A vivid memory

Here I am finishing the May Challenge on the first of June! Committing to this for the last month of the school year sounded silly and crazy with all the busyness it brings but I am so thankful, it has helped me in so many more ways. This challenge has brought me out a rut and caused me to be so aware of what I have and value. So, thank you Jenni ~ it really has been fun!


Day 31: A vivid memory.

An early morning swim in the harbor outside my friend’s parents house. Heart fluttering, laughing and full of joy at this young man who always captured my excitement for adventures and the outdoors. 

A day beginning that is to be a vivid memory. Challenging ourselves to swim to an outlying buoy. Swimming back with our sidekicks (dogs) running around and loving it as much as us. 

Walking out of the water, dripping salty water and feeling the sun on my back. Grabbing our towels and drying off, capturing each others eyes and trying not too seem to awkward but something hung in the air. 

Finding a dry spot on the jetty as the tide lapped underneath and then everything starts to begin. The day, and our lives together. 

Suddenly, being asked if he could tell me something… I remember as words poured from his lips, that I couldn’t believe it was happening. My face full of shock and he asking me if everything was OK! That day on the jetty, still brings forth a smile. Two hearts ready for love and life, adventures and challenge. 

The jetty was my vivid memory, we would return there many times in our courtship. We called it ‘our bubble’, time would morph into hours as we shared our lives and bared our hearts to each other. 

One day we returned  and were hit with absence as the jetty had been ripped away without any warning or consultation. A council decision that brought sobs as I saw our memories ripped away just as the wood had been dismantled. My sentimental soul took some time to accept that.

But on our ‘big day’ we stood with our family and friends on the rocks that connected the jetty to the coast, the spot where it all began. 

We will be taking a photo with our son on our return to NZ in two weeks time. A place of many memories as we walk through life.

Peace in the Release

Day 30: React to this term: Letting Go.

Learning to loosen expectation
Entering carefully
Towards detaching a false sense of responsibility
Then removing the belief of thinking that
I should be here and doing all and achieving this.
Now learning to accept and to
Grip the unknown; forgive and bless with deep breaths.

Giving all my burdens to Him,
Only to hope for freedom, peace in the release and a new level of trust.

Yesterday morning, sitting on the couch preparing for the day, I caught myself hearing ‘You can’t do it, you haven’t go what it takes, this is too much for you’…. Flip. I stopped for a second and was suddenly so aware of what I was telling myself. I was shocked that these thoughts could override my emotional well being before I had even stepped out the door.  What I was feeding my soul – was toxic and so crippling, I was thankful that I suddenly was able to ‘hear’ what I was thinking.

When I wrote this poem above, I was thinking of letting go of my thought patterns that creep in.

Freedom in the letting go of negativity and choosing to feed my soul with truth and positive affirmations.

That’s my letting go.

Music is powerful

Day 29: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories.

Music is powerful. Music tends to the soul… It was hard to choose but these are my five for today.

Beautiful Boy‘ is the song we sing my boy, I would sing to him before he was born and this song always calms him. I love the power of music.

Everything‘ This song speaks to my very core. I walked down the isle with my parents to this song. I love the build up in this.

 ‘Flags‘ is from one of my favorite artists Brooke Fraser. This song is challenging and puts to words so many questions and wonderings I have. 

Jacaranda Tree‘ is a smooth tune by another of my favorites Josh Garrels. My tree is the Jacaranda, my parents chose this tree and planted it with my placenta long ago… With this song I imagine sitting under it’s branches and enjoying the bright purple flowers in summer. 
I Won’t Let You Go‘ – Ahhh James Morrison’s voice ~ really honestly, I melt, he is a talented individual. This song is from a very special friend…. Hearing it live was amazing but I like this version the best!

A letter for you

Day 27: A letter to your readers…

taken during a skype call

hey there friend, 

it’s great to see you around here. it’s been uplifting to share my life with you and focus your thoughts on grace and goodness that i like to apportion to this space.

it really is a creative outlet for me and one that is full of treasured moments, both challenging and triumphant.

it’s awesome when you share you thoughts on what i write or even better share the link to your own creative space for me to venture there. 

let’s keep this up. i see a big web of connections being built in many directions through our many spaces, because really that’s what we were created for. to connect!

keeping doing what you do best,

clare @ gracious/goodness 

Helen Keller

Day 26: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss, if you’d like.

I didn’t quite read this online but I watched this and was completely in awe.

Helen Keller was a truly remarkable woman and the bond that Mrs. Ann Sullivan had with her is a powerful one.

Helen pushed the barriers of what was understood about those with deaf or blind needs and followed her convictions on many aspects of woman’s rights. Mrs. Sullivan was her governess and companion for 49 years.

An amazing story of friendship and respect.

The Power of Words

Day 25: Something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget (good or bad).

I was busy moving to my next class in my Year 8/Grade 7 year, crossing through one of our school courtyards and heard my named called behind me, I turn and a teacher stops to point something out that she thought I should know. She spoke these words over me…

“Clare, I don’t know why you were put in the alpha class. You don’t deserve to be there. I am shocked you were put there.” 

Or something of that nature. I don’t remember the statement word.for.word but what I do remember the effect it had on me.

The words echoed at different times. I chose to use those words as fuel that I was deserved of that placing in a top-streamed class. It helped me to do my best and the leave the rest. As teacher myself, I chose to do the exact opposite of what that teacher did to me, to speak words of encouragement to my students, my colleagues, my family and friends. Ok, sometimes I stuff up on that but mostly I try!

Please, please if you read this… Choose your words carefully. 

‘Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.’ 
Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

Coming clean on my three worst traits

Day 24: Your top 3 worst traits.

 ***Worrier***   ‘gives way to anxiety or unease; allows one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles…’

***Self-doubter***   ‘lacks confidence in oneself and one’s abilities…’

***Indecisive***   ‘not having or showing the ability to make decisions quickly and effectively…’

All definitions sourced from apple dictionary application.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Education is life itself

Day 23: Things you’ve learned that school won’t teach you.

I feel like this was THE most challenging prompt of the challenge so far. I couldn’t seem to narrow down things I have learned that school didn’t teach me, because school has been such a small part of my ‘learning’ through life. 

John Dewey says it best:

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

Some of the ideas that came to mind, I have learned:

***That a smile goes a long way, even in awkward, difficult situations.

***That traveling and moving out of your own backyard is a healthy way of giving your life perspective.

*** We can all be teachers; we can be all learners.

***Being in ‘tight situations’ can sometimes bring out the best in you. 

***Your attitude can change any situation around.

What have you learned that school didn’t teach you?

Getting on my soapbox

Day 22: Rant about something. Get up on your soapbox and tell us how you really feel.

Sometimes the media ticks me off. I’m telling you, the amount of time Hubby and I have emailed or skyped to dispel fear of threats from North Korea is phenomenal.

Don’t get me wrong, the recent threats of nuclear action from North Korea were alarming but mostly they have been down right ridiculous.

Many questions were asked by family and friends, advising us to prepare for the worst.  In light of this, we took action in some simple ways in order to be prepared if something did take place. We carried our alien cards (I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien) and passports, withdrew a certain amount of cash, we also organized a pack  with spare baby supplies, warm clothes, and other items that we may need. We also contacted our NZ embassy and had a contingency plan if we needed to leave abruptly. But through all of this, I can say without a shadow of doubt that it did not cause us to feel unsettled or fearful; prepared and prayerful but not fearful. 

Because of the history that underlies these recent acts and the way in which they were administered, life really just kept on ticking here. For the most part we hear very little about our neighbors in the north and go on with life as usual. 

I have done a small amount of discovery on the history and why the Korea’s are separated and what really is at the forefront of my thoughts is the plight of the North Korean people; their lives are in stark contrast to what we witness everyday here.

Going back to my first point; I am ticked at the media because they love to ‘sensationalize’ issues which definitely happened in the past month. Now we don’t hear anything of it on the news and only two days ago there was practice drill activity! It is an ongoing situation which needs careful truth but the media hype caused some of my colleagues to feel they had to defend their decisions to be here and living away from home. And that frustrated me.

Unification will come one day and when it does my heart will feel it deeply. Finally there will be true peace in this land. I wonder what the media will cover on that day?

Rant over. and out.