Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

So today is Good Friday – the day that Christians remember the Saviour who died for our sins, so that we might not have to bear their penalty. Today, for me, is the day that takes most ‘faith’. To actually BELIEVE that there was a man, who lived over 2000 years ago, who was crucified, and who, after He was dead and buried in a tomb, rose again, conquering death, and now lives so that, should we put our trust (our ‘faith’) in Him, we too might not have to die, but can know that after our death we too will ‘rise’ and live for eternity in a place with no tears, no hunger, no pain.

I don’t write about my faith too much. But I’m a Christian and proud of it. I love that my faith is secure in Him who created the entire Universe, who created me, and who loves me far more than I could ever love myself.

Each day, one of my friends from Chancellor Park Community Church and I read a chapter of the Bible and discuss it in a forum she set up. She’s currently working over in Papua New Guinea (she’s a doctor) and will be there for the next two months. She’s missing her home and her husband terribly, suffering a little from culture shock and the realisation that practising medicine over there is COMPLETELY different to practising it here – and yet her forum entries are so uplifting and so full of faith and encouragement, they’re astounding.

So today, I feel like sharing here with you one of my forum responses of a couple of days ago. I had just read Thessalonians Chapter 3.

“Again, what an amazing chapter full of encouragement!

I’ve been thinking recently just how easy it is to be discouraged. How negativity and toxic self-talk can bring us down so easily and so effectively. I’ve come to realise that we have really only two options when it comes to the crossroads – we can face it (the negativity) and grow strong; or give in to it – the easier option but the one which restricts us and weakens us and in the end destroys who we are / who we want to be / who we could be. I guess it just comes back to faith, doesn’t it?! Faith in Him that He can grow us to be the people that we could be. Faith that we never encounter more than we can handle. Faith that we are where we are meant to be, and doing what we are meant to be doing, and that all things are in His hands – which is the safest place for them, anyway!
Be encouraged today, Bek. You are a wonderful person, doing exactly what God wants, and where He wants, and your being there and doing that, and sharing your journey with me here on a daily basis, is a true source of both encouragement and inspiration to me. I trust that He who we both serve will walk through today with you, and pray that your day today might be truly a wonderful one.”

That’s my prayer for you too, dear readers. That your day today might be a truly wonderful one – whether or not your share my faith with me and the many others who remember what happened on this day ever so many years ago. Have a wonderful day.

CC image courtesy 50%ChanceofRain at http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiftypercentchanceofrain/4513363944/

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I choose to have a positive attitude today.

Thank You, Lord.
Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat. Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear. And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all splattered mess, the soggy, grimy towels, and the dirty toilets; they are so convenient.
Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly; it has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals. Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today; it has baked so many things over the years.
The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that needs mowing and the lawn that needs raking; we all enjoy the yard. Thank you, Lord, even for that slamming door. My kids are healthy and are able to run and play.
Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me, say you have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.
Even though I clutch my blankets and growl when the alarm rings, thank you Lord that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible, thank you Lord that I can see. There are many who are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off writing, thank you Lord that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hours of my day are hectic when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short and my children are loud, thank you Lord for my family; there are many who are lonely. Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in the magazines and the menu is at times not balanced, thank you Lord for the food we have; there are many who are hungry. Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous, thank you Lord for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.
Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest…

thank you Lord, for life!

(Author Unknown)

I find myself unable to blog on a daily basis due to illness and busyness.

What is it about this month that has caused my inability to keep this blog happening on a daily basis?!!! Looking back, I know it’s been filled with both illness (that vomiting bug in the first couple of weeks wiped me out!) and busyness (Uni assignments, work deadlines etc) but has this month been more trying than the others or is it just run-of-the-mill reflection of how my life is at the moment? I’m not entirely sure. Maybe taking this #blogjune challenge was not as realistic as I thought it would be. It’s funny – I did the #blog12daysxmas challenge with no hiccups, in spite of floods keeping my family stranded in 1770 where staples and petrol ran out within days, and prices of ferry rides to Bundaberg (ha! Where THEY were flooded worse than us!) skyrocketed. I even managed the #octshowntell last year. So what is it about this one that I just couldn’t manage it? Is it that 12 days, or one story a week, is do-able, but 30 consecutive days is not? Hmmm…?

Well, I’m not particularly impressed with myself. At church this morning, we were regaled with a delightful reading from “Reuben Ramsay OR The Boy That Nobody Wanted”. A 1849 tale of a boy who looks into the mirror after deciding that nobody wants him, and then realising that he doesn’t even want himself. The Christian influence enters in the form of a lady, who tells him that what he was looking into when he realised that he didn’t even want himself was actually the ‘mind’s mirror’. As in, he wasn’t looking at the reflection of his physical person, but his personality. It was this – his personality – that he didn’t like, and he could change this by giving his heart back to Jesus, who made his heart in the first place.

An accurate reflection of us all, I would suspect, when we truly self-reflect. Well, it is an accurate reflection for me, anyway. I’d prefer to see something a lot nicer in there. Someone who keeps the commitments she makes, for example, to blog daily for #blogjune. Someone who doesn’t keep on stuffing up, publicly, and having to apologise and start over. Wouldn’t that be great. Maybe I should re-read that book, and take the advice offered.

 

I posted earlier that I was too chicken (what is it with animals today?!) to look at my stats for #blogjune cos I’d missed so many.

Well, I manned up (ha!) and checked. According to WordPress, I missed Days 9, 10, 11, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22. So by my count (and you’d better check it, cos my maths SUCKS bigtime) I’ve got 8 more posts to catch up on after this one. (Cos this is my second post for the day, right? LOL)

I read earlier today, “It’s easier to quit. It takes faith to go through.” (Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer and yes – I’m reading a book, not a journal article! Uni must be over?!! Yay!)

And that got me thinking about how often I ‘quit’. As in. get a bit bored of the same old, same old, and change direction. So I thought I’d bite the bullet this time. I know I’m quite a few days behind, but I’m determined. Plus we’ve got all those lovely memes that have been popping up everywhere on #blogjune, so that should help a little….

I knew that I’d missed a post or two on #blogjune, due to busyness, illness, and just general other stuff. I just didn’t realise that my last post was June 8!

So. To some stuff that I feel like sharing today.

I am ill. I feel like death warmed up. But on the up-side, I only have two Uni assignments left to submit.

I am sick of typing on my gorgeous new Macbook Pro. I guess it is possible to get too much of a good thing. Especially when it’s being used for never-ending assignments that I’m kinda over.

Hubby and I took our three children down to St Paul’s Church this morning. First time that it wasn’t a “School Sunday” (as in, expected due to Miss 6’s participation in a performance). It went well. Highlight: Master Two (loud voice) “Mar-mee!” followed by running up to me for a hug from 10 metres away. He only learned to say it yesterday.

Miss 6 is perilously close to losing her first tooth. Finally.

The “recommended” shoes to fit Miss 6’s orthotics are $80 at Athlete’s foot, but only $50 at the recommended shoe shop in Brisbane. Not to self: GO THERE NEXT TIME YOU IDIOT!!!!!

Hmmmm… and now back to that assignment…

(Oh, and a PS… I got a Distinction for INN331. SOOOO stoked!!)

My day started as most seem to recently. Late to bed due to working on hubby’s computer (SOOOOOOO can’t wait for mine! Each day brings it closer!!!), then up sometime in the middle of the night to a child with a nightmare or who’s fallen out of bed, then up again sometime around 2.30ish to turn off that talkative toy which has decided to ‘speak’ and wake me up with its annoying electronic voice, back to bed but can’t sleep because my brain has woken up and is buzzing, then up again within the next 30 minutes to an hour, to start working on the computer before I lose access for the day. Sleep deprivation? What sleep deprivation?

This morning though, I have been pleasantly surprised. I don’t always give Google Reader a quick glance over first thing, but am glad I did so this morning. Bun-toting Librarian was also up late last night, and posted a blog that both inspired and challenged me when I discovered it in my RSS feed earlier. And because today looks like it’s going to be a pretty full-on one for me (think: three, possibly four, meetings as part of my new ‘marketing’ career, and all of them with my 3y.o. and 1 y.o. at my feet. Gonna be fun…) I thought I’d share with you all, dear readers, how lovely a start to the day it was. A friend made a comment the other day that really resonated with me. In response to the obligatory greeting ‘How are you?” he said, “Well, I woke up on the right side of the ground this morning…” – well I’ve got one up on that. Not only am I on the right side of the ground today, but I’m happy, healthy, surrounded by a wonderful family, working in a fantastic new job and being intellectually stretched by my wonderful lecturers at QUT. And add to that, being inspired by @fionawb this morning. And all before breakfast! It’s going to be a great day… can’t you just feel it?

Have a lovely one. dear readers!

— Ceridwyn

There’s a little bit of a tinge of sadness in the air. A greying. Cool mist. It’s as though the laughter-filled ‘honeymoon stage’ has passed, and the vision of ‘hard slog’ has just started to inch towards me over the far horizon. Ho hum.

Today is the 23rd of January. Exactly one month ago, I set up this blog, in preparation for @fionawb’s #blog12daysxmas challenge, which would start on Christmas Day of 2010. So that’s it. Been blogging for a month now. How sad – I can’t really class myself as a ‘newbie’ anymore. Well, not really.

Generally I find milestones exciting. They signify the culmination of something. But that can mean the end of something, too… and in my experience, when something ends it is never repeated again. Which can be sad, I find. Today also marks the end of my 6 posts on ‘momentous events in my life’. It’s been an interesting challenge I set myself… I had NO idea when I started, just how confronting it would be. Bearing my soul and my innermost thoughts at the most emotional experiences I’ve had! And only a brand-new blogger! So this week’s been rather a soul-searching one for me, deciding how to best present the stories of my life, pitting the ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ against the ideas of privacy, discretion, and of course a pretty massive word count when I get all rambly!

Still an’ all… today’s event, number six, while still extremely emotional, was one which still leaves me incredulous. It goes like this…

It was the latter half of 2010. August, maybe? Or September? It was a warm day, and it must have been a Saturday because hubby was home. So we decided to swap the baby seats into our Pajero and take the 5 of us to Bribie for the day. So we did. On the way, I noticed that I was still wearing my watch and rings (I never take them to the beach, as I don’t like the potential that sand has for damaging them!) and was about to take them off and put them safely into my handbag, when I was distracted (probably by two fighting daughters in the back seat!) and so didn’t. And it wasn’t until we were actually ON the beach, the car unpacked, the kids changed into their swimmers etc that I remembered that I was still wearing them.

I should probably pause and explain… I’m not into jewelry. I wear my engagement ring and my wedding ring and my gold watch. That’s it. And I only wear them when I’m out somewhere – as soon as I’m home, I take off the rings and store them on the watchband; do up the watch again, and presto! Safe. I probably started the habit when my eldest was born, as I didn’t want the stones to scratch her when I was picking her up so constantly, but now it’s a bit of a habit.

Anyway, we got home from the day at Bribie tired and happy. And the following morning, headed off to church. I opened the section of my handbag where I usually keep the watch / rings… and they weren’t there. Back home, after church, I check the box where I leave them… and they weren’t there. I go back out to the car, check the glovebox, the floor… no. I go to the Pajero, check the glovebox, the floor, the centre console… no. I panic. They’re gone. Completely. Gone.

Questions, guilt, more questions, more guilt. Why can’t I remember! I must have taken them off at the beach… but maybe that was just before my youngest crawled head-first into the water and got knocked over by a wave?

A week goes by. A very very very sad week. I was coming up 15 years married and had lost my rings. Worse – I couldn’t even remember when I had removed them and where I had put them. Hubby suggests calling the Bribie Police Station. Sure, I say, but don’t. (I’ve mentioned how depressed I get, haven’t I.) The following weekend it rains, or we’re busy, or something. Anyway, we don’t go back to Bribie. I don’t think I would have handled it too well, if Hubby had even suggested it. He keeps reminding me of the Bribie Police. I say, ‘Stop nagging.’

Monday after lunch. The eldest is at school and the younger two have gone down for their naps. I can’t put it off anymore. I call Bribie Police. Teary, I tell the constable my story. She asks me to describe them. I do.

She them says, “You’re not going to believe this. They’ve been handed in, not half an hour ago. A lady found them on the beach this morning – well, her husband did – and she wanted to hand them in straight away because she knew that whoever had lost them would be devastated.”

I die. (Well, not literally, but pretty darn close!) I bundle the kids into the car, rush down to Bribie Police Station, and reclaim my beloved watch and rings. Oh my GOD!!!!! How absolutely INCREDIBLE!!! I had been praying, and praying, and praying, all week. And here they were again – back on my ring finger; back on my wrist – without even any extra tarnish for their eight days in the sun, wind, rain, exposed to the salt and the sand!

How awesome is my God?!! Pretty darn! I was completely blown away. Incredulous. And so, so, so grateful. I had thought them gone literally forever, and been in various stages of mourning and denial. But they had been preserved somehow… heck! The watch hadn’t even lost a minute! How absolutely INCREDIBLE is my God!!!

Anyway, that’s it. The sixth, of six ‘most momentous events in my life’. The list is complete. A little sad, in a way. A little grey. But touched with golden around the edges, for a challenge completed successfully. And as for the next? I haven’t decided yet. Might go sleep on it.

As always, thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. And, dear readers, have a lovely night!

It’s been a big day. Woke up to discover my dream job for 2011 had been advertised on Monday, with submissions of applications by close of business YESTERDAY! (That’ll teach me for having a husband and two daughters all having birthdays this past week, and so not turning on my computer as much, won’t it!)

So I applied anyway. And then felt depressed all day. Youngest is teething (and whingy), middle child has a rash over her entire back from the neighbour’s over-chlorinated pool (and MEGA whingy) and eldest is… well… she’s just too like me on every day of the week, so we butt heads anyway. A LOT!

Hubby has been out at a staff retreat for the last few days, so he arrived home tonight. Just as I discovered a colony of ants were playing at falling out of the lovely home they had made in my cathedral ceilings, all over my lounge room. Over chairs, over cushions, over the inevitable collection of toys that accumulates throughout the day. Over literally everything. Yay. But thanks to my lovely twitter support group, a #virtualtweetup, and a pretty massive #sugarhit, I feel as though I can focus enough to blog for the day.

Hmmm… that’s right. My topic: momentous event in my life number four. The first time I felt ‘released’ from the emotional prison that was suffocating me. And again, I should probably fill in some details as to how I arrived in that prison in the first place. So settle in… this may take a moment or two…

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post, once upon a time, I helped to lead a cult. Really? Yes. Really. In my second year of my B.Ed at Griffith, Mt Gravatt, I was sitting on the grass near the bus stop when a girl several years older than me walked up and, out of the blue, invited me to a Bible study. Shocked? Yes! Because how was she to know that, not 30 seconds earlier, I had just finished praying that I might be more committed to my Saviour, and that I would find the way to do this.

Long story short, I ‘studied the Bible’ with her – and her fellow “church” members – for the next ten days, a couple of hours at a time. (Wow! I must have had SO much free time on my hands back then!) By the middle of the studies, I could see where they were heading. Verses from the Bible had been chosen, and were studied in detail, in such a way that the proof was irrefutable – I was NOT (as I had thought all my life) saved, I was NOT a Christian, and only by joining this “church” would I then become a Christian, and be saved. Tell me tell you – I fought this and fought it! What they were saying was absolute anathema… but in all of it, I had to keep going back to the Bible. Seeing the words. And agreeing with their point of view, even though I didn’t want to, because, really, there was no other explanation. So I joined. And a few months later, moved out of my parents, into a “sisters” house, renting with other girls from the “church”. By Semester One of my third year, I was ‘in deep’. I had virtually lost all contact with my non-“church” friends, and my family. By the end of that semester, I was one of the two Interns. As in, the leader of the “church”, Jordie Barham at that time, and his wife, Paula, had one assistant (Intern) each, and together, the four of us led the whole of the Brisbane “church” – almost 200 members at that point in time. I had decided to postpone Semester Two, in order to devote 22 hours per day to my ‘work’, and I joked how I would tell my parents that it was just for the rest of the year, rather than (as I had planned) for the rest of my life.

But by September, I was completely burnt out. I had not yet succeeded in ‘being fruitful’ (converting someone through to “church” membership) and the Internship was stripped from me and given to another. A month or so later, I feigned illness on Sunday morning, and while everyone else was at church, put through a distress call to my parents. They picked me up, drove me around to the three different “sister’s houses” I had lived in and left possessions at, and then took me back to their house, before the others in the “church” were any the wiser. And then we all ignored the phone, which rang off the hook 24 hours a day for the next 4 days or so.

Still, I had left physically, but not left mentally or emotionally. I knew that when I had left their “church”, that I had walked away from my salvation. That I had turned my back on God. That I was going to hell. And I remained utterly convicted of that fact. Nothing could convince me otherwise. After all – I had seen it for myself, in the black and white words of the Bible.

I finished Uni and got married. I then fought constantly with my husband, as he, a Christian, couldn’t understand how I could be that ‘stubborn’ about my opinion. And then the inevitable happened. After two and a half years of marriage, we split up.

A week later, he came back. To find me as unrelenting as ever. I KNEW that I was going to hell, and nothing he could say or do would change that. He virtually begged me to go to marriage counselling. I agreed, but with the attitude that ‘nothing will change. They can’t convince me otherwise. I know it. I’ve seen it.’

So anyway, we went to counselling. Another couple, Graham Ballam and his lovely wife, the Baptist pastors at Victoria Point (where we were living) had one session with us. Just one. And then said, “You (two) don’t need marriage counselling. No – marriage counselling won’t work. Instead, you (Ceridwyn) need counselling. To get this wrong way of thinking out of your head. Because you’re wrong. What you believe. It’s wrong.”

My response? Sure. Bring it on. We agreed that I would go through ‘studying the Bible’ with them, each and every session, and I knew, I just KNEW, that by the end of it, I would have convinced them that they too, were not saved, not Christians, etc.

So it started. And it continued. And for every SINGLE verse, I explained the verse how the “church” had explained it to me. And then we would go back to the original meanings of the words themselves, in Hebrew and Greek, to the nuances of the verbs, to see whether the explanations provided by the “church” matched up with the reality of the original Hebrew and Greek words. And while the majority of them DID match up, there were one or two discrepancies. Maybe just in the ‘present continuous’ form of the verb being used, rather than what I had been taught, but it was enough. I saw a chink. A glimmer of light. And that was the beginning.

It took the best part of a fortnight. Hours and hours of debate, intense scrutiny of those same Biblical passages that had so convinced me of my hell-bound future. But it was worth it. By the end, I could smile. I could feel a peace that I hadn’t felt in years. And I felt, again, some hope. Again, just a glimmer… but it was a start. A release. I emerged from that prison a stronger person for being in there – and even more convicted of my God, and my salvation. So although I had endured quite a few years of being ‘bound and gagged’ (to quote the title of one of my brother’s movies), there was an end. A wonderful, wonderful end. Which, as it always does, resulted in a new beginning. Phew.

Well, that’s probably it for today. And I’d say that long enough too wouldn’t you agree?! Thank you for reading, and I’m heading back to say goodnight at that #virtualtweetup now…

 

I guess it’s really up to me, isn’t it – where I should draw the ‘line in the sand’, as it were, between sharing my life and revealing too much. What, really, am I comfortable with virtual strangers knowing about me, and various thoughts along a similar vein. I hadn’t found it particularly tough until today. And, being a master-procrastinator about certain things, I managed to maintain a healthy state of denial that the day was passing and I hadn’t yet blogged my third ‘momentous event’ in my  previously mentioned ‘list of six’. But it’s edging closer to 11pm, so I’d better get typing, I guess. Deadlines have always been great motivators for me.

This one’s hard. It’s ‘personal’. Not that the last two weren’t, but more that… well… hmmm… how to explain? Where to start? And yes, I realise that all of this prevaricating is just using up words while I try to build up the courage to type what I had said I was going to.

Ok. Here goes. I’m going to start now.

This event, third most ‘momentous in my life’, was the day of my release. Well, the second big release in my life, actually. The first, I’ll blog about tomorrow. But this one had a longer-lasting impact.

It would have been, most likely, sometime in 2002. (I’ll have to tell you about my EXTREMELY dodgy memory, sometime!) My husband and I had been attending Glasshouse Country Baptist Church for some time, and on this particular weekend, I had decided to attend the ‘retreat’ that had been planned for the Saturday. The topic was ‘Setting the Church free’, and all the attendees were focussing on different areas in our lives where we felt that we had been hampered by emotional (or spiritual) ‘baggage’. My analytical brain (as I mentioned yesterday – ever the dispassionate observer!) was having a very interesting day, having never experienced a retreat of that nature before.

Anyway, the focus shifted from topic to topic, looking at various aspects of our lives. Witchcraft, pornography, drugs, alcohol and nicotine addictions were all discussed… and then came the ‘miscarriage / abortion’ topic.

I was immediately floored, having absolutely ZERO idea that ‘miscarriage / abortion’ could even BE an area in which you could carry ‘baggage’. Looking back now, it is obvious that it would have been included, but at that time, I felt as though I had not only been hit by a train, but that the train involved was the Brisbane – Cairns express, and I was still plastered to the front of the engine.

Seven years earlier, I had miscarried my first child. I had been 12 weeks pregnant, and just starting to celebrate getting over the ‘danger period’. Whoops. And in 2002, losing that child had been my only experience of pregnancy (to that date). And, being seven years earlier, I had thought that I had ‘dealt with it’. “Heck!” I thought to myself, sitting in that hall, “I’d had my teacher interview with Ed.Queensland two days after leaving the hospital, hadn’t I?! So of course I’m over it! I don’t need to discuss it… or think about it… I’m not carrying any ‘baggage’!” But I knew that, for all my denial, there was a massive amount of pain sitting just below the surface. That my experience of miscarriage, as traumatic as it had been, needed a lot more ‘closure’ than all the trite words of friends and family at the time, and the passage of the following seven years.

So I gave in. I’d say that it was pretty obvious, from the tears gushing down my face (as they’re starting to do again now, sitting here at my computer) and the church elders, leading the session, were able to draw me aside, and talk through it. It’s funny… until that moment, I hadn’t thought to seek counselling over my miscarriage. I had just assumed that it had been a problem with me. That my body wasn’t up to the task of carrying a child. That I wasn’t worthy. And the overwhelmingly crushing guilt that accompanied those thoughts was just something I had to get used to, and live with.

Thankfully, I had attended that retreat that day. I heard someone speak to me of another who had had a similar experience. His child had died. Not as mine had, in utero, but as a child. And this person’s thoughts, and reactions, were recorded in a source I trusted implicitly – my Bible. The person was King David, and his son had died. And his response? He tells his servants, “Can I bring him (my son) back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” This is in the book of 2 Samuel, Chapter 12, verse 23.

Wow. God’s Word was telling me that I would see my child in heaven. “I will go to my child, but my child will not return to me.” WOW. This is GOD’S WORD telling me this. GOD! Even now, I am taken aback by the wash of emotions this creates in me. That even though I never got to see my child – my little, 12 week old baby – I never got to know whether it was a girl, as I had suspected – I never got to hold her, kiss her, or gaze into her face – that I can confidently expect to meet her (or was it a him?) in heaven when I get there. Wow. Just WOW. To have that hope again. Just… wow!

Something in me was fixed that day. Not wholly, but a pretty big part that I didn’t even realise was just so darned broken. A part of my life that I had never wanted to look at, touch or probe too deeply for fear of what was there, hiding, that I knew I couldn’t deal with. Even now… as I’ve just written… the emotions are so close to the surface it surprises me. And that’s after 15 years, and three successful pregnancies. Wow.

Anyway, I look back now and am SO glad for that release. I’m also glad because, since that day, I’ve been able to share my story – and that verse – with friends who have also miscarried. And perhaps given them some reassurance that it doesn’t really have to be ‘the end’, even though it feels just so darn final.

Phew. Okay. I’m going to stop typing now. I think that’s enough emotion for one night. Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to share this small part of my life’s story with you.

Yours,

Ceridwyn

Today’s post completes the list. Number four of the ‘Top Four places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. And as I said yesterday, this destination fills the senses.

From vistas of endless countryside, desolate and strikingly beautiful, to the scent of foreign spices filling the heat-laden air. From the intensity of the sun which presses into your skin, to the taste of pure, clean water which soothes your dry mouth and throat as it quenches your thirst. From the cacophony of the familiar ‘modern-city-noise’ to its striking contrast – the traditional calls of camel-train drivers and the (mostly) amicable religious competition: resounding cathedral bells vs. the five-daily calls to prayer from the tall Islamic minarets. And yes, this is what my imagination tells me that Israel will be like, when I eventually get there.

Of course, it may equally as likely, be completely the opposite. Speaking with a young Israeli couple during our unintentional few days extra holiday the other week, (courtesy the Queensland floods,) it’s now difficult to tell that you’re even in Israel if you’re in the south of Tel Aviv. According to them, there are now so many immigrants living there – mainly from South Africa, interestingly – that they form the large majority of the population. Plus I’d need to add in the concrete walls, the barbed-wire fences, the hundreds wearing military uniform and carrying weapons… yes, it’s probably more than likely that the Israel in my mind will need some radical updating before it reflects the land as it exists today. No matter. I just want to go.

Like the Day 1 Destination, Rome of 350AD, I’ll be doing the touristy bit and visiting the ‘Ancient’ places. Those I’ve been reading about for years in my Bible. I’d like to think I was walking where Jesus walked and seeing the places (well, the modern versions) that He saw. To experience the history with my own eyes, as it were. How incredible that would be!

Anyway, that’s the last one on my list. Four places that I want to visit. It makes me wonder what would be the four places I would NOT want to go. Which is much harder for me to answer – I doubt I’d be able to find four! So I shan’t be blogging about that over the next four days. (Hooray!)

Instead, I have been inspired by two different sources to write on a different, non-travelling topic. But I’ve written enough for this post, so if you’re interested in finding out more, stay tuned for tomorrow’s offering! Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers! Oh – and I’d love to know what YOUR favourite place to see is…