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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Can A Woman Forget Her Nursing Child?




The Lord knows what love a mother can have for her child…


‘Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.’ Isaiah 49:15.

‘As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. The Reign and Indignation of God, You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bodies shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies.’ Isaiah 66: 13-14.


Recently one of my sons was ill, experiencing pain and blood loss. It was truly difficult to see my usually, strapping young and healthy lad, in such pain and discomfort. We needed to take him to the hospital twice for emergency assessment and as such, he was assigned a bowel specialist and booked in immediately for a colonoscopy.

I took a week off work to take care of him and we prayed, along with our Christian friends for healing. The day before the procedure I oversaw his bowel preparation. I had prayed the cleansing would be as painless as possible, and I was so happy when it was.

King Hezekiah was prominent in my mind, so I prayed for healing so that my son could go on to serve Jesus for many years to come, free from this pain. I also thought of a friend in ministry with Crohn's disease and how hard it has been for them…But King Hezekiah was healed through prayer and a poultice from figs (read it here), so I continued to pray, and each time I did I felt better and more confident.

Today we went to the hospital pediatric clinic for the results from the colonoscopy and biopsy taken. The doctor gave me the news my son is clear of any inflammatory bowel disease and cancer, both of which he was tested for, as these were the symptoms he presented with. The doctor said they do not have an answer for us, and can only offer us some further testing, such as a laparoscopy. However I declined at this stage, as he's been slowly improving and this is what everyone has been praying for…

While my son expressed gratitude after hearing the results, he still said to me, “But I want to know what I was healed from…” Such an inquisitive mind…I am just grateful I can hold him and say, “Thank you, Jesus”.

While all this has been happening, a dear friend of mine had a breast scan and they found a lump in one breast. I went with her for a follow-up biopsy, and began praying. My friend also found out today the lump is not cancerous and for this second answered prayer I am also praising Jesus! 

There is more to come for both my son and friend, and that is enough for my heart to bear today…

I am writing this post and sharing this news publically for two reasons:

1. It is right for us to give our thanks and praise publically for who He is – All He has done for us, and is continuing to do in our lives each day.

2. To encourage you. To encourage you to pray, and also to praise Him for every silver lining in every situation. While I awaited the results, I was still praising Jesus for the fantastic medical attention we received. We may not know what the outcome and answer will be, but we can always look for His hand of mercy and comfort and invite Him into our tough situations and be grateful.

May we always praise Him, in all circumstances for His grace, mercy and steadfast love! 

Melanie.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

49 Ways to make each moment and day beautiful.




For some weeks now I have had upon my heart the desire to make each moment in my life beautiful, to grow and become more Christ-like. And although for many years now, since giving my life to Jesus, it has been my heart’s desire to show His love that is within me to others…This longing to make every moment beautiful, seems to be a new form that is with me throughout each day.

To make each moment beautiful.

This thought has been with me in quiet times of reflection, and remains in the background as I face difficult situations. Situations like fatigue, migraines, sick children, impatience, stubbornness, back-chatting teenagers, rude adults, non-empathetic friends, irritating situations…

To make each moment beautiful.

Jesus spoke about how foolish it is to store up treasures here on earth, when we could be gone at any moment. He spoke about the importance of being ready. Ready to meet Him face-to-face; either when our body dies and we’re taken to heaven, or when He returns to earth for the final judgement and we’re swept up to be with Him.

I want to be found faithful. I want to be ready. 

I want to have made a difference in the lives whom I am in relationship with. I want to make each moment beautiful, as a living sacrifice.

I do believe Jesus expects us to live out our faith in Him beautifully, while bearing our cross just as He did, as a faithful testimony to others of His power and strength to carry us through while we await His return.

The truth is I don’t always get it right. I don’t always succeed in making each moment beautiful, or in bringing His beauty into each situation, to be somewhat of a reflection…but it is my heart’s desire to do so, and so I continue on to try with His help, and repent when I fail.

To make each moment beautiful, I think is so much upon my heart at this time, as there seems to be so many negative things going on outside of my control. And while I cannot control others and all situations, I can work at making my own life as beautiful as possible for myself and others. I hope this post encourages you to work for the same.

Well today is my husband’s last birthday in his 40’s, so I have decided to sit and write some of the these things upon my heart in the form of this post: 49 Ways to make each moment and day beautiful. I hope it inspires you!


49 Ways to make each moment and day beautiful.

1. Prayer. While we can’t control much in our world and lives, we can choose to pray. Praying makes that your heart in that moment of surrendered humility beautiful. Prayer invites The Lord into the situation and to at upon our behalf…Pray enables The Lord to be active in the situation we have asked Him to work in. Pray enables The Lord to go before us and make a way where we cannot. Pray invites His healing hand, sometimes to soften our own heart, and make a way for repentance, or forgiveness that we need. Prayer is a beautiful moment in our day.

2. Reading. Reading the Bible or a daily devotional is an intentional effort to focus your mind on something beautiful – His unchanging truths.

3. Cook or bake something special for no reason. Making your spouse’s or child’s favourite dinner, or baking a cake for someone, for no other reason than seeing them smile is a wonderful way to make an evening beautiful.

4. Get outside. Intentionally get outside and get some sunshine if possible. You may like to sit in the sun or shade with a nice drink or go for a relaxing walk in a park, taking in the beauty of creation.

5. Create something. We’re all different but you could make something around your interest and skills. You could use a pen, paper, paint, wood, a recipe, an instrument, plants…you could even create an event. Life is what you make it, so why wait? Make something beautiful.

6. Call someone. While digital/text connection is good, there is stills something extra special when hearing a person’s voice, or seeing their face. Often we find ourselves switching off (due to business) and not making the time to speak with others in person…So even if it’s not face-to-face, pick up your phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while – You will find you will feel so much better afterwards for making the effort. Stop being the person that always says to others, “Haven’t heard from you in ages!”

7. Forgive and make peace. Forgiving others is not only a command, it sets us free from inner turmoil. When it is safe and reasonable to do so, we should also work for peace with others. Now this is not just friends and acquaintances, this is also our family and spouse. The Bible advises to not let the sun go down on your anger and also to not leave your gift at the alter until after you’ve made peace with someone you need to. Forgiveness and reconciliation make way for beauty.

8. Host a meal. Host a meal or barbecue to make an ordinary day a beautiful one, but remember Jesus challenges us to invite not just our friends, but those on the fringe. Blessing someone else with no return favour is truly beautiful.

9. Write a note. Why not make the effort to write someone a note or message to affirm them as a person? You could make a card, write a letter or pop a short note on their desk. Oftentimes words of affirmation are infrequent for many people. Receiving encouraging words is truly a beautiful moment.

10. Go to a café. Schedule time to have a coffee or drink with someone at a nice café. Treat yourself and them. Switch off your phone or device and spend time together.

11. Plant a plant or tend a garden. If you don’t have a garden to enjoy, consider making one or buying a plant and repotting it, to enjoy its beauty. You could even join a local community garden and enjoy growing and sharing healthy vegetables. This is a very therapeutic way to make your day more beautiful.

12. Clean. Making your living space/s clean can help lift your mood and literally makes your home more beautiful and pleasant for everyone in it. If you wished others would do more, you could ask them to help, or just set the example.

13. Do an act of service. Bring beauty to your community by helping with a task. Volunteering has been shown to not only benefit others but also improve the quality of life for those who give their time freely. Do you know someone who needs a hand? What about your spouse, is there a task they’re hoping you finish?

14. Give Something away. Stop trying to earn a dollar for every item you no longer want. De-clutter and give something decent to a charity. 

15. Re-decorate. Colour brings life. You may like to spruce up your bedroom to help create a calm and safe place to rest and recharge in.

16. Take a bath. Take time to unwind and relax…even a nice warm shower helps.

17. Listen to inspiring music. Make a moment more beautiful by playing some uplifting music. Not sure about this? Why not get online and find a playlist on Youtube?

18. Have a get-a-way. While this is not always practical or affordable, when it is take the opportunity to get-a-way from your usual surroundings and experience a new place, taking in all its culture and beauty.

19. Have a laugh. Make a moment more bearable and beautiful by making someone laugh, or take a moment to watch some wholesome comedy.

20. Have a cuddle. We all need touch. After a long day, take some time to hug a loved one, or to cuddle your pet.

21. Visit a relative. Sometimes we make more time for friends than family. Make your life beautiful by taking the time to visit a relative, and this may be someone you struggle with.

22. Give a gift. Is it someone’s birthday, or do you have extra of something you can gift to someone else. Make the day beautiful by giving a gift, even when it’s not necessary or expected.

23. Make a new friend, or invest time into a young person. Why shut others out? It’s a big wide world, and there are many people out there whom you can make a difference to. Life can be lonely, but oftentimes that can be from choice. We often need to make an effort to make our own life more meaningful and beautiful. There are often mentoring programs that need volunteers.

24. Don’t shut the door. Don’t make rash decisions to shut people out of your life, unless they’re dangerous. Oftentimes people make the decision to limit their acquaintances, and while it’s true we don’t need 100’s of friends, when we shut the door and choose to cut people out of our lives, (or unfriend them on social media), we shut the door on further contact perhaps later on. A life that has others to call upon and vice-versa is more beautiful – God doesn’t shut the door on us, so be careful with this decision.

25. Go on a camp/retreat. Or perhaps take in a workshop or seminar. Intentionally taking time to recharge with a Christian camp or seminar can bring more of God’s beauty and encouragement into our lives.

26. Go somewhere breath-taking. Trips like this may be few and far between in your life, but when able take the opportunity to take in the splendour of creation and thereby some of God’s majesty when doing so – So beautiful and inspiring.

27. Visit a sick friend. Make a beautiful moment for someone else by taking the time to visit a sick friend at home or in hospital.

28. Make a time capsule. Make a beautiful memory of your life with a time-capsule or photo album for example. Capture the moment to reflect upon later down the track by you or someone else.

29. Make a donation to a charity. Why leave all your money to someone else who will make the decision of what happens to it. Jesus said give and store your treasure in heaven. Spread some love and beauty through giving to a charity.

30. Give someone a make-over. Treat your friend to a facial or if you’re unable perhaps give them a gift voucher for one. You could spend sometime with a young niece and paint their nails, or make a piece of home-made jewellery to brighten their day.

31. Start a new hobby. Why wait any longer to try out that hobby/interest you always have in the back of your mind? Who knows what doors it may open.

32. Connect with your neighbour. Bring some beauty into your life and the person’s next door! So many people today suffer silently not even knowing who lives next door.

33. Have a games night. Turn off technology and the television and spend time with others. Having a fun games night is a great way to do this!

34. Learn a new language or musical instrument. Make your life experience more beautiful by engaging in a new cultural experience like learning a new language or musical instrument for example. What else can you think of?

35. Be adventurous and join a group. Search what local activities or groups are running in your neighbourhood, or ask other and be brave!

36. Cook yourself a healthy dinner. Take in the beauty of good healthy food. Make the effort to make your day beautiful by enjoying some freshly prepared produce! Even taking some good multi-vitamins can be very beneficial. Not sure? Why not go see a nutritionist?

37. Avoid arguing online. Less is more. Quality over quantity. Limit your online time and be selective in regards to the quality of your interaction. Sometimes negative interaction is unavoidable, yet we can still choose to how we respond or whether or not we reply at all. We need to ask ourselves, “If I respond, will my response be edifying for myself and the other person?”

39. Spend time doing a quality bible study. We need to take in good spiritual food through studying The Word. This will positively impact our well-being immensely by transforming our minds to be more in line with The Lord’s through scripture. Do not engage with ‘pop culture’ non-biblical type studies.

40. Take some photos. Get outside and capture some beauty.

41. Bite your tongue. Be slow to respond and bite back with rash remarks. Make each moment more beautiful and graceful by guarding your tongue. If you have lashed out, apologise quickly.

42. Be grateful. Spend some time quietly reflecting upon the blessings in your life and be grateful.

43. Give a massage. Make a beautiful moment by offering a loved one a good-old shoulder rub. If it’s your spouse this could lead to some more loving affection which could be needed.

44. Avoid gossip. There is nothing beautiful in slander and unnecessary complaining. Avoid this filth at all costs.

45. Watch something decent. Take in some beauty by watching something inspiring or a great message. Turn the television off.

46. Start a new project. What are you waiting for? Need money? Make the plan, save then go for it. Remember projects can always include others…spread some beauty around!

47. Set a goal. Aim to succeed. Set a goal to achieve something positive and of worth to improve your life and those around you. Aim to make a difference and make your place more beautiful.

48. Eat a treat. Sometimes something delicious will always brighten a day and make for a special moment. Chocolate…need I say more?

49. Encourage someone. For this final one, let me ask you, how do you want to be remembered? As someone who brought love, joy and peace into the lives of others by encouraging them? Or as someone who just existed once? It only takes a moment to encourage someone rather than tear them down. Be present with people, rather than being focused on your phone. Be present and listen to them. Then be an encourager and bring beauty into the moment!

In His love, Melanie. 

Remember if you ever have a query, you can email me at ordinaryaussiewoman@mail.com

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Searching For My Kind of CraZy!



I am at peace.  I am at peace knowing without a doubt, the wait was worth it and I have found ‘my type of crazy’ man in a world full of ‘nice’ people, who are great but just are not ‘my kind of crazy’…

Do you know what I mean?

I am sitting here after a massive half-week which has included amongst other stuff, 2 trips to the emergency department of our local hospital for my eldest son…

I am sitting having just finished the dishes for dinner, while my hubby is out getting extra groceries I didn’t buy earlier today with one of the boys in tow…and I sit here content and at peace, even though my eldest son is still in pain awaiting a procedure next week, because I know Jesus provided me with ‘my kind of crazy’ man to help carry these burdens…

‘My kind of crazy’ man is my bbf - My best friend forever. He really is. 

And I sit here writing this, not to boast (cause I didn’t really do anything), and not to praise my hubby (‘cause he isn’t perfect)…I sit here writing this to encourage you, yes you who are waiting and wondering, “In a world full of people, will I ever meet the one who is my type of crazy?”

I want to tell you this. Pray. Wait. Be patient and do not settle.

Oh yes, and one more thing – If you have truly loved before, do not despair and think it could not happen again, because it happened to me.

I have finally found ‘my type of crazy’ man after heartbreak, and what seemed to me to be, a difficult wait.

So pray. Wait. Be patient and do not settle…and while you do, work on yourself! Take time to process your junk with God, so you become a holistically healthy person ready for marriage. And while you’re at it, mingle with all the ‘nice people’ to learn what it is that you actually desire in a spouse…for there is so much more to being equally yoked than both of you being ‘church goers’!

From my humble observation, the best marriages I have seen are the ones where the couple didn’t settle. They prayed, waited patiently and did not settle. Now when I write ‘not settling’ I don’t want you to think I am talking about anything as shallow as physical appearance…They did not settle on being truly equally yoked or in modern-day language, being a great match!

They didn’t settle because they were firstly secure in their singleness and relationship with Jesus, so they could wait patiently (although this was still tough) and learn from their Heavenly Father who they were, and the type of person whom they would be a great match with. They knew what they needed in a spouse, and so when they recognised this person they saw God’s hand, and had His peace…

Being a great match comes down to being a great match holistically, so here are seven areas to consider:

·        1. Are we compatible spiritually? For example as a Christian one may ask…Do we have the same views about God and the Bible? Ideas about marriage and raising children in church? Do we think the same about Christian education and how our family will operate in regards to prayer and decision making? It is not wrong to ask yourself, is this person spiritually mature, or am I possibly struggling from some sort of ‘saviour complex’?

·        2. Are we compatible socially? For example you may consider…Are we able to enjoy some activities together that are important to me? Do we complement each other when socialising with family and friends?

·        3. Are we compatible financially? For example it’s important to notice how the other person values work, spending money, and financial stability. Is it in line with your financial values and work ethos?

·        4. Are we compatible mentally? Now while some great couples don’t necessarily have the same level of formal education, they do spark each other’s interest and will be able to communicate and relate on a similar level. Do you have a common vision?

·        5. Are we compatible morally? This is really important as this is often where relationship problems come from. What are your standards on things like cheating, lying, sex outside of marriage, volunteering and giving for example?

·        6. Are we compatible emotionally? A good test to discover your own emotional love language (how you feel most loved) is the 5 love languages test by Gary Chapman (It is available online). You need someone who will commit to you emotionally and meet this need for you, and vice versa. For example if you need cuddle and a chat each night and the other person likes to go for a run, shower and go straight to sleep, then that’s not a good combination.

·        7. Are we compatible sexually? Sexuality is bigger than sexual attraction and physical intimacy. While sexual compatibility is important in a marriage it is only one of these holistic areas. But there does need to be some chemistry, so don’t feel false guilt if you don’t feel it…Just don’t ‘try before you buy’ and ruin that person for their ‘my kind of crazy’ spouse who will totally desire them! 


I really do want to encourage you to pray. To wait patiently…

Marriage should reflect the love of Jesus towards humanity and Jesus modelled that His perfect love is intimately entwined with friendship…and this is why I write, do not settle…wait to find that precious jewel who is ‘your type of crazy’.

It is worth waiting for that special someone you are a great match with, so you can laugh, cry, and strive together, while cuddling each other every day…Don’t lose hope, it’s happened for me, I just had to wait and keep growing until it did!

In Christ's love, Melanie.