

Young girl, don’t cry
I’ll be right here when your world starts to fall
Young girl, it’s all right
Your tears will dry, you’ll soon be free to fly

When you’re safe inside your room you tend to dream
Of a place where nothing’s harder than it seems
No one ever wants or bothers to explain
Of the heartache life can bring and what it means

When there’s no one else
Look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend
Just trust the voice within
Then you’ll find the strength
That will guide your way
If you will learn to begin
To trust the voice within

Young girl, don’t hide
You’ll never change if you just run away
Young girl, just hold tight
And soon you’re gonna see your brighter day

Now in a world where innocence is quickly claimed
It’s so hard to stand your ground when you’re so afraid
No one reaches out a hand for you to hold
When you’re lost outside look inside to your soul

Life is a journey
It can take you anywhere you choose to go
As long as you’re learning
You’ll find all you’ll ever need to know

You’ll make it
You’ll make it
Just don’t go forsaking yourself
No one can stop you
You know that I’m talking to you

Young girl don’t cry
I’ll be right here when your world starts to fall

AbbiesBabble

Scripted Sunday: Overcomer

This is my daughter’s favourite song. Which I love for her – awesome lyrics. Not that I’ve created it, I’m going to print this and put it up on her noticeboard…

Overcomer

AbbiesBabble

Scripted Sunday: This I Believe

This morning in church it was so wonderful to be led in worship by the kids worship band. Their young voices (none of them yet at high school) were equally talented and genuine. I have no doubt there are future worship leaders in that group. So great to see friends of our own children up on stage.

The kids sang one of my current favs, a Hillsong Worship song. The Creed. These lyrics just hit me every time I hear them and I want to worship with every part of my being.

This is exactly what I believe.

The Creed. This I Believe

AbbiesBabble

A new page of Babble: Quotes

This morning I added a new page to abbie’sbabble. Quotes – see it up there ↑ in the menu bar? Well if not, you can get to it here.

This new page is a collection of the images I have created with words, lyrics, quotes, sayings that I find inspiring. I think words are incredibly powerful so I try to keep mine positive. As well as keep a steady flow of positivity in what I read and listen to.

These images/words have all appeared in abbie’sbabble before. It’s nice to have them all in one place to browse through though. I sure do go for those nature backgrounds don’t I?!

One of my many wonderful discoveries in this blogging journey has been that I do love playing with ‘design’ programs. I say ‘design’ like that as I use the most basic, free, online versions, and I am by no stretch of the imagination a designer. But I am a very visual person and creating the imagery for my blog is something I really enjoy. It’s not something I’d done before and it sure is nice learning a new skill, albeit at a basic level.

Hopefully there’s something there that speaks to you. If you’d like the link to a post for a specific image, drop me a line: abbiesbabble [at] gmail [dot] com

Enjoy.

AbbiesBabble

 

Scripted Sunday: Youer than you

This is one of my all-time favourite quotes. I’ve done this today for my daughter who is having challenges at school with a bully. It’s hurting her self-esteem in a big way so we’re really trying to affirm at home that each one of our children is special, wonderful and amazing in their own way. And as the four kids are different, so are they different to every person they meet in the world. And this is ok.

Your than you

It’s always good for me to fall back to my handbook for life as well. The Bible. I love Psalm 139, especially the verse “I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful (v14)”. How cool is that?!. Each one of us is unique. Our amazing Creator, took time to make every single of us different. In His eyes we are all special. Cherished. Loved. And as our girl struggles with self-esteem, we’re trying to help her find the things that make her unique that she can stand firm on. And to remind her that no matter what, she is loved and cherished by God and by many people. It’s just unfortunate the attacks of one girl have done so much damage.

AbbiesBabble

Scripted Sunday

I love words, words are everywhere. I make a point of hanging on to the words – whether from books, blogs, magazines, pins, lyrics etc – that mean something to and/or inspire me.

So today is the first Scripted Sunday post where I plan to share the words that have jumped out at me through the week.

This week, song lyrics from Chris Tomlin. My daughter had this song on repeat on our car trip last weekend. It’s pretty powerful (and a great one to sing at the top of your lungs).

Whom shall I fear? The God of angel armies has my back, He IS a friend of mine. There’s my confidence right there…

Angel Armies

I have my own circus to deal with*

Not my circus
photo credit: pasukaru76 via photopin cc

Note to self: I don’t need to get bogged down in other people’s crap drama. It’s okay to walk away. I do need to stop taking on board things that I can’t, and don’t need to control. I have my own circus to nurture and protect as priority. My circus is full of people who care for me, and I for them in return. I will be there for those people without question because we support each other. I must not let someone else’s show cloud my own.

*Never a truer word spoken!!!

What else is new here?

Planning
photo credit: stargardener cc

I’ve tackled some blog planning. Just a couple of months to see if planning works for me in this forum. I had a look at what I actually want to achieve with Abbie’s Babble which will come as no surprise to those who read my recent posts on where my blog is at and the new look.

So for those who follow, here’s some things you can expect to see (can you tell that I just love alliteration?!):

Random Rants – I’ve written a couple of these and really enjoyed writing them so will aim for a one of these every few weeks.

Scripted Sunday – An idea I had to share my love of words. Each Sunday it’s ALL about the words – quotes/saying/lyrics/pins/books that have inspired me, really made me think or are just plain beautiful.

Foodie Friday – I love food. I love digging up new recipes and trying new things. I never cook the same meal twice in a month (well, hardly ever!). I’m also embarking on a sugar reduction in our home. So while I have no official authority on the matter, and none of the recipes etc will be original, look out every other Friday for some gorgeous pics, recipes, tips and links that are all things food and follow my motto: All things in moderation.

Thankful Thursday – I’ve been sharing thoughts and words from the gratitude pages of my journal for a while now. I often go back and read the old posts if I get to feeling sad or sorry for myself and need a kick in the butt to get a smile back in my heart.

I haven’t planned out every day of every week but I thought a bit of structure couldn’t hurt. There’s still plenty of scope for me to blog about whatever is on my mind or happening in the world at any given time. Which of course is exactly what this blog is about – a place I come to, to be inspired and to get my thoughts and memories down where I can revisit them.

I did enjoy planning things out and thinking about how I’m going to keep this going though … and of course the trip to the stationery shop to buy a new folder, pens and washi tape to make it all look gorgeous was an added bonus. Yep, I’m old school, love the paper copy for some things!

Is there anything you would like to see/read from me? Any of my posts that you really like or dislike? At the end of the day, I’m here for me, but I love that there are gorgeous people who visit regularly so I’m keen to hear what you think.

Sign off

 

MIRROR MIRROR

Daily Prompt: The Mirror Crack’d
You wake up one morning to a world without mirrors. How does your life — from your everyday routines to your perception of yourself — change?

How would my routines and perception of myself change without mirrors?

Mirror MirrorRoutines – well they probably wouldn’t change really. I blow dry my hair in my (walk-in) wardrobe and 95% of the time my  makeup routine consists of smearing tinted moisturiser over my face and spraying perfume. None of which requires a mirror.

I think I would probably get someone else to start cutting my fringe though!

Self perception – again, probably wouldn’t change a lot. I don’t think most of us see what’s really in front of us when we look in the mirror anyway. I’m pretty secure with my appearance so not being able to see myself shouldn’t increase or decrease this.

It’s working on the inside stuff, the more important stuff, which challenges me at the moment.

THE NEED TO PLEASE

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what I do and how I do it … and who I am. No secret there.

This post, ‘I’m disappointed in myself’ by Lysa TerKeurst really resonated with me and this part of my journey. The words “we must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please” jumped out at me.

I took from this post that we do have to say ‘no’ … sometimes. That it’s not only okay to say no, it’s right to say no. That living a life feeling worn out and overwhelmed doesn’t allow us to be the best that we can be. In anything. 

I have to admit, none of this is new information but it’s always good to be reminded.

Command to love

I can so relate to this as I work out my life, and myself.

I know I spend a lot of time pleasing others – especially my family – because I think it’s the ‘right thing to do’ or because I’m afraid I will be judged or loved less if I don’t.

I need to remember it’s okay to quit pleasing myself sometimes too.

By which I mean, I have incredibly high standards in everything and get so wrapped up doing things ‘perfectly’ I don’t put aside the time to do things that to me seem lazy imperfect – taking a break, reading a book, having a nap, just sitting and listening to music – but are crucial to me being at my best. I don’t want to let my standards slip (although that is called of me)  because that will make me miserable too, but saying no every now and again might give me space to breathe, space to be me.

“The acid of over-activity eats holes in our souls. From those holes leaks the cry of the calling that never quite happened.”
Lysa TerKeurst

My need to please and to be perfect also takes time from the things I really want to do, not to mention the missed opportunities because I was ‘too busy’.

THE JOY OF READING

I found these words in the book I started reading last night.

Joy of reading

This is why I read. To open my imagination, thus meeting new people and places, and experiencing new things.

After my disappointment with The Fault in Our Stars, I was overjoyed to dive into a new book and immediately meet characters I wanted to get to know.

I only managed 50 pages last night but I can see that Jennifer Donnelly’s A Gathering Light is going to sit well with me. The protagonist, Mattie, has an intense love of words which is quite enough in itself to help me relate, let along her conflict between desire for education and family.

The quote above is  Mattie’s words – you can see why I love her already!

Original photo credit: moriza via photopin cc

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

fault in our starsOk, so I’m not really a book reviewer. Actually I’m not a book reviewer at all. A reader to be sure, I get through 3-4 novels a month – it would be more, I just don’t have as much time to read as I would like!

That said, last night I finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This book has had hugely positive press and that combined with the hype around the movie, pushed me to read it (I actually purchased the book dammit). I always like to read the book before I see the movie.

I wish I hadn’t wasted my time.

Oh I know this is contrary (very contrary) to popular opinion. But honestly, I could not connect with any of the characters who I found completely unrealistic – and that for me, is what reading is all about. Connecting to another world, another person, another life. I won’t go into the plot review etc, you probably know it, or can go to Amazon and check it out. But I was expecting to be moved, to be emotional, to cry. I found myself annoyed at teenagers that spoke like post-doctoral academics, annoyed at facets of the plot that just seemed unrealistic, and to be honest, I was bored.

This was my first John Green work and I’m not writing him off completely, I might have to give another of his titles a go.

But there you go, love or hate me for it, this is my opinion, I didn’t enjoy The Fault in Our Stars one bit and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. There are better books out there.

A SONG FOR THE JOURNEY

I’ve said before how much I love words and music and how lyrics impact me.

These lyrics to Colton Dixon’s song More of You are getting a lot of airplay and really resonate with me at the moment. I always liked Colton and was a bit gutted when he was kicked out of Idol. He has built a great career since then though – his messages are strong.

These lyrics speak to me from the first lines. He sings of building walls which I know I do – and not in a good way! I need to surrender, fully surrender in many ways to have the best that is on offer. Continue reading “A SONG FOR THE JOURNEY”

TUNNEL VISION

Daily prompt: Tunnel Vision

I’m going to build a secret tunnel to take me to heaven. Just for a visit, I’m not ready for it to be my time yet. I want to see my kids grow and be a grandmother, I want to mature with my husband and enjoy retirement with him. But in the meantime my tunnel to heaven will allow me to hug my mum. And chat with her, to ask advice about, well, everything.

Even if I could only use my magical tunnel once, that would be better than not having it at all.

Tunnel to heaven
photo credit: Werner Kunz via photopin cc

This post is in response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?

SO MANY BOOKS SO LITTLE TIME

Daily prompt: Off the shelf

Really? You’re only giving me enough time to re-read one book? That is just mean. If you can find time for me to re-read one book, you have magic powers, I want more (time that is!).

Ok, I jest.

I did take a look at my bookshelf before writing this though. I often stand in front of it and gaze at the books, there are many I still haven’t read. The list of books I want to read is ever-growing but I’m always buying more – you just can’t keep me away from a bargain table in a bookshop.

I do re-read The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay every year or two. Yes that’s a definite favourite.

To answer the original question though, I watched The Book Thief the other week and it made me want to revisit the written word. It has been a couple of years since I turned those pages and my memories are now mixed up with those of the Director of the movie. I need to reclaim MY version of the story.

This post is in response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Take a look at your bookcase. If you had enough free time, which book would be the first one you’d like to reread? Why?

ISN’T IT IRONIC

Daily prompt: 10,000 Spoons

Natty's new bedIrony is the littlest person in the house, having the biggest bed! Seriously, look at the size of that → → →

Yes our little person (with the gorgeously big personality) has a KING size bed. We put it up today after picking it up on the weekend – a generous gift. The other kids already have beds bigger than a single, and we couldn’t get the monster sized mattress up our gnarly spiral staircase to the master bedroom. So Nat has been truly blessed.

Just to be a little more annoying, the bed came with sets of 1,000 thread count sheets. That beautiful quality so wasted on a seven-year-old! Sigh. That said, she knows she is one lucky kid 🙂

This post is in response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: 10,000 Spoons …When all you need is a knife might not be ironic, but it is unfortunate. Add your own verse, stanza, or story of badly-timed annoyance to Alanis Morissette’s classic.

photo credit: joeldinda via photopin cc
photo credit: joeldinda via photopin cc

Again she felt the tears spill, running down her cheeks matching the raindrop rivulets on the windows. She shook herself angrily, willing the tears to stop. There was no reason to be so sad, there was so much to be grateful for. That was easy to think, but everything going on in her life just seemed to augment the emptiness inside.

Looking out the window all she could see was grey. The winter branches devoid of leaves. The cold sky covered in thick dark clouds. Why was she so dull? Her family was like a kaleidoscope of colour, all living intensely rich lives. She knew because she was the one who made sure that everyone got where they needed to be, at the right time, with all that they needed. Yes her family kept her plenty busy.

Perhaps that was the problem though. It was all about them. She was lost. The bright intelligent happy woman had been buried under lack of sleep, the distance between herself and her friends back home, and the need to keep everything together for everyone else.

It seemed like such a cliché, needing to find herself. But it had become crucial. She didn’t think she could weather another storm.

How though, do you find direction when you’re so lost you don’t even know which way to hold the map?