Friday, 19 July 2013

Is shovelling manure the answer to all of life's big questions?

The closer I draw to truth the happier I am.  Life is bright, light, joyful and happy.  I am happy to my core.  However the truth is easily shaken by fear and worry.  It is so easy to let go of what I know to be true when I start to worry, fret, compare, analyse, fear and plan (sometimes 10-25 years ahead).  The joy is quickly lost in a heavy fog of hopelessness, guilt and self-loathing.  While I am doing something I'll be feeling guilty that I am not doing something else, it is an annoying state to be in and nothing good comes of it.

The trouble with truth is it is constantly expanding and growing and unfolding.  A commitment to living in truth is a commitment to constantly being challenged and expanding and questioning deep seeded beliefs.  Living in the spirit is mysterious, it requires strong faith and it can easily be shaken by worry and fear.

J.R.R.R Tolkien said "All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost", for those committed to living in truth it can feel like a constant journey, wandering a long a path that seems to go on forever, but hopefully we are not lost.

At this point in my life it feels like I am wandering along the path of truth and also building strong foundations, all at the same time.  How is it possible?  If this makes no sense don't worry, it is pretty unclear for me too.

I feel like I am being guided to explore, question, delve, learn and build; specifically in relation to my faith, our family and our home.  This is exciting, empowering, exhausting, monotonous, slow, dull and seemingly endless.  There does not look like there is a clear end in sight, because it relation to these three areas there isn't one perfectly correct answer, solution or technique.  Again this brings a sense of freedom and frustration.

In an attempt to not have a mental breakdown I am going to shovel manure, literally and metaphorically.  It is all good and well to ponder and discuss matters of the heart and soul but at some point this is life, it is a beautiful gift, and we need to live it the best we can, with what we have and what we know.

There is no sure fire way to have a long and happy marriage that results in children that grow into content, well adjusted and useful adults, and although it is time consuming I reckon if you shovel enough love it should turn out alright.  No matter how often you go to Church, read the Bible and pray you can never really know you are living the life God created you for.  Even though it is time consuming, if you shovel enough love and faith you should get pretty close.  No matter how much water, money and creativity you pour into the garden it is probably never going to look like something in Gardening Australia magazine.  Although it is time consuming, if you shovel enough manure, worm juice and compost you should end up with something lovely.

The trick will be to ensure I shovel love on the family and manure on the garden and not get them mixed up!!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Don't be afraid to sparkle a little brighter

The word sparkle has been placed on my heart for two days now, despite my best efforts to ignore it.  We have been driving for the past day and a half returning home after visiting family.  It is a long, dull drive and the word sparkle kept coming to mind, I definitely didn't feel like sparkling.  When we finally got home we discovered the power had been off for at least a day maybe more, most of our food was ruined and had to be thrown out, again the word sparkle came to mind, my response to this word was not favourable.  Then at 3am last night our sweet little 3 year old started vomiting and has been unwell now for hours, actually vomiting directly into my face, and what word came to mind, SPARKLE and I thought hell no I don't want to sparkle.  Today is the first day in 16 years that I  am completely unemployed, not earning a single cent or directly contributing to the economy.  Whilst this is a conscience decision I am scared and again all I can think is sparkle, are you serious?

Despite all these inconveniences and a few fears and worries, I do want to sparkle. The word makes me smile, 'a glittering flash of light' or 'to give off or reflect flashes of light'.  Once I started thinking about it I had in fact had a solid fortnight of sparkle moments.  We had beautiful friends visit who radiate love, compassion and joy and they filled our home with indescribable happiness = sparkle.  Our daughter attended her first motorbike gymkhana and smiled big all day = sparkle.  My husband and I were invited to be Godparents for the most adorable little boy and the baptism ceremony was amazingly spiritual and soothed my soul = sparkle.  My husband had a birthday, our girls decorated glasses and lit candles and friends came for dinner, there was lots of laughing, yummy food and good wine = sparkle.  We got to visit my family, and my nieces are blow your mind amazing in every way and our daughters were smothered in pure love = sparkle.  I got to visit Circular Quay in Sydney on a breath takingly beautiful and clear winters day and the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge shone bright, warming my heart and my senses = sparkle.  As we drove home after our big road trip our daughter saw and school and said 'yippee, I love my school' = sparkle, on and on these sparkle moments go, no wonder the word was placed on my heart.

Our world, this society we have created, media, gossip, fear, greed and worry are all working towards dulling down our sparkle.  Each day there is a constant battle between sparkle and not to sparkle, we make the choice which way we will look.  We decide whether we will add sparkle to this world or whether we will detract sparkles.  We do this in our homes, our workplaces and our community, we do this by the words we speak, the things we do, how we spend our time and what we prioritise, the shows we watch, the music we listen to and every single choice we make. 

There will be people reading this and thinking I am being unrealistic, unsophisticated and maybe superficial, that life can't be all about sparkle because life is tough.  Yes life is tough, sometimes terrible things happen, but I still see it as the most worthwhile of all pursuits to add love, kindness and sparkle and try and make the world a little less tough, a little less hurtful and a little less selfish.

So 'keep calm and sparkle on' is my motto at the moment and I hope you will join me in trying to share your sparkle where ever you are, even if you don't really feel like it sometimes.