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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Saturday, 26 October 2013


Thank you all so much for your recent prayers for Australia...God is indeed Good and Sovereign and answered our prayers to STOP the fires with containment and unpredicted favourable weather!

Praise the Lord indeed!  The raging bushfires were being considered the most devastating ever and there was much uncertainty and panic...when I posted the urgent prayer request 'I WON'T GIVE UP!' 200 homes were reported as being lost...well God did indeed intervene with His angels and answer our petition!  Check this out The Age 'The Lucky Country'!

How much do we PRAISE our Awesome God?

Not enough I don't think!

So Praise Him!  Praise Him! Praise Him!  Praise His Holy Name!

Indeed we will praise Him in any storm...

In love, Melanie :)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Seize the opportunities!

What role do you think a parent plays in the Christian education of their child?

Is it a primary one, a complementary one to the church’s, or is it a passive one to avoid pressuring the child and allowing them to find their own faith?

To be honest I once thought that the parents’ role was to support what the church and religious education taught…early in my faith however I was challenged upon this idea, because I soon found out that most Christians in the church believed the opposite!  It even made me a bit nervous…I mean, who was I, a baby Christian to raise my child in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6)?

A scripture that helped me to share my faith with my kids however was this one:

‘Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.’  Deuteronomy 11:19

It helped me to realise that passing on my faith, and the Christian way to my kids could be done naturally day to day…not in a forced way, but in a relaxed and lovingly real way!

An example of one such day out of many happened today…

My eldest son and I were sorting through a box of apples, and my son was fascinated by this one…

I actually was too, because I had never seen such a small under-formed apple!  My son insisted that we take a photo and to be honest I said no at first as I was quite tired…I had been cleaning our house none stop for I don’t know how long!  But the Holy Spirit prompted me to discuss the passage of scripture where Jesus taught that He is the True Vine which we must stay attached to so that we can continue to grow in Him!

I simply asked my son why he thought the apple had not continued growing and our conversation went on from there…it was wonderful to see his eyes alight, and him grasping the concept of what Jesus taught us!

You see it doesn’t have to be long laborious bible study sessions with your kids.  Make your faith an everyday part of your life and pass it onto your kids in a real, loving way!  Don’t be overwhelmed…just focus primarily upon your relationship with Jesus and He will guide and prompt you…just be ready to SEIZE the moments when they occur!

Still scared to discuss scripture with your kids in case you get something wrong…don’t panic…just take baby steps…read Bible stories together and tell them about your own personal relevant experiences with God!  Current studies on today’s generation of children suggest that our children respond best to personal stories rather than facts.  Once again, just relax, because you can trust that it is God’s will for you to pass on your faith to your children!

Single parent and feel overwhelmed?  Again trust in God’s Word that says He cares for the orphans, and think of Timothy who had the faith passed onto him from his Mum and Grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5)!  These two women made an eternal difference…so don’t give up, be active and pass on the faith to your kids every day in love!

Keep up the faith!  Melanie :)



Ok, so I’m going to get quite personal in this post because I believe that there is nothing louder than a personal testimony to support one’s assertion…WHY?  Because it simply is my experience and no-one can refute it!

I am passionate about Jesus and His unfailing love which has the very real ability to change lives!

If you take any encouragement away from this post today, I hope that it is simply this…DON’T LET ANYONE PUT YOU OR YOUR KIDS INTO A BOX!  God is bigger and more amazing than any plain old box and you are His child…and so are your kids…so relax about pressures you may be facing today, while you are waiting upon Him to show you the next chapter of your life!

Today I have been celebrating HUGELY!

Yes hugely because today was the release of my very first published work ‘Beauty from Ashes’ on Amazon!  Now this IS NOT a plug for the book…yuck!  I’m telling you this because while I am celebrating, I am reflecting upon my life and upon how God has indeed brought me to this place! 

You see, this book IS NOT something I imagined would happen…in fact the idea to produce it only came about recently, and everything just fell into place!  But wait there’s more…

If I was to meet with some of my early school teachers…the ones who struggled to understand how I could read, yet not spell and knew that I needed to repeat a year…and told them I was studying university, and had a published book, I think they would be VERY shocked!  I did not understand logical arithmetic or spelling or grammar…but I could read…and I loved Jesus!
You know what else is quite funny?  When I read my report from early primary school, the physical education teacher stated that I was uncoordinated, and basically not very physically adept…well I actually became a professional dancer/teacher…so how funny is that?

When my husband left me, I did not have the best self-confidence, but I decided that I was going to listen to Jesus and not my negative feelings…so I began singing solo at church…I began designing up-cycled handbags…later I even took some art classes and began to draw…Oh yes and I began my blog!

What’s the point of all this you may be wondering…well it is not to boast because that is sinful.  It is to glorify God for His awesomeness in not allowing anyone else or situation to define His child!

The reason the book came together so easily was because it was based on my blog posts, and all my artwork…the book is a product of my time with God and is an extension of the woman He is developing.  So I urge you strongly, DON’T LET ANYONE PUT YOU OR YOUR CHILDREN IN A BOX!

Are your kids struggling academically or socially…take it to God!  Yes professional advice is helpful, indeed I have travelled down this path with one of my sons…but don’t let it be the final diagnosis, or let it develop seeds of negativity.  Both God and you as the parent know your child better than any health professional or school teacher! 

God reminded me of Jeremiah 29:11 when my husband left, and even though I did not know what His good plans were, or what they would look like I clung to His promise!

‘For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope’.  Jer 29:11

I heard a woman recently say that attitude was the key to success…and yes I do agree that the right attitude is very important for our wellbeing.  However I think that this explanation is not meaty enough…it’s just plain bland!  We need to define what the right attitude is, and I believe that it is one based firmly in faith upon Jesus Christ!

Faith is the right attitude for success…no matter what that may look like for each individual... 'cause trust me I believe church martyrs are successful!

With faith in Jesus a person feeds upon His truth no matter what the world may say about them!  If you really want to invest in your kids…specifically pray for them and intentionally plant seeds of unshakeable faith in them…YES SPECIFICALLY & INTENTIONALLY!  Don’t close your eyes on the job…be an active, positive role model, of real, genuine faith.

So as I said… If you take any encouragement away from this post today, I hope that it is simply this…DON’T LET ANYONE PUT YOU OR YOUR KIDS INTO A BOX!  God is bigger and more amazing than any plain old box and you are His child…and so are your kids…so relax about pressures you may be facing today, and keep seeking Him while you are waiting upon Him to show you the next chapter of your life!

In love Melanie :)

Monday, 21 October 2013


New South Wales is burning…it’s incredible how scary the skies look, and how desperate the situation seems with more massive heat being predicted…current reports state 200 homes have been lost!  It is hard to SEE this disaster from a distance.  My skies here are clear and it seems life is continuing as normal…but the news and pictures tell the truth…

Check it out here:  Current images
Australia is a most beautiful, raw country.  Panoramic views which stretch too far for even one’s camera, of diverse landscapes that can leave you breathless.  I’m getting emotional even typing about my intensely, stunning country!  Horrific, tragic fires here are named…we have had Ash Wednesday, Black Saturday, and now Red October

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage us however to keep praying and helping in whatever way we are able!  To do this I would like to reflect upon a song I have been recently encourage by…I know it is a love song…but it does speak so loudly of love in a highly applicable way!  For indeed, let’s not give up as God is love, and He is our unlimited source of strength…and He is at work even in the most dire of situations!  So let me share my reflections with you using Jason Mraz’s ‘I won’t give up!’ 


When I look into your eyes, it's like watching the night sky

Or a beautiful sunrise, well there's so much they hold

And just like them old stars, I see that you've come so far

To be right where you are, how old is your soul?

To my fellow Aussie’s struggling, please know that there are people who see the pain in your eyes and cry with you!  Yet we also know your resilience and are standing alongside waiting to see you rebuild!

I won't give up on us, even if the skies get rough

I'm giving you all my love, I'm still looking up

We won’t give up on you…no matter how red the skies get and we are uplifting you in prayer!

And when you're needing your space, to do some navigating

I'll be here patiently waiting, to see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn, some even fall to the earth

We've got a lot to learn, God knows we're worth it

No, I won't give up

Yes we will be patient and YOU ARE WORTH IT!

I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily

I'm here to stay and make the difference that i can make

Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts

We got yeah we got a lot at stake

And in the end, you're still my friend at least we did intend

For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn

We had to learn, how to bend without the world caving in

I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I'm not, and who I am

We must stand alongside one another!

I won't give up on us, even if the skies get rough

I'm giving you all my love, I'm still looking up

I'm still looking up

We won't look the other way...we will dig deep and not walk away! 
Let's keep praying for Australia!


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Nothing Compares to You!

It's been seven hours and fifteen days
Since you took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since you took your love away
Since you've been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing, I said nothing can take away these blues
`Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you…

HEARTBREAK…have you experienced this?

The famous tear streaming down the angelic face of Sinead O’Connor…what a classic!
What a timeless hit…and we possibly all know why…because we all relate!
The agony of heartbreak is excruciating…abandonment…shattered dreams…loneliness…

It's been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby where did I go wrong
I could put my arms around every boy I see
But they'd only remind me of you
I went to the doctor and guess what he told me
Guess what he told me
He said girl you better try to have fun
No matter what you do
But he's a fool `cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

Like a bird without a song…indeed one may feel lost and without purpose when crippled by heartbreak…Now as for the doctor…YES indeed…what a fool!  Similar to when someone tries to comfort someone by saying you need to move on…or Mr. Right is just around the corner…does this really help someone suffering?

All the flowers that you planted, mama
In the back yard
All died when you went away
I know that living with you baby was sometimes hard
But I'm willing to give it another try
Nothing compares, Nothing compares to you…

All the Flowers that you planted, Mama…Reduction of worth…childlike crippling…grief…

I know that living with you baby was sometimes hard…desperation…bargaining…

The grief of heartbreak needs to be honoured and cannot be rushed!

But there truly is a way to break the cycle of setting yourself up for heartbreak…

Yes I did say setting yourself up…you see every person on the face of this Earth is fallible…they will NEVER be perfect or totally protect you from heartbreak…I have learnt this lesson through more than one person…and indeed truthfully I must confess that I have hurt people too…

Nothing compares, Nothing compares to you…

These beautiful words I believe are actually true of only one person, and that is Jesus Christ…the Holy and Perfect Saviour of the World!

Jesus said...“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.  I’ll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  The Message Matthew 11:28-30

Since you been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing
I said nothing can take away these blues
`Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you…

I wonder if we really want to do whatever we want?  Do you know what I mean?  Now I’m actually speaking from past experience here…because rebellion actually en-slaves us and is not true freedom!  True freedom from any enslavement or heartbreak actually comes from the giver of life…the redeemer and source of all that is GOOD!  GOD!!!  With whom nothing or no-one can compare.  True freedom occurs when we are free to say NO...I don't choose to make that poor choice! Think of when you were a child…think back…didn’t you feel safe and secure with boundaries and happy when you made good choices???

Jesus doesn’t try to enslave us or give us rules that we cannot keep, and then leave us alone…NO!  For indeed He re-births us through the Holy Spirit so that we are members of His family and gives us the desire to have Him as number one in our lives…wanting to live our lives for His glory!

Nothing Compares…No Nothing Compares to Jesus Christ!


Want to experience re-birth from Jesus and truly experience His incomparable grace and love?

Then pray…not sure what to say???

That’s ok…there is no special prayer required…just a genuine heart!

Ask Him to forgive you for your sins…name them to Him if you need to…tell Him that you want to embrace His incomparable love and to be re-birthed in His love through the Holy Spirit!  Pour out your heart to Him…and find peace!


In love, Melanie J


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Hair Cut!

So I was having a sleep in this morning after a late night, because I have an essay due…when from my room I heard some very loud comments coming from the bathroom, along the lines of…

“What have you done!” 
“Why did you cut your hair?”
“Oh no, you’re gonna be in big trouble!”
“You’ve wrecked your hair!  Mum’s going to be angry at you!”
“OH NO!”

Now this is not the first attempt my middle son has made at a self-haircut, so I decided to just listen and see what would happen next…

A short time later I heard my middle son call out… “Mum! Can you shave my head?” To which I replied, ‘Yeah of course I can!”  And all peace was restored J

This incident had me thinking later today when I was in the bathroom looking at all the hair over the bathroom counter…in relation to when we stuff up, and our Father’s reaction…and our imaginings of His reaction!

Sometimes we may try something in our lives and stuff up big time…sometimes we just put our foot in it, or sometimes we can just lose our temper…I think you know what I mean!

None of us are perfect and even when we try our best we can still stuff up…even when our motives begin in good faith…like when someone tries to run something at church, and then loses their patience with others and acts out…I think we’ve all probably experienced something like this!  I know we all can relate, because we’re all human…

You see my son had decided that his fringe was too long, and that a trim would be a good idea…so he simply gave it a go!  His motive was fine…but he is 9 years old J

My response…ok honestly it was mostly motivated by my physical location of lying in bed…but it was to wait and see what he would do!  As soon as he called out to me for help, in love I instantly responded, because he is my son whom I want to help!

This makes me think of our loving Father in heaven!

As Christians we do try to live God honouring lives, yet we can still stuff up!  But I’m wondering how quick we are to seek forgiveness and help from God?  Sometimes we can hear comments…either from our own mind, or from others whom we know…comments like… ‘And you call yourself a Christian?  Oh no God is going to be really mad at me…I’ve done it again!  Or, I am a hopeless case, God must be so sick of me!’

Yet scripture tells us in 1 John 1:9. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’

I am just a fallible human mother, yet I am more than happy to help my sons and to forgive them…I am readily available for them to spend time with me, and to talk with me!  So how much more available is God’s love, mercy and friendship through Jesus?

So the next time you do something wrong, I hope you think of my son who quickly turned to his mother for help, because he knows that I love him!  Don’t forget that God loves you, and when you stuff up call out to Him!  Be quick to confess your sin and find mercy, pray to learn from your mistake and to grow in discipline.

Don’t get caught up in worry, hang onto scriptural truth!  Forgiveness is available so seek it…when you fall down, not if, but when, stay down, on your knees, and seek Him.  Then get back up and keep moving forward with God!

My now fringeless son!

Melanie :)

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Emperor Gum...

God spoke to me recently very clearly…

It was during our recent family get-a-way, which was emotionally a difficult time for me…

Oh yes, and I need to mention that He used a moth to do so J

But not just any moth a HUGE & beautiful one!
So there I was sitting alone, as the kids were watching a movie, and I was trying to not get overwhelmed by all the emotions swirling around inside me!

I was sitting in an outside kitchen area where we were staying, and it was around 8:30pm…when in fluttered the huge moth!

I have since learnt that this huge moth is called an Emperor Gum.  The moth was striking, so I quickly grabbed my phone to try and get a picture of this amazing insect for the kids.
Well as you can probably imagine, it was extremely difficult to get an undistorted snap of this huge fluttery giant moth!  It would just not stay still long enough, and just kept flying around dizzily, stunned by the massive light! 
I felt my heart sink, and I thought well what else could I expect from this simple creature…but then I heard God’s voice…He told me to wait and be patient…that He would provide the moment needed for me to get a great shot, and that He would calm the moth…
Ok, I hope I haven’t got you thinking I’m crazy now…LOL…just stay with me…I truly sensed that this was what God was saying to me in my mind…so I relaxed and waited...I think I watched some more of Australia’s current X-factor series which was showing on the TV there…
ANYWAY…a short while later the moth did calm down, and it rested not far from me…not up high, but down on a table leg nearby so that I could approach it easily.  The moth was so calm I could have taken hundreds of shots, I even stroked it, and knew that I could have held it if I wanted to.

God then spoke very clearly to me in my mind, He told me that I need not get disappointed in my relationships with others and ministry work, because He provides the moments when the message will be received!

You see, even though as Christians we are involved in God’s work, it is His work, not ours...
He loves us so much that He includes us in His work, and He gives us great relationships with others…but if the message is not received, perhaps it’s just not the right time so we shouldn’t lose heart!  Numbers of conversions don’t matter, and pressuring people with the Gospel message is not always well received.  What matters is love! 
I’m not saying don’t speak the Gospel, but what I am saying is not only do this, but also live this!  Live the Gospel you proclaim…love people, and wait upon God to give you the opportunity to speak the Gospel so that it is well received!  Don’t rush ahead of Him.  Sometimes He may prompt you to speak urgently and that’s ok too J  We can preach the Gospel both in and out of season, but focusing upon your personal relationship with Christ and upon your integrity is the best place to start so that GOD CAN USE YOU! Don’t forget that the Holy Spirit gives us words to speak to proclaim Christ!

Here are some scriptures that relate to what God said to me…

1 Peter 3:15-16
15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence.[a] Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.

Colossians 4:5-6
Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.[a] Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.

Acts 8:26-40 (Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch)
God brought this conversion about, and God will use you too for His Kingdom work!
Let me know what you think...I'd love to hear from you :)
Peace, Melanie!

Friday, 4 October 2013


Desires…do you still have any? 

Are any Red Hot and thriving or are they declining?

Are any smouldering or just plain dead?

Desires can fluctuate and desires wane…

More recently I have been tired, and to be totally honest my desire to be a godly mother to my kids had waned…sometimes these things just surprise us, and we wonder how did THAT happen?  Or sometimes we just get bogged down and stop living, because we’re so busy just functioning!  Sometimes all our good intentions and habits seem to have just disappeared and we can find ourselves lacking joy and intention!   Our lives can be full of pretentious rubbish, rather than genuine discipleship of following Jesus… Well that’s been my experience anyway…
The other night my middle son poured his heart out to me, telling me about how he felt he was being pulled away from Jesus!  I knew he had been struggling in many areas, and honestly, previously I had thought that I couldn’t do much more for him than pray for him, and with him when we spoke. 
The other night we spoke about his school and his heart’s desire to be faithful to Jesus...we talked a lot!  It was a momentous night as it made me realise that this plea from my son had to be my main concern!  This had to take priority…not my theological study, not my comfort, not MY anything else!

We get ONE SHOT at raising our child or children the way they should go…ONE SHOT…because they only have ONE CHILDHOOD!

Why study ministry and not practice it with your own family?

My 3 boys had been fighting A LOT and I sensed that my boys and I were under, and had been under, spiritual attack!  I had been apathetic and tired in my parenting, focusing upon just getting through each day, rather than living each day for the Lord, which is what my focus used to be!

The morning after my middle son had shared his heart, I knew that God was speaking to us, and that things had to change…well praise the Lord, things have been changing very noticeably around here!  It started with a BIG family talk, and prayer!  We decided we needed to be more focused upon Jesus, and living our lives for him intentionally in His army…because this life as a Christian is a battlefield!  We talked about needing GOD’S ARMOUR!  We had neglected reading God’s Word together, and I had seriously dropped in my self-discipline as spiritual head of my household under Jesus!

But I am feeling the flame of desire for discipling my boys being fanned and rising!  I am so thankful to God for his patience, gentleness, and persistence with me…NOT forgetting His amazing love for my boys too, as I know He makes up for all that I lack, and more!

Does your desire for your children to be Disciples of Christ need fanning too?

Melanie J