Pruning the hedges

I've started pruning the hedges around our home. I spent 2 hours out the front cutting back the overhang towards the footpath and also the tops to let in more LIGHT. I'm so grateful that we have a sunny lounge and kitchen. It gets all day sun. If I had it my way, I'd have skylights to flood the whole house in natural light.

But thinking about the pruning. I always think that God can speak when you are in the Garden. When we start to cut back in the natural you begin to reveal what lies beyond. Like when you cut back a tree that over hangs a window and all of a sudden you can now see in and see out.

When we start looking at the excess around us whether it be stuff/material possessions or even things on our mind. It reveals something about our bigger picture of whats going on.  In my own journey of finding my way through the chaos in the home and in the mind. Lifes Chaos. I've realised how overgrown I'd let so many parts of my life and relationships become.

And like my time pruning the front hedges on our home it took alot of time but if you glanced at the work done you might miss it. And so can it be in our own journeys. It can feel pointless or even unnoticed. Things that can feel like big accomplishments can look like nothing special to someone else.

But clip by clip, Cut by cut, you will see the beauty beyond begin to reveal itself.
Its worth it.
But its got to be your own journey. You have to do it for yourself. Or it will be just another gardening job that gets put off till the conditions are just right (and that can be a long time coming).

You can't do a whole garden in a day but you can take a section at a time and enjoy the clarity that comes as you work on whats in front of you.

Oh and the other part of pruning is all the debris that's left behind - thankfully I managed to get my 5 year old Zephyr and 6 year old Titus to help me haul it all into a pile on our drive for 50cents. They also got alongside me having a go at sawing and clipping. They loved being out there all of us together.
When we start pruning the other part is getting rid of the rubbish.
 And as I kept encouraging my boys "the jobs not done until its all picked up!"

So as I look at my life - I'm asking God what needs pruning and ultimately what needs nurturing and clearing away. Getting help along the way can sometimes be hard to ask for but it can sure get the job done faster...

Take courage as its worth it. 

I'd love to hear parts of your own life you've been challenged to do some pruning in :) sometimes its nice to know there are others getting their hands dirty as we face our own messes and overgrown gardens in life!!


Shining LIGHT on our drawers...

Its winter - a time where the land rests...

Its also a great time to prune!!

So I'm pruning.

Going drawer by drawer. Closet by closet and going through every inch of the insides of the house when I can. 

I no longer want all these excess parts around - I'm sure its all apart of the grander scheme of Chaos. So its all got to go.

I'm giving Facebook a rest - and have gone through my 20,000 emails!!! and unsubscribed to countless things that I have no interest in any more - something kinda fun about digging up the hold of the trash compartment in my emails to find the last 7 years of emails stored in the holds.

So its pruning season - and I'm learning to enjoy the feeling of less.  Less stuff, Less mess, Less excess....

It all takes time and that moment of decision where your heart says "oh but I might use this one day... or I will read that one day...." but in the end its just another burden placed upon yourself to hold onto everything.  

So lets look forward and not hold onto the past. Enjoy shining light on our drawers, and closets our emails and how we spend our days...

Its winter - so its time to do the work so the land can rest........ Spring will be here before you know it...!!!

I have no idea who stumbles upon this blog to read it but if you ever want to comment I'd love to hear your journey of the above xoxo Carolyn - you can click below to comment

Creating something from Nothing

There is nothing more humbling than having a group of people gathered in your living room expressing their concern for your family situation and in my ears basically saying you guys are a mess what are you going to do about it?!?  

I'd known they were coming that afternoon so I tried my best to make the lounge really clean and tidy. But no one noticed... and the conversation carried on... Knowing that I had tried my best that afternoon and yet there was no acknowledgement of that really messed with my head. There is nothing worse that trying so hard but then it goes unseen. 

The conversation was centered around the chaos in our lives and how they could help us move forward. 
These people we have shared our hearts and lives with for years and we knew their hearts were for us {there is a huge difference knowing the person on the other end of conversation is doing this in love rather than pure criticism - the latter is awful to experience}
But theres still nothing fun about feeling like "you" are very screwed up and everyone else obviously has everything under control.

We do life in a community of people who work on the Youth with a Mission base that we team lead. Sometimes I've wished that we weren't in ministry rather we were just doing life in the shadows where no one can see the daily hell and afford a comment into it. But I know they are just selfish thoughts as deep down I know that God designed us to be in such relationship with people that you have ones that can truly speak into your lives and see even through the blind spots we cant see. But its awful place to try start from....

So this was us/me feeling pretty crap about myself but also motivated for change... and for me the easiest place to start was HOME. Flag the internal stuff I thought - I'm going to straighten out this ship and make it ship shape - after all we are going to need to stuff another monkey into this jungle in october so I had better make room.....!!

This would be my first something from nothing - 

Starting in the boys rooms I had shelves built into their cupboards and I found clear plastic containers from the warehouse that I could put their clothes into with a sticker label on the front with its contents for the bigger boys I hung their tshirts and jerseys too. {this took a few weeks} and then I was able to take four sets of drawers out of the two rooms - to give more space....

This next mish was the toys I had tried to go through them but they were now just in large plastic containers which I tried to rotate or keep the remainder out in the garage - which worked some of the time but there was still "mess" it felt and the rooms still looked a jumble.  
After talking with my sister I got the idea of using under their beds so I was able to use old wooden drawers that I'd already had.  And I just slide them under the bed on their side so I could fit about 4 under each bunk - still keeping the toys in their own type {lego in one, duplo in another etc}... 

So now instead of the clutter and chaos everything could be packed up and away out of sight and the floor could be clear... 

Genesis 1Living Bible (TLB)

When God began creating[a] the heavens and the earth, the earth was[b] a shapeless, chaotic mass,* with the Spirit of God brooding over the dark vapors.*
Then God said, “Let there be light.” And light appeared. 4-5 And God was pleased with it and divided the light from the darkness.

There is nothing more satisfying than having small victories - Those moments when something new happens and you can take a step forward. All of a sudden light shines.  For me these practical steps although they took me awhile to do were also about trying to create a manageable system that was easy to maintain.  And that the boys could find their things in predictable places. 

I was working from the inside out. Praying all the time that God would help me with it all and the hard stuff that I didn't know how to deal with yet... 

xoxo carolyn


rebuilding from a place of desolation

Where to start........

This has felt like a common phrase over the last few years -

Where to start in my mess of a house!
Where to start with my kids!
where to start in my marriage!

Where to start with myself!

Is this just me or are there others who have come to this point too?

Its a scary place with not much room to breath......

Now with 4 boys 6 and under and another baby on the way it felt like everything came to a tipping point these last few months. Once I was sick in bed with all day morning sickness.
"MORNING sickness" who made up that name for that anyway!! everything seemed to fall apart from the above.

The house and kids became even more wild and my husband and I were in battle mode.

And where are you God I would ask???.....

Help came in the form of friends popping in who helped do dishes or pickup, or the odd "team" from our youth with a mission base who were assigned us as their work duty that day but it was mainly just bandaids on a larger bleed that needed attention.
And for someone who struggles to ask for help there is nothing harder than to feel completely exposed with all your dirty Landry hanging out...

Then one day while I was trying to connect to God he spoke a word into my heart......


and then silence.....

Desolation!!  seriously!!!!! I'm feeling stranded here and all you can say is to state the obvious!!!!!
...even was something - almost comforting, and even if it wasn't this great wonderful rescue moment I was hoping for... it was more of a marking on the map from where to start from...

1.a state of complete emptiness or destruction.
"the stony desolation of the desert"

synonyms: barrenness, bleakness, starkness, bareness, dismalness, grimness; More

2.great unhappiness or loneliness.
"in choked desolation, she watched him leave"
synonyms: misery, sadness, unhappiness, melancholy, gloom, gloominess, glumness, despondency, sorrow, depression, grief, mournfulness, woe;

"How do you rebuild from Desolation?" I asked Google
[and this gaming forum gave me my first answer]

{When you raze a settlement you destroy it and the land becomes desolate. Is there a point where you can then rebuild on that land and of so how do you get the settlement back?

Might sound a silly question but I'm only a few terns in and loads of factions are razing settlements!!! Guuuuur. 
Many thanks}

"You can always rebuild as long as you have the funds and manpower required."


So again coming back to my question where to start? where do I start when everything feels like it is in a state of destruction.....

Well if according to "TOTAL WAR" you can ALWAYS rebuild WITH the resources and manpower...

So with this sense of possibility in hand my Journey begins.....

I post this not really even wanting people to read it but more to help me process my journey and realizing that there must be others that have or are experiencing the same life moments.  Im not writing it to entertain with pretty pictures or fancy bits but to say it how it is and my hope in doing so it somehow helps YOU whoever you are....

xoxo carolyn