Category Archives: Inspiration

Make My Week #33 – Inspired

At our church when people have a new baby they are made meals by people for a week. It is so wonderful to be on the receiving end of these. Recently we’ve had 3 friends give birth and I was making a meal for one set last night. I always like to do a dessert and I quite like the cupcake thing.

The new big sister (19 months) has this gorgeous top that is made of wide pink and green stripes that looks a lot like a watermelon. So Bounce and I made them some watermelon inspired cup cakes to finish off the meal.

I always feel like doing baking as make my week is cheating (because my baking isn’t flash and I do it every week) but I am trying to embrace creativity wherever it comes and value it. I am often amazed and inspired by other people’s baking and see them as very creative. Here is one such source of tempting inspiration!

To see what other people are creating click on the Creative Spaces button on the right.

Do you have rules for what counts as creative pursuit? Where do you most express your creativity?

Wardrobe Wednesday and Make My Week #25 – My Jesus Dress

My sister saw this fabric in a market in Amsterdam.

She told me about it.

She sent me some with a note saying ‘You’re the only person in the world who could rock this fabric.’

 

Maybe she is a little generous but Hello??’ I ❤ Jesus with gold shiny Holy Spirit Doves’?? Yes Please!

I used a pattern that was an off-cast from one of my mama’s friends.

 

Without the belt I look a bit like I am 7 months pregnant or how I still look 5 months after giving birth.

I love this fabric – I often think about making clothes that say stuff about the real ‘who I am’ more than just the ‘I love clothes and dressing up’ part of who I am.

 

I do love Jesus, very much. He is the source of who I really am and who I am becoming. At 34 I’m at that happy stage of my life where I feel entirely at home with this and I don’t feel like I need to make excuses or try to convince people that loving Jesus doesn’t make me weird, or crazy or deluded or brainless. Point is I find meaning and joy in this sometimes difficult-to-explain relationship and I’m happy to wear that on a black chiffon, 80s-esque printed dress with pink stilettos (even if I did slip over in the ice in them!).

 

outfit breakdown:

Dress – made by me, fabric from Amsterdam

Tights – cosmic

pink stilettos – TKMaxx – UK

Cardi – hand-me-down from a cousin

 

 

What do your clothes say about you and your values?

Joining in here

Wardrobe Wednesday at SailorSpy.co.nz

Read More:

Clothes I have made

Make my week craftings

Inspiration

Laying it Down

These words come from a gorgeous little booklet called ‘What I Think and Read About Worry’, by Corrie Ten Boom a woman who hid Jews during the war and spent time in a concentration camp. The latter part of her life was all about healing and reconciliation between victims and perpetrators of the war.

Worry is about carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days in one. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. There is just one day in the calendar of action, that is today. Planning should include a wide swing of days. But action belongs to one day only – today. We get tensed up about the future….it uses up energy you need for today’s business of living.

May you find the strength and grace you need today to let go of the worries that belong to the future.

Miriam x

B.M.W.B #24 Dr Suessing!

Last week we had a Dr. Suess party.

 

I have been so looking forward to my boys being old enough to enjoy a ‘party for no reason’ party.

 

To swell the numbers and the excitement we made an invitation and invited another family.

 

For dinner we had chicken nuggets, wedges with blue and red sauce and ‘make-your-own’ pizzas.

 

For dessert we had Truffla Tree cupcakes, One Fish Jellies, Dr Suess Hat Stacks,

 

Truffla Seeds, Marshmallow Pops

 

We played ‘I Can Do That’ which is a Dr Suess game and very family friendly

 

Read stories together by the fire and had fun

 

Everyone was invited to come dressed up in their PJs with a crazy hat or hair

 

Bounce went as a Barbaloot (The Lorax), Flip went as Thing One (Cat In the Hat) and mummy and daddy just went crazy! (Notice I am actually the only person looking at the camera in this photo???)

 

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. Please inspire me with the little moments you are snatching with your little people OR with ideas I could do with mine. If you have blogged about it please leave a comment so we can all visit and encourage each other.  

 

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be. 

 

Read More:

Mystery Party for my 6 year-old

How to Make Marshmallow Pops

Family Awards Night

B.M.W.B #22 – In Reality

Blogging is really good for me because it makes me accountable – if I had said to myself this year ‘I want to make my boys my biggest project this year, I’ll make time to do one really intentional focussed thing with them at least once a week’ and not told you – it would have fallen by the wayside.

I am what you’d call an enthusiastic starter, full of ideas, a person with really good intentions – notice there is no mention of follow through or finishing?? Yup – not so good at this.

So I want you to know that this week our special, fun, wonderful park-time – playing, swinging, chasing, chatting – came out of my need to have something for BMWB. Flip suggested it and I was going to say no because I had some bread half-risen, (that I would later ruin- see yesterdays post!!) but instead I got out with my boys in the warm wind and had a wonderful time at the local park – so I had something to blog about…. yes ,this week you were a reason for prioritizing my boys – not proud of that but I want to be honest and encouraging here – not perfect!

Truth is I adore spending time with my boys. I am ALWAYS glad when I do. They are my favourite people to hang with and BMWB has been the best thing I’ve decided to do this year.

When we got home I also arranged a ‘mighty pillow war’… for fun and Ma’n’Pop turned up by surprise and joined in too – super fun. Mummy and Daddy lost!!

And Bounce and I had a great time earlier in the week playing with buttons and sorting them into colours.

So thanks for giving me the incentive and accountability I need to ENJOY and celebrate the awesome role of parenting the 2 cutest people I know.

This year I am making more of a conscious effort to have quality moments with my boys. B.M.W.B (becoming the mama I want to be)  is my way of recording and hopefully inspiring other mama’s too. Please inspire me with the little moments you are snatching with your little people OR with ideas I could do with mine. If you have blogged about it please leave a comment so we can all visit and encourage each other.

Simple. Achievable. Intentional: becoming the mama I want to be.

Mother’s Day

Today I am celebrating the ‘career of my life’

Being a mother is all-consuming, regardless of whether you are full-time, part-time, unemployed…. motherhood trumps it all in terms of your thoughts, hopes, fears, emotions – every mother is a full-time mother some of them just get paid to do other stuff as well!

This week I’ve loved watching the preparation for first football game of the season

Celebrating with a little boy who wrote his name all-by-himself for the first time

and watching our boys paw over photo albums delighted to see themselves and re-live some of our adventures.

And there have been sleepless nights and burst ear-drums, puddles to jump in and skinned knees, tears and laughter and huggles….. and all the patchwork of life together.

Happy mothers day to all the mama’s out there and especially to my own mama – constant inspiration to aspire to as a mama.

If You Could, Would You? + giveaway

A while ago a few of us blogged about our dreams… you know those things we don’t want to talk about because you fear they will never happen, or people will judge you, or you will sound silly.

At the same time I was approached by a New Zealander Jolene Stockman who had written an e-book about this topic. She asked me if I would consider reviewing her book. A big risk for her (this book is her baby) and for me (what if I didn’t like it?)

But I did like it.

Jolene has written this book specifically with teenagers in mind but that does not mean it can’t be appreciated by adults as well. Her book is called ‘Total Blueprint for World Domination’.

It is a book that brims with passion and enthusiasm for making your personal dreams a reality, but it is much more than a ‘you can do it’ motivation guide. The book is also a workbook at the end of each chapter there are places to pause, questions to ask yourself and exercises to do.       ““`

And it takes things a step further – it asks you to go to the edges of your dream and work backwards in steps to look at what you can do right now to make those things happen. For me this was the chapter that was most valuable and challenging. It’s all too easy to dream, to talk about what you want to be ‘when I grow up’ but not to actively pursue that by the things I am doing now.

The book is very readable. It isn’t long or arduous but it is a book you can really take time over and let it challenge your behaviour and your thinking if you want to.

Here are two of my favourite quotes from the book:

Feel the incredible deliciousness of being able to do something right now.

You have always made a difference from the time you entered the world to this moment sitting in your skin. You affect people around you. You affect the world. Everything you do, and everything your don’t do…..you make a difference right this second. Whether you mean to or not.

Jolene has been working hard to make her own dreams realities and I think she is a wonderful example in a long line of New Zealanders and women who have chosen to make and be the future they dream of. Jolene has generously decided to donate 2 of her books to readers here as a kindle book or PDF .

Leave me a comment, tell me your dream, tell me about a person that inspires you or just tell me I’m awesome!

2 winners drawn in 2 weeks time May 25th

extra entries if you share through your platforms – blog, tweet, fb… just leave me a another comment

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Dear Readers  – I am asking for your help. I am asking you to journey with me. We live in total privilege in a world that does have enough resources to feed its people….but there are people around the world, 27 million of them, who live in slavery.

Does that embarrass you? Does that totally overwhelm you? Do you feel like you can’t make a difference? Caught between helplessness and guilt?

I have joined with a group of women who are creative, talented and enthusiastic about making lasting change for people. We call ourselves ‘unfolding hope’ and we are raising money to donate to a charity called Free The Slaves – an organisation aiming to eradicate the trade and enslavement of people within our lifetime.

Would you read the pages at the top of this page under “unfolding hope” and would you donate to our efforts? There is a place to donate in the main page. Or visit my new blog address create hope inspire and find the details there.

Thank you so much for your encouragement to me and for allowing me to raise my voice.

Miriam x x

“None of us is truly free while others remain enslaved. The continuing existence of slavery is one of the greatest tragedies facing our global humanity. Today we finally have the means, and increasingly the conviction, to end this scourge and to bring millions of slaves to freedom”

—Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa
Free the Slaves International Advisor

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do. – Helen Keller.

Who we are, what we do, how we give – this is our chance to change the world – please join us.

Find more information under ‘Unfolding Hope’ at the top.

Thank You.

Contentment….

“Poor and content is rich and rich enough” [William Shakespeare Othello]

Over the holidays I read a book called ‘Enough – breaking free from the world of more’ by John Naish.

Along with some of the other books I read it really got me thinking about stuff. The book doesn’t just talk about stuff it talks about information and happiness as well as other things.

The challenge of contentment is hardly new and it’s problems can be seen in many of the problems the world is facing – famine, war, slavery, environmental crisis, even image obsession….surely they all have their origins in our desire to have/be more than we have and to keep up with others. Our feeling that we ‘need‘ that elusive something to make us ‘feel’ better.

I’ve decided I want contentment to be one of my words for the year. For me it’s more than just not complaining about life or things that go wrong it’s about finding peace within my circumstances.

At times it might help me to stop and remind myself that other people are facing so much less and so much more crisis or trial than I am – but in essence that is still happiness based on comparison. And there it is COMPARISON the great robber. The seductive voice that makes us measure ourselves as better than others or we feel not up to the standard and our lives aren’t as good as someone else’s.

I want my contentment to come from a place of being at peace and being grateful. Stopping my eyes from wandering and wishing (not ‘wandering eyes’ in the traditional sense I must point out!!). I’m happy to look at lovely things but only as they inspire me to be more creative with my own resources. I’m happy to enjoy my friend’s happiness in their children and their relationships as long as they encourage me to be SO grateful for the beautiful people I have to call family.

It’s interesting to me that The 10 Commandments (God’s law presented in the Old Testament that form the basis of Judaism and Christianity’s morals and ethics), number 10 is ‘You shall not covet…’ Coveting is wanting someone else’s stuff – (the Bible chooses to mention houses, wives/husbands… nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.’) It seems interesting that watching over the fence and wishing you had something that isn’t yours is up there with murdering, lying, stealing…. Challenging?

I think God knows when we become discontent we lose joy. Without contentment in who we are and what we have we are hamstrung in everything else we might do and achieve. If the things we do, the way we eat, the way we look/dress, car we drive……. are motivated by trying to keep up and be something we are not then our unique ability to impact the world is lost.

Contentment… elusive? Perhaps. But I think the real competition in life is not to keep up and work out what is missing. I think the competition is to be at home in ourselves and embrace what we have. This is the invitation I am trying to accept – that I can be content. Not because I am enough but because He is enough and I can be content right here, where.I.am.

What is your word for the year??

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway too 🙂

Confrontation and Encouragement

I must confess I got this book out of the library hesitantly – the unspoken thought of losing one of my babies is enough to make me cry without the harsh truth of reading the reality of another mother’s journey.

The book – ‘Hannah’s Gift – Lessons from a Life Fully Lived‘ by Maria Housden – is however, exquisite.

It details the lessons and the journey of her experience losing her daughter Hannah to cancer at 3 years old.

I cried (of course) but the book was so beautiful, so poignant and didn’t cause a moment of gripping fear about my own babies. It was an amazing mix of real raw grief and true, experienced-life full and beautiful.

The sections – Truth, Joy, Faith, Compassion and Wonder – are profound and moving. I consumed this book in an afternoon but I know I will be processing its lessons for some time.

Here are a couple of my absolute favourite quotes from the book

Joy is the magic and stillness that stand on the threshold of every moment, the experience of giving and living fully, without expecting anything in return. Because joy knows no rules, it isn’t afraid to be imperfect, and it can surprise us even in the darkest places.

It was the quality of presence and attention that I brought to what I was doing, not the activity itself, that made it what it was.

Hannah taught me that there is a death more painful than the one that took her body from this world: a soul suffocated by fear leaves too many joys unlived.

Even if you aren’t a parent or you have never lived the loss of a precious person in your life I think this book will move you, encourage you and make you delight in the really aware of the great gift that life is. It also enforces my desire to be a more intentional and delighted Mama.